Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Things that I love to do (Praying Mantis)

Study my Bible, take pictures, God's creation... Interesting fact about this bug is that the females are known to eat the males after mating..., Isn't that hilarious? Guess what book is in the picture...?

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

One Thing...

One thing I do know, that though I was blind, now I see. (John 9:25) One thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. (Phil 3:13,14) One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the Lord and to inquire in his temple. (Ps 27:4) Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

A Very Godly Wise Man Said,

"You're going to be, what you're now becoming." "Every day the choices you make will determine who you'll be down the road." - Jerry Bridges

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

John Piper Admits - He was wrong and puts forth what our church desperately needs

"Is there an essence of Baptism with the Holy Spirit, the heart of, this is it and sometimes its all the other things (Acts 2), But this is always the Baptism of the Holy Spirit… that is the question I want to answer right now. And, to answer it I want to begin by saying what I don’t think the essence is… Here I’m going to distance myself from a view that I have argued for in 1984 and one that has great and wonderful historic tradition behind it. But which I have become increasingly persuaded as not accurate, at least the way the way I was arguing for. I don not think that baptism with the Holy Spirit refers to new birth, conversion to Christ, being united by the Spirit to the body of Christ. In other words Luke or Acts 2 is not talking about what Paul is talking about in 1 Corinthians 12:13. The view that I’m turning from is perfectly orthodox. And, if you hold it when I’m done you’re welcome at Bethlehem and welcome into my heart and loved and have a great historic tradition behind you namely that the Baptism with the Holy Spirit in Acts 2 and 1 Corinthians 12:13 are one and the same thing. And, nobody is going to boot you out of this church for holding that view otherwise I would have been gone six years ago. But, not to make light of the disagreement, I have prayed and struggled, and labored, and sought, and studied, and wept, and talked, and I believe that I was wrong, and that view is wrong, and that the view I’m going to give you this morning is right and desperately needed in the church. So, the question is what’s the heart of the Baptism with the Holy Spirit?... …I think the essence and the heart of the baptism with the Holy Spirit when a person who is already a believer receives from the Holy Spirit extraordinary spiritual power for Christ exalting ministry…" Preached in front of a congregation of 400. September 23, 1990 So, something happened to Piper between 1986 and 1990 Listen to the sermon here. Read it here - You will be Baptized with the Holy Spirit Taken from www.desiringgod.org A book to understand this more fully would be "Joy Unspeakable - Martyn Lloyd Jones"

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Arm Falls Off

Read this first, Idolatry Walk the Other way

...Because of what bitterness does – causing us to fall short of the grace of God – we should consider it a bit further.

When you have been wronged, you have been wounded. When the wound hurts or throbs, that is not bitterness. But wounds need to be cleaned and dressed, and the bandages need to be changed regularly. If this does not happen, then the wound gets infected. Bitterness is that infection.

If the wound is kept clear of infection, then the wound heals, Perhaps there is a scar, and a story, but the wound really does heal. But if the wound is not kept clear of infection, then it stays tender, stays swollen, stays infected, and one day your arm falls off.

Now when your arm falls off, and someone asks what happened, it will not do to say, "Well, my third grade teacher humiliated me in front of the class," or "When I was in high school, the director’s daughter was chosen for the lead in the play instead of me," or even "My husband deserted me." Those are all the reasons for the wound. They are not really the reason your arm fell off.

Why were the bandages never changed? Why did you not take the antibiotics that were prescribed for you? Why would you not agree to let the nurse clean and dress the wound? The reason is that such a healthy response would temporarily hurt more than sitting in the dark, miserable, picking at it.

Of course, if they had not wronged you to begin with, none of this would have happened. And if they really sinned, God will hold them to account for their sin. You don’t need to worry about that. But just as He told them not to wrong you, so He told you to refrain from bitterness and resentment. Now when God identifies something as sin, should we repent of it, and walk away from it? Or do you agree with the one who wronged about that as well?

(Posted from here) By: Douglas Wilson

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Idolatry - Walk the other way

Resentment is one of the most confused and confusing sins that we commit.

Another person has wronged you and hurt you, or you believe that he has, and so you store up bitterness in your heart. But this bitterness pollutes and eats away at your own soul, not the soul of the one who wronged you.

What this means is that someone came into your home and smashed your precious things. And let us say that you are not imagining it—he really did this. And so what does bitterness do? Bitterness goes to the workroom in the basement, finds a hammer, and goes through the house, smashing any of the remaining precious things that the other may have missed. At the basic heart level, this means that bitterness agrees with the vandal. For all the appearance of conflict, it is a false conflict.

Aggressive belligerence says that you should be hurt. And bitterness responds by saying, "No, I need to be hurt and damaged more than that. Leave me now—I can do the rest by myself."

