Archive for July, 2008

In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you (1 Thess 5:18 )

Bro. Doug alerted me to this story about Christopher Laurie, the son of Pastor Greg Laurie, dying in a car crash lsat Thursday. When I watched the video below, I had to repent of my ungratefulness and my murmurings. Tears fell from my eyes and I really had to look at my life and give thanks for what I have. Yes my children can be annoying sometimes and they are always arguing and they get on my nerves……but they are alive. I think about the quality time that I have with them and how fortunate I am to see them regularly even though they do not live with me. I think about the little things like playing football in the park, attending a sports day, seeing my daughter horse riding. How can I not thank God for what he has given me. They are healthy, I have a good job and friends and family who love me.

I hope this video which he did on sunday will serve its purpose in letting us know that we all have an appointment with death which we cannot avoid unless Christ returns and we need to prepare while we still have time

Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the LORD (Job 1:21)

In addition to his parents, Christopher is survived by his wife, Brittany, and daughter, Stella, as well as his brother Jonathan. Christopher and his wife are expecting another daughter in November.

Please pray for the Laurie family.

Related Posts:

Why does God allow evil?

Why does God allow evil? – Part 2

Why does God allow evil? – Part 3: Pain and Suffering

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Its always encouraging to hear from those who have come out of deception and whose eyes have been opened. Like Victoria, I have a friend who believes in some of the prosperity gospel but never questions why they never have enough money, even after sowing a seed or why they may get sick sometimes. Another one of my friends became a victim and left the faith after getting discouraged that it didnt seem to work and life wasnt getting better for him.

Below is Victoria’s testimony which I hope will help those who are being deceived by false teachers to read the bibles for themselves and be a Berean (Acts 17:11).

“When I decided to follow Jesus Christ a few years ago shortly after my second child was born, I could not find any Bible in our house. I knew I had an old Roman Catholic Bible I had used in high school but I could not find it anywhere.

So, I embarked on what I thought was the next best thing. I went to the library and got stacks of books about being a Christian, daily devotionals, and various guides to Christian living.

I was making my way through some of the books when I hit the jackpot: I found a whole cable TV channel (we had cable TV back then) full of nothing but Christian preaching!

This was so exciting! Dynamic and personable preachers, male and female, gave stirring, interesting and even gripping sermons. It was wonderful.

Wow! Being a Christian was going to be even better than I thought. Not only was I going to live eternally with Jesus but even here on earth I was guaranteed freedom from sickness, poverty and unhappiness.

What a relief it was to know that just by meditating on certain Bible verses, training my mind to never FEEL afraid or sick and giving freely of my money for the advancement of God’s kingdom, I would live a victorious Christian life.

I started listening to audio sermons and reading books by the engaging preachers I was watching on TV.

Uh-oh. A few problems started creeping up. First of all, my methods were not working. I still got sick sometimes, our financial situation actually worsened and I was very frustrated with my inability to make the whole “Christian thing” work properly for me.

Secondly, I started to feel uncomfortable with my role in my new Christian life. How was it any different from the New Age beliefs and self-help practices I felt God had rescued me from when I turned to him and gave my life to him? I kept wrestling with “If God is in charge, what is my role in all of this?” Finally, one morning on getting into the shower, I begged God to show me if he was supposed to be in control or if I was to take charge.

The Lord answered my prayer by leading me to go and buy a Bible.

I started a reading the Bible.

I was shocked by what I found in the Bible.

What is this? Great men of God like Paul and Stephen suffered tremendously here on earth in very real and physical ways even to the death? Jesus himself was poor? God poured out his blessings on this guy named Job even after he allowed to him suffer? God says that not only does he control the wind and the rain but everything that we say and do? Jesus said that no one can come to him unless the Father draw him?

I was so confused. I needed answers. I went back to the websites and books of the preachers I had come to know and love to try to resolve my crisis.

The facts I learned were very interesting. Job was afflicted because he allowed himself to fear. John the Baptist was beheaded because he did not fully believe in Jesus. Jesus was not poor. God did remove the thorn in Paul’s side but most traditional Christians just misinterpret that part of Scripture.

Then a most amazing thing happened. Peace. All my confusion was most suddenly lifted. I had been deceived and God’s word is what convinced me of this and convicted me of my sin of rushing headlong into a convenient Christianity.

How I praise God for the power of his Word, the Bible, and his graciousness to rescue me from false teachings and open my eyes to truth.

What a blessed Lord I serve!

