• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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Hope And Change During The First 100 Days

kingobamaThese actions reflect the values of our new President according to Gary Bauer:

1. Calling for the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act on the White House website.

2. Calling on the White House website for the expansion of federal hate crimes to include homosexual behavior.

3. Calling on the White House website for policies like the “Fairness Doctrine” that could silence conservative and Christian talk radio.

4. Repealing limitations on taxpayer-funding of human embryonic stem cell research.

5. Repealing limitations on taxpayer-funding of abortions overseas.

6. Pledging $50 million to the United Nation’s Population Fund, which supports China’s draconian one-child policy.

7. Proposing new rules to gut conscience clause protections for pro-life doctors and other medical personnel who don’t want to be forced to perform abortions or other procedures that violate their values.

8. Proposing increased funding for the nation’s largest abortion provider, Planned Parenthood.

9. Calling on the White House website for “a goal that all middle and high school students do 50 hours of community service a year,” (mandatory volunteerism)

10. Inviting homosexual families to the White House Easter Egg Roll.

11. Allowing his attorney general to call for the reinstatement of Clinton-era restrictions on the Second Amendment.

12. Breaking his promise not to appoint lobbyists to his administration. He hired 17 in his first two weeks.

13. Breaking his promise to sign legislation only after a five-day period of public comments.

14. Asking that the monogram for Jesus Christ be covered up during a televised speech at a Catholic university in which Obama quotes the Sermon on the Mount.

God Is Not Our Servant

Quoting Arthur W. Pink:

The prevailing idea seems to be, that I come to God and ask Him for something that I want, and that I expect Him to give me that which I have asked. But this is a most dishonoring and degrading conception. The popular belief reduces God to a servant, our servant: doing our bidding, performing our pleasure, granting our desires. No, prayer is a coming to God, telling Him my need, committing my way unto the Lord, and leaving Him to deal with it as [seems to] Him best.

Elementary Thoughts: Attitude – Part 5

principalUnfortunately, the majority of parents have adopted the philosophy that immediate gratification is more important than living according to God’s plan for our lives. The seeds of love, guidance, and encouragement that should be planted in the lives of our children are often neglected. Very often, the seeds that have and are being sown are planted on impulse during moments of stress and tension. These are angry words of destructive criticism that parents will often regret a few minutes after being spoken. The damage, however, has already been done. When the scales of a child’s life have been so over-weighted on one side by negative input and lack of attention, is it any wonder when they eventually develop a cynical and bitter spirit? We must plan and make opportunities to interact and speak words to our children that encourage love, life, hope, and commitment to Jesus Christ as Lord.

I believe that it takes several positive comments to overcome the effects of one negative remark. Negative, critical statements come very easy to most people. James 3:5 6 tells us to “Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body it corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell.” Our tongues are very difficult to discipline. They are capable of not only destroying our 1ives, but also the lives of those in closest proximity to us. Our tongues, however, when self-disciplined, can impart into our children a sense of courage, honor, and morality.

With careful thought and determination, our tongues can be instruments of inspiration. As a parent, one of the decisions I made after I became a Christian was to pray over our young daughters before they went to sleep at night. That time become very precious to me over the years. It gave me the opportunity to open my heart and share the desires and dreams I have for each one of them, individually, as I prayed to our Father in Heaven to watch over them. It was a quiet time, as they lay under the covers of their beds, when I could speak to them without distractions. They had all my attention and I had theirs’. I admit there were times when I was tired and I rushed through these moments as a nightly ritual during which my thoughts were pre occupied with other concerns. Yet, the fact that I had established this as a routine gave me the opportunity to have many conversations with my children that I would not have had otherwise. It allowed me tell them many things that might have remained unsaid. As I prayed over them, they were taught that their earthly father believes that it is important to maintain a consistent relationship with our Heavenly Father. I have tried to plant good seeds. There have been times when I have failed to do so and there will probably be other failures in the future. I have always asked God and my family to forgive me for these and to continue to help me grow in patience, self-discipline, and as an encourager for my family.

Let me encourage you to take advantage of these special times with your children while they are still small. My girls are adults now and have homes of their own. I miss those nightly prayers with my daughters, but I am grateful for those special moments and I am grateful for them. I continue to pray for them daily, but I am glad we had those special times of prayer together before they went to sleep when they were children. (Continued tomorrow)

Skeptical of Government Reports?

propaganda_corporatenewsQuoting columnist Lance Faircloth:

“Do not be surprised by the cynical use of the Department of Homeland Security for a political information war campaign. It is the modus operandi of the Left and has been used effectively for decades. … In the information battle we live through, every media story and every government report is suspect. Experts, universities, think tanks, non-profits and interest groups are all tools for the spin masters and propagandists whose ethics are defined by ‘the ends justifies the means’ of Saul Alinsky’s model. The DHS Rightwing Extremism paper is merely a recent example of how the American people and their law enforcement agencies are manipulated. When those who excel at information manipulation and media control also sit in government the price of truth becomes eternal skepticism. And we ain’t seen nothin’ yet.”

Read more. . . .

Let’s Just Call It Rubbish

rubbishQuoting Carl Trueman at Reformation21:

What are surprising, therefore, are accounts of services where the theology is supposedly orthodox but the content is sheer trivia. If God is awesome, sovereign and holy; if human beings are small, sinful, and lost; if Christ died and rose again by a most miraculous and costly act of grace, then this should impact the way things happen in church. This is not to argue for a one-size-fits-all-my-way-or-the-highway approach to church. Context and culture are important; but what is expressed through the idioms of particular cultural manifestations of the church should be awe, reverence, and, above all seriousness – not a colorless and cold miserable seriousness but a fitting amazement at the greatness of God and his grace.

A church service involving clowns or fancy dress or skits or stand-up comedy does not reflect the seriousness of the gospel; and those who take the gospel seriously should know better. Frankly, it is more appropriate to liberal theology which does not take the gospel, or the God of the gospel, seriously. Serious things demand serious idioms. I heard recently of a church service involving dressing up in costume and music taken from a Tom Cruise movie. Now, if I go for my annual prostate examination, and the doctor comes into the consulting room dressed as Coco the Clown, with `Take my breath away’ from Top Gun playing in the background, guess what? I’m going to take the doctor out with a left hook, flee the surgery, and probably file a complaint with the appropriate professional body. This is serious business; and if he looks like a twit and acts like a twit, then I can only conclude that he is a twit.

You can tell a lot about someone’s theology from what they do in church. Involve Kenny G’s music in your worship service, and I can tell not only that you have no taste in music but also that you have nothing to offer theologically to those who come through the church doors; indeed, what you do have can probably be found better elsewhere. Why certain academics hanker for the approval of the people who, when they leave the lecture theatre also abandon any semblance of adulthood or intelligence, beats me. More seriously, however, why certain orthodox churches strive to look like them, worries me intensely. Look, it’s rubbish. So let’s just call it rubbish, shall we?

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