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My story began more than 70 years ago, when I was born to a young couple whose marriage was falling apart and ended shortly after my birth. There is a lot of mystery and contradiction about my early life, but the story I got from my mother is that my father received custody of my sister and she received custody of me. These were depression years and she had both financial and health problems and allowed a childless couple (Marion and Bob Wilson) to take me. I was a part of the family from 14 months to almost 11 years of age. It was a strong and loving family, but no one attended church and there was no talk or teaching about God or Jesus Christ. When I was 5 years old I was taken to Sunday School and church by our neighbor. I loved it. She took me to church weekly until we moved to another state. I was old enough by this time to walk to church in our little town. I found the Methodist church and attended church and Sunday school every week, except when I misbehaved and lost my "church" privilege for the week. My church family and the pastor made me feel at home. I learned about Jesus. I learned to love reading my Bible. When I was 7 Marion (I knew her as Mother) died suddenly. By the time I was 10 Bob had been diagnosed with a terminal illness and arranged for me to go live with my mother and sister in Los Angeles. My step father was overseas. My sister and I walked to the Church of the Open Door until the end of WWII when we moved to the Harbor Area. We found a Presbyterian church and walked a couple of miles to it every Sunday. There I met Barbara, who would be my best friend through high school. Barbara's family took me under their wing and when I was 16 I accepted Christ as my savior. When I was 20, a man I had met at church asked me to marry him. I sought the Lord's will and he gave me a very clear NO through scripture and the voices of family and friends. I said, "Lord, surely you don't mean that!" In disobedience I entered a 17 marriage which gave me 4 wonderful children, but also was marked by abuse and infidelity. The commitment I made to the marriage was very important to me and I wanted to hold the marriage together, for my children, but during that 17th year, he left for a very young woman. I had deep sense of failure and sadness, but in the period that followed I experienced more spiritual growth than I ever had before and became closer to God and my children than ever before. I met another man in church. This time, I sought the Lord's will and he gave me the go ahead. He gave me Roger and two more children to love. God has been faithful to us. He brought us through those early, very difficult "blended family" years and made our two families into one. He stood by us as we parented two grandchildren through most of their childhood and teens. He has blessed us richly. We've been part of the Casas family and Jim Knipe's ABF since 2002.

Paula Wakefield , 06/22/08 04:20 PM
A one-sentence sermon? Good heavens! What was that sentence?
Daniel Dickerson , 06/22/08 09:52 PM
AMEN!! Let's pray against the fear of man.
Teresa Varney , 06/25/08 11:06 PM
I'm not sure what to say, i never went to church as a child my dad was Catholic and my mom was Mormon so we went to the swap meet every Sunday for years. When i was in the 8th grade my mom, me and my sister started to go to the first Christian church in Ogden, Ut. i gave my self to Christ for my mom it made her so happy. well things were going pretty good went to church every Sunday but i really didn't understand or listen well. When i was in the 11th grade i had just broken up with this guy that i thought was the living end. I was very sad and heart broken. My mom checked me out of school and i went to the Utah state fair where i meet this guy that at the time he did not know but he saved my live. He made me feel good about m self and got me closer to Christ i started to understand the sermons.

The man that saved my life was Glenn Barteau, Jr. We talked for the next year, he found him self a great girlfriend and i found my now husband. My husband mike and i were married in the First Christian church and left utah for mississippi. We did not go to another church for 5 years. We had moved to Lemoore, Ca when we started going to a church when Mike was baptized but we had to stop going be cause of the pastor. its been 16yrs and we are back in Utah and still not going to church i would love to find a great church but its hard when you get hurt by the pastor. I do believe in Christ and i know he died for my sins, i would really like my daughter Nicole to get to know Christ before she dies. She has Cystic Fibrosis and is really sick. I know that God and her aunt watches over her with all that she does. Well, any way thanks for letting me talk if you can tell glenn i said hi........
Ann Loock Berglund , 06/30/08 08:50 PM
Terry,

This is a very helpful description of the differences. I especially appreciate the clarification of the term reconciliation.

Thanks!
Mark Marikos , 07/18/08 07:51 PM
Last two paragraphs should be switch in order.
J B , 07/21/08 04:10 PM
My teenager started reading a book this weekend that really seems to be the rage with teenage girls. It's called Twilight. By Stephenie Meyer. I have not really looked into it yet but she tells me it's about vampires. Her friend has already read the first chapter or so to her and she tells me she's not sure if it's a book she really "should" be reading it but she is really into it now and wants to continue. She wants to know what God has to say about vampires. Could you help me here. I don't have an answer for her. Thank you, Barb
Barb Alvies , 07/22/08 01:43 PM
Tom,
Well said. To omit any of the Lord Jesus's attributes such that HIs complete nature is not tought, does the Believer or Non-Believer no good.
Bob Cooper , 08/07/08 05:43 PM
Tom,
Sorry for the poorly written response above. I submitted the comment by accident before checking it over. I am a rookie blogger! I meant to say:

Well said. To omit any of the Lord Jesus' attributes such that His complete nature is not taught, does not do the Believer or Non-Believer any good.
Bob Cooper , 08/07/08 06:18 PM
New Testament law? There is a great freedom in accepting what was done on the cross
Jeff Secrest , 08/10/08 10:28 AM
Thanks Tom --
I've never thought through the beginning of Romans in this light... thanks for your reflections on it. Every one of our communities has a character trait of Jesus that we know is best left hidden in the theological cupboard. Thanks for calling us to take all the the theological china out in our preaching and teaching.
John Beeson , 08/13/08 03:40 PM
What an encouragement! As Westerners our conception of what God can do is so small... thank you for challenging me.
John Beeson , 08/13/08 03:45 PM
Our God is truly an awesome God. He sayes that we only need the faith of a mustard seed for Him to do great works ~ Wouldn't it be great to see grapefruit or watermelon size salvation all around the world!
Joyce Price , 08/13/08 07:53 PM
Isn't it wonderful that God is not limited by my lack of imagination or faith !!
Mark Marikos , 08/15/08 07:16 PM
Thanks Julie, for bringing this forward. There are so many trying to convince us that the Bible is irrelevant and outdated. But Oprah and Friends show it is perfectly up to date when it states that many false prophets will come in an effort to deceive and draw people away from God.
Mark Marikos , 08/15/08 08:26 PM
Tom Cruise was going to a seminary before the acting bug bit him....how sad he didnt stay with it...hes in for a rude awakening.
Lis Thompson , 08/18/08 07:23 PM
In our local paper there was an article yesterday about a woman that as of last January 1st dedicated herself to follow all of Oprah's advice through Oprah's show, magazine, and web site. This lady documents what she's thinking and feeling on her blog. She writes: "I wonder, will I find bliss if I commit wholheartedly to her [Oprah's] lifestyle suggestions?" Sadly she's probably more committed to Oprah's teachings than 95% of those that attend God's church on Sunday are committed to His teachings.
Joyce Price , 08/22/08 04:50 PM
Here here, Matt. Couldn't have said it better.
Jenna Bourland , 08/22/08 07:41 PM
Tom,

Amen! With so much of the world, as well as the church, buying into the "church of Oprah" and her "Bible," 'A Course in Miracles,' that tries to tell millions "there is no sin" and a “slain Christ has no meaning,” it's no wonder the sovereignty of Christ has been so wussified! From what I have learned the Bible is always relevant, and I wouldn't imagine the Apostle Paul would water down any of his teachings to fit the majority preference.
Brad Tuttle , 08/23/08 09:04 AM
Excellent post, right on the money. I think you especially hit it right on the head with this:

"Tolerance is content to leave someone where they are, no matter how harmful their situation. That’s not love, that’s apathy!"

Tom Terry
Tom Terry , 08/27/08 01:58 AM
I agree. Some people use the word tolerance to mean a non-critical acceptance of just about everything someone says or does- the more you accept, the more tolerant you are. Some even go so far as to define tolerance as the embracing and celebration of the opinions, practices and behaviors of others. But tolerance, in and of itself, is not a virtue. If someone tolerates drinking and driving, his tolerance is not virtuous. Tolerance is neutral. It derives its value from what it is the person tolerates and the manner in which that tolerance or intolerance is expressed. This involves character such as kindness, patience, coutesy, humility, self-control, and courage. As Tom mentioned, too many people think they are being tolerant when they are actually only expressing indiffernce, or apathy or even recklessness. Improperly, understanding tolerance can lead to disarming Christians of their proper convictions. Rather than thinking tolerance is best demonstrated by an absence of discernment, we would do better to understand that tolerance requires making decisions based on our values:first establishing a standard, and second, establish the limits of the allowable variation. If we don't clearly establish our standards (having a biblical world view) we will struggle with what to tolerate. In frustration you might be tempted to jump to the simplistic view that you should just accept everything. This doesn't require hard thinking and yet it has the appearance of taking the moral high ground.
As Christians, we shouldn't be people who lack strongly held beliefs and accept any idea or hehavior we encounter instead we should think less about tolerance and focus more on being people who express kindness, patience, courtesy, humility and self-control to everyone around us even while holding firmly to our beliefs.
Bernadette Gruber , 08/29/08 04:07 AM
Tom,

Great post. I think this is a concept not well understood inside or outsdie the church.

Jesus eposed the worldly version of self-denial practised in the fasting and alms-giving of His contemporary religious leaders. He said that they would have their reward, but the reward would only be as substantial and eternal as public opinion!
Mark Marikos , 08/29/08 02:40 PM
Matt,

I think one of the short-comings of internet "social networking" is that you never have to be yourself, you can pretend to be anyone you want. Because of that, you tend to at least subconciously mistrust that anyone else is being genuine.

Lack of trust prevents true relationship from developing.
Mark Marikos , 08/29/08 05:14 PM
Mark,

Thank you for this excellent article. It's a comfort to think about how deeply God and His people have ministered to you and Christina. God bless you for encouraging many with your article. In Christ, Chet
Chet Weld , 08/31/08 07:18 PM
Mark my Friday mornings with Mary were wonderful. Over the last few months my family experienced one loss after another. During my time of tears the words Mary spoke during our time of praise and worshp returned to me and brought much comfort. I leared so much from Mary; she was a teacher even to the end of her life the lessons she taught help me in my work each day. May God contiue to bless you and Christina, Gayla
Gayla Strong , 09/03/08 11:32 PM
I have seen the power of a church working together and in HIS SPIRIT. Together we can accomplish much in HIM. There will always be those who are divisive... but only GOD can hold a church together to accomplish HIS purposes. When HE moves, these things have no real effect. The devil only thinks he can win. Sometimes when things look the worst, HE is working HIS ways to victory.
kathy knipp , 09/08/08 05:43 AM
Your full article appears good on my monitor but when I print it some of the right side does not get printed. Example...the third lind ends with "We on" and anything beyond that is missing including about 2/3 of your photo. It is cut off just left of your nose. What's going on here? Can you help me/ Does any one else have that problem? Am I mission something on my computer? I've had a similar problem a few times before with e-mail but not very often. Thanks for your reply. Dan Eck
Dan Eck , 09/09/08 05:40 PM
Matt, you are right on! Thanks for your thoughts and push for the church to become the creative outlet!
Rebecca Morgan , 09/22/08 11:34 PM
"Often our motives are a diluted mixture of half-hearted surrender and self-aggrandizement."
So true Julie, so true. Thank you for the reminder to praise like a child.
John Beeson , 10/03/08 11:04 AM
John,
Right on! (OK, I just dated myself!) I agree, we need the church to represent the same demographic as the world, otherwise we become irrelevant to a portion of the world, and in the process build in blind spots. Almost every “monogenerational” church (or any monocultural church) I have had contact with suffered one of two extremes. The young monoculture was easily drawn into heresy and dissension because they lack the wisdom of the old. The old monoculture eventually dies on the vine because it never gets new members and has not the insight (if it even has the desire) to reach those outside.
Anytime we segregate ourselves behind the church doors we will diminish our effectiveness in reaching the world, ministering to those inside the church, and discipling for spiritual growth.
Mark Marikos , 10/06/08 08:20 PM
Thanks Cherie. We have learned from one of the best and that is you!
Carl Lorey , 10/08/08 06:29 AM
Hey John, hopefully Casas Church leadership will read and heed your blog lesson. Paragraph 4 seems to be the exact opposite of past Casas operational policy. The many former adult members of Casas at my new church would undoubtedly agree. Be a church for all. Honor the elders among you. It also helps the budget.
Bill Nicholson , 10/09/08 12:36 AM
What is multigenerational is God's Word. The truths of God's Word (the Bible) transcends time, transcends culture, transcends gender. Preach and teach Gods Word without compromise and you will reach all generations.
Bernadette Gruber , 10/09/08 10:14 AM
I will be praying for your ministry and asking my friends and family to do the same. Please tell me how we can help you?
Kathy Knipp , 10/19/08 09:09 AM
I don't know who you feel fits the bible best but we do know that lying is not acceptable, nor is adultery. What I do know is that the two candidates on the republican ticket are the only two seeking office who have been reprimanded and rebuked for acts committed while in their current offices. This would tend to cast a shadow on their character. What we need is honesty and integrity, only Obama has that among those presently running for President of the United States. I think God might agree. It is unfortunate that many church members do not agree.
Bruce Rivers , 10/22/08 05:42 PM
It is unfortunate that we don't know any of the four people well enough to make such a decision. Only God knows for sure. What I do know is that I will look at what they say they stand for when it comes to things that are black and white in the bible and are what God expects. This article was helpful with knowing more of what to look for. I will do my best to make a decision the Lord will be pleased with, not with what I think or want; I will encourage others to do the same.
Lizane M Colon , 10/22/08 08:41 PM
But we DO know that McCain had multiple affairs while married to his first wife. He left his first wife after meeting a rich heiress (Cindy) whom he married one month after his divorce was final, and they now own 7 or 8 homes (he can't remember how many).
Kristy Stark , 10/22/08 11:32 PM
Character does count. Honesty and integrity are important, however, I am not too sure we find those character traits in Senator Barack Obama. What I do know it that as Christians we need to search the scriptures and find out what is important to God and that is what needs to be important to us as His people.
The Bible is not silent in this area. God shares His heart with us through the pages of His Book and what we will find is that people matter to God. Life is precious to God not just us who live and breath and move but also the unborn as well. In Psalm 139:13-16 we learn that God created life and He knit it together in the womb declaring us fearfully and wonderfully made. "My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place...your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be." I can only imagine how broken hearted God must be when we care more about a so called right than the human being woven together by our Creator.
The unborn matter to God and how we and our leaders treat them should matter to us as well.

Marriage and families matter to God. So much so that one of the 10 Commandments commands us to honor our father and mother(Exodus 20:1-17). Notice it does not say father and father or mother and mother. God designed marriage way back in Genesis and it was no mistake that it was between one man and one women. It is God's created way of providing companionship and populating the earth. Therefore, protecting God's design for marriage and families should matter to us.

Leading people at any level is a difficult job and requires much wisdom. The Bible says, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding"(Proverbs 9:10. Therefore, for a leader to be wise in God's ways he must both know God and FEAR Him. To know God is not just to know the facts about him, but to stand in awe of Him and have a relationship with Him.
As Christians we have a moral obligation and responsibility to not only listen to the words of our political leaders but to compare their words to their track record. In doing so, we must prayerfully consider whose actions have been more consistant with God's heart and vote accordingly.
Bernadette Gruber , 10/23/08 01:32 AM
My last entry generated some spirited discussion about the current presidential campaign. Ironically, my last post was not written for this campaign, but for a local election back in 1992! I guess some posts remain relevant no matter when we read them.

I'd like to offer the following for your consideration in follow-up. The people you are about to read about were real leaders in history. Pay close attention. You will be asked to vote for one of them.

During his term the Incumbent has worked to accomplish three things: Strengthen the national defense, bring the economy under control, and promote faith in God. He is a family man with one wife. Most of his sons have served in the military. In fact, most died in defense of their country during a terrible war. The Incumbent reformed the tax code that included a tax raise. While this didn't win him any friends on the economic front, he was known for his personal frugality, not taking great advantage of the system for his own financial benefit. On the religion and values front, the Incumbent worked to unify his nation around faith in God and even passed legislation against occult practices in his country.

The Challenger is a long-time military man. He's been decorated for his service to the country and was elevated, for a time, as an adviser to the Incumbent. However, the two had a falling out and the Challenger is now up for election. The Challenger, though being a man honored by his country, is known widely for a variety of personal problems. He has trouble with the opposite sex, including a severed relationship with his first wife. His family members are not known for their character. Their attitudes of elitism and even rumors of an incestuous relationship among his children have marked the Challenger's family. During multiple wars the Challenger was known for his extreme cruelty to his enemies, and questionable practices in combat. At one point in his military career his own men were on the verge of mutiny. To make matters worse, the challenger was charged by the government with treason prior to the election, but never brought to trial. For the last year and a half prior to the election he hasn't even lived in the country.

It's time to pull that lever. Will you vote for the Incumbent or the Challenger? Which man, at a cursory reading, seems to represent your values, your view on leadership?

If you voted for the Incumbent, congratulations. You've just award Saul, King of Israel, a second term in office, sending David, the man after God's own heart, back to Philistine territory.

My trickery aside, there's a point to this little exercise. Sometimes the man that God wants is not the man that we want. God looks at the heart. In David's case his heart was given over to Christ. He was not mature or ready when God chose him. But God made him ready and matured him over many years of sacrifice. His life and family may have been a mess, but he had something that Saul never had—a repentant heart. David's life often reads like a journal going from one sin and repentant episode to another. In fact, it was the repentant episodes that made David a man after God's heart.

It was repentance that Saul lacked.

While we MUST seek someone who represents our values, we should not assume that someone who does not represent them will always oppose them, or be the same person years from now that they are today. Even Manasseh was given back his kingdom. And he reigned longer than any king of Israel or Judah. Repentance toward God is a powerful thing. Nor should we assume that a person who seems to represent our values now will be faithful to represent them once he assumes power.

Don't try to match my points above to the lives of our two presidential candidates. Doing so would go far beyond my intent for this article. This is not a commentary about Obama or McCain. This a commentary about us. Before we concern ourselves about what we think may be "God's preference," why not concern ourselves with whether or not our spiritual, social, and political views are viewed through God's eyes? In the process we may discover something we never expected.
Tom Terry , 10/23/08 03:37 PM
life, family, marriage, faith!
Watch this video and you decide...
http://www.onenewsnow.com/valuesvoters.aspx
Julie Wuest , 10/23/08 04:17 PM
The question comes to mind... If a candidate openly acknowledges that he will promote pro-choice, has a desire to support gay rights, and may even go so far as pushing for legislating gay marriage, and also acknowledges in his book, "I will stand with the Muslims should the political winds shift in an ugly direction", and the other candidate supports pro-life, marriage between a man and a woman, and has chosen a running mate who has openly admitted that she is a born-again christian and has been reported to be someone who diligent seeks godly counsel and prayer from christian believers, don't we have some pretty clear indicators of where the hearts of the candidates may be towards God, His Word, and His commandments? I think that we as believers have become guilty of taking the scripture and deciding that some of God's commandments are open for debate or discussion, and that we can call ourselves believers but not obey His commandments... The Word says, "If you love me, keep my commandments...thus showing you to be my disciples." I believe that some of us as christian have fallen prey to flattering words of someone when their actions are far away from God's commandments... Bottom line: We must humble ourselves, pray and seek God's face and turn from our wicked ways, THEN God will heal our land."
Lee Vance , 10/23/08 04:43 PM
Tom,

I liked both of your comments, and I think you make an excellent point in your second comment. As we prepare to vote, we need to be sure we are looking at things through God's eyes, not our own.

Our world-view must be educated not just by a knowledge of the Bible, but by a familiarity with God's own heart. Only then will we understand what is going on around us, how Godd is working, and how we can join Him in His work.

Thanks again.
Mark Marikos , 10/24/08 08:31 PM
Yes, there is hope in Jesus and He will begin a great work in the midst of our faith. There is wisdom and safety in the arms of Jesus and in the center of His will for us.

GOD'S PROMISES
BLESSINGS:
Delight yourself in the Lord; and he will give you the desires of your heart.
Psalm 37:4 (NIV)
Kathy Knipp , 10/26/08 10:54 AM
Dear Julie B.,

Aaaaaaaamen!

I can't help but notice that in the final days of this election season, the rhetoric from both major parties (and their advocates) has taken on a decidedly more messianic/apocalyptic/strident tone. While it is important to approach this decision with a sober mind, a little perspective may be in order: some people might wish to contemplate that not only are we picking a new leader of the executive branch of our national government but also the next person to be class clown. Surely, no one believes that whoever occupies the oval office for the next four years will somehow escape being the butt of late night jokes for the next four years? The relief that the next president brings to us may just turn out to be more comic than anything else. Meanwhile, the troubles this nation faces are anything but funny. Consider that when you look to your favorite presidential candidate to solve all our problems.

I'll see you at the polls. And, yes, I will be praying, whoever ends up being our next president.
P. G. , 10/27/08 02:18 AM
Tom,

interesting. Very, very interesting. Your missive seems, to my eye, to be a bit of a Rorschach test; I feel like the responses from your readers tells me a bit more about them than they might have intended. That's a neat trick. I mean that sincerely. It would probably be inappropriate for PITI but the mischievous side of me is tempted to post my favorite non-slanderous political smear speech in response, just to see the reaction it got. If anyone is interested they can find it by typing "non-slanderous political smear speech" in to their preferred search engine (e.g. Google) and following the links; just make sure to have a dictionary close at hand while reading it. I suspect that responses to that could also be eye-opening.

Of course, each of us would like to think that we have a direct hotline to the Mind of God. The track record of humanity, though, suggests that it is a bit more of a hit or miss affair (more miss than hit, actually). Let's pray that we get on board with God's program, rather than insisting that He get on board with ours. See you at the polls.
P. G. , 10/27/08 06:59 PM
Yes indeed. And there's more where that came from. ;-)

Thanks for the kind words.

Tom Terry
Tom Terry , 10/28/08 09:38 PM
Tom,

I get that your intention was warn us away from assuming that we know who "God's man for the White House" is going to be; we can't see inside the candidate's hearts like God can. I also note that "family values" seems to be on the minds of at least a few of your readers, which often seems to be code for the abortion issue. My question for the crowd: Is abortion the only issue that fits under the rubric of family values? What about health care and education for children? Shouldn't these also be a concern for family values minded voters? My (possibly flawed) perception is that those who talk about family values and abortion rarely ever seem to devote much time and attention to these other issues which affect families with children. If you took those other aspects of family values under consideration, how might that affect your perception of the candidates? Serious question.
P. G. , 10/29/08 12:38 AM
Wow Matt!! I needed this reminder :) As you know, I am often on the computer, the TV blaring in the background, and sometimes even talking on the phone at the same time!!

I am so proud of you for allowing God to use you in this way!! Often times, I feel that you are now "parenting" me :) and I mean that as a compliment!! Every time I read one of your "blogs", God shows me something....and I know this is true for others as well because they have told me so :) I couldn't be prouder of the Godly and Wise young man you have become!!

Love,
Your Mom

P.S. I turned off the TV :)
Susie Lynn , 11/06/08 12:53 PM
Matt - I couldn't agree with you more. Thanks for the reminder of HOW God spoke in the story of Elijah. With so much noise, I think it is possible that we short ourselves of hearing God.
I've been meaning to look at this website for weeks now and thanks to your mama's suggestion on facebook, I did. Thanks Susie!
Janelle Thomas , 11/06/08 01:52 PM
So how do you feel about Bush according to the article? Do you honestly feel Bush didn't get into office for his own personal gain because he mostly did. Look at BP(british petroleum) in which he is part owner.

Unfortunately we can't change the people hearts, only God can. And Jesus told us as Christians to feed the poor, visit the sick and imprisoned...etc. What did bush or McCain do to help the poor? Not too much.

All I can say is that the people have spoken and I believe God will take care of the US. Regardless, my faith is in the Lord because the chosen leader is by him. We still have our responsibilities as Christians and our growing faith will only perpetuate our closeness to and the blessings of God.

As well, our leader doesn't need to be judgmental and make decisions of the lost.
Golly Geewillickers , 11/26/08 10:34 AM
Just wanted to say Thank You, I do have a skip in my step, a smile on my face, the strength to carry on and a freedom in my heart. God Bless
Paul Quist , 12/08/08 11:42 AM
This is just simply wrong. It is not an accurate description of Buddhist philosophy. The Dalai Lama is referring here to unconditional love as opposed to conditional love. There are numerous sources available where he contrasts negative and self-orientated attachment versus positive and healthy attachment. It would be more intellectually honest to convey the full argument rather than take a quote wildly out of context, as you have done here.

Rob
Robert Urquhart , 12/23/08 05:10 PM
stimulating and communicative, but would make something more on this topic?
Prorgevag Prorgevag , 02/11/09 04:12 AM
Hi Tom,
Intriguing article in light of the growth of the Advent Conspiracy movement. You have made me reconsider some things. Good job. Where can I get a copy of your book?
Eddy Pearson , 02/19/09 01:50 PM
Ben, you are the man and we can all learn from your article.
Eddy Pearson , 02/19/09 02:04 PM
i totally agree with you about what is happening in the muslim world. i having been born of a muslim familly see the need for prayer for God to save my brothers and sisters.i have also expereinced grat trouble when the Lord saved me. God bless preachit Org.
isaac hassan , 03/02/09 02:02 PM
Well put Matt!! One of the best explanations I've read on the essential need for community.
Susie Lynn , 03/07/09 03:34 PM
Before jumping to conclusions about the self-centeredness of Buddhism, perhaps you ought to do a little more reading.

Many Buddhists (of the Mahayana tradition, which then influences the Tibetan and Zen traditions) take the Bodhisattva Vow, a variation of which reads (http://tiny.pl/bl4n):

1. I vow to save innumerable sentient beings.
2. I vow to eliminate endless afflictions/delusions.
3. I vow to learn innumerable doctrines.
4. I vow to accomplish the unsurpassed Buddha Way.

We seek to end suffering, without any need to convert a person to our belief system. Can Christianity say the same?

Peace,
Bill
William Harryman , 03/17/09 07:29 PM
Wow. I am so not trusting the ropes because of failures of the past. You are such a gifted writer.
Jim Selvy , 05/18/09 09:13 PM

Hello Sir.
I found your site on Google and read a few of your other entires. Nice Stuff. I'm looking forward to reading more from you.
KeehoncopienD KeehoncopienD , 05/20/09 12:03 PM
This is beautiful Mariah. It makes me think of my mother and all the time and effort and LOVE she put into making homemade meals from scratch for us! It also made me think of a Thanksgiving when she was sitting at the dinner table w/ 8 hungry mouths to feed. She sat there as we ate and she made a comment about how all her hard work is gone in 15 minutes. I was little but I remember feeling sadness when she said that. I was unable to explain why until your blog today.
I emailed your blog to her with a "thank you" for all the time...and love she put into her meals. =) In a world that is full of convienance foods and 10 minute meals, nothing beats mom's homemade food!!!!
Cathy Grumbles , 05/29/09 10:18 PM
Amen from a person who many, many years ago belongs to the Church of Christ
Richard Ross , 06/13/09 03:47 PM
Thank you for this wonderful post. it is a confirmation of things I have often tried to communicate to the members/first lady of a former congregation to which my family belonged. I am grateful to see and know that I was being prompted by God to come into His presence.
JANITA TAYLOR , 07/11/09 10:30 PM
Sometimes, forgiving is easier than not being forgiven. Past hurts that have been done to another person can come back to haunt you in that the relationship with the other person starts to heal, but the other person will NOT forgive and the smallest of mistakes/misunderstandings can cause the relationship to completely fall apart once again.
Christine Rogers , 07/15/09 07:09 PM
i agree fully with you when i went through a very painfully and stressful divorce people said the meanest things to me the most hurtful things that hurt me to the core i cried even more and sunk even deeper into depression and i didnt know God then the way i know Him now didnt have that same bond.

i was impressed and comforted just reading this knowing that there are still people out there who really care and know how to comfort others
May God's blessing continue to flow to you and yours for giving of yourself
greta pintard , 07/20/09 01:43 PM
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When the soccer coach suggests you find another team, it is time to leave the team.
Willy Smith , 08/19/09 06:55 PM
Thank you for continuing your ministry at Casas via PITI!
Victor Muecke , 09/12/09 10:19 PM
Wow! At age 55 now, after raising four kids (two years apart), as an empty nester....whew...how quickly the memories of child rearing returned as I read your blog today. I lived days like you described and wondered when and if the day would come that the struggles would cease. Times when my reflection in the side view mirror of the car revealed a face so stressed out and pleading with God silently in prayer as we were on a family vacation so desiring to just enjoy one another.

Those days were exhausting yet I would not want to give them up for anything. I have joked with my kids as they went through the teen years..."Thank you! For if it weren't for you, I wouldn't have such a close relationship with Jesus!" Humor is good. Yet, I know there is much truth in that statement as well.

Now my "kids" all have kids of their own. They have come back to their senses for the most part, are relational-friendly with my husband and I, really enjoy being with us and we with them.

When we are visiting them and witness one or more of their own children misbehaving, I silently exhale "saying thank You Lord :o)"

I absolutely adore my kids and grandkids, praise God for them. There were times I wondered if any of us would survive...especially when the teen years seemed to linger forEVER. Somehow I became their enemy much of the time. Yet God was right there reminding me that parenting is not a popularity contest. Love them. Stand firm on Him. Hold fast to Him. Look past their disobedience and understand they, too, struggle with life. And, most of all, pray for them.

So I want to thank you for sharing your experience in your blog. I also want to encourage you that God loves you deeply and will continue to use His love to bathe you with comfort, peace, wisdom and direction.

God's blessing to you my sister,
Debbie Smith
Tucson, AZ
Debbie Smith , 10/04/09 08:10 PM
Knowing what I know if someone has advanced cancer this is what I'd advise.

1. Whatever God leads you to do, do it immediately. With each day's delay Satan wins a small victory.

2. Know God didn't cause your cancer or other difficulties of life. So don't blame Him. If you have or are presently blaming Him, Satan loves that. So change your mind on that issue (repentance is changing your mind - behavior follows). Apologize to Him if you haven't already and get Him back completely in your corner as you do battle.

3. Recognize that healing is usually offensive. Interesting scripture: "blessed is He who is not offended at me". What would have happened to the blind man before Jesus if he said, "you're not gonna put that mud in my eye!". If your name is written in the Lamb's book, what do you have to lose? All we are gonna lose anything is pride.

4. Go to a Monday night group for prayer in North Richland Hills. You may help you get jump started on your healing journey and/or receive words indicating a course of action. http://www.healingstation.org/

Regardless of the outcome on Monday night, unless God says don't go, I'd do the next two things CONCURRENTLY:

4. Spend $ 150 and sign up for the "For My Life" seminar online at http://www.beinhealth.com (BIH), a Thomaston GA church and int'l ministry that has had much success in healing WITHOUT prayer. Theologically, when we line up to God's Word, we get healed, because we have addressed the roots which fuels the disease. To some extent we all have stinkin' thinkin', BUT some of that thinking "leads to death". After the online as needed I'd go to one of their live seminars in GA.

5. Book a plane flight and plan to spend some time (days) at http://www.ibethel.org/ a church in Redding CA that focuses on cancer and healing. Basically, when God shows up people get healed.

The reason you do # 4 & 5 both is that God's healing at Bethel buys you time to address the roots of the cancer so it can't return (more stinkin' thinkin'). For My Life addresses the roots. Watch your BIH online seminar between sessions at Bethel.

Note: if folks don't have the funds for 4 & 5, a free option would be to go online and listen to ten hours of testimonies here:

www.tlsm.org/ListenOnline.cgi

After your faith is fortified by listening to the videos (and more online free audio teachings as well), drive to Justin, Texas (just up the road) for prayer.
Bill Ellmore , 10/18/09 09:26 AM
Great article. Mariah. Love Lewis. Well said.
Jeff Goins , 12/02/09 03:23 PM

To love rightly is to love what is orderly and beautiful in an educated and disciplined way.
Quotation of Plato
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Is there a difference between hospitality and fellowship as taught in 1 John? Is hospitality the same as fellowship?
Maggie Hawkins , 12/18/09 12:53 AM
Hospitality is something you extend to someone else, fellowship is something you share with someone else.
Roger Barrier , 12/20/09 04:19 PM
Hi Brother greeting you in the name of the lord Jesus Christ,as i was searching for the good bible words to preach for this Christmas,when i came to you web page and i saw a lovely message ,decided to support the poor people,as matter fact we have church in India with 500 people in it but we are not able to support everyone,and our church is too small,if god speak to you while reading this message.please call us @ 91 + 974-257-1897.John
John Paul A , 12/22/09 11:30 AM
Thank you for this blog. I only wish man were not so judgmental. Tiger needs our prayers. Tiger needs God in his life, and this is my prayer for him.
Darrell Bakeman , 01/05/10 03:00 AM
Well said and well done... God Bless
Paul Quist , 01/07/10 11:06 AM
Bob Smith , 01/13/10 05:09 PM
A good friend reminded me to be sympathetic to those who suffer with mental illness. I am no stranger to mood disorders. Many of my dear friends and family members have suffered with them. I do hope that my words will not seem harsh, but empathetic to those who suffer so.

Julie Barrier , 01/13/10 05:44 PM
Thanks for this... great perspective! Wouldn't want to handle suffering any other way!
Kathy Elliott , 01/14/10 11:18 PM
My pleasure. The concept has been really helpful to me.
Jack Schull , 01/15/10 10:05 AM
Great post!
Jeff Goins , 01/29/10 08:19 AM
I really enjoyed and appreciated this article.
Alethea Rodriguez , 02/03/10 11:31 AM
The comment by your friend, beginning with "You will be the same person..." doesn't fit my life. Yet, your synopsis that these 3 elements can play a major role in a new YOU, certainly does. Yes, I'm the same person as far as my personality and character, but I have become so different in my goals, my Love, devotion, seeking and mostly because of my new prayer life and deep study into God's Word through Bible studies. Which brings me to another comment. It is my experience that women are the ones who go to Bible studies and most men do not. I realize more men work than women in the Christian family, but why aren't there Bible studies for men in the evening like there are for women? How can you men grow without getting into God's Word and encouraging one another by getting together to share struggles and victories? Thanks for letting me share, Jack!
Maxine Kandt , 02/03/10 03:12 PM
2 Timothy 3:16 says; All scripture is given by inspiration of God. God used man as a writing tool. I beleive he protected his word, it is true.
Timothy Frankie , 02/04/10 08:07 PM
Excellent counsel filled with uplifting scriptures.
Toni Adams , 02/09/10 09:01 PM
THIS IS THE FIRST TIME I'VE EVER READ ANYTHING YOU'VE WRITTEN. THE STORIE ARE A KICK! I LOVE IT THAT YOU HAVE A FABULOUS SENSE OF HUMOR. YOUR WORDS SOUND LIKE A RED HEAD! I'M SURE THAT IS JUST COINCIDENCE. I LOVE REAL PEOPLE AND I THINK MOST OF THE WORLD DOES. THANKS FOR REMINDING US! Cookie
COOKIE Hayden , 02/15/10 03:41 PM
This is the first time I have checked in on Tom,s blog...my prayer is that many will be led by the Holy Spirit to look into God's word to find and sort out all the issues of life.
Cheke Lutz , 02/21/10 09:33 PM
Thanks for this encouragement. I needed to hear again about being patient and grace giving. I think I need to practice it on myself too..
Jennifer Tompkins , 02/24/10 03:41 PM
Buddhism does not teach that a bad act will bring more demerit than a good act brings merit. I don't know where you get that from. In fact the buddhist sutras teach many methods that will quickly get rid of loads of demerit. If you had studied the topic properly you would know that.
Rasmus Elkjaer , 02/25/10 04:57 PM
OK. I acknowledge my responsibility for my folly. I agree, I am responsible for being in the pit I am in. No income for over 1.5 yrs, exhausted savings, hardly a dime to my name, debt, no vision for the future, a spouse sick of me & more than ready to kick me out. The only thing I got is God, appreciative children, and encouraging but geographically distant friends. I want out of this pit! But HOW? Tell me how.
Paul Eric , 03/04/10 01:04 PM
I always loved and respected you for you honesty. As a teen I was drawn to your "realness" and how down to earth you were. You never came across as a plastic, perfect preachers wife. I'll never forget when you sat beside me one choir practice and mentioned how you disliked that it was hard to shave ones knees. This comment many times still pops into my head as I shave my legs.
Thanks so much for your honesty.
Michelle Murray Herring , 03/05/10 11:20 AM
...thank you, I guess. Through my grumbling, I have started to see that I believe I am entitled to some 'smooth going' not disruption. Maybe we all believe that we have been 'disrupted' enough. It is almost humorous as I look around at those individuals I regularly am in contact with, how they count on me-when I don't want to be counted on! In our ABF's, we have been studying the Book of Mark, and it is remarkable how many times Jesus encountered the multitudes. Sometimes, they (the multitudes) didn't even want or ask for a teaching, just healing or a touch from Him. And He did it-what a powerful example of ministry. Stayed home from church this am because of weariness; decided to go to PreachitTeachit, for some food. I got it. Have my hands full this week with working at another restaurant so the Gen. Mgr. can have a vacation; then my brother and niece will be here from Montana to visit because our dad is dying-so I will cook for everyone. Just thank you for this message-peeled some scales off my eyes.
Kristi Allen , 03/14/10 11:58 AM
Julie, I need help, how has her pain made you strong? As I watch Robert suffer with the pain of cancer I don't feel strong, I just cry a lot. I know the Lord is here to walk us through this valley but I am not strong. I have asked so many people to pray, people from around the world have been interceding for us. I firmly believe that is why he has lived five years instead of the two years the doctors predicted. I trust the Lord to give us both wisdom and peace we need but I am not very strong. I would like to be strong for Robert as this horrible disease progresses or our loving God heals him.
Judy McGee , 03/21/10 11:28 PM
Dear Judy, I can't imagine the pain you are going through. I don't think anyone "feels strong." We just keep loving God no matter how hard our lives get. I believe suffering is the one thing that reminds us that heaven is where we live and we are only travelers on earth. I think it is much harder to watch someone we love suffer than to do it ourselves. I know Robert is so blessed to have such a loving wife. And I know you will one day look back and realize that our strength is made perfect in weakness.
Julie Barrier , 03/22/10 12:34 PM
Julie, you are truly inspiring! I hope that one day I can have a relationship with Jesus just as you do!

Judy, praying for you!
Cherie DeLeon , 03/22/10 02:06 PM
Julie, you are so full of life, love and laughter. This time you brought tears to my eyes. Where would Roger be, or your family, without you.
Pat Desens , 03/24/10 04:14 PM
Thanks Julie for the beautiful letter, sharing your heart so lovingly.
We appreciate you and your family
catherine Grennell , 03/24/10 07:24 PM
Thank you Julie, that brought tears to my eyes. I will be 70 this aug and those gates get closer evey day.But I keep saying not yet Lord to much yet to do here in China so many souls to be saved. It tears at my heart. My parents and my precious Mother in law have gone on already and I think of them too. And many more of the patients who I sat with knowing they were going to be with Him made the waiting easier in a way but the sorrow of those around us does not deminish but His grace is our strength. It is mine every day. Praising Him always is the key to our life it has been mine. Again thank you for your sharing. Love in Him Barbara
Barbara Reicherter , 03/25/10 03:46 AM
Thank you Julie for this. I plan to share it with my daughter who also lost a baby.I think she is still angry at God that he took Amy Beth, and hasn't been growing in her walk with Him. This may help her.I enjoy reading your thoughts, and seeing how you have grown closer and closer to our Father.
Betty Frank , 03/28/10 05:40 PM
Julie you are an inspiration to me. Having lost Joshua so recently I know with God's strength I can get through this. Thank you to both you and Roger for your posts, honesty and genuine love.
Tonya
Tonya Haley , 03/28/10 07:09 PM
this was so entertaining to read...My Sarah had a very close experience with her favorite doll.. (which she still has)(only now she is now a he and Sarah's daughter owns her...or him anyway.) A boy at Sarah's school out of frustration had be-headed "Molly" (we still think about this little boy and pray for him) I have to admit when I saw it happen I gasped for air to breath!!!.. I had to remind myself that Molly wasn't even real! ! She was so grateful that Mommy knew how to perform surgery..
How wonderfully amazing is it that our Lord God does indeed reveal Himself to us and will stand steadfast for us to understand the depth of His love and how He sees us.. Just as Molly and Otis were (and are) so deeply loved and cherrished, So are we loved by our Creator and King, Jesus Christ..only in a greater multitude than we could ever imagine.. What comfort, security, peace and safety there is under "His arm pit".. Thanks for sharing this beautiful and fun story.. Donna Herring..
Donna Herring , 03/28/10 08:20 PM
We learn a lot from our kids, don't we???
Julie Barrier , 03/31/10 04:58 PM
I learned the adage: 50% of gossip is listening.
Teri Ballantine , 03/31/10 10:55 PM
Thank you, truly thank you for this information on forgiveness. It has explained much to me but this information is the information I have specifically been looking for for a very long time. It rings true with my spirit and God's Word. I must be able to read more of this type of article soon!
Patricia Tucker , 04/02/10 10:33 PM
Julie...Thank you for sharing your very touching letter. I have a son, 4l yrs old. Who was born with multiple birth defects...and they said he would not live. I prayed & prayed for him & he is still with us. There were times when I have wondered if my prayers were selfish...not thinking about the surgeries, pain & hardships Cam would have to go through! But then I think of how many times over the years we were told by Doctors that he "was not going to live...and he would "prove them wrong". I realize it was God's will that he live. I know I have learned so much from him & Cam is my Hero. I know he is here for a reason. And when he smiles...it is like sunshine! Betty
Betty Phillips , 04/04/10 09:53 PM
Very poignant presentation and so true........
Dean Hood , 04/07/10 09:16 AM
I love this topic... bco'z it sound like warning to me, sometimes I want to be fast in doing God's work
Iosefo Vosaboto , 04/11/10 10:48 PM
this deep explanation is really touching me and I need more of this.
thank you
Iosefo Vosaboto , 04/11/10 10:54 PM
My anger comes from feeling that my husband puts every person, activity etc. before me. I do turn to the Word for help. I want the pain to go away, but sometimes I find myself defending myself! It's normally hard for me to forgive my husband, but if I stay in the Word long enough, I will always find that my unforgiveness is just as bad as his neglectfulness. I don't like the "feeling of anger", so I finally put my pride aside (which I think is the problem) and forgive him. We don't talk about it. I wish we would, but he doesn't feel comfortable. At least that's my opinion. God's grace is never ending.
Cookie Hayden , 04/21/10 03:51 PM
Glenn,

This reminds me of a euphemism used in the 70s to describe a sexual encounter. It was described as "getting a piece of someone." That is such a fitting description, as that piece of someone else's soul stays with you even after you part. But the point that wasn't clearly communicated by the euphemism was that you also left a piece of yourself with someone else - a piece you could never get back. Just like the piece of tongue stuck to the ice-maker.

(just curious Glenn ... the ice maker analogy would not, by chance, have anything to do with a personal experience, would it?)

Mark Marikos , 04/28/10 01:21 AM
This is excellent!
Melissa Skorseth , 04/29/10 03:37 AM
DEar Matthew: I hear you pain. I had saved this post to answer it at sometime and here I am months later. I have found that following a plan described in a book called "Potatoes Not Prozac" has helped me a lot. I can hear you like comfort foods and you'll be amazed at how sugar contributes to our state of mind. There is a website where you can find information: www.radiantrecovery.com There is also a group for depression based on that book that you'll find there. Believe me! I am a believer with a long story of depression and this plan has been a godsend to my life and to many people who can tell you their experiences if you ask them. It's filled with a lot of compassionate people and a very simple eating plan.
I hope and pray for you to find your way and to conquer this problem. I am happy to know that you are supported by your family and church. Mine has been a very lonely battle at times.
I am also exercising nowadays and I feel much better. Hope you can continue doing the same.
With much care and respect
Your sister in Christ
Jimena
Jimena Campos , 05/06/10 07:28 AM
Thanks Max,

As usual, your insights are splendid.

A while back I was thinking about heaven and was struck by the fact that all relationships there will be perfect. The thought almost floored me. Imagine what it must be like to be totally transparent in relationship, because everyone to whom you are relating is also totally thransparent. Now THAT will be relationship as it was meant to be!

Lookin' forward to it!
Mark Marikos , 05/08/10 03:14 AM
Roger - Thank you for these biblical tools for capturing negative thoughts. I teach at Pima County Jail monthly, for THE (the health education project) and have been teaching inmates that their thoughts got them where they are, and the need to change their thoughts to change their lives, while I can identify some negative thoughts,blaming others, fortune telling, mind reading, which are almost always lies, I appreciate these verses in helping them change, and maybe, hopefully turn to the bible.
Betty Frank , 05/14/10 02:45 PM
Pastor Barrier,

I feel like it is, at best, a red herring to say Jesus and Samuel were dedicated as infants therefore we should dedicate babies when the obvious correlation, given by the Apostle Paul, is between circumcision and baptism (Colossians 2:11-12).

In fact, the importance of the Simeon story is that we Gentiles are included in the blessings to be brought by Jesus from he very beginning.

Far more important when we are discussing babies getting wet is that Jesus was circumcised into the Law of Moses, just as we are circumcised into the Gospel of Christ through baptism.
T. Jones , 05/16/10 11:44 AM
Thank you, Julie - your stories are so wonderful. They seem real and say much of who you are and why you are so loved. You see much of life through a child's eyes. Honest and loving. Thank you
Nadine Leonard , 06/02/10 09:55 AM
I want Ur Email:adress and H/P:Number some time I Tell u Pray for me
Albert Masih , 06/12/10 02:03 AM
I enjoyed reading this article and how it applied to the fear that I have. The fears that you have noted are real; however, the one, true fear that I have and have had for as long as I can remember (am 71) is going to a doctor. I have no problem going to my Cardiologist to follow up w/my pacemaker and heart valve. When it comes time to have my yearly mammo, pap or just a physical, I freeze up and make all kinds of excuses to go. On the other side of the coin, if I am really not well or something occurs that I can go to Urgent Care, I have no problem with that. It's just that I cannot get myself to have a physical. I've tried everything I know....prayer is at the top of the list and I always ask God to give me peace of mind and know that He will always be with me while I go. I can remember getting out of the car and having a panic attack just before I walk into a doctor's office. I know in my heart that once I go and get checked out and everything is fine, that I will feel the heavy weight that has been on my shoulders now for years, be lifted. It's just getting to that point where I can do it. If at some point in my life I am diagnosed with cancer, etc. I would have no one to blame but myself. Everyone I know is having a colonoscopy but there is no way I can drink all of that liquid....I drink about a 1/2 glass of water and am full. Meanwhile, the Lord has blessed me with good health barring the dual pacemaker/valve but even during that period, I was never afraid once. I always felt His presence with me. When I had the valve surgery 10 years ago, the surgeon could not understand why I kept saying I had no pain when the truth is, you can't have that done without experiencing any pain but I told him that I had none and did not need any pain medication. It was truly the best 3 weeks I spent in the hospital as God gave me the gift of making people good and making them laugh. Once I was able to get out of bed, I would visit everyone and share the gospel with them and then make them laugh. I know God is watching over me and will be patient for as long as it takes for me to get my checkup.
Carol Malloy , 06/16/10 10:13 AM
Julie -

Thank you for sharing your testimony. Anyone who reads it will be able to tell that it was given from your heart.

Reverend Smith sounds very much like the Reverend Jim Jones, who started out as a very successful Pastor; then became "full of himself" and having filled himself with pride instead of the Holy Spirit began to tell all who would listen that his words were divinely inspired; that his followers no longer needed to read the bible; that he would meet all their spiritual needs. Then, after winning a large number of followers to himself, took them to a place where they could practice being even more holy, isolating them from the world. When the families of those he led astray finally began to try to "deprogram" their loved ones, he told his flock that there was no one left who understood. People who were sent in to investigate, "disappeared." Finally, when the government decided to intervene, he took his little flock to a place where they wouldn't be bothered anymore. The vehicle was poisoned fruit drink and cool-aid. How very sad and tragic. I can't seem to get the images out of my mind of the pictures that were taken when the government forces finally arrived with reporters in tow. So Julie, thank you for sharing. If it helps just one person to avoid falling into this kind of trap, it will have been well worth the time and effort you put into your message. Blessings!

George 
George F. Erhardt , 06/20/10 08:19 AM
Julie,
Thank you for sharing this. I can identify and concur. I am forwarding your story to all my friends and family.

Jacqui
Jacqui Andrade , 06/23/10 11:12 AM
Nancy: It appears that we are all sinners with many flaws. Maybe we should all just be ourselves and forget about any absolute reference points. BE - DO - Experience may be our best policy.
Don Swenson , 06/23/10 10:36 PM
Julie, Thanks for this testimony. God certainly made a way for you to find Him in a more genuine way. I counsel a few people every year who come out of such churches. Usually, they need to go through a grieving process, expressing a gamut of emotions; build new relationships with people of true faith; and bask in the word of God under teaching that includes proper understanding. It's so exciting to see people transformed into set free believers! I think you're pretty much a butterfly at this point! :)
Chet Weld , 06/23/10 11:38 PM
Just what I needed to hear to remind me of who really has the power to get things done his way not always ours, thank you for sharing.
Carolyn Bennet , 07/01/10 03:05 PM
This is something I could just read every single day !
Inger Burnette , 07/03/10 08:58 AM
I have heard many creationists claim that the earth is only about 6,000 years old, a number they get by studying the bible...
However we know that there is a fixed speed of light, light can only go so far so fast.

How can all of creation be only 6000 years old when with my naked eye I can see the Andromeda galaxy 2.4 million light years away?
Joseph Holmes , 07/06/10 02:10 AM
Brit, as always the Lord is always there working all things out for the good for those who are his. We together learned this again and again. We just need to quit trying so hard - and just trust and do as the Lord directs our path. Thank you for reminding me that my life is from the Lord, for the Lord,and to the Lord. Luv ya
Koko Carroll , 07/06/10 04:35 PM
The Greek word in the context and seen used in other places in the New Testament does not mean "cutting the throat" as you state.
Moira Lacotte , 07/07/10 10:04 AM
Dear Bro. Roger:- There is a faction in the Church, where I minister,insisting on the use of one loaf and a cup with the fruit of the vine as its content to be used in observing the Lord's Supper. Please, what is your comment on this?
Pastor Joe , 07/09/10 05:37 AM
This is an awesome reminder. Thank you so much!
Cheryl King , 07/13/10 01:40 PM
This was the best I have ever received. and I can only wish that I am that man.
Bill Doggett , 07/14/10 08:14 AM
What an encouragement and strong warning! Your stories made your point come alive and were a good bridge to my circumstances. You go girl!
Ryana Swan , 07/14/10 04:22 PM
I have a situation right now where my heart is truly broken and am at a loss for what to do. Two years ago this past February I was put into a situation between my best friend and her husband. He told me that he had fallen out of love with her as his wife but loved her as a friend only. He told me he's felt like this for a couple of years.
The gentleman I speak of is Jesse A. Smith Jr. Right now he's been involved with another woman while stsill married to my best friend. He says that his feelings will NOT change and I had better stay out of their "business" from now on. Thing is I am not the only one involved. My best friends Aunt and Cousin are also involved as well.
How can I prove to him that what he's doing is NOT what God has planned for his life at the present time? I need help. Becky
Becky Small , 07/14/10 06:13 PM
Thank you for not keeping these thoughts to yourself. Everyone struggles with all kind of thoughts, which if acted upon, can lead to ruin. To have the advice of good friends, who can help us keep from making life-changing decisions, is very important. We have seen recently in the news how people not saying "let's not", have changed their lives and the lives of many loved ones around them.
Thank you for loving us enough to say it plainly. Keep doing what God has gifted you to do! Well done Adrianne!
Jerry Ballard , 07/14/10 06:37 PM
Preach on sister! Great stories and making it come alive for all of us. You are gifted. Please continue to use your gifts for His GLORY.

Rachael Maddin , 07/14/10 07:13 PM
wow, my soul was cleaned just reading on. Powerful, authentic, real. If these were the object of the game,,you're the Super Bowl Champ for telling!
thank you Adrianne
Larry LaTour , 07/14/10 09:12 PM
Thank you for reminding us that He sees as a work-in-progress, and that we need to be diligent in sharing our heart for Him, and what He wants to do in our lives, with others.
John Grimes , 07/15/10 10:16 AM
Hello lads,

I am looking for testimonies regarding OBE and astral projection - privacy will be respected.
Please PM me of interested.

Thanks.
AdvoroBlorodo errogstogSoto , 07/15/10 08:35 PM
How profound in our world today of so many things inviting us for our time and loyalty. To daily decide what I will let or not let is my desire. A great truth I will share with my Grand Girls! Thanks, Adrianne!
Linda Haggard , 07/16/10 06:58 AM
George F. Erhardt says, "So very well done Julie; you have presented views of Jesus during His ministry, dealing with women, at a level that all women for all time should be able to understand." "What a loving compassionate heart you have; and such an understanding; that there are Christians today, that are behaving like the Pharasee's of Biblical Times." "Actually, the nature of men and women haven't fundamentally changed from Biblical Times to the Present; so we have every type of character present today, that was present then. "I appreciate your work Julie; it appears to be annointed and you are obviously blessed." "With your kind permission, I would like to share what you've written with others; of course, with the proper attributation." "I will pray for your continued ministry to the women of the world; it is obvious that the Holy Spirit has called you to witness for Christ Jesus."

God bless you, Julie, and upon your family and other loved ones.
George Erhardt , 07/16/10 01:25 PM
This is great, Roger. I hope that at some point you and Julie will be able to set up the technology for me to post this directly to my FB site. I think I'll copy and paste it into a FB Note and publish this on FB like that. Blessings, Chet
Chet Weld , 07/20/10 10:53 PM
This is great, Roger. I hope that at some point you and Julie will be able to set up the technology for me to post this directly to my FB site. I think I'll copy and paste it into a FB Note and publish this on FB like that. Blessings, Chet
Chet Weld , 07/20/10 10:53 PM
Nice work Adrianne, obviously you take after your mother!
Ben Haralson , 07/21/10 11:34 AM
Absolutely outstanding, Julie. You are as outstanding a preacher as you are musician.
Dean Dickens , 07/22/10 03:42 PM
The Bible teaches that God loved the world so much that his sent his only son to die for us. (John 3:16)
However, the Trinity doctrine teaches that God asked himself to go to earth to save mankind.
Then he agreed with himself and volunteered himself to himself to offer himself.
Then God impregnated a woman as himself, with himself.
God prayed to himself and glorified himself repeatedly.
God strengthened himself and talked to himself.
Finally God forsook himself and sacrificed himself to prove his
loyalty to himself.
While dead he resurrected himself so he could exalt himself above himself.
Then he sat at his own right hand and waited til he placed his enemies
as a footstool
Finally with Satan's forces defeated God would turn his kingdom over to himself
That all things would become everything to himself.
The Trinity doctrine defames God in many ways, making him look like a liar. It is totally unacceptable. It is a barrier to real closeness with him.
donal keegan , 07/23/10 03:11 AM
The arguments above made by Donal are based on his pre-supposed theological view that God is unitarian, that is, unipersonal (i.e., that God is one Person). Thus, he starts with a flawed theological premise: unitarianism, and argues from that pre-supposition.

In other words, he views all the passages that teach monotheism (i.e., "one God"; e.g., Deut. 6:4; Isa. 43:10) and assumes that “one God” means “one Person.” Muslims and Jehovah's Witnesses reason the exact same way.

Due to Donal's misunderstanding of the Trinity (assuming God is only the “one Person” of the Father), he asserts things such as: "The Trinity doctrine teaches that God asked himself to go to earth," Of course, that is not what the Trinity teaches.

The historic "biblical" data for the Trinity is this:

1. There is one eternal God (one Being, not one Person, Deut. 4:35)
2. There three Persons who are presented as fully God (viz. the Father [cf. Gal. 1:3], the Son [e.g., John 1:1; Titus 2:13; Heb. 1:8], and the Holy Spirit [Acts 5:3-4]), and
3. These three Persons are distinct from each other (e.g., Dan. 7:9-14; Matt. 28:19; John 1:1b, 2 Cor. 13:14; 1 Pet. 1:2)

Hence, God the Father can send God the Son. Or, God the Son can pray to God the Father. Only within a Trinitarian context do passages that have the Son interacting with the Father (see Dan. 7:9-14) or Holy Spirit (or in the OT, Yahweh interacting with “another” Yahweh, as in Gen. 19:24), be consistent with the monotheism taught in Scripture.

Any other view of God than a Trinitarian view is not consistent with the God of biblical revelation and, thus not Christian.

I sincerely hope this helped Donal understand the doctrine of the Trinity and not misrepresent it to others.


Edward Dalcour, Ph.D.
President: Department of Christian Defense
www.christiandefense.org
theos ēn ho logos (“God was the Word”) John 1:1b



Edward Dalcour , 07/23/10 07:10 PM
Okay. The Bible is simple and not complicated. The trinity is not taught in the Bible. But it is an acceptable practice to worship triune Gods in other cultures. Additionally, the worship of triune gods dates back prior to Abraham being called a Hebrew. The Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persian and Medes, Greeks, and Romans all worshiped triune gods. Most if not all the nations surrounding Israel worshiped triune gods. So from that standpoint, three gods in one is not unique. However, the nation of Israel did not worship a triune god. Jehovah is his own person.

It is clear that this blog is design for stimulating conversation. But it does little to promote it interest. Trinitarians will never change on this point. Why should they. It is who they are and what they believe. Those that disagree will not change either.

So, what is the point of the Blog?
Steven Parrish , 07/24/10 09:53 PM
I love how you unpack this concept of invitation. Brillantly done- it really shed fresh light for me on biblical Truth. Our God IS so powerfully compelling and inviting. May we accept his invitation and run from the thought of inviting others to participate in sin.

Father, continue to convict my heart and forgive me for enjoying the power of wielding evil. Teach me how to spur on my brother towards good. In Jesus name-
Angel Angell , 07/25/10 02:30 PM
Paige's FB page put me on to your article. Really, really good Adrianne! As a person valuing hospitality, the whole invitation motif in regards to sin and righteousness was so cool and a fresh way to think. I'm going to remember it.
Priscilla Young , 07/25/10 02:52 PM
As I indicated, you grossly misunderstand and misrepresent the doctrine of the Trinity, so hence you merely present straw man arguments. Your statement: “The Egyptians, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persian and Medes, Greeks, and Romans all worshiped triune gods” shows me you are greatly unstudied in the area of church history and ancient history.

The groups you mentioned did not believe or even had a concept of the doctrine of the Trinity. They all worship many “separate” gods. The mere fact you see the Trinity as three Gods demonstrates your doctrinal naïveté. Please do the homework and discover as to what church history and the doctrine of the Trinity actually teaches so you will not make these fundamental mistakes.

Your denial of the Trinity places outside of the Christian faith and hence we will pray for you that God opens your eyes to His Son and true salvation (cf. John 17:3).

Edward Dalcour, Ph.D.
President: Department of Christian Defense
www.christiandefense.org
theos ēn ho logos (“God was the Word”) John 1:1b
Edward Dalcour , 07/25/10 03:34 PM
love the way you thought this through SO well... i will surely use this method of teaching to my class this coming sunday...

God Bless
nyiko cathy mashele , 07/27/10 02:06 PM
The first response to your blogs said it all. It is not that it made since, its that it harmonizes with the rest of the scriptures.

There are son many variation of the Trinity. So many groups want to be at the same party but be view differently.

But you will say that they do not have the proper understanding of the concept. They too will be misrepresenting the concept.

Oh, and by the way, when you start citing scriptures, be sure that they are talking about three-in-one and not two distinct persons. John 17:3 speaks of taking in knowledge of two persons, God and his Son.

The first response to this blog laid out some pretty simple objections to this Trinity concept. The statements were clear and understandable, all base on event in the bible, and in conflict with rational thought.

Can your concept explain those statements?
Steven Parrish , 07/27/10 07:03 PM
Terrific! A very untouched subject! Great advice! Thanks so much!
Zach Lester , 07/28/10 03:38 PM
Dear Edward and Steven,
It has been very interesting to read your comments. I appreciate your willingness to converse on matters of faith. I, too, have written a blog about the Trinity in the "Ask Roger" section of this site. You may read it at
http://www.preachitteachit.org/ron-test/ask-roger/archives/post/archive/2008/july/article/what-i[..]
Roger Barrier , 07/28/10 05:49 PM
Unitarian View of the Trinity

Mr. Keegan has somewhat, repetitiously if not sarcastically, fallen into the error of thinking of the Trinity as unitarian, or oneness. This means that like the Islamic concept of God, God is one person and in his revelation of himself he plays the roles of three people, but is actually one person This is an understandable error.

One of the great difficulties of understanding the Trinity is that we have a tendency to want to think of God in completely human terms. We look at ourselves and we think that we are one and therefore since we are made in God's image, he must also be one. Alas, scripturally, it doesn't work that way.

The trouble with a unitarian or oneness view of the Trinity is that it attempts to explain God's personhood within a purely human way of thinking about relationships. We also can, using human-based analogies, attempt to explain God as a Triune being. But our attempt by using analogy cannot convey the fullness of what it means for God to be a Triune being. I'll touch more on that in a moment. First, we should clarify the existence of the Trinity.

What is the Trinity?

That the Trinity exists, as explained in scripture, there can be no doubt. The Father and the Son are clearly delineated in scripture as being one, yet different persons. The Father spoke from heaven during Jesus' baptism while the Holy Spirit descended as a dove upon Jesus. This is probably the clearest picture of the Trinity's existence in the New Testament. Jesus taught his disciples to pray to the Father in Jesus' name (i.e., authority).

The Holy Spirit is referred to in the scripture as a unique person yet having all of the authority of God that is identical to the Father and the Son (Matthew 28:19, I Corinthians 12:4-6, II Corinthians 13:14). He has all of the attributes of personality, just as the Father and Son do, but He uses them of his own authority. The holy spirit teaches, guides, comforts, convicts, empowers, intercedes to the Father, gives gifts, explores the depths of God, etc.

There are too many scriptures about the existence of the Trinity to explore in this short article. Suffice it to say that in all cases the Father is shown to be God, the Son is shown to be God, and the Spirit is shown to be God—yet all three play different roles in redemptive history.

Where is the Trinity in the OT

Some people have remarked that the Trinity is a New Testament invention, and that the Trinity does not appear in the Old Testament at all. To this I would answer that that is not necessarily true. While we can make the case that the full understanding of the relationships within the Trinity may not have been completely revealed, we can also demonstrate that all three members of the Trinity are revealed in the Old Testament. Psalm 45:7 reveals two persons of the Trinity, both in Hebrew being referred to as God (Elohim): "Therefore God, your God has anointed you…" The Holy Spirit is revealed at the beginning of the Bible in Genesis 1:2, "The Spirit of God was hovering over the waters." The Old Testament reveals, partially, that their was were members of the Trinity referred to as Father and Son. "I will be his father and he will be my son…" (I Chronicles 17:13). Though the references to Father, Son, and Spirit are scant in the Old Testament because of the reality of progressive revelation, that does not discount the fact that they are there.

Why is it Hard to Understand the Trinity?

In my observation it seems that it is difficult for many people to grasp just what the Trinity is, because there is nothing truly analogous to the fullness of the Trinity in our human experience—our understanding is only partial. For instance, when we refer to God as "Father," we do so knowing what a father is. Regardless of whether we had good or bad fathers, the general concept of a father helps us to understand the role of God the Father. Similarly, when we think of Jesus as God the Son we can also understand that relationship. We know what a son is and what a son's role in a family is. But when we come to the Holy Spirit we get stuck. The Holy Spirit is not a mother and His role and behaviors are not analogous to a mother. Nor is he a son or a father. The scripture says that he comes forth from both the Father and the Son (John 15:26, 16:28). He is different. He has all of the attributes of the Father and the Son (except that he does not have a permanent physical body, like Jesus does), but he is different from the two. Our analogies to describe Him break down because we have no relationship on earth that is analogous to what and whom the Holy Spirit is. His role is unique among all relationships.

Because of this, I think it is difficult for many Christians to fully grasp the Trinity. That does not mean it is impossible, it simply means that it can be difficult. But that difficulty does not refute the reality that the Holy Spirit is a person, part of the Trinity, equal to its members and yet different in role and function from the Father and the Son.

Why the Trinity is Important

First, understanding the Trinity gives comfort and security to the believer knowing that God does not "act alone" in anything. Rather, all members of the Trinity are in constant and unbroken fellowship with one another, doing that which pleases each member and reveals more of Himself to the believer.

Second, without understanding the Trinity our knowledge of God would be less complete than it is now. One of the goals of our Christian experience is to "know God" (Philippians 3:8). It is not that we have full understanding now, rather our understanding of God increases when we begin to see him for who he really is. Just as the revelation of God's person was progressive in the Old Testament, so too our revelation of him now, in these New Testament times, is also progressing. The more we understand about God's person and character, the deeper our fellowship with him. That's a great place to be!

Third, without the Holy Spirit we would be powerless to live the Christian life. That would be a terrible place to be! He is our seal of faith. He is the one who empowers us to live as both the law and Christ taught. Without him we could not experience the fullness of faith in God. He is essential to our understanding and experience of God. He illuminates our relationship with Jesus, as Jesus promised.

