A Twisted Crown of Thorns ®

Reformed. Christianity. Evangelism. Modern Culture.

Are You Recklessly Abandoned to the cause of Christ?

There is a book I am yearning recklessly to read and I will not abandon this pursuit. The book Reckless Abandon has been aptly summarised in this blog post from Cripplegate…

PNG-woman“It wasn’t the half-naked woman breastfeeding her baby on one breast that captured my attention. Rather, it was the piglet munching down on the other breast that stunned me into silence.”

So begins David Sitton’s autobiography, and I must say that the tone of that first sentence captures the tenor of the book. Reckless Abandon is a the summary of Sitton’s 35 years as a church planter among unreached people groups in Papua New Guinea, with a few forays into México (and one pit-stop in Minneapolis). The introduction explains that for Christians there is no such thing as a risk, because the worst-case scenario to all of our actions is death (“airmailed to Jesus” is Sitton’s phrase), and the rest of that book demonstrates this kamikaze world view.

 If Jesus is worth more than our lives, then we should be willing to face death to take the gospel to the nations. What would a person’s life look like if they a) actually believed that, and b) actually lived that out? Reckless Abandon provides a good answer to that question. Sitton labors among the most difficult to reach groups in PNG, capitulates home to get a wife, returns to PNG until he gets expelled, then recapitulates to the states to start a lifetime of tourist visas. Reading this book made my passport feel tired.

…Read more!

A poem for CHRISTIANS who have lost all their livelihood to ISIS and jihadists

IMG_4991.JPG When we read of persecution and hear of despicable things being done to Christian fathers, mothers and children by people filled with hatred and violence we should remember this was similar to the times of Habakkuk in the time of the Babylonian invasion. At a time when Habakkuk reports his belly trembled with fear, his lips quivered and he felt rottenness in his bones in the day of trouble. Yet his encouragement came from putting his trust in the one True God.
Consider this an encouragement and a poem to all those who have lost everything or are on the verge of losing everything to ISIS OR BOKO HARAM ….

…Read More!

Public school system: Why are Humanists so hopeful about a shockingly godless future generation?

public schoolLong gone are the days when families sat together around a Bible and fathers diligently taught their children truths that they had learnt about the only one true God. Most of these duties have been deferred to half committed Sunday school teachers who are more interested in planning pizza parties plus fun and games programmes. The most of the ‘formal education’ is then left for school teachers when the week begins – and it seems the Humanists have noticed this loop hole and pounced hard and fast at the opportunity.

The public school system especially in the West has already been taken over (curriculum and  all) and re-designed to eliminate God. The next generation is being moulded to completely have no regard for Christianity or the things of God. How then did this general shift occur in the West? Wasn’t God ascribed to as their Father in their barns and houses, anthems, Court houses, public buildings and monuments a hundred years ago? Well my dear sleeper welcome to the “brave new world”.

By the looks of things the battle for the future generation is almost lost in the education system and the ramifications will then spill out in re defining morals and traditional value systems on and on. Here are some but a few chilling “triumphs” and strategies as reported in recent Humanist archives and popular magazines:

  • “I am convinced that the battle for humankind’s future must be waged and won in the public school classrooms by teachers who correctly perceive their role as the new proselytizers of a new faith, a religion of humanity. These teachers must embody the same selfless dedication as the most rabid fundamentalist preacher. The classroom must and will become an arena of conflict between the old and the new―the rotting corpse of Christianity, together with all its adjacent evils and misery, and the new faith (humanism), resplendent in its promise.”
John Dunphy, “A Religion for the New Age,” Humanist Magazine

….Read More!

Adonirom Judson’s letter to his prospective father in law Mr Hasseltine.

