Friday, 28 September 2012

False Teachers - Know them by their Fruit

Matthew 7: 15-17 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Mark 7: 21-23 For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders,  Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

In our world today, there are many many teachers and preachers providing programming on the radio, TV, and through the internet. There are books coming out constantly that claim to be from the Lord. How do we know which Bible teacher or preacher to trust? We are told that in order to recognize a counterfeit, one must be thoroughly familiar with the authentic and in that way we will be able to distinguish the true teachers from the false. I have found though, that the false teachers also proclaim some truth mixed in with their deceptions. So it can be quite a challenge sometimes to differentiate between the true and false teacher. I am not going to name any names in this blog post but I want to explore what to look for. What does the Bible say about this? How can we know and what should we be looking for? Jesus says in Matthew 7 that false prophets come in sheeps clothing but inwardly they are ravening wolves. This means that they are very deceptive - they really do look like good people whom we could trust - BUT they are not. Jesus also says  - Ye shall know them by their fruits - This means that it's not so much who they say they are but their actions ( their fruits) will make it obvious for whom they are working ( either for the Lord or for satan)  Jesus says a good tree bringeth forth good fruit, but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
Evil fruit is that which Jesus mentions in Mark 7 -evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, Thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness
SO, look at the life of the person who is claiming to be God's messenger - what kinds of things are they doing when they think no one is watching? What kind of life are they promoting?

Let's look at some more characteristic of false prophets and false teachers as described in the Bible:

* deception - ( shall deceive many - Matthew 24)
* sign and wonders - ( shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, - Mark 13)
* destructive, untrue doctrines - (who privily shall bring in damnable heresies - 2 Peter)

* in word or action they deny the Lord; ( denying the Lord that bought them,  2 Peter)
* they are popular and are held in high regard by many people ; ( all men shall speak well of you! Luke 6)
*does not confess Jesus is not from God - ( confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God 1 John )

As I read through this list, what I see over and over again is that the false teacher lies. He lives a lie and speaks a lie but all the while tries to have people believe that he is a true Christian. He pretends to be a true preacher of the gospel.

Heavenly Father, You teach us in Your Word to be careful of the false teachers among us. We ask that you give us wisdom to discern and to know who is of the truth and who is deceiving us, and help us to not follow those destructive teachers. Protect us Father.  In Jesus Name we ask, Amen

Thursday, 27 September 2012

The Oil and the Wine...

Revelation 6: 5-6 And when he had opened the third seal, I heard the third beast say, Come and see. And I beheld, and lo a black horse; and he that sat on him had a pair of balances in his hand.  And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts say, A measure of wheat for a penny, and three measures of barley for a penny; and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.

I was listening to Back to the Bible yesterday where Woodrow Kroll was teaching on the four horsemen of the apocalypse. What caught my attention was his explanation of the line in verse 6 of Revelation 6 where it says : and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine.  The first seal is the antichrist making his appearance, the second seal is a war on the earth and then the third seal  represents a famine. During the times of this famine, it will cost a person's entire daily wage to buy food sufficient for just one person. Then we come to part "and see thou hurt not the oil and the wine".  What does that mean?? Woodrow Kroll seemed unsure of the meaning but he suggested that in the days of this tribulation there will still be a divide among the rich and poor people on the earth. The poor struggling to put food on the table and the rich having excess described by the terms oil and wine. BUT, I would like to share a different perspective on the interpretation of "the oil and wine". My Dad ( he has already passed on to glory) was a preacher and Bible teacher and he had quite a different explanation for this. He believed that the "oil and wine" refers to medicine and heathcare being available to those in need of it. (Whether it will be government run is not clear but  perhaps you could think of organizations such as The Red Cross etc) Let me explain why he thought "oil and wine" could refer to medicine and healthcare. We all have heard Bible teachers say you must interpret Scripture with Scripture. When you look in the story of the good Samaritan - what does the Samaritan use to dress the wounds of the injured man who fell among thieves. Luke 10:34 says And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him. We can see from this that oil and wine were used in Biblical times for medicinal purposes.
 So to conclude, I cannot say whether Woodrow Kroll has the correct interpretation here or whether my Dad does but for the benefit of those living in the days of the tribulation period, I would hope that healthcare and medicine would be available to them in those days.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Are you Sleeping Brothers & Sisters??

Jeremiah 5:31 The prophets prophesy falsely, and the priests bear rule by their means; and my people love to have it so: and what will ye do in the end thereof?

