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  • 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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Tax And Spend Rap

Common Sense With “Thomas Paine” 2009

Some Predictions About This Presidency

obama31According to China Confidential:

Obama’s appeasement of North Korea and Islamist Iran will put the U.S. and its allies within reach of rogue-state nuclear ICBMs and force Israel into launching a preemptive war–which Washington will condemn. Its abandonment of the Jewish State is already underway.

Obama’s appeasement of Hamas, Hezbollah, the Taliban and other Islamist terrorist organizations will embolden Islamists everywhere and encourage them to attack the U.S. If the nation is hit (heaven forbid) by another 9/11-like mega-attack or a Mumbai-style swarming attack, Obama, one suspects, will be inclined to respond by appealing to the Organization of the Islamic Conference for “understanding” and “dialogue.” (His first instinct after 9/11 was to announce his willingness to “stand with” America’s Muslim community.) Massive reprisals and retaliation will be non-starters; but intense discussion of the “root causes” of terrorism will naturally be a top administration priority–there could even be Congressional hearings!–assisted by fawning, blame-America-first liberals like Chris Matthews and David Gregory of NBC.

In short, America’s first Muslim-born President (Islam traces religion through the father) is confirming the worst fears and suspicions of his critics by behaving like a tool of organized Islam.

Read the entire article. . . .

The Unholy Desire To Have Dominion Over People In Our Lives

busybodyFrom: The Desk of Brian Abshire

[The gossip and busybody] both stem from the same basic problem; an ungodly desire to usurp dominion over another person’s life; in other words they are distinct symptoms of the same disease. “Meddling” is directly attempting to influence or control a person; literally “prying into another’s affairs.” It is involving one’s self in matters that are literally, “none of your business.” Yet, gossip is also unlawfully being involved in another person’s affairs by sharing negative information to people who are not a part of the problem or a part of the solution. God forbids it, not just because it is hurtful to another, but because it is none of the gossip’s business. He has no lawful right to talk about “the problem” and he has no right to involve other people in it either.

Some may wonder what the difference is between lawful involvement in another’s life and being a “busybody” unlawfully “meddling.” To answer that question requires us to take a step back for a moment and discuss the nature of sin itself. All sins are violations of God’s Moral Law; this is basic Christian theology. However, what many Christians have not considered is the fundamental sin that gives rise to every other sin; the sin of Adam in the Garden. When Adam ate from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, he was not just breaking some legalistic rule God had set up; instead, he wanted to be as God, knowing good and evil for himself. . . .

And one way that many of us will struggle is the temptation to take unlawful dominion over others. This is the basic motivation of the gossip, busybody or meddler. They are not satisfied with living their own lives or dealing with their own problems, but they want to involve themselves with the lives of others, criticizing, judging, condemning, finding fault, etc. Now, maybe there is some psychological problem here that adds “fuel to the fire” in that some of us learn how to get the heat off ourselves by lighting other people on fire. I have certainly met a lot of people during the past thirty-three years of being a Christian who were so busy “taking the splinter” out of other people’s eyes that they never seemed to notice the huge logs sticking out of their own!

Whatever the reason, spiritual or psychological, a lot of Christians seem to get upset, angry, bitter, frustrated or depressed because they are unlawfully concerned with what is happening in other people’s lives. If the object of their meddling will not submit to their unlawful attempt at dominion, they will then use gossip and slander to ruin the person’s reputation with others. Oh, all this is often couched in the most “spiritual” of terms because the meddler “really” has the best interests of the other person at heart. Thus they may want to “share a prayer request” for “poor brother So and So.” But at heart, they want the other person to submit to them; and they can be quite vicious if they do not get their way.

Elementary Thoughts: Remembering – Part 1

principalIt was a beautiful fall afternoon. The school day was over and the time was growing late. Most of the staff had already gone home for the evening. The teacher who was sitting across from the principal in the school office would normally have left for home over an hour ago. Both of them had families to go home to and many other things they needed to be doing. Yet, neither of them would, or could, excuse themselves.

They remained in their chairs and listened as a young father told his story. They were not just trying to be polite or to establish a good working relationship with one of their parents. He had come to talk to them about his child, but what he was compelled to tell them was his story. Suddenly, they were deeply emotionally involved. The conversation was no longer a matter of poor grades and behavior. It had become intensely personal. The tears in his eyes revealed pain. As they listened, they began to hurt too.

The story he told them is really a familiar one in our modern society. Yet, it seemed strange and uncomfortable listening to all the intimate details of why a family breaks up, especially when the person sharing this information was a stranger. The teacher and principal continued to listen, however, because they really wanted to help and they knew he needed to talk with someone.

