Friday, July 31, 2009

Living their best life now

In yet more examples of the 'peaceful religion' at least six churches have been burned to the ground and probably more than 250 Christian brothers and sisters have been killed for their faith in Nigeria.

From the Christian Post -

At least six churches were destroyed in the last few days in Northern Nigeria as a result of the violence by members of a radical Islamic group.

Militants of the group Boko Haram, which translates to “western education is sin,” have damaged at least half a dozen churches across four states ruled by Sharia, or Islamic law, according to Open Doors sources.

A Baptist church was burnt to the ground in Potiskum, Yobe state. Another five churches were reportedly burnt in Maiduguri, Borno state.

Moreover, the Christian ministry has learned that unlike what the government is saying, the number of deaths may be over 250 people. The official figure is about 50 deaths.

This past Saturday, the group Boko Haram, also known as the Nigerian Taliban, launched a series of attacks in Bauchi state against police stations and state facilities in Northern Nigeria. The violence soon spread to three other states: Borno, Yobe and Kano states.

Boko Haram is reportedly attacking police because it felt the government has become too secular and it wants to cleanse Nigeria of western influences. The extremist group also wants to impose Sharia law throughout the country.

The Islamic group was allegedly also behind the violence in Bauchi back in February, during which at least eleven people died, over 1,500 Christians were displaced, and 14 churches, and numerous homes were destroyed.

With the latest attacks, Christians in the affected areas are said to be living in fear and “holding their breath.”

The Rev. John Hayab, the secretary of the Kaduna branch of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), has asked the government to protect Christians who may be the next target.

“We were unable to sleep throughout the night as there was an exchange of fire between the group and the security operatives a stone throw from our residence,” said one Christian in Yobe, according to Open Doors. “They burnt one of our churches (the Baptist Church). Our lives are at risk. The group claimed not to be fighting Christians, but…we are not secured at all.”

In Bauchi state, Christians have taken refuge in police barracks. Some in the barracks are said to be wounded with machete blows received while they fled the violence on the streets.

While the atmosphere remains tense in Northern Nigeria, some Christians have started to return home, believing that the police have the situation under control. But Christian leaders urge them to remain on high alert.

“Our Christian brothers and sisters in Northern Nigeria are repeatedly the victims of mass violence, with churches burnt and people killed, just as we have seen again in the last few days,” said Dr. Patrick Sookhdeo, international director of U.K.-based Barnabas Fund. “All too often, as in this case, it is apparent that the attacks have been well planned and orchestrated.

“Please pray for peace and stability in this part of Nigeria, also for freedom and justice for its Christian minority, which suffers much in the states where full Sharia is in force.”

He added, “Pray that Christians will not retaliate.”

The latest violence is the deadliest since last November, when more than 300 people died in the central city of Jos during sectarian violence between Muslims and Christians.

Nigeria, the most populous country in Africa, is about evenly split between Muslim in the north and Christians in the south with minorities of both religions living where the other faith is dominant. Since democracy was restored in 1999, there have been at least 15,000 deaths due to religious, communal or political violence, according to BBC.


Please pray for our brothers and sisters in Christ in Nigeria and around the world.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Sinner's Prayer

The practice of leading someone in a sinner’s prayer for their salvation has produced many tares or false converts in churches over the last 100 years (Matt. 13:25-40). This “evangelical tradition” cannot be found anywhere in the New Testament. Those who desire to evangelize God’s way will follow the instructions given by the Lord of the Harvest. He commissioned us to go and make disciples, not decisions (Matt. 28:18).

- Mike Gendron

Taken from Defending Contending

Monday, July 27, 2009

Can Jesus come back at any moment...what say you?

I'm back -

Thank you for all your prayers during my procedure. I am waiting on a call from the urologist to answer a few questions I have post-op. I'm not sure if everything is coming along as it is supposed to.

This is my third time having this procedure (and I know they are always unique to where the stone is in the kidney) and the stones are not exiting the body as they have in the past. Based on the other two procedures, I should have passed 20-30 small fragments of stone by now and I have only passed a few.

Anyway -

I have a serious and deep theological question for all the saints out there -

Can Jesus come back at any moment?

Yes, that is a serious question, and no, it's not a trick question. Some believe that He can come back this minute and others believe certain criteria must be met by man before He will return.

I would like a "yes" or "no" followed by an reason why you believe your answer.

Here are some Scripture references that should be helpful; Matthew chapter 24, Revelation chapters 6 and 14 (these are just a few but are not meant to be a complete help).

What say you?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Lithotripsy surgery tomorrow - Postings will be delayed!

Well, I'm off to the hospital again (2nd time this year) to bust up some more kidney stones.