The author of Hebrews says not to let the root of bitterness spring up, defiling many. And when this happens, the people involved fall short of the grace of God (Heb. 12:15). But we must remember that the Old Testament associates the bitter root with the sin of idolatry. When we are resentful, more is involved than just a "cranked attitude." We are no longer worshipping the loving Father who controls all things perfectly, including this situation, for His glory and our good. And this means that, in our bitterness, we are trying to appease an idol, a deity who cannot deliver us.

It works the other way too. When we turn aside to false gods, whether they are the gods of sex, money, ambition, the end of that road is bitter, bitter destruction. This is a two-way street. Bitterness leads straight into idolatry, and idolatry leads straight into bitterness.

If you are anywhere on that road, if you are bitter, if you are idolatrously chasing other baubles, there is only one thing to do. Turn around and walk the other way.

-Douglas Wilson

Posted from here.

Monday, July 23, 2007

What is "The Gospel"

Is the Gospel;
  • Going to heaven?
  • Forgiveness of sin?
  • Healing from sickness and depression?
  • Exemption from God' wrath?
These are all true but not the end of it. The highest, the best, the final good is... Reflections on 2 Corinthians 4:4, 6 (The Gospel) You have opened our eyes; Seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God. Light has shone in our hearts; Having the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. From this, the glory of Jesus Christ, that is the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, is the gospel, "The Good News". Is this the good news for us Christians? Or is going to heaven or having a good life the end of it all?

Sunday, July 22, 2007

He Will Quite Me By His Love

Your love, Oh LORD!!! I cannot even fathom How you can love me. If I were a father with a child like me I would not be able to stretch my arms like you It is amazing to be known by you Jesus, You the radiance Of the glory of God The exact imprint of His nature Lord of lords, God of gods, Ruler of rulers; My friend, my love, my brother; The great server, The greatest servant, The greatest king. Zeph 3:17, 1 Cor 8:3, Heb 1:2

Friday, July 13, 2007

Beautiful Love

It was pitch dark, outside the moon rose gave a beautiful light to the rose the neighbours drove in the drive way automatic light shone still, the moon shone brighter. It was cold, outside the rose is dead? still the warmth could be caught though old and brittle still is beautiful, You always will be

Thursday, June 28, 2007

The Original Webster Dictionary

American Dictionary Of The English Language - 1828 Noah Webster Dictionary In my view, the Christian religion is the most important and one of the first things in which all children, under a free government ought to be instructed...No truth is more evident to my mind than that the Christian religion must be the basis of any government intended to secure the rights and privileges of a free people. -Preface You can search the original dictionary over here. Compare and contrast the meaning of the words back then and now. For example: God n. 1828:
The Supreme Being; Jehovah; the eternal and infinite spirit, the creator,and the sovereign of the universe.
God is a spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth. John 4.
Now: 1 capitalized : the supreme or ultimate reality: as a : the Being perfect in power, wisdom, and goodness who is worshipped as creator and ruler of the universe b Christian Science : the incorporeal divine Principle ruling over all as eternal Spirit : infinite Mind 2 : a being or object believed to have more than natural attributes and powers and to require human worship; specifically : one controlling a particular aspect or part of reality Sources: http://1828.mshaffer.com/ http://www.m-w.com/

Friday, June 01, 2007

The Dark Guest

O LORD, Bend my hands and cut them off, for I have often struck you with a wayward will, when these fingers should embrace you by faith. I am not yet weaned from all created glory, honour, wisdom, and esteem of others, for I have a secret motive to eye my name in all I do. Let me not only speak the word sin, but see the thing itself. Give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified. Hatred, malice, ill-will, vain-glory that hungers for and hunts after man's approval and applause, all are crucified, forgiven, but they rise again in my sinful heart. O my crucified but never wholly mortified sinfulness! O my life-long damage and daily shame! O my indwelling and besetting sins! O the tormenting slavery of a sinful heart! Destroy, O God, the dark guest within whose hidden presence makes my life a hell. Yet you have not left me here without grace; The cross still stands and meets my needs in the deepest straits of the soul. I thank you that my remembrance of it is like David's sight of Goliath's sword which preached forth your deliverance. The memory of my great sins, my many temptations, my falls, bring afresh into my mind the remembrance of your great help, of your support from heaven, of the great grace that saved such a wretch as I am. There is no treasure so wonderful as that continuous experience of your grace toward me which alone can subdue the risings of sin within: Give me more of it. -A Puritan Prayer

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Missions and Masturbation

September 10, 1984

Masturbation is the experience of sexual orgasm produced by self-stimulation. Virtually every man and almost as many women have tried it. It is a regular practice of most single men.

One of the major forces preventing young people from obeying the call of God into vocational Christian service is defeat in the area of lust. A teenager hears a challenging call to throw himself into the cause of world evangelization. He feels the promptings of the Holy Spirit. He tastes the thrill of following the King of kings into battle. But he does not obey because he is masturbating regularly. He feels guilty. He can hardly imagine witnessing to a pretty girl about the eternal plight of her soul, because he has so habitually looked at girls naked in his imagination. So he feels unworthy and unable to obey the call of God. Masturbation becomes the enemy of missions.

