.........................."We must be global Christians with a global vision because our God is a global God." - John Stott

Friday, May 28, 2010

Walking the Walk...and Why, Part I

Many non-believers see hypocrisy in the Christian church and delight in pointing it out.

True. Being perfect isn't easy.

Of course, the expectations non-believers put on Christians, as well as the expectations Christians put on other Christians, are silly. Out of the hundreds of people mentioned in the Bible, only one of them is perfect. The rest are just like us. Fundamentally flawed.

For example, despite being a man after God's own heart, David bedded another man's wife, got her pregnant, and then tried to selfishly hide what he had done by arranging for her husband to be killed.

The only thing I can figure about what is meant by David being "a man after God's own heart" is that despite his selfish decisions, David had a heart that, deep down, cared. Every time he made one of his multiple bad, hurtful, decisions, his heart ached over the things he had done, even as he sometimes continued making bad decisions, digging himself deeper in attempt to clean up the initial mess. He paid for those hateful decisions with the loss of people he loved, and when those loses came, he knew why.

He had a conscience. Not everyone does.

He loved God, and despite appearances, he did love others. Not everyone does.

The difference between David and people that are far from God's heart - I figure - is the heart. Some people really don't care when or how they hurt others and they certainly don't care about God. All they really care about is themselves. The Bible mentions again and again how someone's heart was hardened, or how someone's heart was evil, or how the heart needs to be guarded. And how God knows the heart. There is no fooling him with feigned compassion.

So while we will never be perfect in our Christian walk, and it's inevitable that - despite intentions and vows not to - we will end up making some selfish decisions that will hurt others. But we will do even worse if we don't commit ourselves to follow God's instruction, care about His Will, and care how others feel (ie: loving God and others). Only by following his Word and praying that our hearts will become like His can we take noticeable steps away from our selfish nature.

So ...what exactly are God's instructions....

Well, there are the books of Leviticus and Deuteronomy, as well as the Ten commandments...for starters.

Hmmm...but...do we really have to follow Mosaic Law in order to please God?
Five Parts:  Part II  Does Walking the Walk and following God's instructions mean following Mosaic Law? - June 1, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010

Yes, Virginia, there is a Jesus! Blackwell's Commentary on Police Praying in Jesus' Name

No one could have said this Better. Includes awesome history tidbits. 
- Article in full....

World Magazine - Ken Blackwell, April 30, 2010

Virginia’s Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell is catching flak from the ACLU because it does not like the fact that he has lifted the ban on police chaplains praying in Jesus’ name. Virginia’s former Democratic Gov. Tim Kaine had issued the ruling in 2008, and the ACLU gang charges that McDonnell is giving in to conservatives and Christians in revoking the Jesus ban.

Well, maybe another former Virginia governor influenced McDonnell—Thomas Jefferson. The author of Virginia’s famed Statute for Religious Freedom, Jefferson never tried to suppress Virginians’ or Americans’ free exercise of religion. In fact, as president in 1802, Jefferson invited Elder John Leland to preach a sermon in the U.S. House of Representatives. Leland, a Baptist lay preacher, surely mentioned Jesus. In that assembly sat Secretary of State James Madison, Jefferson’s close friend and collaborator and the author of the First Amendment. I suspect Jefferson and Madison knew more about the Constitution than the ACLU does.

Of course, the ACLU thinks child pornography is constitutionally protected. We’d rather see children constitutionally protected—from people like the ACLU.

The ACLU is in reality an “Anti-Christian Litigation Unit.” Its Virginia leader, Kent Willis, said the governor’s job is to protect “religious freedom for all.” Indeed, it is. But to deny Christians the right to pray in the name of Jesus is to disfavor them over others. No one says that a Jewish chaplain cannot mention the Torah. Muslim chaplains certainly cite the Koran.

Christians believe that Jesus is the Word made Flesh. To deny them the right to mention His name uniquely disfavors Christians. That invidious discrimination is what McDonnell rightly revoked.

McDonnell’s lifting of the ban on Jesus comes at the same time that the U.S. Supreme Court refused to go along with atheizers who wanted to tear down the cross in the Mojave Desert, which was erected to memorialize World War I soldiers.

