Archive for the ‘Encouragement’ Category

Remaining Obedient to God

June 7, 2016

I watched the first movie, “God’s Not Dead” again last evening.  I thought it was a good film even though many non-Christian reviews were negative.  [See Wikipedia and scroll down to “critical reception” for examples.]

Plugged In had a good review of the film.

It was interesting to me to read Wikipedia’s opinion about the visit and verbal exchange of a son (Mark) in the movie (who previously refused to visit his mom who suffers from dementia) versus what is written over at Plugged In.

Wikipedia:

Mark at last visits his mother, only to taunt her; she responds that all of his financial success was given to him by Satan to keep him from turning to God.

Plugged In:

Mina’s dementia-afflicted mother serves to stimulate thought about how serving God doesn’t always iron out all of life’s wrinkles.

“You prayed and believed your whole life,” Mina’s brother says to their mother, almost as an accusation. “Never done anything wrong. And here you are. You’re the nicest person I know. I am the meanest. You have dementia. My life is perfect. Explain that to me!” Then, in a moment of unexpected spiritual clarity, she does. “Sometimes the devil allows people to live a life free of trouble because he doesn’t want them turning to God,” she tells her shocked son. “Their sin is like a jail cell, except it is all nice and comfy and there doesn’t seem to be any reason to leave. The door’s wide open. Till one day, time runs out, and the cell door slams shut, and suddenly it’s too late.”

Indeed, in the face of difficulty, we hear a lot about God always being good, and having a plan for our lives.

It is interesting to note that after saying such a coherent message, the mom goes back to her dementia-induced state, turns towards her son and asks, “who did you say that you were?”

In contrast to the accusation-filled son Mark, whenever the daughter (a Christian named Mina) visited her mom, she patiently told her (as often as necessary) that she is her daughter.

At the end of the film, Mark (of the mom with dementia) acts as arrogantly and detached as ever from what his mother warned him about being in the state of “their [his] sin is like a jail cell.”

The man obviously rejected the warning, but the Bible tells each of us that “your sin will find you out.”

Num 32:23

“But if you do not do so, then take note, you have sinned against the LORD; and be sure your sin will find you out.

In Matthew 4 (just after Jesus was tempted by satan for 40 days and nights in the wilderness) we find:

Mat 4:12

Now when Jesus heard that John had been put in prison, He departed to Galilee.

Mat 4:13

And leaving Nazareth, He came and dwelt in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the regions of Zebulun and Naphtali,

Mat 4:14

that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying:

Mat 4:15

“The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali,
By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan,
Galilee of the Gentiles:

Mat 4:16

The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
And upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death
Light has dawned.”[fn]

Mat 4:17

From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.”

Since satan had the gall to tempt Jesus, the Son of God, he certainly will tempt any and all of us! However, as we see in the case of Mark in the movie, living a life of ease (yet separated from God for all eternity) still fulfills satan’s goal of taking unrepentant souls to hell with him.

 

Plugged In’s review is more in line with what Jesus tells us in Scripture.

Jhn 16:33

“These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will[fn] have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

Speaking of experiencing tribulation in this world, God’s Not Dead 2 came out in April, 2016. I haven’t seen it yet but a blog I ran across describes a real life example of a situation that is depicted in the film.

God’s Not Dead blog: When God’s Not Dead 2 Plays Out As YOUR Story!

What is God’s purpose to allow us to go through tribulation (in whatever form it may arise) in this fallen world?

I think this paragraph explains it:

News of our legal case reached people all over the world, and some of them contacted me to encourage me and show their support. It’s amazing how God took a simple decision to remain obedient in my freshman year and turned it into a tool that reached the ears of thousands with the name of Jesus.

Remaining obedient often pits Christian believers against the secular worldviews that would have us shut up, sit down, and accept the immoral deluge that is afflicting our free speech, freedom of association, freedom of conscience, freedom of outwardly professing our faith, and freedom FROM having immorality forced upon our families.

I applaud individuals like Chase Windebank, who didn’t know what the ultimate outcome would be, yet pressed on about what he knew God would have wanted him to do. Stand up for his faith in Jesus Christ!

