Month: May 2012

You Can’t Teach Common Sense

Here is a warning on my daughter’s kiddie pool. Keep in mind that the “deep end” of the pool holds about 2 inches of water!

I know at times that warnings are good and much-needed (I personally know someone who burned himself by ironing his clothes while wearing them!), but the simple fact is that you can’t hardly teach a person common sense.

If someone thinks it’s a good idea to dive into 2 to 3 inches of water, then what words could a person possibly use to keep them from doing it??? EA

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But he who heeds counsel is wise.” (Proverbs 12:15) “Understanding is a wellspring of life to him who has it. But the correction of fools is folly….There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.” (Proverbs 16:22, 25)

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Be Careful Little Ears…

Music has never been more portable than it is today. Hundreds, even thousands of songs can be carried along in devices the size of a pack of gum and even smaller. Unfortunately, all of the songs that can be carried along for the ride aren’t songs that are worth the bits, bytes and gigs that they chew up.

Now no one can deny that decency and high moral standards aren’t exactly the two biggest priorities the music industry worries about. They sow whatever reaps the money. But naming that tune is a must for any parent today who cares about the standards that are presented to his or her child.

All Christians in general, whatever the age,  must be careful with what we allow to be repeated over and over in our ears no matter how good the beat sounds, but Christian parents with children who carry around personal jukeboxes in their pocket must pay special attention to what the little ears are listening to with those buds. Because in an age when we listen to music that can be kept on the down-low by simply choosing the songs by private download over the Internet, a parent must take the initiative and be proactive when it comes to being aware of what the music “artist” is painting in our child’s mind.

Believe it or not, in May of 1965 the FBI investigated the lyrics of “Louie, Louie” after suspicions arose concerning possible “dirty lyrics.” Do you know why the FBI labs investigated the song? Because parents complained! That’s amazing when you think about the lyrics that today’s songs contain and how so many parents buy their children songs with lyrics that “could make a sailor blush” without thinking twice. The key phrase there is without thinking.

At the end of the day we must be willing to ask ourselves, “What kind of seeds are we allowing the iPod, iPhone and the MP3 to plant in the little ears of our offspring?” Because letting it go in one ear and out the other doesn’t mean our responsibilities are going away. That’s why as parents we must be prepared to listen to our children, but we must also be prepared to listen to what our children listen to!  EA

And these words which I command you today shall be in your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-9)

Make Sure “Acting Like a Kid is on Your To Do List”

No, I didn’t say “Make sure acting childish is on your to do list” – I said “Make sure acting like a kid is on your to do list.” There’s a difference between the two. Every once in a while we adults need to remember what it was like to be a kid. We need to remember what it was like to find pleasure in the simple things of life.

Kids don’t need fancy big screens TVs to have fun! Kids don’t need a giant “Grade A” steak to enjoy food! Kids don’t worry with having a designer label on their clothing when they go out! Kids don’t care if their dog is “a pure breed” or “a mut from three generations back” because they know it’s the loyalty that makes the relationship last! Kids don’t need expensive leather couches to kick back and relax!

I love kids. They keep things simple. I know life is simple to them because they don’t have to worry with bills, jobs, putting gas in the tank, etc. but the truth of the matter is sometimes we adults make the things on our “to do list” a lot more complicated than it should be. Kids leave the worrying up to the adults because we don’t let them down. Here’s a neat little “to do list” put together by a small child that their dad found. I found it on a news web-site and I thought that it might make you smile and reminisce:

It’s true that we all need to grow up and stop acting childish – but if we know what’s good for us we’ll still make time to act like a kid every now and then. EA

Then Jesus called a little child to Him, set him in the midst of them, and said, “Assuredly, I say to you, unless you are converted and become as little children, you will by no means enter the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 18:2-3)

The Comment that Got Me Put on the Spam list!

Anyone who is familiar with blogging on WordPress is familiar with the fact that dialogue, comments, discussions and debates are expected – especially when it comes to the religious arena.

I have always welcomed comments, questions and even debates on topics that I have written about on my blog whether or not the person agrees with me as long as the conversation goes back and forth and it does not remain one-sided with one person doing all the asking but no answering. Unfortunately this is not the mindset that all WordPress users have. They love to post about their version of the faith, but they do not like to contend for it (Jude 3). They like to spout all the false hoods they possibly can without any consideration or willingness to answer for it in light of the truth.

I don’t always comment on other people’s blogs (in fact I rarely do, I usually use the “like” button) but there are certain topics that I can hardly resist; one of which is the doctrine of Calvinism and the particular subset beliefs that fall into its teachings. Because I stated the truth about a certain belief essential to Calvinism the author reported me as spam and it stuck.

For the last couple of weeks I have not been able to make any comments (complimentary or otherwise) on any blogs that I have never commented on without them being spammed, and I have even fallen into the spam category on blogs that I have commented on before. So what was the comment that got me spammed? Here you go:

The blogger wrote – “Now before we get too deep into a discussion of the five points of Calvinism, my point today is to simply ask you to think about one thing. If you are reading this and have been saved by God’s grace, then you are one of His chosen people. Before you even existed, God chose you to be one of His children. He chose you to be saved. He chose you to live for eternity with Him in Heaven. How does that make you feel?”  

Unconditional election is a false doctrine that’s not essential to salvation, but it is an essential piece of the Calvinistic puzzle. Calvinists usually don’t mind talking about the “joys” of unconditional election but they don’t like to mention the “woes” of its counterpart very much – the unconditionally rejected! Hence, I took the blogger’s comment about the “unconditionally elect” and tweaked it slightly to fit the “unconditionally rejected” point of view with my comment.