U.S. soldiers who fought in World War II are remembered at the American Cemetery in Normandy, France. That beautiful memorial park was seen on television worldwide when Presidents Reagan, Clinton, and Obama went there to observe various D-Day anniversaries. What strikes the visitor to this cemetery is the acres and acres of quiet, dignified white crosses. Every few yards you see a white Star of David as well. No one protested. No one complained. Americans felt humbled and honored to have such a moving tribute to the young men who gave up their lives so that we might live in freedom.

The American Cemetery is, after all, U.S. sovereign territory. It was deeded to our country in perpetuity by a grateful French people. President Reagan often said the only territory the United States gained from World War II was the verdant acres in which we buried our dead.

McDonnell’s bold actions follow in the footsteps of another great Virginian—George Washington. As president, Washington told the Hebrew Congregation in Newport, R.I.:

“[H]appily, the Government of the United States, which gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance, requires only that those who live under its protection should demean themselves as good citizens in giving it on all occasions their effectual support. . . . May the children of the stock of Abraham who dwell in this land continue to merit and enjoy the good will of the other inhabitants—while everyone shall sit in safety under his own vine and fig tree and there shall be none to make him afraid.”
Where did President Washington get that wonderful phrase—”the stock of Abraham”—and that beautiful sentiment about the vine and fig tree? They come from the Bible, of course, the same Bible the ACLU regularly attacks whenever it is publicly quoted.

The ACLU’s attacks on Christianity would bulldoze all those Normandy crosses, all those Stars of David. Too often this radical outfit—whose court costs for their anti-Christian intifada are often reimbursed by the federal government—relies on intimidation and bluster to get its way. That’s why we should applaud Gov. Bob McDonnell for defending Virginia values, for upholding the religious and civil rights of all, and especially for standing up to these courtroom bullies.


Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Take your Family on an Exciting Faith-based Family Adventure this Summer

Join us for a truly faith-based Family Bible camp this summer next to the Glacier Mountains in northern Montana.

Mjorud Family Bible Camp, an evangelistic, prayerful, Bible based ministry, came into being during the Charismatic Movement of the 60's & 70's, with the first one being in the summer of 1969. Although not affiliated with the AofG, it found a home at Glacier Bible Camp; an Assembly of God Camp ground in Hungry Horse, Montana. There, it grew from a small group of about 70 people to as many as 1,000, with an average attendance of about 600.

Mjorud Camp has operated for years without charge to the hundreds of diverse families who have attended and continues to do so. Families received housing, three full meals a day, solid speakers, prayer, music, sports, hiking, fellowship and rest at no cost. Nightly, the ministry made a request for free will offerings. Every year, by God's Grace, they met their budget. Yet, there has never been pressure to donate.

Twenty years ago I told Pastor Mjorud that if not for this camp, my family wouldn't be able to afford going to any family Bible camp. He responded, "That's why we do it."

The camp has historically had a strong conviction that we are to believe and proclaim that the whole Bible IS the Word of God, and then to actually DO God's Word in our daily lives, homes, churches, businesses and governments.
The results have been manifold as many came to the reality of being Born Again and experienced the powerful touch of the Holy Spirit.

After 30 years under Pastor Mjorud's leadership, he and the rest of those in leadership retired from the camp ministry in 1998, passing the reigns on to new and separate ministry. Pastor Mjorud went to be with our Lord Jesus the next year. Then, 9 years later, some asked about having a 10 Year Reunion. After praying and consulting with many that had previously attended the Camp, several members of the former leadership agreed and the Camp was held in 2008. God richly blessed each of us.

Mjorud Family Bible Camp is scheduled again this summer, August 15-19, in Hungry Horse, Montana. The Family Camp continues to rent the Glacier Bible campground for the week, where there are cabins, lodge's, camping spaces, a cafeteria, and large sanctuary available, as well as playground, miniature golf, and close proximity to Glacier National Park.

The program format is basically the same as always: classes, music, sports, prayer, etc. for all ages with Holy Spirit anointed speakers and leaders, having liberty in the Spirit for the Gifts of the Holy Spirit to operate - and wonderful fellowship!

