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  • TFRStaff 6:33 am on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    WRITTEN WHERE? 

    Where, how and on what a message is written sometimes tells us something about it. For example, the expression is used regarding the “writing on the wall” which often refers to something doomed for failure. For King Belshazzar — during the days of Daniel — he literally saw a hand actually writing on the wall and it caused him great fear. (Daniel 5:5-9) The message did spell doom for his kingdom. (Daniel 5:24-28) Yes, the handwriting was on the wall and that very night Belshazzar was killed and Darius the Mede took over the kingdom. (Daniel 5:30-31)

    We also have the phrase of that which is noted as being “written in stone.” As opposed to something written in sand that can be quickly washed away, this expression usually refers to something being more permanent and unchangeable. When God gave the Ten Commandments to Moses, they were written on stone, but in Moses’ anger at the people involved in the breaking of the very first two of those commands (Exodus 20:3-5), the stone tablets were hurled down and broken. (Exodus 32:15-19)

    Those writings were significant and were destined to duly impact the lives of those to whom they were brought about at the hand of God. Still, where is the most significant place for God’s message to be written? The writer of Hebrews noted what had been prophesied to be where we read. . .

    (10) For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (Hebrews 8:10 ESV)

    This was with reference to the new covenant in Christ (Hebrews 8:8-9) as prophesied through Jeremiah. (Jeremiah 31:31-34) However, this was God’s desire all along as even David acknowledged. (Psalm 40:8) With God’s Commands and Will held within our heart, we will be led away from sinning against Him. (Psalm 119:11)

    In view of Paul’s ministry of the Word to those at Corinth, Paul stated. . .

    (3) And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (2 Corinthians 3:3 ESV)

    As disciples of Jesus, is this truly showing with us? May we allow the writing of God to be on our heart so that our life can be properly lived according to His Will.

    Have a great day WITH GOD’S MESSAGE AT HEART!

    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:11 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , the necessity of religion   

    The liberty of the gospel is not the same as freedom from religion 

    It is becoming ever-increasingly more common to see posts authored by “spiritual” bloggers, hear about sermons preached by “spiritual” speakers or read about books written by “spiritual” writers who make the same spiritual mistake, as politically motivated atheists do, by championing the mantra of “freedom from religion” in such a way to convince others to agree with their point of view. Sounds like religion to me, but anyways. While understanding a person’s point of view is important, it is also true that an individual’s point of view can be easily skewed. That’s because our point of view (our experiences, our study or the lack thereof, our motivations, etc.) can make us completely blind to what we’re saying on a particular topic no matter how plain the truth really is because of the barriers that we self-erect with our position.

    A case in point can be seen in the following “anti-religion” statement:

    We find it fascinating that every single hostile encounter Jesus has is with highly religious people. Not one of them is with a so-called “pagan.” It was religious people who opposed Christ; it was religious people who had him killed. This ought to give you some idea of the pernicious nature of religion. There is relationship with God and life in his Kingdom, and then there is religion. They are not the same.” (here’s the link to the author’s site so you know I’m not taking anything out of context)

    The above quote comes straight from the website of a seemingly fairly well-known author in religious circles…or should I say anti-religious circles? Depends upon your point of view I guess. Either way, the above quote also shows what happens when you want to make a point so badly that you don’t quite stop and listen to what’s being said because it sounds so good to the ears of those who believe it and who want to hear it. So what’s my point about the above point of view? Well it’s this – for multiple reasons, it’s just not biblical!

    1) Of course Jesus dealt with highly religious people on a regular basis – he lived in Israel! Israel was where the very people who had the word of God committed to them lived (Romans 3:1-2). By the time Immanuel was born in Bethlehem, Israel was thoroughly finished with the pagan relationships of the past that are so apparent throughout many of the Old Testament letters. So there’s no real point with that point.

    2) Contrary to the common belief, pagans did indeed cause grief in the life of Jesus even to the point of being co-responsible for taking it! It was the followers of Jesus who made this clear, and it is the very word of God that plainly says, “So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord and said: “Lord, You are God, who made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the mouth of Your servant David have said: ‘Why did the nations rage, and the people plot vain things? The kings of the earth took their stand, and the rulers were gathered together against the Lord and against His Christ.’ “For truly against Your holy Servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose determined before to be done.” (Acts 4:24-28 – emphasis mine) Whether you call them religious or not, it doesn’t change the point – pagans (or non crediderunt in unum Deum) played a role in the death of Jesus. And even if Jesus would have gone beyond the borders of Palestine preaching the kingdom of God, he would have received the same treatment that the rest of the apostles and prophets and believers received while doing that very thing as can be seen throughout the book of Acts because that’s how the world has always reacted to God’s light whether in Jerusalem or in Jacksonville (John 3:19-21).

    (More …)

     
    • Jack 6:29 am on August 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      You were too kind. I checked the site referenced, they know neither YAHWEH, nor the Messiah; having become idolaters in the image of their own god.

  • John Henson 11:32 am on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    God told his priests when Israel reached the Promised Land only the other tribes would enjoy a land inheritance. The Levites would live from the tithes and the gifts the 12 other tribes would give to the tabernacle.

    Instead of having land, God told his priests, “I am your portion and your inheritance among the children of Israel (Numbers 18:20 NKJV).

    That should have been more than enough for the Levites, and it was for many years. For some, however, it wasn’t and by the days of the divided kingdom there were sons of Levite that wished for land and other possessions.

    Christians are a part of the priesthood of God. The New Testament tells us this. The apostle John wrote, “To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen,” (Revelation 1:5-6 NKJV). Later in the same book, John wrote, “For You were slain, And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth,” (Revelation 5:9-10 NKJV).

    While we are members of a completely different priesthood than that of Aaron, we still enjoy the same benefit given in Numbers 18:20: God is our portion and our inheritance.

    The question is, “Are we satisfied?” Some people who wear the name of Christ are not satisfied as evidenced in how they use 95 percent of their lives chasing after the riches of this world and maybe only a fraction of the five percent left serving God. The evidence is how they conduct themselves before God.

    Ask a faithful Christian if he or she is satisfied with God as their portion and inheritance, and they will answer, “Yes! I am satisfied because…

    God gives me all I need. It isn’t necessary to have more. The apostle Paul writing to Timothy wrote, “For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out, and having food and clothing with these we shall be content,” (1 Timothy 6:7-8 NKJV).

    God stands with me when I am tried. God is there to provide us wisdom when we suffer trials (James 1:3-5). God stands with us whenever we commit sin (1 John 1:9).

    God provides us comfort in our sadness. Paul in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 wrote that it is God who comforts us all in tribulation. He wrote God is the “Father of mercies and the God of all comfort,”

    It is said that the “proof of the pudding is in the eating.” We can see this easily in the life of Paul who suffered need, trial and sadness, yet he said, “we are more than conquerors through him who loved us,” (Romans 8:37).

    We should be very satisfied that God is our portion and our inheritance. What else do we need? We need nothing more than the one who made the heavens and the earth and sent his son as the propitiation for our sin (1 John 2:2).