Is masturbation wrong? Let me address the issue mainly for men. I cannot imagine sexual orgasm in the loins without sexual image in the mind. I know there are nocturnal emissions, which I regard as innocent and helpful, but I doubt that they are ever orgasmic apart from a sexual dream that supplies the necessary image in the mind. Evidently God has constituted the connection between sexual orgasm and sexual thought in such a way that the force and pleasure of orgasm is dependent on the thought or images in our minds.

Therefore in order to masturbate, it is necessary to get vivid and exciting thoughts or images into the mind. This can be done by pure imagination or by pictures or movies or stories or real persons. These images always involve women as sexual objects. I use the word “object” because in order for a women to be a true sexual “subject” in our imagination she must in reality be one with whom we are experiencing what we are imagining. This is not the case with masturbation.

So I vote no on masturbation. There may be other reasons why it is wrong. For now I rest my vote on the inevitable sexual images which accompany masturbation and which turn women into sexual objects. The sexual thoughts that enable masturbation do not help any man to treat women with greater respect. Therefore masturbation produces real and legitimate guilt and stands in the way of obedience.

Three encouragements to single men:

  1. You are not alone in the battle.
  2. Periodic failure in this area no more disqualifies you from ministry than periodic failures of impatience (which is also a sin).
  3. Pursue the expulsive power of a new affection. I walked by a whole section of “photography” books at the Walker Art Center last Thursday empowered by the better pleasure of feeling Christ conquer the temptation to look.

For the sake of your power,

Pastor John

By John Piper. © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Soli Deos Gloria

My heart aches and throbs I can hear it tears swell up I am alone and lonely there is none with me Oh! LORD You alone are faithful and my companion You have given me glory in Christ Satisfied my soul where can I go? Comfort, Rest, Joy, Love where can I find? You, Oh! LORD my God, are the sole giver Soli Deos Gloria!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

We are far too easily pleased

"The soul would have no rainbow if the eye had no tears" -An old Native American proverb "If there lurks in most modern minds the notion that to desire our own good and to earnestly hope for the enjoyment of it is a bad thing, I suggest that this notion has crept in from Kant and the Stoics and is no part of the Christian faith. Indeed, if we consider the unblushing promises of reward and the staggering nature of the rewards promised in the Gospels, it would seem that our Lord finds our desires, not too strong, but too weak. We are half-hearted creatures, fooling around with drink and sex and ambition when infinite joy is offered us, like an ignorant child who wants to go on making mud pies in a slum because he cannot imagine what is meant by the offer of a holiday at the sea. We are far too easily pleased." - C. S. Lewis, Weight of Glory Knowing God, fearing the LORD, serving Him faithfully with all our hearts, obeying His voice, not rebelling against His commandments, following the LORD our God and the reward that we have in this - namely Himself is far greater than anything this world has to offer.

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The drill drills on

"It doesn't really matter whether you grip the arms of the dentist's chair or let your hands lie in your lap. The drill drills on." You can't see anything properly while your eyes are blurred with tears. You can't, in most things, get what you want if you want it too desperately: anyway, you can't get the best out of it. 'Now! Let's have a real good talk' reduces everyone to silence. 'I must get a good sleep tonight' ushers in hours of wakefulness. Delicious drinks are wasted on a really ravenous thirst. Is it similarly the very intensity of the longing that draws the iron curtain,... And so, perhaps, with God. I have gradually come to feel that the door is no longer shut and bolted. Was it my own frantic need that slammed it in my face? The time when there is nothing at all in your soul except a cry for help may be just the time when God can't give it: you are like the drowning man who can't be helped because he clutches and grabs. Perhaps your own reiterated cries deafen you to the voice you hoped to hear. On the other hand, 'Knock and it shall be opened.' But does knocking mean hammering and kicking the door like a maniac? And there's also 'To him that hath shall be given.' After all, you must have a capacity to receive, or even omnipotence can't give. Perhaps your own passion temporarily destroys the capacity. C. S. Lewis - A Grief Observed

Saturday, May 05, 2007

You are not allowed to be in the church IF..