Most importantly, it is a chance to pull away from the business of the world and spend precious time in worship, prayer, discipleship, and fellowship. We've always come away blessed for having taken the time.

So in the words of the organizers, "Come and renew acquaintances with old friends - and/or make new ones. Bring your family, friends, and neighbors. Expect great things from our wonderful Lord Jesus Christ as we gather to honor, worship, and learn from Him."

Mjorud camp is Christian, evangelical, and non-denominational, and praying fervently for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit this year.  Visit - http://caicw.org/Mjorud_Camp.html - to find out more or to register.

Looking forward to seeing you there! .

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Slain in the Spirit" - Is it for Real?

As a Christian, I have seen many charlatans, including having gone once to a Benny Hinn event where, sitting in the stands, I watched as they manipulated the seating to make it appear to cameras that the arena was full, and people pushed and shoved each other to be the first down the stars to the floor, where they could get in line to be touched by Benny - if Benny's guards, who were stopping and questioning each potential sick-person-in-need-of-healing, allowed you to.  The air was thick with the power of a spirit in action; only I don't think it was the Holy one...

And yes, I have stood at the prayer altar and felt a pastor try to push me, with two fingers on my chest, back into the arms of someone standing behind me. I stood straight, and kept praying to Jesus that what ever His will was, that I would do. But I wasn't going to lay down for any man. The pastor seemed to get frustrated with me, and moved on.

However, there was once, at an average chapel service at a small church one evening, where services were sincere and open hearted, but somewhat uneventful, and where the sermon hadn't even begun yet, that something happened.

It was still in the middle of worship, and a guitarist had stopped playing. After a few moments, it became obvious that he was sobbing. And then...a few in the congregation began to cry.  I don't know what happened, but within a matter of minutes, several people were sobbing in the congregation...and from there,  some began kneeling in their tears, praying and sobbing....and others went to the side of a crying person, hugging or putting an arm around a shoulder, and began praying for them and with them...and then... I saw someone laying on the floor, and another person, and another, and by this time, almost everyone was praying for someone or crying.  I looked across the heads of praying, crying people, and saw a friend across the room; we caught each other's eyes. We were the only two left standing.

My friend and I smiled at each other across the room, then turned, went to someone nearby crying, and knelt down and prayed.

This all happened in a matter of minutes, but the prayer went on like that for almost two hours. The Sermon didn't even take place. The pastor was sitting down on the steps of the altar, crying and praying too. Something like this had never happened before, and I have never experienced anything like it since.

I do believe it is the first and only time I have truly witnessed slaying in the Spirit.

No, it wasn't mass hysteria. I knew all these people. Some of them didn't even like each other. And although we went on to have many "good" worship services together, this event has not been repeated - because it wasn't a cooked up show and no one would want to try to cook up a mimic.  It was too beautiful in it's simple spontaneity to mess with.  Why would one want to ruin the memory of a night like that by trying to force it to happen again.

But I pray the Lord WILL allow me to experience an event like that again - and again and again - because the feeling of being present during an honest move of the Spirit is too tremendous to describe. I want more of that.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

America - amazing political event in Canada proves prayer for government works!

When Prime Minister Harper announced that abortion funding would not be included in his health initiative for the upcoming G8 Summit in June, the enraged liberal opposition determined to squash him and all the other conservatives. Under normal circumstance, they WOULD have...

by Dean Smith
Special to ASSIST News Service

OTTAWA, ONTARIO (ANS) -- Canada is run by a minority government. The ruling Conservative party holds 144 of the 308 seats in the House of Commons and must rely on support from at least one opposition party (Liberal, Bloc or NDP) to govern.

Since the combined opposition holds the balance of power they can, if agreed, pass motions forcing the government to take certain actions.

The G8 summit

This June (2010), Canada is hosting the G8 summit -– representing the eight wealthiest nations. As host, Prime Minister Stephen Harper plans to encourage G8 nations to provide financial support to women and children in impoverished nations.

