LOOKING TO PRAISE AND WORSHIP JESUS THE CHRIST, THE SON OF THE LIVING GOD. 18 No man has ever seen God at any time; the only unique Son, or the only begotten God, Who is in the bosom [in the intimate presence] of the Father, He has declared Him [He has revealed Him and brought Him out where He can be seen; He has interpreted Him and He has made Him known].

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

At another blog, I've been involved in a discussion on whether or not people are inherently 'good' or inherently 'bad.' The blog shall remain nameless because... well...mainly because I just don't operate that way. Perhaps the guy who suggested we "move this discussion to a Calvinist site" will find this. Who knows. But for anyone else who might stumble in here and read the truth, it'll be a good thing.

I simply cannot tell you how grieved my heart has been over the last couple of days, from reading the many commments from the many people who believe that we are inherently good. What's even more frightening is that no one used Scripture and hardly anyone engaged me in the Scripture that I put forth. Actually, no one even mentioned the passages.

My first comment in the post:

The best place to seek the answer to the question, I think, is Scripture.

...Then the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great on the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen 6:5

The LORD smelled the soothing aroma; and the LORD said to Himself, "I will never again curse the ground on account of man, for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; and I will never again destroy every living thing, as I have done. Gen 8:21


...for examples.

For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Rom 5:10

Not only are we 'bad' in the sense that we are wretched sinners, we are God's enemies. That is, unless and until He graciously saves us. In our sinful state, no one seeks God, but in His mercy, He pursues those whom He'll save.As far as nurture goes, I don't think any parent teaches his child to bite, hit, scream for what it wants, etc,etc. Yet amazingly, older babies/toddlers do just that. Their selfish, self-centered natures are not taught, but inborn. This IS the essence of original sin.

Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned Rom 5:12

For as through the one man's disobedience the many were made sinners, even so through the obedience of the One the many will be made righteous. Rom 5:19

Some people commented that a checklist was required to determine if we're good or bad, some said we've not lived up to the promising possibilities. Some said we're good because everything God creates/created is good. One said to look at babies and and then tell her if that baby is inherently good or bad. And - what kind of Son of God would call inherently bad people His friends? Then there was the ole age of accountability thing, and orginial sin lies dormant until this time. It gets worse, and it is deeply troubling.

My last comment:

_____, I'm not going to address your first paragraph above, as we are in complete disagreement on it, and that's not the subject of ____'s post. Perhaps another time.You've mentioned 'staring at the tree of knowledge of good and evil' twice now. Forgive me, but that sounds very "spiritualized" and I have no idea what it truly means. I don't think good and evil are mysteries at all. The Bible is replete with Scripture that tells us exactly what they are and what we are. I've already listed references in my previous comments.

Here's another one even:

The heart is more deceitful than all else And is desperately sick; Who can understand it? Jer 17:9

Witnessing the murder/suicide must have been horrific experience for you. I can't even imagine. But it is really no mystery - She murdered because she was a sinful, fallen human being.

again, ....for the intent of man's heart is evil from his youth; Gen 8:21

and ...and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. Gen 6:5

Do a search on the word, 'wicked' and you'll find the Scriptures full of references to man's wickedness.

See, we don't need a Savior because we're fragile or we have weakened wills, or we need our inherently good natures strengthened. We need a Savior because we are unholy, unrighteous, sinful, wicked human beings, who in everything we are and everything we do, transgress against the holy, righteous God of the universe. We are dead in our transgressions, we are God's ENEMIES! We don't have a chance unless He saves us. We really must recognize who we are before Him, throw ourselves upon the cross and beg His mercy on us. And when He does save our souls, only then are we righteous in His eyes because of the imputed righteousness of Christ that He mercifully imparts to us.

Please hear me again. I am NOT saying that God's creations aren't good. Clearly they are/were. Because of Adam's disobedience, however, we've inhereited a sinful nature, therefore we desperately need God's salvation in order to be reconcilled to Him. I don't ask you to take my word for it on all this, I'd ask you search the Scriptures on it for yourselves.

Monday, July 30, 2007


Honest, real, unapologetic teaching on the truth of the Word of God, by my own pastor, Matt Chandler.

Are There Two Wills in God?

It is well worth the listen.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

By Grace Through Faith

by Thomas Watson

Why is salvation by faith? (Thomas Watson, "Body of Divinity")"For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith--and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God--not by works, so that no one can boast." Ephesians 2:8-9 "Jesus said to the woman--Your faith has saved you; go in peace." Luke 7:50

Why is salvation by faith? To exclude all glorying in the creature. Faith is a humble grace. If salvation were by repentance or works, a man would say, "It is my righteousness which has saved me!" But if it is of faith, where is boasting? Faith fetches all from Christ--and gives all the glory to Christ!

God's believing people are a humble people. "Be clothed with humility." God's people shrink into nothing in their own thoughts. David cries out, "I am a worm, and not a man!" Though a saint, though a king--yet a worm! When Moses' face shined, he covered it with a veil. When God's people shine most in grace--they are covered with the veil of humility. Abraham the father of the faithful, confesses, "I am nothing but dust and ashes." "God resists the proud."Surely, God will not take to be with Himself in glory, such as whom He resists.

God's believing people are a willing people. Though they cannot serve God perfectly--they serve Him willingly. They do not grudge God a little time spent in His worship. They do not murmur at sufferings. They will go through a sea and a wilderness--if God calls. "Your people shall be a willing people." This spontaneity and willingness is from the attractive power of God's Spirit. The Spirit does not force--but sweetly draws the will. This willingness makes all our services acceptable. God sometimes accepts of willingness without the work--but never the work without willingness.

