Saturday, December 20, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all.
I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2009, but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere.
This wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wished.
Sunday, December 14, 2008
Saturday, December 13, 2008
A mix of secular and Christ-centered songs, they all have to do with winter or the holiday season. They may not be ones you would commonly hear, but they all hold a special place in my heart. I put them here as a place to park this PLAYLIST which will go though all twenty (!) as I surf. And maybe you might listen too? If anyone reads this blog. :) Oh well. *shrug*
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Sunday, November 23, 2008
The fact remains that there is one race. The human race. God did not create different races. He did not put some humans under another group of humans for thousands of years because of something their great great great grandpappy did. God did not prohibit marrying "between the races".
Why do we judge based on skin color, hair type, eye shape, nose crook or other superficial basis? Where did these come from if not for us to judge and seperate ourselves according to?
I submit that these characteristics arose because of the tower of babel, when God divided mankind acording to language. Suddenly, the available gene pool for procreation was greatly reduced...and certain characteristics strongly arose in the various groups as they moved away and settled the earth.
It has nothingto do with a "black skin curse". Little do to with geography, and much to do with the gene pool. How dare we look with disgust, distust, contempt or even simple non-acceptance at our brother and sisters around America and around the world who share our blood, and yes, our race?
"God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation; That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring."
Article of interest: Click HERE
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Say you are just coming in to the ranks of Fundamentalism, having chosen the Sword branch as your particular nesting place. And, say that you are wondering how one goes about getting his name highlighted in the Fundamentalist Hall of Fame, and perhaps getting his very own personal invitation to the Good-Ole’-Boy Ball. You might need some pointers as to how you can get yourself into the “rising star” category.
We are here for you. We wouldn’t want you spending too much of your time in wasted effort when it comes to such worthy pursuits. So, let us help.
...First, Invite the Big Name Preachers to preach at your church. They like this, and if you provide them with a decent enough show (and, of course, that show is accompanied by a check of significant proportions), you have a very good chance of making a great impression. You will, of course, want to make sure that you really build up Dr. Big Shot before he comes, so that your people are adequately prepared beforehand to be impressed, yea even dazzled. When you introduce him, be sure to sprinkle your introduction generously with a variety of superlatives, like “most” and “best” and “greatest.” And be sure that he doesn’t leave without an invitation to return (make sure you include a few dates with your invitation, and that those dates are within the next calendar year).
Second, be sure to be well-traveled in the Dr. Big Shot circuit. That would include (as a minimum) attendance at every Major Conference. Minimum attendance requirements will include (of course) the National Sword of the Lord Conference, The Leadership Conference, and at least two of the Regional Sword Conferences. You should also keep an eye on the conferences advertised in the Sword of the Lord. Though you will not be required to attend every one, you must be sure to attend one or two of the ones that include Shelton Smith and at least two of the other Important Preachers and Rising Stars who annually preach at the National Conference.
...Fourth, advertise in the Sword. Buy the most expensive advertisement that you can. If you want to fish, you’ll need to bring some bait. Put it in your Missions Budget if you need to. But you’ll never see one of those guys with the teeny-weenie ads up on the stage at the National Convention. So, you’re gonna need to drop some coin on this one.
...Sixth, preach only from those texts that everyone agrees with. This is essential. Understand, there are entire books of the Bible that have no place in these kinds of churches. If, for instance, you were to say, “Turn in your Bibles to Romans chapter 9,” or, worse yet, to Amos, you could be voted off the Island. Immediately. Find those passages with the texts that everybody likes, and stick with them. For that matter, you’ll need a minimum of five messages on David and Goliath. That way, when you get your invitation, you’ll have a sermon ready-made for publication. The only other topic you’ll need to cover will be Soul Winning. Really, every message that isn’t on salvation or on David and Goliath will need to be on Soul Winning.
...Tenth, you’ll need to get yourself a very large (and, I might add, expensive) mirror. This is for several reasons.
- First, you’ll need it for your preaching. Practice preaching in the mirror. Remember that style always trumps substance, so don’t worry about having any more than three points and a poem. Just leave lots of space between each point, and make the majority of your notes read like a prompter… “shout here,” “stomp here,” “Billy Sunday pose here,” “pull out hanky and wave here,” “pull out crisp $100 bill here,” and etc. Remember that the majority of your audience at these kinds of Conferences are in The Club, and hence are veritable connoisseurs of “preachin’.” You’ll need to be sure that all your poses are performed flawlessly. This is why the mirror is so essential.
