Friday, December 25, 2009

Adored By Social Outcasts

One late evening, a little over 2015 years ago, a man named Joseph and his young wife named Mary arrived in Bethlehem only to discover that there were no rooms at the local inn. Imagine the frightening situation they faced since Mary, who was expecting a child, probably had been experiencing birth pains for the last 10 miles of their 80 mile journey. Now that they had finally reached their destination they were told that the only place the inn keeper had to offer for their comfort was an animal shelter. This was not exactly the place Joseph expected he and his wife to be spending the night when they reached their destination. Imagine the stench from the animals and the flies that buzzed around them. Even considering the archaic way children entered the world back then, this was not the way Mary and Joseph had envisioned their first child being born. It would not be long after Joseph made Mary comfortable that the time for the child to be born had arrived. Soon Mary's screams from the pain of childbirth would break the silence of the night as their first Son entered the world. With only the animals to greet the newborn, it would not be long before some very unsavory individuals would stop to greet the new parents and their child. They were shepherds who had been tending their flocks when an Angel visited and told them that a child had been,
....For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger." Luke 2:12-13
I say unsavory, because times had changed since the days when King David was a young shepherd boy and God has chosen him to lead Israel. By the time Jesus was born, shepherds were among the lowest and most despised social groups in Judea. The very nature of a shepherd's job would keep them from entering into the mainstream of Israel's society. After all, many of these men were usually transients who would take any job they could find just to work. Some would have been former landowners who lost their land for one reason or another and thus many Jews considered them to be of questionable character because God surely punished them for some untold sin they had committed.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Nine Reasons Santa Must Be A Conservative Republican

Back in May I wrote an article that asked the questioned, "Was Jesus A Socialist?" As I wrote in the article it is my understanding of the Scriptures, and of God's many rules and regulations to the Israelites, that Jesus was a capitalist. Thus I believe if He were walking among us and actually voting in our elections today, He would most certainly be a conservative capitalist. Now we find ourselves at the doorstep of Christmas and unfortunately more children have probably heard of Santa than have heard of Jesus. So in the spirit of the season, and just so I can be fair and equitable with my political opinions, I have decided to share what I think of Santa's political persuasion.

My regular Sunday messege will be presented on Christmas morning this week, so today I have decided to have a little fun. Oh I realize it is not a Christian message so much as it is a political statement I am making here, so I ask those who may be offended by this to accept it in the spirit it is offered. I also do not want anyone to think that I am putting a beloved character on the same level as God, I am not, and please do not misconstrue the meaning of this article. I offer it as a simple and fun explanation of how I see liberals and what I think of Santa's politics.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Hated For My Names Sake

"They will hate you for My sake".This is what Jesus said would happen to those who follow Him.
"Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another. Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many. And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. But he who endures to the end shall be saved."Matthew 24:9-13
Up until recent times, most Christians in America could not imagine living in a country where such things would happen in their lifetime. Who would ever imagine a time when Christians would be hated and people would betray their faith for the false prophets? I can't help but think of folks who grew up in the Bible belt or of the Laura Ingalls-type pioneers of the 19th century prairie days. Did they ever come close to imagining what that kind of world would be like? And yet here we are, actually living in such times.

"You will be hated by all nations because of me," Jesus said. It's not just imaginary anymore, because since the House of Representatives passed the so-called "Hate Crimes Bill", it is just a matter of time before Christians are persecuted for quoting Scripture from the Bible.

This is real, this is now. Jesus Christ knew that this day would come, and he spoke of it when He walked among us. We are living during a time when we will see attacks on Christians, and conservative political radio, escalate as it has in Canada, because of newly adopted hate crime language in the law. It is clear to me that we must be ready to stand up and fight for what is right. I know that not all of us have a public reach through web logs (blogs), radio, books, and TV. But at the very least, we must stand up for our Christian principles in our communities and with our friends and family.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

Start off your week right by checking out this video of the high school students in the Chamber Choir of South Kitsap High School of Port Orchard, Washington were the students perform a great rendition of Halleluia!   This was in Dec., 2008 in the Winter Festival.    Freeper Lynn D's wife actually made 4 of the monk costumes, both Lynn and his wife were in the audience during the presentation of this concert. Great work Lynn, and thank your wife for such a great job on the costumes.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

From Genesis to Revelation in One Year

If you are looking for the video of the Silent Monks Singing Halleluia, then go to this link and you will see it. Sorry for the confusion.
Silent Monks Singing Halleluia

From Genesis to Revelation in One Year

I have been asked by numerous individuals as to how I manage to get through the Bible in one years time. It is a task I attempt to undertake every year, and I must admit that often times I find myself bunching up a few books around the end of the year to accomplish my task. There are many schedules put out every January by various Christian Churches and organizations that will guide you in accomplishing such an endeavor. I am sure those who attend church regularly will find that their Church offers a schedule every December. Unfortunately, what I have learned through the years is that these lists and schedules are usually put together by someone whose hours and lifestyle doesn't always fit for others. So for today's Sunday message, I have decided to offer a few ideas for those who have yet to read the Bible through in a year and desire to do so. I will attempt to show how I have been able to get into the rhythm of reading the Lords gift to us, His Word, from cover to cover.

