Verse of the Day

My Musings, Observations, etc.


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December 29, 2009
Eze 33:1-11 Again the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, (2) Son of man, speak to the children of thy people, and say unto them, When I bring the sword upon a land, if the people of the land take a man of their coasts, and set him for their watchman: (3) If when he seeth the sword come upon the land, he blow the trumpet, and warn the people; (4) Then whosoever heareth the sound of the trumpet, and taketh not warning; if the sword come, and take him away, his blood shall be upon his own head. (5) He heard the sound of the trumpet, and took not warning; his blood shall be upon him. But he that taketh warning shall deliver his soul. (6) But if the watchman see the sword come, and blow not the trumpet, and the people be not warned; if the sword come, and take any person from among them, he is taken away in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at the watchman's hand. (7) So thou, O son of man, I have set thee a watchman unto the house of Israel; therefore thou shalt hear the word at my mouth, and warn them from me. (8) When I say unto the wicked, O wicked man, thou shalt surely die; if thou dost not speak to warn the wicked from his way, that wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand. (9) Nevertheless, if thou warn the wicked of his way to turn from it; if he do not turn from his way, he shall die in his iniquity; but thou hast delivered thy soul. (10) Therefore, O thou son of man, speak unto the house of Israel; Thus ye speak, saying, If our transgressions and our sins be upon us, and we pine away in them, how should we then live? (11) Say unto them, As I live, saith the Lord GOD, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live: turn ye, turn ye from your evil ways; for why will ye die, O house of Israel?
We see the Lord speaking of the duty of the watchman.  How the watchman is to sound a warning when he sees the enemy approaching.  The Lord also explains that the people should hear the warning and respond.  If the people hear the warning and do not respond, their blood is on their own hands.  However, if the watchman sees the approach of the enemy and does not sound the warning the people will be taken and the blood of the people will be on the watchman’s hands.  It is a simple and clear truth.  In the conclusion of this passage, the Lord then compares the preacher or prophet to the watchman.  As preachers, we are called of God to sound the warning when we see the enemy approach.  In our case, the enemy is not necessarily a neighboring country.  In our case, the enemy is the devil.  As preachers, we are to see the dangers and attacks the enemy is sending at us and warn the people.
With that in mind, the quest to name this blog has come to an end (I think).  So, we will name the blog “Sound the Trumpet” with the idea of fulfilling the commission in Ezekiel 33.
Are you a preacher?  If so, will the blood of the people be on your hands?  I think we could make a broader application of this passage.  Are you a parent?  If so, you are responsible for sounding the warning in your home.  Do you? Would you want the blood of your children on your hands?
Over the last year, a movie has become increasingly popular.  While it is true that there are extremely few Hollywood movies that a Christian should watch, this one has become extremely popular among Christian teen girls.  In fact, it is infectious creating a cult-like following.  The movie “Twilight” is basically about Bella and Edward.  Bella moves from her sunny Phoenix home to dismal, dreary Forks, Washington.  As she tries to get accustomed to her new life and settled into her new high school, she is drawn to her Biology lab partner Edward.  As she becomes increasingly attracted to Edward, she also becomes increasingly involved in Edward’s family – all of whom are vampires.  The basic plot of the four books is the love story of Edward and Bella and the complications of interacting with Edward’s vampire family and other demonic creatures.
One notable point in the series is a theme of abstinence in the midst of a love story between two young adults.  However, despite the apparant abstinence, there are parts of the story where the characters are involved in an inappropriate physical relationship and are alone together.  Despite this one positive theme, this series is very dangerous.  Sadly, this series of books (and now the movies) are also extremely popular among Christians.
Gen 3:1 Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?
As we see in Genesis 3, Satan was more subtle than any other creature.  It is the devil’s very nature to be subtle, to be deceptive.  When sin began on the face of the earth, Satan used his subtle nature to add a little here and leave a little out there.  In short, he made the sin seem to be not so bad.  He is doing the very same thing with this series of books and movies.  Through his subtlety, Satan is conning a generation of young women and even little girls into believing there is such a thing as a good vampire or that a vampire can be a hero.   Consider the following quote from a “Rolling Stone” interview with the lead character Robert Patterson in which he says, “It's weird that you get 8-year-old girls coming up to you saying, ‘Can you just bite me? I want you to bite me.’”  In this interview, he also alluded to how girls as young as eight are drawn to the sexuality of the movie even though abstinence is one of the themes proclaimed by those who promote the movie as wholesome!
