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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Tuesday, December 30, 2014

“Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.” Matthew 7:15

Separating fact from fiction can be challenging, frustrating, labor intensive but very necessary if we are to be ALL that our God would have us to be. For all who are called according to His purpose we must study to show ourselves approved unto God. Getting to “know” God through His Word. Learning His will [not ours] for our lives. Praying for brothers and sisters who are in need. Lifting the persecuted Christians to the Throne Room of God, praying - “His will be done.” 

I have joined others in praying for American Pastor Saeed Abedini, Pastor Behnam Irani, Farshid Fathi, and the thousands of others imprisoned in Iran for their faith in our LORD Jesus Christ. Freedom of religion they do not know. Tortured, beaten at the hands of their captors, they are arrested solely for their Christian faith. The Iranian government argues their Christian activities are equivalent to “actions against national security.” Their crimes; possessing religious propaganda— Bibles printed in Farsi, unlawfully distributing Bibles… but today I read…

“As Christians around the world celebrated Christmas, the holiday season was also observed in Iran. Christmas trees decorated with red, green and gold gift boxes placed behind shop windows or at the entrances of different shopping malls and hotels can be seen, especially in the Christian neighborhoods of Tehran. Nativity scenes of the Virgin Mary, Joseph and baby Jesus, could also be seen in shops along Mirza Shirazi Avenue and Ostaad Nejatollahi (Villa Avenue) and its surrounding neighborhoods in central Tehran.

This year, President Hassan Rouhani sent season's greetings to Pope Francis and world leaders. "May Jesus Christ, the prophet of peace and love, bless us all on this day. Wishing Merry Christmas to those celebrating, Iranian Christians,” he tweeted. Also, Iran’s Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif expressed hope for a more peaceful 2015.

The Twitter account belonging to the office of Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei also featured a series of messages on the occasion of Christmas. One of the messages read: “It’s time for all caring Muslims, Christians & Jews to obey the prophets & truly honor Jesus' birthday by standing up against Israeli crimes.” [AlMonitor]

Perhaps the persecuted church, those that are beheaded, burned alive, raped, sawn in half, sold into slavery or in prison for faith in Jesus are a threat to Islam, while those who walk freely, professing Christianity, whether they be in Iran, the UK, France, or America or no threat to anyone.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

"Churches are not drying up and dying out because of a lack of education or learning. 

It is not a lack of oratory or attractive programs. Churches and Christians are suffering because there is so much of so many things, but so little of Jesus Christ. 

Charles H. Spurgeon said that it was his aim and goal in every sermon, to take a text and follow it like a road until it led him to Christ and His cross. If that particular text did not seem to lead in that direction, he would simply jump over to another text that did. 

Oh, that our preaching today had this same aim and goal."

Pastor E.L. Bynum, Retired

Friday, December 26, 2014

SEATTLE – Mars Hill has accepted an offer from mega church leader and author Rick Warren to deliver the final message to the congregation this Sunday as it closes its doors following the resignation of Mark Driscoll.

“This Sunday, December 28th, will be our final Sunday as Mars Hill Church,” the website for Mars Hill reads. “Our dear friend Pastor Rick Warren from Saddleback Church has graciously offered to preach the final sermon for us.”
"They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness;" Psalm 82:5
And perhaps, they do not care.??.

Thursday, December 25, 2014

"He is the image of the invisible God, the first born of all creation. For. . . all things have been created by Him and for Him. And He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together. He is also head of the body, the church; and He is the beginning, the first born from the dead; so that He Himself might come to have first place in everything. For it was the Father's good pleasure for all the fullness to dwell in Him, and through Him to reconcile all things to Himself, having made peace through the blood of His cross." Colossians 1:15-20  

No longer a babe in a manger, but now King of kings and LORD of lords.  Not only His birth, but His sinless life, perfect sacrificial life, for you for me.  His death, but not only His death, His resurrection so that we too can live eternally with Him.

Indeed Joy to the World, the LORD has Come.  Christ - the true joy of Christmas.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Don't be blinded by watching America as a sign of the times,  WATCH the Middle East and pray.

For disobedience and much sin America will be judged as will all nations that reject God.

But watch the Middle East, especially Israel.

America has NO covenant with God. God will protect His own, both the remnant and His Chosen People Israel, but Israel IS the apple of His eye.

