Everywhere I look there are Christmas images, cards and pictures with Santa Claus, elves, reindeer, etc. . . . But there are fewer with images, pictures and references to Jesus. In honor of our Savior’s birth I have created some Christian Christmas images, cards and photos to share this Holiday Season. Feel free to share and post them as you feel led.
For many years, I have been using the HOLIDAY LIGHTS desktop program, such fun! I paid for it a long, long time ago and the company no longer updates the program, but that is good news for you, because now, it is available for FREE! :D Enjoy! Also, as we all know, it is a lot of FUN to make snowflakes...
As I sit here, that last of the meal prep is underway in the kitchen. It falls short of full media-promoted tradition. Mom, just a couple of days out of hospital is about to dine in her bed from a tray table set for her, It suddenly occurs to me that I have yet to find a moment to shower and dress as I make note of my leopard PJs and slippers.
My brother Steve shared this on Facebook. The Psalm will bless you, and you can add your prayer as well.
Young friends, Daniel and Matthew (and Kristin) crying out an original psalm as a prayer for Matthew's brother Brenden who is battling serious health issues! This breaks my heart and warms it at the same time. You guys are good!
I would like to welcome a new author to The Christian Gazette, and if you haven't read her blog, Booklovers1, I encourage you to take time to do so. It is a site that I enjoy visiting often to read her reviews of books, and since I am a booklover as well, it is always enlightening to read someone else' opinion.
every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King
We have a President in power who has betrayed all the promises this country was founded upon and by doing so we have become just another country that stands against Israel. We stand as a corrupt nation spreading death and destruction at every turn. Our funds are used to kill innocents in abortion, drone attacks, funding and supporting terrorists, and giving aid to those whose stated intentions are to wipe both this country as well as Israel, off the face of the earth. We have been betrayed at the highest levels and people of faith who follow the teachings of Christ Jesus have become the enemy. Across the earth, this administration is promoting death, evil, and destruction. What is our future? God is the one who knows, but there is plenty of evidence and a promise from God on what happens to those who go against Israel!
King James Version (KJV)
14 Behold, the day of the Lord cometh, and thy spoil shall be divided in the midst of thee.
2 For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city.
3 Then shall the Lord go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle.
4 And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.
5 And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal: yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.
6 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the light shall not be clear, nor dark:
7 But it shall be one day which shall be known to the Lord, not day, nor night: but it shall come to pass, that at evening time it shall be light.
8 And it shall be in that day, that living waters shall go out from Jerusalem; half of them toward the former sea, and half of them toward the hinder sea: in summer and in winter shall it be.
9 And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be oneLord, and his name one.
10 All the land shall be turned as a plain from Geba to Rimmon south of Jerusalem: and it shall be lifted up, and inhabited in her place, from Benjamin’s gate unto the place of the first gate, unto the corner gate, and from the tower of Hananeel unto the king’s winepresses.
11 And men shall dwell in it, and there shall be no more utter destruction; but Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited.
12 And this shall be the plague wherewith the Lord will smite all the people that have fought against Jerusalem; Their flesh shall consume away while they stand upon their feet, and their eyes shall consume away in their holes, and their tongue shall consume away in their mouth.
13 And it shall come to pass in that day, that a great tumult from the Lordshall be among them; and they shall lay hold every one on the hand of his neighbour, and his hand shall rise up against the hand of his neighbour.
14 And Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem; and the wealth of all the heathen round about shall be gathered together, gold, and silver, and apparel, in great abundance.
15 And so shall be the plague of the horse, of the mule, of the camel, and of the ass, and of all the beasts that shall be in these tents, as this plague.
16 And it shall come to pass, that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles.
17 And it shall be, that whoso will not come up of all the families of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them shall be no rain.
18 And if the family of Egypt go not up, and come not, that have no rain; there shall be the plague, wherewith the Lord will smite the heathen that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
19 This shall be the punishment of Egypt, and the punishment of all nations that come not up to keep the feast of tabernacles.
20 In that day shall there be upon the bells of the horses, Holiness Unto The Lord; and the pots in the Lord’s house shall be like the bowls before the altar.
21 Yea, every pot in Jerusalem and in Judah shall be holiness unto the Lord of hosts: and all they that sacrifice shall come and take of them, and seethe therein: and in that day there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts.
If you believed some of the Christian revival hype that was going around this year, you might have been lead to believe that by Thanksgiving our nation would be in sack cloth and ashes humbling themselves and praying and repenting so God would heal our land. That is what some Christian media hucksters tried to sell you, but reality turned out quite differently.
From the villain in the C.S. Lewis story “That Hideous Strength”, ”The world I look forward to is the world of perfect purity… What are the things that most offend the dignity of man? Birth and breeding and death..” I would add God into that mix for many. It is as if they are not willing to credit anything for change, those who call themselves “progressive”, are so often the very ones who do all that they can to prevent any real progress for humanity. So often their policies are policies that lead to the death of humanity and a loss of morality to all men.
They treat the environment as if it were sacred and do their best to forbid the ability of any to practice their faith. Especially if it is a faith that say’s that God gave control of the world’s resources to man to oversee and benefit from. These are the same people who promote promiscuity and perversion, and yet condemn those who commit such to the final death. No promise of eternal salvation in their eyes.