Even though abstinence is supposedly promoted, the sexuality of the love story is still there.  This sexuality promotes feelings and desires in teen girls which cannot legitimately be fulfilled outside of marriage.  This creates an immoral desire in these young girls for more of the illegitimate “Hollywood” style dating that is perverting the morals and lives of an entire generation.
Aside from the immoral sexuality generated by the “love story” aspect of the novels, there is a far more dangerous aspect of the series: the blatantly demonic aspect of the series.  The entire plot revolves around the two singular themes of teenage love and vampires.  Sure, the plot portrays supposed good vampires and evil ones but is there really a “good” vampire?
There are very clear dangers in this series which should cause the Christian to flee from these books and movies, not partake in them or even, God forbid, promote them!  We can see the end result of both of the dangers in this series (Hollywood dating and dabbling in the occult) in Bella’s own actions.  As the plot develops, she ultimately gives up her own soul to become a vampire in her quest to secure the love of Edward and her own immortality.
First, she gives her soul to secure the love of the vampire Edward.  By doing this, she proves that she is willing to do anything including rejecting the one true God.  This is true of most of the teen girls we see walking around today.  This is typical of so many teens.  No matter what it takes, they will sacrifice anything for a boyfriend or girlfriend.  In almost every case, the first thing a teen will do is sacrifice their walk with God.  This is the first step a teen can take in the wrong direction.  Once the relationship with God is broken and the teen is backslidden, it is only a short hop to physical contact and a destroyed testimony.  Hopefully, this will not happen to you or your teen but if you follow the Hollywood style of dating, it is all too likely.
Hollywood style dating creates an attitude of sacrificing everything on the altar of obtaining a guy.  Teen girls feel incomplete if they do not have a boyfriend.  Too many girls, the guy on her arm is almost like an accessory like her purse or shoes.  And just as many would spend any amount, not truly realizing the cost, to get the perfect purse or shoes, many girls would also sacrifice whatever needs to be sacrificed to get and keep what they think is the perfect guy.  Just look at the way many girls dress.  They are using their bodies and immodest dress to attract guys.  Then when they have a guy, the guy becomes an idol in their lives and quickly replaces the Lord and the father.
Second, while seeking Edward’s love, she gives up her very soul to accomplish her other goal, immortality.  Satan’s deception to Bella is the same style of subtle deception he used in the Garden of Eden with Eve.  It is even the same lie that you can be a god.  This is the exact same lie Satan told Eve in the Garden of Eden, “Ye shall not surely die” Gen 3:4.  This is also the same lie told by the modern humanist.  You can be whatever you want to be.  The entire plot of this series of novels is based on a lie from Satan that is as old as the creation itself.
Deut 18:9-12 When thou art come into the land which the LORD thy God giveth thee, thou shalt not learn to do after the abominations of those nations.  (10) There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, or an enchanter, or a witch,  (11) Or a charmer, or a consulter with familiar spirits, or a wizard, or a necromancer.  (12) For all that do these things are an abomination unto the LORD: and because of these abominations the LORD thy God doth drive them out from before thee.
Finally, Deut 18:9-12 clearly teaches us that we should not even learn the ways of the underworld. It is an abomination and it should not be found anywhere near the child of God.  God commands that those who participate in these actions should be driven out of the congregation.  If the Lord thinks so strongly of these things, then why are so many Christians bringing it into their homes?  I can think of many dangers but I am sure there are dangers we cannot even imagine. I simply cannot understand how someone could love God and literally invite the devil into their home by watching or reading this trash.
Phil 4:8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
We are commanded to avoid pagan trash such as this but along with the warning, the Lord gives us instruction on what we should be thinking and meditating on.  Is there anything true about this series of books?  Is there anything honest in them? Is there anything just about these pagan books? Is there anything pure in them? Lovely? Of good report? Any virtue? Any praise toward God?  NO, there is not.  As a Christian teen you should flee from this trash.  As a Christian parent, you should take these books and movies from your teen and destroy them!
December 25, 2009
Exo 20:7 Thou shalt not take the name of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain.