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Adoniram Judson, Jr. (August 9, 1788 – April 12, 1850) was the first Protestant missionary sent from North America to preach in Burma. Judson is remembered as the first significant missionary in Burma, as well as one of the very first missionaries from America to travel overseas. The story of his biography has touched many people, however I will just dig into a small bit here and it’s his letter to his prospective father in law shines some light into the kind of person he was and his passion for missions and evangelism of the dangerous heathen lands:

“I have now to ask whether you can consent to part with your daughter early next spring, to see her no more in this world ? Whether you can consent to her departure to a heathen land, and her subjection to the hardships and sufferings of a missionary life? Whether you can consent to her exposure to the dangers of the ocean; to the fatal influence of the southern climate of India; to every kind of want and distress; to degradation, insult, persecution, and perhaps a violent death? Can you consent to all this, for the sake of Him who left His heavenly home and died for her and for you; for the sake of perishing, immortal souls; for the sake of Zion and the glory of God? Can you consent to all this, in hope of soon meeting your daughter in the world of glory, with a crown of righteousness brightened by the acclamations of praise which shall resound to her Saviour from heathens saved, through her means, from eternal woe and despair?”

HT J.D Greer

Adoniram Judson ended up spending his missionary career not in India, but in Burma. During his thirty-seven years of service there, he persevered through seventeen months of brutal imprisonment, several bouts of life-threatening illness, and the death of two wives and six children. He succeeded in translating the Bible into Burmese and compiling an English-Burmese dictionary. He waited six years for his first Burmese convert, but by the time of his death in 1850, there were a hundred Burmese churches and over 8,000 Burmese Christians. A very readable biography, To the Golden Shore by Courtney Anderson, recounts the epic story of his remarkable life.

The neglected duty of private prayer

IMG_4982.JPGQuoting J.C Ryle on prayer…

We live in days of abounding religious profession. There are more places of public worship than there ever was before. There are more people attending them than there ever was before. And yet in spite of all this public religion, I believe there is a vast neglect of private prayer. It is one of those private transcripts between God and our souls which no eye sees, and therefore one which people are tempted to pass over and leave undone.
I believe that hundreds of thousands never utter a word of prayer at all. They eat. They drink. They sleep. They rise. They go forth to their work. They return to their homes. They breathe God’s air. They travel on God’s earth. They enjoy God’s mercies. They have dying bodies. They have judgment and eternity before them. But they never speak to God. They live like the animals that perish. They behave like creatures without souls. They have not one word to say to Him in whose hand are their life and breath, and all things, and from whose mouth they must one day receive their everlasting sentence. How dreadful this seems; but if the secrets of men were only known, how common.

Sermons of a man called George Whitefield.

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Some one once said George Whitefield preached a pure gospel, a powerful gospel and a passionate gospel. He was a man of deep prayer, tremendous spiritual fortitude with a burdened heart, burning lips and brimming eyes. A contemporary of Jonathan Edwards and John Wesley, he was an English Anglican preacher who spent most of his life spreading the gospel by preaching in open air and was one of the major instruments of God used in the Great Awakening in Britain and the United States.

He drew great crowds when he preached to people from all walks of life. From a lordly chamber heavy with the pungent aroma of costly perfumes, Whitefield would race off to a street meeting. Catch his joy as he says, “There I was honored with having stones, dirt, rotten eggs, and pieces of dead cats thrown at me.”

Now it’s possible to download read and study atleast 59 George Whitefield sermons either as a kindle ebook, pdf or EPub.

Some days I long for God…

IMG_4978.JPGThat’s is absolutely true and more so today. I came across a Puritan poem-prayer that articulates this longing a lot better than I could…

My dear Lord, I can but tell Thee that Thou knowest I long for nothing but Thyself, nothing but holiness, nothing but union with Thy will. Thou hast given me these desires, and thou alone canst give me the thing desired. My soul longs for communion with Thee, for mortification of indwelling corruption, especially spiritual pride. …Read More!

O that I would pour out my heart before Him

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Usually God’s children are able to most affectionately pour out their hearts before him in private. Here, they find their affections free to wrestle with God. Here, one finds most communion with God, and enlargement of heart. In private we are wholly at leisure to deal with God in a child-like liberty. Now, will you omit this duty where you may be most free, without distraction, to let out your heart to God? The sweetest experiences of God’s saints are when they are alone with him. ~ Thomas Manton

Monergism opens free Reformed Christian ebook store!