God's believing people are a consecrated people. They have "holiness to the Lord" written upon them. "You are a holy people to the Lord your God." God's people are separated from the world--and sanctified by the Spirit. The priests under the law were not only to wash in the laver--but were arrayed with glorious apparel. This was typical, to show that God's people are not only washed from gross sins--but adorned with holiness of life. They bear not only God's name--but His image! Holiness is God's stamp; if He does not see this stamp upon us, He will not own us for His believing people.

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Saturday, July 28, 2007

Bluecollar Clan Award

The clan has been awarded.

See here.

Genuine Grace

by Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the Scripture
1 Tim. 1.14 - “and the grace of our Lord overflowed for me with the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus.”

Genuine grace, when operating on the souls of men and women, invariably produces two main things: Faith in, and love for, Christ Jesus.
If either is missing, so is salvation.

’nuff said.

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Friday, July 27, 2007

A Question About Israel

Relative to the Unconditional Election post, I have a question. I'll preface this by admitting that I've done little research on the subject of Isreal. You guys are far more learned than I. The jury is still out as far as any stance that I have, but some things just keep nagging at me. At the moment, my initial thoughts seems to line up with Jonathan Moorhead's .

Susan said this in a comment on that post, "But I hold to chosen individuals, not nations. Yes, Israel was (and is) a national and ethnic group, but I don't believe that Scripture holds that they will all be saved (born again) as a nation or ethnicity." I believe this is Jazzy's thought as well. To this I want to say I whole-heartedly agree. Completely. There is but 'one way' and that is faith in Jesus Christ.

But my question is, cannot God have a special plan/purpose/use for Israel, which doesn't include national salvation, but be chosen nonetheless?

If there isn't something 'special' about the Jews, then why are they so fiercely hated? Why did Adolph Hitler feel the need to try to wipe them off the face of the earth? Why is there so much controversy and war surrounding them? (OK, so I had more than one question)

"One people," yes - the body of Christ. But I can't simply disregard Isreal as having no significant place in the future. It is singled out too much in the Bible to be ignored.

Your thoughts would be most appreciated.

For Something Stupid...

...see here


Oh, and no Susan, I don't have any jellyrolls because I ate them all!

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Bluecollar Clan

Unconditional Election

If God chose a people unto Himself in the Old Testament, why is it not reasonable that He Himself again chooses a people unto Himself after the rejection of Jesus by His Old Covenant people?

"Even tomorrow the LORD will show who are His, and who is holy; and will cause him to come near unto Him: even him whom He hath chosen will He cause to come near unto Him." – Numbers 16:5

"For thou art a holy people unto the LORD thy God: the LORD thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto Himself above all people that are upon the face of the earth." - Deuteronomy 7:6 (and 14:2)

"I have made a covenant with my chosen," - Psalm 89:3

"So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen." – Matthew 20:16

"Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits." – Matthew 21:43

"And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake, whom He hath chosen, He hath shortened the days." – Mark 13:20

"For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of Him that calleth." - Romans 9:11

"Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace." – Romans 11:5

"What then? Israel failed to obtain what it was seeking. The elect obtained it, but the rest were hardened." – Romans 11:7


Wednesday, July 25, 2007


by Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the Scripture Luke 18.27 - But He said, "What is impossible with men is possible with God."

Sometimes, the word "balance" can be looked upon as a dirty word in Church circles. It can be perceived as (because at times it truly is) a code word for "compromise." No doubt, there are times when the great and especially hard doctrines of Scripture make us want to soften them some. We fear how they will be heard and received by others. So, under the guise of balance, we in fact massage the truth to say something it really doesn't. On the other hand, we can be so invested in a particular doctrinal slant or system, that even if the Scripture itself brings a modifying, nuancing or balancing picture, we immediately suspect it as compromised. When in fact, it may truly be the Biblical balance. And I think our text today can serve as a good example for us.

These words spoken by Jesus, appear at the end of an exchange He had with what verse 18 calls "a ruler". Due to the reference in verse 23, this man is most often referred to as the "rich young ruler", for "he was extremely rich." It is a bittersweet passage with Jesus saddened at the response to this man Mark 10 says He "loved". Setting before him - in answer to his question - the need to count Heavenly treasure worth more than his earthly goods, the man left. We do not know what became of him. But when the Disciples respond strongly to Jesus' assertion that it is difficult for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, Jesus gives our text, both sides of which are necessary to an understanding of the truth. An answer however which is often posited in terms of only one side. Let me explain.

When it comes to preaching the Gospel, two things must be kept both in mind, and in tension. To stress one and ignore the other will always give an imbalance. Here then are 2 truths which must be paired up when presenting the Gospel honestly to men. 1. From man's side of the equation, salvation is impossible. No one can save themselves. No amount of good works, can save anyone. We must be careful to maintain that salvation is of the Lord, lest anyone imagine their personal worth or merit enters into the picture in any way. Rich men in Jesus' day were considered spiritually advantaged - otherwise they would not be rich. Some think the same even today. But it wasn't true then, nor is it now. External riches are no sure gauge of God's favor in spiritual terms at all. This is a great misnomer."I must be alright" one might say, "look how God has blessed me!" But it is a lie. Many a blessed man or woman will die in their sins. No level of good works, no amount of personal piety,no acts of religious duty, no imagining that a person is fine with God as is will suffice. No amount of simply wanting to be saved will either. The truth is, with man, salvation is impossible. This is the preaching of depravity and personal inability. But that is not all that is said here. Nor is it all we can say without distorting the message ourselves.