Chase concludes his post:

It took nearly eight months for my case to come to a close. The outcome? A victory on the side of free speech! Now, if any other public school student is refused the right to pray during their free time at school, they can use my case as an example to aid in their own victory.

God was faithful to sustain me, and all of those rich memories came flooding back as I watched GOD’S NOT DEAD 2. Even though I am now far removed from it all, it felt so real and present. There were times I literally stood up and jumped in excitement for the case being made on behalf of Ms. Wesley.

The thought and scholarly guidance that this movie undertook in order to depict the truth of what our nation is dealing with was phenomenal. Remember with me, for this is the foundation upon which our nation was built. Remember it well by going to see this film. Be Blessed!

Chase Windebank is a Colorado native who loves hiking through the Rocky Mountains, teaching Taekwondo, and writing. His goal in life is to stir up passion in his generation for the things of God, and to show people the true treasure of the Gospel in his everyday life.

Hat tips to all links.

About “Self- Identity…”

June 1, 2016

Found an excellent post via Truth2Freedom’s blog entitled, What Is Your Self Identity? – Biblical Counseling Center. It will be posted in full below, but I wanted to first write that the Lord is SO GOOD to have led me to read and share the post here!

Secondly…

Recently, a new commenter came to this blog railing against me because of perceived “insults” that I made in a previous post.

I’m not sure that I want this “John” having complete access to commenting here at my blog, so I will re-post his comment here so that readers can see what he wrote:

John:

This is one of the most ridiculous rants I have read in quite a while. First of all, I know plenty of high school and college aged kids who do know the meaning and significance of Memorial Day. Apparently better than you do! It is not about God and the Bible, it’s about remembering our fallen soldiers. They are well educated, savvy young people who would have gotten edited out of Jesse Watters’ Fox propaganda video. And guess what? They all went to, or are going to public schools and universities. None of them have been dumbed down by “liberal, leftist, progressive, LGBTQ “leaders” of the maniacal asylums…”. And I’m sure they know exactly what The Greatest Generation did for America and the world!

I also wonder how many brave and noble LGBT veterans you’ve offended by this screed. I know gay veterans from the Vietnam war and from both Gulf Wars since WWII, and they served along side their straight brothers in arms without questioning or caring about their sexual orientation.

Additionally, John also wrote:

What I said was Memorial Day is not about God and the Bible! It’s about remembering our war dead! And no! I am not totally ignorant about God’s word.

I think that the following post answers John’s screed against me and other Christians, as well as it also addresses his claim that  “[he] is not totally ignorant about God’s Word”  better than I ever could.

Big hat tip:  Truth2Freedom blog!

[Note:  Graphics within post added by Christine.]

What Is Your Self-Identity? – Biblical Counseling Center

Self-identity: With all the talk of self identity and gender nowadays, you may think this article is about bathroom choice. It’s not. Guest writer Joshua Waulk of Baylight Counseling in Tampa, FL, zeroes in on the “I am” statements we Christians often make about ourselves and suggests a better self-identity. His article appeared first here and is used with permission.

BCC logoI am ADHD.

I am bipolar.

I am depressed.

I am an addict.

I am [fill in the blank].

Within the context of counseling, it’s common to hear people use these types of phrases to describe themselves. To be sure, there’s a sense in which they’re simply using a modern style of communication in order to say that they struggle, actively, with this thing or that thing.

Self-Identity: Do Your Words Describe or Define?

But, my concern is that, too often, embedded deep within the heart of the person, is this subtle notion that, in fact, the thing they’re describing defines who they are. In other words, my concern for some people I meet with in counseling is that their language is not merely descriptive, but is definitive.

My concern is even greater when working with followers of Jesus.

One of my favorite verses in all of the Bible is found in John 8:58. There, Jesus said to the religious rulers of the day, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am [emphasis added].” This statement enraged the men who were persecuting Him, because they understood that Jesus was hearkening back to God’s self-identification in Exodus 3:14
 

Jesus wasn’t simply identifying himself with God, but was defining, or declaring himself to be God.

When we pause to listen to our own “I am” statements, and compare them with the words of Christ, might we reconsider how we use these seemingly self-defining statements? Do we mean to say, when we use them, that who we are is all that the thing, or the struggle, or the condition is? If not, then perhaps we ought to abandon our use of this language altogether.

