Sunday, December 20, 2009

About Zeus, Thor, Buddha, and the Flying Spaghetti Monster

The Angry Atheist dropped by to ask my thoughts about other religions. Although, my reply is posted below in the comments, I thought that these thoughts were worthy of an original post. Thanks to the Angry Atheist for motivating me to post on this subject.

I arrived from Church not too long ago. This morning I heard a great message entitled Our King is Here. That was the follow up to last week's message, Our King is Coming, and the message which concludes next week entitled,Our King is Coming Again.

I am not smart enough to offer you an apologetic that addresses Zeus, Thor, Allah, Buddha, the Flying Spaghetti Monster ("FSM"), etc. I can point you to Norman Geisler's "When Skeptics Ask," or I can point you to Josh McDowell's, "Evidence that Demands a Verdict," or I can point you to a number of Lee Strobel or C.S. Lewis books.

Do not get me wrong. I think apologetics are useful. By the fact that I rattled off those books, shows that I've spent time investigating the subject. Still, I am sure that other Christians, have addressed the subject matter with you. I do not think I can feed you any information that you haven't heard before.

What I can tell you is that Jesus is real. There is ample history indicating that He is real. It is only within the last half century that anyone would deny that He ever existed.

With respect to other religions, I would point you to the Tower of Babel, which is in Genesis chapter 11 a few chapters following the story of the flood. I am just a simple attorney in Valrico, Florida. But, it is my humble opinion, the Tower of Babel is the source of all man made religion. Zeus, Thor, Buddha, Allah, FSM and every other religion on this planet involves "what can I do for god." The person hopes that his good deeds outweigh his bad deeds, then he should be good to go.

God's way is different. God says no matter what we do, we are not good enough. We are too prideful and it is hard for you and I to admit that we are wrong. (I also think that many self-righteous Christians suffer from the same problem).

It is when we recognize that we are not good enough, that God comes to us and says I will provide a way out, if you will receive me. John 1:12 says to those who received him (Jesus) to those who believed in his name, he gives the right to become children of God.

In the book of Acts (chapters 3 and 4), you have the story of how God, through Peter and John, healed a man who had been crippled for life. The religious people (perhaps no different than intelligent religious people of today) of that day were furious. They tried to shut up Peter and John. Peter's reply was "there is no other name (Jesus) under heaven given to man, by which we must be saved." (See Acts 4:8-12).

Religious and secular people like to keep Jesus in the manger, where he can't harm anyone. Jesus is so much bigger than that. Where we can't do enough good deeds to save ourselves, Jesus did, by laying his life down for you and me.

With all that you know about Jesus, the relevant question is what will you do about him? I take you back to the Million Dollar Bill, which you confessed to have reading. I also encourage you to go back to the Gospel of John. Don't simply read it. Study it. After studying John, my question is what will you do about Jesus Christ?

My prayer is that you would repent and put your trust in him. Many Christmas blessings to you.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Tiger's Confession

Every one heard what has been going on with Tiger Woods. So you have a celebrity, a wife with a golf club, a damaged Cadillac Escalade, and out at 2:25 a.m. Nothing good can come from that combination. Against, that background you start getting a lot of speculation, rumors, and gossip. This is followed by three different statements from Tiger Woods. In his last statement, he finally confesses his indiscretions:

I have let my family down and I regret those transgressions with all of my heart. I have not been true to my values and the behavior my family deserves. I am not without faults and I am far short of perfect.

I will strive to be a better person and the husband and father that my family deserves. For all of those who have supported me over the years, I offer my profound apology.

Throughout this whole thing, Tiger continuously asked the press and the public to respect his right to privacy. On that point, Tiger is partially right. He should be entitled to his right to privacy. Still, when he is who he is and given the public’s obsession with their celebrities, especially when they are caught in a scandal, the chances of him getting the privacy that he desires are slim to none.

So, what is next for Tiger Woods? Going back to his statement, I am not so sure if he was truly repentant or whether this is an instance in which he got caught. Before his confession, he talked about malicious rumors. I think Tiger can learn a lesson from King David. Many are as familiar with David’s “transgressions” as Tiger’s. Sometime after his open confession, David wrote Psalm 51. While the entire Psalm is worth reading, key lessons are highlighted in the following verses:

1 Have mercy on me, O God, according to your unfailing love; according to your great compassion blot out my transgressions.
2 Wash away all my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin.
3 For I know my transgressions,and my sin is always before me.
4 Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight,so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.