For those who don't know, I have a rare kidney disease called Medullary Sponge Kidney (MSK). I was born with this disease but it was not diagnosed until I was in my early 40's.

Aside from the normal day to day low level pain from MSK itself, the disease has one very inconvenient side effect; kidney stones.

I pass these stones on an average of at least one month. Sometimes as many as 2-3 a month. Most all the stones pass with mid to high level degrees of pain.

That's the good news.

The bad news is that not all stones pass.

Some stones end up staying right where they're made and continue to grow and grow and grow until they become too big to pass.

This is where a nice little procedure called lithotripsy becomes part of your regular vocabulary.

Lithotripsy basically bombards the stone until it shatters and hopefully you get to pee little fragments of the previously huge stone. It doesn't always work out that way......sometimes the fragments are still quite large and produce enormous amounts of pain until it reaches its final destination into the porcelain containment unit (toilet).

The last treatment I had back in February, unlike the one I had 5 years ago, went extremely well with not too much pain. I am praying for as little pain as possible and for the urologist to do another great job in busting up the mother stone like he did 6 months ago.

So, that being said, I'll try to get back to regular postings by Monday or Tuesday of next week.


Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ten reasons NOT to ask Jesus into your heart.

By Todd Friel

The music weeps, the preacher pleads, “Give your heart to Jesus. You have a God shaped hole in your heart and only Jesus can fill it.” Dozens, hundreds or thousands of people who want to get their spiritual life on track make their way to the altar. They ask Jesus into their heart.

Cut to three months later. Nobody has seen our new convert in church. The follow up committee calls him and encourages him to attend a Bible study, but to no avail. We label him a backslider and get ready for the next outreach event.

Our beloved child lies in her snuggly warm bed and says, “Yes, Daddy. I want to ask Jesus into my heart.” You lead her in “the prayer” and hope that it sticks. You spend the next ten years questioning if she really, really meant it. Puberty hits and the answer reveals itself. She backslides. We spend the next ten years praying that she will come to her senses.

Telling someone to ask Jesus into their hearts has a very typical result, backsliding. the Bible says that a person who is soundly saved puts his hand to the plow and does not look back because he is fit for service. In other words, a true convert cannot backslide. If a person backslides, he never slid forward in the first place. “If any man is in Christ, he is a new creation.” (II Cor.5) No backsliding there.

Brace yourself for this one: with very few if any exceptions, anyone who asked Jesus into their hearts to be saved…is not. If you asked Jesus into your heart because you were told that is what you have to do to become a Christian, you were mis-informed.

If you have ever told someone to ask Jesus into their heart (like I have), you produced a false convert. Here is why.

1. It is not in the Bible.

There is not a single verse that even hints we should say a prayer inviting Jesus into our hearts. Some use Rev. 3:20. To tell us that Jesus is standing at the door of our hearts begging to come in.

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock.” There are two reasons that interpretation is wrong.

The context tells us that the door Jesus is knocking on is the door of the church, not the human heart. Jesus is not knocking to enter someone’s heart but to have fellowship with His church.
Even if the context didn’t tell us this, we would be forcing a meaning into the text (eisegesis). How do we know it is our heart he is knocking at? Why not our car door? How do we know he isn’t knocking on our foot? To suggest that he is knocking on the door of our heart is superimposing a meaning on the text that simply does not exist.

The Bible does not instruct us to ask Jesus into our heart. This alone should resolve the issue, nevertheless, here are nine more reasons.

2. Asking Jesus into your heart is a saying that makes no sense.

What does it mean to ask Jesus into your heart? If I say the right incantation will He somehow enter my heart? Is it literal? Does He reside in the upper or lower ventricle? Is this a metaphysical experience? Is it figurative? If it is, what exactly does it mean? While I am certain that most adults cannot articulate its meaning, I am certain that no child can explain it. Pastor Dennis Rokser reminds us that little children think literally and can easily be confused (or frightened) at the prospect of asking Jesus into their heart.

3. In order to be saved, a man must repent (Acts 2:38).

Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of repentance.

4. In order to be saved, a man must trust in Jesus Christ (Acts 16:31).

Asking Jesus into your heart leaves out the requirement of faith.

5. The person who wrongly believes they are saved will have a false sense of security.

Millions of people who sincerely, but wrongly, asked Jesus into their hearts think they are saved but struggle to feel secure. They live in doubt and fear because they do not have the Holy Spirit giving them assurance of salvation.

6. The person who asks Jesus into his heart will likely end up inoculated, bitter and backslidden.

Because he did not get saved by reciting a formulaic prayer, he will grow disillusioned with Jesus, the Bible, church and fellow believers. His latter end will be worse than the first.