Revelation 3:11 Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Are you sleeping brother /sister?
There is growing concern today about the sleepy and unwatchful state that our Christian community is in. What is content of the messages that we hear on the radio or TV and in our churches?  In the verse from Jeremiah 5, the leaders are turning away from God. They are allowing sin to affect the community of believers and there is no call to repentance from the leaders. In my opinion, that is pretty much what we are seeing today also. We see warnings being put out by well known Bible teachers (such as Irwin Lutzer, Anne Graham Lotz, Billy Graham, Joel Rosenberg, John McTernan) calls of warnings and calls to repentance from them - But no warnings are coming on a local level. I find it  troubling that, generally speaking, no one in the Christian community at a local level is noticing God speak to us through the world events, the riots among Muslims, financial woes, wars looming, the heat and drought and other weather events we've had this summer, or through the homosexual issues that are surfacing in our communities. It is as though God is shouting to us but it is falling on mostly deaf ears. There is never a mention of any of these global warnings from the pulpits of our churches. It seems that though there are good outreaches to the lost going on in some places, in the majority scope of things, Christians are not noticing any of these warnings but are going on blindly wandering within their own "small bubbles" consummed with the things of this world - money, fashion,TV shows, pleasures, music, movies, travel, etc. Matthew 13: 14-16 And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: For this people's heart is waxed gross, and their ears are dull of hearing, and their eyes they have closed; lest at any time they should see with their eyes and hear with their ears, and should understand with their heart, and should be converted, and I should heal them. But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.
In my opinion, it is time to open our eyes and ears - look up, listen and watch - and encourage one another to prepare for persecution of our faith, to prepare to stand for truth and righteousness. How are Christians going to be prepared to stand in the face of persecution if they do not even know that it is getting very very close? With the outrage over the controversial movie - the " Innocence of Muslims", we can see that there is a closing-in on of  the freedoms of Christians. Proverbs 6:4-5 Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.
As we see rough times approaching, we need to draw ever closer to our Lord Jesus, go deeper with the Lord and spend more time in the Bible and in prayer. We need to alert one another to what is going on around us and encourage each other in the Lord. We need to hear the warning bells sounding from our church pulpits! and we need to hear words of encouragement to prepare!
Hebrews 10: 23-27 Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;) And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching. For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins,  But a certain fearful looking for of judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries.

Monday, 24 September 2012

Forgiveness - Sunday Sermon

Sunday Sermon Review September 23,2012
(from my home church that I attend regularly)
How Many Times Should I Forgive?
( I would like to encourage everyone reading this to also check out my blogpost that I wrote June 28 titled "Forgiving the hard stuff, Justice and Healing".) link here


The service began with the singing of several newer songs and also  the song When I Survery the Wondrous Cross / O the Wonderful Cross.
We are continuing on in our book of Matthew series. The sermon today was based on Matthew 18: 21-35.
The youth pastor  - Kellin  was our speaker today.
Kellin began his message with sharing his excitement of worshipping together this morning. He did a recap of the last couple of Sundays of how we come to the Lord as a child with childlike faith. And confronting a fellow believer is done as a rescue mission with the goal being restoration.
This all ties in with today's message of forgiveness.

Here is more of what Pastor Kellin preached on forgiveness:
Forgiveness is hard.
In the Scripture passage, Peter comes to Jesus with the question -  Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? till seven times? Kellin pointed out that in context this is referring to the people within our closest circles of relationships.  People closest to us will hurt us the most when they sin against us. We need to be forgiving toward everyone inside and outside of our circles.
Peter thought that 7 was the perfect holy number so 7 times would surely be sufficient. Jesus responds  Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven.
Jesus was teaching us not to take revenge but rather forgive whenever someone wrongs us time and time again. Extending forgiveness is hard. Jesus went to the cross and paid our debt there that we never could pay ourselves.
Continuing on in the passage, Kellin now explained the depth of the debt the servant owed to his master Matthew 18:24-27 And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents.
 But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made.
  The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all.
  Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt.
How much is 10,000 talents in today's money? - 1 talent equals 15 years of wages so 10,000 talents = 150,000 years of wages. That would be the equivalent of $6 Billion in todays world. So we see it was an unpayable amount of debt. The Master cancelled this amount of debt that his servant owed him.
Now this man ( whose 6 billion dollar ) debt has been cancelled goes out and sees his fellow servant who owes him Verse 28 But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: This would equal about 1/2 year of wages so about $16,000. This is a debt that actually could be paid.  Though the first man had been forgiven a huge debt he was unable to forgive his fellowman a much smaller debt and threw the man in prison. Verse 30 - 35  And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt.  So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me:  Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.
When we cannot forgive it leaves people questioning our Christianity.
Forgiveness cost us. By choosing to forgive we take revenge off the table.
Forgiveness does not mean we forget nor does it mean that the wrong we have suffered it not serious or real. It also does not mean that there are no consequences to the one who has offended us and whom we are now forgiving.
We find freedom when we let them off "our hook." We give it over to God and allow Him to deal with the situation.
Scars will remain. Forgiving is a process, a journey. It is not instantaneous but rather a continual laying it down before the Lord. The pain and hurt can and will resurface. Continually give your hurt feelings over to God. We do not want to carry the burden of our hurt anymore.
We have all been forgiven a magnitude of debt. Christ paid the debt that we could never pay.
Be merciful as your Heavenly Father is merciful.
The service closed with the Lord's Prayer.

The closing song was "Amazing Grace - my Chains are gone".

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Wings in the Morning...

Psalm 42:1  As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God.

I feel so blessed to wake up in the middle of the night with a song from the Lord in my heart. Thank-you Lord Jesus!!

Wings in the Morning ( by Johnny Cash)

Wings in the morning and license to fly
Straight to the portals of nevermore die
Nevermore pain in them old aching bones
Wings in the morning to carry us home


Friday, 21 September 2012

Iran and Islam's Twelfth Imam

As many of you will know, Joel Rosenberg is an excellent and gifted speaker and writer. Some of the books he has written include The Twelfth Imam, The Tehran Initiative, and Epicenter.  He is one of the "watchmen on the wall" of our day. Since I am signed up to receive updates from him, today I received a rather interesting report. I would encourage everyone reading this to also get on his emailing list and visit his blog regularly for interesting and informative updates. His blog address is www.flashtrafficblog.wordpress.com

I would like to share with you parts of what Joel Rosenberg writes today in his report so the following is written by Joel Rosenberg:


September 21, 2012 -- An apocalyptic, genocidal death cult is in power in Iran. The mullahs in Tehran believe we are living in the end of days and that the way to hasten the coming of their so-called Islamic messiah known as the Twelfth Imam is to annihilate Judeo-Christian civilization as we know it. I've been writing and speaking about this for years, trying to help the West understand how a fanatical version of Shia End Times theology is driving Iranian foreign policy. Now we have fresh evidence that this is not fiction; it is all too true.

