Thursday, April 30, 2015

Do you carry money in your pocket?

It is good to always try to carry money in your pocket to be able to help others immediately with a need for a meal, food, clothing, and to assist with other needs, such as covering the expense of others to bless them.  A check just doesn’t do it.

A Christian worker shockingly said, “Oh no! I do not carry money because I may have to help someone.”  What!  I thought that was what we as followers of Christ are to do.

So, my friend, carry some cash even if it is difficult to do. This will enable you to give and help others in the Name of Christ who said it is more blessed to give than to receive.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

No Chicken Left Behind

by Wil Chevalier 

Herman and Flor Manolo were two of our first converts when we arrived in Manila in the early eighties. Flor was our house helper, and Herman was unemployed at the time, so we hired him to do various tasks for us. Eventually, he became our office manager. We were there for the birth of three of their four boys, one of whom is now a pastor in Barangay Valencia, the squatter area where we all used to live. Herman and Flor now own a farm located in Unison, Quezon Province, a four-to-five-hour drive from Manila. One of Herman’s brothers, Brando, is a caretaker at the farm while Herman does ministry for Guidelines in Manila.

One night in December of 2011, Brando was awakened by the sounds of squawking chickens. He grabbed a flashlight and went out to the pen where a boa constrictor had wrapped itself around one of the laying hens. He instinctively grabbed the snake by the neck, prompting the tail of the snake to wrap around Brando’s leg. He managed to wrestle the snake to the ground and then cried out for help. One of the farm workers came with a long bolo knife and killed the snake.

Brando loved the chickens on Herman’s farm. I am amazed by what he was willing to do to rescue a chicken entrusted to his care, and I see a spiritual application to this true story.

Consider this quote found in the updated edition of Streams in the Desert: "Evil never surrenders its grasp without a tremendous fight. We never arrive at any spiritual inheritance through the enjoyment of a picnic, but always through the fierce conflicts of the battlefield."

According to Ephesians 6, our battle is a spiritual one, and the serpent [Satan] in this battle cannot be defeated with a carnal weapon like a bolo. My prayer is that God will renew my passion for reaching people within my sphere of influence who are without Christ. For example, in the Philippines, an estimated 95% of the population of 98.39 million is without Christ. Throughout the world, there are 159 million orphans and 100 million street children, most of whom have never heard the gospel or received any type of compassionate care.

Therefore, let us pray that our church ministry, mission, and organization will grow to reach more people for Christ, disciple them, and care for those most in need.

“ . . . Christ in you, the hope of glory. We proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teaching every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ. For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me” (Colossians 1:27-29).

Monday, April 27, 2015

No One Remembered!

Ecclesiates 9:13-18, “I also saw under the sun this example of wisdom that greatly impressed me: There was once a small city with only a few people in it. And a powerful king came against it, surrounded it and built huge siege works against it. Now there lived in that city a man poor but wise, and he saved the city by his wisdom. But nobody remembered that poor man. So I said, “Wisdom is better than strength.” But the poor man’s wisdom is despised, and his words are no longer heeded. The quiet words of the wise are more to be heeded than the shouts of a ruler of fools. Wisdom is better than weapons of war, but one sinner destroys much good.”

In a commentary on Ecclesiastes 9:15, Martin Luther cites the story of Themistocles, the soldier and statesman who commanded the Athenian squadron. Through his strategy, he won the Battle of Salamis, drove the Persian army from Greek soil, and saved his city. A few years later, he fell out of favor, was ostracized by his countrymen, and was banished from Athens. Thus, Luther concludes, “Themistocles did much good for his city, but received much ingratitude.”

The crowd, for some reason, seems to ignore or quickly forget the good that the poor and humble man accomplishes through his wisdom. No matter. “Wisdom is [still] better than strength” even if “the poor man’s wisdom is despised.” (v.16). It’s better to be a quiet, honest sage who, though forgotten, leaves much good behind, than a swaggering, strident fool who, though many applaud him, “destroys much good” (v. 18).

Accordingly, what matters in the end is not the recognition and gratitude we receive for the work we’ve done, but the souls of those gentle folk in whom we’ve sown the seeds of righteousness. Put another way: “Wisdom is justified by all her children” (Luke 7:35). Whom have you influenced through your wise and godly wisdom?