     
    • Jack 2:51 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      (The reference should be Numbers 18:20 rather than 19:20)

      God gives me all I need.
      But godliness actually is a means of great gain, when accompanied by contentment. For we have brought nothing into the world, so we cannot take anything out of it either. If we a have food and covering, with these we shall be content. (1 Timothy 6:6-8)

      God stands with me when I am tried.
      Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)
      If we keep confessing our sins, faithful is he and righteous to remit to us the sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. (1 John 1:9)

      God provides us comfort in our sadness.
      Blessed the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of the compassions and God of all comforting, he who is comforting us in all our affliction so as to enable us to be comforting those in every affliction by means of the comforting with which we ourselves are being comforted by God!
      (2 Corinthians 1:3-4)

      My little children, I am writing these things to you so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He Himself is the propitiation for our sins; and not for ours only, but also for those of the whole world. By this we know that we have come to know Him, if we keep His commandments. (1 John 2:1-3)

    • Randal 4:54 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      A favorite theme of mine. Brazilians say, when someone makes a good summary or conclusion, that “you locked it with a gold key.” So was your last paragraph.

  • Ron Thomas 3:41 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Scientology and Flint, MI 

    Morality and the city council have a meeting of the minds upcoming. It appears that in Flint Michigan there is a desire to have a “nonreligious moral code” promoted for the community. What is that moral code? Scientology. Certainly, the pagan ideology has a moral code, but its moral base is what? Well, it is pagan, isn’t it? And, don’t we already know that pagan moral codes have worked tremendously through the years? Just look around and see how effective they have been.

    The sarcasm notwithstanding, in the story, the implementation of the moral principles will be helpful to the community, any and all communities. But the foundation of the principle has at its base the thinking of man, and the very nature of man’s thinking is fleeting and evolving. What if someone did not want to obey? Will there be an arrest? Will there be an educational moment wherein some educator speaks about a transcendent, objective reason for why obedience is of greater value than not?

    Of course not.

    The reason for a moral code is obvious to a thinking person, but a moral code that has its origin in societal evolving man is a moral code that is resting on a piece of drift wood. It comes and goes with the tide (or waves).

    The ONLY moral code for man that is transcendent and objective is that which has its origin in the righteous and holy God. We may all struggle with putting it into perfect practice, but at least we know it will net be floating like a piece of wood drifting on the water.

     
    • John Henson 12:07 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The “Flint Journal” reported the City Council is considering this. What Flint needs is to consider getting another city council. For years, it has been a mockery of leadership and has watched from the sidelines while its city has burned to the ground, and now they prescribe the humanism of L. Ron Hubbard to bring it out. Incredible!

      • Ron Thomas 3:50 pm on August 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Well said, John

        On Thu, Aug 28, 2014 at 12:08 PM, The Fellowship Room wrote:

        >

  • Randal 12:28 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , early adopters, , ,   

    Don’t be the first, or you might lose something important 

    An old saying warns us not to be the first to adopt a new technology or style, nor be the last to abandon it. There seems to be wisdom here, and a recent experience confirmed it. I cannot save new posts in WordPress’s new dashboard. I just lost most of an article there, after composing it in that software.

    Perhaps my aged operating system and browser are not up to date on the technology behind the new system. Is it my fault or WordPress’s that they’ve adopted requirements that some of the millions who use their service do not possess? (More …)

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:56 am on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , after-birth abortion, , ,   

    . Two years ago the Journal of Medical Ethics published a case for what they called “after-birth abortion.” Now a Planned Parenthood representative has gone on record advocating that parents be given the option of terminating the life of a baby after it is born. They call it “after-birth abortion”, others call it infanticide. But the term that should be used is murder! Yet here we are being led down the yellow-brick road of evolutionary consequences. There is one thing that undergirds the value of human life. It is the fact that each of us are created in the image of God. But make a monkey out of man and there no longer is any reason to treat human life any different than animal life. We have just begun to see the consequences of evolution’s teaching for two generations. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Jack Wirtz 10:17 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder if PETA would protest after birth abortions for human babies?
      Here is what they say about cow’s birthing:

      A letter sent to acting director of the State Fair Troy Waffner from Sarah King, Director of Campaigns at PETA, stated:

      I am writing on behalf of People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) and our more than 3 million members and supporters worldwide, including tens of thousands across New York, to urge you to close the Dairy Cow Birthing Center and replace it with a truly educational exhibit that would show fair-goers what really happens to cows on dairy farms.
      As a mother, I am appalled by the idea of turning childbirth into a spectacle. It is a time when any mother needs comfort and privacy, not crowds of strangers and noise. To reduce it to a ‘show’ is to demonstrate extreme disrespect.

      As a vegan who has worked for PETA for more than nine years, King said she believes in a world where we don’t harm any animals.

  • Randal 5:43 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Arrived safely. Brunched, bathed, and napped. Preparing for a birthday supper, shared with a DIL, with most of the crew. Just thought I’d report in. Carry on.

     
  • Ed Boggess 8:18 am on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , ,   

    Just suppose Charles Darwin, Carl Sagan and all the evolutionists are right. Just suppose that there is nothing to us but matter, molecules and material; no spirit, no immortal soul. Remove the spirit of man and you remove responsibility, you remove morality. How can murder or stealing or anything else be wrong, when there is no basis for right and wrong? If all we are is matter, you can no more blame a man for murdering his neighbor than you can blame a tornado or a tsunami for killing people. Look at the end of the yellow-brick road the evolutionists are leading us on and I don’t believe you will like where it goes. Is it any wonder that our society is unraveling? This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Morris Monkus 8:25 am on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Good thought – – Carl and Charles are Bible Believers now – they know that Christ died for them and rose again, and they know there is an eternity that people will spend somewhere.

    • kenandjean92 8:39 am on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      After enjoying your “Just-a-Minute” I think I’ll take option #2 and that is we have a a “Marvelous Creator” that created all things and blessed us with an eternal soul that allows us to be with Him forever

  • Eugene Adkins 7:09 am on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    The vacuum of a miracle-less life 

    The origin of life? It’s all natural says the “naturalist”. Nothing too special. Just a game of odds, that’s all. And by no means a miracle! Highly evolved nothings…I mean animals – that’s what we are.

    And what of the emotions that we feel? Only chemicals it is said. Nothing is real. It’s only a reaction. And the love for your child? Only a deep functioning desire to see your DNA passed along. After all, that’s all an animal wants to do. And we’re just highly evolved animals anyways.

    And the tears that get shed from the loss of loved ones? They’re not real either. Just a response to the lessening of your chances for survival. That’s where it came from! It’s all thanks to the gift of evolution. Survival of the fittest, and you’re not “as fit” as you once were.

    I hear it from time to time on television. Scientists who believe in evolution but yet they use the word miracle. I believe it happens when they let their guard down and their humanity shows through. But of course if pushed on the subject they would say the use of the word miracle is only a figure of speech; much in the same way that an atheist uses God’s name in vain. The animal must take the place of the human to be rational after all. Everything has a natural explanation. Right? It has to! So says the unbeliever.

    Thus we are brought to the results of a miracle-less life. Nothing but a vacuum! A heart that becomes like the black-holes that are adored.