One of my favorite authors when I was growing up was H.G. Wells, especially the “Time Machine.” It was fascinating to see different levels of society and when the time machine reached the very end of civilization, there were two classes. One a class of people who could be considered perfect by the standards of the day. Beautiful people who cared for nothing, did whatever they wished, had no responsibility nor any wants. Everything was taken care of for them, but at the same time, they had no curiosity, no desire except to fulfill their physical desires. The catch was that they had a master that they didn’t even realize that they had. This was who provided for all their needs. Unfortunately for them, they were the sacrifice that fed the master.
The gods of today always require a sacrifice but so often many people don’t even realize that they are being asked for one. Promiscuity leads to many things, including disease and pregnancy. Disease leads to death, and pregnancy to them leads to abortion and death for the child created by the promiscuity. The constant pressure to improve your situation in life by buying more stuff, leads to debt that is often inescapable and people wind up with nothing. The search for beauty is a black hole that leads to indebtedness for some, and death for others who are so obsessed with perfection that they are willing and need to go under the knife in order to reach that perfection. We are bombarded with things that we are told we need, when in truth, if we have faith in God, we are promised that He will provide our needs.
The good news is that our God gave a sacrifice for us and that we don’t have to give one on this earth in order to have the opportunity for eternal life with Him. He sent His son to earth to be that Sacrifice and Jesus made it willingly. He gave Himself in order that we could be saved. Unlike the gods of today who insist that we must do things their way, He has given us the opportunity to ask for Him to help us. Nothing is forced upon us and it is offered freely.
While C.S. Lewis’ villain looked forward to a world of perfect purity, and says that “birth, breeding and death” offend the dignity of man, these are the very vechicles of creation. Birth and the bringing of new life into a family or the world is one of God’s miracles and to witness it is to know that it is something special. Breeding, two becoming one and the product of that is also one of the miracles of God’s creation. Death, while something that many fear, is a step to a new life for a believer of God and to one who has accepted Jesus as their Savior.
How sad it must be to think that all that you can expect is here on earth alone and that there is nothing else. It is to say that nothing is important but what you can get for yourself. To not be able to envision the wonder of what God has created.
How sad to think that it is progress to have and use the ability to kill those you think are not worthy to survive. The morality of me leaves little for those in need. And so often while those who claim the mantle of progressiveism, what they really practice is regressiveism. They want man to kill those that they consider weak, ugly, non-intelligent or non-productive. They want the environment protected to the point that man does not interact with it. They want what they want and yet never see the consequences of their wants. They seem to forget that many of the great works of man were created by imperfect people and that an environment that is not inhabited by man is still inhabited and whatever their idea of perfection is, they cannot control God! Man does not control tornado’s, earthquakes, volcano’s, floods or any other aspect of nature. These things will still happen and the environment will not be static and remain in whatever idea of perfection that they have. They may think that by encouraging the abortion of the weak, ill and disabled, or even the euthanizing of them later, that perfection will enter in. They fail to recognize that what they consider perfection is just a reproduction of sameness. They champion diversity and yet do everything that they can to stamp out diversity of everything, whether it is physical or diversity of thinking.
Growing up in the country you learn a few things that perhaps those who never have that experience don’t seem to realize. A tree that is challenged by whatever weather and circumstance that affects it in the wild is much stronger that a tree that is planted in a nursery and nurtured until it is ready to set out in someone’s yard. Drought makes it’s roots grow deeper in order to reach water, wind shakes it and make the roots reach for a better hold. All these things make it able to endure. People are the same way, and no matter how much progressives want to provide their version of equality to mankind, by doing so they take away that very ability to grow stronger and endure the difficulties that will appear in the future. And they will appear, since man is not and never will be God, there will always be something unexpected to come along and if we take away people’s ability to survive, we leave them vulnerable.
Personally, I will put my strength in the Lord and accept His promise that He will provide what I need. I look forward to sharing the future with Him and death is just the doorway that I hope to walk through and meet Him on the other side.
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name. For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations. Psalm 100:4-5KJV
It was my hope not to write this article yet sometimes unless a thing is brought to the eye of the public important issues are quickly brushed to the side as though they were mere flies on a hot Summer’s day. My experience with several Subway stores was less than honorable on Veteran’s Day. Because of that I though it reasonable to send a nice professional letter to Subway via their website. Well, you don’t know the story so let me explain.
I joined the United States Marine Corps as a young man. At the age of eighteen I entered boot camp on Parris Island. I was honoured to do what I did and would do it again today. I served honorably and was discharged as such. With that I mind I thought I would enjoy some Veteran’s Day festivities in the Baltimore area. So first grabbed my Starbucks coffee cup and laptop and headed for a local Starbucks where I enjoyed the promised free cup of coffee while doing some light work on my computer. After finishing the enjoyable cup of joe I returned my cup and laptop to the house and ventured to the Washington Monument area to watch the parade honoring veterans.
Following the parade I found myself near the War Memorial where speeches were made in respect to the occasion. By this time I sensed a slight hunger so I thought I would take Subway up on their word of a free six inch sandwich. I journeyed a couple blocks away to the Lexington Street Subway. I was denied the sandwich. Somewhat disappointed I would not be deterred so I walked to the VA Medical Center which is adjoined to the University of Maryland Hospital. The VA hospital was all but dead. However the University of Maryland was its usual bustling self. Now, inside the food court of the University of Maryland is a Subway store. I was denied the sandwich a second time.