How Does Jesus Define You?

The point is, in light of who we are in Christ, it would be helpful to temper our use of  “I am” statements, especially those used in connection with our particular sin or suffering. Too often, they simply do not square with our new identity in Christ according to Scripture, but find their roots in the disease models of secular psychology.

As Christians, as people who have died with Christ, and through whom Christ presently and  actively lives, we are no longer defined by the sins and struggles of this world alone, even though we continue to be affected by them.

If Paul’s words are true when he says in Galatians 2:20,

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me.
And again in 2 Corinthians 5:17,
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
Then we should carefully inspect how we make use of descriptive language.
How we define and describe ourselves should always be in keeping with Scripture. Sometimes, there will be tension. For example, it would be true for me to say, “I am a sinner.” But, because of the redemptive work of Christ on the cross, I cannot leave the conversation there.

Because of Christ, I am no longer defined by my sin or suffering, but am defined by Him. I am a sinner, yes, but I am also eternally forgiven, justified, and redeemed (1 John 1:8-9).

I may struggle with this thing or that, but that struggle no longer defines me. Like all things of this world, they are passing away, and who God is making us to be will one day be revealed in Christ (1 John 2:17; Hebrews 10:14).

Join the Discussion

[Note:  Graphics added by Christine.]

  1. What is your self-identity?

2.  How have your own “I am” statements affected your understanding of who you are in Christ?

3.  Can you think of any adjustments you need to make to better reflect a biblical understanding of your identity in Christ?

 

The post What Is Your Self-Identity? appeared first on Biblical Counseling Center.

Hat tips to all links.

For I am persuaded…

February 27, 2016

A blogging friend of mine on his private blog recently wrote about the fact that it seems as though politicians need to put on a disguise in order to appeal to the ideology of the voters that they want to attract to their campaign.

In a recent discussion with my 28 yr. old daughter, she told me that she doesn’t like any of the presidential candidates on either side!  However, she hasn’t studied their ideologies or campaigns yet.  I encouraged her to do that.  Sometimes it comes down to choosing the lesser of two evils.

When another celebrity (Arnold S.) ran for governor of California I could not vote for him.  Instead, I voted for Tom McClintock.  Tom didn’t win the election but I have never regretted that particular vote; especially with how horrible Arnold was as governor and the scandals he was involved in.

I have observed over the years that the same need for disguising oneself is often true of judges. We have found that the Supreme Court judges that were nominated and confirmed by Republican presidents in the past have often turned out not to be as conservative as they previously claimed!

Recently I read about a secret meeting between 0zero and Justice Scalia just hours before his death. In another blog thread (need to find it) there was evidence of a “cease and desist” order which threatened against people reporting this or blogging about it!

79% of Americans believe with great certainty that there absolutely was foul play involved! The criminality of this BADministration is so blatantly evil it hurts my heart, mind, and soul to even think about it anymore! What’s more, they don’t even hide their pact with Satan!

WND:
Obama picks side in ‘hail Satan’ abortion fight

Administration to argue on behalf of industry against safety regulations for women

We are certainly in the throes of the end times! The evidence is so clear and all around us! Thank God for Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior for we know Who wins in the end!

God’s written Word, the Bible, and God’s Living Word, Jesus Christ comfort us through all the pain and suffering in this fallen world!  Nothing can touch my spirit because Jesus Christ has promised me (as well as all those born-again in Christ) that He will never leave me or forsake me!


Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

 

Hat tip:  My friend Steve!

Hat tips to all links.

One More Step Away…

December 20, 2015

This is a new video just posted on December 16, 2015.  Here is the premise of the video:

DAVID WHEELER (ACTOR) PLAYED TWO (2) ROLES IN THE SANDY HOOK HOAX!

WHEELER PLAYED “FATHER OF DEAD KID” BUT ALSO PLAYED “FBI SWAT GUY.” HE IS A PROFESSIONAL ACTOR.

WATCH TVNEWS VIDEO OF DAVID WHEELER WALKING AROUND SANDY HOOK IN FULL SWAT GEAR!

THIS PROVES THE “NEWTOWN CT MASSACRE” WAS 100% FAKE. SANDY HOOK WAS A HOAX TO TRICK AMERICANS OUT OF THEIR GUNS.

