Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Redirect

I would like to redirect my readers of this blog to my other blog TheOliveParent for a post that may not necessarily be relevant to you in subject, but in principle is relevant to all.

The post is about the use of ultrasounds in pregnancy. What many may be unaware of is the potential dangers to the fetus with this very common procedure. The principle I'm focusing on is the fact that so many of us easily accept another "qualified" person's "truth" or "belief"  as our own, simply because they wave a degree around stating such qualifications. We cannot put the safety of ourselves and our loved ones on this reasoning. The same way, we simply cannot place our salvation on the "beliefs" and "truths" of others on their simple say so. How much more do we have to risk in this fashion??? I daresay, an eternity's worth!!!


"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.

In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." -- Proverbs 3:5-6


Ultrasound in Prenatal Testing, A Heated Debate

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Purposefully Unchurched Part II

In the very wee days of my blogging, I wrote a post regarding my personal testimony and decision to remove myself from the vast arena of church selections we have at our own choosing. Purposefully Unchurched I've decided to expound on what I wrote in that post and delve into further details as to why I've decided to remove myself from the churching frenzy.

My decision was a personal one. A decision that was led of the Spirit, for my own edification and not necessarily anyone else's. I do not promote "church leaving" as some new found doctrine for righteousness or faith. I am not a "religious fanatic". As a matter of fact, I abhor the term "religious", and the connotation that comes with it. I'm not trying to convey my own righteousness, or prove myself "better than" by withdrawing in this fashion. Quite simply, I am a nonconformist as the Spirit of the Lord calls me to be one.

Designated for nonconformity

As you might imagine, many Christians are simply offended my decision. They insist that I need church...the "right" church. I simply should not give up on finding a good bible based church. I've been quoted Hebrews 10:25 as a reason for church attendance, more times than I can remember. Does this mean I pick over scripture at my leisure? I pray to the Lord that my human nature, pride and vanity, would never succeed in this fashion. What is continually ignored, the very basis of my decision is that church at the beginning (Paul's time) and now are vastly different, to the point where "the now" no longer resembles "the first". Maybe, you will continue to insist that there are a few good churches out there, and I will not be so ignorant as to say that they don't exist. For the Lord that I worship and follow is a LORD that cannot be confined to human wisdom and reasoning, and He has "laborers" in the field.

What is clear to me, the foundation that establishes THE Church, which is the Holy Spirit that was promised by Christ before his ascension (John 16:7-16; Acts 1:4-8,) is not the foundation where many churches today are laid. Never mind that churches are more likely to be dictated by church "policies" and church "politics", but what I find in comparison to the Word and my first-hand experiences, is that Christianity has evolved from a Faith to a culture. It has become a culture of traditions that I am hard-pressed to find scripture. And it is from this mind-set, I am designated to nonconformity.

the assembling of ourselves together

Generally, the culture of Christianity today, involves consistent Sunday services attendance where one brings their Bible, to sit and intently listen to a pastor/preacher teach about the Word of God. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that scenario, but the problem lies, not in the "intent" for support of one another, but in the mind-set that has evolved from such intents, and the consequences we suffer as a whole because of it.

The Word is clear on two things:

  1. The sacrifice of His life was so that all can have equal access to God by Faith in Christ Jesus. "Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord, Jesus Christ: By whom we also have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God" - Romans 5:1-2
  2. The Spirit of the Lord, Holy Spirit, is our only teacher. "But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him" -- 1 John 2:27

We currently live in a culture, where each church has a "pastor" or a leader by some sort of title. This leader is responsible for teaching scripture, as well as personal, individual, counseling. Generally, this leader will have been certified in some capacity by a course(s) of learning and deemed qualified to pastor by that capacity. This leader is typically labeled a "Man/Woman of God" by their congregation as a whole and is typically viewed/honored as persons with vast spiritual knowledge above and beyond those congregants. These leaders will typically teach from a bible translation of their choice in subjects.

The problems I have with this scene is the mind-set behind it:

  1. Leaders are generally hailed above and beyond what scripture calls for.
  2. Leaders are generally deemed "qualified" by the wisdom of man and not by the power of the Spirit.
  3. Leaders are generally seen as the only "teacher" of the Word.
  4. Leaders are generally seen as the only "go to" representative of God.
  5. Leaders generally teach in "subjects" that can/is influenced by personal conceptions. Most likely taking scripture out of context of its original content.

