Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas!

I hope you enjoy the celebrations and a Merry Christmas to all out there!

ISAIAH 9:6-7

6) For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

7) Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

A Strong Public Faith Exhibited In A Secular Arena

Amazing how some football players can dance on the field--and no one gets offended. Another player wildly throws up his arms and trashes about with exhilaration-- and no one gets offend. Yet one player bends his knees to the Almighty God and offers thanks and praise--- and some do get offended. Tim Tebow is not dissuaded by public criticism of his belief in Jesus Christ. Hat's off to Mr.Tebow.

By the Book: Love him or hate him, Tim Tebow’s faith can’t be ignored
Anniston Star --by Anthony Cook

If there was a guy who always tried to do the right thing, and who avoided trouble, and gave selflessly to charities, and who spent much of his spare time helping others, and who was humble and polite, would you love him or hate him?

Throw in a considerable amount of athleticism and a healthy dose of leadership ability, and that guy is Tim Tebow.

Ironically, though, Tebow is one of the most loved and most hated sports figures in America.

On the off chance you don’t know who he is, Tebow was the 2007 Heisman trophy-winning quarter back for the Florida Gators, and he’s now the starting QB for the Denver Broncos.

He skyrocketed to prominence four seasons ago when, following a Florida loss to Ole Miss, Tebow, the starting quarterback, promised the college football world with clear conviction that no one would be more determined or work harder than him and his team the rest of the season.

The Gators didn’t lose another game, and went on to win the national championship with Tebow at the helm.

While many were inspired by his determination, others, particularly those in the media, were turned off when it became more and more apparent that Tebow’s passion and drive were rooted in his faith in Christ.

What bugs people so much?

Click here to read this article in entirety.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Redefining Christmas--2011

I typically "rant" this time of year about how a trend towards redefining Christmas continues to develop. This year will be no different.

Recently, a local television station in our area took a poll on whether business and establishments should say "Merry Christmas" or say "Happy Holidays". The same "dilemma" goes for circulars and publications from such organizations (usually peddling products).

I myself, do not celebrate "Ramadan". Nor Hanukkah. I do however, celebrate Christmas--a remembrance and celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ. I also appreciate the traditions surrounding it: good will towards others, cheer, lights, and even a cup of eggnog.

One participant in the survey exclaimed something to the effect "We need to include all celebrations, therefore we should say "Happy Holidays". This is the typical sentiment with those uncomfortable with Christ in Christmas.

For those celebrating Hanukkah, I would not insist you redefine the name of your holiday to fit my beliefs. I will pray you come to the knowledge of Jesus of Christ, but would I insist you redefine your holiday? No. Nor would I do so for Ramadan, or any other non-Christian holiday.

Christmas is a Christian holiday. If you do not like the Christ in it, how is it you feel you should redefine something others hold so dear?

John 1:1-10
1) In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
2) He was in the beginning with God.
3) All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.
4) In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
5) And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend it.
6) There was a man sent from God, whose name was John.
7) This man came for a witness, to bear witness of the Light, that all through him might believe.
8) He was not that Light, but was sent to bear witness of that Light.
9) That was the true Light which gives light to every man coming into the world.
10) He was in the world, and the world was made through Him, and the world did not know Him.
11) He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Thanksgiving Day-2011!

Ah, yes--that wonderful delicious meal you have come to expect every year! I hope everyone reading this has a wonderful Thanksgiving Day!

And if you feel like you do not have anything to be thankful for, and your life has dealt you some serious blows as it has done me---there is something you can always be thankful for... Jesus Christ, our Savior. Through Him we can be forever reconciled with God;l and because of Him, I have eternal life with Him.

Romans 5:7-9

7) Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die.
8) But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9) Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God’s wrath through him!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Grady Calls For A Charismatic Reformation

*Lee Grady brings up some good points in this article I read recently via email through Andrew Strom’s ministry.

-J. Lee Grady.

In honor of Reformation Day, here are some complaints I’m nailing on the Wittenberg door.

Long before there was an Occupy Wall Street, Martin Luther staged the most important protest in history. He was upset because Roman Catholic officials were promising people forgiveness or early escape from purgatory in exchange for money. So on October 31, 1517, Luther nailed a long list of complaints on the door of a church in Wittenberg, Germany.

Luther’s famous 95 theses were translated from Latin into German and spread abroad. Like a medieval Jeremiah, Luther dared to ask questions that had never been asked, and he challenged a pope who was supposedly infallible. Through this brave monk, the Holy Spirit sparked the Protestant Reformation and restored the doctrine of grace to a church that had become corrupt, religious, dysfunctional, political and spiritually dead.

I am no Luther, but I’ve grown increasingly aware that the so-called “Spirit-filled” church of today struggles with many of the same things the Catholic church faced in the 1500s. We don’t have “indulgences”—we have telethons. We don’t have popes—we have super-apostles. We don’t support an untouchable priesthood—we throw our money at celebrity evangelists who own fleets of private jets.

In honor of Reformation Day, I’m offering my own list of needed reforms in our movement. And since I can’t hammer these on the Wittenberg door, I’ll post them online. Feel free to nail them everywhere.

1. Let’s reform our theology. The Holy Spirit is the third person of the Trinity. He is God and He is holy. He is not an “it.” He is not a blob, a force, or an innate power. We must stop manipulating Him, commanding Him and throwing Him around.

2. Let’s return to the Bible. The Word of God is the foundation for the Christian experience. Any dramatic experience, no matter how spiritual it seems, must be tested by the Word and the Holy Spirit’s discernment. Visions, dreams, prophecies and encounters with angels must be in line with Scripture. If we don’t test them we could end up spreading deception.

3. It’s time for personal responsibility. We charismatics must stop blaming everything on demons. People are usually the problem.

4. Stop playing games. Spiritual warfare is a reality, but we are not going to win the world to Jesus just by shouting at demonic principalities. We must pray, preach and persevere to see ultimate victory.

5. Stop the foolishness. People who hit, slap or push others during prayer should be asked to sit down until they learn gentleness is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

6. End all spiritual extortion now. Christian television ministries must cease and desist from all manipulative fundraising tactics. We must stop giving platforms to ministers who make outlandish claims of supernatural financial returns, especially when Scripture is twisted, deadlines are imposed and the poor are exploited.

7. No more Lone Rangers. Those who claim to be ministers of God—whether they are traveling evangelists, local pastors or heads of ministries—must be accountable to other leaders. Any who refuse to submit their lives to godly discipline should be corrected.

8. Expose the creeps. Churches should start doing background checks on traveling ministers. Preachers who have been hiding criminal records, lying about their past marriages, preying on women or refusing to pay child support should be exposed as charlatans and shunned if they do not repent.

9. Stop faking the anointing. God is God, and He does not need our “help” to manifest Himself. That means we don’t sprinkle glitter on ourselves to suggest God’s glory is with us, hide fake jewels on the floor to prove we are anointed or pull chicken feathers out of our sleeves to pretend angels are in the room. This is lying to the Holy Spirit.

10. Let’s return to purity. We’ve had enough scandals. The charismatic church must develop a system for the restoration of fallen ministers. Those who fall morally can be restored, but they must be willing to submit to a process of healing rather than rushing immediately back into the pulpit.

11. We need humility. Ministers who demand celebrity treatment, require lavish salaries, insist on titles or exhibit aloofness from others are guilty of spiritual pride.

12. No more big shots. Apostles are the bondslaves of Christ, and should be the most impeccable models of humility. True apostles do not wield top-down, hierarchical authority over the church. They serve the church from the bottom up as true servants.