    Now I’m not saying that all atheists have no emotions. That’s not my point. My point is that the emotions that are as real as the nose on our face, to an honest atheist, do not matter because they are not real. They have no point outside of the forces of the evolutionary train pushing us forward on tracks that cannot be escaped. Tracks that go nowhere.  Tracks that take away our person-hood. Tracks that take away the reality of emotions. Tracks that take us away from miracles. Tracks that take us away from hope. Tracks that take us away from our Creator!

    Don’t get pulled into the vacuum that says it’s all naturally explainable. It can’t all be explained – at least not through man’s science, because man’s science doesn’t even know all of the questions!

    But there’s still that question of where did we come from? And so the atheist pushes on, looking for the answer that they already have. Looking for an answer, or rather a question that fits the answer that they have already accepted and given to others to be accepted. And yet the question remains, “What’s the point of finding an origin of life that has no effect on the way it all ends?” Is evolution actually looking for its own beginnings?

    Space may be one big vacuum, but the plug got pulled and the miracle of life began, not by chance but when in the beginning God….(Genesis 1:1).

    Related Article:

     
    • orangelolita 1:19 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Am I right in thinking that you believe scientists to be inhumane and unbelievers incapable of feeling any emotion that resembles wonder at the world around them. If so, you are deeply misguided fellow stranger.

      • Eugene Adkins 5:06 pm on August 26, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hello, OL.

        That was not my intent at all; nor was my point directed at all scientists because all scientists do not believe in evolution. That’s why I said “Now I’m not saying that all atheists have no emotions. That’s not my point.

        The awe of an atheistic scientist comes only from the admiration of the complexity of life without following the admiration and wonder to the end goal that it’s meant to have: “The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament shows His handiwork.” (Psalm 19:1). See also Romans 1:20-23. This isn’t because “I say it does” but because it’s the only end-point that atheism (whether scientific or not) leads to in relation to the existence of life.

        Plus, just to make sure we’re on the same page here, my main point was about the meaning of emotions that we experience in life such as love and not just necessarily the existence of life itself.

        Thanks for commenting.

  • Eugene Adkins 6:39 am on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Bible Riddle 

    This one is a classic:

    How many eggs can you put in an empty basket?

    Not classically trained in riddles? Check out this scripture reference (Daniel 2:28-45) and look for the word that answers the question.

    Good luck, and have a great day!

     
    • James Craven 6:47 am on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      One , and then it is no longer empty.

      • Eugene Adkins 6:59 am on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Ah, the “ole’ fox” has come back to the hen house!

        Thanks for commenting, James ;)

  • TFRStaff 4:22 am on August 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Let us pursue the knowledge of God 

    A new lesson has been placed in the Old Paths Archive, in text and audio, and in Dutch and English.

    Let us pursue the knowledge of God
    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/know.html

    Laten wij ernaar jagen God te kennen
    http://www.oldpaths.com/Archive/Davison/Roy/Allen/1940/kennis.html

    May the Lord bless you richly.
    Roy Davison

     
  • Randal 5:55 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Giving glory to God. Public or private? 

    Question: Is giving glory to God always a public act? Can it be a private one? I’m very interested in your perspective on this, since I have a “Do this and live” list, and the last one is “Give glory to God.” Can I do that privately, or ought I think of it as a public act?

     
    • kenandjean92 8:02 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Anytime you can give God the glory you should whether public or private

    • Eugene Adkins 8:46 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      If you think of Nebuchadnezzar I believe both would apply. But as far as the emphasis of your question goes, with Nebuchadnezzar the private declaration came before the public (Daniel 4:32-37). Notice especially the “until you know” part of verse 32.

      If this applied to ole’ Neb, I don’t see why it wouldn’t to us. Plus, it’d be hard to give glory to God in a public and honest way if we didn’t do it privately first (thinking along the lines of Matthew 6:1-7).

      Hope that helps.

      • Randal 9:56 am on August 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks for the replies, guys. Hope I don’t have to eat grass to get there.

    • Don Ruhl 8:44 pm on August 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Both.

  • Randal 11:37 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    John Henson debuts today as a Forthright Magazine columnist, with his venue, “Journeys with Jesus.” He brings his experience as a gospel preacher and his insight into Scripture to this effort. If you’ve not signed up yet, be sure to do so. John is one more good reason to!

    http://forthright.net/2014/08/23/phillip-question/

     
  • Randal 7:04 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    Your prayers would be most welcome for my wife’s uncle, who was air-lifted to Memphis after a car accident on Wednesday, and for her as well. Details here:

    http://randalmatheny.com/2014/08/23/pray-vickis-uncle/

     
    • The Churches 9:02 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Praying for your wife’s uncle and your family.

    • John Henson 11:55 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Praying for your wife’s uncle, brother.

      • Randal 1:17 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, John. His surgery went OK, apparently. Now looks like it’ll be a long road back.

  • sandirog 9:51 am on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: angel of light, , firm foundation, , , , , Tradition of Men, Word of Truth   

    Don’t Cling to Paper Nails 

    When I was about 10 or 11 years old, I decided I wanted long nails. So, I got out my school paper (because it was the only paper I had; you know, the kind with lines), traced both my hands on it, and proceeded to draw “long” nails on my sketched fingers, taking great care to measure each thumb, pinky, ring-finger, etc. accurately so each “nail” would fit just right. 

    After tediously cutting and trimming, forming each nail to the correct size and shape, I carefully fitted them to each finger (not without mistakes, mind you, and several “re-cuts”). Finally, I got out the Elmer’s Glue, and glued each paper nail to my chewed up ones, adjusting the paper so it would look like a perfectly formed nail.

    Once the glue was dry, I got out my peach-colored nail polish. It took three or four layers of that stuff to semi-hide the lines on the paper. By the time I was done (two or three hours later), I held my hands out in front of me and proudly displayed my long, beautiful, peach nails with unwanted stripes, and blew on the polish to help it dry. 

    “Sandi, time to mow the lawn!” Mom called from upstairs.

    “But I just painted my nails!” I ran upstairs to show her the amazing artwork I painstakingly designed on my hands.

    No amount of showing off, whining, or begging could convince her to let me forego mowing the lawn. So, I dragged the lawnmower out of the shed, taking care not to bump or snag my new nails on the bag, handle or doors. 

    So far, so good. 

    I started up the lawnmower and AWAY . . . WE . . . WENT, lawnmower, grass clippings, NAILS and all!  Several manicured nails fluttered on the wind amongst the greenery, and tears filled my eyes from all that wasted hard work. Nails and grass flailed about me as I shoved the lawnmower along, stomping along, crying and shouting at the peach artistry sticking to my hair, the mower, and the grass—sticking to everything but where they belonged. To my dismay, some of those pieces of art got sucked up into the lawnmower, others scattered about the dying grass, and I scurried to retrieve them all, desperately trying to salvage what I could among the green shards. 

    Have you ever experienced a moment like this? Where, no matter how hard you worked, everything came undone? As if a gale of wind swept down on your well-laid plans and wreaked a tornado of havoc in your otherwise secure life?

    It’s amazing how the problems of this world can provide great examples or comparisons to our spiritual lives. Jesus used this world (through parables) regularly to convey an important spiritual message. Just as in the Paper Nail story (which, believe it or not, DID happen; I’m sure this incredible story caused some to doubt its authenticity). Okay, let me start over because the following point is important . . .

