Tuesday, December 16, 2003

This weekend was the amazing story of the capture of Saddam Hussein in a spyder hole in Iraq. The man who graced palaces for decades was found hiding in a hole in the ground.

While this story was playing out this weekend, I was reminded of another story that I had heard about. It is the story of Jawad Amir Sayyid, 45, of Karada, a town southeast of Baghdad.

Jawad lived for 21 years in a one meter by one and a half meter hole under his kitchen. He entered the cell on December 2, 1981 and did not once emerge from it until April 10, 2003. The day after the fall of Saddam Hussein's regime.

He went into hiding because he feared execution for deserting from Saddam's army and supporting dissident views. He lived in a room with the bare necessities of life. He mother provided water and food through a small hole. He had a miniature toilet for his use.

He kept up with the world events by listening to the BBC Arabic Service. His first hope came in 2001 when he heard George Bush give a speech just after 9/11. Bush said that he would hunt down the terrorists. Sayyid knew then that one day he would get out of his cell.

This is a powerful story and one of stark contrast to that of Saddam. Saddam once lived at the top of the world, while Sayyid lived in a cell. But today, Saddam has fallen and Sayyid is free.

For followers of the Lord Jesus Christ this story is a reminder that evil men fall. They make cause havoc and evil for a season, but they will one day reap the consequences of their actions. While those who patiently endure and who keep their hope will one day stand again. The Bible tells us that all who endure to the end will be saved. As people who have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, there will be times of evil and we are called wait on the Lord, trust His mercy and His love.

Always remember that Good always work! The Lord causes all things to work together for good to those who love him and are called according to His purposes. Remember that sometime we have to wait 21 years for the promises to be fulfilled, but the wait is always worthwhile!

Wednesday, November 26, 2003

As we enter Thanksgiving in the morning it would be good to read again the MayFlower Compact.

"In the name of God, Amen. We, whose names are underwritten, the Loyal Subjects of our dread Sovereign Lord, King James, by the Grace of God, of England, France and Ireland, King, Defender of the Faith, Having undertaken for the Glory of God, and Advancement of the Christian Faith, and the Honour of our King and Country, a voyage to plant the first colony in the northern parts of Virginia; do by these presents, solemnly and mutually in the Presence of God and one of another, covenant and combine ourselves together into a civil Body Politick, for our better Ordering and Preservation, and Furtherance of the Ends aforesaid; And by Virtue hereof to enact, constitute, and frame, such just and equal Laws, Ordinances, Acts, Constitutions and Offices, from time to time, as shall be thought most meet and convenient for the General good of the Colony; unto which we promise all due submission and obedience.In Witness whereof we have hereunto subscribed our names at Cape Cod the eleventh of November, in the Reign of our Sovereign Lord, King James of England, France and Ireland, the eighteenth, and of Scotland the fifty-fourth. Anno Domini, 1620."

Here at the truths that brought the Pilgrims to America
1. They did this is in the name of God.
2. They did it for the glory of God and the advancement of the Christian faith.
3. Establish a colony based on just and and equal laws that worked for the general good of the colony.
4. They had great reverence for their king.

They established Plymouth on December 21, 1620. Their first year they planted 26 acres and nearly starved to death. As Governor Bradford reported, they gathered what they had the small harvest that they had. The Indians gave them some meat. They shared together the first thanksgiving in America. There was no feast and many were hungry.

The second year, knowing they had to go all out, but still under the obligation to practice communal agriculture, they doubled their first year’s production, and planted 60 acres. But that was no by means enough, they still were near starvation.

And so the third year, they switched to private agriculture, assigned each family its own property, made each responsible for itself. They planted 184 acres, tripled their best previous effort, and never went hungry again. William Bradford wrote: "Thus out of small beginnings greater things have been produced by His hand that made all things of nothing, and gives being to all things that are; and as one small candle may light a thousand, so the light here kindled hath shone unto many, yea in some sort to our whole nation; let the glorious name of Jehovah have all the praise."

