Thursday, January 31, 2008

Exposing The Truth About Kwanzaa

Last Sunday, I received a lovely and very encouraging email from a fellow sister in Christ named Carlotta Morrow. She graciously accepted my invitation to be a guest blogger today, and gave me permission to post the relevant portions of our email conversations here at Talk Wisdom:

Hi Christine!

I'm a member of the Rock Church and I was reading the postings on Miles blog and saw your responses. I just want to commend you for such excellent responses!

I dug a little deeper and saw that you have a MA in Apologetics from Biola, which is EXACTLY the degree and school that I want to complete myself! Your websites and blogs are excellent and what wonderful work you do to defend the faith!!!

I have my own website and blog as well. is my web ministry that I'm working to expand.

Well, just want to give praise to a sister in the Lord who is quite deserving of it.

Great work and keep it up!

Your sis' in Christ,
Carlotta Morrow

Ahh!! Thank you so much Carlotta! You really made my day!

My email response:

Hi Carlotta,

Thank you for your very kind email! I certainly appreciated all that encouragement!

I visited your website and see that you are heavily involved in debunking the false, made-up religion called "Kwanzaa". Good work!

Several years ago, my daughter's friend thought it would be quite funny to give me a Kwanzaa nutcracker character as a gift for Christmas. She knew that I collected nutcrackers. I didn't really know what to say. I just laughed. She is a Christian too, so I knew that it was just meant as a joke. However, I found myself always leaving it in the decorations box and not putting it out at Christmastime. This year, I finally threw it in the trash!

My husband is the one who got me started with creating a website and discussion board. I started the "Angels Helper" website shortly after the horrific 9/11/01 terrorist attack on our nation. Then, I added the discussion board. When I discovered blogging in March of 2005, I found my niche! I spend most of my internet time blogging now.

After about a year or two, I found that I was getting dozens of spammers at my discussion board every day and it was taking too much time deleting them, banning them and blocking them. So, I closed the board to new members. Now, when someone wants to join, they can send me an email and I will open the registration for them.

Well, that's a brief history of my websites.

Thanks again for your very kind words about my comments at Pastor Miles blog!

In Christ,

Carlotta's reply:

Christine, I'm so glad you threw away that nutcracker! Now after seeing my site, you shouldn't feel too guilty about doing that. Lol!

Yes, you can see my love for apologetics because that's exactly what I do with this Kwanzaa mess. My web ministry has been primarily about equipping the "black church" and its members to depend upon Jesus Christ ONLY and completely and also to inform ALL people about the spiritual deceptiveness of Kwanzaa. Blacks are sometimes made to feel guilty unless they have sold their lives to the religion of "afrocentricism" that they aren't black! Many aren't even aware that they compromise many biblical principles in trying to "be black, think black and act black." Many are practicioners of reverse racism (Barak Obama's church is a very good example of this, although I don't think HE is racist.) Back in 2000, I actually had my life threatened by a multi-degreed educator and member of Barak's church, because she didn't like my "attacks" against Kwanzaa!

I don't like any emphasis on color, but the Lord led me into this ministry because of my family involvement with black racist leaders. I left the black church because of it's emphasis on color (black church here in SD) and I'm so glad I've found a church like the Rock where the color of one's skin isn't even an issue.

I'm glad you found your niche and you do it quite well. Just keep up the great work and thank you so much for your words of encouragement as well!

A Sister' in Christ,

My response:

Hi Carlotta,

Thanks so much for your reply! I chuckled when you wrote that it was a good thing to throw out the Kwanzaa nutcracker!

I can certainly believe the threats that you have gotten. Christian apologetics isn't a walk in the park. Detractors often use very unsavory tactics against us.

I have been active in fighting against the homosexual "christian" movement, emerging church movement, and seeker-sensitive movements on my blog. I am also against, (and very vocal about) the gay agenda in public schools. I am pro-life, conservative and an Orthodox, Bible-based Christian. I have been verbally attacked by various groups and individuals on my blog as well as on other blogs that I visit. But I don't let it bother me. Jesus told us that we aren't to be surprised when people hate us. The reason is because, as the Bible informs us, they love the darkness. Why? Because their deeds are evil. When the Light of Jesus Christ, the Bible and the gospel expose their sin, they don't like fact, they hate the Light (Jesus). They hate us because they hated Jesus first.

I was wondering. Would you mind if I shared some of our email conversations on my blog? I will create a link to your website so that my readers can see all of the hard work that you have put into your ministry to expose the false religion of Kwanzaa.

Carlotta's reply:

Yep, it sure sounds like we're in the same club Christine -- the "we hate you" club! But like you said and what the Bible reminds us is that we are hated because they've hated Jesus first! The indignity of our God coming to earth in the flesh of a baby human, walking the earth while His very own creation ignored Him, mocked Him, and eventually killed Him! Our persecution stands as a mere tickling compared to what our Lord had gone through!

And yes, feel free to share our email snippets on your blog. I'm honored for you to consider me a "guest blogger!"

Well, take care and do keep in touch. I'll be checking on your blog too on a regular basis because you have some great stuff on it!!!

Take care and God bless you Christine!


There is plenty of really good information to read about Kwanzaa at Carlotta's website. Just by viewing a few of her posts, I can already see how knowledgeable she is about the subject.

While posting a comment at her guest book, I had the chance to read a few pages there. The responses are quite varied. There are some who showed their anger at her for exposing the truth about the origins, and false "religion" of Kwanzaa. However, there are many others who expressed much appreciation for having the opportunity to find out the truth regarding this so-called holiday. Carlotta's excellent research and biblical discernment reveals the false information being spread about the origin of, and the "celebration" of Kwanzaa.

It is my prayer that God continues to bless her, her family and her excellent, biblically based ministry work.

HT: Carlotta's website featuring: The Truth About Kwanzaa.

FYI: Comment moderation has been enabled. All comments must be approved by the blog author.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The "Great" Pretenders

Wow!! The following blog post is so good, I wanted to share it here:

They Do Not Profit This People


Thus says the Lord of hosts: “Do not listen to the words of the prophets who prophesy to you, filling you with vain hopes. They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you.’”

The twenty-third chapter of Jeremiah falls near the halfway point of the book, in the midst of a section where the prophet is foretelling the end of the Davidic dynasty and the coming captivity of God’s people. In this particular chapter, Jeremiah pronounces judgments against the false prophets who had become a plague within the nation. While these words were spoken some 600 years before Christ and in a particular context, his words ring as true today as they did then. “They speak visions of their own minds, not from the mouth of the Lord. They say continually to those who despise the word of the Lord, ‘It shall be well with you’; and to everyone who stubbornly follows his own heart, they say, ‘No disaster shall come upon you’” (16, 17).

How can these words fail to remind us of the false prophets who plague the church even in the twenty-first century? So many men and women today speak visions of their own minds, and teach what has so evidently not come from the mouth of the Lord. So many say that it shall be well with people who in reality are destined to suffer eternal torment for their hatred of God. They seek to show from Scripture that Christ will save those even who have never heard His Word, and who have never humbled themselves before the Lord. They say, “It shall be well with you” to those who sit in the pews but have never had their hearts of ice melted by the Lord. They speak lies and blasphemies, all the while pretending to the speak for the Lord.

The next verse, verse eighteen, teaches us how to choose good and noble teachers of the Word. If only we could master this simple piece of wisdom the church would be revitalized!
Amen to that!!

The great pretenders. That's what we have out there in Christendom today. From the Emergent movement, to the Seeker-Sensitive movement, to the homosexual "christian" movement to those who follow "The Message"; the need for true biblical exegesis and steadfast discernment is entirely necessary today.

My message board friend Sothenes (a.k.a. Sosthenes), has been quite busy posting lots of important information about The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson.

Here's a copy of his first post in that thread link (above):

The Message Bible by Eugene Peterson
By Sosthenes 1-20-2008

Eugene Peterson is responsible for "The Message" and it is a loose paraphrase of the Bible. This is what Eugene Peterson thinks about the Bible:

Eugene Peterson:
Even now, in all of my courses, students read poetry and novels. In my course in spirituality they write reviews of the book Middlemarch, The Power and the Glory, and Walter Wangerin's Book of the Dun Cow. The importance of poetry and novels is that the Christian life involves the use of the imagination, after all, we are dealing with the invisible. And, imagination is our training in dealing with the invisible, making connections, looking for plot and character. I don't want to do away with or denigrate theology or exegesis, but our primary allies in this business are the artists. I want literature to be on par with those other things. They need to be brought in as full partners in this whole business. The arts reflect where we live, we live in narrative, we live in story. We don't live as exegetes.

I think it's partly our sin. One of the Devil's finest pieces of work is getting people to spend three nights a week in Bible studies.

I'm sure that's going to surprise a lot of readers!

Eugene Peterson:
Well, why do people spend so much time studying the Bible? How much do you need to know? We invest all this time in understanding the text which has a separate life of it's own and we think we're being more pious and spiritual when we're doing it. But it's all to be lived. It was given to us so we could live it. But most Christians know far more of the Bible than they're living. They should be studying it less, not more. You just need enough to pay attention to God.

Eugene Peterson:
I think I would want to say it a different way. We treat the text as if it is in a separate world of its own, apart from our lives. This text reveals God lovingly at work in the world. And the intent of the text is to draw us into that world of God's action. Study is normally an over intellectualized process. It takes us out of relationships. And so I guess I'm just not at all pleased with all the emphasis on Bible study as if it's some kind of special thing that Christians do, and the more they do the better. It needs to be integrated into something more whole.