13. Never promote gifts at the expense of character. Those who operate in prophecy, healing and miracles must also exhibit the fruit of the Spirit. And while we continue to encourage the gift of tongues, let’s make sure we don’t treat it like some kind of badge of superiority. The world needs to see our love, not our glossolalia.

14. Hold the prophets accountable. Those who refuse to take responsibility for inaccurate statements should not be given platforms. And “prophets” who live immoral lives don’t deserve a public voice.

15. Let’s make the main thing the main thing. The purpose of the Holy Spirit’s anointing is to empower us to reach others. We are at a crossroads today: Either we continue off-course, entertained by our charismatic sideshows, or we throw ourselves into evangelism, church planting, missions, discipleship, and compassionate ministry that helps the poor and fights injustice. Churches that embrace this New Reformation will focus on God’s priorities.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Attacks On Nigerian Christian Churches

150 Killed In Attack On Nigeria Churches
By BosNewsLife Africa Service

ABUJA, NIGERIA (BosNewsLife)-- Islamic militants shouting "Allahu Akbar", or 'Allah is great', carried out coordinated gun and bomb attacks on churches and police stations in northern Nigeria, killing at least 150 people and injuring some 100 others, aid workers and witnesses confirmed Saturday, November 5.

Militant group Boko Haram, or 'Western education is a sin', claimed responsibility for what Nigeria's President leader Goodluck Jonathan described as a "heinous" violence in mainly Damaturu, capital of Yobe state.

Confirmation of the attacks Saturday, November 5, came as frightened mourners tried to leave their homes to begin burying their dead.

Boko Haram, which seeks strict implementation of Shariah, or Islamic law, across the nation of more than 160 million people, pledged more attacks.

The Red Cross aid group and witnesses said fighting began Friday, November 4, around Damaturu, when a car bomb exploded outside a three-story building used as a military office and barracks, with many uniformed security agents dying in the blasts.

Lieutenant Colonel Hassan Mohammed told reporters that the "suicide" attackers, driving a black sports utility vehicle, detonated their explosives near the gate of the building, used by the Joint Task Force (JTF), the military unit deployed to curb violence there.


Several other police stations, a bank and up to six churches were also attacked, residents and aid workers said. Among areas targeted by militants was the Jerusalem area, a predominantly Christian neighborhood, according to witnesses.

One resident, Isa Jakusko, was quoted by French News Agency AFP as saying that city had been thrown into chaos. “There have been several bomb explosions and shooting. As I am talking to you there is still fire exchanges between the attackers and security personnel with the attackers shouting ‘Allahu Akbar’,” he reportedly said.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Trend: Catholics Disent From Teachings

1) For the law having a shadow of good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with those sacrifices which they offered year by year continually make the comers thereunto perfect.
2) For then would they not have ceased to be offered? because that the worshipers once purged should have had no more conscience of sins.
3) But in those sacrifices there is a remembrance again made of sins every year.
4) For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and of goats should take away sins.
5) Wherefore when he cometh into the world, he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me:
6) In burnt offerings and sacrifices for sin thou hast had no pleasure.
7) Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me,) to do thy will, O God.
8) Above when he said, Sacrifice and offering and burnt offerings and offering for sin thou wouldest not, neither hadst pleasure therein ; which are offered by the law;
9) Then said he, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God. He taketh away the first, that he may establish the second.
10) By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11) And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins:
12) But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins forever, sat down on the right hand of God;
13) From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool.
14) For by one offering he hath perfected forever them that are sanctified.
15) Whereof the Holy Ghost also is a witness to us: for after that he had said before,
16) This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them;
17) And their sins and iniquities will I remember no more.
18) Now where remission of these is, there is no more offering for sin.
19) Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,
20) By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;
21) And having a high priest over the house of God;
22) Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

An article below concerning a trend of Catholics moving away from teachings in their church. It is imperative people realize Christ is the way--the only way to salvation and eternal life. No church denomination can save you, Mary cannot save you, Joseph cannot save you, a priest cannot save you, how many people you feed cannot save. Jesus Christ is the only way!

New survey finds US Catholics distant from Church teachings, sacraments
Catholic World News

A new survey of American Catholics finds that most are comfortable with their faith, but not with the teachings of the Church.

An overwhelming 86% of those surveyed said that “you can disagree with aspects of church teachings and still remain loyal to the church.” That attitude was underlined by responses to individual questions, as only about one-third attended Mass weekly and accepted the teaching authority of the Church.

“It’s the core creedal sacramental issues that really matter to American Catholics, more than the external trappings of church authority,” said Michele Dillon, a co-author of the survey report. But if doctrinal teachings are dismissed as “external trappings,” the study finds a lukewarm interest in Catholic sacramental life. Nearly half of the respondents (47%) reported attending Mass less than once a month, and only 63% said that the sacramental life is very important. In fact only 73% thought that the Resurrection was important to their faith.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Getting Back To The Gospel in The US

Oh what a great message below! This was received via email by Andrew Strom's ministry.

-Michael Carl.

'Have you ever wondered how we can have million dollar church buildings and pack-in huge crowds on Sunday, but have no power in our witness? Do you wonder how about half of the people in this country claim to have had a born again experience and how the churches are having so little of an impact? Have you been amazed at the fact that American society is becoming increasingly antagonistic to the church.

How can this be?

The answer seems to be that it's because the pastors in the pulpits have sold out to the 'Seeker Sensitive' movement. We've opted for programs, lights, smoke machines, stage props, and the prosperity Gospel.

Pastors preach the Gospel of Self-Fulfillment and talk about how we're destined to reign. Our pulpits echo with: 'God wants you to be happy' and 'You can have your best life now'. We have major tele-preachers holding 'camp meetings' where the 'preacher' shouts, 'Let's celebrate you!'

I heard a preacher say once that if you have trials in your life, then you don't have enough faith. What a ludicrous statement and how utterly un-Biblical!

Paul had more faith than most of us and he never stopped going through trials. We talk faith and prosperity while the church around the world grows in not merely number, but in depth and maturity. They see miracles and God's power; they sense His presence.

How? They've learned to persevere through trials. A Charismatic Episcopal Church Bishop in Pakistan had a Muslim slit his throat, throw him off of a bus and leave him for dead just because the Bishop was a Christian. But the Bishop's ministry grows and he sees the fruit.

Christians in other parts of the world weep for revival in the American church. What does that say about us?

It means that we are weak and self-absorbed.

I heard another television preacher turn the tables and suggest that a preacher who focused on subjects like F. F. Bruce's The Hard Sayings of Jesus was not preaching the Gospel and ignoring the truth of the Word! 'They didn't want to hear that' he claimed!

What utter disregard for the truth! Jesus said, '"The Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head,"' and told His followers of His coming arrest, trial, torture and crucifixion.

This means we're deceived and taken with greed.

There are no tears for revival and the only One weeping is Jesus. He bled and died for us and we proclaim that the Gospel is a means to prosperity, power and influence. Church services look more like pop concerts and the preaching is only a babbling collection of self-absorbed slogans and how God wants us to be happy!

No, God wants us to be holy!

Where is the message of repentance? Where is the '"If anyone would come after Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily and follow Me"'?

Folks, the message of the cross is foolishness and offensive to the world. Paul told us that 191/2 centuries ago.

Paul also told us that if he wanted to please the world, he would not be a follower of Christ.

Can you imagine Elijah having a chat with the wicked King Ahab about how we can 'Coexist'? Or, do you think John the Baptist should have opened a dialogue with Herod about tolerance?

No, those mighty men of God were sent to confront the leaders of their time about the sin in the society! Why is it that our evangelicals spend their time trying to cozy up and make nice with our politicians while there are souls perishing hourly and going into a Christ-less eternity?