The best way to begin is to share my own experience. One of the most difficult obstacles is to be disciplined about picking the Bible up everyday and reading it. Now I do not mean to say that I did not have the desire to read the Word, I did. My problem was that when I finished with all the exciting passages, I was faced with the task of reading the books I felt did not pertain to my life. So for many years I just kept rereading the same books over and over again. Well, you can imagine, my walk with the Lord was not as full and rewarding as it could have been. I was missing a major part of Him, my Father who created me. Then one day I was told by Pastor Bud Chauvin that besides reading through the Bible once a year, he also read the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs 12 times a year. After hearing this, I decided to follow suit, and began reading the book of Psalms and the book of Proverbs through in one month.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Tis The Season to Share Christ

As we approach Christmas, you will no doubt be confronted by those who would like to remove the name Christ and any reference to Him from the Holiday season. That is because the world we live in has been judged by Him and it's end is near. Thus, those who hold onto this world will do all they can to keep the lost from finding the Messiah, Christ Jesus. Many do not even want to use the word "Christmas" to describe this holiday season. There are disputes across this country in community after community where public officials are debating whether a large public tree display should be called a 'Christmas" tree or a "holiday" tree. Added to this disgrace is the many department stores across America that carry "Christmas cards" with poems and greetings that don't even mention the words Christ, Christmas, or God, let alone a verse from the Holy Bible.

Remember the days when you entered a store, and a clerk wished you a Merry Christmas? Now when you enter a store you will be lucky if you here the phrase, "Happy Holidays", let alone the greeting, "Merry Christmas". Now, I could continue on the path of pointing out all the areas of our society where Christmas is being supplanted by the generic "Holiday Season" theme, but I have a larger point to make. You see, this attempt to remove Christianity from society is not unexpected; fact is, most Christians have always known that it would eventually happen. What must be understood is that this is part of a larger agenda to do away with the Christ of Christmas and the God who created mankind. Just like the effort that has been underway for years to remove the phrase "IN GOD WE TRUST" from our coins and paper currency, so too is there an effort to remove the Christian God from all aspects of the American culture and replace Him with entities of worship that are neither real nor Divine.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

The First Thanksgiving, A Lesson For Obama

When a ship called the Mayflower set sail for the Americas on August 1, 1620, no one would have thought that a historical lesson in politics would be learned by those who gave up everything for a chance at a new life in a new world. 102 passengers set sail with William Bradford that day and once they were on the high seas they all signed an agreement. This agreement, or contract if you may, established what was to be a just and equal law for all members of the new community, irrespective of their religious beliefs. What the settlers signed was a contract we now recognize as the Mayflower Compact. It was a mutual agreement that was entered into by the settlers and their merchant-sponsors back in London England.

Basically what the settlers formed was the first social commune of the New World, something that anyone growing up in the 1960s and 70s would easily recognize as a community where all land, houses, farming and other goods were distributed equally amongst all the inhabitants regardless of religious or political beliefs or station. It was the world's first society that was truly set up in a way that nobody would own anything and everyone who was in need would have what they required if it existed. In essence, the Mayflower Compact was a concept that would be popularized 255 years later in 1875 by Karl Marx's slogan,
"from each according to their ability, to each according to their needs."
What many do not realize is that the ideas expressed in the Mayflower Compact were thought to have come from the Bible. The Pilgrims were Godly Christians who understood and followed the Scriptures and wanted to do what they thought was right by God. So they looked to the ancient Israelites as the example of how to begin their new society in the new world. After all, if it worked for God's people it should work for them too, right? And, because they thought that they were following what the Biblical precedents had set forth in the Scriptures, they never doubted that their experiment would work. Unfortunately they misread the Scriptures, and their experiment in the new world would almost destroy everything they had hoped and prayed for within their first year together in the new land.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Which Jesus Do You Follow and Serve?

Christians need to realize that being a true Christian does not mean you are to be proud and boastful. It does not mean that you will be blessed with money and riches as the prosperity pimps like T.D. Jakes, Kenneth Hagin, Joyce Meyer, Paul Crouch and others preach. No, true Christianity is a call to be imitators of Christ, not seekers of worldly goods. After all, what did Christ do? Did he go around town riding in style? No. Did he have tons of money? No. What did He do? He gave his own life to Save ours. Yet so many Christians walk around not helping others, not acknowledging others hardships or pain. All they do is show off their possessions and status in society while telling you, "I'll pray for you". The teachings of Christ call us to a life of action, not self-interest and Christian passivity.

I am by no means attempting to say that Christians should be poor and destitute. God says that He will bless those whom He chooses to bless, and history is full of good Christians who were well off. However, if a Christian's goal in life is that of luxury and ease, then I question that Christians true faith. Our goal in life as a Christian should be to do as Christ told us to do. Should any Christian wonder what it is Christ tells us to do, I suggest reading the "Sermon on the Mount". I have always taught that the Sermon on the Mount is the constitution of Christianity, given by Jesus Himself. If you learn nothing else from the New Testament, I suggest you study and learn what it was Jesus said on that hill. One thing you will not find in the sermon is how to search for worldly wealth and prosperity.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

No Evolution in 58 Million Years

by Chuck Ness

Well it seems like those who continue to cling to the few remaining threads of hope that Darwin was right, have another problem with Darwin's theory of evolution. From the evidence accumulated by the University of Florida there seems to be the exact same families of plants around today as there was 58 million years ago. That is the what the evidence points to from a press release from the university that stated, “Plant fossils give first real picture of earliest Neotropical rain forests,”

With the evidence uncovered from the Columbian Forests we can now say for certain that the Young Earth Creationists, like myself are not grabbing at straws of faith. It is getting pretty scary for the evolutionist minded scientists who are at the mercy of such groups like the Institute for Creation Research who are celebrating this find as confirming not just a the young earth model but also the global flood mentioned in Genesis.