So when Paul says,"Study to show thyself approved" and Jesus says to "..abide in my word" then Eugene Peterson thinks it is the devils works because he said,"One of the Devil's finest pieces of work is getting people to spend three nights a week in Bible studies.

"To attribute studying the Bible to the devil is close to calling Jesus accursed:1 Cor. 12:3

Wherefore I give you to understand, that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calleth Jesus accursed: and [that] no man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost.

I'm also studying this website which has some interesting information on Eugene Peterson and I have to question his credentials and those who would support his work: Seek God

The Message Doctrine & Gnostic or New Age Terms and Concepts May 13, 2006

The Message Doctrine & Gnostic or New Age Terms and Concepts Cont. May 13, 2006

Go to the message board link to read much, much more on this!


Pseudo-Child Porn Legal

In 2002, the U.S. Supreme Court rejected the part of the Child Pornography Prevention Act that prohibited 'computer or computer-generated image or picture, that is, or appears to be, of a minor engaging in sexually explicit conduct.' This means anyone can eroticize your children's photos for autoerotic use.

read more | digg story

When I read this portion of the article, I almost vomited my lunch:

Right now, scores of websites display free, high-tech child/infant pornographic illustrations that are more vile and brutal than could ever be produced by real child photography. The "art" shows children "enjoying" their most horrific tortures, assuaging millions of viewers' consciences and suborning juvenile and adult barbaric copycat crimes.


Please see the author, Dr. Judith Reisman's website.

So many incidences of children being sexually abused, tortured, and murdered are as a result of perverted predators becoming addicted to child porn. After a while, the images don't "do it" for them anymore, so like Dr. Reisman points out in her article, it leads to these sickos "acting out juvenile and adult barbaric copycat crimes."

You'll have to excuse me from completing this post. I'm terribly nauseous again.

So, Edwards Is Out

I have noticed that several bloggers out there thought that Edwards was out of the race a long time ago. He is now expected to make it official.

The buzz is that he's not going to immediately endorse either of the two remaining Democratic candidates.

Smart man.

He knows he has some bargaining power now and I'm sure that he'll make the most of it.

There is something that I have wanted to say about Edwards and his ad nauseum references to "tax breaks for the rich."

[Caution, you are about to enter the Talk Wisdom rant zone.]

Each time he spoke at a rally, the man just irked me no end!

That man is missing several facts that are quite important to share.

First. People who have worked their way up the ladder of success in this country should pay their fair amount of taxes; but they shouldn't be expected to give 60 - 80% of it to the government. That's just crazy! That's not fair. That's robbery. Even 50% is too much. Perhaps the super rich deserve to pay that. But if the Dems had their way I shudder to think where the cut-off might be.

Second. Edwards never seems to recognize that many of these "rich" CEO's, Corporate Executives, and small business owners donate very generously to various charities. I wonder. Has Edwards ever looked into that fact? Doubt it.

Third. The fact that many of these people provide jobs for so many others seems to escape his mind. Not only do they provide employment opportunities at their places of business, but many most likely pay monthly fees for services at their homes. They may not be under employment at the corporations they lead, but think about all of the landscapers, pool service people, pet sitters, housekeepers (I would love that one!!), home improvement contractors, etc. that they pay for services rendered at their homes.

Fourth. Without mentioning any names, I can say that I know of people who have gorgeous homes, expensive cars and enjoy many luxuries in this life. However, they have worked their butts off to earn such things. Many people, including Dems like Edwards, probably have no idea how much money, time, and mentoring efforts that such people have generously given away over the years. Do such thoughts ever enter into their minds? Doubt it.

I know of several people who have given, and/or raised tens of thousands of dollars for worthy causes such as Big Brothers & Big Sisters, The Boys and Girls Clubs, the YMCA, and various health care organizations.

Did Edwards ever do any research about this? Probably not. He is the type of man who has an agenda that he likes to spread about the country in order to garner votes from certain people who may have the same ideology that he has. I truly think that this is very regrettable. He attempts to divide this country with his negative and unpleasant combative attitude.

I know some personal stories about people whose families had financially struggled early on in their lives. In one case, a young teenager used a small, walk-in closet as his bedroom when his ill father's condition forced the family to move in with relatives. Did they mooch off of the government in order to get back on their feet? No. Families used to help related families when they were in dire straits. With so much divorce going on nowadays, it is a rare thing for families to remain intact. It is truly a sad state of affairs.

Fifth. Even though the traditional family is under attack at an alarming rate these days, there is still the fact that Christian churches often do come to the rescue of the downtrodden. Why didn't Edwards ever talk about that? I have seen hundreds of examples of Christian families generously donating money, food, clothing, shelter, Christmas gifts for children etc.; to those in need. Some of these families are very wealthy and donate thousands. Others, are not that wealthy but give what they can. In either example, it is the giving attitude that counts, not necessarily the amount of money given.

Sixth. The controversy over Edwards using a false claim that "thousands of homeless vets are being left out on the streets and under bridges" was just downright dishonest. Yes, our system is not perfect. Yes, there is room for improvement. Yes, some people fall through the cracks. However, Edwards never mentioned the fact that there is help available and some, if not most, make their own individual decisions to refuse that help.

The causes for their homelessness could be varied. Some, unfortunately, are drug addicted. Some are alcoholics. Some are mentally ill. Some just don't want the help. Some would rather panhandle than get help. Like the guest who works with veterans and appeared on Bill O'Reilly's show stated, "We can't drag them in if they don't want help." The same could be said for some of the homeless in the general public, too.

I once had a few discussions with a police officer who worked with getting help for the homeless. He admitted that some just refuse to come off the streets; even if the opportunity presents itself. They go to a shelter at night when it is cold, and then go back out during the day. They get food at soup kitchens and various church organizations that distribute food.

There are a lot of really good people who help others in this country. Many of them happen to be either well off or rich. But if we would take Edwards' pronouncements seriously, we would be left to believe that people (especially the "rich") are selfish, uncharitable, stingy, and uncaring about others down on their luck.

Seventh. The "rich" people that Edwards habitually rails against often donate lots of used clothing, household items, tools, bikes name Goodwill, the Salvation Army, AmVets and other organizations. Many people are employed as a result of such donations. Clothes that aren't resold or given away here are shipped to third world countries. Where is Edward's praise for such generosity? Answer: no where to be found.

Who usually gets praise for helping others? Celebrities. The super-wealthy. People like Oprah or Bill Gates, for example. Don't get me wrong...they deserve the recognition. But how about a clap of the hands for the ordinary Americans out there who work very hard at their jobs to earn good money to support their families and never take a cent of aid or handouts from the government? How about giving just a tiny bit of recognition for those who faithfully, and habitually contribute to churches, charities, medical research and various children's organizations both here in America and around the world? Don't they deserve more than condemnation from those like Edwards and his ilk?

Stepping off the soapbox now.

HT: Outside the Beltway

See this post too!

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Hypocrisy of Obama

After reading an article about Barack Obama in Christianity Today, I'm not sure what bothered me more. Obama's hypocrisy or the comments made by some of the commenters after the article!

I can't decide whether Obama is just a plain ole' hypocrite. Or, more precisely, a lying hypocrite.

The following is from the article regarding Obama's position on abortion:

He did, however, say that he supports restricting third-trimester abortions. But it's hard to know if he's serious, since he requires an exception for the health of the mother, a notorious loophole that would effectively negate the type of ban signed by President Bush in 2003.

What I already know about this man still makes me wonder if Obama really is a Christian. According to his voting record in Congress, Obama lied to that man conducting the interview.

From a previous post:

Even worse, is the fact that Obama, as a politician, supports unfettered abortion (even the horrific method of partial-birth abortion and the fact that he was the only senator to debate against the Born Alive Infants bill that gave the right to keep a baby who is born alive and birthed as a result of a botched abortion medical care) doesn't sound like a Christian value to me.

Now that he has come out supporting drivers licenses for illegal immigrants, I have another big reason added to the long list of reasons why I must oppose him as a candidate for president!

Didn't the guy learn anything from Hillary's flip-flopping on that very same issue? It was a disaster for her!

In the back of my mind I always knew that once Obama started saying more about his own ideas and policies, he would expose himself as a disasterous choice for the presidency.

Monday, January 28, 2008

State of the Union Address 1/28/08

Madam Speaker, Vice President Cheney, Members of Congress, distinguished guests, and fellow citizens:

Seven years have passed since I first stood before you at this rostrum. In that time, our country has been tested in ways none of us could have imagined. We have faced hard decisions about peace and war, rising competition in the world economy, and the health and welfare of our citizens. These issues call for vigorous debate, and I think it's fair to say we've answered that call. Yet history will record that amid our differences, we acted with purpose. And together, we showed the world the power and resilience of American self-government.

All of us were sent to Washington to carry out the people's business. That is the purpose of this body. It is the meaning of our oath. And it remains our charge to keep.

The actions of the 110th Congress will affect the security and prosperity of our Nation long after this session has ended. In this election year, let us show our fellow Americans that we recognize our responsibilities and are determined to meet them. And let us show them that Republicans and Democrats can compete for votes and cooperate for results at the same time.

From expanding opportunity to protecting our country, we have made good progress. Yet we have unfinished business before us, and the American people expect us to get it done.

