Hope and Change Begin With You – Guest Post by TC Avey

Hope and Change Begin With You

It’s easy to get discouraged, frustrated, and overwhelmed if you’re someone who endeavors to stay current on the affairs of our world. This is especially true if you’re a Christian.

Sometimes it can seem as if evil is winning.

I’ve heard more than a few Christians wonder if there’s any hope left for humanity.

I’ve also had them ask me what they can do to change the tide of wickedness that is consuming so many (inside and outside the church).

Here’s my answer:

“if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land.” 2 Chron 7:14 NIV

The steps for any society to turn from moral decline are found in this verse.

If Christians want to change the world, they must follow God’s Word.

Individual Christians must:

  1. Be Humble. Acknowledge our need of God more than our need to satisfy our flesh and trust in what we understand.

 

  1. Pray. Basically, prayer is communicating with God. Talking to Him as we would anyone. If this is difficult, ask God for help.

 

  1. Seek God. We seek Him by communicating with Him (prayer). This isn’t just asking God for something, but LISTENING to what He has to say. We seek Him by reading His Word. Worshiping Him in all aspects of our lives. Realizing He is everywhere, in all things, and wants to be in a RELATIONSHIP with us. Seek God as we would the person we love most—with everything we have. All our time, energy, talents, heart and so on.

 

  1. Turn from the things of this world that consume us and define who we are and what we trust. The things that keep us from seeking God.

 

My book, The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends, is geared toward alerting Christians of their need to embrace God NOW.

Regardless if you’re someone who stays up-to-date with Modern Events or barely listen to more than the weather, this book is for you.

Despite if you believe God’s Word is relevant to Politics and Current Events or you think they are as diverse as oil and water, this book is for you.

The Precipice is for anyone who calls themselves Christian. It’s for anyone who dares to believe there’s more to life than simply existing.

God longs for His children to be lights in this dark world.

But in order to fully shine, we must be aware of what the darkness truly is.

My book will challenge you to look at the world through the eyes of Christ and pursue Him with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Even if you don’t read my book, read God’s. His Word (BIBLE) has the power to change your life.

BIO-  TC Avey is a Christian devoted to God, family and friends. She is passionate about encouraging Christians to live a life dedicated to Christ as well as helping them understand the importance of preserving our national freedoms through knowledge and love. She blogs at Wisdom of a Fool. You can also follow her on Twitter. Her book,                           The Precipice: When Everything We Know Ends, is available on Amazon, April 7th.

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A Bold Move

Write Edit 2

Then He said to them, “Suppose one of you has a friend, and he goes to him at midnight and says, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread, because a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have nothing to set before him.”

“Then the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children are with me in bed. I can’t get up and get you anything.’ I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man’s boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.”

(Luke 11:5-8 NIV)

Dear Reader, I am about to do something very bold; start a crowd-funding account to see if I can gather the funds to get a book to the publisher and to keep my 2 blogs up and running for the next year.  The economy is terrible and people all across the country are having a hard time making ends meet (including me), so this move I am making doesn’t come on a whim. After a lot of prayer and research I have found that crowd-funding is a popular and growing industry. People from all walks of life with many different purposes have crowd-funding accounts set up to gather money for everything from medical emergencies to taking that once-in-a-lifetime vacation. My reason for doing this is simple; I want to get my book(s) published and be able to keep writing both Voice of a Patriot and The Determined Christian.

Most of you know that I have a 24/7 responsibility taking care of my Mom (age 84). I don’t get paid money to do this, but the rewards I reap are countless blessings. Taking care of Mom is the greatest thing God has ever allowed me to do. However, God has also compelled me to write; that is why I started the blogs. I do not advertise on the blogs because I do not want to take the chance that an advertising agency might place something on my blog that would not be pleasing to my readers. Yes, you can write a blog for “free”, if you can afford to keep up with the costs that support it. My blogs are supported by a Web Host, and really, that doesn’t cost very much, but Interned service and electricity in the rural area I live in are expensive, so the actual cost of keeping both blogs  up is close to $1,200 a year.