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Why Does God Allow Christians to Suffer?

Why does God allow there to be evil in the world? Are are we not all created in the image of God? Many ask, and few seem to have good answers, for the question of,

"Why God didn’t just create us so that we would never have to experience pain, suffering, and sadness?"

After all, He has the power to make the world free of evil, yet He chose instead to make us creatures with free will. Thus, free will was the door left open for the possibility of evil to exist. If we have the right to chose between right and wrong, there is a 50% chance that we will chose to do the wrong thing and thus suffer the consequences of our sin. But why did He not just make us all good? Why must we live with the possibility that we, and others, may chose to do something that will harm us and the world we live in. After all, is he not a loving God? Either He's not as powerful as we're led to believe, not as perfect as we're led to believe, or He's just another abusive father who enjoys watching his children suffer. What's the purpose? Why does God allow evil and suffering?

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Lifted, Like A Snake In The Desert

Have you ever given it much though about the phrase, “Lift Christ up with Praise”? Quite often you will here a pastor use this phrase as he instructs you to give glory to God though His Son. But have you ever really consider what the phrase means to you and and the significance of it? Give me a moment of your time and allow me to introduce you to something very few Christians have actually ever considered when hearing this phrase, “Lift Christ up with Praise”.

Most people know the verse John 3:16 , many have even memorized it. For me, that was the first verse I ever memorized in Sunday School as a child growing up in Duluth Minn. If there is any verse that say's it all, it is John 3:16. God's gift to mankind was His only Son Jesus. With the death of His Son on the Cross, all we need to do is confess Him as our Lord and Savior and our sins have been paid for in full. Salvation in a nut shell. Praise God for simplicity! Now, as great as this verse is, what is truly interesting to me is the verses that precede John 3:16. I lose count of how many times I have read these verses, just to have my mind mentally skip over and almost ignore the meaning of them.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Multimedia message

Greg William, my dear brother in Christ who works at CVS Drug Store in the pharmacy department. Greg is an active evangelist who spends many hours learning the Lords Word and spreading the Gospel with anyone he feels the Lord has led an opening to, which is everyone...LOL

Sunday, October 11, 2009

The Windchime Ministery Attendees

Windchime church members, small crowd today. They had a walk-a-thon yesterday, so many members were too tired to attend church.
This is from June 2008, and most of the women that attend were present. I took this picture for my Church bulletin board. The top picture is from this past Sunday on Oct 11. I took it because I have a gentleman who has been attending for the past couple of months. He is only the second man to attend on a regular basis, in the five years I have been doing the sermons at Windchime. The last gentleman, Harvey, is now battling ilnesses and does not attend very often, so keep him in your prayers.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In The Begining God Created

(I would like to give special thanks to Hanna for the artwork used in my article.)

There is a disturbing trend that has taken hold of the modern day Christian community, and it is my opinion that this trend is causing a schism as big as the one that was addressed at the Council of Nicea over the Trinity. Now this is not a debate for those who have no faith in Christ, for what accord has Christ with Belial? No, this is strictly a debate for those who profess Christ as their Lord and Savior. Unfortunately, those who attempt to address the problem are usually labeled as rabble-rousers who only wish to spread discontent within the ranks of Christendom. This trend I speak of, is the compromising of the Word with the idea of evolution known as theistic evolution or Old Earth Creationism. I say “compromise”, because in the 150 years since Darwin offered his theory of evolution, the only side in the argument that has offered to compromise its position has been the Christian side. I have yet to see the evolutionary camp temper it's teachings to include God anywhere in the equation of creation.

Monday, October 5, 2009

The Clarion Call of the Great Commission - Part II

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age."Matthew 28:19-20
The last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father would become the clarion call for thousands of Christians missionaries throughout the years. Many, like Stephen, would die a martyr’s death while others would work in obscurity never to be remembered but by Christ Himself. Regardless of their success, they would all follow in the footsteps of the greatest missionary of them all; like Paul of Tarsus they would spread the gospel to the four corners of the world. Last week I touched on the missionary movements of Asia and Africa, today I will attempt to do justice to the missionaries that spread the gospel to the Indians of the American West and the jungles of South America. 