In the work ahead, we must be guided by the philosophy that made our Nation great. As Americans, we believe in the power of individuals to determine their destiny and shape the course of history. We believe that the most reliable guide for our country is the collective wisdom of ordinary citizens. So in all we do, we must trust in the ability of free people to make wise decisions, and empower them to improve their lives and their futures.

To build a prosperous future, we must trust people with their own money and empower them to grow our economy. As we meet tonight, our economy is undergoing a period of uncertainty. America has added jobs for a record 52 straight months, but jobs are now growing at a slower pace. Wages are up, but so are prices for food and gas. Exports are rising, but the housing market has declined. And at kitchen tables across our country, there is concern about our economic future.

In the long run, Americans can be confident about our economic growth. But in the short run, we can all see that growth is slowing. So last week, my Administration reached agreement with Speaker Pelosi and Republican Leader Boehner on a robust growth package that includes tax relief for individuals and families and incentives for business investment. The temptation will be to load up the bill. That would delay it or derail it, and neither option is acceptable. This is a good agreement that will keep our economy growing and our people working. And this Congress must pass it as soon as possible.

We have other work to do on taxes. Unless the Congress acts, most of the tax relief we have delivered over the past 7 years will be taken away. Some in Washington argue that letting tax relief expire is not a tax increase. Try explaining that to 116 million American taxpayers who would see their taxes rise by an average of $1,800. Others have said they would personally be happy to pay higher taxes. I welcome their enthusiasm, and I am pleased to report that the IRS accepts both checks and money orders.

Most Americans think their taxes are high enough. With all the other pressures on their finances, American families should not have to worry about the Federal Government taking a bigger bite out of their paychecks. There is only one way to eliminate this uncertainty: make the tax relief permanent. And Members of Congress should know: If any bill raising taxes reaches my desk, I will veto it.

Just as we trust Americans with their own money, we need to earn their trust by spending their tax dollars wisely. Next week, I will send you a budget that terminates or substantially reduces 151 wasteful or bloated programs totaling more than $18 billion. And this budget will keep America on track for a surplus in 2012. American families have to balance their budgets, and so should their Government.

The people's trust in their Government is undermined by congressional earmarks — special interest projects that are often snuck in at the last minute, without discussion or debate. Last year, I asked you to voluntarily cut the number and cost of earmarks in half. I also asked you to stop slipping earmarks into committee reports that never even come to a vote. Unfortunately, neither goal was met. So this time, if you send me an appropriations bill that does not cut the number and cost of earmarks in half, I will send it back to you with my veto. And tomorrow, I will issue an Executive Order that directs Federal agencies to ignore any future earmark that is not voted on by the Congress. If these items are truly worth funding, the Congress should debate them in the open and hold a public vote.

Our shared responsibilities extend beyond matters of taxes and spending.

On housing, we must trust Americans with the responsibility of homeownership and empower them to weather turbulent times in the housing market. My Administration brought together the HOPE NOW alliance, which is helping many struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure. The Congress can help even more. Tonight I ask you to pass legislation to reform Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, modernize the Federal Housing Administration, and allow State housing agencies to issue tax-free bonds to help homeowners refinance their mortgages. These are difficult times for many American families, and by taking these steps, we can help more of them keep their homes.

To build a future of quality health care, we must trust patients and doctors to make medical decisions and empower them with better information and better options. We share a common goal: making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans. The best way to achieve that goal is by expanding consumer choice, not government control. So I have proposed ending the bias in the tax code against those who do not get their health insurance through their employer. This one reform would put private coverage within reach for millions, and I call on the Congress to pass it this year. The Congress must also expand health savings accounts, create Association Health Plans for small businesses, promote health information technology, and confront the epidemic of junk medical lawsuits. With all these steps, we will help ensure that decisions about your medical care are made in the privacy of your doctor's office — not in the halls of Congress.

On education, we must trust students to learn if given the chance and empower parents to demand results from our schools. In neighborhoods across our country, there are boys and girls with dreams — and a decent education is their only hope of achieving them. Six years ago, we came together to pass the No Child Left Behind Act, and today no one can deny its results. Last year, fourth and eighth graders achieved the highest math scores on record. Reading scores are on the rise. And African-American and Hispanic students posted all-time highs. Now we must work together to increase accountability, add flexibility for States and districts, reduce the number of high school dropouts, and provide extra help for struggling schools. Members of Congress: The No Child Left Behind Act is a bipartisan achievement. It is succeeding. And we owe it to America's children, their parents, and their teachers to strengthen this good law.

We must also do more to help children when their schools do not measure up. Thanks to the D.C. Opportunity Scholarships you approved, more than 2,600 of the poorest children in our Nation's capital have found new hope at a faith-based or other non-public school. Sadly, these schools are disappearing at an alarming rate in many of America's inner cities. So I will convene a White House summit aimed at strengthening these lifelines of learning. And to open the doors of these schools to more children, I ask you to support a new $300 million program called Pell Grants for Kids. We have seen how Pell Grants help low-income college students realize their full potential. Together, we have expanded the size and reach of these grants. Now let's apply that same spirit to help liberate poor children trapped in failing public schools.

On trade, we must trust American workers to compete with anyone in the world and empower them by opening up new markets overseas. Today, our economic growth increasingly depends on our ability to sell American goods, crops, and services all over the world. So we are working to break down barriers to trade and investment wherever we can. We are working for a successful Doha round of trade talks, and we must complete a good agreement this year. At the same time, we are pursuing opportunities to open up new markets by passing free trade agreements.

I thank the Congress for approving a good agreement with Peru. Now I ask you to approve agreements with Colombia, Panama, and South Korea. Many products from these nations now enter America duty-free, yet many of our products face steep tariffs in their markets. These agreements will level the playing field. They will give us better access to nearly 100 million customers. And they will support good jobs for the finest workers in the world: those whose products say "Made in the USA."

These agreements also promote America's strategic interests. The first agreement that will come before you is with Colombia, a friend of America that is confronting violence and terror and fighting drug traffickers. If we fail to pass this agreement, we will embolden the purveyors of false populism in our hemisphere. So we must come together, pass this agreement, and show our neighbors in the region that democracy leads to a better life.

Trade brings better jobs, better choices, and better prices. Yet for some Americans, trade can mean losing a job, and the Federal Government has a responsibility to help. I ask the Congress to reauthorize and reform trade adjustment assistance, so we can help these displaced workers learn new skills and find new jobs.

To build a future of energy security, we must trust in the creative genius of American researchers and entrepreneurs and empower them to pioneer a new generation of clean energy technology. Our security, our prosperity, and our environment all require reducing our dependence on oil. Last year, I asked you to pass legislation to reduce oil consumption over the next decade, and you responded. Together we should take the next steps: Let us fund new technologies that can generate coal power while capturing carbon emissions. Let us increase the use of renewable power and emissions-free nuclear power. Let us continue investing in advanced battery technology and renewable fuels to power the cars and trucks of the future. Let us create a new international clean technology fund, which will help developing nations like India and China make greater use of clean energy sources. And let us complete an international agreement that has the potential to slow, stop, and eventually reverse the growth of greenhouse gases. This agreement will be effective only if it includes commitments by every major economy and gives none a free ride. The United States is committed to strengthening our energy security and confronting global climate change. And the best way to meet these goals is for America to continue leading the way toward the development of cleaner and more efficient technology.

To keep America competitive into the future, we must trust in the skill of our scientists and engineers and empower them to pursue the breakthroughs of tomorrow. Last year, the Congress passed legislation supporting the American Competitiveness Initiative, but never followed through with the funding. This funding is essential to keeping our scientific edge. So I ask the Congress to double Federal support for critical basic research in the physical sciences and ensure America remains the most dynamic nation on earth.

On matters of science and life, we must trust in the innovative spirit of medical researchers and empower them to discover new treatments while respecting moral boundaries. In November, we witnessed a landmark achievement when scientists discovered a way to reprogram adult skin cells to act like embryonic stem cells. This breakthrough has the potential to move us beyond the divisive debates of the past by extending the frontiers of medicine without the destruction of human life. So we are expanding funding for this type of ethical medical research. And as we explore promising avenues of research, we must also ensure that all life is treated with the dignity it deserves. So I call on the Congress to pass legislation that bans unethical practices such as the buying, selling, patenting, or cloning of human life.

On matters of justice, we must trust in the wisdom of our Founders and empower judges who understand that the Constitution means what it says. I have submitted judicial nominees who will rule by the letter of the law, not the whim of the gavel. Many of these nominees are being unfairly delayed. They are worthy of confirmation, and the Senate should give each of them a prompt up-or-down vote.

In communities across our land, we must trust in the good heart of the American people and empower them to serve their neighbors in need. Over the past 7 years, more of our fellow citizens have discovered that the pursuit of happiness leads to the path of service. Americans have volunteered in record numbers. Charitable donations are higher than ever. Faith-based groups are bringing hope to pockets of despair, with newfound support from the Federal Government. And to help guarantee equal treatment for faith-based organizations when they compete for Federal funds, I ask you to permanently extend Charitable Choice.

Tonight the armies of compassion continue the march to a new day in the Gulf Coast. America honors the strength and resilience of the people of this region. We reaffirm our pledge to help them build stronger and better than before. And tonight I am pleased to announce that in April we will host this year's North American Summit of Canada, Mexico, and the United States in the great city of New Orleans.

There are two other pressing challenges that I have raised repeatedly before this body, and that this body has failed to address: entitlement spending and immigration.