Anybody who is NOT a sinner is NOT allowed here. I think we need a serious cleansing in our churches today. We should clean out the church with a whip. Anybody who is good, upright, not a sinner, well, whole hearted, can not cry, not broken, righteous, unrepentant, indifferent should be kicked out of the churches. Church must be a haven for bad people, disreputable, sinners, ill, sick, broken hearted, people whose pillows are soaked with tears, broken, poor, contrite, unrighteous...., Remember, Jesus taught us to worship God in Spirit and Truth. He showed the whole world how to worship, the ultimate function of a human being, by teaching it to a woman who was a member of a sect called Samaritans. Samaritans are half Jews, interbred with the pagans, people who sticked their middle finger to the Jews and God by writing their own version of the Torah (the first five books of the Bible), called it the word of God, made their own version of the Temple (where God was suppose to live)... And most of all the first recipient of the knowledge to worship the right way was a woman with five husbands. She was a whore.... disreputable, bad, broken, contrite, whose pillow was soaked with tears...; Yet, God in His great wisdom chose her and opened her eyes and taught humanity how to worship. Even the twelve disciples were not the first recipient of this... On top of the doors of Christian churches should be a sign, "Anybody who is NOT a sinner is NOT allowed here." My fellow broken sinners, lets be a part of the church and worship God. Jesus said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I have not come to call the righteous but sinners to repentance.” (Read here) You can read the story of the woman here.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Radical Effects of the Resurrection

Watch at least 5 mins. of this talk. "To be happy when all is going well witnesses to nothing but ordinary human life. But, to be glad with Paul while suffering to transfer the afflictions of Christ to some new person or new people group that’s a miracle. And the world asks what is the reason of hope that is in you. ‘Cause it can’t account for the way you’re living. Jesus never said, “It’ll be hard for a missionary kid to enter the kingdom of heaven” Jesus never said, “It’ll be hard for a person in Darfur to enter the kingdom of heaven” Jesus said, “Its hard for a rich man to get into the kingdom of heaven” So, most dangerous place to raise a kid is America. Jesus wants to shock the hell out of you, literally." Click here for the Video Texas A & M Rez Week April 3, 2007

What is Entertainment?

If we call ourselves Christians - who receive, believe, obey and enjoy Christ Jesus -; what does entertainment look like to us? When the saints shall see Christ’s glory and exaltation in heaven, it will indeed possess their hearts with the greater admiration and adoring respect, but it will not awe them into any separation, but will serve only to heighten their surprise and joy, when they find Christ condescending to admit them to such intimate access, and so freely and fully communicating himself to them. So that if we choose Christ for our friend and portion, we shall hereafter be so received to him, that there shall be nothing to hinder the fullest enjoyment of him, to the satisfying the utmost cravings of our souls. We may take our full swing at gratifying our spiritual appetite after these holy pleasures. Christ will then say, as in Song 5:1 “Eat, O friends, drink, yea, drink abundantly O beloved.” And this shall be our entertainment to all eternity! There shall never be any end of this happiness, or anything to interrupt our enjoyment of it, or in the least to molest us in it! - Jonathan Edwards (1736), The Excellency of Christ Here only one person is made much of, is the very center of beings, is all satisfying - Christ. Let us choose Christ over - TV, video games, movies, internet, diet programs, games, music and everything else. I'm not saying we should put a stop to it all, but to align everything to its respective order. And, not put anything above our devotion to Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Flipping Quarters at HIM

Probably some of you have read or heard about the experiment that Washington Post conducted on January 12, 2007. While I was reading the article, I cried. They had a world renowned violinist, Joshua Bell - who earns $1,000 per minute of playing, play several classical pieces. He played six classical pieces for 43 minutes, among them are; "Chaconne" from Johann Sebastian Bach's Partita No. 2 in D Minor and "Ave Maria" from Franz Schubert. The violin that he used was a Stradivari from 1710s which roughly costs more than $3.5 million dollars. "It was 7:51 a.m. on Friday, January 12, the middle of the morning rush hour. In the next 43 minutes, as the violinist performed six classical pieces, 1,097 people passed by. Almost all of them were on the way to work, which meant, for almost all of them, a government job. L'Enfant Plaza is at the nucleus of federal Washington, and these were mostly mid-level bureaucrats with those indeterminate, oddly fungible titles: policy analyst, project manager, budget officer, specialist, facilitator, consultant." People with all kinds of titles and roles, in their busyness, did not even hear the beauty. The first person to actually stop to listen had 3 minutes spare time before he had to get to work. About what he heard he said, "Whatever it was, it made me feel at peace." Then he went back to work forgetting every thing about the peace. Another person who notices is a 3 year old child.

"I had a time crunch," recalls Sheron Parker, an IT director for a federal agency. "I had an 8:30 training class, and first I had to rush Evvie off to his teacher, then rush back to work, then to the training facility in the basement."

Evvie is her son, Evan. Evan is 3.

You can see Evan clearly on the video. He's the cute black kid in the parka who keeps twisting around to look at Joshua Bell, as he is being propelled toward the door.

This is what the mother said, "There was a musician, and my son was intrigued. He wanted to pull over and listen, but I was rushed for time."