The consequences I've seen with this mind-set is:

  1. Congregants are more likely to defend their pastor/church, than they are to defend the gospel/Christ.
  2. Courses/curriculum deemed acceptable by man, i.e. religious/theological educational institutions, are prone to flawed/unsound doctrine teaching.
  3. Congregants are prone to live vicariously through their leader for a personal relationship with God, as congregants feel "unqualified" to "learn" of God and His Son by the Holy Spirit.
  4. Congregants generally do not learn principles of the gospel in whole, as intended by scripture.
  5. As a whole, congregants replace a personal relationship with God with church attendance. Making it mandatory for righteousness or righteous living or in some cases (as I've been told) the only means of salvation.

What is obvious to me is the attitudes or should I say character of so many leaders that are hailed as men/women of God, pales in comparison to the example we have in Saint Paul.

"And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God.

For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.

And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.

And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man's wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power:

That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God. " -- 1 Corinthians 2:1-5

Quite honestly, there are times when I cannot differentiate between a nonbeliever, and one that calls themselves Christian, for they can speak and behave the same way. Don't think that my focus on this pervasive mind-set is completely on "leaders" of churches. There cannot be a "supply" if there is not first a "demand".

"I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom;

Preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort with all long suffering and doctrine.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears;

And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.

But watch thou in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, make full proof of thy ministry." -- 2 Timothy 4:1-5

Can anyone stand in the midst of a buffet of churches, of varying flavors and tell me, this time, that Paul refers to is not now?? It is from this atmosphere I am not conformed.

every word of god

What does this mean for you? I cannot tell you, as everyone is accountable to the Lord for their Faith in Him. So how DO I live? Freely, peacefully and joyfully.

In liberty:

"But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

"But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart.

Nevertheless when it shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.

Now the Lord is that Spirit: and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. "-- 2 Corinthians 3:13-17

In peace:

"Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." -- John 14:27

In joy (not happiness which is dependent upon circumstances):

"If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love; even as I have kept my Father's commandments, and abide in his love.

These things have I spoken unto you, that my joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full." John 15:10-11

The Church I belong to is not a physical one, but a spiritual one, for I AM part of the body of Christ. I AM a temple in which He resides. Today's society of churches cannot offer me anything more than what I already have. I am dedicated, not to live on bread alone, but by every word of God.

"But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God. "-- Matthew 4:4

laborer for Christ

I am a laborer for Christ, called to labor for the gospel, in ministry of my family, in edification of fellow laborers. This I do freely, unhindered from the "commandments of men". If I am led to minister in a physical church, this I will also do. As of today, I am not compelled in such a fashion, nor am I compelled to search for a church for my own personal attendance, for my need and desire for fellowship, accountability and growth rests solely on my Savior and King, and He has richly blessed me in His provision.

"Grace be unto you, and peace, from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ"

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Stuff Debates Are Made Of

I must begin this post by truly apologizing to readers of this blog for the confusing thread of "dialogue" on my last post "Stuff False Doctrines Are Made Of". While I try to be fair, as not to immediately dismiss another's perception, I absolutely must commit this blog to clarity and as the keeper of this blog, there will be times when I will shut down all dialogue to preserve the integrity of this blog. This is not to say that I will delete or moderate comments I simply don't like, if that was true, a lot of comments posted here wouldn't be posted. :) I welcome all to comment as they wish, with respect of course, and I expect all those commenting to extend the same courtesy to me as well.

God is NOT the Author of confusion, and I cannot allow the devil to use inconsequential issues or subjects to divert from the Glory of the Living God IN or WITH this blog... for such is the stuff debates are created.

With that said, we must recognize some (for he has many) of his (devil's) tactics. Turning our focus to the book of Titus, I encourage everyone to read the whole book for themselves, but I will start with this scripture:

Paul exhorts the Believer to "hold fast to sound doctrine", this absolutely must be in place as a foundation for the Believer:

"Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able
by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.

there are many unruly and vain talkers and deceivers, specially they of the
circumcision" Titus 1:9-10

When we have SOUND (as opposed to unsound) doctrine, the teachings of God we do not:

"Not giving heed to Jewish fables, and commandments
of men
, that turn from the truth."

While there are alot of Jewish references here in this book, Paul speaks in reference of a certain type of people, not necessarily those who kept Jewish customs. For example "specially they of the circumcision" was in reference to those who believed in and promoted "salvation by works (performance) and not by faith". Please refer to Romans 4:11-13 for further clarification. In this light, such people are legalistic, focusing on physical attributes and performance for righteousness with God, as opposed to righteousness by Faith alone.

