Design of the Week – Praise (In His Presence)

July 20, 2011 at 1:41 pm | Posted in Designs of the Week | Leave a comment
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This week’s special design is called Praise (In His Presence).

The design uses some simple graphic elements as well as color to portray the love and joy of being in the presence of God and praising Him for what He’s done for us. As Christians, we have the privilege to come before the throne of God with boldness/confidence to ask Him for grace and mercy in times of need (Heb. 4:16). We also have the joy of praising Him for protecting us, providing for us, and most of all saving us from certain destruction. He has given us much to be thankful for and deserves to be praised just for who He is, much less what He’s done.

If you’re having a rough day, you can still praise God for who He is. Life in itself is a blessing. He is good to us and even disciplines us because He loves us. If you are having a great day, then rejoice! It is a perfect time to lift up your voice and sing to the Lord of Heaven.

If you’re not born again, then much of this probably doesn’t make sense. Christians rejoice because God has, in His grace, decided to forgive us of our sins and erase them. He has cleared our consciences of guilt and made us His own. He has saved us from His wrath and allowed us to have the assurance that we will be in heaven when we die. If you don’t have any of that, then you are in danger, regardless of how great your life is. The Bible says that it is appointed unto man once to die and then the judgment (Heb. 9:27). Once you stand before God, He will judge you for every thought, word, and deed committed in your life. All the lies, lusting, theft, disobeying your parents, hatred, and other sins will be laid bare before God and if you have no way to pay for them, you will be cast into hell for eternity. This may seem unfair, but it would to a criminal wouldn’t it? It is right because God is holy, just, righteous, and perfect. He is eternal as well, so punishment in hell is the only just action to be taken. But, God has made a way for you and I to be spared this tragic end.

If you will repent of your sins (turn from them) and put your faith in Jesus Christ and His death on the cross to pay for your sins, the Bible says that you will be born again and that you can have the same assurance that when you die, you will be saved from hell and enter heaven; not because of what you did, but because of what Christ did. Will you do it? Will you repent of your sins and put your faith in Christ? If so, then you and I can praise God together today!

How did we get here?

July 12, 2010 at 8:31 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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Have you ever had a moment to stop and look at your life? Have you ever stopped, examined your life and where you are, and wondered: How did I get here? I’ve done that a few times and it’s always been eye-opening. I never seem to have been where I thought I was. Sometimes I was further along than I thought and other times I wasn’t as far along as I expected. As I looked back on the path that I trod to get where I was, when I began studying where I walked, I could easily see the things that had gotten me off track. Things like disobedience, willful blindness, and sin led me off of the narrow path and out into the weeds. Because of my lack of diligence or awareness I had to work harder to get back on the path. I had to push through painful thorns and cut through the vines of worldliness that were trying to hold me down and choke me out. Through God’s grace alone, I am here. I’m cut up, bruised, and worn out, but I’m here. As I was pondering these things, I couldn’t help but wonder if the body of Christ has ever done this. I can think of one time when I would say this happened, but other than that, I don’t think that something like this has ever taken place. I wonder why? Does the church not see where it is? Do they not care where they are going? Or are they afraid of what they’ll find? Regardless of the reason, I think that the church would benefit from taking a little time to look at where it is in the face of the state of the world. Continue Reading How did we get here?…

What is the church?

June 28, 2010 at 6:30 am | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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It seems like such an innocent question doesn’t it? Logic would say that there should be a simple definition for what the church is and that should be that. Unfortunately, there isn’t. Well, I take that back. There is a simple definition of what the church is. A large number of those who profess Christ even seem to know what this definition is. What’s odd is that, while they know the definition, it doesn’t match up with what they are living out. Taken to the next level, this same oddity seems to be true for local churches. Attendees can give the Sunday school answer for the question but, looking at the church/individual, there’s a discrepancy. Before I go where I’m going, it would be helpful to have the definition of what the church is according to the Bible: Continue Reading What is the church?…

The importance of family

March 15, 2010 at 4:07 pm | Posted in Christianity | Leave a comment
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As our nation and the world continue to struggle with societal woes, everyone rushes around searching for the answers. They run tests, perform studies, and survey people to find out what is going on. In all of this, they neglect the very thing that can help them fix all of the problems that we will ever face.