YOU HAVE MY [owner of the video] PERMISSION TO DOWNLOAD THIS VIDEO AND RE-UPLOAD THIS VIDEO TO YOUR OWN CHANNEL, YOUR OWN WEBSITE(S), AND YOUR OWN BLOGS.

PLEASE SHOW YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY! WE MUST WAKE AMERICANS UP BEFORE WE GET DISARMED BY TRAITORS.

Talk Wisdom reports – you decide. See this entire video and decide for yourself what is the truth about Sandy Hook and what is a lie!

“If it weren’t for my TV, I wouldn’t know what is real” – quote from Brandon Heath’s song “Leaving Eden.”

 

If Heath’s video doesn’t play on this site, view here:

YouTube: Leaving Eden by Brandon Heath

 

Comment at site:

SOGTrueBeliever 1 year ago (edited)
We were created for Eden a perfect world with easy communion between us and God. Due to the effects of sin both us and the earth have fallen but God is in the process of restoring us and he will bring us back to Eden when we meet him in the new heaven and earth. Our True home with him is more magnificent and glorious than we can comprehend!

Amen!

*******

Note:  Some events are complete hoaxes.  Others are more accurately labeled and described as “false flag events.”  The link below explains in detail.  I have included an excerpt.

Truthshock: Anatomy of False Flag Events

Excerpt:

What is a False-Flag?

What exactly is a false flag, why is it called false flag? The term false-flag is a naval term from the age of sail that refers to a ship flying the colors (flag) of a country other than the one the ship belonged. This was done for multiple reasons but a common one was to lure an enemy vessel into gun or boarding range and then at the last moment drop the false flag and run up the true colors before attacking. It was fair sport to use false flags but considered immoral/unethical to attack under one. To the point that it was never done. But that was a different age…

The simplest definition of a false-flag is an event in which the actual perpetrators and the reported or blamed perpetrators are different. The classic use of a false-flag, and hence the military origin of it’s name, goes as follows. Country A’s King wants to conquer and loot Country B’s land to enrich himself. Of course if this is what King A tells his army they may choose not to fight or revolt. Or best case their effort will be lacking. In order to get the most out of their soldiers, the commanders need them to be emotionally involved… anger, hatred, revenge. Now the skilled orator and manipulator might be able to create this mood with just words. But not many have this level of skill. It is much easier to motivate and/or raise an army if one’s country has been attacked, hence you are acting in defense. And this is where the false flag comes in. Country A’s King and its top General(s) conspire to launch an attack against itself, claiming that the attackers were from Country B. The attack needs to be big enough to create real panic and fear, and for maximum affect there needs to be real deaths. The attackers need be convincing in their role as soldiers of Country B, so clothes, uniform, weapons need to match appropriately. The likely hood of success of the attack is high since it would be unexpected or a surprise attack. Even if the attack were to technically fail, the fact alone of an attack might be enough to manipulate a response. King A could use men from within to execute the attack, or it might be better to use mercenaries. Regardless, a successful attack will incense the populace against the ‘evil’ Country B, and therefor justify an invasion.

The above is just one example, or a classic example of a false-flag. However, it is very important to understand that the false-flag event can take on countless forms. I recently read a comment where the commentator stated that because actual people died it was not a false-flag. The defining characteristic of a false-flag is not it’s specific type or whether or not non-actors died, or even if the event occurred at all, meaning the entire reported event is a fabrication. One defining characteristic is that the real perpetrator is never known or revealed. So the author or director/producer of the ‘production’ is unknown. The audience’s attention is locked on the stage, the villain, clearly identified through the official narrative, is known. But who are behind the curtains? When a staged play is sold as real then the actors become irrelevant, what is important is who are the Producers! Who are the people that wrote, directed, and funded the event? These are the real perpetrators, not the actors on the stage. Cui Bono?… Who Benefits?

The other defining characteristic is that the event is a catalyst for the true objectives. Thus the false-flag uses the classic Hegelian dialectic of Problem-Reaction-Solution. From the example above, the surprise attack is the ‘problem’ (a threat to personal safety), the population’s anger, fear, concern is the desired ‘reaction’, and the ‘solution’ is to invade the offender to eliminate the threat which is enabled by the populations reaction. The false-flag then is a deliberately created illusion whose purpose is create the environment in which the objective or ‘solution’ will be accepted and thus implemented.

