This is a poem and video from my friend, Leanne Todd, from her book "The Truth, the Whole Truth, and Nothing But the Truth, So Help Me God"
Saturday, January 14, 2012
Monday, January 9, 2012
Sunday, January 8, 2012
I posted this sermon from a pastors conference about a year ago, and I believe it needs a re post. In this day of conventional pragmatism, this is desperately needed in most American churches. I will warn you this is two hours of intense preaching. This sermon brought me to my knees when I heard it for the first time. Please pass this important message along.
Audio and MP3.
Here are a few reviews that will assure you this sermon is well worth your time.
Audio and MP3.
Here are a few reviews that will assure you this sermon is well worth your time.
"A superb message! Powerful! Real! Doctrinal! Sincere! Convicting! The doctrinal substance that can be learnt from just listening to this one sermon twice is astonishing. Truly a historic sermon. Praise God!"
"I can't recommend this sermon enough, almost all the issues we are dealing with today, brother Paul deals with. You want to be at a biblical church? Check if the church follows what is talked about from Scripture. Praise God for this message!"
“ A 21st Century 'Ten Shekels and a Shirt'. This message I believe covers some of the most important issues facing the true Church of Jesus Christ in the 21st Century! This message is staggering, shocking, and sobering. There was a stunned silence for 20 minutes after the message was delivered. May God truly see fit to raise up a generation that will go back to the Old Paths of preaching true conversion, preaching against sin, and preaching on the Character of God."
Wednesday, January 4, 2012
This sermon is excellent on the biblical principles courtship. It also addresses the legalism if we go too far. It's about the heart and not rules.
and said, ‘Therefore a Man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’? Matthew 19:5 (Emphasis mine)
One dynamic of Children’s Ministries at Grace Community Church is that most of the children we minister to come from Christian families. Many of them are blessed with the sound and systematic teaching from God’s Word both at home and in the church, and even sometimes in school. This is something to be grateful for, but it also presents a unique challenge to those of us in Children’s Ministries. While the world breeds rebels, the church can unwittingly breed hypocrites.
It is the sad testimony of church history that the works and expressions of sacrificial love and devotion of one generation of Christians can quickly turn into legalistic rules and regulations for the next. The convictions of the first generation become the caprice of the second. It is sad and shameful how quickly the Object of wonder and worship of a generation can become the boredom and betrayal of the next. Hypocrisy is an imminent and evident threat to the church of Jesus Christ.
- His outward behavior and adherence to rules are driven by a desire to please men, not by a love for God with all his heart, soul, mind and strength (Mk. 12:30).Doing good works and having them observed by adults is more important than the action itself (Mt. 6:5).
- The child is openly obedient and responsive — asking to pray before bedtime with you — while maintaining a quietly deceitful and rebellious attitude (Gal. 6:7).
- He scrupulously observes the letter of the law — like religiously bringing his Bible to church — but neglects the weightier spirit of the law — like sharing his favorite toys with his siblings (Mt. 23:23).
- He craves the verbal praises and tangible rewards of his parents and teachers, but cares little for the approbation of God Himself (Jn. 12:43)
- Left unchecked by the grace and Word of God, by the time such a child reaches his teenage years, hypocrisy can have entrenched itself.
- This teen prefers well-defined, black and white rules, for they give him a sense of certainty that God must surely reward those achievements (Lk. 18:12).
- He adds a layer of rules to the Word of God (like not watching any movies, not listening to popular music, et cetera), giving the impression that he holds to a higher standard than Holy Scripture (Mt. 23:4).
- He tends to propose personal preferences as, or elevate them above, divine imperatives (Mt. 15:2-3).
- He pursues perfectionism (Phil. 3:6), not excellence (Phil. 3:12-14).
- He separates himself from others he considers of lesser cultural morality — people whose table manners, courtesy of speech, and refinement of mannerisms do not match middle-class norms (Lk. 15:1-2).
- He is judgmental — he excels at fault-finding, he loves to pick verbal fights — and the standard by which he condemns others is not primarily biblical, but personal, preferential, or traditional (Mt. 7:5). He fights against many people, against many issues, but he does not know who he is fighting for.