A Warning

We should, however, keep in mind this caution: It is not necessary to have a full understanding of the doctrine of the Trinity in order to be a believer in Jesus (Acts 19:2). This might cause your red flag to go up, but hear me out. When a person comes to Christ, more likely than not, he does not know anything about "the Trinity." This was true in my experience and probably of every believer I know. What the Trinity is an important doctrine and one that helps us understand and experience God, it is not a necessary doctrine for the point of salvation, but it is an important doctrine for Christian growth.
Tom Terry , 07/28/10 10:15 PM
Great and balanced answers. Thanks Roger. I haven't read any of Anne Rice's book but
Will mention that I saw an internet news clip a few days ago that Anne Rice had renounced her Christian faith. I will pray for her.
Catherine Grennell , 08/01/10 03:39 PM
Did God say that he was a jealous God or did man say that God said it? And He did, than why did he tell us not to be jealous?
Sandy Koppes , 08/02/10 10:50 PM
A firstborn learning about works righteousness. From one to another, that's a work of God's grace.
Hope health and wholeness is returning to all generations of your family.
BILL
Bill Bryan , 08/04/10 10:55 AM
Awesome! I love your spirit Julie! Rock on!
Jacqui Andrade , 08/10/10 01:30 PM
Great post! Loved it! Creative way to inform and deliver a great and needed message! God bless your ministry!
Zach Lester , 08/10/10 03:50 PM
As believers (adult children of the deceased) are they obligated to honor their deceased mother's oral/written request that certain siblings are not allowed to attend funeral services or view the body in privacy before burial, due to past family disagreements? As her siblings we chose not to share with her children their mother's mishandling of our elderly father's monies since our dad chose her as his Power of Attorney. We have kept it quiet so that we would not cause distress to her children and/or dishonor our sister.
PHYLLIS DURREE , 08/11/10 04:02 PM
I love how there doing this for children my age oh and i'm 8. thank you for doing this for children. and i'm going to tell my stars club teacher and isabella elamentrey have a great school year with children.
Kirsten Buchanan , 08/12/10 08:31 PM
Thank you for this cogent explanation of the difference between these two religions.
Chet Weld , 08/15/10 11:10 PM
I had the honor to see Mr. Zacharias speak about 6 months ago in Phoenix, Az. It was certainly an amazing experience. Great words of truth! Sola Scriptura!
Zach Lester , 08/16/10 11:56 AM
Hey Roger!
I am dying to know your thoughts on Rob Bell's teaching. I grew up at Casas and sat under your biblical teaching. From what I've studied of Rob Bell, his theology is way off. It absolutely breaks my heart to see Casas teaching his videos and books in their classes.
What do you think?
summer murphy , 08/17/10 10:12 AM
Do you have an 'image' within your mind when you think about God? What flashes across your mind when I say the word...God?

If you have an 'image' in your mind, then you are probably worshipping an idol.God is not an 'image' of any type.
don swenson , 08/19/10 12:15 AM
Why won't churches engage in church discipline as specified in Matthew 18?

My ex-wife was engaged in an affair back in 2003, and I approached my church about this. Of course, the first thing I was asked was what did I do to cause her to have the affair.

After I picked my jaw up from the floor, after all, this was a well educated Southern Baptist preacher who had to know by that time (since he was near retirement) that folks choose sin, and not forced into it, and certainly not by other people.

Anyway, I asked him for help, and he simply said to be more loving. I asked for a mentor, I asked for an intervention, I asked if the church would approach her in the manner specified in Matthew 18.

I was told that they don't do that, it doesn't work.

Needless to say, I've not been back to that church and have since divorced, found a new place to worship, etc.

But I have to wonder why the church seems to be so unwilling to follow scripture. My objective was to save the marriage, not gain some sort of morally superior position. After all, my ex-wife had legitimate complaints about the marriage. However, as long as she was engaged in the affair and pursuing divorce, there was no way for me to address them. She was in the fantasy of the affair, and anything bad I had ever done was magnified 1000x and compared to the fantasy she had going on, dreaming about how life would be once she was free of me and able to be with her married other man.

If I understand the process, the sin is confronted, and the sinner has a chance to speak as well. If she had complaints about me, she would have been free to present then and list the changes she wanted.

But since no one would confront her, not the church, not her family, none but me, and she certainly didn't want me given she was so smitten with her affair partner, there was no hope.

She got the divorce she wanted, and now there is another broken family.

What struck me odd was this was when churches were so up in arms about gay marriage. Now I'm not in favor of gay marriage, but since homosexuality is about 2% of the population, should there have been 50X as much effort on saving existing marriages, instead of fighting the 2% who wanted gay marriage.

I certainly understand the valid criticism of those who are for gay marriage. We as a community of believers have done a horrible job of protecting existing marriages. The divorce stats tell the story. There is little or no difference between marriage survival rates inside as well as outside the church.

Based on my former churches response, I'm beginning to understand why. I guess this has become more of a rant than a question. If you find anything useful to spark discussion, then feel free to use it.

I guess my bottom line question is if God is so "pro family" why are his people so lousy at preserving families in the church? Tools such as mentors, loving confrontation as spelled out in Matthew 18 and other tools are available. But it seems we are looking outward, and not looking to God for answers.

Thanks for reading my rant.

Tony
Tony Bright , 08/20/10 08:45 AM
This is very helpful, I am teaching toddlers and they love to do arts and crafts!!
Dionne McNair , 08/26/10 02:39 PM
Roger, I was always taught that when you died and were abscent from the body your are present with the Lord. Now I am questioning this because when Jesus comes for the rapture the dead will be raised first, so does that mean when you die you lay in the grave for years until He comes back.Then we are raptured up and will come back with him. I don't know why I am so confused lately. Maybe you can help my thoughts. Thankyou God Bless you for all you do!
Noreen Quincy , 08/31/10 08:51 PM


Tom,

The whole debate reminds me of a chapter out of Chuck Colson’s book, “The Body”. In that chapter, which I believe is entitled “The Sin of Presumption”, he speaks of a young Russian girl in Odessa, who is sitting in an “Atheism” class, bored to death and wondering why they go on and on about how there is no God. She reasons that, our parents tell us there are no ghosts or goblins, once, maybe twice, that's enough. But these atheism teachers go on and on about how there is no God. She questions why they are so afraid of Him if He doesn’t exist?

I think that so adequately describes the atheistic evolution movement today, as well as the general “new atheism” movement. Why do they expend so much energy on someone who does not exist. Are they that afraid of a non-reality? And why is it so important that I not believe in Him either? Does my belief in a non-existent entity somehow threaten their resolve to disbelieve? It’s very much like a child who begins to shout, “LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA LA …” loudly so he cannot hear what an adult is trying to tell them. “If I don’t hear you, I am not responsible for that knowledge!”

It is interesting that the young lady in Colson’s book eventually comes to Christ because she is forced to sit through the tedium of these atheism classes. She finally decides to see if there is a God and asks Him, if He exists, to send snow (a rare occurrence in Odessa) so she doesn’t have to come to school tomorrow. Well He not only sends snow that night, He sends enough snow that she is out of school for three days. That begins her journey to find the God of the Bible in the literature of her country. She didn’t receive a Bible until she was 23, but she was able to find enough about God in the Russian literature that she had a pretty good understanding of Him by then.

I think that a sincere student of the natural sciences could do the same. Having been trained and employed for years as a geologist, with a strong interest in chemistry, astronomy, physics, and biology, I can attest that God’s fingerprints are all over creation. I believe that is why it takes such a sustained effort to deny his presence. We know that one of the greatest driving forces of modern society is denial. This intentional obsession to prove the non-existence of God is the ultimate example of denial. And it cannot really even be considered a philosophy. Because, a central tenant of philosophical logic is that you cannot prove a negative!

So my feeling is, let them rant. Their illogical and contrived efforts to prove an un-proveable premise will probably lead to more theists than atheists in the end! “OK everyone, close your eyes and stay against the wall. There is no elephant in the middle of the room. Especially not a large brown one with a long trunk, big ears and leathery skin!”
Mark Marikos , 09/03/10 12:03 AM
Amen!
Mark Marikos , 09/03/10 12:19 AM


John,

Thank you for sharing this. If taken to heart, this will bring healing to women dealing with the pain of a past abortion. I t will also encourage those of us in a position to reach out to them and show God’s loving mercy, grace, and compassion. What you presented here is so descriptive of the way Satan tries to crush us. And it also very aptly describes how we can be used by God to “release the captives.”

So often the woman aborted the child under intense pressure, be it from the father, her parents, friends, or just the weight of the situation. We often succumb to temptation because we feel pressured, by peers or by feared consequences of not complying. We begin to entertain the temptation more and more as the pressure grows. And Satan knows how to bring on the pressure. Reference Max Lucado’s article on Job in this same blog.

As you pointed out, for a woman to abort her child, she must at least momentarily suspend one of her deepest instincts – that to protect her child at all costs. The lies start flooding her mind. “This is only a lump of tissue.” “You have the right over your own body.” ”You have the responsibility to not bring this child into the present situation.” “You can not care for this child, and nobody else would want it.” “There are too many people in the world already.” “Having this child will ruin your life.”

Satan brings the onslaught in her mind the way he does whenever we take the bait of temptation. He works the hook deeper and deeper, until we forget that instinct or conscience that tells us, “This is wrong!” The reason we so often fall is that we have never formed the conviction in our heart of what is right and what is wrong. Caught in the heat of battle, we are no match for his “logic.”

It is at this point that we should run away, and run towards God and Godly counsel. But like the abortion-minded woman, we fear God’s displeasure with us for even thinking the thoughts. Like an abusive spouse, Satan convinces us that we are so bad, that no one, especially not God, would want us now. Like the abused spouse we agree that we deserve this punishment we are about to suffer.

Once the deed is done, instead of relief at being liberated from this burden, the woman feels used, soiled, devalued, and guilty – so guilty that she feels she can never be forgiven. So no one ever need know what has happened. Satan swoops in with the lies. “You’re right. If anyone ever found out about this you would be the target of their wrath. Even God is fed up with you now. You are all alone; you can trust no one now. It is you against the world. You must guard this secret with your life. Otherwise, your life, as you know it, will be over.” The condemnation comes in waves, the same as anytime we give in to sin. The waves beat upon the ravished shores of her heart until it leaves a barren landscape, stripped of anything but the cold hard stone.

The isolation is so devastating that the only way to endure it is to deny the event ever happened, and try to live life as if it hadn’t. At least that way, she can begin to relate to people again. But it is such tenuous relationship; it has to be. No one can ever get close enough to know the truth. “They would hate me for it.” She even tries to live before God pretending against all hope that it never happened. All the while His heart is breaking at the pain she is living with. He extends open arms to embrace her, but the most she can muster is a weak handshake. Satan keeps whispering, “Careful, don’t get too close. He knows what you did, and he’s ticked!”

As she spirals deeper into isolation, the guilt and condemnation grow, beyond all proportion to the sin. If there were no Hell, this would be punishment enough. All the while God’s arms are open, sometimes in the form of human flesh. Someone comes into her life and accepts her unconditionally. It’s like a splash of cold water in the desert. It shocks her out of her condemnatory introspection long enough to see someone smiling at her. She never thought she would see that again. “What could be the harm in one hug?”

It feels so good to be held, but she balks – must not relax too much. It might come out. Satan begins to whisper, “They are just trying to expose you. Don’t trust them!” But it felt so good, so wholesome, so refreshing, so comforting. The conflict intensifies as Satan kicks in the afterburners. But each time she experiences God’s grace through the loving arms of one of His children, Satan’s whispers become fainter. So he turns up the volume. She is pulled to and fro. If God’s person interprets her reluctance as rejection and withdraws, Satan wins that battle. And she will be far more cautious in the future. She has seen Satan’s bared teeth.

If God’s person is listening to God, more than to their own fears, the grace will continue to be extended as they, in turn, lean upon God’s grace in their own life. Eventually the warmth of that grace will stir the cold frozen stone in her heart, and she will accept the grace being given. She may or may not at that time “spill the beans”, but the grace will dim the now raging voice of the accuser. She is beginning to see God in the heart of God’s person. She begins to realize that they were sent into her life, this was not a chance encounter. God has pursued her like the lover she has always dreamt of - and this, despite the fact that He really does know her deepest, darkest secret.

Eventually, in a desperate bid to see if this is real, she lets it all out. She is prepared for the rejection she is sure will come. If it comes, Satan was right. Her life is over, and she will never trust anyone again. But if the revelation is met with grace, mercy and compassion, her heart melts, and she knows, once-and-for-all that there is a God in heaven that loves her enough to pursue her to the ends of creation. In a way, Satan was still half right. Her life, as she knew it, is over. Gone is the weight of condemnation and guilt. Gone is the long dark valley of despair and isolation. Gone are the self-destructive urges that kept pushing her to the brink of oblivion. She joyfully lets that life die, as she embraces her new life as a beloved-of-God.

Together with God’s image bearer, she lets the grief flow. Wave-upon-wave of grief flood her soul as it gushes from her newly thawed heart. It is intense, but it is healing. Together they grieve not only the loss of the child, but the time spent in captivity, the relationships lost, the life not lived. Together they lay all of these things at the feet of God, who lovingly accepts them and remolds them into instruments of grace to be used in the lives of others. As she accepts them back from His hands, she looks in awe at the face of the one that never stopped loving her. She realizes that He knew, even as he mounted the cross, yet He died for her anyway. She realizes that He can even use her sin to bring glory. She is transformed.

So, as we, in response to God’s urgings, embrace one caught in the struggle of guilt and despair, we will see the miracle of new life. It may take some time, and it may be like hugging a cactus at first, or maybe an iceberg. But if we recognize that the person’s reluctance or outright rejection is out of desperate despair and fear, and we, in God’s strength, persist, He will show us a miracle, accomplished through our willingness to be used in His never-ending quest to seek out the lost and restore them to fellowship with Him. We cannot be but blessed in the exchange as we see the power of God’s grace and mercy poured through us into the life of another. And two lives will be changed in the process!

Mark Marikos , 09/03/10 01:59 AM
Hi, Tom - First, I want to say that I believe in God. Second, I want to say that while I'm pleased at your ecumenical approach to the idea of a creator, I think your analysis of the classroom situation is completely wrong. The biggest problem with your argument can most clearly be seen in the third to the last paragraph of your essay, in which you cite that the assertion that there is no God is untestable. While this statement is correct, it is also incomplete. There is also no way to test for the presence of God, so God can't be proven OR disproven.

Ever.

It's a mathematical stalemate. Because God can't be falsified in any way, science doesn't have the right to talk about such things. Science can't ever tell me that there is no God, because there's no way to test for His presence.

Your friend, Mark, who replies to your post, claims to see God's hand in all of creation. I would agree with this notion, but I would challenge him as a scientist to present evidence. And of course, there is no evidence, at least not in a scientific sense. There is only Mark's faith, which is very powerful in his life. Both he and I see God's hand because we want to.

Keeping God out of science class isn't the work of an atheistic conspiracy - it's the work of people who more properly understand and accept the nature of science.

In my view, God is the most powerful presence imaginable - surely capable of revealing Himself to man if He so wished. But then, with full confirmation of His presence, belief would be meaningless. Free will would be meaningless. In a religious sense, God challenges us to believe, often despite immense and daunting obstacles. Faith often requires courage, but it takes none to accept that which can be plainly experienced and quantified. If we had proof of God's existence, choosing to do the right thing or to turn outcomes over to Him would require no more courage and faith than a trip to the laundromat.

Clearly, we can't be forced to believe in God merely because denial brings about damnation in an unseen afterlife, or because the Bible tells us to. In a world in which evil and corruption are convenient, ever-present and often considered normal and acceptable, belief must justify itself. My faith has shown me a better way to live, a more satisfying approach to my relationships and my work.

I have no need to fear or revile atheists or anyone whose beliefs differ from mine because my faith works for me. I don't need empirical proof of God's existence. And that's a fortunate thing, because I'm never going to get it.
Jeff Tamblyn , 09/06/10 05:35 PM
Amen!

There is nothing deader than a monocultural church!

(Maybe that's what Peter was talking about when he referred to the church as a "peculiar people"!
Mark Marikos , 09/09/10 09:37 PM
hi beth i think this is a great sermon do you mine if i use it.keep preaching until we save the world.
pastor max a, johnson , 09/12/10 09:19 AM
Thank you for such an informative piece and for your time spent in teaching this to us. I wish I had your understanding and retention of so much information.

The Antichrist is to rise up out of the old Roman Empire. It has never really been proven where Obama was born. The "birth certificate" was "produced" but there is some speculation of the authenticity. It is rumored that Obama was born in Kenya and Kenya did fall within the borders of the old Roman Empire.

The fact that Obama denies anything doesn't mean he is telling the truth. We all know that truth will not be something the Antichrist will hold dear.

Finally, as you stated we need to be praying for all of our leadership. If we seek God's will, and learn God's word the Holy Spirit will reveal to us the truths we need to know when we need to know it.
Cyndi L , 09/14/10 08:15 PM
The cause of Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, and Jainism (all dharmic faiths) is to reach nirvana or enlightenment. None of these faiths allow converting as its seen as deceit and soliciting,, which is prime in Christianity and Islam, that's why those faiths indulged in biggest genocide on earth slavery, because within the holy books it allows it. So you say why did jesus sacrifice himself, he did not do it so that those christians would venge a war using his name to start slavery against savages, to eliminate the native American people, the Aztec indians, to plunder India and china.

when talking about sin, in dharmic faiths, karma is a personal law to do right, their is no judgment, its karmic, if you act bad you will receive bad, so a person committing sin will be chained to his actions, to his next life. In Christianity you have to utter a few words and wham bam thank you Jesus.

The second thing you have to look at is history of the faith, and Christianity and Islam have traveled the same road. What Muslims are doing now, using terror, fear, conversion on innocent people, that was the tactics used by Christians for over 1000years.

THAT'S NOT GOD THAT NOT FAITH!!!!!!

Dharmic faiths state their is more than one way to god, more than one path, to god. They dont tell their followers to kill, murder to loot from non believers, they dont tell them to convert them so not to create a mindset of critising and attacking other faiths. Dharmic faiths believe in the sanctity of life, of ppeople, ..they beleive god is in every atom every particle.

SO India today is 70% strict vegetarian, their beliefs for 5000years have promoted the beauty of life, so that's why indians are mainly vegetarian and don't think by killing an animal your doing it a favor.......thats a faith...

where the rest of the world are indulged in animal massacre. eating veal, cutting up animals, indians from all dharmic faiths preach against killing animals for mere food....

thats GOD!!!!..

and to those people who say these beliefs are inferior that of christianity...

may i point out that India for over 5000years was the richest land on earth. Maths, the concept of numbers, the concept of infinity, the discovery of gravity, the sun, advanced metal work, advanced stone building, oldest universities, the earliest civilization are all from India, the oldest and complete language is from india, your numbers are from india, world civilisation comes from india.......However unlike Abrahamic faiths we dont promote slavery, unlike the church that has SPENT OVER 1BILLION dollars in hush money to keep child abuse victims silent.

You talk about histoty, hinduism is the oldest faith on earth, pre dating christianity and islam by thousands of years.indian culture and society has been at the forefront for many thousand years..and survived what Africa, north and south America and Australia could not...a christian genocide of their land

that all changed when righteous bible holding Europeans came in boats, landed, killed, loot, stolen, murderd, raped, and pushed the bible in their face..to JUSTIFY TO THEMSELVES THEY ARE RIGHT..................

are you right????.....

dharmic faiths state the earth and universe goes through passages of time, millions of years, however Christianity states the earth was only created 6,000years ago,

OF all the religion on earth the ONLY FAITH ..THE ONLY FAITH..!!!...TO accurately date the universe and its timeliness has been Hinduism.

SO those beliefs, that structure of meditaion, of non violence, of vegetarianism protecting life, more than belief in one god or many ways to god, THAT thought process allowed those indians to succeed where greek, rome, bablyon failed, Hinduism is the ONLY FAITH ON EARTH to have matching time line of the universe revealed by modern science. Hinduism states the universe to be 15billion years old.......and christinity states it be around 6000years old....

it goes to show that leading a spiritual life, with real goals, of love and unity, not about converting, and respecting life and animals, allows us indians to progess far beyond any western or Chinese counterparts....the scientific achievements of indians goes to show the depth of their faith has more solid ground that any christian.

Just remember the numbers and concept of maths was considered by greeks the ART OF THE HINDU, if you want to learn maths, and science then you go the river Ganges.

Christianity for the last 1000years was JUST LIKE ISLAM...in its spread of the message of love and peace by using hate terror and fear.....the money and wealth of Christendom was stolen, looted and raped from innocent people.so today you can hide behind marble and gold walls to reveal to ignorant people how pure the walls looks, but behind that facade is a mixture of blood, sweat and tears holding it together.


dharmic faiths are the only way to salvation..and Jesus Christ himself would agree, and is it just coincidence that the missing 30years of Jesus life is not mentioned at all, but the wise men from the east where the indian wise men bringing gifts and taking Jesus to India where he got his dharmic teachings on life. Then at the age of 30 returned to the land he would try to save.......but his message wasnt heard he wa tortured. Then the very people that tortured him used his name and sold a new faith, that resulted in a new misery inflicted on mankind using JESUS NAME TO DO SO....

open ur eyes and you will see how wrong you are!
arjun krishna , 09/18/10 08:21 AM
Terrific work! This is the type of information that should be shared around the web. Shame on the search engines for not positioning this post higher!
Certified Medical assista medical assistant , 09/20/10 09:38 PM
What is the biblical standpoint on hypnosis?
Kyra Bradley , 09/21/10 04:50 PM
Standing by the side of a fountain one can rid of depression. The whispering sound of water flowing from the fountain has a soothing effect on us. We can feel the relaxation within us.
Outdoor Water Feature
vinman s , 09/22/10 12:24 AM
i read evidence witout a verdict. it's great.
imtiaz ali , 09/23/10 10:29 AM
This very true and we need to change,let have spirit of praying for others.God bless you.
macdonald moyo , 09/24/10 08:08 AM
I thank you madam for the powerful message.God has the special porpose for this message and it will go else where so that the truth shpuld be known.God bless you
Moyo
macdonald moyo , 09/24/10 08:13 AM
God bless you so much for the wonderful message
macdonald moyo , 09/24/10 08:16 AM
Dear Roger I believe you may be mistaken about what rights people have in America. Your comment "But, remember, in a country built on the concept of religious freedom, both Christians and Muslims have every right to express their religion without being persecuted, ostracized or ridiculed by others—and vice versa!" This idea is found nowhere in the constitution or the bill of rights, and in fact the first amendment provides us the right to persecute, ridicule and ostracize people for their religious faith. (as long as other laws are not broken in the process). The constitution instead provides American citizens the right to practice their religion without interference from the GOVERNMENT not other Americans.
daniel s , 09/24/10 03:17 PM
In one early text (M.I.403) the Buddha says that to believe in these principles, and so live a moral life, will lead to a good rebirth if rebirth exists." (3)

Please tell me where you read this?
J de Silva , 09/28/10 03:41 PM
I have enjoyed this article of yours. We are having Bible study at the church I go to, and I am the one teaching it. Those people are hunger for the Word, some are not saved yet but they are coming to the Bible Study. Please pray for our church, a little church in the back woods of Alabama named Victory Grove Holliness Church.
Nancy Linder , 10/07/10 08:15 PM
the information
was very encouraging to me
imtiaz ali , 10/10/10 07:57 PM
QUITE AN ELABORATE THESIS ON DIFFERENCE BETWEEN TWO RELIGIONS.
IS IT NECESSARY TO AFFORD ARGUMENTS IN AN EFFORT TO PROVE SUPERIORITY OF A PARTICULAR RELIGION? ONLY BECAUSE JULIA ROBERTS HAS TAKEN UP A PARTICULAR WAY OF REMEMBERING GOD ALMIGHTY?
HISTORY BEARS TESTIMONY TO THE FACT THAT RAJA RAM MOHAN ROY BECAME A CHRISTIAN AND DID A LOT OF GOOD FOR INDIAN SOCIETY IN GENERAL AND FOLLOWERS OF HINDU FAITH IN PARTICULAR.HIS BECOMING CHRISTIAN WAS NOT DETRIMENTAL TO HINUISM AND NOT TO BE CONTESTED BY AFFORDING ARGUMENTS TO PROVE THAT A PARTICULR WAY OF SEEKING GOD IS BETTER THAN OTHER.
I AM A HINDU.IN MY DAILY PRAYERS IS INCLUDED THE LORDS PRAYER.I AM A ARDENT ADMIRER OF ST. FRANCIS OF ASSISI.I PREY THAT THERE ARE MORE SAINTS LIKE HIM TO HELP MY HELPLESS FRIENDS-THE DUMB ANIMALS.LET CHRISTIANITY PRODUCE MORE SUCH SAINTS.I HAVE NO REASON TO BELIEVE THAT A HINDU SAINT WOULD DO BETTER IN THIS REGARD.
THESE FACTS DON'T BECOME AN ANATHEMA TO MY BELIEF NOR RUN COUNTER TO TENETS OF THE RELIGION I AM BORN IN.
ANIRUDDHA KUMAR , 10/13/10 12:16 AM
I am a newly born christian who is not finding life easy at all.I have come to you mamas' in the faith for a word of upliftment and christian advise in to my mail so that i can read them.Joseph yours faithful
joseph gyau , 10/13/10 09:46 AM
Mr. Terry, thank you for your intelligent dissertation. As a Christian who believes in the probability of life on other planets, I have often encountered severe opposition to my beliefs from my fellow believers, who think that to even hint at the possibility of life anywhere else in the universe is to blaspheme God.

For me, the Biblical answer comes very early on, in Genesis. God created the heavens and the earth. In other words, He created everything -- the entire cosmos. Thus, everything in it is His creation, including all life -- regardless of where that life is.

Another part of the answer comes from simply probability. The universe is an astonishingly huge place. Billions of galaxies, each containing billions of stars, many of which are suns very similar to our own. And, as we have been discovering for some time, a lot of those suns have planets around them. Gliese 581g is a rather remarkable world, but it is hardly the first extrasolar planet known to exist.

God does not strike me as being wasteful. Why create an immensity such as the universe, that we poor humans can barely measure, and when we do it is in terms that are very difficult for many to comprehend, and then populate just one meager world? That strikes me as horribly wasteful. Why create something as impossibly massive as the universe, and then leave it almost completely barren? To impress us as to His creative powers? We'd have been readily impressed with a whole lot less.

Those who assume that only Earth has life on it are, as far as I'm concerned, exercising an astonishing level of self-centered ego, as well as an incredible ignorance to the point where they might as well go off and join the Flat Earth Society.

I have even heard some suggest that when man fell, it wiped out all life anywhere else in the cosmos. What nonsense! I see no Biblical proof of this assertion. Life was not eliminated on Earth as a result of Adam and Eve's sin. Why should it have been so on other worlds?

Granted I cannot readily reconcile how God would provide for the redemption and salvation of beings not born on this planet who have no way of knowing about the work of Christ. At the same time, there are a great many things about the character and ways of God that I do not understand. This does not shake my faith in God's plan of salvation. It's plainly spelled out in Scripture, which is the main point of the Bible. I have confidence that God would provide for His children wherever they might exist in the universe. We here on Earth simply don't have a need to know.

Again, Mr. Terry, thank you for your superb essay.
Edward O\'Brien , 10/14/10 10:05 AM
SOME FACTUAL INFIRMITY HAS CREPT INTO ABOVE COMMENT OF MINE WITH REGARD TO RAJA RAM MOHAN ROY..ACTUALLY RAJA RAMMOHAN ROY FOUNDED "BRAMHOSAMAJ". THIS WAS A BELIEF IN ALL THAT IS GOOD AND FUNDAMENTAL IN ALL RELIGIONS.HE HAS WRITTEN A BOOK-'PRECEPTS OF JESUS,THE GUIDE TO PEACE AND HAPPINESS'HE SOUGHT HELP OF MISSIONERIES TO SPREAD EDUCATION.HE DIED AT BRISTOL AND AND IS BURIED THERE IN ARNO'S VALE.
ANIRUDDHA KUMAR , 10/15/10 10:53 AM
Actually, God gave the Sword to Jesus, who will give it to whom he choses. The government just thinks that they have a right to it-and they do until they start to misuse it-and when they misuse it...well...justice will be done whichever way it falls.
Daniel McMillen , 10/16/10 09:54 PM
Thought it was wonderful that Campus Crusade furnished Ipods to the men of New Testand audio to Jesus film. God's word was powerful during their time of utter despair.
Ron Staub , 10/18/10 10:23 AM
Mr. Terry,

This is a great question for sitting around a fireplace on a cold winter's night. The Bible is silent on the question of life on other worlds - well almost. I'm reminded of Isaiah 45:18... " For thus says the Lord, who created the heavens (He is the God who formed the earth and made it, He established it and did not create it a waste place, But formed it to be inhabited), I am the Lord, and there is none else."
There seems to be an implied distinction here to characterize the earth. It was formed to be inhabited. Gliese 581g is inferred by measuring the wobble in its parent star. Everything else is wild sepeculation. (By the way, an independent team of researchers have failed to confirm the existence of Gliese 581g.) The vast majority of so called exo-planets are not even remotely earth-like. They are "waste places".
We could never know if life existed on a planet orbiting a star several dozens or hundreds of light years away. It would take centuries of space travel time for a probe to reach such a destination.
One thing is for certain, however, a finding that supports the possibility that an exo-planet is "earth-like" will bring joy and celebration to the evolutionists.

Thanks for your insights!
Ron
Ron Cottrell , 10/18/10 03:10 PM
At the risk of sounding judgmental, but then are not Christians supposed to be discerning?, I have to say that I do NOT believe Barack Obama to be a Christian. A person can say anything he wants, and I am sure that Obama has some excellent speech-writers. He says all of the right things in the statement quoted in this article, which I have to say reads like a very pat, carefully-worded "sermonette". His actions prove otherwise, and it is the actions of a person that prove where his heart truly is far more than anything that comes out of his mouth. He ignored the National Day of Prayer. He has been seen bowing down in a Muslim temple. He has been more tolerant of false religions, including the Muslim faith whose fanatical adherents have openly expressed their hatred for the nation which Obama is supposed to represent, than any previous occupant of the White House. His words were meant to mollify the gullible and the naive, which unfortunately includes a great many Christians, and were timed to coincide with the upcoming elections, which, one can only PRAY, will severely diminish his power base in office. If one word can be applied to Obama, it is not Christian. It is Socialist. And history has shown that that's a very dangerous thing for Christian and American alike.
Jason Shaw , 10/19/10 05:26 PM
Is Pres. Obama a genuine Christian in his heart? Only God knows but we want to believe him.His ideology appears to draw heavily on Liberation Theology as taught by Rev. Wright.This is an attempt to blend Marxism with Christianity. That makes him a Marxist-Christian syncretist in worldview.Go figure!
paul holloway , 10/20/10 04:55 PM
Roger:

President Obama keeps touting about his belief in "Collective Salvation". What's the scoop? Is this a true Christian theory?

Thanks, Mark
Mark Cochran , 10/20/10 10:49 PM
If an entire people group were targeted and executed today, we'd call that genocide or ethnic cleansing. The man who headed up those crimes would be called a tyrant and a monster. So how to we justify men of the Bible like Joshua and Saul wiping out entire tribes of people groups? Because God commanded it? I don't know. That just doesn't sit well with me as a Christian. I know God is God, he can give life and take life away. But these are pretty ugly and brutal passages in the Bible.
Tom Jackson , 10/22/10 12:00 AM
I agree with Jason Shaw. IF The Pres. is a christian he is a CINO, Christian in Name Only!
He prays with the Muslims on The Mall in D.C. but can't hold a Day of Prayer. As stated by his news person, "He prays in Private". I believe we need to pray hard for this man. He grew up in an athestic home, at least his mother was, was schooled in his early years in a Madras School (Muslim teaching), then as far as we know raised the rest of the way by his mother(?) at least partially and his unbelieving grandparents. As the twig is bent, so grows the tree!. I believe he is an atheist or a Muslim at best. What else could he be? Of course I discern this as a detective would, putting clues together, because in reality, we, the People, have not been allowed to know of his family, his life, his anything. He is either ashamed of his upbringing or does not want us to know ANYTHING about him, let alone the truth.
Nancy Smith , 10/25/10 10:08 AM
I guess I'm not sure why it matters whether the President is a Christian. I don't believe it is one of the requirements in order to be President.Right? If being a Christian was one of the requirements then it would have excluded many past presidents as well as many in the future. If having a Christian president is important to you then does that mean you wouldn't vote for a Jewish person to be president? Many don't consider Mormons to be Christian so would you also not vote a Mormon into office. One wrote that Obama timed his statements to coincide with the upcoming elections. I can't help but wonder if Julie did the same with her Blog asking if President Obama is a Christian. Couldn't she have Blogged the same topic but not asked about President Obama. Maybe she could have titled it Are You A Christian? That might have been more relevant to us as a church.
Lisa Logan , 10/26/10 07:14 PM
To be honest, I think I much prefer Tom Terry's definition of a Christian over Jason Shaw's definition.
P. G. , 10/27/10 08:04 PM
"Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith" What a relief!
Kwaku M , 10/29/10 05:17 AM
What is the "National Community Church located in Washington DC"?
Nancy Weatherspoon , 11/02/10 08:04 AM
It is one of the largest churches in the country. Solid Bible teaching and a brilliant, committed pastor. Plus they have to navigate "political waters" everyday. http://theaterchurch.com/
Julie Barrier , 11/02/10 11:16 AM
Dear Julie, Your testimony sent a steady stream of tears for the passion you shared. Thank you soooooo much for sharing your heart. Serving an AWESOME GOD Pamela
Pamela Kruse , 11/02/10 12:36 PM
Check out my article "Another Trinity" on this site at

http://www.preachitteachit.org/devotionals/piti-devotionals/devotional-series-detail/resource/se[..] myself as a "trinity" (body, soul, and spirit) helped me understand yet another way I was made in the image of God.
Mark Marikos , 11/04/10 11:38 PM
Something failed in posting this the first time. Let me try again:

http://www.preachitteachit.org/devotionals/piti-devotionals/devotional-series-detail/resou[..]
Mark Marikos , 11/04/10 11:40 PM
Thank you for your article and your devotion to our might God. I was watching a tv program about black holes and was getting angry at all the assumptions about "the big bang" they kept repeating. I did a search online for what some other Christians have to say about God and black holes. As I read your article, my anger cooled and turned into peaceful forbearance of the yet unsaved.
...And God said, "let there be light". That had to be one BIG bang! Praise God!
Jean Hummel , 11/07/10 11:10 AM
Tom,

As usual, great insights. I like what you say towards the end, that it would be impossible for God to exist without leaving evidence of it on His creation. And even more so, It is impossible for Him to live in someone's heart without leaving evidence of His presence there!

Thanks!
Mark Marikos , 11/08/10 12:04 AM
God's thoughts are higher than man's thoughts. Who are we to judge God? Read the book of Job. God let the slaughter of certain ancient people to nip evil in the bud. Look what happened to Saul, the first king of Israel, because he didn't follow through.
Dennis Waltrip , 11/08/10 04:22 PM
By obedience to God we shall love and respect all people. Only God knows when that person is going to give his life to him. It could be at his last breath. Is all GOD'S business. The Muslim people are in the Bible: We call our God Jehovah, Yahweh. Muslims call Him "Allah" There is only one GOD "The Lord is one".
Maria VanVactor , 11/09/10 09:43 AM
I am an abused wife and have been for 7 years my husband has punched me choked me slapped me and verbally abuses me often. He's told me that he makes me and that I am nothing without him. He calls me names and it hurts so bad and I want to leave and I don't know how. Please pray for me. I just ran from an abusive relationship for 8 years and before that one for two why do I keep picking these type of men.
Tina Yarbrough , 11/09/10 09:24 PM
This is really great article. You can help many people with codependent problem by reading this article of yours.

It really didn't across my mind before to think like you think and one thing is for sure that I do agree with what you have said here about the way to treat the codependent people so they can make their relationship with people among them better.
codependency nobie , 11/13/10 10:17 AM
The fallacy here is the presumption that Mao, Stalin and Hitler were atheists. The truth is, they were not. Look it up on the net. Take Hitler and the Nazi's. The whole concept of the inferiority of the Jews was based on the Gospels of the New Testament in which Jesus "was killed" by his own people, the Jews. Besides that, Hitler was raised as a Roman Catholic and never abandoned his roots.
Rich In Vitamins , 11/14/10 10:53 AM
Interesting comment, although I think most historians believe that Mao and Stalin were avowed athiests. Conflicting reports about Hitler's religious views may exist, but the fact that he was a brutal mass murderer is undisputed. "By your fruits, you shall know them" the Bible says.
Roger Barrier , 11/14/10 04:24 PM
Julie..We were choir members during this time and remember the hurt, betrayal and devastation felt by all. However, Roger handled it with such "Biblical Wisdom" reminding us to daily put on "The Armor of God" as satan is always lurking to bring us down to his level! Thank You Roger & Julie for your Godly Example! Blessings To You..Terry & Bobbi
Bobbi & Terry Roth , 11/15/10 12:54 AM
Hi there, I am a Christian who believes in the exictance of life on other planets. Your discussion on this topic is the best I have seen on line. Alot of other writer's on this subject seem to dismiss the existance of life mainly because of what it says in the Bible about the distruction of the heavens and the earth. I believe that what is meant here is the distruction of this world only, when Jesus returns before the thousand years to collect the saved and take them back to heaven for the millenium with Him. In that thousand years the world goes back to its void state where the devil and his fallen angels are held captive. Anyway, they talk, on the other sites, about the heavens and the earth passing away as the whole universe being involved. I think it is just this earth (the heavens meaning the atmosphere)that is destroyed and the idea of a new heavens and a new earth is speaking of this world only. I also believe that life on other planets has not fallen into sin and are awaiting to rejoice with the saved and to praise our Heavenly Father when He returns.
God bless.
Andrew Davies , 11/15/10 02:46 AM
Thank you Scott for reminding all of us that God loves everyone.
Lisa Logan , 11/15/10 06:41 PM
I am sorry for what you and your congregation experienced. You have done a wonderful job of expressing your heart in this trial. I wanted to add a few things, if I may: The adulterous relationship that a pastor or any church leader enters into with a member of his/her congregation is actually not an "affair" - it is abuse. Because of the power differential between a member of clergy and a congregant, the relationship can never be mutual. The pastor has taken an oath to protect his flock; he has a fiduciary responsibility to establish and maintain the boundaries of a sacred trust with his parishioners, just as a counselor has with his client, a physician has with a patient, and a teacher has with his student. The woman in this case is still completely responsible for her own sinful behavior, of course, and she must confess it and repent of it, but it is always 100% on the pastor/priest/church leader when boundaries are violated, even if a woman throws herself at her pastor. Any woman who is sexually involved with her pastor is a victim of abuse.
It's heartwarming to read that your music minister was restored to God, to his wife and to the congregation; yet I can't help but wonder what became of his victim, as she is not further mentioned. Was she treated with the same dignity and compassion as he? It is unfortunate that church members traditionally spurn and abandon the woman involved, and this is why congregations must be educated about both clergy sexual abuse (CSA) and clergy sexual misconduct (CSM). I can tell you from experience that a majority of women who have experienced either become suicidal and/or endure a lifetime of secret shame. Educating congregations along with clergy will help to eliminate CSA/CSM. You wrote about some crucial safeguards that your church implemented in the wake of this relational fallout. I would like to add that pastors, even if they are board certified professional therapists, should not be counseling anyone in their own congregations because of a conflict of interest.

CSA and CSM are rampant in our churches. For further information, please read excerpts from a ground-breaking study conducted at Baylor University at www.baylor/edu/clergysexualmisconduct/. If anyone you know is now or has been sexually involved with her pastor or church leader, then please direct her to www.thehopeofsurvivors.com, faithtrustinstitute.org and tamarsvoice.org for hope and support.
SurvivorGirl 007 , 11/16/10 12:45 PM
Wonderful resources, Survivor Girl! Thanks ever so much for providing us with this material!
Julie Barrier , 11/18/10 02:42 PM
Thank you for being church that is willing to step out and want to help. I am a woman who has suffered with PAS for 30 years and have only recently come to terms with it. So I'm making it my mission to pay in forward in the form of a blog about my experience. Keep doing what you are doing.
www.facingthesecret.blogspot.com
Coral Z , 11/21/10 07:02 PM
Roger,

I responded to a Sunday nght sermon of yours in 1980. I asked God to make me a man after his own heart no matter the cost I had been seeing Steve Dowdle for a fear and anxiety problem at this time and was told to repeat perfect love casteth out all fear whenever fear was attacking me. I had 2 incidences on baseball fields soon after. I was filled with the increased presence of the Lord about 4 hours later it was like the Lord had left me. The only way I knew that he hadent was the way this changed my vision. Steve wanted me to read the book Hinds feet on high places. I read the book about 1 year ago now. I would like to speak with you and Steve anytime regarding my path to this point and where I am spiritually. I realize this is almost 30 years later and Steve may not remember this.
Larry Moser , 01/02/11 08:33 PM
Roger,
You probably think that me trying to speak with you after 30 years is strange. You probably dont have a clue who I am. My brother is Tom Moser and my sster is Diane Weeks. This may help. I think my dad did some upholstery for you and Julie many years ago. In 1980 I was turned on to your expository type preaching by my brother Tom. I was glued to your sermons. My wife taught school at Palo Verde Christian high school with Melony Watson. I only spoke to you 1 time that was when I was seeing Steve Dowdle about my fear of having cancer and was sure it was over. I was working as a emergency medical techinician on a ambulance and was transporting cancer patients daily. Steve told me to repeat perfect love casteth out all fear and I left his office. He said as soon as you can call Roger Barrier because he was a cancer survivor. I called right away and you answered the phone. I said roger my name is Larry Moser and I just left Steves office. I said I believe I have cancer and am dying of it. You answered in a calm voice and said have you been diagnosed with cancer and I said. Im sorry I bothered you and hung the phone up. I thought, roger must think I am a nut because I had not seen a doctor I just belived it maybe the next Sunday night is when you preached the Spiritual growth sermon One line was your suffering may last 6 months, 1,2,5,10,15,20, or maybe 30 years. When I heard this I thought this is my path, I only have to ask him to do this no matter the cost. The next day I couldn't get the 30 years number out of my head. I thought who would want to suffer this long. I even calculated iu my mind that I would be my age 54, after the 30 years. I was so desperate to be free of the fear and anxiey I had been experiencing my entire life. I said I have to have more evidence to pray this prayer. The very next day I drove to Gospel Supply to try and find a book that would give me more evidence that Jesus was like this. The first book row on the top shelf and the first book was Josh Mcdowels evidence that demands a verdict. On the cover it reads Jesus Lunatic, Liar or Lord. This made sense to me. I bought it and read about one page of evidence and I put it down and looked up to the roof of my volkswagon and said Lord, I believe, make me a man after your heart no matter what the cost. Very soon I had 2 spiritual experiences while coaching Palo verde Christian hish school baseball team. These were shared with Steve on ny next session. The next time I write I will share them with you. Love you brother and sister Julie. Issaih 40:31, Hebrews 10 and 11 and Psalm 38-40, And the best of all Psalm 40:1-3 Its coming soon I believe!!!!!!
larry Moser , 01/11/11 09:25 PM
Dear Rodger,

You all probably , have been asked the following many times before?

Why isn't there a service on Saturday night? Has anyone ever taken a survey to find out how many would be interested in attending a sat night mini service.. I realize the cost factor,,but, has it ever been tried before?

Please email at lapinks@earthlink.net

Please email me
Larry Pinkerton , 01/19/11 09:50 PM
My new husband married me 5 years ago while living in Malaysia. He now is saying that because I was divorced when he married me he has committed adultery and this gives him grounds to divorce me. However he told me to divorce my former husband so that I could marry him and sponsor him to Canada. Now he is using my divorce from the previous marriage as grounds for dicorcing me now after our 5 year marriage. I feel this is truly unfair and can not be right. This marriage break down has been happening just a couple weeks after my husband became a canadian citizen. We have had our problems, but still he said he would love me forever and never leave, but married me for life. My heart is grieved by this. Pleas any advise for me on how to cope with this.
Shelley-Jo Abidoye , 01/25/11 07:05 PM
Well said, Roger. I practice yoga for physical reasons only. It is the only exercise that helps my neck and back problems, as well as giving me an overall feeling of physical well being. I did attend a yoga class once at a fitness club we belonged to, and once was enough. Near the end of the class, the teacher began chanting something in a language I did not understand, and I immediately wanted to get up and leave. I stayed until it was over but never went back. I practice at home, and listen to Christian music sometimes while doing yoga, and focus on God during my practice. I believe any exercise that benefits the body is a good thing.

Thanks for your knowledge and clarity in your explanations. :)
Dianne Signorelli , 01/26/11 08:13 AM
Great article! It never crossed my mind to teach my children to fast! Now would be a great time to start!
Cherie DeLeon , 02/14/11 10:49 PM
Sweet girl, I am so sorry. My heart is broken for you, no child should know such pain at such a young age. Remember that you ARE loved, and Jesus loves you. I think when the time is right he will reveal all that you need to know. Right now he is protecting you. I will be praying for you!! ((hugs))
Cherie D , 02/14/11 10:56 PM
Richard, my brother...WOW! Didn't know you could write so well. I agree with your article 100%! Now that I have experienced several different churches I personally like to worship without the leader talking. The time to worship is between me and God and that is a sacred time for me. As a mom of 4 now, it is hard to worship at home with loud and needy youngsters and the worship time at church is wonderful when I don't have to listen to the worship leader tell a story. And now I am more seasoned in my worship I can see the difference when worship is truly going on or is being interrupted with other minor distractions. I agree with all of your suggestions and I am so proud of you being a part of the bands at churches so you can learn and know and experience worship in all ways. You are one cool brother to have and I thank God for you and Bronwyn. Love you!
Diane Azuelo , 02/21/11 11:15 PM
Wow, I am surprised that we posted this, as we fit the description an APC church. I guess it was time someone told us. Sure we do mission work, but we do more give, give, give pleading, for several minutes on almost every Sunday. People are tired of it. How many people do you know that have left or visiting other churches to get fed? I know many. This is sad. Our facility lends itself to great opportunity, yet for some reason we continually let Satan tell management why we should not do that. We need to change to retain and grow properly. If we feed properly, we will not have to ask to have the store house filled.
Candor Candid , 02/22/11 10:56 PM
Having struggled with same sex attraction my entire life, and having dedicated my life to Christ, at age 51 I feel like I have been cheated in life, only hoping for the promised heavenly rewards. After 16 years of celibacy, I have experienced the miracles of God in other areas of my life, but am now convinced that I am exactly who God created me to be. There is somehow a conflict between what the Bible teaches and what I am. I believe that we are intended to share our lives with others, and depriving ourselves of that opportunity, itself is sinful. My church told me that as long as I was not sexually active and not actively "recruiting" new homosexual members, I would be welcome to attend their church. I was slightly insulted. I joined a singles group in hopes that in a church of 4000, I might meet someone that has endured the same struggle, but that does not appear to be the case. I do not feel welcome. For whatever reason, God has worked in my life in areas surrounding all other areas of life.Habits, work, family, wisdom in dealing with others, etc...but never, never have I felt that God was directing me one way or another regarding a personal intimate relationship with another. I became very reclusive and did not trust others and have struggled to accept what and who I am. Sometimes I blame God for the lack of intimacy in my life and have asked and prayed for a long time for him to place someone, somewhere in my life for companionship. So far He has chosen not to. So..........What is the answer for gays? I wish I knew.
Mark Swanson , 02/24/11 02:36 PM
Religion/Christianity is a way of life and Jesus Christ has a history whereas Hindu gods have no historical information and they don't show love, mercy and kindness on humanity instead they create fear among the humanities and draw their attention to them. Many great leaders and actors and actressess have been touched by Jesus Christ but most of them don't confess/reflect in their daily life as if they are Christians. Ramalinga Adigalar, Mahatma Gandhi al practised Christianity but were afraid of the Hindu mass to openly confess about their convert into Christianity.
Nidy Durairaj , 03/01/11 06:04 AM
Im married for 4 years now.Iam 28 years old and my husband is 31 years old. We use to attend the same school, his my best friends oldder brother. Iam very close to his family and I love them very much. We both are Christians, and beileive in the word of God. But ever since ive been with my husband he has promised so many times that he will change but i find myself back in the same situation again. Just last week he hit me for wanting to watch tv and he wanted me to be in bed beside him. So as i go downstairs a few minutes later he comes down n punches me pulls my hair n trys to scar my face. Iam sssssoooo far away from home and he does this to me.Ive asked him severel times to live but he says he will change. Ive gone to work with a black eye n stuff. I even sometimes hide my hands. Im so tired n woren out, we fight n its about the small things that dont mean anything. I love him n pray for him, i cant walk away becoz i come from a strong christain home. But before all of that.U see when i was small my dad was an abusive alcoholic and i witnessed it. And now that im married im seeing everything coming back to haunt me again.I dont know what to do any more.
alice ov , 03/02/11 07:37 PM
Wow John Piper seems to be clueless here. The reason for god telling the hebrews to wipe out certain people and tribes in the OT is to wipe out the remnants of the giants(seed of the serpent)and everyone that had procreated with them . Like a father protecting his childing... God was doing this to protect the adamic people, so what happen before the flood would not happen again in greater numbers the 2nd time around. Most likly John Piper rejects Gens 6 regarding the sons of god (fallen angels), so he is clueless on this one and his ideas make God look like a tuff evil guy when really he is just looking out for his people.
Erik Smith , 03/08/11 03:39 PM
I think all of you have valid points. The truth is, God's ways are higher than ours, and we probably won't know the answer until we get to heaven and can ask Him ourselves.
Roger Barrier , 03/08/11 04:49 PM
we bless God 4 d good work u are doing.pls continue.bless u
rotimi joseph , 03/09/11 10:45 PM
Nice article. Excellent website. Thank you.

Alan
Alan Reeter , 03/13/11 04:33 PM
excellent!more of HIS grace upon u ,yr family nd yr ministry.
rotimi joseph , 03/16/11 03:36 AM
Hi Roger,Well its been a while
Dee Anderson , 03/16/11 01:15 PM
sorry Roger I hit the wrong key.Anyway we live in Tyler Tx now and we just love it.In case you dont remember me I run the school cafe at Casa fo 15 years. What I am wondering about is years ago you was preaching a sermon and said that it takes about 20 seconds to get to heaven after you die because thats how long it took for a prayer that someone said to reach god. I dont remember who it was that said the prayer but you said you timed it and it took about 20 seconds.If this rings a bell with you could you tell me who said the prayer...Are you still living in Tucson or did you move to Big "D". Would love to talk with you again.I talked to Cathy Young last month and caught up on some of the happening at Casa.I sure enjoyed my time at Casa and loved your sermons. Dee Anderson
Dee Anderson , 03/16/11 01:33 PM
agreed. God calls us to love muslims into the kingdom of God. that said, ISLAM is seeking to kill infidels (thats us Christians, the Jews and pagans). Everyone needs to know the global plan of Islam is take over the world. it does not matter if the majority of muslims are moderate and peace loving--the movement is controlled by those who believe in what the koran teaches. Therefore, we are called to love muslims and challenge them to accept Jesus as their saviour and Lord. We need to love and warn the world of Islamic intentions.
Arnie Fishman , 03/19/11 07:40 PM
Roger my question has nothing to do with quantum mechanics. I have some questions about Heaven. Will I see and know friends and family and will there still be illnesses? While you are at it what about about pets? Finally will there be Iphones, I hope not.
Poppa Tacker , 03/19/11 10:41 PM
You have made His death into a much more glorious and victorious gift for each of us by your meditation. It is still 'hard' to truly grasp all that Jesus encountered on that cross-thank you for the challenge to go deeper.
Kristi Allen , 03/20/11 09:11 AM
What a gut wrenching read...I have never considered the pain and trauma a post abortive mother must go through. I only ever had sympathy for the unborn child. My heart has been changed today, thank you for your post and God bless.
http://livinglifechanges.com
Richard Kawane , 03/21/11 07:19 AM
This is an excellent set of techniques for 'mastering worry.'
The metaphors are most useful and very insightful.
I look forward to future blogs covering the other worry related topics mentioned.
Bertita Graebner , 03/21/11 10:33 PM
Thank you for allowing me to see into Jesus's suffering in much greater depth. Heart-changing!
Brie Engeler , 03/22/11 09:43 AM
Love it, Richard! That is right on! I am so grateful we had the privilege of worshipping together for the season we did. I love you, my Brother!
Paul Harris , 03/22/11 01:15 PM
Oh Julie, this is astoundng. I have never ever imagined His agony to be like this. I'm going to share this with many. I miss you. I've been sick for about 3 weeks, but am well now. I tried to post a message on Facebook for you, and couldn't figure out how! Duh. It's time for another get-together. Callme? 972 875 4535!
Sandy Wakefield , 03/23/11 09:59 PM
Very interesting article - I think I can agree with most everything. The only issues I have is
1. your comment "I am ready for the Rapture!". I have read the Bible several times and really don't see the Rapture as being a prophesied event - I believe the Evangelical ministers and teachers have misinterpreted the Thessalonians passage significantly.
2. Yohttp://www.crosswalk.com/faith/spiritual-life/is-the-world-about-to-end-what-should-i-do-now.html?[..] mention Christ coming and setting up his earthly kingdom. I don't believe the physical earthly kingdom is going to happen. I believe, because of all the parables Jesus taught which begin with "The Kingdom of Heaven is like ..." all refer to a Kingdom of Heaven within our hearts. Just as the zealots expected Christ to maintain his kingdom on Earth when he walked on Earth, and they were wrong - I also believe that it is wrong to suggest his Kingdom to come will be an earthly, political kingdom. This point also further justifies my first comment on Rapture. Christ will come ONCE MORE ONLY - and when he does, he will take all believers to the spiritual Heaven, where our God resides. The concept of Rapture implies a second AND third coming of Christ, second to Rapture the believers, and the third to judge. There is no biblical support for a third coming whatsoever.

I believe with profound conviction that believers must simply read the Bible as often as possible and not spend too much time trying to figure out what they think it means for them, but to simply allow God to speak to them through it and to give them the understanding of the heart that He desires us to have. As written in Proverbs 3:5, Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.

We as humans do not have the ability to trust as stated, but if we stop trying to use our heads and instead let God work in our hearts, we will understand the Word of God and his prophecies.

For more info I invite you to visit my lay-ministry site: seekingrealtruth.net.
Mark John Ostrum , 03/25/11 10:51 AM
I feel i had a jezebel spirit come in me by an attempt of conversion by a godly pastor! All was good for a time and than it all started with others women near me. My heart pounds and fears come forth as i am condemned and j¨dged. Is there any way to repent of her and be reformed? What must I do to reform myself? I though i was saved and quit all sins untl last week when this happened to me. Now I fight to reform or have her cast outof me. I need prayer and deliverance and repentance and so forth! I fear i have blashemed gods people Israel!

Please helo me to what to do?
Bruce Potter , 03/28/11 08:13 PM
Julie,
OUTSTANDING !!! I think you may have missed your calling. Thanks for sharing this.
Alex Garcia , 03/31/11 09:04 AM
It's Isaiah 49:25, not 49:4. Sorry. :)

49:4 is a different amazing and favorite scripture. I'll use it for a different blog!
Chet Weld , 04/07/11 12:10 AM
Good stuff, brother.

Blessings, Mark
Mark Cochran , 04/07/11 11:26 AM
Dear Roger, I respect your opinion and write to you because we are very concerned with our son's marriage. Our son has been married about 12 years. He lives in Sahuarita and his wife decided to move to Phoenix because she got a job up there making more money. Actually he did not ok the move. She had a job down here and was involed in a relationship with someone from her work. Anyway right now she has an apartment up there and lives with her mother. Our son filed for divorce once and she decided she does not want to be a divorced woman.
Well it has been three years and she keeps saying she is going to move back home, they are sharing expenses but I keep telling our son they are living in sin because they should be together if divorce is not an option. They are both involed in church but it just seems wrong to us to be living this way. What advice can we give him that we haven't already given him. I say if she loves him she would come back but he argues that we should pray for God to move in her heart. We are out of things to say. Thanks for your input. I know you are wise and will shed some light on this.. Our hearts are breaking for our son seeing him live on hope.
Noreen Quincy , 04/09/11 12:46 AM
So in a somewhat related sidebar: We continually see clash after clash between Creationsits and Evolutionists. What if both are right/compatible? What if man WAS mad in God's image and through sin, we have DEVOLVED into our current state? What if God and eventually us originally resembled what we know as the Primate today and over the millenia, we devolved into our current form, complete with all the aches, pains and shortcomings we face?

I know this will ignite a firestorm and don't ascribe to it personally, but it is an interesting hypothesis. OK, so we have the first leg of the Socratic model, the thesis. How about some antithesis from everyone else?
K M , 04/15/11 05:34 PM
Question:

John 21: 15-25
Jesus Reinstates Peter

Is Simon Peter, "Simon son of John the same Peter that earlier disowned Jesus 3 times?

Please email me back an explanation!

Thanks!
Corey Neufeld , 04/21/11 09:33 PM
I'am 23 years old,and i gor married when i was 19. i been married 5 years now. i got 2 kids... as of right now my husband is pass out .he was drunk and he came home and pick a fight and when i told him i just want to sleep he punch me and grap my hair ans says i don't care about him just because i didn't want to talk to him...i really don't know what to do.. i love my two daughter so much..i don't want them to be grow up and see that they don't have their parent toghter..Please Pray for me and my daughters...today is sunday i suppose to go to the church,but i can't my eyes can't open cause i been crying all night..Please help me pray for me and my daughter....
maliena y , 05/01/11 07:29 AM
Fix a faucet is one of the strategies to be in close relation with our couple, especially when your kitchen faucets is going to be broken. That's the reason you have to tell to your couple in order you can fix it together. So, you should know how to fix the faucet, although it's a little. It makes the situation become so romantic and that's the right time to tight your relationship with your couple.
mulia primanta , 05/14/11 09:54 AM
I am 26 years old and have one son who is nearly two. I ask that you pray for me please. I have come from a previous relationship where i was battered. I vowed that i wouldnt let another man hit me, but here is the man i meant to love who hurts me just as bad- he may as well. He abuses and yells everyday in front of my son how much he hates me, he says everything imaginable to make me feel degraded and powerless. his abuse breaks me into submission. I ask that you will pray for me to be able to break free. He has left me struggling with my son. How am I meant to provide? He does not want to help. He can but refuses. Its so hard. please pray for strength and faith. i want to be happy. I want my son to be happy. I want this sad story to end
t rowan , 05/17/11 04:28 AM
Roger,I found this blog of yours about giving up on God again, and I remember you later preached a sermon on the topic. Is that sermon on Preachitteachit? and what is the title?

Jim
Jim Park , 05/19/11 10:28 AM
Roger....GOD BLESS YOU for your honesty and transparency! As one who still struggles with the tendency to just be full of myself, I really appreciate the gentle humility I see in you. I see it every time we cross paths, and hear it every time you speak. I realize you may say that such humility did not come naturally. If such be the case, then beyond all doubt Jesus has done a very beautiful work in your heart and soul! I thank God for YOU!
Bob King , 05/19/11 07:27 PM
Great article Chet!
Teresa Varney , 05/21/11 11:48 PM
I have read the article. It helped a lot for I prayed the prayers to elivate fear.
I have fear to drive. Today it was so severe I had to leave the car at the road site. I do not know what triggers the fear for most days I am able to drive without any attack.
please pray for me.
Elizabeth ramasilo , 05/27/11 03:36 AM
I believe that not only men hate going to church. I had hoped this article would have addressed why men and others such as we baby boomers now hate going to church or just simply find no value to the effort it takes to get there. I expected the article to address how to fix the way churches do things so that in the very church service itself provides the Biblically-supported ways for the opportunity for fellowship to take place. Many in the Baby Boomer age group, for example are disabled and simply do not have the energy to go to small groups in addition to church services, if they can make it to church at all. Many more are offended by the all contemporary metal "worship" with the only alternative being hymnals, leaving us feeling ostracized and aggravated when we helped to build these very churches and are now ignored. Who needs that? I agree that churches should be inclusive of all age groups and not only for women or the heavy metal generation. That's not church.
Trinity Truth , 06/02/11 07:18 AM
TRULY AN EYEOPENER! I HOWEVER AGREE WITH YOU THAT WE MANY TIMES TRADE PERSONAL SACRIFICES FOR PERSONAL PEACE BECAUSE WE DO NOT WANT TO UNDERGO SUFFERING AND WE HINGE OUR DECISION ON LACK OF ANXIETY OR THE PRESENCE OF (FALSE)PEACE 'COS THAT IS THE WAY WE WANT TO FEEL ABOUT IT ANYWAY!
femi owoyele , 06/07/11 04:40 PM
I have been verbally abused by my husband for over 20 years now. There are times that months will go by and he is fine and then all of a sudden he starts up again. If I raise my voice to answer back, he gets worse. I've tried to keep my mouth shut but it's hard to do when someone is verbally abusing you and talking to you like you don't exist. When I suggest that he see his doctor he replies back that he has no problem...I do. It's just a vicious cycle. When things don't go the way he wants them to or people don't give him the answer he wants to hear, he starts in. We are both in our early 70's and retired. I don't need this. He's told me that if I don't like it, we could just split everything 50-50 since we live in a community property state. A year ago May, he came home after buying a $47K brand new 2010 Ford Mustang without my consent. You can imagine the shock I had when he showed it to me. I was then told that I had to pay for half of it and I said "no way....I never agreed to this and had no idea that he was buying a new car"....he just sprung it on me when I came home. At least once a year for about 5 days, he "takes off" and stays at a local hotel here in town to "think". His behavior has not gone unnoticed by our friends and especially people that we see all the time up at the clubhouse. He has embarrassed not only me but himself but doesn't see it that way. When asked "what's going on with him", I just say that he is in one of his moods and it will pass. There is no love left anymore....he ruined that a very long time ago. The thing that hurt the most last week was when he asked me if I had Medic Alert and I told him that he knew I didn't. He said do you know how long it takes to die when you collapse on the floor? Well, if you do collapse, I'll be standing right there watching and won't be calling 911. I suspect he has Bipolar disorder as all the symptoms he has points to that but when I mention this, he just goes off on me. At one time, he was a very nice person but now, I don't know who he is. In front of other people, he is nice and gushes all over them. Then at a moment's notice, he can change. I can't seem to find anywhere in the bible where it says that women should submit to abuse from their husbands. We've been to counseling over the years but it never lasted as he walked out. Since each visit is $100, we decided to just stop as it wasn't doing any good and he said they didn't know what they were talking about. Am seriously thinking of just ending this marriage as it is taking a toll on me and my heart, which by the way, I have a new heart valve and dual pacemaker....I don't care to have a stroke caused by all the stress he is giving me. Any suggestions?
Angel Evans , 06/14/11 08:38 AM
I've read that the hospice movement began with Kevorkian and continues to be assisted suicide by morphine, etc.. It seems to me that the drugs used to put hospice patients into a coma and dehydrates them are the mail tools of assisted suicide under the guise of "comfort". I wonder what your take is on this issue, Roger?
Lucy WonderingAboutHospice , 06/22/11 08:29 AM
Is it nessasary to be refilled with the holy spirit once you have been filled?
paul Anderson , 06/26/11 08:51 PM
this is very and very enlightening and also a challenge for any pastor, Paul remains a model for anyone to follow and imitate
Eliot Vumbanyama , 06/28/11 02:55 PM
I learned with conviction that only His mercy,&accommodating that I my self is great sinner born out of due time.,..I preached many times but it is Fresh WORD for me only for me
joy bonthu , 06/28/11 04:41 PM
Do you believe God favors some of His children over others by the life they choose to live?
Connie Harper , 07/04/11 10:35 PM
This is a great lesson to learn. I think that one of the things that I struggle with is that (especially at work) my contentedness with my position in life and what God has blessed me with is confused with a lack of ambition. And perhaps that's because I am confusing the 2 things as well, I don't know. I like what I'm doing and doing that thing well, I don't necessarily want to be a manager, etc. Any thoughts on that? :) Fred
Fred Manning , 07/08/11 01:32 PM
Absolutely wonderful explanation, which was given with the power and knowledge of Holy Spirit. it is true that leader in the church has to be careful and ask God to give power to overcome this situation . Amen
Moses Sabulone , 07/12/11 08:21 AM
There is much here that is undeniably true, and which the church needs to hear. But I think Brother F. is wide of the mark in several areas. I tried to respond at length, but "Submit" would not accept. How can this be facilitated? Do you think I could get accepted as a PITI blogger, Roger?)
Bill Foltz , 07/12/11 03:56 PM
How can someone rid their son of a Jezebel?
Elisabeth Thompson , 07/13/11 07:11 PM
Three years ago we left a church in which we were very active but whose most recent pastor, male, and his male board members became the Jezebels in that church. They have continued to run off members to where their attendance is next to nothing. It is the textbook example of a spiritually-abusive church. See a good web page on this topic: http://www.charismatic-captivation.com/?p=5

This betrayal, after pouring our prayers, sweat and resources into that church for 20 years, leaves us feeling unsafe to become members of any other church and unsafe to join any small groups. We now consider a large church our church home, mainly because this is where the rest of the family goes, but the "contemporary" music (AKA "noise") and fibromyalgia keep me away from church most of the time, though my spouse attends regularly. To summarize, it is not just women, and it is not just congregants who are "Jezebels" in the church, it is often the leadership.
Betrayed Christian , 07/14/11 12:23 PM
Thank you for this reminder that all we have to do is open our heart for Christ's grace and power to come in and He does! You and your family have been through soooo much and yet with grace and humility you use these things for God's glory. There are surely many rewards awaiting you in heaven.
Teresa Varney , 07/17/11 12:36 AM
Prayerfully read these Scriptures before reading my little essay: I Kings 16(especially!), I Kings 18:1-22:33; II KIngs 8:16-9:37; and Revelation 2:20-23.