In America, the problems continue to grow as the government no longer cares to listen to the people it governs. Instead, it sits in its ivory tower with ears plugged and tells the country exactly what is best for it without having a shred of evidence that this is so. Meanwhile, the things that America so desperately needs continue to dwindle away to nothing. Those things that have made this nation what it is disappear at a growing rate, being eroded by the newest fad or the most recent study. One of the main things that is becoming endangered is the biblical family. Continue Reading The importance of family…

Newslinks – 07/20/08

July 20, 2008 at 2:49 pm | Posted in Newslinks | Leave a comment
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Saturday’s Newslinks brought to you by

 

At Ease Tees

 

 

http://www.onenewsnow.com/Politics/Default.aspx?id=177322

NC ‘anti-bullying’ bill masks homosexual agendaNorth Carolina residents are being encouraged to lift their voices against a bill that has recently passed in the House. The bill, School Violence Prevention Act (HB 1366), would require NC public schools to adopt policies in regards to bullying. The problem with the bill is that it creates special protections for students based on sexual orientation and gender expression. The NC Senate stripped all of the pro-homosexual language from the bill and sent it back to the House. The House has not agreed with the bill in this form and will send it back to the Senate in original form for vote. Those against the bill say that it elevates homosexuality and gender identity to the same level as race, color, ancestry, physical appearance, etc., all of which are unchangeable characteristics.

If this were a bill that was pro-Christian and promoted the ideas found in scripture, there would be numerous groups that would decry it. Many pro-homosexual groups try to say that homosexuality is not a choice but that people are born homosexual. There is nothing in scripture that says that this is true. In scripture, God created a man and a woman to be husband and wife. He ordained marriage from the beginning in this way as well as declaring the “orientation” of men towards women (specifically their wives) and women towards men (specifically their husbands). Homosexuality from a biblical perspective is not an unchangeable characteristic and is shown as a choice. The truth is, whether or not you agree that homosexuality is a choice, the bible makes something else a higher priority. The choice argument is second place because the Bible says that homosexuality is a sin. Because of this, there is no reason for laws like these. They are just an effort to try and silence the voices of those who disagree with sin.

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=171690

Denomination to ordain ‘non-celibate’ homosexualsThe highest governing body of the Presbyterian Church USA (PCUSA) has decided to allow the ordination of non-celibate homosexuals. The General Assembly of the PCUSA has also decided to remove the prohibition concerning homosexuality from the Heidelberg Catechism. Charles Burge, the executive director of Presbyterian Lay committee, says that the PCUSA has lost its biblical moorings and that there are many actions that congregations can take. Some churches have decided to withhold monies from the Church to give the money to missions and organizations that they can trust.

 

The PCUSA has continued to move themselves away from the biblical laws that God has set down and decided to make a “God” in their own image who agrees and likes the things that they do, and doesn’t like or agree with the things that they don’t. They talk about removing the prohibition against homosexuality from the Catechism, but talk about how scripture doesn’t condemn homosexuality. If that’s true, then why does it have to be removed from the Catechism? Are they implying that somehow the men and women who founded the PCUSA/Anglican Church were unable to understand scripture to the point that they just “misunderstood” the Bible? This is ridiculous! To say that Christians from the beginning (not to mention the Jews before them) have been wrong for so long by saying that homosexuality is wrong is absolutely ludicrous. To say that Paul (who was given the gospel by Christ Himself – Gal. 1:12) had no understanding of the scripture has no foundation. The PCUSA needs to go back to a biblical understanding of the world and make God’s Word their first and final authority.

