The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

The Heavens Declare the Glory of God, the Firmament the Work of His Hand

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Saturday, March 31, 2012

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." Proverbs 3:5-6

As our daughter makes plans to go to M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, this song continues to play over and over in my head:

'One day at a time sweet Jesus, that's all I'm askin' of you. Just give me the strength to do every day what I have to do. Yesterday's gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow may never be mine. Lord, help me today, show me the way ~ One day at a time.'

Words escape me, the pain in my heart unbearable as I struggle to come to grips with this evil yet one more time.

My G-d IS able, I am clinging even more tightly to Him today than I did yesterday or the day before; wondering how those who do not know my precious L-RD make it through the tough places in their lives. Many choose alcohol, drugs, suicide - a cheap imitation of the glorious peace found only in our L-RD, for He truly IS my hiding place.

"Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord;I will take joy in the God of my salvation. God, the Lord is my strength;
He makes my feet like the deer’s; He makes me tread on my high places." Habakkuk 3:17-19

We covert your prayers for our family and our daughter Alisha as together our family fights the good fight of faith.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

"For false christs and false prophets will rise and show great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect." Matthew 24:25

"The Harbinger is one of the hottest selling books today. It is a quasi-fictional story reminiscent of novels such as The Da Vinci Code or The Shack. Each of these books involves mystery and intrigue, and has a serious message that the authors want to convey. Dan Brown, in The Da Vinci Code, wanted to cast doubt on the Christian message and interject the teaching of ancient Gnosticism. The Shack portrays a new-age, unconditionally accepting view of God which promotes universalism. The Harbinger is warning America that God’s judgment is imminent unless the country repents and turns to the Lord and that very soon. The need for repentance and true dedication to Christ in our society is not doubted by most Christians.

America, as a whole, has rejected the Lord, ignored His ways, and rebelled against His sovereign rule. That we ultimately reap what we sow is a biblical concept that is not going to be repealed for the United States and Cahn’s basic theme is well worth considering. If the book is read merely as a novel warning our country to wake up spiritually it has value, but the author makes immediately clear that “what is contained within the story is real” (p. 7). In other words Cahn believes that God pronounced exacting judgment on America and that judgment is found in Scripture.

Isaiah 9:10-11 is the specific text of Scripture that frames The Harbinger. In context Isaiah 9:1-7 is one of the clearest prophecies in the Old Testament concerning the coming of the Messiah, both His first and second comings.

This is followed by a warning of coming judgment on Israel because of its arrogance and rebelliousness (9:8-21). We know from subsequent revelation and from history that God’s judgment did fall on Israel just as the prophecy promised.

So far so good. But then Cahn determines that Isaiah 9:10-11 contains a 'hidden' second prophecy directed not to ancient Israel but to modern America. At this point the author massages Scripture and current events in an attempt to prove that God’s judgment on the United States has been hiding in these verses from the day they were given by Isaiah, but have now been unlocked by the careful investigation of Cahn.

Nothing could be further from the truth and, even more importantly, once someone decides they can cherry-pick verses at will, change the meaning of these texts to fit his theories and use random hermeneutical methods, anything can be “proven.”

Bottomline: The Harbinger is a semi-interesting novel that exposes the pride and sinfulness of America and God’s disdain for such rebelliousness. But the novel does not in reality discover a mysterious Old Testament prophecy about America. Read as fiction with an important point, the book has value. Read as a prophecy, it is dangerous."  written by Gary Gilley

"Every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him.  Do not add to his words,lest he rebuke you and you be found a liar." Proverbs 30

Monday, March 26, 2012

"The world is the world still. 'There is nothing new under the sun.'

Christ and the world are not one. The world has covered itself with the cloak of Christianity; but it is only in order that its hatred to Christ may work itself up into more deadly forms underneath. Let us not deceive ourselves. If we will walk with a rejected Christ, we must be a rejected people.

If our Master 'suffered without the gate,' we cannot expect to reign within the gate. If we walk in His footsteps, whither will they lead us? Surely, not to the high places of this godless, Christless world. 'His path, uncheered by earthly smiles, led only to the cross." ~ CH Mackintosh

"He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.''  Psalm 91:1

Thursday, March 22, 2012

"They... walked in the counsels and in the imagination of their evil heart, and went backward and not forward." Jeremiah 7:24

Avatar, Twilight, Harry Potter, The Shack, and now Hunger Games.