10 Create in me a pure heart, O God,and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
11 Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me.
12 Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me.
13 Then I will teach transgressors your ways,and sinners will turn back to you.

Yes Tiger, you have truly let your family down. For about 13 years, you have been on top of the world. Now, you have fallen hard. Still, there is redemption. Study David’s prayer in Psalm 51. They say it is impossible for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God, but with God all things are possible. Tiger, repent and put your trust in the Savior today.

(See also "Cornered Tiger" by Ray Comfort)

Friday, November 13, 2009

Why Do the Heathen Rage?

The psalmist wrote:

Why do the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. Ps. 2:1-2.

This is truly prophetic. For the last two months evolutionists have worked themselves into a rage because Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron will release a special edition of Darwin's Origin of Species that has a 50 page introduction challenging evolution. The plan is to go to the campuses of a number of universities and distribute copies of this special edition for free.

This plan has evolutionists in an uproar. On Facebook there is a group entitled "Kirk Cameron has gone too far! But we can stop him." They have called Ray and Kirk liars and thieves and many other not so nice names. (See e.g., Kirk Cameron Lies, Perverts the Origin of Species). There are some groups who are planning on staging counter protests at many campuses. If you read some of the reports, it sounds as if they are accusing Ray and Kirk of blasphemy. Yet they say their belief system is not a religion . . . hmmmmm.

Below is a news release of the mobilization efforts of a group of evolutionists. The news release is kind of tame, when compared to the postings that you will find throughout the internet. Oh, why do the heathen rage? And now, Lord, behold their threatenings: and grant unto thy servants, that with all boldness, they may speak thy word. Acts 4:29.

Release: Atheist Youth Movement Leads Charge Against Anti-Darwin Book Project
November 10, 2009
Contact: August Brunsman – (614) 441-9588 –
COLUMBUS, Ohio – The Secular Student Alliance is mobilizing student groups to counter the Living Waters Ministry program to distribute an edition of Charles Darwin’s Origin of Species containing a special introduction misrepresenting the book’s claims. The SSA national leadership is encouraging its campus affiliates to schedule protests, host speakers, write letters to the editor, show films, and distribute the original version of Darwin’s 150-year old masterpiece.

“We’re asking students to respond proactively. We believe the best way to respond to misinformation is with a positive, educational campaign,” says August Brunsman, executive director for the Secular Student Alliance.
Living Waters Ministry, an evangelical ministry group headed by Ray Comfort and actor Kirk Cameron, calls the project The Origin into Schools Project. It plans to print an edition of Origin of Species with a 50-page introduction that attempts to cast doubt on the theory of evolution and connect Charles Darwin to Adolf Hitler. Over 100,000 copies are set to be distributed to over 100 college campus across the country and in Canada.

Students are aware that the distributors have the first amendment right to pass out their anti-evolution literature, but are being encouraged by the Secular Student Alliance to use their own rights to respond with a friendly, science-based message.

The Secular Student Alliance at Yale University, for example, has plans to set up a table promoting “alternative theories on sexual education,” appropriately named Students for Stork Acknowledgment.
“People engaged in such lunatic endeavors are legitimized by opponents who attempt to take them seriously. My organization intends no such legitimization,” stated Michael Wright, president of SSA at Yale, adding that past attempts at rational debate with creationists have failed, “but where reason fails, satire triumphs.”
The Secular Student Alliance is assisting campus groups by providing resources from national groups like The Center for Inquiry, National Center for Science Education, the Brights, and the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science in order to combat misinformation on campus. Secular Student Alliance has also partnered with the creators of Flock of Dodos, the 2006 documentary highlighting the debate over evolution, granting the rights to students who wish to show the film on campus.

Nov. 24 marks the 150th anniversary of the original Origin of Species, and books and protests are set to hit campuses around that time. Students can find ways to get involved at

The Secular Student Alliance is an educational nonprofit whose mission is to organize, unite, educate and serve students and student communities that promote the ideals of scientific rationality, secularism, democracy, and human-based ethics. Learn more at

Edit: Found a site today (Nov. 16, 2009) entitled "Don't Diss Darwin." Source: National Center for Science Education.
Another blog of interest from the "
Friendly Atheist."

