Monday, November 24, 2008

Here is an amazing message given by an apologist whom I have admired for many years. I was especially impacted by the sharing of a letter written by a 12 year old boy. Listen to this message and think about your relationship with those around you. How about your father? How about you as a father? I marvel in God's holiness, that there can be such a thing as grace for anyone. Especially me. At times I just don't know where I'm going and I feel like Solomon in Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 1

All Is Vanity
1The words of(A) the Preacher,[a] the son of David,(B) king in Jerusalem.
2(C) Vanity[b] of vanities, says(D) the Preacher,
(E) vanity of vanities! All is vanity.
3(F) What(G) does man gain by all the toil
at which he toils under the sun?
4A generation goes, and a generation comes,
but(H) the earth remains forever.
5(I) The sun rises, and the sun goes down,
and hastens[c] to the place where it rises.
6(J) The wind blows to the south
and goes around to the north;
around and around goes the wind,
and on its circuits the wind returns.
7All(K) streams run to the sea,
but the sea is not full;
to the place where the streams flow,
there they flow again.
8All things are full of weariness;
a man cannot utter it;
(L) the eye is not satisfied with seeing,
nor the ear filled with hearing.
9(M) What has been is what will be,
and what has been done is what will be done,
and there is nothing new under the sun.
10Is there a thing of which it is said,
"See, this is new"?
It has been(N) already
in the ages before us.
11There is no(O) remembrance of former things,[d]
nor will there be any remembrance
of later things[e] yet to be
among those who come after.

It is all vanity, but there is one who gives meaning to it all. There is one who gives wisdom when we have been awaken from this darkened life of sin and self destruction. Regeneration is all of God bringing us out of this miry clay and makes us into something to give song and praise. Jesus Christ is the one that these passages point us to. Jesus did not come to make bad people good, nor to make poor people rich. He came to bring dead people to life. And all the while loving, and honoring the Father and loving and saving us from a Holy and Just God.

This past weekend I attended a Missions Convention and it was wonderful to see the many missions all over the world. But, I could not help but think. Who is the missionary to the churches, and the Bible colleges here in the United States? The reason I say that is, it seemed the emphasis by the featured speaker was that reaching the poor and oppressed was a greater mission than the great commission. I understand that is usually the focus of missionaries to do both and usually get caught up in the physical needs of the people. However, it should never be the emphasis of one over the other. Because, if you give emphasis to the Gospel message, (the same Gospel message that Paul gave), the results will always be compassion for the needs of the people. There are many non-religious and non-Christian organizations around the world that do a very good job of meeting physical needs. But, what distinguishes us from them is the bread that will sustain them for eternity. Living water that will eternally quench their thirst. So, I question the need to give emphasis to the Church on getting out there and helping those who are in need. This is part of our make up as human beings who are bearing the image of God. So, I hope that I am making this point clear, that it is important to meet the needs of people, but for us as the church, we must share this precious gift of Grace through Faith, on account of Christ Alone. Soli Deo Gloria!!! All the Glory goes to God Alone!!!

Grace and Peace,
Chris Allen
Coram Deo!!!




Who Are You God?
(part 2 of 2)
by Ravi Zacharias
Knock-knock. “Who’s there?” God. “God who?” That’s a pretty heavy question to answer, isn’t it? How would you describe God to someone who asked? Would you start with His love or would you focus more on His power? What about His wrath - how does that fit in? Join Ravi Zacharias as he explores the question on the hearts of all mankind - Who Are You God?

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

Prayer Request

Here is an update from Global Hope Network.  Please pray for them and this situation in Afghanistan and please also pray for those being persecuted in India.

Grace and Peace,
 
Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


----- Forwarded Message ----
From: Michael Parks <michael.parks@ghni.org>
To: Michael Parks <michael.parks@ghni.org>; Sheri Parks <sheri.parks@ghni.org>
Sent: Sunday, November 16, 2008 12:21:56 AM
Subject: Prayer Request

We work in some of the hardest and most dangerous places on earth.

I want to share with you an "incident report" from Afghanistan , the type which I get every day.  

This situation you will read is a common event our staff, other faithful aid workers and the folks who live there face every day.