Sunday, October 4, 2009

The Clarion Call of the Great Commission - Part I

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age." Matthew 28:19-20

These were the last words Jesus spoke to His disciples before He ascended into heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father. While it would eventually take the stoning of Stephen to actually force His followers to obey His commandment, many Christians would answer the clarion call of the great commission to leave home, friends, and family to spread the gospel to the gentiles of the world. It is no coincidence that the standard bearer that missionaries have used throughout the years has been Paul of Tarsus, who was present when Stephen was stoned. By being the example of what it means to follow the “Great Commission”, Paul would take the gospel to the Gentiles of the Roman Empire, and eventually share the gospel with Nero himself. For the next couple of centuries men like Polycarp, Clement of Rome, Ignatius, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and Tertullian would continue where Paul and the other disciples left off until 314 BC when Constantine would embrace Christianity and make it the favored religion of the empire.
While there were men like St. Patrick and Columba who would win Ireland and Scotland to Christianity through their missionary work, it would not be until the 14th and 15th centuries that the great commission would again be followed with such fervor. That is when the Franciscans and Dominicans, who had ministered to the poor and helped nurse a population ravaged by the Black Death, began spreading the Gospel to the barbarians of Brazil, Mexico and the islands of the Caribbean. Soon followers of Loyola like Xavier and Ricci would start Jesuit missions in the Asian countries like Japan, China, and the Philippines. When the Spanish Armada (Spanish account, and the English account), was defeated by Queen Elizabeth's smaller and faster ships in 1588, the Roman Catholic Church lost its ability to control the missionary movements to the new lands of the West and eventually to the East as well.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Video Proof, Women Use More Words

Check out this video and see if you agree with me, that women are born using more words than men.

by Chuck Ness

This video reminds me of a joke I heard about a husband who was looking through the paper when he came upon a study that said women use more words than men?

Well there was a married man who read in a magazine that, "Men use about 7000 words per day, but women use 20,000". Excited to prove to his wife that he had been right all along when he accused her of talking too much, he showed her the study results. The wife thought for a while, then finally she said to her husband,

"It's because we have to repeat everything we say."

The husband looked at her quizzically and replied,


Now isn't that just like a typical response a man gives his wife? I must admit that I do that quite often to my wife. Well we have all heard of the studies that concluded women us more words per day then men. Yea, yea, I know about the study that was done between 1998 and 2004 by the "British National Corpus" that concluded men and women speak about the same amount of words in a day. My only problem with their study is that they did it on College students. Show me a college student that doesn't talk a lot, regardless of gender. Oh, here a link to the study I mentioned that I disagree with. You need to register and sign over your freedom if you want to read the study, I did and I read the study so I know why I disagree with it. (just kidding about the loss of your freedom, but you do need to register if you want to read the study)

Anyway, my point isn't to debate the accuracy of the BNC's study so much as I wanted to bring to the table the evidence I found that ends all debate upon which gender uses more words. This study proves that women not only use more words than men do, but that they were also born using more words than men. Unfortunately for men however, it also proves that fathers train their daughters from an early age to accept the fact that us men will shine you ladies on regardless of what you say.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

The Last Church is Lukewarm (Laodicea)

Founded around 255 BC and named after his wife Laodice by the Seleucid King Antiochus II, this city was located about 100 miles directly east of the first church mentioned by Christ, "Ephesus". Situated on one of the great Asian trade routs, Laodicea became prosperous because of its garment industry which used a black wool that had a soft texture like silk and could be found only in the Lycus Valley. However, it was also known for a medical school that grew out if it’s temple worship of the Phrygian god Men Karou, located 13 miles west of Laodicea.
Its most famous medicines were ointments made from spice; "nard" for the ears and an eye salve made from alum called "Phrygian powder". This eye salve was actually a powder made by crushing Phrygian stones and forming it into tablets. Believed to be a cure for weak eyes this medication was sold throughout the Asian and the Mediterranean lands. All of these aspects of its economy led Laodicea to becoming a leading banking center. Due to the frequent earthquakes in the area, their financial success in banking meant they did not need to depend upon any aid from Rome to rebuild. Laodicea was thus a kind of Bank of America, Wal-Mart and Mayo Clinic all rolled into one
In this letter, Christ introduces Himself to the Laodicean church as "the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God’s creation" (Rev 3:14). By introducing Himself as a faithful and true witness, Christ presented them with a sharp contrast to their own inactivity in witnessing and serving. Upon reading the letter, they would have been convicted by its description of their faith. Christ likened it to being lukewarm, an obvious reference to their tepid drinking water supplied from a distant thermal springs in Hierapolis (Rev 3:15-16). They also would have found it ironic that He called them "poor and naked and blind" (Rev 3:17). An obvious reference to their banking, clothing, and eye salve industries that enriched them to the point of being able to turn down Rome’s financial help in times of need. They needed no one and obviously they acted in such a way when it came to their walk with Christ.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Who is What in the Creation/Evolution Debate

At a site called Exploring Constitutional Conflicts, I found this description of for each choice in the poll. After some feedback, I have realized how inaccurate my poll is in the questioning, but it it was it is and now that it is in progress I cannot change the wording. I do realize that I should have had an "Other" for a choice and usually I do, but I forgot and maybe I should have had two or three more distinct answers for those who do not quite fit the ones I have. For anyone still taking the poll, I only ask that you chose a category that best fits you and maybe leave a comment for me if you would like to give me more information that would help in the future when i take such a poll. Well, here are the descriptions for the poll art hand.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Philadelphia, The Faithful Church

Known as the “City of Brotherly love”, this earthquake prone city was the home of this faithful church. Founded by the Pergamon King Attalos II, for his brother Eumenes, this city often changed its name during various times of its history, depending upon what ruler the inhabitants wanted to honor. The name Philadelphia was a reflection of the love and commitment that Attalus II showed to his elder brother Eumenes who ruled throughout Lydia before him. Thus, the “City of Brotherly Love”. Attalos wanted his new city to be a center for the Greco- Roman civilization, this way he could spread the Greek Culture and language toward the east. This made the city of Philadelphia a mission of sorts for evangelizing this new culture. As the last city to fall to the Turks in 1392, Philadelphia’s resistance was haled as an island of Christianity in the sea of Turkish domination. 