This is the message that will transform this culture and turn this country around.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Rob Bell Leaves Mars Hill

Chirst did not come in the flesh only to die in vain. Hell is very real--it is NOT a metaphor. Hell is not a pleasant topic--but it is a necessary one.

John 3:36

He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life: and he that believeth not the Son shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.

Matthew 10:28
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Trendy Grand Rapids pastor leaving church he founded to pursue 'strategic opportunities'

A Grand Rapids pastor who is one of Michigan's best-known religious leaders is leaving the church he founded.

Rob Bell -- an evangelical Christian who has attracted national attention for his hip style and unconventional preaching -- is leaving Mars Hill, a church he started a dozen years ago in a suburb of Grand Rapids. Church officials made the announcement Thursday on the church's Web site, saying that Bell, 41, is leaving to "devote his full energy to sharing the message of God's love with a broader audience."

Earlier this year, Time magazine named Bell as one of the 100 most influential people in the world, a list that included notables such as Oprah Winfrey and Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg. And on Thursday, Bell's name trended nationally at one point on Twitter after the church said he was leaving, indicating the buzz surrounding his departure.

Bell has written several successful books, and he has toured internationally, preaching a Christianity that is accessible to younger people. His church came out of a strong Christian presence in west Michigan heavily influenced by Protestant traditions such as Calvinism, but had a casual manner that appealed to younger people.

Church leaders said in the statement that Bell was "feeling the call from God to pursue strategic opportunities."

Click here to continue reading.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Angel Food Ministries Forced To Close

*Below is an article which discusses the impact of the end of Angel Food Ministries upon a particular community. The closure of this organization is producing nationwide repercussions.

Angel Food Ministries Closing After 17 Years

RANTOUL — A food ministry that served low-income residents and others affected by the poor economy is, itself, a victim of the economy.

Angel Food Ministries, which at one time served 500,000 families a month in 35 states, said last week it was closing after 17 years.

The shutdown was effective immediately.

Angel Food Ministries had been founded in January to replace the SHARE Food bulk food program in Rantoul when SHARE Food shut down in December because of low numbers.

Nancy Brown, Angel Foods' director in Rantoul, said the shutdown is going to hit many area residents hard, including her.

Brown said one person who had participated in both the SHARE Food and Angel Food programs got a shock when she went to a store to buy meat.

"She didn't realize what a bargain she was getting," Brown said.

Another customer used the program because she has acute allergies that don't allow her to be around people. The program offered home delivery.

An announcement on the Angel Food Ministries website said organizers "realize the pressure that this places on our host sites, community food banks and customers."

The announcement said most, if not all, food ministries have shut down in recent years. The rapid rise in food costs and fuel costs were cited for the decision.

Brown said Rantoul area residents who placed a food order for September will receive refunds.

She said she had no inkling that the program was struggling until it was announced that the September order of food would not be coming.

Despite starting up less than a year ago, the Rantoul site was in Illinois' top three in terms of customer numbers, Brown said. An average of more than 100 people signed up for food each month.

"It's devastating to have it happen twice in a year," Brown said.

She said she is actively seeking a replacement program but doesn't know if any are available.

"It's hard, even in your own mind, to accept this and hold your head up and go on," Brown said.

The Angel Food Ministries program saved customers money through bulk purchasing. J.C. Neff of Effingham said about 180 distribution sites were set up in Illinois and about 5,500 host sites in the country.

Participants were able to sign up at either one of two monthly signup periods at Community Service Center or online using a debit card or credit card. They were also able to use their Link Card or SNAP card when paying on-site.

Income level didn't matter. Anyone could order through the program, regardless of how much money they made. And participants weren't limited to Rantoul.

Food was trucked from Georgia to distribution sites. Rantoul's site was the Community Service Center.

Pastors Joseph and Linda Wingo started the program in 1994 in Georgia.

The shutdown of the Rantoul program will have an effect in another area as well.

Some Champaign County residents sentenced to perform community service will have to look for another work site.

Click here to continue reading.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Whoa Mr. Robertson!

Well, Mr. Robertson’s foot is in his mouth again. I wonder if he simply does not think before he speaks. Even more so the secular world is outraged by this, because they view it as hypocrisy. The unbeliever cannot see that Christians do fail and display selfish bad attitudes—but is that a reflection of the goodness, mercy, and power of God? Absolutely not!! Weigh the individual, my unbelieving friend out there! These tea party folks carrying the “God and NAR and vote for ME” card spouting ugly venom at the poor and crushed in the U.S.—do that reflect all of us believers? It does not reflect me! I have never seen a president treated with such disrespectful contempt like President Obama by the tea party “God and NAR and vote for ME” card carrying crowd—and I am convinced racist attitudes are at play at times. Recently I had unbelieving relatives discussing these topics with myself and my family. Sigh…little wonder at times those trapped in darkness cannot see through the individual unto the Message which truly matters. An article on Robertson’s latest controversy below:

Pat Robertson says Alzheimer's makes divorce OK
by Associated Press

Religious broadcaster Pat Robertson told his "700 Club" viewers that divorcing a spouse with Alzheimer's is justifiable because the disease is "a kind of death."

During the portion of the show where the one-time Republican presidential candidate takes questions from viewers, Robertson was asked what advice a man should give to a friend who began seeing another woman after his wife started suffering from the incurable neurological disorder.

"I know it sounds cruel, but if he's going to do something, he should divorce her and start all over again, but make sure she has custodial care and somebody looking after her," Robertson said.

The chairman of the Christian Broadcasting Network, which airs the "700 Club," said he wouldn't "put a guilt trip" on anyone who divorces a spouse who suffers from the illness, but added, "Get some ethicist besides me to give you the answer."

Most Christian denominations at least discourage divorce, citing Jesus' words in the Gospel of Mark that equate divorce and remarriage with adultery.

Terry Meeuwsen, Robertson's co-host, asked him about couples' marriage vows to take care of each other "for better or for worse" and "in sickness and in health."

"If you respect that vow, you say 'til death do us part,'" Robertson said during the Tuesday broadcast. "This is a kind of death."

A network spokesman said Wednesday that Robertson had no further statement.

Divorce is uncommon among couples where one partner is suffering from Alzheimer's, said Beth Kallmyer, director of constituent services for the Alzheimer's Association, which provides resources to sufferers and their families.

"We don't hear a lot of people saying 'I'm going to get divorced,'" she told The Associated Press. "Families typically respond the way they do to any other fatal disease."

The stress can be significant in marriages though, Kallmyer said, because it results in the gradual loss of a person's mental faculties.

"The caregiving can be really stressful on a couple of levels," she said. "There's the physical level. There's also the emotional level of feeling like you're losing that person you love."

As a result, she said, it's important for couples to make decisions about care together in the early stages of the illness, when its effects aren't as prominent.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Prayer and Personal Privacy

When Calls for Prayer Trample Personal Privacy
By Bill Broadway, Washington Post Staff Writer

Disclosing Details of Members' Health Could Pose Legal Problem for Churches

Bryan Mitnaul of Virginia Beach might be the only person to have won a lawsuit against a church over the publication of personal medical information.

But he won't hold the title long if religious communities don't revise the way they publicize such information, according to specialists who advise clergy on privacy matters.

In Mitnaul's case, an April 2000 article posted on the Web site of Fairmount Presbyterian Church in Cleveland heralded the minister of music's return from an illness:

"We have good news for you!" the article read. "Bryan Mitnaul is returning to Fairmount after a long medical leave of absence.

"Since the summer of last year, Bryan has been treated for bi-polar illness, a condition which at time has resulted in serious depression for him. Various therapies and medications have been tried, and finally, after much experimentation, his health has improved considerably. For that we are all very happy."

