Lightning Strikes Car After Church Robbery?

This article will be quick. I caught a glimpse of a Facebook video that is being shared by many concerning a supposed lightning strike that hit a car that was involved in a chase after robbing a church. Here is the video:

Seems pretty plausible doesn’t it? Not really. And I will show you why in the next paragraph. But the veracity of this chase does not concern me as much as how easy it is to believe something on the Internet, even if it was supposedly God who did it. In other words, I find that those who are suppose to be on the side of truth and biblical objectivity still keep falling prey to the tricks that the Internet is notorious for. Spreading lies, gossip, misinformation, and the like is not something that should be named among us as Christians. Yet, time and time again, I continually see posts, twitter feeds, and other such avenues being flooded with slander, propaganda, and nonsense that has not been given due diligence and godly reservation before sharing and spreading.

Case in point. Here is a frame by frame visual of what actually happened to this car. Continue reading

What Will I Be Like?

I know a lot of people who are older, and I have begun making note of the character traits I would like to acquire and those I would like to discard before they become a part of my life. It seems many older people become bitter and unhappy in their later years while others are sweet and giving in spite of their pain. This latter group is the group I want to belong to but I realize they did not get this way overnight. I believe those who are a joy to be around in their golden years began to live a joyous life in their youth. Those who are bitter may have allowed roots to grow when they were younger, however, they were careful to keep it inside. As they got older and their mind began to go, what was in their heart came to the surface to where now they cannot let go of it.

growing-older-gracefully-graphic

That is a sober thought. It’s not enough to look good on the outside. What is in my heart? Is it full of love and kindness, or is it bitter and angry, holding grudges that are going to die when I do? Will I be a joy to care for when I’m old or will everyone be drawing straws to see who has to take care of me? Although this is a ways off in the future, I need to choose now what kind of person I will be. I need to get God’s Word firmly planted in my heart that it is what flows out of me when I can remember nothing else.

For those who are already elderly, it is never too late to change. If you have become old and grouchy, don’t excuse it because of your age. Think about how it is affecting those around you and begin to be a blessing. It may shock your friends and family but they will recover.

For you young people, don’t think you have 40 years to develop better habits and treat people better. Begin now. It may seem like you have your whole life ahead of you but those years will go by faster than you think.

God Lifts the Needy

“[The LORD] raises up the poor from the dust; he lifts the needy from the ash heap to make them sit with princes and inherit a seat of honor” ~ 1 Samuel 2:8.

As I read this prayer of Hannah this morning, I thought how God did this very thing for me. At times, growing up, we were very poor. There were some winters we couldn’t afford heat, and at least once, we were homeless for a time. During those days, we attended church occasionally but the extent of my prayers were for God to get us out of trouble or protect us, and I never read my Bible … at least not regularly. I am thankful that God looked down and saw how needy we were, and He decided that He could use me anyway.

I was a teenager when my mom truly came to know the Lord. Although I grew up in church, we didn’t really have relationship with God prior to that time. After that, I could not deny the peace that filled Mom, such as I had never seen in her before. Our lives radically changed and, although at the time, I wasn’t sure I liked the changes, they ended up being for the better, and God continued to call out to me until I decided to follow Him as well. That was over 20 years ago now, and I can truly say that I don’t regret one mile I’ve traveled for the Lord. This world is getting scarier every day and yet I still hope God gives me many more years to serve Him. When He has finished using me, I will be very happy to go Home.

I’ve never sat with princes but I have had the opportunity to meet and interact with a number of Christian leaders, and I have found that they are just people like you and me. They still have trials and struggles, joys and heartaches. They may be better known than you and me but they are merely people who have said “Yes” to Jesus. A willing heart is what He is searching for. You don’t need to be smart, well versed, good looking, or anything else. If you are willing to surrender your whole life to the Lord, He can and will use you. You may not see your rewards on earth but Revelation 2:10 tells us that, if we are faithful to the end, we will receive the crown of life.

Hope in God

If you are needy today, rest assured that God has not forgotten you. He hears your cries. Our timing is not His timing, and the things we think we need are not always what we do, in fact, need but He will not forsake you.

If you are like me and you remember a time when you were needy and God rescued you, take time to thank Him again. I can’t praise Him enough for His faithfulness. All that I am and ever hope to be, I owe it all to Him. To God be the glory!