"For the first time, Iran's highest-ranking military official has tied the reappearance of the last Islamic messiah to the regime being prepared to go to a war based on ideology," notes Reza Kahlili, the former Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps officer turned spy for the CIA.
' Shi'ites believe that at the end of time great wars will take place, and Imam Mahdi, the Shi'ites' 12th imam, will reappear and kill all the infidels, raising the flag of Islam in all corners of the world."

As I explain in my two recent novels, The Twelfth Imam and The Tehran Initiative, Shia Muslim leaders are convinced that the Mahdi's arrival and reign is imminent and that the way to hasten or accelerate his return is to either: A) annihilate Israel (which they call the "Little Satan") and the U.S. (which they call the "Great Satan"); or B) to acquire the nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles necessary to annihilate Israel and the U.S. and then let the Mahdi finish the job when he arrives. These two recent novels explore what it would look like and feel like if the Iranian leadership's vision of the future were to begin to come to pass. As a follower of Jesus Christ, I know that Islam is a false religion. Thus, if someone claiming to be the Twelfth Imam emerged on the scene in the Middle East, he wouldn't actually be the true messiah. Rather, he would be a false messiah.

I can't say whether this will happen, but the Bible indicates that it could happen. The Lord Jesus warned in Matthew 24 that in the last days before His return we would see "wars and rumors of wars" as well as the rise of "false messiahs." In fact, Christ warned that the some false messiahs would come and would be able to do "great signs and wonders" in order to mislead as many people as possible, and even try to mislead Christians.

Most importantly, please pray for the peace of Jerusalem (Psalm 122:6). Please also pray for peace for everyone in the epicenter. After all, the Lord Jesus said, "Blessed are the peacemakers." (Matthew 5:9). We don't want the mullahs in Tehran to acquire nuclear weapons, but we would be so grateful if the Lord neutralized the Iranian nuclear threat in any way other than war. That said, if the Lord does allow war to come for His own sovereign reasons, then let's be praying faithfully for all the followers of Jesus in the region to be bold and courageous in such hard times.
That is  from Joel Rosenberg

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Walking the Path of life...

Isaiah 30:21 And thine ears shall hear a word behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk ye in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left.

 Life is like walking down a path.....how far down the path am I, how far are you??  Life is also similar to running a race. Are you in the first lap of the race or are you in the second lap - perhaps nearing the end, running ahead with strength as you are about to cross the finish line! We do want to finish strong!

Whether we are in the first or second lap of our race here on earth, we must stay focused on the goal - living a life that pleases the Lord Jesus and to be welcomed into heaven when our life here is done.  It is important that we continually choose to stay on the path where we pursue righteousness not turning to the right or to the left  but constantly listening for the voice of the Lord Jesus saying - This is the way - walk in it!
It is a life of living intentionally!

Deuteronomy 5:32
Ye shall observe to do therefore as the Lord your God hath commanded you: ye shall not turn aside to the right hand or to the left

I Praise You, O God for You...

Revelation 4:8 Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.

I praise You, O God, for You are Almighty and great in power and wisdom and Your love for me is true.
The Lord, my God has saved me and will keep me safe till the end!
The Lord has shown His love for me by dying for me, cleansing me and by speaking into my heart.
His works declare that He is the One and Only God.
I will praise the Lord, because to me, He is strong and faithful and worthy of all my praise!
He is Holy and His love and mercy never ends to those who choose Him!

Psalm 103:1 Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Church Discipline

Sunday Sermon Review September 16,2012

This is a sermon review from my home church that I attend regularly.
The topic today was titled Rescue Mission but it falls under the category of  Church Discipline.
Pastor Ben was the speaker and he continued on in the Matthew series.
The service began with the singing of several songs ( newer songs which I am sorry I cannot remember) and also an old favorite - How Great Thou Art.
The text Scripture passage was from Matthew 18: 15 - 20 which says : Moreover if thy brother shall trespass against thee, go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
16 But if he will not hear thee, then take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.
17 And if he shall neglect to hear them, tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.
18 Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.
19 Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.
20 For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.