 

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http://www.christianpost.com/article/20080714/show-more-love-to-end-youth-violence-says-former-gang-leader.htm

Show More Love to End Youth Violence, Says Former Gang Leader

The founder of the Street Pastors says that the police, the church, and the community need to work together to “stamp out” youth violence. Les Isaac says that the “get rich quick” mentality and family breakdown has contributed to the growing violence. He says that the solution to the issue is that young people need to be loved and feel valued. He says that there are large numbers of youth in our country who don’t feel loved and no one cares. He also says that we (the church and community) need to do what Jesus said to do – love your neighbor as yourself – in a practical way. He is making an effort to call the church “out of the church”, to be “relevant to the needs of young people”, and to be prepared to reach young people that have no church experience so that we can “empower” them.

While I understand the desires of the Mr. Isaac, I have to disagree with his way. This doesn’t mean that it isn’t having an effect, but that there is something else that our youth need. Looking at the youth in most churches, I don’t see most of them as any better than those in the world, whether they are on the streets or not! Our kids don’t need to be “loved” and “empowered” in the way that Mr. Isaac is talking about. What they need is to be told the truth. They need to know that if they die without Christ they will find themselves in hell and that there is nothing but the death and resurrection of Christ that will save them. They need parents who care about them enough to actually act like their parents and discipline them. They need adults who will keep them in line with scriptural teachings. They don’t need “love” in the form of coddling or empowerment. No one else has the ability to see our youth changed. The police can’t do it. The community can’t do it. They can help discipline to some degree, but they can’t give them the truth that will change their lives and get them in the place where they can repent!

 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Legal/Default.aspx?id=179014

Biblical discipline — or child abuse?

Melissa Farrell was at a 4th of July parade in Couer d’Alene with her children. While they were watching the floats go by, Melissa spent a lot of the time restraining her toddler so that she wouldn’t run into the street. After trying a number of other things to calm her down, she finally swatted her on the bottom a couple of times. Almost immediately, she was surrounded by four police officers that accused her of child abuse and threatened her with the loss of her children. Bryan Fischer, of the Idaho Values Alliance, says that the police officers were out of line and didn’t operate under normal procedures. They never checked the child for injuries or wounds. Instead, they just handed Miss Farrell a citation. The toddler was taken to a hospital where there was no indication of injury to the child at all. The police captain also says that the officer who cited her said that he didn’t see any indication of injury. Other bystanders say that they saw Farrell “slam the toddler to the ground and try to smother her” but that would surely leave marks, which weren’t found. The prosecutor is taking the Farrells to court over the child abuse charges even though the hospital records are available to him. The court case would cost the family $5,000 dollars in legal expenses that they don’t have.

This is exactly what happens when governments decide too much in the lives of the people they govern. I fully understand that people can and do hurt their children but, I also know that discipline is something that a majority of American kids are lacking. If I were to see someone beating their child, I would call the police. I would expect them to get involved. If, on the other hand, I were to see someone spanking his or her kids for being rebellious or naughty, I wouldn’t think twice about it. Sadly, I don’t think that it happens enough. Our kids need discipline or they will grow up with a poor understanding of right and wrong and justice. They will also lack respect for authority and be defiant and selfish. Unfortunately, I think I just described many of our nation’s kids… 

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http://www.onenewsnow.com/Church/Default.aspx?id=182934

Extending the ‘Call’

Lou Engle says that the time is right to return to Washington D.C. and call the nation to a “united, massive” movement of fasting and prayer. On August 16th he is hopeful that over a million people will converge on the National Mall in DC in order to pray and fast for our nation. He says, “When there’s no hope for a nation, when there is no remedy, God still has a holy prescription: blow the trumpet in Zion, call a fast, gather all the inhabitants of the land”. He says that many of the leaders that he’s talked to have realized that there is no hope for America apart from prayer.