According to Paul "they of the circumcision" display these characteristics:

"They profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being
abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate." Titus 1:14

But we are to:

"But speak thou the things which become sound doctrine" Titus 2:1


"In all things shewing thyself a pattern of good works: in doctrine shewing
uncorruptness, gravity, sincerity,

Sound speech, that cannot be
condemned; that he that is of the contrary part may be ashamed, having no evil
thing to say of you" Titus 2:7-8


"For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men,

Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts,
we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world;

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great
God and our Saviour Jesus Christ;

Who gave himself for us, that he might
redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous
of good works.

These things speak, and exhort, and rebuke with
all authority. Let no man despise thee
." Titus 2:11-15

We are also to:

To speak evil of no man, to be no brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness
unto all men.

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient,
deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy,
hateful, and hating one another.

But after that the kindness and love of
God our Saviour toward man appeared,

Not by works of righteousness which
we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of
regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost;

Which he shed on us
abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour;

That being justified by his
grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

This is a faithful saying, and these things I will that thou affirm
constantly, that they which have believed in God might be careful to maintain
good works. These things are good and profitable unto men.

But avoid foolish questions, and genealogies, and contentions, and
strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and vain."
Titus 3:2-9

Author's Note:
Let me clarify that the Holy Spirit should always be the Believer's guidance in discernment of scripture and in dialogue with others. 1 John 2:27
However, my focus is on the edification of the Believer in encouragement of Faith and by scripture. Not to determine where one's faith lies, as such is God's business.
He alone is the discerner of hearts.

"For the word of God is quick, and powerful, and sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart."--Hebrews 4:12

Monday, February 18, 2008

Stuff False Doctrines Are Made Of

The prosperity gospel is no doubt a hot topic that has many Christians divided amongst themselves. I, based on years of studying, am totally and irrevocably against such preaching of health and wealth based upon misconstrued, out-of-context, man-made doctrine that so many of these prosperity teachers promote.

If there is one thing I've learned over my years of studying is this, NEVER read/take/use scripture out of context of it's original content, for such is the stuff man-made doctrines are created of.

One scripture I consistently hear being used in prosperity teaching is this:

"But he that received seed into the good ground is he that heareth the word, and understandeth it; which also beareth fruit, and bringeth forth, some an hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty." -- Matthew. 13:23

The 13th chapter of Matthew is also known as "The Parable of the Sower". If you read this chapter in WHOLE you get a completely different outlook other than how it is being used by those to "prove" their theology of sowing your "seed" (money/faith). It's kind of ironic to me, because, if I'm correct in this statement, the Parable of the Sower is the only parable in where Christ clearly explains it's (parable) meaning.

"Hear ye therefore the parable of the sower.

When any one heareth the word of the kingdom, and understandeth it not, then cometh the wicked one, and catcheth away that which was sown in his heart. This is he which received seed by the way side." -- Matthew 13:18-19

The seed, as Christ explains, being sown here is not money, or even faith, but the Word of God. The soil in where the seed (word) is being sown is the heart of the hearer.

Verse 20:
"But he that received the seed into stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiveth it;
When read within the context, verse 23, shifts from a position of money/faith being sown, to the truth...the WORD being sown in the HEART of man. This parable is a parable regarding the production/fruit of Faith as a result of the heart and NOT finances/wealth as a result of faith/money. PLEASE don't believe me, believe the Word, read it for yourself! Read the WHOLE chapter, verse by verse, compare it to the Gospel, the teaching of Christ Jesus elsewhere in the bible, it matches up. It is consistent! It is simple. It is not confusing. It is not misleading, and it does not lie!

The "fruit" grown as a result of the soil (heart) is Faith, not wealth. Faith is described as "evidence" in Hebrews 11:1 and action(doer) in James 2:17-20:

"Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?"

To which, Abraham's faith was used as an example in this chapter.

As a matter of fact just before the 23rd verse in the 13th chapter of Matthew. Christ says this:
Verse 22
"He also that received seed among the thorns is he that heareth the word; and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches, choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful."

If taken from the "prosperity" angle. It is extremely contradicting to their own teaching!

If that doesn't do for you, then how about this statement from the Lord himself??

"There came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on his head, as he sat at meat.

But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste?

For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor.

When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me.

For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always.

For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial." -- Matthew 26:7-12 strange, Christ does not mention any prosperity/faith combo doctrine. As a matter of fact the disciples were upset because the money could be used for the poor! (as opposed to asking them (the poor) to support their "ministry") Something (giving to the poor) they had been doing with Christ. Now if the prosperity gospel has a ring of truth to it, Christ and the disciples were certainly mum on it. In fact, Christ says "For ye have the poor always with you" and not something like "let them have faith in me and they will no longer be poor".