Pastor Ben suggested that we look at this passage more as a Rescue Mission than discipline because through the steps taught within the passage, the goal is the restoration of a fallen believer.
Here is some of what Ben said:
Jesus instructs us to seek people who have wandered away. Each of us is required to go to his brother or sister who is living in sin.
How do we do this without judging? We recognize that God is the only one who can make the call whether the person is saved or unsaved.
Our attitude is to rescue - not to condemn
We need to pray long and hard and examine ourselves before we attempt to go to our brother or sister who sins. We go humbly.
We must realize that we do not know the details or all the why's but at the same time it is very important to remember that circumstances do not justify sin.
Some people say - You worry about your own sin and I will worry about mine, I won't confront you if you don't confront me , we just love each other. The above statement is not how Jesus taught us. Jesus specifially says to - go tell him his fault.
At baptism we pledge to renounce all sin and to live in righteousness and truth. We make this covenant before God and with our fellow believers. Therefore we need to be willing to be involved in seeking freedom for a fellow believer.
The Three Step Process of the Rescue Mission
Step 1: You go to your brother or sister alone, point out the problem to them. The goal is that they will repent and turn from their sinful ways. You stay in relationship with them and help them to gain freedom. - go and tell him his fault between thee and him alone: if he shall hear thee, thou hast gained thy brother.
Step 2: The brother or sister refuses to listen to you in Step 1 so now you -  take with thee one or two more, that in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.  Now you take one or two others with you as you go to confront the brother or sister again. This shows unity and grace and the goal is still to restore the fallen believer back to a right relationship with the Lord.
Step 3: The fallen brother or sister still refuses to listen so now you - tell it unto the church: but if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. If the person refuses to repent at this point - he or she must be removed from service in the church and  from membership.
This doen't mean deciding  heaven or hell for the person's eternal destiny. Only God can be the judge of that. The church does not make that decision. If a person doesn't want to follow Jesus, he or she is probably not a Christian.

In verses 18-20 Jesus gives the two or three together the authority to bind or loose. This means that the church has the authority to bind the evil spirit and the darkness that holds the sinner captive and can set the person free from continuing to live in his/her sinful condition.
Sin enslaves people and makes them prisoners. We want to see freedom come to people's lives.

1 Corinthians 5:4-13
In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ,
To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
Your glorying is not good. Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?
Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened. For even Christ our passover is sacrificed for us:
Therefore let us keep the feast, not with old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.
I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators:
10 Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.
11 But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolator, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.
12 For what have I to do to judge them also that are without? do not ye judge them that are within?
13 But them that are without God judgeth. Therefore put away from among yourselves that wicked person.

The closing song was It is Well With My Soul.

Saturday, 15 September 2012

Peace and Comfort in Trying Times...

Isaiah 48: 17-18 Thus saith the Lord, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the Lord thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go.  O that thou hadst hearkened to my commandments! then had thy peace been as a river, and thy righteousness as the waves of the sea:
 God has made each of the four season, each one comes with its own distinct gifts and beauty. Fall has arrived now and again we see how  God has made everything beautiful in its time. I took this photo of our small river that runs by our property. It reminds me to be still and reflect on the Lord and his care for us ( His children) in these dark times.
 This past week has brought much turmoil in the world. We see there is no peace in the Arab countries where the Muslims are violently protesting and we ask the question - Where is this all leading to? At just such a time as this we need to be still and remember our Father God Almighty is in control of all things and we need not fear. Psalm 46: 9-11 brings the comfort that we need for today - He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
God is in control, He is the one who will draw the line in the sand ( figuratively speaking) and will only allow the wicked to go so far with their evil schemes. He will raise His arm and put an end to all evil and God will be exalted in all the earth!

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Egypt, Muslims and the Movie Innocence of Muslims

2 Corinthians 6: 14-16  Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness?
And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel?
 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

September 11,2012 was a day that started much turmoil in the world - at least that is what it appears to be. But any of us who have lived for sometime on this earth knows that the things that look like a sudden crisis in our own personal lives or among nations are not sudden at all. In reality it has all been building for a long time. It is the same with this. The idol of tolerance and the rejection of the Bible in our nations has led to the problems we are seeing today. Let me explain my thoughts.

I have not seen the movie that is causing the Muslims to become inflamed but I do not need to because I believe the  movie is only a small part of the problem. Everywhere we go we are told to be tolerant and that we are judgemental when we stand for the teachings of the Bible. It seems that people are trying to destroy the Bible - not only are we told we must tolerate and embrace all other religions but we are also told we must embrace the sin of homosexuality.  For many years now, the idea of "tolerance" has been idolized in our schools, churches, governments etc. President Obama is a big part of this tolerance movement. He has bowed to tolerance in many areas where as the President of the USA (a country that the entire world looks to for leadership) he should have stood firm on the principles of the Bible. President Obama has bowed to the homosexuals, the gay and lesbians and has corrupted the nation by opposing the Biblical stand on marriage. Just as he bows to the homosexuals, he also bows to the Muslims. We have seen over and over again how he bends over backward so to speak in order not to offend the Muslims. The Christian community to a large part is doing the same. However we as Christians are not to live in this way. Christian love tells the truth even when it is not popular or politically correct. We stand firm in our faith in the Lord Jesus and do not give in to the evil in the world. We stand against the sin of homosexuality, against pornography, and we do not embrace and tolerate all faiths. There is no religion or faith like Christianity. If we are accused of being intolerant - so be it. Together with the apostle Peter we say : Acts 5:29 Then Peter and the other apostles answered and said, We ought to obey God rather than men.
Our Lord Jesus used strong words against his opponents in Matthew 23:33 Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?
 We stand for the one and only true God, the LORD God Almighty ( Creator of Heaven and earth) and the only way of salvation is through our Lord Jesus Christ. His death on the cross paid for our sin.
Romans 14: 11 For it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.
Having said that, I understand the movie in question here ridicules Muhammad. As Christians, we do not stand for ridicule in such an important matter as faith. The truth must be told but not with ridicule. We are called upon to tell the truth, Jesus is the only way to salvation. There is no salvation in any other, not in Muhammad and Alah, not in Hinduism or Budhism. The urgency is real - if people die without Christ Jesus then eternal hell awaits them. The Bible says that every knee will bow to Jesus - if you do not bow before Jesus here on earth, you will bow in eterntiy but then the opportunity to be saved is past.
Isaiah 45: 22 - 23 Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else.  I have sworn by myself, the word is gone out of my mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, That unto me every knee shall bow, every tongue shall swear.