Every Member in this chamber knows that spending on entitlement programs like Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid is growing faster than we can afford. And we all know the painful choices ahead if America stays on this path: massive tax increases, sudden and drastic cuts in benefits, or crippling deficits. I have laid out proposals to reform these programs. Now I ask Members of Congress to offer your proposals and come up with a bipartisan solution to save these vital programs for our children and grandchildren.

The other pressing challenge is immigration. America needs to secure our borders — and with your help, my Administration is taking steps to do so. We are increasing worksite enforcement, we are deploying fences and advanced technologies to stop illegal crossings, we have effectively ended the policy of "catch and release" at the border, and by the end of this year, we will have doubled the number of border patrol agents. Yet we also need to acknowledge that we will never fully secure our border until we create a lawful way for foreign workers to come here and support our economy. This will take pressure off the border and allow law enforcement to concentrate on those who mean us harm. We must also find a sensible and humane way to deal with people here illegally. Illegal immigration is complicated, but it can be resolved. And it must be resolved in a way that upholds both our laws and our highest ideals.

This is the business of our Nation here at home. Yet building a prosperous future for our citizens also depends on confronting enemies abroad and advancing liberty in troubled regions of the world.

Our foreign policy is based on a clear premise: We trust that people, when given the chance, will choose a future of freedom and peace. In the last 7 years, we have witnessed stirring moments in the history of liberty. We have seen citizens in Georgia and Ukraine stand up for their right to free and fair elections. We have seen people in Lebanon take to the streets to demand their independence. We have seen Afghans emerge from the tyranny of the Taliban to choose a new president and a new parliament. We have seen jubilant Iraqis holding up ink-stained fingers and celebrating their freedom. And these images of liberty have inspired us.

In the past 7 years, we have also seen images that have sobered us. We have watched throngs of mourners in Lebanon and Pakistan carrying the caskets of beloved leaders taken by the assassin's hand. We have seen wedding guests in blood-soaked finery staggering from a hotel in Jordan, Afghans and Iraqis blown up in mosques and markets, and trains in London and Madrid ripped apart by bombs. And on a clear September day, we saw thousands of our fellow citizens taken from us in an instant. These horrific images serve as a grim reminder: The advance of liberty is opposed by terrorists and extremists — evil men who despise freedom, despise America, and aim to subject millions to their violent rule.

Since September 11, we have taken the fight to these terrorists and extremists. We will stay on the offense, we will keep up the pressure, and we will deliver justice to the enemies of America.

We are engaged in the defining ideological struggle of the 21st century. The terrorists oppose every principle of humanity and decency that we hold dear. Yet in this war on terror, there is one thing we and our enemies agree on: In the long run, men and women who are free to determine their own destinies will reject terror and refuse to live in tyranny. That is why the terrorists are fighting to deny this choice to people in Lebanon,

Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, and the Palestinian Territories. And that is why, for the security of America and the peace of the world, we are spreading the hope of freedom.

In Afghanistan, America, our 25 NATO allies, and 15 partner nations are helping the Afghan people defend their freedom and rebuild their country. Thanks to the courage of these military and civilian personnel, a nation that was once a safe haven for al Qaida is now a young democracy where boys and girls are going to school, new roads and hospitals are being built, and people are looking to the future with new hope. These successes must continue, so we are adding 3,200 Marines to our forces in Afghanistan, where they will fight the terrorists and train the Afghan Army and police. Defeating the Taliban and al Qaida is critical to our security, and I thank the Congress for supporting America's vital mission in Afghanistan.

In Iraq, the terrorists and extremists are fighting to deny a proud people their liberty and to establish safe havens for attacks across the world. One year ago, our enemies were succeeding in their efforts to plunge Iraq into chaos. So we reviewed our strategy and changed course. We launched a surge of American forces into Iraq. And we gave our troops a new mission: Work with Iraqi forces to protect the Iraqi people, pursue the enemy in its strongholds, and deny the terrorists sanctuary anywhere in the country.

The Iraqi people quickly realized that something dramatic had happened. Those who had worried that America was preparing to abandon them instead saw tens of thousands of American forces flowing into their country. They saw our forces moving into neighborhoods, clearing out the terrorists, and staying behind to ensure the enemy did not return. And they saw our troops, along with Provincial Reconstruction Teams that include Foreign Service Officers and other skilled public servants, coming in to ensure that improved security was followed by improvements in daily life. Our military and civilians in Iraq are performing with courage and distinction, and they have the gratitude of our whole Nation.

The Iraqis launched a surge of their own. In the fall of 2006, Sunni tribal leaders grew tired of al Qaida's brutality and started a popular uprising called "The Anbar Awakening." Over the past year, similar movements have spread across the country. And today, this grassroots surge includes more than 80,000 Iraqi citizens who are fighting the terrorists. The government in Baghdad has stepped forward as well — adding more than 100,000 new Iraqi soldiers and police during the past year.

While the enemy is still dangerous and more work remains, the American and Iraqi surges have achieved results few of us could have imagined just 1 year ago:

When we met last year, many said containing the violence was impossible. A year later, high profile terrorist attacks are down, civilian deaths are down, and sectarian killings are down.

When we met last year, militia extremists — some armed and trained by Iran — were wreaking havoc in large areas of Iraq. A year later, Coalition and Iraqi forces have killed or captured hundreds of militia fighters. And Iraqis of all backgrounds increasingly realize that defeating these militia fighters is critical to the future of their country.

When we met last year, al Qaida had sanctuaries in many areas of Iraq, and their leaders had just offered American forces safe passage out of the country. Today, it is al Qaida that is searching for safe passage. They have been driven from many of the strongholds they once held, and over the past year, we have captured or killed thousands of extremists in Iraq, including hundreds of key al Qaida leaders and operatives. Last month, Osama bin Laden released a tape in which he railed against Iraqi tribal leaders who have turned on al Qaida and admitted that Coalition forces are growing stronger in Iraq. Ladies and gentlemen, some may deny the surge is working, but among the terrorists there is no doubt. Al Qaida is on the run in Iraq, and this enemy will be defeated.

When we met last year, our troop levels in Iraq were on the rise. Today, because of the progress just described, we are implementing a policy of "return on success," and the surge forces we sent to Iraq are beginning to come home.

This progress is a credit to the valor of our troops and the brilliance of their commanders. This evening, I want to speak directly to our men and women on the frontlines. Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen: In the past year, you have done everything we have asked of you, and more. Our Nation is grateful for your courage. We are proud of your accomplishments. And tonight in this hallowed chamber, with the American people as our witness, we make you a solemn pledge: In the fight ahead, you will have all you need to protect our Nation. And I ask the Congress to meet its responsibilities to these brave men and women by fully funding our troops.

Our enemies in Iraq have been hit hard. They are not yet defeated, and we can still expect tough fighting ahead. Our objective in the coming year is to sustain and build on the gains we made in 2007, while transitioning to the next phase of our strategy. American troops are shifting from leading operations, to partnering with Iraqi forces, and, eventually, to a protective overwatch mission. As part of this transition, one Army brigade combat team and one Marine Expeditionary Unit have already come home and will not be replaced. In the coming months, four additional brigades and two Marine battalions will follow suit. Taken together, this means more than 20,000 of our troops are coming home.

Any further drawdown of U.S. troops will be based on conditions in Iraq and the recommendations of our commanders. General Petraeus has warned that too fast a drawdown could result in the "disintegration of the Iraqi Security Forces, al Qaida-Iraq regaining lost ground, [and] a marked increase in violence." Members of Congress: Having come so far and achieved so much, we must not allow this to happen.

In the coming year, we will work with Iraqi leaders as they build on the progress they are making toward political reconciliation. At the local level, Sunnis, Shia, and Kurds are beginning to come together to reclaim their communities and rebuild their lives. Progress in the provinces must be matched by progress in Baghdad. And we are seeing some encouraging signs. The national government is sharing oil revenues with the provinces. The parliament recently passed both a pension law and de-Ba'athification reform. Now they are debating a provincial powers law. The Iraqis still have a distance to travel. But after decades of dictatorship and the pain of sectarian violence, reconciliation is taking place — and the Iraqi people are taking control of their future.

The mission in Iraq has been difficult and trying for our Nation. But it is in the vital interest of the United States that we succeed. A free Iraq will deny al Qaida a safe haven. A free Iraq will show millions across the Middle East that a future of liberty is possible. And a free Iraq will be a friend of America, a partner in fighting terror, and a source of stability in a dangerous part of the world.

By contrast, a failed Iraq would embolden extremists, strengthen Iran, and give terrorists a base from which to launch new attacks on our friends, our allies, and our homeland. The enemy has made its intentions clear. At a time when the momentum seemed to favor them, al Qaida's top commander in Iraq declared that they will not rest until they have attacked us here in Washington. My fellow Americans: We will not rest either. We will not rest until this enemy has been defeated. We must do the difficult work today, so that years from now people will look back and say that this generation rose to the moment, prevailed in a tough fight, and left behind a more hopeful region and a safer America.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism in the Holy Land, where we have new cause for hope. Palestinians have elected a president who recognizes that confronting terror is essential to achieving a state where his people can live in dignity and at peace with Israel. Israelis have leaders who recognize that a peaceful, democratic Palestinian state will be a source of lasting security. This month in Ramallah and Jerusalem, I assured leaders from both sides that America will do, and I will do, everything we can to help them achieve a peace agreement that defines a Palestinian state by the end of this year. The time has come for a Holy Land where a democratic Israel and a democratic Palestine live side-by-side in peace.