I have a manuscript almost completed that I would like to submit to WestBow Publishing (a division of Nelson Publishing). I have had a couple of very nice conversations with WestBow and feel comfortable that my book will be published with the utmost of professionalism and care. This working title for this book is A Declaration of War: Fighting Evil in the 21st Century. In this book I will describe some of the evils we face in our government, community, family and our personal lives and try to give some solutions to help fight that evil. Going through WestBow means that I must pay for a publishing package that allows the book to be available in hardback, paperback and e-book forms.

Because I have been spending a lot of time researching things that are evil, I also have a project in the works that is about good; A Wretch Like Me. This will be a long, thoughtful look at the amazing Grace God offers us through His Son, Jesus Christ. This book will be published through Smashwords, which is a free e-book publisher, but because I am a technidiot I will have to have a professional format it for me. This book will be available as an e-book only.

Mom and I joked about venturing into the world of internet panhandling, but really this is a serious matter. The reason I write is to provoke thought and promote positive action. Writing is not a ‘dream’ for me; it is my purpose, indeed it is my ministry. If you are interested in helping me achieve my goals, please click on this link:

My GoFundMe site

Thank you, Dear Reader, for your support and encouragement. May God bless you with Joy.

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It Is About Christ!

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In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.  Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. In Him was life, and that life was the light of men.  The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.  (John 1:1-6 NIV)

 

A couple of weeks ago, families gathered around their dinner tables and gave thanks to God for all of the blessings He has poured upon them. Less than a day later, a lot of those same people who praised God went running into shopping centers in a greedy frenzy to get good deals on presents they will give to others in the Name of Christ. In blatant disregard for the God who loves and provides for them, people feed their own avarice instead of letting the Spirit nourish them with love and kindness.  This is the season when we are supposed to reflect upon and celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. Yet, our culture has so many commercial demands on our time and effort, that we tend to put the festivities in front of the true meaning of Christmas.

The Christmas season brings with it a plethora of controversy. Atheists and other groups opposed to all things religious get their skivvies in an uproar over public displays of the Nativity and people having the nerve to say, “Merry Christmas”, instead of, “Happy Holidays.”  They claim that such outward religious rhetoric is offensive to them. Aw!  These same offended persons seem to have no problem pouring their vile, profane hatred all over the landscape in an attempt to demand that Christians be tolerant of all other belief systems, including their own system of unbelief.  It is just sad. In 2012, I wrote an open letter to all unbelievers with the hope that some might actually back off,                 Dear Unbeliever(s). Please take a look at it. It might help you deal with some of the hate you will receive this Christmas.

And then there are the Christian Scrooges who claim that certain traditions we enjoy at Christmastime are blasphemous. These poor wretched people would rather suffer their Faith in God than rejoice in Him, never acknowledging that we must celebrate the birth and life of Jesus in order to realize His death and Resurrection. The cold hard truth of the matter is that we do not know when Jesus Christ was born! December 25th is the day we celebrate His birth. (In 2009 my Pastor put together a wonderful teaching on the traditions that surround Christmas, Is it Okay to Celebrate Christmas? I highly recommend you take some time and listen)

 

Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying,

“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His favor rests.”             (Luke 2:14:15 NIV)

We are not celebrating a “holiday”. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ! We do not decorate holiday trees; we decorate Christmas trees.  We do not give gifts to prove our love for others; we give gifts because of the One who gave us the ultimate gift, the salvation of our souls. We should remember to rejoice in and praise the Name of Jesus Christ every day of the year. It is during this hectic time that unbelievers, heretics and hypocrites are most active in judging how Christians live their lives. Perhaps we should give them something to talk about! Maybe we should conduct our lives through the Christmas season and the rest of the year in a manner fitting of the title: Christian. We don’t have to be perfect, because the One we worship is perfect. God has called us out of the darkness and given us His Light to shine into this dark world. What say you, Christian? Are you willing to be called a fool by unbelievers when you say, “Merry Christmas”? Or will you bend to the devil’s demand that you not offend anyone and say, “Happy Holidays” instead?