As Christians, we know that we should not take the name of the Lord in vain. Often, we even recoil when we hear someone use that all too familiar two word phrase with the name of God, but sadly, there are many Christians who do still often use the name of God in vain! As you surf the net, you have, without doubt, seen the acronym 'OMG' which is short for 'Oh My God'. Many people recognize this as taking the name of the Lord in vain and do not do it. But if you do not use that phrase, or other phrases which still take the name of God in vain, are you guilty?

When we look at the God-head, or the Trinity, we see three distinct parts of God: The Father, The Son, and the Holy Spirit. Each part of the Trinity is equally and fully God. Also, each part of the Trinity has many different names representing the character of God. For example, we often call the Holy Spirit the Comforter. God the Father is known as Jehovah, I Am, etc. Jesus is also known by many names such as the Messiah, The Son, and the Word.

Yes, you read it right, one of the names of Jesus is "The Word".

John 1:1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. (2) The same was in the beginning with God. (3) All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. (4) In him was life; and the life was the light of men.

Who was in the beginning with God? The Word.  Jesus is the Word!  So, if one says, "Oh My Word" is that one just as guilty as one who would say, "Oh My God?" Are they not both guilty of taking the Lord's name in vain?

Are you guilty?
December 12, 2009
As I was scanning through the guide looking for something to watch, I came across something called "Handel's Messiah Rocks."  I admit, I was curious, so, I watched a few minutes of it.  It was a complete and total perversion of Handel's Messiah.
In the few minutes I watched, I saw immodestly dressed women, and men who could easily have been confused for women dancing and jumping around a stage to the sounds of a combination of a full orchestra, overdrive electric guitars, drums and vocals singing the almost familiar words of "The Messiah."  I say almost familiar.  The words they were singing were not the actual words from "The Messiah."  The words they were singing were not based on the KJV.
Clearly, these people were presenting themselves as Christians.  But, were they?  Of course,  I cannot say if they are actually Christians or not.  However, I can draw some observations from the Scriptures.
2Cor 6:14-18 Be ye not unequally yoked together with unbelievers: for what fellowship hath righteousness with unrighteousness? and what communion hath light with darkness? (15) And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? (16) And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. (17) Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, (18) And will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty.
In this passage, the Lord is asking the same question several times over.  How can light and darkness co-exist?  How can Christ and Belial agree?  What fellowship does God have with idolatry?  How can one who is saved stand with one who is an infidel?  They simply cannot.  As Christians, we are to be separate, distinctly different and set apart.  A part of salvation is repentance.  When we are saved, we repent, or turn from, our sinful nature.  So, when it comes to something like music, what does that mean?  It means that the music we listen to as Christians should be completely and distinctly different from the music we listened to when we were not saved.  Like every other aspect of our lives, the music we listen to is an indicator of where we are headed.  When you were saved, did you want to change the music you listened to?  Even a little? If not, perhaps you were not saved.
Some people claim you can take Christian words and apply them to the worldly music.  For something to be Christian, it has to be completely Christian.  We cannot walk partly in the world and partly in the Lord!
Lu 9:62 And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.
Jesus was making the point that we cannot keep ourselves in the sins and cares of the world while claiming to follow Him.  Jesus plainly said that one who looked back was unfit for the Kingdom of God.  The worldly Christian music is just that.  It is someone who wants the benefits of being  a Christian while holding on to the vice of ungodly music.
If you are genuinely saved, the Lord has already nudged you about some things.  How did you respond to the nudge?  Was music something the Lord nudged you about?  If you are listening to Christian Rock, or other contemporary (so-called) Christian music, and you are saved, the Lord has nudged you.
How can you tell what is good music and what is not? Here are several things to help guide you in the choice:
  1. Music should encourage you to get closer to God?
  2. Music should encourage you to worship in a pure way.  That is, the music should not cause you to move your body in a sensual or immodest way.  That is, the music should not cause you to draw attention to yourself. Your worship should always direct attention to God.
  3. If the words were removed, the music should still be honoring to God. Often, the music of the so-called Christian rock (rap, country, etc.) is identical to it's worldly counterpart. In fact, if you removed the words, could not tell the difference between the two. 
  4. The musicians should have a good testimony.  Their life, as it is now, should clearly reflect the change Christ has made in their lives through salvation.  Their testimony should be clear and their lives should prove their testimony. Often, the clearest illustration of the contemporary musician's lacking walk with God is illustrated in their attire.  
Are you willing to change your music?

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December 11, 2009
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December 10, 2009
It is amazing how, as we grow and mature in Christ, we see things differently. Day by day, the Lord illuminates different things to us. He shows us how we should grow in His likeness.
Shortly after I was saved, I played the role of Santa at a company Christmas party. At first, I was quite excited about it, looking forward to in, in fact. But as the time drew near, I had an uneasy feeling in me which I did not understand. As the party went on, that uneasy feeling grew and I recognized it as the grieving of the Holy Spirit. I knew what I was doing was wrong, but I did not understand why. However, at the conclusion of that night, I knew I would never dress as Santa again.
The years passed, and I really didn’t think about it again until we had children. Really, I didn’t think about it until our kids were old enough to talk and start to understand things. As I thought about the subject, I remembered dressing as Santa and my spirit being grieved. I started to look at why. Why would the Lord be upset with me over this? After all, it’s really all just in fun, right? Let’s just look at that. Is it really all in fun? Does that make it ok?