It was widely reported that veterans would be entitled to a free six inch sandwich from Subway. So far I was denied twice. The denial caused my curiosity to rise as to the matter as related to the promise made by the cooperate office of Subway. So I thought I would take a little more time to determine if any Subway location would honour the promise made. Subsequently I visited eight Subway stores in the downtown Baltimore area. Not one of them honored the promise made by Subway Corporate office. So, I thought I would contact Subway and did so via their website. To date the only response I received is the following:
Dear William ,
Thank you for contacting SUBWAY® Restaurants. Your feedback is important
to the SUBWAY® brand and your recent inquiry has been forwarded to the
appropriate areas for further review.
Note: This e-mail message is automatically generated as part of our automated e-mail system. Please do not reply to this e-mail address as this mailbox account is not monitored.
Now, subway did not have to offer veterans the sandwich. Additionally, I would not normally go seeking free things from anyone. However I thought since the promise was made I would take advantage of the gift in honour of those of us that served this nation by defending it in arms. Promises are promises and should be kept no matter what. To that end I say shame Subway for making me feel like a common beggar of alms when all I was doing was seeking what was promised to me without solicitation. Shame on Subway!
Luke 3:16 John answered, saying unto them all, I indeed baptize you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latchet of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose: he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost and with fire:
Smith Wigglesworth said:
“The fire fell and burned in me till the Holy Spirit clearly revealed absolute purity before God. At this point she (the Sister who laid hands upon him) was called out of the room, and during her absence a marvellous revelation took place, my body became fill1 of light and Holy Presence, and in the revelation I saw an empty Cross and at the same time the Jesus I loved and adored crowned in the Glory in a Reigning Position. The glorious remembrance of these moments is beyond my expression to give-when I could not find words to express, then an irresistible Power filled me and moved my being till I found to my glorious astonishment I was speaking in other tongues clearly. After this a burning love for everybody filled my soul. I am overjoyed in giving my testimony, praying for those that fight this truth, but I am clearly given to understand that I must come out of every unbelieving element. I am already witness of signs following. Praise Him.” SMITH WIGGLESWORTH
“My heart was not in the work of begging,” he said. “I could not appeal. I was crying all the time that God would fill me with His Spirit. Well, one day, in the city of New York — oh, what a day! — I cannot describe it, I seldom refer to it; it is almost too sacred an experience to name. Paul had an experience of which he never spoke for fourteen years. I can only say that God revealed Himself to me, and I had such an experience of His love that I had to ask Him to stay His hand. I went to preaching again. The sermons were not different; I did not present any new truths, and yet hundreds were converted. I would not now be placed back where I was before that blessed experience if you should give me all the world — it would be as the small dust of the balance.”
Luke 4:1 And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost returned from Jordan, and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness,
Luke 4:16 And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and, as his custom was, he went into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up for to read.
17 And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Esaias. And when he had opened the book, he found the place where it was written,
18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,
Jesus had the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and He said that if we ask it will be given: Luke 11:9 And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.
10 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
Jesus said in Luke 24:49 And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.
And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name they shall cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
If this is not happening in our churches should we ask the relevant question? Are they really believers? Or are they teaching something that they don’t truly believe or have never experienced? Because if you are filled with the Holy Spirit, it is not something that you will doubt. The power of the Holy Spirit affects people in different ways, some just cry because they can do nothing else, it is simply overpowering. Others speak in tongues and while many don’t believe and even go so far as to say that it damages Christians position in the world. I really wonder what is so great to have a powerful face in the world. Are we not instructed to be humble? It seems that the more prosperous that a church or church leader becomes, they start worrying in how the world perceives them.
R.A. Torrey said “ It has brought a joy into my soul that I never dreamed of before; a liberty in preaching that makes preaching an unspeakable delight where before it was a matter of dread;”
C. H. Spurgeon said “Let the preacher always confess before he preaches that he relies upon the Holy Spirit. Let him burn his manuscript and depend upon the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit does not come to help him, let him be still and let the people go home and pray that the Spirit will help him next Sunday.”
Were all these men of old mistaken? Is it not necessary to be filled with the Holy Spirit? If the Holy Spirit fills you with the ability to speak in tongues, is this something that is unacceptable today? Who decides that it is unacceptable? The one who hasn’t been filled or the one who has?
Jesus said “John 14:17-19 King James Version (KJV)
17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
18 I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
19 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also.
There is only one caveat with this, it must be something that we ask for, something that we are willing to receive. How many who have not experienced it are not truly willing to receive it? How many are so afraid of losing control that they forget to truly know God, you have give yourself away. How can the Holy Spirit filled you with God’s grace if you are already full of yourself? That is not to say that those who don’t speak in tongues have not been baptized in the Holy Spirit, it is just that they haven’t quite reached the point where they have given in and given God the opportunity to fill that space with something besides their own knowledge and beliefs. Something that truly transcends what we normally feel.
Take any vessel that you can think of, if you mix water into what ever is already in the vessel, what you have is no longer water, instead it is a diluted version of what was already there. And yet if you totally empty the vessel and fill it with pure water, then that is what you will have. So many times we are not allowing ourselves to be emptied to the fullest, we hold a portion back, for what ever reason, and therefore, we are not filled with what God wants to give us, but instead a weaker portion of what we already are.