From the Pen of a Real President

One of our contributors, Fourpointer, posted this for Thanksgiving Day in 2008. I thought it would be appropriate to hear from the pen of a man who was truly a leader and commander-in-chief to this great country, unlike, sadly, what we have currently in office.

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Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to “recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:”

Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.

And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.

Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.

Never Forget – Already Forgotten!

11th of November is a special day around many parts of the world.

Veterans Day – This is celebrated in the United States and is a national holiday designated to honor all military veterans who have served or who are currently serving. Wikipedia notes, “Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day of remembering the men and women who died while serving.”

Remembrance Day - Wikipedia notes that this “is a memorial day observed in Commonwealth of Nations member states since the end of the First World War to remember the members of their armed forces who have died in the line of duty.”

What is not commonly known is that this is a special year of remembrance. The ode at the bottom of this post was written 100 years ago on the cliffs of Cornwall in the southwest corner of England. This poem was written as a tribute to those who had already fallen in the Great War of 1914-1918. It was the first national consideration of remembrance for those who fell in battle.

World War I, or The Great War, was the war that was to end all wars, but much of it ended up being a stalemate in the muddy trenches of Belgium, France, Holland, and Germany. Many of the war dead fell to disease and it is considered one of the bloodiest periods of human warfare. It would not be until World War II that the number of dead would exceed the number who died in World War I. On a global scale, the world had not seen such carnage and bloodshed since the Mongol Invasion in the 13th and 14th centuries.

Many are not aware that tens of thousands of boys no older than 14 were allowed to go to war and fight in the trenches.  While America joined the war in late 1917 and ultimately lost approximately 117,000 to battle and disease, what is often forgotten that this was not even 1% of the total death casualty of between 17-22 million. There is a reason why this Remembrance Day is special to many countries.

America has been blessed beyond measure and does not know the shame and disgrace in modern history of having troops march, rape, and pillage their way across this land. Europe has known this and the scars of these wars can still be found on lonely hillsides and in cemeteries. Many fell and were never recovered – known only to God.

Sadly, in this modern 21st century, we are but 100 years from the carnage that ravaged predominantly Europe in World War I. In those years, many have forgotten the true price of freedom. Young people know little to nothing about why this war even took place, and certainly are not taught why we should remember. History always repeats itself, and the one aspect that will eventually doom us is that we never learn from history. The Great War was not an insignificant dot on the landscape, but one that broke nations and would eventually lead to the Second World War in which an estimated 2.5% of the world’s population died, or between 60-85 million.

Thankfully, there are still some who do not forget those who died so long ago. We will remember those “for our tomorrow, gave their today.” And for all who served, whether fallen in battle or living veterans, we salute and honor you. You have stood in the gap where many refused to go so that we can enjoy the freedom of today. Many will never know and cannot know the sacrifice that still haunts the dreams of many, but they know.

To forget their sacrifice will be the greatest disrespect we can give to all veterans, past and present.

“They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.”Laurence Binyon, For the Fallen, Ode of Remembrance

Baptismal Regeneration: A Thorough and Systematic Refutation (Part 1)

In this series, it is vitally important to take the time and refute the now resurging doctrine of baptismal regeneration. This category of soteriology is varied depending on the denomination, and the contemporary or historical figure teaching it. It is fundamentally important that we understand what causes our regeneration, and what is/are the agent(s) of it. So in embarking on this very thorough refutation, it is my prayer that the reader will not only learn something new, but realize and understand something old and enduring – the truth about regeneration from the gospel.

I have spoken with several different proponents of Baptismal Regeneration. International Church of Christ is the bigger one that seems to be gaining evangelistic force. But there are Roman Catholics, Apostolics, Oneness Pentecostals, and some Anglican that believe this doctrine. Although their material may be varied, and their conclusions may have some nuances, the end of their logic remains the same. That is, unless someone is baptized they are not regenerated, don’t experience regeneration, or regeneration is not complete without it.

Arguments Not to Use

Before diving in my first argument which I have labeled, “Theo-logic,” I would like to admonish you, reader, about some arguments that I would advise not using when discussion this subject of baptismal regeneration. Here is the list: Continue reading