Why use False-Flags?

As explained in the previous section the classic false-flag was used to justify an invasion of another country. But there are numerous motivations for using false-flags. Thus the false-flag event has been used throughout history to initiate change. Problem-Reaction-Solution. If the change that the leader(s) want is not going to be wanted or accepted by the population then the false-flag is an excellent tool in order enact said change. So the false-flag is a tool of manipulation(deception) to direct the opinions and actions of the populace. This problem-reaction-solution model of the false-flag is but one tool of the social engineers who are directing the actors on the world stage. While the audience, the 99.9% of the world, much more than just mere spectators, are directly affected by these ‘engineers’ from the moment of their birth until the time of their passing. They (we) are actually unknowing-unwilling participants in the machinations of the .1%.

Talk Wisdom reports – you decide.

Hat tips to all links.

You might be led to despair after seeing and reading about all of this! But take heart! Jesus Christ has overcome the world!

Rom 8:1

There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, [fn] who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:2

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.

Rom 8:3

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh,

Rom 8:4

that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Rom 8:5

For those who live according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.

Rom 8:6

For to be carnally minded is death, but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.

Rom 8:7

Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Rom 8:8

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Rom 8:9

But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Rom 8:10

And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Rom 8:11

But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Rom 8:12

Therefore, brethren, we are debtors—not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh.

Rom 8:13

For if you live according to the flesh you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the deeds of the body, you will live.

Rom 8:14

For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Rom 8:15

For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Rom 8:16

The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Rom 8:17

and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

Rom 8:18

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.

Rom 8:19

For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God.

Rom 8:20

For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope;

Rom 8:21

because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.

Rom 8:22

For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now.

Rom 8:23

Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.

Rom 8:24

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees?

Rom 8:25

But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.

Rom 8:26

Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us [fn] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

Rom 8:27

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Rom 8:28

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

Rom 8:29

For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

Rom 8:30

Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified.

Rom 8:31

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Rom 8:32

He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?

Rom 8:33

Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.

Rom 8:34

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Rom 8:35

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

Rom 8:36

As it is written:

“For Your sake we are killed all day long;
We are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.” [fn]

Rom 8:37

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.

Rom 8:38

For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come,

Rom 8:39

nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

NKJV Footnotes

(8:1)

NU-Text omits the rest of this verse.

(8:26)

NU-Text omits for us.

(8:36)

Psalm 44:22

The Power of Prayer

October 26, 2015

It is certainly funny – not the “ha ha” kind of funny, but the kind that means:

3. warranting suspicion; deceitful; underhanded:
We thought there was something funny about those extra charges.

and

5. curious; strange; peculiar; odd:
Her speech has a funny twang.

Read these articles:

TODD STARNES
School threatens to fire praying football coach

Excerpt from first link:

For years the former Marine combat veteran would walk alone to the 50-yard line and offer a prayer of thanksgiving and blessing after football games. He drew inspiration for his post-game prayers from “Facing the Giants”, a popular faith-based film. Over the years, players and coaches from both teams would join him — on their own volition. 

On Sept. 27th [Superintendent Aaron] Leavell fired off a letter to the coach warning him to cease and desist. 

“Your talks with students may not include religious expression, including prayer,” he wrote. “They must remain entirely secular in nature, so as to avoid alienation of any team member.”

In his most recent letter, Leveall said the school district would be glad to provide a place for Coach Joe to pray — so long as it was in private — “not observable to students or the public.”

“For example, a private location within the school building, athletic facility or press box could be made available to you for brief religious exercise before and after games,” Superintendent Leavell wrote. 

To be clear, Coach Joe is forbidden from bowing his head, taking a knee or doing anything that might remotely be construed as religious.

“While on duty for the District as an assistant coach, you may not engage in demonstrative religious activity, readily observable to (of not intended to be observed by) students and the attending public,” the superintendent added.

That means he’s not even allowed to bow his head behind the bleachers where the kids are smoking pot. 

Liberty Institute, the nation’s largest law firm specializing in religious liberty cases, is preparing to initiate legal proceedings against the school district — accusing them of religious discrimination.

