February 2012 Blog

Thanks for visiting. Sharing a few moments over coffee with you is a special monthly joy.

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Been there?

A friend shared this:

I have been in many places, but I’ve never been in Cahoots. Apparently, you can’t go alone. You have to be in Cahoots with someone. I’ve also never been in Cognito. I hear no one recognizes you there. I have, however, been in Sane. They don’t have an airport; you have to be driven there. I have made several trips there, thanks to my friends, family and work.

I would like to go to Conclusions, but you have to jump, and I’m not too much on physical activity anymore. I have also been in Doubt. That is a sad place to go, and I try not to visit there too often.

I’ve been in Flexible, but only when it was very important to stand firm. Sometimes I’m in Capable, and I go there more often as I’m getting older. One of my favorite places to be is in Suspense! But I want to be sure to stay out of Debt. It is a difficult place to escape from.

I may have been in Continent, but I don’t remember what country I was in. It’s an age thing.

If the shoe fits, wear it!

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T. D. Jakes renounces Oneness doctrine

 The Baptist Press is reporting a recent meeting in Aurora, IL where Bishop Jakes affirmed the Trinity. He says that his “Oneness brethren” are now calling him a heretic. How true it is that the oftener we put ourselves in “cahoots” (see article above) with Trinitarians, putting our feet under their tables, the more apt we are to feel the immense pressure to capitulate. If we become dependent on them for ministerial affirmation, or for their money and influence, we are setting ourselves up for compromise.

If we try to build something on those who are not totally committed to truth, sooner or later it will crumble. Either the folks will leave or we will compromise. Jakes was baptized by a Oneness preacher, married by a Oneness preacher, and held one of his first revivals in Oneness Apostolic church. He knows it is the truth. But pressure from Trinitarian “peers” have caused him to capitulate or else lose much of his congregation and his prominent standing in the Evangelical movement. Once we begin to equivocate on what we know is truth, our confusion is transferred to laypeople in our churches.

God give us grace to hold high the banner of truth about the identity of Jesus. It is our foundational doctrine.

If you care to read the entire interview, click on the link below:

http://blog.christianitytoday.com/ctliveblog/archives/2012/01/td_jakes_embrac.html

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The Parable of the Blind Men and the Elephant

by John Godfrey Saxe

It was six men of Indostan
To learning much inclined,
Who went to see the Elephant
Though all of them were blind,
That each by observation
Might satisfy his mind.

The First approached the Elephant
And, happening to fall
Against his broad and sturdy side,
At once began to bawl:
“God bless me, but the Elephant
Is very like a wall!”

The Second, feeling the tusk,
Cried, “Ho! what have we here
So very round and smooth and sharp?
To me ’tis very clear
This wonder of an Elephant
Is very like a spear!”

The Third approached the animal
And, happening to take
The squirming trunk within his hands,
Thus boldly up he spake:
“I see,” quoth he, “The Elephant
Is very like a snake!”

The Fourth reached out an eager hand,
And felt about the knee:
“What most the wondrous beast is like
Is very plain,” quoth he;
“Tis clear enough the Elephant
Is very like a tree!”

The Fifth, who chanced to touch the ear,
Said, “”Even the blindest man
Can tell what this resembles most;
Deny the fact who can:
This marvel of an elephant
Is very like a fan!”

The Sixth no sooner had begun
About the beast to grope
Than, seizing on the swinging tail
That fell within his scope,
“I see,” quoth he, “the Elephant
Is very like a rope!”

And so these men of Indostan
Disputed loud and long,
Each in his own opinion
Exceeding stiff and strong.
Though each was partly in the right,
They all were in the wrong!
Count the ways you can make an inspirational application of this old poem.

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 An interesting viewpoint

“I do not choose to be a common man.  It is my right to be uncommon.  I seek to develop whatever talents God gave me—not security.  I do not wish to be a kept citizen, humbled and dulled by having the state look after me.  I want to take the calculated risk; to dream and to build, to fail and to succeed.  I refuse to barter incentive for a dole.  I prefer the challenges of life to the guaranteed existence; the thrill of fulfillment to the stale calm of utopia.  I will not trade freedom for beneficence nor my dignity for a handout.  I will never cower before any earthly master nor bend to any threat.  It is my heritage to stand erect, proud and unafraid; to think and act myself, enjoy the benefit of my creations and to face the world boldly and say—This, with God’s help, I have done.’ All this is what it means to be an American.”]

– Dean Alfange (1897-1989)

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They wouldn’t lie to us, would they?