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Christ's Message to Sardis, The Dead Church

The fifth church mentioned in John’s message was probably the oldest settlement in Asia Minor. Archeological evidence shows that Sardis was probably first inhabited shortly after the confusion of languages and the subsequent dispersion of the people (Gen 11:5-7). As the capital of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, Sardis was one of the greatest cities of the ancient world. In the 6th century BC it was ruled by a king named Croesus, some believe he was the infamous King Midas of legends of old, and probably the wealthiest man since King Solomon. Like Bill Gates the name Croesus’s, or Midas, became a proverb of sorts for wealth and luxury thanks to the gold and silver panned from the Pactalus River. The abundance of electrum, a gold and silver alloy, allowed the Lydians to be the first society in history to mint coins. By fixing a guarantied value to their coins, the Lydian currency became acceptable for tender in trade throughout the known world.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Duggers and Overpopulation

The news is out that Jim Bob and Michelle Dugger are having another child, their 19th. Yes you read correctly, 19 children and their oldest son's wife is expecting their first child. Let us all pray that he follows in his parents footsteps, by having as many children and being as prosperous as his parents. I have heard many people ask the question, "Are they keeping up the household without being on the government dole?" The answer to that question would be that they have never received a dime of taxpayer's money. That is not how they operate. In fact the Duggers run a their own ,business which teaches people how to budget and save by buying only what you can afford among other businesses they own and operate. They built their own home themselves, and had it paid for before it was finished. Right about now many liberals are screaming that the world is already overpopulated and this couple are just adding to the problem. Overpopulated? Is it really?

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Thyatira, The Corrupt Church

Of the seven churches addressed by John, the fourth church, Thyatira, is the smallest yet it received the longest message. (Rev 2:18-29) This corrupt church was located 42 miles inland from the Aegean Sea in an alluvial plain between the Hermus and Calcius rivers . There were no natural geographical formations like steep mountains or deep rivers to provide it with a good base from which to defend its position. Its sole purpose was to act as the first line of defense in front of a hostile advancing army and to hinder their movement while the kingdom's main forces were mustered deeper behind the battlefront.

The history of thyatira consists of being controlled by the leading powers of the time, whether it was Alexander’s Greece, the Pergamon Kingdom, Antiochene empire, or the Roman Empire. Because it was so easily overrun, for most of it's history it remained a relatively small city compared to that of Ephesus and Pergamum. However, after Rome introduced Pax Romana, it settled into becoming a fairly peacefull city that boasted more trade guilds than in any other Asian city of its time. From excavated coins it is evident that guilds of carpenters, tent makers, bakers, bronze smiths, wool workers, potters, linen weavers, tanners and the famous dyers of purple were all active in the city. Lydia the seller of purple was from this city (Act 16:14). We do not know if this church was founded by Lydia or not, but it did grow in time to be a very wealthy church. Unfortunately it probably grew wealthy because of its members compromising their values by listening to the advice of a certain prophetess.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Scotty Beam Me Up!

It seems like some men around the world think that
getting a sexually transmitted disease is a badge of honor not shame. It truly is sad that we do not shame those
who participate in activities that can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering for some. But like the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, evil is considered good, and good is considered evil. Just as Paul warned Timothy about when he wrote,
But know this, that in the last days perilous times will come: For men will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, unloving, unforgiving, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, despisers of good, traitors, headstrong, haughty, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. 2Timothy 2:1-4
So here we are in 2009 where homosexuality is not just accepted as normal sexual behavior, but it is touted by many as a healthy lifestyle. If they get married at all, men and women treat marriage like high school dating by getting married then divorced then married again without even considering the consequences. Churches even condone these practices by allowing those who practice such immoral behavior to even be priests. Now we have a portion of the world's male population looking upon sexual diseases as if they are a badge of honor, not shame. Check out this story from Sweden, “Chlamydia helps young men feel more 'manly': Swedish study

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Christ's Message to the Church of Pergamos

In my ongoing review on the book of the Revelation of Jesus Christ, I began by sharing my understanding of certain aspects of the end times and how I see them. Then last week I started a review of the letters Jesus dictated to His disciple John while he was a prisoner on the island of Patmos. This week I will cover the letter to Pergamos, the compromising church.
The Roman historian Pliny called the city of Pergamum the most illustrious city in Asia because of all its statues, temples, monuments, and public buildings. Strategically located high on a humped or cone shaped hill that dominated the Caicus plain, Pergamum had an excellent view of the sea and distant mountain ranges making it an important military town that was fortified and well defended. Both Smyrna and Pergamum were a part of the same kingdom ruled by Attalus III, who was shrewd enough to help Rome defeat the Seleucids during the Punic Wars. When Attalus died in 133 BC he bequeathed his domain to the Roman Empire. Thus Pergamum realized a partnership with Rome that would last the duration of the Roman Empire’s dominance in Asia.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Messages to the Churches of Revelation

