Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The following was written by John MacArthur ... and well worth reading ...

"As I travel and minister in word and song in various churches around the world, I have come to see some distinctives common to men who have forgotten their duty to preach the Word and give themselves to lesser things. Here are some of those observations:

When a man steps into the pulpit more interested in telling stories than rightly dividing the Word of truth - he is not preaching the Word.

When a man seeks first to be funny behind the sacred desk rather than faithful with the text - he is not preaching the Word.

When a man claims to speak for God by claiming “a word of divine revelation from the Lord” apart from the already divine revelation of Scripture - he is deceived, and is not preaching the Word.

When a man designs his sermons to attract a target audience, appeal to the culture, and has as its primary goal a thirst to be relevent - he is not preaching the Word.

When a man forgets that he ministers for an Audience of One; and that the highest form of worship is to proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God alone in the power of the Holy Spirit - he is not preaching the Word.

When a man uses his pulpit to try and change the world through politics, representing America as the new Israel, seeking to bring a societal morality through legislation, and honors the flag equally with the cross - he is not preaching the Word.

When a man fails to tremble at God’s Word privately before ever preaching it publicly - he is not preaching the Word.

And when a man treats the pages of holy writ with a casual, cavalier seeker-friendly, watered down, emergent, ecumenical irrevernce - he is not preaching the Word.

Better for that man to become a game show host, than represent himself as a “servant of Christ and a steward of the mysteries God.” (1 Cor. 4:1)"

-Pastor John MacArthur-

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Hi Ladies, please forgive my slowness in blogging. Have been working on a project for my Mom and got it finished & gave it to her yesterday. I had taken her older photos and put some in an album; put the others in a nice box and she likes both. I have promised myself "no more projects for awhile"; at least not any that I don't absolutely have to do!

Last night was a bit rough with asthma and coughing. I have spasms that make me choke as I'm trying to cough and it's very difficult to catch my breath. Needless to say, rest & sleep were a bit fitful. Hopefully tonight will be better. We did go to church this morning and I'm thankful we did as the Pastor's sermon was on 'Lessons from the Trials of Paul'. We can learn much from that blessed Apostle if we'll take the time to study his life and ministry.

My Mom's neighbor Joann isn't doing well, in fact hospice has been called in to care for her. However, Mom's cousin Ginny is home and recovering! Thank you all for praying for these ladies.

On a serious note ... how do you deal with some of the issues that face us today? I'm specifically talking about friends who are 'gay' ... others who are living with a boyfriend or girlfriend with no intentions of getting married? There's an event coming up and people in both circumstances will be there. How would you handle it?

I've given much thought to this and what I've come up with is that I'm to show the love and mercy of God to them, and if the occasion arises, tell them in a loving manner that their life styles have consequences that will matter for eternity; that there is a way out and an Answer in the person of Jesus Christ if they will turn to Him. I can't save them, but I can point to the One who can. I'm not sure how this event will turn out (I'll let you know), but I would appreciate your input before it happens.

We're facing situations unlike any in my memory ... gay lifestyles ... living together ... lack of morality and values ... and yet, when I read the Old Testament, these things have been going on almost since the beginning of time. There truly is nothing new under the sun .. what's new is the generations of people dealing with these things. The only difference is that God, back then, more often than not took immediate action and 'cut off' the offenders quickly while they were still in their sin; but told them first that they had brought these repercussions on themselves! There were times when he delayed punishment because of His promises to their fore-fathers, but payment did come and people did die.

Many today no longer fear God ... even some in Christian circles have made Him into something He's not ... we think that if we believe certain things about Him than they must be true and never take the time to line up our thoughts with Scripture to see if they balance. I am grateful to God to be alive right now, I couldn't have made it for long had I lived in Old Testament times. He's a fierce Warrior and revenge belongs to Him and it's coming on this earth as surely as I sit here tonight.

Because people openly, blatantly sin and get away with it, they think every thing's fine and that if there is a God, He's either not really concerned or is accepting, otherwise, wouldn't He do something? The scary thing is, He is doing something! And He's going to do something!

Not sure why I got off on this tonight, but I'd sure appreciate your thoughts.

My love to you all, and may you have a good night's rest.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Thank you for praying for my Mom's neighbor ... Trish, she lives two doors from my Mom.
I've not fallen off the earth Ladies, just been occupied with other things the past few days and simply haven't made time to post on the blog. I've just caught up with all your posts and am grateful you're still there.

I appreciate Sara's posts so much ... and Pat, bless you for your honestly in dealing with depression. I struggle with that at times and this morning was one of them ... I feel absolutely fine for a while and then the bottom seems to fall out for some unknown reason. I simply attribute it to all the health issues I have and do my best to make the most of it; but, if it worsens I shall be talking with my doctor about it.

Something I need to work on is procrastination ... especially with the children's class I help teach. I worked most of Saturday on a craft project to give them. To save the church money, I do things I find online and buy materials myself. Saturday I was printing stickers on sticker paper rather than go buy them. Saturday also taught me it may benefit me and my time to buy supplies and then turn in the receipt! I don't know why I'm like this, I've always done this when I've taught a children's class and it's only added stress to what should be a blessing. May I not only learn from this, but follow through!

My love to you all.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Hi Friends,

My Mom called me this evening and asked that her neighbor, JoAnn, be prayed for. She has cancer and has 3 major chemo sessions to go; however, she's dealing with such tremendous pain that she's asked God to let her die. According to doctors, all her vitals are good at this time. Mom is going to ask her if she & I can come & pray for her personally.