We are also standing against the forces of extremism embodied by the regime in Tehran. Iran's rulers oppress a good and talented people. And wherever freedom advances in the Middle East, it seems the Iranian regime is there to oppose it. Iran is funding and training militia groups in Iraq, supporting Hezbollah terrorists in Lebanon, and backing Hamas' efforts to undermine peace in the Holy Land. Tehran is also developing ballistic missiles of increasing range and continues to develop its capability to enrich uranium, which could be used to create a nuclear weapon. Our message to the people of Iran is clear: We have no quarrel with you, we respect your traditions and your history, and we look forward to the day when you have your freedom. Our message to the leaders of Iran is also clear: Verifiably suspend your nuclear enrichment, so negotiations can begin. And to rejoin the community of nations, come clean about your nuclear intentions and past actions, stop your oppression at home, and cease your support for terror abroad. But above all, know this: America will confront those who threaten our troops, we will stand by our allies, and we will defend our vital interests in the Persian Gulf.

On the homefront, we will continue to take every lawful and effective measure to protect our country. This is our most solemn duty. We are grateful that there has not been another attack on our soil since September 11. This is not for a lack of desire or effort on the part of the enemy. In the past 6 years, we have stopped numerous attacks, including a plot to fly a plane into the tallest building in Los Angeles and another to blow up passenger jets bound for America over the Atlantic. Dedicated men and women in our Government toil day and night to stop the terrorists from carrying out their plans. These good citizens are saving American lives, and everyone in this chamber owes them our thanks. And we owe them something more: We owe them the tools they need to keep our people safe.

One of the most important tools we can give them is the ability to monitor terrorist communications. To protect America, we need to know who the terrorists are talking to, what they are saying, and what they are planning. Last year, the Congress passed legislation to help us do that. Unfortunately, the Congress set the legislation to expire on February 1. This means that if you do not act by Friday, our ability to track terrorist threats would be weakened and our citizens will be in greater danger. The Congress must ensure the flow of vital intelligence is not disrupted. The Congress must pass liability protection for companies believed to have assisted in the efforts to defend America. We have had ample time for debate. The time to act is now.

Protecting our Nation from the dangers of a new century requires more than good intelligence and a strong military. It also requires changing the conditions that breed resentment and allow extremists to prey on despair. So America is using its influence to build a freer, more hopeful, and more compassionate world. This is a reflection of our national interest and the calling of our conscience.

America is opposing genocide in Sudan and supporting freedom in countries from Cuba and Zimbabwe to Belarus and Burma.

America is leading the fight against global poverty, with strong education initiatives and humanitarian assistance. We have also changed the way we deliver aid by launching the Millennium Challenge Account. This program strengthens democracy, transparency, and the rule of law in developing nations, and I ask you to fully fund this important initiative.

America is leading the fight against global hunger. Today, more than half the world's food aid comes from the United States. And tonight, I ask the Congress to support an innovative proposal to provide food assistance by purchasing crops directly from farmers in the developing world, so we can build up local agriculture and help break the cycle of famine.

America is leading the fight against disease. With your help, we are working to cut by half the number of malaria-related deaths in 15 African nations. And our Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief is treating 1.4 million people. We can bring healing and hope to many more. So I ask you to maintain the principles that have changed behavior and made this program a success. And I call on you to double our initial commitment to fighting HIV/AIDS by approving an additional $30 billion over the next 5 years.

America is a force for hope in the world because we are a compassionate people, and some of the most compassionate Americans are those who have stepped forward to protect us. We must keep faith with all who have risked life and limb so that we might live in freedom and peace. Over the past 7 years, we have increased funding for veterans by more than 95 percent. As we increase funding, we must also reform our veterans system to meet the needs of a new war and a new generation. I call on the Congress to enact the reforms recommended by Senator Bob Dole and Secretary Donna Shalala, so we can improve the system of care for our wounded warriors and help them build lives of hope, promise, and dignity.

Our military families also sacrifice for America. They endure sleepless nights and the daily struggle of providing for children while a loved one is serving far from home. We have a responsibility to provide for them. So I ask you to join me in expanding their access to childcare, creating new hiring preferences for military spouses across the Federal Government, and allowing our troops to transfer their unused education benefits to their spouses or children. Our military families serve our Nation, they inspire our Nation, and tonight our Nation honors them.

The secret of our strength, the miracle of America, is that our greatness lies not in our Government, but in the spirit and determination of our people. When the Federal Convention met in Philadelphia in 1787, our Nation was bound by the Articles of Confederation, which began with the words, "We the undersigned delegates." When Gouverneur Morris was asked to draft the preamble to our new Constitution, he offered an important revision and opened with words that changed the course of our Nation and the history of the world: "We the people."

By trusting the people, our Founders wagered that a great and noble Nation could be built on the liberty that resides in the hearts of all men and women. By trusting the people, succeeding generations transformed our fragile young democracy into the most powerful Nation on earth and a beacon of hope for millions. And so long as we continue to trust the people, our Nation will prosper, our liberty will be secure, and the State of our Union will remain strong. So tonight, with confidence in freedom's power, and trust in the people, let us set forth to do their business.

The Gospel Made Simple

We all know that familiar saying, "be careful what you wish for." Today, I'd like to change that to, "be careful what you pray for!"

Yesterday morning, while listening to an awesome message at church entitled "The Gospel Made Simple," we were challenged to "take out ownership of our own life and give it to Christ."

During personal prayer time, I found myself praying for God's leading in my life, my relationships with other people and my writing on this blog. I prayed, "Lord, show me what You would like me to share with people."

Well, the Lord answered that prayer! He shook me awake nice and early this morning...about 3:30 a.m.! Though I tried, there was no chance that I would fall asleep again. I found my mind flooded with ideas to apply what I have learned from God's Word towards people, situations, circumstances and opportunities that exist in our culture today. I almost found myself desiring to say, "Stop Lord! I can't take in any more today!"

My mind was being filled with current goings-on in our culture.

The situation with Britney Spear's sister, being a young teen and pregnant, came to mind.

Last evening while helping my daughter buy groceries to take back up to college with her, I saw the cover of one of the latest gossip magazines claiming that Jamie Lynn was planning on having her baby and giving it up for adoption.

Next, I thought about the wonderful review on the movie Juno that I read late last night over at Charlie's AnotherThink blog. Of course, because of the movie being a typical Hollywood production, it left out some of the really good Christian messages that could have been shared.

Nonetheless, I got to thinking. I wondered whether or not that movie may have influenced Jamie's decision to have her baby and give it up for adoption? I recall commenting to my daughter, while waiting in the grocery store checkout line, "I certainly applaud her for not getting an abortion."

I found myself thinking about Britney Spears. I thought about how she once seemed to "have it all." A successful, lucrative career. Fame and stardom. A handsome boyfriend, turned husband with whom she had two children. Then, the all to familiar tragedies of life came in; raging, seemingly overtaking her...just like a fire. Her downward spiral seemed to happen continually; getting worse and worse as time went on. The drinking; the depression; the bizarre behaviors; the "exposures," if you will; the carelessness with her children; the DUI's; the breakup of her marriage. The list could go on and on. How could someone so successful be so lost, sad and destructive? I'm sure that being under the constant scrutiny of the public and the continual glare of the paparazzi flashbulbs didn't help.

Now, I'm not certain if this is true, but I read somewhere that Britney now has a new boyfriend who happens to be Muslim. It is rumored that she plans to convert to Islam.

What does all of this tell us?

She is searching.

She is searching for what is missing in her life...a relationship, and reconciliation with God.

She needs to hear "The Gospel Made Simple." Just like every single human being on this earth...she needs to know Jesus Christ and Him crucified.

In that sermon (link to listen to it above), Pastor Chris Brown covered who Jesus is.

He made an interesting illustration by using an analogy of an "icon" on your computer. You click on the icon for Internet Explorer and will have access to, and see, the world wide web. Right there, at your fingertips!

Perhaps that analogy will help you see what is being said here:

1. Jesus is the "image" of God. The image of Jesus Christ is the manifestation of the invisible God. Jesus himself told us that when the disciples saw Him, they had seen the Father. He stated, "I and the Father are One." (please listen to the message and/or see the outline with verses listed at link above for much more detail).

2. Jesus is the "firstborn" of God. Jesus was also called, "firstborn." Now, the Greek word used was meant as "supremacy of rank." It represented "before all else" or "first in line." It demonstrates His dominion.

3. Jesus is the "fullness" of God. This represents completeness - not lacking anything; totality of attributes.

It would be very advantageous for readers to listen to the sermon message.

Below, is a brief outline of the message:

Christianity Made Simple
Message #3
January 26-27, 2008
Pastor Chris Brown


Track 1 of 6

Colossians 1:15-20 Philippians 2:5-11

Image: ICON

Track 2 of 6

Firstborn: Supremacy of rank

Fullness: The sum of

Track 3 of 6

Jesus Claimed To:
John 5:18, 8:58-59, 10:30-38, 12:45, 14:7-10, 16:15, 17:11-22…
Matthew 5:17-44, Mark 13:31, John 6:63, 14:24, 8:51, 14:23
Matthew 8:27, 28:18, Mark 1:27, John 5:27
Matthew 7:21-23, Luke 12:8-9,
John 3:14-19, 5:22-27, 6:40, 8:12, 10:7-21, 14:6
Mark 2:5-7, Luke 5:20-24

> equal with God

> voice of God

Track 4 of 6

> have authority over all things

> determine people's destiny

> to forgive sins

Track 5 of 6

Two Proofs:
John 5:17-22, 10:33, 10:20, 8:48, Matthew 12:22-26

> early church belief and response

> why was Jesus killed?