It is at this point we can virtually fail to even give the free offer of the Gospel at all. We can conclude that since with men, it is impossible, therefore there is nothing at all to be done. But that is not so. Why? Because -2. It IS possible with God. We need beloved to be sure they know salvation IS possible, even though they can never earn it or produce it. How is it possible? With God! So we hear the words of Paul when dealing with the Philippian Jailer - "Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved." (Acts 16.31) Spurgeon said it this way: "If men are to be saved, we must in plainest terms preach justification by faith, as the method by which the atonement becomes effectual in the soul's experience. If we are saved, we are saved by the substitutionary work of Christ, no merit of ours is wanted, and all men have to do is by a simple faith to accept what Christ has already done. It is delightful to dwell on the grand truth that "This man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the righthand of God." O glorious sight - the Christ sitting down in the place of honor because his work is done. Well may the soul rest in a work so evidently complete."

Let us tell them plainly and absolutely - with men, it IS truly and utterly impossible. But let us never neglect to tell them, the things that are impossible with men, are possible for God, and to have faith in Him who saves those who put their trust in Christ.

Half a Gospel from a neglect of either half - is half a Gospel still.

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Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Oh, Scribe....

to Bluecollar!

Help wanted: teachers in heaven

In the comments of a post on another blog a person has stated that he has two things on his to-do list when he enters the pearly gates. Both of these items involve teaching theology in heaven based on his earthly knowledge. Excuse me!!!! This statement begs a few questions:

1. Who is going to be in charge in heaven if humans are making plans to teach theology?

2. Will God need help from human teachers with human wisdom in heaven?

3. Will glorified saints be required to attend for this person to further the process of glorification that God begun?

4. Will his teaching be the main focus rather than worshipping and glorifying God?

I think this statement is an example of how a theology based on a faulty foundation can lead to this kind of thinking. When the foundation is shaky the building will be also. However, a theology based on the majesty, sovereignty, power, holiness, and glory of God would never lead someone to thinking he was going to be a teacher in heaven. The basic theme I get from Scripture is that Christ is the Sheppard and we are the sheep. He leads, we follow.

Any thoughts?

Susan has an excellent post and discussion going just below this post. I hated to post this so close behind her, but I think the light needs to shine on this unbelievable comment while it is still current.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Is Jesus your Lord?

On various Christian blogs I have seen the term “Lordship Salvation” equated with Calvinism, Reformed doctrine, or the doctrines of grace – and by folks well familiar with the doctrines.

What I don’t understand – and perhaps this is my own lack of familiarity with the history of the term – is why equating Lordship with any doctrine is a bad thing.

For the life of me, I can’t understand why Christians would disdain it. It seems to be held in utter contempt by non-Calvinists.

Even in the days before I came to hear of or read the doctrines of grace, I wanted Jesus to be my Lord. Even before I understood what was going on in me and in my life – when I first bowed my knee before Him to beg forgiveness, repent, and be saved – I wanted Him to be my Lord, not just my Savior. It never occurred to me that there would be any other way to live – having Him as Savior but not Lord.

I have to wonder – why, oh why, would Lordship in any doctrine be considered a bad thing?

Does it not, in fact, promote and even endorse a lazy Christianity to suggest that He need not be one’s Lord?

I for one need Him to be my Lord.

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For the rest of this week, 7/23 through 7/29, I shall be away from my computer. Have a great week. Teammates please post at will.

See you again next week.



Sunday, July 22, 2007

The Sunday Funnies

What did the girl melon say to the boy melon when he proposed for marriage?

Ya give up?

The girl melon said, "We're too young. We canteloup."


Ya get it? Melons -- and they.... ah well, never mind.

This has been an interesting weekend for me. Some of you might have noticed that my blog went bye-bye. As much as I would like to say that it was taken over by alien invaders, I think we know that wouldn't be quite accurate.

The truth is, I dumped it. It was something that I had been thinking of doing for a while. The problem was that it was taking too much time away from my family and own Bible study. I loved my blog, and the people who posted there. But it was becoming where I wanted to be on it all the time; where I was paying too much attention to numbers of hits and visits; where I was missing out on things with my family, especially my son. In the end, all of that adds up to a three letter word spelled S-I-N. So I dumped it.

And that is the skinny of it.

Now about those canteloupes......

He's Baaack!!

Yes, the Gojiraster is back! Let's welcome him. I for one am happy!


Saturday, July 21, 2007

We Preach Christ, and Him Crucified - by Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the Scripture.Luke 2.35 - (And a sword will pierce through your own soul also), so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed.

These interesting words were spoken to Mary by Simeon. She and Joseph had taken Jesus to present him in the Temple as a baby to fulfill the Levitical laws concerning purification and. "Every male who first opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord" Exodus 13.9 reads. So it is they made their sacrifice, and Simeon, "righteous, devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the HolySpirit" being upon him - prophesied. Verse 35 above has his closing words.

What does it mean that the thoughts from many hearts will be revealed, and why is that so necessary? The simple answer is this: Most people (thinking people)will admit to being sinners - at least in name. "No one's perfect" so many will reply when asked about their own goodness or lack thereof. Sure, we're sinners. Its not hard to own it in the abstract. But what we are not willing or perhaps even able to do, is get a good grip on just how deep, how severe the enmity of our hearts is against God.

