Monday, November 27, 2017

Celebrity Christianity Crashes

More than ever genuine believers and the genuine church of Jesus Christ need to exercise discernment. Do not forget the sober, dire, and heart-breaking warning given in Matthew 7:21-23. Genuine believers are known by their fruit not by their claims.

The church has lost sight of the fact that not everyone who says they are a "Christian" is one. I have preached for years, you can sit in the garage all night long but you will not wake up a Buick. It doesn't matter what you feel, nor does your feelings trump the nature and character of God revealed in his infallible, inspired, and inerrant word of God.

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Carrie Underwood is an outspoken Christian and is a role model for many religious girls and boys out there. So why is she saying that the bible is lying? Why is she actively working against what our faith stands for? Well she has an explanation, but I am not buying into it.

Recently Carrie Underwood performed at Pastor Louie Giglio’s Passion Movement in Atlanta. Over 55,000 Christian Youths attended the event. The event featured renowned Christian speakers, such as Christine Caine, Beth Moore, John Piper, Levi Lusko and Francis Chan, among others. Artists who led worship included the Passion Band, Chris Tomlin, Crowder, Matt Redman, Christy Nockels and Hillsong UNITED. Carrie was one of the performers.
“The controversy is why would Louie Giglio put someone in front of millennials, who are struggling with this issue, who is basically saying that the Bible is not true in what it says about homosexuality,” Vitagliano said, warning that there is a “growing strain within the evangelical community that is denying the truth of Scripture.” Carrie has openly spoken out about this topic. She is against the church in many regards.
“As a married person myself, I don’t know what it’s like to be told I can’t marry somebody I love, and want to marry. I can’t imagine how that must feel. I definitely think we should all have the right to love, and love publicly, the people that we want to love.” 

 “The Word of God is not a preference, but principles God has spoken. God is right about marriage and Carrie Underwood is wrong,” Wildmon said. Are you still a fan?

 (This article was copied from (Used w/o permission)
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Saturday, November 25, 2017

I Don't Want to be that Man!

You must read the text to understand the meaning or the point to this meme. And yes, it is not so cool to be "the man" when a "Nathan" points to you and says...

No automatic alt text available.

Friday, November 24, 2017

Happy Post-Thanksgiving Friday!

I hope all my family and friends had a great Thanksgiving Day with all of your family and friends. Mine was fantastic!

Image result for turkey dinner with all the trimmingsWe had dinner at my second oldest daughter's new home in Vancouver, WA (Sonja A. Abramson) She bought a beautiful home just two (2) miles from us a couple of months ago. She decorated it for Christmas beautifully.

We had the traditional Thanksgiving meal:

  • delicious brine soaked Butterball turkey
  • home made mashed potatoes
  • brown gravy
  • Stove-top Stuffing
  • dinner rolls
  • pumpkin pie with whipped cream
  • cinnamon flavored hot apple cider
  • Champagne
Even though I have given up on the NFL this year, I did cave and watch my traditional Dallas Cowboys football game. It would have been nice had they showed up with the idea of, oh I don't know, actually trying to win the game. But oh well.

Happy, Happy, Happy Thanksgiving Weekend!

Tuesday, November 21, 2017

The Blessing & Benefits of Chastisment

"For whom the Lord loves He chastens,
And scourges every son whom He receives.” (Hebrews 12:6-11, NKJV)
Image result for chastisementIf you endure chastening, God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom a father does not chasten? But if you are without chastening, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate and not sons. Furthermore, we have had human fathers who corrected us, and we paid them respect. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the Father of spirits and live? 10 For they indeed for a few days chastened us as seemed best to them, but He for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness. 11 Now no chastening seems to be joyful for the present, but painful; nevertheless, afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.
Chastening is never fun, but we are brought to know just how necessary and beneficial chastening is for us. The trouble is that most believers do not recognize the chastening hand of God nor do they learn from it. Often God finds it necessary to chasten us repeatedly until we "wise up" and learn His intended lessons for us. 
Allow me to share with you at least eight (8) major benefits and blessings from experiencing and learning from chastisement. For the record this list is in no particular order of importance.
  • It teaches us compassion for others
  • It teaches us to properly value "things"
  • It teaches us how to continue to conform to Christ
  • I teaches us to pray 
  • It teaches us to search the Scriptures for help
  • It teaches us to weep over our sin
  • It teaches us to long for heaven
  • It teaches us to redeem time wisely

Monday, November 20, 2017

Shai Linne - Mission Accomplished

I have desired not to enter the building "fray" around the death of Charles Manson. To comment would force a complete education of the Arminians concerning for whom Christ died. So my response to the onslaught of comments is this...enjoy and learn!