These early Americans were men and women of great faith, great courage, and great perseverance. May we remember this Thanksgiving that God has called us to be men and women of faith, courage, and great perseverance. When we walk long enough and see God faithful to His Word, then our thanksgivings will resound with real meaning. Thanksgiving has real meaning when we reflect on God's grace and provisions.
The apostle Paul states in his first letter to Timothy, "I urge that entreaties and prayers, petitions and thanksgivings, be made on behalf of all men." Thanksgiving is a time that we give thanks to God for all his blessings that He has bestowed on us during the past year. But remember that true thanksgiving will also be made on behalf of all men. It is not just for the blessings in our family. It is thanksgiving for the President, Congress, for state leaders, and for city leaders. They are God's servants in providing a stable environment to live and raise our families.

They provide us the atmosphere in which to live a tranquil and quiet life. They provide us the opportunity to work out our salvation in fear and trembling. We have been called to be godly. The best way to achieve that is to pray for those in leadership positions and ask God to bless their work. We are not only to pray for them but also give thanks for their work. They provide us a safe place to live and to practice our faith.

This Thanksgiving, make sure to give thanks for those who allow you to live safely in the United States of America.

Tuesday, November 25, 2003

I was reading the other day from Agustine's Confessions. I have started a new way of reading books. I keep one close by that I read for about 15 minutes each day. I stay with that book until I finish. The book I am working on now is Confessions.

In reading this way, I keep picking up good insights from great authors. In Book 10, Chapter 36, Augustine says, "And Thou knowest how far Thou hast already changed me, who first healedst me of the lust of vindicating myself, that so Thou mightest forgive all the rest of my iniquities, and heal all my infirmities, and redeem life from corruption, and crown me with mercy and pity, and satisfy my desire with good things: who didst curb my pride with Thy fear, and tame my neck to Thy yoke. And now I bear it and it is light unto me, because so hast Thou promised, and hast made it; and verily so it was, and I knew it not, when I feared to take it."

Notice the phrase "lust of vindicating myself." Proverbs 21:2 says, "Every man’s way is right in his own eyes, but the Lord bweighs the hearts." One of the great hinderances to our spiritual walk is always having to vindicate our own actions. We easily will agree by saying "yes, but!" Immediately moving to the reason for our actions. I have spent the morning wondering how much spiritual progess can be made with a partial confession."

The apostle Paul says of himself, "I am the foremost of sinners." He does not justify himself, he does not blame his actions on others or the lack of opportunities. He knows that the problem is his own heart. One of the signs of grace at work within our lives is that we will be less likely to vindicate ourselves. In fact the more we walk with the Lord the more we will trust him to vindicate us and the more we will work to walk in a manner worthy of the calling.

John says in 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." Lord please deliver us from the lust of vindicating ourselves!

Monday, November 17, 2003

On November 11, 2003 the Washington ran a story that was entitled, "A Scholar Confronts 'Ugly Face of America". The story was about Muzzafar Iqbal, a professor from Canada who is of Pakistani origin. He had been invited to be a part of a conference at Georgetown University in Washington D. C. for the Georgetown University's Center for Christian-Muslim Understanding. At the airport in Toronto, he ran into our immigration agents who wanted to fingerprint, photographed, and require that he keep us informed of all movements in our country. He balked at the requirements and said that he did not want to enter our country. He would not enter until the requirements are changed. Deneen L. Brown the author of the article implies that something is wrong with our system that will not allow this man into our country without fingers, photo, and information about where he is going.

The story does not tell us anything about Muzzafar Iqbal. So who is he?
1. He appears to be a member of the Pakistan Islamist organization Jamaat-e-Islami. He writes for their website. He wrote and article entitled "Routes of re-colonisation"
2. He wrote an article for Trinicenter.com entitled, "War Analysis: The fate of empire builders". In this article his hatred for the United States come through clearly.
3. In an article entitled "Defining the Islamic State" he calls United States, England, and Israel as the Great Axis of Evil.
4. He has a great hatred for Israel in an article that was written entitled, "Israel Has Transgressed All Bounds". He says, "These Jews are absolutely devoid of any respect for the faith and religion of others. But it should not surprise anyone, since they learn such abusive and dirty tricks from their own SCRIPTURES, which are filled with shameless stories of incest and pornography (Gen. 19:30-38, Gen. 38, 2 Samuel 11 etc.), and these Jews seem to be immensely affected by these Divine stories.]"