"Russia is planning to ignite a war in Israel in an alleged contingency plan to trigger a direct military conflict between Hezbollah and Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's regime. A French official has revealed the plan as Russia's weapon against the U.S. and the European Unionamid increasing sanctions on Moscow."


"The Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL) is closing in on Israel from the Sinai and the east side of the Golan Heights."

Friday, December 19, 2014

“…for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed unto Him against that day.” 2 Timothy 1:12

Yes, I know in Whom I have believed, but… I know that He is able, but…..

How many times, in how many ways have we doubted God. How many times have we ask Why? How many times have we said, ‘LORD, I don’t understand‘? Or am I the only one who has wrestled with the whys and I don’t understands in life.

My daughter has a very rare form of cancer. She has been battling this dreaded disease for about six years. Radiation, chemo, surgery after surgery. Why? Could this be God’ plan?

ISIS is murdering and maiming its way across the Middle East, seemingly unstoppable. Muslim, Christian, children, pregnant women, the elderly. Why? Could this be God’ plan?

YES this could be God’s plan. Calamity, sickness, death, murder….

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9

My daughter has become a believer and she knows her help indeed comes from the LORD. Had she been spared these past years I am not sure she would be where she is today in her Christian walk. Regardless of what time our LORD gives her on this earth, her dad and  I will have all eternity to spend with our daughter. His thoughts are indeed higher than ours.

And today I read: ‘Atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) are softening the hearts of Muslims to Christianity. Tent churches among refugees are sprouting up like mushrooms. For people who have suffered such deep loss, seeing that they can pray to a personal God whom they can call Father.. “You can see the tears in their eyes when we pray – now knowing - God cares. They see that God can give them strength, can heal them, that He loves them. They say that things have changed, they have a peaceful attitude towards those ‘who have done this to my kids, wife, or husband - “I can pray about it and give it to God.”

Former Muslims, who once prayed five times a day as a duty, say they don’t quite know how to describe the difference. They say, “Now with our relationship with God, we see a huge difference; something has changed in our life.”’

God has eternity in mind in everything He does. We see here and now, He sees forever.

Perhaps I will not always see the eternal picture when things come into my life that are
hard, or painful, but I pray that regardless of how bad things look, how bad they hurt, or how I just don’t understand - I will remember…

“For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

And keep an eternal perspective.

“…Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.…” Jeremiah 29:12-13

What a MIGHTY God we serve.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

WND reports:

Unconfirmed reports of a new decree imposing the death penalty on anyone caught smuggling Bibles into Saudi Arabia has many Christian ministries and support groups on edge.
Practicing any religion other than Islam has long been illegal in the desert kingdom, and that includes rules against foreigners bringing in any type of religious material that does not conform to the royal family’s strict Wahhabi brand of Sunni Islam. Foreign nationals living in Saudi Arabia are often detained for purely religious reasons, sometimes resulting in deportation.
But applying capital punishment, which in Saudi Arabia often means death by beheading, to Bible smugglers would signal a new level of persecution even for the Saudis.
Several Christian missionaries said they were seeking to confirm a recent report by the Virginia-based Heart Cry Missionary Society that a new death penalty law has been adopted citing an “official statement” in Arabic on a Coptic Christian website called CoptsToday.
The law reportedly extends to the importing of all illegal drugs and “all publications that have a prejudice to any other religious beliefs other than Islam.”

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

“Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.” John 8:44 

One of the most sought-after Christmas gifts this year is a ouija board with Google searches  up 300 per cent. 

There is a brand-new video game from a software company in Helsinki, Finland, called Lucius II The Prophecy. In a world that is filled with objectionable entertainment, this game is a standout. Not only does it invoke graphic images of violence and horror, it places the user in the role of Antichrist.

Should you not want to stay home and play "board games " with the kids or watch them playing the latest in video games, why not pack up the kids and head for the movies.  Choices include;  Big Eyes,  Into the Woods, American Sniper, Dying of the Light and Night at the Museum to name a few. 

America is imploding, the church is on life support, we have murdered sixty million preborn children, ordain homosexuals as ministers, welcome 'christian' yoga into the church, consider Islam a religion of peace and somehow feel proud of ourselves,  knowing God "must" be pleased when we insist our department stores say "Merry Christmas."  

Monday, December 15, 2014

The U.S. Army has issued a “letter of concern” to a Georgia chaplain for citing the Bible during a recent suicide prevention training session.