7. It presents God as a beggar just hoping you will let Him into your busy life.

This presentation of God robs Him of His sovereignty.

8. The cause of Christ is ridiculed.

Visit an atheist web-site and read the pagans who scoff, “How dare those Christians tell us how to live when they get divorced more than we do? Who are they to say homosexuals shouldn’t adopt kids when tens of thousands of orphans don’t get adopted by Christians?” Born again believers adopt kids and don’t get divorced.

People who ask Jesus into their hearts do. Jesus gets mocked when false converts give Him a bad name.

9. The cause of evangelism is hindered.

While it is certainly easier to get church members by telling them to ask Jesus into their hearts, try pleading with someone to make today the day of their salvation. Get ready for a painful response. “Why should I become a Christian when I have seen so called Christians act worse than a pagan?” People who ask Jesus into their hearts give pagans an excuse for not repenting.

10. Here is the scary one. People who ask Jesus into their hearts are not saved and they will perish on the Day of Judgment.

How tragic that millions of people think they are right with God when they are not. How many people who will cry out, “Lord, Lord” on judgment day will be “Christians” who asked Jesus into their hearts?

So, what must one do to be saved? Repent and trust. (Heb.6:1) The Bible makes it clear that all men must repent and place their trust in Jesus Christ. Every man does have a “God shaped hole in their hearts,” but that hole is not contentment, fulfillment and peace. Every man’s heart problem is righteousness. Instead of preaching that Jesus fulfills, we must preach that God judges and Jesus satisfies God’s judgment…if a man will repent and place his trust in Him.

If you are reading this and you asked Jesus into your heart, chances are good you had a spiritual buzz for a while, but now you struggle to read your Bible, tithe, attend church and pray. Perhaps you were told you would have contentment, purpose and a better life if you just ask Jesus into your heart. I am sorry, that was a lie.

Hat Tip - Defending Contending

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

New NASA Images Indicate Object Hits Jupiter

From the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, C.I.T.

July 20, 2009

Scientists have found evidence that another object has bombarded Jupiter, exactly 15 years after the first impacts by the comet Shoemaker-Levy 9.

Following up on a tip by an amateur astronomer, Anthony Wesley of Australia, that a new dark "scar" had suddenly appeared on Jupiter, this morning between 3 and 9 a.m. PDT (6 a.m. and noon EDT) scientists at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif., using NASA's Infrared Telescope Facility at the summit of Mauna Kea, Hawaii, gathered evidence indicating an impact.

New infrared images show the likely impact point was near the south polar region, with a visibly dark "scar" and bright upwelling particles in the upper atmosphere detected in near-infrared wavelengths, and a warming of the upper troposphere with possible extra emission from ammonia gas detected at mid-infrared wavelengths.

"We were extremely lucky to be seeing Jupiter at exactly the right time, the right hour, the right side of Jupiter to witness the event. We couldn't have planned it better," said Glenn Orton, a scientist at JPL.


"We couldn't have planned it better" ???

Jupiter, THE largest planet in our Solar System was hit by something. That something could have been a comet or an asteroid. Whatever it was it was something very, very big.

The monster planet was also hit exactly fifteen years after the famous Shoemaker-Levy comet plowed into Jupiter while Earth watched with fascination.

But the interesting statement by scientist Glenn Orton is what caught my eye; "We couldn't have planned it any better."

Well, you could have, actually.

You could have been tracking the object that smashed into the biggest plant in the neighborhood.

The impact area on the planet appears to be about size of the Earth. Something that big that hits another planet in our Solar system and makes a sizable impression on an Earth kind of scale should have been spotted and tracked with current sophisticated equipment. But it wasn't and we were all taken by surprised after the event already occurred.

Such it will be when Jesus returns.

"For as the lightning comes from the east and flashes to the west, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be." Matt 24:27

Are you ready?

He is coming back.

"This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering— since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed." 1 Thess 2:5-10

You never know when a comet....a asteroid....a tower may fall on you.

"I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish. Or those eighteen on whom the tower in Siloam fell and killed them, do you think that they were worse sinners than all other men who dwelt in Jerusalem? I tell you, no; but unless you repent you will all likewise perish.” Luke 13:3-5

The Bible is clear.

You must repent of your sins and place your trust and faith in Christ to save you from God's wrath on the Day of wrath.

What is stopping you from doing this today?

Monday, July 20, 2009

We can't even imagine!