Hunger Games fits into a dark world that has supposedly replaced our own increasingly corrupt land. With today's delight in digital deceptions and mind-changing stimuli, our former free and moral nation may well fade away, swallowed up by a dictatorship that could encompass the world.

The setting for this trendy teenage tale is an oppressive nation called Panem that occupies what once was America. From its well-protected Capitol, it controls its 12 regional Districts using sophisticated surveillance and communication technology.

Each of the 12 Districts must offer a yearly contribution to the Capitol in the form of two chosen "Tributes": a boy and a girl (ages twelve through eighteen). According to standard government rules, those twenty-four Tributes will kill each other until only one is left. And while the teenagers fight for their lives, the eyes of every household across the land are glued to the televised battlegrounds. That's the law.

The realm of myth, imagination and occultism have their own ways of making mysterious manifestations and reincarnations seem plausible. Many are found in the myths and practices behind shamanism, Hinduism, sorcery, witchcraft and Native American traditions. They all clash with Christianity.

Consider these warnings:

"There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12

Book Review by Berit Kjos, movie scheduled release date;  3/23/12

Monday, March 19, 2012

"Struck down, but not destroyed"
By Berit Kjos

Born in 1867, Amy Carmichael determined early to follow God -- no matter the cost. She brought His love to hundreds of women in the slums of Ireland then shared the gospel in Japan until her health broke down. Finally God led her to southern India, where she taught a small team of faithful Indian women. Riding in a bumpy oxcart, they braved unthinkable dangers as they told about Jesus in village after village.

One hot, humid day a terrified little girl ran toward Amy and flung herself into her arms. She had been given to the local Hindu temple as a "bride" to the Hindu gods -- a well-guarded temple prostitute taught to serve the demands of male worshippers. Her escape was truly a miracle!

From that day on, Amy knew her God-given mission. She saved hundreds of girls from similar horrors, and through decades, she would be Amma (mother) to almost a thousand children. As they grew into adulthood, many continued to serve and teach the little ones with their Amma. Whenever they needed food, clothes, protection, and space for more nurseries and schools, Amy's growing "family" would pray. And God would provide in amazing ways!

In her prayers one morning in 1931, Amy asked, "Do anything, Lord, that will fit me to serve Thee and help my beloveds (her precious 'children')." That same day, as Amy was checking on some much-needed property God was adding to their expanding home, she fell into a hole, broke her leg, and twisted her spine. Medical care was minimal in those days, and for the next twenty years -- until her death -- she was a bedridden invalid in almost constant pain.

But, oh, what a joy she was to those who loved her! Her "children" of all ages now had continual access to their beloved Amma. What's more, God gave her time to write books and poems that have encouraged His people around the world! Here is one of my favorites:

Hast thou no scar?
No hidden scar on foot, or side, or hand?
I hear thee sung as mighty in the land;
I hear them hail thy bright, ascendant star.

Hast thou no scar?
No wound? No scar?
Yet, as the Master shall the servant be,
And piercèd are the feet that follow Me.
But thine are whole; can he have followed far
Who hast no wound or scar?                                       

Thursday, March 15, 2012

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Then God said..."

For five days God spoke and the heavens and the earth were created. His Word brought creation into existence;  and God saw that it was good.

And, on the sixth day God said:

"Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. God created man in His own image, in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them."

Even though man lives in wilful disobedience to God, God continues to reach out to man, and for all who will respond, He will once again create man in His own image.

"...put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him..." Colossians 3

"But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit." 2 Corinthians 3:18

Sunday, March 11, 2012

The LORD has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. Psalm 103:19

To say God is in control of every circumstance in our life is not politically correct. Many consider this Calvinism, others heresy, while others ask; 'what about the baby born blind or physically impaired? What about 9/11? What about the premature death of a spouse, a son or a daughter or the devastation of earthquake, tornado or tsunami? If God is loving, Why...?'