Help me to walk so close to Thee
That those who know me best can see
I live as godly as I pray,
And Christ is real from day to day.  – Ryberg

A wise person sets his earthly goals on heavenly gains.

Friday, April 24, 2015

Great is the Lord -- The Lord is

compiled by Doug Nichols


28:16 Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, “Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it.”

15:2 The Lord is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will extol Him.

15:3 “The Lord is a warrior; The Lord is His name.”

17:15  "Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner."


14:9 "Only do not rebel against the Lord; and do not fear the people of the land, for they will be our prey. Their protection has been removed from them, and the Lord is with us; do not fear them.”

14:18 "The Lord is slow to anger and abundant in lovingkindness, forgiving iniquity and transgression..."


6:4 “Hear, O Israel! The Lord is our God, the Lord is one!

31:8 "The Lord is the one who goes ahead of you; He will be with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”


4:24 "All the peoples of the earth may know that the hand of the Lord is mighty, so that you may fear the Lord your God forever."


6:12 "The angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, 'The Lord is with you, O valiant warrior.' "

6:24 "Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it, The Lord is Peace."


2:3 “Boast no more so very proudly, Do not let arrogance come out of your mouth; For the Lord is a God of knowledge, And with Him actions are weighed."

14:6 "Then Jonathan said to the young man who was carrying his armor, 'Come and let us cross over to the garrison of these uncircumcised; perhaps the Lord will work for us, for the Lord is not restrained to save by many or by few.' "


22:2 “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer..."

22:31 “As for God, His way is blameless; The word of the Lord is tested; He is a shield to all who take refuge in Him.


8:60 " that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God; there is no one else."


12:6 "So the princes of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, 'The Lord is righteous.' "
20:17 "You need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not fear or be dismayed; tomorrow go out to face them, for the Lord is with you.”


Nehemiah 8:10 "Then he said to them, 'Go, eat of the fat, drink of the sweet, and send portions to him who has nothing prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not be grieved, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.' "


Amos 9:6 "The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens and has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth, the Lord is His name."


10:16 "The Lord is King forever and ever; nations have perished from His land."

11:4 "The Lord is in His holy temple; the Lord’s throne is in heaven; His eyes behold, His eyelids test the sons of men."

11:7 "For the Lord is righteous, He loves righteousness; the upright will behold His face."

16:5 "The Lord is the portion of my inheritance and my cup; you support my lot."

18:2 "The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold."

19:7-9 "The law of the Lord is perfect, restoring the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple. The precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes.  The fear of the Lord is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the Lord are true; they are righteous altogether."

23:1 "The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want."

27:1 "The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the defense of my life; whom shall I dread?"

28:7 "The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped; therefore my heart exults, and with my song I shall thank Him."

34:8 "O taste and see that the Lord is good; how blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"

34:18 "The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit."

54:4 "Behold, God is my helper; the Lord is the sustainer of my soul."

95:3 "For the Lord is a great God and a great King above all gods."

103:8 "The Lord is compassionate and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness."

113:3,4 "From the rising of the sun to its setting the name of the Lord is to be praised.  The Lord is high above all nations; His glory is above the heavens."

121:5 "The Lord is your keeper; the Lord is your shade on your right hand."

135:3 "Praise the Lord, for the Lord is good; sing praises to His name, for it is lovely."

135:5 "For I know that the Lord is great and that our Lord is above all gods."

145:8,9 "The Lord is gracious and merciful; slow to anger and great in lovingkindness. The Lord is good to all, and His mercies are over all His works."

145:17,18 "The Lord is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His deeds. The Lord is near to all who call upon Him."


1:7 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; fools despise wisdom and instruction."
10:29 "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding."

15:33 "The fear of the Lord is the instruction for wisdom, and before honor comes humility."

18:10 "The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous runs into it and is safe."


12:2 "Behold, God is my salvation, I will trust and not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation."

13:6 "Wail, for the day of the Lord is near! It will come as destruction from the Almighty."

30:18 "Therefore the Lord longs to be gracious to you, and therefore He waits on high to have compassion on you. For the Lord is a God of justice; How blessed are all those who long for Him."