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The Million Dollar Question for those who say "No God"

On Tuesday, the hottest topic on Twitter was "No God." This started when Reverend Run fomerly of the Rap Group Run DMC, posted the phrase "Know God, Know Peace . . . No God, No Peace." It did not take long for the atheists to take over and start posting their opinions on no God. In response, I am providing the following message from Living Waters and Way of the Master. This appears on their popular Million Dollar Bill.

The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said,"Whoever looks upon a woman to lust after her has committed adultery already with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust?

Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things God sees you as a lying, thieving,blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell.

That's not God's will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. Jesus took your punishment upon Himself -"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death.

Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus, and God will grant you everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.

Pray something like this: "Dear God, today I turn away from all of my sins (name them). This day I put my trust in Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior. He is the only way for me to be saved. He is 'The way, the truth, and the life.'" Pleaseforgive me, change my heart, and grant me Your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen."

Friday, October 16, 2009

Attacking a Gator

Recently, Tim Tebow has been under attack. This is not coming from Nole fan (like myself), or Bulldog fan (like my former roommate and good friend TJ), or Vol fan. Rather, he is being attacked by a group of sports writers who are opposed to him using the football field to speak openly about his faith.

At first glance, I would be inclined to take apart the arguments of the secular sports writers, showing them where they are wrong. After further thought, I welcome their arguments. This debate has created an easy bridge to engage nonbelievers in serious discussions about their faith. Isn't it beautiful to see the secular press has unwittingly opened the door to further evangelism?

For an excellent discussion regarding the criticism of Tim Tebow see Albert Mohler's article "Time to Separate Church and Sports? A New Agenda Takes Shape."

Also, check out the New York Times article entitled "Questioning Sports Evangelism."

Monday, September 14, 2009

Two Attorneys with Ray Comfort

You have to love the way two attorneys responded to Ray Comfort.

Ray: Have you ever told a lie?
Atty: Yes.
Ray: What does that make you?
Atty: A person who told a lie.

See the rest here.

Monday, August 24, 2009

This Scares Me . .

“This scares me” were the words of a terrified 15-year old girl on Saturday morning, when she realized that she may have to face God on Judgment Day.

On Saturday, August 22, 2009, our church was doing a water giveaway at the parking lot of a local WalMart. Two teenage girls passed by and rejected offers of bottles of water and flyers to our church.

I decided not to give up and asked the girls if they would be interested in receiving a Million Dollar Bill. They accepted the offer and I pointed to the Million Dollar Question at the back of the bill, “Will you go to Heaven?” The first girl said she hoped so. The second girl laughed. I asked why you laughed at your friend. She said I barely go to church. I encouraged them to look at the good person test as they walked away. I overheard the second girl tell the first, no one is perfect. It seemed the second girl was ready to dismiss the message without giving it much thought.

About 5 minutes later, the girls are coming down the parking lot (going in the wrong direction) in a truck. The first girl was sitting in the passenger seat and holding the Million Dollar Bill, she said “This scares me.”

With the girls’ truck pointing in the wrong direction, I told them not to go anywhere. I ran to my car, grabbed a Gospel of John and told the girl that she needs to read this book. I explained that there are 21 chapters and she can read a chapter a day. Meanwhile, one of the ladies from our church spoke to her friend. I told her, that at 15, I was just like her. Disobeyed my parents, etc. etc. After a brief conversation, the girls left.

Woulda coulda shoulda. Looking back, I know I could have done a better job of presenting the Gospel after the girl said “This scares me.” At that point, I could have said, what about the message scares you. Then I could have said, do you know what God did so that you don’t have to go to Hell. And before the girls drove off, I could have encouraged her to repent and put her trust in Christ. Although I missed it, I still believe that she got the message. Notwithstanding my shortcomings, this story shows that the Million Dollar Bill is a very effective witnessing tool.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Dan Shock: Brought Close to Death That He Might Live

The following comes from CBMC's website. It is about my friend Dan Shock who recovered from a horrible auto accident three and a half years ago. Since I've witnessed Dan's healing process, it is hard not to get emotional while watching this story. This is an example of CBMC's vision being lived out: 1) the Power of One God; 2) the Value of One Man; and 3) the Leverage of One Team.