Let's go back to James 2:1-5:
"My brethren, have not the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory, with respect of persons.

For if there come unto your assembly a man with a gold ring, in goodly apparel, and there come in also a poor man in vile raiment;

And ye have respect to him that weareth the gay clothing, and say unto him, Sit thou here in a good place; and say to the poor, Stand thou there, or sit here under my footstool:

Are ye not then partial in yourselves, and are become judges of evil thoughts?

Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him?"

Let's read that once more....
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD, RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?"
and once more...
Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God CHOSEN THE POOR OF THIS WORLD, RICH IN FAITH, AND HEIRS OF THE KINGDOM which he hath promised to them that love him?"

Interesting definition of those who love God... "poor of this world AND rich in faith" that would go hand in hand with Matthew 13:23 as faith as your fruit! Yes, I'm sure it's disappointing for those of you would prefer to be rewarded in other ways. It's all about WHERE your teasure is... for there your heart will also be. Matthew 6:21

Putting that aside, I absolutely need to draw attention to the Parker's Family blog and their moving, testimony about their encounter with prosperity teaching by Kenneth Copeland Ministries and the devastating effects it had on their family. Take a moment and visit their blog.

Additional links:
Hard Questions for "Prosperity Gospel" by CBS Evening News
Wittenburg Door
Read, weep and Pray post by Sicarii
Parable and the Sower post by Hannah
Parable and the Sower Addendum post by Hannah

Exiting scripture:

"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:" Revelations 3:17 (Jesus speaks to the Church of the Laodiceans)

Friday, February 15, 2008


Yesterday, while visiting a friend's blog, I read a post was written in regards to false teachers that promote the prosperity gospel. This post provoked a statement from one individual and a debate ensued. I admit it has been on my mind, not the post, but the debate, and how it originated. What I realized after a long thought process, was my focus was diverted to the debate as opposed to the post and the point of it. It had a valid point worthy of further research, and consieration. What I found was equaling disturbing. The prosperity gospel being promoted in Uganda, a very poor African country, by "preachers" from America.

The sad thing about the whole thing was while we fussed amongst ourselves, the TRUTH was completely and utterly ignored. Because of that I am posting an article that I found through the post of debate, that is worthy of consideration and time. Here is an African Christian's perspective:

Our Faith More Precious than Gold, Tested for God’s Glory

By Kato Mivule

February 20 2005

Again going through the writings of Peter the Apostle, I am again taken by the context in which he wrote and the days and times he lived, as such it made great sense to the people to whom he wrote and those who listened to his message. The church as we already know was suffering and going through their tribulation. They were not busy reading “Left Behind” Series but encouraging one another to endure.

I write because I believe that the days coming ahead very soon, will test all the will of men and only those with divine strength from the Lord will be able to endure. This I share from the bottom of my heart that we should allow the Holy Spirit to prepare us mentally, physically and spiritually to endure the days coming ahead to test all men upon the earth.

One of the reasons why many people are deceived with today’s “feel good” messages is that we have turned away from the true source of our salvation, Jesus Christ. We have turned to things of this world that fade away. The Apostle Peter speaks to his generation not to loose sight of the fact that they were not redeemed by Silver and Gold but by the precious blood of the Lamb.

Our redemption is not based on the most elegant preachers and teachers of today’s Western Laodicean Church. Our redemption is not in the mega multi-million dollar structure churches we have built by the power of the mighty dollar. Our redemption is not in the powerful Dove Award music stars in Nashville but in the Blood of the Lamb.

It is easy to shout Amen to such statements but the time of testing is coming ahead that will test the hearts of all true Christians to separate those who trust in Silver and Gold from those who trust in the Blood of Jesus Christ. The Western Gospel has turned out to be a message of “feel good” psychology, not only proclaimed by Christian TV preachers but even by some of the most scholarly bible teachers whose message always aims at driving people to change their lifestyles so as to “have a better life” and finally “ be happy”. The goal is to get Christians feel “happy”.

But The Apostle Peter speaks about rejoicing in the Lord during the trials and tribulations they had to endure. How does one rejoice in the Lord yet they know they are going to get killed for believing in Christ Jesus? This is far from just being happy, and the “God wants you to be okay” messages. This was the Holy Spirit given joy. Not some self-help books to force people into happiness.

Our society in the West in so consumed with this “happiness” and attitude thing that we have created a multi-billion dollar industry aimed at riding all kinds of new and old depressions from the kids and adults.