As the chaos of this Season ensues, may God bless each of us with patience toward those who do not believe and love for those who do.  Let us rejoice in the Name of Jesus Christ and show the world that Christmas is about Him.

Posted in Spreading the Joy, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Bumper Sticker Theology (Re-run)

Thank you for sticking with me! I am working on a project that I will be excited to share with you by the end of the year. Until then, I thought a re-run was in order. Please enjoy this post that I first put up in March of 2012. God bless you, Dear Reader.

Do you notice bumper stickers on the cars around you in traffic?  There are a zillion of them.  Some are political, some are serious and others are hilarious.  Owners of those vehicles give a glimpse of themselves to the world with just a little sticker.  My two all-time favorites are: Visualize Whirled Peas and My Golden Retriever is smarter than your honor student. :)

And then there are the religious bumper stickers.  There is one that says, Jesus Saves! I have seen several with different Scripture references, like John 3:16.  It is kind of hard to sum up the Gospel on a bumper sticker.  To those in traffic along side the Christian with the sticker, those stickers make no sense.

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God. (1 Corinthians 1:18 NIV)

I saw a bumper sticker last week that really disturbed me.  It read: God, protect me from your followers.  How sad!  This attitude is a reflection of how Christians are perceived in this country.  There are Christians who portray themselves as already having achieved perfection.  You know the type:  they never have to bathe because they are so clean they repel all dirt; they never drink or cuss; they never have gastrointestinal issues; they have the perfect spouse, perfect children, perfect house; they never have a wicked thought or say an unkind word; they have the ‘Jesus fish’ sticker on their car and politely give you a one-finger salute as they cut you off in traffic.  Unbelievers, often times, cannot be reached because they think Christians are unrealistic.  That is because some professing Christians are unrealistic.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you.  They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them – bringing swift destruction on themselves.  Many will follow their shameful ways and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.   (2 Peter 2:1-2)

When Jesus told us to “go” and tell everyone about Him, I think He had something in mind other than a catch phrase on a bumper sticker.  Portraying the Gospel in our lives means being realistic about Scripture and the power of God.  We can’t be effective in telling people about Christ if there are heresies in our lives.  One of the greatest heresies of modern times comes from being politically correct; we gloss over the truth of the Word of God so as not to offend anyone.

For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. (2 Timothy 4:3)

As followers of God we need to let people know that we are not perfect, but the God we worship is.  We need to convey His grace to them, because our own does not measure up.  It is His grace and His perfection that we should strive to share.

As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.  He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.  For who is God besides the Lord?  And who is the Rock except our God?  It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.                       (Psalm 18:30-32)

You can’t put the love of God on a bumper sticker.  But, you can show it face to face.  That is when unbelievers see the reality of God’s perfection in us.  Do you rely on catch phrases to share the Gospel?  Or do you share Him in person?

 

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Still Here

Hello Dear Reader,

Thank you for being so patient with me. Forgive me for not having posted anything new in so very long. There are projects in front of me that have been taking most of my attention, and I do plan to get back to a regular posting schedule within the next couple of months.

There are so many subjects that I would like to address that it is difficult to decide where to start.  So, I invite you to tell me what you would like for me to address in this blog. Please leave your suggestions in the Comments, and I will take them into consideration.

Also, I may update the ‘look’ of this blog. I really like the simple look, so that may not happen.  I have started a Twitter account to go along with this blog; if you are interested you can follow me here @DeterminedSusan and join the conversation.

Finally, the times we live in are absurd. We face evil in almost every aspect of our lives, so it is imperative that we put on the full armor of God and fight with everything we’ve got to spread the Gospel far and wide.