Men do not ordinarily think of themselves as God's sworn enemies. Not close, maybe, but enemies? I dare say not one in a 1000 would own to actually and consciously hating God. But that is the very reality lost men and women need to come to, if they are to call upon Christ to be saved. Now there is no question that Christians have often come to realize this dilemma as well. We come to grips with the fact that we are proposing a cure, for something most do not even know they are infected with. We're selling life jackets to Noah's pre-flood audience. Flood? Never seen one. There's never been one. And given those odds, investing too seriously in Ark building seems a tad over the top. And in the face of such blindness, the temptation is to become prosecuting attorneys. Rather than though - our better tactic, is simply to make Him known.

So it is Simeon's message unfolds for us that one of the very reasons Christ has come, is "for a sign that is opposed...so that the thoughts from many hearts may be revealed." To whom? To them. He does the revealing, not us. To let them know the real condition of their own souls, so that they might seek reconciliation with God through Christ Jesus.What does that revelation look like? Well, when confronted with Christ's exclusivity, our inherent idolatry is exposed. We recoil that He is the ONLY way to the Father, and reveal our preconceived idol-worshiping souls. When confronted with His supremacy over all, the depths of our prideful autonomy come to light. Our(most often) unspoken self-deification is challenged. In the face of his Lordship, we refuse to bow. In the light of His Cross, we see how much we cling to our own self-righteousness. In the Light of His face, the darkness of our separation from God is revealed in all its terrifying reality. The gulf between us is fixed, and uncrossable.Yet this is the very One who comes seeking and saving the Lost. Never do we see so clearly our need of the Savior, until we are exposed to Him for who and what He really is. We preach Christ, and Him crucified. And if we preach Him well, their hearts will be exposed for sure.

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Friday, July 20, 2007

On Suffering

Mark asked me to post this on Bluecollar, so here ye go:

As many of you know, my husband lives with chronic pain, 24/7/365, due to degenerative disk disease. There isn't one aspect of his life that this pain doesn't affect. Not one. And as time marches on, the affects are spreading more and more into the life of the family. I'm not going to sit here and say that his pain directly causes me to suffer, but suffer we all do to some degree. Of course, Roger suffers the most. I cannot even begin to imagine what he goes through on a daily basis. From getting up each morning, much earlier than would normally be needed because it takes quite a while to get his body moving - literally. To driving, which is becoming increasingly more uncomfortable. To walking great distances, or even not so great distances. To just sitting. He's begun to do a lot more standing during church services, and anywhere that requires sitting for a long period of time. Of course there's his medtronic pain pump, which was surgically implanted in Dec 2005. This thing pumps his spinal column full of various pain medications around the clock. Thank God for His miracles in modern medicine. The drugs go directly into the spinal column and don't affect his mind. But it took over a year to get things completely regulated.So...I say all this to say that as believers in Christ, we are told we will suffer. We will endure trials. Some will have their 'thorns' that God won't be removing. But there is a reason that James (1:2) tells us to, "consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials." And it appears that reason is, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance and the perfect result is so that we may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (v 3,4)

I found this excerpt from a book by Elisabeth Elliot entitled, A Path Through Suffering. I thought I would share.

Reasons for suffering
We suffer for our own sake
*that we may learn who God is
*that we may learn to trust*that we may learn to obey
*it is the condition of discipleship
*it is required of soldiers
*we are being pruned that we may bear fruit
*that we may be shaped into the image of Christ
*that our faith may be strengthened
*that our faith may be tested and refind
*that we may reach spiritual maturity
*to produce in us endurance, character, hope, joy, generosity

We suffer for the sake of God's people
*that they may obtain salvation
*to give them courage
*that because of death working in us, life may work in them
*that grace may extend to more
*that our generosity may bless othersWe suffer for the world's sake
*that it may be shown whata love and obedience mean
*that the life of Jesus may be visible in ordinary human fleshWe suffer for Christ's sake
*that we may be identified with Him in His crucifixion
*suffering is the corollary of faith
*that we may share in His suffering
*that we may share in His glory

"As thousands have testified, were it not for the wounds, they would never have known so deeply Him whose wounds speak."

"We cannot make ourselves holy. But when we surrender ourselves to the Lord, learning day by day to treat all that comes to us with peace of soul and firm conviction that His will governs all, He will see to our growth in grace." ~Elisabeth Elliot, A Path Through Suffering

I wish all of you could know Roger, I really do. He is an honorable and humble man. He is a bright testimony to the continual, sustaining, sufficient grace of God. I don't think I've ever seen anyone who lives day to day, completely and utterly dependent on God like this man does. He is an example to me, to be sure, and I thank God that He saw fit to allow me the privilege of being his wife. Lord, help me to live up to being the woman you've called me to be in this marriage, and in the circumstances to come. AMEN.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Who's responsible for the Remnant?

1 Kings 19:18 (ESV) Yet I reserve seven thousand in Israel—all whose knees have not bowed down to Baal and all whose mouths have not kissed him."

Romans 11:4-5 (ESV) And what was God's answer to him? "I have reserved for myself seven thousand who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.

Romans 11:4-5 (KJV) But what saith the answer of God unto him? I have reserved to myself seven thousand men, who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal. Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace.

Question? How did God reserve seven thousand? Did he intervene in a special way with the seven thousand that he did not with great majority of Israel? If not why would the text say, “I reserve.”????

Paul said, “So too, at the present time there is a remnant chosen by grace.”

Question? Does this mean a remnant chosen by God? If this passage does not mean the remnant was chosen by God, why did Paul not write, “So too, at the present time there is a remnant that responded to grace."?????