Dan Shock Video from Dan Shock on Vimeo.


Daniel Shock, who is the chairman for the upcoming 2010 and 2011 Tampa Bay Leadership Prayer Breakfasts in Tampa Bay, Florida, was hit by a car three years
ago and believed he was going to die. Today, he says, "The Lord has certainly demonstrated His might, love , grace and healing in my life. Praise the Lord!"

The Lord has really turned his life around and used our brother in CBMC to build the kingdom. "I have grown tremendously through Operation Timothy," Dan says. "Most of all, my relationship with Jesus Christ has deepened through my CBMC group of men."

Through leadership training by Patrick O'Neal, the CBMC teams in Dan's area have been working together in different ways. Leader Tom Behrens tells us they are going through The Truth Project in 2-3 YMCAs, working with a YMCA chaplain to put the "Christian" back into the Young Men's Christian Association.

Friday, May 22, 2009

ABC's Nightline Asks Does Satan Exist

I have no idea how I missed it, but thanks to the blog Ethos (or ethos) I learned that a couple of months ago, ABC’s Nightline held a debate addressing the question of the existence of Satan (or satan). The panelists include, Mark Driscoll of Mars Hill Church, Annie Lobert, an ex-prostitute and founder of a ministry called Hookers for Jesus, Deepak Chopra (moan) and “bishop” Carlton Pearson (groan). The blogger, a pastor at a church in Sanford, Florida, highlighted the differences between Mark Driscoll and Cartlton Pearson. The pastor’s blog reads as follows:

Watch Nightline’s Face off “Does Satan Exist?” here. Mark Driscoll, of Mars Hill Church, takes on the self proclaimed enlightened one, Deepak Chopra and Mr. Twisted Scripture, Bishop Carlton Pearson.

I thought Mark did a great job in presenting the Biblical view and account of Satan. He was very articulate, concise and authoritative sounding. Annie Lobert, an ex-prostitute and founder of the ministry, Hookers for Jesus shared about her encounter of coming to Christ after being tormented by demonic forces, an incredible story of redemption.

Chopra spouted out his normal dribble of enlightenment and self deification. Pearson demonstrated yet again why he should be branded as someone teaching heresy and nowhere on the radar of teaching sound, Biblical orthodoxy. Watch the show.

The debate is definitely worth watching. Mark Driscoll and Annie Lobert both stated their positions well. The pastor accurately described Carlton Pearson’s performance as scripture twisting. Poor Deepak Chopra is confused.

Need for Accountability Among Christian Men

J. Lee Grady has written yet another great commentary. Grady is the Editor of Charisma magazine and writes a monthly column in the magazine and a weekly column on-line. The strength of his articles include his willingness to tackle controversial subjects and even if his views may be unpopular.

Recently, Grady has written an article addressing the need for Christian men to have meaningful male friendship. In the introductory line, he states “the epidemic of moral failure among men in the church today is directly tied to our lack of healthy relationships. He goes on to say that Christian men need (1) “Pauls,” who serve as spiritual fathers; (2) “Barnabases,” peer-level encouragers who support and challenge us; and (3) “Timothys,” younger men we inspire and mentor. This is a message that my pastor has been communicating to the men in our church for a long time. I have also taken that message and shared it with Christian men outside of our church. Grady adds, “Jesus destroyed the macho myth by demonstrating that the strongest masculinity is gentle and approachable.” There are other great quotes in the article, which is entitled “Meaningful Male Friendship in a Disconnected Age". (Read article in entirety here).

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

The Lord is With You, You Mighty Man of Valor!

This is another devotional that came from a friend of mine today. Although the title reads, "God delights to advance the humble," I used the quote from the book of Joshua for the title above.

God Delights to Advance the Humble

When God brings us to grapple with the magnitude of his sacrificing love through his Son two thousand years ago, he doesn't just leave us there. He doesn't have us grapple with his past act of death on the cross alone. He tells us that he is here with us now! That is exactly what God did with Gideon. God was raising Gideon up for his purpose to rescue and deliver Israel from the oppression. Our God is not God of past, but God who is present now! And, it is his presence of God that made Gideon a mighty warrior. (Steve Kim)

Judges 6:12 And the Angel of the LORD appeared to him, and said to him, "The LORD is with you, you mighty man of valor!"