The church's comments, no matter how well-intentioned, crossed a line that should be a warning to any religious group that shares members' medical information in newsletters and during worship services, several ministers and specialists said.

Legally, publishing details of Mitnaul's condition without his permission was an invasion of privacy because it "included information in a way that would be highly offensive to the ordinary person," said Richard Hammar, general counsel for the Missouri-based Assemblies of God and publisher of Church Law & Tax Report, a national bimonthly newsletter.

Some conditions carry more of a stigma than others, and mental illness is one of them, Hammar said. Saying a person is recovering from a heart attack or being treated for cancer is "much less offensive," he said.

That's the way an Ohio appeals court ruled in 2002, citing invasion of privacy in sending the case back to a lower court that had issued a summary judgment favoring the church.

"It would have been okay to say I had been in the hospital and was very ill and had recovered to the point I could return to work," Mitnaul, 49, said in a telephone interview from the Eastern Shore Chapel, an Episcopal church where he has been director of music for 21/2 years.

Most people in the 1,600-member Cleveland church knew of his depression, Mitnaul said. But no one other than the pastoral staff was aware of the diagnosis, which was "put on the Internet for anyone in the world to see."

"It changed who I was, not just to the people at Fairmount church, but anyone who did a Google search," said Mitnaul, adding that he is healthy and that most Eastern Shore members are unaware of his medical history and the lawsuit. "Once it's out there, you can't get it back. It took a while to get it off the Web site."

Mitnaul said he settled out of court "because it was too stressful" to continue to be drawn into an increasingly antagonistic relationship with the church. In addition to the dispute over the Web site announcement, the church terminated his employment after he was unable to return to work on an agreed-upon date, saying he was "not physically or mentally able . . . to continue in the position in which you have so distinguished yourself," according to court documents.

On that matter, too, the appellate court ruled in Mitnaul's favor. But it's the privacy issue that has caught the attention of denominational legal offices, especially with last year's implementation of the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act.

Click here to continue reading.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Nasty Politics Fueled By Wanna Be Christians

The following "conversational" exchange was sent via email through Andrew Strom's ministry. It concerns the nasty behavior exhibited by U.S. Christians in the political arena. The world is watching folks, and I say little wonder many nonbelievers discount us when they see some of the behavior Christians exhibit when it comes to politics--especially by the tea party crowd. (and the NAR is certainly flaming some of it!) And boy howdy how some are so skillful at yanking the strings of conservative evangelicals in America. I call it prostituting the Gospel myself for political gain. The Message is not about politics, it is about Jesus Christ. Shouldn't we be about our Father's business?

"Sorry to see you go, but hey... we will certainly meet again."

Email presented directly below:

-by Andrew Strom.

I had a couple from the USA write to me today with a rather hair-raising question on US politics. But before we get to their email,let me make a couple of points. As many of you know, I am astrongly conservative evangelical Christian. And yet, I have questioned for a long time whether conservative Christians (particularly in the USA) are trying to solve "SPIRITUAL" problems with Politics - which will never work. The sheer amount of money and energy and passion that Christians in the US are devoting to "electing the right guy" seems to even dwarf what they are willing to do SPIRITUALLY. There is something wrong. We are trying to use Politics to solve problems that only God Himself can solve! We need an actual Awakening - not just a "new guy" for President! A lot of this massive devotion and activism is a "distraction" and is also leading to enraged and "hateful" behaviour from Christians. Slander, gossip, anger, malicious talk, circulating hateful rumors, etc, etc. Real ugly behaviour that is not Christ-like at all. In fact, it is the very opposite of the way Jesus told us to be.

But now - let us get to the email. Here is what Carolyn and Wendell wrote to me-"Concerning America and patriotism. I have participated in this also... I have a question that I would greatly appreciate your input

"My husband and I have become increasingly troubled by the emphasis on politics as an answer to our country's problems. At the birth of the Christian Right, which I date from Pat Robertson's call for Christians to register as Republicans and vote accordingly because of the issues of abortion and gay rights. At first this seemed right to my husband and me, but as time went by we became troubled in our spirits and began to seek the Lord about it. We should have done that before, but there was so much peer pressure that we never even questioned that it was the right path.

"The 'voice' was so strident and so angry that we SHOULD have questioned it at the onset. The strident voice grew louder and louder and more and more angry until it became actually hate filled and discernment became hard to find within the movement - to proclaim the Republican Party as the party God had chosen. To even question that God might NOT have blessed a specific party as a holy vessel and the other as evil was met with outrage.

"Christians began to send hate filled email forwards about President Obama that were clearly bald-faced lies, but were received with gladness. The intensity only increased. When we warned others that Romans 13 was still in the Bible we were met with derision, so great was the hatred for this man who was elected as President.

"Now, another Christian voice has risen, and as 'the savior of our country', Rick Perry, the Governor of Texas. We have heard from media reports that he has aligned himself with a group known as the "New Apostolic Reformation" which has been compared to the "Kingdom Now"... the "Reconstruction/Kingdom Dominionists" movements. In trying to ascertain the validity of this movement (actually a "doctrine", I believe), we have found an extremely troubling trend toward acceptance of the belief that God will restore America THROUGH a Christian political movement--ie. man's efforts.

"This sounds like to us exactly what Satan has devised and not in any way resembling our Holy Father's plan for redemption of His people in HIS KINGDOM IN HEAVEN. This human ordained plan for redemption of our country smacks of pride, arrogance and greed without even a hint of godliness. It sounds like a plan to establish a theocracy though it will not be called a theocracy... I ran across an internet article/blog authored by Dr. Orrel Steincamp (and another by Ken Silva) called "The Coalescing of the Christian Right with Apostolic Dominionism". This sounds like just what my husband and I had feared would transpire, but we aren't acquainted with these authors. We would greatly appreciate your prayerful consideration of this movement in order to give us more light and clarity on the subject."

ANDREW REPLIES: I will only be brief, because I'm sure others will have insights to share. But let me start by saying I am totally opposed to the so-called “New Apostolic Reformation” – since I believe it is neither “apostolic” nor any kind of real ‘reformation’ at all. It is essentially just another type of “hierarchy” trying to
impose itself over the church – made up (mostly) of presumptuous men with business cards displaying the word “apostle”. These are the same guys who got up on stage to endorse Todd Bentley at the Lakeland revival just before the whole thing collapsed. God gave them a public spanking then for their "apostolic" proclamations, but it looks like they are coming back for more. Once was not enough. This "2nd spanking" is now underway and is all over the media. God is yet again showing that these are no "apostles" of His. Rick Perry - if he knows what is good for him - will distance himself from these guys at the speed of light. But already they may have cost him the Presidency.

Regarding the "hatefulness" of Politics - yes it is totally unChristian to behave that way - yet so many Christians are getting caught up in it. That is because they are putting Politics ahead of God. HE is the only one that can save America. Not an "election"!! If you think that the Tea Party and Fox News can save America with their Political activism, you are totally out to lunch. JESUS is the only one who can save the country. No-one else. We need a REVIVAL - not just a political party!!

But it is even worse - because it is now starting to get so extreme that I believe civil strife can be expected on the streets if it keeps going this way. You know, when God judges a country He often gives them over to division and infighting and internal strife. I believe this is on the cards for America in the next few years. My friends, I urge you not to be part of it. Don't be part of the "mob hysteria" that is starting to get whipped up on both the Left and the Right. This is not what Jesus calls us to at all. The dangers are becoming more and more evident. U.S Christians - you have been warned.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Controversial Minister Found Dead

*A very sad story. Lee Grady makes some excellent points throughout the article below about Zachery Tims—a minister who was found dead in a hotel.