Track 6 of 6

Colossians 1:21-22

Reconciled: made right

Colossians 1:23

We have a choice to make.

Looking at the verses (listed above) regarding who Jesus claimed to be convinces us that we need to make a choice. Either you stay in your sin or choose to take out ownership of your life and give it to Christ.

Here's what Paul wrote:

Col 1:23 if indeed you continue in the faith, grounded and steadfast, and are not moved away from the hope of the gospel which you heard, which was preached to every creature under heaven, of which I, Paul, became a minister.

In our "digging deeper" homework assignment, we are asked the following question:

This week we saw that Paul used strong words such as "enemies" and "alienated" to describe the Colossian's spiritual condition (and ours) before they (we) knew Christ (Colossians 1:21). How do the following verses reinforce and further describe who we are before we know Christ?

Romans 1:18-25

Rom 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness,

Rom 1:19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them.

Rom 1:20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse,

Rom 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful, but became futile in their thoughts, and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Rom 1:22 Professing to be wise, they became fools,

Rom 1:23 and changed the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like corruptible man--and birds and four-footed animals and creeping things.

Rom 1:24 Therefore God also gave them up to uncleanness, in the lusts of their hearts, to dishonor their bodies among themselves,

Rom 1:25 who exchanged the truth of God for the lie, and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator, who is blessed forever. Amen.

Rom 8:7 Because the carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be.

Rom 8:8 So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Tts 3:3
For we ourselves were also once foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving various lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful and hating one another.

George Bernard Shaw once wrote:

There are two tragedies in life. One is not to get your heart's desire. The other is to get it.
- George Bernard Shaw

Do you think he was right about that?


But I challenge you to think it over. Perhaps not having the correct Object of our desire in mind makes that quote true.

What does God's Word say about this?

Psa 37:4 Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

We are to delight ourselves in the LORD first - and then we shall receive the desires of our hearts.

What does that mean? Will we then expect to get everything our little hearts desire? Of course not. I can think of many times in my life when I desired things that would have been absolutely disasterous for me!

It is when we line up our will with God's Will for our lives (as revealed through Jesus Christ and His Word, the Bible) THEN we get the true desires of our heart.

I know that for me, my desires changed quite drastically when I was born again in Jesus Christ. I find myself desiring to worship, pray to, and love to God! I'd rather listen to contemporary Christian music artists than any other type of music. I find myself desiring to please God! I find myself desiring to follow Jesus and share the Gospel with others! I find myself desiring to study God's Word and I love doing so! I find myself desiring to take Jesus' statement, "If you love Me, keep my Commandments" seriously!

One desire I now have that wasn't there before is to take what I have learned from over 20 years of Bible study and share it through writing here on this blog. Whenever I have the opportunity to share the gospel with people I know, it is the delight of my heart!

These are just a few examples of how I know that the Holy Spirit is leading me. It is important to know that the Holy Spirit indwells every believer who is born again in Christ. He will not leave nor forsake you! He will not lead you to do anything that is contrary to God's Word. His leading enables believers to conduct our lives in the "center of God's Will." (Thank you Susan Smith, for sharing that fact in one of your newsletters...that following Jesus and the Holy Spirit's leading places us in the "center of God's Will!")

More sermon homework notes:

Fortunately, God hasn't left us to live a life destined to be separated from Him. When any of us make a commitment to follow Christ, some incredible things begin and continue to happen to us spiritually. Read these great verses below in Romans, and take time to write down what Paul (the writer of Romans and the book of Colossians) saw as important to understand about the transformation that happens as a person follows Christ.

Romans 7:24-25

Romans 8:1-2; 8:5; 8:12-13; 8:15

There is always going to be a battle to do things our way or the way God's Spirit is leading. Further help is provided by Paul's words in Colossians 1:22-23.

Col 1:22 In the body of his flesh through death, to present you holy and unblameable and unreproveable in his sight:

Col 1:23 If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled, and [be] not moved away from the hope of the gospel, which ye have heard, [and] which was preached to every creature which is under heaven; whereof I Paul am made a minister;

Paul concludes his awesome message:

Col 1:24 I now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up in my flesh what is lacking in the afflictions of Christ, for the sake of His body, which is the church,

Col 1:25 of which I became a minister according to the stewardship from God which was given to me for you, to fulfill the word of God,

Col 1:26 the mystery which has been hidden from ages and from generations, but now has been revealed to His saints.

Col 1:27 To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which[fn4] is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
Col 1:28 Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus.

Col 1:29 To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily.


1:27 M-Text reads who.

HT's: North Coast Church
Blue Letter Bible
Susan Smith's newsletter

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Maher Is Ignorant and a Coward

Last evening, I fell asleep on the couch. It was way to early! Must have been around 8:30 p.m. because when I awoke, it was around 11:30 p.m.! Darn! Missed Monk again!

While surfing through the upper channels, I ran across Bill Maher's show. Now, I don't usually make a habit of watching it but the few times that I have paused to listen to him, he is ALWAYS bashing President Bush and usually has terrible things to say about Christians. Well, last night was certainly a doozie! Maher made some really bizarre statements.

Near the very end of the show, just after Maher forced his guests to agree with him that "Bush is the worst president we have ever had," he then proceeded to go on a crazy rant about God and Christian sacred beliefs.

The discussion was about the UFO's that were recently spotted and filmed. The video made all the news shows. Maher and his guests were discussing what the various explanations could be. The conversation included the idea that it may be a new, secret technology that was being tested all the way to the usual "it's aliens" claim.

When confronted with the alien idea, Maher went into a rant about God.

This is a paraphrased portion of that rant:

I find that more believable (re: aliens) than what religious people believe about the God of the universe, coming down, having sex with a Palestinian girl, and having a Son.

One guest added, "Yeah...and she was 16...underaged."

Hmmm...I think that Maher should re-name his show "Real IGNORANCE" with Bill Maher!

Since I don't regularly watch his show, I do not know whether or not he has ever been brave enough to be critical and mocking of Islam the way he is obviously critical, and mocking, of Christianity. Bashing Islam would take some real courage!

But Christianity? That's an easy target. No fear there (at least not in this world).

According to Wikipedia, Maher's beliefs include:

He is also not shy about his apatheist beliefs and frequently asserts his belief that all forms of religious belief are detrimental to society.

One day, Maher will face that Judge of the Universe and if he never repents, what a terrible day it will be for him!

Rev 20:11 Then I saw a great white throne and Him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And there was found no place for them.

Rev 20:12 And I saw the dead, small and great, standing before God,[fn3] and books were opened. And another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged according to their works, by the things which were written in the books.

Rev 20:13 The sea gave up the dead who were in it, and Death and Hades delivered up the dead who were in them. And they were judged, each one according to his works.

Rev 20:14 Then Death and Hades were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.[fn4]

Rev 20:15 And anyone not found written in the Book of Life was cast into the lake of fire.

20:12 NU-Text and M-Text read the throne.
20:14 NU-Text and M-Text add the lake of fire.

Whew! Wouldn't want to be Maher!

So...Maher gets away...unscathed (at least in this world) for his anti-God beliefs. So be it. It's easy. It makes his show a hit. It makes him money.

Contrast this with what a true political critic of another religion...namely...Islam, goes through. I saw a portion of the interview with Ayaan Hirsi Ali, author of the book "Infidel," on The O'Reilly Factor last evening.

Excerpts of one review at above link:

The break began when she slipped away from her family on her way to a forced marriage in Canada and talked her way into political asylum in Holland, using a story she herself calls "an invention." Soon after arriving, she removed her head scarf to see if God would strike her dead. He did not. Nor were there divine consequences when, defying her ancestors, she donned blue jeans, rode a bicycle, enrolled in university, became a Dutch citizen, began to speak publicly about the mistreatment of Muslim women in Holland and won election to the Dutch parliament.

But tragedy followed fame. In 2004, Hirsi Ali helped a Dutch director, Theo van Gogh, make a controversial film, "Submission," about Muslim women suffering from forced marriages and wife beating. Van Gogh was murdered by an angry Muslim radical in response, and Hirsi Ali went into hiding. The press began to explore her past, discovering the "inventions" that she had used to get her refugee status. The Dutch threatened to revoke her citizenship; the American Enterprise Institute offered her a job in Washington. And thus she came to be among us.

She also describes how horrified she felt as an adult after Sept. 11, 2001, reaching for the Koran to find out whether some of Osama bin Laden's more blood-curdling statements -- "when you meet the unbelievers, strike them in the neck" -- were direct quotations. "I hated to do it," she wrote, "because I knew that I would find bin Laden's quotations in there." And there were consequences: "The little shutter at the back of my mind, where I pushed all my dissonant thoughts, snapped open after the 9/11 attacks, and it refused to close again. I found myself thinking that the Quran is not a holy document. It is a historical record, written by humans. . . . And it is a very tribal and Arab version of events. It spreads a culture that is brutal, bigoted, fixated on controlling women, and harsh in war."

That moment led Hirsi Ali to her most profound conclusion: that the mistreatment of women is not an incidental problem in the Muslim world, a side issue that can be dealt with once the more important political problems are out of the way. Rather, she believes that the enslavement of women lies at the heart of all of the most fanatical interpretations of Islam, creating "a culture that generates more backwardness with every generation."

