JREnsey blog for November 2018

Welcome to the JREnsey blog for November, 2018.

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The Word for Today

Habakkuk 1:1-4: “This is the message that the prophet Habakkuk received in a vision. How long, O Lord, must I call for help?
But you do not listen!
“Violence is everywhere!” I cry,
but you do not come to save.
Must I forever see these evil deeds?
Why must I watch all this misery?
Wherever I look,
I see destruction and violence.
I am surrounded by people
who love to argue and fight.
The law has become paralyzed,
and there is no justice in the courts.
The wicked far outnumber the righteous,
so that justice has become perverted” (NLT).

Sound familiar?

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Fact of the month:

Modesty quietens the emotions.

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Praying the Word

When you have entered your closet and called the names of those you know and love who need help and healing, when you’ve mentioned all your kids and grandkids and others whose names were turned in at church with various needs, do you find yourself in the “Oh, God” time of your prayer, having run out of words?

Rather than get too deep in the “Oh, Gods,” why not pray the Word for awhile? What we mean by that is to let your mind go to specific scriptures, or take up your Bible and read a couple of verses from Psalms, Proverbs, or even Job, and you will quickly find some words to personally bring before the Lord. Or go to Ephesians and read slowly, asking the Lord to speak to you about yourself or someone who needs a covering of intercessory prayer.

Coupling the Word with prayer is refreshing, and it sometimes relieves you of the pressure of putting a string of words together in prayer. Wait on the Lord in humble submission. Nothing is more renewing and soul-cleansing that that.

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Time for fresh batteries or a heart exam?

Guys, do you ever get that special tingle when a very beautiful woman speaks kindly to you while looking directly into your eyes? That’s your warning buzzer telling you the batteries on your marital memory have just expired.

Ladies, do you feel your heart flutter when a handsome hunk gives you some special attention? That’s your common sense exiting your body. 

 

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Maybe I was wrong

I thought I heard the leftists and the liberal press claim that high school and college records were nobody’s business when Obama’s were the topic.

I did not realize that Obama’s economy was doing so well since he left office. He should have left office 8 years sooner and we would really be doing well.

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What other folks are thinking

Having more money doesn’t make you happier. I have 50 million dollars but I’m no more happy than when I had 48 million. ~  Arnold Schwarzenegger

I don’t believe in astrology. I am a Sagittarius and we’re very skeptical. ~ Warren Tantum

Home cooking. Where many a man thinks his wife is. ~ Jimmy Durante

I have kleptomania, but when it gets bad, I take something for it. ~ Robert Benchley

As I hurtled through space, one thought kept crossing my mind—every part of this rocket was supplied by the lowest bidder. ~ John Glenn

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What Tertullian was thinking

Tertullian gave some thought to the relationship of the church to the state. Christians did not curse the emperors, even those who mistreated them. They invited scorn, derision, and sometimes severe persecution because they were unwilling to give divine honors to the emperors. Believers knew the emperors were spiritually ignorant, in mental darkness, and held in sway by pagan philosophies. Although Tertullian lived during a period of relative freedom from the worst treatment, his statements probably mirrored the thinking of the time. He said,

“We are forever making intercession for the emperors. We pray for them a long life, a secure rule, a safe home, brave armies, a faithful senate, and honest people, a quiet world, and everything for which a man and a Caesar may pray…We know that the great force which threatens the whole world, the end of the age itself with its menace of hideous sufferings, is delayed by the respite which the Roman Empire means for us…When we pray for its postponement we assist in the continuance of Rome…I have a right to say, ‘Caesar is more ours than yours, appointed as he is by God.’”

Most emperors who initiated persecution did so only when they needed a scapegoat for political failure or an excuse for some disaster. As Tertullian once wrote after a season of persecution: “If the Tiber reaches the walls, if the Nile fails to rise to the fields, if the sky doesn’t move, or if the earth does, if there is famine or plague, the cry is at once: ‘The Christians to the lions!’”

Had Tertullian been reading I Peter 2:17?

Concerning ancient writers and thinkers, one must keep in mind that many of them wrote over a long period of time, during which they may have held a diversity of views. This was certainly the case with Tertullian. To make them appear to believe one view over their entire lifetime would be inaccurate. The post-Apostolic era was one that experienced considerable refinement of doctrinal and cultural views.

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Cal says what many only dare to think

“No country can maintain its character and purpose if it has what amounts to open borders. A common language is lost, there are fewer incentives to assimilate and immigrants can bring with them their own agendas and objectives. The hyphenating of various ethnic groups is proof enough that they seem to be less willing to be called simply Americans.” – Cal Thomas

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Where are churches headed?

It seems that every day some news comes down the pike that lets us know that this or that small step is leading churches toward a larger step in the future. Important changes usually occur incrementally. An adjustment here and another there often go unnoticed as significant.

Ads in print and visual media like to present the man/husband as some buffoon who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. The politically correct woman/wife is cool and smart—the sharpest knife in the drawer. All the radical egalitarianism being poured into our kids in schools and colleges is having an effect. A sea change in our culture is taking place. Some religious bodies feel the need to keep in step with the culture, so they are electing female leaders to head their denominations, perhaps as “proof” they are inclusive and broad-minded. A generation ago, some things we are now seeing were not even on the horizon. Collectively, we may have forgotten that direction is more important than speed.

The result?

You don’t need to be told. You can read the news and interpret it as well as anyone. The problem is that most men are intimidated to the point of silence on the issue of Christian leadership. To acquiesce is the inclination. Go along to get along. A few voices are appealing to us to take note of what is happening to our culture and our churches. Men are now marrying men, kids have no idea whether they are male or female. Transgenderism is trendy. While female politicians are leading the way in law and politics as this election cycle reveals, female moderators and administrators are leading the way in churches, creating an environment in which the feminist agenda can mature in the petri dish of liberal Christianity. There seems to be no stopping place. One change always calls for another.