What we fail to realize many times is, there are lots of little ways God can and will use us if we just let Him. You can't put a limit on God, you can't put conditions on Him. He asks us to be faithful in the small things. Those supposed menial tasks aren't menial at all when you are promoting God's work and His word. The battle is waged and we each need to do our part to be prepared. We don't know God's plan or intention when He uses us, but He does. He can already see the outcome, He knows He picked just the right person to do the job.Pray for our countryGracious and loving God, today we praise You for the kind ways You reach to us, initiating and inviting our communication with You through prayer.In God we trust: If God asks, you must be willing to be used of God and willing to say, "here I am Lord, use me", and mean it.

One last thought: We all have fears of various kinds-from worms to wars. Gideon's story teaches us that we can be confident of this: If God asks us to do something, He'll give us the strength and power to do it."I am willing, Lord, use me."

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

President Reagan Witnessed to Gorbachev

On Saturday, I took my son to the library to check out some videos and let him hang out in the children’s area. To occupy my time, I picked up a copy of Friday’s edition of the Wall Street Journal and came across an article entitled “Did Reagan Try to Convert Gorbachev?” Well, I don’t know if he converted Gorbachev, but he certainly witnessed to him. Can you imagine the outrage if this had hit the press at the time, or if he was President today and it made the news. How dare he. What about the separation between church and state. My take, way to go Mr. President.

The Journal’s article is very lengthy, but this excerpt provides the heart of the witness encounter:

"The President asked Gorbachev what if he ruled that religious freedom was part of the people's rights, that people of any religion -- whether Islam with its mosque, the Jewish faith, Protestants or the Ukrainian Church -- could go to the church of their choice."

Gorbachev deflected this question . . . .

Reagan then ventured further, taking a step that quite a few Americans would have found objectionable. The president switched from seeking to persuade Gorbachev of the value of religious tolerance to promoting a belief in God. Reagan did so by telling one of his trademark stories.

According to the notes of their meeting:

The president said he had a letter from the widow of a young World War II soldier. He was lying in a shell hole at midnight, awaiting an order to attack. He had never been a believer, because he had been told God did not exist. But as he looked up at the stars he voiced a prayer hoping that, if he died in battle, God would accept him. That piece of paper was found on the body of a young Russian soldier who was killed in that battle.

Gorbachev tried to switch the subject. Perhaps the United States and the Soviet Union might open the way for greater cooperation in space, he told the president. But the president wasn't to be diverted. According to the transcript, Reagan told Gorbachev that space was in the direction of heaven, but not as close to heaven as some other things that they had been discussing.

As the meeting ended, Reagan became even more direct and personal. He noted that his own son Ron did not believe in God either. "The President concluded that there was one thing he had long yearned to do for his atheist son. He wanted to serve his son the perfect gourmet dinner, to have him enjoy the meal, and then to ask him if he believed there was a cook."

Of the two American notetakers who were present for this extraordinary conversation, one took Reagan's effort at face value. "Reagan thought he could convert Gorbachev, or make him see the light," said Rudolf Perina, who was then the director of Soviet affairs on the National Security Council in a 2005 interview.

Whether this approach was effective is debatable. Maybe President Reagan moved Gorbachev from being an atheist to becoming an agnostic. Too bad he did not receive training from Ray Comfort, Kirk Cameron and the others at Way of the Master.

Gorbachev: President Reagan, we’ve made a lot of progress over the years, but you really need to tone down your “Star Wars” plan. My comrades at the Kremlin aren’t happy.

President Reagan: Mick, since, you mentioned “Star Wars,” do you think Heaven is real.

Gorbachev: You know I am the leader of the Communist Party, as Atheists we don’t believe in Heaven.

Reagan: If Heaven were real, are you good enough to go there.

Gorbachev: Of course, I am. Glasnost and Perestroika were all my ideas. I most certainly am a good person.

Reagan: Mick – you don’t mind me calling you Mick - have you ever told a lie.

Gorbachev: No.

Reagan: Are you sure about that. What about that speech three months ago.

Gorbachev: Oh yeah, I forgot about that. You got me.

Reagan: What does that make you.

Gorbachev: A liar.

Reagan: Have you stolen anything, no matter how small.

And President Reagan could have gone on from there. Maybe one day the archives will reveal that President Bush or even President Obama engaged in a similar conversation with Mr. Putin.