Jesus had something to say about this, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." Picarello who heard the music that morning had a different reason for not stopping and admiring the beauty. He said "I walked a distance away, to hear him. I didn't want to be intrusive on his space." Picarello knew classical music but was too "modest" to meet the musician. This is what he said, "This was a superb violinist. I've never heard anyone of that caliber. He was technically proficient, with very good phrasing. He had a good fiddle, too, with a big, lush sound. I walked a distance away, to hear him. I didn't want to be intrusive on his space." Of all the people that morning only one person recognized Joshua Bell. Three week's earlier she had seen Bell at a free concert at the Library of Congress. She listened to him standing 10 feet away from him and after he finished his piece, she introduced her self to him, thanked him, and tossed a $20 bill and walked away. This is what she had to say, "It was the most astonishing thing I've ever seen in Washington, Joshua Bell was standing there playing at rush hour, and people were not stopping, and not even looking, and some were flipping quarters at him! Quarters! I wouldn't do that to anybody. I was thinking, Omigosh, what kind of a city do I live in that this could happen?" When it was over, she introduced herself to Bell, and tossed in a twenty. Not counting that -- it was tainted by recognition. This story reminded me of myself. God the creator of EVERYTHING is singing and making melodies all over us. The most beautiful thing in the entire universe, Jesus Christ, is dancing all around us.
  1. Are we listening to HIM in our spare time? Even though it brings peace in us we don't have time to be with HIM. He wants us to dance with HIM.
  2. Do we in our rush for time ignore the pleas of little children who does admire beauty? And, block them from listening.
  3. Are we too modest? And, stand at a distance not to be "intrusive on HIS space". Even though we know HIM and all the technicalities about HIM...
  4. Or, do we flip quarters at HIM or in our good day if we do recognize HIM shove a $20 bill? Just to say we recognize you and blame it on the city, others, for not recognizing.
I saw myself as the fourth person. I saw HIM at a free concert, when I do see HIM in my everyday life I will stop and listen, admire HIM and introduce myself, thank HIM and toss a $20 bill and walk away. That I'll do it in my good day, usually I'm content at tossing pennies at HIM. Pennies...!!! Most of the thousand people would have probably listened to Bell if he was playing at some very important gathering, or would have paid $150 to go to Carnegie Hall. At those places they would look very important and its a alloted time in their schedule to listen to Bell. They would even critic the pieces with their friends and really listen to what others had to say about the music. But, the same people saw Bell wearing street clothes and playing the same pieces that he would normally play. And, since the situation did not focus on them, and was not a part of their schedule, and hadn't paid money to be there, they hardly noticed him. At church, we pay money to be there "tithe", its a alloted time in our schedule - once or twice a week, we will listen to the "music" being played, we will talk with our friends about it; But, as soon as we leave the building we'll forget it and even if we hear the same "music", played by the same artist, outside in our normal life we will not notice it!!!!! You can read the whole article here. If you don't have time to read the whole article watch the video clips posted in the article.

Peek-a-Boo Blouse Fantasy

A Passion for Purity vs. Passive Prayers "I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye makes you stumble, tear it out and throw it from you; for it is better for you to lose one of the parts of your body, than for your whole body to be thrown into hell." (Matthew 5:28-29) When you are enticed sexually, do you fight with your mind to say no to the image and then mightily labor to fill your mind with counter-images that kill off the seductive image? "If you put to death the deeds of the body by the Spirit, you will live" (Romans 8:13). Too many people think they have struggled with temptation when they have prayed for deliverance, and hoped the desire would go away. That is too passive. Yes, God works in us to will and to do his good pleasure! But the effect is that we "work out our salvation with fear and trembling" (Philippians 2:12-13). Gouging out your eye may be a metaphor, but it means something very violent. The brain is a "muscle" to be flexed for purity, and in the Christian it is supercharged with the Spirit of Christ. What this means is that we must not give a sexual image or impulse more than five seconds before we mount a violent counterattack with the mind. I mean that! Five seconds. In the first two seconds we shout, "NO! Get out of my head!" In the next two seconds we cry out: "O God, in the name of Jesus, help me. Save me now. I am yours." Good beginning. But then the real battle begins. This is a mind war. The absolute necessity is to get the image and the impulse out of our mind. How? Get a counter-image into the mind. Fight. Push. Strike. Don't ease up. It must be an image that is so powerful that the other image cannot survive. There are lust-destroying images and thoughts. For example, have you ever in the first five seconds of temptation, demanded of your mind that it look steadfastly at the crucified form of Jesus Christ? Picture this. You have just seen a peek-a-boo blouse inviting further fantasy. You have five seconds. "No! Get out of my mind! God help me!" Now, immediately, demand of your mind - you can do this by the Spirit (Romans 8:13). Demand of your mind to fix its gaze on Christ on the cross. Use all your fantasizing power to see his lacerated back. Thirty-nine lashes left little flesh intact. He heaves with his breath up and down against the rough vertical beam of the cross. Each breath puts splinters into the lacerations. The Lord gasps. From time to time he screams out with intolerable pain. He tries to pull away from the wood and the massive spokes through his wrist rip into the nerve endings and he screams again with agony and pushes up with his feet to give some relief to his wrists. But the bones and nerves in his pierced feet crush against each other with anguish and he screams again. There is no relief. His throat is raw from screaming and thirst. He loses his breath and thinks he is suffocating, and suddenly his body involuntarily gasps for air and all the injuries unite in pain. In torment, he forgets about the crown of two-inch thorns and throws his head back in desperation, only to hit one of the thorns perpendicular against the cross beam and drive it half an inch into his skull. His voice reaches a soprano pitch of pain and sobs break over his pain-wracked body as every cry brings more and more pain. Now, I am not thinking about the blouse any more. I am at Calvary. These two images are not compatible. If you will use the muscle of your brain to pursue - violently pursue with the muscle of your mind - images of Christ crucified with the same creative energy that you use to pursue sexual fantasies, you will kill them. But it must start in the first five seconds - and not give up. So my question is: Do you fight, rather than only praying and waiting and trying to avoid? It is image against image. It is ruthless, vicious mental warfare, not just prayer and waiting. Join me in this bloody warfare to keep my mind and body pure for my Lord and my wife and my church. Jesus suffered beyond imagination to "purify for Himself a people for His own possession" (Titus 2:14). Every scream and spasm was to kill my lust - "He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness" (1 Peter 2:24). Pursuing purity of heart at any cost.., Pastor John November 10, 1999 © Desiring God. Website: www.desiringGod.org. Email: mail@desiringGod.org. Toll Free: 1.888.346.4700.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Christian Virtues - Humility

