• Samuel at Gilgal

    This year I will be sharing brief excerpts from the articles, sermons, and books I am currently reading. My posts will not follow a regular schedule but will be published as I find well-written thoughts that should be of interest to maturing Christian readers. Whenever possible, I encourage you to go to the source and read the complete work of the author.

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  • September 2008
    M T W T F S S
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Can We Afford To Ignore Prayer?

Donald Arthur (D. A.) Carson is an evangelical Christian scholar. He is currently a research professor of the New Testament at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School, which is based in Deerfield, Illinois, United States. Carson’s academic qualifications include a Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry from McGill University and a Doctor of Philosophy in the New Testament from the University of Cambridge. He has written or edited more than 45 books.

What is surprising and depressing is the sheer prayerlessness that characterizes so much of the Western church. It is surprising because it is out of step with the bible that portrays what Christian living should be; it is depressing, because it frequently coexists with abounding Christian activity that somehow seems hollow, frivolous, and superficial. Scarcely less disturbing is the enthusiastic praying in some circles that overflows with emotional release but is utterly uncontrolled by any thoughtful reflection on the prayers of Scripture. . . .

Writing a century and a half ago, Robert Murray M’Cheyne declared:

“What a man is alone on his knees before God, that he is, and no more.”

But we have ignored this truism. We have learned to organize, build institutions, publish books, insert ourselves into the media, develop evangelistic strategies, and administer discipleship programs, but have forgotten how to pray.

Most pastors testify to the decline in personal, family, and corporate prayer across the nation. Even the recent organized “concerts of prayer” are fairly discouraging from an historical perspective: some of them, at least, are so blatantly manipulative that they are light years away from prayer meetings held in other parts of the world that have tasted the breath of heaven-sent revival. Moreover, it is far from clear that they are changing the habits of our churches or the private discipline of significant numbers of believers.

Two years ago at a major North American seminary, fifty students who offered themselves for overseas ministry during the summer holidays – were carefully interviewed so that their suitability could be assessed. Only three of these fifty (that’s 6 percent!) could testify to regular quiet times, times of reading the scriptures, of devoting themselves to prayer. It would be painful and embarrassing to uncover the prayer life of many thousands of evangelical pastors…

Are we better at organizing than agonizing? Better at administering than interceding? Better at fellowship than fasting? Better at entertainment than worship? Better at theological articulation than spiritual adoration? Better – God help us! – at preaching than praying?

What is wrong? Is not this sad state of affairs some sort of index of our knowledge of God? Shall we not agree with J.I. Packer when he writes:

“I believe that prayer is the measure of the man, spiritually, in a way that nothing else is, so that how we pray is as important a question as we can ever face”

Can we profitably meet the other challenges that confront the Western church if prayer is ignored as much as it has been? (D. A. Carson, A Call To Spiritual Reformation)

Get The Facts About Sarah Palin

Visit Sarah Palin Facts. . . .

Liberal Radio Hosts Shocked By Former Democratic Senator’s Opinion Of Governor Sarah Palin

Mike Gravel is a former Democratic Senator from Alaska who also sought the Democratic nomination for President. The left-wing hosts of the radio show in this clip are not too happy with the way he answers their questions about Governor Sarah Palin.

Always Remember The 11th Of September

On September 11, 2001 most Americans were unaware of the consequences of Islamo-fascist terrorism. By noon of that day, it was clear that our way of life was under attack. Jihad had been declared against the United States in terrorist acts of unparalleled violence that surpassed even the evil of the attack on Pearl Harbor. A “holy war” was being waged by al Qaida against the enemies of God (all non-Muslims).

Islamo-fascism is characterized by the Wahhabism of al Qaida’s Osama bin Laden. He seeks to kill those who do not subscribe to his Islamo-fascist ideology. Note the nationalities of his fascist followers who hijacked airplanes on 9/11:

United Airlines Flight 175: Marwan al-Shehhi (from the United Arab Emirates), Fayez Banihammad (from the United Arab Emirates), Mohand al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Hamza al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian), Ahmed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian).

American Airlines Flight 11: Mohamed Atta al Sayed (Egyptian), Waleed al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Wail al-Shehri (Saudi Arabian), Abdulaziz al-Omari (Saudi Arabian), Satam al-Suqami (Saudi Arabian).

United Airlines Flight 93: Ziad Jarrah (Lebanese), Ahmed al-Haznawi (Saudi Arabian), Ahmed al-Nami (Saudi Arabian), Saeed al-Ghamdi (Saudi Arabian).

American Airlines Flight 77: Hani Hanjour (Saudi Arabian), Khalid al-Mihdhar (Saudi Arabian), Majed Moqed (Saudi Arabian), Nawaf al-Hazmi (Saudi Arabian), Salem al-Hazmi (Saudi Arabian).

The worldwide Islamo-fascist movement comes from and is funded by Saudi Arabia. They propagate the extremist Wahhabi movement of Islam with billions of petrodollars in order to radicalize Islam. Note that fifteen of the hijackers were Saudis. Reza F. Safa, author of Inside Islam, estimated that since 1973, the Saudi government has spent some $87 billion to promote Wahhabism in the United States and the Western Hemisphere.

