good quote

" In my opinion, the great single need of the moment is that light-hearted superficial religionists be struck down with a vision of God high and lifted up, with His train filling the temple. The holy art of worship seems to have passed away like the Shekinah glory from the tabernacle. As a result, we are left to our own devices and forced to make up the lack of spontaneous worship by ...bringing in countless cheap and tawdry activities to hold the attention of the church people." ~ A.W. Tozer

Monday, September 27, 2010

A tale of Two Testamonies...but One saving Grace

I'm circulating this one again... enjoy.

From Tragedy To Triumph

I married Liz, my wonderful bride, in November of 1985. We had our ups and downs like most marriages, but seven years later, she decided our marriage should end. I was devastated! November 6, 1992 was a tragic date. My wife and I were found shot, lying at the front porch of my in- laws' home. I had written a suicide note and had done the unthinkable. My wife died, but I survived the gun shot wound. I was arrested, found guilty of first degree murder, and sentenced thirty to life in prison.

I knew in my heart that was going to die and go the Hell for what I had done. I had to get right with God, but I didn't know how. While in jail, I attended all of the prison church services including Catholic, Mormon, Seventh Day Adventist, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Protestant. On March 7, 1993, a minister preached about Heaven, Hell, repentance of sin, and about a Savior named Jesus Christ. At the end of the sermon, he asked, "Who is in need for a Savior?" I jumped up and shouted, "I am!" The preacher talked with me for a moment, and then with all my heart, I confessed, "Dear Lord, I realize I am a sinner, in need of Your Great Salvation. I believe Jesus is the Son of God and that He bled and died to pay the price for my sin..." I received Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior and I was finally at peace.

In prison, I completed a four year theological correspondence course and received my Graduate of Theology and Bachelor of Biblical Studies degrees. The Lord is now using me as a soul inner. I have a Bible tract ministry and I give Bible studies in the prison yard. I wrote this to let you know that no matter how rich, how poor, how depressed, or how desolate you may become, there is always help and hope in God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Blessed From Birth

I was born to Christian parents and have spent the majority of my life involved with some kind of ministry, mostly involving youth. I grew up in a small Independent Baptist Church in the town I grew up in. Not much to be said of any extraordinary things taking place there as far as daily events are concerned but in the Fall of 1991 at six years of age, something extraordinary did happen and it happened to me.

I can remember it clear as day, I was at the youth program that special night, it was Awannas at the time and I was a Sparky. It was my favorite thing to go and play games, eat refreshments, and win points for memorizing Bible verses. But that particular night I didn't find the games or prizes as much fun as usual. I just couldn't wait to get to our Bible lesson for the evening. My own mother was our main teacher and she had many helpers because there were so many squirmers and scratchers to be cared for. We all sat on the floor in front of her and she began to tell us about the wordless color book. (Black for sin, Red for the blood of Jesus that washes our hearts clean, which was the color white, yellow for the gold in Heaven and Green for growth in our walk with Christ.) Through out all of it she told us about God's love, how we were all born into sin and that all of us needed a Savior so Jesus, God's own son, was sent to die on the cross for us. All it takes, she told us, is for us to believe and trust in God as our Savior and ask Him to come in and cleanse our hearts from all unrighteousness. We could do it right then, no time to waste. I went up shyly to my mother, tugged on her skirt and said, "Momma, I'd like to be saved, I want to go to Heaven to be with Jesus..."

She had another worker come up and take me outside to talk. His name was Bill and while he was at our church, I had made it a point to be his personal pest. I was his little buddy, like a little sister, I guess... always hanging on his back pockets. Well, we had a seat outside in the cool air and he wrapped a towel around my shoulders to keep me warm. He began to talk to me about how I could be saved, how I could know that I would go to Heaven when I died to be with Jesus; of God's love and what Jesus did for me. I trusted in the Lord as my personal Savior that night. I couldn't wait to tell my mother and family! I went up to the door of the fellowship hall where we had class and banged on the door. My mother opened it and asked what all the noise was about. I jumped into her arms and told her I had gotten saved...

That was 19years ago. I can't say I've done right everyday since that day, I've made some mistakes, but it's been a life blessed since birth and planned from before the beginning of time. I truly have grown from day to day not only physically, but spiritually also. I don't claim any good on my part but all by God's amazing grace.

Now, the first testimony you've read is true and was written by a man by the name of George A. The second testimony you read was my own. There is one thing that a murderer and I have in common. We both were in need of a Savior and God's saving grace. You may not have committed murder either, maybe you have had a good life blessed from birth, but you too are just a much a sinner, and in need of a Savior just like George and I!

The Bible says that we are all sinners.

"As it is written, there is none righteous, no, not one:" Romans 3:10

"For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God;" Romans 3:23

There is a price that must be paid for sin.

"For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Romans 6:23

You can't save yourself.

" Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us..." Titus 3:5

Jesus died to pay the price for your sins.

"But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." Romans 5:8

Repent and Believe the Gospel.