My response was -“If you are reading this and have not been saved by God’s grace, then you are not one of His chosen people. Before you even existed, God did not choose you to be one of His children. He chose you to be condemned. He chose you to live for eternity with Satan in Hell. How does that make you feel?

My reply was not rude. My reply was not hateful. My reply was not personal. But still yet the person reported me as spam.

My reply was completely logical. My reply was completely doctrinal. My reply was about the truth according to Calvinism (albeit the truth that most Calvinists don’t like to speak of) because the opposite of unconditional election is nothing but unconditional rejection! I guess the truth really does hurt.

In the near future I am going to do posts on each of Calvinism’s “five parts” but until then I will try to make it off of the spam list…if that’s even possible.  EA

What’s Fueling Your Fire?

When we start to suffer from burnout in our relationship with God it’s because we’re using the wrong fuel!

Many people try to use family to keep their spiritual flame burning – it won’t work.

Many try to use tradition to keep their spiritual flame burning – it won’t work.

Many try to use reputation to keep their spiritual flame burning – it won’t work.

Many try to use intellect to keep their flame burning – it won’t work.

Many try to use a desire to prove others wrong to keep their spiritual flame burning – it won’t work.

Many try to use the physical blessings that God has given to keep their spiritual flame burning – it won’t work.

The right fuel to keep our spiritual fire burning only comes from two places. One, it comes from our personal conviction that Christ died and rose again for us and that we should live for him (2 Corinthians 5:14-15). Two, it comes from the word of God that teaches us this fact (Jeremiah 20:9).

To use anything else will leave a person with less than spiritual fumes to run on – it will leave the spiritual tank completely dry! EA

 “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died; and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.” (2 Corinthians 5:14-15)

Then I said, “I will not make mention of Him, nor speak anymore in His name.” But His word was in my heart like a burning fire shut up in my bones; I was weary of holding it back, and I could not.” (Jeremiah 20:9)

Can a person still “experience” Pentecost?

There were three yearly national feasts that Israel was commanded to celebrate. There was the Passover. It was celebrated during the first month on their calendar to remember the hasty deliverance that they were given from their bondage to Egypt (Exodus 12:11-20 & Deuteronomy 16:1-8). There was also the feast of Tabernacles. This was a feast that was meant to remind the people of the booths/huts that Israel lived in after being delivered from Egypt and the increase of goods that God had given them (Leviticus 23:38-43 & Deuteronomy 16:13-15). And finally, there was also the feast of Weeks (Pentecost). The name Pentecost comes from the Greek word Pentekoste that literally means “the 50th day.” Fifty days comes from doing the math by counting the seven weeks then adding the day after them which equals 50 individual days. The numbering of the days began after the first day of the Passover week and it was to be done in memory of their slavery in Egypt (Leviticus 23:15,16 & Deuteronomy 16:10-12). Now that the technical speak is over with let’s deal with the question above.

The word Pentecost is not used in the Bible until you get to the book of Acts. In Acts 2:1 the Bible says that Pentecost had fully come and from that point on in the chapter the Apostles are baptized in the Holy Spirit, they preach in a miraculous manner to the people (including Peter’s sermon about Jesus and His resurrection), some 3,000 people respond in a positive manner to the gospel message, become Christians and are added to the church by the Lord. This is the wonderful scene that many in modern-day religious circles abuse.

The miraculous events of Pentecost did not pertain to everyone present so the problem does not come from people who look back to remember the events of Pentecost in Acts 2 – the problem comes from people who are trying to re-live or “experience” the events that happened on the Pentecost of Acts 2 today.

In Acts 2 the Holy Spirit came for a reason. He used the Apostles to fulfill the scriptures. Jesus told the Apostles, “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high” (Luke 24:49). (more…)

Where’s Purgatory Again?

Read, “And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due to unto him” (Matthew 18:34) and some read into it the doctrine known as “purgatory.” Read purgatory into it and you’re not reading the whole lesson Jesus gave.

The man who was thrown into prison in the parable only avoided prison because his lord had compassion on him to begin with. He was facing a life sentence with no chance of parole. The debt he owed was un-payable and only his lord’s grace made forgiveness possible!

When a person sins we face a sentence that we can’t afford. The debt of sin we owe is un-payable and only forgivable by the grace of God through Jesus (Romans 6:23). Jesus either pays the whole price or he pays no price. If a person can’t work his or her way into Heaven (and they can’t – Ephesians 2:8-9) then logic teaches that they cannot work their way out of Hell.

The Bible teaches nothing about a “place” or a “state of being” between Heaven and Hell where someone “serves time while being purged of their sins” before going on to Heaven. The Bible teaches nothing about praying to Mary or other “saints” to intercede for those who have passed on. The Bible teaches nothing about paying the church for its prayers or any other benefits. The Bible teaches nothing because there is nothing to teach.

When the Bible talks about the price that was paid to keep us out of Hell it never refers to “indulgences!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purchased our salvation (1 Corinthians 6:20; 1 Peter 1:18-19).

When the Bible talks about our sins being purged so that we may be given an entrance into Heaven it never refers to a place of “purification!” It refers to the blood of Christ that purged sin from our soul (1 Peter 1:2; 2 Peter 1:9-11; Ephesians 1:7).

The time of spiritual cleansing is before death – not after! Today is the day of salvation (2 Corinthians 6:2).

1 Peter 1:22 says, “Since you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit in sincere love of the brethren, love one another fervently with a pure heart”. The apostle addressed his words to Christians who were presently cleansed – not Christians who would be cleansed at a later time! (more…)