We are told that we must put off the old before we can become the new, and yet we have this tendency to hold on to parts of the old. Whether it is from fear or change, or just because we are not quite ready, it is different with different people. Another way that we are told the same thing is the parable of the wineskins:
“And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better.”—Luke 5:36-39, KJV
A.W. Tozer said:
But how can a Christian know the fullness of the Spirit unless he has known the experience of being filled?
It would, however, be useless to tell anyone how to be filled with the Spirit unless he first believes that he can be. No one can hope for something he is not convinced is the will of God for him and within the bounds of scriptual provision.
Before the question ‘How can I be filled?’ has any validity the seeker after God [i]must be sure that the experience of being filled is actually possible[/i]. The man who is not sure can have no ground of expectation. Where there is no expectation there can be no faith, and where there is no faith the inquiry is meaningless.
The Doctrine of the Spirit as it relates to the believer has over the last half century [written in 1957] been shrouded in a mist such as lies upon a mountain in stormy weather. A world of confusion has surrounded this truth. The children of God have been taught contrary doctrines from the same texts, warned, threatened and intimidated until they instinctively recoil from every mention of the Bible teaching concerning the Holy Spirit.
This confusion has not come by accident. An enemy has done this. Satan knows that Spiritless evangelicalism is as deadly as Modernism or heresy, and he has done everything in his power to prevent us from enjoying our true Christian heritage.
A church without the Spirit is as helpless as Israel might have been in the wilderness if the fiery cloud had deserted them. The Holy Spirit is our cloud by day and our fire by night. Without him we only wander aimlessly about the desert.
That is what we today are surely doing. We have divided ourselves into little ragged groups, each one running after a will-o’-the-wisp or firefly in the mistaken notion that we are following the Shekinah. It is not only desirable thatr the cloudy pillar should begin to glow again. It is imperative.
The Church can have light only as it is full of the Spirit, and it can be full only as the members who compose it are filled individually. Furthermore, no one can be filled until he is convinced that being filled is a part of the total plan of God in redemption; that it is nothing added or extra, nothing strange or queer, but a proper and spiritual operation of God, based upon and growing out of the work of Christ in atonement.
The inquirer must be sure to the point of conviction. He must believe that the whole thing is normal and right. He must believe that it is God’s will that he be anointed with a horn of fresh oil beyond and in addition to all the ten thousand blessings he may already have received from the good hand of God.
Until he is so convinced I recommend that he take time out to fast and pray and meditate upon the Scriptures. Faith comes from the Word of God. Suggestion, exhortation or the psychological effect of the testimony of others who have been filled will not suffice.
Unles he is persuaded from the Scriptures he should not press the matter nor allow himself to fall victim to the emotional manipulators intent upon forcing the issue. God is wonderfully patient and understanding and will wait for the slow heart to catch up with the truth. In the meantime, the seeker should be calm and confident.”
There are those that claim that baptism in the Holy Spirit is an absolute essential to being a Christian, and others who say that it comes upon you when you accept Jesus as your Savior. Perhaps they are both right, perhaps, it is simply in varying degrees due to our own ability to accept it, and to what we can handle. I know that myself at times it is different in it’s appearance. Sometimes it is just an overwhelming sense of peace, a peace that I sometimes crave to experience everyday. Other times it is indescribable joy, and love that I long to have forever. I have witnessed the speaking of tongues, I have witnessed and been part of miracles.
The greatest experience that we can have on this earth is to be filled with the grace of God. That is something that I desire continually. I would never tell any person that being filled with the Holy Spirit is something that they have to experience but I would tell them that it is a wonderful experience. Neither would I tell them that being filled with the Holy Ghost and speaking in tongues does not look well in the eyes of the world. It is not the world that I strive to please and if He desires that I speak in tongues or that others do, it is Him that I listen to.
It is by His grace that I live, and it is by His grace and the Holy Spirit that I will continue to spread the word of the Living God. Jesus is my Savior and I have given my life to serving Him. To Him is the glory and I give thanks every day that He gave His life for me. God bless!
I should say at the forefront that this post forces me into certain transparency that I normally do not present. Yet I find it necessary to encourage many that find themselves fighting discouragement and dismay during this upcoming holiday season and other times throughout the year. There are many heavy hearts out there and many that are not certain if they should stay in the fight. I argue that those who are heavy hearted need not only stay in the fight but also fight a bit harder.
Sometimes I reflect to November of 1981. I was a young Marine and not long graduated from Admin School. I was assigned to 3rd Recon in Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii. My plans for Thanksgiving were to go to church but my supervisors thought otherwise. Being of low rank and the newest member of the unit I was assigned the “duty” for the weekend. It was the first time that I was to celebrate with an M16 strapped across my shoulders while I donned my freshly pressed camouflage uniform. It was all I could do to keep back the tears welling up. I had to stand post and nothing was to change that. So, I kept post. It was just me and an occasional Marine passing by. The hurt and pain seemed insurmountable but I was not allowed to give up. I was not allowed to give in. I had a job to do so I remained and did what was required of me.
The interesting thing is that there came a time when that duty was over. I was no longer to stand that post. Yes, I have had other duties since but never again did I have duty on Thanksgiving Day. The occasion of loneliness also subsided for a time. The sorrow did not last. With this I can say boldly that those of you that may be feeling loneliness and despair that this too will pass. Do not let the occasion of temporary setbacks set the stage for the rest of your life. Jesus has promised that He will be with us that serve Him and that promise has continued from the time He spoke it until now. So, be of good courage! God has not forgotten you and will reward you for your faithfulness.