1. You and your teeth don't sleep together.

2. Your try to straighten out the wrinkles in your socks and
discover you aren't wearing any.

3. At the breakfast table you hear snap, crackle, pop and you're
not eating cereal.

4. Your back goes out but you stay home.

5. When you wake up looking like your driver's license picture.

6. It takes two tries to get up from the couch.

7. When your idea of a night out is sitting on the patio.

8. When you're on vacation and your energy runs out before your
money does..

9. When you say something to your kids that your mother said to
you and you always hated it.

10. When all you want for your birthday is to not be reminded of
your age.

11. When you step off a curb and look down one more time to make
sure the street is still there.

12. Your idea of weight lifting is standing up.

13. It takes longer to rest than it did to get tired.

14. Your memory is shorter and your complaining lasts longer.

15. Your address book has mostly names that start with Dr.

16. You sit in a rocking chair and can't get it going.

17. The pharmacist has become your new best friend.

18. The twinkle in your eye is merely a reflection from the sun on
your bifocals.

19. It takes twice as long - to look half as good.

20. Everything hurts, and what doesn't hurt - doesn't work.

21. You look for your glasses for half an hour and they were on
your head the whole time.

22. You sink your teeth into a steak - and they stay there.

23. You give up all your bad habits and still don't feel good.

24. You have more patience, but it is actually that you just don't
care anymore.

25. You finally get your head together and your body starts
falling apart.

26. You wonder how you could be over the hill when you don't even
remember being on top of it.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007


When we surrender to God, we are are saying that what we "own" actually belongs to Him. By surrendering to God, we are saying, "He is in control of our every move."
We can not do it on our own.

Romans 8:7-8 "For this reason the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God's law; indeed it cannot, and those who are in the flesh cannot please God."

Every Christian faces two very deadly enemies each and every day. The first enemy is our carnal nature and the second enemy is the devil. Every day our carnal nature is a self resurrecting monster which begs for attention. And the devil knows this. Our carnal nature demands to be first and the devil preys on this. And this happens each and every day of our lives. That is why Paul said he had to put his carnal nature to death every single day.1 Corinthians 15:31, "I die every day." We can only do this by surrending to Christ.

1 John 1:5. "God is light, and there is no darkness at all when in union with him."

Psalms 85:13 "Righteousness will go before the Lord, and he will make a path for my steps."

I surrender all

Spurgeon, "Weak Hands and Feeble Knees"

Bring all you have and give it
entirely unto God, and say,
"There, Lord, I surrender all to you;
do with me as you will;
take away from me what you will;
give me what you please;
or withhold what you choose.
I leave all in your hand;
I can trust you entirely;
I know you will make no mistake;
I know you will not treat me harshly;
I leave all to you;
without word, or thought, or wish,
I surrender all."

Christians who love and obey the Lord will be led to the joyous certainty that, "If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him."
For those that fully surrender, verses like Psalms 143:10 become very important. "Teach me to do Your will, For You are my God.

Isaiah 41:10 “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 41:13 "For I, the Lord your God, am grasping your right hand. I am the one saying to you, Do not be afraid for I myself will help you."

Andrew Murray quoted in his book "Absolute Surrender" ...separate from the world; we are called to come out from the world that hates God. Come out for God... given up... by divine grace... acknowledge that you have grieved the Holy Spirit by your self-will, self-confidence, and self-effort. Bow humbly before Him in the confession of that, and ask him to break the heart and to bring you into the dust before Him. Then, as you bow before Him, just accept God's teaching that in your flesh "there dwelleth no good thing," and that nothing will help you except another life which must come in. You must deny self once for all. Denying...Isn't that the truth..

John 5:30,states, "I can do nothing on my own".

Romans 6:13 Nor must you surrender any part of yourselves to sin to be used for wicked purposes. Instead, give yourselves to God and surrender your whole being to him to be used for righteous purposes

;...humble ourselves. ...There is deliverance. ...death was the path to glory for Christ... --death to self, and fellowship with Christ


Monday, July 16, 2007

J. Vernon McGee on Ephesians 1:4b

" that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love"

God chose us in order to sanctify us. He saves us and He sanctifies us that we might be holy. That's the positive side of His purpose. It has to do with the inner life of the believer. A holy life is demanded by God's election. Now don't tell me that you can say, " Well, I'm one of the elected. I have been saved by grace, and now I can do as I please." Paul answered that kind of reasoning. "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? God forbid. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" (Romans 6:1-2). You can't use grace as a license to sin, my friend. If you go on living in sin, it is because you are a sinner who hasn't been saved. Sinners who have been saved will show a change in their way of living.

Page 28, second paragraph down in the soft cover edition.

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Saturday, July 14, 2007

There's a Birthday Among Us

Happy Birthday, Doug!!!!!

Truth And Clarity

Liberal postmodernism is a passionate lover of the ancient Gnostics. Both use as an interpretative grid some form of higher knowledge, whether that is “secret” knowledge available to only a few, or philosophy. Ancient or modern, wolves continue to creep in, wanting to distort scripture by denying the clarity with which God has spoken. Both ancient and modern repeat the first lie ever told: “Has God really said…”

Here is a small sample of those long before us who fought against that lie. While there are things we would rightly disagree with them over, their insistance on the clarity of scripture is something we should all emulate, as the lie they fought against is still voiced just as loudly today.

Notice what each appeals to in their own struggles.



Basil wrote against those who would deny that the scriptures were sufficient to establish the Trinity:

"But all who maintain that either Son or Spirit is a creature, or absolutely reduce the Spirit to ministerial and servile rank, are far removed from the truth. Flee their communion. Turn away from their teaching, they are destructive to souls. If ever the Lord grant us to meet, I will discourse to you further concerning the faith, to the end that you may perceive at once the power of the truth and the rottenness of heresy by Scriptural proof." (Letter 105)

1)Notice who is denying the scriptures.
2)Notice what it is that Basil makes his appeal to.