Bill Maher is such a coward!! There he sits, night after night spewing hateful rhetoric about a religion he knows nothing about. He is safe. He is comfortable. He is protected...precisely because the administration of George W. Bush - the guy he loves to hate - has put in place protections that allow Maher the safety, security, and free speech rights to blaspheme the God of the Bible in front of millions via his T.V. show.

The soldiers fighting in the wars against Islamofascist terrorism are giving their lives so that Maher can be free, safe, comfortable, wealthy, vocal, visible on T.V. and given the opportunity for freedom of speech to a wide audience.

Yet, this woman who has stood up so bravely and courageously has the need for body guards protecting her due to death threats leveled at her because of the truth that she is revealing about Radical Islam.

Go to the link and read all of the details. Here's one more excerpt:

Ultimately, it led to her most controversial conclusion too: that Islam is in a period of transition, that the religion as it is currently practiced is often incompatible with modernity and democracy and must radically transform itself in order to become so. "We in the West," she writes, "would be wrong to prolong the pain of that transition unnecessarily, by elevating cultures full of bigotry and hatred toward women to the stature of respectable alternative ways of life." That sentiment, when first expressed in Holland, infuriated not only Hirsi Ali's compatriots but also Dutch intellectuals uneasy about criticizing the immigrants in their midst, particularly because both Hirsi Ali and Theo van Gogh went further than the usual criticism of radical, political Islam: Both believed that even "ordinary" forms of Islam, such as those practiced in Hirsi Ali's Somalia, contain elements of discrimination against women that should not be tolerated in the West. Thanks to this belief in female equality, Hirsi Ali now requires permanent bodyguards.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Biblically Based and Discerning

In this postmodern age where many Christians, unfortunately, are not biblically based and discerning, it can be difficult to stand up for the gospel truth without appearing confrontational or negative.

Here, in the blogosphere, I have been confronted by several Christian believers who clamor for unity, above all else. On the surface, that may sound good. But my next question has to be, "at what price?"

Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, we need to be cautious when those who want unity are so undiscerning that they reject large portions of the true gospel and biblical truth.

There are, in fact, many underlying reasons why contemporary Christians are so undiscerning. I won't go into all of them here, but their lack of
discernment reveals a spiritual apathy that is harmful to the church body. In some cases, it's even deadly evil!

What is needed in this day and age is spiritual maturity, discernment, and wisdom. Why? Because such discernment is absolutely crucial! It is only possible with a seasoned, developed, biblically informed mind. One of my favorite verses about this is Proverbs 2:2-5

Proverbs 2:2-5: "Make your ear attentive to wisdom, incline your heart to understanding; for if you cry for discernment, lift your voice for understanding; if you seek her as silver, and search for her as for hidden treasures; then you will discern the fear of the LORD, and discover the knowledge of God" (NASB).

As you may have noticed, I have permanently added that wonderful Bible verse to this blog page.

I have also added links in my sidebar entitled, "Discernment Sites/E-books." I plan to add many more under that title. I think that biblical discernment of the truth is desperately needed today.

More than ever before, people need rescuing from those who would have them on the wrong paths. Events like "The Secret" conference and the "ReThink" heresy ministry conference show us how important, and necessary it is to counter myths (like the Secret) and the skewed views of Christianity (like "ReThink").

Recently, one well-known pastor of The Rock Church, Miles McPherson, ventured out and spoke at those two events. I must admit, at first, I was worried.

Here is a copy of my comment at Miles' blog:

I think that the concern of Biblical Christian believers regarding Pastor Miles' appearance was the fact that some of the participant speakers at the ReThink conference are deeply into compromise and run heretical ministries. How do I know this for sure? Here is just one example:

This portion from the “Rethinking Culture” link pretty much sums it up quite well:

Perhaps that is why everyone needs to “rethink” things. Warren Smith writes in his article posted today that

“in his latest book, “Don’t Throw Away Tomorrow: Living God’s Dream for Your Life,” Schuller eagerly writes about the virtue of compromise. In this book, that bears New Age leader Gerald Jampolsky’s endorsement on the back cover, Schuller states, “We need to learn the healing quality of wise compromise.” He further states, “Perhaps the only way to deal with contradictions is to combine them creatively and produce something new. That’s ingenious compromise.” Whether Schuller knows it or not, he just presented the recipe for a New World Religion.”

Just how far will the evangelical church go in its “compromises” with this “rethink” agenda? Just how far will its leaders go to build bridges, coalition and partner with the New Age leaders who also want to build a kingdom on earth for peace?

Of course, Pastor Miles demonstrated that his gospel message would never move towards the heresy direction that many of the "ReThink" speakers are moving. His God-given role was genuine, biblical, and gospel driven. As Jude states in his epistle, we are to "contend earnestly for the faith that was once delivered unto the saints." Pastor Miles is Rock solid in that mission and goal!

However, my concern was for the "baby Christians" (not meant in a derogatory manner) who may have attended, but are so brand new to the Christian faith that they do not have the knowledge about Scripture to discern truth from error.

Fortunately, my worries were mostly alleviated once I viewed and listened to Pastor Miles' brief, yet powerful recap of the events.

As Jude's epistle tells us:

Jud 1:22 And have mercy on some, who are doubting;

Jud 1:23 save others, snatching them out of the fire; and on some have mercy with fear...

How can we "snatch them out of the fire" of error without first going in to retrieve them?

Pastor Miles achieved this at both events. At one, he was mostly among the unchurched. At the other, he was mostly among those who are seeking, but might have been led astray by teachers of heresy.

Our Lord God placed Pastor Miles right where he needed to be.

I can't wait to hear more details about all that Miles saw and experienced at these two events! I'm sure that there is much more to be shared!

It is only because Pastor Miles has the Holy Spirit given gift of discernment which enabled him to preach, and at the same time, confront, the "spirit" of this postmodern, relativistic age. Prayers were lifted up for him and God sent him on that mission.

Miles diligently follows, and applies, the unmovable truth of the gospel of
Jesus Christ and presents his discerning mastery of the Word of God. Such spiritual maturity doesn't happen overnight.

Thank God so many Christian believers have Pastors like Miles McPherson to help train their minds to be understanding in the truth of God's Word!

Two Dead And A Family Wounded

It is common to hear abortion referred to as "one dead, one wounded." However in the case of Laura Hope Smith it is two dead and a family wounded. Laura's mother, Eileen Smith shares the miraculous story of Laura's short life and the horrifying and heartbreaking revelations about her death on the abortion table. This is a story every Christian needs to hear.

Concerned Women for America Website

Listen here

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Insist on God-centered worship

In Matthew 10:32-33, Christ wasn't just talking about a public witness or an aggressive evangelistic campaign, all laudable and necessary activities. His statement was a clear condemnation of any tendency to truncate Christianity, to relegate it to personal and private realms while we let Satan freely roam the streets of the public square.

read more digg story

The direction of the seeker-sensitive and emerging church movements have the misconception that to win the world to Christ, we must first win the world's favor. Ever notice that?

When compromise creeps into the churches, God-centered worship gets pushed aside.

It's as if they are saying to the masses of Christian believers that if we can get the world to like us, then they will embrace our Savior.

The more I think about why the book "UnChristian" bothered me, the more I realize that it is because of the unbiblical advice it gives. The authors wanted to convey their opinions that Christians should try to make unconverted sinners feel comfortable with the Christian message.

It may sound very nice, warm, fuzzy and friendly - especially to people who value such postmodern ideals. But in reality, it can be taken way to far and become a form of compromise with the world. James called it spiritual adultery (see James 4;4).

You may be asking why would such movements be labeled as "spiritual adultery?" It is because of the fact that such compromise leads people away from the truth of the gospel message. It gives way towards skepticism.


Because knowingly or unknowingly, adherents to such movements are trying to make the offense of the cross more palatable to unbelievers. Some churches involved in these movements are even eliminating the necessity to preach the cross of Christ! Thus, those Christians who are steadfast in taking a stand for the truth are actually shunned from making biblical messages clear.

Biblical Christian detractors use such terms as "hateful" and "intolerant" incorrectly in this postmodern age. Such detractors are guilty of contributing to the decline of discernment in the contemporary church.

Jesus himself clearly taught what believers would face when we fight for the gospel of truth:

Jhn 15:18
"If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you.

Jhn 15:19
"If you were of the world, the world would love its own. Yet because you are not of the world, but I chose you out of the world, therefore the world hates you.

Jhn 15:20
"Remember the word that I said to you, 'A servant is not greater than his master.' If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.

Jhn 15:21
"But all these things they will do to you for My name's sake, because they do not know Him who sent Me.

One of the huge dangers inherent in Christians trying to accommodate the world through the various heresy movements out there is the fact that as biblical preaching decreases, ignorance of Scripture grows. This leads to the future decline of discernment. See the vicious circle that occurs?

Truth is unchanging. Yet, when discernment is forfeited, doctrinal confusion rises. Next, Christians lose precise theology, precise morals, and precise conduct.

The word of God is settled forever in heaven (see Psalm 119:89). Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever (see Hebrews 13:8). God Himself does not change (see Malachi 3:6).

So my question is, how could true Christians ever view truth as transient, pliable, or adaptable?

Today's Great Quote

How do we grow spiritually? By "speaking the truth in love" to one another. We grow under the truth. It is the same truth by which we are sanctified, conformed to the image of Christ, made to be mature spiritually (John 17:17,19). As we absorb the truth of God's Word, we grow up and are built up.