33:5 "The Lord is exalted, for He dwells on high; He has filled Zion with justice and righteousness."

33:22 "For the Lord is our judge, the Lord is our lawgiver, the Lord is our king; He will save us."


10:10 "But the Lord is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth quakes, And the nations cannot endure His indignation."

33:2 “Thus says the Lord who made the earth, the Lord who formed it to establish it, the Lord is His name."

33:16 "In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell in safety; and this is the name by which she will be called: the Lord is our righteousness."


1:18 “The Lord is righteous; For I have rebelled against His command..."

3:24 “The Lord is my portion...therefore I have hope in Him.”

3:25 "The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the person who seeks Him."


12:5 "Even the Lord, the God of hosts, the Lord is His name."


3:16 "The Lord roars from Zion and utters His voice from Jerusalem, and the heavens and the earth tremble. But the Lord is a refuge for His people and a stronghold to the sons of Israel."


9:6 "The One who builds His upper chambers in the heavens And has founded His vaulted dome over the earth, He who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the face of the earth, the Lord is His name."


1:3 "For behold, the Lord is coming forth from His place. He will come down and tread on the high places of the earth."

7:8 "Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy. Though I fall I will rise; though I dwell in darkness, the Lord is a light for me."


1:3 "The Lord is slow to anger and great in power..."

1:7 "The Lord is good, a stronghold in the day of trouble, and He knows those who take refuge in Him."


3:5 "The Lord is righteous...He will do no injustice. Every morning He brings His justice to light; He does not fail. But the unjust knows no shame."


1:28 "And coming in, he said to her, 'Greetings, favored one! The Lord is with you.'"

4:18 “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He anointed Me to preach the gospel to the poor. He has sent Me to proclaim release to the captives, and recovery of sight to the blind, to set free those who are oppressed."


3:17 "Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty."


4:5 "Let your gentle spirit be known to all men. The Lord is near."


4:6 "...and that no man transgress and defraud his brother in the matter because the Lord is the avenger in all these things, just as we also told you before and solemnly warned you."


3:3 "But the Lord is faithful, and He will strengthen and protect you from the evil one."


3:6 " that we confidently say, 'The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What will man do to me?' "


5:11 "We count those blessed who endured. You have heard of the endurance of Job and have seen the outcome of the Lord’s dealings, that the Lord is full of compassion and is merciful."


3:12 “For the eyes of the Lord are toward the righteous, and His ears attend to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”


2 Peter 3:9 "The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance."

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Do You Have a Passport?

God may lead you to assist in a ministry someplace other than your own country to travel during an emergency; however, you need a passport to do this. 

I would encourage you to get one, whether you feel you need one or not.  It may cost you a few dollars; I think the cost is $135 right now.  It would be good for you to have one and renew it every ten years or so.

This would enable you to travel at a moment’s notice to another country to participate in crisis relief teams, share the gospel, help on a ministry project, or to visit a sick relative or friend.  I would encourage you to obtain one for your good and the good of the gospel!

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Seven People Lying at the Side of the Road: Will you be a good Samaritan?