Our most enlarged ideas of our future glory, are faint and imperfect. Who can describe or conceive the happiness of heaven? It will be as unlike as possible--to this wilderness of sin and sorrow where we are now confined. Here on earth, we are in a warfare--but then we shall enter into perfect rest. We now cry out, "O that I had wings like a dove! For then would I flee away and be at REST." (Psalm 55:6)

Heaven will be a rest from all SIN. No 'unclean thing' shall ever defile or disturb us forever! We shall be free from all indwelling sin. This alone would be worth dying for! Indwelling sin is a burden under which all the redeemed must groan, while they sojourn in the body.

And those who are most spiritual--are most deeply affected with shame, humiliation, and grief, on account of their sins--because they have the clearest views of the holiness of God, the spirituality of His law, the love of Christ, and the deceitfulness of their own hearts! Therefore the Apostle Paul, though perhaps in grace and talents, in zeal and usefulness, was distinguished above all saints--accounted himself the 'chief of sinners,' (1 Timothy 1:15) 'less than the least of all saints,' (Ephesians 3:8) and cried out under the disparity he felt between what he actually was--and what he desired to be, "O wretched man that I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin!" (Romans 7:24)

But we shall not carry this burden of sin beyond the grave. The hour of death shall free us from our inbred enemies (the inseparable attendants of this frail perishing nature) which now trouble us, and we shall see them no more forever!

Heaven will also be a rest from all outward AFFLICTIONS, which, though necessary, and, under the influence of Divine grace, are profitable--yet they are grievous to bear. But in heaven, they will no more be necessary. Where there is no sin--there shall be no sorrow. Then, "God will remove all of their sorrows, and there will be no more death or sorrow or crying or pain. For the old world and its evils are gone forever!" (Revelation 21:4)

Heaven will also be a rest from SATAN'S TEMPTATIONS. How busy is this adversary of God and man--what various arts and schemes he employs! What surprising force, what constant assiduity does he employ to ensnare, distress, and terrify those who by grace have escaped from his servitude! He says, like Pharaoh of old, "I will pursue, I will overtake, I will destroy!" (Exodus 15:9) He follows them to the last stage of life--but he can follow them no farther. The moment of their departure out of the body--shall place them beyond his reach forever!

Heaven will also be a rest from UNSATISFIED DESIRES. Here on earth, the more we drink--the more we thirst. But in heaven, our highest wishes shall be crowned and exceeded! We shall rest in full communion with Him whom we love; we shall no more complain of interruptions and imperfections, and a careless heart.

Here on earth--we obtain a little glimpse of His presence, when He brings us into His banqueting-house, and spreads His banner of love over us! And how gladly would we remain in such a desirable frame! How unwilling are we to 'come down' from the mount! But these pleasing and holy seasons are quickly ended, and often give place to some sudden unexpected trial, which robs us of all that sweetness in which we lately rejoiced. But when we ascend the holy hill of God above--we shall never again 'come down'! We shall be forever with the Lord, never offend Him, and never be separated from Him again! "I will see Your face in righteousness; when I awake, I will be fully satisfied with Your presence!" (Psalm 17:15)

Here on earth--we find a mixture of evil in our most holy moments! When we approach nearest to God, we have the liveliest sense of our defilement, and how much we fall short in every branch of duty, and in every temper of our hearts. But when we shall see Jesus as He is--we shall be fully transformed into His image, and be perfectly like Him!

"Yes, dear friends, we are already God's children, and we can't even imagine what we will be like when Christ returns. But we do know that when He comes--we will be like Him, for we will see Him as He really is!" 1 John 3:2

"No eye has seen, no ear has heard, and no mind has imagined--what God has prepared for those who love Him!" 1 Corinthians 2:9

Friday, July 17, 2009

10 Ways for Worship Leaders to Hinder the Church

Numbers 6 & 7 are very important in a lot of churches today.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Just beat it!

This Michael Jackson look alike doesn't like the Law. But the Law did it's purpose; it shut the mouth of someone trying to justify himself (Romans 3:19).

From Steve Sanchez at Stone the Preacher

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Nothing to compare to......

“I have suffered much bodily pain, but my sufferings are but as noth­ing compared with that which our blessed Redeemer endured upon the accursed cross, that all might be saved who put their trust in Him.”

President Andrew Jackson

Friday, July 10, 2009

Living their best life now

From Prisoner Alert

Location: Pakistan
Arrested: October 2008

Twenty- year-old Sandul Bibi is in prison in Pakistan, charged with violating section 295-B of the Pakistani legal code, the “blasphemy” law. Sandul is falsely accused of ripping pages from the Quran. On Oct. 9 a large crowd of Muslims attacked Christian families at a church, throwing stones and firing guns. They were shouting, “Kill Gulsher and his daughter Sandul.”