- Secondly, you’ll need to work on that hair-do. Your couple of squirts of hairspray ain’t gonna cut it. Get yourself a stylist. You’ll also be needing a blow-dryer. Get some professional advice on the style that is best for you. If you are under thirty, the wet look will probably be the most appropriate. If you are over forty, practice your comb-over. Either that, or shave it to the skin every day.
- Thirdly, you’ll need it to check yourself out on a regular basis. You are going to be in the Big Time, Brother. You’ll need to practice everything… your walk, your handshake, how you hold your Bible (high and tight usually works best), and especially crossing your legs while sitting on the platform. Do not underestimate the importance of appearances. Especially if you’re going to get your Invitation to the National Stage.
...Twelfth, learn to pause at appropriate places in your preaching, so the audience has a chance to “Amen!” you. If the audience is a little slow, learn a few insults that you can use to sorta ‘prime the pump’ a little. Practice getting that incredulous look on your face that says it all for you, so that your audience will know that you really can’t believe that they missed such a golden opportunity. Learn to cup your hand to your ear, lean forward, and kick your opposite foot back. You will need to come down out of the pulpit and “Amen!” yourself at least once every message, so that your audience will know that no matter how much they ”Amen!” it is still inadequate (though you will want to say “Thank you” very emphatically a couple of times during the message, so that your audience will know that you appreciate their feeble efforts).
Thirteenth, practice preaching in a microphone. Note that I did not say “with” a microphone. You will need to get into that microphone. Learn to talk with your mouth right on it. Practice that husky, intimate voice. Work on bombast. Learn to scream into it so loud that you hurt your own ears. Be ambidextrous (screaming and stomping or else screaming and spitting simultaneously).
Fourteenth, do not stand still. If you need to know why, refer back to point #7, 8, and 10. You will need to step on every square foot of carpet on the platform as well as on the altar and the first four pews while you preach. Consider yourself to be like Joshua (Joshua 1:3). You want that mountain, it belongs to you. While you are at it, you will need to learn how to walk on pews while preaching. If your balance is good enough, you will need to learn how to walk on the backs of the pews, too.
...Sixteenth, get a big church. Remember those immortal words of John R. Rice, “It is not a sin for a church to start small. It is a sin for a church to stay small.” I’m sure that he had a chapter and verse on that one. But he doesn’t need one. He, after all, had a big church. Make sure you do not sin so against the Lord. Three to Four hundred will not do. As Dr. Rice reminded us, the church at Jerusalem had thousands. We don’t know about any of the others, like Corinth or Ephesus, but we can assume that they did too. Otherwise, they would have been in sin, and since Paul never rebuked them for being small, they must not have been. Because Paul would have rebuked them if they had been small. Because it is a sin (Rice 13:2) to stay small. So, get big. If you can’t get big (say you are in a town of 300 people), then move to a big church, and make it bigger. Mediocre pastors have no place on the platform of the Sword of the Lord. Period.
(for the whole article, go HERE)
Thursday, October 23, 2008
To understand these questions further, we need to go back to the roots of Halloween.When Did Modern-day Halloween Get Started?In the early 1900s, the migrating Irish and Scots brought Halloween traditions to the United States. Over time, Halloween catapulted into mainstream culture.The holiday, though, has roots reaching much further back. Some researchers claim that the holiday can be traced back about 2,000 years to the Celts of Europe, who occupied what is now Ireland, the United Kingdom, and northern France. It was a pagan festival called “Samhain” (pronounced “sow-in”) that celebrated more or less the honor of the dead and involved the offering of large sacrifices of crops and animals. Although no original written accounts of this festival exist today from the ancient Celts, there is some reference to it in Roman records from when the Romans conquered Celtic lands around AD 43. With Roman rule, the day of Samhain was influenced by Roman festivals of the time. The first was called “Pomona,” which was a type of harvest festival, and the next was “Feralia,” the Roman day of the dead. Interestingly, both Feralia and Samhain were festivals of the dead and celebrated at the end of October.