In conclusion, as Christians, our faith has nothing in common with the other religions of the world. All their great men have died and are dead still today. Our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the dead on the third day and ascended into Heaven. And there He is preparing a home for each of us who put our faith and trust in Him alone. We look forward to Jesus returning to take us home to be with Him for all eternity.
Acts 1: 10-11  And while they looked stedfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.
Titus 2: 12-14  Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

The Hebrew Names of God

As Christians we know and believe that there is only one true God. His Name is above all names. Salvation is found only in the LORD our God. When we study our English Bibles we do not see the Names of God as they do in Hebrew so it is interesting to get a handle on some of the Names of God that are used in Hebrew in order to better understand and  remember the character of God.The name Jehovah which we are more familiar with is found in  Exodus 6:3 where it says - And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name Jehovah was I not known to them.  My pastor at church will often use the Name Yahweh when he blesses the congregation at the end of the service. You will find that where the Hebrew text has Yahweh, some translations use the Name Jehovah.

 At the bottom here I posted the lyrics to a beautiful song called  HE IS JEHOVAH. It is sung by Kathleen Harris but I am do not know who penned the lyrics. May you be blessed as you draw closer to the LORD through this study.

A Study of some of the Names of God
1) JIREH - the LORD our Provider
Genesis 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen. ( KJV )
Genesis 22:14  Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide, as it is said to this day, “In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.” ( NASB )

2) TSIDKENU -  the LORD our Righteousness
Jeremiah 23: 5-6 says Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth. In his days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is his name whereby he shall be called, The Lord Our Righteousness.

3) ROHI - the LORD our Shepherd
Psalm 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want

4) M'KADDESH - the LORD our Sanctification
Leviticus 20:8 And ye shall keep my statutes, and do them: I am the Lord which sanctify you.

5) NISSI -  the LORD our Banner
Exodus 17:15 And Moses built an altar, and called the name of it Jehovahnissi: ( KJV )
Exodus 17:15 Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner ( NASB ) 

6) SHAMMAH - the LORD is there
Ezekiel 48:35  It was round about eighteen thousand measures: and the name of the city from that day shall be, The Lord is there.

7) SHALOM - the LORD our Peace
Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. ( KJV )
Judges 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace. To this day it is still in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.( NASB )

8) ROPHE - the LORD our Healer
Exodus 15:26 And said, If thou wilt diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, and wilt do that which is right in his sight, and wilt give ear to his commandments, and keep all his statutes, I will put none of these diseases upon thee, which I have brought upon the Egyptians: for I am the Lord that healeth thee.

The Song:
  He is Jehovah
He is Jehovah, God of creation
He is Jehovah, Lord God Almighty
The balm of Gilead, the Rock of ages
He is Jehovah, the God that healeth thee

Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah
Sing hallelujah, sing hallelujah
He is Jehovah, Lord God Almighty
He is Jehovah, the God that healeth thee

He is the great I AM, the God of Abraham
Jehovah Shalom, the God of peace I am
The God of Israel, the everlasting One
He is Jehovah, the God that healeth thee

He's your provider, Jehovah Jireh
God of salvation, God of Messiah
The Son He sent to you, He testified of Him
He is Jehovah, the God that healeth thee

Monday, 10 September 2012

A Veggie Tales Fan!!

Philippians 4:8 - Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
 We are Veggie Tales fans! What is Veggie Tales you ask? Veggie Tales products are geared for children to teach them valuable lessons while having fun at the same time. Books, toys, DVDs and videos. Many of the DVDs  tell Bible stories and others just teach valuable lessons. Over the years as our boys were growing up, they have enjoyed many of the Veggie Tales videos and DVDs. I have even heard many parents say that they themselves find these movies quite entertaining. As I have written before, our daughter has down syndrome and therefore learning comes harder for her. But Veggie Tales helps her to better understand the Bible stories and life lessons. She just loves every single one of the movies Veggie Tales puts out. I am always on the lookout for the next DVD to come out. Soon to be released is one titled -  The Penniless Princess which I hope to get for my daughter shortly.
So just to give you an idea of what I am talking about I took a picture of some of my daughter's Veggie Tales treasures.