By George Verwer

I have been preaching a lot recently on the story of the Good Samaritan. I believe it’s a fitting message because there are so many people lying at the side of the road today; there are so many who are suffering and need Jesus—both for salvation and for those practical, life-sustaining needs we all have. At the same time, it has been my great joy to see, within Operation Mobilization, a huge shift in recent years towards the marrying of Gospel proclamation with social action.
I have put together a list of “seven people lying at the side of the road.” These Seven People (which I also list on the back of my business card) are:
1  Children at riskChild red hat
AIDS orphans; children on the street; children in slums and garbage dumps; child victims of sex trafficking and domestic abuse; child soldiers: there are so many children in extreme need. If we don’t help them, who will?
2  Abused women
I urge you to read True Grit by Deborah Meroff, the untold story of the suffering women face around the world and how powerfully God is using women to advance His Kingdom today.
3  The extreme poor
In the West we come across pan-handlers and others who need our help, and we need to continue to help these people with love and wisdom. But I am talking here of whole families who are living on less than a dollar a day, people who are victims of rampant government corruption and famine. I am speaking of the 200 million Dalits of India who for 3,000 years have suffered severe discrimination and abject poverty; of the millions living in slums, the Tsunami victims of Southeast Asia, the earthquake victims of Pakistan, those starving and suffering under the oppressive regime of North Korea. There are so many in extreme poverty who need our help.
4  The HIV/AIDS patient
40 million have been infected and 20 million have died. Millions of children have been orphaned and whole societies are burgeoning under the weight of so many dying so young. Rather than standing by and judging, let us respond in love and action through in-person help, finance, support of AIDS ministries, prayer and being aware of AIDS in our own communities, churches and families. (Many have HIV and don’t know it.)
Let us also take advantage of this opportunity to share the gospel. We have found that, because death is so imminent, AIDS patients are very open to the Gospel.
woman and child
I want to strongly recommend four books: AIDS and You by Patrick Dixon, AIDS is Real and It’s in Our Church by Jean Garland and Dr. Mike Blyth; The Skeptics Guide to AIDS by Dale Hanson Bourke; and AIDS: I’m Not at Risk, Am I? by Joy and Ray Thomas.
5  People with impure water
Water is becoming increasingly scarce. 20% of the world has no access to clean water. Many must walk miles to get clean water, and so often the ones who do it are children whose bodies are not designed for such back-breaking work. Big cities are running out of water and are shipping it in at great cost, while in other parts of the world the dysfunctional water systems are breeding grounds for disease. May each of us be part of the effort to see more people getting clean water, as we seek to preserve what precious water we have stewardship over ourselves.
6  The unborn
Some estimates put the number of children who have been aborted at 500 million. The numbers are staggering, and in many ways I would rather ignore them. But I know that I cannot. I confess, when my close friend Dr. Francis Schaeffer decided to put so much effort into the prolife movement towards the end of his life, I thought he had gone a little extreme. I no longer feel this way, and repent of my own inaction. In some countries there are more abortions than births, and the laws in some nations allow abortion until the day before birth. How can this be?tiny face
With so much abortion taking place, let us not consider it a lost cause and give up. No, many battles have been won, and every battle is a victory; every saved life a real person. I believe that there are thousands alive today who otherwise would not have been without prolife action. Are not these saved lives worth the effort? Yes, they are!
So let us be people of vision, action and especially grace—grace for the mothers, for those in the prochoice camp, and for fellow Christians who disagree. Recommended reading: Why ProLife? by Randy Alcorn.
7  The environment
It is a shame that so many evangelical Christians not only have little concern for the environment, but are sometimes known as anti-environmental. How can this be when our Creator God has asked us to care for his creation? Not only is our pollution of the earth totally unacceptable, but this is an issue that our young people care about; and if we don’t connect with them on valid issues such as preservation of the environment, how can we expect them to listen to us at all?
Will you be a Good Samaritan?
George Verwer is the founder of Operation Mobilization ( and an advocate for worldwide missions. Learn more about his ministry at

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

A Few Quotes on Spiritual Leadership by J. Oswald Sanders

1. Authoritative Leadership under Leadership of Christ

One rapidly developing trend is a style of authoritative leadership that is neither biblical nor beneficial. It was in awareness of this trend that I wrote: “True spiritual leadership is authoritative, but not authoritarian.”

Authoritative because it commands the sanction of Scripture and secures the cooperation of the Holy Spirit, but not authoritarian in the sense of exercising an undue influence on the decisions and life-style of other believers.

The leader must be careful not to usurp the responsibilities that are rightly theirs, to be exercised under the lordship of Christ. (Preface Page ix-x) Read more ...

Monday, April 20, 2015

What Does the Bible Say?

Heard recently of another seminary with a professor teaching that Biblical Creation, Adam and even Abraham in Genesis were only allegories. What!!!

If you do away with the clear teaching of the Word of God and its teaching of Creation and the very roots of Biblical Faith/the inerrancy of Scripture you really end up with wrong doctrine or with nothing!

It's like buttoning a shirt starting at the bottom but in the wrong hole; as you keep buttoning it doesn't get any better as you get to the top!

So trust God and the Word He has given us, all of it!