The Name “Halloween”Around AD 800, Pope Boniface IV designated November 1 as All Saints’ Day in an effort to give a Christian alternative to this pagan holiday. Christians who did not want to celebrate pagan festivals celebrated something of positive spiritual value—in this case honoring the saints and martyrs. With the overwhelming expansion of Christianity in Europe, All Saint’s Day became the dominant holiday.5In fact, the current name of “Halloween” originates from the day before All Saint’s Day, which was called “All Hallow Evening”; this name was shortened to “All Hallow’s Eve” or “All Hallow’s Even.” The name changed over time and became “Hallowe’en”.A couple hundred years later, the Roman Catholic Church made November 2 All Souls Day to honor the dead. ...it is significant to note how many cultures throughout the world have celebrated a “day of the dead” (often with sacrifices), occurring at the end of summer and fall.
...Why Sacrifices?Proper sacrifices in the Bible were associated with sin and death. This goes back to the first sacrifice in Genesis 3:21 when the first two humans (Adam and Eve) sinned against God. The Bible says that the punishment for sin is death (Romans 6:23; Hebrews 9:22). Due to their sin, Adam and Eve were ashamed of their nakedness. So, God made coats of animal skins to cover their nakedness. God sacrificed animals to cover this sin. In a fashion similar to God, Abel offered sacrifices from his flocks (Genesis 4:4), and Noah did the same after the Flood. Later the Israelites did this as well, giving sin offerings of lambs, doves, etc. as God commanded. But the blood of animals is not enough to remove sin; it is only enough to cover it temporarily (Hebrews 10:4): finite animals could never really take the infinite punishment from an infinite God. These instances of sacrificing animals were foreshadowing Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God—who, as the perfect infinite sacrifice on the cross, fully paid for our sins so that everyone who trusts in Him will be saved and given eternal life.With most of the celebrations of the “days of the dead,” sacrifices were involved. This suggests that cultures around the world understood this concept of sacrificing to God to cover sins.
....Even evil acts such as vandalism, fires, destructive pranks, pretending people are something they are not by dressing up, particularly by glorification of sensuality, death, and demons, etc. are painfully in opposition to the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:19–23). So, a word of caution must be given to Evangelicals who promote the questionable modern practices of Halloween.If anything, an alternative in opposition to Halloween should be offered by Christians. Psalms 24:1 points out that everything belongs to the Lord. Therefore, there is no reason to let Satan have Halloween. It is not his day in the first place. When Satan tried tempting Jesus, he offered Jesus something that was not his to offer (Matthew 4:8—all the kingdoms of the world). Jesus obviously didn’t succumb because it wasn’t Satan’s to give, nor did Satan exercise any authority over Him. Many today believe that Halloween is Satan’s day and recommend staying away from it. But recognizing such a thing would be to disregard that Satan owns nothing and that all days belong to God...
Year Halloween-related Sales in U.S. dollars
2004 3 billion
2005 3.29 billion
2006 4.96 billion
2007 5.07 billion link
Fox news this morning estimated the Halloween spending this year would top six billion dollars.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,"
"In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace;"
"For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Saturday, October 18, 2008
Tuesday, April 22, 2008
I saw a few commercials for Oprah shows about Eckhart Tolle's "A New Earth" book she has been touting, and warning bells went off each time I've seen them...just haven't been interested enough to really look into it. Maybe I should. I wonder how many ppl in churches across America already know about it, and maybe even buy into it?
Watch the video. It's the New Age movement repackaged. And now showing in your home every day at 4:00 on channel 13 (check local listings)!
heaven is an inner realm
my mind is part of God's
my salvation comes from me
there is no sin
the pathetic error = "clinging to the old rugged cross"
there are many paths to what you call God
The youtube video link below also has her own testimony for why she rejects God for what He is. She can't get over the fact that God refers to Himself as a jeolous God. She never comprehends that God is jealous of her love and worship.
God is jealous? Yes. As the first commandment says, we are to have no other god, and Him only are we to serve. She has stumbled at this command. As have many people.
So...is it a cult? IT HAS THE EARMARKS!
See for yourself, in her own words!
Saturday, April 19, 2008
I've heard it preached that "God didn't call us to write church history", but I have a great fascination with church history (especially non-catholic history in the early and middle ages). I have been toying with the idea of researching it more than I already have (I've spent many hours on it) and putting what I find in a book form. I know that most of the church history I am searching for has been lost or burned, but I still find reading books like The Trail of Blood, Faithful Baptist Witness and John T. Christian were uplifting and encouraging. What are your favorite books on church history? Why do you study it?