"I tell you, Nay: but, except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish." Luke 13:3

"That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved." Romans 10:9

all verses are KJV

Saturday, September 25, 2010

The Comfortable Church

'Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor; and blind, and naked." ~ Revelation 3:17

This is the heart of Christ's rebuke of the church at Laodicea, the "lukewarm" church (v.16) of the last days. This is an evangelical church for its candlestick is still in place (note Revelation 1:20; 2:5), but it has become a neutral church, "neither cold nor hot" (3:15). The reason for its tepid witness is because it has become "rich, and increased with goods," comfortable in a culture which tends to equate material prosperity with success and God's favor. It may have acquired large and beautiful facilities, developed special programs of many kinds, featured a variety of musicians and other artists, and even gained a measure of political power. Yet, Christ calls it poor and blind and naked!

Not all large churches become like this, of course, but it is always a real danger. The desire for large congregations can easily lead to compromising biblical standards of doctrine and practice. "Woe to them that are at ease in Zion," the prophet warned (Amos 6:1).

Note that the Lord began His letter to the Laodicean church by identifying Himself as "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God" (Revelation 3:14). This strongly suggests that a major reason for the development of such complacency in a large church (or a small church, for that matter) is neglect of these three doctrines-- the sufficiency of Christ, the inerrant authority of God's Word, and the special creation of all things by God.

The letter to this church ends with the sad picture of Christ standing at its door, seeking admission (v.20). "He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches" (v.22).

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Imperatives of Redemption

" From that time forth began Jesus to shew unto his disciples how that he must go unto Jerusalem, and suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised again the third day." (Matthew 16:21)

The little word "must" (Greek, deon) conveys urgency and necessity and is frequently used in connection with the redemptive work of the Lord Jesus Christ. When He was just a lad, He told the learned men in the temple: "I must be about my Father's business" (Luke 2:49).

But then the first time this key auxiliary verb is found in the New Testament is in comprehensive prophetic statement of His mission, as given to His disciples in our text. He must go to Jerusalem to suffer, and die, and be raised the third day. As He was moving toward that climactic event, "he said unto them, I must preach the kingdom of God to other cities also: for therefore am I sent" (Luke 4:43). Furthermore, "I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work" (John 9:4).

He had much preaching and much work to do in that brief three- year interim in world history. But then He must die!

And why must He die? Because "the scriptures must be fulfilled" (Mark 14:49). "These are the words which I spake unto you... that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me" (Luke 24:44).

And how must He die? "As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up" (John 3:14). But then, of course, "he must rise again from the dead" (John 20:9).

to what purpose must He be lifted up on the cross to die and then be raised again? Why, because "there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved" (Acts 4:12)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Cranberry Wassail

I love how people post super easy recepies on here. So I thought I might contribute one of my own.. maybe some others down the line.

I found this one and I want to try it around Christmas Time. It's Cranberry Wassail! Wassail is a contraction of the Old English phrase waes haeil which literally means "be healthy" (according to Mountain Rose Herbs) and is the toast that commonly accompanies the partaking of this warm, spiced punch during the Holiday season.

the ingredients are:

1 quart cranberry juice
1 cup apple juice
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 three inch cinnamon stick
1/2 teaspoon allspice
4 whole cloves
1 orange, sliced

In a large saucepan, combine all ingredients, except the orange slices, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Strain the mixture to remove spices and discard them. Transfer Wassail to a punch bowl, garnish with the orange slices, and serve warm.

Makes 5 cups...

If you give it a try, let me know how it turns out!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

...jasoiernhtalnsdfoaubshgfong....

yep.. that's about how life feels currently. Things have been nuts, busy and complete chaos. From Dad having doctor's appointments almost everyday this week to trying to plan a baby shower for my sister, her health needs and church ministries in between; life has been hectic to say the least.

I honestly can't think of a time I have been under such stress and had so many sleepless or sleep troubled nights in my life. I think I'd take college during finals week over the current situations.

That doesn't even begin to tell about the financial difficulties with not being able to find work and trying to keep from being a burden on my folks. It's rough out in the big, bad and ugly world and this grown up chic is struggling just to do the back float much less the breast stroke or whatever other type of swimming one might take a notion to do.

On the flip side though... I try remind myself it could always be worse. I could be lost and on my way to Hell. I could not have the victory through Christ. I could be homeless, shoeless, cloth less, foodless, friendless, comfortless, and a million other lesses out there. I could not be able to claim the promises of God through His Holy Word. I could not have a mediator in Jesus Christ. I could be fatherless, motherless, sisterless, brotherless, familyless and so forth.

But the truth remains that I DO have salvation through the blood of Jesus Christ and I AM on my way to Heaven. I DO have the victory through Christ. I DO have a home, more shoes than I could ever need, Clothes to wear and the skill to make my own. I AM full in my belly with food and I AM NEVER in want of something to eat. I DO have friends that are so wonderful and the best friend a person could ask for in Christ alone. HE IS my comfort and I CAN claim His promises EACH AND EVERY ONE in His Holy Word. HE IS my mediator and God IS my Heavenly Father. I DO have a father, mother, sisters, brothers and family and friends. And despite what rough and rocky patches I may go through, these things never change and that is just another wonderful blessing from God. I guess I should try more to focus on these things more so than the other stuff but everyone can relate with me when I say that sometimes that gets kind of hard.