What We Must Learn From the Zachery Tims Tragedy
by Lee Grady

God has something sobering to say to us through the death of this popular preacher.

Zachery Tims’ story had a great beginning. As a young man he met Jesus and was saved from a life of crime and drugs. He and his wife, Riva, moved from Baltimore to Orlando, Fla., in 1996 to launch a church that aimed to restore families and pull teens out of trouble. New Destiny Christian Center grew fast, mostly because of Tims’ passionate preaching. He was soon a regular on Christian television.

But things unraveled in 2009 when Tims was caught carrying on a yearlong affair with a stripper he met in France. He admitted to an “indiscretion” and got a few weeks of counseling, but he didn’t take serious time off for rehabilitation. Riva divorced him for his infidelity. The billboards that once featured photos of the happy couple were changed. By 2011 the roadside ads featured a shot of Tims by himself, with this slogan: “A Family Church Meeting Family Needs.”

This story did not end well. On Aug. 12, Tims was found dead—at age 42—in a New York City hotel room. His four children lost their dad, and his church lost their beloved leader. But while Tims’ family and friends are grieving their loss (and I’m not minimizing that because the pain is real), I’m also grieving over the fact that the wider body of Christ has yet another embarrassing religious scandal to explain. We can’t gloss over this.

There are so many aspects of this story that should cause us to lament. How did a preacher get involved with a stripper? Why didn’t Tims put himself on the bench for at least a year after his sin was exposed? Why did Christian television keep him on the air after his affair became public? Why did his church continue to attract crowds when people knew Tims’ behavior did not match the biblical standards of morality required for church leaders?

*Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Stinks Like A Con Game Church

Investigation Finds Alleged Phony Church DarkSide in Full Swing
by ABC News NightLine

Teens at a Dallas youth dance club run by an Internet-ordained minister say it has made a positive impact on their lives and helped them stay off drugs, even though drug dealers do get in.

In an investigation by ABC affiliate WFAA, teens were interviewed outside a club formerly known as DarkSide that the city has sued to shut down.

The after-hours club is now called Fenix Project and it attracts around 500 teens nearly every weekend from Dallas, Wylie and other North Texas cities.

"I would consider a lot of people here my family," a teen named Brittany told WFAA. "I don't live with my parents. All the people I have met here are people who have helped me in the outside world. They all take care of me."

Owner Glenn Hudson says he helps youth and those who are disadvantaged, but Dallas officials suggest his ministry is more like a church of swing than of God.

The city attorney's office has slapped Hudson with a lawsuit for allegedly running two phony churches -- The Playground and the DarkSide. It says one was a club for swingers with condoms and porn stars, and the other a rave dance hall venue where hard-core drugs were sold to teens.

It alleges both operations are "positively pure fraud" and wants them shut down, according to Melissa Miles, assistant city attorney.

"They wrapped themselves in a religious organization," she said.

Hudson, who does not face criminal charges, only the civil lawsuit intended to halt his activities, told city officials that he was ordained with Universal Life Church and said his work is legitimate.

Owners say the club is an outreach ministry, trying to steer young people in the right direction.

This week, WFAA camera crews were not allowed inside the club, but they found teens dressed in everything from pajamas to barely-there bikinis. Some were even changing into revealing outfits in the parking lot and said the club has no dress code.

"We can't normally wear this in public," said one club-goer. "This place gives us the opportunity to wear whatever we want," said another.

The teens said they go to dance and hang out with friends and had lied to their parents about where they were going.

An investigation by Dallas Police undercover agents alleges that drugs are used at the club.

"There might be drugs because people bring them in," club patron Cali Williams told WFAA. "But if they get caught, their stuff gets taken."

"We caught a lot of people doing drugs," said former employee Alex Leal. "We caught a lot of people selling drugs."

WFAA camera crews witnessed one search outside the club where managers found a bag of hallucinogenic mushrooms. Police were called.

Attempts by to find Hudson were unsuccessful, and even city officials said they had a difficult time locating the itinerant minister. His lawyer, Jonathan Bailey, did not return calls from

After getting complaints that Hudson was running unlicensed sex and drug clubs under the "guise of religion," the city hired the Dallas Police Department's Vice Unit to conduct undercover surveillance at both businesses.

At the Dark Side, detectives found a rave dance club. Youth as young as 14 and 15 were present and able to buy an assortment of illegal drugs: ketamine, morphine, marijuana, hallucinogenic mushrooms and pure ecstasy, known as "mollies," the lawsuit alleges.

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

North Vietnam -Christians Massacred

Oh my! I have not heard anything about this massacre which is described more below. Often such stories do not make their way into mainstream media. I learned of this through Andrew Strom's ministry email:.

(The note section is from Andrew Strom's introduction to the article by Jacob Prasch)

This slaughter is confirmed by reports from International Christian Concern ('') and other sources. Harold Camping's false prophecy from earlier this year caused hundreds of Hmong people to be slaughtered. Below is a new report from Jacob Prasch in the actual region describing how it happened:

-by Jacob Prasch.

As most of you are aware I am at this moment in North Vietnam helping the much persecuted Hmong people of the tribal mountain areas.

After listening to a translation of Camping's prediction 7,000 of these people (known in The West as Montagnards) gathered on a mountain praising God - their suffering at the hands of the Communist regime was about to end because Jesus was returning that day in May to establish a new kingdom.

The police and military police slaughtered many of them at gunpoint beheading two pastors. Others were arrested. I am told by Hmong pastors that so many were shot dead that they were buried in mass graves bulldozed over in an episode that I read about in Britain but did not understand the magnitude of until I got here. I am now trying to clean up the mess at the request of local Hmong leaders. I spoke to a secret convocation of Hmong pastors only yesterday who came to Hanoi, explaining to them about false prophets and false teachers.

Due to a combination of poverty, ignorance, and persecution these poor Christians don't understand much so they believed Camping's shortwave broadcast which is how most get their teaching in a certain village area with heavy persecution. Their families don't know if their missing loved ones are among the many shot dead, among those arrested and imprisoned, or among those from the 7,000 hiding in the jungle.

I am not the nicest guy in the world let alone the best Christian and I can't pretend to be. But anyone who had to deal with the confusion and devastation I am dealing with now due to Harold Camping would also blow their top. These people already suffering for their faith in Jesus had it bad enough. They are not like the undiscerning whackos in The West who should have known Camping was a crackpot and a proven false prophet & false teacher. This is a persecuted church who just had no means to know any different. This is why I get angry at those who deceive the Body of Christ and why I warn so much about false teachers and false prophets. It may be an extreme case but these people, some of them children, were shot dead. Of course we can blame Satan and the communists but their blood is on the hands of Harold Camping and his Family radio. Women without husbands, children withoutarents, husbands without wives - thank you Family Radio; thank you Harold Camping.

Frankly, this has been a rough week for me. One of the worst I ever had. I am up to my eyeballs in muck trying to explain to tribal pastors how to explain to their people why their families were massacred needlessly and trying to advise them how to protect their flocks from such wolves in the future...

The anguish of the Hmong folk took my concentration off of my own problems... because their problems are so much greater after what they refer to as 'the mountain massacre' due to Harold Camping.

Please pray for these people and the work of Moriel Asia branch here among the Hmong. We are trying to get 5,000 outlawed Hmong Bibles printed or smuggled in via Laos.