Friday, February 20, 2009

His Royal Treasury

This came in from a friend fo mine this morning. This is very encouraging especially for our brothers and sisters who are out of work or just struggling. Also, you can always expect a strong message from Charles Spurgeon. Rich

His Royal Treasury
The Prayer Meeting is not a farce, waste of time, or mere pious amusement. Some in these times think so, but such shall be lightly esteemed. Surely they know not the Omnipotence that lies in the pleas of God’s people! The Lord has taken the keys of His royal treasury and put them into the hands of faith. He has taken His sword from the scabbard and given it into the hands of the man mighty in prayer. He seems at times to have placed His sovereign scepter in the hands of prayer. What a victory would come to two who joined in the same wrestling! “One of you shall chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight.” (C. H. SPURGEON,)

Matthew 18:19-20 “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”

Prayer changes things -- and people -- and attitudes, thoughts and actions. God wants us to trust Him to do His best for us. Knowing that many are praying with us and for us gives a level of comfort and assurance that is hard to describe. And it makes it a lot easier to meet each day knowing that God is with us in all things.

Pray for our nation

Pray for those who are unemployed and need jobs, for those who have lost their homes and need housing, for those whose business are suffering because of the economic downturn, asking that we, as a nation, will return to God, seeking His wisdom and will.

In God we trust: “If I were hungry, I would not tell you; for the world is Mine, and all its fullness.

Papa Roy
One last thought: When you are looking at someone you love, your pupils dilate, and they do the same when you are looking at someone you hate.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Pure Chance Causes Breakdown of Atheist Bus

The following story was posted on

Italian Bus Boasting Anti-God Ad Breaks Down on First Trip Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The first Italian bus to boast an atheist advertisement rolled out Monday and certainly did not have God on its side. No sooner had the bus — carrying the message, "The Good News Is There Are Millions of Atheists In Italy; The Excellent News Is They Believe In Freedom Of Expression" –- hit the streets of Genoa when it suffered battery problems and had to go straight back to the depot for repairs, UPI reported. ''By pure chance,'' UPI quotes a member of the Italian Union of Atheists, Agnostics and Rationalists, ''the vehicle left the depot bright and early but had to go straight back because of a 'curious' problem with the batteries."

Pure chance? Indeed! They should consider themselves fortunate that maybe God does have a sense of humor instead of sending fire from Heaven. See God DOES Exist and He Has a Sense of Humor Too! (Thanks Trish).

In school, I learned the best response to bad speech is good speech. In other words, don't complain about the misguided message of the atheists. Instead, see what you can do to advance the Truth. The people who put together the God on the Bus Campaign have the right idea. For ideas take a look at

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Henry Blackaby on True Revival

Remember the popular revival from 2008 where the "evangelist" talked about leg dropping a pastor? I will try not to criticize too much. In the following article, Henry Blackaby shares his thoughts on True Revival. Enjoy.

I've heard many "calls" for revival recently but with very little teaching and exposition on revival. It seems that in these urgent days there are too few leaders who actually are leading God's people corporately to repent, pray, seek holiness and return to God. Do we not realize that scripturally it is impossible to have a call for revival without a call for repentance? This has always been God's requirement for His people. The passionate, unceasing corporate prayer that is always present in revival is desperately lacking as well. In short, I see little evidence of sincere brokenness among God's people for our present condition or the condition of our nation.

We call for revival without actually crying with tears and brokenness for revival. The "call for revival" seems almost like a spiritual fad, with no true passion and sincerity of heart. Many will say "amen" when they hear mention of the need for revival. But the "call" is fleeting and soon passes away. And then we quickly move on to other activity and return to our business as usual with no
follow-through by the leaders of God's people.
Click here to continue. . .

Although, I did not post the entire article, I think the following points are instructive:

First, we must seek God to grant us broken and contrite hearts. "For thus says the High and Lofty One Who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: 'I dwell in the high and holy place, with him who has a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones'" (Isaiah 57:15). And again, "[O]n him will I look: on him who is poor and of a contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isaiah 66:2).

Next, spiritual leaders must "return to Lord" –- and stay there. (Zechariah 1:3; Malachi 3:1-7; Acts 6:1-4).

Third, the people of God must pray corporately with one heart and one mind. (Acts 1:14; Acts 2:1; Acts 4:31).