“They’ve already punished Coach Joe by denying his request for religious accommodation,” attorney Hiram Sasser told me. “Under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, they’ve already violated his civil rights.”

Superintendent Leavell stressed in his letter that the district does not prohibit prayer or other religious exercises by its employees.

“However, it must prohibit any conduct by employees that would serve as District endorsement of religion,” he said. 

Sasser said the district’s argument is outrageous. 

“What they are saying is he cannot pray by himself, he cannot simply take a knee at the 50-yard-line,” Sasser said. “That’s like telling a coach he can’t wear a yarmulke if he’s Jewish, he can’t wear a turban if he’s a Sikh, he can’t pray to Mecca if he’s a Muslim, he can’t wear a cross necklace if he’s a Christian.”

Late last week State Superintendent Randy Dorn released a statement backing the school district.

“It’s unfortunate when the actions of one employee affect an entire district,” Dorn said.

As if a football coach who prays for his team is doing engaged in some sort of criminal enterprise. 

Dorn went on to suggest that teachers like Coach Joe are not good role models. 

“School staff exercising their right to silently pray in private on their own is fine. But leading a prayer isn’t,” he said. “School officials are role models; leading a prayer might put a student in an awkward position, even if the prayer is voluntary. For students who don’t share the official’s faith, players, the official’s public expression of faith can seem exclusionary or even distressing.”

For the record, Coach Joe never invited anyone to pray with him — especially students. They chose to participate by their own free will. 

Sasser said the state superintendent does have a point – there are people in the state of Washington who feel disenfranchised — Christians.

“When they find out a coach can’t even silently pray at the 50-yard-line, there’s no greater message of hostility than that,” Sasser told me. “This is not a school being neutral. This is a school being hostile to religion – and we are going to hold them accountable.”

Provided Coach Joe still has a job on Friday night, he plans to do what he’s done after every other football game. 

“I’m going to keep on praying,” he said.

Good for this coach!  He is willing to STAND UP for his First Amendment rights which includes freedom of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of speech!

It’s “funny” [see above definitions] how individuals like Aaron Leavell, who is obviously an advocate for secularism, deems voluntary prayer by a coach, his team, and teammates from the opponents (no less!) as “exclusionary” and/or “distressing.”  Whether or not Aaron Leavell believes in prayer, it sure seems as though he thinks that prayer is powerful enough to cause the angst of non-believers  like him, and thus make a demand for its exclusion!

UPDATE:

VIDEO: School threatens to fire praying football coach.

Hat tip: Fox News Channel

There’s One Way to Peace…

September 15, 2015

This morning, I ran across a worship song and music video that sounded vaguely familiar.  However, the lyrics were a bit different.

Then, I recalled that another longer version of the song was often sung at the church’s children’s AWANA program!  I was an AWANA leader for three years back when my now-adult daughter attended.   It has probably been over 20 years since I have heard this beautiful song!

If the music video does not play at this blog, please go to the Youtube link:

Youtube: His Banner Over Me is Love.

The children’s version contained the following additional lyrics:

The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
The Lord is mine and I am His,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
He brought me to His banqueting table,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
He lifted me up into heavenly places,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
He is the vine and we are the branches,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
Jesus is the rock of my salvation,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love,
There’s one way to peace through the power of the cross,
His banner over me is love.
His banner over me is love!

*******

Yes!  There IS ONE WAY TO PEACE – and it is through Jesus Christ and the power of the Cross!

The text from the song comes from the Song of Solomon:

Sng 2:4

The Shulamite to the Daughters of Jerusalem
He brought me to the banqueting house,
And his banner over me was love.

The beautiful commentary HERE describes how this Scripture applies to Jesus Christ, our Bridegroom for eternity, and His Church – the Bride.

The banqueting table spoken of in the song can also be applied towards the future marriage supper of the Lamb as recorded and described in Revelation 19.
Rev 19:9

Then he said to me, “Write: ‘Blessed are those who are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb!’ ” And he said to me, “These are the true sayings of God.”

 

Hat tips to all links.

The most thought provoking blog comment ever

September 9, 2015

That is a terrific comment! Beautifully biblical, uplifting, and Christ centered!