    Just as in the Paper Nail story, the same thing can happen with our faith if we don’t stick firmly to the Word. We read our Bibles, listen to the preacher, turn on our evangelical TV and radio stations, read Chrisitan blogs, anything we can find to guide us on the right track to Christianity. But then Someone comes along and shakes that foundation of our beliefs, our hard-earned faith that no one has a right to touch, let alone “critique” or question. We grasp at what we know (or believe) to be true, only to discover that what we’ve been doing or believing all our lives is not based on scripture, but based on the dreaded “traditions of men.”

    Jesus once warned the Pharisees and scribes that they were neglecting the commandments of God and clinging to traditions of men. These were men highly honored and respected by the people (or themselves) as the elite of religion.

    Mark 7:6-9

    And He said to them, “Rightly did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written:

    ‘This people honors Me with their lips,

    But their heart is far away from Me.

    ‘But in vain do they worship Me,


    Teaching as doctrines the precepts of men.’

    Neglecting the commandment of God, you hold to the tradition of men.”

    Could there be a Pharisee or scribe in all of us? Clearly, this was included in the Bible for a reason. I don’t know about you, but I’ve stumbled upon spiritual truths that have awakened me from my stupor of pious religion. Spiritual truths as numerous as the grass clippings in my backyard! From microscopic details of “how to love my neighbor (husband, siblings, children, friends, etc)” to “how to love God.” I’ve found myself sometimes clinging to traditions of men (a.k.a. my own ideas), just like I tried to cling to those flailing nails, because I didn’t want to change or accept the truth that was set before me. But my attempts were futile, and I’m sure I appeared to God as foolish as I did when chasing my paper nails. Sometimes I detested the truth, hated it with a passion. Yet, Truth stood before me, staring me straight in the face, and finally I had to accept it, accept my fate. I let go of those paper-nails and let them fly away or tossed what was left in the trashcan, resigned to loving God and His word, rather than the traditions of men. And somehow it’s brought me unfathomable . . . JOY. TRUTH, by far, is more powerful than men’s traditions, just like our real nails are more powerful than paper ones. Silly comparison, isn’t it? And yet, this is how foolish we become when we can’t “let go.” 

    How in the world could we become like Pharisees and scribes when we are striving so hard to love our heavenly Father? Jesus answers that question in the verse quoted above. We “neglect the commandments of God,” which ultimately is Truth. 

    Where are the commandments of God found?

    In His Word.

    Here are some warnings from His Word:

    Ephesians 4:14

    As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming.

    Colossians 2:8

    See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the TRADITION OF MEN, according to the elementary principles of the world, rather than according to Christ (emphasis mine).

    Are we like those paper nails, not clinging to the foundation, not standing on the chief cornerstone, (Matt. 21:33-45), and being carried about by every wind of doctrine? Are we even aware that this might be happening in our spiritual walk?

    Jesus warns in Matthew 7: 21 “Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven will enter. Many will say to Me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in Your name, and in Your name cast out demons, and in Your name perform many miracles?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness.’”

    Let me just say, Satan is good at what he does. He’s been around a lot longer than any of us. He knows what makes us tick and how to push our buttons. Remember, he’s known as the great deceiver, out to deceive “the whole world” (Rev. 12:9). And He even appears as an angel of light.

    2 Corinthians 11: 14-15

    . . . for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

    Now that I’ve thoroughly frightened us all, how can we be careful that we don’t become like the Pharisees and scribes of Jesus’ day?

    Let’s allow the Word to answer that question in the upcoming posts. But I’ll leave you with this hint:

    2 Timothy 2:15

    Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the WORD OF TRUTH (emphasis mine).

    This post was taken from The Lord’s Lady: women growing in the Word.

    http://thelordslady2.blogspot.com/p/welcome.html

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:45 am on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Opinions are like noses, everyone has them and they are often poked out front in places where they don’t belong. One of our adult classes is viewing a video series made by one of our brethren. In the series he takes a number of positions that can at best be categorized as his opinion, yet he treats each as if they are a “thus says the Lord”. There is nothing new about this. For decades and more people have been unable to separate their studied judgments from scripture from the scripture itself. While I agree with those studied judgments that make sense to me, I find those that do not make sense outrageously offensive and samples of flawed human reasoning and the pushing of opinions. The trouble with this is no one wants to put me in charge of separating which opinions we should respect as scripture and which to reject. Therefore duly chastened, I suggest we stick to a “book, chapter and verse” “thus says the Lord” approach to what we know is right and wrong and recognize and admit that beyond that we enter the realm of opinion and studied judgment, treat it as thus and allow others room to think for themselves. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:33 am on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Charles Darwin started the effort t to make monkeys out of men in 1859 with the publishing of his Origin Of The Species. Since that time, academics have been searching for the missing link. They have left no stone unturned, yet in spite of their united efforts, their unfounded claims, and even a fraudulent pasted together hoax, the Piltdown Man, evolution remains unproven. You might think that they would back off, take a second look and reevaluate. But no, they forge ahead, determined to prove a theory that has been shown to be false. In the meantime evidence has surfaced that demonstrates our earth is relatively young and that there is more to man than molecules and mud. There is a spirit within that animates the physical and that spirit is responsible to the God who placed it there. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Jack Wirtz 1:47 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Evolution stands or falls not on the existence of intermediate species, but on life itself. Evolutionists can no more transform plant life into animal life than they can transform inanimate matter into a single living cell. Their theory remains, and shall forever be firmly blinded by their hatred for GOD on__ Matter + Time = Life.

  • TFRStaff 6:34 am on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    THE LOVING KIND! 

    Some have encouraged random acts of kindness to be done in life. From those actions, we may not always know the full impact such kindness can have on the recipients because we are not always fully aware of what might be going on their life. Perhaps being on the brink of giving up on life, our actions may be the offering of encouragement and hope an individual desperately needs. With so much selfish ambition and self-centeredness in this world, there remains a great need for kindness to be extended; especially the loving kind.

    There was a teacher who asked the students of her class for the meaning of loving-kindness. One boy eagerly offered, “If I was hungry and someone gave me a piece of bread, that would be kindness. But if they spread a little jam on it, that would be loving kindness.”

    No matter how small the kindness we extend, let us not minimize its possible significance as it meets real needs whether they be emotional, physical, or spiritual. Jesus stated. . .

    (40) Whoever receives you receives me, and whoever receives me receives him who sent me. (41) The one who receives a prophet because he is a prophet will receive a prophet’s reward, and the one who receives a righteous person because he is a righteous person will receive a righteous person’s reward. (42) And whoever gives one of these little ones even a cup of cold water because he is a disciple, truly, I say to you, he will by no means lose his reward. (Matthew 10:40-42 ESV)

    Receiving Jesus and His servants? Definitely significant! Accepting God’s prophets? Yes, significant! Meeting the need for even a cup of cold water? According to Jesus, even that is significant. Let us remember it was by the “goodness and loving kindness of God” (Titus 3:4-5 ESV) that the provision of our salvation was made. If we love as God has loved us, we will be mindful of spreading kindness to those around us; especially the loving kind! According to Paul, nothing is gained when love is absent. (1 Corinthians 13:3) Therefore, may godly love be the motivation behind the kindness we spread.

