Saturday, July 31, 2010
It's a short and instructive video worth the viewing.
Friday, July 30, 2010
Thursday, July 29, 2010
There are 8 signs (miracles) performed by Jesus in the book of John that point to His deity. The John MacArthur Study Bible shows a small table listing the signs, where they can be found in the book of John, and the specific message they convey that tells us Jesus is God.
Here's that information for your consideration when you study the Gospel of John.
Turns water into wine (John 2: 1-12) --------Jesus is the source of life.
Heals a nobleman's son (Jn 4:46-54) -------- Jesus is master over distance.
Heals a lame man on Sabbath (Jn 5:1-17)----Jesus is master over time.
Feeds 5,000 (Jn 6:15-21) ---------- Jesus is the bread of life.
Walks on water, stills a storm (Jn 6:15-21) -------- Jesus is master over nature.
Heals a blind man from birth (Jn 9:1-41) ------- Jesus is the light of the world.
Raises Lazarus from the dead (Jn 11:17-45)------- Jesus has power over death.
Causes abundant catch of fish (Jn 21:6) -------Jesus is master over the animal world.
Wednesday, July 28, 2010
Jim Wallace has an interesting background and an interesting vocation. He was an atheist until the age of 35 (now a Christian) and for his vocation he is a cold-case homicide detective in Los Angeles, California. He uses both of these experiences in his apologetic work, and it makes for some very interesting and very convincing arguments. I would highly recommend checking out this ministry and its resources.
Tuesday, July 27, 2010
The unsearchable riches of Christ!
"The unsearchable riches of Christ!" Ephesians 3:8
Consider what rich blessings Christ has purchased for His people; purchased not with corruptible things such as silver and gold--but with His own precious blood! The purchase price recommends and endears the blessings, though they are so great in themselves, as to need no such recommendation! What can be greater or more suitable blessings to hell-bound sinners, than . . .
pardon for the guilty,
redemption for slaves,
righteousness and justification for the condemned,
sanctification for the unholy,
rest for the weary,
comfort for mourners,
the favor of God for rebels and exiles,
strength for the impotent,
protection for the helpless, and
everlasting happiness for the heirs of hell!
And, to sum up all--grace and glory, and every good thing, and all the unsearchable riches of Christ--for the wretched and miserable; for the poor, the blind, and naked!
These are blessings indeed, and, in comparison with them--all the riches of the world are impoverished, and vanish to nothing!
Monday, July 26, 2010
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. Carissa and Emily were in attendance this evening (last week of soccer for Ethan this week, so he'll be joining us again soon).
We made brownies.
Our lesson tonight from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland was lesson 33 titled "Jesus Obeyed God". Emily read Matthew 4:1-11 from the Bible for us.
We spent some time at the end of the evening practicing how to introduce ourselves to new people. When we first learned this lesson (about two years ago), Emily was shy and didn't like it much. Tonight, Emily was the pro, and Carissa was a little timid about it, but they both did a great job.
As usual, a fun time was had by all.
Sunday, July 25, 2010
This weekend I went to visit my friend, Betsy, in Wisconsin. Betsy had arranged an outing with her friend, Amy, who leads a group of junior high girls at her church. The plan was to take several girls to Wisconsin Dells, WI (about an hour and a half from Betsy's home) on Saturday to pass out gospel tracts and share the gospel with people we met. Only one of the junior high girls was able to make it. So, we headed off to Wisconsin Dells, the four of us--myself, Betsy, Amy, and Jessi.
It was my first time in Wisonsin Dells. It is a tourist town known for its water parks. There is also a main strip in town that is host to all kinds of candy shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions. The plan was to walk up and down the streets, hand out gospel tracts, and seek to engage in conversations about the gospel.
Before lunch, we walked around in a group of four and handed out gospel tracts. After lunch, we split up into two groups and each took a side of the street so we could more easily approach people for conversation. I took Jessi with me. Jessi is 13 years old. She did a great job. I introduced her to the optical illusion gospel tract, and she went to town with it. We started a few conversations but didn't get very far with them before being dismissed. We did have the opportunity to encourage a few Christians and challenge a few professing Christians in conversation along the way. Betsy and Amy had a little more success with gospel-giving conversations across the street. Of this I am sure, the gospel was given to many, many people today (whether in written or verbal form). I pray God will use it greatly to draw people unto Him.