For some this may not be new but I just want to repost this bit of information. The website Monergism is a good site to get free ebooks of invaluable wealth especially if you would like books on evangelism, basic Christianity, biographies and Reformed Theology. Check the link Here!

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Kirk shares the gospel with a pastor’s daughter.

This clip is self self explanatory. Kirk Cameron has a chat with a lady who happens to be a pastor’s daughter…

How can I go Geocaching with the gospel?

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

Well there may be a cache hidden some where around here!

If you have ever stubbed your toe on a rock or stumbled on an innocuous stick and there after chucked the offending ‘litter’ into a bonfire or into a nearby pond then you may have missed seeing the angry face of a bamboozled geocacher the next day as he looked for his lost ‘cache’. So then, what is geocaching you ask? …Read More!

Church membership: Reasons to (or not to become) a member.

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Nine Marks has an interesting article on why you should become a church member and even when you have an excuse for not joining one church you must look for another and BECOME A COMMITTED CHURCH MEMBER. Check this out….

REASONS TO JOIN THE CHURCH

These more deliberate conversations veer back and forth between the biblical and the practical. Typically, I generally encourage a person to join the church

# For the sake of the pastors. It lets the pastors know who you are, and makes them responsible for you (see Acts 20:28; Heb. 13:17).

# For the sake of obedience to Jesus. Jesus did not give you the keys of the kingdom for binding and loosing. He gave the keys to the apostolic local church (Matt. 16:13-20; 18:15-20). You don’t have the authority to baptize yourself or feed yourself the Lord’s Supper. It requires a church to affirm your profession of faith, which is what membership is at its very heart (see Acts 2:38).

# For the sake of other believers. Joining makes you responsible for one local congregation, and they for you. You now own or have a share in their discipleship to Christ. That is, you are now responsible for their growth and professions of faith, insofar as you are responsible for the church’s faithful gospel preaching (Gal. 1) and that individual’s discipline (Matt. 18:15-20; 1 Cor. 5).

…Read More!

What can the church in the West learn from the church in Africa?

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This is an excerpt from a Table Talk (TT) magazine interview with an African pastor (Conrad Mbewe) of Kabwata Baptist Church in Zambia…

TT: What are two important lessons that Western Christians can learn from the African church?

CM: Western civilization has lost a lot of its interpersonal virtues. It has become overly individualized—if you see what I mean. Issues like hospitality, respect for authority and the elderly, being more people-conscious than time-conscious, and so on are largely lost. This has affected not only the society generally but Christians as well.

Western Christians have filled their lives with too many things (toys?) that have robbed them of eternal perspectives. Electronic gadgets, holidays, sports, recreation, and so on have almost become idols. Even church must be about having fun.

…Read More!

Where is God When We Suffer?

We many times moan and whinge when things do not go right. We grit our teeth at God when we see a maze before our eyes. Have you ever thought of the sovereignty of God? Have you ever understood the mind of God? May this testimony of John Farese be an encouragement. Crippled for most of his life but profoundly sober in his understanding of God’s sovereignty and scripture:

Read More

The end result of prosperity gospel is to take you away from the cross. Here is why!

Any time one turns away from the true gospel of grace and the cross to another ‘gospel’ they will always drift and even the sound of the cross will be as an insult and an indignation. Many teachers of prosperity gospel don’t think much of sin and how men ought to turn away from sin and embrace Christ through repentance but are leading as many followers into eternal damnation by promising there is a god who only wants to give them dominion in material wealth and gain-which is really sad. Here in this video is a Prosperity and Word of faith teacher demonstrating how rather un-important talking about the cross and redemption in the atoning work of Christ is . Oh! Mr prosperity preacher I would like to remind you of the importance of the cross to a worm and sinner in the words of the good old hymn that:

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!

Wales, a beautiful country that still needs the gospel.