The stories are played out by many veggie characters - Larry the Cucumber, Bob the Tomato, Junior Asparagus, Laura the Carrot, Mr Nezzar etc. If you have never seen any of the movies I would highly recommend it especially for children under 14.
Some of the Bible stories are Esther - the girl who became Queen, Josh and the Big wall which is the story of Joshua defeating Jericho, the story of the fiery furnace in Rack, Shack and Benny, the stories of Gideon, Moses,  also a couple tell the stories of King David and the stories of Christmas and Easter. These movies can in no way replace the direct Bible teaching that we as parents are called to do with our children. And of course it is also advisable to discuss the content of a movie with your children before and after having viewed it.
So what is my personal favorite? It has got to be Princess and the Popstar. It is not one of the Bible story ones ( though I like them a lot also).  I like this one because it teaches little girls that the famous life is not really a fun life at all. So many children want to grow up to be like Hannah Montana etc and they idolize these celebrities. This Veggie Tales DVD teaches children the truth about the awful celebrity life and the joys of the simple life and  having a family who loves you. In the story a girl named Princess Poppyseed lives on the farm with her parents and many siblings. She wishes she could be famous like Vanna Banana - her favorite child pop singer. She has all Vanna Banana's posters and music and one day by chance, Princess meets Vanna Banana on the playground. Vanna is in town to give a concert. Vanna Banana longs for the simple life of family having seen  Little House on the Prairie on TV. Vanna dreams of having brothers and sisters and a pony etc. but all her life consists of is practicing for her next music show and performing in front of millions of people (people who do not know her and she does not know them). So when Vanna and Princess begin to talk on the playground, they discover they look almost exactly alike and they each have what the other wishes they had and they decide to switch places. So Vanna Banana experiences the ordinary farm life with a loving family and Princess experiences life as a famous person - dressing in rich clothes and singing in front of a huge crowd. Each girl realizes that the life she was longing for does not fulfill her dreams, and the story of course ends in a happy way.
So if you've never watched one of these DVDs with the children in your life, may I suggest  you do - you would have fun and it would make their day if you did!

Sunday, 9 September 2012

Great in God's Kingdom...

Sunday Sermon Review - September 9, 2012 ( this is the sermon review from my home church that I attend regularly)
Becoming Great in God's Kingdom
 The service began with the singing of several songs but the two favorites of mine were "Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus" and "Be Thou My Vision".
This was followed by a testimony by a young man who worked at the Pembina Valley Bible Camp and also at Midway Bible camp this summer. He shared stories of children coming to salvation in Christ Jesus and others growing in their faith at camp but also how satan and evil spirits attack children and bind their hearts in fear. Please pray for the children who come to these camps.

The sermon today was based on Matthew 18: 1-14 which is posted at the bottom here.
Pastor Ben spoke on the topic of becoming great and how God's idea of greatness is very different from what most people consider greatness.
Here is some of what Pastor Ben said:
God wants us to be great. ( God's idea of greatness)
Children dream of becoming famous and great. Little boys dream of playing in the NHL, little girls dream of being a princess.
Philippians 3:14 says I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
God wants us to live lives of greatness - not mediocre
Our understanding of greatness doesn't measure up with God's directive on this.
God says we are to become like little children.
Acknowlege that we are needy. Revelation 3:15-17  I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked:
Children are dependent on their parents. Pastor Ben gave the example of a baby who is helpless and without care, a baby will die. In the same way we need to become that dependent on God.
Our greatness comes from our great dependence on God.
We should not seek for status, recognition or position to serve God. Pastors and other leaders serve openly but many people serve God behind the scenes and receive no public recognition whatsoever. No one knows the ones who quietly pray in secret for people in and out of the church.
Greatness in God's eyes is a heart attitude. It is a passion for the "little ones". Pastor Ben said this includes children but is not limited to children. It also includes those suffering and those weak in the faith.
Make sure you take no part in causing "another to stumble".
God's anger and wrath are on those who mess with the "little ones" - those who cause the "little ones" to sin or to stumble.
Pastor Ben went on to say that statisically 80% of young people stop coming to church after their parents stop forcing them to go. He suggested in our church it is probably more likely 50%. Pastor Ben asked the question Why do the young people leave the church?? My note: If anyone reading this has any ideas as to why, please leave your thoughts in the comment section. I would be interested to know - why do the young people you know not want to go to church??
God's passion is to seek out the "little ones".
Pastor Ben stressed the importance on not withdrawing or refusing to get involved due to the fear one might have of "offending one of the little ones".
Church cannot replace what is the parent's responsibility in the home. Teach your children and pray with them and for them.
The closing song was "I'll Stand".

Matthew 18: 1-14
At the same time came the disciples unto Jesus, saying, Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them,
And said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.
And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
But whoso shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea.
Woe unto the world because of offences! for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh!
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire.
And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire.
10 Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones; for I say unto you, That in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven.
11 For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost.
12 How think ye? if a man have an hundred sheep, and one of them be gone astray, doth he not leave the ninety and nine, and goeth into the mountains, and seeketh that which is gone astray?
13 And if so be that he find it, verily I say unto you, he rejoiceth more of that sheep, than of the ninety and nine which went not astray.
14 Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

Thursday, 6 September 2012

Biblical Repentance....

We see the need of repentance in our own personal lives. We see the need of it in our churches and on a national level. If we want to see God withhold His Hand of judgement in our lives and in our churches and on our nation, we need to come to Him in humility and repent - turn from the wickedness and seek the Lord God with our whole heart.
But what is repentance? Repentance is a change of mind to the point where it changes your actions. It is a point of turning. You are going in one direction - you come to the knowledge of sin and you make a complete change and turn from it. You seek forgiveness from that sin with a determination to not repeat again.
In the Old Testament we read many places where it uses the word repent to describe how God withheld the punishment he was going to inflict on people when they turned from their sinful ways. A good example of this is in the story of Jonah. Jonah preached to the people of Nineveh saying that God would destroy Nineveh in 40 days if the people continued on in their sin and in Jonah 3: 10 it says  And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.
The story of Jonah is also a good one to show us what real repentance from sin looks like. It is not just saying "oh sorry God I messed up" and then continue on without any further thought and next thing you know, you are doing that very same thing again and the quick "sorry God"  did not change you at all.
Our sin grieves the heart of God and in the story of Jonah, God was grieved over the sin of the people in Nineveh. In Jonah 1:2 God says to Jonah - Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Jonah did not go as the Lord God instructed and he had that whole experience inside the belly of the great fish. But in Jonah 3 God again sends Jonah to the city of Nineveh.and this is the message he brings -  Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. At hearing this the people acknowledge their sinful ways and turn to the Lord for forgiveness. Jonah 3:5 So the people of Nineveh believed God, and proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth, from the greatest of them even to the least of them. Here we see that the realization of their sin brings sorrow to their hearts. They believe God's message - God is Holy and we have sinned against Him.
Jonah 3: 8-9  But let man and beast be covered with sackcloth, and cry mightily unto God: yea, let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the violence that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn and repent, and turn away from his fierce anger, that we perish not?