His real views are seen in an article entitled "O I See". He says, "It is also to be noted that in clear contradistinction to the propagators of this new brand of moderate Islam, there is no category of moderate Muslims in the Qurân. The Qurân only mentions three categories of people: the believers, the unbelievers and the hypocrites. Further, it says, "O you who believe, do not take the Kuffar as your allies in preference to the believers; do you want to place before God a manifest proof of your guilt?" (4:144). And if this were not enough of a proof for the hypocrisy of these propagators of a made-in-America Islam, then one should open the Noble Book of Allah and read what the Revealer of Islam has said about the killing of Muslims by the Muslims and pay heed to what awaits them before they send their troops to Iraq."

I do not understand a major newspaper trying to cover the real facts of a story. And making our own country look bad as it tries to protect its people from the dangers of Islam. But as I look at the real dangers that we face today, the words of the Psalmist become very important.

David says in Psalms 5 these words,
8 "O Lord, lead me in Your righteousness because of my foes;
Make Your way straight before me.
9 There is nothing reliable in what they say;
Their inward part is destruction itself.
Their throat is an open grave;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Hold them guilty, O God;
By their own devices let them fall!
In the multitude of their transgressions thrust them out,
For they are rebellious against You.

We will win the war against Islam by proclaiming the truths of God's Word. Jesus Christ is the only true way of salvation. As we stand boldy for the good news of the Lord Jesus, we will walk the narrow path and trust the Lord to take care of our enemies. Our enemies are real and dangerous, but our God is in control and He will accomplish His good will and purposes.

And I also pray that God would raise up good reporters who would tell the whole story! And I am grateful for an immigration worker who did his job correctly in an airport in Canada.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003

This was taken word from word from Dr. George Grant's blog

An interdenominational pastoral association in New Hampshire has humbly offered the following set of resolutions to the church at large:

We, the Evangelical Ministers Fellowship of Strafford County, New Hampshire, in support of the many recently disenfranchised members of the Episcopal Church of New Hampshire, solemnly affirm the following, quoting from the Episcopalian New English Bible:

I. On Authority: “Every scripture is inspired by God and useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, . . . that the person dedicated to God may be capable and equipped for every good work.” II Timothy 3:16-17

II. On Christ’s Representatives: “The bishop then must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, temperate, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, an apt teacher,” I Timothy 3:2

III. On Righteousness: “and likewise the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed in their passions for one another. Men committed shameless acts with men and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.” Romans 1:27

IV. On Penalties: “and if he turned to ashes the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah when he condemned them to destruction, having appointed them to serve as an example to future generations of the ungodly,” II Peter 2:6

V. On the Future: “Do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived! The sexually immoral, idolaters, adulterers, passive homosexual partners, practicing homosexuals, . . . thieves, the greedy, drunkards, the verbally abusive, and swindlers will not inherit the kingdom of God.” I Corinthians 6:9-10

VI. On Christian Hope: “But when the kindness of God our Savior and his love for mankind appeared, he saved us not by works of righteousness that we have done but on the basis of his mercy, through the washing of the new birth and the renewing of the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us in full measure through Jesus Christ our Savior.” Titus 3:4-6

With a firm reliance on the protection of the Triune God, we, the undersigned members of the Evangelical Ministers Fellowship of Strafford County, New Hampshire, on the authority of the Holy Scriptures, grieve the planned consecration of V. Gene Robinson as Bishop in the Episcopal Church and commit to a posture of repentance before God. We pray for the many church members that will no longer have a true shepherd. May they hear the voice of the Good Shepherd who gave His life for His sheep.