I have just returned from a week long Christian conference in Cefn Lea Park Wales located in Powys. Powys (Newtown) is a truly beautiful quiet town which is located in Central or middle of  Wales. The countryside summer scenery was green, vibrant, serene and beautiful – so much in contrast to the noisy urban areas of the United Kingdom like London, Liverpool or Birmingham.

As I walked through the town center in Newtown I came across many wonderful people and many historical establishments that would interest many a tourist. I was excited when I saw a grand majestic building that I was later told was a Baptist Church. But my little heart sank when I saw the message that was scrawled on it’s notice board. Watch the pictures for yourself…

Yes, beautiful and scenic Wales still needs the gospel…

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…See More!

Bruising is required before conversion

Quoting Richard Sibbes:

This bruising is required before conversion that so the Spirit may make way for himself into the heart by leveling all proud, high thoughts, and that we may understand ourselves to be what indeed we are by nature. We love to wander from ourselves and to be strangers at home, till God bruises us by one cross or other, and then we `begin to think’, and come home to ourselves with the prodigal (Luke 15:17). It is a very hard thing to bring a dull and an evasive heart to cry with feeling for mercy. Our hearts, like criminals, until they be beaten from all evasions, never cry for the mercy of the judge. …Read More!

#SIN awareness day

2014-07-06 13.56.32A lone street preacher calls on the crowd with a message. This is one of the most stirring photos I have seen in a long while…

 

Christian News and Issues: Bits and pieces from around the world….

NEWSThis is a new development and may hopefully be a regular feature of this blog as we bring you news, mission reports, prayer concerns  and mundane pieces from around the world.

  • Botswana clamps down on rogue charismatic and prosperity preachers. After seeing a rise in pastors promising miracles in the forms of successful marriages, work promotions, financial freedom, children for the barren –  the government of Botswana has decided to put up some drastic measures.Will these new measures affect genuine doctrinally sound preachers too?
  • Cleansing of Iraq’s Christians reaches its end game. There is much to pray for as a nation descends into chaos.  The ruthlessness of ISIS, an offshoot of al-Qaeda, has been legendary. Its beheadings, crucifixions and other atrocities toward Christians and everyone else who fails to conform to its vision of a caliphate have been on full display. Will you continue to pray for this country?
  • Scotland police drop charges against two Christian evangelists who were arrested for allegedly using “offensive language” in Dundee and Perth. Clearly there is a pressing need for the Police to work with street preachers to come up with guidelines on ‘best practice’ for police services to ensure that officers on the beat do not take away the fundamental freedom of Christians to do open air evangelism -reports Christian Concern.
  • Reformation Montana starts on 19th June to 21 June 2014. Reformation Montana is an affiliation of like-minded churches and individuals that cooperate for the purpose of sending missionaries from Montana and the surrounding regions to the rest of the world.
  • Indiana  church introduces speedier church services. Will this reach the unchurched? -asks Christian Post or better still will this feed the Christians?
  • A pastors’ retreat in Yumbe (Uganda) ended on a high note. Yumbe is a place with very high numbers of fundamentalist muslims and hardly any Christians but there seems to be some untold  joy among the pastors who daily face machete attacks and death threats -reports Reaching Africa’s Unreached.

Jesus is mighty to save those who repent…

                  “Mighty to save.” -Isaiah 63:1

spurgeonBy the words “to save” we understand the whole of the great work of salvation, from the first holy desire onward to complete sanctification. The words are multum in parro: indeed, here is all mercy in one word. Christ is not only “mighty to save” those who repent, but He is able to make men repent. He will carry those to heaven who believe; but He is, moreover, mighty to give men new hearts and to work faith in them. He is mighty to make the man who hates holiness love it, and to constrain the despiser of His name to bend the knee before Him.

…Read More!

