"Oh to Grace how great a debtor
daily I'm constrained to be.
Let thy goodness, like a fetter
bind my wandering heart to Thee!"

Wednesday, January 30, 2008


I have so many comments on this video I don't even know where to start. I might not even start. I might just stop and let the video speak for itself. But the sad thing is, if I don't say something then the people who watch this are left to their own discernment. And sound discernment these days is almost nonexistent among evangelicalism. I don't cringe when I think about my Christian brothers and sisters who might watch this because I know they will compare it to the scriptures and throw it out. I cringe when I think about all the people who will take anything and everything Rick Warren says and believe it all just because he has written a popular book and says things in the name of the Lord. My friends, when we are guided by the Holy Spirit and we see something like this displayed, our discernment starts kicking in and we are repulsed by the 1) failure to give an account of the true Gospel of Jesus Christ 2) flippant talk about a God who should be both revered and feared for His holiness 3) an almost "universalistic" approach that God loves everyone for who they are, simply tickling the ears of millions of spiritually unreconciled sinners 4) a disdain for anyone who stands for objective truth and doesn't waver with every wind of doctrine (deemed fundamentalists who don't listen). My friends, this guy is dangerous. I mean, whoa. I realize that me saying this makes me part of a very unpopular, small few of people who, by the Grace of God, will not tolerate the watering down of the true Gospel. The bottom line is the true Gospel is a stumbling block for those who refuse to repent of their sins and trust in Jesus Christ. It is a stumbling block for those who choose to live for the ways of the world and do not deny themselves. Rick Warren can try and water it down all he wants and make it so the stumbling block becomes a circus, but he cannot rewrite the Word of God. This just encourages me to read and study the ENTIRE counsel of God so much more because I know that so many people are out there perverting it like this. If what Rick Warren says is true, we serve a God that can be won over with cotton candy and lolly pops, as he simply smiles down at all our iniquities that are leading us to death? I'm sorry, but I don't believe that...that is not the God of the Bible...period. And you can call me whatever you want, but that is perversion of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Please, can we wake up to this incredible danger that is right in front of our eyes? I say this in love....love for the brethren and love for the lost souls. Both of us need to be fed the unadulterated Word of God, so it needs to be preached that way. I pray the Lord will let Romans 1:16 reign true in our lives: "For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believes."

Jeremiah 6:13-16

For from the least of them even unto the greatest of them everyone is given to covetousness; and from the prophet even unto the priest everyone deals falsely. They have healed also the hurt of the daughter of my people lightly, saying, Peace, peace; when there is no peace. Were they ashamed when they had committed abomination? nay, they were not at all ashamed, neither could they blush: therefore they shall fall among them that fall: at the time that I punish them they shall be cast down, says the LORD. Thus says the LORD, Stand you in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where the good way is, and walk in it, and you shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk in it.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Be Still, My Soul

My friend and sister in Christ sent me this hymn this morning and I wanted to share it with you guys. I pray that it will be a blessing to you as much as it was for me today.

Be Still, My Soul

Be still, my soul: the Lord is on your side;
bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
leave to your God to order and provide;
in every change he faithful will remain;
Be still, my soul: your best, your heav'nly Friend
through thorny ways leads to a joyful end.

Be still, my soul: your God will undertake
to guide the future as he has the past.
Your hope, you confidence let nothing shake;
all now mysterious shall be bright at last.
Be still, my soul; the waves and winds still know
his voice who ruled them while he was below.

Be still, my soul: when dearest friends depart,
and all is darkened in the vale of tears,
then shall you better know his love, his heart,
who comes to soothe your sorrows and your fears,
Be still, my soul, your Jesus can repay
from his own fullness all he takes away.

Be still, my soul: the hour is hastening on
when we shall be forever with the Lord,
when disappointment, grief and fear are gone,
sorrow forgot, love's purest joys restored.
Be still, my soul: when change and tears are past,
all safe and blessed we shall meet at last.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Have You Been Deceived by the Milky Way?

What enemy has slowly and seductively crept into the church? Here is a great word from Pastor Jeff Noblit regarding the condemnation for any attempt to go deeper in the Doctrines of Christ:

After you watch that clip you are probably going to want to hear the entire message...so here you go my friends! Its a two part sermon:

Test yourself...are you glorying in shallowness?