When Harper -– an openly evangelical Christian -- announced abortion funding was not included in this initiative, the Liberals took action. They initiated a motion requiring Harper to include a “full range of family planning, sexual and reproductive health options” in his proposal. Though, it purposefully avoided mentioning abortion, it was clearly the underlining message.

Strategically, the Liberals hoped to drive a wedge between Conservatives opposing abortion and those supporting it. On her blog, Liberal MP Dr. Carolyn Bennett penned the vote would be a “day of reckoning” for the Conservative party.

Call to pray and FAST

When the Liberals announced their plan to implement the vote on March 23, 2010, a number of national prayer groups sprung into action. In particular, 4myCanada initiated an urgent call to supporters. 4MyCanada is a Christian activist group that combines intensive prayer initiatives with political activism.

On March 20, they sent their first e-email which said: “We are calling an EMERGENCY 3 Day Fast Re-Global Abortion Motion.”

It went on to say,
“In Canada we have seen tangible and notable shifts in our nation through massive prayer and fasting. These are times to use the powerful tool of prayer and fasting – now is one of those times.

“We encourage you to consider a water only fast and to set aside times to pray fervently for this in the next 3 days. (Note: if you are not used to fasting we encourage you to perhaps do a liquids only fast and consult a doctor before you do a full fast (water only).”
Over the next three days, email alerts urged supporters to continue their prayer and fasting vigil.

A March 23, 2010, e-mail read,
“We want to let you know this: your prayers are working and our MPs are hearing the voice of Canadians as we are bringing it. There has already been a shift this morning … Pray that many Liberals and NDP feel the heat today and change their minds. Again, let's pray that their eyes would be opened to understand what they are truly pushing when they push abortion (it looks like we need about 10 – 15 NDPers, Bloc or Liberals to vote against the motion for it to fail).”
Voting day – confusion reigns

With opposition parties firmly onside, the Liberals marched into the Canadian House of Commons on March 23 fully anticipating victory.

Despite Liberal party leader Michael Ignatieff stating earlier his MPs were free to vote according to their conscience, behind closed doors it was a whipped vote. This meant all Liberals were expected to be in the House to support the motion -– even those opposing abortion, which was why the word abortion was purposefully omitted.

But instead of solidarity, confusion reigned. While many Liberal MPs were told it was a whipped vote, a significant number hadn't received the message. Thirteen Liberal MPs were missing, including some anti-abortion MPs who were told to stay away if they couldn’t support the motion. Others simply abstained.

Meanwhile, three Liberal MPs -– who opposed abortion and weren't told it was a whipped vote -– took their Liberal leader at his word, and voted according to their conscience.

In a stunning upset, the motion was defeated 144 to 138.

A MP Blackberried 4myCanada from the floor of the House of Commons immediately after the vote stating, “You guys did it! This is an Act of God before our eyes!”

There was so much confusion on the Liberal bench, it carried over to the next motion presented by the Conservative party. Chronicle Herald reporter Stephen Maher described the chaos: “To make matters worse, in the confusion after the lost vote, Liberal MP Maurizio Bevilacqua misunderstood Cuzner's [the Liberal whip] shouted instructions and stood to vote for a budget bill the Liberals opposed. Several other MPs followed.”

One Liberal MP portrayed the bedlam as “Clown city,” another said, “We look like fools.”

National Post columnist Don Martin depicted the debacle as
“A needlessly provocative Liberal move to sneak abortion back on the agenda, aimed at dividing the Conservatives, actually drove a wedge deep into the official opposition.” He described the unexpected Liberal defeat as “jaw-dropping.”
The power of fasting

The apostle Paul exhorts Christians to pray for government (1 Tim 2:1, 2). But there is an important element that needs to be included --- fasting. As we pray God's will in a situation, fasting works along side disrupting satanic strategies, attacks and loosening its grip on a situation.

Isaiah 58:6 outlines the power behind a true fast:
“Is this not the fast which I choose, To loosen the bonds of wickedness, To undo the bands of the yoke, And to let the oppressed go free And break every yoke?”
In the Book of Esther – which records the Jewish captivity in Persia -- we witness first hand the power of fasting. The Jewish presence was not universally accepted and Haman, a senior Persian bureaucrat, hatched a plot to massacre the Jews on a single day and plunder their wealth (Esther 3:13-15).