Beware of the smiling world and it’s deadly embrace

The smiling world is meeting and embracing some. It is casting into their lap plentifully, and still they have prospect of more. But O! take heed to the dangerous embraces, lest it hug you to death, as surely it will, if you do not shake yourselves loose of it, “For the turning away of the simple, shall slay them, and the prosperity of fools shall destroy them.” ~Thomas Boston

HT The Old Guys

Modern day preaching and it’s “slick schtick”

To summarise a lot of modern day preaching ….
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Excerpt from “The Kind of Preaching God Blesses” by Steve Lawson

Why you must pray for the local church when there is a break up or scandal.

broken-down-churchWhen a believer yields to temptation it brings dishonour to the Lord and sad consequences for the individual and others connected with him. When a church breaks down or departs from the truth it is impossible to judge how far reaching the effects might be.  Many a town [and village] seems to have closed to the Gospel for 50 years or more because a once -thriving and influential church in the locality was torn by internal strife or caught up in a public scandal that has become common knowledge. How we must watch and pray over the churches, recognising that we can only really combat the enemy if we understand the scriptures.

Excerpt from Nigel Lacey’s book ‘God’s plan for the Local Church

When God ordains thorns for me…

Having faith in God and putting your trust in Him involves trusting Him for your salvation and through your sanctification. Your sanctification is for His glory and for your good through times and situations you do not understand. More times than not there will be tough times; occasions when the proverbial thorn remains in your side and He will not take it away. In such times where do you draw your strength from? Our trust should always be in The Sovereign God knowing that what God ordains is always good for me for His glory. In the words of Nancy Guthrie…

Some claim that strong faith is defined by throwing our energies into begging God for a miracle that will take away our suffering and then believing without doubting that he will do it. But faith is not measured by our ability to manipulate God to get what we want, it is measured by our willingness to submit to what he wants. It takes great faith to say to God, ” Even if you don’t heal me or the one I love, even if you don’t change my circumstances, even if you don’t restore my relationship, even if you allow me to lose what is most precious to me, I will still love you and obey you and believe that you are good.  – Nancy Guthrie (Hearing Jesus Speak Into your Sorrow …Read More!

Why warn the wicked, wont they call us trouble makers?

Quoting A.W Pink:

200px-ArthurPink“It is the duty of God’s servants to warn men of their danger…It is their duty to rebuke wickedness wherever it be found. . . . This will not make for their popularity, for it will condemn and irritate the wicked, and such plain speaking will seriously annoy them. Those who expose hypocrites, resist tyrants, oppose the wicked, are ever viewed by them as troublemakers. But as Christ declared, ‘Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for My sake. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you…” (Matthew 5:11,12).~ Arthur Pink

Do not be discouraged at the difficulties…

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If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

Do not be discouraged at the difficulties and oppositions that will rise up before you when you begin resolvedly to walk with God. Discouragements turn multitudes from religion, and provide a great temptation for many young beginners to turn back. Israel in the wilderness was ready to retreat to Egypt. God himself will have his servants and his graces tried and exercised by difficulties, and Satan, will quickly raise up storms before us, as soon as we are set out to sea.

But God is on your side and has all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or
fury of dust or devils, against the Lord Almighty! In the day you entered into a covenant with God, and he with you, you entered into the most impregnable rock and fortress, and covered yourself in a castle of defence, where you may (modestly) defy all adverse powers of earth
or hell. If God cannot save you, he is not God. …Read More!

Church history tours: Remembering Knox at 500 years (1514-2014)


The John Knox church history tour of Scotland begins on the 24th June to 4th July 2014. From what I hear its a 5 star tour for a 3 star price.

john knox tourDon’t miss the JOHN KNOX @ 500 TOUR (1514-2014) of Scotland and northern England with author, Douglas Bond

ITINERARY. Register today. It will be a tour to remember! Join the folks who have already registered for this tour, but hurry…

Special Feature of the Knox @ 500 Tour: Along with memorable exploration of Knox sites… meet and share a meal with several Christian leaders in the UK (list subject to final revision) …Read More!