Suppose I told my kids, like so many parents do, that they need to be good for Santa, that Santa could see them when they sleep and know if they were being good or bad. The first question is wouldn’t that be a lie? Wouldn’t I be lying to my children?

Mat 19:18-19 He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, (19) Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.
What exactly does it mean to ‘bear false witness’? Isn’t that a lie? Are there degrees to lies? Is a lie ok as long as it is just in fun? Of course not. There were no conditions set on lying. A lie is a lie, pure and simple. So, what if you don’t have kids, but you promote Santa to others? Wouldn’t you be promoting the same lie in someone else’s kid’s minds?
But lying is just one aspect. Think about the attributes of Santa.

  • He can see you wherever you are and he knows if you have been bad or good: he is all knowing. Jehovah God is omniscient. No one else is. To claim that someone else can ‘know’ if you have been bad or good is a lie and it is assigning attributes of God to another.
  • To deliver presents as he does, Santa must be able to transcend time and space in ways no one else can, or he is not subject to time. God is timeless.
But, there is more! In my opinion, this is the worst part. A few years ago, someone gave us a Christmas card which typifies the concern. This was a card with the simple phrase ‘Merry Christmas’ inside and a Norman Rockwell style picture on the outside. The picture was the concern. It was a picture of a young child on his knees, beside his bed, praying. Over his head, in the clouds was an image of Santa making a list. Who was the child praying to?

Exo 20:3-5 Thou shalt have no other gods before me. (4) Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven image, or any likeness of any thing that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth: (5) Thou shalt not bow down thyself to them, nor serve them: for I the LORD thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation of them that hate me.
Do you get this? God is proclaiming that He is a jealous God and that he will not hold him blameless who puts another god before him. Clearly, God is commanding us to put no other god before him, yet as a society, we are holding Santa up as an alternative god for children. The card was an image of a child praying to Santa Claus. I met a young boy a few years ago who did not even know who Jesus was, but he quickly told me that Christmas was about Santa Claus.
Really, though, it’s all harmless since it is all in fun, right? It’s all done with a smile and a wink, right? Speaking of the fool:

Prov 10:10 He that winketh with the eye causeth sorrow: but a prating fool shall fall.
Whether it is with a wink, or in fun, playing or promoting Santa Claus is still a clear violation of one of the commandments of the Word of God, and likely two.
Ahh, it was good to get out tonight and preach.

Since we joined the new church, the Lord has opened up his blessings to us. Having the Sunday School class is a great blessing. We're working with new converts - people who have not been saved for very long. It is a delicate time in their lives. They are easily swayed in one way or another. As the teacher of the class, it is important that I keep that in mind. Even little things that I say or do could sway them. But even more humbling is knowing this, and knowing that my pastor has enough confidence in Kellie and I to allow us the privilege of teaching this class.