Where does it end? These people are suffering terribly while Camping is still in business in Oakland, California - as usual telling more lies... Come Lord Jesus.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Amnesty Points To Persecution In Jakarta

Amnesty Urges For Protection Of Bogor Church Group
By Mariel Grazella, The Jakarta Post

International human rights group Amnesty International has once again drawn the plight of the Taman Yasmin Indonesian Christian Church (GKI) into the spotlight, following fresh threats against the congregation.

“The congregation of the GKI in Bogor, West Java, is at risk of attacks, harassment and intimidation at their weekly Sunday service on July 10, after receiving threats from members of the local community," Amnesty International told The Jakarta Post in a written statement.

The congregation has been facing ongoing opposition from the local administration and community for several years.

The administration revoked the church's building permit and sealed off the building in 2008, following protests from hardline groups. While the Supreme Court ordered authorities to re-open the church in 2010, it has remained closed.

The church has been attacked at least six times since 2008, Amnesty noted.
According to Amnesty, the congregation had received a copy of a letter from certain residents on July 2 calling on the local government and police to halt all religious activities and services by the congregation.

“The letter, dated June 28, warns that the ongoing situation ‘invites the community and others to react in a way that could spark a potential disturbance’, and demands that all of the church’s activities stop by July 3,” the statement reads.

The church faced public protests when they ignored earlier demands and a community leader warned of “anarchy” if the congregation continued to hold services, which they hold on the pavement next to their church building.

Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Transparency In The Church

Below an excerpt of a good message regarding church leadership by Lee Grady of Charisma. You may click the link at the bottom of the entry to finish reading the article. (Wow--what a typo I had on this one...LOL---took weeks to catch it!)

"Please do not "lick" the link at the bottom, but rather "click" the link at the bottom of the entry..."

Why Bishop Eddie Long Should Be Transparent

by Lee Grady

The church has had enough spin, denial and closed-door settlements. Leaders must demonstrate humility and repentance.

A few years ago a minister in my city went through a divorce, and the messy details of the settlement between the pastor and his wife were reported in our newspaper. But when the divorce was finalized there was no public statement. The man’s wife disappeared from the stage, her photo vanished from the church website and nothing further was said. Zip. Nada. No comment.

The message: It’s none of your business what happened between the pastor and his wife. He’s the anointed messenger of God. Just follow him.

Another pastor in my city stepped down from his pulpit briefly for unknown “indiscretions”—and then it became known that he had been carrying on an affair with a stripper from France. The man never resigned from leadership, and his wife eventually divorced him. Today, this preacher appears on Christian television, and he still has a following.

The message: Anointing is what’s important. Character is secondary. If a guy can preach the paint off the walls and get everyone shouting, then relax—it really doesn’t matter how he runs his personal life.

Then last month, Bishop Eddie Long of Atlanta settled out of court with four young men who had accused him of using gifts, trips and jobs to entice them into sexual relationships. The pastor of 25,000-member New Birth Missionary Baptist Church told his congregation last fall that he would fight the charges. But in late May, Long agreed to pay an undisclosed amount to the four men, and the terms of the agreement were sealed. The church said in a statement that the settlement was engineered “to bring closure” and that the congregation will now “move forward with the plans God has for this ministry.”

Click here to continue reading.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Southern Baptists Move To Diversify

Southern Baptists elect black pastor to No. 2 post
Associated Press

PHOENIX – Members of the Southern Baptist Convention elected an African-American pastor to its No. 2 position for the first time on Tuesday, signifying an effort to diversify its leadership and flock at a time of declines in overall membership and church attendance.

Fred Luter Jr., the head pastor of Franklin Avenue Baptist Church in New Orleans, was elected with 1,558 votes, or 77 percent. Some of his supporters had expected him to be unopposed, but he picked up a local Arizona challenger in Tuesday's session. Rick Ong, a deacon at First Chinese Baptist Church in Phoenix, received 441 votes, or 23 percent, according to results from the Baptist Press.

The move to elect Luter comes at the same time the SBC is making a push for greater participation among what it sometimes calls its "non-Anglo" members in the life of the convention, particularly in leadership roles.

Luter's church is one of an estimated 3,400 black churches in the nation's largest Protestant denomination, a small minority of more than 45,700 total SBC-affiliated churches with about 16 million members total.

His election also sets up the potential for his election to the top position of president when the denomination holds its annual meeting next year in Luter's hometown of New Orleans.

It's a big step for a denomination whose history is rooted in a split over race. The denomination originally formed in 1845 in a split with the American Baptist Convention over the question of whether slave owners could be missionaries. The SBC was silent or actively opposed civil rights through the 1970s, and many congregations excluded blacks. It was not until 1989 that convention declared racism a sin.

In 1994, the convention elected its first African-American to an executive position when the Rev. Gary Frost was named second vice president. In 1995, the denomination issued an apology to blacks for slavery. That same year, Luter was elected to succeed Frost as second vice president.

Luter said it doesn't make him uncomfortable that people want to see this as a milestone for African-Americans.

"There's no way we can get around it. Here's a convention that started on slavery. Years later you have an African-American one step away from the presidency. I can't deny that," Luter said.

Robert Anderson, a pastor who also serves on a SBC executive committee, said Luter's vice-presidency affirms that the time has come for the SBC to have a greater presentation of members of various backgrounds.

"It helps reflect what people desire to see more of in our convention," Anderson said.

Several prominent pastors in the denomination were pulling for Luter, including the man who nominated him, Danny Akin, President of the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, N.C.

David S. Dockery, the president of SBC-affiliated Union University in Jackson, Tenn., tweeted soon after the voting results were announced: "Hope he will be elected president next year in New Orleans!"

Luter said presidential aspirations were far from his mind.

"Give me time to enjoy this first. I'm not even thinking that far ahead," Luter said. "I want to enjoy the vice presidency, enjoy the moment."

This year's meeting comes following the release of internal figures showing SBC affiliates baptized fewer people in 2010 than any time since the 1950s and also saw declines in overall membership and attendance.

David W. Key Sr., the director of Baptist Studies at Emory University's Candler School of Theology, said the decline reflects the fact that the membership of many Southern Baptist churches is aging.

"Over the next few years membership is going to drop even more dramatically," he said. "And older members are the financial foundation of the churches. As they die off that trend is going to have a big impact."

It's a trend many mainline protestant churches began seeing a couple of decades earlier, in part because of the declining religiosity of Americans in general. The Southern Baptists have been somewhat insulated from the trend, he said, because of their heavy concentration in the South, where religious participation has declined more slowly than in other parts of the country.

"They want to start planting churches, which is a smart move," said Key, who is a Southern Baptist. "How that strategy unfolds is going to be the kicker."

He said the SBC has been very effective at creating ethnic churches. "But they've not created a strategy for how to shift predominantly Anglo churches into multicultural churches."

According to statistics released last week from Lifeway Christian Resources, the publishing arm of the Nashville, Tenn.-based SBC, baptisms declined by nearly 5 percent in 2010 over 2009, with churches reporting 332,321 baptisms last year.

Many Southern Baptists consider that an important indicator of the denomination's health because evangelism is a defining characteristic of their identity.

Key said a more telling number is probably how many people actually attend SBC churches on Sunday. The SBC puts that figure at 6,195,449 for 2010, a 0.19 percent drop over the previous year.

Total membership in 2010 also dropped 0.15 percent from 2009 to 16,136,044, the fourth straight year of decline.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

The Power Of Audio

The following article was originally published on Mission Network News. Click on the link towards the bottom to read the story in its entirity.

Hostile village opens up to the Gospel

Mozambique (MNN) ― Over the last two years, audio Scripture players have been distributed across Mozambique. The results of handing out the small, Bible-loaded devices have been jaw-dropping.