This in itself presupposes not only the clarity but the sufficiency of scripture as well. Notice that there is no appeal to such nonsense as “well, that is just your interpretation.”


Hilary of Poitiers

Hilary is another example much like the above. Lest some postmodern misunderstand, the point of the post isn’t about the Trinity. The point is about how the heretics wanted to distort what was clear in the scriptures. Hilary writes:

"For there have risen many who have given to the plain words of Holy Writ some arbitrary interpretation of their own, instead of its true and only sense, and this in defiance of the clear meaning of words. Heresy lies in the sense assigned, not in the word written; the guilt is that of the expositor, not of the text." - Hilary of Poitiers (On the Trinity, 2:3)

As the above, notice that it is the heretics who gave some “arbitrary interpretation of their own” in the face of the “plain words” of scripture. Hilary also affirms what all who hold to the Perspicuity of Scripture, that error lies not in the written word, but in the motivation of the expositor.


Julius Africanus

Julius Africanus refers to the clarity of Biblical prophecy, such as Daniel's 70 weeks prophecy, which is surely one of the more difficult passages of scripture. He says that Jews and other non-Christians can easily understand these things:

"But I am amazed that the Jews deny that the Lord has yet come, and that the followers of Marcion refuse to admit that His coming was predicted in the prophecies when the Scriptures display the matter so openly to our view." (The Extant Fragments of the Five Books of the Chronography of Julius Africanus, 18)


John Chrysostom

"All things are dear and open that are in the divine Scriptures; the necessary things are all plain." (Homilies on Second Thessalonians, 3, v. 5)

That should be very easy to understand. That is as plain as saying that “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”

Theophilus of Antioch

Theophilus of Antioch doesn't seem to have thought that scripture is as unclear as neither ancient nor modern (postmodernism) Gnosticism would want everyone to believe:

"And why should I recount the multitude of prophets, who are numerous, and said ten thousand things consistently and harmoniously? For those who desire it, can, by reading what they uttered, accurately understand the truth, and no longer be carried away by opinion and profitless labour” (Theophilus to Autolycus, 2:35)



What does the man who wrote against the early heretics have to say? Quite simply:

"A sound mind, and one which does not expose its possessor to danger, and is devoted to piety and the love of truth, will eagerly meditate upon those things which God has placed within the power of mankind, and has subjected to our knowledge, and will make advancement in acquaintance with them, rendering the knowledge of them easy to him by means of daily study. These things are such as fall plainly under our observation, and are clearly and unambiguously in express terms set forth in the Sacred Scriptures....the entire Scriptures, the prophets, and the Gospels, can be clearly, unambiguously, and harmoniously understood by all" - Irenaeus (Against Heresies, 2:27:1-2)

As in the previous examples, his arguments were against heretics. And it is Irenaeus who affirms clarity, which is something no Gnostic, ancient or modern, would ever support.

As the saying goes, "The more things change, the more they stay the same." As such, one thing is guarenteed: Those who do not hold to the clarity of the written word will prolly not get what this post was about.


Friday, July 13, 2007

Tell The Whole Story - Reid Ferguson

Walk in Wisdom - Gleanings from the ScriptureMark 16.15 - And He said to them, "Go into all the worldand proclaim the Gospel to the whole creation."One of Fanny Crosby's most beloved hymns begins -"Tell me the story of Jesus,Write on my heart every word.Tell me the story most precious,Sweetest that ever was heard."

I never liked the idea of telling the "story" of Jesus. To mymind, I wanted to be clear that it was not a story in thesense of a fairy tale, or a myth. Of course, her words didn'timply it was. Her words were meant to convey that the Gospel is more than a sound-byte of Biblical truth. The Gospel requires a context if it is to be understood. When Paul entered Synagogues, his main focus was to convince his hearers that Jesus was the Messiah. The Jews already had a clear context in which a "Messiah" made sense. They already shared certain foundational pre-suppositions. But when Paul is on Mars Hill (Acts 17) it is a different story. He has to create the proper contextbefore he introduces them to Christ. In this sense, and especially in our present age and culture, this becomes increasingly important in terms of our own evangelism. In other words, we need to tell the "story" of Jesus. The truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing but the truth.

As Sky and I drove back from Texas this past week, we saw many a "Gospel" billboard. Well meaning Christians all over this land are trying to get the message out. So it is we would see gigantic signs, full sized billboards with the words "Jesus Saves" on them. The problem is, for increasing millions in our society, they have no frame of reference for who Jesus is, or who, what or how He "saves".We must tell the "story" of Jesus. We have to give the entire account. We need to not only to tell them Jesus saves, we need to tell them what precisely that means.

Following Paul's lead, it seems to me that when we evangelize, we need to be sure there is some very basic ground covered so that there is no mistake about the Gospel message we preach. I would suggest 7 essentials.In our conversations with men and women, we can pretty quickly ascertain what of these foundations concepts they already do grasp (if any) and that then informs where we need to fill in the gaps to give the entire picture, and truly "good news" them. It isn't complex. It is no more than our kids in Sunday School ought to know. But you'd be amazed how many do not have this paradigm at all.As a bare minimum, we need to establish for them a world-view consisting in -
1. God as Creator, Man as Creature.
2. God as Righteous, Man as a Rebel - sinner
3. God as Promisor, man as Promised to
4. God Incarnate in Jesus Christ - Man as Visited by God
5. Jesus' death as Atoning Sacrifice - Man as Called toRepent and Believe
6. Jesus as Raised from the dead - Man as Guaranteed
.7. Jesus as Coming Judge - Man as soon to be Judged

.Beloved, let us tell the "story" of Jesus. The WHOLE story.The entire account, if only in overview. That men might indeed believe, and be saved.Don't know how to witness? Just cover the story. A child can master it. And our world desperately needs it.