Regrettably that was not the last time I would be overtaken with loneliness, hurt and pain. You see, I married the wife of my youth and had every intention of being married to her until the end of my life. Unfortunately the woman I adored did not feel the same way. Many things transpired that I still do not understand. Even worse my thirteen year marriage was deemed over after a twenty minute hearing by a judge in Fort Smith, Arkansas. The divorce was unwanted and undeserved yet I was caught in the middle of troubles, hurt and pain that I did not seek. In fact I fought with everything I had to dispel the overtures of our enemy. Alas, my fight was not enough. Even so, God has been good to me in that I have grown in ways that I cannot articulate in this missive.
My point is that I know that many are going through trouble not of their making. Many of you look around your homes and see no one there. The phone does not ring and no one knocks on the door unless you are needed for something. I also know what is like not to watch certain movies because they cause tears to stream down because of the desire to have someone but there is no one. There is no one to talk with and to play with. There is no point in buying a lot of food; it will only go to waste. Going to the movie theatre is just another reminder that you are alone and it is the same reason that restaurants are avoided; it is just too painful to be surrounded by people who are loved by someone and you sit alone.
Be of good cheer my brother. Be of good cheer my sister. God has not forgotten you and he sees you crying in the midnight hour. He knows that you have need of someone in your life and has someone out there just for you. However that person is still being prepared for you and you are being prepared for that person. Meanwhile, keep doing a good work. Hold on to the faith that has brought you to this point. Trust God with your whole heart and lean not to your own understanding.
When the fullness of time has come God will bless you in such a way that you will know that it was no one but God. People will call you blessed because you will be blessed. No, don’t you dare bring harm to yourself. Trust God and hold on to His promise to never leave you nor forsake you. You are not forgotten and you are very much loved. Just stay the course and be of good courage.
‘Complete Anarchy’: Famed Pastor Issues Major Wake-Up Call for Christians About the Dire State of American Culture
TheBlaze’s Carly Hoilman contributed to this report.
The centerpiece of Driscoll’s new book titled, ”A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?,” is that we’re living in a “post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”
Culture Is Quickly Shifting
The pastor recently told TheBlaze that he believes cultural norms are rapidly shifting in American society and that these changes come at the same time that Christianity is losing its place of prominence.
“A commitment to secularism to pluralism has really come very, very rapidly, and certain issues like gay marriage have accelerated and highlighted that,” Driscoll said. “More biblical, conservative traditions…values have gone from being respected to really despised in very short order.”
Driscoll explained that 40 years ago, homosexuality was still listed in psychological manuals and textbooks as a mental disorder, and now it is considered a civil right. He added, “That’s a quick flip.”
“We are living in a post-Christian culture — a culture fundamentally at odds with faith in Jesus.”
He believes that there’s been a paradigm shift in society from “morality to personality.”
Rather than moral absolutes governing what’s right or wrong, Driscoll said that there’s a general view that people should be true to themselves — that they should essentially stand by their feelings and desires.
“We’ve shifted from a worldview where there is a God who makes laws, and they apply to you, to whether or not there is a God it does not matter — ‘I don’t recognize any laws external to me. The only thing that guides me is my own internal convictions,’” he said. “Authority has shifted from external to internal, from God to me. And what you end up with is not a discussion of morality but a defense of personality. And that’s the world we live in.”
Driscoll believes that there is “a culture of complete anarchy in the name of tolerance and diversity.”
“One in four women sexual assaulted, one in six men, people that are sexually addicted, sexually assaulted, sexually abused, rampant debt, broken families, suicidal,” he told TheBlaze. “The number one category of prescription medication is antidepressants. Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”
One of the Big Questions Facing Christians
One of the big questions facing Christians, the pastor said, is how to peacefully exist in this context of change without compromising values and theology.
“Christians need to understand that Christians and non-Christians just disagree about a lot of things,” he said. “We disagree about where we come from, we disagree about why we’re here, we disagree about what we’re supposed to do, we disagree with what we’re supposed to do with our pots and our pans and our genitals and our wallets — we just disagree on all kinds of things.”
Driscoll went on to say that one of the biggest threats to Christians is the assumption that compromising on what they believe will help them or serve a positive purpose for the non-believers they interact with. Doing this, he said, simply doesn’t work for anyone
With the changing cultural dynamics, Driscoll warned that Christians need to start getting better at understanding suffering and dealing with pushback, as they’re poised to receive more of it.
“In the West we’re not really familiar with suffering [and] Christendom and Christians have tended to be in a position of power, a respected position, and so all the issues surrounding suffering and criticism and such — we’re not very good at that,” he said. “And it’s something we’d better get better at pretty quickly because it’s just going to get harder to stay true to what we believe.”
Driscoll said that it’s becoming increasingly difficult for people to be Bible-believing — and practicing — Christians and that there are “no social perks to being a Christian” in today’s society.
Issues Facing Churches
The decreasing role and reverence for churches is also noticeable, Driscoll said. While houses or worship were once much-respected, today he believes that this dynamic has profoundly changed.
“The churches, for the most part, held a very respected place in society — and if you’re going to be a good business leader, a good citizen, a moral person, well obviously you believe in God and you’re involved in some religious community,” he said. “So what that led to was really a lot of people who weren’t committed to their religious beliefs — they didn’t really live them out — but they would sort of wave the flag because of the social benefits that came with it.”