See also the Wikipedia articles on Eth-baal, Jezebel, and Ahab.

Some might say that finding extenuating circumstances in Jezebel's behavior is kind of like defending Hitler against a charge of cruelty to animals. But I think that in so doing, we can better understand the two Biblical Jezebels, and any modern "Jezebel" we might encounter.

First, look at who her father was. Secular history tells us that Ethbaal was a high priest of the Baal religion until be became king of Tyre by murdering his brother. Thus, he was one of the most evil men on earth at that time. Jezebel was clearly not only his daughter, but his disciple.

Ahab was the son of a notably ungodly--but otherwise successful--king. He was hardly the poor little henpecked milquetost that conservative preachers make him out to have been. Our Scriptures show a man of great shrewdness and ability. How likely is it that
such a man would have wanted a Godly principle wife? (Since he had 70 sons, he obviously had many wives.) Besides, Israel's kings had been marrying foreign pagans since Solomon.

Also--I'm not so sure that she was a "bad wife." At least, not by the depraved standards of the culture that produced her.She probably sincerely believed that she was acting in his best interests. Remember the saying, "The road to Hell is paved with good intentions>"

If Jezebel had been MERELY idolatrous, power-hungry, and violent when crossed, she would have been a typical upper class woman of her time. If she MERELY had the blood of God's saints on her hands, she would hardly have been unique among Israel's andJudah's royalty. But she somehow went beyond that. or Jesus would not have evoked her memory in the interesting way that he did.

Examining the two Biblical case studies, what should we look for in a modern "Jezzie?" I see the following four characteristics:

1. Hides behind someone else's authority.

2. Seeks to corrupt others, and subvert or supplant true doctrine or ethics.

3. Seeks to make disciples who will follow his/her example.

4. Attacks those who refuse to be gulled or bribed.

Another point: EVERY JEZEBEL NEEDS AN AHAB. THAT AHAB IS EQUALLY GUILTY. In fact, Ahab's entire male line was destroyed.

In summary, I hold that by disregarding modern cultural stereotypes, and also male fears and fantasies, we can better understand what God is saying to us through these Scriptures.
Bill Foltz , 07/18/11 03:44 PM
If Christianity isn't a religion, then shouldn't its churches lose their tax exempt status in the US?
Alex Nix , 07/19/11 01:42 PM
A guiding article,it opened my eyes to understanding the role of spiritual parent.I now know that I have a spiritual father because he is not only teaching me in church but does all that is in the article and wants me to imitate him in doing the Lord's work.
Elsie Ramasodi , 07/19/11 02:01 PM
I my self Pasturing a Church & am blessed By this teaching.
Joy Bonthu , 07/19/11 03:30 PM
Betrayed Christian: Why the attack? I have no quarrel with you. Your story arouses in me great feelings of compassion and empathy. I, too have been betrayed in church.

I did not have your entry in mind at all. In fact, your point was well taken: A "Jezzie"

can be either male or female. After all, an abusive spiritual leader always hides behind--and misuses God's authority.

By the way: My wife and I are outspokenly pro-life and anti-gay marriage. She was for some time a volunteer counselor at a crisis preganacy center.

For many years, God has dealt with me on issues of unrighteous anger and hostility. I am therefore in no position to cast the first stone on these issues. But are you willing to prayerfully consider whether your words to me were prompted by the Spirit of God or by anger and bitternes?

May God bless you, andlead you to wholesome and healing Christian fellowship.
Bill Foltz , 07/22/11 08:42 AM
Thank you for that, Julie. In the 35 years I have known you and Roger, your honesty and willingness to shaRE THE ROUGH SPOTS AND DARK SIDE OF YOR JOURNEY HAVE CHAALENGED AND INSPIRED ME.
Bill Foltz , 07/26/11 09:34 AM
P.S: I've been trying to learn to type well for 45 years. Think I'll ever make it?
bIll Foltz , 07/26/11 09:38 AM
Julie, you don't know me, but I've been coming to Casas for 6 years now. I too came out of such a church...one right here in Tucson that targets college students. My whole family was caught up in this church. Many people are duped into thinking this is a healthy church because they have kids that go there and they see their kids grow up and improve. Roger spent about an hour on the phone with me a few years back helping me get my thinking straight and to understand that ministries like this "improve people by condemnation engineering". It breaks my heart when I hear of kids from our church who are now involved in that ministry. Hopefully your story will help parents and kids rescue family members and friends. I am so thankful for the loving care of Casas, Steve Dowdle and so many wonderful true believers.
Nina Puente , 07/26/11 01:05 PM
Dear Julie,

I'm so glad you listened to the Holy Spirit and chose Him & Roger! You've been a fabulous teaching force at Casas for decades now. Thanks for your service...you too, Roger!

Blessings,
Lynn
Lynnn Rogalsky , 07/28/11 10:37 AM
i need to be freed from telling lies and may God help me
peter chanza , 07/29/11 08:33 AM
Well put, Bro. Keller. Many churches, including my home church, are attempting to address SOME of these issues. But in my opinion, these attempts are far from adequate.

We need more knowledge and motivation, a more teachable attitude, and a greater willingness to change. But in my widely shared opinion, none of this can happen without a fresh touch from God, resulting in widespread repentance and revival.
Bill Foltz , 08/03/11 09:42 AM
Julie, I just now read this. I had no idea about your "early years." Thanks for telling it 'like it was'.
Jim Slone
jim slone , 08/05/11 12:39 AM
Although this list is good, it is just that, a list. It does not appear that the author has been out dating lately, as he is missing a whole host of things that are on my "list". I have been dating for six years now, and have been on over 100 first dates, to size up the "prospect", in hopes of marriage one day. This appears to be a list thought up out of thinking about his life, not experienceing the real thing. When you do the real thing, you have more in depth thoughts, than a "thoughts list" Nice try, but in my opinion, more people writting because that is what they do, not what they are living. Best luck to all of you that thought you would get something more from this like myself. Be patient, listen to God, and don't settle. Better to be alone than to go through life with someone that you settled with making you unavailable for that MAGICAL person God has planned for you.
Aaron No Thanks , 08/09/11 03:10 PM
Roger, This is a great list, but let's face the WHOLE truth: If someone doesn't like Bob Dylan or your cat, what's the point??? Now you'll never ask me to write another blog!!! :)
Chet Weld , 08/09/11 11:32 PM
The list needs to be the foundation for what you want to experience with the person,not ask. Many individuals are masters at manipulation - say the right thing yet lives do not reflect doing the right thing. It is not what we verbalize but rather how we live. Most individuals with anger issues do not believe they have them - yet as they are harsh with the server at dinner or hostile at drivers on the freeway it dims their deep expression of "I pray when I am anger for God to show me his will." Excellent categories to look at the habits and lifestyle of a person rather than just the words expressed. Do you think they will be confused when I carry the checklist and pen with me on every date - smile, blog humor.
Elizabeth Williams , 08/11/11 11:27 PM
I heartily agree with most of what Bro. Murrow writes. But I wish he'd have clarified a few points:

First, there is the assumption that American church life has recently become "feminized," and therefore church has become less appealing to men. When was it easy to interest men in church? In 1900, Protestant church membership in the USA was 2-1 female. It is closer to even now.

In the last 30 or so years, there has been a reaction in most "established" denominations against the nutty liberalism and feminism of previous years. In fact, in Southern Baptist circles, some conservative leaders have gone to preposterous lengths to "put women in their place." The words and actions of Dr. Paige Patterson are a notorious example.

Finally, however "masculine" its organizational model, the Salvation Army has always been one of the most gender-equal of conservative Christian groups. As William Booth put it, "Some of my best men are women." Starting with Evangeline Booth (1865-1950,) the worldwide SA has been led by several women.

As I have stated,the author of this generally fine and edifying essay, or someone familiar with his viewpoint, would do us a great service by clarifying what he means by some of the terms he uses.
Bill Foltz , 08/12/11 07:30 AM
God does NOT kill. He allows it because of a person's disobedience or
lack of prayer. Christians are not as HELPLESS as they think they are.
What about the POWER and AUTHORITY God has given believers who live in this world system. Luke 10:19 is for EVERY spirit filled BELIEVER, there are MANY scriptures in the bible God has given us to teach us we are NOT weak beings. We have to take responsibility of our spiritual lives while here on earth. We have an enemy, who causes death, SATAN! God has ALREADY given us every necessary tool for success until Jesus returns.
He has equipped us with enough weapons,( i.e., MANY DIFFERENT TYPES OF PRAYER, POWER, FAITH, HIS SPIRIT ETC.) to be strong Christians while here on earth.
God is LOVE!
denise harvey , 08/23/11 07:47 AM
I wondered why my prior comments were removed? I feel censored, and this in itself seems abusive.
Censored Christian , 08/23/11 11:16 AM
Must have been a technical issue. The delete of the comment was not intentional.
Roger Barrier , 08/23/11 12:17 PM
Very interesting and eye opening post. Not only the millionaires but also common people are upset with the lack of social behavior and the mechanical approach even in the relationship. They all are looking for true love to start a meaningful life.
Dating Millionaire
vin man , 08/24/11 02:05 AM
It is important to first understand God's attributes. Yes, God is God with many incredible attributes...all He is is difficult for us to understand, but He will not contradict Himself. We certainly can trust Him and be confident in the splendor of His master plan. Secondly, it is essential to understand the details of the circumstances in which God dealt harshly with people (extreme disobedience, perversions, sacrifice of children, etc). Is it possible there is a mercy element to it? Read the accounts of Sodom and Gomorrah (God's conversation with Abraham on how he would not destroy the righteous with the wicked), the flood, Joshua's battles. Thirdly, the Bible is a historical account of the many ways that God has rightly/justly pursued mankind to respond to Him - to seek Him with our hearts and mind. Mankind's/our persistent sin is the problem; not God's response to it. God is pursuing us to be His children; He knows the value of our eternal existence with Him. Our life now is our test of faith and commitment so that may glorify Him eternally and be in fellowship with Jesus. Whatever it takes to bring us to Him in repentance and obedience….is worth it. I realize there are certain things that are stumbling blocks for people, but we must seek to understand God for who He is and not try to define Him in a way that is more comfortable instead (back to His attributes). And we must understand the simplicity of what Jesus said in John 14:6 and the two New Testament commandments.
Bill Thomson , 08/24/11 08:48 PM
Dear Roger,
How should we pray for someone’s salvation. Dose it even help to pray for someone’s salvation, since its that persons free will to choose to accept Jesus or reject Him?

Love,
Connie
Connie Harper , 08/25/11 10:31 AM
I am 31 years old and 9 months pregnant. My husband started out as the sweetest guy giving me more attention than you could imagine. We got married in april and it has been a downward spiral ever since. It started out with him getting mad and hitting walls and throwing stuff and saying mean things and leaving for an hour or two then coming back and apologizing. It has now turned into him smacking me spitting on me screaming in my face how much he hates me and how hes going to kill me and leaving for days at a time. He was the provider and lost his job about a month ago so we have no money to pay any bills and he says its not his problem hes not getting another job. Me being as far along as i am I have no way to support myself financially. It makes me so sad I remember all the good times and I just dont understand what I did to make him hate me so much. He says its all my fault and I make him act like this. He accuses me of cheating on him which i never have but with all of his online time i checked his emails and am pretty sure he has been the one cheating. Please pray for both of us. Im heartbroken.
kris k , 09/15/11 12:03 AM
Do not cash to buy a house? You should not worry, just because it is achievable to take the credit loans to work out all the problems. Hence take a collateral loan to buy all you need.
business loans mortgage loans , 09/16/11 02:21 PM
I just read the steps to overcoming sexual abuse. I just want to say thank you to Anonymous for having the strength to ask questions, and thank you Roger for having such an amazing answer! I really believe that this will help me reach the end of the haunting of my past. Thank you God for sending me to this site. God bless you all.

Love,
Brandy
Brandy Hayworth , 09/19/11 04:34 PM
Oh Julie, Thanks soooo much for sharing these ministry bloopers.:) Cheryl Siefers
Cheryl Siefers , 09/20/11 10:54 AM
#11. Family sermon illustrations = dresses. Be sure to ask before telling a story--especially an "embarrassing" story. Also, each illustration used on Sunday morning will cost you a new dress. So, choose wisely . . . and make sure that you are ready to pay!
Brianna Engeler , 09/20/11 01:32 PM
I don't know how to love. I wish god would show me. I really need his love
michelle maldonado , 09/23/11 11:36 PM
Is this what I'm doing wrong , I was set free from heavy drug addiction . I got baptized with the person I used with and even though we don't miss church we haven't the finances to get married we have been having sex and still in church, I confessed now god can I have my joy back I feel I'm falling away even after being prophesies from god were said to us about our future. I have this on DVD. Now were fighting alot. My name is Michelle my fiancé is Aaron . We need prayer. For this. The prophet said we had a calling together. I believe that.
michelle maldonado , 09/23/11 11:46 PM
thank you for the word. I struggle daily with living a Godly life but i am confident that it is what is the right thing for me and my family.
Angela Bowen , 09/24/11 05:39 PM
marriage is a covenant between two people, you don't have to have money for that. You can have the celebration/party some other time. Make the commitment, thats what is important before God. If you are part of a caring community, they could make it a memorable occasion.--a family event -the body of Christ.
Allan Svensson , 09/25/11 04:45 AM
Great advice, Julie -- AND Brianna. Priceless! Well, maybe "pricey" would be a better adjective. ;-)
Lana Wilkinson , 09/25/11 05:46 PM
I agree with what you said- but the song is based on scripture.
New International Version (©1984)
Job 1:21 "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will depart. The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away; may the name of the LORD be praised."
Shane Hankinson , 09/27/11 09:17 AM
(Don't worry, I haven't missed the point of your article, but...) "If you are in the shoe department and have a question about flashlights, the shoe department employee has no idea how to help you because it doesn’t have anything to do with shoes..." Um, this happens in big department stores doesn't it? Has been my experience. Not that I'd probably bother asking an assistant in Shoes about flashlights, because I wouldn't expect them to know anyway, eh. Good, thought-provoking article though. Thanks for that.
Deane Goldsack , 09/27/11 05:27 PM
Thanks for this. Great reminder.
maureen lauer , 09/28/11 10:53 AM
Thank you for sharing and Visit my website: http://www.cheapwatchonhand.net/
The motion and affidavit state that John sold the watch in May or June and told Pepper that he still has about half the money from the sale. Rolex watches are typically worth thousands of dollars, but the affidavit did not reveal how much Bujak sold the watch for.
jim green , 09/29/11 09:36 PM
I really thank God for this insightful and educative article. I believe it is a must read material for every well-meaning Christian parent who desires to honor God by raising a godly family.
Douglas Frempong , 09/30/11 04:04 AM
i cannot get enough of HIS WORD.. thank you for breaking HIS words into our understanding.. what a wonderful God we serve...
what a joy to be reminded that HE speaks when and where ever HE decides.. it is up to us to listen to HIS whisper.
terry gildersleeve , 10/02/11 11:43 AM
Your words are so profound here in so many ways. They are like pages in a book that I can't find myself wanting to put down.
Amelia Shaw , 10/04/11 10:03 PM
As I read this I thought "well duh!" Thank you Julie! You so simply and eloquently explained a verse I have often wondered about.
Betty Kruszka , 10/05/11 05:52 PM
How do I break the walls that I've built in order to allow myself to be loved? How do I stop pushing anyone that wants to make me happy away?
John M , 10/11/11 10:51 PM
To read and everyone of this storys breaks my haert I know what each one of u are going through and feel, As u guys I was married for 5 yrs to an abusive husband(got married at 20 left at 24)who would choke me,slap me,push me and called me the worst of the worst and every time after every. Hit or slap it would be a I'm sorry I won't do it again but nothing ever change till this January I said enough is enough he was almost going to kill me with a kick on my stomach,my Son was motivation and till this day his all I need and Thanks to the Lord I been pulling it through its a hard bumpie road and it hurts but its possible none of u desrve to be treated like that u woman are worth so much more than a slap or a name,plzz get out of that relationship before its to late especialy if u have babys there the once that at the end carrie and suffer the consequences.may the lord bless n help each one of u ladys.
saray garcia , 10/12/11 12:18 AM
Julie - Well and simply done. Good job. Blessings, George.
George Erhardt , 10/13/11 07:01 AM
COuld be this or could be that. I will leave it at that or I may say something else. I have spent many years chasing friends, do this doing that, helping family with this or that. Then one day the only way I can countinue to provide is to take a job elsewhere cause thats where the open door was. Never to hear from one friend or church member where I been for 20 plus years. I know what you are thinking bitter, angry, if it you think that feel free to ease your conscience. The bottom line is it is easier said then acted on. I chalenge you to find someone and tell them you want to be their friend and persue them who is in this fog and not someone who is convient to you. Maybe God wants you to drag them out of the fog. You make a judgnent that it is self pity but what happened to just letting that person know you love them and asking them in to your life. What I think I hear you saying is do not come crying to me about your woes take it elsewhere or to God so you do not have to listen to it. You might even be thinking stack more chairs at church so you do not have time to think about the people who do not have time to say I love you or lets go see a movie or lets break bread.....
NFN NLN , 10/15/11 04:05 PM
Wonderful read! As always, you speak to my heart. Miss you.
Diane Walters , 10/16/11 06:32 AM
Right on the money. Most anglo Christians I know have so little experience interacting with people of other ethnic backgrounds. So when they do, the other person's race/ethnicity because the biggest thing about that person that they consider - instead of considering their unique personality and individuality. A lot of thsi is because they are spatially isolated and live in predominantly white suburbs. Thank you for talking about this.
Steve Brown , 10/18/11 08:23 AM
I'm uncomfortable with a couple things that are unsaid. You ask, "...how should Christians cast their votes?" and then you address one candidate's religion. And you mention several candidates from one party.

I wonder if Christians should choose their candidate based on a whole set of Scriptural values. Most white suburban Christians I know choose their candidate based on opinions they hear from political sources, not from Scripture. Based on that, they cherry-pick one or two "values" (abortion and gay marriage) that are marketed to them by one party. They ignore other biblical values such as justice and care for the widow, the orphan, and the poor in their land, being stewards of the earth, being a society that looks out for the public good for all - more than for private good for a few, treating foreigners with dignity ("There shall be one law for the native and for the stranger who sojourns among you.” (Exodus 12:49)), and many others.

It's easy for people who live in isolated mostly white suburbs to not feel the needs that less-advantaged people may feel who live in the city - people who are victims of divorce and abandonment and discrimination and ignorance. Sometimes suburban Christians vote for candidates and issues through their lens of cultural and geographic isolation. They forget that they have brothers and sisters who need laws and systems in place that provide justice and opportunity for them - people without the same resources and protections.

If I were running a political party and I knew I could get a large bloc of votes by promoting only two issues, I would do it. Especially when lots of people who got elected on those two issues haven't been able to really change much - it's an easy promise for a candidate to make with no real consequence.

It makes me sad when my brothers and sisters seem to be more influenced by political spin in media and less influenced by a balanced biblical approach.

Also, I've had much better results with Mormon people and people of other faiths by loving them and talking about Jesus and my expeirence with Him instead of talking about doctrine.

P.S. "tenants" should be "tenets"
Steve Brown , 10/18/11 09:02 AM
First of all, I must address Steve Brown's comments. The problem today with being concerned with "biblical values such as justice and care for the widow, the orphan -- and being a society that looks out for the public good of all", is that taken to its extreme -- which politics has a tendency to do -- is that the inevitable result is socialism, something this nation was not founded on and should not support or become.

Additionally, such "care" is going to come first of all at the expense of others, and that expense is certainly not going to come at the expense of the rich, who will continue to maintain their position of power. There is simply no way around this. Thus, those who will bear the burden of caring for the poor in society will be those who can barely afford it themselves, making them poorer as well, and ultimately making all of them dependent on a government who will dole out just enough to allow them to survive, but never enough to threaten their positions of power. That's worse than socialism -- that's tyranny. I'm not entirely sure that God would approve of our capitalist society, but the alternative is far worse.

As for Mitt Romney being a Mormon. Yes, Mormonism is a cult. But it truly bothers me when I hear Christians saying that they would not vote for him because of this one point, or preachers saying that we should not vote for him because of this. Our current President, Barack Obama, is a very dangerous individual. I'll take Mitt Romney's values, if not his religion, over Obama's every time. If Romney is the best person to defeat Obama, then he needs the support of every loyal American -- including Christians. The notion that a weaker candidate who is closer to the Christian faith can somehow be pushed through or whatever is simply too high a risk.

I appreciate your comments on Mormonism, Roger, and I'm sorry I've commented more on the politics of the situation, but I felt they needed to be addressed. I certainly agree that any Mormon acquaintances any of us may have need to be gently guided to the truth about Jesus Christ, and your words are wise indeed about ways to accomplish this. Thank you.
Jason Kyle , 10/18/11 10:35 AM
Pastor, thanks for your always delicate touch on how to speak to our Mormon friends. I also welcome your comparison and contrast!

My wife and I very much appreciated Jeffress' comments! We feel, if a Mormon gets into the White House, their religion, now duping millions into thinking it's just like the Gospel, will become even more mainstream; ie, even more acceptable; even more attractive; "We're just like you." Or, like their comercials claiming that they are so acceptable, "Hi, I'm President of the United States and I'm Mormon." No thanks!

I love their Christology (not) claiming that Lucifer is Jesus' brother. This is Lucifer's prideful sin, and his lie to Adam and Eve that they can be like God. They go hand-in-hand; Lucifer claiming equality with the Son of God, and telling Adam and Eve that 'you will be like God....'

I welcome Jeffress' comments. Mormon faith and their leaders 'look' really close to the Gospel, but are not. If that aint end times.....?!?!

Finally, well said Steve! I just dont see where the Bible tells us to first consider the situation, see if the poor are responsible for putting themselves into their situation, then look to see if they are doing anything to get themselves out of the situation, Then look to see if they are wasting our support, then consider who will pay for our obeying heart, then consider the impact on our corporate (no pun intended) economic welfare, then consider the impact on our economic philosophy, then consider the impact on our political system........THEN help the widow and feed the poor.

I love it Pastor...your Blogs always reflect your Priestly (Pastoral) role, and your Prophetic role at the same time. Thanks!
GHS

George Soltero , 10/18/11 03:16 PM
My experience as a woman in my 60s is that the contemporary heavy metal sound in many churches today drives people away, even the youth, but especially those approaching or who are retirement age. Not even the kids stick around for that. I was raised with rock and roll, but this sound seems demonic to me and not at all worshipful, at least not to God. Why do we allow it in our churches? Why should we be emulating the world? We are supposed to be set apart from the world. I don't attend church any more as a result of that noise, and the old great-granny hymnal alternative isn't much help.
Jean S , 10/18/11 04:55 PM
Thanks for the great reminder to focus on Him and lean into Him daily!
Catherine Grennell , 10/18/11 09:17 PM
Oh, how true, Julie!!!! Your advice is SO good and SO right on! I feel so honored to have been under Roger's sermonator presence these past 17 years! Living with a sermonator was so challenging, especially when they get "off track." But it's NOT our job to be their Holy Spirit, either! Blessings to you both! Carol
Carol Edwards , 10/23/11 09:26 PM
Julie, this is so well-written, so honest, and so valuable. You have lived this out, and are and have been such an asset and essential part of Roger's ministry. You are truly a Woman of Excellence and a Woman of God, and it is such a privilege and pleasure being your friend. Love Forever, Sandy
Sandy Wakefield , 10/23/11 10:49 PM
I dont know a great deal about your god,but I must say he is very,very fond of killing innocent people.I hope for your sake he doesnt actually exsist,because if he behaves like that in this life I definately wouldnt want to meet him in the next life.I myself have know Idea who or what created me,I just live my life with a free mind that is not filled with conflicting nonsense.If god made man there would be one god.If man made god there would be many gods.
kieron browne , 10/26/11 04:53 AM
I know that I'm dating myself with this expression, but "Right on!" I've never heard it stated better.

And it couldn't be more timely for me. A few weeks ago, in dealing with a Christian leader with whom I may later want to work, I committed a well-intentioned, but fairly egregious gaffe. He responded by handing me my head over the phone, to which I responded defensively.

We will see each other again next week. A high powered preacher with whom we work has already tried to act as p
peacemaker.

Your prayers and advice would be much appreciated.
Bill Foltz , 10/26/11 10:03 AM
i have been in my relationship for seven years. But we've only been married for 10mths. i really love my husband. but i'm not to sure if his love for me is as strong as mine is for him. Although, he has never punched. he has chocked me until i have blacked out, forced me to have sex, snatched a plug of my hair out,slammed my face into the wall and almost broke my arm. All of tis before marriage. But he stopped the physcal abuse three years ago. Now the verbal is starting back to surface. Tell me if I'm dumb to believe that part will stop eventually? and one day be a happily married couple? please pray for us and our marriage.
asia --- , 11/02/11 11:06 PM
Various people all over the world get the credit loans from different banks, just because that is easy and fast.
personal loans mortgage loans , 11/04/11 10:27 AM
People deserve good life time and mortgage loans or just financial loan would make it much better. Just because people's freedom is based on money state.
home loans loan , 11/05/11 02:04 PM
i love god but you suck
caca faiss , 11/06/11 12:35 PM
Thank you, Tim Kellner!

For more than 30 years, I have been concerned about this issue. Too many believers equate some political or economic agenda with God's agenda. And in some circles, that is wreaking havoc.

Think of the "mission creep" that nearly wrecked Focus on the Family. Think of the attempt to oust Tchvidjian at Coral Ridge Presbyn. for refusing to push a narrow political agenda.

Has this political obsession made anyone more Christlike? Has it caused anyone to repent of their sins? Has it resulted in holier living? Has it led to an increased zeal for evangelism, missions, and works of Christian compassion?

May God forgive us of and deliver us from this idolatrous obsession.
Bill Foltz , 11/08/11 09:58 AM
I believe that Christians must have very strong roles in both the culture and politics of whatever society in which they live. Too often I encounter Christians who, using some excuse along the lines of "Heaven is my true home" or otherwise not wanting to "involve themselves in Earthly matters" refuse to even so much as vote, let alone take a stand against the increasingly horrific nature of our world and our society. America, especially, is at risk on many fronts, and Christians must throw off the apathy and poor excuses, and GET INVOLVED, or I truly believe we are at risk of losing our freedoms!
Jackson Roykirk , 11/08/11 02:07 PM
THIS TEACHING MUST NOT DIE.BY THE GRACE OF GOD I WILL PASS IT TO OTHER LEADERS.SPACE IS NOT ENOUGH TO SHARE WHAT BLESSING IT IS FOR ME.SIR,DO YOUR BEST CONTINUE TEACHING THIS TOPIC.NIGERIAN LEADERS NEED IT MORE THAN ANY MESSAGE ESPECIALLY YOUNG MINISTERS.
GIDEON AKINREMI , 11/08/11 06:16 PM
I very much appreciate John Piper and his ministry and work.

However, I find that this article is very much in error. Much of what Mr. Piper says cannot be adequately defended from the Scriptures. Instead, I believe he simply reiterates the traditional -- and faulty -- Christian understanding of clothing.

I have presented a full response to this article in my blog. I welcome its review and any comments or rebuttal than any would bring. I have informed Mr. Piper's ministry of my blog, but have received no response.

By His Grace,

Matthew Neal

The “Traditional” Christian View of Nakedness – Part 1, 2 & 3

http://thebiblicalnaturist.blogspot.com/2011/03/traditional-christian-view-of-nakedness.html
Matthew Neal , 11/08/11 08:52 PM
Hi Roger,
Thank you for all the insight you share with christians who are trying to avoid sin. You are a blessing to us!

I have a question about the Old Testament, specifically, Leviticus 11:1-47 regarding clean and unclean foods. The descriptions of what we are to eat and not to eat are very clear, however, I hear argument about "Pork" being and "Old Testament" command and that it's not applicable in the New Testament. In part, I imagine the justification comes from better preparation and cooking time. Having been raised on a farm, it made sense to me that Pigs roll in mud to stay cool because they don't have sweat glands, and don't pant to stay cool. Therefore, the meat retains all the toxins. What is an appropriate, biblical view of how we are to obey old testament law with regard to eating Pork today? Thank you, Roger...
Cheryl Kane Banke , 11/11/11 10:48 PM
First of all, I pray for all of you, as I can sympathize with the pain that you all are in. I am currently in the same pain.

However, I am on the other side of the fence, I am a man who has just abused/hit my wife in front of our 5 month old. Believe me, I am in just as much pain (at least emotionally).

In no way am I condoning wife abuse, but in my case I just don't know what to do. My wife is not a very good person (selfish, negative, self-serving, unsupportive, etc), and I've tried to end the relationship many times in the past, only to be coaxed back in and promised that things will change. But, to make a long story short, we always get back into fights because she always starts it for no reason. And I can't stand her disrespectfulness and negativity all the time. When possible I just yield and avoid, because our discussion never lead to anything positive, because she is a very unreasonable person who will say ANYTHING to avoid admitting fault. And the yielding pents up into anger which will eventually erupt into warnings to back off. She won't back off and only adds fuel to the fire, and the abuse begins. Only to be fueled more by her continued verbal abuse, which is returned by more physical abuse by me. It just escalates until I stop myself and leave the room to cool down.

Now I know that we are not right for eachother (which I have known for the last 2 years), but I don't know what to do now that we have our 5 month old son. I don't want to continue in this unmeaningful relationship, but i also don't want my son to be fatherless (because she wants custody of my son of course).

I am not the kind of person that likes to abuse a woman (which I've never done before my wife), but I just don't know what to do now that we have our son. Please pray for us all, as I will pray for all of you.
Anthony X , 11/14/11 10:52 AM
We have an added responsibility to guard our tongues.
briscola online andy , 11/21/11 02:12 AM
It’s called subterfuge because it’s so subtle.
briscola online
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mortgage loans home loans , 11/22/11 03:40 AM
Roger,
Thank you for your response. This is incredibly helpful. One part I wanted clarification one was where you said that confronting them might actually "save them from hell." If they are Christians, how is this even a factor? Obviously, as Christians, we should want to hate anything biblically defined as sin but does them choosing to engage in this make them unsaved? I'm slightly confused but figuring this out may help in my approach in addressing this issue. Thanks again
name witheld , 11/22/11 08:16 AM
This is a balance teacher of the Word of God on a topic like this. May God bless his servant and the church of Christ.
GIDEON AKINREMI , 11/22/11 09:05 PM
Nothing like it-The power of a seed. It is so powerful that Jesus says,''if you have faith like a mustard seed you could move a mountain. And Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit says,''What a man sow He will reap'''.
GIDEON AKINREMI , 11/22/11 09:32 PM
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vinman s , 11/23/11 07:48 PM
Nice blog! I think you would like mine too.
Been relational housechurching and planting for 30 years, my blog is about Jesus, Church and life in general.
http://notesfromthebridge.wordpress.com

Christopher "Captain" Kirk
Christopher Kirk , 11/24/11 01:15 PM
Dear Roger,

I am completely baffled by your response to Nicole's question. Unless you had more information about those vague "evil things" she said her husband brought into their marriage than she intimated in the printed question, I think you may have given her a free pass based on whatever you presumed that meant. You seem to say that if a woman doesn't feel her unbelieving husband is being loving enough toward her, then go ahead and get a divorce. Wow! I don't see it being conveyed quite so simply in the bible. That's a bit of a stretch. For all you know, Nicole is a nasty person herself who's difficult to live with. Not enough information in the question though, Roger. What about 1st Peter 2:19-3:1 which clearly teaches that a woman is to endure abuse - even insults, the suffering of the cross like Jesus did - without returning insult for insult, etc.? No one likes talking about that one though, these days and I think that is unfair and unwise. If the apostles deemed it fit for print, than we should deem it fit to read and to teach a balanced understanding about. Though it is fashionable these days to lay blame for everything that goes wrong in a marriage or in the home on the husband for failing to love his wife perfectly like Jesus, the bible makes it clear that women are also called to Christlikeness. Does it not? The best teams are those that work together; are they not? Or is Christianity only for men? Were Jesus a woman, would (S)he leave her husband because He brought "evil things" into the house? What about Mathew 5:32 where Jesus Himself says; "Whoever divorces his wife except for adultery causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries her commits adultery" What about Paul's statement that a Christian woman should stay with her unbelieving husband if he is pleased to stay with her? Nicole didn't say that her husband wanted out of the marriage; she said that she did. My wife and I have contended long and hard for our marriage. It's hard to watch advice about divorce being given so glibly. In a modern world were men apparently can do nothing right and where women don't know what they want but every discontent is the man's fault, it's hard to watch women get a free pass and all blame laid categorically on the man. I'm not saying wholesale that women should stay in extremely abusive, especially physically abusive, relationships but it doesn't seem that's what Nicole was talking about. Is Christlikeness only for men or are women not also called to it? What about the example Paul speaks of that she could have been to her husband? I have great admiration for you Roger. I mean that sincerely. With all due respect, I think you are way off on this one. If nothing else, I think your reply was a little hasty.
Ed Costanza , 11/26/11 10:32 PM
Wow! Excellent answer, Roger. The bible says that God doesn't delight in the death of the wicked but I had forgotten some of those other passages about man's rejoicing that you posted. I don't think God likes sending people to hell, yet it's right and natural for humans to find joy in the fact that people on Earth will no longer have to endure the treachury of the wicked dead. Gotta catch up on my bible reading some more.
Ed Costanza , 11/26/11 11:02 PM
Wow, Roger! That was excellent. I've been waiting for that one for a long time. I' going to review and meditate on it for some time to come. Thanks a lot for it. Excellent...
Ed Costanza , 11/26/11 11:24 PM
Great comments, like the get out of the house and hangout with my teen!
David Ifflander , 11/28/11 12:30 PM
Dear Roger,
Please stick with this. There IS a questioin in here somewhere; one of those tough ones.

I got saved in late 1973. I've had my struggles - at times my discouragement was high and my faith low. Yet God has continually upheld me with His right hand. I've always stayed in church though and I love the Lord with all my heart today. Yet in all my time as a Christian, I have only once, recently, heard a sermon praising men. At the church I went to for many years, every Mothers' Day the pastor would preach glowingly about the virtues of women and how their husbands were to praise and love them as Christ and about the "super mom" syndrome, etc.. But every Fathers' day, it was a kick in the pants for the men and a reminder about how they have to do better. I eventually just stopped going there on Fathers' Day. I've been attending Casas for 10 - 12 years now, and I"ve never heard you say anything in praise of men either. Maybe I missed that one. I've been a good father, raising my children up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, done many home and car repairs and yard work. Yet Pastors treat men as though they have no feelings - no tendency toward insecurity and virtually, no brains either. And in doing so, they promote male bashing and reenforce a negative outlook of men among the women of the church, many of whom are already under the influence of the adversary's brand of feminism, which is different from our Lord's version. I have raised two boys into fine young men and a beautiful daughter into a fine young women. I don't allow male bashing in my house (or female bashing) and I don't accept it from the pulpit either. We want fathers and husbands to stay at home but we tell them that they can't do anything right and that they aren't all that valuable or really needed. Pastors tell us to "Just buck up; tow the line and shut up!" and I reject that. It's way too imbalanced.

Here's my question: Why, when men are struggling beneath the burdens of negative perception and portrayal in the media and by feminists, many of whom simply hate men and aren't really interested in something called justice, do so many pastors treat men so unfairly? We're trying to survive, yet we get nothing but fire from behind the lines. I'm really tired of it. We are worthwhile too.

Signed,
A worthwhile, viable, imperfect but pretty good guy.

Ed Costanza , 11/28/11 01:47 PM
Excellent!
Teresa Varney , 11/29/11 07:38 AM
Great thoughts Chet! God does not ever fail, that is a truth that we should all meditate on all the time!
Teresa Varney , 11/29/11 07:43 AM
Great article, Julie! About 15 years ago I read an interesting study that concluded the following: 10% of all psychologists have had an affair with a client; and 30% of all pastors have had an affair with a member of the congregation. Talk about "sordid!" Isn't that crazy???

I think we can account for the difference between the 10% and the 30% in this way: At least psychologists have to take a course in ethics, which includes teachings on how to draw boundaries, how to seek counseling for yourself in order to understand your personal flaws, how to avoid temptations in the office, professional consequences of inappropriate behavior (losing one's license), the importance of "doing no harm" to a client, the requirement to report another psychologist that you hear about that's having an affair, and other important ethical and legal teachings.

Pastors, however, as far as I know (and I've had two years of seminary and three years of bible college) never take such a course. Perhaps, seminaries and bible college presently provide such a course, but I'm not aware of this.

Also, pastors are frequently alone with women, and sometimes even go to a woman's house alone. Pastors are also "targets" for some women who idealize them and who are also extremely needie, as well as flirtatious. Basically, many pastors are sitting ducks. Of course, their protection against immorality should be their deep and personal commitment to and relationship with Christ.

I just read of four recent surveys of pastors. 14-18% of pastors admitted to an affair and an additional 18% admitted to an emotional affair. But because 14% of the pastors admitted that they lied on the survey, we can assume the rate of either physical or emotional infidelity among pastors is at about 40%.

Another interesting piece of information is that such pastors don't generally attend conferences.
Chet Weld , 11/30/11 12:15 AM
Another fine essay from Tim Keller! So refreshing, given the simplistic and vulgar demagoguery of some prominent "Christian leaders" and "Christian" politicians.
Bill Foltz , 11/30/11 07:42 AM
Chet,this is profound and a God sent revelation.. even as we proclaim the love of God, we must make a conscious effort to think thoughts that are true,noble,just,pure,lovely and of a good report and these will help us maintain godly and good habits.
Philomina Ahiable , 11/30/11 08:15 AM
Thank you for this, Julie. Among your many accomplishments, you are a marvelous storyteller.

I was a Casas member during the first scandal you write of. Roger's, Steve's, and your handling of the matter is one of my many treasured Casas memories.

Chet's comments speak of conditions which should drive every believer to his/her knees.

One more point should be emphasized: Sexual (or any other kind of) immorality by a spiritual leader is a greater sin and offense than if committed by an "ordinary" believer. And that goes double if one partner has spiritual authority over the other.

This was one of the sins for which God had Eli's sons killed. It is denounced by several of the prophets. Idolatry and sexual immorality were so intertwined in Biblical times that each was a synonym for the other. A "spiritual" relationship than morphs into immorality is the grossest form of idolatry.

Furthermore, a "shepherd" who uses a member of his/her flock that way has become, as Jesus said, a wolf in sheep's clothing. (Remember: the wolf in sheep's clothing isn't a phony sheep, he is a phony shepherd.)

Leaders who have committed this sin need to be counseled to understand and repent of the above. In fact, all Christian college and seminary students and lay leaders in training should be taught it.
Bill Foltz , 11/30/11 10:51 AM
Thank so much Pst Glenn as single parent i fouod the solution for my children and youth and single moms
Evelyn Mangole , 12/04/11 04:41 AM
Chet,

Great insights, and maybe the beginning of an important ministry for PITI. This may be a great place to start a discussion on the need to incorporate such teaching in Seminary and Bible College curricula. Also it may be helpful to build a dedicated resource dealing with this issue on PITI, a clearinghouse of articles and materials for those already in the ministry.
Mark Marikos , 12/04/11 08:20 PM
Thanks, Mark! I think that Roger and Julie may share that vision. So now we have a new prayer target, and I'm sure the two of us would be willing to help out!
Chet Weld , 12/06/11 12:36 AM
I totally agree.. this is one of those hard to deny truths about the society today.. and most especially teens... I have a friend who was an std patient at 15!! and what aid her with it was a simple
std victim , 12/06/11 06:23 AM
The best essay if its kind that I've ever read. As is Roger's letter response about masturbation.

How does PITI manage to pick so many winners?
The real "piti" is that hardly anyone in my part of the country has ever heard of it/you.
Could you suggest someways to promote PITI?
I [lan to download some entries, and show them to my spiritual leaders.
Bill Foltz , 12/07/11 11:44 AM
Good article Chet. We can't be too careful. Speaking of seminary requirements: Every man in ministry should read Arterburn's book Everyman's Battle.
Dave Porter , 12/07/11 02:43 PM
As a granddaughter of a pastor who fell into infidelity, I can attest to the ripple effect, even to multiple generations. I appreciated the emphasis on accountability, to build and strengthen one another and hopefully avoid these tragic situations. Great insights Chet!
Catherine Grennell , 12/07/11 03:13 PM
Dave, Yes, "Every Man's Battle" is excellent and is my standard reference for men who struggle with sexual temptations and pornography.

Catherine, I'm sorry that you got caught in the ripple effect caused by two preceding generations. Thanks for making that comment. I think of how balls on a pool table ricochet off each other. Getting blind-sided by situations beyond our control is hard!

I think we can all speak of sins in our family systems, present or past generations. My thought is that that life isn't fair, but God is, as He is a God of justice and mercy.

The ripple effect of sin is another subject altogether, isn't it?! But I know you praise God for His overcoming power that lives inside of us in the midst of the world's troubles. That's the ripple of effect of the death and resurrection of Christ which has become a flood of righteousness for those of us who believe!
Chet Weld , 12/07/11 11:47 PM
Chet you did an excellent job with this "always relevant topic". thank you for pointing out that as mental health professionals we have a code of ethics, cont. educ. courses as required for our licensure, while ministers are held to no professional standards. Thank God, many of the men I know in the ministry, have addressed this issue personally, with their own "codes of conduct".
Steve Dowdle , 12/08/11 11:08 AM
Perry,

Great words, especially for those of us who sometime display the spiritual gift of criticism!
Markdwuua Marikos , 12/08/11 11:20 PM
Julie,

Thank you. I think that is one of the things I appreciate most about you and Roger, your transparency.

Your letter to Jesse reminds me of the "images' I have had of Mary, with her four children that preceded her, children she never met before she arrived in heaven. I remember the special service we had years ago at Casas for those who had had miscarriages or abortions. We were so moved to see how many of our friends had experienced that as well. At that time, Mary had had only two (in her previous marriage). We subsequently had two more before God blessed us with Christina.

But I remember the lady in front of us as we all came up to take a rose for each child and lay it at the foot of the cross. She picked up eight roses! This life indeed can be cruel. But praise be to God, that He has overcome the world, and we will someday rise above all the pain, and live with Jesus forever. Like you, the longer I live, the more meaning that has for me, and the more real it becomes in my mind and heart!

Thanks again for all you share from your heart. I too look forward to meeting those four children some day, and Jesse too! That will be a PARTY!
Mark Marikos , 12/08/11 11:38 PM
Tom,

Just like the Egyptians did with Joseph, I find it easy to "sell" myself into slavery to Jesus for several reasons:

1: It sure beats the competing slave masters! The illusion of freedom we have before committing to Christ is just that - an illusion.

2: He has my best interest in mind. Like Joseph who sought to preserve the Egyptians, not exploit them, Christ laid down His own life for mine, and desires to give me great things.

3: Jesus can protect me and keep me secure. So many worries disappear when I realize He will never abandon me or "sell me off"

4: As His slave, I get to be involved in truly significant things, activities that will outlast not just my life, but all of time. What I could have accomplished on my own pales in comparison.

5: I became more than a slave. I became family. I belong, in a way that can never be diminished, and I will always belong. I gain a multitude of brothers and sisters in addition to Christ.

6: The service He calls me to fits me better than anything else. It was, after all, Him who made me to be who I am and gave me the gifts and passions I have. He understands me better and knows what will truly satisfy my heart.
Mark Marikos , 12/08/11 11:55 PM
Thanks, Teresa and Philomina. I'm going to put your encouragement into my black box!

Yes, some of life's problems can be easily analyzed and solved. Others are more easily healed by simply meditating on the truth and doing whatever we can to improve the quality and effectiveness of our lives. I've found that prayer and the word of God are the most effective healing tools! Living each day to glorify our Lord usually brings the victories that we need!
Chet Weld , 12/09/11 01:47 PM
Thank you Roger for such a great post, I was literally crying as I read everything you said! Thank you so much!
C D , 12/11/11 11:49 PM
I am moved by the information that has been coming regarding this very topic and feel that we have lost the modeling out of our faith in todays technological world. What does that look like and how can we share Jesus boldy yet compassionately online and in person. Does it mean that we have to separate ourselves from the world and live in a hole?

I know that is not the answer and that there are young adult/youth christians who live out their faith in the face of danger, harassment, torture and even death everyday. Why is this "Rich Young Ruler" generation so lost and confused? We have only ourselves to blame, to look at and then to get our head out of the sand and into the social media world we live in and model once again how to be bold christians truly live.

I love the work you are doing and I don't have the answers but am truly seeking and listening and living...
David Harrison , 12/13/11 06:03 PM
As David alluded to, we are reaping what we've sowed. However, even though changing these beliefs of young people is like turning a very large ship, the issues can easily be addressed on a daily basis and Sunday by Sunday, e.g., how hard is it to be friendly to EVERYONE who enters your church or everyone you encounter in a store or place of business? How hard is it to not be overprotective or to refer to the discipline of science in our conversations and sermons?

With pastors who don't know themselves or God very well, indeed, these tasks can be overwhelming, if not impossible. For example, a pastor who sees him/herself in a parental role can only exacerbate the belief that churches are overprotective. Perhaps, that's another subject, but being a shepherd does not mean being a parent, as cult leaders believe. In such cases, we can only pray that God will help these ministers to change whether through God's discipline or through a natural personal growth process that proceeds from humility and zeal for God.

But with even the most difficult of issues that Barna mentioned (e.g., issues related to sexuality), when we put relationships over judgment, as Christ did with the masses of people who followed and listened to Him, even these difficult waters can be tactfully navigated. We don't have to trade truth for relevancy. We simply have to be relevant and relational first. This is how our preaching pastors function, and this is what the leaders of my local church believe and live.

I'd say it's time for all of us to get with it and that all is not lost. Many churches that haven't both preached the truth of the gospel, plus found a way to overcome the above obstacles, have already been plowed to the ground and their property turned to condos.

I'm glad that certain important blocks to reaching the lost are now being defined and measured. What opportunities we have!
Chet Weld , 12/13/11 11:57 PM
I have run out of superlatives for Tim Keller's articles. Once again, he says several things that need to be said.

Here in South Carolina, we have several thousand small congregations. One one hand, it is the only kind of church life that many people understand. On the other hand, most urban and suburban folk never give them a thought. And, as Keller points out, many Christian leaders view them with quiet disdain.

Much prayer, thought, and action need to go into sustaining and growing these congregations. As a former small church staff member, I can testify that a dying church leaves a trail of human wreckage behind it.
Bill Foltz , 12/14/11 09:36 AM
Steve,

Thanks for the reminder to all of us that there are men in the ministry that have their own "code of conduct" which conforms to God's expectations and which helps to keep them from falling into sin. Most of the ministers that I know are of this caliber, and I'm guessing the same is true with you.

We've both served in large churches where policies are continually refined and where true love of God is defined in the preaching of His word, nurtured daily, rewarded by God Himself, and where accountability is the norm.

We've counseled many pastors who have struggled, but even most of them, along with most of the ministers that we know, understand that they have been forgiven much and therefore love much.

Personally, I think that those few who persist in adultery simply have reporbate minds and were never called into the ministry in the first place.
Chet Weld , 12/14/11 06:45 PM
Becoming exclusively worldly in our church music style is not the answer. You leave out most of us in the baby boomer generation. Sure, for our parents, you might have a hymnal service, but we are half the church and ignored. Young adults see how the church disregards these young adults' parents, us, and assume that's how they will be treated later in that church by the younger ones coming up. No one should have to wear ear plugs in church nor see the screens bouncing to those dangerous decibles.
Baby Boomer , 12/15/11 11:11 PM
Dear Baby Boomer,

Don't feel that you are alone in that view. I personally feel, in fact I know from having been part of worship teams in recent years, that many Pastors and worship leaders, out of an appropriate desire to get youth to attend church, have abdicated the responsibilities of worship leadership to kids. I believe that this approach is misguided and I have valid and plausible reasons for feeling so.

Most teens are inexperienced in true worship. That only makes sense since experience is mostly only gained with time. They perceive their youthful exuberance and energetic enthusiasm as a move of the Holy Spirit. The recent Hillsong concert was a classic example of that. It however, is not truly empowered worship. We who have had some life experience, depending on some level on the type of churches we may have attended along the way, have experienced the deep, sweet, refreshing and restorative power of true worship. When we stop modeling that in worship services, we sell kids, ourselves and God short. The recent Hillsong concert was a classic example of the former. Kids liked it and though it was energetic, there was little or no empowering presence of the Holy Spirit there. There is a big difference between the two. Would any seasoned Pastor relinqish his pulpit to a kid who was only converted a year or two ago? Not very likely. Yet modern church leaders glibly give over the responsibility of worship to kids every Sunday and I feel it has weakened a very important part of today's church services.

In closing; I'm not saying that kids shouldn't be allowed to express themselves by their own musical preferences. I'm simply saying that the adults in the church need to reclaim their responsibility to lead and to mentor children by the example of true worship. As they do, they will also begin to shape kids' sense and means of expression of worship. Give kids their space to be kids, but I believe that the style of music they tend towards doesn't belong in corporate worship. Adults need to again begin shouldering the responsibility to lead. That's what we are here for.

PS,
Don't let anyone make you feel that you are crazy or just out of touch in your views about the state of worship in the modern church. You're not and I believe that your - and my - instincts are right Pray for change.
Ed Costanza , 12/17/11 08:28 PM
My baby was born with only one hand a year ago. We were shocked at first and I kept thinking of all the things he "can't do." Well, a year later and he is proving us all wrong. "Can't" is not in his vocabulary. "Why not" is our new catch phrase. He crawled (using both arms) at 5 1/2 months and started walking at 9 months. He is now 14 months and can climb the ladder to the slide on the playground. Apparently we forgot to tell him that he shouldn't be able to do those things...He is the happiest little boy you'll ever meet. His nickname is "evil knevil." There will be no stopping this child. I think God created him in this speical way just to remind us all to stop thinking of "can't" reasons and instead think "why not?"
Lauren Stover , 12/17/11 10:52 PM
Greetings Roger, brothers and sisters; in His name;
Often say that if a believer had the patience of Supernanny, the courage of a Mormon to go most anywhere in the world engaging strangers, the work ethic of a Hutterite, the commitment to prayer of a Muslim, the brotherhood of a soldier, a mother’s loving care, a sparrow’s fear and could take in a homeless person as easily as they could a lost dog and their church had kneeling boards like the Catholics and the outreach capability like Billy Graham’s; that might be considered as beginning to mimic Jesus, then all you would need is God’s power to give it true Christian purpose? That being a description I’ve not come close as measuring up to yet; still transforming in Christ Jesus (Romans 12:2/2 Corinthians 3:18) as other baptized disciples God willing but along the way I’m finding what appear to be some disturbing trends with contemporary Christianity which maybe you’ve noticed too? Indeed, since the disbanding of the small church where I was baptized, the churches I’ve looked into since, demonstrated more cause to avoid rather than join them which is disturbing in itself yet growingly understandable and perhaps begs the question; is what we’re seeing in today’s churches mostly Holy or Hype?

So I was compelled to embark on a ‘seek and edify mission’ if you will, to find out what’s going on and share my concerns with brethren. Over the last few years I’ve also been online sending this letter to believers and church leaders in America and worldwide with anticipation it might also be an ideal opportunity to open a genuine dialogue and edify with believers that were previously unknown to me? Though carefully considered, this frequently edited document is lengthy so you might want to set it aside to read when you have more time? Keep in mind too that I do not claim to have all the answers either but I’m willing to face God’s truth and edify with any believer and by our discussing the issues, perhaps mutually edifying truths may be revealed, God willing? Albeit I’m noticing more of an aversion to “edify” and even just sending this letter is proving that most believers choose to shun strangers instead of trying to love thy neighbour which perhaps also speaks to what is not going on in churches and educational institutions? But how does God intend for us to edify (James 5:16) and what other issues are believers hesitant to face or not even aware of or simply avoiding? Well, for starters, take a look at these statistics I found years ago posted on one church’s website:

Quote:
In America, it is estimated there are over 200 million people who do not have a personal relationship with Christ!
Since only China and India have larger populations than this, the U.S. is the 3rd largest mission field in the world!
Nearly 74% of all Americans have no meaningful church relationship!
One-half of all the churches in America did not add one new member through “conversion” growth during the last year.
No county in America has a greater percentage of churched people today than a decade ago.
Evangelical churches have failed to gain an additional 2% of the American population in the past 50 years. In other words, we are not even reaching our own children!
North America is the ONLY continent where Christianity is not growing!

According to Barna Research, of the 350,000 churches in America:
80% have reached a plateau or are declining
15% are growing because of transfer growth
5% are growing because of conversion growth

Canada: A Sobering Reality Check
Approximately 85% of all Canadians have no meaningful church relationship!
Churches are closing more rapidly in Canada than in any other country in the Western world!
According to Outreach Canada demographic research, only 16% of Canadians attend church regularly. In urban centers
like Toronto, only 5% of the population can be categorized as consistent church attendees!
Close to 250,000 new Canadians have immigrated annually during the last decade. The majority are Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Buddhist or Confucian. The United Nations called Toronto, “the most ethnically diverse city in the world.”
The mission field is here!
Unquote.

If those stats are anywhere near true, America is mostly ungodly and becoming more so. Yep, that’s right folks. Canada and the U.S. are not the God-fearing/God-loving countries which perhaps most believers used to presume. Gee I wonder why? Could it be that in The Land of the Free, there are at least five murders every day, hundreds of shootings every day, thousands of assaults every day, thousands of burglaries every day, countless thousands of homeless people without hope every day and thousands of drunk-driving deaths every year and 1.6 million Runaway children every year who are exploited and killed? That is the society we boast about to the world as The Best Place to live? A “culture” that pays Pro Football Players many more times the salary of Doctors and Soldiers/Police who sacrifice their lives to keep You safe. A “society” which sees Corporations give away millions of dollars to Game Show Contestants instead of helping the needy and homeless. This makes “us” the envy of all nations on earth? Well I, for one, am embarrassed just to admit being part of ‘that delusion’ for so long but grateful now that God shamed me into finally being embarrassed. Not to mention, that Christians are not the majority in America either according to those statistics and perhaps they never were? So instead of singing “God Bless America”, perhaps we need to be crying out: ‘God Please Save America!’? Indeed we’ve seen TV evangelists preaching “God Please Save America” though in the comfort of their multi-million-dollar lavish church buildings and imploring others to go do the work which they themselves won’t do.

If those statistics weren’t alarming enough, that may be only the tip of the iceberg? We find churches that condone adultery and tolerate all kinds of behavior which are contrary to the teachings of Christ (1 Corinthians 6:9-10) while the Catholic church pays out over $600 Million to victims of sexual immorality perpetrated by their priests. This, among other observations, tends to indicate that many believers are not only ignoring the Fundamentals of Christianity but they may not ‘get it’ at all? It’s disconcerting enough to know that we’re still seeing greed, corruption and perversion in today’s churches but also believers who don’t even want to talk about God and pastors that seem to be auditioning for “Last Comic Standing” instead of Standing for Christ. Those conditions seemingly preposterous for a ‘church’ yet true and may actually be more ubiquitous than uncommon? But then I’ve had the benefit of a perspective which has allowed me to look at things more objectively perhaps? In that, I never had a long term or serious church-going association before I was called to repent so I don’t have to defend the integrity of a church I go to and perhaps can more easily recognize a church’s strengths and weaknesses, God willing? In other words, I first studied the Word and learned what to look for in a church which best exemplifies biblical fundamentals, from the outside looking in. Whereas many believers may have been on the inside of a church looking out for so long; they’re not even aware that anything might be wrong. Indeed, even if you could expose a deficiency of a church and even if the allegation was biblically supported, it would fall on deaf ears because nobody wants to admit there could be anything out of order with their ‘own church’.

But just because people are seen coming to church and a pastor preaching a sermon, doesn’t necessarily mean everything is okay. In fact, one Christian writer described ‘today’s churchgoing experience’ saying; quote: “They are hiding behind a mask of Christian activity, going through the motions and keeping the surface rules that give the appearance of loving God. A life of loving God and honestly and joyfully wanting to do His will from the heart; is a mirage in the spiritual desert wilderness in which they live.” Is this what has happened to churches since Jesus walked on earth? Sadly, I would tend to agree with that assessment knowing what I’ve personally witnessed. Hope that isn’t the case but the believers/churches I’ve encountered aren’t remotely convincing as loving obedient followers of Christ. I’m finding believers that are mostly suspicious, impatient and wouldn’t even think to take in a homeless person as well as churches where no one kneels in prayer, nobody fears God and getting to know your fellow parishioner/brethren is practically non-existent. Not mention the ever-increasing level of ‘suspicion’ among believers and nowhere is this more evident than with the Internet and isn’t it ironic that we are supposed to lovingly engage ‘strangers’ but we’re so suspicious of viruses/spam that, instead of utilizing a tool like the Internet which enables us to ‘connect’ with more people and more effectively than ever before in history; we’ve done everything technically possible to ensure that we never connect with “strangers” by email? By the same token it also keeps brethren who are strangers, from connecting rather than bringing them together. Indeed, seemingly there may be issues of such serious significance, that I prepared the following prayer just for believers who might choose to read further?

Father, I confess to you, I have seen churches without Bibles. I have spoken to believers who denounce water baptism for the repentance of sins. I have seen believers wearing and displaying physical idols depicting your Son. There are clergy that call their self “Father” and there are even believers who call themselves Christians yet deny Jesus is your Son. I’ve seen so-called Christian churches that turn away the un-baptized and forbid the speaking and interpreting of tongue and baptize dead people. Dare I say Father, there seems to be deception in so-called Christian churches on earth of such proportion that the false believers may actually vastly outnumber Christ’s true followers? O’ God, please forgive me and grant readers spiritual discernment; for anything I write has no holy purpose without your blessing? Amen.

Continuing; is there deception in the Church? No question and the problem may also be “the believers themselves” in oblivious orchestration with the devil? Is Christianity more about Money than miracles? Are Evangelists merely Entertainers? Is Christendom hopelessly divided by Denomination? Do today’s Sermons really serve God’s will or is sermonizing merely part of a preacher’s job description? What do You think and how would you answer the following question?

If someone accused You of not being a Christian, could you prove them wrong?

Perhaps that’s a question every believer should be pondering and what about the issue of Denomination? You don’t even have to be a believer to notice that Christian religions have many different denominations. A process which began many centuries ago and perhaps innocently enough as simply distinguishing each church by location but has since become a method of ‘purposeful division’? Need proof? Try this on for size. Just ask someone which religious church they belong to and what do they usually say? Most often they will say: I am Baptist or Lutheran or United or Catholic or whatever Denomination they are but why don’t they just say: ‘I am a Christian’? No, they instinctively refer to their man-named Denomination and it’s no longer simply a matter of where your Christian church is ‘located’. Nowadays you have to dig deeper just to find out if they consider themselves to be “a Christian”. But by then it’s usually pointless because you’ve already labelled them a Baptist or Lutheran or United or Catholic or Whatever and probably view them ‘differently’? So even if they say they’re a Christian, judgment has also already begun in your mind as to whether or not they are a ‘true’ Christian? Or at the very least, you’re going to make a judgment call about them based solely on their “denomination”? This suggests that even so-called Christians insist on being different from each other, rather than being unified under One Faith. Think about that. Would a Baptist feel just as comfortable attending a Lutheran church? I don’t think so; nor will you find a Catholic attending a Baptist church service etc. etc. etc. It just doesn’t happen because believers have now ‘purposely divided’ themselves from one another. Indeed, today there is so much division among believers that nobody knows Who the real Christians are or where to find them?

Even the terms Christendom and Christianity are different just try to make a List of all the true Christian churches in America. It couldn’t be done and it seems quite obvious that so-called Christian churches have become irreparably divided by Denomination? Pick a church, pick a city, pick a Country; your guess is as good as mine and though I believe the devil is responsible for most of what affects Christianity negatively, I also think believers shoulder some responsibility too? Christians have helped to divide and conquer themselves by perpetuating a notion that “denomination” has anything to do with Christianity. We can all see that denomination has done more to destroy than promote Christian unity and this issue has been written about for centuries but believers still refuse to acknowledge that anything might be amiss. Here’s another quote:

“Many godly men have tried to bring unity to the body of Christ. Unity abides among the spiritually mature and cannot be achieved by the sole effort of any one man. Luther tried, as did Calvin, Zwingli, Wycliff, Tyndale, Wesley, Williams, Knox, Spurgen, Moody and many, many others. Each contributed new light but failed to bring any greater unity to the body of Christ. Controversy and contention followed each ray of new light and with it came further division. Again and again unity was sought but remained elusive; it soon became obvious that something was missing; we had failed to lay a foundation where unity could survive. What was lacking?

Unity can only survive among those few brethren who are yielded and mature enough to let God have His way. If we allow our doctrine to freeze in place, there remains no further opportunity to grow; we become the “frozen chosen”. Too many of us have become pillars of the church. We believe that our doctrines are the very standard of biblical truth. We become unwilling to examine our beliefs any further or to seek any truth yet unknown. We’ve become un-teachable and, like the pillars of the church, we can no longer be moved.” Unquote.

Is this happening in your church too? Or maybe Satan is that powerful and has blinded most believers from seeing any problem with “denomination”?

Well, I don’t know about You but I could no longer sit idle if there is even a remote chance that things have gotten that bad. The Red Flags are raised and I won’t indulge the devil’s fancy! If we believers are all supposed to be united as One Church In Christ under God, then it is time to start “doing” something about that. Heh folks, I’m not making this up. These are the facts: We have different Christian denominations and different doctrines and these “differences” are preventing us from becoming a truly unified Christian force to be reckoned with. Am I wrong? One could only imagine that if the various denominations made the effort to set their differences aside and came to agreement as the Bible says; what an awesomely holy force it could be, God willing? Unfortunately it is the Believers who are not willing and so why would God bless any church that seeks to be separate and unique from their brethren? But sadly, today’s generation of so-called Christians do seek distinction from their brethren and don’t even notice any Red Flags. Denominations have carved out their territories over the millennium and now even zealously guard their autonomy from other churches too. In fact, even individual churches within a denomination insist on “autonomy”. Therefore isn’t the concept of unity defeated even before it’s addressed?

I think so and how can believers divide themselves in this manner yet feign to be of one mind and purpose in the Body of Christ? I’ll give you another example of “division”. If you are a Catholic family and moved to another city, isn’t it pretty much a certainty that you will look for another Catholic church to attend? Except, if followers are supposed to be a ‘unified’ faith and in Christ, it shouldn’t matter which Christian church building they attend; right? But it does matter. A Catholic wouldn’t be caught dead in an Anglican church. Why not? Because they don’t trust that any other denomination shares the same beliefs and truths about God as theirs which means; believers from different denominations will always feel different from other Christians. You don’t need a psychology degree to notice that. Believers also feel they are a better Christian than another denomination. Who knows for sure but I don’t think God intended for true followers to separate into denominations. Doesn’t Christ do the separating? Isn’t that what our Saviour is returning to do? Isn’t Jesus going to finally “separate” His sheep from the rest of the world?

Nonetheless here we are! Completely divided by denomination, doctrine, bible versions, symbols, biblical interpretation and God only knows what else? And those are just the Christian-faith-based religions. So how do we go about becoming more unified in accordance with God’s Plan or does it even matter now? After all, if these are the end times, maybe things are as holy as they’re ever going to be on earth before Judgment Day? Sorry, don’t look at me for those answers. I’m just a messenger perhaps and I have no idea whether or not God’s Plan is to attempt to unite Denominational Christian Churches under One Name? It will likely never happen but God willing, if “that” was a worthy undertaking, I do have a suggestion or two, for what it’s worth?

One suggestion might be. If you believe division in Christendom does more harm than good, then pray to God about it. Then probably the best place to start is by talking to your Community church Leaders. In turn, these leaders then contact their church Headquarters to let them know that their parishioners want to start the process of Unifying Christian Denominations by faith, doctrine and purpose. Then your Headquarters can contact the Headquarters of the other Denominations until a consensus might be reached. This process will undoubtedly be agonizingly slow and so you might also send your concerns to church Headquarters individually as well. Just to let them know at least “You are serious” because change of this magnitude will almost certainly be met with strong resistance. But ironically perhaps, this “resistance” may serve to sort out the Pretenders from the true Followers in the process? I emailed the Vatican about this too but no reply. Gee I wonder why? But those believers whom God wants connected and working together on earth will unify no matter what the resistance. So maybe we shouldn’t give up thinking that “it’s too late or too big an undertaking”? All we can do is ‘our part’ as God planned for us perhaps? Isn’t that how it works? Anyway, ask God to guide you into unity with his elect on earth, wherever they may be? Will we see Christians discarding their denominational labels and a significant trend toward churches reuniting under One Name? Likely not; in fact the bible indicates that things will get much worse rather than getting better and in reality; just the notion of “uniting denominations” sounds preposterous but that doesn’t mean it has no divine merit?

On the other hand, the bible says there will be an ungodly unification of all Nations and Religions brought about by The antichrist and now the TV evangelist Jack Van Impe has prophesied and told the world that the Next Pope is The antichrist. Yet at the same time, Impe also praises many Catholic leaders and writers as being great Christians. Anyway, if the antichrist does come in our generation, that will essentially nullify any efforts toward denominational unification anyway. Doesn’t get any easier does it? :) Whether you agree or not though, I find the issue of “denomination” beguiling since clearly there are more so-called Christians on earth than ever before in history but what good are such “numbers”, if divided? Correct me if I’m wrong but probably as many humans have been slaughtered in the last 100 years as during the previous 1900 years combined? There are more Wars going on nowadays than at any time in history and Super Powers stand ready to annihilate the entire planet at a moment’s notice and in a variety of ways. Is this is what having the greatest numbers of Christians than ever before has accomplished? This is what we call a more Christian world? More Evil and Suffering and preventable Death than ever before and this Greatest Force Ever of so-called Christians is actually losing ground? So maybe, just like God told the Israelites; that many of “them” would not remain obedient to God himself, mightn’t the same thing be happening now with Christians of today not being obedient to Christ?