Have I any pleasure in the death of the wicked, declares the Lord God? (Ezek 18:23)

regretsGod wants all people to obey his summons to repent and believe the gospel, and so be saved (Acts 17:30; Ezek. 18:23).  In light of this, the church is called to preach the gospel indiscriminately to all people … to the ends of the earth (Matt 28:18). But sadly, all men without exception have a heart of stone, and in their willful blindness, turn a deaf ear and refuse to believe and follow Christ (Rom 3:11, 8:7; 1 Cor 2:14). He has no pleasure in seeing a humanity so unyielding and inflexible in their rebellion against Him.This saddens God and indeed angers Him. But even though all natural men reject this call to faith in Christ, God is yet still merciful. Instead of giving all of us what we justly deserve (His wrath), He still gives life and pardons more ill-deserving sinners than any man can count (Eph. 2:5; Rev. 7:9). …Read More!

Pleading with Africa’s unreached to come, come to Christ!

Reaching Africa’s Unreached (R.A.U) has been relentlessly preaching, pleading and imploring the heathens in Northern Western Uganda plus refugees from Southern Sudan to be reconciled with God. The message is the same every day …Come to Christ:

We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God. God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. (2 Cor 5:20-21)

20140427-080931.jpg Jacob Lee of Reaching Africa’s Unreached at one of their preaching points in Moyo, Uganda.
Follow R.A.U on Facebook here.
Visit R.A.U online here.

People never reject the Bible because they don’t understand it…. Au Contraire!

Stoning-of-Stephen2“Be very sure of this–people never reject the Bible because they cannot understand it. They understand it too well; they understand that it condemns their own behavior; they understand that it witnesses against their own sins, and summons them to judgment. They try to believe it is false and useless, because they don’t like to believe it is true. An evil lifestyle must always raise an objection to this book. Men question the truth of Christianity because they hate the practice of it.” – J. C. Ryle

Holding the feet of televangelists and faith healers to the fire of Scripture.

It is not that often that televangelists and faith healers open their doors and have their theology and doctrinal practices tested against the standard of scripture. More often than not these offices always come shrouded in mystery and sadly mysticism. However a brave Chris Rosebrough managed to get an interview with Brian Powers a popular televangelist and faith healer and they decided to go through some honest doctrinal issues.

Listen to link here.

Tony-Allen Cucolo writes an interesting summary of  common responses when most of these “hyper” anointed men are confronted with scripture.

  • A complete and utter inability to answer any direct question (here especially regarding the Trinity, his personal sin, etc.), usually going off on another tangent instead.
  • A double standard in regards to accusing someone of harping on doctrine (eg., Trinity), while at the same time accusing others of violating Christian doctrine (eg., Charismatic Gifts of the Spirit).
  • Almost zero knowledge of church history.

…Read More!

Steven Lawson: The kind of preaching that God blesses

There is a kind of preaching that God blesses, specifically the proclamation that exalts the crucified Christ by the power of the Spirit. Conversely, there is a kind of preaching that God does not bless, a mere echoing of man’s empty wisdom that is devoid of Christ. ~ Lawson, Steven J.  from The Kind of Preaching God Blesses

Why is Good Friday, umm…Good?

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Best Easter Caption: A Roman soldier’s recollection [German subtitles]

On a lighter note:

20130401-171603.jpg Loosely translated:

Dude? If it wasn’t you then who said “Good Morning”?

HT Jim West.

Quote of the day: Ulrich Zwingli…

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“The Christian life, then, is a battle, so sharp and full of danger that effort can nowhere be relaxed without loss…” -Ulrich Zwingli, 16th Century Swiss Reformer

A letter from Spurgeon to his wife when attacked by Mosquitos in Venice.

This note was written while Charles Spurgeon was in Venice. We all love Spurgeon for his impeccable use of the English vocabulary. This note to his wife when he was being plagued by mosquitoes will make you see the human and mortal side of the Spurgeon as he battles the mundane. This should be a light hearted read for you…please do not laugh (well enjoy it whichever way)

6 a.m.—I awake grateful for another night’s peaceful rest, only to find myself very badly bitten by mosquitoes. A mosquito is the most terrible of beasts. A lion delights in blood, but he does not suck it from living animals; he does not carefully prolong their tortures. A viper poisons, but he is generally content with one use of his fangs; but these small-winged serpents bite in scores of places in succession.
My hands are a series of burning mountains. The creatures are as nearly omnipresent as Satan, which means that, though a mosquito cannot be everywhere, yet no mortal can be sure that he is not near him, or tell where he is not. Curtains are a delusion, pastilles are a snare; the little enemies are irritated by such attempts to escape their malice, and give you double punishment. O Italy! I have shed my blood for thy sake, and feel a love of thee (or something else) burning in my veins!