One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel

August 4, 2015

Geoffrey Grider over at Now The End Begins blog has shared some wonderful information regarding a group of Christian evangelists working in Israel to help both Jews and Arabs come to the knowledge of the true Messiah – Yeshua (Jesus)!

Now The End Begins: One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel.

Excerpt:

One For Israel is an initiative of native born Israelis on the forefront of high tech evangelism, proclaiming salvation to Israel, raising up leaders and equipping them with the tools they need to transform our communities.

“Thus saith the LORD of hosts; In those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, We will go with you: for we have heard that God is with you.” Zechariah 8:3 (KJV)

We here at NTEB would like very much to personally introduce you to the amazing end times work that the Lord is doing through our friends at the OneForIsrael.org group located in Central Israel. They are an on-fire group of Jewish believers in Jesus Christ, or as He is known in Hebrew, Yeshua Ha’Mashiach.

Read it all HERE!

Be sure to visit One For Israel.org

Jew and Arab

Ephesians 2:14

Eph 2:14

For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation,

Evangelism in Israel

Romans 1:16

Rom 1:16

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ,fn for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.

Training and Equipping

1 Peter 3:15

1Pe 3:15

But sanctify the Lord Godfn in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;

 

Out of Zion

Psalms 14:7

Psa 14:7

Oh, that the salvation of Israel would come out of Zion!
When the LORD brings back the captivity of His people,
Let Jacob rejoice and Israel be glad.

Hat tips:

Now The End Begins: One For Israel.Org Is Bringing The Gospel Of Jesus Christ To All The Land Of Israel.

One For Israel.org

 

Passion: My Heart Is Yours

August 4, 2015

This beautiful worship song is so needed to be heard today!  All of the worldly sin, evil and death that is happening (as prophesied in the Bible)at such an increasingly and egregious rate can, in times of weakness, discourage us. Beyond what we think we can stand or take is the fact that belonging to Jesus Christ – and Him belonging to us – is the greatest reality one can ever experience in life!   No matter what violent and tumultuous events are happening in our lives or around the world, when we focus on Jesus and His promises, all of that turmoil falls to dust and blows away!

~ Christine

Enjoy the music video and God bless!

[Note: if video does not play on this site, go to this link]:

Passion – with Kristian Stanfill: My Heart Is Yours

I give you my life
I give you my trust
Jesus!

You are my God
You are enough
Jesus, Jesus

Chorus:
My heart is Yours
My heart is Yours
Take it all, take it all
My life in your hands

I lay down my life
I take up my cross
Jesus

You are my God
Whatever the cost
Jesus, whoa Jesus

Bridge: (I Surrender All)
All to Jesus I surrender
All to You I freely give
Oh I will ever love and trust You
In Your presence I will live

Read more: Passion – My Heart Is Yours Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Go With Confidence, Knowing Jesus’ Promises

July 21, 2015

I have learned over the course of my life that there may be bigger and better reasons why some prayers and requests asked of God are not immediately answered. When I look back, sometimes it was because I made the mistake of going to prayer later…after trying to do something on my own, in my own power, or through the advice of others.  These are not bad things mind you, but I have found that taking a task immediately to prayer works best – even when our prayers may not immediately be answered.

Any readers here motivated to share some examples of answered prayer requests?  Of course, many of us may still be waiting for such answers with confidence in our hearts.

I could give dozens of examples of answered requests through prayer in my lifetime!  One took over 34 years!  That was the prayer request I had for the salvation of my dad.  Others, were answered in less time.  One fervent and most urgent prayer request for someone’s health issue was answered on the same day that I had asked for it!  Praise Jesus!!!

This past Sunday at Life Mission Church,* [Update!  The video is now up for viewing!] Pastor Jobey led us in a study of the account in Matthew 15:21-28 where Jesus ministers to a Canaanite woman who came to Jesus with her prayer request for the healing of her demon-possessed daughter.

Canaanites are historic enemies of the Jews.  In this portion of Scripture, her request seems to be denied, but there is more going on behind the scenes.

This particular Canaanite woman knows that Jesus is the Messiah because she calls out to him as “Lord” and “Son of David.”

In Matthew 15:22, she asks Jesus for mercy and to heal her demon-possessed daughter.