George Orwell in his book 1984 depicts a drug-induced society in which a character named Winston could not remember if he had a dragged sleep or none dragged sleep. Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World prophesied aptly about a drug driven society that derived happiness from Soma, the miracle pill that alleviated all kinds of depression. Corporate giants have turned the West into a Soma consuming society. In other wards people find themselves buying Soma anti-depressant pills, convinced by “Doctors” and “Psychologists” that they will get “happiness”.

The Soma mentality has not only captured the secular society of the West but now is being marketed to the Church in the form of “feel good” positive possibility thinking messages. Anything that does not fall in those lines is considered a negative message and the messenger a false. The consumption of Soma by American Christians has turned out to be a multi-million dollar publishing industry, catching the eye of Wall Street. All “Christian” books sold on Wal-Mart’s shelves and other major stores have to do with a “feel good” “positive thinking possibility” self-help message—the Christendom Soma.

However, the Apostle Peter encourages us that our salvation in not on such sinking sand foundations but through redemption of Jesus Christ and His precious blood. It is only Jesus Christ that gives us True Joy even when we endure trials. No need to take Soma and all other synthetic drugs to induce happiness. We get our joy from the Lord, knowing that the things of this earth pass away but His Word Endures forever. It is Jesus Christ who will give us strength to endure the coming economic, political, spiritual trails coming to test all mankind.

However, I write to encourage you that the times coming ahead are times for us to rejoice and totally trust in the Lord. It is a time to test our Faith, which is more precious than Gold and Silver. In our language today, our faith will be tested, which is more precious than The Stock Market, the dollar, vacationing, new SUV, and all the indulgence that America and the West can offer at their best.

A time is coming when the glittering churches will be removed, the music systems gone and the dove award wining musicians gone. No huge congregations, no pastor personal jets and first class air tickets except for those in love with the anti-Christ, none of the Gold and Silver in Christendom will be able to withstand the testing of the Lord coming ahead.

However, as Christians who seriously love the Lord, we are called to endure and encouraged to persevere cause the truth is that our faith, which is more precious than gold will be tested. As I write this piece, this is not news to those suffering daily in the rest of the poor world, it is normal life, they keep looking to the Lord who will come to bring about true justice.

Our trials are not without value, but to the glory of the Lord Jesus Christ at His appearing. The world stage is getting ready for a one-world government daily, they are more than already ready than many of us expect. It is only a times notice before they launch their agenda, only the Lord is holding, giving us time to prepare. It saddens my heart that many western Churches continue in their sleep and falling in love with mammon and the political messiahs of this world. I pray that your eyes will stay open and you will watch with the Lord.

However, the Apostle Peter encourages us to live lives of love, and holiness, surrendered to the Lord and waiting for His return even as we have to endure the trials set before us. We are encouraged to continue living lives pleasing to the Lord and not man. Lives that are pleasing to man always lead to sin, are sinful, prideful, arrogant, and a blasphemy before God. Our lives in these days are to be pleasing to God, a Holy God.

Our salvation won’t be based on the fading Silver and Gold of today in Washington DC, White House, or even the Mighty dollar. Our trust should be in the Lord. Our salvation is not in this fading Economy, Politicians, or even Society, it will all disintegrate and fall, our Trust is in The Lord!

A great humbling is coming, and it is time we humble our selves before the Lord and not men and their human structures of silver and gold. If we don’t humble ourselves, the great humbling coming to against all the proud rich men of the earth shall certainly humble us.

The Apostle Peter sums it up all well when he says that all flesh is grass and all glory of man as the flower, the grass withers and the flower falls away. I know these are heavy messages but this is the reality. All the glory of man in the West and America will soon fade away. Let our eyes be set on Jesus Christ and Eternity, and not the things of this earth that fade away as many hymnists have sung.

In pray that The Lord will give us grace to see Him and open our understanding, that we may know him and love him, to love him even when our faith more precious than silver and gold is tested for His Glory.

1 Peter 1:

1 Peter, an apostle of Jesus Christ, to the strangers scattered throughout Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, and Bithynia, 2 Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ: Grace unto you, and peace, be multiplied.

3 Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, 5 Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time.

6 Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: 7 That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ:

8 Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory: 9 Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. 10 Of which salvation the prophets have enquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: 11 Searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow.

12 Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. 13 Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

14 As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: 15 But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; 16 Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy. 17 And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man's work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear:

18 Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; 19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: 20 Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, 21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

22 Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: 23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. 24 For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: 25 But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.

Your Brother in Christ Jesus

Kato Mivule

Author's Note:
Warning: those of you who are comfortable with the progress of Christianity today and have deep love for America may find the articles on the following links offensive.