Curiously, a few thousand years later, the Nazis orchestrated a similar one-day persecution of the Jews referred to as Reichskristallnacht, the night of the broken glass. On November 17, 1938, 7,000 Jewish businesses were plundered and 1,668 synagogues were vandalized with many destroyed. Ninety Jews were reportedly killed but the actual number was much higher and 30,000 Jews were sent to temporary concentration camps – an omen of what was to come.

In Persia, Haman even planned his own personal vendetta, constructing a gallows to kill Mordecai, a Jew who hung around the palace because a relative in his care – Esther – was chosen as the new Queen for King Ahasuerus.

Esther's heritage was unknown to everyone, including Haman and her husband. As word trickled out on the planned massacre, Mordecai urged Esther to use her influence to change the King's mind. But even her privileged position didn't allow an unsummoned approach of her husband. If the King didn't receive her, she would be executed.

Initially resistant, Esther finally agreed, but with one provision:
“Go, assemble all the Jews who are found in Susa, and fast for me,” Esther said. “Do not eat or drink for three days, night or day. I and my maidens also will fast in the same way. And thus I will go in to the King, which is not according to the law; and if I perish, I perish.” (Esther 4:16 NASV)
The wording implies the fast actually involved two full days, and on the third day Esther approached and was received by her husband (Esther 5:1, 2). Haman's plot was exposed. The plan to kill the Jews was stopped and Haman hung on the very gallows he built for Mordecai (Esther 7:9, 10).

God sends confusion

But confusion surrounding the abortion initiative was also significant as confusion was a signature of God's intervention on behalf of Israel. During their journey to the Promised Land, God promised,
“I will send My terror ahead of you, and then throw into confusion all the people among whom you come, and I will make all your enemies turn their back to you.” (Exodus 23:27 NASV)
And confusion proved an effective weapon. In one instance, the Philistines were so confused they ended up attacking each other (1 Samuel 14:20). In 1 Samuel 7, the Israelites again under Philistine attack, entered a one day fast and prayer (v 6). In response, “the Lord thundered with a great thunder on that day against the Philistines and confused them, so they were routed before Israel.” (v 10 NASV)

But the G8 battle continues

The defeat of the abortion motion was noticed around the world. On March 30, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton used an Ottawa news conference to attack Canada's Prime Minister for not including abortion in his motion. She was in Ottawa for preparatory meetings for the G8 summit.

Clinton said, “You cannot have maternal health without reproductive health. And reproductive health includes contraception, family planning and access to legal, safe abortions.”

Then the UN World Health Organization (WHO) stepped in to criticize, while at the same time back-slapping the US position. WHO Director General Margaret Chan made the comment at an April 14th news conference where she was introducing WHO's latest initiative to improve maternal and child health. There was a bit of damage control involved as WHO was embarrassed when Lancet, a British Medical Journal, released a report stating women deaths during child birth had dropped sharply from 526,300 in 1980 to 342,900 in 2008. This contradicted WHO's recent report there had been no improvement. This is not the first time, a UN report has been severely undermined by outside -- and some suggest unbiased – research.

Dean Smith works in the communications field. Visit his website at www.opentheword.org


Wow. What happened in Canada is Awesome. Our strength truly is in the Lord. We can fight the present US Administration - and Win....Yes We Can!!

"...if my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and will heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:14

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

7,500 Online Shoppers Unknowingly Sold Their Souls

This was absolutely too funny...Better start reading that small print!

Fox News - April 15, 2010

A computer game retailer revealed that it legally owns the souls of thousands of online shoppers, thanks to a clause in the terms and conditions agreed to by online shoppers.

The retailer, British firm GameStation, added the "immortal soul clause" to the contract signed before making any online purchases earlier this month. It states that customers grant the company the right to claim their soul.