One institution after the other is toppling. One of the latest is the Boy Scouts. For a while, unisex was the wonder word of the day, now transgender is prominent. What is next? Trinitarians are having to rethink the Godhead—they are all male at this point.

Christian leadership is undergoing a decided shift, so says author J. David Pawson in his book Leadership Is Male. He speaks out in opposition to cultural consensus guiding our church denominations. He argues the concept of God’s appointment of men as leaders in the church and in the family for two reasons: “First, I happen to believe it is the truth. Second, departure from the truth carries serious danger, both in belief and behavior.”

Dr. Wayne Grudem, popular author and active leader in several areas of Christian scholarship, authored the book, Evangelical Feminism: A New Path to Liberalism? In a review, Dr. Paige Patterson, president of Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, said: “Wayne Grudem continues to exhibit faithfulness to the biblical revelation and courage in the light of near universal opposition, as exhibited most recently in this superb volume. Sailing under the flag of evangelical work, this new brand of feminism will take the church directly into liberalism. There is not a more important book to read on this subject than this one.”

Are our eyes wide open? Are we watching and listening? (At left, clergy praying God’s blessing on an abortion clinic in Ohio)

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Jesus’ wife is missing

As reported here a couple of years ago, a Harvard professor (one of that effete corps of impudent snobs up in “Bahston”) claimed she had found proof of Jesus’ marital status. If true, which one of the apostles do you think would have read the vows?

Anyway, professor Karen King had acquired an ancient papyrus fragment that quoted Jesus as referring to “my wife.” Infidels everywhere were giggling and making crude jokes.

A more thorough investigation of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus (pictured here) has been shown to likely be a forgery. Anyone surprised?

The so-called “Gospel” papyrus is a 1.5 x 3-inch Coptic papyrus fragment that contains the text “Jesus said to them, ‘My wife …’” This papyrus fragment has been the subject of much debate in the scholarly community since 2012, when Harvard’s Hollis Professor of Divinity Karen L. King presented the papyrus at the 10th International Coptic Congress in Rome. The text in the papyrus suggests that early Christians believed Jesus was married.

According to Bible History Daily, the After nearly four years of scrutiny, debate and scientific testing, have we finally put to bed the hoopla surrounding the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife? Evidently not. An investigative article by Ariel Sabar recently published in The Atlantic delves into the identity of the anonymous owner of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife papyrus, revealing more than anyone could have ever imagined.

Initial tests seemed to indicate that the papyrus was ancient, but ancient blank papyrus is available. And there are ways the ink can be made to look old. A sharp-eyed investigative team has concluded that there are “grammatical blunders” that a native Coptic speaker/writer would not have made. Also, nearly every word in the papyrus can be read in the Gospel of Thomas, a complete copy of which was among the Nag Hammadi codices. These codices were discovered in 1945, and the Coptic texts were published in 1956 and have been widely available online.

Karen King, perhaps the only one hanging on to the authenticity of the papyrus, was also known to have been in possession of another papyrus fragment she obtained from the same antiquities dealer. The anonymous owner of these papyri and his wife have reportedly been identified as hosts of pornographic websites, adding to the doubt of their integrity.

Give it up, Karen. Jesus was a bachelor. In the future be more discriminating in your choice of ancient artifacts—and their dealers. Jesus and porn pushers “don’t have no truck,” as they say in deep East Texas

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IHML Bible Studies

Win them with this…

Into His Marvelous Light Bible Study

IHMLCoverNo other one-hour Bible study has enjoyed the consistent results of IHML over the years. Often copied but never duplicated. It is attractive, well written, and doctrinally sound. It will convince any open-minded person (and some whose minds are not so open) that the new birth is absolutely essential and that Acts 2:38 constitutes that experience. It’s possible that more souls have been won with this Bible Study than with any other single evangelism tool in the past 25 years. Discover how easy it is to share the plan of salvation with others. Available in both English and Spanish. English is available in both KJV and NIV.

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Help establish them with this…

Guide For LivingIHML_GFL_Revised

A follow-up study for the new convert. This little booklet may be given to the new convert to go through alone, filling in the blanks, and then bring back to you any questions they may have. It covers the new birth—what has happened to them experientially—and walks them through what their responsibilities as new believers are now.

AM Price 1-49 $1.75 each;  50-99 $1.50 each; 100 or more $1.25 each.

 Order at advanceministries.org/store or call 936-537-0250.

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The way it is

Sign of the times

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Deluged with blood

D. L. Moody once told this story in a sermon: “A good many years ago there was a convention held in France, and those who held it wanted to get the country to deny God and to burn the Bible. They wanted to say that men passed away like a dog and a dumb animal. What was the result? Not long after, that country was filled with blood. Did you ever think what would take place if we could vote the Bible and the ministers of the gospel and God out from among the people? My friends, this country would be deluged with blood. Your life and mine would not be safe in this city tonight. We could not walk through these streets with safety. We don’t know how much we owe God and the influence of His gospel among even ungodly men.”

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The Last Word

Get in the caravan!

Caravans are in vogue. And in the news.

I suggest we get in one. The one headed to the polls.

It is a crying shame that many Christians don’t bother to vote. Please don’t sniffle and whine if things go bad in America if you haven’t exercised your civil and patriotic duty to express your opinion where it counts the most.

Just do it.

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Welcome, Autumn!

JREnsey

Published in: on November 1, 2018 at 12:01 AM  Comments (1)  

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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. Thanks for another great read.


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