As much of a blessing as it is to teach this class, there is still nothing like preaching. Tonight, I was allowed to preach. I hesitate to say it was fun. If you have ever really preached with conviction and power from the Holy Spirit, you know how the devil fights. The devil was fighting tonight. Even though there was a fight, God is good! God gave great liberty and freedom to preach and God gave me a real blessing tonight!
December 6, 2009
‘Tis the season. Everywhere we look there are sales, trees, shoppers, parties and fat men in red suits. Does your kid sit on the fat guy’s lap? Yes, in most people’s mind, ‘tis the season for Santa Claus. Every year, I say something about Santa Claus. Usually, I illustrate some way that people are making a god out of Santa. This year, I am only going to look at one simple thought. The lie.
We know one family where the parents make it quite clear that the kids must “believe” if they are going to get any kind of gift. Is Santa Claus real? Of course not. So, if you are telling your kids he is real, and they must believe in him, what are you doing? You are lying to them. I know, many people think it is harmless. Is there a harmless lie? Is there some time when it is okay to break one of the ten commandments? No.
Pr 6:16-19 These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: (17) A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, (18) An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, (19) A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
Did you notice in that passage that one of the things the Lord hates, that are an abomination, is a “lying tongue.” That was not qualified. God hates it when we lie. Whether it is a little white lie or a giant whopper, a lie is a lie. Telling your kids they must believe is a lie.
Not only is it a lie to tell your kids they must believe in a man that does not exist, you are teaching them to lie. The family I mentioned has a seventeen year old son who tells you he believes. I have met the boy, he is fairly bright! Does he really believe in Santa Claus? No, but his parents have taught him that it is okay to lie about this. So, since he has been taught that it is okay to lie about believing in Santa Claus, why should we believe him when he says he believes in Christ?
The worst aspect of this is the lie perpetuated in some churches. When someone brings the lie of Santa Claus into their home, it is their decision. However, there are pastors out there who do not have the backbone to stand up to their congregation and remove this blight from their church. They allow Santa Claus in their churches. Some even make Santa Claus the centerpiece of their Christmas celebrations. This is simply perverse. I cannot imagine it being anymore than an abomination.
Christmas is not about Santa Claus. Those who make Santa their god and deceive little children into a false hope will stand before God with the blood of children on their hands. I cannot imagine being a pastor who participates in this lie and standing before God. Christmas is about the birth of Christ. Jesus, God in the flesh, came to earth and was born in the form of a man for one reason: to give us the gift of salvation. Because Jesus was willing to come and die on the cross, and pay the debt for our sins, we do not have to face the penalty of death and hell. We can accept the gift of salvation Jesus offers us.
Do you teach your children to believe a lie? More importantly, what do you believe? Jesus is ready and willing to come into your heart and save you. Will you ask HIM in to your heart today?
How was your day at church today? I have to admit, we started off a little discouraged because of the RHD, but the day quickly turned. We listened to some great music driving to church this morning and that really helped us get back in the right frame of mind for church. The devil is not going to keep us down. We got to church and into Sunday School. I was really pleased with the good number of people who came for our class. Remember, it was just last week that one of the ladies who visited our class got saved after the service. I was ready to see the Lord win again (of course, He always wins, in the end). After class, church was a blowout as well. And, guess what: There will be three new people in our New Converts class next week! Yes, there were more people saved this morning! Praise God. I love it when God shows up and makes the devil mad! I can't wait to see what happens tonight. I am sure it will be another great service!
December 5, 2009
Wow… It has been a long time since the last time I blogged. In fact, it has been almost a year! Where has the time gone? Well, a lot has happened over the last year. To start, the United States is now in the worst Constitutional crisis since its birth. We have a man occupying the office of the President of the United States who refuses to prove he is qualified. In addition to that, he and his friends are intent on rewriting the history of the United States in an effort to remove the Christian heritage of this nation. But that is all old news. We all know that Obama is set on the destruction of the United States. But, this is not a political post. This is an update on our ministry and our family. Many of you know we have move to another church. There has been much rumor surrounding our leaving the old church. The Lord led us in this decision. There are times when the Lord leads us in something and we obey right away. This is how we should react. Then there are times when the Lord leads and we do not obey right away. Sadly, this was us. We did not obey as quickly as we should. Looking back, I can see where the Lord has been leading us to make this move for about two years. In the end, the Lord showed us a lot of things to prove to us that we should move. In a sense, it was as though the Lord had to take us to the woodshed to show us His will for our lives. But, ultimately, we obeyed. Now we are attending what must be the most wonderful church in the country. We are seeing people saved in almost every service. That, in itself, is a sign of a growing, vibrant, exciting church. Not only are we seeing people saved, but these people are growing in the Lord. These are not people who are saved this week and gone the next, these are people who are persisting and growing in the Lord. Being around people who are getting genuinely saved is a lot of fun and very exciting. What is even more exciting is being used by the Lord. For the last several years, I suppose since the Lord started showing us that it was time to move, our ministry has been hindered. Since moving and joining at LVBC, we have experienced a breath of fresh air. It is as though the Lord has breathed a new life, a new vitality in to us. So many things have happened so quickly, I have been simply amazed at how the Lord has blessed. For example, I finished a discipleship guide more than a year ago. When we arrived at LVBC, one thing we did was give a copy of it to our new pastor. Within a month or so, he was announcing that there would be a new converts class. The class is based on our discipleship guide. That was a tremendous blessing. Then he caught me and asked if I would be interested in teaching the class. Again, what a blessing! The Lord is using us! Want to hear about more blessings? The Lord is using me to preach. It has been a while since I preached and it was good to preach again. Then there is the most recent event. I spoke to a man from a printing ministry this past week and gave him a copy of the discipleship guide. He is interested in having the book translated for missionaries. Again, what a blessing! The Lord is going to use my work to help missionaries and nationals around the world. I would like to go on, but it is getting late. I hope you enjoyed this little update. If the Lord should continue to bless us the way He has been, there will be many more updates like this one to come.