God says it is His Word so believe it, study it, and share it for, "All Scripture is INSPIRED of God..." (2 Timothy 2:16-17)

No Little Person

by Justin Taylor

It was a long time ago, in the summer of 1966, that Doug [Nichols] was working for Operation Mobilization and was stationed in London during their big annual conference. He was assigned to the clean-up crew. One night at around 12:30 AM he was sweeping the steps at the conference center when an older gentleman approached him and asked if this was where the conference was being held. Doug said that it was, but that just about everyone had already gone to bed. This man was dressed very simply and had just a small bag with him. He said that he was attending the conference. Doug replied he would try to find him a place to sleep and led him to a room where about 50 people were bunked down on the floor. The older gentleman had nothing to sleep on, so Doug laid down some padding and a blanket and offered a towel for a pillow. The man said that would be just fine and that he appreciated it very much. Read more ...

Friday, April 17, 2015

Are Street Children Trash?

Many consider street children to be trash. Local businessmen in Brazil call them “vermin” and “garbage.” They say, “If we let them grow up they will become criminals—a blight on our society.” From time to time, some of these businessmen have even hired assassins to kill them.

Street kids. Thousands of them. A staggering 100 million extremely underprivileged and street children struggle to survive in the world’s largest urban centers. In Manila alone there are an estimated 100,000 children on the streets, one million throughout the Philippines. Read more ...

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Why Are People Reluctant to Go into Missions?

by John Piper

When I spoke at Missions in the Main Hall Sunday night, I tried to give a biblical response to possible obstacles that are in the way for some people that may keep them from moving forward toward missions. My prayer is that God would use these responses to call more of you to go. Here are eight objections and a biblical response.

1. "I am not smart enough."

“Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe.” (1 Corinthians 1:20-21)

“Consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise.” (1 Corinthians 1:26-27) Read more ...

Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Arm These Thy Soldiers, Mighty Lord (My Favorite Hymn)

by Christopher Wordsworth, 1807-1885

 1. Arm these Thy soldiers, mighty Lord,
 With shield of faith and Spirit’s sword.
 Forth to the battle may they go
 And boldly fight against the Foe.

 2. With banner of the Cross unfurled,
 They overcome the evil world
 And so at last receive from Thee
 The palm and crown of victory.

 3. Come, ever-blessed Spirit, come
 And make Thy servants’ hearts Thy home,
 May each a living temple be
 Hallowed forever, Lord, to thee.

 4. Enrich that temple’s holy shrine
 With sevenfold gifts of grace divine;
 With wisdom, light, and knowledge bless,
 With counsel, strength, fear, godliness.

 5. O Trinity in Unity,
 One only God and Persons Three,
 In whom, through whom, by whom, we live,
 To Thee we praise and glory give.

 6. Oh, grant us so to use Thy grace
 That we may see Thy glorious face
 And ever with the heavenly host
 Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

 Text from: The Handbook to the Lutheran Hymnal (p. 238) (St. Louis: Concordia Publishing House, 1942)

Monday, April 13, 2015

Updates to Statistics on Suffering

1. Hunger:
  • 868 million in 2010-2012 or 12.5 percent of the global population, or 1 in 8 people. Source: FAO 2012 Executive Summary stated on
2. Child Mortality:
  • 9.7 million deaths of children under 5 each year in developing countries. 1 child dies every 6 seconds from malnutrition and related causes. Source:
  • In 2011, 6.9 million children under 5 died, down from 7.6 million in 2010, 8.1 million in 2009, and 12.4 million in 1990. Source: Wikipedia
  • About 29,000 children under 5, or 21 each minute, die every day mainly from preventable causes. Source:
  • 6.9 million under the age of 5 die per year. 576,000 per month. 133,000 per week, 19,000 per day, 13 per minute. Source:
3. Drinking Water:
  • 11 percent of the global population or 783 million are without access to improved sources of drinking water. Source: JMP 2012 found on
  • Nearly 1 billion don’t have clean water (884 million). Source:
4. Diarrhea
  • Diarrhea kills 760,000 (over 1.5 million) children under 5 per year. Source: World Health Organization
  • Diarrhea kills 2,195 children every day – more than AIDS, malaria and measles combined. Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,
5. Poverty:
  • 1 billion live on less than $1 a day.
  • 2.6 billion live on less than $2 per day.
  • Almost half the world – over 3 billion people – live on less than $2.50 per day. Source: Global Issues, 2010 found on
  • 6,973,738,433 people live on earth today. Source: World Bank
  • 7.1 billion people on earth today. Source:

Friday, April 10, 2015

Denying Absolutes: Thy Word is Truth: 5 Lies the World Believes – And How God’s Word Trumps Them

 by Charles Chandler [Decision Magazine, April 2015 p. 16-17]

All Scripture is taken from New American Standard.