Chaplain (CPT) Joe Lawhorn, during a recent training session, spoke about his past personal struggle with depression, explaining how he overcame the condition after considering the example of King David in the Scriptures. He also provided other generic resources that he thought may be helpful to those attending the session.

“Chaplain Lawhorn did what good chaplains do; he was candid, genuine and authentic,” wrote Alliance Director Chaplain (Col.) Ron Crews, USA Retired. “He spoke from first person to let his soldiers know that he too deals with depression. “Revealing his personal struggle with depression required a large measure of courage and mutual trust,” he continued. “His story involves his faith journey. ..” and therein lies the problem.

His faith, in The Word, in the God of The Word unacceptable to this politically correct USA. His faith, not in Islam, or in the goodness of humanity, yoga, meditation, philosophers, nature or man, but faith in God, Christian faith…

and therein lies the problem.

"I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death." Philippians 3:8-10

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Has Kirk Cameron joined the ranks of the far leaning liberal ‘Christians.?.’ Or…
is it those of us who choose not to celebrate Halloween or embrace Santa Claus the ones who do not understand.?.

On a recent TBN broadcast, Cameron along with his Roman Catholic guest, William Federer, a signer of the Manhattan Declaration, an ecumenical document that unites Christians and Catholics to stand together for life and family, provided background on the life of the Turkish bishop Nicholas, who was known to give to the poor and inspired the tradition of gift-giving during Christmastime. He explained that after Nicholas died in 343 A.D., his bones were brought to the pope, who built a basilica for his remains, where they are enshrined to this day. Federer also noted that Nicholas was sainted because of the miracles that the Roman Catholic Church claimes he performed following his death—and still allegedly performs to this day through a myrrh that is purportedly exuded from his tomb to heal sick bodies.

Cameron cited St. Nicholas in his new film “Saving Christmas” as one of the reasons why Christians who abstain from the holiday should really find reason for rejoicing since he believed Nicholas was a strong Christian man. Speaking at Liberty University Cameron said:

“They [the RCC] even ‘sainted’ him—that’s why we call him St. Nicholas. He became legendary in his time and beyond his time. He became larger than life and reached mythic proportions. So the guy that many of us think is distracting from the birth of the Christ child, is really the defender of the faith.???..

“So now [ask Cameron] that you know who the real Santa Claus is, don’t you want to take a picture with him at the mall this Christmas? I do.” [Christian News Network]

Mike Gendron, former Roman Catholic had this to say - “Clearly, Cameron chooses to embrace Roman Catholicism as a valid expression of Christianity instead of embracing the exclusivity of God’s gospel. It was clear during the interview that Kirk was more interested in promoting his movie than contending for the faith of the apostles. The Vatican’s strategy for world dominion is to use influential people like Cameron to bring separated brethren back home to Rome. His compromise of the gospel and his unwillingness to expose Catholicism as an apostate religion reveals his unfaithfulness to God and His word. The Bible is our only safeguard against fatal error.

Mike Gendron, Proclaiming the Gospel Ministries/ Plano, Texas

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:11

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” 1 John 4:1  

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Smith College President Kathleen McCartney got into trouble with the rabid left earlier this week when she made the stupid mistake of taking the "black lives matter" slogan and making it a more eucumenical "all lives matter."

Liberals erupted in rage, forcing McCartney to quickly back down. (American Thinker)

"Forcing" her to "quickly" back down.??.

Was she right, and indeed all lives matter?  Has she now changed her mind and all lives do not matter?

A double minded man, or woman, is unstable in all their ways.    

We must speak the truth, which she did,  (all lives DO matter) in love, without fear. This world is desperate to hear truth, yet those who have truth all too often quake and shudder, bend, break, and quickly compromise at the first sign of conflict.

Dear LORD give us hearts that desire to do Your will, becoming people OF the book and not just people WITH the book.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

"A little child shall lead them..."

An 11-year old Arab Christian girl was listening to an Islamic scholar preach about Allah. When he was done, the little girl approached him and said this – “show me where in the Koran that Allah loves me as the sinner that I am, and I will become a Muslim.” 

The dumbstruck man was silent for a long time, and then walked away. 