"By placing an order via this Web site on the first day of the fourth month of the year 2010 Anno Domini, you agree to grant Us a non transferable option to claim, for now and for ever more, your immortal soul. Should We wish to exercise this option, you agree to surrender your immortal soul, and any claim you may have on it, within 5 (five) working days of receiving written notification from gamesation.co.uk or one of its duly authorised minions."
GameStation's form also points out that
"we reserve the right to serve such notice in 6 (six) foot high letters of fire, however we can accept no liability for any loss or damage caused by such an act. If you a) do not believe you have an immortal soul, b) have already given it to another party, or c) do not wish to grant Us such a license, please click the link below to nullify this sub-clause and proceed with your transaction."
The terms of service were updated on April Fool's Day as a gag, but the retailer did so to make a very real point: No one reads the online terms and conditions of shopping, and companies are free to insert whatever language they want into the documents.

While all shoppers during the test were given a simple tick box option to opt out, very few did this, which would have also rewarded them with a £5 voucher, according to news:lite. Due to the number of people who ticked the box, GameStation claims believes as many as 88 percent of people do not read the terms and conditions of a Web site before they make a purchase.

The company noted that it would not be enforcing the ownership rights, and planned to e-mail customers nullifying any claim on their soul.


Friday, May 7, 2010

Diocese turns its back on Christ to keep schools open

In an effort reminiscent of ancient Israelites who took up the traditions and icons of their neighbors every time they were afraid God wouldn't or couldn't help them with their troubles, New York and Washington DC Catholic dioceses have given up their right and duty to train up children in the way they should be - in return for public funding.  DC Archbishop Donald W. Wuerl, converted seven of the District's 28 Catholic schools into secular charter schools in 2008.  Now, a Catholic archdiocese in Indiana plans to change its parochial schools into public charter schools this next year.

In order to do this, the diocese must agree not to teach the kids anything at all about God, and remove every decoration or figure that is associated with Christianity. In Indiana, this includes removing large limestone crosses that are part of the outside wall of the buildings.

Now, I'm not big on statues and icons. However, I am even less big on turning ones back on what one believes for the sake of a monetary goal.

I understand from reports that the Diocese believes this is necessary in order that the schools stay open in needy communities.  In other words, the Diocese has decided that a neighborhood academic experience is more important to the well-being of these children and communities than knowledge of Jesus Christ.  Does this Diocese not believe in the full teaching of the Gospel?  If not, perhaps they are correct that they as a team should not be teaching it.

This isn't about Catholic bashing.  This is about one group of Christian leaders making a very wrong decision.  I was raised in Catholic schools. My aunt, a Franciscan Nun, taught in a Catholic high school most of her life. We, as Christians, have been instructed to teach children the Good News. Catholic schools, I had thought, were founded with the express purpose of doing just that. 

I can't believe any truly believing Christian would agree to take a prayerful school and turn it secular for the purpose of collecting government money.

"Train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." Proverbs 22:6
"Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:7
"Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord." Ephesians 6:4

In the first place, the 'government' can't afford to be funding everything.  Its going bankrupt, remember? As citizens, we need to be finding creative ways to make ends meet without depending on the government.

Secondly, there are wonderfully creative ways to teach children with little money.  Ask any homeschooling mother.  I also remember my mom telling me the story of her first year at a newly built Catholic school in the 1940's. The classrooms hadn't been completed yet, so they gathered in the cafeteria and separated the classes by hanging blankets.  She remembered that year fondly. 

In other words, get over the idea that everything that you think is needed is really needed.

But thirdly, and most importantly, God does tremendous things through prayer. Have none of these people ever heard of George Mueller? For those that don't know, he fed hundreds of orphans through the years totally through faith and prayer. Some of the ways the Lord answered and provided were truly miraculous. There are many other examples of brave prayer warriors through out history. What Mother Theresa was able to do through faith and determination was amazing. Leaving God out of her ministry was not an option.

Haven't any of these people read the Bible?  Don't think prayer can do the job?  Believers know that God answers prayer. Sure, sometimes the answer is "no."  But if it is, then praise God for putting a hold on something that might not have been the best idea in the first place.  He sees things that we don't and has the ultimate wisdom as to how to accomplish needed goals - including the best way to teach children.  But other times, when we are headed in the right direction, the answer is a miraculously yes. 