Today, in this post modern - western world, I feel like almost every Christian virtue has been perverted to fit its way of thinking. To the Christians in this western world the fog of doubt and forgetting, omission of beliefs and immersion to the culture is getting denser and denser day by day. We will be lost in this world if we do not learn and use the only tool we have to navigate, specially when we loose our bearings, when its hard to see two feet in front of us, when we can barely make out the sun and feel its warmth and see its light thorough the fog. The tool to navigate is the compass that alway and always points to Christ, the LORD, our Saviour. The compass is the Bible that is accessible, for free, in all kinds of versions and decor and styles, to all, in this modern day English speaking world. Concerning the compass, Jesus said, "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about me, yet you refuse to come to me that you may have life." John 5: 39,40 Humility: The following is written by G. K. Chesterton, in 1908, while the modern-day post modern world was still in its infancy. "What we suffer from today is humility in the wrong place. Modesty has moved from the organ of ambition. Modesty has settled upon the organ of conviction; where it was never meant to be. A man was meant to be doubtful about himself, but undoubting about the truth; this has been exactly reversed. Nowadays the part of a man that a man does assert is exactly the part he ought not to assert - himself. The part he doubts is exactly the part he ought not to doubt - the Divine Reason. . . . The new skeptic is so humble that he doubts if he can even learn. . . . There is a real humility typical of our time; but it so happens that it's practically a more poisonous humility than the wildest prostrations of the ascetic. . . . The old humility made a man doubtful about his efforts, which might make him work harder. But the new humility makes a man doubtful about his aims, which makes him stop working altogether. . . . We are on the road to producing a race of man too mentally modest to believe in the multiplication table.: -Orthodoxy, (You can read this book here.) In 1999 Pastor John Piper wrote something about this. (You can read it here)

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Directions how to conduct yourself in your Christian course

A letter by Jonathan Edwards, addressed to a young lady in the year 1741: 8. Remember that pride is the worst viper that is in the heart, the greatest disturber of the souls peace, and of sweet communion with Christ: it was the first sin committed, and lies lowest in the foundation of Satan's whole building, and is with the greatest difficulty rooted out, and is the most hidden, secret, and deceitful of all lusts, and often creeps insensibly into the midst of religion, even, sometimes, under the disguise of humility itself. "To fear the Lord is to hate evil. I hate arrogant pride, evil conduct, and perverse speech." (Proverbs 8:13) You can read the rest here.

Does our "western" society really value womanhood?

. . .Why the West has seen it necessary to diminish motherhood so that women can pretend to be men remains a mystery to sane adults. It should be unnecessary to say that the military is not a proper vehicle for social experimentation but is a machine dedicated to fighting and, if necessary, killing. Kathleen Parker said in The Washington Post:

"On any given day, one isn't likely to find common cause with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. He's a dangerous, lying, Holocaust- denying, Jew-hating cutthroat thug -- not to put too fine a point on it.

But he was dead-on when he wondered why a once-great power such as Britain sends mothers of toddlers to fight its battles."

You can read the commentary on this by Albert Mohler here.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

He put a new song in my mouth

Psalms 86, 92, 99 Chorus: We worship You Oh! LORD We cry out to You We worship You Oh! LORD We cry out to You Verse 1: Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at His holy mountain; For the LORD our God is Holy! For the LORD our God is merciful! For the LORD our God is gracious! Slow to anger (And) abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Verse 2: It is good to give thanks to the LORD To sing praises to Your name; For the LORD our God is Holy! For the LORD our God is merciful! For the LORD our God is gracious! Slow to anger (And) abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness. Bridge: How great are Your works, O LORD! How deep are Your thoughts. How just are Your ways, O LORD! How gracious are You to us.