The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. (1 Peter 4:7-10 NIV)

Join with me, Dear Reader, let us work together to grow in our Faith, to pray for God’s Will in our lives and the lives of others, and to share the Good News of Jesus Christ with all creation.  I look forward to getting back to a regular posting schedule. Thank you, so much, for sticking with me, it means more than you could ever know.

God bless you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Papa – Repost

I first posted this over a year ago, on the 10th anniversary of the day my Dad, Milton, went Home to be with Jesus.  I am re-posting it now, in his honor, for Father’s Day.  There is not a day in the year when I don’t miss my Dad.  It never gets better; it only gets different.

It is my prayer that Dad’s everywhere enjoy the love and salvation of Jesus Christ, because the greatest inheritance they can leave to their children is the knowledge that when their time on this earth is through, they are safely spending Eternity in God’s Kingdom.

Happy Father’s Day!

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The date, April 20th, is the anniversary of some rather sinister things in history.  In my family, however, it is a day to be joyous.  You see, on April 20, 2002 my Dad went Home to be with Jesus Christ.

My Dad wore many hats in his 73 years on this earth:  Farmer, rancher, mechanic, pilot, prototype engineer and musician are just a few.  If you asked what he did, he would reply, “I’m a blacksmith.”  He was humble.  He was honest.  He was funny. And, if you wanted to get a glimpse of the real man, all you had to do was listen to him play the piano.

Sing and make music in your hearts to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 5:19-20)

     It would take volumes of writing for me to tell you all about him.  My Dad was great!  He worked hard, laughed, loved and enjoyed life.  He was a survivor.  He beat Acute Myelogenous Leukemia in 1987 and it never came back.  He had an extremely rare genetic disease that wreaked havoc on his body.  It invaded his joints first, and then it moved into the soft tissues.  We cannot know the unfathomable pain he endured.   But even with that, he never lost his child-like sense of wonder or his sense of humor.  The official cause of death was Congestive Heart Failure.

He will wipe every tear from their eyes.  There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.  (Revelation 21:4)

     A few days before Papa died, I held his hands in mine.  Hands that built things and fixed things; hands that gently held puppies and kittens; hands that danced across the ivory keys of the Steinway and filled the air with overwhelming beauty.  Those hands along with the heart that moved them are who my Dad is.  I treasure him, always.

But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and thieves do not break in and steal.  For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.  (Matthew 6:20-21)

     We rejoice for my Dad on this day!  We miss him, but we know where he is.  God has left us to ponder the magnitude and beauty of His Kingdom, but He has also promised us a reunion.  We who have accepted the Saving Grace of Jesus Christ rest assured that we will be with Him.  That is where Papa is now.

The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.  Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end.  (Isaiah 60:19-20)

Amen!  Papa, we will see you soon!

Posted in Personal | 4 Comments

Healing a Broken Heart

“God will fix your broken heart. Just ask Him.”

The above statement was on Twitter a few days ago.  This sort of catch phrase theology frustrates me.  People who spout such quaint sayings are diminishing the Holiness of God, and in the process they mislead unbelievers.  There is much more to God’s purpose in our lives than putting bandages on our perceived ills.  He works in all aspects of our lives; even pain.  Unbelievers mock the Christian faith when silly adages are used to ‘spread the word’, and honest seekers are turned off by the lack of truth.

I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart!  I have overcome the world.  (John 16:33 NIV)

There is no end to the number of things that can break your heart.  A loved one dies, moves away, becomes ill, is injured or betrays you; you lose your health, your job or your home; there is disaster, war, tragedy and injustice.  Healing a broken heart may take a few days or it may take a lifetime.

Listening to the words of Jesus Christ is imperative to the healing process because it is in His words that we find the peace only He can give us.  Notice the verse above. “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace.”  Peace does not come from a greeting card; it comes from Jesus!  He does not promise a life full of lollipops and posies. He promises trouble.  Jesus never said that faith in Him would be easy; it is deceitful to think it would be.  By placing our complete faith in Him we are not guaranteed a life without brokenness; we are guaranteed a life with pain; we are guaranteed peace, even in times of tribulation. The broken heart is not our choice, but it will happen.  How we deal with it is our choice.