Now you understand my burden to help other moms find the Truth for themselves. My prayer is that Moms who are well-versed in biblical Truth may serve as beacons of truth and light for all moms.

I feel particulary blessed that God has entrusted me with part of this task.

Won’t you join me?

Please comments about what God has done and is doing in your life.”

Related Post

Coming out of deception


Just under two weeks now until the Unashamed Tour in the UK and I’m looking forward to it. My hope is that ‘After the Music Stops’ that young people (and older) will have fellowship, prayer, disciples and will open their bibles. I know some people cannot get down with hip hop in any form and thats understandable, especially if that is not the culture that you have been bought up in but lately, that is the only christian music that I have been listening to, because of its theological lyrics and its teachings through those very same lyrics. In my opinion, the nature of hip hop can say and teach a lot more than a lot of other genres of christian music but hey, thats just me

Anyway here are a few videos from those who will be performing

Sho Baraka – Higher Love

116 Clique Compilation Video

116’s Album 13 Letters is a album which basically go through Pauls epistles. Here is one of the songs talking about the book of Phillipians. If you find it hard to follow what Trip Lee is saying in the song below, you can read the lyrics after the video

Trip Lee- To Live Is Christ

Verse 1:
Brethren listen to this exposition
Paul wrote the Philippians some lessons for living (1:1)
Written to them but its real good text for Christians
So read it closely, I hope we can catch the vision
Chapter 1 he tells them he’s blessed to get them
Co-laboring with him to serve the best who’s risen (1:5, 7)
And that’s he’s confident the Lord will perfect in Christians
What He started and hearts will be corrected in them (1:6)
Listen, he was in prison now maybe never getting out
But all he could think about was the gospel getting out (1:12-14)
Some was even preaching Christ from selfish motives
Coming at Paul but dawg he shrugged his shoulders (1:15-18 )
His focus was Christ the Messiah man (1:19)
And for Him “to live is Christ and to die was gain” (1:20,21)
Yeah, he was hard pressed, but to remain in the flesh
Was more necessary so they faith would progress (1:22-24)
He wanted them to strive together for the gospel
In one spirit, one mind, listen to the apostle (1:27)
Maintain the same love, uplift your brothers
Don’t just look out for yourself, but for the interests of others (2:2-4)

Hook:
Our life is nothing, but Christ is all (1:21)
So conduct yourselves worthy of His righteous call (1:27)
(Repeat 4X)

Verse 2:
Chapter 2: Let’s examine five through eleven
The blessed lamb who resided in the Heavens (2:6)
Said forget the wealth and emptied Himself
Came as a man and died for the brethren (2:7,8 )
Ultimate obedience, he died on the cross and (2:8 )
Through His humility Christ was exalted (2:9)
Glory to the Father (2:11), now we should have
That same attitude Christ Jesus had (2:5)
And on to verse twelve work out your salvation (2:12)
The Father works in us in this process of saving (2:13)
Avoid dispute and prove yourself blameless
Children of God in a perverse generation (2:14,15)
Cling to the bible, humility is vital
We see it in lives of Paul and his disciples (2:17-30)
Serving him like father (2:22), some fellow soldiers (2:25)
Let us rejoice, unite, and rep Jehovah

Hook

Verse 3:
Chapter 3: rejoice in the Lord we serve (3:1)
And forget about the flesh we nothing more than dirt (3:3)
Man if anyone could brag bout they status it was Paul
But to him it was trash it and he counted it as lost
For the sake of the Christ, ’cause He gave us life (3:4-7)
Not through anything we did but through faith in Christ (3:9)
We righteous in the eyes of the Lord’s that’s blessing
Conformed to His death and His resurrection (3:9-10)
Brethren, I don’t claim to have attained perfection’s
What he said but was reaching to what lies ahead (3:12-13)
And encouraged the Philippians to model what he said (3:15)
And not to walk in the flesh cause that walk is dead (3:17-19)
But we citizens of Heaven who eagerly wait for
The one that we rest in Jesus our Savior (3:20)
That’s who the Lord is and He will surely
Transform our bodies in future glory (3:21)