Here are more links:
Creflo Dollar

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

A Meme of Personal Quirky Facts of Me!

Personally, I don't like Memes, (does that count as a quirky fact?) for no reason in particular (Quirky fact #2?) Because my friend, Fishawk at AsTheCrackerHeadCrubles, tagged me, for him I will oblige. Because I don't like Memes, I won't be naming six blogs to tag. (What do you expect from a nonconformist? :) In any event. Here are the rules, in case you want to "tag" some one else!

The rules for this MeMe are: (1) Link to the person that tagged you. (2) Post the rules on your blog. (3) Share six non-important things/habits/quirks about yourself. (4) Tag six random people at the end of your post by linking to their blogs. (5) Let each random person know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website.

Quirky Fact 1

I have low tolerance for whiny children. Yes, I do have five and expecting my sixth this spring. How do I survive on a day-to-day basis?? Simple. I have a "No Whining" policy that even my three year old adheres to! I encourage them to talk, or to use words to express what they want instead of exhibiting "facial expressions" and unintellectual monotone syllables. Believe you me, it makes life with five children MUCH more bearable! :)

Quirky Fact 2

While I have low tolerance for whiny children, I have even lower tolerance for whiny adults. :) As a matter of fact there are two types of people, I need to dig deep down in my heart for patience and love.

1. Whiny people
2. Hungry people

Oh yes, I can hear your thoughts right now! "Hungry people?!?" Yes, hungry people. Hungry people in my kitchen, while I'm preparing a meal become... whiny people! :)

Quirky Fact 3

I absolutely love the show "Lost"! I will arrange my whole day, (meals, putting the children in bed early, homework done early etc. etc.) to watch the show without interruption! As a matter of fact I missed last week's episode, because we needed to go out and pick up the van that we purchased. While I was thrilled to have our van (something we have been without for a while) I couldn't help but be VERY aware I was missing the second episode of "Lost"! I spent Monday night watching the last episode on the Internet, with the transcript in one window (since the episode wasn't closed captioned) and the episode in another. It took me almost two hours, but I'm all caught up now!

Quirky Fact 4

My mother was a firm believer in the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ of Nazareth. She rests in heaven with the Savior now. She had six children (of which I am the last) and was a soldier for Jesus. As I am expecting my sixth child, I cannot help but draw parallels to her and myself. I am definitely my mother's daughter! (She was also hearing impaired as well)

Quirky Fact 5

I can be extremely silly and goofy. I make my children laugh by making up words, silly songs and acting goofy. Being pregnant really works since my body is already an awkward shape, they find me hilarious. Especially my three and one year old. (doesn't take much to make them laugh!)

Quirky Fact 6

I love anything natural or organic. While I'm not 100 percent "holistic", I would prefer the provision of nature over any thing man made, or manufactured. I've found nature more effective than anything manufactured in this society! My only complaint about natural/organic products is that its too expensive!

There you have it, six quirky, and maybe annoying facts about me!

There is "no more" :)

Monday, February 11, 2008

Basic Sign Language Lessons

I found an ASL browser you can check it out at this link ASL browser. I also have it located in my sidebar under "Sign Language Information". Enjoy!

There is "no more" ;)

Thursday, February 7, 2008

Idle Words

There is no doubt upon the reunion of my husband and myself seven years ago, that he was, by far, a more mature Believer than I. Like so many "new" couples (we have been together for 15 years, but were separated during that time for a period of five (??) years, we have known each other for at least 20) there were issues that plagued the relationship. One of them was my tendency to speak "frivolously".

Statements that I would toss out carelessly from my mouth, bothered him immensely.

"I'm dying for a piece of chocolate!" "We/they are so lucky!" " I swear I saw...."

He would warn me to be careful of what I say as it indicates the condition of my heart. He had shared several scriptures with me. I remember thinking, that it was just a "figure of speech" pretty harmless, right? Never mind the fact that I would say two completely different things that would "contradict" each other. Or I would say one thing, but do another that contradicted my previous statement of declaration. The conviction of the Spirit and the Word forced me to do some serious self-examination. There is one thing I understand very clearly now, the lies we tell ourselves are worse than the lies we tell each other, for there can be no edification when we purposefully blind ourselves to what truly lies in our hearts.

There can be no edification if we refuse to recognize what God considers evil. The truth is evil does not necessarily come in the form of murder, rape, lies or even homosexuality. Evil presents itself in the innocent looking package of unfaithfulness, a departure in any way shape or form from the Holy God.(Hebrews 3:12) What greater indicator of faithfulness than what comes from the heart? Listen to the teaching of our Lord. Matthew 13:30-37

"Either make the tree good, and his fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and his fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by his fruit. "
Principle: You can tell a tree by the fruit it produces. A healthy cherry tree, will produces healthy cherries. A ill or dying cherry tree will produce, ill or dying cherries.