Saturday, November 18, 2017

the Blessing of Humility by Jerry Bridges

Image result for the blessing of humilityMrs. Jane Bridges gave me a copy of the late Jerry Bridges last book, the Blessing of Humility. I dare say that this is probably his best book. It is savagely and ferociously convicting. 

I have set as one of my goals for 2018 to use this book as the foundation under girding my devotional walk for 2018. 

If you haven't read this book yet, you would be profited to stop what you are doing and either find a Holy Hardware Store that carries good books and pick one up or go on line and order it today. I hope to see God use this as a pattern for humility.

Tuesday, November 14, 2017

O, Sing to the LORD a Brand New Song

Make a Joyful Noise to the LORD… Psalm 98

Psalm 98
Written by Gregg Metcalf

O, Sing to the Lord a Brand New Song

O, sing to the Lord a brand new song
For he has done such marvelous things
Give praise, give praise all ye throngs
Soar to heights with Celestial wings

The LORD has revealed His salvation
He has unveiled His righteousness
No longer hidden from any nation
He’s blazed a path in the wilderness

Make a joyful noise all the earth
Break forth with a joyful chorus
Sing of all his glorious worth
Of grace so vast and joyous

Sing to him with flute and horn
With strings make a melody
From the elderly to the newly born
Lift up your voice in ecstasy

Let the sea roar all its days
and the rivers clap their hands
let grassy hills send forth praise
from those dwelling in the land

The LORD comes to judge the earth
He comes to judge with all equity
To give each and all their very worth
Given Him by His Father’s authority 

O, sing to the Lord a brand new song
For he has done such marvelous things
Give praise, give praise all ye throngs
Soar to heights with Celestial wings

Monday, November 13, 2017

God Will Judge Idolatry!

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We have just celebrated Veteran's Day, a day before we commemorated the Marine Corps's Birthday, we are attempting to boycott athletes and the NFL, we are attempting to promote a John Wayne nationalistic patriotism through the president, but listen, it is all for nothing - "...when a land (read USA) sins against me by persistent unfaithfulness, I will stretch out my hand against it..." 

America, repent! Even if Noah, Daniel, and Job were found to be alive and preaching in America they could not stay the judgment of God. America, stop looking to a man for "salvation" turn to God, repent! 

(Read Ezekiel 14 & 15 prayerfully, carefully, and tearfully.)

Saturday, November 11, 2017

Thank You to all Vets!

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Happy Veteran's Day to all active duty 
and honorably discharged Vets!

Friday, November 10, 2017

Happy Birthday USMC!

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October 18, 1972 - October 17, 1975

USMCRD San Diego - Oct 18, 1972 to Jan 19, 1973
USMCR - San Jose Oct, 1976 to Aug 1978

Served with:

HMM 261 @ New River Air Station, Jacksonville, NC
HMH 461 @ New River Air Station, Jacksonville, NC

VMA 211 - MCAS Iwakuni, Iwakuni, Japan
VMA 311 MCAS Beaufort, Beaufort, SC

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Why Read the Bible Regularly?

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As I was meditating on my assigned reading today, a thought happened to strike me. As I forced my tired eyes open and tried to "clear" my foggy brain, I mused about the effort it took to keep my "habit" of daily reading the bible.

The reason dawned on me that the reason I do my best to keep my appointment with God regularly, was so that God through His Word can do a deep work in my soul for His glory and my good. I actually am hoping with a zealous desire that God will do at least four (4) things in my life as I regularly read, study, and meditate in His Word. These four (4) works are:

  • that God wold continue to free me from habitual sin, or what Paul called "besetting sins."
  • that God would heal wounds from my past
  • that God would reveal His will for my life
  • that God would instruct me in the ways of righteous living
Allow me to encourage you to establish these same goals from your bible reading. Please, read the bible regularly!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Four Steps to a Meaningful Devotion

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Step One - Request the Holy Spirit to reveal to you what He desires to highlight and teach you as your read Scripture during your devotion.

Step Two - Read a passage of scripture, ranging from a paragraph to a chapter from your reading plan.