The current administration rammed through health legislation that will be a nightmare for elderly people and their families in the future. My brother passed away in December at age 82. Primary cause: bleeding on the brain caused by a fall. If surgery had been performed sooner, he might have survived. However, if Obamacare had been in effect, my brother may  have been denied the potentially life-saving surgery.

The basis for that statement lies partly in the words of a neurosurgeon as he discusses what we can expect under Obamacare. Click on the link below to listen to a phone call allegedly from the neurosurgeon himself:

http://blog.heartland.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/12/Phone_call_from_Neurosurgeon_32bps-1.mp3

In fairness, I tried to confirm the authenticity of the surgeon and his claims. The administrators of the American Association of Neurological Surgeons suggested that the call was a hoax and listed some seeming inaccuracies in the surgeon’s statements. The jury is still out as to whether the caller was legitimate and his facts are accurate. My doubter is flashing. I do believe, however, that there are hidden provisions in Obamacare that would frighten us if we knew their ramifications. One of them is the rationing of care to the elderly. Too many insiders who are supposed to know have told us that rationing of care will be enforced. How else will they reduce the costs? Most healthcare dollars are spent on those over 60. Limiting their lives, thereby limiting their healthcare expenditures, will achieve Obama’s goals.

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We always have the stars

During the French Revolution, one activist who opposed the role of the church in French life said, “I will have all your steeples pulled down and remove every object that serves as a reminder of your old superstitions.”

This decree evoked this response from one of the peasants: “Yes, but you cannot help leaving us the stars.”

Some things can’t be taken from us if they are held firmly enough. How is your grip?

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 The Value of Self-Discipline

Sometimes Pentecostals are maligned for their insistence on ordered lives in our disorderly culture. Self-respect, personal discipline, and ethical behavior usually evolve out of a background of spiritual experience and the application of biblical principles.

Chided for such conservative expressions of the Christian faith, believers generally ignore the taunts and criticisms, knowing that inwardly many people would love to have sufficient motivation to manifest decency and admiral deportment in their personal lives. Outside of biblical Christianity, such motivation is rare.

However, I recently read an account of explorer Henry Morton Stanley and his efforts to find Scottish missionary Dr. David Livingstone in the deepest, darkest jungles of Africa. I submit this brief, interesting account excerpted from The Smithsonian:

IMAGINE, FOR A MOMENT, that you are Stanley early one morning. You emerge from your tent in the Ituri rain forest. It’s dark. It has been dark for months. Your stomach, long since ruined by parasites, recurrent diseases and massive doses of quinine and other medicines, is in even worse shape than usual. You and your men have been reduced to eating berries, roots, fungi, grubs, caterpillars, ants and slugs—when you’re lucky enough to find them. Dozens of people were so crippled from hunger, disease, injuries and festering sores that they had to be left behind at a spot in the forest grimly referred to as Starvation Camp. You’ve taken the healthier ones ahead to look for food, but they’ve been dropping dead along the way, and there’s still no food to be found. But as of this morning, you’re still not dead. Now that you’ve arisen, what do you do?

For Stanley, this was an easy decision: shave. As his wife, Dorothy Tennant, whom he married in 1890, would later recall: “He had often told me that, on his various expeditions, he had made it a rule, always to shave carefully. In the Great Forest, in ‘Starvation Camp,’ on the mornings of battle, he had never neglected this custom, however great the difficulty.”

Why would somebody starving to death insist on shaving? Jeal said, “Stanley always tried to keep a neat appearance—with clothes, too—and set great store by the clarity of his handwriting, by the condition of his journals and books, and by the organization of his boxes.” He added, “The creation of order can only have been an antidote to the destructive capacities of nature all around him.” Stanley himself once said, according to his wife, “I always presented as decent an appearance as possible, both for self-discipline and for self-respect.”

You might think the energy spent shaving in the jungle could be better utilized in looking for food. But Stanley’s belief in the link between external order and inner self-discipline has been confirmed recently in studies. [End of excerpt.]

Human pride? I don’t think so. Vanity? No. I believe it was a sense that personal self-discipline will spill over into other areas of life in the form of moral courage, mental toughness, and indispensible resiliency in the face of life’s challenges. Those virtues alone ultimately saved Stanley from failure of his mission and even from death itself.

The strength of mind and character that allowed him to achieve his goal will also be a part of those who overcome the oppositions we Christians are likely to face in these last days.

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North Korea follows U.S. example

Someone suggested that the North Koreans were following our lead in appointing their new leader. Here were his words:

“I am really concerned about North Korea’s appointment of the ‘dear esteemed leader,’ Kim Jung Il’s youngest son to be the new leader of North Korea—a nuclear power! After all, Kim Jung Un had NO military experience whatsoever before daddy made him a four-star general in the military. This is a snot-nose twerp who has never accomplished anything in his life that would even come close to military leadership. He hasn’t even so much as led a Cub Scout troop, coached a sports team, or commanded a military platoon. So, setting that aside, next they make him the “beloved leader” of the country. Terrific!!!