    Have a great day ALLOWING GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH US!

    “teEn-MAIL” is sent out daily by Carl Hanson, preacher for the Church of Christ in Port Townsend, Washington, USA, located at 230 A Street, Port Townsend, WA 98368. Come visit us if in the area. http://www.porttownsendchurchofchrist.org

     
    • Jack Wirtz 2:41 pm on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “ALLOWING GOD’S GOODNESS AND LOVING KINDNESS TO BE EXTENDED THROUGH US!”

      Does not “allowing” speak more of our passive approval rather than loving our neighbor_ to which we have been called? As in, Ephesians 2:10 For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which GOD prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. And Matthew 10:42’s “And whoever in the name of a disciple gives to one of these little ones even a cup of cold water to drink, truly I say to you he shall not lose his reward.”

      • Eugene Adkins 7:35 am on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Jack.

        I don’t want to speak for Carl but since he was not the one who posted the article I’d like to give a brief answer.

        I believe “allowing” would lean more toward the idea of biblical submission towards God and not resisting God as he seeks to work within and through us (Romans 10:13; Acts 7:51; Philippians 2:12-13).

        To do God’s service means to do God’s work, which in the vast majority of cases (as far as positive outcomes go) includes denying our self…which gets us back to “allowing” God’s goodness and loving kindness to be extended through us.

        Allowing someone to “smite our other cheek” may sound passive (and indeed it is), but at the same time it is proactive in the sense of following Jesus’ command. Such would be the case/sense/meaning of “allowing” the work of God in the sentence that you quoted.

        Thanks for reading and for commenting.

    • Carl Hanson 3:54 pm on August 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Brother Eugene Adkins. Thank you for responding to the question. You are correct in the manner in which I often use the word and concept of “allowing”. It was it that manner of submitting and surrendering to God’s active Will through our life that I was closing the focus reposted in “The Fellowship Room”.

      • Eugene Adkins 7:32 pm on August 24, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hi, Carl. Thanks for visiting and for the clarification.

        Thank you for your willingness to allow your writings to be made available here in TFR.

        It would be great to see you commenting from time to time.

  • John Henson 7:42 pm on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    A Ruler in Israel 

    Micah 5:1-5
    I. Ruler in Israel (Verse 2)
    II. Majesty in Israel (Verse 4)
    III. Peace in Israel (Verse 5)

     
    • Jack 7:27 am on August 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Micah 5:5 And this shall be Peace. (The man above, compare Gen.5:29
      the peace—the fountainhead of peace between GOD and man, between Israel and Israel’s justly offended GOD (Gen 49:10; Isa 9:6; Eph 2:14, 17; Col 1:20), and, as the consequence, the fountain of “peace on earth,” where heretofore all is strife (Mic 4:3; Hos 2:18; Zech 9:10; Lk 2:14).

  • Randal 8:55 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Bible reading is directly related to spirituality.

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:28 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    A modern Biology text used in high schools across Tennessee says, “Evolution is the process by which all organisms have developed from older life forms. Organisms alive today are the descendants of the first cells that lived 3.5 billion years ago.” That is what our children are daily taught. However, Genesis 1 says, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth . . . and the Lord God formed man out of the dust of the earth and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and man became a living being.” One elevates man as created in God’s image; the other traces his origins to a swamp of primordial ooze. Both systems require faith: one asks for faith in God the other in missing links. One makes man morally responsible, the other removes all moral responsibility. Which will it be for you? This is Just-A-Minute

     
  • TFRStaff 6:29 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , , , , , , , Timeless,   

    August 2014 Issue of Christian Worker 

    Here’s a link to the latest PDF issue of the Christian Worker.

    Here are the topics that you will find:

    • What Is Marriage? What Constitutes Marriage? (Robert R. Taylor, Jr)
    • Has the Kingdom Come? (Sam Willcut)
    • “Buy the Truth and Sell It Not” (Royce Williamson)
    • Watching the Pendulum (Glenn Colley)
    • “Living Oracles” (Mel Futrell)
    • Some Things Must Never Change (Jeff Jenkins)
    • Is It Nothing to You? (Alan Highers)
    • Behind Closed Doors (Steve Higginbotham)

    Christian Worker is an edification effort of the Southwest church of Christ in Austin, Texas.

    You can subscribe to the email version of the Christian Worker paper by clicking on the publications link on their website and then following the given instructions…or by clicking on the link provided here in The Fellowship Room under the “Friends” category to your right.

    Copyright © 2014 Southwest church of Christ, All rights reserved.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:16 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: bulletin articles, , ,   

    A good outline about the change that biblical repentance produces 

    Here’s an article that came from the Montrose Church in Carthage, TN. It’s about the change that biblical repentance produces in our life. I thought some here might want to use it as a bulletin article or as a sermon outline. With all of the “sit where you’re at and Heaven will come to you” type of preaching that is popular, this outline helps to remind us that the kingdom of Heaven is reached by walking the opposite direction of the flesh.

    THERE’S A CHANGE IN MY LIFE SINCE YOU CAME ALONG!

    TEXT: Acts 3:19

    INTRODUCTION: The Biblical definition of repentance is “to change one’s mind.” The Bible also tells us that true repentance will result in a change of actions (Luke 3:8-14; Acts 3:19). Cf. Acts 26:20. The full biblical definition of repentance is a change of mind that results in a change of action. In terms of the kingdom, it involves…

    A change in one’s allegiance. Kingdom citizens submit their own will to the will of the King. Cf. Matthew 6:10; Romans 6:12-18; Matthew 6:24; 7:21. The King deserves our loyalty, obedience, honor and praise. A change in one’s expectations. If all one lives for is TODAY, tomorrow will grow very unappealing. If there is no hope for the future, there is no power for TODAY. Cf. Acts 1:9-11; John 14:1-6; 2 Thessalonians 1:7-9. The King deserves our anticipation.

    A change in one’s values. Our culture values success, appearance, image, wealth and independence. The values of Kingdom citizens adopt the King’s values and make decisions and choices that reflect His values. The King deserves our cooperation.

    A change in one’s priorities. Priorities reflect personal allegiance, expectations and values. It also determines how I will spend my time and money. Kingdom citizens prioritize their time and money to benefit the King and His Kingdom. Cf. Matthew 6:24-34, especially vs.33. Unless the King occupies FIRST place in out life, He occupies NO place. The King deserves our full attention.

    A change in one’s long mission. Those with no mission in life are aimless and unproductive. James calls them, “double minded.” The King wants His followers to be servants. Cf. John 13:15; Matthew 20:27-28; 25:21. Kingdom citizens humble themselves to serve those in the Kingdom.

    CONCLUSION: Can you say, “There’s a change in my life since the King came along?” Repentance will turn your life around like nothing else will.

    - Mark N. Posey, Pulpit Previews

     
  • Eugene Adkins 7:04 am on August 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , feeding on the word of God,   

    Be settled with what has been revealed 

    There are some who claim to have all the spiritual answers. The lack of wisdom in such a position is seen when you realize that these same people can’t even give all the questions! But then again there are some who create questions so they can have the answers.