Driscoll believes the social benefits and connotations the church once offered are decreasing. Being ostracized or marginalized for being in the pews makes it somewhat less appealing to participate in church. While he doesn’t necessarily believe that there are fewer Christians, he said “the teams have gotten very clear.”
“Somebody’s gotta stand up and say, ‘This ain’t working — we gotta try something else.’”
Fewer of those who went or go to church mainly to bask in these benefits are now doing so and for obvious reasons; the purported benefits are diminishing.
With the changing dynamics, Christians have to find a balance, Driscoll argued. What battles will they choose to fight? Which will they choose to ignore? Of these concerns, Driscoll said, ”You can’t fight over everything, and you’re not very courageous if you won’t fight for anything.”
The pastor said it’s important to decide what’s worth fighting for and then to be prepared to deal with the consequences of speaking out.
Driscoll expounds upon these themes in “A Call to Resurgence: Will Christianity Have a Funeral or a Future?”
Arab textbooks are not the only ones erasing Israel from their maps. Scholastic, the world’s largest publisher of children’s books, has also eliminated the Jewish state in a book.
“Thea Stilton and the Blue Scarab Hunt,” part of the popular Geronimo Stilton children’s series translated from Italian and published by Scholastic in 2012, tells the story of a group of investigative journalists involved in a treasure hunt in Egypt.
The story commences with a map of modern Egypt and its neighboring countries. While Sudan, Libya and Saudi Arabia appear clearly on the map, the territory of Israel is completely covered by Jordan, painted red. A line indicating the Israeli border with the Sinai Peninsula does appear in the book.
Adina Golombek, a Jerusalem resident who emigrated to Israel from Canada last year, said she was shocked to discover Israel’s absence while reading the book with her 7-year-old son. Read the rest
2 Timothy 3:1-5
King James Version (KJV)
3 This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.
2 For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,
3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,
4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;
5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.
King James Version (KJV)
America needs Revival
2 Chronicles 7:14
King James Version (KJV)
14 If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
King James Version (KJV)
Without God all that is America will be Lost
Jesus and His Purpose
Springs of Refreshing Fellowship Church
1932 Gwynn Oak Ave
Woodlawn, MD 21207
Elder William James Carter, The 1st
18 April 2013
© The Christian Perspective
Jesus and His Purpose
The Deity of Jesus
Many of those that claim to be Christians today have very little knowledge of who Christ is and His purpose. It is for this reason this lesson will delve into the deity of Christ and His purpose. John 1:
“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”
The first thing that should be noted in this verse is the term “in the beginning.” It is similar term that was used in Genesis 1:1. The term does not refer to the starting point of time rather is refers to the beginning of recorded time. The idea here is that the text is pointing to the eternality of Jesus. It shows that Jesus existed before time was recorded by man. Even more importantly not only did Jesus exist before recorded time but He enjoys a status of pre-existence.
The pre-existence of Christ lend considerable credibility to His Deity. Jesus removes a little of His veil in John 8:58 with the words:
“Before Abraham was I am.”
This interesting choice of words shows that Jesus not only existed before Abraham but that He remains eternal. At no point does His existence or deity cease to be. The fact that the Jesus remains before Abraham is testament that He continues to exist in eternity past. Only deity can exist in such a fashion as to be in the past and present simultaneously.
The next aspect to be examined is the term “Word.” One partial definition of “Word is: “the ultimate revelation of Jesus Christ in the incarnate Word of God”. By this Jesus is personified as being the very image of God. This is what makes the term “Immanuel” significant. Immanuel means “God with us” and the Word being presents the very picture of an ever-present God becomes clear.
Verse one continues by showing that the Word was with God. This is a clear indication of two distinct personalities. Jesus, the Word, existed and continues to exist with God the Father. The term with is not simply positional rather it is relational. It shows an unbreaking union in the Godhead. Additionally this union is not just a strong relationship but that the Godhead is in full agreement insofar as all is concerned. There is no disagreement between the members of the Godhead.
The ending of verse one points not only to the Deity of Jesus but also to the very fact that Jesus is God. He is just as much as God as the Father is. This fact is NOT a form of polytheism rather is shows the multifaceted God mentioned in Genesis 1:1. While we may lack understanding how one God can be present in three Persons we must understand that clarity to the matter will be part of a victorious end to this life.
The incarnation of Jesus is not a coincidental or happenstance matter. God planned this from the time of the fall of man in the Garden. As such many prophecies concerning the virgin birth of Jesus were made throughout the Old Testament. One prominent prophecy is found in Isaiah 7:14:
“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”
This prophecy came to pass as Mary gave birth to the Messiah (Luke 2:6-7). It is important to note that Jesus was conceived while Mary remained a virgin. This is significant because Jesus did not come from the seed and blood of man. Remember that it is the father’s blood that is in offspring. Because Jesus is the Son of God he could not be tainted with the blood of man. This is the reason He had to come through a pure vessel not tainted by man’s sinful blood.
Because of His incarnation many see Jesus as being man only. However that is far from true. However Jesus could not come to earth in the fullness of His glory. He had to lay aside some of His attributes in order to accomplish His task. Philippians 2:7 points to this fact:
“But stripped Himself [of all privileges and [a]rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being” (Amplified Bible).