He blamed his daughter’s poor grades and emotional problems on his separation from his wife. Sadly, they could not comfort him on that thought because they believed it to be a very accurate assessment of the situation. It was difficult for him to come to terms with the effect his and his wife’s decision to divorce was having on their little girl. He had even gone to his wife, once, and tried to reconcile their relationship for the sake of their daughter. His wife, painfully hurt by his previous actions, rejected him outright and now he felt the weight of every poor decision he had ever made in relation to the needs of his family. It was the shocking awareness of loss, and the realization that his little girl and wife really were very important to him, which now brought into focus the little time he had put into making those relationships work.

There had been so many other personal interests and important pursuits in his life that his family had received only a secondary, if any, investment of his personal time and attention. Now he was totally free to pursue all those ambitious goals, which had previously occupied such an important place in his life. Yet, the pleasure and satisfaction they had once given him had now vanished with the increasing understanding that the sacrifice had been too great. (Continues tomorrow)

GITMO Prisoners To Receive Welfare?

islamophobia-rallyQuoting Gary Bauer:

National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair, speaking about those prisoners at Guantanamo Bay (GITMO) who are likely to be released in the United States under new policies adopted by Obama, pointed out that the prisoners would have to get some sort of welfare to help them start their new lives in the good old US of A. Director Blair apparently thought about this quite a lot and concluded, “We can’t put them out on the street.”

It must be very hard for our enemies to fully understand American liberals. Try to put yourself in their shoes for a moment: First, you are captured on the battlefield where you are trying to kill U.S. soldiers. Then you are imprisoned at GITMO and immediately provided expert medical attention and better nutrition than ever before. Soon lawyers from some of Washington’s most prestigious law firms offer to represent you free of charge.

Then a president is elected who went to a “church” for 20 years whose pastor loved to shout “God D – – – America” from the pulpit. Finally, you are told that the president intends to release you inside the country you dream will be destroyed some day, and the Director of National Intelligence wants you to be paid a stipend by those dreadful infidel taxpayers so that you can adjust to your new life. And just last week, that same president was floating the idea of taking away some health benefits from the soldiers who captured you!

Expositional Listening

thabiti-anyabwileFrom: The Desk of Thabiti Anyabwile

The first and most important mark of a healthy church is expositional preaching. “Expositional preaching is not simply producing a verbal commentary on some passage of Scripture. Rather, expositional preaching is that preaching which takes for the main point of a sermon the point of a particular passage of Scripture.”  If churches are to be healthy then pastors and teachers must be committed to discovering the meaning of Scripture and allowing that meaning to drive their agenda with their congregations.

There is an important corollary for every member of a local church. Just as the pastor’s preaching agenda is to be determined by the meaning of Scripture, so too must the listening agenda of the Christian be driven by the meaning of Scripture. What we are listening for when the Word is preached is not primarily “practical how-to advice,” though Scripture teaches us much about everyday matters. Nor should we listen for messages and ideas that bolster our self-esteem or that rouse us for political and social causes. Rather, as members of Christian churches we are listening for the voice and message of God as revealed in His word. We are listening to hear God speak to us the things He has in His omniscient love written for His glory and our blessing. Listening for the meaning of a passage of Scripture, and accepting that meaning as the main idea to be grasped for our personal and corporate lives as Christians, is what we mean by “expositional listening.”

What are the benefits of expositional listening?

The first benefit of expositional listening is that it cultivates a hunger for God’s word. As we tune our ears to the style of preaching that takes as its main points the primary meaning of a particular passage of Scripture, we grow accustomed to listening to God. We become fluent in the language of Zion and conversant with its themes. His word/voice becomes sweet to us (Psalm 119:103-104); and as it does, we are better able to push to the background the many voices that would rival God’s voice for control over our lives. Expositional listening gives us a clear ear with which to hear God.

The second benefit of expositional listening follows from the first. Expositional listening helps us to focus on God’s will and to follow Him. Our agenda becomes secondary. The preacher’s agenda becomes secondary. God’s agenda for His people takes center stage, reorders our priorities, and directs us in the course that most honors Him. The Lord himself proclaimed, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me” (John 10:27). Listening to the voice of Jesus as it is heard in His word is critical to following Him.

Third, expositional listening protects the gospel and our lives from corruption. The Scripture tells us “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths” (II Tim. 4:3-4). The failure to listen expositionally has disastrous effects. False teachers enter the church and hinder the gospel, and ultimately, the truth is displaced by myths and falsehoods. Where members cultivate the habit of expositional listening they guard themselves against “itching ears” and they protect the gospel from corruption.

The entire article may be read here. . . .

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