A team of missionaries with Audio Scripture Ministries recently traveled 6,000 kilometers to chart just how significant progress has been.

Tom Dudenhofer, executive director of ASM, says the team felt compelled to revisit several areas throughout the country.

"[Two years ago], the demand had been so strong and the supply had been so small that we just felt like it was critical that we try to go back into the area and encourage some of the Christians that were there. [We wanted] to remind them that we haven't forgotten them and that we really do care about their ministries," says Dudenhofer.

ASM has heard story after story of life transformation in Mozambique, and this trip was no exception. Perhaps the most notable discovery of the recent trip was of an entire village that had rearranged its thinking on Christ.

The village had been closed toward the message of Jesus Christ. Dudenhofer says they were hostile to the message for both religious and political reasons and were unwilling to hear the Truth.

Nevertheless, ASM missionaries left an audio player in the hands of a believing couple in the area. When another villager heard the player going one day, he came in and listened with them. Soon after, he gave his life to Christ.

Click here to continue to read.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

May 2011 Ramblings

It was not but a little over a decade, I considered myself an atheist. So when I would see people who appoint themselves to proclaim the end of the world; I always added their failed prophecies to my arsenal of unbelief.

Recently, Harold Camping's prophecy of the Rapture of the Church on May 21st proved false, but most Christians were NOT surprised.

But little known to the unbelieving world, Christ Himself said no one would know of when the time would come.

Matthew 24:35-37

35 Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.
36 But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.
37 But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

For those running from the message of the Gospel, you do not have to look far to keep armed with mental unbelief. But let me say, the message of the Gospel is not a political one, it is a spiritual one. It’s a life saving message! It is not about steaming political rallies on taxes—so unbeliever out there, don’t think the beliefs of all Christians represent all Christians. It’s not about protesting military funerals of the soldiers who sacrificed their lives unto this country. It is not about how enlightened I am, thus I can calculate the exact time and date of the return of Jesus Christ.

Too many are using their pulpits as political soundboards. Why scratch your heads as unbelievers become increasing turn off to the Message?

You” are on the side of the road, injured, and in the puddle of your own blood. Mr. Prophet passes by, and says “press down and shaken together---give unto me and I will take you to an inn." You say, "I have nothing". Mr. Prophet says “my anointing will sustain you”. He pulls out his comb, slicks his hair back, and prances on.

Mr. Preacher is on his way to a tea party, and he sees you. Mr. Preacher says “My child, what has befallen you? Could you not make it to work?” You say, “I am on disability. I cannot work at this time.” Mr. Preacher says, “My child, just stay laying there. You need not a hospital. The sun will provide vitamin D, perhaps you may live”. He checks his watch, prances quickly on—quickly colliding into his brethren—Mr Prophet ahead.

You got an unsaved spiky blue hair biker dude in black leather, swearing up a storm, with a tall drink in his hand. He sadly looks at you injured on the street, rips out five cuss words, lays his drink down, and gently sets you on his Harley. In a matter of minutes you are at a hospital emergency room receiving medical treatment. As he leaves, he says “I know you will be ok”.

What do such things say to an unbelieving world?

The fact is the body of Christ is made up of people with different philosophies—different denominations, and yes, even some quacks. It is easy to point out problematic characteristics exhibited by particular people—and associate them to all Christians. But making such assumptions is highly inaccurate and unfair. There are many who give their lives to helping people; you just don’t hear much about it. The Gospel commands helping the poor—it however, does not politicize the issue of poverty. A lot of the negative stories make the mainstream news, however, so for the unbeliever, more ammo is stored up in their minds to aid their agnostic or atheistic belief system. I know, for I have walked down that road.

Yet I also know Jesus Christ is real. If you are reading this and you doubt; pray what appears to be a very foolish prayer. Ask the Lord to help you see that He is real, and true. You will feel ridiculous praying to someone you don’t believe in, but hey, what do you have to lose? Nothing-- but a little pride.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

David Wilkerson Goes Home

As most out there know, David Wilkerson died April 27 in a car crash. Truly, David Wilkerson was a great man of God and it was sad to learn of his death. His accomplishments will continue to enrich those living on this earth.

Read more from the following story from

Wilkerson Remembered at NYC Tribute

Take from Charisma News Online

Reverend David Wilkerson was remembered as a man deeply consumed with the passion of Jesus Christ at a memorial service held Saturday in New York City.

Times Square Church, the church Wilkerson opened in an old theater in the late 1980s, was filled to capacity as family and friends paid tribute to the late minister.

Wilkerson,79, was killed on April 27 when the car he was driving collided with a truck in east Texas. His wife, Gwendolyn Wilkerson, 70, survived and remains hospitalized.

During the service, which was broadcast live on the Internet, Wilkerson’s son Greg explained how the family was coping with the loss. “The peace that God has given our family is really a blessing,” he said. “It’s not something we have to be encouraged or even motivated to try to find. It’s really there.”

Wilkerson went on to add that his mother will likely stay in the hospital two to three more weeks. “She’s getting stronger each day,” he said.

The nearly two-hour memorial service featured video highlights from Wilkerson’s ministry career and hymns sung by the church’s choir. Some of the most poignant moments came from Wilkerson’s younger brother Don, who once served as an associate pastor at the church.

“What I’ll remember most about my brother is that he fulfilled I Corinthians 13:12, both in his life and his death. I picture my brother when he was still on this earth on his knees in prayer with his nose pressed against that dark glass, looking in not to see his own reflection, but to get a better glimpse of Jesus.”

Click here
to continue reading the rest of this article.

More on his death can be found at:
Rev. David Wilkerson Dies

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Easter 2011

I once posted the video below during the Christmas season. I thought it fitting to repost the video this Easter. It is really a beautiful presentation.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Update: Stormy Weather

I just want to update on a few things. For the past several months, my father suffered a series a strokes, and eventually passed away this month. It has been a difficult time for me and my family.

I am requesting prayer. I have been experiencing a host of attacks from the enemy; mostly physical ailments. I have been diagnosed with several diseases and new things have arisen to inflict torment. Please pray for physical healing, for God still heals today--we can see that in early accounts in the book of Genesis, as well in the New Testament.

Attacks have also come against my family lately, and lives have been severely disrupted with atypical events. Please pray for their protection. I was hoping to get back to more regularly blogging this year, so I am believing for that to happen soon. Your prayers are appreciated.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Tax Deductions & Church Giving

Do you give at church with tax deductions in mind?
By Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today

Do you donate more or less to your church knowing that it's tax deductible? If that income tax deduction went away, what then?

That's one of the concerns probed in a new survey of church giving. The third annual "State of the Plate" survey of 1,507 church pastors, staff and leaders tracks the impact of the economy on churches and church practices on financial integrity.

Among the findings:

* Giving is up: 43% of churches saw increased giving in 2010, up from 36% in 2009
* The decline has stabilized: 39% of churches said giving was down in 2010, 38% last year.
* December offered a boost: Christmas-time generosity often puts church budgets over the top and most churches (64.6%) said that giving met or exceeded expectations.
* Small churches -- those with under 250 in weekend attendance -- suffer more and these are where 80% of American churchgoers attend.

Matt Branaugh of Christianity Today International, one of three sponsors of the survey, ties giving to employment. Branaugh says:

Click here to read the rest of this article.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Avoiding Deception--Tozer

Avoiding Deception
A.W. Tozer

These are times of moral and religious confusion and it is sometimes hard to distinguish the false from the true. Our faithful Lord has tried to save us from the consequences of our own blindness by repeated warnings and many careful instructions. It will pay us to give close attention to His words. Toward the end of the age, we are told, there shall be a time of stepped-up religious activity and frenzied expectation, growing out of the turbulent conditions prevailing among nations. The language is familiar to most Christians: Wars and rumors of wars . . . nation shall rise against nation . . famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. . . . Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations . . and then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. Concurrent with this state of affairs will be a great increase in religious excitement and supernatural happenings generally. For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many. . . . And many false prophets shall rise. . . . Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not. For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Steer Clear Of Porn--Always!