Seriously, I remember around July of last year or so when I was really going through a lot of stuff spiritually as the Lord really began to draw me unto Himself. The more I learned about Jesus, the more I saw how much I had missed the mark all my life when it comes to knowing what it means to be a true follower of Christ. I was so blinded by cultural Christianity that I failed to see the truths of the doctrines of Christ found in the Bible that were waiting to set me free from my bondage. But at the time I was facing some opposition from some people around me and I didn't understand why. And then one of my friends sent me this sermon at the time, and wow, what an encouragement it was able to be in my life. It explains one of the huge problems in the church today and why "going deeper" is almost a cuss word to some congregations.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fish Out of Water

Even though I have a million and twenty things to do right now I wanted to take the time out to write a quick post. I don’t know if it is going to be a long or short one, or what it is really going to be about in particular…I just know that I need to write something right now in this moment. I am a bit overwhelmed, to put it frankly. Ok, I am extremely overwhelmed. I have a million different things running through my head and if it wasn’t for the Lord and knowledge of His sovereignty over all things I would probably have already gone insane by now. Do you ever have those moments? Well pray for your sister because it is definitely one of those times right now. I guess the only thing I can do at this point is start trying to put these thoughts out on paper (or blog), even if they don’t make much sense…they have to come out. So bear with me as I share my burdens….

1) My best friend and brother in Christ just left not too long ago after visiting me for the weekend. My time with him is so edifying and such a HUGE BLESSING in my life, it is always hard to say goodbye. I don’t always understand why we have to live a 6 hour drive away from each other and it always gets to me a little bit. Do you have those people in your life that were there during the time when the Lord really REALLY started to draw you in? They were the ones that spoke truth to you no matter how hard it was to hear and no matter how much it hurt your pride to hear it. They were the one that loved you enough to go to the Lord on your behalf because your right standing with a holy perfect God was more important than flattering you and feeding you a watered down, feel good version of the truth. They were the ones that God placed in your life during that specific time because He knew that the world would call you crazy….and there stood that person reassuring you with the truth of God’s Word and reminding you that you aren’t the only one that has gone through those tough times. I know, I kind of got carried away a bit, but its true. He was/is that for me and I know that my fellow brothers and sisters can attest to this feeling: anytime you depart from a fellow servant of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, it is hard. Reminds me of Paul’s letters to Timothy. It always was emotional for him to depart his brothers and sisters in Christ and he talks of the many tears shed because of it, and his longing to be with them in person even though the Lord had other plans for him. 2 Timothy 1:3 I thank God, whom I serve from my forefathers with pure conscience, that without ceasing I have remembrance of you in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see you, being mindful of your tears, that I may be filled with joy.

2) I am overwhelmed also because it is 8:30 at night as I write this and I have so many lectures to watch for my two online classes and I have no desire to do it at all. What do you do when the homework has piled up yay high and yet, the only thing you have the desire to do is curl up in bed and read one of the many books written by J. Gresham Machen or John Calvin or Arthur W. Pink that are STARING at you from your bookshelf. Either that or listen to a great sermon or two by Paul Washer or some other edifying broadcast or dive straight into the Word of God to see what nugget of treasure He has for you. But I know that going another night of neglecting my studies will put me so far behind. This just leads to the bigger issue of what the heck am I even studying? There are times when I look around and I kind of feel enslaved to this whole college idea. No, I don’t feel like this ALL the time, and maybe this is just an exaggerated moment because I am feeling so overwhelmed. But there are definitely times when I realize that I have to be careful about who and what I am letting control my life. The more I learn about God, the more in control I want Him to be…this is obvious because His ways are pure and righteous and just flat out waaaay better than mine. And even though I push and pull and fight for my will to be done…God ultimately brings me back to His path. This hurts like crazy a lot of the times as discipline and rebukes are there to meet me, but I am so grateful for it. The Bible says that God’s children don’t shy away from discipline, in fact they want it. You kind of have to be out of your mind to say something like that, which is why you have to be changed into the like-mindedness of Christ in order to know what the Bible means when it says that. This like-mindedness comes through sanctification which is the promise God makes to all who are justified by faith in Him. Sanctification is the process of being made into the image of Christ and it is quite possibly the most grueling and yet joyful process of all time. That is to be another post at another time. But there are times when I look ahead and see two more years of college and want to scream. Why? Because I know that it means that for two more years I will be consumed with the hectic schedule of balancing school and basketball and that a lot of this time will be accompanied by the feeling of, man I want to read a book and watch a sermon, when the circumstances just won’t permit for it. This makes me sad…and thus…overwhelmed. That’s what I get for taking thought for tomorrow. It is a sin…and I need to repent of it because I don’t know what will happen tomorrow…sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof. I just really don’t want to go back to serving the things that God has delivered me from, which included the bondage of living my life for the praise of others and for myself. It was miserable, and I just want to be free from that bondage, and well sometimes I feel like college suffocates me in that sense. I want to be free to follow Christ with all my heart, soul, and mind with no inhibitions holding me back. In a way college brings me those opportunities to do just that and to serve (things that I am so grateful for and wouldn‘t trade anything for), and in another way I still feel the magnitude of the fact that playing a college sport can have such a gripping control of your life. They want your time, energy, passion, heart, soul, life and did I mention time? I can’t just up and do something that regular students can do…and as awesome as that is at times, it is also scary. But I know that the Lord has placed me in this situation for a reason, and it is my duty to do all of this to further His kingdom. And I don’t say that lightly (I used to profess that with my mouth but now the burden of the calling is real.) I thank God for His truths because it is the only thing that can bring true, meaningful, lasting peace.