Thank you!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

My Internet research on today's popular 'Christian' writers, speakers and ministers is leading me to places I didn't know existed. Before I get into individuals, you need to read the following article so you can begin to understand what's happening in today's so-called 'church'. I'm shocked at what I'm finding and I'm concerned about what is being accepted as truth. We live in a time of deep deception and error and we need to be people who search the Word of God and use it daily as our standard for living and ministering to others. The following article is but an excerpt, and I encourage you to go to the web site I've given and read it in its entirety. Please, if you have concerns about what I'm posting .. if you think I may be wrong, please let me know. I'm open to discussion about these issues and only want the best for each of us who know Christ as our Savior.

"When I first began writing in the field in the late 70s and early 80s the term "Spiritual Formation" was hardly known, except for highly specialized references in relation to the Catholic orders. Today it is a rare person who has not heard the term. Seminary courses in Spiritual Formation proliferate like baby rabbits. Huge numbers are seeking to become certified as Spiritual Directors to answer the cry of multiplied thousands for spiritual direction."1 Richard Foster

What is spiritual formation and what is its premise? According to Roger Oakland, spiritual formation came upon the church like an unsuspecting avalanche:

A move away from the truth of God's Word to a mystical form of Christianity has infiltrated, to some degree, nearly all evangelical denominations. Few Bible teachers saw this avalanche coming. Now that it is underway, most do not realize it has even happened. The best way to understand this process is to recall what happened during the Dark Ages when the Bible became the forbidden book. Until the Reformers translated the Bible into the language of the common people, the great masses were in darkness. When the light of God's Word became available, the Gospel was once again understood. I believe history is repeating itself. As the Word of God becomes less and less important, the rise in mystical experiences escalates, and these experiences are presented to convince the unsuspecting that Christianity is about feeling, touching, smelling, and seeing God. The postmodern mindset is the perfect environment for fostering spiritual formation. This term suggests there are various ways and means to get closer to God and to emulate him. Thus the idea that if you do certain practices, you can be more like Jesus. Proponents of spiritual formation erroneously teach that anyone can practice these mystical rituals and find God within. Having a relationship with Jesus Christ is not a prerequisite.

In a DVD called Be Still, which promotes contemplative prayer, Richard Foster said that contemplative prayer is for anyone and that by practicing it, one becomes "a portable sanctuary" for "the presence of God." Rather than having the indwelling of the person of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit, spiritual formation through the spiritual disciplines supposedly transforms the seeker by entering an altered realm of consciousness.

To read the complete article, go to:
Update on Ginny .... My Mom talked with Ginny's niece at the hospital this morning and Ginny has greatly improved and, Lord willing, should be able to go home soon.

Thank you all for praying for her.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Please pray for my Mom's cousin, Ginny; she's had major heart problems and has undergone a traumatic surgery and is having mental confusion on top of all that. She's in a hospital in Ohio.

Thank you!
Hi Ladies,

Can't believe it's March already ... but it is! The sunshine is beautiful, but belies the fact it is COLD outside. Not that I've been out today, I'm taking my husband's word for it. My day will consist of mopping / vacuuming & dusting ... re-doing cushions for the front porch furniture and whatever else I find to do.

It is SO GOOD to be well enough to do housework! What a blessing to be able to get myself out of bed ... I think of Joni Erickson Tada who's paralyzed, and remember that I was once like that ... how grateful I am to be able to do what I do in any given day. To brush my teeth myself ... to shower & wash my hair ... myself ... to get dressed ... myself ... such blessings we have in so-called 'little' things. None of the above are 'little' to me. The ability to do them attests to the graciousness of our Lord in granting me health and strength to do them.

I went to church Sunday .. the first time I've been there in 4 weeks. Our Pastor is ill and should have been home resting ... we steered clear of each other and from a distance he said "Louise, I'm giving you a hug, okay?" That was fine with me. I'll take long-distance hugs anytime someone is not feeling well. He said it was simply too late on Saturday to call someone to do the sermon on Sunday, so he was there.

I've also been scrap booking for our youngest grand-girl Erica. I am officially caught up with her album and have determined I'll copy pictures to a disk & have them printed rather than print them here at home ... it's too expensive. It's been good that even though I've been in for a few weeks, I've been well enough to work on something I enjoy doing. My Fred asked me recently "when are you finished with a scrap book" ... and I told him you work on them as long as you want to and one day give them to each granddaughter.

Also, I've been doing additional research on some of the more popular 'Christian' speakers and I'm not liking what I'm finding. It seems the more public they are, the more we need to be careful about what they're teaching. Beth Moore, Rick Warren & Joel Osteen come to mind. I may post some of what I've learned about their teachings and you can evaluate them for yourselves.

Had the priests and prophets of old taught as some of these folks do, they would have been 'cut off' ... or killed, in the Old Testament. Their teachings would have been seen for what they were and they would have been stopped. We're not that drastic today and sadly, too few of us investigate what is being taught. We shouldn't have to when someone professes to be a Christian! But we are to be as wise as serpents and harmless as doves, and we need to be people who rightly divide the Word of God and use caution and wisdom and discernment in what we listen to. Not everyone who says "Lord, Lord" have a right relationship with Christ.

I shall close for now & get on with the day's work .. I've been up here typing while the floors dry downstairs, and they should be dry by now.
Blessings to you all,