Hook

Verse 4:
Chapter 4: he closes encouraging with words
In unity and harmony for those within the church (4:1-3)
Rejoice in the Lord, bro our hopes in Him first (4:4)
Let our thanks and our problems be known to Him first (4:6)
Embrace the peace of God, you can bet on that (4:7)
And whatever is good let your mind dwell on that (4:8 )
Then he thanked them again, for they gifts and concern (4:10)
But no matter what to be content he had learned (4:11-12)
Plus he was sure that he could do all things
Through Him who gave strength and can do all things (4:13)
And he told them they did well sharing through all pain (4:14)
And made sure they knew he sure he wasn’t trying to get more change (4:15-18 )
God will supply all they needs he hoped they might see this
According to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus (4:19)
The truth of Philippians I hope it hit you
And may the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with you (4:23)
I hope you like what you heard with me rapping these verses
But don’t get it twisted, we just scratching the surface
There’s more to be learned than this rap is saying
So read it, live it, learn it like the back of your hand

Hook

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Theology: The Hip Hop way

A Treat for you Holy Hip Hop Heads

I’m off to see Lecrae tonight

Taken from the Church Mafia website

“Boy, Steve sure is touchy today,” the pastor commented to his youth minister. “I only asked him if he’d be at the revival meeting tonight, but he just stared at me and never said a word. Maybe Steve’s one of those guys who thinks revival is for everyone else!”

“Well, pastor,” the youth minister answered, “Steve has been rather busy lately, what with the new junior high Sunday School class, his work on the building committee, and choir rehearsals. Plus, his wife just had a baby, remember?”

“Well, I guess we’re all busy, aren’t we,” the pastor replied sarcastically. “You’d better remind Steve that all Sunday School teachers are required to attend the revival as a good witness to their class members. Be sure to tell him, huh?”

Church volunteer burnout is a major problem throughout the Christian community, and it seems to be growing. Are church volunteers just getting more lazy and irresponsible, as implied by the pastor in the scenario, or is there really something to burnout?

WHAT BURNOUT REALLY IS

Everyone gets tired once in awhile from hard work, daily stresses and strains, and plain getting older, but a little rest is all that’s generally needed to recharge our battery. Burnout is a different phenomenon altogether, however. It makes us feel tired and lethargic even after prolonged rest.

More psychological and emotional, rather than physical, burnout results from prolonged stress, overextension, and hurriedness. The nervous system gets stretched until it loses its resiliency and renewal capacity. The burnout victim finds it more and more difficult to snap back from hard work, to “get up” for challenges, and to adequately rest. Then the “blahs” set in (the so what? feeling) even in the absence of hard work and stress.

That’s when you know you’re suffering from burnout. You’re tired all the time even though you haven’t done much of anything. You feel like withdrawing, even from activities previously relished. Before long you start to feel worthless.

A PORTRAIT OF BURNOUT

Let’s see how Sunday School teacher, committee leader, choir member, new father Steve (from our opening scenario) burned himself out. For starters, he didn’t fully anticipate the challenge and difficulty of ministering to junior high kids. In fact, he had to push himself most Sunday mornings to go to class. He thought that singing in the choir would be fun but hadn’t reckoned on all the rehearsal time, special performances (such as every night of the revival), and his need to practice at home.

Steve joined the building committee thinking he could help supervise the grounds maintenance crew. Instead he wound up mowing the grass himself. And the building committee wasn’t always one big happy family, especially when it came time to discuss the annual facilities budget.

Steve felt guilty whenever he missed a church function, like the Sunday night his new daughter was born and the church had its annual anniversary pot luck supper. Eight people asked him where he’d been, and Steve couldn’t determine if they truly cared about him or were checking up on him. Feeling that way made him feel even more guilty.

While Steve’s wife, and junior high helper, recouped from the birth of their fourth child, Steve tried to find a temporary helper to fill in. Three people said working with junior high “wasn’t their thing.” Two wanted to “pray about it,” and the one guy who promised to help out “for a little while” never showed up.

Steve’s recent job promotion didn’t help matters either, because now he’s on the road more. But at least the modest pay increase would ease the financial expense of his new daughter.

When the youth minister finally corralled Steve about his “duty and responsibility” to attend every night of the revival, Steve didn’t get mad, he just went limp and started thinking about the “small, simple” church his family used to belong to and how nice it would be to return.

Steve’s trying experience is all too familiar to a growing number of conscientious Christians today who unknowingly fit the burnout syndrome to a “T”.

THE ROAD TO BURNOUT

  • Overcommitment (always in motion);
  • Inadequate breaks and rest (continuous ministry involvement);
  • Idealistic standards;
  • Constant low-grade stress (occasionally interrupted by crisis!)
  • Lack of help and assistance;
  • Chronic fatigue from pushing oneself (”hitting the wall”);
  • Strong sense of responsibility, even when others “dropped the ball”;
  • Guilty feelings about missing church events/activities;
  • Heavy job and family responsibilities/expectations;
  • Inability (or strong reluctance) to say no.