The term for this action is called “kenosis” which means that Jesus “surrendered no attribute of His Deity, but that He did voluntarily restrict their independent use in keeping with His purpose of living among men and their limitations.” He did not stop being God but emptied Himself by:
- Veiling His divine glory – no man could look on God in the fullness of His glory and live
- Subjecting Himself to human limitations – Jesus was fully man in that He lived in the shell of a man having to be limited as man is.
- Giving up independent use of comparative attributes – Jesus willing laid aside His omniscience, omnipresence and omnipresence. These attributes were still available to Him but He chose to surrender the use of these attributes so that He could identify with man.
Even with this pouring out Jesus remained Devine even though He lived as a man. With this Jesus was one hundred percent God and one hundred percent man. It is for this reason that Christ has been called the God- Man. It is the union of God and man which is called the hypostatic union. At no time was Jesus less God nor did He ever become less man. He was “Immanuel” or God with us. There are a number of reasons this union is significant but for the sake of this lesson only three will be discussed. Those reasons are that:
- The union is evidence of the eternal priesthood of Christ – Hebrews 9:11
- The prophetic office of Christ is evidenced in the union – Matthew 21:11
- The kingly office of Christ requires both the Divine and human – Revelation 15:3
Because Jesus was and remains one hundred percent God, while incarnate, He had within Him no ability to sin. Multiple texts point to the sinless life of the God-man. Among them are:
- Hebrews 4:14 -15: Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. 15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.
- I Peter 2:21-22: For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps:22 Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:
- I John 3:5: And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin.
While Jesus performed many works prior to His crucifixion is task at large was really simple. That task was to perform the will of His Father. John 5:30:
“I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.”
This statement by Jesus is indicative of the obedience Jesus. It shows His complete and total submission to the Father. Jesus did not come to do anything apart from the Father. Remember that He and the Father are one and as such it is impossible for One to operate without the absolute consent of the Other. But what is the will of the Father? In order to fully understand the will of God there must be an understanding of the nature of man before sin corrupted him. The first man initially:
- Was sinless because he was created without sin.
- Communed regularly with God.’
- Had an intimate relationship with God.
The fall of man caused a divide that God was not desirous of. From that time He put into action a plan to restore man to his rightful relationship. Part of that plan is put in to play by redemption.
Redemption – To redeem mean to buy back. When man sinned the process of death began. The death was not merely physical death rather the death was separation from God. With this meant that man no longer belonged to God but that God had to pay a price in order to restore man back to his pre-sin state.
I Corinthians 7:23:
“Ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men.”
Before redemption man is a servant to not only other men but also to sin. Those who are not redeemed are basically owned by sin because of their service to sin.
“Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin.”
“Neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.”
I Peter 1:18-19:
“Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.”
Reconcile – To reconcile a thing is to restore it to a former state. Formally God enjoyed an unhindered relationship with man. There was nothing that could cause a divide other than disobedience. From the time of the fall the Godhead sought to restore that relationship.
II Corinthians 5:18-19:
“And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation;19 To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation.”
“Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby”
Salvation- Salvation is deliverance from the power of sin. It was sin that caused the divide between man and God and the eradication of the power of sin presents the ability for a restored relationship.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.18 He that believeth on him is not condemned: but he that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.”
“Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
“For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour”
All too often Christianity has been made to succumb to the world it sits in. This is largely because many that count themselves Christians compromise the Word of God to the extent that the Word is nearly nullified simply because of the acquiescing of the leaders of the Church. Much of this acquiescing has been in the form of calling things Christian that far fall from the standards of holiness. Christianity has been maligned to the extent that the word “Christian” has been wrongly placed on nearly everything that the world has to offer. Suffice it to say, however, that just ‘cause they call it Christian don’t make it so.
This is one that is bound to get some fur to flying. Still the area of music must be examined. There are many forms of music available for Christians and non-Christians alike. Yet many choose to place Christianity on music simply by changing the Words of a popular tune. Because of this there are many forms of music purporting to be Christian when all it really is an attempt to change the Christian culture under the guiles of reaching the youth. This has resulted in “Christian” Rock, Punk Rock, Rap, Soul, R & B, Heavy Metal and the list goes on. God does not need the mimicking of stylistic ventures of the world in order to be worshipped. Instead He requires that the Church come out from the world and be separate (II Chronicles 6:17). And while the noted text is an Old Testament reference it holds much relevance today because it presents the idea of holiness which goes far beyond dispensational ideas.
The idea of holiness appears absent even in the matter of the coming Halloween festivities. Many churches will have alternative activities which serve only to promote the diabolical influences of the infamous holiday. There are many that will have a Christian form of Halloween by having congregants dress as Mary, Jesus, Moses and other biblical characters while bobbing for apples and telling not so scary stories. This is far from the pulling away as referenced earlier rather this is kowtowing to influences that should have no say in the Christian realm. Christianity should have no likeness to the rest of the world. In matter of fact the converse is true; Christians should be peculiar be reason of their stand for holiness. This because the people of God are called to be “a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” (I Peter 2:9). And because Christians are holy then there is no room for calling things Christian that have no likeness of holiness.
And there are hosts of other areas that can be examined insofar as separation is concerned. This idea is encapsulated in just a few words; just ‘cause they call it Christian don’t make it Christian. As such it is prudent that those that seek to hold up the blood stained banner hold it up without wavering. Hold up the standard without concern for reprisal. The unsaved are looking for a difference and that difference cannot be found be calling things Christian that clearly are not.
to grow and to thrive;
not to hold on tight,
just try to survive.