Let’s face it? The human species isn’t more civilized now. The savagery of man has never left us. We just learned how to disguise it better nowadays and Christ isn’t returning to judge the world because Christianity succeeded in converting most of earth’s population into loving followers (Matthew 10:34-36)? No, Matthew 24:21-22 & Mark 13:19-20 clearly indicates that the majority of the world becomes unbearable. But even though the ‘Last Days’ may be upon us and things will be inevitably bleak, don’t you think there will still be Christians fighting the good fight right to the end? However, the statistics indicate that Christendom may not have much “fight” left? Indeed and even though the world has more believers than ever before, Christianity appears to have stopped growing and might be actually the least powerful than ever before? If so, don’t we need to figure out why and start re-asserting our Christian principles in this world or perhaps one day we might wake up and find that Christianity itself has become illegal in America too? If you find that hard to imagine, just remember Hitler and in case you have forgotten; the Lord’s Prayer has already been banned from classrooms for decades now. And there was a time when it was forbidden to use any profanity on television but nowadays you have to buy special devices for your TV to protect children from hearing the F-word and from seeing sexually explicit content on television. Otherwise, it’s pretty much Anything Goes on TV, in video games and movies and in our society, violence has reached grotesque proportion and believe me. I never thought I would be one of those people who would be saying that.

Those people being; righteous Christians shall we say? Perhaps “those people” used to be more commonly referred to as the Religious Moral Majority but in case you haven’t noticed, the Moral Majority has gone Bye-Bye. It doesn’t exist anymore! Maybe “it” ever really did? Maybe the moral majority was more Political than religious and why aren’t Christians gathering by the thousands at the White House and Parliament Hill calling for decent moral standards on Television and in other aspects of society? I mean c’mon folks. When is enough; Enough?

People don’t even have the common sense to ban guns in their own society but guess what? If there are no guns; you can’t shoot people! Hello! Even a child can tell you that. But we are so blatantly naïve and enamoured with violence, corruption, hero worship, the right to bear arms and killing; that to call ourselves Moral Hypocrites would be to pay us a compliment at best perhaps? I included myself in that statement for decades I’m embarrassed to say. Our moral scruples are so misguided, that our favourite television entertainment glorifies Murder and Vengeance. Our favourite Sports are Violent. Music is Violent. It has gone way beyond the ridiculous and I think believers need to wake up and do it soon. Not to mention, there are even perhaps millions of Christians in America who actually want guns in their society. What are “they” thinking? How does having a gun equate to walking in peace with humility in Jesus’ name? In about 40 U.S. States though, it is now legal to carry a concealed weapon! But Jesus didn’t tell us to bear arms. Isn’t God’s love supposed to be the weapon of true followers? So why do perhaps millions of Christians believe it’s okay to have a gun? Isn’t God’s power sufficient to keep us safe? Do you think it was part of God’s plan to have Christians firing warning shots at would-be intruders or maybe even killing people with a gun whenever we feel our safety is threatened? I don’t think so and neither do ‘believers having guns’ demonstrate a lot of faith in God to protect them? And rather than Christians in America speaking up against gun violence, they are now keeping silent and just ‘going along to get along’ aren’t they?

Indeed, instead of finding loving brothers and sisters in churches, I’m finding the same kinds people doing the same things as people in darkness and most believers appear to have blended into our immoral society instead of opposing it and the only time they stand for Christ is when they gather in church buildings on Sundays all nice and safe from harm? Guess they figure if they sing loud enough in church, that it will somehow defeat evil and hoards of people in darkness might pour into the church to find out what the ‘singing’ is all about and end up getting saved? Or if they quote a bunch of biblical passages and pray; that’s the same as spreading the gospel, baptizing, helping the needy, edifying and performing miracles in His name? But the truth is I think we have given the immoral majority free reign and what we do in church buildings is mostly for Show. We stand around singing to God and allow the manufacture of guns which only makes criminals more powerful and able to rob and kill us more efficiently and we can hardly wait to watch the evening News to learn how many people were murdered today and all we do is say: “what’s for dessert?” We have become almost completely insensitive to “killing” and the only time we become outraged is when it happens to us personally but we still don’t do anything to get rid of guns to stop the “shootings”. But like the saying goes; “you get what you ask for”. You asked for guns and so you got thousands of people being threatened, injured and killed by guns every year in America, including children and the Police trying to protect You. Does it get any dumber?

The solution doesn’t get any more obvious either. Demand no guns in your society and eventually you will have almost no guns in your society. Again, even a child knows this. Yes it will cost a lot of money and yes it will take many years to rid our Countries of guns but it’s a small price to pay for peace of mind and a safer society don’t you think? It also means giving up the right to bear arms in favour of the ‘privilege’ to live in a culture without guns but who needs a right to own deadly firearms in a civilized society anyway? Of course, the criminal element will still look for ways to get guns but this too would eventually become a very rare occurrence if citizens had the courage to demand an end to firearms and other similar weapons. You might have to also pass a Law which says the penalty for using a firearm or weapon to commit crime in Our Society, means Life Imprisonment Without Parole? This would almost certainly make gun crimes a thing of the past. It would also practically eliminate the allure of joining a Gang in America because it is ‘the gun’ that gives the criminal element its power and the ability to wreak fear in our culture. But without a gun, Gangsters are just angry people that will have to learn how to control their anger just like the rest of us or Go To Jail for the rest of their life. Of course there are those who say that even if you eliminate guns from society, people would just use knives and other weapons instead. Well of course they would use other weapons BUT most humans don’t have the nerve or the kind of evil it takes to kill up close and personal like you would have to do with a knife or a baseball bat and most criminals don’t have the courage to even attempt violent acts or crimes without a gun. Ergo, it is almost certain that 1000 gun killings will not be replaced with 1000 knife killings. Indeed, it is more likely that the vast majority who might have killed with a gun, would probably not kill at all if they didn’t have a gun and especially if it meant “Life Imprisonment Without Parole”. So lives will be saved by having no guns or almost no guns in society. No question; but apparently the majority in America think gun violence is of little importance.

There aren’t Christian Marches to protest anything immoral anymore. Birds and animals are getting more attention from Christians than are the lost human souls in the world. But what’s the point of having thousands of churches if all the believers are doing is listening to a sermon, singing a few songs and going home? Or maybe most believers think that as long as their church sends a couple of members on a mission to a godless foreign country and then on Sundays they pray for their safety, that this means their work for God is done too? Or that raising money for Boy Scouts and having Bingo night at their church is all part of being an obedient Christian? Who knows but there seems to be evidence to suggest that Today’s Christianity might be a far cry from what God wants? We still hear of pedophile priests regularly and some Churches don’t even fire their perverted pastors. They just move them to another city. Even when a church knows about a suspected or convicted pedophile, they don’t even inform member churches of their own denomination or any other Denominations, to be on the alert in case the pedophile tries to get hired at another church. This scenario is another obvious sign of deception in Christian churches. It has been going on for centuries and churches today still aren’t responsibly communicating these harmful elements to each other. This sort of inexcusable oversight emphatically indicates that many so-called Christian Churches of Today, if not most, may actually be ignorant of what they should be thinking and doing?

Need I remind Christians of 1 John 2:15 saying; “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him”. Perhaps, in a sense, this verse is reminding believers to stop pretending the world is a wonderful place to live and expecting God to provide them with a long safe and happy life with lots of money but rather to start asking how they can “serve” God? This is talked about every week in churches but talk is cheap. Indeed I’ll go out on a limb and say that God probably wants Do-ers; not yappers and not 20-million-dollar church buildings with rock bands and digital light shows? That kind of money could be used to feed, clothe and shelter the needy and we don’t need all the bells and whistles. It’s nothing but pure sensationalism and if you need a fancy church building to entice your attendance, then you’re probably not part of God’s Church anyway?

Speaking of “reminding”, probably most Sermons serve as reminders too? How a typical sermon will have a preacher talking about faith, love, grace and mercy etc.; along with quotations of biblical verses but have you noticed there is no discussion? Even at the end of the service, you never hear a pastor say: “if you have any questions about today’s sermon, let’s get together and discuss”. Everyone just goes home and everyone just presumes the minister knows what they’re talking about. Do you? One reason why many pastors don’t offer to have a discussion on Sunday is because they purposely schedule another service immediately following the first service so the preacher can use the excuse that they don’t have time. Yet, most pastors don’t offer discussion after any service. Why not? Well, that’s something you would have to ask Your pastor but I suspect there is no discussion because most preachers simply can’t be bothered discussing much of anything with their congregation and/or they perhaps don’t want anyone to question their authority?

Not only that, but how do you know if the pastor is interpreting the Word of God correctly? Especially when there is no discussion and you aren’t allowed to ask any questions. Well guess what? You don’t know. Do we believe a preacher just because they are the one standing at the pulpit or they tell you they are ordained because they have some kind of theological degree? And in most churches, doesn’t it go something like this: Pastor Speaks, You Listen, Everyone goes home? That’s it and if God didn’t touch you, it’s tough bananas and try again next week. Which really means that the Congregation is left to go home and figure it out for themselves, doesn’t it? How is that a good thing? So what is a pastor’s role? Is it mostly to just preside over funerals and weddings and baptisms and talk for an hour or two on Sundays? Is this how Your church operates? Is this what you pay your preacher for? To just talk and then maybe shake your hand as you leave if you’re lucky?

But what if the leader of Your church doesn’t really know any more about God’s Plan or the Bible than you do? Or maybe knows even less than you? Or, heaven forbid, they are not sanctified at all by God? You probably never thought of your church experience that way before but perhaps it’s time you did? Especially now that we know Christianity is not even thriving in the land of the democratic and free but what can we or should we do about it and what are the problems? Are clergy not doing their job properly or is it that, for many preachers, it is just a job rather than a calling? Perhaps ‘ministering’ has become little more than a gravy train for clergy? Or perhaps pastors no longer know what their role is? Seems strange the notion that clergy might not know what they’re doing but you might think differently after reading this document? Not to malign church Leaders and I presume most are working to the best of their ability but I wonder if many are merely a product of Man’s religious dogma handed down through the centuries? Right or wrong, pastors might be simply adhering to a historically established code of conduct set forth by their peers but are they really doing what God wants them to do? I’m not so sure anymore and especially after some of the church experiences I’ve had.

And speaking of “gravy train”, what about today’s religious scholars and Christian educators? I’ve tried opening a dialogue with would-be theologians and professors too and guess what? They aren’t talking either! Indeed “they” may be one of the integral roots of ‘deception’? Because, how did ‘man’ go from ‘hearing’ the Word, to ‘writing’ the Word, to creating a profitable Industry for ‘educating’ the Word? In other words, doesn’t it strike oddly that certain believers went from just trying to learn and live the Word, to nowadays touting to be Scholars Setting Up Shop as Paid Experts in the Field of Christian Theology and Education? Which works out financially wonderful for “them” and what a convenient miracle that God might wait about 1900 years after the ‘earliest disciples’ before finally making sure that scholars and pastors and their assistants are now also regularly getting “paid” to serve him? Nope, nothin’ Pharisees-fishy about that scenario, right? Perhaps but the aroma I’ve detected from “that scenario”, might reek as abominable to God too in which case; pay-rolled professors and preachers might have big problems? Ouch; struck a nerve? ;) Well hold your high horses there a moment too because from checking the Bible and last time I checked in with God, I’m certain He is still running Christianity on earth, not scholars and clergy which means God, by his will and power Still Does the Choosing of his Disciples and the Ordaining of his Ministers etc., not ‘Professor Whatever’ or ‘Reverend Whomever’ or Seminary Wherever. Neither does the bible prophecy that a privileged minority of followers should be salaried servants while the vast majority of brethren are not and thus a conundrum perhaps which sounds so obviously absurd that the mere thought of the premise, makes me want to retch? But feel free to respond with biblically supported evidence justifying “Your Paid Vocation For God”? I’m listening.

But I think most pastors honestly believe they are doing the right thing and far be it for me to question their intent. Only God knows their hearts but we certainly can and are perhaps obligated to at least test their authority and interpretation of the Bible because I’ve heard sermons that don’t jive with my biblical interpretation and probably you have too? But even if a preacher is talking nonsense, nobody questions them. Why not? Well, as I mentioned, it’s probably because the pastor has finished their sermon and you will not see him or her again until next Sunday and/or the preacher is purposely avoiding scrutiny for some reason? I’ll even give you a personal example. There was a small church I attended a couple of times and one Sunday, the pastor’s sermon didn’t ring true to me, so I emailed the pastor later expressing my concerns about the sermon. Well I guess the pastor didn’t like that and he actually told me not to attend his church anymore without giving any reason whatsoever. So ‘this so-called ‘pastor’ not only avoided being “tested”, he refused to be questioned at all and also committed the unforgivable sin of hating his brother for doing so. I tried again later too but he refused to meet with me and reconcile but this kind of behavior by clergy is neither surprising nor unusual and it seems to be happening everywhere. More often than not, I think pastors deem themselves beyond reproach and it’s a miracle if you find them spreading the gospel away from their church building. Indeed it seems redundant that a pastor keeps reminding the “same congregation of believers” 52 Sundays every year about the “same gospel” from the “same bible” which all the parishioners can read from too. But wouldn’t you figure that after 2 or 3 or 10 or 20 times; that the “congregation” should have gotten the message by then? Yet there “they are” every week! The “same” pastor reminding the “same” congregation of the “same” biblical passages which both the pastor and parishioners already know from reading the “same” bible instead going out into the world and reminding the people who don’t go to church?

And didn’t Jesus spend hours and hours at a time spreading the gospel and doing this perhaps almost Every Day? Do you know any pastors/ congregations doing this? I sure don’t. So as the saying goes; it might be fair to ask: what’s wrong with this Picture? Is ‘Today’s Preacher’ now just a once-a-week Sermonizer instead of a Full Time pastor and teacher of God’s Word and if we pay them to be ‘full time’, why are they only preaching once a week and in a place where almost Everyone has already heard the “good news”? :) That’s a fair question to ask isn’t it? Apart from Sunday Service and perhaps the occasional Baptism, what else is today’s pastor doing all week to serve God?

Ah but Jesus did command us per Mark 16:15 to go “into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature” and baptize and heal etc. (also see Matthew 10:5-6, Mark 6:7-13, Luke 9:1-6). So it certainly seems that the ‘role’ of a disciple has changed very much indeed over the centuries? But most preachers don’t go into the world to preach the gospel. They sit in a church and wait for those in darkness to come to them and they don’t even preach the gospel every day either because their time is mostly occupied just running the “business end” of a church and presiding over weddings and funerals etc. yet Jesus didn’t even ask his disciples to perform weddings and funerals, did he? And if you wanted to talk to the preacher about something after their sermon, the best you can do is make an appointment if you’re lucky and don’t even think about approaching Celebrity Evangelists because many of them have body guards and you might get tackled or shot, just trying to get close enough to ask a question? But You will have to decide for your self whether or not Your pastor is actually doing and knowing what they’re supposed to according to God’s Plan. This is simply pointing out a ‘pattern’ of behavior which is not consistent with the bible and therefore may not be in accordance with God? Because the pattern seems to be that the vast majority of believers do an awful lot of talking and listening with perhaps only a tiny fraction of believers actually going out there doing the spreading and being persecuted? Is that how God meant it to be? Are most of us called to just live out our lives and go to church on Sundays as often as we can and never spread the gospel and never be persecuted? Well whether you want to admit it or not, that’s pretty much what most believers are doing? They’re all eager to ‘quote’ the bible every week but very few parishioners/pastors are actually out there obeying/practicing the Word of God. But there may be a very simple explanation for why the vast majority of believers including pastors, don’t go out into the world spreading the gospel because they are probably afraid and/or are simply powerless Christians?

In other words, over the centuries, it seems that Christian leaders have gradually moved the good fight ‘indoors’ where “powerless” believers are almost completely safe from persecution and where it’s certainly more comfortable for a preacher to say what they have to say? So now God’s so-called warriors are doing their fighting from inside church buildings by singing and praying and drinking coffee instead of being sacrificial lambs spreading the gospel among those in darkness out there in the real evil parts of the world where blood might be spilled in His name rather than “coffee”? But that shouldn’t come a shocking revelation nor is it unusual behaviour because who wants to have a door slammed in their face or worse, for spreading “good news”? I remember a long time ago peddling a product door-to-door and how lousy it felt being rejected in the flesh by a stranger. IT SUCKED BIG TIME and was very depressing. So I get it! I know exactly why believers aren’t out there talking to strangers but guess what folks? That is what Jesus commands we do. And no, I don’t spread the gospel to strangers often enough myself either nor do so in a crime-infested neighbourhood or a godless foreign country. Nor do I help the needy as much as I probably should but one day though, perhaps I will pay a more severe price wherever I may be and whatever I’m doing in His name because ‘I asked god to empower me’ but that’s mostly up to God too? The point being that maybe most believers aren’t even ‘asking God’ for the power to take any kind of risk in His name? It’s much safer to just stay home and read the bible and “ask” God to make your life easier and safe.

Back to sermons again; perhaps many of us have heard preachers ramble on about things that have nothing to do with God and we’ve all seen famous TV Evangelists being exposed as frauds and crooks. But do the math. If there is this much deceptive behavior in churches which can’t even escape the Media, then God only knows how rampant “deception” might be happening all over the world? So in this regard, there does appear to be increasing evidence to suggest that Today’s Clergy have moved away from what their “true calling” is supposed to be? One thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is why do we pay clergy a salary above and beyond their basic requirement of food and clothing? Show me in the Bible where it says believers are to be paid for serving God? Most believers probably don’t think about that but 1 Corinthians 9:18 says: “What is my reward then? Verily that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.” In fact, didn’t the earliest disciples work for their food and lodging so they wouldn’t be a burden to anyone while they were spreading the good news and healing etc.? Not only that but they spread the gospel while also being under the constant threat of being killed.

What percentage of today’s pastors operates under the same circumstances as the early disciples? Safe to say perhaps, not very many and most pastors in North America for example, work under no threat whatsoever. Isn’t this contradictory to the teachings of Christ? Did Jesus say that his “disciples” get to keep themselves nice and safe in a warm cozy church building every Sunday and the minister gets to collect a salary as well? I don’t think so and what if God blesses only pastors who support themselves financially? Who knows; but how many preachers and evangelists in the world do you think would fulfill their “role” without pay? Would you? I doubt it.

Speaking of Money, the love of which “is the root of all evil” (1 Timothy 6:10) is perhaps the most condemning ailment in Christendom. If you don’t believe that, then just ask your pastor to preach for nothing but their food and clothing and see what happens and of course believers on the church payroll are ecstatic ‘getting paid to go to church’ and wouldn’t even give it a second thought. I’m sure decades ago I probably would have enjoyed going to church much more too if a salary came with it but today and now that I am a Christian, I couldn’t accept a salary to serve God in any capacity as part of a ‘church community’ though very tempting and this letter has gone out to scores of clergy but only one paid-pastor has ever responded and claimed that he deserves a salary. Which perhaps speaks for itself but how does one know if they’re getting a bonafide pastor/teacher? Simply put, you don’t know for sure. Anybody with the gift of gab can recite biblical verses to crowds of people but that doesn’t necessarily make them a teacher approved by God. But if you believe you’re getting the Bang for your Buck from “the Person who speaks at the pulpit”, then hallelujah for that and I hope it works for you but if you’re actually being led inadvertently down the wrong path, Who is to blame? The answer would be: You; wouldn’t it?

You; are the one who decides whether or not you believe your “church experience” is the real thing or if it’s just a bunch of feel-good folks gathering on Sunday going through motions and thinking they might be Christians. Cautioning; about a church where the pastor does all the Talking and the congregation does all the Listening and neither questions the other which leaves the congregation just wondering if what they heard is true and the pastor just presuming what they’re saying is true and the pastor doesn’t ask if anyone understands what they’re hearing and the congregation doesn’t ask if the pastor knows what they’re talking about. If so, when and how does the realization of God’s Truth become evident in ‘that kind’ of Pastor-Congregation relationship because if neither the congregation nor the preacher is tested through “edification” about what they think is ‘true’, then the entire church could be on the wrong path for all “they” know?

So if you are one of those believers that just assumes the pastor knows what they’re talking about, then welcome to your own delusion perhaps because history has many tragic examples of people who naively follow other humans. An entire Country didn’t question what Hitler was saying until it was too late so it’s certainly not unreasonable that a Church or even an entire Religion might be false but when it comes to Your Salvation; “too late” is not an option. So if You aren’t asking questions and getting answers which edify, then you might just be going through the motions of being in church instead of truly following Christ and never find heaven? Indeed it’s likely those who follow Pro Sports and Soap Operas vastly outnumber followers of Christ? So don’t kid yourself because when you come across churches without Bibles and pastors that become belligerent if you question them, there is no doubt of deception. Not to mention the filthy rich Mega Churches with leaders who enjoy such luxurious lives that they need bodyguards to protect their own best interests as well as all the people ‘exploiting God’ trying to make a living selling theological publications and profiting from religious-related products they market via the Internet through their personal and church websites. The same goes for people associated with so-called Christian Television Networks trying to become Media Celebs and promoting Their biblical doctrine and Their favourite book authors and world causes and selling merchandise; most of which is probably abominable to God? That’s what I’m afraid “church” has become for the most part and almost certainly why more and more people no longer go to church or watch Christian programs and partly why Christianity is now tainted beyond any significant reformation? Which means it’s not just a matter of ‘going to church’ anymore but whether or not you can even find a legitimate church community?

But how does one determine a church’s legitimacy? Well of course we hope and pray God convinces us by his power and also look to the Bible for verifying things like; how many legitimate Baptisms are performed at the church and whether or not the members are edifying and sharing communion and also meeting away from the church building other than on Sundays and how many members are actually going out into the world spreading the gospel? As well as witnessing and verifying miraculous manifestations of God’s power such as healings, speaking and interpretation of tongues and definitely questioning a church which doesn’t offer Bibles for everyone in attendance? Also you want a pastor who is humbled with a passion to talk about God anytime and is easily accessible and eager to interact spontaneously with members of the congregation but also a preacher who can correctly interpret the verses they quote from the bible? Or even a pastor that still makes house calls is perhaps a good sign of a legitimate Church but good luck finding one of ‘them’ anymore?

Nowadays though, most pastors are seen only at Sunday service and you can’t even ask questions during the service. But isn’t that what the edifying/teaching/learning process is all about? Jesus answered people’s questions and just as in regular school, students ask the teacher questions and that’s how they learn, so why should the church process be any different today? Why aren’t ‘we’ going to church to interact with our brethren and openly sharing our sorrows our triumphs our struggles and our hearts so that we may become closer and more like-minded and grow together in Christ? An interaction which also includes the pastors, elders, teachers and those spiritually-gifted all coming together as a ‘whole congregation edifying’ but I’ve never seen this happening. The ‘church process’ is basically a one-way-street. The Preacher talks, You listen and then Everyone goes home without edifying or asking questions and therefore not necessarily accomplishing anything. I mean what’s the point in having a church of 500 people for example but 490 of them are strangers to you? How is being part of ‘that kind of church’ any different than being part of a Rock Concert with 50,000 fans but 49,996 of them are strangers to you? In other words, the only thing you’ve got in common with those ‘500 people’ is that “you” all show up at the same church on Sunday. However, James 5:16 says: “Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” To me, this passage biblically defines the main function of a ‘church’ and is what “edifying” is all about. That’s how I think the earliest churches functioned and what I’ve looked for in a church but haven’t witnessed yet and probably never will because most churches are just a gathering place for believing strangers who have no intention of getting to know each other, let alone edifying in Christ?

Church services are merely staged scenes where believers have been trained to show up, sing songs, say a few prayers, listen to a speech about God which they’ve probably already heard or have read in the bible dozens of times and otherwise keep their mouth shut but not actually utilize the church building to interact with brethren. Hundreds of people in pews shoulder-to-shoulder and they don’t even know the Name of the person sitting right beside them. In fact, edification has been so blatantly omitted, that in some churches I’ve seen the pastor actually tell the congregation to turn around and look at each other and say hello to the person standing next to you and behind you and in front of you and “that” is as close to ‘believers edifying’ as most churches get which is ridiculous. Members of Glee Clubs and High School football teams are spiritually closer than most Churchgoers and if you need proof, then next time immediately after church service, just ask a complete stranger in your congregation if they would like to talk about God further and come to your house or go to theirs right after the service and see what happens? Their response will almost always be an uncomfortable No or No but thanks for asking or No but perhaps another time? But the reality is more likely that You would never dare ask a stranger in church to do that in the first place or even just to prove the point, simply because edification is not practiced in most churches? Therefore most churchgoers remain strangers and most pastors don’t even think to use a church for edification purposes. How biblically ignorant is that? Shouldn’t the pastor instead be instructing everyone to stick around after the service and get to know each other? I mean how can you get to know brethren in your own church when everybody goes home? It’s not possible! Period. You will never know your brethren and come to edify with them until God compels you make the effort to actually sit and talk with them and you have a church building right there in which to do ‘that’ but nobody does it and that is why it’s so “ridiculous”. After the service, you can’t even ask the preacher questions because they’ll claim to be too busy and if you’re having a spiritual crisis Monday to Saturday, the pastor is nowhere to be found. So even though a church might ‘appear to be’ functioning normally by having a Sunday service and a preacher giving a sermon to a bunch of believers, it may actually be a Dead church or misleading at best? So maybe the church service itself needs to be reformed? Maybe pastors need to stop lecturing ‘to’ the congregation and come down off their High Holy Horse and start interacting with them? How about a service where the first 15 minutes has the pastor thanking everyone for coming along with a short prayer; then for the next hour or two everyone can grab a coffee and mingle and introduce themselves to people they have never met before and sit and talk about God in fellowship, while the pastor and elders are mingling with everyone too and especially talking with those who haven’t found God yet and also getting to know their fellow parishioners better? Then perhaps the pastor could end the service with singing and rejoicing and even sharing some of the things they learned from the mingling; along with a final prayer?

But of most pastors are doing this, would never think of doing this and won’t ‘do that’ because it would mean losing ‘control’ over the congregation for an “hour or two” and taking the spotlight off of their self and the wonderful sermon they prepared. They can’t handle spontaneity in their church and leaving things up to God to ‘knit all the mingling together for his purpose’, not the pastor’s agenda and though God might surely appreciate worshipers gathering in churches on Sunday praising him in song but if “those doing the singing” don’t even know each other and need to be told to “say hello”, then perhaps it is little more than just paying Lip Service to God? And what good is a pastor who doesn’t use a church building for the ‘edification of its believers’ but rather to take center stage for themselves to speak their mind rather than mingle with their brethren and also practice what they preach which is How To get to know and love one another in Christ? It makes absolutely no sense whatsoever!

What’s the point of having a building for believers to meet in about God but nobody actually meets anyone and talks about God with each other?

Surely I’m not the only one to discern this?

Not only that but why isn’t the church open all day on Sundays so believers could come and meet and edify with brethren and the pastor throughout the day and night? Or even leave and return to the church as they please to meet new brethren throughout the day? Isn’t that what the Sabbath is for? Isn’t that what Church Buildings are for? Isn’t that what God wants his children doing on Sundays in Church Buildings? Isn’t that God 101? Isn’t that Bible 101?

I mean what part of “Wake Up And Smell The Coffee” aren’t believers understanding? By all means, have a sermon and prayer and singing too but just because believers can sing in unison, doesn’t mean they are spiritually unified. Oh by the way, that unheard-of ludicrous concept of “mingling” and having a church open All Day on Sunday is called: An Open House. :) Or shall we say it’s God’s Open Church Building for his children to utilize All Day on Sundays? Which means it’s a building for “the pastors, elders, teachers and those spiritually-gifted” to also come and go and hang out all day long and get to know their brethren and learn and teach others the importance of edifying in His name instead of just yapping at them for most of the service and then sending everyone home without anyone edifying. That is what cries out to me as being perhaps the single most Fundamental Flaw with today’s churches and what is “not going on”. Because like the saying goes: “talk is cheap” and if your church is only being used on Sunday part-time to hear a pastor ‘talk’ at 9AM and then it gets cleared out to make room for the next herd of cattle at 11AM or 7PM for more of the same “talk” and believers aren’t using the building to edify; then the pastor might as well lock the church doors on Sundays too because maybe God probably doesn’t bless “Part-Time” believers and doesn’t attend church buildings open only “Part-Time” and maybe God doesn’t waste his power on believers including pastors who spend No Time edifying with their brethren on Sundays in their own church buildings? Do you think God doesn’t notice that most parishioners are complete strangers to each other and this goes on week after week, year after year in most churches and isn’t it convenient for believers that church services are finished before the Ballgames start? Well so much for ‘dedicating our Sundays to God’. ;)

Makes you wonder what they’re teaching would-be pastors in School? Well obviously they aren’t being taught much about “edification” and most pastors never leave the sanctuary of their own church building to ‘spread the gospel’ so it appears they are being taught that a pastor’s main function is to wait for God to send them sinners to listen to their sermon and to run the Business end of a church building? In other words, today’s churches are a kind of One-Stop-Shopping-Center for all your salvation needs but only open on Sundays? Which means we’ve now got God trained to do all the dirty and dangerous work for us and he also fits everything into the pastor’s Sunday schedule?

Which is not true since ‘God is in control of everything’ and we go by his schedule but it sure seems like ‘pastors’ are now trying to control today’s churches and not necessarily according to the Bible either? Regardless, we are either doing what God wants or we’re not but the evidence clearly points to the latter because we’ve got so-called “Christian” churches devoid of edification, different doctrines, different beliefs, different titles, different prayers, different denominations, different bibles and even a different Jesus. There are others who write about these things too and I probably won’t be the last but why are so many Christian faith-based churches different in so many ways and why don’t believers have the wherewithal to even discuss? Have we all become ‘pillars of the church in our own minds’ and refuse to question anything we think and do? It’s not as though you have to look hard for these “differences” among Christian churches either. On the contrary, it’s more a matter of finding Two Christian Churches which are actually alike. That’s what I found most disturbing but it doesn’t matter what I think. A more relevant question is; what does God think about it? Because ultimately, doesn’t God do the ‘choosing’ of those whom he is saving and therefore, isn’t it by God’s will that each believer knows whether or not they are convicted in Christ? That’s how I feel properly convicted but other than that, I also think ‘edification with brethren’ was the most significant element of credence in the earliest churches and crucial to endurance? But it seems today’s churches are so far removed from that kind of ‘fellowship’ and are now using the Bible to ‘replace’ edification? Believers can’t even look their brethren in the eye at church let alone edify with them and if this is happening in Your church and questions aren’t being openly asked and answered, then perhaps it is Your thinking and the church you attend that is in question? And if what you read in the Bible doesn’t jive with what’s being preached in your church, then Speak Up and ask why or why not! God willing, you might be glad you did question your spiritual surroundings because if all you do now is show up on the Sundays which are convenient for you and avoid eye contact with the people around you and then go home, it’s likely no more a spiritual experience than staying home watching football or shopping at the mall?

We have more than 14 different versions of the Holy Bible too which has also led to differing opinions among believers. Nor is it implied that God is pleased to see his Word has perhaps been bastardized into many different biblical texts and interpretations? So how can there be unity in a belief system that has so many “differences”? Trust humankind though to turn ‘God’s Word’ into several different theories but 1 Corinthians 4:20 says: “For the kingdom of God is not in word but in power”. So I believe it is God’s power that enables teachers to teach, and pastors to preach, and brethren to edify and in turn, the same power which enables our words to mean what God wants them to mean when interacting with others. The ‘written’ Word is perhaps merely a luxury afforded to believers of this age but mainly a reminder to keep us focused on desiring the ‘power’ to serve in God’s kingdom? Unfortunately the ‘written word’ can be manipulated by man and almost certainly has been re-written in many different ways over the centuries which may have a
Paul Asrequired , 12/18/11 01:30 AM
Thank you Ed. I have quit going to church for the most part. The worship used to be genuine under the former leaders. These leaders attened because of what they found there which is now missing. You could hear each others' voices in those days. Now our voices are drowned completely out. You are correct about the teens that have been given the worship, and that it is a terrible mistake. What they do is not worship but showing off like worldly rock stars. It leaves most of us flat, so why bother going when all it does is assault the ear drums and make people deaf? Worship is supposed to lead us into the throne of God. This heavy metal stuff leads people in the opposite direction. It is not worship, it is copying the world from which we are supposed to be separate.
Baby Boomer , 12/19/11 01:36 AM
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Pakistan vs England 2012 guide2dubai , 12/19/11 02:51 AM
A sweet tear jerker of a story.
tom upchurch , 12/20/11 05:03 AM
Beautiful story!
Linda Upchurch , 12/20/11 05:18 AM
I'm sure there are so many who can identify with this journey you took us on. Beautifully written. I look forward to reading more of your work.
Heather Merritt , 12/20/11 10:03 AM
Yes, it brings tears to one' eyes, but it tells how God works in our life through others, when we believe in him. I hope others have seen his work in their own life, as I have.
Bobbie Mesite , 12/20/11 10:48 AM
very touching! You have just a gift!
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crumethurman exapsezem , 12/20/11 06:12 PM
Dear Baby Boomer,

One final comment in regard to what you refer to as the "heavy metal" music so typically used in corporate worship services these days: I personally don't have a problem with any particular style of music. Styles and preference options are fairly diverse. I think that is a good thing in and of itself and I say, to each his or her own - but everything also in it's proper place. Just because I may not prefer a certain style doesn't make it something bad.

What I do disagree with is the fact that so many modern worship leaders insist upon a certain style of music or certain types of sounds as a prerequisite in worship services. As I see it, every type of sound or style of music should be like tools in a toolbox, taken out and used only when deemed appropriate as the Holy Spirit leads. In the modern church however, certain types of sounds - in particular this "heavy metal" sound, as you call it, is a non negotiable part of corporate worship and corporate worship has become something of a continual blast. There is no longer any room for tenderness.

Worship leader Bob Fitz once said "Praise is done standing; worship is done on your face." and "Never let the "Ooohhh!" go out of worship!" From what I can tell, the "Ooohhh!" has gone out of modern worship. Reborn people who are led by the Holy Spirit should be like kites; sensitive to the moving of His refreshing and empowering Wind. To someone desiring sensitivity to the Holy Spirit's leading, song lists should only be points of reference, subject to change at God's pleasure.

From what I know through experience in modern worship bands, leaders are less willing to be open to spontanious moves of the Spirit. They say "This is the type of music we're supposed to play now and that's that." and as I said, I feel the tenderness has gone out of worship. Let's pray for change and hope people begin to have open minds and give our views some prayerful consideration. God bless.
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shan lak , 12/23/11 08:11 AM
So true. Christ is the ultimate gift, and we - believers - are His hands and feet. Great reminder. Thanks!
Kim Owens , 12/23/11 02:45 PM
Julie, gracias por compartir esta experiencia. Es maravilloso ver cómo Dios trabajó en el corazón de las personas que les ayudaron. Dios es bueno y siempre nos rodea de gente que nos amá y que estén a nuestro lado en los momentos que él permite que tengamos pruebas tan grandes como la que ustedes vivieron.
ADA ARVIZU , 12/24/11 02:22 PM
I'm not 100% certain one can site a "problem" with a declining birth rate, after all it is mentioned more than once in the Bible that it is better for a man or woman to marry, but if they MUST give into the their desires, than do so. So to state there is a problem with low birth rates, could almost suggest that the scriptures has a flawed system of information. Correct?
Raven Belle , 12/24/11 06:01 PM
My apologies my intend was to state the Bible indicates it is better for one NOT to marry.
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Chane Chanel , 12/27/11 12:19 AM
Dear Ed,

I have been praying for our church's worship to change for the better as you suggested. The Christmas Eve service was just about as far away from worship and thoughtfulness as could be. To keep it dark, they locked the handicapped door access, so after being dropped off there, it was very painful to walk to the back entrance. The noise was deafening, Christmas carols were jazzed up, and they literally called it a show. I have determined that I cannot return there to worship, as there is no worship there. I'm still praying for positive change, however.
Baby Boomer , 12/27/11 12:00 PM
BELIEVE...FAITH...that's what God is asking from us since the beginning! And HE never fails to give us what we need whether we believe Him or not...that's How GOOD our GOD is!!! this story really touches my heart! good job,keep it up!
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Westeart neaxiceseeake , 12/28/11 12:55 PM
talk is cheap. everybody has an opinion, a resolute opinion. I wonder what was going on in the minds of let's say, an old woman, about getting ready to have her head cut off, by one of Joshua's soldiers. Also, what was going on in the soldier's mind when he sees the old lady's eyes get wide open right before the strike. I think if many of u would put flesh and blood to these old testament people instead of it being history, you wouldn't be so quick to be so resolute in your responses, including John Piper.
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vinman s , 01/01/12 06:09 AM
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Tom Terry , 01/02/12 05:41 PM
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To,

Dear brother in Christ



Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ



Let me introduce myself that my name is P. EPHRAIM, from India. We have established the society in the year 1997 with the help of some faithful Christians. We established this society only because that we can proclaim the spirit of God in our areas some of our teams have been distributing the Bible free tracts and booklets in the particular centers, Hospitals, Educational centers and some remote villages. We also distribute them for the Pastors and Evangelists.



Through this process we are able to cover our Mandal nearly 15 villages. Pastors and Evangelists of different areas also getting free tracts and booklets from us. And they good understand about Bible through this literature. It has become a burden for us to continue this program. If I got generous hand of yours. I will be able to succeed in this program.



By the grace of God, we run a Christian lending library in my area. So many people are come and search the spiritual books and read and known the real God of Jesus. Here, my position is not good, because of no sufficient spiritual literature. Many people are disappointed of short of literature.



So, brother please consider my request and pray for my spiritual need of my people and send some of your publications and Gospel Tracts to me. We pray for you and your families and also your ministries.



Pls Prayer for our Need‘s: - Brother, if you possible please provide here in my area, Your Gospel messages are relay to free media. Here so many free media channels are broadcast some business, Films and etc, but there is no our Gospel messages free Media in my state (Andhra Pradesh). So, brother, please consider my request and provide your material and support to start the Gospel Messages free Media (FM)Free Media; here so many people are used free media sets, audio.

We request you please kindly consider my request and support my above media center in my state . we pray for you and your family and also your ministry .

See Our Web Site : - www.soul2soulministriesindia.co.cc

[1] Church ministry [2] women s ministry.[3] youth ministry

[4]children s ministry[5] House visiting ministry [6] tracks ministry

[7] Bible distribution ministry [8] street gospel ministry [9] hospital ministry



Please pray for us as we pray for you. We shall await for your further the most valuable and prayerful response at an earliest with good anticipation and fervent hope.

We pray for you and your Family and also your ministry in my Regular prayers.





Yours in His service forever



Rev . P. Ephraim
Ephraim PENUAMLA , 01/03/12 09:33 AM
“TEACHING EVERYONE WITH ALL WISDOM SO THAT WE MAY PRESENT EVERYONE PERFECT IN” . . . COL 1: 28

SOUL2SOULMINISTRIES

P.O.BOX-3 ,TENALI-522201,GUNTUR(DT)A.P.INDIA

==============================================================[..] the eyes of the Lord your God are continually on it from the beginning of the year to its end " Deuteronomy 11:12

Rev. P. EPHRAIM

To,

Dear brother in Christ



Greetings to you in the most precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ



Let me introduce myself that my name is P. EPHRAIM, from India. We have established the society in the year 1997 with the help of some faithful Christians. We established this society only because that we can proclaim the spirit of God in our areas some of our teams have been distributing the Bible free tracts and booklets in the particular centers, Hospitals, Educational centers and some remote villages. We also distribute them for the Pastors and Evangelists.



Through this process we are able to cover our Mandal nearly 15 villages. Pastors and Evangelists of different areas also getting free tracts and booklets from us. And they good understand about Bible through this literature. It has become a burden for us to continue this program. If I got generous hand of yours. I will be able to succeed in this program.



By the grace of God, we run a Christian lending library in my area. So many people are come and search the spiritual books and read and known the real God of Jesus. Here, my position is not good, because of no sufficient spiritual literature. Many people are disappointed of short of literature.



So, brother please consider my request and pray for my spiritual need of my people and send some of your publications and Gospel Tracts to me. We pray for you and your families and also your ministries.



Pls Prayer for our Need‘s: - Brother, if you possible please provide here in my area, Your Gospel messages are relay to free media. Here so many free media channels are broadcast some business, Films and etc, but there is no our Gospel messages free Media in my state (Andhra Pradesh). So, brother, please consider my request and provide your material and support to start the Gospel Messages free Media (FM)Free Media; here so many people are used free media sets, audio.

We request you please kindly consider my request and support my above media center in my state . we pray for you and your family and also your ministry .

See Our Web Site : - www.soul2soulministriesindia.co.cc

[1] Church ministry [2] women s ministry.[3] youth ministry

[4]children s ministry[5] House visiting ministry [6] tracks ministry

[7] Bible distribution ministry [8] street gospel ministry [9] hospital ministry



Please pray for us as we pray for you. We shall await for your further the most valuable and prayerful response at an earliest with good anticipation and fervent hope.

We pray for you and your Family and also your ministry in my Regular prayers.





Yours in His service forever



Rev . P. Ephraim
Ephraim PENUAMLA , 01/03/12 09:36 AM
I was just wondering that Muhammad is always called the murdering rapist false prophet, and him being these things give us a reason to reject his prophethood. But after looking at passages like Numbers 31:16-18, II Samuel 12:31, I Samuel 15:2-3, I Samuel 6:19, Deuteronomy 13:15; I think this argument is self defeating. Besides our Lord Jesus being one of the trinity since eternity of course is also there in giving these commandments is he not? But I am taught that he has only taught us to love/.
Crimson Tears , 01/03/12 07:59 PM
Dear Craig,

What you wrote didn't seem to answer the question posed in the title of your article. Here is what I found missing in what you wrote: respect for elders and respect for their tutoring the younger generations in the faith. What I did seem to sense in your article was an expectency of entitlement to have all things revolve around the youth. No sir. Jesus must be central, not any group. I think may of the youth and their youthful leaders have their priorities mixed up.
Baby Boomer , 01/04/12 01:55 AM
*many

I find disrespect in the form of insistence on the type of music (noise) style that drives many of us out of the church, namely heavy metal guitar sounds and rock star gyrations on stage as if they are performers. Forget it. that's not church. Respect the elders, learn from them about what real worship is and what a real move of the Spirt is rather than assume that youthful exuberance is a move of the Holy Spirit. It isn't. Find the real deal, and don't copy the world.
Baby Boomer , 01/04/12 02:00 AM
Braskpatria neaxiceseeake , 01/05/12 11:54 PM
Preach It Teach It never disappoints. Hopefully, these words are useable on Facebook, where I intend to post them. Blessings, George F. Erhardt.
George F. Erhardt , 01/08/12 04:01 AM
I'll never forget the day I found my mom crying at my church. I knew she and dad were not comfortable with the style of worship but I didn't expect her to cry. I ask why and mom said, "I never thought I'd see a day when people would wait in the cold rain to come and worship; the style is different but the message is reaching them so it's ok." Each generation must be different from the next, I don't know why but it seems to be the way it is. It is the message that is important, not the presentation.
gayla strong , 01/09/12 08:58 PM
Hi Rodger,

I was raised ina church that preached water babtism as the only way to salvation. Missing church on Sunday was a deadly sin and the church I attended was the only church .

I was batized thinking I was being saved, not by what our Lord and Savior did at Calvary,or his finished work at the cross,

The question I have? Should I consider being babtized again since I was before under false pretenses? thanks
Larry Pinkerton , 01/10/12 01:32 AM
"Despite out inabaility to comprehend God's action," he always covers our back. what a joy to know that i need not to understand God often but to trust him. Good thought for the day! It's inspiring and faith provoking. Thanks
Paul Payway , 01/10/12 08:33 AM
If you would like to view the pictures included with my article of the storm and Sgt Tim, please feel free to email me at drkeithwaggoner@yahoo.com and I will send them to you. God Bless, Keith
Keith Waggoner , 01/10/12 09:44 AM
Wow. Fantastic...convicting...encouraging... Thanks so much for a thoughtful way to start the day.
Jeff H. , 01/10/12 11:57 AM
Hi Tom:

Greetings from South Carolina! How is life and ministry going there in Mongolia!?

A well=stated reminder of what we need to prayerfully consider, in our examination of both our personal walk with God, and of the evangelism and discipling we are doing.

I well remember the day (in 1983, wasn't it?) when you embraced Christ, and little more than an hour later, gave public testimony to the fact. You started right, and have stayed right. God bless you and your family!
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vinman s , 01/11/12 10:52 AM
Thanks Bill! Blessings to you.
Tom Terry , 01/11/12 09:05 PM
The mark of a Christian is to love awkward people and help them to become confident people.
Hans Brammer , 01/16/12 01:38 PM
At some of your points I agree, some I don't. I think the operative here is we, as Christians, should remember that out of God's Grace for us, as He "knows" our unloving attributes, we are to love and forgive our fellow man. Also, your reference to 2 Cor. 12:14, yes our parents need to meet our needs as children to the best of their abilities, but are we as children suppose to forsake our parents financial needs in their older years? There are times when through no fault of our parents, hardships fall. I feel God wants us to care for our parents in their older years.
Millie Hampton , 01/17/12 04:49 PM
Dear Larry,
Yes, certainly. Baptism is never to earn Heaven nor is it necessary for salvation. Baptism is a picture of the death and burial and resurrection of Jesus. it is also a picture of dying to your old life and being resurrected to new life in Jesus. This will be your real baptism.
By the way, if you haven't yet, it is probably time to look for a new church and a different set of friends.
Sincerely, roger
roger barrier , 01/19/12 12:11 PM
You preached a sermon on this very subject many years ago at Casas and it was the message that freed me to forgive and love my father. I learned from that message that honoring my father had nothing to do with whether or not he deserved my honor and respect but everything to do with being obedient to God.

This later translated into my marriage and the command to submit to my husband. Fortunately, Randy has made that job far easier than maybe I deserve. :)
Shari Schultz , 01/19/12 01:21 PM
None of you deserve this.

You need to think about your kids and get out of the abusive relationship, and not soon, NOW!

There comes a time when it's too late, then your children are left alone with the man that has eventually taken your life. If you don't do something to stop the abuse, you will put your kids in a situation where they will be the next target. Trust me.

No religion shall bind you to a life of torture and misery. God will give you the strength to leave if you allow yourself to be strong.

cindy macdonald , 01/24/12 01:08 AM
Hi roger

i would just like to say your advise is really appreciated, i am just messing up my marriage with all my grieve i needed help in finding a way to over come this.
Mrs kennedy Annoymous , 01/29/12 06:17 AM
You say that if a spouse commits adultery then it is okay for the other spouse to remarry. However i dont think the bible says that ,I do think that the way things are worded leads one to assume that that may be the case but it is never said. In fact in other scriptures the bible says - "Mark 10:11-12 [Jesus] answered, “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery.”
Of course you will answer back with Matthew 19 8 "Jesus replied, “Moses permitted you to divorce your wives because your hearts were hard. But it was not this way from the beginning. 9 I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for sexual immorality, and marries another woman commits adultery.”
So you are assuming that in verse matthew 19:9 that since it mentions his wife commiting adultery and then remarriage afterward that that it is okay if it happens because of adultery . I however look at it in a different context. It does not say that it is okay to remarry if adultery has been committed it says if a man divorces his wife for any other reason than adultery Commits adultery, and if he remarries he is also committing adultery. Jesus is answering them about moses permitting them to divorce and remarry. I just don't believe that any preacher should ever tell anyone that it is okay if your spouse has committed adultery that you can remarry. The bible does not say that. I would tell people that they should seek the spirit of god and ask him. After my 38 years here on earth and many years of prayer and experiences in life i do not believe that jesus was giving the okay to remarry in the case of adultery. But he knows that i just wrote this so lets ask his spirit which is aware of this website. Please oh lord and savior jesus the son of the creator. Shed irrefutable light to this discussion to all who are involved in any way. In jesus name i ask Amen.
Sam Hobson , 01/29/12 09:41 AM
Well said, Dr. Leaf! I wish my wife and I had both understood this BEFORE we entered our marriage. Because we didn't, we inflicted injuries on each other that we are still dealing with.

It should be a required topic for study and discussion in premarital counseling.

Bill Foltz , 01/31/12 09:47 AM
Dr. Weld -

"Multiples are NOT new. What IS NEW is the emerging revealing of people in places of trust that WE have placed those who are the most vulnerable; the ones that cannot defend themselves." "The Football Camps, the Seminaries, the mental wards, the nurseries." "When are We, the people responsible for screening these people, going to start doing a better job of doing it?" "That is the issue for me today!"
George Erhardt , 01/31/12 04:07 PM
Dr. Leaf, I'm giving a short talk on teen brain chemistry this Sunday. I recently presented a two-part series on the same subject, and I used much of the material from your book on this subject. I've been recommending it to many clients here at Casas Church here in Tucson, Arizona, too.

Gottman's research shows that women in 85% of all marriages can keep their cool in an argument easier than a man. Is this more because of the original reactivity of the adrenaline and cortisol bursts, plus the abundance of receptors in the male's amygdala for testosterone? And do the emotions of the female simply "heat up" a little later, e.g., after Gottman is finished observing the couple? Otherwise, you and Gottman would seem to be coming to different conclusions.
Chet Weld , 01/31/12 06:03 PM
I read this book in one night. I was profoundly impacted by the events all under God's ultimate plan to deliver and heal Gwen and Dori. I would encourage all Christians and non Christians to read this miraculous book. It will bring awareness to a misunderstood topic. It will increase your faith in deliverance and healing of any type, and help you know how to better pray for those with any type of afflictions....
Toni Adams , 02/01/12 05:28 AM
It will be interesting when 'those' folks get to heaven (if indeed, they are a true Christ followers) and see the hues of the all those who are part of His Kingdom!!! Now what was the verse about the first shall be last and the last shall be first. ..
Kristi Allen , 02/01/12 02:41 PM
George, God bless you, my brother, and thank you for posting! However, I don't understand your comment. I simply don't know what you are saying. Also, whatever you're saying doesn't seem related to the review of the book. Do you care to explain? And may I ask what you thought of the book review?

Toni, of course, I agree. The eyes of many, especially in America, are blind to spiritual realities, including the influences of demonic forces. This book is deeply engaging and helps us all to better understand the "dark side," as well as the incredible power of God to deliver and heal!
Chet Weld , 02/01/12 07:04 PM
George: I agree with your comment, to many young people are being abused by those that are put in charge of them. Perhaps we are to trusting. Just as we trusted two people that were in personal conact with Gwen.
Dori Egan , 02/02/12 10:25 AM
This is great stuff. I have ruined a relationship that could have been great, because I was not wise enough to know all of the above. I now know these things and agree on every account. He is correct ladies... A great Christian lady is hard to find. Don't ever settle no matter how bleak the outlook. Wait for God's plan to take place.

Signed, a male
Aaron A. , 02/08/12 10:26 PM
Hi Roger,
I am struggling a little with whether or not we as Christians have a responsibility to join in boycotts against company's who hire people living in homosexual lifestyle? The case that is in the news recently, is JC Penny's hiring Ellen DeGeneres as a spokesperson. Can I have your thoughts on this subject please?
Connie Harper , 02/10/12 04:12 PM
Julie - I think testimonials of God really working in people lives can change many who doubt God's faithfulness, and answered prayers (in His time) Thanks for this. Hugs, Betty
betty frank , 02/13/12 01:23 PM
My! This is so truthful and what I've come to personally learn and can testify to! I'm still single too and will stay that way until things are right in the eyes of The One Most High! He wants the very best for me as I do. Everything here is the solid truth! I will definitely print this and share with as many people as I can. Everyone should have a copy of this article in my opinion.

Thank you for telling the truth!

Blessings,

Charlalynn
Charlalynn Harris , 02/14/12 09:38 AM
Julie, These touching accounts make me think of Elisha spreading his entire body out on the dead body of the Shunamite's son (2 Kings 4). At first, Elisha instructed his assistant to lay his staff on the boy. Of course, this did nothing. But a full commitment on the part of Elisha brought the boy to life.

You and Roger model this kind of selfless commitment to the people to whom you're able minister. I think that this is one reason why God's favor abides upon you.

How fulfilling to watch the seeds we plant grow into a harvest! "First the blade and then the ear; then the full corn shall appear." Thanks for the inspiring stories from the files of your precious lives!
Chet Weld , 02/14/12 12:59 PM
Jesus has rightly said it ''ye shall know the truth&the truth shall set you free'' but today many do not want the truth especially on marriage. The reason for mass divorce./ Let this truth circulate all over the wo di.vo
GIDEON AKINREMI , 02/14/12 09:45 PM
i read your blog and had tears running down my cheeks. God has a plan for us all. By opening your home and your hearts, you and Roger go a long way in helping lost souls find their way. Thank you very much for sharing ... it's truly an inspiration. God bless.
prabha fernandes , 02/15/12 12:11 AM
A good encouraging message for the brokenhearted. may God bless you with more wisdom. Amen
ERNEST MAGAVO , 02/15/12 05:06 AM
Thank you so much for sharing this story. God is not finished with any of us yet.
Elspeth Losch , 02/16/12 08:31 AM
Thank you Julie - for being so open and transparent. We all think our universe is contained within ourselves, our family, our friends and our loved ones; and occasionally the people that come and go into and out of our lives. But your story tells of a much more all knowing, all powerful, all gracious God; who would take the seed of love that you planted in Sherry and water and nurture it with other people who love Him like you do. It is He, Who weaves together the fabric of all our lives into a beautiful tapestry pleasing to Him. He Is so infinite and we are so finite, we don't get to see Him at work on His masterpiece, except in small glimpses. Blessings for you and Roger. I enjoy the both of you so much. George.
George F. Erhardt , 02/17/12 09:34 AM
I have a problem with statements like masculine values. I do not think there are masculine values and feminine values. I think there are HUMAN values and that BOTH women and men need to be strong, nurturing, adventurous, relational, goal-oriented, and so on.

I will not attend a church unless it affirms both women and men as images of God. I will not walk inside a church door unless one of its senior pastors is a feminist woman.
Marie Brady , 02/18/12 09:36 PM
whatever
Shenaenae Phillipson , 02/22/12 12:59 AM
I`M SO INSPIRED BY YOUR MESSAGE,I MIGHT SAY IT`S AN OWESOME.GOD BLESS YOU.PASTOR DANIEL K.AMPONSAH,BAPTIST. SEFWI-WIAWSO,GHANA
DANIEL K. AMPONSAH , 02/25/12 02:11 AM
This blog is nice and amazing. I love your post! It's also nice to see someone who does a lot of research and has a great knack for ting, which is pretty rare from bloggers these days.
Thanks!
Blood pressure
Blood pressure diskrecycling , 02/25/12 12:14 PM
Paul is inspirational.everyone would love 2 follow his footsteps
Celestine Ndinda , 02/25/12 04:57 PM
#10 on this list is one that really caught my attention. It's something that I've been saying for years. Friends ask me why I don't have more Christian music or movies in my home, and I tell them it's because I find the mediocre production quality (and sometimes, talent) relative to the secular music and movie world to be both embarrassing and insulting to God. #5 is another excellent one. I've encountered plenty of Christians who will pray about the problems in this world, but won't do a thing about them directly -- not even vote. I think that's a disgrace.
Jason Stevens , 02/28/12 08:52 AM
Wow. What a challenging, convicting piece. I'm almost 50 years old and have been in the Southern Baptist Church since I was born. I recognize so many of these concepts--taught as theology. You have given me a load to chew on today--thanks!
Jeff H. , 02/28/12 11:43 AM
Thank you so much for this article! I had just reached a place of utter hopelessness when a friend of mine directed me to this website! You have been a gentle light to me today!! Thank you and God bless!
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cheap jeremy lin jerseys lindacry , 02/29/12 03:24 AM
In a sermon of my father's from his student days at Boston University, I came across this prayer from a self-righteous man: "Lord, grant that I may be right, for you know I never change." God bless all such folks....and may they some day change!
Chet Weld , 03/02/12 10:42 PM
thanks for knowledge shearing please keep it up.
brand caps , 03/06/12 01:11 AM
i like new york caps at rockthathat
hip hop caps , 03/06/12 11:51 PM
I found this post quite informative. As one who is guilty of having caused similar pain to my ex-spouse as this woman describes, I can say that I am very sorrowful for her and grateful that there are solid Christian brothers and sisters willing to provide whatever measure of comfort they can to saints who have been offended in matters such as the one described here. There are a couple of points given here that I would ask for clarification on though.

The final thought in the post says it is not possible to be at peace with all people and references Romans 12:7. It is not clear to this reader what the intended correlation between this verse or its adjoining verses may have to do with being at peace with all people or any particular segment of people. This verse, in its context, seems to be admonishing saints to use their specific God-given gifts and talents for the edification of the body of Christ. Perhaps the point is that not every saint has the gift of being a peace maker, I'm not sure.

The only other point I need clarification on is the stated forth point concerning what forgiving DOESN'T mean. Again, I am someone who is guilty of having committed adultery, so it may be prudent to consider my perspective on this, as opposed to the perspective of the betrayed spouse with the original question. Being someone who has been guilty of sin (just like everyone has) and has repented (just like every born again Christian), shouldn't I expect God to restore me and my relationship with Him? The premise of the forth point seems to suggest that God has one standard of forgiveness, and we (as mere flesh and blood) have a lower standard of forgiveness. Should we expect God to forgive us but only partially restore us, or maybe not restore us at all, as this forth point suggests an offend spouse has the option to do? As I understand, saints are to pattern themselves after Christ; I would assume that would also include the way we forgive. Please clarify.
Flesh Bound , 03/07/12 05:30 AM
I had to share kind of a funny story. My mom was VERY ill, and none of us thought she would pull through. I prayed, when I had to leave her one night, 'Lord..please send your angels to protect her through the night. Send big ones to protect her from above and below. Guard the door to her hospital room.' Early the next morning I arrived to her bedside again and she looked afraid and spoke in whispers.'Barbie..I think I'm dying.' Me:(so frightened) 'Why mama?' My mom..'because I see angels all around me' (I gasp)Her:..'And they're so big!!!!'Then I was able to laugh..'Mama, that's EXACTLY what I prayed for!!' Then we laughed! Angels are to be called on and they are sent from our Lord!
Barbara Parker , 03/08/12 10:46 PM
This article is very interesting for both sexes wanting to devote themselves to Jesus Christ, and for preaching in general.

Thank you, this was helpful!
Chadi - , 03/10/12 03:55 PM
This is what is awesome about Gods grace. There is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. After we, as sinners, have done things that show our evil side, we find freedom in Christ. Christ does not condemn us, but makes us whole-able to be a breath of fresh air to everyone we meet-and able to forgive and ask forgiveness for the not so refreshing way that we have lived. Sexual sin or other sin-we all fall short of the glory of God. But we have freedom in Christ and we now live in that freedom!!
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cowboy hat , 03/14/12 01:12 AM
our pastor has been here for 9 yrs. . .and he has not been with his family during these years. . . He's family (wife and daughter) iis n another country. . .is it right in the eyes of God for them to be separated.
den singkit , 03/15/12 10:23 AM
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hip hop caps , 03/16/12 04:44 AM
Thank you for such a moving story. All I can say is, "God is good all the time and all the time God is good." I am glad we serve a livng God. Thank you Lord for this testimony of your grace and mercy.
Paul Weldon , 03/20/12 09:33 AM
Those of us who have had to help someone die know the agony of the moment, the responsibility of the challenge and the closeness of God all at that defined moment. Thank you for sharing about your precious moments and reminding all readers how awesome is our God!

My favorite song, 'If You Could See Me Now' was sent especially to those who have had the task you so lovingly described. it resounds in me as poignantly as "I Can Only Imagine" did for Donna.
Michaele An Melton , 03/20/12 12:36 PM
I so enjoyed remembering Donna and her family as I read your blog. Donna and Jim blessed a lot of people with their dedication to the Lord. Your story also reminded me of the evening that our Gregory died - March 26, 1996. God prepared our hearts and we sang him into heaven. Sweet memories. Thank you.
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Natalia Ramirez , 03/21/12 08:42 AM
You are the first pastor I have read who actually verbalizes that it is not always "God's will to heal" at least not in our poor human understanding. I thank you for saying that--truly, from the bottom of my heart. I have had too many experiences where God's answer has been "My grace is sufficient for you" when praying for the healing of others, and watching my own father die. The words that come to me are GRACE. At the story of your father who at last says, "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me," yes! In my short, humble approach this is so beautiful as well--Christ gives us His grace to even DIE, to go through the dying process, to be sick and still give him thanks and Glory. To be ready for His next plans for us. I often watched my father seek to save His life--radically, but in the end, he lost his life for Christ. He had to let go. Thanks so much for what you have to say, I have really appreciated it. God bless.
Tiffany D , 03/21/12 09:48 PM
Thank you for sharing this. I wish I had not been so selfish...I did want to let go of my friend. I spent time fighting for her to live, when it was time for her to go.... to be with Jesus, to see His face.
k s , 03/23/12 07:34 PM
Hello everyone I am 23 years old and I met my husband when I was 21 he is 21 years older then me and he abuses me too. In the beginning he was really nice and kind and wanted to do everything for me and loved having me around and seemed like he feel in love with me fast. Next I moved in with him and he would drink and break stuff. Then he started chocking me and pushing me around. For a while there he stopped then ar got married and I thought everything would get better since he always thinks I am going to cheat and I wad trying to show him but it did not. It has got worse. I am not really allowed to do anything without him and he is mean to me verbally and is always negative and puts.me down. He even talks aggressive and since married he has spit on me and last week he attacked me punching me multiple times in my face and head and he made my front left tooth loose and swole my lips. I went to the dentist the next day and they put braces on my front teeth till the gums tighten. If you were.to see him you would think what a nice looking man and he seems like a.wonderful husband but looks can be decieving and behind doors is a.monster its not right. It just stinks because my dad and mom is not around so I have to deal with this now. I wish I never met him and put myself in this situation. I hope God will help us.
Melissa
Melissa s , 03/25/12 03:07 PM
really like the artical............ learnt a lesson.
masilina cadriwa , 03/26/12 05:20 PM
What an inspirational story! And, of course, I'm very thankful to hear that Brie is doing better these days. Praise God!
Thomas Wheeler , 03/27/12 09:17 AM
What awesome experiences. Such come from a close walk with God and how I long to do so.
Ufuoma Lamikanra , 03/28/12 07:27 AM
Great Article. Let's be creative and extravagant. If someone says we're "over the top" then we've probably got it about right.
paintingman Bristol UK , 03/29/12 05:39 PM
dear rodger
from the ages for 4 till i was 14 i was being sexually abused by my uncle i have now grew up into a young woman of 23 i have had my ups and downs though it the whole years of healing and i have never once in my life came to agreeing with myself that it has happened and to get over with it. until i began my first ever relationship i have been so scared to be in a reationship and to make maters worse i wouldnt go near men i have always kept myself to myself until i met a person online from the usa and i went to america last year she bcause my best frend my everything and soon we both had fallen inlove with eachother i love her so much and i no she loves me but the best is still hunting me we cant do anything without me haveing some sort of flashbacks i dont no how to cope i cant keep putting my girlfriend though this its so hard on her to she keeps telling me its only us both there but in my head its not and i run outta the room and hide under the table downstairs for a while please help me i dont no what to do thank you
maria davidson , 03/30/12 07:02 AM
Julie, I remember some of those incidents (the gun shot wound for one). We were all praying so hard. Thank you for sharing this article. It brought tears to my eyes. I miss you all so much but am so thankful that the Lord gave you to us for as long as He did and for the reminder of His presence and the angles that protect us each day by His command. Tell Brie that I'm praying for her and some day -either here or in His wonderful presence she wil be completely well. Love to each of you. Kathy
Kathy Young , 03/31/12 10:28 PM
Thanks for sharing these precious memories of Donna's last days here. I'm so thankful that the Lord sent you to Donna with His words to give her peace. Isn't He just so wonderful Julie? I pray that the Lord sends such a good friend to help me on my way as I leave this place and go home to be with Him.
Kathy Young , 03/31/12 10:45 PM
I am writting because I don't know what else to do or think.I get loratab 10's because I have ostoritis and copd,and in a lot of pain all of the time.I guess he bought some pills I didn't even know he had you blamed me for stilling his pill's.witch I never thought he would ever do that.it's been really bad since we got married in november.I pay all the bill's.If he get's money he takes it all back.lies,sneeks,eat's all the food it could be a week gone by that I dont eat at a time.today he woke me up and said he was gonna take me to get something to eat.started a fight and called me a b--ch.I'm planning my escape right now.I know I have to get away and file a restraining order and divorce.before I end up dead.please prey I get out without getting hurt or killed,ty and god bless.p.s.i know he's a drug addict and drunk today he was caught in his sneekyness
Brandi Lovos , 04/01/12 03:04 AM
Truly speaking that the devil is tempting our Pastor's to have an affair in the church.Most of the churches has been broken up because of that and most of the family's has ben destroyed for example my children and my husband are no longer go to church they go to sheebens instant of going to God's place.They hate what my Pastor does to one of our youth member, she became pregnant and the church split into two.We need to pray for our Pastor's sometimes this youth seduce them badly.
Nosipho Plaatjie , 04/02/12 08:54 AM
Julie, thank you for sharing this with us.
Cindy Groghan , 04/02/12 04:06 PM
it is true we cannot be warriors for god if we do not submit to god and be humble onto him, the road is narrow to those that want to follow jesus, we have to know what it really means to be humble, i have been a believer for 32 years now, i am barely recognizing ,the reality of humbleness and submission, and that it is not that easy, i will give you a parable that stayed with me, about the rich man:jesus asked him ,give away all you have and give to the poor, but jesus knew his heart, and the rich man doughted, and had regrets and couldnt do it, so he wasnt able to follw jesus,but i suspect he went away sad, so it will be with alot of us ,we will backslide.we need to be saturated with gods holy spirit, to continue the work that he chose us to do, in the name of the father the son and the holy spirit.
yolanda martinez , 04/02/12 04:11 PM
would love to watch
Noreen Quincy , 04/03/12 09:53 PM
So moving...thanks for sharing Julie
As the old song says, Oh how He loved you and me. He gave Him life, what more can He do?
Catherine Grennell , 04/04/12 10:51 AM
I think that the story about the cowboys was very interesting. I am a 6th grader doing homeschooling. I am writing a report on the differences and comparision of shepherds and cowboys and thought your writing on cowboys was the best. I was raised on my Hermie Bible.
Nicolas Bradon , 04/09/12 10:32 AM
I have the utmost respect for Max Lucado and have bought most of his books. I love this poem; but I have also read and loved Randy Alcorn's Heaven; and would recommend this book to Mr. Lucado. Especially as he quotes 1 Corinthians 2:9, making an exact opposite point about the entire passage when you include verse 10. "these are the things God has revealed to us by his Spirit." I love how Randy Alcorn explains this passage; also verses 12-16, as follows: "what we have received is not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may understand what God has freely given us. 13 This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught words.[b] 14 The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit. 15 The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, 16 for, “Who has known the mind of the Lord
so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ." Mr. Alcorn's book explains that God has given us many glimpses of Heaven and the Spirit filled ability to imagine it. He wants us to imagine and LONG for Heaven.