The father of lies has been falsely accusing God from the beginning. In the Garden, the essence of Satan’s diabolical scheme to bring about the fall of man was asking Eve the doubt-provoking question: “Did God really say that?”

Following that lead, today’s culture is in all-out rebellion to God's Word, either by disregarding its authority altogether or by taking scissors to its pages, effectively forming false gods to accommodate fleshly desires.

The Bible speaks of such things. Romans 1 describes those who "suppress the truth in unrighteousness" (v. 18) and "exchange the truth of God for the lie" (v. 25).

Here are five lies much of the world believes, countered by God's truth on the matter:

Lie #1:  There is no definite moral authority.

God’s Truth:
All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have success.(Joshua 1:8)

Seeing that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness, through the true knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and excellence. For by these He has granted to us His precious and magnificent promises, so that by them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world by lust. (2 Peter 1:3-4)

Lie #2: If it feels good, I can do it.

God’s Truth:
All the ways of a man are clean in his own sight, but the Lord weighs the motives. (Proverbs 16:2)

For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed the evil thoughts, fornications, thefts, murders, adulteries, deeds of coveting and wickedness, as well as deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride and foolishness. All these evil things proceed from within and defile the man. (Mark 7:21-23)

All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; but the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him. (Isaiah 53:6)

As it is written, “There is none righteous, not even one; there is none who understands, there is none who seeks for God; all have turned aside, together they have become useless; there is none who does good, there is not even one.” (Romans 3:10-12)

But it shall come about, if you do not obey the Lord your God, to observe to do all His commandments and His statutes with which I charge you today, that all these curses will come upon you and overtake you. (Deuteronomy 28:15)

Lie # 3: We are free to redefine marriage as we want.

God’s Truth:
The Lord God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.” For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. (Genesis 2:22-24)

And He answered and said, “Have you not read that He who created them from the beginning made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? So they are no longer two, but one flesh. What therefore God has joined together, let no man separate.” (Matthew 19:4-6)

Now concerning the things about which you wrote, it is good for a man not to touch a woman. But because of immoralities, each man is to have his own wife, and each woman is to have her own husband. (1 Corinthians 7:1-2)

Marriage is to be held in honor among all, and the marriage bed is to be undefiled; for fornicators and adulterers God will judge.(Hebrews 13:4)

Lie #4: Homosexuality is good and should be celebrated.

God’s Truth:
You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination. (Leviticus 18:22)

If there is a man who lies with a male as those who lie with a woman, both of them have committed a detestable act; they shall surely be put to death. Their bloodguiltiness is upon them. (Leviticus 20:13)

For this reason God gave them over to degrading passions; for their women exchanged the natural function for that which is unnatural, and in the same way also the men abandoned the natural function of the woman and burned in their desire toward one another, men with men committing indecent acts and receiving in their own persons the due penalty of their error.

And just as they did not see fit to acknowledge God any longer, God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do those things which are not proper. (Romans 1:26-28)

Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals, nor thieves, nor the covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers, will inherit the kingdom of God. 
(1 Corinthians 6:9-10)

Lie #5: It’s my body; I can do what I want with it.

God’s Truth:
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and that you are not your own? For you have been bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body. (1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship. (Romans 12:1) 

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Nature of the Widow and the Orphan in the Old Testament

by Keith McFarland

Isaiah 58:1 boldly declares, "Shout it aloud, do not hold back...Declare to my people their rebellion and to the house of Jacob their sins." What grievous sins could demand such a rebuke? What could make the people declare, "Why have we fasted and you have not seen it (58:3)?” What could make the Lord reject His people? The answer is plain,

Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of set the oppressed share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter- when you see the naked, to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood...if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness...(58:6-10).