While a prisoner on the island of Patmos John was visited by Christ who told him, "What you see, write in a book and send it to the seven churches which are in Asia: to Ephesus, to Smyrna, to Pergamos, to Thyatira, to Sardis, to Philadelphia, and to Laodicea." He was told to address each letter to “the angel of the church”as represented by seven stars which were the angels of the seven churches, and the ”seven lampstands” which were the seven churches. (Rev 1:20) Popular opinion says that the angel refers to the person who publicly represents the church as its leader. Some however have put forth the opinion that the angel represents an emissary or messenger sent from each church who visited John while he was in prison as Paul was visited while imprisoned in Rome.
But I have received everything in full and have an abundance; I am amply supplied, having received from Epaphroditus what you have sent, a fragrant aroma, an acceptable sacrifice, well-pleasing to God. (Phil 4:18)

Friday, August 14, 2009

Have you ever just wanted to say Do Wah Ditty and couldn't remember the words?

I just wanted to put this here for the love of my life, my wife



If I knew how to write a song
I’d write one everyday
It would say that I’m in love with you
And why I feel this way

It would have to say you’re pretty
And as rare as a desert rose
It would say you’re a looker
From your head down to your toes

You are funny, dainty, fragile
And as feminine as can be
You’re smart charming lovely
And everything to me

You’re my comfort when I’m lonely
You’re my peace when I need rest
Of all the women I’ve known
I must rate you the best.

You’re the orchard in the jungle,
you’re the better half of me
You’re all of this and so much more,
you mean the world to me

Still so much is left unsaid,
It would take me far to long
I know how much I love you,
If only I could write a song.

by, Stormbringer

Monday, August 10, 2009

Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Understanding of The End Times

As I watched the events of the week unfold before my eyes, I was struck by the way we as a nation have been transformed from a fairly stable capitalist Republic into a very shaky Socialist state almost overnight. Then as I prepared my outline on the seven churches of Revelation for my Sunday sermon, I found myself reading the term paper I wrote in seminary class a few years back on the book of Revelation. Considering the speed at which things have evolved in the past year, it is my opinion that what I wrote back then is relevant to today's discussion. Remember, I wrote this four years ago when George Bush was still our President, and Barack Obama was still an absentee voter in the Illinois state senate. Well, here is the summary I wrote for that term paper.

Most interpretations of the “End Times” contain good arguments and can, with enough quotes from the Scriptures, persuade even the best scholars that their claim as to what John’s visions mean, is correct. I have personally spent endless hours in an attempt to get a better understanding of the many prophecies about the end times. With an endless supply of differing opinions available for research and extensive study into the validity of these opinions, I am prepared to agree that the futurists probably come closest to what John saw while on the Island of Patmos. While I do agree with the essentials of the futurist’s beliefs, I must point out that I do not wholly agree in the way many futurists see the events taking place. I do not pretend to know how the Lord will bring about the end, but as I stated I do agree with the gist of the dispensational futurist view of the end times. I just currently disagree with many of their minute details. I say “currently lean” because as my study of the Scriptures continue, along with new insights and unfolding events presenting themselves, in time I might think differently then I do at the present.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sarahs Choice

It seems that the biggest response I see from questions about the GOP is who will lead. It's quite understandable when you consider that the GOP has not had a real leader since Newt Gingrich. Oh yea we all rallied behind GW, but other than the war on terrorism, he would not lead. Even in his defense of the war he was more willing to get along with the opposition than to defeat them. Well, here we are in mid summer 2009, and we are still wondering who will lead us.

Sad when you consider that the way Obama and his allies in the MSM are attempting to roll over the American people as if we were no more than bums in the street. I kept asking my self, where is the Republican voice? Who will stand up with us, the people, and demand that evil be called evil? Who will dare step on the toes of the anointed one and tell him he is naked? Where is the the voice of reason from the the GOP? Well here she is ladies and gentleman, I give you Sarah Palin, the Bear from Alaska, a Kodiak. Or if you would, a tiger the Democrats cannot tame. Yes a woman who has more gonads then the whole Republican leadership combined.

Beating Down The People

Obama has given the orders and his Chicago style thugs have taken the challenge to the the people to beat them down and force them to accept the Messiah's decrees. During the Presidential campaign we learned many things about Obama that most Americans would not heed. On June 14, 2008 Obama told a crowd in Philadelphia on June 14, "If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun, because from what I understand folks in Philly like a good brawl. I’ve seen Eagles fans.” Then a few months later on September 17, he told a crowd in Las Vegas, "I want you to argue with them and get in their face". We even saw Obama's supporters using Chicago style tactics on election day to intimidate anyone who might not vote for him. Black Panthers Intimidate Voters in Philadelphia. So I am not surprised to see what is going on across this country where union thugs are intimidating and beating up Americans who are just practicing their constitutional right of questioning their representatives to Congress.
After all just a few days ago that David Axlerod, Obama's senior advisor, told the Democrats to "Punch back twice as hard". Then just yesterday in front an invitation only fundraiser crowd for gubernatorial candidate Creigh Deeds, Obama said "I don't want the folks who created the mess to do a lot of talking. I want them to get out of the way so we can clean up the mess." Well what do you know, the man who's only experience has been that of a community organizer mow wants to demonize community activism. Welcome to Chicago politics my friends.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Where Are Today's Patriots Who Are Willing To Sacrifice Everything?