Give glory to our Father who is in heaven

Right after the people asked Jesus for a sign from heaven to prove that He is from heaven, Jesus replied, "Your eye is the lamp of your body. When your eye is healthy, your whole body is full of light, but when it is bad, your body is full of darkness." The people seeking a sign did not need more light, but better receptiveness to the light they already had. Jesus said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life." What God was doing in Jesus was plain enough. By following Jesus we will have the light of life. Jesus also told His followers, "You are the light of the world... let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven." We His followers are the light, (not like light or not even in a process to become like light) but we are the light. But still people around us will see the good works that we do and yet will give glory to our Father in heaven as they see we are made light by our Father. For it is written, "For it is you who light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness." Ps 18:28 Now going back to what we started with, we do not need signs from God. Jesus is all we need. To have our body full of light our eyes need to be healthy. Our eyes must be fixed upon Jesus who is the source and the light of the world.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Rejoice, be glad, take great delight and enjoy God

The Reading of the Law Nehemiah 8 “And Ezra opened the book in the sight of all the people, for he was above all the people, and as he opened it all the people stood. They read from the book, from the Law of God, clearly (with interpretation, paragraph by paragraph), and they gave the sense, so that the people understood the reading. After this, the very next day, heads of the houses of all the people, with the priests and the Levites, came together to Ezra the scribe in order to study the words of the Law. In the law they found that the Lord had commanded by Moses that the people of Israel should dwell in booths during the feast of the seventh month, and tell everyone about God, our LORD.” [Neh 8: 5, 8, 13,14] From this we learn,
  • that the people had utter respect for the law
  • the people were eager or hungry to be taught.
  • the people took initiative to learn from their teachers, by asking the teachers to teach.
  • the teachers were very patient in teaching and taught the law by explaining paragraph by paragraph by interpretation.
Probably they read the book of Deuteronomy. In it we find that; “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing.” [31:9-13 ] The law is read in front of everybody; “they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.” In the same book it is commanded by God “you shall rejoice before the Lord your God.” [Deut 27:7]. To rejoice before the LORD is a commandment from God. Its not something that we do when we feel like it. When the people in the days of Nehemiah heard the words of the law they wept and mourned as they realized who they are in front of God, knowing how great their sins and miseries are. But, very interesting thing happens. The people are encouraged by the leaders to rejoice, be glad, take great delight, enjoy. The people understood the words that the teachers taught, and to make great rejoicing because they had understood the law. They ate and drank, basically had a party and invited people who couldn’t afford to party with them. The story says that they understood the law and that “the joy of the LORD is their strength”. When we read the book of Deuteronomy, we find pages after pages of horrible curses from God, “Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness and gladness of heart, because of the abundance of all things” Here, again, we find that God takes the matters of the heart very seriously. It says that this happened because there was abundance of other things and the heart was divided to these things. But, we can not make our hearts joyful and glad. In the same book, it is written that the people will fall back, be stubborn, and whore after things other than the LORD our God because the LORD hadn’t given a heart to understand or eyes to see or ear to hear [29:4]. But, in the same book, God also promises restoration and renewal because of His sovereign work in the hearts of His people. “And the Lord your God will circumcise your heart and the heart of your offspring, so that you will love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul, that you may live. And you shall again obey the voice of the Lord and keep all his commandments" [30:6-8] Now in Christ Jesus’ blood this covenant was renewed. The night before His death Jesus told His disciples, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood.” [Luke 22:20] Jesus did the work for us. And, He is still doing it in us. Our LORD is the one who changes our hearts and our childrens so that we will love the LORD our God with all our heart and with all our soul and we will have life. That same night Jesus also taught something very important concept to His disciples in order that they can rejoice, be glad, take great delight and enjoy God to the fullest.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Resolutions from Psalm 78

  • I do not want to test God in my heart by demanding the food I crave. (vs 18)
  • I do not want to rebel against my God in the wilderness and grieve Him. (vs 40)
  • I do not want to test God again and again and provoke the Holy One of Israel. (vs 41)
  • I want to remember His power or the day when He redeemed me from the foe. (vs 42)
  • I want to keep His testimonies. (vs 56)
  • I do not want to provoke Him to anger with my high places; nor move Him to jealousy with my idols. (vs 58)
With upright heart OH! LORD shepherd me and guide me with Your skillful hand. (vs72) "Can we do it if God helps us? Yes, but what do we mean when we talk of God helping us? We mean God putting into us a bit of Himself, so to speak. He lends us a little of His reasoning powers and that is how we think: He puts a little of His love into us and that is how we love one another. When you teach a child writing, you hold its hand while it forms the letters: that is, it forms the letters because you are forming them. We love and reason because God loves and reasons and holds our hand while we do it." - C. S. Lewis "Mere Christianity"