"O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh. "

Principle: The same way a good or bad tree will produce either good or bad fruit, the things we say, evil or good comes from a good or evil heart.

"A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things. "

"But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment."

Principle: We will give an ACCOUNT OF EVERY IDLE (useless) WORD we say.

"For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned."

Principle: Either we will be condemned by what we say, or justified.

It may seem at first glance that, the judgement pronounced by our LORD is harsh indeed. How many times have we spoken frivolously? Who, then, can be justified by their own words!?!

But the teaching by our LORD IS justified AND clear in this passage. Our speech, is evidence, a true indication of where we are as Believers, confessing (genuine) or professing (ingenuity) regardless if we are honest with ourselves. The Parable of the Sower which is taught in this same chapter of Matthew 13 teaches the consistency of this principle. You can read my posts on this parable.

The Parable of the Sower
The Parable of the Sower Addendum

Let's revisit how Paul explains Faith in the 11th Chapter of Hebrews, verse 1:

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

The parable of the sower teaches us that the "soil" (heart) is where faith grows (evidence). As a believer, I find myself correcting other Believers when it comes to their declarations of "luck". Such talk should have no place in one who believes in the virgin birth of Lord, His deliberate Sacrifice, that we may be reconciled unto Him, and BELIEVE the promises of His Word.

It seems as if so many of us are missing the mark when it comes to our sins. We focus so much on the physical manifestations, be it in speech or in behaviors of sin. I don't necessarily need to hear other Believer's personal confession, as some of us feel some sort of an absolution of sins in confessing to each other, but I do care for the edification of another. If we are justified by faith and have peace with God as Paul says in Romans 5:1, then we have a clear concience and clean heart before Him. If we are plagued with doubts and insecurities and are prone to denials of it, then we have every responsibility to come before Him accountable, humbly, in honest, self -examination, with the access given to us by Jesus Christ, His Son, so that we may continue to live faithfully until His return.

I certainly am not saying I'm perfect and I'm definitely prone to sinful actions, including speech, but I know the heart (pun intended) of the matter lies within it. It is the "nature of the beast". We live in a fallen society, in fallen bodies prone to sin. How can I overcome what is natural?

"Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God? -- 1 John 5:5

Instead of focusing on what I'm doing and saying, I turn my focus to the point of origin. Where is my faith? How is my attitude? Where is my patience on Him? These questions turn usually turns out two answers or unfaithfulness. For me, to overcome any other way is a form of self-righteousness.

Maybe some of you may feel that faith alone is not enough to overcome "sins", that we need to be physically diligent in overcoming these manifestations. I say to those of you who believe this, that your faith needs to be redefined. For Faith is a part of the whole picture which is love.

"And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity" -- 1 Corinthians 13:13

When we love someone we take great pains not to offend them. We turn cartwheels to please them. We sacrifice our time, energy and effort to show them our love for them. In the same way, our faith is a result of our love for the Father. If He commands trust and faith as primary, then all other things should be secondary.

We love Him because He first loved us. Because we love Him, we trust Him. Because we trust Him, we believe that we are justified by our faith, and not our actions. Because we are justified by our Faith, we, then, examine our hearts, by conviction of the Holy Spirit as a means for being made right. No other process we offer the Father is pleasing or acceptable than adjusting the condition of our hearts. In doing so, it changes what originates from it.

"But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -- Hebrews 11:6

When we focus on our hearts as opposed our behaviors/speech for righteousness before God, we instill humility before Him, allowing the Holy Spirit to work for us what we cannot do for ourselves.

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith," -- Ephesians 5:22

May your soil be enriched with the fertilizer of the Holy Spirit. ---Amen.

Author's Note:
Faith is not a pill that you take once, but a process, or a race. This process does not end at all during this lifetime, but the upon the return of our Lord on High, Christ Jesus. Hold fast to the profession of your faith that you may be found worthy of Him!

"Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)

And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:" - Hebrews 10:22-24

Monday, February 4, 2008

The Issue of Semantics

(Semantics - The meaning of a word, phrase, sentence or text)

I suppose this post is in response to comments that have been left on my previous post "The Hope of the Gospel". I realize that I need to be very clear when communicating about "End Time" events. Before I continue on with this post, it is very necessary for me to clarify my position in the words I use. I have acknowledged that what the Word says and what we have "labeled" are not necessarily the same thing. It becomes an issue of semantics, where we need to clarify with carefulness what we mean when we use certain words. The terms I use, I generally take directly from the Word (King James Version).