After you read this say a prayer for the people there who want to live a normal life, send their children to school to be educated without the fear of some terrorist seeking to kill them.

I see these reports every day and face them when I am in country but our staff and the people who live there face this often.

So for a moment try to put yourself in place of the mother or father or student…trying to live a normal life…yes, it is different from you or I, but like you and I, they want the same basic things in life…education, medicine for their children, food for their family, safety as they and their sons and daughters try to work, go to school, or buy groceries…in common public places.

 

 

Location:                   Khost Province , Khost City , Khost Technical High School

Incident type:            Attempted BBIED

Date/Time:               15 November 2008, 1440hrs

Report Source:          OTHER

Information:              A person entered the school premises and threw two grenades which detonated, causing some damage but no casualties. The assailant was then fatally shot by ANP and found to be wearing a suicide vest.

Assessment:              This incident comes the day after a SVBIED attack in the city and follows the shooting of three engineers in the neighbouring district of Mando Zayi on 13 November 2008. It also follows the killings of teachers in two separate incidents in the province in mid-October, and illustrates the threat against education facilities in the province as well as being part of a more general increase in AOG activity in and around Khost City .

Advisory:                   Any NGOs working or travelling in and around Khost should recognise a clear increase in threat level, as well as a shift in the nature of threat from AOG attacks against security forces to a wider range of risks such as those demonstrated in the past 72 hrs.

 

Regards,

Regional Safety Advisor- East

Afghanistan NGO Safety Office (ANSO)

 

Though we have our "Columbine" incidents, in Afghanistan it is a regular incident that some diabolical person is trying to blow up a girl's school, high school, market place…

But God…Who is great in mercy and grace is working in the hearts of many to bring peace and hope to a generation that has only known war and terror.  So don't grow weary in prayer for those who are seeking peace in a perverse and dangerous time.

I thank the Lord for your faithfulness to pray for our friends and for us.

God bless you!

Mike

 

 

Friday, November 14, 2008

Better than Perfect - Series: God's Beautiful Design for Women: Living Out Titus 2:1-5 - part 2

I just happened to be listening to the radio in my car during lunch and caught Nancy Leigh DeMoss talking about wives ministering to those in their family. But, what caught my ear is not just for wives but for all of us. And it was when she said, "first to the Lord." That is the place to start for all of us. If we truly have Christ at the center, then all other relationships should fall into place. Not just in the family but the church as well. If you would like to listen to this message click the link and look for the listen tab.

Grace and Peace,

Chris

Coram Deo!!!

_________________

Nancy: Well, we’ve been talking over the last couple of sessions about women being keepers at home—workers at home, being domestically inclined, the virtue of domesticity and having a heart for the home—and how this is in such missing supply today and really crucial. Anything that God says is important is important.

If God says this is the way that we’re supposed to function, then we’re going to find our freedom, our blessing, and our joy by functioning in that way. This is a call for women at every season of life to say, “Lord, what would it look like in this season—whether I’m in high school or college or newly married, with no children, young children, older children, or an empty nest? At every season of life, how can I reflect a heart for home?”

At different seasons of life, you may be able to do more by ministering to people outside of your own home. But in domestic ways, I want to tell you today the tale of two women. It’s actually two stories.

One is the story of a woman who sent me an email. She’s a friend; I’ve known her for a number of years. I told her that we were talking about domesticity, and I knew that God had done some things in her life along this line. I asked her if she would share some of that, so she sent me an email this past week.

I was hoping for a paragraph or two, and what I got was more of her story than I was even aware of. So it’s lengthy. But I want to take time to share it with you because I think it illustrates some of the principles we’ve been talking about related to the importance of women centering their lives around ministering to those in their family—first to the Lord, and then to their husbands and children—and the dangers that can take place when those responsibilities are neglected.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Your Enemy the Devil

Here is a wonderful message that I really feel is a great challenge for us as individuals and the church together. I was just talking on the phone to a new friend but an old Brother in Christ. Such an encouraging Pastor, and a true blessing to talk with.
I am glad to know that we are not alone in this battle to bring the church back to the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We have been blessed to have been saved through the foolishness of preaching this message. We are doubly blessed to have our hearts charged with the desire to share this news. The Good News of Christ that saves us from the bad news of guilt before a Holy and Just God. Grace is truly amazing.