Our family has had several experiences.  Fifteen years ago, while my husband was driving across country, I waited at home and prayed.  He was on his way to pick up four of his relatives' children that were suddenly and unexpectedly in need a home. I prayed about how we would feed them when we could barely feed ourselves.  But it was an emergency and my husband knew he had no other choice but to jump in the car and go.  The next day, straight out of a George Mueller play book, a friend, unaware my husband had left to pick up children, showed up with a car full of supplies, including a summer's worth of blue diapers.  I didn't have a small boy in my home that needed them...but my husband would be bringing an 18-month old boy home in a couple days. They were just the right size.

Apparently, a grocery store Semi had overturned at the corner in front of our friends house.  The driver had told him to go ahead and gather the products strewn all over highway.

That event has always amazed me and I love to tell the story.  Did I mention that the diapers were even blue, not pink? (this was during that brief period that they were selling them that way)  Amazing - God having fun with even the smallest details. 

Five years later, we were praying that if the Lord wanted our family to help at a Children's home in Juarez, Mexico, he would provide a comfortable way for my husband, who was dying of bone cancer, to travel.  That little boy with the blue diapers, now six, prayed that the Lord would give us an RV.  After the prayer, I gently told him that we could pray for help, but it's not right to ask for things so bluntly.  A week later, a woman called and asked if she could give us a huge, 10 bunk RV.  Needless to say, we went on that Children's home in Mexico.

Others might doubt God's providence, but those experiences, as well as a few others, spoke quite loudly to me.

That isn't to say that I've never forgotten, gotten scared, and gone ahead without prayer - making a bad decision that I later regretted. But...at the very least, I would be terrified to take a step such as the one these dioceses are making - To decide government funding is a priority over teaching Jesus Christ to the children.  I would be terrified as to the consequences that the leadership is bringing on themselves.

Even the thought of taking such a step is stomach turning.  I pray that the Indiana diocese prayerfully rethinks turning its back on the spiritual needs these children have.  One would hope that the faithful of the church in Indianapolis will not follow in the ways of New York and DC, but would instead pray for God's providence, leaning on the Lord rather than turning their back on Jesus and depending on the government.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Theology of Atonement - Part IV, the New Testament

Continued from Part III - The Ritual

There needed to be a way to remove the stain of moral and spiritual guilt. This method had to be a way that would cleanse us of totally from every sin. Isaiah 53 and Daniel 9:14-27 prophesied that the Coming Messiah would be the Great Atonement for all of our sins. Our Lord Jesus himself taught that He was that Messiah. (Matt. 26:28).

Isa. 53:10 (Sept.) states, "He (the Messiah) came in the likeness of sinful flesh because He was a sin offering." Isaiah is called the Old Testament Evangelist because of his vivid descriptions of Christ's suffering, atonement and reward. (Isa. 42:1-7, 53:1-12) Christ's soul was to be given as an offering for sin. This passage, with recurring reference to the Messiah as the "Servant of the Lord", proves that Isaiah, and probably other Israelites, believed that the Messiah would come as a suffering substitute with the goal of redeeming man. In ancient Israel, it was known that this passage was referring to the Messiah. More modern interpretations, which claim that the passage refers to the state of Israel rather than a man, fail to explain why the writer would refer to the state in the third person, and to the citizens in the first person. If modern interpreters were to be correct, it would only makes sense if the writer would have referred to all as the state.

Jesus’s is our sacrificial lamb, and His sacrificial death on the cross and blood spilled is the final and complete atonement for our sins. He was a sacrifice, not because his killers thought of him as such and were in a worshipful, repentant mode when they nailed him to the cross, but because He, without sin or blemish, went willingly to the cross. Jesus, in His heart, took all man's sin upon Himself and bore the punishment others deserved. He sacrificed Himself for man's sake. In Romans 8:3, (Sept.) "Amartia" is used to mean, "made sin," not a "sinner." The term "sinner" can never be used in reference to Christ, who is sinless and a "sin bearer". The term "sin" in reference to Jesus is abstract, without an article - an abstract noun for the concrete. Jesus is "made sin" for men in the same way men are "made righteous" for God: by a judicial act of God. And God, in His righteousness, accepted Jesus's bloody sacrifice of Himself.