I agree that prayer is a necessary ingredient for our nation to see change. I agree that there is a decline in our country. I disagree that our country needs a revival. What our country needs is repentance. We don’t need to gather in a large area with outstanding numbers in order to see our nation change. The scripture says that “where two or three are gathered in my Name, I am in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20). When most Christians talk about fasting, it’s all about withholding the body from food, entertainment, or something that they enjoy doing. In the book of Isaiah, God gives a different description of fasting:

Is it a fast like this which I choose, a day for a man to humble himself? Is it for bowing one’s head like a reed And for spreading out sackcloth and ashes as a bed? Will you call this a fast, even an acceptable day to the LORD? “Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke? “Is it not to divide your bread with the hungry And bring the homeless poor into the house; When you see the naked, to cover him; And not to hide yourself from your own flesh? “Then your light will break out like the dawn, And your recovery will speedily spring forth; And your righteousness will go before you; The glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

A fast is not necessarily what many believe it to consist of today. Look at the things that Isaiah describes; to loosen the bonds of wickedness, to let the oppressed go free, to divide your bread with the hungry, to cover the naked. These are the things that God sees in a fast. You can withhold food or other things from yourself in a fast, but that’s not all there is to a fast. If we were to actually fast like God calls us to:

“Then you will call, and the LORD will answer; You will cry, and He will say, ‘Here I am.’

This is what those who organize the Call talk about wanting. They often use 2 Chronicles 7:14 as their foundational scripture. They talk about humbling ourselves and seeking God’s face. But there is something more that we have to do:

If you remove the yoke from your midst, The pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, And if you give yourself to the hungry And satisfy the desire of the afflicted, Then your light will rise in darkness And your gloom will become like midday.

I was at the Call in Nashville, Tenn. I was there before it started and helped with the setup. I was there witnessing to people. I was there on that Saturday when thousands of people filled Titans Stadium and spent the entire day “crying out” to God for our nation. From what the scripture says, you can cry out all you want, but until you repent, until you remove the yoke from your midst, until you stop the ungodly living; God will not hear you. In the passage I quoted from Isaiah, God is talking to His people and not the heathens. Not only that, this admonition was for the Jews. While it does hold some significance for us, it doesn’t specifically apply to us. Jesus told us all what we need to do in His time here on earth. We are never going to see change in our country until that happens. All the weeping, the crying, the praying, will only go so far. Until the Christians in the US repent of their sins and turn from their ways will God actually begin to change our nation.

I honestly don’t see any lasting effects from the Call. I don’t see anything of any lasting value that came from the Call. It was an interesting time and something that I won’t forget, but as for “impacting the nation”, I don’t think so. I think that the church needs to start focusing on the things that will actually change the lives of people around them. Songs of worship and praise are nice. People praying for our nation is a good thing. But, until we start to live our lives in accordance with the truth of the Word of God, we are just making noise and banging gongs…

It’s ok to spank your kids now…

December 14, 2007 at 4:05 pm | Posted in Christianity | 13 Comments
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The American College of Pediatricians has recently put out a statement about their position on spanking children. They agree that spanking is ok to use if used properly. All of this comes in light of the state of Massachusetts looking at banning that form of discipline and the UN trying to get countries to ban it as well.

One pediatrician said “that spanking is most appropriate for children 2 to 6 years old when other milder forms of discipline don’t work” and should be rarely used after the age of 10. The ACP has made a handout the goes over their guidelines for spanking kids. It also gives other, milder forms (about 4) of discipline that should be used before spanking.

I just want to start by saying two things:

First, if your kids are not listening to you, WHOOP ‘EM!

Second, I really don’t think that discipline is the whole problem…

Before I go on, let me say that I am not, by any stretch of the imagination, in favor of beating your kids. I do think that a lot of people can get out of hand with whooping their kids, but these people have other problems that they need to deal with… Continue Reading It’s ok to spank your kids now……


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