Lisa Raborn , 04/11/12 04:02 PM
Thank very much strengthen me with your words of encouragement, I now know the purpose of believing God, for His is always with me and will never lead me astray, I will be courageous and fight forward the His light shine on me.
May God give you multiple knowledge so we can also learn from you to enhance our Christian Life.
kofi banson kofi , 04/13/12 02:17 AM
This should be required reading (along with the two books Keller highlights) for every pastor and elder in the Western world.

But the question that will not go away, and which must be answered, is: Does our ignorance of these truths fit into the category of naive ignorance, or willful ignorance? The naively ignorant can be taught, and are often eager to be taught. The willfully ignorant must be sternly warned of the judgment they face if they persist in this phony "ignorance."
Bill Foltz , 04/17/12 09:02 AM
Your story is beautiful and a reminder that some husbands do honor their solemn marriage vows. I, too, loved someone for a long time, and our story was similar to yours. But, after 45 years of marriage, he decided to leave. I know God had the right person and plan for my life...I just don't know how my broken heart fits into His plan. Bless you, Roger and Julie. You have blessed so many lives, including mine. Thanks for sharing your story.
Nancy Weatherspoon , 04/17/12 12:04 PM
Hebrews 11:3 says nothing about "Jesus being crucified and resurrected before the creation of the cosmos".... Please tell me where you got that idea from and please explain it to me because I don't understand what you're saying. I think it's pretty obvious that life exists elsewhere in the universe and this is a big question for christianity! It's surprising that the Bible and Jesus haven't clearly addressed this issue. Any insight would be appreciated! Thanks
Sir Lockley , 04/17/12 09:03 PM
Julie & Roger, what a treasure to get to read your love story just now. Our family lived at 4030 Valley Ridge, Dallas, and were members at Northway BC thru the 70's, then 8 yrs in 80's. We adored the Barriers! Is his Mom still living? We keep in touch with Allison (Clinch) and her ministry. I had no idea about Roger's heart challenges. My husband (7/6/56=56 yrs nearly)Don had A-Fib Feb. 2011, pacemaker in Nov., and is doing well with it, even tho' he scared us pretty much. However, he has had Sarcoidosis in his lungs since 1978, which is not cancer, but is incurable. He breathes on less than 24% lung capacity, which limits his activities. He just retired Feb. this year, and is looking for something else to do 2-3 days/wk. Drs can't believe he's still working and going; they didn't give him long to live in 1978. We're so grateful that God still wants to use us! We're recent FB friends with Johnny Wyatt and other NWBCers. We love y'all! Gloria'nDon Parker in Paris, TX.
Gloria Parker , 04/17/12 10:22 PM
I would say that's pretty sound advice for either a husband or a wife in the same circumstance.
Lance McKnight , 04/19/12 10:59 AM
Jesus is my Saviour. I should try to save Muslims from the evil Islam cult. Jesus is my sword. I may err often in trying to save Muslims. May my God help me.
Agha Ali Arkhan , 04/20/12 12:21 AM
Thank God for Bill Hybel and his vision for the local Church. i read the whole Reveal series and it has change my view of the local Church. we in Nigeria need you and your teachings thanks.
franklin bernard , 04/22/12 08:42 AM
I am 17 years old and i am in relationship with a guy and he treats nice and tells me he want to marry na me and be with me forever and ever any advice or feedback on what should i do with this relationship should it be serious because i am very scared to fall for this guy and he is not the one....and i've always said i dont want to get married or have kids and these are one of the biggest fear i have is to get abused i've abused all ready through child years and when i get older i dont want to go through that but i've been through alot with abuse and i am reading this i fell love and i feel so sad and i am crying for all of these women on here and i will be praying for all of you women i love you all i might not know you but i feel you in spirit i am a christian also and i will be praying....My God, I can no longer recognize the face that I see in the mirror. Where was the radiant bride that stood here merely five years ago? Where was the young woman full of hope, full of love and full of the promises of a brand new life ahead of her?“Guard my life and rescue me:
let me not be put to shame,
for I take refuge in you.
“May integrity and uprightness
protect me,
because my hope is in you.”
(Psalm 25:20-21)

You will overcome personal fears of failure, of being alone or of having to prove yourself to others. You can look in the mirror and approve of the "you" God created.
Old thought patterns are replaced with new and the metamorphosis from "Victim to " Victor becomes a reality. You are more than a conqueror through Him that loves you. Learning to live Victorously is a process that takes time. We have to train our senses to know right from wrong.Pray harder—prayer changes things.You are not alone.Abuse is wrong. It is not your fault.You did not deserve being hit.You are not responsible for his behavior.No one deserves to be talked to that way.Your first responsibility is to protect yourself and your children.God does not condone abuse. He wants you to be safe.God will not abandon you regardless of your choices.Hear our cries as we agonize
over the harm done to our brothers and sisters.
Breathe wisdom into our prayers,
soothe restless hearts with hope,
steady shaken spirits with faith:
Show us the way to justice and wholeness,
enlightened by truth and enfolded in your mercy.

Holy Spirit, comforter of hearts,
heal your people’s wounds
and transform our brokenness.
Grant us courage and wisdom, humility and grace,
so that we may act with justice
and find peace in you.
We ask this through Christ, our Lord. Amen.
Danielle Charley , 04/23/12 11:06 PM
She used to laugh with abandon,

but she is scared to feel joy,

for it is so very fleeting.

She cringes at the sound of his coming.

Tears fill her eyes,

for she knows that no matter how she tries,

she will not be good enough

or pretty enough

or smart enough

for the one who thinks he is perfect.

She puts up her invisible wall,

and he wonders why.

She cries rivers of tears,

and he steps over them,

afraid of getting his feet wet.

Sometimes she prays

for his demise,

and at the same time

prays for her soul,

lost in wicked imaginings.

Sometimes she prays

to disappear.

Finally she would be free.she deflects them with silence.

When he soaks her in his poison,

she prays it will not seep into her soul...

for she knows she is better than this.

She gives until she is spent.

She loves until she is depleted.

She used to sing like an angel,

but her voice has been stilled.A girl forgotten and unloved,
Been bruised and beaten, pushed and shoved.

How are some girls worth fighting for…
While I’m all alone…bleeding on the floor.

God, where are you?! Rescue me!
I cried aloud, and He came to me.

I looked in the mirror and saw Him there,
He held me and told me how much He cares.

He let me know I’m not alone,
He called me His princess, an heir to the throne.

He touched my heart and healed my wounds,
I traded it in for His sweet perfume.

Mirror, Mirror now I see,
The lovely woman He’s called me to be.

His love and goodness, they changed my heart,
He erased my past and gave me a fresh start.

“The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.” Psalm 34:18
Danielle Charley , 04/23/12 11:11 PM
I bless this home in the name of Jesus. I bless my husband in the name of Jesus. I bless my daughter in the name of Jesus. I bless my ______-in-law in the name of Jesus. I bless the pillow on which my husband lays his head in the name of Jesus; that he will sleep well and rest in the Love of Christ. I bless the bed on which my husband sleeps in the name of Jesus; that he will rest well and be strengthened to find work to support his family.
d Charley , 04/23/12 11:12 PM
Well and good. These principles are unassailable. But there is a question that urgently needs an answer:

We live in a culture that is celebrity and glamor-oriented, and perfectionistic and demanding of service providers: "What have you done for me lately? And if you're not doing enough, should I look for somebody who can do more?"

That puts tremendous pressure on leaders. I have seen pastors and other ministtries try to be something they are not, or someone they are not, to live up to the expectations of the flock or of their own egos. I once had a pastor who ruined his health and almost his marriage doing that.

First question: How to keep it real? How to make it without faking it? It is worse to promise without delivering than to promise little and deliver more. How to strike a balance?

The second question is like unto it: What about a church or ministry that is financially thredbare, cannot afford plush buildings, furniture, and sound systems, and whose leaders are painfully aware that they possess meager natural gifts? I've been there and done that. What is your word to us?

I would deeply appreciate any and all input from experienced and "successful" ministry leaders.
Bill Foltz , 04/25/12 08:11 AM
Vibram five fingers sale is equally important to stimulate and exercise the foot in a more natural state on a regular basis.We all know that Running barefoot vibram five fingers seems to be a dangerous step because there are lots of dangers waiting for your bare skin.
dara debbie , 05/04/12 01:57 AM
GOOD JOB, TONY!!

I wish every Christ-following leadr would prayerfully read this.

I am reminded of a poem by the late, great, and stark raving loony American poet, Ezra Pound. The last line:

The thought of what America (repeat twice) would be like if the classics gained a wide circulation--ah well, it troubles my sleep.

Ezra Pound was no Christian. Ironically, the most popular poem he ever wrote was about Jesus and his apostles. His antagonism toward the Gospel was so great that he never wrote a follow-up on it, the greatest success he ever had. But here is my take on ol' Ez's poem:

The thought of what the church in America,
The thought of what the church in America,
The thought of what the church in America would be like if PITI gained a wide circulation--

Ah well, it troubles my sleep.
Bill Foltz , 05/04/12 03:33 PM
GOOD JOB, TONY!!

I wish every Christ-following leadr would prayerfully read this.

I am reminded of a poem by the late, great, and stark raving loony American poet, Ezra Pound. The last line:

The thought of what America (repeat twice) would be like if the classics gained a wide circulation--ah well, it troubles my sleep.

Ezra Pound was no Christian. Ironically, the most popular poem he ever wrote was about Jesus and his apostles. His antagonism toward the Gospel was so great that he never wrote a follow-up on it, the greatest success he ever had. But here is my take on ol' Ez's poem:

The thought of what the church in America,
The thought of what the church in America,
The thought of what the church in America would be like if PITI gained a wide circulation--

Ah well, it troubles my sleep.
Bill Foltz , 05/04/12 03:33 PM
Thank you, Beth. I have struggled with insecurity all my life. But this article gave me a new revelation on how to face my struggle from this day forward. I know other women that are hurting around me - at work and at church. We could all use your encouragement through Psalm 30:8-12. May the Lord bless you richly.
Ezakel Kelly , 05/06/12 08:37 AM
"Why would Matthew pull these four women into this genealogy? Why did he go out of his way to do it?"

-Why do you think? Matthew was a tax collector. These functionaries were beyond 'disreputable' in the eyes of many nationalistic jews, quasi-collaborators with the invading powers. Most of them were rightfully regarded as corrupt. They could not appear in the Temple and worship with their fellow jews. It makes sense that he of all the disciples would gain comfort from any fellow "black sheep" in the lineage, doesn't it?
Daniel David , 05/06/12 01:05 PM
Great list. I agree with your post especially about acquiring too much debt. Just like people churches can get in over their heads.
brian jackman , 05/06/12 02:07 PM
Thank you, Dr. Najib, for these insightful and helpful suggestions about how to restore and strengthen our spiritual pulse!
Kathleen P , 05/06/12 10:05 PM
my husband is verbaly abusive i need prayer
carla lavelle , 05/08/12 05:20 PM
okeeeeey
bonnie kessler , 05/10/12 02:43 AM
Hi Max

Reading this from Harare, Zimbabwe, Africa.

Just so powerful and at the right time too. Turmoil in my life. Husband not really formally employed so money tight.
Unplanned pregnancy (Yikes) third child.
Now i know what to do. Pray and seek. Come kingdom come.
Too tired to keep on doing for myself. I need that wonderful counselor.

I'm gushing but just really wanted to say this was at the right time.

Thank you
Nyarai Foya , 05/10/12 04:20 AM
This is a very interesting and well written article, however, it is a very deceptive article. Would this author make the same conclusions if it was a father who felt overwhelmed and he left his family high and dry? I think not. Who really cares how this woman felt!?!?!? She INTENTIONALLY abandoned her husband and children, and started a new life. What a selfish person! When are Christians going to start calling a spade a spade? Reserve your emotional energy for the husband and children who were abandoned by a callous and self-centered woman.
Additionally, the book of Hosea is an allegory: Hosea is God and Israel is Gomer. It was used to illustrate God's faithfulness and Israel's unfaithfulness. Not only that, Hosea writes of how God will punish Israel for her unfaithfulness. So to be true to the book of Hosea, the Christian must be willing not only to love, but also to feel righteousness anger and to punish the unfaithful wife to bring her back home. This article really illustrates that some Christian leaders worship a small and feeble God, and that this God just smiles at our unfaithfulness. However, God is loving and God is Holy. God will forgive and God will hold the sinner accountable. Bottom line, let us as Christians think with our head as well as our hearts...
Stephen Schoen , 05/10/12 02:11 PM
This article is wonderful. I am a recovering addict who tried to find my pulse and sometimes still struggling. I dealt with addiction, physical, emotional, and verbal abuse. My late husband was also a severe addict who died from his addiction. My children suffered the consequences of my addiction. I lost custody of them for nine months. I have now been sober for 2 years but it has not been easy. I still get urges to use and drink but I look at my children and I know I can't. Being an addict does not make you a bad person. The things you do to keep your habit going are bad (stealing, prostitution,etc). God has helped me so much through this struggle and helped me get my spirit back!
Rachel C , 05/10/12 10:13 PM
Great teaching. Very inspiring indeed. I have learnt alot from the points raised and also the outline of the teaching. I hope to teach others here in Zambia. God bless you greatly.
Dickson Phiri , 05/11/12 01:18 AM
Stephen, I think the author has shown enough of her heart to believe that she would feel EXACTLY the same way if it was a man who had left the family. And sorry, but your statement of "Who really cares how this woman felt" is surely answered by the name God. God really cares how that woman felt. And what she did. And is ready to hold her close to His chest and shed tender tears on her when she returns to Him.

Perhaps it was a selfish choice, I cannot look into her heart, but I do know I have made some very selfish choices in my life and Jesus died on the cross for those choices, too. As far as Christians calling a spade a spade, I say when will us Christians recognize that the worst sins we see in others are in our lives on one level or another, and the love and tenderness and grace of our Father and the blood of Jesus covers all of our sins and bad choices.

I do not know that the story of Hosea and Gomer is an allegory, I know that everything in the Bible comes on many different levels.
I know that God did punish Israel for turning away from Him under the old covenant.

We are now under the new covenant under which God sent His precious Son to die on the cross so that we could have fellowship with Him. The curtain in the temple is forever torn. If we Christians should do anything, it is to imitate that sacrificial kind of love every chance we get and be very careful about judging someone until we walk a mile (or a hundred miles) in their shoes.

I found the article poignant and on point 100%. Who of us can predict what we will do when faced with the kind of tragedy this woman faced. We all hope we will be the self-sacrificial loving tender wife and mother. I have found I am not everything I have hoped to be, and God loves me just the same.

To Julie: You don't know me at all, but I had to answer the question about the tapes.
I still have a bunch of the old tapes, my favorite being "The Twenty Third Psalm from the Sheep's Perspective". Someday I will find an old tape-player at a yard sale. (smile)
Leigh Barlow , 05/14/12 09:04 PM
Leigh, to comment on your request for cassette tape sermons, there is now a technology that converts cassette recordings to mp3's. We are in the process of doing so, and will notify our readers when they are available.
Julie Barrier , 05/15/12 02:21 PM
Hi Darlene,

I would like to find out, a couple of years back I read your Psalm Devotionals on the Internet, they were published weekly I think. Can you let me know where I can get them again, I only read up to Psalm 55 in 2007 and would like to also read the rest of them up to the last Psalm. Is there anywhere I can purchase a book with them all? Blessings and thankyou for blessing us every day with your music. I just can't get enough. Am so blessed!! Luzan Chase
Luzan Chase , 05/16/12 04:47 AM
Wow! AMEN!
Brenda Barge , 05/20/12 03:23 PM
AWESOME--IMPORTANT AND PROFOUND!!! EVERY CHURCH LEADER SHOULD READ OVER AND OVER UNTIL IT PENETRATES HEART AND MIND!
LISA CROOMS , 05/20/12 10:08 PM
Hi Julie

Just at the right time. Phew! Yes I was looking back at the 'wooden skiff' after taking a step of faith. Now back to the real prize...

Thanks Julie
Nyarai Foya , 05/23/12 01:41 AM
I want to be that person to!
Jolanda Rajkovic , 05/23/12 07:27 AM
I am so glad, Nyarai!
Julie Barrier , 05/24/12 04:18 PM
I remember you telling this story in church one Sunday. It was good to read it again and remember how God works. He not only revealed His glory to you but He brought that young man into the Kingdom. As I age I am softly reminded of how gentle our creator is and how wonderfully He answers the prayers of our hearts. Thank you, Roger, for remembering this experience and reminding me of the Glory of our God.
V. Lynn Wilson , 05/25/12 09:16 PM
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Allan John , 05/26/12 06:25 AM
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Allan John , 05/26/12 06:43 AM
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www.fashionskateshoes.com http , 05/27/12 04:38 AM
Thank you for that, Brother Chan. In my 45 years of knowing the Lord, I have usually been sort of a "slacker" in my walk with God, and in my witness for him. PLEASE PRAY FOR ME THAT I WILL DO BETTER IN THE FUTURE. I AM PRAYING THAT IF I LIVE TO BE 90 LIKE MY FATHER DID, I WILL HAVE SEEN 90 PERSONS RECEIVE CHRIST THROUGH MY WITNESS.
Bill Foltz , 05/28/12 09:57 AM
" Christianity was the very first religion or world-view that held up single adulthood as a viable way of life"

No that was Buddhism several thousand years earlier... Have you studied comparative religion or just the one? Peace
Emma M , 05/28/12 06:08 PM
These are good words from Dallas Willard. Very good. I shall come back to them.
Bill Foltz , 05/30/12 07:52 AM
These are good words from Dallas Willard. Very good. I shall come back to them.
Bill Foltz , 05/30/12 07:52 AM
Julie, your grandpa sounds like an amazing man. Why don't you write a book about him? I am sure Xulon would be enthused. So, for that matter, would West Bow, the self-publishing arm of Thomas Nelson.
Bill Foltz , 05/30/12 08:01 AM
Very refreshing thoughts.
Marilyn Tolson , 05/31/12 02:13 PM
Very refreshing thoughts. Thank you.
Marilyn Tolson , 05/31/12 02:13 PM
Great love story you got here! God bless you both and congratulations. :)

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Karen Smith , 05/31/12 10:05 PM
THROWING!!!!!!!!! THROWING!!!!!!!!!! THROWING!!!! This is EXACTLY......EXACTLY what the Lord has been telling ME PERSONALLY I MUST DO!! The illustration he's used for me is falling backwards into His arms...and He ASSURES me He will catch me! He is the ONLY one I have ever been able to trust to catch me (even though my husband is trustworthy...falling backwards into his arms...hmmmm...)But now I will also THROW!!! Thank you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Barbara Parker , 05/31/12 11:39 PM
Um, that's not what submission is about... This is really, really, really bad advice and clearly someone has submitted THEMSELVES to the Western myth of what it means to lovingly submit. Whoever asked this question shouldn't look to this guy for leadership anymore, and should have a serious talk with her husband and members of authority in her church. If that doesn't work, stand up for yourself and don't let your husband pull you down into sin with him. Submitting to him in this would only give the impression that his behavior is okay and moral, which is the complete opposite of what any good Christian woman should do. Men are the head of the house, but head doesn't mean flawless, perfect, superior, and more knowledgeable than women. Decisions are never about him, in fact nothing should never ever be just about him or even mainly about him. He's the head of you and you are his helper, but he's also your servant and he should put your feelings, opinions and thoughts above his own. Jesus is the head of us Christians, yet he never made any decisions or actions that weren't beneficial for us. I doubt Jesus ever thought about Himself once, only doing what was best for His people. He let some Romans peeps beat the crap out of him, strip him of his dignity and pride and torture him to death. Just to save us. Does that sound like your husband? Yeah, I'm pretty sure your man would rather nail you to a cross than take a hit for you like that. Hmm.

Really, you're only supposed to submit to a husband's good judgment, not anything bad or immoral. If your husband asked you to cut your wrists, would you lovingly submit to that as well in order to keep the peace? Sounds absurd, right? Besides, the idea of women submitting does not mean men decide everything a woman does. Do you spend every waking moment giving birth to this children, helping him with his tasks, and being physically affectionate? It's the general idea of marriage, not the standard principle for every action a husband and wife make.

You have to draw the line at some point. God punished Eve's daughters by having their husbands lord their power over them. Then Jesus came around and was all like, "Nah chill son, that punishment doesn't apply here anymore" although the idea of a loving, kind, selfless Headship still does. This pastor is basically imploring you to pretend like Jesus never came around, which is obviously kind of an anti-Christian thing... Yeah...

I know women can't be pastors and men can, but it was never implied that all men can or should pursue that path. Some guys aren't meant to be pastors, aren't meant to be teachers, and certainly shouldn't be dishing out advice that is not supported by the full scripture (notice he gives you snippets while conveniently leaving out the full context). I've seen pastors makes this same argument, and quite frankly it's deplorable and a slippery slope to supporting spousal abuse. No matter how hard you pray, God isn't going to fix your husband from abusing you emotionally and/or physically. Eventually you have to accept that God gave you a gift, called "free will", that gives you the physical and mental capabilities to steer the course of your future. Don't take the lazy way out and depend on God to reach down with some magical fairy wand and zap your problem away. Prayer is a beautiful thing, but it's not the only thing. You don't see any Biblical figure relying on just prayer to get their bizz done and do what God wants from them. Tell your husband in a calm yet straightforward manner what's up, then if all else fails get help from your church/family and friends. He might listen to them, who knows.

And don't take advice from this hack again. =X.
Maxence LaGrange , 06/01/12 05:04 PM
Thank you, Julie. I have no other words. Thank you.
Shari Schultz , 06/01/12 06:33 PM
We went through Hospice care with my mother-in-law. She had COPD. Through my wife's care she lasted 14 months instead of the expected 4, in a home hospice situation. The nurses were kind and supportive. It was difficult for me being around someone that is constantly suffocating. I still have near panic attacks myself just remembering her difficulty to breathe. The fear is tremendous, even knowing you will be going to a better place. In the last week, she lost control of her bowels and started vomiting continuously which forced us to take her into a hospice house. Those people are amazing! She had a private room that allowed us as much as my mother-in-law to ease through that very difficult time. These ladies definitely are specially gifted to perform their work. My older sister is friend with one of these type nurses -- this hospice nurse has said on numerous occasions that her life became so much more meaningful and peaceful when she moved from regular nursing to hospice nursing. They certainly have a calling and perform a much needed service.
John Campbell , 06/03/12 11:32 AM
I was raised as a Moslem,but now i am a christian,my wish would be to minister to Moslems,and share my story.
Hala Alatawneh , 06/04/12 06:45 PM
Other than Hebrews 4:12, where do you get the idea that soul and spirit are two different things? And where do you get the idea that soul is your mind? In Matthew 22:37 Jesus says to "love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind." so I thought the soul and the mind are two different things. I am just curious, because I have never heard this before- the inner spirit thing- and would like to learn more, so that I can distinguish between my soul and my spirit.
Thank you,
Kathi
Kathi Berger , 06/05/12 09:21 AM
Julie, you have been in my thoughts this last week...now I know how to pray. You have shared all parts of your life so openly as you have chosen God first in all things. It is my privilege to be your friend. You and your family are in my prayers.
Joyce Price , 06/05/12 04:20 PM
Okaym R and J. A brief update on my life:

I am now 62. Betty and have been married 11 years. My book, God willing, will be pubished this Fall, finally. You guys will get a free copy. I recently made a vow to make one new friend a day. It is changing my life!

NOW THE BAD NEWS. I AM ON ARICEPT AND GEODON. I ALSO COULD USE SOME PRAYER.
Bill Foltz , 06/06/12 06:08 AM
Roger, this is so thought-provoking and sound. I didn't remember your telling that you'd had a dream before the heart surgery during your sermon when you told about the surgery. What an object lesson! You are so genuine and trustworthy. I'm so privileged to be your friend. Miss you all. Love, Sandy
Sandy Wakefield , 06/06/12 01:13 PM
I thank the Lord for his patience in teaching me these lessons. On a small retirement income, He has enabled me to not only tithe, but to give offerings.
Bill Foltz , 06/07/12 12:50 AM
Thanks for your Site!
Tina Preacher , 06/07/12 08:07 AM
Julie, I sit here with tears in my eyes with such admiration and love for your sweet Boy. You are so blessed to have had him as such a powerful, loving presence in your life. Hope you're continuing to feel better and better. Miss you all. Love Forever to my Forever Friend, Sandy
sandy wakefield , 06/07/12 11:14 AM
Good question Kathi,
It would be good to understand "heart", "soul", and "mind" in this that passage as these are all supposed to be in agreement and love the Lord our God.
Larry Stevens, 06/08/12
Larry Stevens , 06/08/12 02:05 PM
waoh! This is a great revelational work,Am so blessed,really blessed.
adeleke victor , 06/09/12 12:44 AM
What happens when your spiritual mother calls one day after co laboring in the intercession field for six years togther to tell you that she is kicking you out of the nest and that God trusts you and he is sending another to take her place...I am lost and stund...I have not cried yet but I have spent many hours in the word trying to line this one to what God says...Can anyone explian ???
Tracey Harding , 06/11/12 10:34 PM
I am the only one working in our household. My husband is trying to find work and my salary is barley making ends meet. This is just what I needed. Very inspirationational.

Thanks

Carmen South Africa
Carmen Davids , 06/12/12 03:59 AM
From one pastor's wife to another ... PREACH IT, girlfriend!
Lana Wilkinson , 06/12/12 06:19 PM
Loved it!
catherine Grennell , 06/12/12 10:40 PM
I find this list very ironic and full of errors. "Don't make church about you" Noble routinely preaches about himself and his preacher friends instead of preaching about Christ and his vicarious death on the cross for our sins, and #8 is he talking about the tithe? Because that passage in Matthew isn't about tithing. I wonder if he thinks that the widow's sacrifice of her two coins (Luke 21) is an example of sacrificial giving and not an admonishment of the culture of her time?
Dan S , 06/13/12 11:16 PM
Hi. This is so true. I'm rather shy so the one about isolation from the world really shook me up. I have to get up and go!
Nyarai F , 06/14/12 01:51 AM
Change can be good, as long as the message of Christ's atonement for our sins is still boldly proclaimed. So often it seems like the change is merely a way to focus less on Christ an more on us.
Dan S , 06/14/12 07:09 AM
Julie: Sandy Wakefield & I have been talking this week about how you and Roger have been such a blessing in our lives. I still live in Tucson but we communicate via phone.
My son (who is now 41 yrs old) was baptised when he was around 10 at Casas when it was on Ina Rd. I was active in the Singles ministry and led a small group for Business Owners at one time. So my son and I go back a few years with Casas. He came back home to live with me this past month after my dad died. Please pray for his issues. While almost every area of my life seems to have been attacked all at once in the last 3 weeks, I have no doubt that God reigns & is in control of my life.
Even though you are in TX, I still want to keep in touch.
Jan (Janis) Miller , 06/14/12 06:06 PM
I have admired Max for ages. Between him and Phillip Yancey, my Christian life was shaped to a large extent. I have just started the journey of fatherhood 6 months ago and I pray that I am a wonderful father who can be there for my boy all the time.

Blessings and thanks for the blog.
Daine Snyders , 06/19/12 10:27 AM
Please pray with me that God will shape and mold me into the spiritual parent He wants me to be.
Bill Foltz , 06/19/12 06:18 PM
Please pray with me that God will shape and mold me into the spiritual parent He wants me to be.
Bill Foltz , 06/19/12 06:18 PM
Please pray with me that God will shape and mold me into the spiritual parent He wants me to be.
Bill Foltz , 06/19/12 06:18 PM
Thank u Max. Its so good to hear these words. You have no idea. I read some with tears in my eyes. Yes, God is soooo GOOD.
Nyarai F , 06/20/12 02:12 AM
Wow Julie,
That was quite the read and just what I needed to hear (God always is speaking through others, I do enjoy it). You and Roger are wonderful examples to the rest of us and I love how God has used you both to touch the lives of so many others.
Thank you for sharing your stories.
Tamara
Tamara Thomas , 06/26/12 09:27 AM
What peace and joy that message brought to my soul this AM. No matter our age the painful experiences keep coming and we just need God every hour. Thanks for reminding me of His closeness. We serve a mighty God!!!!
Vanna
Vanna Randall , 06/26/12 10:54 AM
Thanks Julie,

Wise advise that I needed to hear this week.
Amy Grimes , 06/26/12 10:57 AM
This is a very beautiful reflection. I'm sure so many people, especially parents, will be able to relate to it and be encouraged to live in deep faith. May I ask your permission to have it published in our church bulletin for this coming Sunday, July 1st? I would appreciate your positive response. Thank you.
Luciana Manrique , 06/27/12 01:34 PM
Though I think this woman was incredibly selfish, hurtful, thoughtless, self-centered and heartless in many ways (thank goodness I'm NOT God, huh?)...I think some women should not be mothers. It's a big job!! I don't think there is any profession that is more difficult, trying and all absorbing!! A self-centered person will not be a good mother. My mother-in-law was too selfish to love and care for her children, and yet also too selfish to let us raise her two boys. (what would people say?) Instead she neglected them for a lifetime. She was the typical narcissist and the pain it caused her children was tremendous! So I am just thankful that I don't have to be the one to pass judgement on this woman who left her family. Thank goodness we have a God that is bigger than all of us!! Thanks for 'making me think' my response would have been different a few days ago!!
Barbara Parker , 06/28/12 01:23 PM
This is an amazing article about the love of God and how vastly different it is from the conditional love we have accepted in society.

Stephen.... I have known couples who have gone through very difficult times for many different reasons. One in particular went through a very tough affair. I thought they were done forever, but God did an amazing work in them. He not only brought them back together, but He made their love new! They were better than they had ever been and still are to this day.

That was a great lesson for me. To be able to see God's transforming hand at work strengthened my faith.

women leave, and men leave. It's never the right thing to do, but God's love is very different from worldly love. hopefully we all strive to love the way God loves us. :-)
Susan Sneathen , 06/28/12 01:26 PM
PS: It never means that we can't be angry, hurt, and terribly disappointed. WE can and we will. God does not look fondly upon sin. He grieves for us when we fall into it.
We human need time to work through our pain, and find our way to God's plan in all of it. when we look for Him amidst the storm, we will find Him, waiting with open arms...crying with us. Then He will give us His peace..if we will only trust him.
Susan Sneathen , 06/28/12 01:30 PM
Hi Roger. You may remember the joke about the little boy who asked his dad where they came from. The dad, thinking that the moment had come for the birds and bees conversation had arrived, told the boy all about sex and reproduction, to which the wide eyed boy replied "But dad, in class today, Johnny said he's from Idaho and I was just wondering where we're from..."

That was a great answer to the question about "skin tone" but I think you may have misread the question? P.S. - If so, would you consider revisting it? I think it's a good one and I'd like to know the answer myself. Thanks and God bless! Keep up the great Ask Roger work too.

Signed,
Mr. Perfect
Ed Costanza , 06/29/12 12:04 AM
I need to be free from the world's depiction of living the Christian life.
I need to free from the lies about what brings true joy contentment satisfaction and peace.
Michelle Hill , 06/29/12 02:36 PM
Dear Incharge,
Greetings in Jesus name,
It is really privileged for me to write to your ministry and I pray may Lord bless you abundantly. I visit your website and its really wonderful and amazing work which you are doing .I desire that I become the part of your Ministry and your stuff is really very good and kindly start work with us . I am Seraphine Shahbaz from Pakistan. Nine years before I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal Savior and I trust in Him as my rock and try to walk in Him, as the Word of God says don’t be lazy in struggle.
I have studied your web site, and I found it the most wonderful site to get right to the True Word of God. I found that all your material is full of knowledge concerning development of religious faith. Living in Pakistan we Christians is to face many obstacles to get the access to the Word of God.
Here is all information about my Minstries,
We started these services for the Glory of our Lord Jesus and the main purpose of this work is to stare the word of God through preaching and through upliftment of Christian who is persecuted church here in Pakistan .
Pakistan is Islamic country we are living here in minority .We have 2ndnumber citizenship . Christians people are living here tough life not have much resources .Now we discovered the major reason of this miserable situation is the high illiteracy rate and poor living conditions in these areas. After knowing this reality we decided a group should be formed, which would perform its role to improve the lives of the people.
Christ Apostolic Fellowship Organization {CAFO} is a cluster of Saints to who are serving the God and sharing the word of God among the people as written in Matthew
28:19 “ Go to all the Nations and make Disciples ………………” CAFO has been working in 2 big regions of Punjab Province, Faisalabad and Multan. These regions consist on 8 cities and 17 villages. The Saints are going to share the word of God in these areas. District Toba Tek Singh is the center of CAFO and its office situated in District Toba Tek Singh.
CAFO has been serving for the glory of God for last tree years. CAFO is serving in the following fields.
Our organization seeks to spread the word of God among all nations as it is written, “Go ye therefore, and teach all nations,….”(St. Mathew)
We seek to transform the lives of people towards God, and His son Jesus.
The main purpose is to share the gospel of Jesus with the people of God. We pray that many souls will come into His kingdom.
HOME CHURCHES,
Our first and foremost work is to share the word of God through Sunday Services, Home Churches Street Churches, Conventions and through Bible College.

YOUTH MINISTRY,
We are running a Bible College to train the young boys and girls to fight the good fight of their faith in an Islamic society.
These students in this college are doing one year Diploma in Theology. They are studying Bible KJV and church history. Bible teachers are working voluntarily.


Evening Home Schools:-
we started this work with home evening schools for deserving Christian children .These children are working in different field like in small hotel , cleaning home and hospitals ,. And also with farmers So the education is the first step of the Development of Nation .So that is necessary for Christian people to know their religion Christianity and also know about basic education of this world .Now we started evening home schools in our working areas .Now this time we have 8 Evening home schools .
Formal Education School :-
In this world the formal education is very necessary for the children .Because Education is the first step of the Development of the Nations .Now in Pakistan English Medium good education is very expensives .so poor people cannot afford to get it .In 2003 we start our CAC School with Oxford Syllabus in Toba Tek Singh for poor and orphan children. In this field the volunteer pastors, assistant pastors and college students are struggling to find funds to support Christian students for their educational needs.

CHILDREN MINISTRIES,
In this Ministry our volunteer pastors and assistant pastors are taking Sunday schools for more or less 100 Children in different areas of Punjab. We believe that the children must know Jesus from their childhood.

ORPHAN CHILDREN
We are struggling to find funds to provide some orphan children their basic needs of life like education, food, clothes, medicines and other needs of life. We have an orphanage building and funds to run it in our prayers for these Christian children. We have 42 orphans children to Support ( We are supporting them )

Women Ministry :-
We have 8 women group in our working areas .We are working with poor , old and widow women .Women activities
1-. women prayer groups .
2-Adult Literacy centers.
3-Health care center .
4- sewing Center.

For Future :-
1- To reach millions of lost souls .
2- Much more home churches to share the word of God with families .Pakistan is Islamic country mijority of people are Muslems so Christians are living here in minority .Most of people are not educated and they follow Islamic customs and habits and many things . Now Muslem s motivate them and they accept Islam .
3- An orphanage to get all the orphan together and provide them a family atmosphere .
4- To develop the Elementary school into High School .
We do work then earn money to run our ministry. We dont have regular fund for our ministry. So this is my request kindly start work with God Bless us 4 children now 3 children are Gospel Singers . Sing for Lord here I am sending you the Link of youtube:
http://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=christapostolic1
Here is the link of our School children Activities.
http://www.youtube.com/user/christapostolischool?ob=0&feature=results_main
It is difficult to have Radio and TV channel for preaching in Pakistan.
Friend, I humbly request you to expand your outreach your program in Urdu and Punjabi language. Urdu is the language spoken and understood by more than one sixth of the total population of the world. Urdu is spoken in Pakistan, India, Nepal, Afghanistan and also in Indonesia, Malaysia, Iran and others.
I would ask you to pray and share it among the brethren. I would offer my services for being translator, recorder and distribution/sales.
Most of the people in Pakistan are not capable to understand the English language. It’s because our national language is Urdu. My suggestion for you is to create your material in my language of Urdu and Punjabi also. It will bring lots of blessings of the Word of God for the Pakistani and Indian Urdu and Punjabi speaking people. For that purpose I as a translator will bring your material into Urdu languages and into Punjabi language as well. Although it will take your low expenses as well, as fund for the Word of God to reach out to the deserving people. As a translator I will take the expenses that will be spending just for the Word. I will be looking for your kind words on this my humble request as soon as possible.
“There is nothing more precious than to read and listen the Word of God into your own language.”
Here is the Importance of Urdu Langauge :
Urdu is Languages which is :
Urdu is considered one of the sweetest language of the world. It is the National Language of Pakistan and one of the Official Language of India. According to conservative estimates Urdu has 104 million speakers all over the world.
" Punjabi is another language .It speak in the Province Punjab of Pakistan and the Province of Punjab in India . Punjabi has 93 million speakers all over the world.
We are a very small group. Kindly help us in our work.We are able do translation work and recording work in very low rates . Here we have 2 requests:
1.Church Work
2.Translation Work
I request you kindly start work with us.
Waiting for your response.
May God Bless you.
Seraphine.
Head Office Mailing add:-
Christ Apostolic Fellowship Organization
Madina Colony Street number:2
Shorkot Road
Toba Tek Singh 36050
Pakistan
Ph:+92-0332-7477708

Seraphine Shahbaz , 06/30/12 01:48 AM
Parents are very understanding, they can get you the right help. Great post though.
-Liz
http://www.castlewoodtc.com
Elizabeth Miller , 06/30/12 05:49 PM
This is powerful, and extremely helpful given what I'm trying to overcome right now. There were so many rapists in my family of origin, and yes, the "chickens have finally come home to roost." The rage is overwhelming me, and I know that forgiveness is the only Godly response. Thank you for posting such a cogent and focused scriptural approach to forgiveness.
Good Robot , 06/30/12 06:29 PM
What about 2 Chron. 6:30?

r ]
Then hear thou from heaven thy dwelling place, and forgive, and render unto every man according unto all his ways, whose heart thou knowest; (for thou only knowest the hearts of the children of men:)

Wouldn't that mean that only God can read minds?
Mike Burke , 07/06/12 12:29 AM
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mortgage loans home loans , 07/08/12 01:44 AM
Julie;

First of all, I think if I'd witnessed the "IZOD" incident I would've been laughing too hard to board the plane...!

I wish your advice here had been around when I was a small child. Like yours, I was quickly labeled as "gifted". By the age of three, I could not only read, but write, or at least print legibly, much to the confusion of preschool teachers, AND my parents, who were rather at a loss as to what to do with me.

My grandmother, who was always supportive of me, thank God, gave me a typewriter for my third birthday. It wasn't a toy, either. It was one of those heavy cast-iron Royal typewriters and I was six years old before I could even move the thing on my own.

Standardized testing -- fill in the multiple-choice circle with the #2 pencil -- was always ridiculously easy for me, and always said that I was in the top 2-5 percentile of students.

School itself -- not so much. I was the small, skinny, unathletic, glasses-wearing smart kid. I was the outcast from the start, and I might as well have had a target painted on my back for the school bullies.

To my parents, none of this mattered. I was a gifted child, and the report card, which was never good enough since it never contained straight "A"s, was all-important. I was told to "just ignore" the bullies, while I was being beaten and thrown across school furniture on a regular basis, out of sight of any teachers, of course. My parents simply didn't want to hear it.

I wish they had paid more attention to the first item on your list of recommendations. At home, I was pretty much left to myself. Along with the intellect, I was artistically gifted, with drawing and building things out of reams of construction paper, talents that my parents did not share. I think to some degree, they simply didn't know what to do with me.

Although I haven't suffered your daughters' health problems, and I strive to remember them in my prayers, neither have I fared as well as they have in life, especially professionally. I was the "odd man out" at home and certainly at school, and still am to this day in many respects. If I were to add anything to your list, it would be this:

LISTEN to your child. School is not just about grades, and friendships are not likely to develop easily. If your gifted child is having trouble, it's not necessarily because they're not paying attention or the work isn't challenging enough. Something else about the environment may be hindering them, and it needs to be dealt with.

Secondly:

LET THEM BE A CHILD. Just because your child can play the piano like Mozart, play golf like Tiger Woods, or design computer systems that would have Bill Gates scratching his head, doesn't mean that they're not otherwise a normal kid. Maybe all they want to do is run around in the backyard for a while. Let them.

Thirdly, and most importantly:

TRY TO UNDERSTAND THEM. My parents never really did. Okay, sometimes it's a little hard to understand a kid who can take a sheaf of green construction paper and build a four-foot-tall, three-dimensional Godzilla in an afternoon after watching a movie on TV (and I have photos of it), but after a few projects like these in the family room of our home, my parents basically left me to my own devices and retreated to the upstairs bedroom. I grew up in fine surroundings, which I wish I still had, but I still grew up alone to a fair degree. Your child may be into things that leave you stunned and confused, but please, try to enter their world and understand them.

I turn 52 tomorrow. And when I think about these things too much, they still bother me to this day. I have no children, but I wouldn't want anyone else's to go through this sort of thing, just because they've been designated as "gifted".
Thomas Wheeler , 07/10/12 08:32 AM
Sept. 12, 2012 marks my 30th year since the Lord enabled me to quit my half-case of beer per day habit. Couldn't have made it a single day without Him!
Eric Gonnason , 07/12/12 10:53 PM
A comforting thought that we are totally secure in Christ. No matter how strong the storm of the evil one is all around us. nothing can touch us that hasn't bee sifted by God first. when we are free in Christ there is nothing to fear."How can we not love a God like that."
pete friesen , 07/14/12 04:10 PM
Sir,
I am the secretary of "HHH" (Helping Hands for Handicapped). I am Ryne Max from India. We serve the ministries, churches, schools, houses and different people to translate and proofread or recheck their words (written and recorded) and websites into our languages, Korean, Hebrew, Greek, French, Turkish, Nepali, Arabic, Hindi, Persian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Urdu, Punjabi and many other languages.
If you need any assistance please feel free to see http://indiahhh.webs.com/
Thank you.
Ryne Max,
Secretary HHH,
Bali, Rajasthan India.,

Ryne Max Ryne , 07/17/12 02:00 AM
Roger, I'm glad you mentioned cats at the end of your blog. My cousins in another part of the country have had several cats, and they were heartbroken when one of them passed away some years ago. I'm sure they would like to think they would see Daisy again someday, as well as the others when their time comes. Cats seem to meet the similar criteria that you have established for dogs, but ultimately, this is just one of those mysteries that we'll have to wait and see about. If nothing else, one might hope that dogs and cats will get along a bit better in Heaven than they sometimes seem to down here on Earth... :)
Thomas Wheeler , 07/17/12 09:45 AM
I believe dogs, cats, horses and wildlife all go to heaven. I'm reminded of these verses:

Isaiah 11:6
The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them.

Isaiah 65:25
The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.
Lynn R. , 07/19/12 02:05 PM
Wow! If Jesus is who he says he is then we better be found doing what he comands for us to do. 1 John 4:17 "and as we live in God, our love grows more perfect. So we will not be afraid on the day of judgment, but we can face him with confidence because we live like Jesus here in this world."NLT
Lamar Hand , 07/25/12 02:54 PM
In response to Eric Smith. I have to do this in a hurry as I must go to work; so no references; but you will know. Jesus says after we die we are as the angels of Heaven (not married). Also flesh and blood do not enter the Kingdom of Heaven. Certainly, angels are not sexual - they don't have the equipment. Other scriptures are also supportive with a little thought. No more time now. Gone to work.
Jerry Morgan , 07/26/12 07:52 AM
Fantastic illustration mate!!!
Steve Ballin , 07/28/12 04:04 PM
Hey Chet,
Know you are working v. hard these days. Praying God will give you and Susan supernatural strength.

Only had time to skim the article, but looks like good stuff. Would like to post it under your GnPi Column on the GnPi Pilot page.

Maybe for now if we call the column "Communication from Dr. Chet" it would fit.

Let me know. Or perhaps you have something else that you feel that you would like to put up until the launc in Oct. We need content rt. now.

Shalom, Scott
Scott Lipton , 07/31/12 08:46 AM
I was always admonished by my mother to "be what you should be, only then can you do what
you should do."

Thank you for your comentary.
Virginia




Virginia Brown , 07/31/12 09:06 AM
Wow! Thank you so much for explaining this so well and so Biblically! I feel so good about this because the other explanations never sounded nor felt accurate.
Jackie Mondi , 07/31/12 02:46 PM
Hey, Chet, great article! I've had some Christians take me to task once in a while because I'm not the most trusting person in the world. I probably see red flags that may just be pink, but I'd rather not take the chance.

Some years ago, when I hadn't been a Christian for very long, I was chastized by a fellow Christian for my untrusting nature. He pointed out that he regularly gave rides to hitch-hikers. I told him I thought he was asking for serious trouble. He told me that God would look out for him, and that in his mind, he was giving "rides to angels" and that I needed to work on my attitude.

Couple of weeks later, he was robbed and stabbed by a hitch-hiker he picked up. He survived the experience, but it gave him something to think about. Like the Bible verse about not testing the Lord...

Christians should, I believe, try to have a positive and helpful attitude towards people. But as you have clearly outlined, that doesn't mean putting up with, as you have rightly called them, stalkers, crazies, and abusers.
Thomas Wheeler , 08/04/12 01:24 AM
None of the citations you've posted are words of Jesus. It should be mentioned, also, that translitive issues between Aramaic, Hebrew, Latin and Greek pose great risks when a decisive few decide to become literal while reading said texts.
Jason Bassil , 08/06/12 09:18 PM
YES IT IS A HONOR TO GOD WHEN HIS CILDREN GATHERED TO STUDY HIS WORD BECAUES HE REVEL HIMSELF TROUGH HIS WORD AND RELEASE HIS BLESSING THROUGH HIS WORD.
GERTRUDE LAMAH , 08/07/12 10:32 AM
Hi Roger... I have a question for the scientist in you. The bible says that one day, when God's purposes for the earth are complteted, He will fold up the earth as a vesture. I get this picture of Him putting a garment away in a drawer. I sometimes wonder if our moon isn't such a planet - used up in the fulfillment of some other plan God fulfilled in some other past history and now covered with eons layers of cosmic dust. I also wonder what mysteries might be uncovered if we were able to excavate the moon's surface like we do earth's archeological sites. I wonder if a planet such as Mars may be a planet yet without form and void in a sense, reserved to be used in some plan musing still in God's bossom, awaiting the timing of His perfect wisdom. Then I consider this magnificent, incredible, mighty God we endeavor to serve and I wonder like David; what is man that He is even mindful of us and who is man that God would send His only begotten Son that He should die for us? Then my mind goes to thoughts about the awesome, infathomable wonders of the myriad galaxies and solar systems in the immeasurable vastness of space and I think about how one day, and one day soon, believers will stand before His throne, looking at Him in al His unveiled and unobscured glory, power and might. I see brilliant, radiant, dazzling light. Astounding, powerful, fearsome flashes of lightning bursting forth all around Him... rolling, roiling billows of flame and thunderous, cracking lightning flashing from within. Might and awe and silence - and I have to wonder; who is man that a God such as ours is mindful of him? It's all baffling, awesome and wonderful at the same time. So here are two questions - simply, I'd like your thoughts on my musings about our moon and what you think that day in which the redeemed all stand before the throne of our mighty God may be like. Thanks, Roger, and God bless!
Ed Costanza , 08/09/12 12:58 PM
Julie,

May God continue to give you revelation of the scriptures. Thank you for the history lesson, it was well received. Blessings.
Donte J , 08/12/12 12:03 AM
Your big sister here!! I desire to cover you in prayer right now: "Dear Father, only Creator and Holy One, I lift up my sisters of the faith and ask that You make your presence and power known in their lives. Give them your peace and remind them that because of Who You are and who they are, in You, that they can bring defeat and destruction upon the enemy in their lives. Amen." Now little sister's I want you to speak this aloud and CLAIM YOUR INHERITANCE: Your Word is filled with mighty and powerful promises that say You will protect me; You will bring me healing; You will grant me wisdom when I ask; You will give me strength to look at my life with honest eyes and in the harsh light of day and begin the journey to lead a holy life through your example; You will guide me and walk with me; You will place people in my path that believe in You and who will 'come alongside' me to support me and help me. Now be my Counselor, my Champion, my Comforter and help me to believe that what I speak about I bring about. Start your Holy Fire in my heart to dive into Your love letter to me...to see myself as You see me, Father: A princess, a beloved child and an heiress to all You've provided for me. Amen."
Rebecca Cyr , 08/14/12 11:32 AM
I cannot begin to tell you how hurt and offended I am from your "Wicked Stepmother" article. I have spent the past two decades as a stepmother of a pathological liar who worked diligently to destroy my property, stole my wedding ring, vandalized my car, engaged a smear campaign against me with family members and hid items around the house to make it appear I was stealing them. This person made it their singular mission in life to destroy my marriage and very nearly did. This person told me many times they hated me - yet could never give a reason why or examples of what I had supposedly done wrong. This person hated their biological mother, who had an affair with a married man and divorced the man who has been my wonderful husband for many years. This stepchild threw their mother's portraits in the garbage can and I (that "wicked stepmother") dug them out and purchased picture frames, encouraging the child that no parent is perfect and that one day the child might want those photos. I worked hard to help that child nurture a relationship with their biological mother, even when I was called names and lied to - and about. The biological mother rewarded the child's behavior, as it helped her seem like the "good guy". I am sickened and hurt and infuriated by your portrayal of any stepmother as a "wicked stepmother", and I thought better of your ministry, your professionalism, and your Christian and clinical experience than this. You gave virtually no credit to all us countless stepmoms who have had to spend years fighting against a tide of angry, hurt kids and their manipulative "other" biological parent egging them on to hate the stepparent. Thanks one heck of alot, Dr. Barrier. Your value as a trusted Christian was just decimated in my eyes. You're judging every stepmother in the country by the example of this one, highly exceptional case. My stepchild evinces all the DSM-IV clinical symptomatology of a diagnosed sociopath and at one point threatened to physically hurt me. I did my best and Christ knows I did my best. So what's your answer for this "wicked" stepmother?
Mary Anne , 08/14/12 10:33 PM
Dear Mary Anne,
I am so sorry for your experience. The purpose of the article was not to pigeon-hole stepparents. As I mentioned, I referred to the link my husband created on how to blend a family successfully. I was relating one girl's story, and the emphasis was to relate how to help her grieve her losses. The focus was on children who need to grieve and don't know how. We can help them, no matter what experience they have had.
Julie Barrier , 08/15/12 09:47 AM
Scott, I like your idea of changing the name of my upcoming column. That title for the column gives me more latitude for creativity. Thanks!

Thomas, Yes, there are so many scriptures to draw on to help us understand this subject. I'll list more scripture as we go along. BTW, the story of your friend is powerful. Can I use it in future chapters? One more thing: I like the interaction that PITI provides! :)
Chet Weld , 08/16/12 01:26 AM
Good job! Thanks for the info.
Linda Dove , 08/16/12 09:28 AM
Chet
This was so helpful to me as I read about all the red flags that certain people carry! My son in law is a red flag person that often tries to push my buttons with comments that he uses to try to upset me. I have learned to use some of the tricks that you have mentioned in your article to "defuse" his remarks and leave the conversation as quickly as possible. Sometimes we can't avoid these people, but at least we know how to deal with them.

I would be interested in reading the rest of your book.... as someone who worked on the church staff, this is so valuable to all of us!

Blessings to you.... Susie
Susie Brown , 08/16/12 10:41 AM
Chet,

The Midwives may have lied but they were being obedient to a higher authority. Their faith encouraged them to take a stand and possibly sacrifice their lives. God blessed them because they saved the lives of innocent babes.

Your book sounds interesting. I enjoyed your first chapter, we do need tools of how to defend ourselves from the enemies attack.

Keep on teaching and writing! Blessings....
MaryAnn Hubele , 08/16/12 01:55 PM
Chet,

This was a terrific chapter. I can no wait for the book to come out.

My husband has told me I have creepdar. When I was in middle school, I had a check yes if you like me type of boyfriend. I think I was about 10 years old. My friend broke his leg during a football game. He lived around the block from us. I went to check on him one day, and he was not there. His older brother asked me to come in and wait for him, Being a kid, I did. He began to ask me odd personal questions which I did not answer, but suddenly he came right in front of me, and exposed himself to me. I had asthma pretty bad as a child, but I got up and ran all the way back to my house. I told my older sister about what had occurred, and one of her boyfriends handled the matter. His little brother was a check no after that.

When I was 13, my father moved us out to a very rural area. The kids in this area worked at summer jobs in tobacco. The first year the man I was working for just gave me the creeps. I only worked for him that one year. As I grew up, he continually went out of his way to talk to me at the local store. Again, I felt uneasy and just did not know why. After I married my husband, he went to work on the evening shift. This man would show up in the evening at my home. He literally tried to force himself on me at this time. I was just nineteen years old. I knew if I told my Daddy, he might really kill this man. I told my husband about the first visits because I was frightened of him. Wayne approached this man at the store one day, and in a firm, direct manner told him not to ever approach me again. This man was older than my father. Wayne also said, when you see her, look the other way. He was very mentally ill obviously. The last encounter occurred because I was outside, and we lived in a secluded area. I managed again to run from him, and get my door locked. I had to tell Wayne though I did not want him to get in any trouble. Wayne was not saved then. Wayne is gentle giant, but he is so protective of females. He found the man at one of his friends houses. He told him that he had already warned him. The man told my husband I was interested in him. Wayne lost his cool,and punched this man in the face. A little later in time we were at a party with our friends. He was spotted at the end of our friends long driveway. The men there knew he had a high powered gun. My brother was the only one who did not make it into the house. This man shoot multiple times through an occupied dwelling. The sad thing is that we called the police. They retrieved the casing from the walls, but this man had money,and there is a lot of corruption in small town police forces. The judge dismissed the case without calling the first witness, and said there was a lack of evidence. This did stop him from coming near me. We moved shortly after that too. This man killed himself a few years ago. I honestly wished no harm on this man, and I forgave him in my heart when I got saved at 25. His brother was also a peeping Tom. Thank the Lord, he wasn't attracted to me.

Another young guy who just creeped me out for no obvious reason when we were young murdered his X girlfriend and her new boyfriend. I can give you his name because it is a public record. His name is Michael Townsend, and he is serving a life sentence without the possibility of parole. He was also in the same rural area. I never had any contact with him.

It's a dangerous world, and you have to stay on guard. Kindness should never be mistaken for stupidity....

Toni Adams , 08/16/12 02:32 PM
Toni, Someone on Facebook asked me if we should not be ministering to these people, as Christ would have. I kept my answer tactful and short. There are so MANY scriptures that speak to this issue. But I'm glad you followed the Lord's leading, as did Wayne, and perhaps because of that, you are alive to tell the story! Praise God for Wayne, too! :)
Chet Weld , 08/17/12 03:35 PM
And thanks to the rest of you for the positive feedback...Now I can't wait to write the rest of the book!
Chet Weld , 08/17/12 03:41 PM
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best jioie , 08/22/12 03:39 AM
i have enjoyed reading this articles. it is an eye openers and willhelp me create my hedges. thank you and God bless you.
evanson francis , 08/27/12 03:39 AM
My people are destroy for lack of knowledge.
Mark Casey , 08/27/12 10:31 PM
Wow -- I hadn't heard this one before. It's amazing what some people will believe. Teleportation? Might be a nice way to cut through traffic, but anybody who really believes this to be a spiritual gift has been watching too much 'Star Trek' or reading too many comic books...
Jeremy Cole , 08/28/12 08:55 AM
Wow -- the sentence "...baby was injected with drugs meant to end his or her life." That's enough to make any thinking, caring person want to vomit. That woman in Australia will have to deal with the consequences of her decision and actions for the rest of her life, and I hope she thinks about it long and hard.

It doesn't surprise me that the media hasn't reported on the story in China. Our leftist media is certainly pro-choice.
Steven Adams , 08/28/12 09:01 AM
My husband and I will celebrate our 50th wedding anniversary next June, God willing, since only 12% of married couples make it this far. More than ever this article applies to me since "manana" must be replaced with "now" to have the best life and memories ever. Thanks for the intelligent-with-feeling piece!
carolyn roeder , 08/28/12 09:43 AM
Everyone knows that Ezekiel was not teleported. It was a spaceship of aliens that abducted him. Just look at the description of the ship and the creatures.
Joe W. , 08/28/12 12:21 PM
will you go back to the megachurch or become part of Grace UMC? I love my little traditional church with the piano and organ. We have 3 services on Sunday and one on Wednesday. Most churches that I know of have only one service per week. When I go to Surprise, AZ I attend a megachurch with my grandaughter. I am so grateful to get home. Thank you
Ione Flinchum , 08/28/12 02:14 PM
My husband and I divorced about a year and a half ago after 18 years. I did not want the divorce. I loved my husband dearly. In the year and a half he has had a child with and married another woman that I did find out he was having an affair with during our marriage. ie reason for the divorce. I feel like he thought the grass may be greener or the other side of the fence. I have not moved on remarried. i continously prayed for God to return him to our family. He has recently contacted me and wants to reconcile. As crazy as this may sound I still do love him dearly and want our family to be whole again. If he leaves his new wife is it wrong for me to be reconciled with him as my husband again?
Hope T , 08/29/12 02:51 PM
I think the biggest problem with this--beyond being non-scriptural, is what it actually is, and that is New Age/New Thought occultism. This is something that is figuring quite prominently in the "Faith" Movement. The reason why so many succumb t the deception is because it is presented, supposedly as biblical, but biblical without the context of the full Word of God is not biblical. Even satan himself quoted a little scripture, with a twist.
Lisa Crooms , 08/30/12 11:31 PM
I am a Christian who, while I hate abortion, don't believe the rationalizations of the Conservative Republicans regarding abortion, either. Bottom line, we have to stop judging the world and its decisions--and become "salt and light". 1 Corinthians 5:12,13 certainly makes clear that we are NOT to judge the world--it doesn't even make sense to do so. Sinners are sinful, by nature; they're supposed to get it wrong! They have no power, which comes through the power of the Holy Ghost, to get it right. Our job is to present THE GOSPEL, not to try and force sinners into a (supposedly) biblical mode that many of us fail to adhere to behind closed doors, ourselves. It's a mistake to continue to focus on the sins of those who are without, while we have beams of self-righteousness, selfishness, greed, and oppression of the "least of these" in our own collective (and individual, too) eyes (Ezekiel 16:48-50).
Abortion is a horror, indeed, but making it illegal won't stop the horror of abortion--it will multiply it. Remember the days of back-alley abortions??? Or, maybe the thinking is that women dying seeking abortions is just. What has happened in Australia is horrific, and to suggest that the mother (who probably thought [mistakenly]she was doing what was best for her family) basically got what she deserved, and should suffer (I'm reading between the lines of your comment Steven Adams), is anything but compassionate. Jesus was moved with compassion for the sinners He came in contact with, but today's Right-wing, Conservatives aren't big on compassion or utilizing the entire context of God's Word. Mercy and grace are woven into the Law of Moses as well as, abundant under grace.
Jesus was most impatient with the religious, pharisaical folk--that hypocritically pious bunch, who snubbed sinners, too.
Lisa Crooms , 08/30/12 11:59 PM
Excellent. We'll researched and supported. While I've never heard the connection to Jer. 17:13, I believe this is true. It's obvious that whatever he wrote convicted them. Merely writing their sins would not have done so. They already knew their sins.

Each year every man examined himself (as Paul said we should do in order to determine if we are faithful) during the ten days of Rosh Hashanah, one day for each of the Ten Words, the Ten Commandments. Then, on the Day of Atonement, Yom Kippur, they prayed that God would write their names in the Book of Life (not the Lamb's Book of Life) for the coming year.

The greatest fear (and akin to the unpardonable sin) was that their names would not be written, but forever blotted out. These men who brought this woman before Jesus (and by so doing recognized his jurisdiction and authority) and in so doing broke the Law and subsequently failed to repent when confronted by the High Priest (Jesus), left believing that there was no hope for them, that they could not be forgiven and redeemed. Had they stayed, they would have learned the truth—that God can and is willing to forgive every sin, remember them no more, and write our names in the Lamb's Book of Life where they can never be blotted out—when Jesus pardoned the woman.

His final words to her, "Go and sin no more," were not a command: "Don't do this again, or else." Jesus liberated her and as the Great Emancipator, set her free. He proclaimed, "You're free! Sin no longer has dominion over you." Had his words been a command, he would have been telling her to do the impossible—never sin again. As a proclamation, he empowered her with the truth.

This is what Andrew Wommack calls the "almost-too-good-to-be-true news." Thanks for your post.
Jeff Adams , 08/31/12 11:03 PM
Greetings Max,
I was in Dublin, Ireland last weekend where a sailing ship race between many nations was won by one of the largest of the sailing ships and it was from Mexico. A crew of 225 including captain, officers and mates worked together through storms and good weather to win three 1st places, two of which were records and they entered the Harbor standing at attention and singing. If you have ever sailed you know what teamwork is. I have read about your picture of a navy ship and it is good but since we are allowed to disagree I personnaly would prefer to be on a huge fishing ship. That was the subject of my message yesterday morning in teaching a lesson on sacrifice. I have a small congregation here in Germany and my background is teaching, I have never attended a seminary or studied theology but have attended Bible schools and studied the Bible myself (leadership of the Holy Spirit) and continue to do so as I have learned as a teacher and follower of Christ that we don't stop learning or teaching. I like your symbol of a navy destroyer as compared to a holiday cruise ship but not necessarily the idea of the cannons. I'll work the nets and in doing so I'll need the full armour and I'll be at your side.
Charles Brooks
Charles ^Brooks , 09/03/12 03:14 AM
Good thoughts. I do not see Jesus as "devastated," nor worried about his disciples bolting as well. He did not sin and doubt that his mission could fail by virtue of people leaving him would be sin. He knew he would be victorious, as he was. Sorry for that point, otherwise, all's good! Thanks.
Jim Quinlan , 09/04/12 11:29 AM
I love this and it is very helpful information. Thank you for posting this.
melisa rice , 09/06/12 10:34 PM
Oh dear, I was about to recommend this website until I read this article. Believe me I have had my experiences of 'challenging personalities' but I would rather follow the example of humility and grace of a friend of mine than an author using cheap slightly offensive tags for people. My friend used to work in a maximum security prison with some very dangerous individuals - and he seems to have learned something of balancing common sense, responsibility, accountability, love and mercy and I hope to follow his example of being as shrewd as a snake and as innocent of a dove.
Helen Davies , 09/07/12 05:04 PM
Dear Helen,

I'm SO SORRY that my article was the cause of some offense to you, it seems. I will take your comments to heart and make them a matter of prayer. I'm glad you went to all the trouble to read the whole article. Surely, you are a godly woman who has a heart for Jesus!

Of course, one of my favorite scriptures on this subject is the one you mentioned, Matthew 10:16 (to be "wise as a serpent and innocent as a dove"), as that is what's required to avoid unhealthy relationships. Other favorites are Phil. 1:9 in which Paul prays that our love would abound "more and more in knowledge and depth of insight." Also, Proverbs 19:19 is another favorite: "A hot tempered man must pay the penalty; if you rescue him, you will have to do it again." There are also times TO RESCUE. My barometer is Proverbs 24:11, which says to "rescue those being led unto death."

Scripture memorization is one of my hobbies and I think I know all of them that relate to this topic. Once the book is complete, you may see the first chapter in a more favorable light. I hope so!

Being an entirely Christian-based counselor for over 30 years, and valuing prayer and the word of God over all other interventions I wrote my dissertation on prayer), and also being over a large singles ministry for many years and seeing so many hearts broken by not understanding the biblical principles I'm expressing in this book, I have a pretty good understanding of how to get through to people who get involved in unhealthy relationships.