Hypocrisy is the pretense of virtue or piousness that is contrary to one’s real character. And make no mistake, hypocrisy spreads like an unseen cancer. Everything appears alive and spiritually vital, then suddenly, the person is dull –and soon dead. The Lord specifically warned His disciples, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy.” (Lk. 12:1) Since hypocrisy is hidden deep within the recesses of the heart, it goes on unchecked and will hollow out its victim from the inside.
One of the dangers is that these outwardly compliant children receive much approval from parents and teachers. So they are encouraged to continue the duplicity unless anti-hypocritical measures are employed. We can certainly teach and militate against hypocrisy in the following ways:
Instead of just dealing with external behavior issues, we should seize every opportunity to help children understand that it is their hearts that generate their actions (Mt. 15:19). In His judgment of man, God looks at the heart (1 Sam.16:7). We should never equate occasions of good behavior (professions of love for Jesus, acts of compliance, et cetera) with saving faith in Jesus. We need to go beyond fixing wrong behavior to helping the child understand that his evil heart can only be changed by the Lord in regeneration.
Emphasize the affections of NT religion. Make sure that we are not just aiming at a young person’s understanding, but that we reach for the heart and its affections.
Do not encourage children to exhibit their talents and gifts to impress others. They should be reminded that all that they are and have are gifts of grace from God (1 Cor. 4:7), and they should not regard themselves more highly than they ought (Rom. 12:3).
Teach the truth about integrity — which comes from the word for “integer” or “whole.” For a child with integrity, whichever way you turn them, they look they same. Who they are at church, is who they are in school, is who they are at home. This is what our kids should be.
Do not be afraid to share our spiritual and moral failures with children in instances where they can identify with our shortcomings. This allows us to be authentic with them. It also allows us to demonstrate our response to God when we have done wrong, and our reliance on Him to continue molding our hearts.
Be authentic in your love for Christ. Genuine desire for Christ is not easily faked. Let your zeal be a barometer by which they measure their own affection for Christ.
Hypocrisy is an insidious danger in Children’s Ministries today. It also threatens each individual home. As parents, it is our job to honor the intention of Psalm 78:4-6:
We will not conceal [the Word of God] from their children, But tell to the generations to come the praises of the LORD, and His strength and His wondrous works that He has done, that they should teach [the law] to their children, that the generation to come might know, even the children yet to be born, That they may arise and tell them to their children.
Tuesday, January 3, 2012
DR. W. R. DOWNING, PASTOR: Pastor William R. Downing is the founding pastor of Sovereign Grace Baptist Church. Prior to his call to the gospel ministry in 1963, he worked as a commercial deep sea diver, construction worker and truck driver. By the grace of God he has faithfully served the Lord as a pastor in six different congregations since entering the ministry . He has also served as a credentialed school teacher and as a professor in several educational institutions, teaching at the college, seminary and graduate school level. His academic degrees include an M.A. in Ed., a Th.M., a Ph.D. in New Testament Studies, and an honorary D.D. He has authored fourteen books and several pamphlets and papers.
EDWARD DALCOUR: President and Founder of the Department of Christian Defense. Dr. Dalcour holds a Master in Apologetics from Columbia Evangelical Seminary and a Doctorate of Philosophy in Dogmatic Theology from North-West University (Potchefstroom Campus, SA). He is an international speaker and has been featured on many Christian and secular Radio and TV Networks. He is a theological contributor to various publications and has written numerous counter-cult and apologetic tracts and pamphlets. He has authored the most current and exegetically treated work on Oneness theology and the Trinity entitled, Definitive Look at Oneness Theology: In the Light of Biblical Trinitarianism.
Sunday, January 1, 2012
Every year I have my resolutions. Last year I resolved to no resolutions, but this year is different. I've already started on the path of fitness, so my resolution is to keep at it. I also have other "To Do" this year.
- Read my Bible more consistently
- Spend more time in prayer
- Be a better wife and mother
- Witness more
- Keep up a morning routine so I won't get behind the rest of the day
- Getting organized
- Do at least one 10 mile hike
- Going from a 4 times a week to 6 times a week of exercise
- Eating better
- Plant a vegetable and an herb garden
- Spending more time outdoors with the kids
- Read 12 fiction books
- Start running
- Learn all the functions and operations of my digital camera
- Take some really cool photos
- Freeze more meals
- Teach my boys to read fluently