“Ooops! I’m sorry. I just remembered that we did the same thing here. We took a community organizer who has never worn a uniform and made him Commander-in-Chief—a guy who has never led anything more than an ACORN demonstration and made him the leader of this country. I’m sorry I brought this up, never mind.”

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 Start with historical facts

When teaching the Bible to our children begin with the first verse. Walk through the first eleven chapters and present them as historical facts, not Bible “stories.” This will provide them with a foundation for building a life on the principles found in the remainder of the Scriptures. Surveys tell us that one of the primary reasons many young people and young adults do not continue in the faith is the undermining of the Genesis record by evolutionary theories learned in school science classes. They must be prepared for the challenges their faith will face in academia.

There are many resources today for the Christian parent who wants to provide this foundational undergirding. Books and periodicals are available at bookstores, online, and at advanceministries.org. I recommend that every parent take advantage of free literature such as Acts and Facts from the Institute of Creation Research (www.icr.org) and AnswersUpdate from answersingenesis.org. Invest in your children’s faith and it will pay huge dividends.

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Another “scientific” wonder

Scientists are announcing the discovery of a 95 million year old fossil of an octopus. They say that the fossil was found in cretaceous rock in Lebanon. That is amazing, given the fact that there are virtually no “hard” parts, such as bones, etc., in an octopus. Should one die, it will rapidly decay into nothingness. So how could one be found in hard stone? The only answer would be that the rock hardened quickly with the octopus in it. What could cause such rapid formation? Surprise: the Flood!

The fossil looks just like the ones we see today—eight legs, rows of suckers, and traces of ink exactly where the creature carried it. If evolution were true, how could there be virtually no change over 95 million years? Claims of turtle fossils 215 million years old reveal the same thing—they looked just like the ones do today. The real truth is that there is plenty of hard evidence for the Flood and none to shore up the theory of evolution. We don’t have to go back billions or millions of years to understand how such fossils are formed. The Bible has the answers in the Book of Genesis. True science is proving every day that the Genesis record is accurate, and that the evidence for a young earth is mounting.

It is interesting that the same scientists that discount the Flood and the Genesis record, when evidence abounds, are the same ones who believe in man-caused global warming, when that is nothing more than a theory without hard evidence.

Source: http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/03/090319-octopus-fossil-picture.html

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A plea from the past

Feeding Sheep or Amusing Goats

by C.H. 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 the evil. It has worked like leaven until the whole lump ferments. The devil has seldom done a more clever thing than hinting to the Church that part of her mission is to provide entertainment for the people, with a view of winning them. From speaking out as the Puritans did, the Church has gradually toned down her testimony, then winked at and excused the frivolities of the day. Then she tolerated them in her borders. Now she has adopted them under the plea of reaching the masses.

My first contention is that providing amusement for the people is nowhere spoken of in the Scriptures as a function of the Church. If it is a Christian work, why did not Christ speak of it? “Go ye…” into all the world and speak the Gospel to every creature. That is clear enough. So it would have been if He had added, “and provide amusement for those who do not relish the Gospel.” No such words, however, are to be found. It did not seem to occur to Him. Then again, “He gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers…for the work of the ministry.” Where do entertainers come in? The Holy Spirit is silent concerning them. Were the prophets persecuted because they amused the people or because they refused? The concert has no honor roll.

Again, providing amusement is in direct antagonism to the teaching and life of Christ and all of His apostles. What was the attitude of the Church to the world? “Ye are the salt,” not the sugar candy….something the world will spit out, not swallow. Short and sharp was the utterance: “Let the dead bury the dead.” He was in awful earnestness!

Had Christ introduced more of the bright and pleasant elements into His mission, He would have been more popular when He and His disciples went back, because of the searching nature of His teaching. I do not hear Him say, “Run after these people, Peter, and tell them we will have a new kind of service tomorrow, something short and attractive with little preaching. We will have a pleasant evening for the people. Tell them they will be sure to enjoy it. Be quick, Peter; we must get the people somehow!” Jesus pitied sinners, sighed and wept over them, but never sought to amuse them. In vain will the epistles be searched to find any trace of the gospel of amusement. Their message is, “Come out, keep out, keep clean out!” Anything approaching foolishness is conspicuous of its absence. They had boundless confidence in the Gospel and employed no other weapon. After Peter and John were locked up for preaching, the Church had a prayer meeting, but they did not pray, “Lord, grant unto Thy servants that by a wise and discriminating use of innocent recreation we may show these people how happy we are.” If they had ceased not for preaching Christ, they had not time for arranging entertainments. Scattered by persecution, they went everywhere preaching the Gospel.