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

A pastor in Arizona has reportedly preached that ridding the world of all gay people would cure AIDS.
Pastor Steven Anderson of Faithful Word Baptist Church cited Leviticus 20:13 reading, "If a man also lie with mankind, as he lieth with a woman, both of them have committed an abomination: they shall surely be put to death; their blood shall be upon them."  Anderson then continued, "It was right there in the Bible all along ... It's curable right there... if you executed the homos like God recommends, you wouldn't have all this AIDS running rampant."
Sadly, Pastor Anderson does not realize we are no longer under the law, but under grace, the unmerited favor of God through Jesus Christ our LORD. Jesus did not abolish the law, He fulfilled the law and has given us a New Covenant...
"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another." John 13:34-35

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Rob Bell once the evangelical poster boy, mega church hip pastor ~ the one time darling of tens of thousands will host “The Rob Bell Show” premiering December 21 on the Oprah Winfrey Network. The one-hour show features Bell and is co-produced by him. He recently toured the country with Winfrey on a “Life You Want Weekend.”

“In many ways, some elements of typical evangelicalism are a good fit for Oprah’s lineup of public confession and personal transformation,” said Kathryn Lofton, author of ‘Oprah: The Gospel of an Icon.’ “The difference, however, is that The Church of Oprah incorporates as many religious concepts as possible, while evangelicalism commits to exclusivity. He won’t talk about the cross, or sin, or the idea that marriage represents Jesus and his bride or God and Israel. So he’s not a Bible Christian, but really a Christian, our new kind of Christian. Our ‘evogelical.’ ”

Speaking of Oprah, Bell said: “She has taught me more about what Jesus has for all of us, and what kind of life Jesus wants us to live, more than almost anybody in my life.”
“Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called 'Today,' lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. 'For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end.…”  Hebrews 4:12-14  

Thursday, December 4, 2014

As church attendance falls, one group believes that the lure of a burger and fries might make church more appealing. ... "Christianity is unable to capture modern audiences. There's a lack of innovation and lack of design thinking in Church communities." ... "It's time for churches to engage with entrepreneurship," writes the group on its IndieGoGo site. "By combining a church and a McDonald's we can create a self-sustaining, community-engaged, popular church, and an unparalleled McDonald's restaurant."

While in Ft. Worth, TX.  a church gave this a try:  "Church-in-a-Pub gets churchgoers in to the spirit, "so to speak." Worship leaders hold communion at the bar, singing hymns and songs of praise.

Magic acts, 3-D glasses, popcorn, beer, pretzels, coffee, donuts, a fifteen minute mini message, a great rock band, and hanging out with friends.  Who could ask for anything more?  Just don't get much better?

But God says:  "come out of her my people and be ye separate."  

Light and dark cannot co-exist, yet it seems the church in America continues to try.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Convention's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission recently joined Pope Francis, Rick Warren as well as Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, and Sikh leaders in Rome. The gathering was sponsored by the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith and co-sponsored by the Pontifical Council for the Family, the Pontifical Council for Interreligious Dialogue, and the Pontifical Council for the Promotion of Christian Unity.

And now, Dr. Albert Mohler. president of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary at a conference recently had this to say:

"One of the things we should not be embarrassed to say is that we are learning. One of the embarrassments that I have to bear is that I have written on some of these issues now for nearly 30 years, and at a couple of points I have to say ‘I got that wrong,' and we have to go back and correct it, correct it by Scripture.

"Now early in this controversy, I felt it quite necessary, in order to make clear the gospel, to deny anything like a sexual orientation. And speaking at an event of the National Association of Evangelicals twenty-something years ago, I made that point. I repent of that.
I believe that a biblical, theological understanding, a robust biblical theology, would point to us that human sexual, affective, um, profiles of who we are sexually, is far more deeply rooted than just the will, if that were so easy.
But Genesis 3 explains that, helps us to understand that this complex of same-sex challenges coming to us is something that is deeply rooted in the biblical story itself, and something we need to take with far greater seriousness than we have taken it in the past, understanding that that requires a far more robust gospel response than anything the church has come up with heretofore."
Chelsen Vicari of the Institute on Religion & Democracy took this away from the speech,

"I was very surprised by Dr. Mohler's changing tone. And I was very thankful that he took time during his speech to actually confess that he had gotten sexual orientation wrong earlier in his career and that he is willing to say that there are individuals who are born with an innate sexual attraction to the same gender."
"Now therefore go to speak to the men of Judah, [or Africa, Europe or America] and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, [or NYC, Dallas or Seattle] saying, ‘Thus saith the Lord: Behold, I frame evil against you and devise a device against you. Return ye now every one from his evil way, and make your ways and your doings good." Jeremiah 18:11