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Thursday, July 12, 2007

To be doggedly obedient

As I sat in Sunday evening service, I felt increasingly convicted that I shouldn’t have brought those John Piper books during his recent two-day $5.00-a-book
(-and-Bible) sale.

Awwww, maaaaaannn! I thought I had pushed that guilt deep enough it wouldn’t surface until at least the next similar temptation I encounter.

Alas, as our minister pleaded on, exhorting his flock to be totally surrendered to God – that niggling thought kept rising: “You are under authority to your husband, by the sanction of God to such order in the family in His Word, and you told your husband that you wouldn’t buy anything he doesn’t expect from you – nothing but food and clothing for your daughter. When you said anything this did not exclude John Piper and other books for religious edification, no matter how much it seems ok at the time. And did it really seem ok at the time?”

This was particularly annoying since just that morning I had nodded wholeheartedly (more whole headedly) in agreement throughout the pastor’s entire Sunday School lesson on why Christians submitting to all God-sanctioned authority in Scripture – in family, church, and government – is necessary.

Yup! There I sat – Christian in church, in word, in deed – oh, except for that little matter of those books I wanted.

Hey, they were John Piper books! On sale!


I knew in my heart that I must confess this to my husband. And slowly I began to realize that it was ultimately (and not just ultimately, but primarily) against God whom I had sinned.

This is a part of Scriptural understanding that had heretofore long evaded me, but perhaps I am slowly beginning to understand:

“Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment." – Psalm 51:4

Although it was my husband to whom I promised not to spend beyond his expectations and that of my own initiative, it was the Lord who set my husband’s authority over me – and against God and His standards I transgressed. Because God set this authority to be the rule of my home, it is He Who I disobeyed.

Interestingly, even before I confessed to my husband, my father and I were conversing in the kitchen when I mentioned how it has been a difficult transition for me – having been in the workforce since high school. Even though my husband and I have long been like-minded in spending habits, frugality and aversion to debt, we each always equally had incomes, and therefore, spent freely (not liberally, but freely – without needing to check in with one another). As I explained to my dad that now as a stay-at-home (hoping-to-homeschool) mom, it’s been a transition for me to check with my husband on issues related to spending.

My dad wisely noted that even when both spouses work and bring in an income, that’s how it should be.

I confess that I’m leaning toward that understanding as well – but having been raised by an independent working mother and having worked for decades myself in a culture that promotes self-reliance and shuns submission, I didn’t think much about surrender or accountability to my spouse. We were just always like-minded and that was sufficient for both of us. But God is changing me.

It seems like it’s taken me a very long time (only 46 years, actually, and counting) to get this through my thick skull, but I’m beginning to realize that whatever I am to be – to obey – to do – it is all as unto the Lord. And more than as unto - it is unto my Lord.

Whatever I do or am that is not in line with God’s Word, it is against Him and Him alone because it is His Lordship (and I say and I mean that in all due reverence, not as Free Grace uses the term) – it is His Lordship to which I am beholden.

I am so because I was bought with a price. I am no longer my own. But every day that I awaken and begin my day with my own thoughts before submitting to Him, I thereby choose to feed the old man and quench the Spirit who sealed me as a purchase of my Lord.

In so doing, I am more prone to walk in the flesh that day and serve her, succumbing to wants and desires that although seemingly innocuous are treacherous because they deny His Lordship over my life.

I am beginning to see this as an extremely dangerous place to be – saved without submission, born again but not broken, forgiven but still feeding the flesh. I think it venomous.

If I choose not to walk, talk, live and breathe 100 percent – total and absolute – daily surrender and obedience to my Lord first, then I sin against Him and Him alone, maybe trampling or hurting others in my wake, but ultimately and primarily rubbing (flavorless) salt in His wounds, missing the mark, and grieving the Spirit. And to what end, but my own? A dead end indeed.

Christian, the smallest infraction that you know is serving self before your Lord is rebellion and therefore not small.

I am convinced that there is no Christian growth or sanctification without repentance and obedience.

There is no Savior without Lord.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Entry 3- Pocket Idols