BURNOUT REALITY ORIENTATION

Burnout happens to nice guys—to the dedicated, loyal, idealist church member who wants to make a difference. That’s the problem: this all-out commitment drives some Christians to take on too much, too soon, too often. They overlook their heavy non-church responsibilities at home and on the job.

Constant challenge and activity carries stress in its wake—”getting up” for ministry activity, putting out brush fires, coping with diverse personalities, making do with scarce resources. And don’t forget the strings attached to becoming a ministry leader: visitation, showing up every time the church doors are open, maintaining an exemplary witness at all times, attending (seemingly endless) meetings.

Sometimes the pastor and staff get a bit out of touch with grass roots volunteer busyness. They’re so busy (and under-appreciated) themselves, chronic overcommitment is simply a way of life. The idling majority of the congregation conveniently assumes that “everything is running smoothly, so our help isn’t really needed.” Others, not so naïve, know the tremendous sacrifice required of ministry involvement and want no part of it.

A STRATEGY FOR AVOIDING BURNOUT

It’s easier to avoid burnout in the first place than it is to overcome it. Here are 10 do-able strategies for escaping its clutches:

  • Rest, relax, recreate, renew. It’s God’s way of sustaining us for the long haul.
  • Pray for your ministry responsibilities. Let God perform the work, using His infinite strength and perfect wisdom.
  • Give something up before taking on a new commitment or responsibility. Don’t keep “adding floors” onto your already towering skyscraper of activities.
  • Learn to say no and to set up reasonable boundaries around your involvement. Specify the help you’ll need and the constraints on your time.
  • Set priorities and consult with your family. Church work occupies an essential role in our lives but must never take priority over family. Look for ways to team up with your spouse in ministry activities. Be willing to occasionally say no to low priority church activities when they conflict with quality family time.
  • Get away from it all on a regular basis through hobbies, recreation, short-ministry “sabbaticals,” and sometimes just being a couch potato.
  • Listen to your body’s stress warning signals, such as headaches, backaches, dizziness, insomnia, and unexplainable fatigue.
  • Cut out the hurry and worry. Stress is the natural byproduct of trying to stuff 10 pounds of potatoes into a 5 pound bag. Do only what you reasonably can in the time available and with the resources available.
  • Keep those to whom you relate informed of your changing commitments and priorities. Stay away from guilt trips.
  • Emphasize grace over works. We don’t earn God’s blessings by the amount of church work we do. He wants us to lead healthy, balanced lives where ministry service is a joy and source of deep personal fulfillment. In the absence of such joy, ministry turns into burden and burnout.

Jesus knew of the burden of burnout. His words in Matthew 11:20, 30 are extremely comforting: “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest…For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Our solution to burnout? “Take my joke upon you, and learn of me…Ye shall find rest unto your souls.”

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The Church Mafia – Spiritual abuse in our churches

The Church Mafia – Spiritual abuse in our churches – A Testimony

Spiritual Abuse – Don’t Suffer in Silence

A victim of the Church Mafia needs help

The signs of an abusive church

Thankyou from Tara and from me

Is it possible to understand the gospel message, have strong religious convictions, serve in a Bible-believing church, and be convinced you have a saving relationship with God, and yet still not get into heaven when you die? The Bible couldn’t be any clearer on the answer. Yes, many people will one day stand before God and be shocked as they hear Him say, “I never knew you; depart from Me.”

Part 1

Part 2

Related Posts:

Saved or Self-Deceived?

How do you know that you are saved?

Q. What do false teachers feed on?

A. Your ignorance of God’s word

I read this on another blog and I could not agree more. In these last days, there is so much deception and the only way you will be able to discern what is false from what is true is spending time in the word, knowing how to interpret it rightly and using the bible as your sole manual and not some slick preacher. The videos below are a MUST listen. I pray that those people who follow the teachers mentioned in the video will really take stock of what Justin says but more importantly, check out what Justin says with scripture and you will find that these teachers are preaching another gospel.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. (2 Timothy 4:3,4)

A Call for Discernment – Justin Peters Pt 1

A Call for Discernment – Justin Peters Pt 2

A Call for Discernment – Justin Peters Pt 3

A Call for Discernment – Justin Peters Pt 4

HT: I’m Speaking Truth

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Justin Peters ‘Wrong To Name Names on Revelation TV

I posted a segment of this sermon here. Below is a sermon where Paul Washer talks to an audience including some reformed rappers