Step Three - Record in your devotional/prayer journal the things that you sense God is highlighting, teaching, or emphasizing in the passage that you have read.

Step Four - Reflect and meditate on what you have read and written in your devotional/prayer journal on the ways in which you can implement and apply the principles contained in the passage that yo have read.

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Reading Your Bible for Life

Image result for reading your bibleI find it somewhat difficult to believe that 2017 is coming to an end. The new year of 2018 is just a little over 6 weeks away. As this year winds down, it is time to start thinking about your spiritual goals for the coming year. I start about mid-November looking back at my goals for this year and evaluating how I did in completing them. 

After my evaluation, I then begin to think, pray, and develop my goals for the coming year. Don't forget, I live by several axioms; one of which is, "If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time." Benjamin Franklin is credited with saying, "If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail."

One area of planning that needs some deep thought is that of your bible reading goals for 2018. You need to have a bible reading plan chosen and put into place so that you can begin the first day of the New Year in the Scriptures. There are several, and I mean several Bible reading plans available on the Internet than can be down-loaded for free and tucked into your bible. Here is a plan that I am contemplating. I offer as a suggestion for you to consider.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Why Do I Hate, Fear, Loathe, Despise, and Resist Death?

This morning as I began to pray, I prayed for the families of those killed yesterday in Texas. I even thanked God that no gunman had broken into the services of the Trinity Bible Church yesterday. 

Then as I read from my devotional this morning, the first question for me to consider was in essence, "Why do I resist death?" Why are we so loathe to die and depart this sin-soaked world to posses an everlasting rest promised by God? 

Richard Baxter wrote, "If God enacted a law for the continuance of our life until we are truly willing, heaven might be empty, and our lives on this earth would be very long." He also adds, "O, if we would believe the promises of glory, we would be impatient for living."

 Now, I am not going to run out this morning into the path of a bus, but I hope I love Christ and the hope of glory more than I love this life. 

Sunday, November 5, 2017

Sola Scriptura: The Sufficiency of Scripture

Sermon:     GM17-0192

Series:         The Pillars of the Reformation

Setting:       Trinity Bible Church (Portland)

Service:      PM Service

Subtitle:     Sola Scriptura: The Sufficiency of Scripture

Scripture:   2 Timothy 3:16-17

Subject:      The sufficiency of Scripture

Scope:        The Scriptures are fully capable to instruct every believer in the truth of God’s revelation of all things spiritual.

Scheme:      To provide strategic information concerning the sufficiency of Scripture which enables you to have full confidence in them for all things that pertain to you.

Scrutiny:    What factors demonstrate that scripture is sufficient in all things spiritual?

Solution:    Our passage this afternoon declares three (3) factors that demonstrate the sufficiency of Scripture in all things spiritual.

Sketch:       1A     The Reason for Scripture’s Sufficiency (Vs. 16a)
                   2A     The Revenue from Scripture’s Sufficiency (Vs. 16b-d)
                   3A     The Result of Scripture’s Sufficiency (Vs. 17)

Friday, November 3, 2017

How to Study A Paragraph from the Bible

Many people get excited about reading the Bible and then "run out of gas." I think that a lot of their trouble is that they donot have a plan for effective study. Here are a few notes I have garnered over the years. I wish I could give direct credit for these wonderful ideas, but I pick so many things up over time that I am unable to always source them. Thanks for all who have contributed to my bible study skills and abilities. I hope these will be a benefit to you.

Studying A Paragraph of the Bible

1.         Read the paragraph

·         Read several times
·         Read several translations
2.         Summarize the paragraph

Sometimes, after reading a paragraph several times, it is helpful to put forth a number of possible subjects as viable choices and then begin to delete them as we go.

A summary helps you articulate and clarify what you have learned about the Scripture passage. You can use two methods to summarize a passage. First, you can use the observations and questions you have recorded about the passage to state conclusions about the passage’s meaning. Your summary states what you have learned about the passage, what you believe the biblical writer meant, and how the passage may be used.

Make sure that your summary encompasses everything in the passage and conveys the feeling as well as the message of the content.

3.         Read the cross references

            Various Bibles list all sorts of cross-references to be looked up.

4.         Revisit your summary

After reading all the cross-references, it is now time to return to your original summary of the paragraph. Do you need to change or tweak anything? Perhaps, but not necessarily. 

Sometimes looking up other passages serves to give us further insight into certain statements in our passage, but it might not really change our understanding of the focus of the passage overall.