…Read More!

Scripture is superior to human wisdom

Quoting John Calvin:

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Scripture is superior to all human wisdom. Unless this certainty, higher and stronger than any human judgment, be present, it will be vain to fortify the authority of Scripture by arguments, to establish it by common agreement of the church, or to confirm it with other helps. For unless this foundation is laid, its authority will always remain in doubt. Conversely, once we have embraced it devoutly as its dignity deserves, and have recognized it to be above the common sort of things, those arguments—not strong enough before to engraft and fix the certainty of Scripture in our minds—become very useful aids. What wonderful confirmation ensues when, with keener study, we ponder the economy of the divine wisdom, so well ordered and disposed; the completely heavenly character of its doctrine, savoring of nothing earthly; the beautiful agreement of all the parts with one another—as well as such other qualities as can gain majesty for the writings. ~John Calvin

HT The Old Guys

Easter: Did the stone have to be rolled back before Jesus exited the grave?

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Joseph R. Nally answers…

Matthew 28:1-2: After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it.
Mark 16:2-5: Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

No, not necessarily. Jesus in his new resurrection body (1 Cor. 15:35-49) could go through walls and doors (John 20:19, 26; compare Acts 12:10). So, I do not feel a stone was any kind of obstacle that he could not go through. The stone could have been rolled back strictly as evidence that he had risen (and rise he did, Acts 2:32; 1 Cor. 15:1-4), not that it had to be moved so he could rise.

…Read More!

7 signs your church could be backsliding

Is your church following the Word and ways of the Lord and abhorring all that is otherwise? Is the fear of God, the love for truth and for God’s glory, and the desire to walk according to all God’s commandments prospering among the believers? When a church begins to slip it loses track of that which it must hold to firmly, it gradually and steadily drifts. Here are a few signs your church could be backsliding….

1.When [a] church begins to backslide, the first visible sign is usually an increase in worldliness. In everyday lives, in conversation, and even in dress and fashion, the spirit of the world begins to infest church circles. What crept ashamedly into the church before begins to walk in freely, often covered or overlooked instead of exposed and admonished. The black and white line separating godliness and worldliness becomes increasingly grayer.

Instead of walking in opposite directions, the world and the church begin to have more in common with each other, much to the church’s detriment…

…is this not what Hosea warned against when the Spirit directed him to write, “Ephraim hath mixed himself among the people” (Hos 7:8)? The sin of increasing worldliness is the church’s first downward and tragic step in the spiral of backsliding.

2.Worldliness bends the church towards further backsliding and into a hardening condition of unbelief. Jesus Himself complained of His generation, “But whereunto shall I liken this generation? It is like unto children sitting in the markets, and calling unto their fellows, And saying, We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned unto you, and ye have not lamented” (Mat 11:16-17). …Read More!

Whoa! This guy bleeds the gospel!

Listen to this clip….
Dr Steve Lawson and Todd Friel. …Read more!

J.C Ryle: God doesn’t look at…

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Ye Are The Salt!—Not Sugar Candy

By Charles Spurgeon

An evil is in the professed camp of the Lord, so gross in its impudence, that the most shortsighted can hardly fail to notice it during the past few years. It has developed at an abnormal rate, even for evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a cleverer thing than hinting to the church that part of their mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view to winning them. Read More

Golf: A game of thistles and thorns with glimpses of green.

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I had my first golf game today. In recent weeks (or has it been months now) there has been loads of rain and rather grim grey wintery weather -not that that is something strange on the queen’s island. Today the weather has been mild in the early teens (11-14 Celsius and 52 F for my American friends) which is almost good and glorious enough to light a barbecue in Scotland (I hear).