I have been told that the "great tribulation" and the "wrath of God" are not the same thing. Now, the Great Tribulation has been categorized and labeled as well by many "End Times" scholars. The Great Tribulation can be a series of events that vary in definition from denomination to denomination. In the King James Version, the term "great tribulation" shows up in Matthew 24:21; Revelation 2:21 and Revelation 7:14. In every one the words "great tribulation" should be read within the context of the scripture.

In Matthew 24:21 the verse starts off "For then shall be great tribulation..." in response to what the disciples have coined, in the form of a question to the Lord, "The End of the World". (Matthew 24:3) "For Then" indicates a description of a sequence. You will have to read for yourself, the scripture in it's context.

The use of "great tribulation" in Revelations 2:21 I find quite interesting. While Jesus uses the term in Matthew 24 to describe a portion of time, when things will get worse for the inhabitants of the earth, here (Rev. 2:21-26)) He uses the term in conjunction with a form of punishment or wrath, if you will. What I find fascinating about the use of this term, in context of the scripture, is that He is speaking to the Church!

"And I gave her space to repent of her fornication; and she repented not.

Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.

And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am he which searcheth the reins and hearts: and I will give unto every one of you according to your works."

While He is speaking to a group of unrepentant people, He has this to say to the rest:

"But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.

But that which ye have already hold fast till I come.

And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end
, to him will I give power over the nations"

What IS this "space" that Christ has given for repentance in verse 21, but time? Time (or space), that will eventually, run out.

I rejoice and revel in the consistency in the Word! Where have we heard this familiar principle? "...hold fast till I come" (verse 25)? Yes, that's right, in the teachings of Paul!!

"For they themselves shew of us what manner of entering in we had unto you, and how ye turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God;

And to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, even Jesus, which delivered us from the wrath to come" -- 1 Thess.1:9-10

In any event, the important thing to note is that the Lord Jesus, makes a distinct differentiation between two groups (the unrepentant and the ones true to their calling). To one group He speaks of casting them into "great tribulation" and to the other He "will put upon you none other burden. But that which ye have already hold fast till I come". Judge for yourself the Word of God. Whether you are a hearer or a doer, you cannot deny the consistency of the Living Word and the truth within.

When Paul speaks of the "wrath of God" in the books Thessalonians, I take the wrath of God as it means within the context of the scripture. As far as the Word tells me, Paul does not make a distinction of "wrath" with anything else. Paul refers to the 'wrath of God" the same we today refer to the "End Times", the period of time of End of the World. As a matter of fact, Paul speaks of "wrath" as if it marks the End of the World. To go further, He speaks of the wrath, the rapture and Faith, there are no other major themes in these books (of Thessalonians).

Christ describes "great tribulation" as a portion of time in Matthew 24, it can be said that the "wrath of God" is the whole picture of what the great tribulation is a part of in this instance. However, when reading Revelations 2:21, it can be said the "wrath of God" Paul describes in the books of Thessalonians and the "great tribulation" that Christ threatens, is one and the same.

While the words "wrath" and "great tribulation" aren't used in Revelation 3:8-11; it is extremely important to read what is being said in the context of scripture and note the similar principles in the books (teachings) before it.

I know thy works: behold, I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word, and hast not denied my name.

Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.

Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.

Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown. - Revelation 3:8-11

While "great tribulation" or "wrath of God" is not stated here, the principle within the context of Revelation 3:10 is the same.

The issue of semantics has become the devil's playground. It has been since he dared Eve to believe another version of the "truth" when he said "Ye shall not surely die". There is no question that in this day and age we face a "wind of doctrine" (Eph. 4:14) in which it is a "struggle" to hold on to sound doctrine (Titus 1:9). In other words, that struggle to remain faithful to HIS WORD despite of rejection and ridicule of friends, family and church members. Despite of being the odd person out. Despite of what we may come to desire, or find comfortable in habits and traditions. Is your hope in Christ for this life only? Then, you, of all men are most miserable.

"If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. -- 1 Corinthians 15:19"

The sin of which sins orginate from is unfaithfulness. (Romans 14:23) To the end he may stablish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. - 1 Thessalonians 3:16

Author's Note:
All italics and bold in scripture are mine. For a complete reading please read, The Hope of Gospel. For my personal testimony of why I choose to read and study solely out of the King James Version, please read, Translation vs. Paraphrase.