We must never forget that over 2,800 human beings died on September 11, 2001 because of the teachings of Islamo-fascist clerics. One imam, Abdul Alim Musa of Washington, D.C., has stated explicitly that he is part of a movement working toward replacing the U.S. government with “the Islamic State of North America” by 2050. The threat of Islamo-fascism is still very real. September 11, 2001 and those who died must never be forgotten by the American people. “The price of freedom is eternal vigilance.” (Thomas Jefferson)

The Way To Godly Living

Dr. Joel Beeke writes:

Pursue godliness in dependence on the Holy Spirit. The way to godly living is surprisingly simple: We are to walk with God in His appointed way (Mic 6:8), diligently using the means of grace and the spiritual disciplines, and waiting on the Holy Spirit for blessing. Note that godly living involves both discipline and grace. This emphasis on duty and grace is fundamental to Reformed, experiential perspective on godly living. As the Puritan John Flavel wrote, “The duty is ours, though the power be God’s. A natural man has no power, a gracious man hath some, though not sufficient; and that power he hath depends upon the assisting strength of Christ.”

Likewise, John Owen wrote, “It is the Holy Ghost who is the immediate peculiar sanctifier of all believers, and the author of all holiness in them.” The Spirit supplies what we lack so that we may press toward the mark of holiness, enabling us as believers to “yield obedience to God … by virtue of the life and death of Jesus Christ.”

The believer then is empowered, as Flavel said, with “a diligent and constant use and improvement of all holy means and duties, to preserve the soul from sin, and maintain its sweet and free communion with God.” We can also be encouraged by Owen’s advice: “If thou meanest to enlarge thy religion, do it rather by enlarging thy ordinary devotions than thy extraordinary.” (From: Puritan Reformed Spirituality)

Brazil Sees Oil As “A Passport To The Future”

Gary Bauer at www.ouramericanvalues.org reports:

Late last year, the Brazilian government announced the discovery of two major oil fields off its coast. Estimates of the potential yield, roughly 40 billion barrels, would make Brazil one of the largest oil producers in the Western Hemisphere, ahead of Mexico and Canada. The Brazilian government has enthusiastically embraced these discoveries and is aggressively pursuing them.

President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva described the oil as a “passport to the future” and “the opening of a direct bridge between natural wealth and the eradication of poverty.” That’s great news for the people of Brazil. A nation that has been blessed with such resources should be blessed with the political leadership and will to use them wisely for the benefit of its people.

For whatever reason, some American politicians do not want our country to fully develop its own natural resources. In June, columnist Terry Jeffrey noted that various U.S. government reports estimate the potential oil reserves in this country at three times the amount recently discovered in Brazil. In addition, the United States has vast amounts of coal and natural gas.

One would think this would be a cause for celebration. But thanks to the liberal oil embargo and the radical environmentalist movement, most of it remains off limits, tucked away in Mother Nature’s “lock box.” Here’s a thought: Let’s put Social Security funds off limits and unlock the potential economic boom from developing our own vast natural resources! Isn’t it time for our politicians to put the American people first, and not radical leftwing special interest groups?

Is Wind Power Nothing But “Hot Air?”

“Wind contributes more every year to our energy mix, but still provides only 1 percent of our electricity – compared to 49 percent for coal, 22 percent for natural gas, 19 percent for nuclear and 7 percent for hydroelectric.

“We can and should harness the wind, but 22 percent of our electricity by 2020 is far-fetched. Wind power is intermittent, unreliable and expensive (even with subsidies). Many modern turbines are 400 feet tall and carry 130-foot, 7-ton, bird-slicing blades. They operate at only 20 percent 30 percent of rated efficiency – compared to 85 percent for coal, gas and nuclear plants – and provide little power during summer daytime hours, when air-conditioning demand is highest, but winds are at low ebb.

“Using wind to replace all gas-fired power plants would require over 300,000 1.5-megawatt turbines, covering Midwestern “wind belt” agricultural and wildlife acreage equivalent to South Carolina.

“Building and installing these turbines requires 5 to 10 times more steel and concrete than is needed to build nuclear plants to generate the same electricity more reliably, says Berkeley engineer Per Peterson. Add in steel and cement needed to build transmission lines from distant wind farms to urban consumers, and the costs multiply.

“Wind thus means more quarries, mines, cement plants and steel mills to supply those materials. But greens oppose such facilities. So the Pickens proposal [for wind power] could mean letting existing power plants rust, and importing steel and cement, instead of oil.

“Since adequate wind is available only three to eight hours a day, we would also need more gas-fired generating plants that mostly run at idle, kicking in whenever the wind dies down. That means still more money, cement, steel and gas – and still higher electricity prices.” (Paul Driessen, “Hot Air About Wind Power,” The Washington Times, 8/6/2008)

TH – ChinaConfidential

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