Monthly Archives: April 2003

A Word from God

This time the brief siesta from writing was intentional. I have been spending more time studying and reading the Word of God, known to some as the Bible. I have been spending less time on the computer and watching TV to accomplish this. It is truly wonderful the things that God has done this past week during this time. My faith has grown by leaps and bounds as I have watched God work and speak in my life and through His Word. I highly recommend pushing things that distract you from focusing on God into the background for a week or even just a day and see what He does in your life.

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I haven’t written in two weeks. It wasn’t an intentional hiatus. It was more of a combination of preoccupation with other things and having nothing to say here during that time that has kept me from writing anything. I have been reading a studying a lot. Last night I just finished re-reading a book called “Safely Home” by Randy Alcorn. He has quickly grown to become one of my favorite authors and his books continue to challenge me in my walk with Christ and my faith. He has a website Eternal Perspective Ministries. I have been amazed by his heart for God and at his ability to spur others on through his writings. There are many things that we as Christians can get bogged down with. Our favorite doctrinal dispute, or a sin that so easily besets us, but our Lord calls us to focus on Him. When we do this as we should, those things that bog us down will take care of themselves. I have seen people spend days arguing over Calvinist and Armenian positions, or whether the war in Iraq is a just war. That stuff is not important, it is temporary. What is important is that God loved us so much he sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross for our sin, and that there is no other way to get into God’s Presence (Heaven) except that you go through the blood of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. That is Truth and Grace.

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Isaiah 40:28-31

28 Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The LORD is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint.

Are you feeling a little weary? It’s Friday and that helps a lot of people get through the day, but here is better help. God gives strength to the weary. In the New Testament it says, “in our weakness he is strong”. So take comfort in the Lord. He gives us strength when we need it most. He never grows weary, and he never runs out of strength.

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Today’s More Than Bread:

1 Peter 4:7-11

7The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray. 8Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. 11If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

With things going the way they are these days, it is sometimes tempting to think that the end is near, and it may well be. However, that is just more reason for us to be diligent. When you speak or when you serve others, be sure to do it in God’s strength and with His mind. That takes prayer and lots of it. It also takes a lot of love.

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I have seen two different columns today siting one example from Safwan last week as evidence that the Iraqi people don’t want to be liberated. First it was Paul Sperry of WorldNetDaily, then Ilana Mercer at the same website, who engaged in this silliness. Listen if you want to voice opposition to the war, fine. That’s your perogative. But don’t misconstrue the facts. I have read at least a half-dozen accounts of this episode where Iraqis shouted, “”Our blood, our souls, we give to you, Saddam!”. Now some of these erstwhile journalist probed deeper and discovered that the scene was being watched by some of Saddam’s henchmen. Which simply means these chanters are not idiots. They don’t like putting their families in jeopardy needlessly. Some journalist accounts of the same scene mention nothing of the sort, which leads me to conclude that they were a)lazy or b)prejudiced in their reporting. I will be kind and say it was laziness that led them to make this error. But to those who use this as ammo for your opinion columns I say, “Get all of the facts first.”

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Today’s More Than Bread:

John 15:4

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

Have you been trying to do things for God lately and seem to get nowhere? Sometimes we try and do Godly things under our own power. We plot out how we can “get the job done”, and forget that God already knows how the job will be finished. I am not saying that we shouldn’t plan ahead, but I am saying that we had better consult the Planner first. There is an old Petra song in my head this morning that says, “Without Him we can do nothing”. What are you trying to do without God’s help?

Jeff

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Here is an interesting little blurb in the news today:

The Dixie Chicks controversy continues with the trio getting some support from former Vice President Al Gore. Gore spoke to a college audience last week on the subject of fewer companies owning more media outlets, and what he sees as the increasing lack of tolerance for opposing views.

According to the Tennessean, Gore used recent attacks on the Dixie Chicks that followed anti-war comments by Natalie Maines as an example. Gore told the audience, “They were made to feel un-American and risked economic retaliation because of what was said. Our democracy has taken a hit,” Gore said. “Our best protection is free and open debate.”

Record sales have fallen for the Chicks and radio stations across the country banned the trio’s music after Maines told a London concert crowd that she was “ashamed the President of the United States is from Texas.” Maines later released an apology.

Seems to me that the backlash came mostly from the Dixie Chick’s fans and that the radio stations were responding to the public mood, not creating it. I don’t know how the brilliant man who created the internet missed that, but it would seem he did. Apparently free and open debate doesn’t include room for people to express disagreement with his views.

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Gong to continue to post the More Than Bread devotionals here each day as well. I am still filling in writing for my sister. I liked the verses from Romans 12 last night so much, I wrote on them. Here is today’s:

Romans 12:1-2

1Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. 2Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

When I was a kid, I watched Sesame Street. Sometimes they had this segment with a song that went, “One of these things is not like the other, One of these things does not belong.” I remember how easy it was to pick out the thing that was out of place. We as Christians should be the same way. When people see our behavior, they should say, “That’s different” or “I wonder why they did that”. The rest of the 12th chapter of Romans outlines some of the ways we will behave when our lives are transformed according to God’s will. Take some time to read it today. And be different.

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Making up for lost time. Found a good article about our friends in France at FrontPage magazine. You can read it here.

In another totally different matter, I noticed an article about sex before marriage and the Church of England’s stand on it. The more I think about this; the more laughable it is. Essentially, you have these people worrying about whether God’s views on sex before marriage are outdated. Like in this quote:

“More generally, it is clear that all the media now present cohabitation uncritically as the practical equivalent of marriage, and in this context it is difficult for the Church, perhaps especially at the local level, to present Christian teaching about marriage in a positive and attractive light,” the report says.

In his contribution, Peter Grinyer, a reader in Lingfield parish and a member of the cohabitation working party, continues: “The great majority of people I talked to agreed that there is an urgent need for the Church to come to terms with a changed society, and to provide a new, and what some may consider radical, even heretical, understanding of sexual relationships for the 21st century.”

Unless the Church was prepared to reconsider its teaching on sex and permit “the exploration and discovery of sexual intimacy” as an important part of a developing relationship, the Church would have little to say on cohabitation that was of value. And if the Church came to be seen as irrelevant in this area, “this risks demeaning and undermining its whole witness and ministry to society”, Mr Grinyer says.

I simply cannot figure out where a group of people who profess belief in a God who is all-knowing, would dare to think that He might not have realized how hard it would be to wait until marriage to have sex when we get a little farther along in the history of the world. Just another way for another church to say that God is one thing and then behave like it’s not true. If you really want to undermine your witness and ministry to society, Mr. Grinyer, become just like it. When there is no difference to be seen; there is no reason to change at all. Christ called us to a different kind of life altogether. We are not to do things according to the way the world thinks they should be done. As the prophet Isaiah says,

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts,

neither are your ways my ways,”

declares the LORD .

“As the heavens are higher than the earth,

so are my ways higher than your ways

and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

-Isaiah 55:8-9

Instead we are called to live in a way that seems a little odd to modern man, especially in the Western world:

Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God–this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.

-Romans 12:1-2

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Peter Arnett gets fired for “telling the truth” about the war. What did he say? That the war isn’t going well for the U.S., and that plans are off track. Tell me this Peter. Where is Saddam Hussein? If you know the answer to that question, and it is a location on this earth, then you have a beef. If you don’t know the answer to that and neither do the Iraqi army, then you are wrong.

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