Thriving takes much work,
commitment to grow;
with seed that we sow.
Stay away from myths,
trust God’s holy word;
eyes on eternal,
discern what is heard.
May our godliness,
speak volumes to those;
who are still seeking,
or stuck in life’s throes.
Let’s pour out ourselves,
be fruitful and thrive;
though it will take work,
hearts will come alive.
Train well in the truth,
let our hope be clear;
speak always in love,
give grace, persevere.
Use each gift given,
to honor the King;
may His glory shine,
through our offering.
(Responding to I Timothy 4:6-16 presented by @fairlyspiritual yesterday morning)
Dear Heavenly Father, thank You that You have created each of us with a purpose. thank You that You have given us gifts that we are meant to share with the masses, so that they may be moved toward You. Thank You too, that You have created us to grow and thrive, not just survive. Forgive us for holding on to what we need to release, and for laying down that which we were meant to keep working on. Teach us to trust You more so that we will persevere when things are difficult and You are calling us to press on; and also that we will place every good gift in Your hands, trusting that all that we have is only ours on loan, to care for well, so that we might also share it with others. May we love as You love, and may many come to know You as Lord of their lives. Amen.
© Shannon Elizabeth Moreno and Revelations in Writing, May 2011 – present.
Diana Rasmussen is a wonderful blogger with some great testimony, this is a link to some of music that she publishes and a link to her blog, Prayers and Promises. Please take time to read her post and listen to her music. I think that you will be blessed!
Verse of the Day
Matthew 26:64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.
Chase Bank Limits Cash Withdrawals, Bans International Wire Transfers10/16/13 This is an unusual step and needs to be watched. Chase is a huge bank and is warning everyone about the limits on cash withdrawals. Please seek the Lord about your funds in these banks, because this corrupt banking system cannot continue forever. I do not want a penny of my money lost or tied up in a “bail-in” as the plans are already in place for the US banks. Cyprus was their test case and the “banksters and gangsters” know exactly what to do.
May the Holy God of Israel bless and protect you.
Hard Left Watch
Pentagon Admits Army’s ‘Hate Group’ Label of Christian Groups is Incorrect 10/16/13 Please pay no attention to this as this is about the fourth time in the last year this happened. Each time the military said the same thing or nothing. The military did nothing to correct this, and it continues at these training sessions. Someone high in the chain of command is authorizing this and no one is being held accountable except if it deals with Islam, then people are fired. This is just a ploy to make us feel good.
New Extremist Foxes Welcomed into U.S. Chicken Coop 10/10/13 This is about the Muslim Brotherhood influence in the Obama administration.
Presbyterian Church USA Teams Up With American Islamists10/06/13 Our brothers and sisters in Christ are being murdered every day by the Muslims and he writes a book like this. I would like to see this pastor try and go to Mecca and find out what is real Islam.
I see this man as “Tokyo Rose” during WW2 or “Hanoi Jane” during the Vietnam War. If you know anyone in the Presbyterian Church USA, please send this to them.
Pro-family attorneys arguing for traditional marriage before lesbian judge 10/09/13 This is what America is coming down to: wicked people in positions of power. God has turned America over to them. A judge like this is judgment on the nation.
Judge punished for refusing to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies10/09/13 This is what happens when the wicked are in power.
Gov. Brown: Insurers Must Cover Fertility Treatments–For Same-Sex Partners 10/10/13 What can be added to this other than there is no bottom to free fall of the reprobates in America. They are making total fools of themselves for all to see. This is really embarrassing and yet painful to watch.
Gov. Brown: Insurers Must Cover Fertility Treatments–For Same-Sex Partners – See more at: http://www.cnsnews.com/news/article/barbara-hollingsworth/gov-brown-insurers-must-cover-fertility-treatments-same-sex#sthash.2suO5NOH.dpuf
Homosexual movement has PR campaign for its last enemy: the church10/14/13 Because the vast majority of pastors and Christians failed to stand up for God’s holiness and seek revival in America, God is about to use the homosexuals to test the mettle of the church. They will force the church to take a stand in the name of Jesus or just melt away. This is very close.
Israel and the Middle East War
US and Iran hold bilateral meeting in Geneva 10/16/13 Obama is looking for a way out of confrontation with Iran. Iran will tell him what he wants to hear. Israel is going to be left alone.
Tensions rise as Saudis fear US ‘going soft’ 10/15/13 How about Israel and Saudi Arabia teaming up against Iran? The Saudis are terrified of a nuclear Iran and could it be possible that they would allow Israel to use Saudi Arabian airspace to attack Iran?
Israel’s blind watchmen 10/10/13 Obama tried his best to sell out Israel to the Turks! This man is an agent of the Muslim Brotherhood.
Jihadists flooding into northern Syria put Turkey on edge 10/15/13 This is very interesting as Turkey was behind Hamas and the flotilla that Israel had to attack. Now they have vicious terrorists right on their border! The very same type that they tried to get into Israel!
Revelation 22:20 He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus.
Reprinted with permission of the author: John McTernan
Hi, I'm the “Meanest Mom in the World”. That’s what I hear when a take a phone away or delete a new app. Ask me if I care- because I don't.
Parents, do you know what your kids are doing? The world has offered our children a wide variety of apps and social media outlets that we don’t even know about.