It was a great day!
Regretfully, in my excitement to pack up gospel tracts for the day trip, I left my camera at Betsy's house for the day, so I don't have a picture of the whole group together. When we returned, Betsy's dad graciously took a picture of the two of us (which you will see at the top of this post).
Friday, July 23, 2010
Thursday, July 22, 2010
God has been gracious to me in allowing me to have two fathers in my life. Larry has been a great influence in our family. He has loved us (myself and my two brothers) as his own, and we feel the same way about him. He has a love for my mom that is truly inspiring.
Larry is a quiet man, faithful, steady and dependable. I have learned much through his example over the years.
Happy Birthday, Larry! I love you.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
I'll now share with you one of the stories at the end of a lesson (found on pages 94 and 95) that really drove home for me the concept of the deceitfulness of sin.
Two women from Southern California were about to cross the Mexican border to return to the U.S. when they saw what looked like a very small, sick animal in the ditch beside their car. As they examined it in the darkness of the night, they saw that is was a tiny Chihuahua. They decided to take it home with them and nurse it back to health. However, because they were afraid that they were breaking the law, they put it in the trunk of their car and drove across the border. Once they were in the U.S., they retrieved the animal and nursed it until they arrived home.
One of the women was so concerned for the ailing dog that she actually took it to bed with her, and reached out several times during the night to touch the tiny animal and reassure it that she was still present.
The dog was so sick the next morning, she decided to take it to the veterinarian. That is when she found out that the animal wasn't a tiny, sick dog. It was a Mexican water rat, dying of rabies.
The world, in the blackness of its ignorance, thinks that sin is a puppy to be played with. It is the light of God's Law that enlightens the sinner to the fact that he is in bed with a deadly rat.
We were once "deceived, serving diverse lusts and pleasures," but now, if we are truly converted, our eyes have been opened. We see sin for the sugar-coated venom that it is.
Tuesday, July 20, 2010
Her life-lesson was comprised in four words
(James Smith, "Keep Close to Christ" 1857)
A Christian minister was dying. He had a young sister whom he tenderly loved, and in whose welfare he felt the deepest interest. She came to pay the last visit, and receive from his lips the last words of advice. The words of a dying minister, realizing the value of the soul, and the solemnity of eternity, are important words. Taking her by the hand, and fixing his eyes upon her with a loving look, he said, "Keep close to Christ!"
What could he say of more import? Her life-lesson was comprised in four words, "Keep close to Christ!" She had come to Jesus, she loved Jesus, she found happiness in Jesus; but the dying brother knew . . .
the deceitfulness of the human heart;
the power of the world's fascinations,
and the craft and subtlety of Satan,
therefore he exhorts, "Keep close to Christ!"
May the Lord give us grace to get near to Him; and then give us more grace, to keep near to Him; for alas! how many of us, like Peter, follow Him afar off!
What must we do--to keep close to Jesus?
We must keep close to His Word. Here He . . .
reveals His mind,
displays His love, and
exhibits His beauty!
It is a revelation of His deepest, sweetest, kindest thoughts!
It is an exhibition of His infinite, eternal, deathless love!
It is a mirror in which we may see His unparalleled beauty and excellency!
No one can keep close to Jesus--who does not daily, seriously, and prayerfully read His Word. That Word . . .
received into the heart by faith,
digested by meditation, and
reduced to practice in the life,
will bring the soul and Christ together!
For the more we know of Christ--the more we shall love Him, the more we shall prize, pant for, and seek to enjoy His presence!
Blessed Spirit, help us so to read the Word--as always to find Christ in it; and by it endear Him more and more unto us, and bring us into closer fellowship with Him!
Monday, July 19, 2010
Here I am with my brothers, Rob and John. A serious picture was tough to get amongst this crowd.