    Questions that don’t amount to a hill of spiritual beans and answers that feed the flesh but sicken the soul is what happens (Hebrews 12:15-17).

    People have a tendency to talk about things that we have no business talking about and not talking about what we should (1 Timothy 5:13; Mark 7:36; Deuteronomy 29:29; Romans 10:6-9).

    We want to know more without even knowing what has been revealed. Our eyes are bigger than our belly!

    The words necessary for good spiritual health are the words that we have been given (Matthew 4:4); we do not need to be consumed with finding people that are willing to add or take away from the revealed will of God. Such a desire only reveals a lack of faith, spiritual maturity and contentment (Numbers 11; 1 Peter 2:2; 1 Corinthians 3:1-3). Such a desire creates a hunger for the holiness of men and leads to a loss of appetite for the holy things of God (1 Timothy 4:1-7). Look to the religious world and see if these things aren’t so!

    We would all do well to accept what God has revealed and to accept that we do not need to know what we cannot know because the Lord has determined it to be unnecessary for us. He has given what we need (2 Peter 1:3; 2 Timothy 3:16-17), but like all other things in life we must determine if we are satisfied with the necessities that have been provided (1 Timothy 6:5-10).

    These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.” (Jude 12-13)

     
    • Jack Wirtz 7:58 pm on August 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Blessed brother, for the truth well stated.

    • Randal 9:04 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      “We want to know more without even knowing what has been revealed.”

      Amazing, Eugene, we talked about this very point last night, one observation on Deu 29.29. Our topic was the devil. The Bible doesn’t say much about his origins, which everyone is curious about. It says plenty, however, about his end, which ought to have us jumping in our seats.

      • Eugene Adkins 9:36 am on August 21, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I think it was Charles Hodge (the “On the Banks of Onion Creek” writer for Gospel Advocate) who said something along the lines of “we rush in where angels fear to tread” in connection to the book of Jude and the verse that mentioned Michael and the Devil.

        That’s a line that has stuck in my mind since I read it. Ole’ Deuteronomy 29 couldn’t be any plainer no matter how hard it is for some of us to see it.

    • Don Ruhl 8:33 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      The two opening sentences were great: “There are some who claim to have all the spiritual answers. The lack of wisdom in such a position is seen when you realize that these same people can’t even give all the questions!”

      • Eugene Adkins 8:50 pm on August 23, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Hey brother, I’ll take an amen to two sentences over silence to 30 minutes of preaching any day! ;)

  • TFRStaff 4:18 pm on August 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Michael Brown, reader perspectives   

    What does the Bible have to say about the death of Michael Brown? 

    Directly, nothing, of course, since Michael Brown’s name, nor yours nor mine, figure in the teachings of the Apostles and prophets, nor did such a town as Ferguson, Mo., exist back then.

    But what perspectives might be shared from Scripture to help saints and those outside of Christ appreciate Bible teaching that can be applied to this situation?

    We invite you to chime in with your contributions in the comments area.

     
  • Randal 10:50 am on August 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Love the main point 

    You probably don’t know that I have a little online biz card and now mini-blog, to which, because of ease of posting, I’m adding my UPLift material and Cloudburst Poetry comments and background. So today, the designated day for an offering of the former, you get this:

    http://randal.us/love-at-the-peak

    Love at the Peak. On 1 Corinthians 13. I hope this material will become part of a book, second in the series to my Choose!. Time will tell. May you be lifted up today by this little sample.

     
    • Beth Johnson 10:43 pm on August 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Thanks! I do appreciate the study and the new way of getting it out to people. Keep up the good work.

      • Randal 4:37 am on August 20, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thank you, Beth!! I pray it might be helpful in some small way.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:07 am on August 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , direct operation of the Holy Spirit, ,   

    Inconsistencies concerning the conviction and correction of a sinner and the Holy Spirit 

    There are some in the religious world, and perhaps even several within the church herself, who consistently claim that the Holy Spirit convicts the hearts of sinners through means outside of the word of God. Although I believe that most are sincere in their claim, I also believe the majority of those who are sincere are also inconsistent with their belief.

    This inconsistency is seen when one person who has been convicted by the Holy Spirit via a “religious experience” attempts to inform another individual who has been convicted by the Holy Spirit via a differing “religious experience” resulting in a salvation, belief and testimony from a completely different process that their experience was wrong and then they attempt to use the word of God to prove it.

    Do you see the inconsistency?

    If conviction (salvation) for the sinner comes from a religious experience and not from the word of God alone, then what does it matter if one “religious experience” matches another? Who is to say that anyone’s “experience” is wrong whether we’re talking about Joseph Smith or Charles Russell or Ellen G. White or any TV preacher who calls on people to lay hands on the TV for their religious experience?

    Furthermore, the inconsistency of the position is revealed through the very attempt made at correcting the inconsistent “religious experience” by using the consistency of the word of God.

    If the word of God is going to be used as the guideline for correcting error, then the very word of God, by default, becomes the standard by which the conviction should have taken place to begin with. You cannot honestly say that a conviction can come by the Holy Spirit operating directly on someone outside of the word of God and then turn around and tell someone their experience of that “direct operation” was wrong because it does not align with what the Spirit teaches through the word – that’s inconsistent!

    The truth of the matter is that when it comes to the conviction and correction (that leads to salvation) of the Holy Spirit upon the heart of a sinner, the work of Spirit is accomplished through the consistent guidance of His word and not through the inconsistent “religious experiences” that vary and contradict each other and the word of God itself.

    But if your belief is that the direction operation of the Holy Spirit is indeed the mode of conviction and correction that God has chosen, then you would do well to stop saying that the “religious experiences” of others resulting from that direct operation is in error because if there is going to be no consistency then attempting to be consistent is very inconsistent within itself.

    “Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, both Lord and Christ.” Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:36-38)

     
  • Eugene Adkins 5:13 pm on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Bible Riddle 

    You can think about this one the next time you’re at the grocery store:

    A clerk at a butcher’s shop stands 5’ 10” tall and wears size 13 shoes. What does he weigh?

    Need a hint? Get in line, your number is 134. Just playing! Read Numbers 11:16-35 and you’ll find the word that answers the riddle.

     

     
    • Steve 6:10 pm on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Meat

    • Chris Barrett 7:29 pm on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Meat. Rise Peter kill and eat. Love the riddles. Keep it up.

      • Eugene Adkins 8:16 pm on August 19, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, Chris.

        Unless I find a new source, I have “about” 5 more riddles to go. I’ve said this before, but eventually the “pool” will dry up and it’ll actually happen.

  • TFRStaff 3:42 pm on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
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    Hugh’s News & Views (Hold To . . .) 

    HUGH’S NEWS & VIEWS

    HOLD TO GOD’S UNCHANGING HAND

    In most of my gospel meetings this year I have emphasized the theme “Hold to God’s Unchanging Hand.” This is the title of a song that I have sung all my life in church. I love this moving old spiritual song with its strong cadence (especially the chorus), and as I have grown older it has become more meaningful to me. (It might be remembered that the melody of this song was played in a stirring scene of the 2010 version of the movie “True Grit,” starring Jeff Bridges, Matt Damon, and Hailee Seinfeld.)