Repentance involves your mind, your emotions, and your will.
1) Mind - within your heart you must be convicted that God has the authority to tell you what is sin. You must believe the Bible when it tells you what God considers to be sin. The Ten commandments tell us the heart of God. I would encourage everyone to read my blog post on the Ten Commandments. If anyone reading this doesn't know what grieves the heart of God, Galatians 5: 19-21 tells you
19 Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness,
20 Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies,
21 Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.
2) Emotions - You become broken and ashamed of your sin. This definitely involves crying out to God for mercy and you grieve over your sin and for most people this would involve the shedding of some tears.
3) Will - You need to have a plan of action. You need to plan how you together with the help of God are going to make this change happen. This involves making things right with other people. This involves prayer, burying yourself in the Word of God, seeking Him with your whole heart. You hate the very sin that you used to love because now you see it as God sees it. You hate the sin and want no part in it at all.

You will know you have repented when you see these Fruits of Repentance in your life:
1) Absence of rationalization - you are no longer looking for a way to justify what you have done, or blame it on others or explain it to make it seem like no big deal. There is an absence of phrases like - "everyone is doing it" or " the devil made me do it", or "I just couldn't help it", or " it's just how I am and you will just have to accept it", etc
2) Genuine Sorrow, Heartbrokeness - You are genuinely sorry for what you have done. Even if you get the chance to do that sin thing again, you will not do it because now you hate it, the very thought that you did it other times sickens you. As I mentioned earlier you are grieving over your sin.
3) Open Confession of Sin - You are no longer trying to hide it. It is out in the open now. You have stepped away from that former lifestyle. You need to confess this to the people close to you and sometimes to your church. You are accountable to God.
4) Restitution - You want to make things right with those you hurt. You are willing to do whatever it takes to make things right. We see the heart of one who wants to make restitution in the story of Zacchaeus  Luke 19 verses 8-9 :  And Zacchaeus stood, and said unto the Lord: Behold, Lord, the half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have taken any thing from any man by false accusation, I restore him fourfold.  And Jesus said unto him, This day is salvation come to this house, forsomuch as he also is a son of Abraham.

So again I say we see the need of repentance in our own personal lives. We see the need of it in the churches and on a national level. If we want to see God withhold His Hand of judgement in our lives and in our churches and on our nation, we need to come to Him in humility and repent - turn from the wickedness and seek the Lord God with our whole heart.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Coming Judgements and the Wrath of God....

Much is being said these days about the judgements of God and the coming wrath of God. It is described for us in the Bible in the book of Revelation. We can be sure that all that is written will be fullfilled. How do we know this? We know it because of the accuracy of things previously written and predicted in the Scriptures and all that has already taken place. God's track record is 100% in accuracy. He does what He says He will do and He does not change. Malachi 3:6 For I am the Lord, I change not;
God's favor is on the nation of Israel and on the Jewish people. God is not favorable to peoples and nations that oppose His people or that would seek to destroy them. God promised the rebirth of the nation of Israel and it happened in 1948. God brought back the nation of Israel into their home land. Isaiah 66:8 Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.
War will break our in the middle east. It is only a matter of time. I want to take an overview look at the judgements and the wrath as described in Revelation. We don't know when these things will happen, but we can see the time drawing ever closer.
We know that the Antichrist will appear at the beginning time of the tribulation period. The Bible says that the Antichrist will make a peace treaty with Israel which he will break at the mid point of the 7 year tribulation period.
As you read the judgements and wraths described below, please make sure that you are ready to meet God. It is of most importance that you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Savior - then come what may you are safe in the arms of Jesus.
So lets begin in Revelation 6 with the 7 Seal Judgements.
First Seal: the Antichrist makes his entrance as a rider on a white horse set out to conquer.
Second Seal:  War - a red horse comes and there is no peace, but people slaying one another
Third Seal : Famine - the black horse - the daily wage of a person will only be enough to feed one person.
Fourth Seal: Death - a pale horse - Revelation 6:8 And power was given unto them over the fourth part of the earth, to kill with sword, and with hunger, and with death, and with the beasts of the earth.
Fifth Seal: Martyrdom - people slain for the Word of God  Rev 6:9 I saw under the altar the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, and for the testimony which they held:
Sixth Seal: A great Earthquake, Sun  becomes black, moon becomes as blood, stars fall to the earth, sky is split apart
Seventh Seal: sets the stage for the Trumpet Judgements/Wraths