Also, I've fascilitated about 10 divorce recovery groups and most or many of the red flags that I'm putting in this book have been suggested by the folks in the Christian divorce recovery groups. They are the real experts and I'm simply a learner.

I can see how you might see my style as a bit ascerbic, but I've discovered that in order to "get through" to those who have suffered in heart breaking relationships, you have to speak boldly and in a language that they understand. Hence, all the positive comments that you may have noted above.

I do agree with you to some extent, however. In the introduction, I need to make clear that I have great respect for all people and that there is no one whom Christ cannot reach. I will be sure to clarify this point. I think I may have already said this in the introduction, but I haven't read it in months. I'll make sure that such a disclaimer is mentioned at the beginning, so that no one will think that I'm making fun of anyone for the sake of doing that. I'm simply attaching catchy labels to certain kind of "wolves in sheeps clothing" in order to keep the attention of the reader. These "labels" are what are used by those in my divorce recovery groups and they seem to help people understand who the wolves are.

Again, I really do appreciate your criticism. Also, you hit the nail on the head when you mentioned the importance of balance! I love the scripture in Eccl. 7:18 that says, "It is good to grasp the one and not let go of the other; the man who fears the Lord will avoid all extremes [Heb.: "will practice them both"]. "Have no fear!" My book will prove to be all about balance before I'm through!

Also, please don't give up on this incredible website. I think it's the most valuable resource on the internet for biblical understanding. You might read a few "Ask Roger's" who was on the radio for many years here in Tucson and who built up quite a large body of believers who are sincerely sold out to Jesus.

Blessings to you, Helen!

Chet

Chet Weld , 09/07/12 10:16 PM
Helen,

One more thing: I didn't give the article (chapter one) the above title. I can see how that would be offensive to you. I would never have given it that title. I think the person that did was simply trying to catch people's attention. If it's the person I think it is, few people love Jesus as much as that person, nor have they been through as much and held strong in their faith, as has this person done.

:) Chet
Chet Weld , 09/07/12 10:19 PM
Awesome article, except for one thing...I am a Oneness believer, who can clearly explain why I believe in the Oneness Doctrine from Genesis to Revelation (as a matter of fact, I just shared it this very evening with a Jehovah's Witness believer who couldn't wait to get away from me). At any rate, I am willing to walk with my Trinitarian brothers (even though I know that Oneness is right), but Trinitarian believers are quick to label us as heretics, and your article suggests that it's okay to be separate from us because that is an important doctrinal difference. As important as it is, I still believe we can walk in unity--because there is so much that we DO agree on, why focus on the one thing that we disagree on?
And, allow me to say, I admit that among Oneness believers there are many who would choose to remain separate, but I know that many would like to build a bridge of communication, (and even engage in healthy debate) while still remaining brothers and sisters. Why do we have to be estranged because of this one thing, no matter how right we both know that we are?
Lisa Crooms , 09/08/12 04:17 AM
Thank you for writing this. I completely agree.
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kacbnnickevm55 kayonnickynl78ED , 09/09/12 09:56 PM
"Here is the end of the matter: God is the one being in the universe for whom self-exaltation is not the act of a needy ego, but an act of infinite giving. The reason God seeks our praise is not because he won’t be fully God until he gets it, but that we won’t be happy until we give it. ".
Doesn't make sense with the rest of your post. You back everything up with quotes and wordings, but choose to generalize at the very end. Why should anyone take at face value thats true. Leave it to the individual beliefs and let people choose from facts, instead of generalizing and forcing your beliefs on other people. Amen.
nithin savio , 09/10/12 07:20 AM
I thank my Aunt Maxine for sharing this magnificant article. I will be sharing it with other members of my family (my maiden name was also Robison). I especially want to thank Jennifer for writing such an great reminder of how really blessed we are. We too have our moments when things pile up and we get discusted trying to live on our fixed retirement income. At the present time we have upaid medical bills which are astronomical, our air conditioner decided to die when we were having 100 degree temperatures, our hot water heater decided to die shortly after the air conditioner died, both the main and back-up sump pumps in our finished died last Friday durin the night and we woke up Sat. morning to 4 inches of standing water in our finished basement. All these things have happened in the last three months and we feel so overwhelmmed by where the extra money is going to come from to pay for these "necessities" that we forget to thank God for all the things we do have (like a very nice home, huge trees surrounding it, large yard, nice cars to drive, nice clothes to wear and at our ages, the fact that we still wake up every morning. We should, but do not, take enough time to count our blessings and feel bad and guily for all that we have, and what we don't have (like empty stomachs and inability to seek medical care when needed), loving and caring family members surrounding us. I thank Jennifer for this article's content which brought me a huge reality check. I do thank God several times a day for all of our blessings but I think I should thank Him even more now that I have come back to earth after reading this article.
Mona Beaton , 09/10/12 06:22 PM
I appreciate your post. I have several friends who have done this. I am glad I had the courage NOT to do this myself. I ironed this out with the offenders and we live peaceably. I don't have to fully trust them, but the my God and Savior does say "seventy times seven". I do have to love them and forgive them.
Some of those friends, however, paid no heed to the scriptural admonition contained in Titus 3:10-11 before utterly shutting out the family and ceasing to honor their parents and siblings. They have since come to deeply regret their action, as some of the families involved were completely torn apart with some resulting in suicide and other damages; one of the bad advisors who did not emphasize the warning of Paul in vv 3:10-11 was sucessfully and unscripturally sued at the secular law and that thriving ministry was irreparably damaged all in opposition to the inspired teachings of Paul.
george damon , 09/11/12 03:24 PM
Dear Pastor Glenn,
Excellent you have mentioned how the wholeness of soul is connected with sexual life...
god bless you...
Arther Paul , 09/12/12 06:03 AM
I've been trying to make this point for a long time! Thank you--I'm going to share it, because you really brought it home! BTW, World Vision is one of the best organizations out there--and they have a great accountability record, if anyone is looking for a place to start giving. Check out their giving catalog, where you can contribute to the building of a well, or purchase chickens, a goat, help children go to school, etc. Thanks, again!
Lisa Crooms , 09/12/12 10:16 AM
There are other Biblical accounts than Phillips of 'teleportation' or translation to be accurate. Is it a question of whether it is a spiritual gift, or something that God does on occasion?
J S , 09/12/12 04:57 PM
Wow Jennifer! Such insight for such a young person! We have been feeling 'poor' in regards to what we once had, what the world says 'we should have' at this point in our lives. Years ago we would have never felt this way, it wasn't until we 'had it' that we thought 'we deserved it'. The Lord keeps reminding me that I'm rich! I look at our family & say, you're right Lord, I'm rich! My husband & I are looking at everything through new eyes again because of the Lord telling us to, & now..here it is again speaking through you! I am rich! Thank you dear! Sincerely, Barbara & David Parker
Barbara Parker , 09/12/12 06:38 PM
while reading about throwing our money away on lotto tickets, I was wondering if throwing money at a preacher who doesn't mention God, Jesus or most other biblical names in a sermon. He is also the treasurer and have caught him in a few lies. Are we supposed to discuss this with him. A Lot of us have tried and he just makes sound so right. I also agree with you about the lotto tickets. Thans for answering, Rose
rose BURNS , 09/12/12 11:25 PM
Am much blessed.
Evans Prempeh , 09/13/12 06:55 AM
I do not think this article was meant to represent all stepmothers as wicked but is meant to shine light into the darkness of the hell the wicked stepmothers do cause.

My father left my mother for a waffle house waitress when I was 4 and my sister 2, just up and left state with us on a trip to get milk.
( what is it with affairs and waffle house waitresses anyways?)
My stepmother could not bear the thought of my mom having her affairs children but resented us being there. BAM a childhood wasted.
I learned hygiene at 22 was abused in ways that my head will never be straight and started learning about things I should have been taught in childhood during adulthood.
Many live through this and come out stronger but it is always a struggle to have seen that much selfishness and disregard through the learning years.
I am 42 and the laws are much better now but people are mean and irresponsible across the board. I am sure some children use the laws meant to protect children in my situation are used to abuse a legit step parent.
It is a price that I cannot comprehend but I thank all who do it gracefully for the children saved.
Kandy Walsh , 09/13/12 11:41 PM
very informative and useful
Primo Tabanda , 09/14/12 11:08 PM
There are certain "Faith" teachers who claim that this is a spiritual gift like any other found in the New Testament. Our survey of the doctrine shows this to be an error.
Tom Terry , 09/17/12 07:47 AM
Thanks for your grateful
Ajay kumar , 09/17/12 09:39 AM
Your reminder is more succinct in my life now as a septuagenarian. I am blessed to be with WI grade-school-on friends at least twice a year. It is no longer just fun, travel, and chatter. There are "needs" of some that we must "be there for". Thanks for the validation to just "Be".
Carolyn Roeder , 09/18/12 08:47 AM
Very helpful to those who are leading a Church and taking care of God's flock.HLLELUJAH!!!!!
Jocelyn Sillador , 09/19/12 03:31 AM
I must be reading a different Bible from everyone else. I can't find one single verse that says we go to heaven or hell as soon as we die. I do find all kinds of verses that say the dead stay in the grave (Job 14:21; Job 21:32; Psalms 6:5; Ecclesiastes 9:5; Ecclesiastes 9:10; Isaiah 14:11; John 2:29; Psalms 146:4; Psalms 115:17). I've found 26 verses that compare death to sleep. The Bible teaches that sinners will be "devoured as stubble", "utterly burned with fire" and "shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death." Romans 6:23 says "For the wages of sin is death;"(not burning in hell forever) "but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." The word soul is used about 1600 in the Bible, immortal is used once(1Tim. 1:17). Nowhere do you find the two used together.
nowhere do you see
Steve Harvey , 09/19/12 06:11 PM
Chet: I once heard an old Preacher say, "If you fed some people icecream three times a day they would complain about the flavor." Love your writings. Take care and God bless your ministry.
Grace Justice , 09/21/12 05:50 PM
Dear Roger,

I would like to comment on your response to "S's" question. I feel it is somewhat lopsided, therefore, I'd like to offer my view about the response for others to objectively evaluate themselves.

Roger, I feel that you misuse the passage about submitting one to another (Eph. 5:21). That the passage is directed to the general church and the other passage about wives submitting to husbands as unto Christ(Eph. 5:22,23) is directed specifically as instruction about family order. They are two different things. I think the illustrations you use demonstrate a certain amount of bias, for whatever reason, and I think you cumber men with undue burdens unfairly with an imbalanced use of the passages.

1st Peter 2:21 through 3:2 makes it abundantly clear that Christ's cross was an example for women as well as for men; does it not? As a result, the woman is supposed to submit to her husband unto the death of the cross. I didn't say it. That instruction is either valid or invalid. Which is it?

I understand that such teachings have at times been abused by men and used as a license for their tyranny. The faults of some men, however, render them no less valid. I also think you are being unfair when you say on the one hand that the man has to love like Jesus but that the woman doesn't REALLY have to submit to him as unto the Lord because after all, he isn't Jesus. Again, which is it? Submit to him as unto the Lord or scrap that part of it? Very unfair, Roger. Why offer a caveat to one and not to the other? Why include a caveat that the author did not?

And in response to your insinuation that women need not show husbands respect until they earn it; where does the bible say that? Where does Jesus model that idea? And do we all have the same license to render respect to others only when we feel it has been earned, or is that license reserved only for wives in their relationships with their husbands? That practice won't contribute to peace.

It's time for husbands and wives to stop squabbling so much. Married friends for the most part don't even need these teachings. But the bible teaches that everything should be done decently and in order. Someone has to have final decision making authority in a household and because of that, God has ordained order as given to us in the bible to promote peace.

In closing, Roger - I truly hope we can all learn to work out a healthy balance and understanding of these teachings in love and the best of good faith, honestly as unto Jesus.
Ed Costanza , 09/23/12 08:32 PM
I agree with Helen. Although the "name tags" have been given out of experience with divorce recovery group people, it's good that no (real) names of those (offensive) people have been mentioned. If an author mentions names of people, he/she can be sued. lol. Jokes apart, I found this article to be kind of too judgemental.
Phil Thomas , 09/24/12 02:31 AM
I believe the Timons parking lot is still paying to this day. Smart Man.
Guy Mauerhan , 09/24/12 01:59 PM
I am reminded here, oddly enough, of a "Garfield" comic strip. Garfield's owner, Jon, is going out on a date, and he starts to describe what he knows about her. Although certainly humorous, rather than the very serious matters that you have decribed, Chet, the description just gets worse and worse, and Garfield's thought-balloon responses are, "Red Flag" - "Big Red Flag" - "Huge Red Flag" - and he finally concludes with, "Ain't a flag big enough or red enough."

The point? If you even think something might not be as it should be, you're not only probably right, it'll probably be worse. Unfortunately, there are a lot of people out there who believe that there's nothing worse in life than to be alone. That there's nothing worse than NOT being in a committed relationship with someone.

Unfortunately, they find out that -- yes, there is. When we are driving and we see a red light, we stop (at least we're supposed to). If you're in a developing relationship, and you see a red flag, the response should be the same.
Thomas Wheeler , 09/25/12 09:38 AM
For those in question here, one thing to rememeber is that God is a HOLY God and sin will not coexist with Him. What many people fail to look at is the sins these nations commited (Read Lev.16-27). The conquest of the Israelites was a potlical conquest unlike today, we live in a period of grace. As for justifying the actions of God, he does not need to justify anything to us. Judgment came upon these people in the form of Israel's conquest to fulfill the promise made to Abraham. If we are to question God in this matter, then what about abortion, pedifiles, beastiality, etc. These people that God eliminated trough Israel were the worst kinds of sinners, and sadly, as worse judgment will to a world steeped in sin. To Kieron Browne, you miss the whole point due to veiwing God on your terms not His. He does exist, and thankfully many of us will escape His wrath poured out on a sinful world. We escaped because of the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. His blood cleansed us of all our unrighteousness and set us free from the bondage of sin and this worlds system of thinking. For your sake, I hope you receive the free gift of salvation before you pass on.
Richard Woerner , 09/25/12 08:25 PM
Dear Roger,

I'd like to chime in on Martha's question about church attire too, if I may.

First - Martha, I want to commend you on your courage. This is a question that should have been asked by men long ago. I've always spoken plainly about it among those in my own social circles and I'd like to speak plainly to you about it, offering my views as a 59 year old man who got saved in 1973, for you own consideration.

Plainly put, when girls expose their cleavage and wear short skirts exposing a lot of leg, they send the following message to boys and men, "I want you to do sex with me right now! All we need is a place." While I'm sure that most women/girls who send such a message by their attire don't really mean that, it IS effectively the message they are sending. Many modern pastors and family men have been successfully emasculated by the feminism and the poison of political correctness and they are no longer willing to address the problem like other difficult issues they may address, such as tithing or drinking. (BTW, I'm not down on pastors either. I'm just stating what I believe to be the facts about some as I see them.) As a caring and nurturing dad, I took time to impart a healthy outlook about attire to my daughter and to this day, as a married young mom, she is a healthy, beautiful, considerate and gracious woman as a result.

I often wondered just how far across the church parking lot I would get if I got out of my car with my pants pulled down half way below my backside, exposing cheeks. I gaurantee you, the brothers would swarm me and probably tackle me before I walked twenty feet. Yet the mature women of the church are silent, in spite of the fact that young girls and other women who dress provocatively in church show them, other women/girls, males young and old, as well as their own selves, disrespect in doing so. Let's face it, females don't like it either when another exposes cleavage to their husband, boyfriend or fiance'. I also find it hard to conceive that the Lord could be pleased with women placing such a powerful stumbling block before the young boys and men of the congregation who are trying hard to cultivate some level of personal purity in their hearts. In the past however, when I've brought the issue up to pastors, some have told me, "You need to get your heart right with the lord, brother!" placing the entirety of the fault, burden and blame, in effect, upon me. But I feel that everything works better when everyone is pushing in the same direction; don't you? I feel that church should be the one place in which God's kids should be able to find respite from confronation with worldy influences. Sunday morning services are the most wonderful, heavenly, restorative times of fellowship and refreshing there are and I look forward to every one with great anticipation. Then in walks the tall girl in the short red dress with her abundant cleavage bouncing enticingly in front of me and every other guy in the sanctuary as she blithely, inconsiderately walks by. Of course she sits in front of me and and during the greeting time of the service, she leans over in front me and my wife and wants to shake my hand. (Not making this up.) I was at worship rehearsal one evening where one of the women was wearing a low cut blouse with no bra. At some point, she leaned over and I saw everything. You may not think males capable but I was mortified. I AM a Christian. Yet, no one dares say a word about it - to her personally - graciously and in the best of faith as unto the Lord, or from the pulpit. I wonder if anyone would say anything to me if every Sunday I brought a beer with me to church and drank it during the service. I doubt that practice would last very long. Yet, why isn't revealing attire in churches which causes people to stumble, causes frustration and robs people's joy not something to be addressed by pastors, family men, mothers and mature female mentors in the church family? Sorry Martha, I don't get it.

In closing, I just want to commend you again for your courage and reassure you by telling you that - No... you aren't crazy! God bless!
Ed Costanza , 09/27/12 03:45 PM
One Post Script for my earlier response to Martha's question...

As a well deserved defense of pastors that I neglected to give among my reasons why some don't address the issue of improper attire worn by women in church, I want to offer the following:

People come to church from different experiencial backgrounds, with different levels of understanding and maturity. Pastors are saddled with the difficult task of finding a balance in the right blend of gentleness, firmness and grace that will engender healthy and liberating understanding of the conduct in question and steps toward remedy. The balance is tricky and understandably, many pastors are intimidated by the task. It's easy to talk and to criticise and I don't mean to do that. I pray for grace upon our church leaders, men and women of God, so that they may be enabled always to speak health infusing truth to the church in love and with God's wisdom.
Ed Costanza , 09/28/12 02:31 AM
Although i appriciate the article i am not entirley convinced. I think that another type of thinking that is highly associated with Greek and western thought is either, or thinking. one insted of the other. as opposed to both , and. I do not oppose that satan has a desire to be worshiped as God but However. I think it would in accurate to assert that he is not intersted in stealing, killing and destroying. i think his role in the trials that were expirienced by Job would strongly testify to his interest to steal, kill and destroy. I think that satan is clearly intersted in both objectives. which are to be worshiped as god, to ensnare the lost and to try to cause havoc amongst the saints of God.
James Aidoo , 10/01/12 04:42 AM
The sad truth is that there are indeed many concerning problems and issues in the modern Protestant Evangelical Church today. And I think it's an unfair 'straw man' to say this fellow had given up on the church. He was, after all, traveling around to churches trying to "wake 'em up". I understand your plea to trust in the faithfulness of God, yet there is much we can and should be addressing and doing. Take legalized baby-killing for example. Understanding what the scriptures tell us of God's view of 'the shedding of innocent blood', and the consequences of it, do you really believe the church has done an acceptable job of even exposing it? .. let alone stopping it? How about pornography, adultery, fornication, homosexuality, excessive greed etc.? It's undeniable that these and many more are rampant in the church today. Most Christians today have never even read the entire Bible! They've been taught that the Old Covenant is irrelevant and that God was just angry back then! Where have the words "repentance" or "the fear of the Lord" gone? .. and more importantly, why? The modern protestant church may very well be guilty of gathering around themselves a multitude of teachers teaching what their itching ears desire to hear. That all is well. That 'God loves you no matter what'. That we're all on our way to heaven. That the church will never see persecution or suffering etc.. We Protestants like to point a finger at the Catholics or Orthodox and say that they are the apostate church and that we sit as a queen. Yet we divided Christ's Church over 'sola scriptura' and now are all little popes deciding who God really is! What do you think the Lord God intended when He warns us in Revelations to "come out of her my people that you might not share in her iniquities and in her plagues"? Or the warning that 'had He not shortened the days, that even the elect would be deceived'? Or that there would be great delusion poured out in the last days?
Scripture is very clear in it's warnings that rather than things going well until the Lord raptures the church out of harms way, that instead it will continue to grow worse and worse and that apostasy and sin will mount and reach it's full measure and provoke the return of the Lord as a thief in the night. Revelation 3:3 Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; obey it, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you
I sincerely wish it wasn't true, but perhaps that man was right! Wake-up O Church! Wake-up! "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom".
Mark Baker , 10/01/12 10:31 AM
Interesting article. Some of the folks on your team have been linke to spiritual abuse...
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ypomxd djkfsfd , 10/08/12 12:15 AM
I, too, felt like Mrs. Mooney. However, our pastor, Glenn, turned down the volume in the first service so we could enjoy the service. We were able to move our ABF to the second service. I became more involved in our class by sending out prayer requests. Also, I became a "home bound" volunteer. Doing for others and bending those old ideas of how church should be is the key to success. We love our church family.
Barb Siemons , 10/09/12 09:09 AM
Good article, it must also be stated that God is not a God of confusion.
Christ himself never speaks of anything except doing the will of his father.
Being 100%to God and man Christ would not have need of an earthly bride. The Church is Christ bride!
Randy Mifflin , 10/09/12 08:39 PM
What Jesus preached is far different from what the Christian faith has been preaching since the inception of roman Catholicism....which was the beginning of Christianity. The bible was created 325 years after the death of Christ by the Roman emperor Constantine. Most of the words in the bible are not of Jesus directly, but of others that never even knew him. Only a portion of the bible is written by his disciples. So many other scriptures about Jesus was even left out of the bible, these scriptures are the appocraphies. I am a graduate of religious studies. I have studied religions of all faith quite extensively, not that I know it all, but the picture is becoming clearer for me. There are those that have brought spiritual understanding to this world, Jesus is definitely among those great teachers. But Christianity as a whole, from it's inception to now has never been about Christ's teaching, but a way to control the psychology of the masses of the Roman/British/American empires. It is a system of control and enslavement disguised as a spiritual system. The masses were ignorant to this in the days of the Roman empire. The masses remained ignorant as the British empire continued the Roman legacy of pillaging and raping other cultures using the bible...and the masses remain this way today...ignorant....as the American empire enslaved others in the most un-christ-like ways while preaching the "word of God". History wreaks of hellish hypocrisy and innocent blood of men, women and children. And those that claim this same Christian institution, that has murdered and lied and coveted its way through time, as being the only way to salvation are about to have a rude awakening in these times. For these are the times of great spiritual advancement and all the ignorance and darkness preached by so many will be revealed. Om Namah Shivaya!
Ramanan Chandralingam , 10/10/12 11:03 AM
Thank you so much Julie, I often wondered what Jesus wrote. Blessings to you.
Donna Archambault , 10/12/12 08:23 AM
Dear Roger,

I have a friend who married a woman he didn't love some 25 years ago. Forget the reasons why. None are good - there was a lot of confusion in his life and he did it - that's that. Over the 25 years, he and his wife have been to counseling several times. None of it helped much, if at all. The couple has two kids they both love very much. Throughout that 25 years, pastors, counselors and friends all told them they needed to stay together, try and work things out. Now many of those same people ask "Why'd you stay together?" and "How'd you do it?" or "How'd you last this long?" Judging by comments you've made regarding the marriages of other troubled inquirers who've written in, I think you'd say the same. This friend tells me he feels damned if he does and damned if he doesn't. Imagine how he feels after receiving no support from pastors, counselors and friends who, instead of helping him work toward divorce, influenced him not to, then doubled back on him, asking why he didn't. Too much pain for too long, so on this friend's behalf I'm gonna be blunt... Pardon my angry phrasing of the question but I have to ask - "What the hell?!" How should he deal with his emotions and the remaining quandary he's in?


Signed - Angry...
john smith , 10/13/12 11:53 PM
I think Christianity is on the decline for more reasons than that. Im a Native American female, and when I found out my true heritage, I casted Christianity aside like a wet sock. To me, spirituality does NOT include worshipping a diety. I consider myself more Atheist these days than anything else. Paganism is too naieve, and the Monotheistic faiths too barbaric. My middle ground is no religion or relationship, the No true scotsman fallacy was the straw that broke the camels back, thats for sure.
Bria LaPoint , 10/15/12 01:43 PM
Oh and most christians tell me to trust Jesus not man, so yeah, Who said non christians have issues with community better look in the mirror before pointing fingers. Christians are the WORST HYPOCRITES, take it from someone that went to at least 7 churches from 7 different denominations. Who are you to tell me I wasnt a real christian? thats called judging anyways.
Bria LaPoint , 10/15/12 02:08 PM
Can people who deliberately take the life of another person or more than one person(such as mass murder or are responsible for Atrocites and violence against many people throughout there life on earth)go to heaven when they die??
Ashley Martin , 10/15/12 05:20 PM
Fantastic article, Chet!...You hit a lot of the points to watch for!...Great advice!...People should pay more attention to how someone treats them before they marry or commit to one another because chances are they will continue to do you the same way.
Lila Pardue , 10/17/12 05:59 PM
Lovely,.....so impressed by the way you have presented the topic. Having faith in anything without any doubt is the first step towards the goal of life.
doubts out , 10/17/12 06:20 PM
Great as usual Dr. Weld. I have always heard to pay attention to how a man treats his mother and other females in his life. I have watched my husband over the years, and his kindness, love, and respect for all females is what keeps me drawn to him. It is so sad that people ignore these red flags just to have someone in their life. I have seen people like this, and it never ends well...
Toni Adams , 10/21/12 11:18 AM
I think that every person I've ever spoken with who was in a troubled marriage, or who was already divorced, saw red flags even though they often denied their significance. I think this because every time I've ever asked such a person if they saw red flags ahead of time, they've said, "Yes," with few exceptions. That's how badly we want connection. We'll ignore many clear signs of coming destruction in order to get what we want or think we need. Of course, the best answer is always to trust God and His timing for the blessings that He has for us. Lila and Toni, Thanks for your comments!
Chet Weld , 10/21/12 06:33 PM
This is inspiring! Am a Pastor from Nigeria- Men of Purpose Ministry, we have been praying and trusting God for the financial breakthroughs of the ministry, looking at our outreach programmes. We beliecve and we trust on God for turn-arounds in Jesus. Amen
Awodiran Olusola , 10/26/12 08:00 AM
I saw today that Englishman Sean hogdson(who spent 28 years in a british prison for a murder that he never committed has died just three years after he was released after being found to be innocent)I'd like you to tell me why a god who detests the condemnation of the innocent indeed in the bible(PROVERBS 17 VERSE 15)it says this so why would god who knows this not prevent this man from spending such a long time in prison(28 years is a very long time indeed)for something he never did even if this miscarriage was the result of human failings??and god knew that this was so??god tells us not to complain when life is hard yet allows this type of cruel unfairness to happen??
Ashley Martin , 10/27/12 08:43 AM
Thank you for posting this! I have been single for 3 years and most of my friends are married. I'm always aware of my behavior around their husbands. I can honestly say that I don't act any differently with the husbands whether the wife is there or not. But recently, one of my friend's husbands has been saying some unkind words about his wife. I never comment, unless it is to stick up for her and I end the conversation quickly and walk away. I've been avoiding him as well. It makes me uncomfortable. If it keeps up, should I say something to him?
kimberly leister , 10/27/12 06:18 PM
Kids really do look up to their parents; and no matter how hyper they are a simple silent show of disapproval can send them feeling like being punished. I was so confused until I got to read this advice. Now I don’t let the kids boss me around, neither do I feel compelled to please them just so that they keep loving me. In fact, my love for my kids is now bound with a discipline; with a relaxed spirit, I feel like I have more to give to them than before. I have three of my own and we rarely manage to take some time out for ourselves. Usually parents feel guilty leaving their kids behind and spending some romantic time together; but I do feel that at the end of the day, they come out so refreshed and energetic from this that they spend some quality time with their kids too. So this suggestion to give a little time to your spouse every once in a while, has my support.
marriage help
Lightyou Fire , 10/30/12 11:24 PM
Julie, I really enjoyed reading this powerfully-impacting article. In my opinion the rich young ruler was too self-reliant. I think that until a person is born again they are without exception too self-reliant. I believe that the rich young ruler's challenge was to become more God-reliant.

Jesus was teaching him that he needed more faith in him and his words, for only when we have more faith in him and his words could God graciously bless him with more faith in his deeds.

Julie, may almighty God continue to bless, inspire and empower you to his glory.
Josef Sefton , 11/02/12 07:44 PM
“ Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.” Romans 8:26.

What a powerful verse from the Holy Bible and what an encouraging truth God is imparting to us here. Truly the Holy Spirit himself intercedes for us. This is no ordinary act of intercession but something truly miraculous, for he interceedes with us with groanings too deep for words.
Truly sincere prayer is profound and pure. How blessed we are to have such a noble comforter and cherished companion.
Josef Sefton , 11/02/12 08:09 PM
Precious readers, can you relate to the deep pain and brokenness in the life of the Samaritan woman? Can you relate to her deep yearning for a right relationship with her creator? Notice how receptive she is to truth. Truly Jesus' love can heal the deepest wounds that his creation can experience.
What a saviour. What a Lord of Lords. What a righteous King and Judge he is. Truly holy Lord Jesus loves us.
Josef Sefton , 11/02/12 08:45 PM
Thank you Rick for sharing these powerful reflections. Precious readers, if you are fearing the future be encouraged, for God's got the antidote. Truly the antidote is a living relationship with him, for his perfect love casts out fear! Cherished Christians, let's praise Almighty God for his wonderful joyful and joy-bringing presence.The Lord Jesus will be returning soon. What a wonderful even more wonderful time that is going to be. We have so much to look forward to: a life where there is no pain, crying and sorrow! What a priceless gift eternal life is. Friends, our praise is for the unique God of the Holy Bible. Let's praise him for his outstanding attributes, attitude and abilites. Such is compassionate love toward us that he can set us free from feeling dejected, depressed and defeated and set us soaring replete with his blessing and gift of faith, hope and love into adventures fresh, new and exciting that totally fulfill us and glorify him.

To God be the glory now and forever.
Josef Sefton , 11/03/12 06:44 PM
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Zedohorb Nekbague , 11/05/12 12:54 PM
Bruce,

Fight. God will show you the battle, he will give you the advantage. When you feel and see the depression, oppresion, seduction, fear, anger, and confusion come on.... PRAY and join many others to your battle with prayer. God will show you the Spirit's weakness. Keep fighting and you will win.

Dave
Dave Snyder , 11/05/12 09:35 PM
I too have been in this battle. The Holy Spirit is leading us.... PRAY.... search the WORD... don't give up. The LORD will not quit on you. If you are in this battle it is because you are being prepared to go through it. God Bless!!!!
Dave Snyder , 11/05/12 09:37 PM
Dear Kimberly,
Yes, it is probably good to talk with him. However, remember the proverb: "Like a man grabbing a mad dog by the ears is the person who meddles in a quarrel not his own."

Let me know how it all turns out.

sincerely, roger
roger barrier , 11/06/12 10:43 AM
What an absolutely outstanding article!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I eagerly anticipate part two!
Bob King , 11/06/12 12:07 PM
If we, as Christians, want to influence the policies of our nation, we need to engage with the political establishment on day-to-day basis (communicating with our state and county representatives/school officials, advocating adherence to Bible-supported policies, educating our neighbors about Bible-based foundations of a state and why they are important to everyone's future, etc). This will also ensure that the political establishment of both parties will again start taking Christians seriously. It's naive and lazy to think that somehow only by voting once every four years we are influencing our government and doing our civic duty as Christians. In order to grow spiritually, we are expected to regularly study the Bible, pray, and fellowship with our brothers and sisters. If we expect to influence our neighborhoods, our future generation and our society, we must be just as regular and consistent in our involvement in the local and national government. I reject the idea of picking the "lesser evil" of the two candidates - this is a false dichotomy. If I am in a store and the grocer is offering me expired fish and expired beef and tells me they're the only choices I have, I walk out of that store. We, as Christians and US citizens, need to stop lamenting why these two candidates are awful choices for God-fearing people. We need to change the establishment that offers us such poor choices and insists that this is the best that our great nation has to offer. I know that we have much better statesmen and stateswomen.
Irina Butler , 11/06/12 07:42 PM
Friends, God loves you and his perfect love casts out fear! Everything about the love of God is miraculous. Truly his love can deliver you from all forms of counter productive fear. His love can set you free from the bondage of addiction and even the life of carnality.

Trust and obey Lord Jesus' words and God will progressively bless you with a vibrant love for him which will express itself in worship and humble service.

Sincere students of the Holy Scriptures in Jesus is to be found the perfect Prophet, the perfect High Priest and the perfect King. In Jesus is to be found the Messiah, the unique Son of the living God.

Trust and obey faithfully Lord Jesus and your life will become meaningful, purposeful and fulfilling.
Friends, let us give our blessing to Jesus Christ, our faithful Teacher, Redeemer and Friend. What a truly wonderful Friend we have in Jesus! May God bless you, more and more, with his perfect love that casts out fear.
Josef Sefton , 11/06/12 11:47 PM
From Roger:
Dear Ashley,
This is the battle we face. Jesus tells us that Satan is now in charge of this world and he wrecks all sorts of horrible things on this earth. But, and this is what the Book of Revelation is all about, at the 2nd coming Jesus will retake this world as his own and then there will be peace on earth and He will make things right. After all, life doesn 't end at death. Until then we fight sin and injustice and pray, as Jesus asked us to, for the Kingdom to come on this earth asap.

I agree with you, what a tragedy. So painful for him to endure for so many years.
I hope my thougts help a little bit.

Love, Roger
roger barrier , 11/07/12 10:37 AM
The more my relationship grows with my lord . The more I realize that the main reason why I do the things that he instructs us to do through his teachings in the bible is fear of him rather than love of him . I do feel love for him because of all the things he has done for me and is still doing for me . But I mostly feel fear of him because of all the things I read about him and his wrath to mankind if we don't find him and his son . Therefore faer is the biggest motivator for now . Woe is me until love can dominate my motivation . Woe for all of us who are more afraid thna in love .
Daniel Diggins , 11/08/12 01:40 PM
Disappointed father's beating, abusive husband, or some man's love leading her to illicit affair do not justify her sin and perhaps not the cause of Jesus' compassion, I think.
Samson Dass , 11/09/12 06:21 AM
See Jeremiah 17:13 Hope of Isra’el, Adonai! All who abandon you will be ashamed, those who leave you will be inscribed in the dust, because they have abandoned Adonai, the source of living water.
Batyah Yensen , 11/10/12 12:35 PM
"No Christian today lauds them or calls them heroes."

On what kind of evidential basis can you make that claim? What kind of evidence would you accept in refutation of that claim?

There are overtly Christian sites, for example some of the anti-Jihadist sites, which do laud Christians who killed people in the name of Christ. The obvious route to take, I guess, is 'they're not really Christians'. Do you say the same of Serbs who killed Bosnian 'Muslims', or of the clergy who blessed them? Plenty of contemporary Christians laud the Crusaders. What about Christian involvement in the Rwandan genocide? What about evangelical Christian support of Apartheid, or of settler violence towards Palestinian Arabs?
It may be true that there is a consensus among some European and American Christians that condemns past 'misguided zeal', but there are many parts of the contemporary church outside of Europe and America where that consensus has no writ, and there are plenty of people within Europe and America who don't subscribe to it. Are there not strident Christian voices in Uganda advocating the killing of homosexuals? Or does General Boykin not exist? Do you really want to claim that no Christians serving with US forces in the Middle East sees his role in war as a working out of his Christian Faith? Just War theology is alive and well in the modern church at an academic level, and violent Christian demagogues are not very hard to find.
H S , 11/12/12 07:05 AM
With all due respect, sir, you didn't say much expect prove that Christians ARE narrow minded. Other religions (like Hinduism) actually state that ALL paths to God are acceptable. Christianity and Islam are labeled more narrow minded for a reason. The book has been edited countless times to account for pre ordinance, etc etc, why wasn't this section modified, too.
Have to respectfully agree to disagree-and there are many others like me,too.
Yuma Terry , 11/13/12 12:45 PM
Heavenly Father, I thank you for the phenomenal treasure that you have given us in Darlene. Her zest for life inspires me and multitudes of other people to love and cherish you even more. Where do we start uniquely beautiful and holy Lord God to thank, praise and worship you. Thank you for being who you are: a holy, righteous, gracious, wise, loving, merciful and forgiving God.
Behold readers, what awesome courage and compassion is found in the risen Lord. Truly the Lord Jesus is our great God with us now and forevermore.

I thank you wonderful Father for blessing me and all your human creation with a body, a soul and a spirit. How blessed we are that you have made us unique amongst all your creation. We are immensely grateful for your gifts of heart, mind, soul and conscience. How highly also do we cherish your gift of our five senses and all those talents you keep surprising us with.

Treasured heavenly Father, we thank you for the faithfulness of your beloved, sinless Son, for his perfect finished work on the cross and his continuous ongoing love toward us.
Father, thank you for helping us be a blessing to you. What a Lord, the Lord Jesus is. What an edifying and holy Spirit he has. Thank you great Friend of friends for being so long suffering with us.

Treasured readers, truly in the Lord Jesus, the good Shepherd, we find fulfillment, meaning, purpose and direction that glorifies triune God. As Darlene says so magnificently in both music and words, let's shout to the Lord, for he is worthy to hear our shouts of pure praise!
Josef Sefton , 11/13/12 01:37 PM
A man will abuse a woman for many reasons. At the heart of these relationships is the need for power and control. the man may have a sense of inadequacy, job frustrations and sex roles issues.
Also, many men who are abusive are very jealous and insecure and have very poor communication skills. A lot of men who are abusive are very polite and passive in public, yet they may behave abusive at home.

Stella Harris , 11/14/12 12:25 AM
i am relating this Six Keys to Successful Single Parenting article and yes this is how my Mom treat us. :)
Maria Lee , 11/15/12 06:33 AM
Mathew5 [2] And he ( Jesus) opened his mouth, and taught them ,sayiing, [8] Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. [9] Blessed are the peacemakers: for they shall be called the children of God. What wonderful, insightful bible verses. What wonderful words of truth Jesus gives to us. Truly the Son of God is the Creator and His unfailing love is from eternity to eternity. Surely those who love Him will witness that His love doesn’t and can't fade away. Behold how graciously loving His character is.
Now as He drew near, He saw the city and wept over it, (Luke 19:4)
We are often touched when others cry –the tears of a child or of a grieving mother or wife. But, when a man of strength, power, and conviction like Jesus weeps we know we are in the presence of deep emotion.

Jesus must feel the same way toward societies like ours. His word is found in almost every home in America and England but it is ignored by multitudes. Friends, may the giver of life bless you with a keen interest for the words of Jesus. Proverbs 4:7 says, “Wisdom [is] the principal thing; [therefore] get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” Proverbs 2:6 says, “For the LORD giveth wisdom: out of his mouth [cometh] knowledge and understanding.”

Let us praise the Creator for being a generous giver of wisdom. Friends, as we become wiser we discover that we have more consistently the right understanding to use knowledge productively and honourably to God’s glory and as we grow in wisdom we also are blessed with a purer desire to reverence the giver of life.

God is wise, so let us hunger and thirst for His life-edifying gift of wisdom. God loves you and longs for you to submit wholeheartedly to His perfect will. The soul is the miraculous immaterial part of man with which he can seek, obey, love and serve God.

Sin is the enemy of the soul and this is why we ought to resist sinful speech and sinful acts vigorously. Our soul needs restoring, so let us turn to God , for the restoration of the soul is his unique gift. O seek his holy, pure presence, so that you can submit more fully to his perfect will. Bless you holy Creator for blessing those who hunger and thirst to honour your name.
Reine Gnade , 11/16/12 03:54 PM
Treasured readers, as you know, prayer takes sacrifice and humility so dig into your Bible and study it diligently, so that God can strengthen you from week to week when you pray to him. I think that everyone desiring to honour God ought to study the Psalms very diligently! Make them a port where you call into frequently!

May you say unto the Lord Thy pure presence, Lord, will I daily seek, so that I can honour you in my life more consistently.

Friends, let’s commit ourselves to a life of serious and devoted prayer, for when wholeheartedly submitted unto our gracious God we all have the potential to affect the course of nations.

Precious readers, may Almighty God bless you with a thirst for His presence through daily prayer and deepen your commitment to him, so that he can bless you to his glory.

Exalted Lord and Saviour, without you we can do nothing. May you so bless us so that we decrease and you increase with each passing day and may you have a position of pre-eminence in our heart and life now and for ever! May God bless you all with a deeper love for his wonderful collection of Psalms.
Reine Gnade , 11/17/12 12:21 AM
why the christianity life get such like decline? We should understand some thing from here;that it is the sign of the coming of GOD! How can we re establish this declined christan life? oh! christians of american land cry unto the God daily for the mercy of the God for our generation!
Minase Dida , 11/19/12 02:17 AM
I'v been tremendously blessd by this article on "BENEFITS OF WISDOM". I really loof forward 2 reading more explicit,easy-to-read and understand articles. Thanks and God bless
Rachael Ogunsola , 11/19/12 10:02 PM
HUGELY helpful even as I approach 50 years of marriage, relating to grown children, and grandchildren--now expanding to family via marriage, etc. Loved PURPOSE DRIVEN LIFE as well. Keep up the purposeful sharing! Thanks
Carolyn Roeder , 11/20/12 06:33 PM
Julie,
I Know that you are right. He woke me at 4am, led me to what you had written, and showed to me what I must do. Praise his name.
Martin.
martin murphy , 11/20/12 11:03 PM
we also love muslims who follow mohammad don't we?
joud hijaz , 11/25/12 11:07 AM
Wow! Such wonderfully true insights. What a blessing this article is.
Josef Sefton , 11/25/12 03:12 PM
Thank you, Max, for these beautiful reminders of the faithful love of Our cherished Lord God.

Although we are often very stubborn and disobedient the God of the Holy Bible, the only true God, is very long suffering toward us. Yes, He is a very, very kind and patient teacher, As He grows us up spiritually, we find out that we will envy our neigbour less and less and as He graciously cleanses our heart, mind and soul, we find out that we will reject more and more vaunting ourselves and behaving puffed up (boastfully).

Our Holy God, Lord Jesus Christ, can be provoked but is not easily provoked. Truly, the more He loves us, the more we have the opportunity to become conformed to His holy image. The more He loves us and the more we respond obediently to His unfailing love, we will become more self controlled, humble and less easily provoked,
Jesus as God is so holy and pure that He thinks no evil and never speaks or behaves selfishly! Wonderfully when sin or injustice is committed He never rejoices and as He purifies us, His creation, we miraculously become more like Him in these areas too.
Yes, precious friends, we have much to be thankful for, for Jesus’s love is healing, forgiving and character-transforming. Yes, it is to Almighty Triune God that we ought to offer ourself willingly and joyfully body, soul and spirit.

Precious readers, never hesitate to get to know God, for His heart rejoices always in justice and truth. truly God never vaunts Himself or behaves unseemly!
Let’s rejoice greatly, for the God of creation is sinless and the more we pursue purity the more He will reveal Himself to us.

May God bless you, friends, as you venture forth boldly to live more selflessly.

1 John 4:8 8 Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.

We are God’s creation and are here to glorify His holy loving name. As we submit our will to His will He will empower us to be more loving.

Always be encouraged, for as we submit our will to His holy will He will inspire and empower us to be more loving and compassionate in both word and deed

Precious readers, I hope you are well, and being daily blessed with God’s overflowing grace.

To God be the glory!
Josef Sefton , 11/26/12 10:42 AM
A response (a year late) to the above poster:
1. This article is merely statistics about Men and church. If you want more analysis, or other people groups, you should probably find another article.
2. That being said, your concern is a valid one. There are many different people groups who, in one situation/geographical region or another, are ostracized or simply left out of the "relevance" part of church. This can be specific to a situation, or be part of a larger, nationwide trend.
But the question becomes, "How much do we _design_ church to be for the people, and how much do we teach the people to be for Christ?" If you look at Jesus's teachings, he didn't sugarcoat or water down the message or the means in order to get as many people to follow him as possible, but yet we do that in many churches. Many times in Jesus's ministry, he said things to the crowds that made thousands of people give up on Him. Because He wanted true followers, not people who were there because they were comfortable.
My point is, while we certainly shouldn't be ostracizing anyone - we should be accepting and loving toward everyone - when we cater to people's desires just to get them in the doors, we're in danger of compromising our message and purpose, and offer something less than Christ.
Proper relevance, in my opinion, is the result of packaging the message in a way that _makes sense_ to people, not in a way that is necessarily easy to swallow or comfortable. A church that offers Christ's truth unashamedly will have members that are a cross-section of every race and age group that its community includes.
Bradley Marshall , 11/26/12 10:49 AM
I am 18 years old. I do not have an abusive husband, or boyfriend. I have a very aggressive father. It breaks my heart to even think about it, but my father has always beaten my mom for as long as I can remember. When i think about my childhood years,that is the first thing that pops in my mind. My father beating and dragging my mom on the floor. He would beat her, for whatever reason and sometimes lock her outside of the house and my mom would cry all night long, telling my dad to open the door. In return, my mom would let out her anger on me. When i would do something bad, she would exaggerate her punishment and beat me really hard. As I got older, my father changed, he wasn't so angry anymore, which also caused my mother to change as well. Now I feel as if my father is doing it again once more. I have a younger sister who was crying because she had a diaper rash, and my dad came up to her and started forcebly shutting her mouth so she would shut up. I could not allow this, I am not my mother and I would never let him try to do what he did to us on my baby sister. So i quickly pushed his hand away from her twice and after the second time he grabbed me by the hair and started dragging me across the floor. My mom came in and started crying telling my dad to stop.The worst part was the my baby sister so all of this, that is what hurts me the most. So my mother kept telling him to stop, and he pushed her and started yelling at her too. Then he stopped and took out a belt and began hitting me with it..and my mom tried to cover me. Which then he hit her with the belt so she would get out of the way. In defiance, like a said I dont wanna kneel down to him like my mother does or ask him to stop. i gave my back to him and told him to keep going. I did not cry, i just took it. I want him to realize what kind of monster he is. He is not my father. i father is a person who loves and protects his family. That night, i lost the little that was left from my father and I have not spoken to him for over about a year. He has not asked for forgiveness. Many of you might say that I am being harsh in not speaking to him, but I dont want him to apologize since it would mean nothing to me, like i said i have no father. I am sad, i really am and it hurts me to have no one. But i rather be alone, than accept what my mother has accepted as a father to her daughters.
Maria Diaz , 11/27/12 11:23 PM
Thank you, Julie for listening well to the fathers heart and then sharing it with us!
Shalom
Werner Klotz , 12/01/12 08:33 AM
thank you. do you have a book?
Sandi Hinton , 12/03/12 10:31 PM
The racial sickness we have most certainly is an inherent disease that we then communicate to our offspring. Since various shades of color were present long before we arrived, it seems fair to presume that we do not yet understand the origins of race (as identified by color), and therefore, are in less than poor condition to use it for judgment purposes.

DNA has the potential to show us that we were wrong about nearly everything that forms the nature of prejudice and superstitition about human beings, though we don't seem to have been proved wrong yet about animals who are more nearly visible by type and construction - well, except for the adaptations that breeders introduced.

As DNA accuracy and facility gets easier, we may not believe our own eyes to be able to rely upon them with respect to color, or ethnicity, and that is a good lesson to learn.

Pat Ross , 12/04/12 09:51 AM
I have been blessed to be able to "get past" my sexual abuse in most every way. I truly and honestly feel no anger or unforgiveness toward my abusers. In fact, I mostly feel very sorry for them and recognize that they are the continuation of a cycle. God has shown me mercy and grace and I feel like He has give me the ability to offer the same. When I was younger I was very promisicuous...I found it almost impossible to say "no" to any advance and thought that sex was a way to "win" love from someone. I prided myself in being sexual and in honesty, enjoyed it. That behavior is something else that God has helped me to be free of but now a "new" problem has crept up. I am married to an amazing man who I love and appreciate. I think he is a wonderful husband, man and father and he is by far and away my very best friend. And being intimate with him feels at best like a chore and on bad days disgusting. I don't understand how I could be one way with men who were sometimes barely known to me and then another way with someone I love and admire and respect and who loves me. A Godly, decent man who I adore. I don't understand and I don't know what to do or how to "fix" this. It's not even something I feel like I can talk about or explain to my husband either for fear of making him feel like the problem is with him. I hate bringing this mess to an otherwise wonderful relationship. I have thought for several years that I was free of all of this and I don't want it to drive a wedge in my marriage. Is this reaction "normal"? What should I do? Thank you for any help you can offer. Please post any response here so maybe it will help others but also feel free to e-mail me. Thanks again.
Beauty For Ashes , 12/05/12 07:43 AM
This should be addressed seriously.
Christiano Mboyi , 12/06/12 02:35 AM
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joan oscar , 12/09/12 11:45 PM
I suppose,from that inquisitive fellows'EXTERNAL point of view It all seems absurd; However, when "seen" from God's View, the Eternal, it makes PERFECT SENSE! I pray that the "inquisitive" fellow finds the ETERNAL answers to his queries.
Joe Re\' , 12/11/12 04:54 PM
i have been an abusive wife from the time im married i dont no y, my husband takes full advantage of me always, cuss, fight and try to embarrass me always, i have two handsome son's for him yet he do abuse me, when i got married to him he never had children he was 40 yrs without children i was 28 then and was still a virgin, i beg god to talk to him and make him married me before sex and he did but under sever presure, when married i immediately ask god to bless my womb to have him children since he nver did and immediatly i got pregnant i continue to pray and ask god for a house, and i did hve it, i ask got for a truck for him to work and bring in money and i did i ask god for a car and he give me all that, im a good and faithful woman to my husband and i should not be treated this way, not too long ago he called me teling me he wll burn the house down, i belive strongly in god and if he do that i pray that god will punish him severely and that he will never see any good in his live, Amen
deborrah wilson , 12/14/12 06:06 AM
I was with my husband for 17 years and married for 10. There were signs that something was wrong but I could not place my finger on it. 6 years later we were married. Then the abuse kicked in. He would yell and scream at me as soon as he got home for days on end. When I got pregnant I was so happy. But my husband was not. He turned cold, emotional distant, lacking in kind words and absent from normal things like lamas classes and prenatal appointments. When I had my son he hardly even came to the hospital after the delivery (I was hospitalized for a week with each child). I just could not understand why he mistreated me so often. I am above average in all conventional ways. Beautiful, educated, hardworking business women, loyal and God fearing. How come he did not love me? Well needless to say he showed me how much he loved me with non stop affairs, destroyed my credit and my drivers license and emotionally/physically abused me and the kids. After I while I found out he was a compulsive thief and a liar. I felt trapped and stuck and embarrassed at choosing such a broken man. The last straw was that I broke my hip and had to stay home. We were separated but decided to go to counseling and try to fix it yet again. So one afternoon i called him because the school called and said my son was having trouble. His phone turned on and I could hear him having sex in his truck (he was supposed to be in the office). I recorded it and then when he got home I played it back for him. He told me to kill him! he tried to force me to pick up the knife in the kitchen to stab him with it. I simply said no. This nightmare ends with me. I got a restraining order and ask the judge to force him into counseling before he could get the kids for visitation because of his suicide threats. Pray for me all......
Rashida Lovely , 12/14/12 12:32 PM
I agree that masturbating while watching porn or while lusting other women is sin, but what about masturbating imagining your own wife? Is it a sin? This may be helplessly done when wife is not in a position to satisfy her husband sexually. Rather than continuously burning with lust, is it okay for him to masturbate by having his wife alone in his mind?

Thank you!
Stephen Dave , 12/18/12 02:36 AM
Dear Stephen,
I think that using masturbation as a tool to remove sexual tension while thinking only about your wife is OK.
Sincerely, roger
roger Barrier , 12/19/12 08:58 PM
Dearest Ma'am Nancy,
Merry Christmas and a Blessed New year to all!
May this be made known to all Christians. Now a days, there is less respect shown by church members to their leaders. Each church member should know that there's no such perfect church leader. May God open their hearts to love and help their leaders.
God bless you,

James
James Dante , 12/20/12 09:04 PM
This was such an awesome answer!! I pray this man will be able to love his wife again.
Cathy S , 12/22/12 12:36 AM
Treasuring God more and more results in us being blessed with an understanding that our life is meaningful and that it has enduring value.

Precious readers, no matter how many times your dreams have been crushed by a tank called I am a dream crusher, don't be tempted to walk along a collapsing bridge called Hope sucks even if you think that your eyes can see collapsing bridges all around you.

Precious readers, holy God knows when your soul is causing you pain; so decide in your heart and mind to be still and soak yourself daily in the cleansing, refreshing and reinvigorating water of God's word .

Precious readers, we must stop saying there is no real road or path back from life's setbacks. We must start saying that we can, with God's grace, find a way through the tall grass of life's tough tumbles.

Lord God, we seek your blessing so that we can come to the conclusion that we can only figure out so much on our own.

Suffering student of life, you act often as if love is an elusive concept to you. I can witness boldly that only a God of clarity can give us clear answers to our deepest questions.

Suffering student of life, don't be afraid of falling in love. Don't be afraid of having a lot to lose and a lot to gain; for God's word to us all is be anxious for nothing.

Be encouraged, sincere student of life; for God knows how to put our shattered expectations, hopes and dreams back together.

My encouragement to you is that as you treasure God more and more He will reveal to you that you have an absorbingly interesting future to look forward to. As you treasure your wonderful, supportive God more and more He will reveal to you that you are a unique person.

Tell your Shepherd God in your prayer life that you want to take his gift of the holy Bible more seriously. Tell him that you understand now that the best way to minimize the potential for disappointment is not by expecting nothing good to come your way.

Tell God that this way of foolish talking is the very opposite of God's will; because you now understand that God plants seeds of expectancy in our heart and wants us to trust Him to water them.

Thank You, glorious God for soon restoring hope in our heart for everything that you desire for us to treasure; so that our future walk with you will bring phenomenal joy to you, to us and all who get to know us in our increasingly meaningful life. Amen.
Reine Gnade , 12/24/12 03:06 AM
I had 22 yrs sobriety Had surgery and sta
rted pain meds. Went to treatment for 9 mos but continue to use.God helped me raise 2 Godly children but I am losing this battle. I know I have put substances above God and continue to do so
Mary Kay Crosby , 12/27/12 08:16 AM
Blessings to you, precious reader. Enjoy a really productive time together with your family and march into 2013, with boldness, wholeheartedly desiring to hallow God’s name.

Beautiful holy God, Yours alone is the light that lights our soul’s stage when spiritual blindness threatens to hold us caged in indefinitely.

O glorious, gracious, intelligent, compassionate, life-edifying Friend above all Friends, thank You for Your moment by moment most affectionate love.

Pure, adorable Friend, You truly are a wonderful God.

Pure, adorable Friend, help us to inform the uninformed that Yours is the glow of truth that offers solace to humble, broken and contrite seekers.

:Continue to teach us not to trust in the false glitter of our own twitter and twaddle; so that Your glow has an opportunity to glow steadily more gloriously in us.

Generous and gracious imparter of eternal wisdom, bless You that as we at sip the sweetness of Your holy Scriptures that we can find You. Faithful Shepherd, we have all got our sums wrong.

In Romans 3: 23 we read, ” For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of the Lord.” Holy God, thank You for this true teaching.

We thank You, praise You and adore You for Your song of victory that You sung and sing to us day by day through Your powerful witness Jesus.

Sinless God there is no Friend like You.
You are fallen and redeemed mankind’s best Friend. Your name is committed to nurturing.

Your love that knows no limits is available to young and old and all those yelling for spiritual insight somewhere in between.

Men and women who yell well, no matter how beaten up a human heart is under God’s nurture it can bounce back.

Men and women who yell not so well, no matter how roughly the bite of boredom has bitten there is no bed of crushed dreams that can’t be risen from when the Spirit of God helps us up.

Men and women with strange, yet sincere, sounds in your throat call now to Your Friend of Friends.

Call out thankfully and full of praise to Jesus, for He can empower you to toss back the years and win back an inner cheer.

Our eyes first met when I was unable to find my dancing shoes.

Distraught, depressed, down in the dumps and directionless I discovered after the first whirl on God’s dancing floor that Jesus has a heart that is alive with beauty that is passionately promoting purity.

I discovered to my amazement that even if You step on His toes from time to time He doesn’t tread on, tamper with or tear off your toes, for He is self controlled love.

You too can discover as I did that my and your God-inspired mission is to be cherished . and treasured.

Our mission as those desirous to trust and obey God is to speak of the sunshine of Jesus’ grace, fidelity, hope and love and to keep the yelling to a minimum when our sleepy-eyed wife complains about our often over-indulgent heaven-sent nocturnal noises.

Beautifier of the unbeautiful, we commit ourselves to hallow You. Heavenly Lord God, You have given us the gift of faith and love so that our hearts can dance with calm assurance to the beat and ryhthm of righteousness that is found in Jesus.

Continue to love us loyal lover of our soul; for without Your gracious, unmerited love many of us would not be able to kick box our way out of a kick boxing movie or have the understanding to avoid bowing down before false gods.

Help us to grasp delightful, doting Creator, that the pursuit of Your character far outweighs in importance the pursuit of earthly aspirations.

We shall trust You and Your exalted word, fully trusting that Your energy and enthusiasm will supply us with all the oomph we need to behave properly before God, wife and mankind.

Love us more and more, lover of our soul, for without an increase in Your love many of us will not be able to fall out of love with our love affair with yelling for Your attention, when we should be giving our attention to our wife and children.

Henceforth, we shall endeavour to speak sensibly, and softly in Your ear without our usual tendency to silliness.

Henceforth, especially on those ocassions when the fire of Your life-enhancing love brings our heart alive, we shall most joyfully and willingly dance and celebrate Your holy, righteous, gracious, forgiving, compassionate, healing, loving presence and our shared friendship, on Your dancing floor where our bliss and Your patience knows no bounds. Amen.
Reine Gnade , 12/28/12 09:27 AM
once you hit your wife romance kind of dies
grenoli mcsavidge , 01/01/13 03:22 PM
Dear Roger,
I just want to know,why Jesus was called the Son of God and the Son of Man at the same time?what's the difference?
Beverly Mendoza , 01/01/13 08:30 PM
Treasured readers, no subject is more important than learning about the true identity of Jesus!

In Luke 4 we read: 18The 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, 19To preach the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and he gave it again to the minister, and sat down. And the eyes of all them that were in the synagogue were fastened on him.

21And he began to say unto them, This day is this scripture fulfilled in your ears.

22And all bare him witness, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth..

The holy Bible teaches very uniquely about the identity of Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus says that God’s holy Spirit was upom Him and that He was anointed by God to preach the gospel!

Truly He came from heaven to preach the gospel and can heal the brokenhearted. Truly Jesus is God’s deliverer who longs to set Satan’s captives free and help the spiritually blind recover their sight. When He said this scripture, see Isaiah 61, was fulfilled He bore witness that He fulfills scripture. He is the Spirit of prophecy.


The risen Jesus says in Revelation 3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.

19As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

20Behold, I stand at the door (of your heart), and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.

What a glorious opportunity we have to welcome the righteous One to dwell with us!
Always treasure the holy Bible! The holy Bible teaches that Jesus Christ is Our: King and teacher, our object of worship and our atoning sacrifice! Truly He is God with us. May God Triune continue to bless you Max and all your readers.

Let's always bless the name of our awesome compassionate Lord God.
Reine Gnade , 01/05/13 11:35 AM
Do you know the God of the holy Bible still loves His people and provides a way for us, through His annointed One, to return to Him?

Do you know the compassionate Christ who can heal leprosy?
Do you know The Lion? Do you know The Judean Lion?

Friends, let's be determined not to be like the nine lepers who didn't thank Jesus for his phenomenal, gracious, healing love. Truly our praise and thankfulness is for the God of the holy Bible, the only true God, who comes near.

Friends, do you know the true God who wore human flesh and cried with real tears? Is your witness that He is the Creator, the Creator of the heavens and earth? Is your witness that all other gods are liars?

Truly our praise and thankfulness is for Lord Jesus Christ, Our approachable, courageous, compassionate Lord and Savior.
Reine Gnade , 01/05/13 12:05 PM
Thanks for sharing; had a similar experience years ago and still suffering the repercussions. I'm just beginning to grasp grace!
Cheryl B , 01/06/13 08:07 AM
beautiful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![..] you GOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!![..]
gerald hausmann , 01/07/13 03:10 PM
Thank you. It's like you just gave me permission to enjoy being who God created me to be.
Joe Mason , 01/08/13 02:52 PM
I want to thank you for your advice on a biblical marriage. I have been rejected for 20 years and having done all that I could to make the marriage healthy and strong. My husband has decided to leave. I was devestated and so are my children. I have prayed and sought healing but felt that I had to pay the price of my husbands rejection by being alone for the rest of my life. That I had to pay the penalty for his sin. My husband never had a physical affair but never became my partner either. He hasnt wanted a physical relationship for twenty years and I have had to o without sexual relations or become the pursuer. I found out that my husband is into pornography, at first I felt cheated on and then after prayer (a lot of prayer) realized that it was his own brokeness that has lead to this sin. I knew that I was free from the bonds when he said that he woulnt come back but now I understand that I am truly free. I am turnin to Jesus for restoration because I no know that I want to be healed and only he can do it. If Jesus brings another man into my life, it is because it is what is needed for me to follow Jesus more perfectly. Again, thank you very much. I needed answers and you have shown much wisdom and insight.
colette spirdione , 01/15/13 08:27 AM
Great article Julie :-)
Christy Jones , 01/15/13 09:20 AM
tonjahodgest tonjahodges , 01/16/13 07:28 AM
Yes

God prescepts are so wonderful.If we hold fast and follow closley it will keep us away from the sin.
sunlee sundaram , 01/16/13 10:29 PM
Elijah's message is the same today as it was when he walked the earth. Repent(teshuva) return to YHWH and keep His Torah. Mal 4:4 Remember ye the law(torah) of Moses my servant, which I commanded unto him in Horeb for all Israel, with the statutes and judgments.
Mal 4:5-6 "Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and dreadful day of the LORD: And he shall turn the heart of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers, lest I come and smite the earth with a curse." Elijah has already come the third time. The spirit of Elijah is turning the hearts of His children back to Torah. Yeshua was a Jew who kept the Sabbath, Feasts, ate clean foods. He was the Living Torah, the word that became flesh. Time is short Yeshua will be returning soon. REAL SOON! Don't be one of the foolish virgins who doesn't have oil for your lamp. Keep the Sabbath and the Feasts! It is the plan of Salvation!
Jana Pindell , 01/17/13 12:16 PM
"Remove Christ, however, and Christianity crumbles. The identity of Jesus is crucial to Christianity. Without Christ, Christianity would cease to exist, for it rests upon His claims to be the eternal Son of God, a claim attested to by the resurrection"

I think thats a weaknes rather a strength
Tony Jiang , 01/18/13 04:02 PM
Our need of compassion, mercy and love is answered by Jesus Christ's victory on the cross.

When we we wholheartedly turn from sinful behaviour we will joyfully discover that our hope will never be disappointed and our need to be forgiven will be answered!

Let's willingly surrender and submit our will to God's perfect will and start blessing now and forever Our kind Saviour, Jesus Christ.

Truly, God Triune is able to save sinners enslaved by Satan.

Let's honour our incomparable Shepherd King, Jesus Christ, who is eternally Our author of salvation.

Truly God's beloved Son rose and conquered the grave.

Truly God's beloved Son rose and conquered Satan, sin and death.

Truly, as we welcome holy Jesus into our heart as shepherd of our soul, His transforming love will shine forth from us blessing our body, soul and spirit.

Blessed be the name of Our righteous, risen King of Kings and LORD of LORDS, Jesus, Our Immanuel!
Reine Gnade , 01/18/13 11:19 PM
Your closing paragraph has nothing to do with the issue at hand. No one is talking about taking up arms to defend our religion. The issue is defending our Second Amendment rights, which gives us the right to defend ourselves and our families, which is consistent with Biblical principals.

"There are other principles the scripture have for us to consider:

• Weapon ownership was common in biblical days.

• There was never a time in scripture when personal weapon ownership was ever discouraged.

• Any man over 20 years of age needed to be armed because he could be called up to serve in the army to defend Israel (Numbers 26:2).

• The Apostles apparently owned weapons (Luke 22:38) and Jesus did not discourage the ownership of such, though he did forbid the use of weapons or violence as a tool of spreading the Gospel or growing God’s kingdom on Earth (John 18:11).

• Bands of raiders often attacked Israelite homes and towns during the Judges period. Homes needed weapons for self-defense."

Weapons and violence are not to be used to defend the Gospel, but, as you quoted: "Homes needed weapons for self-defense". It is consistent with Biblical principals that husbands are required to provide for the security of the home, and to provide for the security, defense, and protection of his wife and children. In order to protect his home, wife and children, he must first have the means to protect himself. You are very weak on this point, and I feel that you missed the entire point.

John Binnie , 01/18/13 11:47 PM
Proverbs 22:6

Train a child in the way he should go, and when he becomes older, he will not turn from it.

Tom, I disagree with your conclusion, because when parents train a child correctly God Himself will safeguard the child from turning from the way he should go when he becomes older.