    We live in an unsettled and therefore an unsettling world, a shakable and therefore a shaking world, a changeable and therefore a changing world. In the midst of such a world we long for stability and security. Where is this security and stability to be found? In God and God alone! (More …)

     
  • Ed Boggess 10:03 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    Why have so many given up on Genesis 1 and the creation record? Everyone wants to be intellectually respectable. No one respects the fool who blindly and stubbornly holds to that which is both arcane and archaic. I believe many Christians are in this position. They feel if they hold to Genesis 1, they are in a position that is intellectually indefensible. But the truth is the only position that is indefensible is evolution. Harvard professor Steven Jay Gould, leading evolutionist until his death in 2002, famously stated that there have been over 100 major debates between evolutionists and Creationists and quote: “We have lost every one of them. We should stop debating these people.” If it wasn’t for the fact that evolution is the darling of the media, people would begin to realize evolution is the one intellectually indefensible! This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Morris Monkus 10:56 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I wonder how Christians figure that if Genesis is not literally true – how is it literally true that Christ died for our sins and rose again?

  • Glenda Williams 9:17 am on August 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags:   

    It seems to me people in the world are spiraling out of control, and there is no stopping them. Everyday I listen to the news and think surely it could not get any worse, only to hear something worse the next day. It breaks my heart.

    What can we do? Just yesterday I was walking on our treadmill as I listened to Faith Radio. The announcer said 50% of the babies being born are being born to girls who are living with the baby’s father, unmarried.

    Years ago we knew an older couple who were living together outside of marriage. Why? Because they wouldn’t get as much money from the government if they married, so they chose to live in sin instead. Another fine lady who was in the church thought she couldn’t live on her single income after her husband died. She married a man who had been married several times, and they were living in adultery…and knew it!!! Thankfully, we were able to talk to her and persuade her to get out of that relationship if she desired to go to heaven. She divorced the man, and started a catering business and made her own living. She recently passed away.

    Parents are not teaching their children, both boys and girls, the importance of purity. They are not teaching their children the importance of the marriage vow and bed, therefore we are seeing the results of pure spiritual neglect.

    A lack of respect for the word of God. Now that is a frightening statement, don’t you think? A lack of respect for the word of God will lead one to say, “well, I think, or I believe it’s okay if we do this or that.” A moment’s desire can make one lose respect for the word of God. As time goes on the weight of that decision weighs heavily on the mind and conscious, and causes havoc down the road, not to mention the losing of one’s soul in hell.

    Years ago, on several occasions, an older married man told me he wanted to talk to me. He said he just knew he could talk to me from the first time he saw me. He kept on until I let him come, so I could hear what he had to say. It didn’t take him long to tell me he had five women that he went to see on his “camper vacations.” His wife was one of my close friends and a wonderful Christian. Yet, he took off periodically with his camper on the back of his truck and was gone several days. I asked him what about his wife. “Oh, there’s nothing there. Nothing there,” he replied. That’s no excuse!!! When he started to leave he said he’d just give anything if he could just hug my neck. I told him I couldn’t live with myself if I did that. He replied the way he looked at it was he “just considered it a dream, just considered it a dream,” repeating himself. I lost all respect for him that day. Depending on one’s mind instead of God’s word will not lead to a heavenly homecoming.

    Children growing up with parents who are not married, who are living in adultery, or any other sinful circumstance, will grow up thinking it is okay to do the same thing, and even doing it as the example above. Parents will answer for setting the wrong example and leading their children astray.

    We must weigh our decisions by the word of God. We must teach our children and grandchildren the importance of abiding by the Word, instead of taking someone else’s teaching, or ideas, on the matter. Life is too short and uncertain to gamble with our souls.

    May God help us to correct the error of our ways before it is eternally too late.

     
    • sandirog 12:53 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Amen! That’s one of the reasons I started a new blog for women. We need to grow in the Word and know right from wrong. I have a lot of denominational friends, and it’s my hope I can win some souls this way. Bless you for standing firm in our Lord! Here’s a link to my blog if you’re interested: http://thelordslady2.blogspot.com/p/welcome.html

    • mac1314 8:20 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Excellent thoughts! 1Timothy 3 gives us much insight as to the concerns you’ve expressed. Our goal has to always be to “press on” in Him. I am also mindful of John 16:33

    • Beth Johnson 9:12 am on August 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Glenda, it almost sounds like the people in Jeremiah’s time. “We will not obey!” “We will do what we want to do.”

      Sandy, I am glad to see among other things you writing for a reason. Yes, helping our sisters and those outside of Christ is a good thing. You never know who might be influenced for good.

  • Randal 7:00 pm on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: couplets, ,   

    Of glory — murky truth! — how little we speak,
    Our sight of God’s effulgent light is weak.

     
    • Jon Galloway 7:11 pm on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      How true, how true! If only…

  • Ed Boggess 8:32 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: "living in sin", , , ,   

    1 John teaches us much about the love of God and how his grace works on behalf of his children. “Behold what manner of love the Father has given to us.” We all stumble in many ways and fall short of the glory of God. But once we are adopted into the family of God, the blood of Jesus constantly washes us from our failings and sins. As long as we are walking in the light, this blessing gives us the confidence that we can live without fear, trusting in the grace and love of our Father. But since we all stumble and sin, else why would there be any need for a constant cleansing, how do we know that we are walking in the light? I hear the phrase, nearly always describing someone other than the one using the phrase, describing someone as “living in sin”. Every time I hear it is used exclusively for one particular sin. But why apply it to only one? The gossip, the liar, the resentful, the thief, the cheat, tax evader (or tax corner-cutter), the lustful, the covetous, and on and on are all living in sin. How can anyone trust themselves as walking in the light and therefore receiving the cleansing power and sonship of God? I believe the answer is in the context of 1 John itself. John does not introduce the idea and then abandon it, but rather develops it throughout his letter. In the midst of this development, he identifies who is walking in the light and who is not. in 3:7, 8 John warns against being deceived and then contrasts two different lifestyles. Using the ESV John says there are the children of God who “practice righteousness” and there are those serving the devil who “make a practice of sinning.” John is not talking about a single sin but a overall lifestyle. Through the years I have seen people struggle with a particular sin, perhaps drunkenness, yet overall they lived a life serving the Lord. I am not the judge of such folks, nor will I condemn them off-hand. I will encourage them to continue to work on those areas they fall short, as I hope I continue to work on the areas I fall short. But the very fact that they are living lives “practicing righteousness” gives me hope that God’s grace will cover their shortcomings.

    Through nearly 50 years of preaching I have met and grieved over scores and hundreds of former Christians who were offered no hope and therefore gave up. I remember one deacon’s son who had been told he might as well give up since his situation, a mess he had made for himself, made it impossible for him to be saved. Believing what he was told, he no longer tried. He had children and they were not taken to church nor introduced to the Lord. They now have teenage children who were never taken to church and never introduced to the Lord. So there is Oscar himself and his wife, four children and 12 grandchildren, 18 in all: all with no hope and all altogether away from the Lord. Why? Some folks “living in sin” are never told “you might as well quit”, others, liars, gossips, etc. are ignored. Oscar is one of hundreds I have come across. How many more could be multiplied if we only could somehow know? There will always be tares among the wheat and the Lord has the wisdom to separate the two when it is time. Think how much greater the kingdom could be, if we left it to Him. These are just some thoughts I choose to share that cause me to grieve. Maybe I’m wrong. I’ve been wrong before and I am sure I will be again. But maybe I’m not. This is Just-A-Minute or two or three.