In the times we live, I am often reminded of the men who gave all, so that I can enjoy the freedom I do. I guess that is why I get so angry when I see what the current rulers of this country have in store for me, you, and our descendants. Men, greater than I could ever hope to be, offered everything they had in this world, because they wanted freedom for their descendants, us. Freedom that Obama and his socialist friends desire to take away from us all. Well, I have only one question to ask, "Where Are Today's Patriots Who Are Willing To Sacrifice Everything"?
What follows is a what many only read around July 4, but today is a good time to read it again. It is about the sacrifice 56 men offered so that we could be free. As you read what happened to them, consider how afraid we are to even talk about what we must do.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Isaiah, the Fifth Evangelist

In today's message, I would like to broaden your understanding of the book Christ read from while in the synagogue of His home town, Luke_4:16-30 so that you may better appreciate the book written by the Fifth Evangelist. While Isaiah is the most often quoted prophet in the New Testament, his book can be as obscure as it is interesting. Even many Christians will admit they know very little about the book and what it has to offer for their walk with Christ. Other than being familiar with a few famous passages that foretold the advent of Christ Isa_9:6 and his suffering Isa_53:1-12, most people don’t know that there are prophecies that coincide with the book of Revelations. Isa_13:1-13, Isa_14:1-22. Unfortunately, because of their unfamiliarity they miss out on the true gift Isaiah has to offer.

From the beginning of time the Lord had a plan of salvation for mankind, Gen_3:15. "And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, and you shall bruise him on the heel."Ecc_3:15 "That which is has been already and that which will be has already been, for God seeks what has passed by." However, the first mention of His plan to give us the gift of His Son is Gen_3:15. The last mention of His plan for our salvation is in the book of Revelations, Rev_22:20 "He who testifies to these things says, 'Yes, I am coming quickly.' Amen. Come, Lord Jesus". A promise that may be truly said to every person in every age, Jesus the Judge is at the door. In Isaiah, you will find God's plan for the salvation of mankind Isa_53:10, His plan of judgment for the world, and those who would refuse his gift Isa_13:6-13. His birth Isa_9:6, His death Isa_53:8, and His resurrection Isa_53:10are also foretold within the pages of this book. We can either ignore Isaiah's prophecies like the Jews did or, as Christ taught, we can embrace them.

This is the first time the Lord spoke of a savior for mankind and He did so at the very dawning of the gospel day. No sooner was the deadly poisonous wound given than the remedy was provided and revealed. The Lord had planed from the beginning that the one who was first deceived would be the one through whom the guilt of the world would fall. Since sin is handed down through the man, the sin nature of man was not handed down to the Messiah. So He is truly the unblemished Lamb whom the Lord accepted as the perfect sin offering. One can even glean from the Scriptures that the Lord had a plan for salvation even before He spoke the heavens and the earth into existence.

I called Isaiah the “Fifth Evangelist”, and I did so because Isaiah described what would happen to Christ for our salvation in such a way that one would think he had a front row seat at Golgotha. Not even John, the most beloved and only apostle to witness His crucifixion, wrote as detailed an account as Isaiah did. No, Isaiah the Prophet was not present, instead he received a first hand account from the very One who would suffer on that cross. So when you look at the way Isaiah spoke of future events, as if they were in his past, it’s easy to see why he is often referred to as either the fifth Evangelist or the first Apostle of Christ.

Isaiah's first reference to the Messiah is not a prophecy of His birth but a prophecy that the Jews would reject Him Isa_6:9-10. When you look at the traditions of the ancient writers you find that very seldom is the birth or childhood of a famous person mentioned. The Jews were exceptions in that they often mentioned the day of birth, but it was a man's accomplishments as an adult that gave the scribes a reason to write about him or his childhood. While Isaiah foretells many aspects of what the Messiah's life would entail, such as His birth Isa_7:14, His ministry Isa_9:1-2, and His many miracles Isa_35:5-6, it is the Lords rejection by the Jews that Isaiah mentions first. Without the Jews rejection of Christ the gentiles would not have been saved, thus it only makes sense that this would be the first prophecy Isaiah mentions. So just as they rejected the Lord time and time again throughout their history, they would also reject the very One they looked forward to for salvation.

Like many other prophets, Isaiah was also rejected and ultimately murdered by those he was sent to by the Lord. Christ would even allude to these rejection and murder in his parable of the absent landowner. Matt 21:33-44Isaiah came bearing a plan, given by God, for the restoration of the remnant of Israel who would truly return to Him. This plan also included the redemption for all mankind as Isaiah repeatedly pointed out Isa_11:10, Isa_49:1, Isa_53:10-12, Isa_59:15-16. Through Isaiah's writings, the Jews should have known that the Lord was also sending the Messiah to save the hated gentiles. As we now know, the Jews would be the first to persecute the Christians. Even before they crucified their Messiah they were expelling his believers from the sanctuaries John_9:28-34. Isaiah also conveys to us the compassion the Lord has for His chosen people and His desire for their redemption. Isa_65:19, Isa_65:24.