Josef Sefton , 01/18/13 11:56 PM

As with many kids of the ‘70s, one of my dinner favorites was sloppy Joes. I liked them betterthan burgers.I remember the first time Dad made them, flavored with those little packets of dried spices,onions and such. We were suspicious of the new food, and I remember eating the sandwiches withtrepidation.But my siblings and I all liked them and had them often — which is why being served sloppy Joesnow as an adult is a nostalgia-inducing happy treat.There were smiles all around when my friend Ginna made them (without the spice packet) for thegang a while back. Her sandwiches had an Italian twist, and she dubbed them sloppy Giuseppes.The following recipe is b {keyword} ased on Ginna’s idea, but simpler. Not much to point them in an Italiandirection, except the oregano, until we get to the toppings: provolone cheese and a generoushelping of jarred giardiniera (pickled vegetables). And you could definitely up the spices, if youprefer stronger flavors.* * {keyword} *SLOPPY GIUSEPPESMakes 6 servings2 tablespoons olive oil 1 onion, finely chopped 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped 1 pound ground beef 1/2 cup red wine 1 can (14.5 ounces) Italian pear tomatoes, cho {keyword} pped 1 tablespoon tomato paste 1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes 6 hamburger or other rolls, toasted 6 slices provolone cheese Giardiniera (see note)Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion. Season with 1/4teaspoon salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until beginning to soften. Stir in the garlic. Cook, 1minute.Add the ground beef, stirring it into the onions and breaking it up. Cook until browned. Stir inthe wine, tomatoes and paste, oregano, red pepper flakes and remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt. Cook,stirring occasionally, until thickened. Adjust seasoning if necessary.Serve on rolls, topped with a slice of provolone and a generous helping of giardiniera.Note: Giardiniera are Italian pickled vegetables. They are available in theItalian or pickled and olive section at many supermarkets.PER SERVING: 514 calories; 19 g protein; 61 g carbohydrates; 2 g fiber; 20 g fat(9 g saturated); 116 mg cholesterol; 689 mg sodium


{keyword}
tonjahodgest tonjahodges , 01/21/13 07:55 AM
""If God is fair, then why does he answer the silly prayers of some while allowing other, serious requests, to go unanswered?"

If God doesn't exist, how would He answer silly prayers?
She claims to be an atheist, but with every objection she assumes that God does exist, but she doesn't approve of the way He acts.
She simply is in rebellion against the God that she doesn't really know.
Darrell Birkey , 01/21/13 01:46 PM
In my eyes you were always a wonderful woman of grace and faith. I don't remember any of those things happening and I was around you from the time your oldest child was a year and a half old. You always handled yourself with dignity and graciousness. Thank you for always being just who God made you to be, his daughter who He sings over with joy. Love you, Julie!!
Teresa Irwin , 01/21/13 06:46 PM
Thanks
thomas luhanga , 01/22/13 04:56 AM
I cheated on my husband and his next line of action is to put me out of his life,house and fill for a divorce. After so much plea and remorse for my action, he agree that i stay but he said i should be ready to face the wrath of my action like him becoming a flirt, not showing any commitment, no more trust and so on. What do i do please or what do you advise?
OLA OLLY , 01/22/13 08:06 AM
Have recently returned to the Seventh Day Adventist church and look forward to spending each Sabbath with my brothers ans sisters in the Lord. The end times, the state of the dead etc... it's all finally making sense. At 69 yrs old I feel like I have returned home. Feel closer to my God than ever before.
Richard Labarre , 01/22/13 12:13 PM
Julie, I absolutely laughed out loud - no, ROARED with laughter - at your recollections. You've always known how to tell a story, and make it even better in the re-telling. You know good and well that I can certainly identify with all this. I have provided myself with an abundance of hysterical moments to remember. Many of them were hysterical to me right there on the spot!
Sandra Wakefield , 01/22/13 04:05 PM
I have to disagree with Josef. While the proverbs are truths, they are not always true. If you train your child up in the way he should go, does not necessitate that the child has no will of their own. As long has a child has their will, as we all do, that will can reject the truth regardless of their training. Teaching God's laws, precepts, and grace provides as greater chance of the child becoming a child of God, but it does not usurp individual free will.

There are many examples of children rejecting their godly upbringing. As parents do present Jesus and His truth, but the child has to accept this truth on their own. They can not ride to the promised land on their parents coat tails.
Jim Selvy , 01/22/13 10:24 PM
complaint re Doreen Sheldon, Warrenton OR church

ELAINE MOORE , 01/23/13 12:50 AM
Dear Roger,
All I can say is "thank you" and God bless you for your answer.
I, too, was sexually abused as a child by my step-father. In my case, I told my mother what was happening when I was around 8 years old. My mother believed me, slapped him on the proverbial wrist and told him not to do that again and then went into something called denial (I have spent over 20 years with a very good therapist), never checking again to see if he actually stopped abusing me. When I tried to talk to her about this years later, she basically turned it back onto me saying I should have come to her again and then she stopped talking to me for awhile. It's a subject we cannot open again without it becoming volatile. My therapist has helped me to understand why I didn't go to my mother again; by not taking affirmative enough action to help me the first time I told her, she also broke my trust (and the kicker is her father and 2 older brothers were all police officers who would've gladly helped; in fact, my grandfather always suspected and tried very hard to get me to open up to him but I was too afraid of the ramifications if he couldn't help me; my stepfather's abuse took on a physically-abusive nature (spankings etc.) after my mother confronted him)).
My mother is still married to this man and doesn't understand why my brother's wife won't allow their 2 little girls to get close to them (my brother told his wife what happened to me as a child).
Interestingly, like you mentioned in your reply, I didn't bring charges against this man because I didn't want to put my family through the public eye of a trial (and, to be honest, I was a little afraid, afraid that he might win the case and then no one would believe me; he'd be free to hurt even more). A huge part of my therapy has been trying to help me learn how to stop putting everyone else's feelings before my own. And now the statute of limitations in RI has expired. However, I have let everyone know in our family, our circle of friends, neighbors what this man did and is capable of in an effort to bring this evil into the light. It has given me a very large and supportive network of loved ones to turn to but, unfortunately, it has also left my mother very isolated because people do not visit with them. I feel tremendous guilt for this but I also know from therapy that my mother is an adult and has made her choice to stay with him despite knowing what he did. I do have to say that her decision has been a very painful one for me, sending the message that maybe she doesn't care that much about me or what has happened to me.
And, like one of the women you mentioned in your article/reply, I have also questioned where Jesus was when all of this was happening. I had two aunts who taught CCD classes at our Catholic Church. I used to sneak into their classes (I wasn't baptized Catholic; my biological father is Presbyterian and I wasn't allowed to attend these classes) to learn about God. I always loved it. I had a little plaque that had a picture of Jesus on it. I hung it in my bedroom and I used to pray to Him regularly to make the abuse stop. But it didn't stop until I was much older. This has hurt my relationship with God greatly. For many years--and sometimes even now in times of great struggle or trouble--I have had trouble comprehending a God of love. I actually studied Wicca for many years because their Goddess diety was a little less threatening than a male, Christian God but I am now born-again and recently became a minister myself (nondenominational). I hope to use my ministry to help other victims of sexual abuse find their way back to Jesus, to learn to see Him as someone loving and caring, and to know they are never alone.
One of the biggest problems with this type of abuse is the shame the victims feel, shame that keeps them from speaking out and seeking the help they need. It's a dirty little secret that offends everyone's delicate sensibilities so it gets swept under the carpet with no thought for the impact this dirty little secret is having on the person (or people) forced to endure it...and its ugly aftermath. Though I have entered the ministry, I have had many struggles in my life. Intimacy is a big one, as you mentioned in your reply. I've had two failed marriages, marriages that, for the most part, I helped to sabotage, and no longer feel the trust in my heart to try for another relationship with anyone. It certainly gives me more time to devote to ministering to others but I also know my feelings are not healthy and that this is another area that I still need healing in. Strangely, or maybe not so strange considering my mother's stand in regard to the abuse, I also struggle with women in positions of authority. I am far from perfect. Thank God for all the biblical examples of people also less than perfect whom He was able to heal and use to spread His word, His love (Mary Magdalene, the woman at the well, etc.) or else I might've decided not to answer His call; the only reason I can give for His choosing the "broken ones" is that we know how very painful this fallen world can be and how very healing His love is when we finally turn to Him for that healing.
Thank you again for this post and my apologies for the lengthy reply. God bless you & keep you!

Rev. Lisa Burbank
Lisa Burbank , 01/23/13 03:32 PM
Julie, wow, this was just wonderful. Did you train Roger? tee hee. You are a precious tool in God's hand to bless others with your down to earth teaching. May I share this with Gospel Rescue Mission Women?
Vanna Randall , 01/29/13 03:26 PM
Dear Sir or Mam,
Greating in the name of God.I am Asifa Marriam from Pakistan.i am married have 4 children.
I am working for children i have 6 other children with my family which one is orphen and want more work for orphens .My husband working with the destitute and poor Christians in areas where the
Christian families do not have access to the Word of
God. We read your sermons and messages from your website.
We read them regularly and try to convey them to our people. As
they are in English it is impossible for our people to read them. We have
always been trying to find such valuable and precious teachings for my people to get
involved in. Such teachings are the closest source to get right with God for believers. We
have the task to get such teachings translated into Urdu, Punjabi and sarakiy
languages for the people who are not able to go through this informative material in English, a
foreign language. I really wish to translate these of yours teachings into Urdu,Punjabi and sarakiy languages. This will bring a lot of blessings for Urdu,Punjabi and sarakiy speaking people.
Al though it will cost a little bit but it will not be as much higher as these people are.It
will be great learning and Blessing for our community to read the translated material and this wok will help for orphen and needy children.
"There is nothing more precious than to hear the Word of God in your own
languages". I will be looking forward for your response.
Best Regards and Blessings.
Asifa Marriam
address. Asifa Marriam
Madina colony
Shorkot road
Toba Tek Singh.Stree No 4.
Punjab pakistan
Asifa Marriam , 01/29/13 11:20 PM
So, I have a big problem with "Pure Desire Ministries, statistics, 60-70% of the men in our pews (plus 25-30% of women, and sadly, 50-58% of church leaders)."

This is Heinous . Somebody obviously has an axe to grind here. I had a problem with these numbers when Julie tough-ted them several weeks ago. In fact when something is this unbelievable, the whole rest of the article has no credibility.

I can not believe that the both of you actually feel these numbers could be true. If we are a true "loving God people", there is no way these numbers can even be close. I actually did a small pole with my friends after Julie tough-ted these numbers, not asking them directly if they viewed porn, but indirectly to get a more accurate response. These numbers just don't add up.

I have a lot of female friends, and we have very open communication, and not one of them gave any inclination that pornography was of any interest to them, but all state how appalling it is.

So what I am saying, before the two of you go off spending all of this time writing about something on unbelievable data, which is going to cause your article to have no credibility, ask the question, "can this be true?"

There is a book out there call "the four agreements" that now has a sequel "the fifth agreement", and in there it basically says, don't believe anyone. Use the brain God gave you. These statistics are ludicrous and if you both look back, I bet you know that you had a small tugging inside about these numbers while you were writing your articles.

So to the both of you, instead of being a doctor, and masking the problem with drugs (your approach here) Why don't we get to the root of the problem and fix it instead of masking it? Turn people to have a true loving heart for God, and they will not even be thinking about this sort of sickness.

I have to say I am very frustrated with this world trying to fix problems by masking them instead of discovering the root cause of the problem and fixing it correctly.
Aaron Alvarez , 01/30/13 06:40 AM
Dear Aaron,

I appreciate your commenting on this post. I have a few thoughts for you. This article was written by an organization which specializes in studying the use of sexually explicit materials, and does so to motivate Christians to a pure life. They are speaking only from their studies and perspectives. We often publish articles to promote discussion, and I think your points are valid. I would encourage you, however, to Google this topic. Here are a few links I found:


http://www.transparentministries.org/porn-stats/

http://www.safefamilies.org/sfStats.[..] could go on. There is a plethora of information, and I am sure you will find it helpful. The stats for non-Christians are astounding. Anyway, I'm glad you wrote and I hope you find this helpful.
Julie Barrier

Julie Barrier , 01/31/13 09:57 AM
Help with planning series calendar
Adrian Coleman , 01/31/13 01:49 PM
I've seen too many instances of couples went into marriages based on "eery" reasons: merely being old enough to marry, want to break free from the family's house, tired of being asked for being single, lonely, and/or to live up to the social norm to avoid whisper and shame.

Years after that, I see many of them live an awful marriage, and in some of them I see how the unhealthy relationship between the married couple affected the children in various ways. Some of these children are afraid of commitment, some want to be married but afraid of the possible conflicts in within, and some think nothing is wrong with them and run the relationship as "learned" from their parents.

IMHO, marriage should be done out of personal sanity, not out of any reason I wrote above. And I do agree it should never be about "conforming to the culture."
Danielle Chadwick , 02/04/13 11:06 AM
I have never been in a physically abusive relationship, but I am afraid of ending up in one. As most of you have said, your husbands do not become abusive until you've been married for quite some time. This is when you have become attached and more vulnerable because you may have not as many friends anymore, moved away from your family, and no job. Because either your husband wants to be in control or you were very young when you married and never started working, you started working as a mom. I know from personal experience (my mother) that getting out of a verbally abusive relationship is hard, not many people are willing to help, she tried to get a divorce at the beginning of the abuse but the court forced them into counseling having them work out their "issues" before a divorce. Which left my mom feeling defenseless and alone so she gave the marriage another chance. They are not in love they are more like roommates, very unhappy roommates. It saddens me with their unhappiness, they are both extremely depressed. They are both very smart and could do a lot with their lives but they are emotionally "stuck". I fear for this more than anything, I do not know how a healthy relationship is supposed to be but I do know it does not involve any type of abuse what so every. So to all of you women out their being abused please please do something, you are the only ones who can. Your children need it and so do you. Society needs it also because it is just continuing a cycle when you stay in these abusive relationships. To the lady in her 70's, leave him now, their is no reason to still be with him, you live in a community you will have friends and trust me you will be very happy without him. I can see that most of you women have low self esteem but that is caused by your husband, you are wonderful women regardless of anything he- your husband tells you. I know you are all deeply in love but if you get out of the relationship you will see it wasn't really love and you will find true non-abusive love . I promise all of you, now please get out before it is too late. And to the one Male who decided to write a sad story about poor him and his wife forces him to abuse her. Well yes many women with abusive husbands push and push it is a way to get it all done and over with. So grow up and be a man, I don't care how much she pushes you walk away....
leave him now , 02/04/13 06:13 PM
Thank God, Julie for that wisdom about your approached of John 8: 2-11 (particularly verses 6, 7, 8)and the correlation with Jeremiah 17:13. It's wonderful and amazing! Shalom uvracha be upon you.
Godofredo Rasonable , 02/05/13 09:13 AM
God bless u
frank okenmuo , 02/09/13 07:42 PM
thank you servant of God for teachng me to live a holy christian life i have leant a big lesson through this article.
pam james , 02/12/13 07:28 AM
Thank you for these articles. The Kingdom is at hand and I appreciate the reminder that God hasn't changed His mind on the subject of homosexuality. I will stand for Christ and the Kingdoms of God anytime! Thank you
Adora Redd , 02/12/13 09:38 AM
Homosexuality is by its nature against the creative will of God.

1. In the beginning...God created mankind in his own image,
in the image of God he created them;
male and female he created them.(Genesis 1)

2. "I will make a helper suitable for him." (Genesis 2:18b), and "a man leaves his father and mother and is united to his wife, and they become one flesh." (Genesis 2: 24).

3. Christ's definition of marriage - citing from Genesis. "4 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female,’[a] 5 and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’[b]? 6 So they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate. (Matthew 19)

People often say that homosexuality and 'gay' marriage don't hurt anyone. But, I think they 'hurt' God.

"Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[i] knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”[j]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay them?”[k]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen. (Romans 11)


Peter Watson , 02/12/13 01:06 PM
No one has answered your question "how should the church approach this issue?" My question is, WHY DO WE ALWAYS HAVE TO MAKE SUCH A BIG DEAL ABOUT EVERYTHING? America is so uptight about everything. Just travel outside the country and then come back. We are a bunch of goofs of materialistic and legalistic crap. Everyone just relax and have a heart of God. Everyone needs to go do the Belief Changers program. You will then understand. Here is the link: http://beliefchangers.com/
Aaron Alvarez , 02/12/13 09:01 PM
I appreciate Aaron's response. I realize that I did not respond directly to the question. First, homosexuality is not a worst sin; it's sin. And the church should respond to it as it would anything else, with love, compassion, and sound judgment. Should we attack persons who are homosexuals - NO. Should we ignore homosexuality and say it doesn't matter anymore because we live in a different culture - NO.

When it comes to marriage the church has an abysmal record --- divorce.
Peter Watson , 02/13/13 09:57 AM
My husband is from those abusinve men who si always very jealous from my parental family he is and insecure and have very poor communication skills. He is very polite and passive in public and also with his own parental family. He always says that I should have suffer everything that he does ( abuse, beating, bad words to me and my parental family, and alot more ) but I should not be the one who says him even a word, If I say so everyone belame me that you are a woman you dont have the right. he sometimes beat my little 10 months son. He always says that his brother is murdered that is why he cant control himself therefore; I have to suffer.and I should not say him anything and let him do what ever he wants. He says that he love me and if I ask him for something he does bring it for me. during shouting he says that he regered why he married me but when he is cool he saysa that please do not mind my words I was out of control, what ever I said is not true.I am a canadian citizen and I am suppose to take him to Canada, his voilence started when the emabssy of Canada asked his passport for visa. He loved me for 4 years where I accepted his propusal for 4 years. Twice He did the acting of killing me. Since I am married to him I have lost all my happeness I begame a hater of life. I do not want to seperate from him Yes I love him but i want to find sulotion for his anger, would you please advise?
Burhan Matin , 02/15/13 09:36 AM
That's great,i like it.
stephen mwanthi , 02/15/13 10:57 AM
Christianity is declining because there is no proof of a god or that Jesus was real. In a technology-driven society, people are now habituated to demand proof of something. The bible is a forgery and a fraud...furthermore, after 14 million people were murdered in WW II, many who were good Jews and Christians who died with a prayer on their lips...it absolutely proved there is no god. The murder of 22 innocent children at Sandy Hook ES also proves there is no god. Religion is a belief in magic, and magic does not exist. That is why Christianity is failing. Also, there are so many versions of Jesus and god, and that in its self is a statement that god and Jesus are nothing more than the primitive wanderings of delusional minds. People seek reality, to solve real problems, and not delusions such as giving money to a church, rolling beads around, or praying.
Judy Weismonger , 02/18/13 12:07 AM
Dating and Marriage very good .i remember it is impotent .because dating do not marriage very bad .so dating and marriage very impotent.
spo rts , 02/20/13 08:30 PM
Marriage is life all people like it is very impotent .family is very helpful .and very lovely .
spo rts , 02/20/13 09:55 PM
Julie, thank you! Someone I considered a friend has been spreading lies about me at church and the pastor confrounted me about it. I have been upset with both of them and this has helped me.
Laurie Newman , 02/21/13 10:48 PM
Hi Dave and Teresa,
I was at the, "Married Lovers Retreat" in Savannah. I really enjoyed the Biblical and practical way the word of God was delivered by both of you as well as your personal testimonies that hooked everything together.
I will always remember the first thing you said, "it's not about you!" From the moment you both said that it caused me to constantly check myself to see if I am bringing "glory" to God as a husband, father,employee,ect...in every area of my life. The teaching and individual prayer between husband and wife really affirmed what my wife and I were already doing, and challenged us to go even further! Thank You Dave, you and Teresa both are a gift to the Body of Christ and to the world. My wife Lisa and I will keep you, your family, and the ministry that God releases through you in prayer. Pray for us as well, because I know that God has called us to minister to couples. We appreciate you and your family. Willie and Lisa Sims...Rock Hill, South Carolina.
Willie Sims IV , 02/22/13 12:12 AM
What can you do about your pastor who does this frequently and won't change?
mighty mouse , 02/22/13 10:18 AM
What does one do if the pastor has continually done things to which has broken my trust and respect? I have a very hard time even listening to him preach Gods Word because of this.
Ginger Schmidt , 02/23/13 08:54 PM
I believe that the Bible calls homosexuality sin; but a sin no greater than any of my own. I am disgusted with the way some Christians treat gays with a disdain that is not evident in their response to other sin. What should the Church be teaching us about how to call sin what it is without marginalizing certain sinners? Can I pray and worship with - on Sunday morning - a gay couple who believe the Bible does not condemn their lifestyle?
Rhonda Grant , 02/24/13 05:08 PM
I have been married for five years. My husband is very abusive, but not around other people. He comes across as an easy going guy. He is so unenjoyable that me and my kids can not ride in the car with him because they are not allowed to talk. He hollars, cusses, hits pulls my hair, throws things at me, ignores, chokes me, he pushes me, holds me down, punches, kicks. But the,worst thing is,he Never says sorry because he thinks its my fault, I have no income without him....Pray for the Lord to help me...
beth Max , 02/25/13 07:42 AM
Is it a sin to masturbate when thinking how you make love with your wife?
WILHEM JANE , 02/25/13 11:47 PM
Great article. Each person God creates has a designed purpose. My autistic son has changed my heart and the way a view the world. I thank God for giving him to me all the time to raise. Can't imagine life without him. Scary to think that they could do a similar thing with all type of genetic defects in babies as well, with advancement in identifying genetic markers.
Bill Mollberg , 02/26/13 02:45 PM
hello James on Gossip,how are you i see your more information,and i like your name .
car auctions , 03/03/13 09:19 PM

I pray that God will open the door to another absorbing adventure for your husband Roger, so that his passionate love for God has another creative productive outlet.
Reine Gnade , 03/04/13 02:07 AM
At age 72 I am mindful that I cannot put MYSELF on a shelf when God has totally new ventures to be undertaken, too easily missed if we come up with excuses--too old, out of the techie loop and comfort zone, etc. I have been loving my new experiences once courage and trust has been mustered--and not teaching per se as I did for 35 years. Thanks, Julie, and Blessings to YOU as you encourage others. Carolyn
Carolyn Roeder , 03/05/13 01:18 PM
These are especially challenging times. And while these are solid steps, it seems there are steps to everything these days. There is no substitute, no series of steps - nothing that can be done to replace worshiping Jesus as the Most High God, and putting Him absolutely first. When His Word is dwelled on, when those who really love Him are in our friendship circle, when we are on our knees thanking Him for being who He is, there is so very much we will see and do differently.

Please, everyone out there! Ask Jesus to show you who He is. When He is first, so many things become clear and how you treat your spouse will be with the genuine love that comes from knowing Jesus intimately. Even if your spouse is not so loving.

I blew my marriage, though I did not have an affair, was not the one who left, etc......... But I sinned in my attitudes. For years I went through steps, read books, tried to do the right thing as a believer. But the thing is, I was trying too hard. God was asking me to abide in Him.

Put down the "steps to whatever......", pick up your bible, and find a few people who really love Jesus and can put Him first, beyond anything else. Worship Him. Repent of sin. Then turn and go on to live life with your focus on Him. An abiding faith in Christ is the best step anyone can take.

Something in us does not want to come to God, worship Him and have our interest in Him and His purposes. We are so interested in ourselves, our wants, our troubles, our victories.......... We are truly dumb sheep. But when we abide in Christ, He can take us past our sheepy selves.

The one and only step is to abide in Christ. He so loves each person, and waits so very patiently for us to come to Him.



Elspeth Losch , 03/05/13 02:51 PM
A reminder that God has to use "shelf time" to equip us for future ministry. It is not necessarily a sign of His displeasure with you, or that He has put you there for good. Wait for Him to take you off the shelf. Thank you for these encouragin words.
Michael Karpf , 03/07/13 10:15 AM
Julie, when holy God called me down from sitting on the shelf of self exultation He said you are sitting above your station Josef Sefton come down and repent. Treasured readers, once I had come down I realized that being a spectator was not a life that brings dignity to anyone.
I love God's holiness and sense of humor and since He called me down I've never been tempted to sit on any shelf called "I am homesick" and sulk from morning to evening again.
The wonderful blessing is that in Christ we are more than overcomers. In His love, like Job, we can overcome loss no matter how hard it strikes us! Not only can we overcome loss but God can work a miraculous transformation within us so that we love Him much more deeply.

Precious readers, there is absolutely nothing to be afraid of when loss and set backs plummet down upon us! Absolutely nothing for God is with us no matter how exacting our personal challenges are!

One of the antidotes to fearing during these difficult times is rigorously reminding yourself how so very much Lord Jesus delights in the well-being of His servants! Praise Him for the unexpected opportunity to bless you.

After heart breaking loss we ought to be very determined to surrender our will to God's will. Ask for God's protection against fearing the future, for fear of the future keeps us less productive than we should be.

Truly what's happened in the past is past. Today is a fesh new day and we've all got new joys and adventures aplenty to look forward to. God's word to us is to rejoice in the Lord always and when we do our witness will be that truly the companionship of Almighty God is our highest joy.

How blessed we are to know Him. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, Your wonderous presence, not the grave, is our goal and destination; Oh, holy healing voice of the Lord! Our blessed hope, the giver of blessed rest, forever shall those who love you praise Thee.

And loving compassionate Lord God, usher in the day when our faith shall be sight. Usher in the day when the clouds will be rolled back as a scroll. Usher in that glorious life-changing day when the trumpet shall sound, and the Lord Jesus shall descend triumphantly in glory, for truly truly then, it will be well with the soul of all true believers.

Friends, Our beautiful God is our rewarder. What is to fear in being rewarded by Him? Be very encouraged for He doesn't say that a true believer is awful. He says that they are good and faithful!

Our praise is for Christ who has regarded our helpless estate, and hath shed His own blood for our soul.

How blessed we are to know Him. But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait, Your wonderous presence, not the grave, is our goal and destination; Oh, holy healing voice of the Lord! Our blessed hope, the giver of blessed rest, forever shall those who love you praise Thee.

And loving compassionate Lord God, usher in the day when our faith shall be sight, The clouds be rolled back as a scroll; The trumpet shall sound, and the Lord Jesus shall descend triumphantly in glory, for truly truly then, it will be well with the soul of all true believers.

Our sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought! Our sin, not in part but the whole, Is nailed to the cross, and we bear it no more, Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Rejoice for soon Jesus our Prince of Peace will attend our way and sorrows like sea billows will no longer roll! Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!


Josef Sefton , 03/07/13 05:37 PM
The Prodigal Son is one of my favorites since no blame was placed on the parents as so often happens today; and no guilt was expressed by the wise, forgiving father and Father.
Carolyn Roeder , 03/12/13 09:55 AM
I so agree with your comments. I was very disappointed with interpretation of The Bible.
Another scene for me was between Pharoah and Moses at the Nile. Moses would not have been across the Nile sneaking behind the bull rushes. He would have been face to face because that is who God is and Moses had a God assignment.
MaryAnn Hubele , 03/12/13 11:39 AM
My intention here is not to deny or defend the actual existance of ghosts, but I would like to comment on your teaching regarding the appearance of Samuel to Saul. In the article, you deny that the one brought up from the ground was Samuel but scripture says most assuredly tat it was Samuel. The word says "Samuel asked". It does not says demon asked nor does it say that a familiar spirit asked. I think it careless to ignore the true facts just because the truth does not magnify or support your view. It was Samuel who was brought up from the ground. This we must accept and admit because this what was written. This is what the word says. I think it is stated clearly. The one brought back up from the ground was Samual. Don't dance around it. Deal with it. Teach it or ignore it but don't change or deny it. How else are we to learn? I think that in dealing with today's fascination with such things we need to prepare our responses from a point of strict and fearless truth.
ellen vanslyke , 03/15/13 05:07 PM
Where is it written that "the priest was required to then stoop down and write the law that had been broken, along with the names of the accused, in the dust of the floor of the Temple"? I see something similar in Numbers 5, but that is for a case of suspected adultery, and while dust is used, nothing is written in it.
Jim Stenberg , 03/16/13 11:29 AM
I wish to correct an error made in my article. I mentioned that in the first episode that there was no depiction of the Sodomites being struck blind by the angels. This was incorrect. I apologize for this error.
Tom Terry , 03/17/13 08:11 PM
Exactly what i am going through!
Thanks!
Now on with the battle!
Senthilvel K , 03/18/13 03:41 AM
Max, thank you for another memorable article. I'm always in awe of God for changing me from being ungrateful to grateful. What a merciful LORD!

Explorers for truth, no matter where you’ve been or whatever you’ve done, thus far in your life, God’s pure, loving voice is calling you, for He longs for an intimate relationship with you,

Always be encouraged for Almighty God is a hugely generous, diligent loving God who longs to be able to graciously and gently reveal His teachings to you.

Readers of these words, can I encourage you to look expectantly and eagerly to Almighty God, for He alone can rescue you from being enslaved to self-will.

Truly trusting and obeying Jesus’ words can help us overcome the heartache of our circumstances and tribulations. Take fresh courage, for Jesus is moved to extraordinary compassion when He sees how oppressed by burdens sincere seekers of Him are.

Precious reader, has your heart been broken? Are you feeling harassed and helpless, like a sheep without a shepherd? If you are, you are like so many people today who are beaten down by life, facing problems so overwhelming they don’t even know, with any confidence, where to go for help.

Do you sense that you are such a person who needs restoration of your soul? I have an important word for you. Turn daily to Jesus and His words for consolation, for in trusting and obeying them you can, most assuredly, know and experience God’s awesome gift of compassion.

No matter how stubborn you’ve been and how much foolish resistance you’ve put up so far, Almighty God still offers you the wonderful exciting opportunity to turn from your self-sufficient ways and bow down before Him as a student before His teacher.

raise be unto the unique holy God of the holy Bible whose heart longs for us drink from His living, life-transforming Word!

Precious readers, may compassionate, pure-hearted God continue to bless your efforts to thank, praise and worship Him in 2013!



Josef Sefton , 03/19/13 05:03 PM
Praise be unto the unique holy God of the holy Bible whose heart longs for us to drink from His living, life-transforming Word! What a God the God of the holy Bible is. Truly He is the only true God.

Readers never thank, praise or worship the god of the Koran, for he is a false god. Reject him and everything he says for he had no part in the creation of the heavens and earth. Reject his lies and false claims for he is a mouthpiece of Satan.
Josef Sefton , 03/19/13 05:23 PM
i am here... i see others teleport. why is this? and yes i am who i am... but not yet perfect or corrected like i should be...gods glory. if people can teleport like i see then i believe we all can but i could be mistaken??
elias whitcomb , 03/21/13 11:09 PM
yes i am also disappointed while watching this understandable miniseries. It gives me headache thinking and asking so meany in their unclassified interpretations.
arthur Lagua , 03/22/13 09:44 AM
I recently read these scriptures in John & wondered what on earth the Saviour could be writing! I had been investigating a church, and a few days later I was asked by several members to fast and pray for the Lord to give me an answer if I should join them. I fasted, and took myself to a place where the Spirit could dwell, prayed, and listened. As I listened, I was walking along the coast that night and came upon some writing in the sand. It read "DESTINY".

I believe it was no coincedence! The beauty of this testimony - finding "Destiny" in the sand - reminds me of this story in John, and the redemption our Saviour brings.
Damon Brewer , 03/30/13 03:59 AM
I actually wonder if the disciples didn't have a bit of post-Easter letdown, which would explain why they got impatient waiting for Jesus and went back to fishing. But Jesus certainly jolted Peter and the others out of that letdown by getting them to focus on the task He had for them - investing in the lives of others. And that's exactly how we make sure that the joy of Easter continues throughout the year, too.
Pat Damiani , 04/01/13 08:23 PM
Beautiful article.
Thank you
Paul F , 04/01/13 10:36 PM
I have been reading your posts regularly. I need to say that you are doing a fantastic job. Please keep up the great work.....
Foto motional , 04/03/13 04:36 AM
My only reply to this is that while I would agree that it is possible to say that teleportation is not a spirtlitual gift found in the bible, that does not mean it cannot be a spiritual gift, God chooses who receives spiritual gifts and what the gifts do, He created spiritual gifts so if God wants someone to have the spiritual gift of teleportation, then I believe they will. The above arguments are speaking as if the bible is all there is to God, the bible is an account of things that God has done so far, God is still real and existant so if he wants to make something new he very well may do so. Jesus said "Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.". So all I am saying is to not lose your faith and do not put limits on God because through that you in turn put limits on that which you may recieve. That's all, just a friendly comment sharing my opinion.
God bless!
Random Person , 04/09/13 02:00 AM
I was an abuser. I say was because I haven't hit my wife since she left six months ago. Just reading all the posts and it grieves my soul to think of what I am. The only thing I can say is I never tried to kill her. But from her perspective I'm sure she thought I was trying to. it's taken these six months for me to finally see myself for what I really am 'an abuser' . I thought I wasn't because those type of men were tattooed, teeth less and broke, can't believe how arrogant and self righteous I was. I never once thought it was a big deal because I came from a home were those who said they loved me also beat me. So as an adult (as stupid as it sounds) I saw no contradiction between love and violence. Well now I do. The love of my life has left and I don't blame her. I'm so sorry to all you woman who are or were with men like me. Sure I can bring up points of where I felt I was pushed into a corner but the truth is I chose to raise my hands. My God continue to change me and take this evil from me, may he heal my wife's heart and bring her peace and love and blessing. May he restore our marriage that it would be a testament to his ability to turn death into life. I'm eternally sorry to my wife and to all you woman. I'm ashamed to ask you all for prayer as I feel that only punishment is what I deserve but if u are able to please pray for my marriage this is all my fault. I'm sorry
Broken Man , 04/13/13 10:48 AM
I know this is an old post but it's exactly what I was needing and looking for today. Thank you so very much!!
Paula Lopes , 04/13/13 11:02 AM
Generally, in matters of Polity, Bible and Theology that I just cant put my arms around, it is always a good practice to seek out gifted minds like John Piper and Wayne Grudem. BUT, on this subject I have difficulty embracing their position....so I am left either on my own (a position of Fear and Trembling), or seeking out other writings in coming to a conclusion.

Thanks for the book recommendation on this subject.

Hope all is well Roger!
George
George Soltero , 04/16/13 11:38 AM
"Be careful, however, that the exercise of your rights does not become a stumbling block to the weak"(1 Cor 8:9). "So this weak brother or sister, for whom Christ died, is destroyed by your knowledge. When you sin against them in this way and wound their weak conscience, you sin against Christ" (1 Cor 8:11-13).
As you said, God can do what He wants. Do not limit the extent of His power simply because YOU disagree with something. Yes, teleportation is not a spiritual gift that individuals possess, but God could use it at any time if He so desired. Be careful that your arguments are not so judgmental that they smother out God's truth that He may be revealing to another believer. Not all our experiences are the same.
Sister in Christ , 04/20/13 12:51 PM
I have received two audible messages from God both within a week of each other in the Month of April 2012. Shortly after this I saw a on a billboard in gigantic print an advertisement for a deliverance conference. I showed up to this event only to be told that it had not been advertised and in fact the billboard I had seen out front of the building was for a car dealership down the road. After hearing 2 audible messages I still had a very hard time believing that I had seen something that did not exist, kind of ironic as 99.9% of people do not believe my experience either. Just thought I would share with you that God can and does still speak to us in an audible voice, as rare as He chooses to.
kevin emery , 04/24/13 12:50 AM
There is a lot of good stuff in this blog. I do however think we have to be careful not to allow ourselves to pull in when someone is manipulating, being dominant, or being abusive.
These types of behaviors require more than just mercy.It is then that we must get quiet with God, pray and seek how He would have us move forward.
Susan Sneathen , 05/03/13 11:16 AM
Thanks Jan. This is very timely. I am in that season in my life. Thank you for your insight.
Jim Selvy , 05/04/13 01:57 PM
I was born in the dumbrums..from the day .i was born. From genration to generation.the emeny has trick.my mother and all of the motherd.of my amsetors.allowed the emeny to trapped.them in the bomfages of abuse.amd strong holds.and instead of breaking the cycle of sin.we ecpose another generation.of bondage.the dumfold
Domt have to ne exposed to my kids
It about correcting.and binding those demons amd ingityties out.and havimg faith.and not giving up no mster what.knowing that god will deliver u from all sin if u believe.
Do
Gaesheia Price , 05/12/13 05:58 PM
God, has allowed .the emeny to trapped me .time .and time again.with the dame trapp.god had showed me alot thru trangression of sin.hwe ofthen mistake.the devil trapps .ad god when .the emeny is tryen to settltly intertwind u .but the lord will deliver.and let u know who is in control and .will make u surrender.
Gaesheia Price , 05/12/13 06:16 PM
It is hardly ever that I find a good article written by a husband to other husbands. Usually they encourage to "give you wife a break once a month" type of an attitude, instead of a wholehearted life-long changes of sharing household responsibilities, discovering life's passions, and being a real team. I am also married to a man who thinks this way, takes it as something natural and obvious--which clearly isn't for most people. It was a pleasure to read.
Zuzanna Huebschmann , 05/16/13 01:43 PM
Thx this was truely apperciated.
DOnna Curtis , 05/18/13 09:12 AM
That good teaching is biblical thank I had learn a lot here in SA
Mlamli Hlongwa , 05/18/13 11:55 PM
Blessing to you and your ministry. David, now that you have identified the problem with men leaving the church, what are your ideas as to how to keep them in the church? We tend to teach our men like they are girls in school as well, hence the main reason most boys are underachievers, different methods of teaching tend to solve this challenge and most are not willing to make it happen. Please do not recommend I read another book, I have read many.....What say you sir?
David Ifflander , 05/22/13 12:46 PM
Men of God are men who have a backbone and stand up to the challenges of life.
This means taking a stand for Jesus in all phases of our life. Training our young men is not women's work.
Larry Johnson , 05/24/13 05:48 AM
To broken man, if.tou Do really love her, leave her.alone, she's done with you bro, you had your.chance now leave her alone let her find a man who will make her truly happy, remember even if you.Do change the.damage is done, she will Always remember you for the.abusive wife beater you were to her. The past is history, But it will always be there, let her go. I was in an abuaive relationship too, it also was great at first seemed too good to be true, amd sadly it was. The.abuse.got really bad during my two pregnancies, he would try to choke me and.i.did black out once. He always.was.angry.always.calling me names, he.also.called my kids.disrespectful.names.and.tried.to.hit.them, when he would get.really angry usually me and the kids.would leave.and.stay.at. A friemds house ormy moms house. Constant verbal abuse.and his.excuse.was at least i didn't hit you, but psychological beatings are just.as. Bad. Now.finally after three years, i decided to end the relationship because he got sent to prison for violations in his parole. I.feel free, i felt like a prisoner.im his world of darkness. I.love him still but some relationships are Toxic.and just.aren't meant to be.
Maria Pineda , 05/27/13 10:36 AM
Thank-you for this as I need it right now, my son is very sick, he was in the Navy, Nuclear Engineering Program, was sick they did some surgery and accidently severed his Vagus Nerve, and is now having lots of health problems, no longer in the Navy too sick, he now has Gastronal Paresises, and Chroic Pancritious,it started with something called Barretts esopagus, and a hiatal hernia which that was the surgery they did, now the Drs. Are talking about taking his Gallbladder out because even though there's no stones apparently its not functioning right, they said there's no no cure for it they can only treat his symptoms, I feel so helpless, and It hurts so much to see him suffer, Please pray for him.
Judy Ashby , 05/28/13 12:15 PM

I am looking for my life partner
love always , 05/28/13 05:07 PM
Dear Roger,

Loved your comment regarding "when is it time to leave my church". Unlike the person above, that is not the reason why we are thinking of leaving our church. Our beloved pastor left our church several years and was taken over by the associate pastor. Though he is good and everyone loves him, it just seems that there are far too many "funny jokes and life stories" that are being told as opposed to teaching from the bible...eventually, he gets around to it. We have tried to be open minded; however, week in and week out, it only gets worse. We think very highly of this pastor but the sermons have left us empty. Today, we had a youth pastor preaching on the 3rd topic of the series. He spoke so fast and was all over the board. People were walking out after the first half hour. In Sunday school, a number of us have been talking amongst ourselves and today, seemed to be the last straw for them also. What are we suppose to do....ride it out? For Palm and Easter Sundays, we went to another church just to hear a good message and we did. When we returned the following Sunday, we heard that the service was not all that great....too many personal stories and jokes. As you noted above, is God trying to send a message to us that we need to move on?
carol green , 06/02/13 06:00 PM
John 20:19ff and John 20:25:ff
"Jesus came...and stood in their midst...."
Jesus teleported himself inside a house with locked doors. Are you going to say that Jesus was allowed to do this but his disciples, his followers are not? Why are you afraid of this spiritual gift/heritage of all people of faith.
God does not withold goodness based on a belief that it must be stated in scripture in order for it to be OK. Scripture is a witness to spiritual concepts that were put in place from the foundation of the world.
This is not prosperity thinking, it is acknowledging what has been given to the believers in God, our spiritual heritage, our spiritual nature which comes from God.
Mark Flamand , 06/04/13 04:15 PM
I get on phone to online sites like http://www.HolyBibleSearch.net
Max Smart , 06/06/13 08:22 AM
Thank you, Roger, I've been waiting for an answer to this question, also. It has sufficed.
Yvette Roberts , 06/06/13 08:56 AM
After reading this interview, I have restored hope. Struggling, struggling with the 'church' and the disenfranchised connection to authenticity...because one might be revealed and exposed. But in that genuine opening up of who we are, can come the greatest freedom, and people will flock to you to know Jesus. Look at the One who knows Himself best and portrayed HImself with the epitome of Authenticity!! People flocked to Him and were forever changed.
Kristi Allen , 06/07/13 09:33 AM
Do you believe there is a connection with procrastination and vacillation and what you speak of with passivity ? I have been trying to break these attitudes since 1977! sincerely
LEONARD WISNIEWSKI , 06/11/13 08:37 AM
My wife and I married 25 years ago, and it became an abusive relationship both ways, but I want to take responsibility for my side. We got divorced years later after several restraining orders and the like, only to move back together 4 years later.

We then lived together as a man and wife with our two kids and things had improved, but then she became chronically ill for many years and needed more support than I gave, also I began to become more verballly abusive as well more frequently, calling her all sorts of terrible ad vile names, pill popper,junkie, get some fresh air or exercise, that sort of thing. Worst things than anyone deserves, and that led her into further depression in addition to her already being chronically ill and not able to live as before. She didn't make it easier on me either just to be sure here, but here is the thing and it doesn't matter who did what to who or this and that.

What matters now here, is my part and what I did, because yesterday she died suddenly and I cant tell her nothing as my kids cant either. And I would rather be able to say Im sorry and you are loved and you are a good person and let her go and me live alone than for this to end for her, or me for that matter.
See, because I did love her, but for some reason ours' together was toxic, and when some thing serious arose in her health, our toxicity did not lead to the support she needed but left her alone in an ever more difficult situation, of course now I for years to come have earned my reward from this as well, and that is to learn how to forgive myself for helping to hurt one of
God's own. May God forgive me for trespass.
Steve Paul , 06/12/13 11:43 AM
Awesome. In the last one month or so, God has been teaching me about prayer and about the seed. Still learning and putting the thoughts together as He teaches my by His Holy Spirit! Thanks for this. Very different from the status quo and enlightening!
James Bukachi , 06/12/13 12:06 PM
abusive men are everywhere
kiki aweh , 06/13/13 10:12 PM
I need to be set free from the allure of unavailable men, and I also need to be set free from the lie that if I do not pursue the guys I like, that the guy I marry will be awful and less than I desired if I let Jesus choose him. I need to beleive that my husband is going to have equal qualities to mine. Be able to lead me to our Christ given predestony. Be off the richter hot like me (well someone has to believe it!). And I need to be set free from any lie that White men are more compatible a husband for me - if that's also a lie. The last lie that I need to be set free from is pride and fear, which although are not predominant, is occasionally fleeting.
Zoe Rafah , 06/14/13 10:32 AM
This is a great message you have written, Julie. We all need to reach out, including visitors and not feel woe is me. When at Casas, I felt the cliques. I traveled a lot in my work (health care executive search), so during the week I could not participate in small groups, choir, et al. I became involved in the Food Court shortly after the new church was opened. That became my door opener and my ministry.
I now live in Western Michigan -- moved from Oro Valley a year ago -- go to one of the Ada Bible churches in Grand Rapids -- live in nearby Rockford, MI. Ada Bible reminds me of Casas and the Senior Pastor of Roger...and of my father, a Presbyterian minister in upper midwest rural communities. He passed on in 1998.
I miss you and Roger and your ministry at Casas...
Blessings...
dan ford
dan ford , 06/18/13 09:39 AM
Until churches are willing to move beyond the traditional A's, B's, and C's of church objectives, (Attendance, Buildings and Cash), visitors will continue to feel like outsiders unless they can contribute to the A, B & C's. The point is, they could care less about the churches alphabetical objectives - they want to feel at home, contribute how they can (time, talents, treasures) and to have a voice in the church. Too often we show, by action, that they are too new or too young. The pastor of one of the last churches we attended had a slogan "If you are looking for a personal pastor, this isn't the church for you". I understand the pastor's motivation, but the message simply says "get in line and be a good little parishioner." Why not have a church ministry focused on making the newbies feel welcomed? Churches are made up of individuals, couples, families, etc. We should be sure to take the time to understand why each visitor is visiting and work with them to see if there is a fit. More focus must be brought to the visitors, not figuring out how to jam them into our church's processes or groups. Thanks for the opportunity to share. God's blessings to you all.
Mark Dec , 06/18/13 10:18 AM
Right on. Yes, it's very hard to go to a new church. There are fear factors on both sides of the matter, the visitor is naturally a bit uncertain. The church people don't want to cause problems by asking too many questions while they're waiting to see if this visitor will stick around. I've discovered that transforming from visitor to being part of the church family means I have to decide how I want to participate and then seek ways to do that. No one asks me what I want to do without knowing anything about me, I have to start the relationship by showing I want to participate. That takes a certain amount of fortitude, it's not easy. And if the visitor is struggling with other life things, that may take more energy than is available. LIke you said, that sort of visitor needs to know that they are cared about as a person, not just as a statistic, right away. Participation, not observation, is the key to building relationships, which is the key to belonging. It's hard on both sides of the issue. It's hard to be the newbie, it's hard to be the inviting oldie. There are risks for both parties in going beyond comfort zones. Wouldn't it be great if "oldies" were able to demonstrate plain old love and acceptance like Jesus did rather than demonstrating personal insecurities? That take a certain fortitude, a willingness to be obedient and trust Him to be the enabler in demonstrating His pure love with discernment. You are right, oldies need to be encouragers to newbies.
Barbara K , 06/18/13 06:35 PM
I love to listen to Dr. leaf.I listen to her on TBN. Mam could you send me a readable copy of 21 days Brain detox on line free.

Thank you
Jennifer from Trinidad West Indies
Jennifer Grant , 06/20/13 04:12 PM
It is heartbreaking to hear these stories. I will pray for you women. And to the men out there that have written in, it is good to see that you recognize what you have done wrong to your wife/girlfriend and want to repent to God. Any of us who have mistreated others or done wrong in other ways need to repent of our sins/actions and seek Christ's almighty strength to change our wrong ways and honour Christ and then others. I have lived in a verbally, emotionally and psychologically abusive marriage for 10 years. It has been a very up and down marriage. we have 4 beautiful boys. I eventually began taking out my anger and frustration at my husband on my boys at times. THis was so wrong and I am working at mending my relationships with them. I was depressed, felt helpless at times, angry, scared. Since November, the whole family has split up. I think God was saying enough. I was not in a good state to care for my boys on my own so they are in foster care and with friends. It feels hopeless at times but I have seen answered prayer and I feel that if God is truly in my marriage than he can repair the brokenness. It hurts so much sometimes when I think of all my hopes and dreams I had for my marriage and family life. My husband and I now are in desperate need for work though I am not sure whether my husband really sees the urgency here. He has not had any real focus in life (or some dreams but not the drive or faith in God to reach it). He did not have a good upbringing and it has affected him but he seems to be in denial. I sincerely ask for prayer for my family and I, and that I may truly know what God wants me to do because I still have love and care for my husband. I know that his abusive behaviour must stop for all of our sakes, especially for the children and me. Please pray for a revival in my husband and a real desire to get the help he needs. May God give you all much strength and peace at this time.
Cathie Michener , 06/24/13 05:06 PM
Enjoyed this blog, and looking forward to your teaching more of this starting in late July, at Girlfriends. Blessings, Betty
Betty Frank , 06/24/13 07:23 PM
To love so conditionally misses the point of the parable...not only did the father give the prodigal son his inheritance on the way out the door but he was clearly willing to provide for him materially upon his return. While a case can be made for the wisdom of not giving $ when it may support a drug habit I cannot understand why a parent would put spiritual conditions on caring for a child's material needs while he established himself in the world. Doesn't that communicate the kind of love you want your kid to return to?
Sylvia Skinner , 06/25/13 08:40 AM
Thank you, Jan, for starting my day off with a wonderful study that brings attention to lessons that we often take for granted. It is imperative that we are reminded how perfect God's plan is in redeeming us with the precious blood of the Lamb, our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This lesson was very clear, vivid and well presented.
Mary Ann Beals , 06/25/13 11:51 AM
Good job! Enjoyed your writing. Liked what you had to say.
Susan Shrader , 06/25/13 02:28 PM
beautiful, wise words, thank you
Paula Lopes , 06/26/13 02:37 AM
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i have read atleast 13 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your blog gives the best and the most interesting information.
This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts,once again hats off to you! Thanks a million once again, Regards, yoga classes in hyderabad
Priti Sinha Meheto , 06/29/13 06:23 AM
Good teaching. I have been somewhat opposed to the fashionable teaching of a pre tribulation rapture. If course I believe in the rapture of the church, but I have questions concerning the time. This teaching is a relatively new teaching started by Darby, but never taught by Wesley, Luther Augustine and was started by a Jesuit priest. I do hope they are correct, but the scripture used to promote this teaching is very shaky and you need to make a lot of assumptions with the verses used.
Michael Dugas , 06/29/13 03:15 PM
Glory to the LORD and thanks to you for encouraging me & all the one who read this

May GOD bless you with more wisdom and Great Knowledge.
Benjamin Bostroy , 07/02/13 08:40 AM
Thanks Julie for the great blogs you write and forward. I continue to thirst for knowlege of our Lord, and his word, at 75, near 76. You are a wonderful daughter of our King.
Elizabeth Frank , 07/03/13 10:40 AM
Beautiful and comforting! Thank you, Susan, from one who has experienced brokenness.
Jay Wyatt , 07/03/13 06:30 PM
Your comment that it was violation of the Oral Law is incorrect:

(This was a violation of the Oral Law of God.)
The Oral law is what the master took issue with, it was the written law that the master defended.
Written law was given at Mt. Sinai
Oral law was made up while and after the house of Judah were in Captivity.
Eternal Law is the word, and the Word became flesh, it was the Torah given to Adam and Eve in the garden.
hope this helps your understanding.
Peter
peter dewein , 07/04/13 02:03 PM
“Islam is best understood as a “medieval Mormonism.” By that we mean that both Joseph Smith and Muhammed assumed the classic stance of a cult: they were going to correct and replace Christianity. In that vein, both men took the characters of the Bible, changed the stories of the Bible, omitted what they did not like, and replaced the rest. The parallels between Mormonism and Islam, in the light of biblical Christianity, are legion. Both Islam and Mormonism declare that Jesus was a prophet but not God, and placed their prophet as the final prophet. Both systems deny the vicarious atonement of Jesus Christ and grace as the means of salvation. In both Mormonism and Islam, the Jesus they proclaim is not the Lord Jesus Christ of the Bible. All cults attempt to either correct Christianity or replace Christianity, and all cults view themselves as the sole voice for God on Earth. Islam does this as well. In full review, the Allah of the Qur’an and the God of the Bible have little in common, and certainly not the same God.” (Hindson, Caner, 2008)

Hindson, E., Caner, E. The Popular Encyclopedia of Apologitetics: Surveying the Evidence for the Truth of Christianity (2008), Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers
Mark Cochran , 07/05/13 09:58 PM
Roger,

I am curious why the posts that argued against your position or advice for Melinda to leave her family were removed. Rather than responding or engaging with them they were just... gone.

What is the rationale for this? From what I have read in our Holy Scriptures, we are to prioritize sound biblical doctrine which might be uncomfortable and involve discussing things through. In fact it is unlikely that clarity will come without some measure of disagreement as we have seen in the lives of the apostles and our Lord Jesus himself.

So whoever is responsible for deleting our discussion... please reconsider.

My hope and expectation for you as a teacher and pastor as well as for this organization/website is that you would stand behind the teaching and preaching of God's Word even if it means getting a bit 'dirty'. This is hard work sorting through these issues no doubt, but thankfully we can work through them in a way that glorifies and honors God without sweeping under the rug something that might cause a disturbance or ruffle some feathers.

respectfully and hopefully I ask in the name of Christ

Ken
Ken Peach , 07/06/13 12:50 PM
Great article Sue!
Dawn Isbell , 07/06/13 06:01 PM
Hello Mr Terry,
Thanks for your thoughts for wherever two or more shall gather in His name, He is there in the midst of them. Thus He is only seen as we discuss what's true.
I read much of your website and truly enjoyed some, but I must speak up. Surely our God is a god of reality. He is not a genie god, nor did He leave us to wonder about the universe. The Lord of Hosts is the leader of an abundantly life-filled universe. The host of this planet could have been Adam long ago, but will not be again until Christ returns with the saved to the new earth. Then Earth will join the multitude of law biding planets. We, like others, must do on Earth as it's done in the heavens above, where they do; not only what's good, but they do it at the right time. Only then will we be doing things that lead to a life that lasts.
The rest of the answers you'll appreciate, can be found in the book "The Harmony Spark." I wrote it to help others know God and His Son whom He sent, better, and am sure you'll appreciated it.
I'll send you a free copy if you send me your PO Box.
May God Bless Our Interaction,
Amos
Amos N Jurr , 07/06/13 07:35 PM
That's powerful,keep it up Julie and excel in His glory.
stephen mwanthi , 07/07/13 10:55 AM
Dear Ken,
The comments on this post were not removed intentionally. The backend of the site had a glitch that accidentally caused their removed. So sorry.
Roger Barrier , 07/07/13 12:41 PM
Hi Roger and Julie,

I have been praying about sharing my 2 spiritual experiences on baseball fields 33 years ago. After responding to your Sunday night sermon in 1980, Lord make me a man after your own heart no matter the cost,
I would like to share experience No 1. After years of anxiety and the fear of death, I believed that asking the Lord to do this was my only hope to being freed of this seemingly endless torment. Believing that I would suffer couldn't be any worse than what I had been experiencing. After asking the Lord to do this my fear and anxiety of death only increased and I would repeat the scripture "perfect love casteth out all fear" I found myself repeating this over and over for the next few days. I was the assistant coach for Palo Verde Christian baseball team and we were heading to Patagonia on the team bus with this impending doom overwhelming me. I asked the Lord "Please don't let me go down in front of these high school players for I feared it was iminent. We made it to the game and I was the only coach that day. As the game started I noticed in the stands behing home plate about 6 or 7 cowboy type parents, probably the Patagonia parents. As the game progressed I saw a man sitting in the front row. This man had grey/white hair and looked a little out of place to me. I then noticed on his black sweatshirt it read I am a christian. I thought the boldness of this man, did I have the same boldness. As the game progressed the fear and anxiety was getting worse and worse. I said to myself how am I going to make it through this day. I then noticed that the man moved from the front row to the top and sat right in the middle. I would be given the signs to the hitters between every pitch. Each time the hitter moved out of the batters box for his sign from me I noticed the man was right above the hitters head and I would see him constantly. As the first game was coming close to the end I said to myself I have to talk to this man for I could not make it through game 2. Having also anxiety of meeting strangers I said I have to suck it up and find a way between games to talk to him. Well the game ended and I told the players the lineup for the 2nd game was posted here and get yourself ready for game 2 in 20 mintus. As I headed out of the dugout area I was desperate to talk to this man. How was I going to start the conversation all the things I was anxious about doing but knowing my desperation and limitations. There were 20 or so people around a snack stand and when I turned the corner of the dugout there the man was standing there. I looked up at him and said will you walk with me. He said yes I will. We headed around the perimeter of the field and I was spilling my guts about my fear and anxiety and I told him that I just responded to your sermon that the Lord would make me a man after his own heart. Well we found ourselves at the outfield fence and I knew I had to get back to my team. I looked at him leaning over the fence and said I have done all the talking here, do you have a son playing. He said 'No I don't" I then said then what are you doing here. He said "I Didn't know but now I do" I then believed that the Lord had to have sent this man here for me! I then said "do you have a family" the man said " yes I do" then where do you live? He said "in Texas" I prayed with him and thanked the Lord for bringing him to me. Also I prayed that the Lord would bless his family in Texas. I sprinted back to the game just in time to for game 2. This gave me the faith to continue for the next days until experience No2. When the time is right I will share this with you. You may ask why I hadnt shared these things with you over the last 33 years. You also mentioned something to the effect of this journey would be between you and the Lord. I had the impression that I was not talk about this. You are both very special to me for I can say at 57 years old my fear and anxiety about death and other things is nowhere to be found. Do you think that this man could have been an angel? If he was not, someone in Texas knows this story and wouldn't it be something if maybe his children were told of this little baseball coach in Patagonia, Arizona in 1980. Also I wonder what led you to preach that sermon and others that may have responded that were there that night
Larry Moser , 07/07/13 09:13 PM
good advice as always leman! I can not tell you how many times i have walked up to complete strangers with kids of all ages and shared, {pay it forward} your book with them, Have a new kid by friday! they are always happy for the input, my baby is 20 now and i still refer back to it, its the parenting bible that made my life better, hey by the way, it was suggested i read it again by her at age 16, she said i was nicer even tho it came with consequences! so indorsed by the kid lol. priceless!
m straight , 07/14/13 09:16 PM
Dear Roger,
I am overwhelmed by your answer. I needed to know this too. The Bible says, be prepared to give answer. Your answer has gives me much insight into this parable. Thank you and may God bless you.
Yvette Roberts , 07/15/13 08:03 AM
I am an young adult Sunday School teacher. Your text has helped me prepare.
Thanks
B Tiller
San Antonio, Texas
Bill Tiller , 07/17/13 10:15 PM
Thank you, Julie. This is a much needed reminder for me.
Shari Schultz , 07/17/13 11:22 PM
Five questions that Baptists and Evangelicals should ask themselves:

1. Does the Bible state that a sinner is capable of choosing righteousness/choosing God?

The Bible states that the sinner must believe and repent, but are these actions initiated and performed by man of his own intellectual abilities, or are faith, belief, and repentance a part of the entire "package" of salvation? Are faith, belief, and repentance part of the "free gift"? Does God give you faith, belief and repentance at the moment he "quickens" you, or does he require you to make a decision that you want them first, and only then does he give them to you.

2. Is there any passage of Scripture that describes salvation in the Baptist/evangelical terms of: "Accept Christ into your heart", "Make a decision for Christ", "Pray to God and ask him to forgive you of your sins, come into your heart, and be your Lord and Savior (the Sinner's Prayer)". Is it possible that being "born again" is something that God does at a time of his choosing, and not something that man decides to do at a time of his choosing? Is man an active participant in his salvation in that he cooperates with God in a decision to believe, or is man a passive participant in his salvation; God does ALL the work?

3. Is the Bible a static collection of words or do the Words of God have real power, real supernatural power? How does the Bible describe the Word? Is it the meaning of the Word that has power or do the words themselves have supernatural power to "quicken" the souls of sinners, creating faith, belief and repentance?

4. Does preaching the Word save everyone who hears it, or only the "predestined", the "elect", the "called", the "appointed" will believe when they hear the Word?

5. WHEN does the Bible, if read in its simple, plain, literal rendering, say that sins are forgiven and washed away?

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals

http://www.lutherwasnotbornagain.com/2013/07/why-is-born-again-mentioned-only-three.[..]
gary M , 07/18/13 05:57 PM
I remember that Good Friday service well. Powerful time. I'm grateful for the examples u & Roger set to allow others to be themselves, flaws and all. Love u both dearly!
Lana Wilkinson , 07/19/13 12:31 AM
For all you women who are being physical abused by your husbands. If your life or your child's life is in danger then it's time to leave. Stop believing that you can't support yourself or can't make it without him. That's a big myth. What if your husband died today? What would you do, sit on the sofa till you starve to death? Of course not. You would get up and do something with your life, and that's what you need to do. I know it's not easy, but you can do it. My mother did it with 7 because my father wasn't a good dad. She forced herself to go out and raised us on her own and did a great job. Do it for your children and for you. Don't let ANYONE rob you or your children from enjoying life. For those who say their husbands threaten to kill them. Guess what? He probably will. Get out while you're still alive, for your children's sake and yours.
Sal Nan , 07/25/13 10:28 PM
Hello, I have a question regarding divorce and remarriage. If two Christians are married, but one loses faith and becomes an Agnostic and leaves, what happens if the Agnostic realizes that life without Christ is meaningless, and returns to Christ hoping to reconcile their marriage as a Christian. However, their original spouse is now remarried. Can the returning Christian remarry another Christian ? If so, will they be guilty of perpetual sin ? Thanks!
L K , 07/28/13 03:01 PM
Been using Bob's "Easy Church Membership" for a number of years and absolutely couldn't do without it. Thanks so much Bob for following God's leading and creating this wonderfully affordable software.
Iris Smale , 07/31/13 05:15 PM
Love this idea! I'm going to try it with my class ages 9-11. Thanks!
Bea Preston , 07/31/13 06:29 PM
I appreciate this article... I am a minister with a daughter who has NF1. What a blessing to watch her run!
Todd DuBose , 07/31/13 08:13 PM
I have DEFINITELY been attacked by Jezebel. While reading this post I felt the Holy Spirit in me confirming that the only reason why the enemy attacked me like this is because I have given the mandate and ability that God gave Elijah! Its time to rise up out of our cave and be the voice that turns hearts back to the Father! Thank you for this post! :)
steve grylls , 08/02/13 08:05 AM
Please pray for me. i was suffering from witchcraft from 4 year.i lost my hope.
isaac raju , 08/06/13 12:22 PM
my daughter has schizophrenia , do you do exorcism for this?
nancy iovino , 08/06/13 01:19 PM
Dear Nancy,

No, you do not do an exorism for schizophrenia. This is a medical issue and needs a good doctor and medicines. I pray that alll works out well.
Love, Roger
roger barrier , 08/07/13 08:03 PM
Roger
This is a very interesting article. It is well thought out and well presented. It leaves me wondering a few things though. Why is there so much emphasis on the cultural similarities and very little explaining the major differences between the two as religions. One point would be the very different view on the Bible Basically that it can not be trusted as Chrisitans trust it, but can only be read in light of what has been revealed in Muslim literature. Also in point 10 you say that Muslims who follow Jesus will be gathered around the throne. Would that be better stated as "former Muslims" or people from "Muslim cultures?"

Thank you
Andrew Shultz , 08/10/13 05:00 PM
Great teaching Julie! Great insights. Thanks for sharing! Blessings!
Evelyn Wright , 08/16/13 10:45 AM
You have truly spoken my heart on the subject, Julie. In fact I had to quit going to a church after about eight years when the pastor started using the "oh my God," expression on nearly a weekly basis. My heart breaks for the generation that's being raised on the vulgarities that are in the media so constantly now. We as Christians truly need to hold to a higher standard. Let's stop and pray for all who profess to be Christians and for our precious young people.
Gloria Haworth , 08/16/13 11:22 PM
Thanks, loved this article
I have trouble believing you are a nagger though.
Vanna Randall , 08/20/13 11:24 AM
God Works miraculusly...it doesnt matter the distance,,,
sheila muthoni , 08/20/13 01:35 PM
Great Article! Thank you!
Mary Jones , 08/20/13 04:41 PM
Please, please, please, can you write a helpful article for my nagging sinful husband. Thanks, Julie!
Jo Jo , 08/21/13 04:41 AM
Is there a way to send you a question privately or to speak to you
Manuel Jr. , 08/23/13 10:47 AM
John, a lot of what you are saying will work if YOU are in control of your environment in the work place and have higher management that is open. If you are already in a higher management position, then no problem, . . you have more control. Because of the fast pace and high demand placed on most folks in the work place, having think time, give alone even having a place to think is wishful thinking sometimes. Higher manager level personnel have private offices and secretaries to isolate and fend off intruders, while the rest of the masses are in cubicles and being smothered with all the noises around them, and then a lot of employees are on the move and out running around. I understand your concepts and have used them myself somewhat but on a personal level outside of work, at home with projects, ideas, etc.. . a place where I was in control. Being front line supervision didn't allow me too much time to myself at all. A lot, and I mean a lot of managers are not open to input or ideas unless it comes from them. I personally always liked to have the smartest and best working for me because they made me look good! . . . they were smarter in a lot of areas than myself and I would basically give them a free hand in projects and work because I knew their character, potential and abilities, but I think I was in the minority. Today in the world of online applications, texting, and so forth, people truly are becoming numbers, files,and applicants. We have lost the personal touch, . . the one on one idea of looking someone in the eye when you are talking to them. A lot of places have locked and guarded HR offices where you can't get in without an appointment. I have personally experienced this. For a new job opening, I saw where HR received 700+ resumes online for a job opening. They grabbed and took the first 50 to work with . . so 650+ were left out in the cold although they may have been more qualified, so it is quite understandable why people feel "invisible". It is the real world for the most part.
Dennis Stebbins , 08/27/13 07:15 PM
My best friend is being disowned by her parents for skipping school to hang out with a friend. Is this wrong? Should a mother not love her child unconditionally? She is only 15 years old. Her mother claims she would have been put up for adoption if her sister didn't want to keep her. Is there scripture I can use to prevent this?
Ryan Burton , 08/27/13 11:07 PM
Why is the New Testament silent on Infant Baptism?

Baptist/evangelical response:

The reason there is no mention of infant baptism in the New Testament is because this practice is a Catholic invention that developed two to three centuries after the Apostles. The Bible states that sinners must believe and repent before being baptized. Infants do not have the mental maturity to believe or to make a decision to repent. If God had wanted infants to be baptized he would have specifically mentioned it in Scripture. Infant baptism is NOT scriptural.