A. W. Tozer once made the observation that “Grace will save a man but it will not save him and his idol”. I am sure that he meant to aim his arrow in an evangelical direction and point to the less than controvertible fact that the Lord saves lost people from their idols not with them. The converted sinner can not take his stone statues with him into the kingdom. When the true God calls, all false gods must be cast aside. But this truth can be applied to the Christian’s heart as well. We may not bow before images of chiseled stone or polished brass but let us not deceive ourselves into thinking that we are without our idols. The idols that most appeal to us are pocket idols; the kind that are outside the range of human eyesight but are there none the less to trip us up. One such idol is doctrine. You know the tags. We all use them. I am a Calvinist. You are an Arminian. We are Dispensationalists. They are Covenant theologians. He is this and she is that. Just add an “ian” or “ist” to virtually any word and you can form for yourself a new idol of dogma and doctrine that multitudes may be willing to follow. What am I really? If I answered that question fifteen years ago I probably would have identified myself as a Reformed Baptist with puritanical convictions and premillenial leanings. That is the idol I would have stuffed in my pocket. And if any disagreed with me I would have shown them, in a very pompous way, why they should leave their idol and come over to mine. I would never have admitted that I had an idol but that is why I carried it in my pocket. If it is out of sight it really doesn’t exist even if it is very much in my mind. You see I found, much to my displeasure, that I was so preoccupied with Calvin that I had almost forgotten my Christ. That is what happens when sound doctrine becomes a senseless idol. Doctrine is good when it causes us to think more of the Savior. It is bad and idolatrous when it causes us to dwell more on the teaching and less on the Person it is supposed to reflect. Now we must all concede that truth is indispensable. Teaching and doctrine both come from the same Greek root and underscore the fact that you cannot have true teaching without true doctrine. But doctrine by itself is sterile and lifeless. Dogma cannot pardon a lost soul. It is only the person of Christ that can save a wretch like me. What am I really? Well if answered today I hope, above and beyond all other things, I would say that I am a Christian. The doctrine is there. It just that I took it out of my pocket and put it where it belongs. What’s in your pocket?

Monday, July 09, 2007


John Angell James (June 6, 1785 - October 1, 1859) wrote this.I look at the church today and think, this is what is needed to be heard, today.

"For I have given you an example that you also should
do just as I have done for you." (John 13:15)

It has long been my conviction, that there is a great
deficiency in evangelical churches--of the practical
enforcement of Christian duties in detail; especially of
what may be emphatically called the Christian virtues
--the passive graces of the Christian character, the
exercise of brotherly kindness and love.

It is not so acceptable to have all the special and difficult
duties of the Christian's life, or man's conduct to his fellows,
set clearly before the understanding and enforced upon the
conscience. Men do not like to be followed through all the
labyrinths of the heart's deceitfulness, beaten out of every
refuge of lies, and made to feel the obligation to love where
they are inclined to hate; and to forgive where they desire
to revenge.

And we ministers pander too much to this taste. The pulpit
has not done its duty. We have preached to the intellect, to
the imagination, and to the taste--but not enough to the
heart and to the conscience. In our endeavor to please, we
have not been sufficiently intent upon the greater object--to
profit. We have not preached justification too much--but
sanctification too little. We have urged faith--but not love. We
have descanted upon the evil of licentiousness, and falsehood,
and dishonesty, and covetousness--but have said far, far
too little about malice and bitterness. We have urged men to
zeal and liberality--but not enough to humility, forbearance,
and forgiveness. We have rightly led men to view the cross of
Christ--but we have not sufficiently urged them to take up their
own cross. We have properly entreated them to view Jesus as
their Righteousness--but not sufficiently as their Example.

O, Christians . . .
study that wondrous character,
contemplate that illustrious pattern,
dwell upon that beautiful model,
until the frosty incrustations of your cold, hard
heart have all melted, like icicles before the sun!
How wonderful and how ennobling is the conception, and what an ambition should it raise in the mind of the Christian, to consider and say, "Men may see something of God in me!" Yes, we
can teach them what God is, as to His moral character, and let them see in 'our merciful disposition' a ray of the infinite sun of His own glory.

These sweet relentings of our nature, these soft and genial currents of our soul, these effusions of love--these, we can remind them, are but the overflowings of His goodness, His own love, into our hearts, and the reflection of His infinite mercy to us.

"The one who says he abides in Him should walk
just as He walked." (1 John 2:6)

"Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example,

This is more a request for advice from "bloggers" much more experienced than myself. I would like to expand my blog so that more people are aware of its existence. Any advice on a "next step" would be appreciated. Many thx.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Happy Birthday, David

Yup, 7/9/07 marks my son David's 17th birthday! If memory serves me he was born at 10:24 AM. That year the 9th also fell on a Monday. It was a hot steamy day, two weeks past his due date. He was 9 pounds, 4 oz. Now he's taller than I. He's also quite popular with the girls.

Happy birthday, son!

Saturday, July 07, 2007

Lou Martuneac on Zane Hodges

Folks, I'm asking you to check these links from Mr. Martuneac. I am going to do so as well. Feel free to leave a comment here if you like. - Mark Pierson

Mr. Martuneac writes, "OK, that said: Here is the link to my series on The Teaching of Zane Hodges.This is probably the most penetrating in the seriesFree Grace: Fractured by the “Crossless” GospelI would consider it a privilege if you were to visit and leave a comment, but it is not necessary. Be sure to click on the various links that are in or follow the articles. Especially see Wrapping the Series on Zane Hodges. This one has some of the links I referred to above."


Friday, July 06, 2007

Messin' with Sasquatch

It's Freaky Friday over at the Stomping Ground. I thought I'd share this one.


Bema Seat

While I do not know much about this organization I do believe they give a fair and clear look at the Bema Seat Judgement as seen by those outside Dispensationalism. Please give this article a look and come back for comment.


Happy reading!


Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Well, How About That?

There would be a thing or five we would not find agreement on, but hey, when their own peeps start busting on them, you know somethin' gotta be up!

See here for The Tragedy Of The Crossless Gospel Pt. 1. To see Pt. 2 just scroll down about two hares past a rabbit's hiney.


Sunday, July 01, 2007

Just wonderin’

If a Christian believes that God created him in the womb,

“ For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother's womb...” (Psalm 139:13)

that it was He and not just mere human biology that constructed the body of the Christian,

then why would a Christian have a problem with God’s creation (choosing) of a Christian’s rebirth?

”Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3).

If we did not have initiative or a choice in the first birth, why would a Christian believe that he has initiative or choice in the second?

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