This is hard for people of the 20th Century to understand. Man tries to comprehend the importance of the blood, but doesn't understand why it is important. But the blood isn’t for man in the first place; it is God that values the Blood. This is where man needs to have faith that the Blood is important simply because God says so.

According to Evangelist Watchman Nee, the Blood is meant to forgive and wash away sins in the lives of men. The cross is to do away with the power of sin in the lives of men. The Blood is an atonement, and sinners are forgiven not because God overlooks the sin, but because he sees the Blood. Therefore, the Blood is primarily for God, not for man.

It’s important to have faith AND clear conscience toward God, which can only come by the blood, and not anything else. Being extra kind or patient one day does not bring one closer to God. Man can never be good enough. The Blood is unchanging and is man's only hope for safe ground to stand on. The only important matter is that God values sacrificial, righteous blood shed.

The last aspect of the purpose for the Blood is the part “the accuser” plays. When Satan entered after the fall, man became separated from God. As long as sin was present in the life of man, God couldn’t be approached and Satan had a field day. Without atonement, God couldn’t do anything to help. He couldn’t come near. But the blood changed that. God can stand next to man now.

But the Blood doesn't “cleanse” hearts. The flesh is too bad for cleansing, and it must be thrown out, crucified, and replaced with a whole new heart. This is why the animal sacrifices alone were never adequate. Death and rebirth is still necessary. The old hearts were “sprinkled with an evil conscience”, and that caused a barrier between God and man. When man tried to approach God, he felt guilt and unworthiness. This is why man needs both the Blood and a death - a tossing out of that old heart so a new one could be put in its place. Man must die on the cross, with the Messiah, Jesus, in order to gain new life. When a sinner believes this from the Word and accepts Christ's gift of death into his heart, his conscience can be cleared and the guilt removed.

The Book of Romans shows us that
1. The Grace of God, our Divine Judge, is the giver and justifier of our full atonement.
2. The blood of Christ is the basis of our full atonement
3. Faith is the receptive organ for our full atonement
4. Justice and Grace will be the end result of our full atonement

Old Testament sacrifices were a foreshadowing of the redemption Jesus Christ was going to bring about on the cross. For reasons only God can fully understand, Christ's shed blood on the cross is a vitally important event, and the only event, which brings about reconciliation and atonement for all sinners who believe and receive it.


Saturday, May 1, 2010

Christian Newspapers, News Sources


Christian News Sources

Adventist Review

Agape Press

Assist News Service - World News

Associated Baptist Press

Barna Group: Examine, Illuminate, Transform

Baptist Press News

BC Christian News - Canada

BCNN1.com: Black Christian News

Blue Ridge Christian News

Books & Culture

BosNewsLife - Budapest

Breaking Christian News

Canadian Christianity.com

Catholic News Service; Catholic Online

CBN News; Christian World News

Charisma News Online; CNS Magazine

Christian Examiner

Christian Headlines

Christian Journal

Christian Music Daily

Christian News (The Christian News)

Christian News Daily

Christian News Northwest

Christian News Today

Christian Newswire

Christian Personal Finance

Christian Post

Christian Press.com

Christian Start

Christian Telegraph

Christian Today

Christianity Today

Christians Unite - News

Christians Unite - Columns

ChristianWeek.org - Canada

Church Finance Today

Church Law & Tax Report

Citizen USA - (out of Ohio)

Compass Direct News


DeMoss News.com

Faith News Network

Family News in Focus

Forum 18 News Service

Good News, etc.- San Diego

Good News: Magazine of Understanding

Good News Today

Heartlight, Inc.

Intermountain Christian News

International Faith Telegraph

Israel Insider


Kyria.com - Women Chosen in Christ




The Manna

Medical Missionary News

Mission Network News

One News Now

Open Doors USA.com


Preaching Today

Religion News Today

Sojourners Magazine

Spirit Daily.com

Topix Christian News

True News

United News

Winsome Wit - Christian Humor

Wisconsin Christian News

World Mag.com

World News Sources

Worthy Christian News

More Christian News, Resources and Media at http://www.christsinternet.com/