Nevertheless here in the Southeastern part of England, I took my whiskers out for my very first game of golf. I do not know how Tiger Woods manages to do his thing but if he had a game as agricultural as mine, he would be recruited by the American mining industry without any questions asked.

Stepping out in the brilliant golden yellow spring morning sunshine with a bag full of clubs and a dozen (soon to be lost golf balls) I submitted my humble soul to the elements and hazards of the 72 par Basildon Golf Course. …Read More!

When looking for a church beware of churches who…

Should Africa re-think homosexuality?

Sandala Mwanje from Zambia writes an interesting article on Africa’s position on homosexuality. Most African countries will take the stand against the legalization of homosexuality on the premise that it is against their culture.  How about Christians in Africa should they hold to the same mantra? Will this stance stand the test of time? He writes…

africaCulture is not static—it changes. Therefore if culture is the only basis upon which [Africans] are rejecting the legalization of homosexuality, then we are just postponing the problem. The Kenyan author and self proclaimed gay, Binyavanga Wainaina, is right when he says, “I’m extremely optimistic about rapid transformation and change of things in Africa in general.” In addition Mr. Wainaina says “It’s set off. It cannot stop. It’s going to be turbulent. There’ll be dark bits and there’ll be bright bits, but it’s a speed train.”[1]Part of what is going to make this train move even faster is the pressure from the western countries. On 28th February 2014, BBC reported that the World Bank postponed 90million dollars in aid because the Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni had signed a bill that criminalized homosexuality in Uganda.[2] …Read More!

Robert Murray McCheyne on Afflictions

“Your afflictions may only prove that you are more immediately under the Father’s hand. There is no time that the patient is such an object of tender interest to the surgeon, as when he is bleeding beneath his knife. So you may be sure if you are suffering from the hand of a reconciled God, that His eye is all the more bent on you.” (Robert Murray McCheyne)

Paul Washer: Striving to lay hold of conformity to Christ

Paul-Washer-Grace-Community-Baptist-Church“I am not an old man, but neither am I young. To put it bluntly, I am nearer to the grave than I am to the cradle. This reality does not burden me or cause me to despair, but rather it kindles a sense of urgency in my heart. I want to be more like Christ, and I want to be a more faithful and efficient servant. I regret my many failures in the past, but I cannot turn back the clock, and I cannot fix what has already been done. However, I can push forward into the future, and strive with greater force to lay hold of the very thing for which God has laid hold of all of us -conformity to Christ, the proclamation of the Gospel to every creature, the transformation of individuals and cultures through the power of the Cross.” ~Paul Washer

5 marks of the Holy Spirit in a Believer

1. The Spirit awakens a person’s heart.

2. The Spirit leads to the Word.

3. The Spirit convinces of sin.

4. The Spirit makes a person love the brethren.

5. The Spirit teaches a person to pray.                      ~ J.C Ryle

HT J.C Ryle Archive

Martyn Lloyd Jones on missionary zeal.

“There is no better test of our spiritual state and condition than our missionary zeal, our concern for lost souls. That is always the thing that divides people who are just theoretical and intellectual Christians from those who have a living and a vital spiritual life.” -Martyn Lloyd-Jones (Romans – God’s Sovereign Purpose)

A prayer for Great Britain…

The weather in Britain has taken a turn for the worst. The heavens have opened with relentless rain, the seas have risen high with storms, banks of the River Thames have burst and the flood barriers can hold back the waters no more. This year’s winter has seen more rainfall than one can remember in most recent years. Thousands have helplessly seen their savings, treasures and possessions swept down the village high street. The situation calls for much prayer and reflection. A friend posted a very good prayer- it’s actually from the Book of Common Prayer. And how the words strike such a good reminder of God’s Sovereignty and Providence in every situation even in times as these:

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Pray for Britain tonight and may God save the Queen!
Quote HT J. Hunt

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