- John MacArthur

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Masking Their Ungodliness

I was reading an article over at Americans for Truth about "Bishop" Vicky Imogene Robinson. Yes. His first and last names given by his parents were girls names!

The story about his difficult birth and sad upbringing is very tragic. This man needed gender identity counseling, not advancement to a position of bishop in the Episcopal church!


"I bring this up – with the caveat that I have not read anything except the above on Robinson’s upbringing — to remind readers of a cold reality: parents can do a number on their kids, and stories of dysfunctional upbringings in the lives of homosexuals are about as hard to find as corn in Iowa. This is a pitiable yet crucial part of the debate on homosexual development that the media downplays in favor of sexy “gay gene” stories or gay-victim pieces focusing on society’s “homophobia.”

Whether it’s a boy who grew up perceiving rejection from his emotionally distant father, or who had no father; a girl who experienced abuse or rape; or early sexualization or molestation in the young life of one who subsequently becomes a “gay” adult – there is ample evidence that confusion, abuse, alienation and/or neglect have an important role in the formation of “gay” identity.

How awful is it that C-SPAN chose to give this very confused, dysfunctional man the opportunity to "preach" on T.V. this past Christmas Eve!

Here is another excerpt from Americans for Truth that is truly alarming to read:

So now comes along Vicky Gene Robinson, who attributes his work, and no doubt his choice to embrace sinful sexual behavior, to the work of the Holy Spirit.

This is not from [the] Holy Spirit, but the outworking of fallen humanity.

I can only imagine how difficult this man’s life has been, but that can never justify his joining the dark side (abusing his pastoral authority to teach sin as a social good to others). In his defining, media-hyped crusade, Robinson personifies the most evil aspect of the “gay” movement: the crusade to re-write Christianity itself to accommodate their besetting sin.

This man, given the opportunity, was allowed to parade his sin right in front of a T.V. audience on one of the most holy days on the Christian calendar!

Read what MacArthur states in the chapter, "The Evil of False Teaching" from his book, "The Truth War" -

"Apostates face an interesting dilemma. They frequently become so lost to honor, so lacking in decency, so indifferent to disgrace that they often don't care who sees their sin, especially in their own inner circle. They wear it arrogantly like a badge of honor. In Jude's words, they become like "raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame."

The good news is that God will not be mocked. God alone is truly sovereign. His eternal purposes are not the least bit threatened by the efforts of false teachers. His truth will triumph in the end.

The tragic consequence for the false teachers and all who follow them is sure and certain condemnation. As Jude says, they already have a long-standing appointment to that end.

There is a really good discussion going on about a heresy group called "Soulforce" over at Pastor D.L. Foster's GCM Watch.

That discussion reminded me of the next two chapters in MacArthur's "The Truth War" book. He must have had a group like Soulforce in mind when he wrote about apostates and the evil of their false teachings, as well as their deliberate assault on Divine Authority:

At the heart of their apostasy is rebellion against Christ’s lordship. They may call Jesus, “Lord, Lord,” but they do not do what He says (Luke 6:46). In the words of Paul to Titus, “They profess to know God, but in works they deny Him, being abominable, disobedient, and disqualified for every good work” (Titus 1:16). Their apostasy eventually poisons all their doctrine. They twist and pervert and reinvent teachings of Christ. They adjust the gospel to suit their own tastes. When you get to the core of where they are, they simply want to be kings of their own domain.

Wow! Is that a perfect description of the intent behind their ungodliness and the lies that the gay christian movement and groups like Soulforce spread?

MacArthur then discusses the issue of character:

Apostate false teachers are not humble. They are not broken. They are not submissive. They are not meek. They are blatant, proud sovereigns of their own religious empires. And while they like to use Christ’s name for their advantage, they do not really know, obey, or love the truth - written or Incarnate.

Some people reading here may think that the following statement written by Pastor D.L. about the group called Soulforce (which is a group of gay "christians" going around to colleges and churches to change minds about the subject of homosexual behavior) may be considered as too harsh:

They are snakes and vipers and their father is satan.

Ouch! But in reality, it's not too harsh. IT IS 100% CORRECT! As Pastor D.L. had stated:

"Even when their error is shown to be 100% error they yet refuse to repent and have no intention of leading people to God."

You see, that's the bottom line when discussing this topic. The spiritual destiny of all souls involved in such heresy and apostasy are at stake!

What a terrible thing to realize! Groups like Soulforce are 100% in error, refuse to repent and have no intention of leading people to God!

Who does that sound like?


He had no intention of worshiping God, was cast out of heaven and took 1/3 of the former angels turned demons with him!

Some people claim (even Christians!) that those who identify as being gay "christians" are not all that bad. Just leave them alone. They're not in danger of hell for all eternity.

I often hear, "God will judge and take care of it." Yes. He will judge. And if they continue to refuse to repent of their sin, their eternal destiny will be away from God forever! This is a good thing?

The gay christian movement is a very serious, grievous, heretical abomination that leads to church denomination apostasy and separation from God!

You tell me. Are Christians supposed to stay silent about this fact??

I peeked ahead to the next chapter. MacArthur says it better than I can:

"The false teachers' absolute rejection of Christ's Authority was the root and the real motive for their apostasy in the first place. They resented the Lordship of Christ and disowned Him as their true Master because they had rebellious hearts and wanted the authority for themselves. (bold mine)

Again...who does that sound like??

Opposing false teachers, of any type, is a difficult, yet a very necessary duty given to us as Christians believers. We are to oppose them and contend earnestly for the faith here and now...just like the true believers of old did when the heresies of Sabellianism and The Arians were raging against the true Gospel of Jesus Christ. In the case of The Arians, the battle raged, was subdued for a time, then re-surfaced again. It took over 12 years to reach it's demise. Even still, some of the same heretical beliefs that were apparent in The Arians are now found in the New Age teachings today.

Christian brothers and prepared for criticism. No one enters into the Truth war without being slandered, criticized and unfairly labeled as a hater. Urging people to repent, turn to the true gospel of Jesus Christ and thus escape the depths of hell is a spiritual battle like no other!

Some people, on the opposite side of Biblical Truth are unknowingly, and ignorantly, led away from that truth. Others, like V. Gene Robinson, Brian McLaren, Tony Campolo etc. are deliberately leading those who are seeking away from the truth.

There are many apostates who will never turn back to the Lord.


Because they will continue to refuse to repent and turn to the true gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ which has been forever delivered unto the saints.

Such apostates mask their ungodliness because they proclaim a message that transforms the idea of grace into license for sin. They try to give spiritual-sounding justification for their ungodliness.

MacArthur even goes so far as to call it, their creed.

Look at what the Emerging church movement is suggesting to evangelicals these days. They want us all to back away from confronting Western culture over moral evils like abortion and homosexuality!

This was one of the "themes" in the book I recently read called "UnChristian."

For example. Tony Campolo once explained to a reporter why he wrote his book Speaking My Mind :

"My purpose [Note: there's that familiar Emerging church movement word!] in writing the book was to communicate loud and clear that I felt that evangelical Christianity had been hijacked. [Note: Isn't that what Barack Obama recently said too? Hmmm.....] When did it become anti-feminist? When did evangelical Christianity become anti-gay? When did it become supportive of capital punishment? Pro-war? When did it become so negative towards other religious groups?"

Ahhh!! That man's skewing of the truth to fit his liberal worldview makes me absolutely CRINGE!

Would Mr. Campolo ever turn away from his heresy and back to the true gospel of Jesus Christ? I do not know.

But I do know this.

Jude shares with us how to try and rescue people from heresy and apostasy. There are ways to do it very compassionately. For others, we need to save them with fear. We need to WARN THEM OF THE DANGER THEY ARE IN! When people are comfortable with their touchy-feely-religious-sounding-biblically-ignorant dogma, they will fight tooth and nail in order to stay in their rebellion. It's just a fact of this life.

There will be times when believers will need to leave an unrepentant person, "shake the dust from their sandels" and move on to the next person. Not all will accept the truth.

Luk 9:5 And whosoever will not receive you, when ye go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet for a testimony against them.

In Jude 1:23, we read that we are to try and "pull [them] out of the fire." Do you know what that means? It means that they are already under condemnation (as we all are before being born again in Jesus Christ). The analogy of "pulling them out of the fire" doesn't sound delicate to me. Does it to you? It has a sense of urgency about it. It has a sense of effort and force to help them escape from the heresy and apostasy that is bringing them down in condemnation.

It helps to remember that people we attempt to pull back will fight, sometimes viciously against us.


Because they probably don't realize the depth of their dire situation.

Think of a child who has not ever been burned by fire before. The flickering flames are enticing...leading them to want to touch it. When a parent sees what is happening, he or she yanks that child away from the danger...just in the nick of time. That child's arm may hurt. He/she may cry because of it. But ultimately, that moment of pain kept him/her away from the serious pain...and possible death...of being engulfed in that fire!

Take a look at Jude 1:23 in the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge page at the Blue Letter Bible website.

Jud 1:22 And of some have compassion, making a difference:

Jud 1:23 And others save with fear, pulling [them] out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.

2Cr 7:12 Wherefore, though I wrote unto you, [I did it] not for his cause that had done the wrong, nor for his cause that suffered wrong, but that our care for you in the sight of God might appear unto you.

1Ti 4:16 Take heed unto thyself, and unto the doctrine; continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thyself, and them that hear thee.