5.         Meditate on the paragraph

Meditate on these verses for your own life, now that you understand them in their original context. What is it God is saying to you about your commitment to his Word? Obedience? And attitude in doing his will? What does this passage teach us about our mandate to reach the lost, raise up our families in a way that honors the Lord and his Word, and the way I conduct myself at work?

6.         Pray through and about the paragraph 

7.         Apply the Paragraph

When you apply the Bible to yourself, make your application—

·         personal. Write an application for yourself in a sentence with I, me, or my in it.

·         practical. It must be something you can do, not something beyond possibility.
specific. If God has convicted you about prayerlessness, your application must include a specific plan to begin to pray.

Use probing questions like the following when applying the Bible to yourself:

What am I to believe?

Is something in the passage about God, Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit, grace, mercy, forgiveness, hope, or eternal life?

What am I to do?

Do I need to change some actions or confess some sins? Do I need to put away attitudes like fear, worry, hate, resentment, or jealousy?

What have I learned about relationships?

Does this passage teach me a new truth about my relationship with God through Jesus Christ? Do I see new insights into my relationships with others in my family, community, congregation, or world?

Is there a promise I need to claim?

Are there conditions for claiming this promise? Is there a word of encouragement or hope for me?

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Believer's Greatest Need!

"As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?" Psalms 42:1-2 (ESV)

What is the most important thing in the world to a believer? We could make a list that would stretch from sea to sea and probably would not be wrong. I have come to believe that the greatest need in the believers life is to grow in the knowledge of God (II Peter 3:18.) This idea is entwined within the gospel and all Christian experiences that God has provided for us. Knowing God and manifesting His glorious character and nature is why we were created.

As believers we are the children of God and as the children of God we are graced with a personal relationship with God through Jesus Christ. In my evening bible readings I am reading the Old Testament and I have recently read through Jeremiah. I came to the promise of the new covenant that God has promised to make with the descendants of Abraham and this line jumped at me and caused me to marvel. Quite frankly I am still marveling.

"I will give them a heart to know that I am the Lord."
Jeremiah 24:7 (ESV)

Jesus Christ was sent by the Father to this earth in order to reveal to us knowledge about God. This knowledge is heart and soul of our Christianity. We have so many "ideas" about God. Unfortunately many of those ideas are not biblical. We are very adept of creating or imagining a "god" that we are comfortable with and can live with. True, biblical knowledge of God is absolutely necessary to grow beyond the infant state of believing to the mature adult state of believing.

It is so tragic that many people have been truly converted by the grace of God, some for years and years, yet are still infants in faith and understanding. It is one thing to come to realize that God is our "Abba Father", and our sins are washed away and another to desire, delight, treasure, and "pant" after God. This longing for God and this treasuring of God is not for what He has done or what He can do, it is for Him for who He is.

So Jeremiah tells the people of Judah; "Thus says the LORD: Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, nor let the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the LORD who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in he earth. For in these things I delight, declares the LORD." Jeremiah 9:23-24 (ESV)

The gospel is certainly key to knowing God. It initially opens the door to our redemption and into the family of God. The gospel is needed daily in the lives of believers as a reminder that we are God's children, our sins are forgiven, and that we have been given everything thing we need to live Godly in Christ Jesus. The gospel reminds us that we are fully accepted and loved by God because Christ's sacrifice fully satisfied the Father. The gospel reminds us that the power for this life that we know lives is the same power that raised Christ from the dead. Yes the gospel is essential for a believer. The gospel leads us to desire God and to desire deeper and more intimate knowledge of this God who sent His unique Son to satisfy His wrath that was meant for us.

How do we know God. How do we deepen our intimate knowledge of God's character and nature? Go to the Word of God. Then wait. Be patient and endure. How do you get wisdom and knowledge and understanding? The Holy Spirit produces wisdom, knowledge, and understanding through the Word of God. By the way, He does not do it by simply filling in the boxes on a reading chart, or my hit and miss reading. Occasionally you might "kick" up a nugget near the surface, but this understanding comes through long, hard, patient, arduous "back-breaking" labor of the study of the Word. The Holy Spirit uses the Word of God to mature us. We will never gain this knowledge of God unless we pant and pick up our tools, roll up our sleeve and go to work. It doesn't happen by mere desire, osmosis, prayer, or hoping for it to occur.

What say ye?