In Matthew 15:23, “he answers her not a word.” The disciples urged Jesus to send her away, but Jesus had a bigger purpose in mind.

In Matthew 15:24 – But He answered and said, “I was not sent except to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”

The Canaanite woman made her second request.

Mat 15:25

Then she came and worshiped Him, saying, “Lord, help me!”

Again, Jesus says something that might have turned the average person away.

Mat 15:26

But He answered and said, “It is not good to take the children’s bread and throw it to the little dogs.”

The term “dogs” was a real insult in biblical times. But the woman did not react with her own feelings on the matter, she went with confidence, knowing His promises!

Mat 15:27

And she said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the little dogs eat the crumbs which fall from their masters’ table.”

The Holy Spirit worked in her mind, but not on her feelings! She pressed in because she knew that Jesus was (and is) the promised Messiah, so she continued with her request because of her knowledge of the promised Messiah!

Mat 15:28

Then Jesus answered and said to her, “O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed from that very hour.

What a great message to us today when we feel down and want to quit! Isaiah 41:9-14 brings us back! Why? Because we are His servants!

Notice how the sovereign silence of God worked out to be divine withholding to whet the appetite of the Canaanite woman for the True Bread of Life! She refused to leave!

We know that the God of Israel came for the Jews. But Gentiles were coming to the God of Israel!

Pastor Jobey put up a graphic with two circles. One circle represented Ethnic Israel. The other circle represented the Gentiles.

Romans 1 shows us that all Gentiles have fallen short. Romans 2 shows us that all Jews have fallen short. Romans 3 makes clear that ALL have fallen short.

So who is it that is worthy to be saved? Who is the “remnant” of Israel, the true, faithful Israel worthy to be called a child of God? There is only One, and it is Jesus.

And yet, it doesn’t stop there. Now, through the gift of God’s grace, anyone who calls upon the Name of the True Israel can be saved and become part of the Remnant of Israel. Jesus, through the keeping of the Covenant God made with His people, now allows anyone to hide themselves in Him to receive the full blessing of sonship.

This plan of redemption for both Jew and Gentile was not Plan B. God, from the foundations of the earth, had always planned to save a people from every tongue, tribe, and nation, and call them “My people.”

John 10:16//Ephesians 2:113:6

 

I did some additional research on the Canaanite woman’s encounter with Jesus, and you can read about it in David Guzik’s Commentary. What stood out the most to me in that commentary, was this portion:

 

c. O woman, great is your faith! Let it be to you as you desire: Her faith was great enough to receive her request – what she desired from Jesus.

– Her faith was great, even compared to her other virtues. She was humble, she was patient, she was persevering, she cared for her child. Yet Jesus didn’t compliment any of these good things, but only her faith.

– Her faith was great because it was unlikely. No one might have expected a Gentile to trust Jesus so much.

– Her faith was great because she worshipped Jesus even before she had an answer from him.

– Her faith was great because it had been tested so severely. It’s hard to think of a greater test than a demon possessed child; but her faith was also tried by the seeming indifference or coldness to Jesus.

– Her faith was great because it was clever. She turned Jesus’ word inside-out and made what might have been taken as an insult as a door open for faith.

– Her faith was great because it concerned a need right in front of her, and a real need at that. Many people have faith for everything except those things that are right in front of them.

– Her faith was great because it would not give up. She did not stop until she got what she needed from Jesus.

– You could say that her faith conquered Jesus. He not only healed her daughter but He did so immediately, something that she had not even asked for.

i. We read of nothing else that Jesus did during this time in Tyre and Sidon. It would seem that His only divine appointment was to meet the need of this woman of faith and her afflicted daughter.

In closing, we can ask:

What Does This Mean For Us?

We, too, were once dogs, unworthy of being called sons and daughters. But God indiscriminately gave His grace to us. Everyone is a candidate, and there is no one we should withhold the Gospel from. We need to examine our hearts, our prejudices, and our fears, nail them to the cross, and obey the words of Jesus, to “go and make disciples.”

Jesus is the Messiah!  Only He is worthy to save us!

Revelation 5:9-10

Only Jesus was worthy to take the scroll!

 

Hat tips to all links.

*Note: video of the message will be available at above Life Mission Church TV link this week.


Talk Wisdom

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