Sandul and her father, Gulsher Masih, were arrested after a mob from the local mosque surrounded their house. Loudspeakers from different mosques broadcast accusations that Christians had disgraced the Quran, calling Muslims to attack and burn their homes. The angry crowd threw stones at Sandul’s home. Christians believe Sandul and her father were targeted and arrested because they were aggressively winning villagers to Christ.

Sandul has written several letters to her family from prison. In her latest letter she says, “I am praying a lot that God releases me from here and I can meet you, but I don’t know when. He will give answers for our prayers. Please pray for me.” If convicted, Sandul faces at least four years in prison. She and her family desperately need your prayers and encouragement.

Also write a letter of encouragement to Sandal’s father, Gulsher Masih, who is being held at the same prison.


Location: Pakistan
Arrested: October 2008
Days Imprisoned: 275
Print Fact Sheet

Gulsher Masih is in prison in Pakistan, charged along with his daughter, Sandul Bibi, with violating section 295-B of the Pakistani legal code, the “blasphemy” law. The Voice of the Martyrs contacts report that Sandul found pages of the Quran on the ground picked them up and handed them to her Muslim neighbor. As a result, she and Gulsher were falsely accused of ripping pages from the Quran.

On Oct. 9 a large crowd of Muslims attacked Gulsher’s home throwing stones and firing guns. They were shouting, “Kill Gulsher and his daughter Sandul.” Gulsher and Sandul were arrested after a mob from the local mosque surrounded their house. Loudspeakers from different mosques broadcast accusations that Christians had disgraced the Quran, calling Muslims to attack and burn their homes. The angry crowd threw stones at Gulsher’s home. Christians believe Gulsher and Sandul were targeted and arrested because they were aggressively winning Muslims to Christ.

If convicted, Gulsher faces at least four years in prison. Gulsher, Sandul and their family greatly appreciate your prayers during this challenging time.

Also write a letter of encouragement to Gulsher’s daughter, Sandul Bibi, who is being held at the same prison.


Location: China
Arrested: February 2009
Days Imprisoned: 156
Print Fact Sheet

On Feb. 4, Gao Zhisheng, was abducted by Chinese secret police from his hometown. Since 2005, Gao has been repeatedly arrested, imprisoned and severely tortured by Chinese authorities, mostly for his work defending Chinese Christians.

In 2006, he and a group of prominent human rights lawyers created the Association of Human Rights Attorneys for Chinese Christians. In 2007, he was arrested and spent over 50 days behind bars where he was tortured. “I was beaten so badly that my whole body began shaking uncontrollably on the floor,”

Gao writes of his torture in an open letter.The Chinese government does not acknowledge that Gao is in one of their prisons, as a result his letters of encouragement are being mailed to the Chinese embassy in Washington DC.


Please keep these and other brothers and sisters in your prayers who, around the world, are suffering and being killed for proclaiming the great Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 11:35-38 -

Some were tortured, refusing to accept release, so that they might rise again to a better life. Others suffered mocking and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were stoned, they were sawn in two, they were killed with the sword.They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated— of whom the world was not worth- wandering about in deserts and mountains, and in dens and caves of the earth.

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

BLOG Spotlight

My 9 year old son asked mom and dad if he could have his own blog site. At first mom was a little hesitant so we had a family discussion.

My son said he wanted it to be a Christian blog where he could post his thoughts.


Mom didn't want to worry about the language that commenter's might leave behind and I told her we can turn that feature off or we can enable a moderator function that would pass through her email and she could approve or disapprove the comments.

Ok, but no comments for now.

Mom said that she would be the overseer of the blog and nothing goes online before she saw it.


So, with all in agreement, here is the new blog site:

He Who Believes

He has already posted his first post entitled: THE 10 COMMANDMENTS FROM A KID'S PERSPECTIVE

Give him a quick read and check back from time to time to see his progress.

Monday, July 06, 2009

Creation and Redemption

Great was the work of creation—but greater was the
work of redemption. The glory of the redemption was
greater than the glory of the creation. Great wisdom
was seen in making us—but more miraculous wisdom
in saving us.

Great power was seen in bringing us out
of nothing—but greater power in helping us when we
were worse than nothing.

It cost more to redeem than
to create us.

In creation it was but speaking a word; in
redeeming there was shedding of blood! Creation was
the work of God's fingers, Psalm 8:3, redemption was
the work of His arm. Luke 1:51. In creation, God gave
us ourselves; in the redemption, He gave us Himself.

By creation, we have life in Adam; by redemption, we
have life in Christ.

By creation, we had a right to earth;
by redemption, we have a title to a heavenly kingdom.

Thomas Watson