     
  • Ed Boggess 7:59 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , ,   

    How are fossils made? They are not made by lying on the ground and over centuries being covered by dirt and becoming fossilized. If so, we would see fossils all around us in the process of being fossilized. Fossils are made by cataclysmic events: floods, volcanos and such like. When Mt Vesuvius erupted in AD 79 two entire cities were fossilized: Pompeii and Herculaneum. But the greatest event at fossilization happened with Noah’s worldwide flood. Organic matter entombed in mud. That is why great fossil graveyards are found with odd combinations of bears and penguins, all kinds of species of every conceivable kind, all washed together into one huge fossil graveyard. These are found in various places all over the world. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
  • TFRStaff 6:45 am on August 16, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , ,   

    Grace removes the practice of sin, or it is not grace 

    grace-godlinessGod’s grace not only saves, but teaches. It will not save unless we are teachable. We cannot welcome saving grace without accepting teaching grace. Grace is not a blanket to cover sin that is present, but removes both its guilt and its practice.

    For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to the intent that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we would live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; looking for the blessed hope and appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ; who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify for himself a people for his own possession, zealous for good works. Say these things and exhort and reprove with all authority. Let no man despise you.

    This Paul says in Titus 2:11-15 (WEB). Grace comes with conditions. It is spiritual and moral. Holiness belongs to grace. If godliness is not present, neither is grace. (More …)

     
  • Randal 8:09 pm on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Anybody else besides me need to learn this lesson?

     
  • John T. Polk II 1:51 pm on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , majestic, , , ,   

    (#206) The Proverbs of Solomon 30:29-31-Walk the Royal Walk 

    Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-29:27 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. Proverbs 30-31 were added and preserved by the Holy Spirit. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

    Proverbs 30:29-31: “There are three things which are majestic in pace, Yes, four which are stately in walk: A lion, which is mighty among beasts And does not turn away from any; A greyhound, A male goat also, And a king whose troops are with him.”

    Walking regally is an indication of inner confidence and fearlessness. Regality is born out of security, violence from hatred and fear. There is a reason for these four to illustrate “majestic pace” which Christians, especially, should add to their lives:

    “A lion” because of strength and power. As our “adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8), so the wicked “have closed up their fat hearts; With their mouths they speak proudly. They have now surrounded us in our steps; They have set their eyes, crouching down to the earth, As a lion is eager to tear his prey, And like a young lion lurking in secret places (Psalm 17:10-12). Those who follow God should have every reason to be secure. “In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, And His children will have a place of refuge” (Proverbs 14:26); “The wicked flee when no one pursues, But the righteous are bold as a lion” (Proverbs 28:1); “But even after we had suffered before and were spitefully treated at Philippi, as you know, we were bold in our God to speak to you the gospel of God in much conflict (1 Thessalonians 2:2). Christians must realize that we are to “abide in Him, that when He appears, we may have confidence and not be ashamed before Him at His coming” (1 John 2:28).

    “A greyhound” because of speed and agility. God hates “feet that are swift in running to evil” (Proverbs 6:18), but faithful followers of God, who are “swift to hear” (James 1:19), often receive help from Him quickly. “In the day of my trouble I will call upon You, For You will answer me” (Psalm 86:7); Answer me speedily, O LORD; My spirit fails! Do not hide Your face from me, Lest I be like those who go down into the pit. Cause me to hear Your lovingkindness in the morning, For in You do I trust; Cause me to know the way in which I should walk, For I lift up my soul to You” (Psalm 143:7-8); “For the eyes of the LORD are on the righteous, And His ears are open to their prayers; But the face of the LORD is against those who do evil” (1 Peter 3:12).

    “A male goat” because of place and leadership. A man was created first (1 Timothy 2:13), and should be the leader of righteousness in his home (Ephesians 5:22-24). Those who refuse this God-given responsibility are rejected by God. “For the perverse person is an abomination to the LORD, But His secret counsel is with the upright” (Proverbs 3:32).

    “A king” because of trust and loyalty. “If you see the oppression of the poor, and the violent perversion of justice and righteousness in a province, do not marvel at the matter; for high official watches over high official, and higher officials are over them” (Ecclesiastes 5:8). All government officials should take care to rule with righteousness, lest their enemies come from within.

    These four illustrations give a “majestic” walk to the faithful. “You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield” (Psalm 115:11). “Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7).

    All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

     
  • Eugene Adkins 6:49 am on August 15, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    A punny, but serious, thought on covetousness and the Christian 

    As we camp out in the wilderness on our way to Canaan’s land we’re going to have to live out life in a contentment if we expect to stay away from a distracting covetousness in our heart.

    And He said to them, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses.”” (Luke 12:15 – NKJV)

     
  • Ed Boggess 8:09 am on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Carl Sagan, , ,   

    Until his passing in 1996 Carl Sagan served as the media voice of evolution. He contended (quote) “the perfect order of the universe is a product of celestial roulette . . . thrown together by pure chance (end quote).” This is still the evolutionary line. However, the order of the universe, its harmony and complexity working together, cannot be explained by pure chance. Evolutionists believe the solution is to multiply time. However, lock a thousand chimps into a room full of computers and let them peck away for millenniums, even forever, and they would never produce Webster’s Dictionary or Encyclopedia Britannica or anything else for that matter. Design requires a Designer and order demands a God who put things in order. This is Just-A-Minute.

     
    • Morris Monkus 1:09 pm on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Carl is now a Bible Believer and believes every word the Bible says.

  • Eugene Adkins 7:09 am on August 14, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Christian Music, ,   

    Oil and Water – Light and Darkness 

    Some things just don’t mix and some things have no business mingling. Even the word of God says so (1 Corinthians 15:33, 2 Corinthians 6:17-18).

    This thought came to mind last night when I saw a story on a local News station about one of the videos that has been nominated for the “Christian Music” award named after a particular bird. The video actually featured and praised a prominent homosexual for their example of overcoming a physical illness – not their sin!

    That’s cheap religion. That’s a promotion void of godliness. That’s an emotional plea that casts the necessity of repentance to the side. And that’s why the majority of religious people are walking the broad way that leads to Hell (Matthew 7:13-14).

    God’s grace, our faith and the salvation that’s meant to follow is not about us living the way our flesh decides and then going to Heaven when life is over. It’s about a determinate decision to respond to the grace of God which teaches us, through faith, that we should be “denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ,” (Titus 2:12-13).

    Experience has shown me that the vast majority of what’s called “Christian Music” is a label that’s woefully deceptive. It promotes false doctrine. It appeals to the masses as cutting edge. And, as this “nominated video” has plainly revealed, it’s a tool of the Devil that’s used to bring glory to the message of entertainers and entertainment instead of glory to God and the gospel message of sin, repentance, restoration, righteousness, service and salvation.

     For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret.” (Ephesians 5:8-12)

     
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