Praise the LORD!
Praise O servants of the LORD, Praise the name of the LORD!
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore!
From the rising of the sun to its going down the LORD’s name is to be praised.
Psalm 113: 1-3
Saturday, July 17, 2010
At the beginning of this conversation Ray asked Robert, "Are you a Christian?" He said, "Yes." Ray said, "Have you been born again?" Robert said, "Yes." Robert then went on to give an explanation of being "born again" that involved reincarnation. Myself, I have run into this understanding of "born again" in my own witness encounters, and I think we will be seeing it more and more. I think Ray Comfort does a good job of listening to this man's understanding what "being a Christian" means and then explaining the gospel to him. I think it's worth watching.
Friday, July 16, 2010
Please pray the message of the gospel will be read and responded to by those who received it.
Reminder: If you're looking for a way to evangelize in your community. Find a gospel tract that you like, load up your pockets or purse, PRAY, and head out to a local parade about 45 minutes before it starts. This is a great way to "get your feet wet" in the world of evangelism. You won't find an easier venue than this.
Thursday, July 15, 2010
Waiting requires patience--a willingness calmly to accept what we have or have not, where we are or where we wish we were, whomever we live or work with.
To want what we don't have is impatience, for one thing, and it is to mistrust God. Is He not in complete control of all circumstances, events, and conditions? If some are beyond His control, He is not God.
A spirit of resistance cannot wait on God. I believe it is this spirit which is the reason for some of our greatest sufferings. Opposing the workings of the Lord in and through our "problems" only exacerbates them. It is here and now that we must win our victories or suffer defeats. Spiritual victories are won in the quiet acceptance of ordinary events, which are God's "bright servants", standing all around us.
Restlessness and impatience change nothing except our peace and joy. Peace does not dwell in outward things, but in the heart prepared to wait trustfully and quietly on Him who has all things safely in His hands. "Peace I leave with you; I do not give to you as the world gives" (John 14:27, NEB). What sort of peace has He to give us? A peace which was constant in the midst of ceaseless work (with few visible results), frequent interruptions, impatient demands, few physical comforts; a peace which was not destroyed by the arguments, the faithlessness, and hatred of the people. Jesus had perfect confidence in His Father, whose will He had come to accomplish. Nothing touched Him with His Father's permission. Nothing touches me without my Father's permission. Can not then wait patiently? He will show the way.
If I am willing to be still in my Master's hand, can I not then be still in everything? He's got the whole world in His hands! Never mind whether things come for God Himself or from people--everything comes by His ordination or permission. If I mean to be obedient and submissive to the Lord because He is my Lord, I must not forget that whatever He allows to happen becomes, for me, His will at that moment. Perhaps it is someone else's sinful action, but if God allows it to affect me, He wills it for my learning. The need to wait is, for me, a form of chastening. God has to calm me down, make me shut up and look to Him for the outcome.
Wednesday, July 14, 2010
The above picture is a picture of my desk at work. I'm sharing it with you this Resource Wednesday as a tip for your own work space whether it be at home or away, whether it be a small cubicle, a locker, a dashboard, or the area above your kitchen sink.
In my cubicle at work, near the area where I answer the phone, I have written down Bible verses on small cards. I have verses that proclaim the gospel, I have verses that remind me how I am to be using my tongue, I have verses that remind me to love others, I have verses that remind me I have been forgiven, therefore, I forgive others.
I have hymns posted that are so rich in theology that I glance at them often to set my mind on such things.
One hymn I have posted at my desk is Be Thou My Vision. Here's the first verse:
Be Thou my vision O Lord of my heart
Naught be all else to me save that Thou art
Thou my best thought by day or by night
Waking or sleeping Thy presence my light
I love that you have to really think to understand the meaning of the words in that song!
So, this is my tip/resource this Wednesday. I highly recommend saturating your workspace with Bible verses and theology-rich songs. Train your mind to think on things above at all times and in all circumstances.
Tuesday, July 13, 2010
My mom's name is Clara, and she is originally from the hills of West Virginia. She has lived in Minnesota for over 40 years but has not lost her accent (though she will adamantly insist, "I sound just like you do.").