Pastor Owen Williams – Trinity Anglican Church, Rochester
Pastor Steve Poole – Grace Community Church, Rochester
Pastor Steve Spearing – Hope Community Church, Dover
Pastor Ed Whitman – First Congregational Church of Barrington
Pastor Dick Arnold – Nute Ridge Bible Chapel, Milton
Pastor Scott Littlefield – First Congregational Church of Barrington
Pastor Thomas F. Clark, III – Tri-City Covenant Church, Somersworth
Pastor Paul Johnson - Minister of the Gospel-Advent Christian Church
Pastor Christopher D. Tidwell - First Baptist Church - An Evangelical Free Church, Deerfield
Pastor David McKnight – Grace Community Church, Rochester
Pastor Wally Horton – Hope Chapel, Assembly of God
Pastor Glen Boardman – Grace Community Church, Rochester
Pastor Bernie Quinn – Grace Community Church, Rochester
Pastor Dave Blakney – Christian Worship Center, Barrington
Pastor Jim Guzofski – Christian Worship Center, Barrington
Pastor Terry Sharbaugh – Durham Evangelical Church, Durham
Sunday, November 2, 2003 was a tragic day for the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ in America. It was the day that the Reverend V. Gene Robinson was consecrated to be the Episcopal Bishop of New Hamphire. Gene Robinson is a practicing homosexual who was given the highest position in the Episcopal Church in New Hampshire. The Episcopal church has been divided by this act of rebellion, but it continues to move forward.

V. Gene Robinson was the Canon to the Ordinary for the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire since 1988, where he coordinated the diocesan staff and ministry of the Office of the Bishop. Since 1983 he has served as Executive Secretary of the Episcopal Province of New England, and since 2001 on the Board of Trustees, General Theological Seminary.

On the Diocese of New Hampshire web site you can find the convictions of Gene Robinson.

He says in one section, "Because we live in a complex world, and because we don't ask our members to check their minds at the door, faithful Episcopalians will continue to disagree on whether abortion is a moral choice, whether dioceses should be forced to open their ordination processes to women, or whether faithful gay and lesbian relationships should be celebrated and not just tolerated. The particular answer to any of these questions is less important to me than how we as a Church deliberate about them. Are we prayerful about them, listening for God's voice instead of our own egos? Do we truly value the people who hold an opposing view, while disagreeing with their position? And most of all, can we continue to come to the communion rail, humbly receive the Body and Blood of Christ, respecting the dignity of those who disagree with us. I believe we can. And must."

Notice some of his statements:
1. The particular answer to any of these questions is less important to me than how we as a Church deliberate about them.
2. Are we prayer about them, listening for God's voice instead of our own egos?
3. Can we continue to come to the communion rail, humbly receive the Body and blood of Christ?

His statements have a ring of truth. But a false teacher will always carry much truth with error. I agree with Gene that it is important how we discuss the questions of our faith. But it is also critical to know that there are answers to the questions. And the answers are important because truth is truth. It does not change. Gene Robinson would like to ignore the answers to the questions, so that he can continue in his rebellion against the Lord.

The Word of God is clear on the subject of homosexuality. Romans 1:26 says For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, 27 and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

Paul declares that the "gay life style" is one of degrading passions, a lifestyle that is unnatural, and one of indecents acts. Common sense alone would tell us that the lifestyle is wrong. But we have clear indication from God's Word that it wrong. In fact Paul concludes his statement by saying a time would come when this lifestyle would receive the due penalty of their error. God would bring judgment upon them for their rebellion.

Gene Robinson statement that we need to listen to God's voice immediately leads to the question, "Where do we receive truth from God?" Is it through impressions, feelings, dreams, or just the reasoning of man himself? There is not one of us who has not made decisions in life based on impressions, feelings, dreams, or our own reasoning. But the guide is not our impression, our feelings, or etc. Our guide is the sure Word of God. When our impressions and our feelings go against the revealed Word of God, then our impressions or feelings are wrong. No matter how strongly we may feel about something, Truth from God's Word is still truth. In fact Gene Robinson has stated that the Bible say that homosexuality is wrong. Gene just doesn't want to follow the Word of God.