Matthew 5:28
But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart.

The following article discusses opposing Christian views as whether it is acceptable for married couples to watch pornographic material. Are you kidding me? God is the same--He himself said He does not change! From a married couple to a threesome, foursome and more "somes" vicariously through your computer screen? From sexual demons being injected into your lives because you "get off" looking at others shaming themselves in a sexual manner in front of you?

So many people have become so defiled, they cannot see straight. People want to redefine their "god", because they have left their "God". Pornography is NEVER acceptable, married or not married.


Christian couples - ‘Porn again’ and loving it, despite what pastors say
By Donna Hussey-Whyte

STATISTICS from the US-based Kinsey Institute for research in sex, gender and reproduction has shown that 70 per cent of American men ages 18-34 view Internet pornography at least once per month. While no study has been published in Jamaica, it is locally acknowledged that many Jamaican men are guilty of this practice. However, this is not unique to men, as some women have admitted to viewing pornography many times with their partners.

Christian couples are no different — and many see this as an innocent way of spicing up their sex lives. But while many Christians have admitted to indulging under the "marriage bed is undefiled" rule, heads of churches say they can in no way support the practice.

"It is not something that I would encourage," Monsignor Michael Lewis, Roman Catholic priest, said. "Because it is not just the watching of it, it is something that is produced and what is produced is questionable. You are talking about questionable behaviour. You are talking about an industry where people are abused; you are talking about an industry where Christian morals and values are out the window. The church would be very wrong in saying to a couple or saying to a person 'it is OK to simply watch the thing' when the thing itself is problematic."

While he strongly believes that couples should add excitement to their sex lives, this has to be done, he said, with respect and dignity for each other.

"There is nothing wrong with a couple putting excitement and thing into their love life in their marriage; the church would have no problem with that as long as what the couple is doing is respectful of their own dignity as human beings and respectful of the dignity of other people. Once you hold on to those principles then you're fine."

He said because pornography goes against these principles, the Catholic church says no to Christians viewing it.

But Church of God Christian Joan Lewis (name changed), who has been married for 28 years, said this is her way of spicing up her marriage.

"Of course I do it (watch porn)," Lewis told All Woman. "If you're married and you and your husband watch it to spice things up, I don't see anything wrong with that! It's sin if you're not married but from you're married it can't be a sin. It should be between you, your husband and the four corners of the bedroom."

She said in accordance with the Bible (Heb 13:4) that the marriage bed in undefiled, as long as whatever is done in the bedroom stays in the bedroom then nothing should be wrong.

*Sigh. Uh...(Pepto please) ...Click here to continue reading.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Muslims And Christians Clash In Eygpt

Officials: 6 killed in Egypt sectarian clashes
Associated Press Hamza Hendawi

CAIRO – Clashes between Muslims and Christian in the Egyptian capital killed at least six people, security and hospital officials said Wednesday.

They said the clashes took place late Tuesday night and lasted several hours. The fighting involved the use of guns, clubs and knifes, they added. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.

The clashes began when several thousand Christians protested against the burning last week of a church in a Cairo suburb by a Muslim mob following a deadly clash between Muslims and Christians over a love affair between a Muslim and a Christian.

The Christian protesters on Tuesday blocked a vital highway, burning tires and pelting cars with rocks.

An angry crowd of Muslims set upon the Christians and the two sides fought pitched battles for about four hours. The six killed were believed to be mostly Christians who died of gunshot wounds.

Tuesday's clashes are the latest evidence of the security vacuum in Egypt that followed the ouster on Feb. 11 of President Hosni Mubarak at the end of 18 days of anti-government protests. The police have pulled out from Cairo and several other cities three days into the uprising and are yet to fully take back the streets, a fact that has unleashed a wave of violent crime and even lawlessness in some parts of the nation.

Click here to continue reading.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Warren Jeffs Regains Church

Jailed sect leader retakes legal control of church
Associated Press, Jennifer Dobner

SALT LAKE CITY – Jailed polygamous sect leader Warren Jeffs has resumed legal control over his Utah-based church even though he is jailed in Texas and court documents recently revealed that two 12-year-old girls had been taken from Canada to marry him in 2005.

Documents filed with the Utah Department of Commerce show Wendell Loy Nielsen, president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, resigned his post Jan. 28. Jeffs signed the documents retaking control of the church corporation Feb. 10 and filed the papers with the state five days later.

"I, the undersigned, Warren Steed Jeffs, have been called and sustained as the president," Jeffs writes in a cover letter to the Commerce Department.

The 55-year-old resigned the presidency in 2007 after he was convicted in Utah of rape as an accomplice, but he remained the faith's spiritual leader.

The Utah Supreme Court overturned Jeffs' convictions last year. He's now in a Texas jail awaiting trial on aggravated sexual assault and bigamy charges.

Click here to read the entire article.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Season Of Breakthrough

-by Andrew Strom.

A couple of weeks ago we put out a word entitled "First the Bad News". It looked at the huge "shaking" that is already underway around the globe this year, as well as the fragility of the economic system in the face of the long downturn. 2011 certainly looks to be a "shaking" year.

But now I want to look at the "good" news. You see, I believe all this shaking is exactly the environment in which God's true remnant is designed to THRIVE. A couple of years ago, speaking about this very thing, I wrote an article called "Expand While the Devil Shrinks". I believe we are right now entering a time of breakthrough and advancement and "action" for the remnant of God that has been going through a great 'desert' still clinging to pure Truth. A time of real "release" is near.

Certainly, we personally sense a great time of "New Beginnings" this year and next.

In my article 2 years ago I wrote: "Are you one who has spent years in the wilderness, waiting for God's moment? Are you a David in the caves, a Joseph in the dungeons? Couldn't it be that this is the very moment that God has been preparing you for, all this time?... You see, the "big boys" with their shallow gospel are in increasing trouble through all of this. They rely on big money, big media, big hype and big budgets to get their message out. And the budget is looking rather sick. Could it be that God is leveling the playing field? ... Are the little guys with their message of repentance and heart- holiness about to break through the glass ceiling that has kept them down for so long?"

My belief is that the power of Mammon will increasingly lose it's grip on the Western church - and the power of 'Kundalini' even more so. Both will be in more and more trouble, and slowly I believe the Truth will come more and more into the ascendant. Those with a real message of Truth who have been on the back foot for years are about to have their moment. And we need to seize hold of it when it arrives. But it will be far easier with the wind at our backs. We won't need to "strive". This is God's doing - and for us His burden will be light. But we do need to be ready to act and to move and to step boldly into His plan. "Expand while the devil shrinks". Be daring and move forward. Take action in the Lord.

Already the deceivers and false teachers are struggling. Already the "Mammonizers" and spiritual compromizers find themselves on the back foot. This will grow greater and greater, I believe.
Jesus wants His church back. And great will be the crash of once-mighty manipulators. Already it has begun.

Who will step into this breach? Only those who are ready. Only those who are prepared. Only those who have truly come through the wilderness with no bitterness, no malice and are fully ready for their "Jordan".

I want to encourage the remnant of God with these words: Prepare for action. Prepare to "step up". Be on the lookout for open doors and opportunities. Test the waters and move out.

"For many that are first shall be last, and many that are last shall be first." Be alert to move, my friends. We are entering a new time.