Fourth, God's people must be immediately obedient to all God reveals to them. (1 Samuel 15:22-23).

Then, continually bear witness to God's people of all that God is doing. (Acts 1:8; Acts 14:21-22, 26-27).

Finally, we should expect and experience Christ's fullness of joy.Jesus said: "As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father's commandments and abide in His love. These things I have spoken to you that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full" (John 15:9-11).

I believe Blackaby properly laid out the approach to achieving true revival. Instead of packing your bags and traveling to some distant place, true revival can be achieved right in your own church.

St. Pete Times Covers Super Bowl Outreach '09

The St. Petersburg Times recently published an encouraging article on street preachers who appeared in Tampa to share the gospel during the Super Bowl. (SeeSuper Bowl XLIII is no game for street preachers”; see alsoSuper Bowl Outreach ‘09”). These are not the crazies with the sign boards saying God hates fill in the blank or you are all going to burn. Rather, their goal is to share the Gospel with as many people as possible and hope that many will repent and receive Jesus as their savior. These individuals are willing to stand in enemy territory, face criticism and ridicule, to proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is amazing that their biggest critics are not the atheists, but the other “Christians.” Thanks to the St. Pete Times for publishing this article and to the street preachers for hitting the Super Bowl.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Why Would Someone Wrestle With God

There is lots of stuff to write about, but very little time. Perhaps I will get to those things in the next week or two.

This past week, as I was reading through Genesis, I came across the passage where Jacob wrestled with God. I always had difficulty understanding that passage. After looking at it this go round, I think I am beginning to grasp the passage.

Gen. 32:24=> And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. v.26-28=> And he said let me go for the day breaketh. And he said, I will not let thee go, except thou bless me. And he said unto him, What is thy name? And he said, Jacob. And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and has prevailed. v.30 And Jacob called the name of the place Peniel for I have seen God fact to face, and my life is preserved.

So why would a man wrestle with an angel (or God). The passage seems to point to the question directed to Jacob, "What is thy name?" This is followed by the response "Thy name shall be called . . . Israel." At that point, Jacob received his blessing.

Prior to this, Jacob carried the burden of his name. The name Jacob was associated with deceit. Jacob, the younger brother, used deceit (with the help of his mother) to take Esau's blessing. To escape his brother's desire to commit fratricide, Jacob fled to Haran where his Uncle Laban lived. After giving Laban years of labor, Laban managed to deceive Jacob to get him the marry his eldest daughter Leah. Jacob the Esau's younger brother actually was in love with Leah's younger sister, Rachel. Before taking his leave of Uncle Laban, Jacob engages in further deception to acquire goats and sheep (of course Uncle Laban also did not have clean hands).

After Laban stood down from his confrontation with Jacob, Jacob stops at a point, where he knows he will soon confront his older brother Esau. Although many years have passed, Jacob believe that Esau still wanted to murder him. At that point, in the middle of the night, Jacob wrestles with God and says, I won't let go until you bless me. After years of deceit, Jacob, now Israel, has decided to do things the right way. He cannot acquire a true blessing by deceiving his father and brother. Instead, he turned to God for his blessing. As a result, God gave him a new name. He no longer was known as a deceiver, but as a prince of God.

The message here seems to be where are you going for your blessing. Are you seeking the things of the world. Are you relying on your own understanding. God is calling us to put away deceit and start living like one of his Children. Significantly, Jacob named the place Peniel, which a footnote in my Bible says means "champion of God."

Friday, January 2, 2009

Sunday Jan 4, 2009 at SBWC

From my pastor, Len Harper at South Brandon Worship Center:

"I am who God says I am!" - 01/04/2009

As we begin the New Year 2009, I want to thank you for the opportunity that you have given me as your Pastor. Thank you for your friendship and for all the support you’ve shown me and my family throughout my 11 years serving you – it has truly been a joy! I look forward to ministering along side of you again in 2009! I want to challenge you for this New Year 2009: Be faithful to worship each Sunday (Step 1: Worship God). Join a Family Group (Step 2: Grow in Family Groups). Change lives (Step 3: Serve Our World!). Follow these 3 Steps and you will have a great year in 2009!

January 4 (Sun. 9:15 & 10:45) New Message Series Begins! “I am who God says I am!” Your identity in Christ!