Grace and peace,


Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!


Your Enemy the Devil - Part A
Monday, November 10, 2008
Why is it so hard to trust God, even though the Bible tells us that we should? If your spiritual life is less than it could be, you may be engaged in spiritual warfare. For some valuable insight into this topic, join Alistair Begg as he considers the next issue from Peter's first letter.
Series: Standing Firm in Shaky Times-Volume 3
















Your Enemy the Devil Part B - 11/11/2008


Monday, November 03, 2008

In the INN - "Election Coverage"

Election! We just happen to be talking about this very subject in Sunday School. Or at least we try to talk about it. I think someone yesterday was trying to change gears or head into a different direction than what the passage was talking about. It was stated that Paul had his credibility in mind when he said "I am not lying" because the Jews know he betrayed them when Christ dragged him into faith on the road to Damascus. The Christians were a little nervous about him because he at one time was having them persecuted. However, if that was his motivation for writing this at this point in the book of Romans, I'm not buying it. He should have said "I am not lying" at the very beginning of this epistle, because he has already said quite a bit that his "credibility" would need to be discussed. But, that's OK. Next week Romans 9 will clearly head us into the weighty matters of election and there will be no need to wonder of Paul's credibility because no human would want to write what he had to write about the Sovereignty of God. It just isn't in ourselves to develop such a marvelous doctrine such as God's Sovereign Election.

Romans 9:1-18

God's Sovereign Choice
1I speak the truth in Christ—I am not lying, my conscience confirms it in the Holy Spirit— 2I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. 3For I could wish that I myself were cursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, those of my own race, 4the people of Israel. Theirs is the adoption as sons; theirs the divine glory, the covenants, the receiving of the law, the temple worship and the promises. 5Theirs are the patriarchs, and from them is traced the human ancestry of Christ, who is God over all, forever praised![a] Amen.

6It is not as though God's word had failed. For not all who are descended from Israel are Israel. 7Nor because they are his descendants are they all Abraham's children. On the contrary, "It is through Isaac that your offspring will be reckoned."[b] 8In other words, it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring. 9For this was how the promise was stated: "At the appointed time I will return, and Sarah will have a son."[c]

10Not only that, but Rebekah's children had one and the same father, our father Isaac. 11Yet, before the twins were born or had done anything good or bad—in order that God's purpose in election might stand: 12not by works but by him who calls—she was told, "The older will serve the younger."[d] 13Just as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated."[e]

14What then shall we say? Is God unjust? Not at all! 15For he says to Moses,
"I will have mercy on whom I have mercy,
and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."[f] 16It does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy. 17For the Scripture says to Pharaoh: "I raised you up for this very purpose, that I might display my power in you and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."[g] 18Therefore God has mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and he hardens whom he wants to harden.


This doctrine is very humbling and it is very beautiful if you really think about it. The thought that God would save anyone is remarkable. We as followers of Christ can go on with confidence that God's word will bring people to faith and not any kind of program or persuasion. I would rather know for sure that it was the Word of God that changed the heart, rather than my ability to "woo" them into some kind of feeling or sensation that won't endure the storms of this life. We have a great privilege to be a part of sharing in the redemption of those who are foreknown, predestined, called, justified, and glorified. We are saved by grace, through faith, because of Christ alone. All the glory goes to God alone. Sola Scriptura, Sola Gratia, Sola Fide, Solus Christus, Soli Deo Gloria.

Chris
www.Reform-Shire.blogspot.com
Coram Deo!!!

Join us for the 2008 series "Christless Christianity"
Election Coverage

Hello and welcome to another edition of the White Horse Inn. In this program we are intentionally - we are being right up front about it - we are using the old technique known as "bait and switch." Election is our subject and it's not the election that you are, like the rest of us preoccupied with at this time of the year, it is God's election. We are used to electing our monarchs, but when we talk about how God has saved us - salvation is of the Lord. It's a very different kind of picture.
Click here to read the rest of this week's commentary

Listen Now: "Election Coverage"

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