What an amazing prophecy! Long before I was born God knew I would be knee deep in transgressions against Him, and even before I called on His name he came to my rescue. When God destroyed the world by water, Noah and his family needed an
Ark designed by God Himself to survive the Flood. As Christians, we realize that we also need a type of an Ark and for us that Ark is Christ. Through Isaiah, God gives us the blueprints for that Ark. Unlike the Ark that saved Noah and his family however, the Ark Christians depend upon was completely constructed by God. It is this Ark that was promised from the day Adam and Eve ate from the “Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil”.Gen_3:1-7 Isaiah wrote about this some 760 years before the birth of Christ. Throughout the Bible we have evidence of the Lord's promises, and all we need to do is have faith in those promises, just as we have faith in the promise Jesus gave Nicodemus . “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”. Jhn_3:16 For those who are skeptical about the timing of these prophecies, the evidence we have is backed up by many overwhelming facts as to the Historicity of the Scriptures. When the “Dead Sea Scrolls” were discovered, it was learned that the current translation of Isaiah has not changed through the years, other than a few nondescript grammatical errors. But probably the best proof of God's promises is the fulfillment by Jesus of the more than 120 Isaiah prophecies about the coming Messiah. Along with hundreds of other Old Testament prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, I believe it takes an act of mental ignorance to ignore the prophetic evidence of God's faithfulness to follow through on His promises.

As for me, I have no reason to doubt the future fulfillment of the Lord's remaining promises. By studying Isaiah and his many prophecies, I have learned to see what they really represent; the Eternal as opposed to the temporal. The when, where, who, and how are just temporal, but the Eternal is what is promised and that is where my hope lies. My faith through the grace of God has allowed me to be washed by the Blood of the Lamb. My parched soul has been renewed by the life giving water flowing from the Rock that follows me through this desert of sin called the world. My salvation was paid for Christ' victory on Calvary, and I am assured of eternal life because of His resurrection. While I anxiously await His return so that I may enjoy an eternal rest in His Glory, I invite you to join me by accepting Christ as your Lord and savior.

I pray that those who have ears to hear will hear His voice and call upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.


Monday, July 27, 2009

How the Renaissance Led to the Reformation Part I

An Introduction and Overview
of the Renaissance

(This is the first of a five part series, follow
these links for the other four parts)

I am presenting you the first part in a series of five articles about the great Protestant Reformation which I wrote when I went to Bible college. In this series I will present various historical aspects I believe worked together to create the atmosphere needed for the Reformation to take place. I do not mean to diminish the contributions of any of the many individuals or events that will be left out of my series, but in order to be as concise as possible I will inevitably fail to give proper credit to some. I believe the six areas I have settled upon cover most of what is needed to make my point.

My five part series will include the following chapters;

An introduction and Overview of the Renaissance

Never in history has one man's thesis so rattled the powers that be, than did Martin Luther's when he nailed his ninety-five grievances to the Church door at Wittenberg. It was an act of defiance that would eventually topple a church state organization that held sway over kings and paupers alike for a thousand years. And while every history class that covers the reformation will tell you that it was Johann Tetzel'sselling of indulgences that pushed Luther into action that day, Tetzel's action was only the final straw, not the cause of the revolution. At the time the Reformation began, there were many factors that enabled and emboldened the common man into action but none was more profound in it's influence then was the Renaissance.

To continue reading this article, please follow the link below ..........

Part I

An Introduction and Overview of the Renaissance

"How the Renaissance Led

to the Reformation"

I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am in the process of moving all my articles to a new site. I have been given my own blog with my hometown newspaper in Chico California, called the "Enterprise Record". My new site is called "Gate" which I will be referring to as the "ChicoER Gate". It has less bells and whistles but it carries with it the respectability and well known reputation of 133 years of journalism that they began when they first published a daily paper in 1877, under the name of the "Daily Evening Record".
So please bear with me as I move all my articles to the

"ChicoER Gate"

How the Renaissance Led to the Reformation Part II

Political and Social Changes

(This is the second installment of a five part series)

The Western European feudal system that was begun by the first Holy Roman Emperor, Charlemagne would eventually morph into a system that was quite different from other feudal systems around the world. Throughout most of the dark ages, the powers of the Church and state co-existed with constant tension between the two. This pluralistic system of control would shift power back and forth from the Church to the Monarchs, depending upon the alliances each could muster at any given time.

The one thing that never changed however, was the way the common people of Europe were just pawns used by these two powers. Due to their need for protection and sustenance the major populations were kept entrenched in and around medieval fortresses and monasteries. These monasteries were quite often populated by the unwanted sons of the monarchs and nobleman who found in them an expedient way to eliminate any competition for their thrones and inheritances. Many of these sons would be given the position of Bishop and end up controlling of the lands and finances of the monasteries. It was not uncommon for these Bishops to be very wealthy with their own castles from which they conducted their business. Some would become more concerned about the affairs of their estates, and less concerned about fulfilling their religious responsibilities.

To continue reading this article, please follow the link below ..........

Part III

Political and Social Changes

"How the Renaissance Led

to the Reformations"

I apologize for the inconvenience, but I am in the process of moving all my articles to a new site. I have been given my own blog with my hometown newspaper in Chico California, called the "Enterprise Record". My new site is called "Gate" which I will be referring to as the "ChicoER Gate". It has less bells and whistles but it carries with it the respectability and well known reputation of 133 years of journalism that they began when they first published a daily paper in 1877, under the name of the "Daily Evening Record".
So please bear with me as I move all my articles to the

"ChicoER Gate"