Thursday, April 19, 2012

Asleep In the Light

Here is a GREAT song by the late Keith Green.

Can We Be More Merciful Than God?

Scott T. Brown of NCFIC,  April 18, 2012

My fellow elder Dan Horn, in speaking about church discipline said this: We need to consider the nature of authority, love, justice and mercy. Our understanding must start with the fact that we can never be more loving than God, more just than God or more merciful than God. When we look at the texts of scripture on church discipline, it is easy for us to lean toward our own view of what is merciful, rather than trusting that following the commandments of God is always the most merciful and loving act. Christians always must bear in mind what the Lord requires of us, but to do justly, to love mercy and to walk humbly with our God (Micah 6:8). We also need to keep in mind, that if we do not fulfill the responsibility of the authority that we are given, we are showing hatred, not love (Proverbs 13:24).                        

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Is "The Message" Version of the Bible Really God's Word?

Here is a pdf file written by Rev. Justin Peters about "The Message" version of the Bible. Please take time to read this and decide for yourself whether it is truly the Word of God. We must have an accurate translation of God's Word in order for us to live godly lives.

 "Let us remember that what we believe about God is derived from what we read in His word. If one reads an erroneous Bible, then it logically follows that what one believes about God will also be in error."--Justin Peters

Friday, April 13, 2012

Spring Is In the Air

by Alicia Noa

Spring is in the air
The birds are in the trees
Praising the Lord for

Spring is in the air
The flowers are all a bloom
Red, white, and yellow
Oh, thank the Lord for colors.

Spring is in the air
The little butterflies
Are flying in the air
In the light blue sky
Oh thank the Lord for spring!

Spring is the the air
The sun is shining bright
Time for the hat and glasses
To shield our eyes
Oh, I love spring!

Dating Vs. Courtship

Thank you to Stacy McDonald at "Your Sacred Calling" for posting this.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Raising the Bar

Are churches making following Jesus too easy? Where's the call to count the costs?
By Drew Dyck at Out of Ur

I recently stumbled across an interesting set of questions. They are used by Asian Access (A2), a Christian missions agency in South Asia, to determine a new convert’s readiness to follow Christ. In the West, we might ask newcomers if they prefer contemporary or traditional worship. As you can see, the questions they ask in other parts of the world are a little different. Here they are:

Are you willing to leave home and lose the blessing of your father?
Are you willing to lose your job?
Are you willing to go to the village and those who persecute you, forgive them, and share the love of Christ with them?
Are you willing to give an offering to the Lord?
Are you willing to be beaten rather than deny your faith?
Are you willing to go to prison?
Are you willing to die for Jesus?

 Besides making me feel very grateful for where I live (and slightly guilty for feeling grateful) the questions sounded familiar. I heard an echo of Jesus’ words from Luke 14. You know the passage. Jesus spins around to the people following him and says, “Are you sure you want to do this?”

That’s my paraphrase, of course. What Jesus actually said was much worse. If you want to be my disciple, you have to hate your family, take up your cross, count the cost, give up everything—real crowd-pleasing stuff.

It’s tempting for me to dismiss these radical demands. Jesus’ challenge seems harsh, even bizarre. But hey, we’ll file that one under “divine prerogative.” And the A2 questions? Well, those are necessitated by persecution. In a country (name withheld for security reasons) where converts and evangelists get jailed, weeding out the phonies is essential.

Still, I’m not so sure there isn’t a lesson here for those of us in the West. Could we benefit from raising the bar for those considering a commitment to Christ?

For the most part, we have specialized in doing the exact opposite. We talk about smoothing the path to God, and removing obstacles to faith. Every time I question the validity of a “soft touch” public ministry, I’m assured they have a solid discipleship program on the back end. But that strikes me as backwards. “Hey, come to church and you’ll have a better family. OK, now that you’re here, you have to die to yourself.”

I think that’s called a bait and switch.

What would happen if, like Jesus and A2, we put the hard demands of the gospel front and center? If we dispensed with slick campaigns and puffed up promises and gave people the unvarnished truth of what it means to follow Jesus? If we told them that sometimes following the Carpenter from Nazareth means donning your own crown of thorns? I’m sure it would cost us numbers up front, but would it be worth it in the end? I think it would be. How about you?

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Education Happens in the Family-Everyday All Day Long

 by: Scott T. Brown at NCFIC

(here is once again a GREAT quote posted by Rev. Brown.)

 "Everything educates in the family, the handshake of the father, the voice of the mother, the older brother, the younger sister, the baby in the cradle, the sick loved one, the grandparents and the grandchildren, the uncles and the aunts, the guests and friends, prosperity and adversity, the feast day and the day of mourning, Sundays and workdays, the prayer and the thanksgiving at the table and the reading of God's Word, the morning and evening prayer. Everything is engaged to educate one another, from day to day, from hour to hour, unintentionally, without previously devised plan, method or system. From everything proceeds an educative influence though it can neither be analyzed nor calculated. A thousand insignificant things, a thousand trifles, a thousand details, all have their effect. It is life itself that here educates, life in its greatness, the rich, inexhaustible, universal life. The family is the school of life, because there is its spring and its hearth." – In A.B.W.M. Kok, Herman Bavinck,  Amsterdam, 1945, pp.  1819.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Children Crying Out in the Temple

Posted by Scott T. Brown of NCFIC

Here is an example of normal life among the people of God – children are included. And He said to them, "It is written, 'My house shall be called a house of prayer,' but you have made it a 'den of thieves.' " Then the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them. But when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that He did, and the children crying out in the temple and saying, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" they were indignant and said to Him, "Do You hear what these are saying?" And Jesus said to them, "Yes. Have you never read, 'Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have perfected praise'?" (Matt.21:13-16, NKJV)

(Thank you, Rev. Brown, for once again pointing out the importance of having families united in worship.  How the church misses out when they segregate the children and fracture the families during worship services. )

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Top Ten Things Ungodly Cultures Hate That the Bible Tells Men

By Scott T. Brown at D6 Reformation

1. Men protect women.
2. Men are leaders.
3. Men are responsible as heads of their families.
4. Men are to teach their children 24/7.
5. Men are to love their wives as Christ loved the church and be willing to die for them.
6. Men are to be fruitful and multiply.
7. Men do not own their bodies. Their wives do.
8. Men must bring up their children in the training and admonition of the Lord.
9. Men must ensure that their whole families and everyone else around them should celebrate the Sabbath.
10. Men’s hearts should be turned toward their children.