Throughout Scripture there is a Covenant expectation placed on God's people by God Himself to reflect His own nature through caring for the poor and needy. Two specific types of persons seem to reflect the mercy and compassion of God's heart above all the rest: the widow and the orphan. Read more ...

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

The Dead End of Sexual Sin

by Rosaria Champagne Butterfield

Unbelievers don’t “struggle” with same-sex attraction. I didn’t. My love for women came with nary a struggle at all.

I had not always been a lesbian, but in my late twenties, I met my first lesbian-lover. I was hooked and believed that I had found my real self. Sex with women was part of my life and identity, but it was not the only part — and not always the biggest part.

I simply preferred everything about women: their company, their conversation, their companionship, and the contours of their/our body. I favored the nesting, the setting up of house and home, and the building of lesbian community.

As an unbelieving professor of English, an advocate of postmodernism and poststructuralism, and an opponent of all totallizing meta-narratives (like Christianity, I would have added back in the day), I found peace and purpose in my life as a lesbian and the queer community I helped to create. Read more ...

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Desperately Needed: More Outsiders. A Biblical Mandate for Cross-cultural Missions

by Craig Greenfield

John Perkins suggests that three types of people are needed in order to see real transformation of an urban neighborhood:

The “relocators” are those people who were not born in the neighborhood, but who move into the area to tie their well-being to that of their neighbors.

The “returners” were born and raised in the community and then left for a better life. They are no longer trapped by the poverty of their neighborhood, yet they choose to return and live in the community they once tried to escape.
The “remainers” are the ones who could have fled the problems of the neighborhood, but who have chosen to stay and be part of the solution to the problems surrounding them.

Although Perkins was talking about inner-city USA, this is a helpful framework within which to think about international missions. Over the last few years, however, as the Church has gained a deeper appreciation for the contribution the poor can make in reaching their own people and rebuilding their own communities as “remainers,” I have observed the Church losing confidence in what we as westerners might have to offer as long-term international “relocators” among the poor.

The roots of this insecurity are complex. Partly it is a natural reaction against wrong emphases in the past. Yet somehow we must avoid the theological equivalent of throwing the baby out with the bathwater. So I want to briefly survey four reasons why we might have lost some of our confidence in long-term, cross-cultural missions.  Read more ...

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Ed Landry

from TODAY COUNTS by Dr. Harold J. Sala

1 Peter 2:21, “For you have been called for this purpose, since Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example for you to follow in His steps.”

Ed Landry doesn’t believe that we should ever waste trials or difficulties and that what we think is the worst of times can actually be the best of times. Ed was on a plane when he turned to the man next to him and asked, “How are you?” The man complained about the miserable cold he had. The man threw the question back to Ed and he replied, “I have leukemia. I could be dead in a few months.” The man stared at him. “You’re joking.” “No,” said Ed. “I really do have leukemia. So how is your cold?”

At fifty-five, Ed was diagnosed with acute Myelogenous Leukemia. During his seven months of treatment, folks in the hospital saw a sense of humor, an optimistic outlook and the realization that God is good. They wanted to know more about his faith and optimism in the face of adversity. Ed says that he’s learned four lessons during this time of difficulty.

Lesson 1: God handles problems better than we do. Ed takes his difficulties to the Lord, understanding that he’s God’s child and God knows best how to live with suffering.

Lesson 2: God wants our bodies fully surrendered to Him. Ed believes that his body is a temple indwelt by the Holy Spirit and therefore when we have given ourselves to Him, what happens is completely in God’s hands. “Yes, there has been pain,” but he quickly adds, “but the joy far overshadows the trial.”

Lesson 3: God gives special grace for special times. Ed freely admits that we can never experience or taste God’s sufficiency and grace apart from the trials we go through.

Lesson 4: We should never waste our trials. There is a greater purpose. Just trust Him. Someday we will understand.

Is this not the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke? Is it not to share your food with the hungry and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter – when you see the naked to clothe him, and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood? Then your light will break forth like the dawn and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard. Isaiah 58:6-8