She is probably the most creative person I know, and I have benefited from those genes.
She has one speed: Fast. She can work circles around me. She's a bit of a clean freak. One day my dad-Larry said to her, "You need a hobby." She said, "Yeah, I don't really have any hobbies, other than cleaning." Dad-Larry said, "That is not a hobby!" She wasn't convinced.
She lives an hour north of us. Though that is relatively close, as years go by, it doesn't feel close enough.
She is a frequent visitor and commenter on this blog (she loves to check out Cookie Baking Night and see what the grand kids are up to). She goes by the name Anonymous.
Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!
Monday, July 12, 2010
For supper she chose: Macaroni and cheese, french fries, and strawberries.
For the cookie she chose: M&M cookies.
The secret to a colorful M&M cookie is to put a few M&Ms in the batter and use the rest to roll the cookie in. The girls like that part.
As is our custom as well, we read from Leading Little Ones to God by Marian Schoolland. Tonight we read lesson 32 titled "Jesus Came From Heaven". Some good discussion followed the lesson, and Emily read John 3:16-17 for us from the Bible.
We topped off our birthday evening together by watching a little "Finding Nemo" (Carissa's favorite, tonight anyway).
As usual, a fun time was had by all.
Saturday, July 10, 2010
Friday, July 9, 2010
Thursday, July 8, 2010
Wednesday, July 7, 2010
I've recently been going through their Ambassador's Basic Curriculum (ABC) course. I'm finding it very helpful in the area of apologetics. The course can be purchased on the website by clicking on the Training tab and then the appropriate course.
As always, I would recommend filtering any Christian information available through the lens of the Bible as the ultimate authority. With that said, I would recommend checking out the materials at Stand to Reason for a good apologetics base, a supplement to your evangelism ministry.
Tuesday, July 6, 2010
As I was preparing for my church ladies' Bible study tonight, God reminded me of how the fool uses his tongue. Ouch! Praise the Lord for the conviction of His Word!
A fool takes no pleasure in understanding, but only in expressing his own opinion.
A fool's lips walk into a fight, and his mouth invites a beating.
A fool's mouth is his ruin, and his lips are a snare to his soul.
Monday, July 5, 2010
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.
I Peter 1:3-4
Saturday, July 3, 2010
Tonight, Greg and I headed out to the local 4th of July fireworks gathering to pass out gospel tracts.
They gather in the library parking lot and surrounding field across the street. It's a time when hundreds of people are just sitting around killing time. A perfect time to walk around and hand out gospel tracts.
Friday, July 2, 2010
Thursday, July 1, 2010
The price of our freedom
(James Smith, "The Pastor's Morning Visit")
"Christ has made us free!" Galatians 5:1
We were once the slaves of sin, Satan, and the world; but Jesus has made us free!
We are now delivered from the law--and are under grace.
We are dead to sin--and are justified from it.
We are delivered from Satan--and are at war with him.
We overcome the world--and are hastening out of it.
We are at liberty to serve God, and walk with Him in friendship and holy love.
The price of our freedom--was the life and death of Jesus!
The grand moving cause--was the infinite and everlasting love of God our Father.
The efficient cause of our freedom--was the power and operation of the Holy Spirit.
The instrument by which we are brought into our freedom--is the holy gospel.
The grace which puts us into possession of our freedom--is faith.
The end of our freedom--is that we may serve our God in righteousness and holiness all the days of our life, and then be glorified with Him forever!
We are freed from sin--that we may be holy and happy.
Let us stand fast in the liberty with which Christ has made us free!
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Emily, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made our traditional fall favorite:...
Last week, I took Thursday and Friday off of work. Emily spent the night Wednesday through Friday night, and I took her to the last two days...
There is a secret discipline appointed for every man and woman whose life is lived for others. No one escapes that discipline, nor would wis...
Tonight was Cookie Baking Night. In attendance this evening: Ethan, Carissa, Allison, Rylar, and Enzo. Tonight we made "chocolate pretz...