Lutheran response:

When God made his covenant with Abraham, God included everyone in Abraham's household in the covenant:

1. Abraham, the head of the household.
2. His wife.
3. His children: teens, toddlers, and infants
4. His servants and their wives and children.
5. His slaves and their wives and children.

Genesis records that it was not just Abraham who God required to be circumcised. His son, his male servants, and his male slaves were all circumcised; more than 300 men and boys.

Did the act of circumcision save all these people and give them an automatic ticket into heaven? No. Just as in the New Covenant, it is not the sign that saves, it is God's declaration that saves, received in faith. If these men and boys grew in faith in God, they would be saved. If they later rejected God by living a life of willful sin, they would perish.

This pattern of including the children of believers in God's covenant continued for several thousand years until Christ's resurrection. There is no mention in the OT that the children of the Hebrews were left out of the covenant until they reached an Age of Accountability, at which time they were required to make a decision: Do I want to be a member of the covenant or not? And only if they made an affirmative decision were they then included into God's covenant. Hebrew/Jewish infants and toddlers have ALWAYS been included in the covenant. There is zero evidence from the OT that says otherwise.

Infants WERE part of the covenant. If a Hebrew infant died, he was considered "saved".

However, circumcision did NOT "save" the male Hebrew child. It was the responsibility of the Hebrew parents to bring up their child in the faith, so that when he was older "he would not depart from it". The child was born a member of the covenant. Then, as he grew up, he would have the choice: do I want to continue placing my faith in God, or do I want to live in willful sin? If he chose to live by faith, he would be saved. If he chose to live a life of willful sin and never repented, and then died, he would perish.

When Christ established the New Covenant, he said nothing explicit in the New Testament about the salvation of infants and small children; neither do the Apostles nor any of the writers of the New Testament. Isn't that odd? If the new Covenant no longer automatically included the children of believers, why didn't Christ, one of the Apostles, or one of the writers of the NT mention this profound change?

Why is there no mention in the NT of any adult convert asking this question: "But what about my little children? Are you saying that I have to wait until my children grow up and make a decision for themselves, before I will know if they will be a part of the new faith? What happens if my child dies before he has the opportunity to make this decision?" But no, there is no record in Scripture that any of these questions are made by new converts to the new faith. Isn't that really, really odd??? As a parent of small children, the FIRST question I would ask would be, "What about my little children?"

But the New Testament is completely silent on the issue of the salvation or safety of the infants and toddlers of believers. Another interesting point is this: why is there no mention of any child of believers "accepting Christ" when he is an older child (8-12 years old) or as a teenager and then, being baptized? Not one single instance and the writing of the New Testament occurred over a period of 30 years, approximately thirty years after Christ's death: So over a period of 60 years, not one example of a believer's child being saved as a teenager and then receiving "Believers Baptism". Why???

So isn't it quite likely that the reason God does not explicitly state in the NT that infants should be baptized, is because everyone in first century Palestine would know that infants and toddlers are included in a household conversion. That fact that Christ and the Apostles did NOT forbid infant baptism was understood to indicate that the pattern of household conversion had not changed: the infants and toddlers of believers are still included in this new and better covenant.

Circumcision nor Baptism was considered a "Get-into-heaven-free" card. It was understood under both Covenants that the child must be raised in the faith, and that when he was older, he would need to decide for himself whether to continue in the faith and receive everlasting life, or choose a life of sin, breaking the covenant relationship with God, and forfeiting the gift of salvation.

Which of these two belief systems/Biblical interpretations seems to be most in harmony with Scripture and the writings of the Early Christians?

Gary
Luther, Baptists, and Evangelicals
gary M , 09/02/13 11:54 AM
I have been wondering what the US responsibility is to the world, especially
to the Middle East in fighting them. Lisa Taylor told me you had written something so I looked today. Thanks so much for explaining so well. I was hoping Glenn might preach on it.
Beverly Van Horn , 09/07/13 02:12 PM
Last year the pastor at a former church preached about the Book of Esther. He did teach that Vashti was being treated as an object and praised her as a heroin.

From then on I viewed Vashti and the verses where her story is told in a different light. Sort of makes me wonder what other small but important points I have missed in my Bible study.
Robert Langer , 09/11/13 02:33 PM
Hello!

As a seminary student, I really found the concept of "what Jesus wrote in the dirt" being the cause of the Pharisees' convictions (John 8:9) to be initially appealing - it makes sense, after all.

But then I read it in the original Greek, and there was a problem.

8:9 opens with a more accurate translation "those that heard", from the transliterated word, "akousantes" - which is the word for "to hear" but parsed for past-tence. It would seem that the writer of John is conveying that it was hearing the ultimatum of Jesus that made them abandon their trap.

That being said, I think it is very possible that Jesus wrote the Pharisees' names into the dirt. Where I'd really like to go with liberty of ambiguity here is that he even wrote their sins (as your article hints toward), but that would lend itself to a divine omniscience of Jesus, which detracts from is humanity which JOHN is so adamant to stress in the opening verses of the gospel.

But "what is in the dirt" is not knowable, as you mentioned. It could have been their names and sins. If your theology/Christology permits Jesus walking around as an unexplainable hybrid of fully-god, fully-man, with all the omniscience and omnipotence attributed to the divine, then it could have very easily been my name, and my sins. It could have also been an image of Homer Simpson. "Superman Jesus" will allow for lots of things!

At any rate, I found your article helpful, though I hesitate to preach the notion that what Jesus wrote over against what Jesus said reflects what the gospel of John presents. It is an important part that should not be overlooked, but also not overstretched - at least, in my opinion. As you rightly and wonderfully articulated, the most important part of the passage is Jesus (living water) offering grace, forgiveness, and hope to all the people involved.

Thanks for insight. May the Great Love be with you, always, and may you participate in the superabundance of divine mercy always.

Very Sincerely,

Benji Van Fleet
Bejamin Van Fleet , 09/16/13 10:18 PM
It is practically impossible to prove non-existence. In order to prove that something does not exist, you have to have complete knowledge of all possible realms and states where it could exist, and conclusively demonstrate that it does not. How much of merely our universe do we know? To claim that one *knows* that God does not exist is arrogance of the highest order.

Scientists have known for years that the universe obeys laws of cause and effect. Therefore, *something* must exist -- without cause -- that is independent of the universe. The two basic options are God and what is often called "meta-space", a realm of infinite possibility, but without order or purpose.

If that which simply exists is God, then we have a "top-down" universe, where order is imposed from above, purposefully. If the latter, then the universe is merely a chance combination of laws that popped out of superspace, and anything highly ordered, with high information content, such as life, came about through random combinations. This is a "bottom=up" universe.

The Second Law of Thermodynamics (an observed fact, not merely a theory) states that things go spontaneously from order to disorder. Therefore, is a bottom-up universe even possible? Is life even possible in such a universe?

Although you cannot prove orgins in a laboratory -- origins is history and not subject to scientific proof, but rather, to legal-historical proof -- the evidence is overwhelming that we live in a top-down universe -- and that there is a Creator.

So the question for people really becomes: Since we know that there *is* a God, what does that imply about life -- and the afterlife?
William Penning , 09/17/13 08:53 AM
Great comment William. Thanks for posting!
Tom Terry , 09/17/13 05:11 PM
I've read over about one half the editorial so far. I would like to point out to the author that a lot of unmarried Christian women also feel out of places in church.

Churches are NOT, NOT, NOT the estrogen drenched, woman welcoming environs he seems to feel they are.

I am a woman who has never married or had children, but most Baptist, evangelical, and fundamentalist churches cater only to young married couples who have children.

Churches do not know what to do with singles who are past age 30. And they don't care to figure it out.

Adult Singles feel overlooked, unwanted, and in some churches, we are subjected to false stereotypes (such as we are fornicators, we want to steal married men, we are not as godly and mature as the married couples), etc.

I have never been kid or baby crazy. I was a "tom boy" when younger and while I am feminine enough, I have never fit into the hyper girly girl, June Cleaver type of womanhood that some Christians teach is "biblical womanhood."

A lot of churches assume that all women are June Cleaver: married with a kid, or that they want a kid. (I never cared if I had a kid or not, but I did want marriage).

Although I grew up Southern Baptist, SB churches (and other conservative Christian churches / denominations) make me feel like a foreigner.

They hype and emphasize marriage and parenting way, way too much. Sermons about singlehood are rarely given. Most churches neglect mature (as in over age 30) singles.

Yet other churches have gone overboard in making church more "manly" to attract males, so that some churches now resemble NASCAR race tracks or bar dives. I, as a woman, don't feel welcome in those sorts of environments, either.

I am a life long Christian, early 40s, a woman, never married, but I most certainly do not feel "loved or nurtured" in Christians culture these days.

Christians have a very narrow view of "womanhood," which is equivalent to 'be married and have a kid,' and if you do not fit either role, Christian don't want you around.

I am not interested in working in typically girly roles, such as baby sitting in the church nursery or in cooking, but those are the sorts of only positions most churches make available to women such as me, who are more tech- oriented.

A lot of the same things that you are saying make men feel alienated from churches are some of the same things that make women feel alienated, singles of both genders, and the 20 somethings of both genders.

Also, I must disagree that churches are catering to women age 40 and older - maybe that was true at one time?, but in the last few decades, churches have become very youth fixated. Churches tend to ignore and marginalize women who are age 40 and older.

It's become noticeable enough that some Christian women age 40 and up have started blogging about how older women are being ignored, or younger women have starting speaking on behalf of the 40 somethings, such as,
"In which they are overlooked in a sea of hipsters" by Sarah Bessey

That page has testimonies by age 40ish women who were shoved aside in their churches, and told they were being shoved aside by preachers, in favor of 25 year old women. Some preachers think it looks more relevant, cool, or hip to have a 20 year old woman on stage rather than a 45 year old.
Christian Pundit , 09/17/13 05:17 PM
I believe you have very valid observations, especially concerning ageism. Also I believe you are correct that many of your insights about singles as well. I would recommend you widen your search for the right church for you. Thanks for your comment.
Julie Barrier , 09/18/13 10:16 AM
This is inspiring! Am a Bishop from Pakistan- Outreach of Purpose Ministry, we have been praying and trusting God for the financial break troughs of the ministry, looking at our outreach program mes. We believe and we trust on God for turn-around in Jesus. Amen
For more information visit my website Plz: www.oneinchrist.org.pk
Bishop Dr M.M. Waqas , 09/19/13 02:11 PM
All I know is Jesus gave me faith(religion) to repent and do good works. Selflessness is satanic crap. We give of ourselves to glorify God, to benefit the needy, and reap a rewards in fellowship here and heaven later. Self is either righteous by Christ via good deeds or unrighteous in flesh, which acts in evil self.
vic jim , 09/21/13 10:40 PM
When I was taking care of my parents I realized I shouldn't look at it as a valley but a joy. Now that they've passed, I realized though it was hard, it was a joy and I appreciated every day! Painful experiences are hard, however finding joy is the greatest thing! God Bless and thanks for the article! Thank you Christ for your Eternal Glory! Amen
Adora Redd , 09/23/13 09:38 AM
I heard the audible voice of God..He spoke in a direct way but gentle voice. God will repeat himself..so that that the message is heard. He said three words to me and repeated those three words..a total of six audible words. I haven't heard God speak audibly since that time..but I did answer Him audibly also. I know I was a skeptic of people that said God spoke to them, but now I know God does speak audibly..in my case it was a revelation. It is a rare and beautiful experience that Ill never forget.
Glenda Collins , 09/23/13 05:53 PM
I have always lived in fear since i learnt that my mum has high blood pressure. I have been thinking the condition can worsen. Since i learnt to pray about it, i have experienced much peace and today i work and live far away from home. We just communicate via phone and i find joy and satisfaction. This piece is a total inspiration and encouraging.
Victorine Okwaro , 09/24/13 01:16 PM
It is really sad when you are recently married like myself 7months, at 22 years and my husband who currently isn't working anymore I we are trying but God knows it is not getting any better. Fighting, choking cuffing slapping I have been there and experienced it all I just don't want to give up but this is unbearable
melanie joseph , 09/24/13 08:47 PM
what an awesome post. I went to go see an elderly family friend after not having seen her for years. She had been having major problems with her shoulder and back so I asked to pray for her. The next day we went out for breakfast and she told me her pain was completely gone! Only the power of God right there.
albert so , 09/26/13 10:50 PM
thanks for this beautiful post.
please visit:Marquez vs Bradley & enjoy it.
Bradley Marquez , 09/28/13 04:28 AM
thanks a lot to Dr. Keith Waggoner for this post.it's really unbelievable how can a man fighting by one hand.it's god gifted then nothing else.i am proud of him.really a salute that person.because i love boxing & all boxers.

Hi everybody....i've a fan blog based on Bradley vs Marquez fight matches.Boxing's a very interesting game.It;s also so enjoyable.
If you want,you can visit my Marquez vs Bradley blog .I'm sure you'll enjoy this site.So,don't miss this.
Bradley Marquez , 09/28/13 11:36 AM
Please pray for me, I can fight this battle any longer,I ask God to give me strength but I am too weak.
anne smith , 09/29/13 06:14 AM
I agree with the idea mentioned about how we are created in God's image which is different from angels, though angels were more intelligent and holy than man. However, concerning how man was commanded to multiply is what makes us so special with God.This is the reason why God wanted to have fellowship with man since creation. He wanted us to partake His Holiness while we are still in our corruptible physical body. But when we die we have the soul(higher than animals) and spirit which will return to God after our death ( for those who are save through Jesus Christ) and we will be like angels in the the Kingdom of God in heaven. God soul and spirit multiplied through us after death. Our soul and spirit came from God through Adam where God breath upon his nostril and became a living soul.
Florentino Cinco , 09/29/13 02:00 PM
I found your website perfect for my needs. It contains wonderful and helpful posts. I have read most of them and learned a lot from them. You are doing some great work. Thank you for making such a nice website.
logiciels emailing
logiciels emailing , 10/01/13 04:40 AM
Do you think that you are realy living to the best of your ability, the way you most High will want you to live, or are you going by someone's ideal of what they say your most High wants you to live
Doc chatmen , 10/02/13 03:41 AM
Dear Dr. Leman

Thank you very much for such an insightful passage. 8/10 i try to stay calm and leave him to be a man, as I've learnt that that is how you are. How is it so hard sometimes to accept the way men are. One sometimes feels like they rejoice in annoying and pushing their wives to the limit. What are the steps for woman to cope with men's hard wiring?
Maggie Tsoaeli , 10/12/13 11:57 AM
What is the meaning of 666? I can't believe nobody asked you after your article "Is Obama the Antichrist."
Doug Rosensteel , 10/21/13 12:22 PM
A very enlightening drama - thanks for sharing it. A reminder to get back to the basics.
Joey Brummett , 10/22/13 12:11 PM
What I've learned is if we continue to worship and attend church eventually we hear all the song styles we cherish.
Adora Redd , 10/22/13 05:07 PM
tear
God Bless
in His service
jim c
jim carlin , 10/24/13 11:01 AM
I grew up a goose-stepping, unbelieving Lutheran, and remained that way until I finally met The Lord Jesus. I agree 100%- this "happening" is not a spiritual gift. Whatever it is, is completely and entirely the Lord's, and His alone.

But I will say this, and it is solid fact, so if something in you says "that's a deception!" It ain't Holy Spirit telling you that.

I know 3 people, who in one car, one time, experienced being instantly moved from one location, to another location further up on their drive, clear across an entire state. I've not asked their permission to share this, so I'm not prone to sharing their names. But he is an elderly apostle-type, founder of a humble and honorable ministry, which ministers span the globe. He isn't a "celebrity Christian" with his polished teeth and flowing locks gracing email advertisements, offering wisdom and revelation for the low low price of $19.99.

With him were his beloved, faithful, Godly wife, and the woman to whom his ministry will be passed, when he passes. I know these people, and this happened to them. Completely without preamble.

The persons I know about who this happened to are actually the man whose teaching God used to free me from great bondages, religious burden, and a life that was quickly leading me to my grave- and that is Andrew Wommack, and his faithful, godly, beloved wife Jamie.

Don't be so religious that you fail to realize that I AM still IS. The Holy Spirit didn't withdraw from the earth at the end of the 1st century, or any pathetic, clay-feet, deceptive, religious, doctrine of man or demon like that. Believing that lie almost literally cost me my life, which would have been the least damage this garbage doctrine has cost me, my son,and our family for years and years.

No, it is NOT a spiritual gift if you honestly believe that God doesn't still do all the cool, awesome stuff He always has done, like visiting us in dreams, and visions, and sending angels to give us messages, and reaching out to us as He did Solomon, when He said "ask, because I'll give it to you" - and things like this moving from one location to another instantly...if you believe God does not interact with us still in such ways, then I am telling you from experience -

YOU HAVE NOT MET HIM YET.
Deborah Layne , 10/25/13 10:37 AM
I hear gods audible voice in my right ear but I`ve never heard any words clearly, is it because of sin I dont hear clearly? the main time i hear his voice is when I listen to thats why we praise him, his voice i heard after I had a vision of the holy spirit at church, Ive seen angels partly but never fully.
ben millgate , 10/27/13 01:09 AM
After asking Him why He loves me, God told me, "Because I made you." Before I became a follower of Christ I heard a loud voice "I love you" as I gave my father a last kiss before he died unexpectadly. I didn't know it was God at the time but clearly see it now. Today I hear Jesus speaking to me in an audible voice on a regular basis as I ask Him questions while pondering an praying. I would like to know why you say hearing Him is so rare? Could it be that no one is bold enough to tell people they hear from Him? Where did you find this conclusion?
Tammy Bennett , 10/27/13 07:41 PM
Oh, Julie...I enjoy your writing, you holy woman of God!
Bob King , 10/29/13 02:18 PM
Just like money, it is difficult to go without. Love of applause will be our downfall. Applause used for his glory, applause for God must be a good thing? Applause for a pastor can't necessarily be a bad thing?
Billy Tang , 10/29/13 04:01 PM
While I'm not married, I witnessed domestic violence in my home since I can remember, I also have a BA in psychology and have helped a lot of abuse women and children at different churches. Statistics show that 1 in every 4 christian woman suffers from domestic violence. There are many stories where women have looked for help by confiding in their pastors and other spiritual leaders (who love God and want to help, but are not equipped to handle such situations), and they have been advised to forgive him and return home, because they have to submit to their husbands...WRONG!!!! By no means forgive him, but you don't have to go back to him or should. Sadly many women have return home only to get killed. First of all, there is NO excuse for ANY body, whether man or woman to abuse their spouse. Domestic violence is not only physical abuse, it involves more than that. Women who may be reading my comment, know that God loves you and cares so much about you. He in NO way approves your husbands behavior and neither should you. He does NOT expect or want you to stay in an abusive relationship where your self-esteem is being damaged daily, where you have to live in fear, stress and agony, where you are not loved as Christ loved the church, etc. This was NOT God's design for marriage and you have the RIGHT to leave. You do not need to feel guilty nor ashamed. You are the daughter of a King! The King of kings! You do NEED to seek professional help, since an abuser WILL NOT change UNLESS there is an intervention from a professional. NO ONE should stay in an abusive relationship. Here I provide two resources where anyone that is been abuse can go to. In these websites you'll be able to understand the complexity and dangers of domestic violence and what you should do. One of the resources is Dr. David Hawkins website, Director of the The Marriage Recovery Center, a christian center for marriage. YOU WILL NOT CHANGE YOUR SPOUSE, THINGS WILL NOT GET BETTER IF YOU STAY IN THE RELATIONSHIP, THEY WILL ONLY GET WORSE! (Research has shown so)... Tolerating his behavior only reinforces and enables it.
There is help! But you NEED to get out, brake the cycle! YOU WILL DO MORE HARM TO YOUR CHILDREN BY HAVING THEM GROWING UP IN A HOUSE WHERE THEY HAVE TO GROW UP WITNESSING DOMESTIC VIOLENCE, THEN THEM HAVING TO LIVE WITHOUT A DAD...the emotional damage it will leave in them is enormous.

http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/life-with-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-the-verbally-abusive-ma[..]
Emily Gonzalz , 11/02/13 03:23 PM
These are the resources (it seems like they didn't show up in my first comment):

http://www.crosswalk.com/family/marriage/life-with-dr-jekyll-and-mr-hyde-the-verbally-a[..] the hot line for domestic abuse victims:

The National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-SAFE (7233)

Emily Gonzalz , 11/02/13 03:29 PM
I cant say I agree entirely with the fact that Satan doesn't always personally attack us, because, if we are born again, scripture tells us that we are NOW heirs and joint-heirs, WITH Christ. Not just in the world to come, but in this "present evil world". So, being the "body" of Christ, all "powers, principalities, names, are under OUR feet as well. So, we, in effect, have also defeated Satan. There is nothing more, he and his minions would like to do, but get us into "doubt" as he did with Eve in the garden "has God REALLY said"....... The devil knows the power that we now have in Christ Jesus, remember, he was once an angel cast out of heaven. I assume he knows what heaven is like - we don't. Scripture says that we are NOW seated together, with Him, in heavenly places. So devil....you are under MY feet, I can resist Him and scripture says he WILL flee....not might.
Denise Hanna , 11/04/13 12:13 PM
I appreciate the History you shared Julie about the Priests being required to write the law that had been broken, along with the names of the accused in the dust of the floor of the Temple, interesting it was not sand but dust that had been trodden on many times. This rule must have been in reference to all sin not just Adultery because it was not just their names but also the broken that had to be written down too. I had no knowledge of this or what others understanding is of this Scripture when I was commenting on a Blog last year and in March this year or when sharing about it a few days ago.

I had commented on a Post early last year and shared that Jesus had written their names, as often happens this knowledge just came to me. But when I received the Post a second time, in my quiet time that day which covers most of my day because I'm often talking with Jesus, I asked Him what He wrote in the sand, although I never hear Him audibly like others do, He first confirms His Truth in my heart, He said it was their names and the second time their sins, which they alone could see, this is why they couldn't argue anymore, if He was just a man, He wouldn't have known and it was why He said if you are without sin caste the first stone, they knew He knew, they were not sinless and so they walked away not wanting to be exposed but as we know they didn't repent they killed Jesus instead ...the big cover up.

Jesus also said of the Pharisees that they studied the Scriptures but rejected Him who they were about -John 5:38-40 Scripture confirms Scripture - Jeremiah 17:13

I have been very much like the Adulterous woman having sinned greatly in my life but like her I have been forgiven and yes God said to me very clearly in my heart ... go and sin no more but He also empowered me through The Holy Spirit as He does all of us, so I didn't sin, when I ask, He gives me the strength to reject sin and walk in victory, He has set me free from it's slavery John 8:34-36 the old has gone the new has come we have God's seed or Nature, 1John 3:1-12 (9) so it's very True, No Temptation will be greater than we can bear but this is about what God calls sin , not man's fleshy rules and regulations or our weaknesses and short comings, which we all have and are not to judge critically or our own reflection and plank will be shown.

Christian Love from us both -Anne
Anne Stocks , 11/15/13 05:20 PM
I really enjoyed reading this
Anneline Padayachee , 11/18/13 08:36 AM
If people who claim to be Christian don't even believe Gods Word. How can we expect the world to respect Gods Word. Many gave their lives so that we could have an English translation. That would reach to every nation on earth. The King James version (1611). But since then, and even escalating in recent years, many seek to discard the KJV. And produce their own biased versions. Like the new king james, the NIV, the NASB etc.

The Bible tv series is exactly what one should expect from hollyweird. Because they do not believe the words of the bible. The upcoming Noah movie will misrepresent Gods Holy word as well. Scripture speaks of another jesus. Just because one claims to be Christian. Doesn't mean the Holy Spirit is with him. If the real church is to discern the real Jesus. We must study his Word. And believe "all" that is written there.
Stephen Big Swan , 11/19/13 12:20 AM
"(Here’s a website that list numerous archeological finds corroborating many of the Bible’s key figures, places, and events)."

i don't see the website link --really would like to visit that site. Thanks.
Steph Bauman , 11/19/13 09:28 AM
Mary Anne,

As Julie stated, this article was not meant to label all stepparents as terrible people. My stepfather is a great man and has taken very good care of my mother and us kids growing up. It sounds like you very much are the antithesis to what Julie was writing about in this article.

My father rushed into a marriage with my stepmother, who was (and is) involved with a very unorthodox and isolated religious institution. Long story short, she does as much as she can to sabotage any attempts us kids make at building a relationship with our father. She is very controlling and extremely jealous of anything that reminds her that my dad had a life before her.

Anyway, I am very proud of and thankful for the good stepparents that are out there. There are too few that encourage their stepchildren to embrace/build relationships with their parents. It is sad that this is not the norm.
Joshua Jangula , 11/19/13 11:44 AM
Sorry about the problem with the link. Here is the website:

http://www.defendingyourfaith.org/Archaeology.htm
Tom Terry , 11/22/13 10:27 AM
I think the 'it's A sin not THE sin' is central. We have ALL sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, or 'each of us has turned to his own way'.

Surely then we must treat homosexuals like any other sinner, including our selves, and seek to introduce them AS THEY ARE to Jesus. Meeting the real Jesus will result in anyone realising how sinful they really are. Jesus call to us all is to REPENT, change what we think and so what we are, to kill the old life and live His true life.

It is not for us to judge anyone unless we ourselves happen to be perfect. We must love everyone but true love would not leave people dead in their sin and the ONLY way that can be changed is for anyone, gay, straight, mass murderer or if they have only ever stolen paper clip, is to meet Jesus face to face.
Tony Cloutt , 11/26/13 07:48 AM
The Word of God clearly and repeatedly calls homosexuality "unnatural". We must never accept the notion that it is somehow genetically-inherent or anything other than a choice made by sinful people in a sin-filled world. I was shocked some time back when conversing with someone who professed to be a Christian, who claimed that God made people gay. I can't imagine what is preached in her church, and how they could reconcile something like that with the Word of God. We as Christians are called to be unwavering beacons of light in a darkened world, shining the light of truth against the lies of society. That includes condemning, not homosexuals, but homosexuality, and striving to show people that there is a choice -- Jesus Christ and his redeeming power.
Thomas Kyle , 11/26/13 08:56 AM
I married my hero from youth and he ended up being the man who hurt me worst then anyone ever did in my life! He saved from being raped when I was a teenager and over the years we lost contact, then would see each other off & on. One day he found me & told me he had been baptized and was on fire for the Lord. So I fell in love and we started a serious relationship. ( He never truly converted, he always fell asleep in church and talked so bad about God )
There were many red flags that I ignored before marriage because as a baby christian, I knew he had lots of growing to do. Well there is one thing Ive learned if they hit you once, they will do it again & again! One week after our beautiful wedding my husband snapped and destroyed everything in our home. That shouldve been my first & last time as a wife to allow that, but because the church tells you to work it out I gave him a year & three months to put me through hell and almost kill me. I finally had enough and filed for divorce, I wont allow my children to stand at my funeral because a coward took my life. ABUSE IS NOT A COVENANT WITH GOD OR YOUR WIFE, your free & so am I. Time to get counseling and begin to heal.
A J , 11/26/13 01:06 PM
One only needs to think how God created male and female bodies, then there's an aberration regarding sexual conduct with same sex couples.
Rita Reynolds , 11/26/13 05:20 PM
I attend New Life Christian Church in Warsaw IN. We have attended every seminar you have conducted at our church. I have a question about our foster daughter. We have had her in our home for 4 years, since she was 2. She is still exibiting actions of an emotional 'full cup' and anger. What can we do to help her? She is acting mean and biting other students also. Thank you! Donna Rhoades 11/01/13
Donna Rhoades , 11/27/13 10:17 AM
Thank-you we do have so much to be thankful for.
Judy Ashby , 11/27/13 02:58 PM
Thanks and I am very thankful.
Judy Ashby , 11/27/13 03:35 PM
This is really interesting, would you be able to email me a copy please?
Karin Svedlund , 12/04/13 02:50 AM
I am a pastor in my local Church. we have more than 2500 members. In my small town many people are addicted by alcohol. This is a challenge to preach the gospel of salvation. This lesson gave me idea to challenge them concerning the outcome of alcohol. Tank you very much God bless you.
Mebratu Markos , 12/05/13 02:00 AM
This is serious and cogent information, and bears repeating. I think many of us know someone (perhaps a friend, loved-one or family member) in this condition and who don't know how to help them. Read all the information in this post. It CAN help!
Bob Shank Jr , 12/05/13 03:23 PM
awesome some one feels the way you do see u when we all get there GOD BLESS
LULU WILLIAMS , 12/06/13 03:59 PM
this elaboration is wonderful.....well done
robert quarcu , 12/09/13 08:27 AM
I have been raped beat and humiliated by my husband...please pray for me and my children that we will be ok...he is cheating on me and don't like to be called out on his lies...there is no way out
darla Russell , 12/09/13 11:39 PM
I am glad I found this incredible site. Your words become spirit and life. Thank You
Pastor Irvin McCorkle , 12/10/13 03:10 PM
My brother says he has teleported to another country, and was seen by someone who knows him, but he physically never left the uk, and was not aware of going anywhere, till he was told he had visited a church in another country. Can this be correct? I'm not sure,
Jo Burton , 12/10/13 06:06 PM
Great summary. You didn't touch on one issue that denominations have really misused incorrectly. That is about "putting out the fleece". Involved in a bible study. Large group with numerous denominations represented. Interested in your take on it.
Ramoma Furst , 12/11/13 10:20 AM
Julie - thank you for this tribute to Jesse. My daughter lost Amy Beth in January after heart surgery. She too never reached much over 5 lbs, and each year at Christmas we hang her angel ornament at the top of tree, along with those of her brothers, and my other grandchildren. I will show this to Wendy. I think someone who has had a child preceed them to heaven can only understand
betty frank , 12/12/13 04:07 PM
Ms. Barrier,

I truly appreciate your response to this question. I lack faith, but not hope in Christianity and re-building my fundamental understanding of God. This said, I find myself reading and a lot of both secular and non-secular articles about Christianity, many times I find myself reconciling many discrepancies discussed without issue. I recently have been confronted with, apart of a larger context, John 8 was not recorded in the first records of John (Greek Manuscripts) The passage appears a lot later in Greek copies of the manuscript and Latin translations. Non-secular belief is it was added by scribes. I ask secular authorities and I am left with my faith is not strong. I am not trying disprove to promote disbelief, but to better understand the Bible and how it came into existence. Your reply to the questioned pose leads me to believe, I may receive a reply that does not question my faith for asking, but may want to help me build my faith with a reasonable discussion on the subject that is not dismissive.
Charles Roosa , 12/14/13 10:15 AM
Holy Christmas in Texas to the Barriers and all they love.
Bill Bryan , 12/18/13 11:24 AM
The whole is full of sin because man and woman have caused that from the fall of Adam and Eve. If you believe in the Bible then homesexuality is wrong and sinfull, just like any other sin. What do we accept the idea of being gay is okay? Let's pray for a revival
John More , 12/20/13 02:18 PM
This was very clear and very encouraging!
It is important to confess to others as well and that's something I often forget. So this was very instructive because sometimes I feel like my apology isn't enough to bend the broken relationship with God. So thankyou for this Don McMinn.
Jekyra Little , 12/23/13 04:54 PM
I don't know much about spiritual gifts but whose to say what God can and cannot do. Everything in this world is created by a human being besides the worlds creation itself, which I hope I don't need to categorize for anyone. But then if something magical happens like, woman is cured of cancer. Every Christian/Catholic, Jew, Hindu, doesn't even matter; they will say that's God's Will that saved her not her own Will. The knowledge is there but I'm only 20 and I'm decades ahead of this guy on spiritual knowledge.
Rob Cotten , 12/24/13 08:29 PM
Julie, Thank you. Had often wondered what Jesus wrote .Had heard several ideas. Until today as I was studying on line did I ever really do a search .Your answer seemed to me to truly reflect Jesus's intentions. Hope you and Roger both are doing well. Miss you. Blessings , Harley Nutter
Harley Nutter , 12/27/13 09:34 AM
Pastor Roger,
Thank you so much for your outline. I could feel your empathy and sincere understanding and it means so much. I want my marriage to work so badly, but we are not following any of the principals listed here. As a result, we are in a desperate situation. I have a brilliant little girl with cerebral palsy, and he has a six year old that is manipulative and smart- and she wants her daddy all to herself. I have tried so hard to develop a relationship with her, and I know that she loves me. However- as soon as she sees her daddy- she turns into a different child. I am the enemy. He travels quiet a bit with work,and because of this= his guilt keeps him fom setting boundaries. In turn, I have not been wife I should be.. I'm ready to give up, but my daughter would be devasted She absolutely loves her new famiy, and I love her father with all of my heart. I love his daughter too= when he is not around. When he is I become resentful, angry and not happy at all with him... We need counseling big time. Any words of wisdom for us?
Kim Henry , 12/29/13 06:02 PM
Great framework. I had to print this! Thanks for all the great articles and Happy Happy New Year!
adora redd , 12/30/13 01:57 PM
IT IS A BIG HELP FOR US WHO ARE PLANNING TO START OUR OWN VISION IN WOMEN'S MINISTRY
MYRNA BARTOLOME , 12/31/13 07:10 PM
I grew up thinking that I was cursed by the preacher that caught two of my friends smoking in the church basement. He marched us up before the congregation and pleaded the blood on us. People started talking about bad things happening to us and I felt lost and damned. Since I came to discover who Christ really is, I have become more aware of his love and his most powerful attribute which is mercy and grace. I live the best life that I can and have lost the guilt of failure. There are many things that I want to accomplish for Gods kingdom and I'm well on my way. I don't have any hard feelings against any of those people who made me feel as though God was no longer with me because of that incident, but rather became aware of their ignorance as it pertains to true leadership. God has opened doors for me and I fully intend to stay as close to him as I possibly can, because no one else has the capability of forgiveness without him. God bless all of us as he does everyday.
John Webster , 12/31/13 10:07 PM
Of course this is not a specific spiritual gift, however this falls under the spiritual gift "miracle". All miracles are not documented but it doesn't mean they don't happen.
Pastor Russell Goodwin , 01/02/14 08:08 AM
It seems to me that the first 3 commands you mention, "Be Fruitful, Multiply, and Fill the earth" are really just one command (using Hebrew parallelism to communicate the one idea). Similarly, there seems to be little--if any--difference between "subdue" and "rule." So to me, these commands boil down to "procreation" and "ruling."

Now it seems to me that if your theory is correct, then God merely created man to potentially be in His image. That is, God created man with the possibility of procreating and ruling, but man could choose not to. That's why God commanded them to do these two things. But the Scripture does not say that God made man to potentially bear HIs image by fulfilling His commands; rather, the Scripture says God CREATED man in His image. So, even before they began procreating and ruling, they were already in His image.

Moreover, if procreation and ruling is a requirement for being in God's image, then what of the individuals who are unable to procreate or rule? Is the barren woman NOT made in the image of God?

Perhaps the most we could say is that our ability to procreate and rule are CONSEQUENCES of being made in the image of God . . . but they cannot be synonymous with being made in the image of God.

Those are my thoughts anyway.
Dana T , 01/04/14 12:45 PM
In the old testament, there is a very strict and clear punishment for the a false prophet. A false prophet is one who has "spoken presumptuously" a word from the Lord which does not come to pass. (Deuteronomy 18) OR Says "'Let us go after other gods,' which you have not known." The punishment for both is death for the false prophet.

I understand that we are not in the old testament Theocracy of Israel, and the we do not have the same criteria of capital punishment. My question is this, what should the church's official reaction/position/action be for a church member who does something that is a clear sin and is often times hurtful to others?
Andrew Shultz , 01/06/14 08:52 PM
Good informative read, Thank you so much for nice information…..
Regards SAP SD Online Training
SAP SD Online Training , 01/07/14 12:56 AM
I am always concerned about how fruitful I am or will be when its all over, so this is helpful to me - to "lose confidence in me and gain confidence in the Holy Spirit! Happy New Year on that! Amen
Adora Redd , 01/09/14 01:25 PM
I am quite tired of hearing people cry racism as though it's behind everything. If someone disagrees with a person of another ethnicity, people frequently make the mistaken assumption that it is racism instead of analyzing the whole picture. Real racism knows no color. There is no such thing as "reverse racism".
Tim From Tucson , 01/15/14 09:38 PM
Thanks JUlie, and thanks to an all knowing, seeing, hearing God; we have been at a church where even the rats laughed when we were called there. It had a reputation of killing pastors & their wives. Needless to say we have been accused of all things, Including stealing and being in court for 7 years. Even preachers in other cities are involved in this destructive mess. Now I know even more, we are to stand still, keep quite, listen to God and let Him fight the battle. Thank You.
B. V. Harris , 01/17/14 12:18 PM
Thank you for this clear and concise message. I love the scripture where it says that Jesus was tempted like we were. However I think when you find a person who understands that we have to yield to Christ the Holy Spirit, like you suggest, we are great. The gentleman I know, fears Christ like myself, which is a blessing and to be admired. That way you can wait and see if marriage is in the future. If not its ime to reconsider. Its funny too how Christ will remove fleshy desires from you, as a mature adult I've learned its possible to obtain and wait. Also to be content with being alone.
Adora Redd , 02/05/14 10:49 AM
Please pray for me. I need Gods hand in my life this week.
Sherry Howard , 02/09/14 11:09 PM
Thank u very much for an inspiring teaching/lecture on good leaders. It really gives one new perspective on leadership and the values they said for the church. I always wanted to be a Shephard of God to lead and care for His flock. Thank u for your guidance. I'm sure it will help me a lot in my ministry. God bless
Wilbur Williams , 02/12/14 01:02 AM
Wow this is a humbling assessment! If God were to judge per our nations' sins, we just may not be here tomorrow. God is surely merciful.
What a humbling assessment.
Adora Redd , 02/12/14 11:57 AM
even though Satan has been defeated, we need to enforce our victory on the devil if we must conquer
jerimon raymond baba , 02/17/14 01:46 PM
Everyone at some point in time, except innocent children (I have found), has murdered someone. What I mean is; to murder other's existence as an image of God. We don't speak to them, we don't count them as a human beings, we count other's as not existing, when they ought to have a reply back to a need or question. In other words, when someone we despise or hate, we give them the silence treatment, That is murder. How do I know? When I sought help, answers, just something from an estranged marriage and family, and was treated as non-existing, I asked God what was going on. The answer came back, "Murders". That spoke paragraphs to me.
steve janke , 02/21/14 01:13 PM
Am afraid of labour which has made the fear of death my greatest problem.am seriously going to pray about it and I know God help me overcom it
Amen
irene ocran , 02/21/14 10:37 PM
Very insightful but finish. When we except Jesus as are Lord and Savior,
we become grafted into the Kingdom. We become family and inherit
and receive the Spirit of the Lord. The same Spirit in Jesus is now in us.
Thus the enemy, Satan, principalities, etc. wish to seek, kill, and destroy
us also. Since Jesus is the head of the church(his body of believers) this also is included. "For who is not with us, is against us".
D Murphy , 02/24/14 03:43 PM
I honestly didn't know until reading this article that "recreational marijuana" was legal ANYWHERE in the United States. This is horrifying news. I am grateful that I am not a parent, to be honest. When I was a teenager, I never touched marijuana -- or alcohol or tobacco -- because apart from marijuana being illegal, it just struck me as being catastrophically STUPID to have anything to do with any of these substances, and I have avoided them throughout my life. I was aware that the "active ingredient" in marijuana had risen over time, and I wonder how many parents today, who might have smoked the stuff when they were younger and experienced few harmful effects (allegedly) are aware of how much more dangerous this foul substance is now? I fear for the future of our country when things like this are taking place. Your column should be required reading in every school, and in every home to every parent with children of any age.
Thomas Wheeler , 02/25/14 09:08 PM
This article was super helpful in my personal study of John 8. Well supported with reference to the context of Jerusalem at the time.
Peter Wing , 02/26/14 10:24 AM
Wow! How did I just find out about this incredible online resource? Very good material.
Peter Wing , 02/26/14 10:31 AM
I am really impressed with this message. I will never married an unbelieved.
james gandi , 03/02/14 05:49 PM
Roger,
Thank you so much. You are such a gift and the wisdom and knowledge of our Lord and Savior, well you have been a poured out drink offering time and time again.
I believe you knew of my son,Joshua.
I remember telling you the story of Joshua and how I ran away from the power of God. I don't do that anymore.
Through the Lord's power and the works of the Holy Spirit Casas planted wonderful seeds which lead me into a deeper walk with Christ.
I am so thankful to the Lord, for you and the many who were faithful servents of Jesus Christ. Through the years the teachings that Casas had worked in me made me solid and stronger in the Lord.
I now am learning something new...beyond that I know I must walk out in faith and assurity of who my King is and what that means to me.
Through Christ's power, I was able to withstand the intense crush- beyond words - when Joshua passed away on 12-12-12.
I cannot put into words how your sharing the loss of your child and the deep personal impact of emotions when you shared your loss with the entire congregation.
Your story, prayer, and Scripture helped me through a very deep and dark year last year.
And I remembered how you acted.
And because of remembering your actions- tone, body language, speech, and powerful Scripture - I thank the Lord!
Without you there would have been no one to show me that there is healing and peace even when experiencing the pain of losing a loved one.
The experience was and still is real; but so is our God.
He (Jesus) moved in you and turned your loss into glory.
Therefore, as I followed your example in the now and especially did for 2013, I know God will move in me and turn this into His glory.
Again thank you.
May the Lord bless you in all that you do.
D'bora priest , 03/02/14 06:19 PM
Hmm...I think tikme trevelling or teleportations are true and the are possible.when holy spirit come.one accident was also with me.when i was in prayer.believe me...but i dont wat to hilight it..I also says to world i m not a human.I am a super computer from future..
Jerry Gikwad , 03/05/14 01:49 AM
check out some zombies verses in bible..

Rev. 20:5
Isaiah 26:19-20
Rev. 9:6
Ezekiel 37:3-5
Ecc.9:5-6
psalm 135-21
Daniel 12-2

..... From India
Jerry Gaikwad , 03/05/14 01:54 AM
Hi...I want to talk to you..

call 7869477118
Jerry Gaikwad , 03/05/14 01:56 AM
I know iam only 14 years old.but have intrest in this
Jerry Gaikwad , 03/05/14 02:01 AM
I'm from Kenya and have really struggled with unemployment. I decided to look for a business I can do that won't need much capital finally settled on selling of cold bottled water at the beach. All I need is a coolerbox that costs almost US $50 and I will be in business.I can't afford one anyone willing to sponsor me get one can contact me on moses2000ke@yahoo.com. God bless.
Moses Simiyu , 03/05/14 03:17 AM
I think this is a well articulated argument, but some of it does not sit well with me. I hope you don't mind if I try to respectfully bring up a couple of points where I'm struggling with this.

I can't see how this selective discrimination would actually play out in real world situations. Is the Christ-following hotelier asking each same sex pair who walks in his doors what they plan to do in their room after they check in? Is the Christ-following baker making phone calls to determine whether or not the cake order she just received is from a same sex couple? Does the Christian waiter refuse to serve an obese man a second order of meatballs because he can't in good conscience be a participatory aide in the sin of gluttony? Did Jesus poll the wedding at Cana and ensure that everyone had only had a glass or two of wine before he transformed the water and kept the party going? He certainly wouldn't continue to serve wine knowing that some of the wedding guests would drink a little too much, right?

In both the Corinthians and Ephesians passages, Paul's primary concern is with people who are in the church who are willfully persisting in sin. I think we need to treat these passages with great care when we attempt to apply them to something as serious as state-wide legislation or - for the sake of this discussion - a mandate for how we treat non-believers who are living in sin. I'm not convinced that Paul (or Jesus for that matter) would have us tiptoeing about our business transactions to ensure that nothing we did could possibly aid the sin of another. In this world, such a goal is impossible to achieve and is widely missing the mark of what it means to love as Jesus loved.
Paul G , 03/05/14 10:29 AM
Your comments are very thoughtful and well-articulated. That is why we asked for the view of others to gain more insight into a very complex issue.
Julie Barrier , 03/05/14 10:38 AM
What can i say in this life again,how will i thank Lord Zilialia for the good job which he just did for me.i have been searching for long a real spell caster now for me to get who to help me get back my husband back but i have been scammed with a lot of people who claim they are spell casters,so i was tired of searching then one morning just have to go to the net and just look for once again and i found this man Lord Zilialia and i contacted him and he make a prayer to me through phone in the night and after the prayer he tells me what to do and i did it and immediately the thing was done he gave me assurance that my husband will start looking for me and pleading for me to accept him back and i was kind of not sure and what make me amaze he said just 2days after this that is when he will come and as i am talking to you people now my husband came back to me just yesterday which make it complete 2days as he said and now i am very happy. LORD ZILIALIA IS REAL!!!! you can contact Lord Zilialia through this email, spellcaster1202@gmail.com
Happy Thoma , 03/05/14 11:06 PM
If we identify heresy by using the Word of God and measuring them against Jesus Christ is Lord, which I agree, wouldn't those two markers then identify "The Circle Maker" as heresy as it was based on a legend named Honi, not a biblical character teaching was is described as a bold new way to pray. Honi's prayer wasn't biblical boldness; it was arrogant and demanding. Attitude matters, especially if we really do believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. Also, why was Silver Ravenwolf's book "A Solitary Witch" also using Honi's prayer as a teaching tool for witchcraft? She has written several books on witchcraft and this particular book was published in 2003. I want to make it clear that I am not attacking Mark Batterson but I am judging the teaching according to the Word of God and the fact that this new way to pray fails to meet the litmus test of the Word and Jesus Christ being Lord. There is a big difference between boldness and arrogance. It is wisdom to try the spirits and realize that there are false signs and wonders.
Terri Gonnerman , 03/07/14 09:48 AM
Great I may use it for my preaching!
Mario Bendezu , 03/07/14 10:39 AM
These statistics are all fine and well on the "big picture" level, but what about on the smaller scale? It seems to me that, in general, people are becoming ruder and more obnoxious all the time. In the grocery store, I've had people slam their carts into mine just to get me out of the way. I've nearly been run over -- increasingly -- crossing intersections because drivers don't want to stop for pedestrians. I've had three close calls in the last month alone. I live in an apartment complex. The behavior of some residents in this place is unbelievable. They show no consideration to their neighbors as far as noise is concerned, turn up their music so loud that it could shake the entire building, and when politely asked to turn it down, the response is something I can't repeat here. It didn't used to be this way. Fine and well that war and hunger are on the decline, but how about our general behavior?
Thomas Wheeler , 03/11/14 10:55 AM
David,
You write, "We may be losing the battle for personal morality. But we are winning when it comes to solving some of the globe’s most intractable problems."
I got stuck on that quote because I have A LOT of "issues" with the popular church philosophies/strategies of the past 15-20 years. "How does a widespread degradation in personal morality result in a more 'utopian' state of mankind?" Think about it. Refer back to history. Now refer back to the bible. There has NEVER, in the history of the world, been a civilization that degraded morally (particularly on the scope we are today) yet attained these type of benchmarks. 2 + 2 are not equaling 4! That should be the biggest indicator of all that something is VERY, VERY wrong.
So if it's better on the outside, but worse on the inside, than what is it really?


Richard Muenckler , 03/11/14 12:08 PM
Really liked this My grandsons at a standstill in his growth because he defines himself as a failure.Praying for him... Tom
Betty Frank , 03/11/14 12:08 PM
A commentary on Church authority, and no mention of Peter whatsoever? Really? Did he not lead the Council of Jerusalem in Acts that dispensed with circumcision? Paul, Paul, Paul? Did not Paul go and stay with Cephas (Peter) to learn acquaint himself with the Chief Apostle and learn his mission? And how could ANY commentary on Church authority neglect to mention this...

"But in case I am delayed, I write so that you will know how one ought to conduct himself in the household of God, which is THE CHURCH of the living God, THE PILLAR AND FOUNDATION OF THE TRUTH." 1 Timothy 3:15

Or, how about this breath-taking omission...

"And when He had said this, He breathed on them and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, their sins have been forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they have been retained." - John 20:22-23

Do these not speak boldly of Church authority that you completely omit? These are not hidden, nebulous scriptures either! And yet they seem not to factor at all into your Church authority equation. How can this be?!

Clearly, more study on your part is called for because this incomplete attempt is embarrassing to say the very least.
Pat H. , 03/11/14 05:45 PM
Thank you for sharing this article. It is graciously accepted for I truly believe that all races were created on the sixth day and all that God created, He said it was good.
Gen 1:31
31 And God saw every thing that he had made, and, behold, it was very good. And the evening and the morning were the sixth day. KJV
.
Belinda Dickerson , 03/14/14 02:40 PM
Remember that some only come out by prayer and fasting. ISAAC AND ANNE WALK IN FREEDOM BECAUSE OF THE BLOOD OF CHRIST, AS DO I! This unclean spirit is to depart in Jesus name! Amen. It is finished! I repent of unforgiveness and bless our enemies with the repentant spirit! Amen.
Jenny S , 03/16/14 01:18 PM
I am filled with fear of failure to the point I am giving up.
Nancy Walls , 03/23/14 04:30 PM
Many Christians are now challenged by the visibility and reasonability of gay Christians and those gay people who do not yet believe. This article is the increasingly common response along the lines of A little bit of discrimination is (still) alright. Its writer accepts that racial discrimination, presumably no matter how little a bit, is a no no despite Christians having used Bible verses to back it up. Can the writer conceive of such a change in respect of his attitude to gay people, so that he treats them in exactly the same way as he would have them treat him? We must remember that God used a pagan emperor to permit the building of the temple which he visited. (Was that status or behaviour?). In the same way, the world is teaching Christians how to behave when it comes to discrimination, the violation of the second part of the Great Commandment. Sadly, perhaps I should have used the word "concede" instead of "conceive of", as many, but by no means all Christians have such problems with the issue.
Gregory Paul Turner , 03/28/14 12:52 AM
Interesting...I believe as well that Jeremiah 17:13 is linked with Jesus' writing in the dust in John 8. However, the word מקוה in Jeremiah is not Mikveh like a ritual bath. God is not the immerser of Israel here in this passage. The word literally means hope, as the verse reads "YHWH the Hope of Israel...". Modern Hebrew uses two vavs to spell hope (מקווה) but Biblical Hebrew, which modern Hebrew is built from, uses a different spelling. Indeed the Lord is the fountain or origin (מקור) of living water, but not an immerser as is noted above. Just wanted to chime :) No disrespect intended. Blessings (ברכות) to you
C Wagner , 04/02/14 04:39 PM
Mr. Viola,
THANK YOU so much for yourwonderful and knowledge packed article. As a 'Evangelist-in-training', I definitely needed reassurance of what and whom a 'true' disciple is, and should be.

Blessings to you and yours,
Jillian
Jillian James , 04/03/14 03:29 PM
Julie, your writing has an authority on it that is powerful. I think suffering has that effect on us. I really look forward to having time to talk.
Sandra Wakefield , 04/09/14 04:41 PM
Well, I just re-read this article and laughed out loud once again. Nobody can tell a story like you. We have some good ones to tell, haven't we?
Sandy Wakefield , 04/09/14 04:47 PM
I actually had an awkward experience. I had been divorced for 16 years and was celibate. One night I decided I was going to have sex with a man I barely knew. Right before we were going to make out, I heard a stern male voice audibly say, "He is not your husband . . .", I feel God was warning me and I wish I had listened to that voice. Even though the man and I had sex only two times, it was unpleasant because he hurt me (he was into porn and apparently thought women liked to have rough sex, hair pulling and all). I now have a better relationship with the Lord and if I have sex again - or should I say "make love" - it will be the way the Lord intended: with a CHRISTIAN man and IN MARRIAGE.
K M , 04/10/14 12:40 AM
It is views like this that actually divide people rather than unite them. The author makes claims that Christians have lower divorce rates than non Christians... really now?? Based on what factual evidence?
Kevin Buttler , 04/17/14 09:24 AM
Nice! When my parents passed and with all the new and additional responsibilities I was advised to set boundaries. It saved my life. Now with new tech and mobile tech this word is also useful! Take time, listen and tell what God wants us to listen to and tell! Thank you Dr. Barrier!
Adora Redd , 04/22/14 08:23 AM
I learn so much from this site.
I'm greatly interested in these characteristics of unsafe people as many hold positions of leadership.
In my opinion America trains, cultivates and rewards these personality flaws.
By turning away from God, is our society cursed with Psychopath's?

"Psychopathy is a personality disorder that has been variously described as characterized by shallow emotions (in particular reduced fear), stress tolerance, lacking empathy, coldheartedness, lacking guilt, egocentricity, superficial character, manipulativeness, irresponsibility, impulsivity and antisocial behaviors such as parasitic lifestyle and criminality."
Dave Pace , 04/22/14 10:10 AM
iam currently tryin to get out of a verbally and mentally relationship and its so hard to break from i pray that it will end but it doesnt and my inner soul and my self esteem is so gone i dont know who i am anymore and i see my partner is like nothing i just see all thees stories and i dont understand why we do this if we can all be alot stronger and be able to move on without thinking of it i think we all deserve to be happy well pray for me as i will pray for all of u as well and hope we all will have a much better life
jenny medina , 05/02/14 11:35 AM
I would agree with you that transportation has it is being taught by flaky revivalists not "faith people" are goofy manifestations designed to draw people to marginal ministries. I can assure you these wierdness is not supported by the vast majority of faith movement people. And the main center of this as you know is Maricopa, AZ and Northern California. Very soon a number of these ministries are going to fall apart because they are involved with familiar spirits. Now, cessationists have their own set of false doctrine to deal with. But no, these manifestation were never activated at will and the couple of times it had a definite purpose. To say that only people of a certain level can do this is at the source of it pride. And most of these people conjure up crazy wife stories. The real problem is not these ministers it is the dummies that follow them
mark scott , 05/03/14 08:38 AM
I met my husband over nine years ago. He was a friend of my father's. Well, he lied about everything from the start. Let me tell you about some of these lies. He said he was 36 years old he was really 43 years old, he said he had three children, he really has 4. He told me he always had a job. No soon I told him that I was pregnant he quit his job at a factory that he had been working at for over nineteen years. He does not support me at all. We got into an argument today and I went out side to pick my twins up from soccer and their was a garbage bag full of garbage in my driver's side in my seat with a big as whole in the bottom of the bag and my shoes were out side in a big mud hole. I think it is time for me to leave him. He always say he is going to change when I leave and get my own apartment. He always treat me like a princess and then I move back into our big house and within 24 hours shit is back to normal. I just graduated with my BSW. I will start graduate school soon. My husband is 52 and I am 31.
corrina edmonson , 05/03/14 06:46 PM
And...we've all said things we shouldn't have we just didn't have a recorder. Well God does.

Thanks for honesty! A Redd
adora redd , 05/12/14 01:08 PM
This compliments a profound message Pastor Joel of Lakewood spoke on a few weeks ago called "Redeem the Time". When I found myself sharing dreams with a total stranger, she told me to finish it, don't put it off. She told me that twice. wow - well no excuses! Now I find myself accomplishing all my dreams redeeming the time. Thanks!
adora redd , 05/12/14 04:54 PM
A friend of my husband and myself, who is a pastor,asked us to help him out by attending his church for a while -give him feedback- as his church is small....very small....and has had a lot of people leave lately....and he has only been a pastor for two years......In all honesty....we don't know what to make of his preaching.... he used to be an elementary teacher so he is teaching....with props....but we can't even grasp his message...he goes around in circles and gets off topic and non of it makes sense.....We are members of a church where every time we leave there, we remember what was said- we are convicted or touched every time....we talk about it all week...reflect on it....we don't know how to help this friend of ours...he honestly thinks and his wife, that he is doing a great job.....but when visitors come.....they NEVER come back.....ever....the music program is suffering also.... what can we do to help?? We have prayed and prayed.....and are helping in other ways.....but so far there are no new members.....and Im afriad it is getting a bit discouraging for me......I want to go back to our home church!
Debbie Collins , 05/14/14 01:30 PM
Great blog. All posts have something to learn. Your work is very good and I appreciate you and hoping for some more informative posts.keep writing.
Shopper Insight Technolog jack , 05/15/14 01:00 PM
Enjoyed and trying to implement in my life to remain as a true Christian.

Thank you so much

with Love

Chakravarthy
Chakravarthy CJC , 05/19/14 04:45 AM
Great piece of writing. Thank you. I have been under attack from about 2 or 3 witches over the last 5 years. It literally broke down my life. I contributed to it through my own weakness and certain addictions in life. I had no God. My life was drained out of me, sucked dry. Everything I had was gone. I literally saw the one witch talking to dark figures and praying in weird languages. I believe she is possessed by something. She allows it to take her over so she can have other powers. It is so real. But when you have Jesus and the Holy spirit filling you, they cannot harm you anymore . My advice - pray multiple times a day, exercise well and eat right. Go to church and pray for them to be blessed. They need the love more than us. They are tormented and do not understand the meaning of love and do not know God. It is our duty as loving beings to bless them to know God and to hopefully one day turn away from the dark and Satan's lies. He promises them all kinds of things but he can't deliver if we have Jesus on our side. I was so bitter about them being witches when I discovered the truth. It was also very scary, and I was very angry. Normal human emotions. But over the last few months, have learnt to let go as it gives them power over me. They thrive off our hatred for them. But I am not this person. I became it through being tormented. Slowly getting back to myself again, through Him. This article has also helped to subside the last bit of bitterness as well. Stay strong through Him always. We cannot convince witches to believe in love and Him. Only He can guide them to His arms. We can just let Him know we love them all. :-) Thank you. God bless you all.
Anon Ymous , 05/25/14 01:25 PM
Julie, you paint a graphic image of love and commitment. What a blessing to have been under the tender care of such a wonderful spiritual guide.

Jeffrey Stewart , 05/26/14 02:10 PM
CAN YOU ENVISION JESUS SAYING THAT?

The mantra of many believers in Christ is "Water baptism is important, however, it is not essential for any ones salvation."
Can you envision Jesus saying that?

What if all the creed books, all the Bible commentaries, and other books written about Bible were destroyed? What if the source for truth you had was the Bible and the Bible alone, then, what would you believe was the purpose of water baptism? Would you still believe that water baptism was not essential for salvation?

THE BIBLE

Ephesians 5:25-26...as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for it, 26 that He might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, (NKJV)

Ephesians 5:25-26....as Christ showed to the church when he died for her, 26 to make her holy and clean, washed by baptism and God's word; (The Living Bible---Paraphrased)

Ephesians 5:25-26 ....as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself up for her, 26 so that He might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, (NASB)

Can you imagine Jesus saying, "Water baptism is not essential to salvation?"

Acts 22:16 'And now why are you waiting? Arise and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (NKJV)

Acts 22:16 And now, why delay? Go and be baptized, and be cleansed from your sins, calling on the name of the Lord.' (The Living Bible ---Paraphrased)

Acts 22:16 Now why do you delay? Get up and be baptized, and wash away your sins, calling on His name.' (NASB)

Can you envision Jesus saying, "Saul your sins were washed away three days ago on the road to Damascus, water baptism is not essential to salvation?"

Acts 2:38....let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins;..... (NKJV)

Acts 2:38 And Peter replied, "Each one of you must turn from sin, return to God, and be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; then you also shall receive this gift, the Holy Spirit. (The Living Bible--- Paraphrased)

Acts 2:38 ...each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christfor the forgiveness of your sins..... (NASB)

Can you envision Jesus saying, "Water baptism is not essential to forgiveness of sins?"

Mark 16:16 .....and is baptized will be saved... (NKJV)

Mark 16:16.... and are baptized will be saved... (The Living Bible---Paraphrased)

Mark 16:16 .....and has been baptized shall be saved... (NASB)

Can you imagine Jesus saying, "Water baptism is important but not essential to salvation?"

IF YOU ONLY HAD THE BIBLE, WHAT WOULD YOU BELIEVE?

Creed books, Bible commentaries, and all other books explaining the Bible are not the infallible word of God. They are not God's inerrant message to all mankind. Why would you not simply trust the Bible and the Bible alone for God's truth given to mankind?



YOU ARE INVITED TO FOLLOW MY BLOG. http//:steve-finnell.blogspot.com
steve finnell , 05/31/14 04:51 AM
Please pray for my family my brother and my self as I have been a covering of witchcraft and my brother crossed over ta help me
Joshua Woodward , 06/02/14 05:19 AM
Don't know how I missed this in March. However, thanks even now. I appreciate ALL topics they all help me in this 21st century. I remember attending Casas and learning about sound waves, etc. Thank you for reinforcing God's traits and not the worlds!

adora redd , 06/03/14 11:37 AM
Thank you for these priceless and valuable words of encouragement and truth!
Living w/out parents now and understanding great pain and loss, I realize that God is in the throne room allowing me to be gently restored on a continual basis - not matter what happens to me. I find myself always in the throne room now, so thank you again. I really needed these messages. God bless you all and I pray gifts will help continue to keep this material on the internet.
a redd , 06/03/14 11:51 AM
Darlene,
I just could not hold my thoughts having read through your trials and testimony of God's leading. Just want you to know that God has shown us through his word and through his amazing creation and good science how we can boost our immune system and overcome most life threatening ordeals - Amos 3:7. You are actually on the right path with juicing - greens - but that's not all. I must dare to tell you that this is not time for cooked food and wild salmon. No flesh food. Both should be out of the way until your blood is thoroughly built back up and thereafter, no flesh at all. There are absolutely other things and basic, simple approaches you can adopt, through the mercies of God, to reverse your situation. Speaking from personal experience and exposure. Disease signals an opportunity to do things differently for the proper nourishment of the body. I am glad about your anointing but how extensive was it? It could be deeper with the right tools. I am praying that the Lord will guide and direct you while your energy level has not been completely zapped up by toxic substances within and outside of your control. Wilt thou be made whole? John 5:6? I believe you do. Jesus is ever willing to show us the way to sustainable health by choice. God's people must not die for lack of knowledge Hosea 4:6. Cheers! Remain blessed.
Providence Jacobs , 06/05/14 06:14 PM
Although a good idea in principle Muslim families will not follow this as boys are valued higher than girls which is why the rape stats are so high in Sweden
J A M Bell , 06/10/14 03:53 AM
thank you for this message!
But i want to know how to help those in this situation, to 'heal' from it or to avoid it.
bidias parfait , 06/10/14 08:39 AM
This is a fascinating problem -- not only WHAT Jesus wrote on the ground, but WHY he was writing on the ground at all. I have always pictured the scene as Jesus writing on the ground as a kind of idle play -- a way of ignoring or dismissing the busybody accusers. Or perhaps as a way for Jesus himself to think things through. I am not putting forward either of these ideas as "true". Julie writes:

". . .the priest was required to then stoop down and write the law that had been broken, along with the names of the accused, in the dust of the floor of the Temple (which Jesus did) [actually, the priest could write the law and the names anywhere, as long as the marks were not permanent - and the dust of the floor of the Temple was the most common place]."

I would like to know the source of this information. I have not heard it before.

There is another strange things about the whole story. People usually say that Jesus "forgave" the woman. That is not quite accurate. What he says is that he does not condemn her. When Jesus says, "Judge not," he does not (in my opinion) mean "Judge -- condemn -- but then forgive." He means, "Judge not." In my experience, Christians are outstandingly zealous in judging others, particularly for their alleged sexual misdeeds. I think: better not to judge at all.

John Plotz , 06/15/14 05:24 PM
I believe that all things are possible to him that believes(Mark 9:23). What are you now going to say - that Jesus didn't mean that?? IF HE LIED ABOUT THAT - MIGHT AS WELL NOT BELIEVE ANYTHING ELSE HE SAID.See how blasphemous that is?
Tommy Hargrove , 06/18/14 05:36 PM
C.S. Lewis, famous Christian apologetic and theologian wrote:
Before leaving the question of divorce, I should like to distinguish two things which are very often confused. The Christian conception of marriage is one: the other is the quite different question—how far Christians, if they are voters or Members of Parliament, ought to try to force their views of marriage on the rest of the community by embodying them in the divorce laws. A great many people seem to think that if you are a Christian yourself you should try to make divorce difficult for everyone. I do not think that. At least I know I should be very angry if the Mohammedans tried to prevent the rest of us from drinking wine. My own view is that the Churches should frankly recognize the majority of the British people are not Christians and, therefore, cannot be expected to live Christian lives.
Ryan M , 06/18/14 11:48 PM
Thank you for this valuable article. Like most people, I suffer from fear in the form of public speaking. I am terrified to get up front of our Adult Bible Fellowship at Church and make a simple announcement or something more of a serious nature. Although I practice a million times at home & feel confident to the point that I have it almost memorized, by the time I get up front of our class my legs start to shake, even though I am reading it off a piece of paper. I know God is calling me each time to do the announcements or presentations so I can't say no. But, it sure would be nice to feel more confident when I went up front of the class & not fearful to the point of dreading it. I will definitely order the books you mentioned. Again, thank you.
Kim Brown , 06/21/14 08:04 AM
So do you believe D.I.D. or MPD are in reality demon possession? In a comment you speak of "the influences of demonic forces" that are a spiritual reality at work here. To me, DID and demon possession are either one and the same, or Dissociative Identity Disorder is a theoretical psychological phenomenon and Demon Possession is a type of spiritual warfare. There is no way to tell from your article which camp you are in. Can you explain?
Dawn Roy , 06/21/14 08:48 PM
Your message was wonderful. It spoke to me in every way. I really enjoy your tv ministry and all the other ways you minister to people. As far as Kwaku, M comment is concerned, I really didn't get anything from it. There are many preachers running around all over the world preaching "something" that stirs the emotions of human beings and that's about all it does. As I read his comments, I began to wonder what HE is doing himself except planting doubt. Keep up the good work for the Lord that you are doing.
Ruth Lovingood , 06/24/14 10:06 AM
Sorry, comments are closed for this post.