In Matthew Chapter 13, verses 4-7 and 18-22, Jesus taught the Parable of the Sower.  In this story He likened the sowing of seed to hearing and receiving the Word of God.  When people are only taught the warm-fuzzy aspects of the Christian faith, and then trouble starts, they are not strong enough to rely on their faith to get them through.

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand.  And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. (Romans 5:1-5 NIV)

The Truth of faith in God includes the ability to sustain that faith in dark times.  Rejoicing in one’s suffering is not easy, and it should not be portrayed as such.  However, when proper reverence (fear) is given to God for His holiness, our sufferings are the impetus of spiritual growth.

Will God heal your broken heart if you ask Him?  Certainly!  If it is His Will to do so.  Our emotional and material comfort are less important to Him than our Spiritual well-being.  God blesses us with abundance every day.  Learning to recognize those blessings in the proper perspective, even in brokenness, is the mark of true faith.  A catch phrase is not a good way of influencing others for Christ.  The cold, hard truth is the only way to represent God’s love and mercy in this dark and empty world.

I am the way and the truth and the life.  No one comes to the Father except through me.

(John 14:6)

The Truth may not always be comfortable, but it beats a lie every time.  Jesus took our sins upon Himself. He died to save our souls! That is not something that can be conveyed in a quaint, little phrase.

 

NOTE: If you are interested, I have started a Twitter account for sharing the Gospel. You can follow me here –>  @DeterminedSusan

Posted in The Bible/Faith | 6 Comments

Two Jewish Boys and a Billy Goat

I am honored to have a a new Guest Post author to present to you today.  This powerful testimony was written by my friend, Bill Sexton.

 

Two Jewish Boys and a Billy Goat

I just love the Old Testament story in Daniel 3 of Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego. As a young boy I can remember having trouble pronouncing Abednego, so he became known as that old “Billy goat”. Now that wasn’t the name I gave him, I just remember all my friends calling him that, so it sounded good to me.

So you see, “it sounded good to me” was my eventual downfall. I was easily persuaded as a child to go along with the crowd. Even on up into my teens, I was still easily persuaded to join the crowd. After high school, I went off to college and was still easily persuaded to go along with the crowd. I graduated from college, married and had children, but I still loved the crowd more than my family. The trouble with the crowd is that at an early age, the temptations to be bad were not that harmful, yet! But as I got older, the temptations of the crowd had much more harsh consequences. The late teen and early college years was devastating to me personally and spiritually.  I became a drug addict, alcoholic, hated my parents, participated in murder through abortions, worshipped other idols, lusted, stole and lied. I was spiritually bankrupt.

I found Jesus at the age of 48. I am surprised I lived that long, because the wages of sin is death. For God to still believe in me after all my denials of His calls; well He finally broke me on February 26, 2008. He brought me to my knees, broke me and He is still molding me as I write. Well, you may be thinking by now, what the Billy goat Bill?

Ah, the Billy goat! The three young Jewish boys in the story should be every child’s hero, but they are not even heroes to adults. Why, because they chose to keep God’s commandments. You see, these three boys had an “if not” clause in their walk with God. If it wouldn’t glorify God, it was not an option for them. We don’t teach that anymore. Instead, we tolerate disobedience because God loves us. Ironically, God says if you love me you will be obedient! Meshach, Shadrach and Abednego were fine examples of God fearing men. They knew the bad consequences of denying God and they would not, even if it meant death. That day has arrived for us brothers and sisters.