The 7 Trumpet Judgements/Wraths
We will see that in these wraths - nature is the first to feel the punishing judgements and then secondly it falls on people.
First Trumpet - Earth scorched - a third of the vegetation is burned ( earth, trees and all the green grass)
Second Trumpet - the Sea is smitten - a third of the sea becomes blood and creatures die and ships are destroyed.
Third Trumpet -  A Star named Wormwood falls into the fresh water supplies - a third of the rivers and on springs of water, People die from the bitter water.
Fourth Trumpet - Darkness -  a third of the sun, moon and stars  are struck that they do not shine
Fifth Trumpet - People are smitten  - locusts hurt only the people who do not have the seal of God on their foreheads. No one is killed by these locusts, but the locusts torment the people for five months
Sixth Trumpet - A third of mankind is killed by  fire and smoke and brimstone
Seventh Trumpet - Loud voices in Heaven , temple of God in heaven is opened, lightening, peals of thunder, an earthquake and a great hailstorm

7 Bowl Judgements - the last plagues and in them God's wrath is finished
Bowl 1: Malignant sores - painful sores  - a noisome and grievous sore upon the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.
Bowl 2: Sea is turned to blood - and every living soul died in the sea.
Bowl 3: Fresh Water turned to blood - rivers and springs of water turned to blood   Thou art righteous, O Lord, which art, and wast, and shalt be, because thou hast judged thus.
Bowl 4: Men scorched with fire - fierce heat on the people but they will not repent
Bowl 5: Darknes over the kingdom of the Beast - his kingdom was full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues for pain, And blasphemed the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and repented not of their deeds.
Bowl 6: Invasion from the East - the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared... And he gathered them together into a place called in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon
Bowl 7: " It is done"  Great Earthquakes and much Destruction widespread - thunders, lightening, nations fall, earthquake, hail ( the hailstones weigh about 100 pounds each)
Revelation 16: 17 - 21
17 And the seventh angel poured out his vial into the air; and there came a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, It is done.
18 And there were voices, and thunders, and lightnings; and there was a great earthquake, such as was not since men were upon the earth, so mighty an earthquake, and so great.
19 And the great city was divided into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell: and great Babylon came in remembrance before God, to give unto her the cup of the wine of the fierceness of his wrath.
20 And every island fled away, and the mountains were not found.
21 And there fell upon men a great hail out of heaven, every stone about the weight of a talent: and men blasphemed God because of the plague of the hail; for the plague thereof was exceeding great.

Sunday, 2 September 2012

Church Testimony Day - Sunday Sermon Review

Sunday Sermon Review September 2, 2012
(from my home church that I attend regularly)
There was no sermon at my church today - instead of a sermon by the preacher, we had three members of the congregation give testimony to what God has done in their lives. The service ended with communion.
Hebrews 10: 22-25 says
Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.
Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised;)
And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

So the first person to share her testimony was an elderly lady (about 80 years old) I will call her Ruth. ( not her actual name)
Ruth grew up a shy girl who really enjoyed school. She dreamed of becoming a storeclerk or maybe a Sundayschool teacher when she grew up. She realized that God's ways are higher than our ways.
Ruth remembers as a child moving - together with her parents and family where they began attending a little brown church. It was here that her dream of becoming a Sundayschool teacher became reality. She was also baptized in this little church. Ruth shared how a missionary came to the church and how- now as an older teenager, she heard the call of God through the message presented by that missionary. She attended Bible school to prepare to serve God in a foreign country wherever He would send her. Ruth prayed for God to send a friend to go to the mission field with her but that prayer was only answered for her later on. A song that became like a "commission" song for her was  - " You've got to walk that lonesome valley, you've got to walk it by yourself .....and so on.
Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

The second person to give testimony was also a lady ( about 50 years old). I will call her Wilma ( also not her real name)
Wilma's life was going along fine when one day she accidently damaged her knee cartilige causing her much pain. This was the beginning of years of pain and struggle. Wilma's pain now increased with symptoms of intense dizziness, blurred vision and hearing loss. She lost sight in one eye and also lost ability to hear in one ear. During this down time, Wilma realized that God was calling her to a life of intense prayer and to fill her mind with Scripture and increased faith. Psalm 9: 9-10 The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.  And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.
Wilma was surprised to find that her diagnosis was depression and after receiving treatment for her depression, her vision and hearing has been restored and the dizziness has subsided. Wilma encouraged anyone who is suffering from depression to not be ashamed to seek treatment. She shared how she now seeks to be thankful for all the small things in life.
Wilma encouraged us to - Spend more time in Scripture and in prayer and it will change your life.

The final testimony was share by a man ( around age 40) who I will call Danny ( not his real name)
Danny shared how he loves to ride his bike and pray out loud as he rides. He shared that he connects with the Lord in this way when its just "me and Jesus".
Danny shared how immensely he loves his wife and children and that he realized that God loves him even more. Danny loves his work and is seeking to be faithful to the Lord in serving Him - living in the commandments of the Lord today. Danny loves creation and loves to live the day outside as much as possible. Danny's quote - Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, and Today is a gift - that is why we call it present! Psalm 100:5  For the Lord is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

Next communion was served. We remember and celebrate the life, death and resurrection of Jesus. The bread represents Christ's body broken for us. The wine represents Christ's blood shed for us.
Jesus is Lord of our lives. He provides forgiveness and healing. We proclaim the Lord's death till He comes again!
The service ended with the song - As for me and my House we will Serve the Lord.
Next Sunday we will be back to studying in our Matthew series.