They “turned the world upside down.” That is the only difference! Lord, clear the Church of all the rot and rubbish the devil has imposed on her, and bring us back to apostolic methods.

Lastly, the mission of amusement fails to effect the end desired. It works havoc among the young converts. Let the careless and scoffers, who thank God because the Church met them halfway, speak and testify. Let the heavy-laden who found peace through the concert not keep silent! Let the drunkard to whom the dramatic entertainment has been God’s link in the chain of his conversation, stand up! There are none to answer. The mission of amusement produces no converts. The need of the hour for today’s ministry is believing scholarship joined with earnest spirituality, the one springing from the other as fruit from the root. The need is biblical doctrine, so understood and felt that it sets men on fire.

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Personal Bible studies win souls!

The most popular Bible study designed for soulwinning is Into His Marvelous Light. Thousands of people have been motivated by this little booklet to give their lives to God and obey the gospel. So simple anyone can teach it. So powerful no one can walk through it unchanged.

People around the world are writing to ask us if they can reproduce it in the language of their own country. Missionaries are teaching it with astounding results. It is available in German, Italian, Spanish, French. Recently, a chaplain in American Samoa in the South Pacific asked if they could translate the study into the Samoan dialect. They have had exciting results with it already.

They are often called “Home Bible Studies” but they can be used anywhere you find a hungry soul. Many keep a copy in their Bibles ready for instant use.

Isn’t it time your church started sharing the gospel via Into His Marvelous Light? Effective yet inexpensive. As low as $1.25 each. Order online at advanceministries.org or call us at 936-856-3419.

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BooksBooksBooksBooks

New titles:

Gleanings

By Ron Schoolcraft

This Apostolic author has indeed picked up the “pen of a ready writer.” Gleanings encompasses most of the fundamental issues of life, laces them with Scripture, and lets the light of truth in through the window of anecdotal illustrations. He fearlessly projects the gospel message, while revealing a compassionate Christ who is involved in our daily lives. In its pages are lots of good lessons, sermons, and Bible studies that will provide spiritual nourishment for the reader, inspiration for the teacher, and wisdom for the seeker of it.

AM price 12.95

The Prudence Awakening

By Darin Bowler

What role does submission and obedience play in our salvation? This book skillfully expounds upon a vastly imperative truth that has been miserably overlooked for so long, that it has now become a strenuous “battle” to replace it back into the hearts and minds of believers today. This Apostolic author conclusively unveils what the Word of God actually says about the essential and soul-saving role that obedience truly plays in our relationship with God.

AM price only $10.95

Before You Say, I Do

By J. R. Ensey

This booklet has saved a number of marriages—before the marriages took place! It is imperative that Apostolic believers choose well before entering into matrimony. Every teenager or young adult contemplating marriage should answer these 25 questions before going to the wedding altar.

One pastor’s wife recently ordered 20 of the booklets for those they are teaching. They said it had helped them before they married and wanted to pass the principles along. Good idea!

AM price only $3.95

Order online at advanceministries.org or call 936-856-3419.

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Give us a sense of humor, Lord,
Give us the grace to see a joke,
To get some humor out of life,
And pass it on to other folk.

 
Figure out a way to say, “I love you!”

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Parting Shot 

Christians and Jewish martyrs say: “I will die for what I believe.”
A Muslim martyr says: “You will die for what I believe!”

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We can’t keep our eyes upward if our heads are down. Let’s look up expectantly in 2012…not because the Mayans goofed on their calendar, but because Jesus told us to “look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh” (Luke 21:28).

JREnsey

Published in: on February 1, 2012 at 1:34 AM  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” James 1:5-8

  2. Thank you for another great blog, Brother Ensey!

    Here’s a couple books to devour, although they may take several reviews:

    The Genesis Flood (50th Anniversary Ed.)
    by, John C. Whitcomb & Henry M. Morris
    P&R Publishing, Phillipsburg, NJ

    And, why relegate this subject to the Sunday School class? Here’s a good textbook:

    Noah’s Ark Uncovered
    by, Henri Nissen
    Scandinavia Publishing House, Copenhagen

  3. Thank you for the links to the Creation websites. I have been looking for resources to help reiterate Creation to my children.

  4. Great article you have here. It’s worth reading. Good quality and very informative!!! Thanks for sharing this useful article.

  5. Thanks for the Blog. Keep them coming. Bro. Thornhill

  6. Excellent article! We will be linking to this particularly
    great content on our website. Keep up the good writing.


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