Unlike many “professing” Christians today, these three young men were sold out to God and willing to die for Him. They knew they would be saved in the fire or from the fire. We need that same attitude ourselves.  True faith confronts sin, true faith confesses the Lord, true faith confounds the enemy and true faith confirms the promise. God bless you and make it your goal to share Jesus with at least one stranger a day. The seed that was planted in me was harvested by a complete stranger.

You can follow Bill on Twitter – Cast the Word @bill_sexton

Posted in Guest Posts | 8 Comments

The Problem With Itching Ears

Solomon stated often in the Book of Ecclesiastes ‘there is nothing new under the sun’, so it should come as no surprise that our current culture reflects the many godless eras of history.  We have fancy gadgets and luxuries of all sorts, but mankind is no more civilized today than they were thousands of years ago.  Why?  The simple answer is that mankind is fallen, sinful and overflowing with foolish pride.  When men decide to turn their backs on the God who created and loves them, we can expect nothing less than chaos in our society.

Woe to those who call evil good and good evil, who put darkness for light and light for darkness, who put bitter for sweet and sweet for bitter.  Woe to those who are wise in their own eyes and clever in their own sight.  (Isaiah 5:20-21 NIV)

We face many problems in the world today, but perhaps the most significant crisis is the escalating destruction of the moral foundation of the Church (Body of Christ) itself.  The very integrity of the Christian Faith has been weakened by people who demand their own way.  It has become fashionable, for some, to slander the Word of God, and change doctrine to include sinful behaviors that are absolutely opposite of what Scripture teaches. All the while, those who turn their heads the other way and let the Church be flooded with these behaviors are as guilty of sin as the others.  Truth has become taboo; for this, the entire Body of Christ suffers.

They say to the seers, “See no more visions!”  and to the prophets, “Give us no more visions of what is right!  Tell us pleasant things, prophesy illusions.  Leave this way; get off this path, and stop confronting us with the Holy One of Israel!”  (Isaiah 30:10-11)

What was true thousands of years ago is true today.  The Christian Faith has been attacked by people who want the benefits of Faith in God (Salvation), but do not want to be confronted with the truth; that they are fallen and sinful.  The very word sin has been maligned and respect for its meaning has all but disappeared.  The same foolish pride that got Satan and his minions cast out of Heaven runs rampant throughout our modern culture; foolish pride that makes people think that they know better than God about how to run a Religion.

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season, correct, rebuke and encourage – with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from truth and turn aside to myths.                           (2 Timothy 4:2-4)

Any Christian Church that neglects the Truth of Scripture and allows for sinful teachings and behaviors is a cancer in the Body of Christ.  Whether it is to promote the homosexual agenda; to tolerate adultery and abortion; or to turn a blind eye to corruption and greed, it goes against God’s Word and it qualifies as False Doctrine!  If it goes against God it should not be allowed.  The Church is not a meeting place for deviants and miscreants; the Church (Body of Christ) is a healing place for sinners.

All Scripture is God – breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.   (2 Timothy 3:16)

We as individuals must take our own sinful thoughts, words and actions to God and ask for forgiveness.  The purpose of the Church is to encourage repentance and promote Spiritual growth so that the Gospel of Jesus Christ reaches the inhabitants of this dark and sinful world.  We as the Body of Christ must not fear the retribution of a sinful culture; we must fear God!  If a church preaches the Truth as given to us in Scripture it will be attacked by those who prefer evil over good, but if God is for us, who then can be against us? (Romans 8:31)  We must not scratch those itching ears with diluted and false teachings.  We must, as the Apostle Paul insisted, rely on the Truth of Scripture and teach it!

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away. (Matthew 24:35)

God’s Word is the same today as it was yesterday, and it will not change in the future.  Scripture is Truth; pure and simple.  For the individual, as well as the entire Church, it is of utmost importance to respect God’s Truth.  If we don’t, we can expect nothing less than the Spiritual death of the Body of Christ.