Gene statement about coming to the Lord Supper table while engaged in a lifestyle of rebellion against God allows people to come. But Scripture is clear about the real and present danger of taking the Lord's Supper while in open rebellion. Paul calls us to examine our lives before we partake of the bread and the cup. Many in Corinth were sick and or had died because they came to the table of our Lord while in open rebellion. Gene Robinson is leading people to face the judgment of God.

In fact we have in Gene Robinson a classic example of false teacher. Peter says of the false teacher, "Many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of the truth will be maligned; and in their greed they will exploit you with false words; their judgment from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep." (2 Peter 2:2-3).

The tragedy of all of this is that the Episcopal Church approved him. The downward spiral of the church in America grows stronger each day. How do we stem the tide that moves us to an abyss from which there is no recovery? Some will say do not worry about it, it will go away. No it will not!

This is just another step on the slippery slope to the destruction of the life that we know in America. the homosexual advance in the Episcopal Church will not be limited to the election of Bishop Robinson. The October 29, 2003 edition of The Washington Times reveals that the Episcopal Bishop of Washington, D.C. plans to develop rites for homosexual "marriages" for his diocese. Bishop John B. Chane claims that a resolution passed during the recent Episcopal General Convention gives him permission to move in this direction.

We are called to take a stand. As Martin Luther, there are times that we say, "Here I stand, I can do no other." We are people of God's Word. May we proclaim it boldly with love, as we work to be salt and light in America and in the world.

Friday, October 24, 2003

Yesterday, I had the priviliege of walking the halls of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky. I had the chance to see the portraits of such great men as James P. Boyce, John Broaddus, and A. T. Robertson. I was given the privilege of sitting at the desk of Dr. Al Mohler, President of Southern Seminary. As I walked through the campus, I was hit by the fact that many great men and women have walked these halls over the last 150 years. They have gone out into the world and given their lives in service to Jesus Christ.

I left campus this morning to come home and have a renewed sense of dedication to continue to walk in the steps of those who have gone beforeus . They have left us great examples of faith, dedication, love, commitment, and sacrifice. We are to learn from them. The apostle Paul says, "Brethren, join in following my example, and observe those who walk according to the pattern you have in us." We are to follow the example of Paul, but also to observe others who walk with the Lord Jesus and follow the pattern that they leave us.

I challenge you to study the life of a great Christian and learn from them. Then put into practice the examples that have been given to us!!

Tuesday, October 21, 2003

Last week, Mahathir Mohammed, Prime Minister of Malaysia, speaking to the Organization of the Islamic Conference summit, made the following remarks to the summit:
• The Europeans killed six million Jews out of 12 million. But today the Jews rule this world by proxy,"
• They get others to fight and die for them," he said, adding, "1.3 billion Muslims cannot be defeated by a few million Jews."
• The Jews survived 2,000 years of pogroms not by hitting back but by thinking. They invented socialism, communism, human rights in democracy so that persecuting them would appear to be wrong, so that they can enjoy equal rights with others."
• he called upon the world's Muslims to end attempts to resolve problems by violence, condemned the practice of suicide bombing, and claimed that the Islamic nations had gained "nothing" in more than a half century of fighting Israel. But then he followed it up with a call to arms with greater weapons to fight the Jews.

The audience included Afghan President Hamid Karzai, King Abullah of Jordan, Assyrian President Bashar Assad, Morocco's King Mohammed VI, Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf and Indonesian President Megawati Sukarnoputri. Special observers included Philippine President Gloria Arroyo and Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The speech was met with applause from the audience that was present.

Speech's like this remind us of the fact that the world is a very dangerous place. Man’s heart is always moved towards hatred and lies. Hatred is based on lust and pride of the human heart. John says in 1 John 2:16 For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.

Hatred towards others is the way of the world. But for followers of the Lord Jesus Christ we will have love towards all. Love is patience, kind, not jealous, does not brag, is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly, is not selfish, is not provoked, never takes into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth. This is the evidence that the grace of God is real in our lives.