Question after question with seemingly no answers.

His Word fills us with hope if we will but realize we are not victims of random circumstance, that God is good and not evil and; '.. know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.' Romans 8:28

And what is His purpose? That we might be conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren.

Suffering is beyond our comprehension to understand. Yet it is evident in our lives that it is only through adversity that many will cry out to God, and none would be conformed to the Image of His Son without it.

"Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered."  Hebrews 5:8

"For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." Isaiah 55:9

God uses short term suffering to accomplish long term good.

"That men may know from the rising to the setting of the sun that there is no one besides Me. I am the LORD, and there is no other, the One forming light and creating darkness, causing well-being and creating calamity; I am the LORD who does all these." Isaiah 45:6-7

The Lord spoke to Moses in Exodus 4:  "Who has made man’s mouth? Or who makes him mute or deaf, or seeing or blind? Is it not I, the LORD?"

Some ask 'why serve God if good things happen to bad people and bad things happen to good people.' But this question is not new.

Malachi records:

"It is futile to serve God. What did we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly the evildoers prosper, and even those who challenge God escape. Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in His presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored His name. They will be mine, says the LORD Almighty, in the day when I make up my treasured possession I will spare them, just as in compassion a man spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not."

The final chapter of our lives has not yet been written. There are many more battles to fight, tears to shed, sorrows to endure - all opportunities to grow and be conformed to the image of our Sovereign Saviour and LORD.

Remember:   "The LORD Almighty has sworn, "Surely, as I have planned, so it will be, and as I have purposed, so it will stand."  Isaiah 14:24

Thursday, March 8, 2012

If your faith in Jesus Christ has not changed your life or the desires of your heart, you do not have saving faith.

Many walk the aisle, say the prayer, some are even baptized, yet upon leaving the church, their lives show no evidence of repentance or of a changed heart.

"Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again." John 3:7

Many believe 'in' God, many believe 'on' God, but how many believe God?

Luke records these words of our LORD:  "And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?"

Jesus also spoke as recorded in the Gospel of John:  "If ye love me, keep my commandments."

"If anyone loves me, he will obey my teaching. My Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."

Malachi asks: "A son honors his father, and a servant his master. If I am a father, where is the honor due me? If I am a master, where is the respect due me?" says the LORD Almighty?"

Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Christians need to wake up to the fact that according to the Qur'an and Hadith, Islam teaches that Christianity is corrupt and must be eliminated.

Contrary to what most Christians think, the Muslim "Jesus," Isa, which must appear according to Islam, is a Muslim! Furthermore, the Qur'an itself says that Jesus and his disciples were Muslims (Sura 3:52, 4:171-172, 5:111-112, 5:115-117). Therefore, according to Islam, when Isa comes, he will come as a devout Muslim. Sura 4 denies Isa's divinity and Isa is coming to correct the "errors" of Christianity as a sort of enforcer for the Mahdi.

If Allah is really Jehovah, then reading the Qur'an and the Bible proves only that God is schizophrenic. How much clearer does it have to be? Islam serves a "different Jesus," has a "different god," and spreads a "different gospel"  Eric Barger/Take a Stand

"But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ." II Corinthians 11:3

Friday, March 2, 2012

"For God so Loved the World that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him might not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16

"God so loved the world..."  describes Divine love, not as a feeling or a passion, but as an act, an event in time and space, an occurrence in History.
When did God Love the world ? He loved it once (and for all) at Calvary, when he gave His Son as an offering for our sins.

At Calvary, God loved a world that has always hated and rejected Him. This is a world that is inveterate in its hatred for God. This is a world that murmurs, complains, and calls God's righteousness, and love into question continually.

Yet God loved the world, in a specific and focused way. Not in a general way, did He love the world, but specifically and on His own terms. God didn't love the world "unconditionally"in the sense of God "seeing good" in the world in spite of its flaws. In fact He has judged the world already, the sentence is passed, the Lord will execute His wrath upon this world.

There can be no profitable experience of God's love, outside of the full acceptance of Jesus' offering at Calvary, with all of its ramifications.
God cannot be known outside of the cross of Jesus Christ.

by Pastor Bill Randles