The problem with itching ears is that they are quick to believe lies in order to appease the sinful nature.  Only truth will lead to Eternal life.  I don’t know about you, but I want to live! I want to live in Christ Jesus, and I know that sound doctrine and Scriptural Truth are the sustenance in that life.  Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life! My ears do not itch for anything but His Truth.  What about you?

Posted in Accountability | 14 Comments

A Christian Revival?

On March 13, 2013 the College of Cardinals selected a new Pope to lead the Roman Catholic Church.  This is a momentous occasion in the lives of all Christians.  Though I am not a Roman Catholic, I have family and friends who are and this is an exciting time for all of us.  Perhaps we are on the verge of a Christian revival.

The word catholic means ‘general, worldwide, universal’; just the opposite of ‘closed and specific’.  There is the Roman Catholic Church and the Holy Catholic Church which is, in effect, every other Christian denomination.  Together, we are general, worldwide and universal.  The Apostle Paul explained, quite eloquently, in his first letter to the Church at Corinth, just how the Body of Christ (all believers) should work (see 1 Corinthians 12:12-31).  Every believer has his or her own gift and personal purpose within the Body of Christ.  When we allow the petty differences of traditions and man-made legalistic issues to cause a rift we fail God.

I appeal to you, brothers, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought.  My brothers, some in Chloe’s household have informed me that there are quarrels among you.  What I mean is this: One of you says, “I follow Paul”; another, “I follow Apollos”; another, “I follow Cephas”; still another, “I follow Christ.”  Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?  Were you baptized into the name of Paul?    (1 Cor. 1:10-13 NIV)

Denominational bigotry within the Body of Christ is just as unacceptable now as it was when Paul addressed it almost 2,000 years ago.  Just as bigotry toward our Jewish brothers and sisters is abhorrent, we must realize and live by the Truth; Jesus Christ shed His blood to save us all from eternal separation from God.  The very foundation of our Christian faith is that we believe the Gospel, and own the fact that we are saved from our sins through Jesus.

For God so loved the world that He gave His One and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him. (John 3:16-17)

Placing our faith in Jesus Christ is what it takes to be saved; nothing more, nothing less.  It is the choice of the individual.  The Roman Catholic Church has been plagued by scandal because of the corrupt behavior of individuals.  Protestant churches have had their share of scandals as well.  It doesn’t matter what nominal tag you attach to your Christian faith, i.e. Roman Catholic, Protestant, Orthodox, etc., the truth is, the Body of Christ is made up of humans, and we all sin and fall short of the glory of God (Romans 3:23).  We should pray to God for His healing Hand, not just for the victims, but also for the health of the Church as a whole.

For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith – and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God – not by works, so that no one can boast.  For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.      (Ephesians 2:8-10)

The very core of the Christian faith is to have fellowship with God through Jesus Christ.  The purpose of every Christian life is to glorify God.  Whether you concur with certain teachings of the Roman Catholic Church or any Protestant denomination is beside the point.  The focus should be on the teaching of Jesus Christ!

I have been watching and listening to the new Pope with great interest.  I see in Pope Francis a man of great faith and humility.  A humble leader is a strong leader, because he knows how to serve others.  Christians around the world are persecuted every day simply because they believe in Jesus Christ.  The Pope should set an example for all of us; to trust in God, to share Jesus with others and to be Light in this dark and sinful world.  Pope Francis is not a political leader (though there are those who paint him that way) and he is not a super hero.  He is a man; fallen and sinful like the rest of us.  However, he has been chosen to be the spiritual leader of over a billion believers around the world.  It has only been a little over a week and he has become the target of secularists and those who want to reform the church to fit their own worldly ideology.  Pope Francis has handled the criticism the grace and faith.

I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace.  In this world you will have trouble.  But take heart! I have overcome the world. (John 16:33 NIV)

It is my sincerest prayer that Christians around the world, of all denominations, will notice that Pope Francis has a strong faith, and that he will influence a great revival of the Christian spirit.  If so, believers will fulfill their purpose and God will be glorified in all the earth.  That is what it is all about.

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