The key to living in the world is to know that good works! The world uses hatred and lies to move towards its purposes. The followers of the Lord Jesus Christ uses love. Christians loves fellow believers, they pray for their enemies, they goes the extra mile with those who try to take advantage of them, and they never return evil with evil, but only return good for evil. The reason is the followers of the Lord Jesus Christ know that good works!

The world may seem out of control, but the Lord Jesus Christ is in complete control. The world may be overwhelm by lies and hatred, but the kingdom of God is moving forward based on truth and love.

Never be shocked by the hatred you see in the world. But also never return hatred with hatred and never return lies with lies. As salt and light in the world, may we stand with truth and love. And trust the Lord God to accomplish his purposes through those who believe that good works!

Friday, October 17, 2003

I read a new book on Thursday that is called Coach Wooden One on One. Coach Wooden who coached at UCLA was the greatest coach of last century. During his coaching career, he won 667 games and only lost 191. He won the PAC 10 over 19 times during his career. He won 10 National Championships in college basketball. During his coaching career, his team had a home record of 149 wins and 2 loss. During one stretch UCLA won 88 straight games. He also had a record 38 straight wins in the NCAA tourneyment. What made him such a great coach.

He said in his book that his father gave him a card one day that he carried through his life?

One one side the card had a poem by Henry Van Dyke

Four things a man must learn to do
If he would make his life more true:
To think without confusion clearly,
To love his fellow man sincerely,
To act from honest motives purely,
To trust in God and heaven securely.

On the other side was his dad's creed

1. Be true to yourself
2. Help others
3. Make each day your masterpiece
4. Drink deeply from good books, especially the Bible.
5. Make friendship a fine art.
6. Build a shelter against rainy days.
7. Pray for guidance and count and give thanks for your blessings every day.

But the underlying foundation for Coach Wooden was his faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. He and his wife spent each day reading God's Word together and praying together. He taught his players biblical truths as he coached. He was faithful to his church in Santa Monica where he served as a deacon since 1948.

The Lord blesses those who walk faithfully and they have an impact on others.

Wednesday, October 08, 2003

Another film that is to be released on October 17 is called the Gospel of John. This is an accurate word for word presentation of the gospel of John. It is a three hour epic movie on the life of the Lord Jesus Christ. It will give you a good understanding of the gospel and will enhance your study of God's Word. I strongly encourage you to see this movie.

Tuesday, October 07, 2003

I want to strongly recommend to all to see the movie "Luther." It is an accurate portrayal of one the great men of history. I was amazed at the boldness for the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ that Luther demonstrated throughout his life. One of the great moments in the movie is at the Diet of Worms were Luther is brought before the King to recant all his writings. After one night of prayer, on April 18, 1521 Luther spoke words that changed the world. He said, "Since your most Serene Majesty and your High mightiness, require from me a direct and precise answer, I will give you one, and it is this. I cannot submit my faith either to the pope or to the councils, because it is clear as day that they have frequently erred and contradicted each other. Unless, therefore, I am convinced by the testimony of Scripture, or on plain and clear grounds of reason, so that conscience shall bind me to make acknowledgement of error. I can and will not retract, for it is neither safe nor wise to do anything contrary to conscience."

Then looking around about the gathered assembly of rulers he added: "Here I stand, I can do no other. May God help me. Amen."

The boldness of one man spread throughout Europe and led to the Reformation. I encourage to you see the movie and come to understand the boldness that is sometimes needed when we stand for truth in a culture that is hostile to all that is good and right!

Monday, October 06, 2003

One of the most famous editor’s of the New York Times was a man by the name of Louis Jennings. He was a pioneer of American Journalism. He was editor of the New York Times during the 1870’s. He was a committed Christian and became a staunch supporter of the pro-life movement. He decided to use the influence of the New York Times to change public opinion. He began his campaign on this day, 133 years ago. He knew the power of the printed page and he used it expertly.