1 Corinthians 4:7 (Pride)

"For who do you know that really knows you, knows your heart? And even if they did, is there anything they would discover in you that you could take credit for? Isn't everything you have and everything you are sheer gifts from God? So what's the point of all this comparing and competing?" "What do you have that God hasn’t given you? And if everything you have is from God, why boast as though it were not a gift?" Suppose I got a nice Digital-SLR camera as a gift. After using it some, one day, somebody asks me about it. How would I talk about the camera since its a free gift to me? My attitude and response would be drastically different from, if I had worked hard and earned the money to buy the camera. No matter what the situation is, should not my attitude be the same as my first one?

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Reflections on "Mere Christianity" By C. S. Lewis

I've been dealing with the issues of Sin, Temptation, Chastity and Pride. So, my thoughts and reflections on "Mere Christianity" revolves around these issues. More over, rather than me babbling I'll arrange Lewis' words in a pattern that was helpful to me. "The right direction (in our "walk") leads not only to peace but to knowledge. When a man is getting better he understands more and more clearly the evil that is still left in him. When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right. This is common sense, really. You understand sleep when you are awake, not while you are sleeping... You can understand the nature of drunkenness when you are sober, not when you are drunk. Good people know about both good and evil: bad people do not know about either. Perfect Chastity: We may, indeed, be sure that perfect chastity... will not be attained by any merely human efforts. You must ask for God's help. Even when you have done so, it may seem to you for a long time that no help, or less help than you need, is being given. Never mind. After each failure, ask forgiveness, pick yourself up, and try again. Very often what God first helps us towards is not the virtue itself but just this power of always trying again. For however important chastity (or courage, or truthfulness, or any other virtue) may be, this process trains us in habits of the soul which are more important still. It cures our illusions about ourselves and teaches us to depend on God. We learn, on the one hand, that we cannot trust ourselves even in our best moments, and, on the other, that we need not despair even in our worst, for our failures are forgiven. The only fatal thing is to sit down content with anything less than perfection. The sins of the flesh are bad, but they are the least bad of all sins. All the worst pleasures are purely spiritual: the pleasure of putting other people in the wrong, of bossing and patronising and spoiling sport, and back-biting; the pleasures of power, of hatred. The essential vice, the utmost evil, is Pride. Unchastity, anger, greed, drunkenness, and all that, are mere flea bites in comparison: it was through Pride that the devil became the devil: Pride leads to every other vice: it is the complete anti-God state of mind. Many a man has overcome cowardice, or lust, or ill-temper by learning to think that they are beneath his dignity-that is, by Pride. The devil laughs. He is perfectly content to see you becoming chaste and brave and self-controlled provided, all the time, he is setting up in you the Dictatorship of Pride - just as he would be quite content to see your chilblains (swelling or sore) cured if he was allowed, in return, to give you cancer. For Pride is spiritual cancer: it eats up the very possibility of love, or contentment, or even common sense. Pride (if you want to find out how proud you are..): The more pride one had, the more one disliked pride in others. In fact, if you want to find out how proud you are the easiest way is to ask yourself, "How much do I dislike it when other people snub me, or refuse to take any notice of me, or shove their oar in, or patronise me, or show off?" The point it that each person's pride is in competition with every one else's pride. It is the comparison that makes you proud: the pleasure of being above the rest. Once the element of competition has gone, pride has gone. That is why I say that Pride is essentially competitive in a way the other vices are not. The sexual impulse may drive two men into competition if they both want the same girl But that is only by accident; they might just as likely have wanted two different girls. But a proud man will take your girl from you, not because he wants her, but just to prove to himself that he is a better man than you. Pride is competitive by its very nature: that is why it goes on and on. The Christians are right: it is Pride which has been the chief cause of misery in every nation and every family since the world began. Other vices may sometimes bring people together: you may find good fellowship and jokes and friendliness among drunken people or unchaste people. But Pride always means enmity-it is enmity. And not only enmity between man and man, but enmity to God. Presence of God and humility: The real test of being in the presence of God is that you either forget about yourself altogether or see yourself as a small, dirty object. It is better to forget about yourself altogether. Do not imagine that if you meet a really humble man he will be what most people call "humble" nowadays: he will not be a sort of greasy, smarmy person, who is always telling you that, of course, he is nobody. Probably all you will think about him is that he seemed a cheerful, intelligent chap who took a real interest in what you said to him. If you do dislike him it will be because you feel a little envious of anyone who seems to enjoy life so easily. He will not be thinking about humility: he will not be thinking about himself at all. If anyone would like to acquire humility, I can, I think, tell him the first step. The first step is to realise that one is proud. And a biggish step, too. At least, nothing whatever can be done before it. If you think you are not conceited, it means you are very conceited indeed."