Ok, I think I am going to stop right there…I could go on and on because there are certainly more things going on in my head. But it comes down to this: I feel like a fish out of water. You ever have those nights where you are so aware that your home is not anywhere on this earth, but rather up in heaven? Wow. I definitely feel like that right now and it is really hard to deal with. It is such a blessing though, it is just hard at the same time. I look around and I want so badly to be up in Heaven with my Maker, even though I know that because of Jesus Christ I can now spend time with Him here on earth too. But seriously, I don’t want to study right now, I want to be in communion with God. I don’t want to do anything really, but bask in His holy presence. And I look around and I don’t see anyone else struggling over this, they seem to be flowing down stream with no problems, and yet here I am…total fish out of water. The truth behind all of this is that I now have a new life in Christ. So every time I feel the old life trying to suck me back in I get really overwhelmed. But then comes the truth that sets me free: I don’t have to serve the lusts of my old life. I now have a new one that delights in the joy that is derived from the Lord and not from the things of this world. The result: whenever I am pulled back into that old life I feel really out of place…like a fish that is plucked from the water. It is not my home and I don’t want to be there. I desire fellowship with Christians who are following after God. Perfectly? Nope. We mess up and we still fall into the traps of the world…but we hate it. We strive against sin and the distractions that are there to bring us back to our old bondage. That doesn’t mean you grow cold and withhold grace from those that are around you, it just means you desire the opposite of what the world has to offer and you don’t compromise. Sweet fellowship with other believers and reaching the lost through the power of the Gospel….that is the essence of a new life with Christ.

And at the same time, I am being convicted heavily of the sin in my life right now and it is also overwhelming. I want so badly to be delivered from this body of death. I am tired of sinning and doing the same stuff over and over again when I know it is not pleasing to the Lord. I am finding myself repenting and being burdened over the same things, and I hate it. It makes me sick. How can you think about school and basketball and all this other stuff when all you want to do is be free from anything worldly that holds you back from sweet, pure communion with our Holy and righteous God? Who I want to be and who I am is not matching up. And I know that is the great dilemma for the Christian who is seeking after the things of the Lord, because we still battle with our old nature that we want so badly to demolish once and for all. God promises to do that for us on the last day, and it is that promise that gets me through the day. I realize that many people would read what I have written and just tell me to lighten up, but the truth is I can’t. The truth is too real in my life to deny it. The calling to be conformed to the image of Christ is too strong. And one thing that the Lord has taught me today is to have a whole new appreciation for His grace. I thank the Lord for it, and I realize now that I cannot function without it. No seriously, I am not saying that flippantly. I cannot function one minute without the grace of God. If it wasn’t for His shedding of blood for those that believe in Him, I don’t know what I would be doing. Well, one thing is for sure I would be ignorant to the greatest gift of all time, and well, for that I am grateful for these struggles. If feeling like a fish out of water is what I have to endure as a result, then so be it. I will endure it with joy my friends. I will consider it pure joy to suffer for His cause; I am so grateful for this gift because I know that I have done absolutely nothing to deserve it. In fact God is revealing so much to me about His grace that Lord willing, I am going to have to write a whole separate post on it soon. Yes, it is simply that amazing. I hate that there was a time in my life when I treated grace like a flu shot. It was like I had it so why bother worrying about it. What a sad thought. I am pretty sure the Lord is allowing me to struggle over these things in my life so that I am even more aware of the grace He has given me. And even more reminded of how amazing my God really is. This post was all over the place, and for that I apologize, but I end it with a prayer:

Lord, please be with your children. Please bring a clarity to our minds and hearts as we live in this world physically, yet have our affections set on the things above. And I pray that anytime we start to feel at home here you will rebuke us, no matter how uncomfortable it is at the time. Comfort in the things of this world has proved to be a slippery slope for me, so please keep me from taking that step. And as we serve you, please help us to balance our earthly duties with our heavenly convictions. Allow time for us to spend all the time with You that is necessary for our souls. Refresh the weary with your faithful promises from Your word as we struggle against the powers and principalities of this world. Thank you for all the many blessings you have given us here in this life, and help us to take none of them for granted, but also remind us of the wretchedness you have saved us from by Your wonderful grace. Though overwhelmed with circumstances I thank You that we are able to take refuge in Your promises. Give us grace and mercy to endure until the end, Lord, and thank you for the joy that comes only from You. Amen.

The Heart of a True Christian (Mark Kielar)

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Christless Christianity

This is a recent program of the White Horse Inn on "Christless Christianity: The American Captivity of the Church." Much of what is trying to pass itself off as Christianity today is not Christianity at all. As B. B. Warfield pointed out, is there really such a thing as Christianity without Jesus Christ?

For more information on White Horse Inn visit: http://www.whitehorseinn.org/

Friday, January 11, 2008

Does God Give a "DoOver?" (Rick Warren vs The Gospel)

Here are some clips by Todd Friel of Way of the Master Radio regarding Rick Warren's Christmas message aired on Fox:

Part 1:

Part 2:

Monday, January 7, 2008

Belonging To Jesus

Here is a great prayer/devotion from the book The Valley of Vision. A friend of mine just gave it to me and I am so excited about sharing from it with you guys from time to time. It is a collection of Puritan prayers and devotions. Here is one that I wept over a couple of nights ago. It defines my (and all my Christian brothers and sisters) struggle with the sanctification process and our mourning over sinning as we struggle to rid ourselves of the sin that dwells within us. Through faith, we now have put on the righteousness of Another, our righteous and holy Savior. With that comes the struggle to put away the old man and all the self-confidence and self-righteousness (that is but filthy rags) that we still insist on clinging to. We still tend to think that we can purify ourselves, but it can't be done my friends. And it is through the awareness of my own revile sin that the Lord humbles me and teaches me, for the millionth time, that salvation from this struggle cannot and will not ever come from me, but instead from the grace and power and working of the Spirit. Amen.
Also, this particular one hit home as I know what it is like to see Christ 'in reason' and not be amazed. I spent the majority of my life in that state. It wasn't until Christ revealed Himself to me, IN FAITH, that I was able to be so taken by Him that I am incapable, because of His grace, to ever EVER look back again.

O Heavenly Father,
Teach me to see
that if Christ has pacified thee and satisfied divine justice
he can also deliver me from my sins;
that Christ does not desire me, now justified,
to live in self-confidence in my own strength,
but gives me the law of the Spirit of life
to enable me to obey thee;
that the Spirit and His power are mine
by resting on Christ's death;
that the Spirit of Life within answers to the law without;
that if I sin not I should thank thee for it;
that if I sin I should be humbled daily under it;
that I should mourn for sin more than other men do,
for when I see I shall die because of sin,
that makes me mourn;
when I see how sin strikes at thee,
that makes me mourn;
when I see that sin caused Christ's death,
that makes me mourn;
that sanctification is the evidence of reconciliation,
proving that faith has truly apprehended Christ;
Thou has taught me
that faith is nothing else than receiving thy kindness;
that it is an adherence to Christ, a resting on him,
love clinging to him as a branch to the tree,
to seek life and vigour from him.
I thank thee for showing me the vast difference
between knowing things by reason,
and knowing them by the spirit of faith.
By reason I see a thing is so; by faith I know it as it is.
I have seen thee by reason and have not been amazed,
I have seen thee as thou art in thy Son
and have been ravished to behold thee.
I bless thee that I am thine in my Saviour, Jesus.