He started his campaign with an editorial that was called “The Least of These Little Ones.” He said in this editorial that “the perpetration of infant murder . . . is rank and smells to heaven.” He had a young couple pose as an abortion minded couple and go into one of the abortion businesses in New York City. From the information that they picked up, they later wrote a hard-hitting feature which was entitled “The Evil of the Age.” It showed how thousands of human beings were murdered before they have seen the light of the world.”

Newspaper crusaders know that once the basic facts are laid out and readers become aware of a problem, a specific incident is still needed to galvanize the public. It was not long before such a story arose in New York. It was the story of a young woman who was found crammed inside a trunk in a railroad baggage room. The autopsy showed she had died while aborting her baby. The New York Times ran with story and showed the life-destroying arts of the abortionists in New York.

It was not long before the AMA (American Medical Association) joined in with the New York Times with a report that was widely circulated emphasizing, “the safety of the child” and denouncing “the perverted views of morality” underlying abortions.

It was the leadership and the national visibility of his paper that ultimately swayed both the legal and the medical establishment to publicly denounce abortion as murder. We can learn from this that the greatest weapon we have in life is truth. It takes the boldness of Christians who are willing to proclaim the truth against a world that does not want the truth and cannot handle the truth. If we are going to be salt and light in this world, it will only happen when we are willing to boldly proclaim the good news of the Lord Jesus! May the Lord again raise up men and women who have the boldness and conviction of Louis Jennings!

Friday, October 03, 2003

I was reading Oswald Chamber's "My Utmost for His Highest" the other day and was greatly impacted by what he had to say. He was talking about our call to suffering for the Lord Jesus Christ. Oswald Chambers was using the passage Colossians 1:24. "Now I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ’s afflictions."

Chambers said, "God can never make us wine if we object to the fingers He uses to crush us with. If God would only use His own fingers, and make me broken bread and poured-out wine in a special way! But when He uses someone whom we dislike, or some set of circumstances to which we said we would never submit, and makes those the crushers, we object. We must never choose the scene of our own martyrdom. If ever we are going to be made into wine, we will have to be crushed; you cannot drink grapes. Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed."

Our response to trials and tribulations of life is to consider it all joy. The Lord is working to make us more into the image of God. The circumstances or people that the Lord uses is based on His good pleasure and according to his perfect will. I am called to trust my Lord as He does his work in my life. Why would I not respond in "joy" to any work that makes more like Jesus!

Tough times are a part of our spiritual growth. May we rejoice as Paul does because of the work that God is doing in his body, the church.

Thursday, October 02, 2003

We were privileged last May to have Dr. George Grant at our church. While we were talking in my office on Saturday afternoon, he introduced me to blogging. I have been reading his blog since then and I have learned much reading Dr. G's Litblog. I would recommend Dr. Grant's blog as a place to mark on your favorite's list. He covers a wide range of topics and always gives great insight from a Christian persepctive.

Tuesday, September 30, 2003

When Moses was coming down from the mountain with the Ten Commandments he had his heart broken by what he saw and heard. He immediately threw down the tablets and they shatter at the foot of the mountain. One of the fascinating insights of this story is the conversation between Moses and Aaron. Moses wanted to know what had the people done to Aaron to cause him to act this way. He blames Aaron for bringing great sin into the camp.

What is fascinating to me is Aaron's response. He said that the people wanted a god to lead them and that they asked him to get them one. Aaron condemns himself by what he says next, "Whoever has gold, let them tear it off." He does not take a stand but encourages them in their rebellion. The people respond and give him the gold and he threw it into the fire. Then Aaron comes up with one of the most ridiculous lies of all time when he say, "out came this calf." It is hard to believe that a rational man could be so irrational at this point. But Aaron is trying hard to protect himself from Moses. Aaron is a man who is afraid of others.

How was the calf made? Exodus 32:4 says, "He took this from their hand, and fashioned it with a graving tool and made it into a molten calf; and they said, "This is your god, O Israel, who brought you up from the land of Egypt.""

Moses records that at the time of this incident, the people were out of control. Why were they out of control? They were out of control because Aaron did not take a stand when it was needed. Truth suffers when we cannot stand truthfully at critical moments in life. When fear dictates our response, truth suffers and the community will move in rebellion against the Lord.

The church will be the salt and the light in the community when we learn to be truthful in all aspects of our life. Paul said to the church at Ephesus, "Therefore, laying aside falsehood, speak truth each one of you with his neighbor, for we are cmembers of one another.

Monday, September 29, 2003

One of the great preachers in America was George Whitefield. He had a major impact on all who heard him preach the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ. Benjamin Franklin in a letter to Noble Jones, the Secretary of the Council of Georgia, said, "I knew Whitefield intimately upward of 30 years: His integrity, disinterestedness and indefatigable zeal in prosecuting every good work, I have never seen equalled, I shall never see excelled." Later Franklin wrote "Mr. Whitefield used to pray for my conversion, but never had the satisfaction of believing that his prayers were heard."

George Whitefield was driven by a passion for the Lord Jesus and a desire to be pleasing to the Lord. In his Diary he had a list of criteria which he used each night as a basis of judging himself on his actions during the day. The list is as follows:

1. Been fervent in private prayers?
2. Used stated hours of prayer?
3. Used sudden statement of prayer ever hour?
4. After or before every deliberate conversation or action, considered how it might tend to God's glory?
5. After any pleasure, immediately given thanks?
6. Planned business for the day?
7. Been simple and recollected (composed) in everything?
8. Been zealous in undertaking and active in doing what good I could?
9. Been meek, cheerful, affable in everything I said or did?
10. Been proud, vain, unchaste, or enviable of others?
11. Recollected (composed) in eating and drinking? Thankful? Temperate in sleep?
12. Taken time for giving thanks according to William Law's rules?
13. Been diligent in studies?
14. Thought or spoken unkindly of anyone?
15. Confessed all sins?

He was a man who took seriously each day that God gave him and because of that he made an impact on our country. How serious are you in examining your life each day to make certain that you have given your best for the Lord Jesus. Paul told the church at Colossae, "Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father." Maybe a checklist each day would help you in your walk with the Lord!

Friday, September 26, 2003

I am always looking for information that will help me to understand the world in which I live and to walk in a manner pleasing to the Lord. I have found a magazine that meets that need. The magazine is World. You will find great articles on culture, politics, international events, and current events. Each article is always written from a world view that is very Christ centered. I hope that you will take time to browse this web sight. I believe you will find it very helpful in understanding the world in which we live.

Thursday, September 25, 2003

On Sunday afternoon as we were all taking it easy, a major project of NASA was coming to an end. The Galileo Spacecraft was crashing into the surface of Jupiter. This was bringing an end to a 14 year mission that was doing the first detailed study of Jupiter. This space project has brought back some of the most amazing pictures of space that we have ever seen. We now have close up pictures of the Great Red Spot. We have learned that there appears to be thunderstorms surrounding the Great Red Spot. We have made an educated guess that winds are blowing at over 300 mph on the planet. We become frightened on earth when our weatherman begins to warn us of a possible approaching category 5 hurricane in the Gulf of Mexico (winds greater than 155). Jupiter experiences winds double what we see here on earth. The forces at work in the universe at stunning.

But even after all the work that has been done, we still have only scratched the surface of God's creation. But each discover should cause us to be in awe of the power and wisdom of the Lord God. Genesis simply says that "God spoke" on the fourth day and the sun, moon and stars were created. Genesis says that God saw that it was good. The power to speak into existence the universe in all of its glory ought to cause us to walk in a quiet trust in the power of God to take care of us his children.

We ought immediately be taken to Psalms 8. The Psalmist David says, "When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, and the son of man that You care for him? Yet You have made him a little lower than God, and You crown him with glory and majesty! Youu make him to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, The birds of the heavens and the fish of the sea, whatever passes through the paths of the seas."

As awesome and overwhelming as the universe is, the greatest of God's creation is man and he has given us the awesome responsibility to serve Him in His creation. When was the last time you stop to consider our Lord's heavens and the work of His fingers?