Sunday, August 26, 2007

Women's Bible Study ....

What suggestions do you have
for Women's Bible Studies?


What have you done in the past that really impacted
your Christian walk and why?

Do you favor a workbook with once a day bible study
or glean your own from a book that
has no questions?
Ex: JC Ryle - Holiness verses Elizabeth George's
"A Woman's Walk With God" book and study guide.

Do you ever do a video style bible study with the teacher
and then you have discussions afterwards?

Do you create your own weekly questions from
Scripture as you do a topical, verse by verse
or Book study?

Do you do a once a week or once a monthly study?

Do you do one-on-one or a group of women?

Do you have the study at Church or in a home?

What has not worked for you?



Friday, August 24, 2007

New Perspective ...dog verses human ...

In the United States, the life of a dog is worth more than the life of a human being! The nation has been riveted and closely following the story of NFL superstar quarterback Michael Vick. It has come to light over the past 6 years that Vick financed and was an active participant in running a dog fighting enterprise. Fighting dogs is illegal in all 50 states.

Additionally, hundreds of thousands of dollars were illegally gambled on these dog fights, and what has enraged most people, was the inhumane treatment of these animals including killing them in numerous brutal ways.

Vick has not only been linked to financing this dog fighting operation, but gambling on the fights and personally killing several of the dogs who didn't perform well.

Today, I want to bring a whole new perspective to the Michael Vick story that you won't hear on the news or read about in the papers. In the United States in the year 2007, it is illegal to kill a dog but legal to kill a baby! Let me say that one more time since I want this FACT to really sink in. In the United States in the year 2007, it is illegal to kill a dog, but legal to kill a baby! WOW! Does that put the whole Vick story in a different light and show just how spiritually bankrupt we are as a nation?

Want more? Michael Vick is going to be going to prison for anywhere from 1-5 years for killing dogs, yet every single day all over this nation, "doctors" are slaughtering 4,000 babies and going home to their families at the end of the day.

Michael Vick has been kicked out of the NFL and will be going to Federal prison for killing dogs, but the "doctors" who are paid very well to kill over 4,000 babies EVERY SINGLE DAY in this nation are free!

Another aspect of the Vick case that I have watched closely is the across-the-board outrage by people regarding what he did to these dogs. You will be hard pressed to find anyone who even tries to support, let alone, condone what Vick did. It has virtually been a universal response of condemnation for what he did to these dogs. What baffles me is where is that same universal condemnation over the fact we kill 4,000 babies in this nation every day? How can the masses get so riled up over the inhumane treatment and killing of a handful of dogs, yet sit back in silence as every

24 hours another 4,000 babies are slaughtered?

Here is an interesting side note that can't go unnoticed. PETA, the ultra liberal People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, have been front and center in calling for Vick's hide and have exploited the Vick story to raise millions of dollars for their cause. The hypocrisy is that the vast percentage of people who follow and support PETA also support a woman's right to kill her baby. So you have this animal rights advocacy group who takes every opportunity to bully and intimidate people who have anything to do with animals, all the way from how cows and chickens are slaughtered to the way animals are killed by fast food restaurants to the killing of animals to make fur coats, leading the charge against Vick for fighting and killing dogs, yet this same group supports the killing of babies!

The real story of the sad and sickening Michael Vick dog fighting/killing tragedy is that in this nation we clearly put more value on the life of an animal than we do a human. It is clear that the life of a dog is more important to society than the life of a baby. This is the only conclusion you can draw since it is illegal to kill dogs but not babies, and someone like Vick who is found guilty of killing dogs is going to prison while the "doctors" who kill babies live in freedom. Society has determined that the life of a dog is more important than the life of a baby.

This is so critical since now it is easy to understand why we are in the spiritual abyss we find ourselves in. The Absolute Truth of the Bible has been replaced by "every man doing what is right in their own eyes." You see, it is no longer God our Creator who determines Truth, each person is deciding that for themselves. That is why people now accept homosexual relationships that God clearly calls a sin, redefining what God said marriage and the family were to be, all of the false gods of the world, and every other form of rebellion to God and His Word that you can name. When men determine what truth is, that is how you end up with the mass outrage over the death of a few dogs, yet no response at all to the daily slaughter of 4,000 babies!

The nation has turned to the false gods of the world, the man-made idols, and has chosen to live in complete rebellion to God and the Truth of His Word. Most of Christendom has retreated behind the four walls of the church into the "Christian trough" where they have virtually no impact on the world at large. We have relegated ourselves to what amounts to a modern day leper colony. Christians have become the 21st century lepers. We are treated like outcasts. Despite having the power of Almighty God, we have chosen to hide in our Christian subculture while the world we live in is sinning its way into obliteration with souls dying and going to hell on conveyor belts!

Nothing more exemplifies this than the Vick case. Let me clearly state that I believe those who treat animals in an inhumane way should be punished.

Dog fighting is a barbaric sport that should be against the law. Those who kill dogs for sport should be prosecuted. I don't feel sorry for Michael Vick at all and whatever he gets he deserves. However, the point I want you to understand today is that as heinous and horrible as Vick's actions were, the disconnect comes when heinous and horrible acts on a human being are not only legal, but supported by millions of people. Many of the same people who have gone ballistic about what Vick did to a few dogs, go equally ballistic if you talk about outlawing the killing of babies.

If you ever needed a reminder regarding the depth of spiritual decay in this country, the Michael Vick case is that reminder. The reality is that in this country, the life of a dog is more precious than the life of a baby! God have mercy on us all.

I received this in an email an felt it important to share. Written by: Mr. Bill Keller


Thursday, August 23, 2007

Why Read? ...


Over at Tim Challies blog (challies.com) again
you will find an excellent article --
"Books Don't Change People - Sentences Do.
Here is the link ...
http://www.challies.com/archives/articles/yesterday-bob-kauflin-wrote-about.php


Oh Dear ... recent poll shows that
1 in 4 Americans Read No Books in 2006 ...


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Reading the Classics Together .... updated ...


Girls! I want to invite you to a Book Reading!

Tim from challies .com
is starting a "Reading Classics Together" on August 30th.
The book he chose is JC Ryle's "Holiness" but he is suggesting
we purchase JI Packer's "Faithfulness and Holiness"
from Westminster for only $11.69. Read the

"Introduction" in preparation for discussion on
August 30th. Go to the above link at
Challies for more info where Tim explains
why he chose this version over the
original plus much more info.

Guys are welcome, too, of course but
since only about 3 people read this blog
and they are women (Kim of Hiraeth; Ellen the
Happy Wonderer
and Jen of JoyThru Christ)
I couldn't resist this pic
- it's hilarious!
Here is the four of us having Bible Study -
Kim is teaching, she's the one with her finger
in the air! LOL ...
Kim of Hiraeth you might know the
info behind this pic --
a relative who sent it to
me in an email said it is of
Irish origin in that the women
of the church used to wear these hats
for some reason or other ...
do you know if this is true and why?

Oh, anyhow .... come along and join
me in this "Reading The Classic's Together"

UPDATE: First off - I really am surprised of the folks that have
commented thus far. More readers than I thought actually and
quite honestly. Some I thought left, welcome back.
I just am not one to go around commenting on blogs alot.
When I do sometimes it seems I get in trouble,
so I sorta stick to my own here, if you read
and comment great, if you read great,
if you don't agree that's ok, no problems.
I am not one for numbers nor ratings.
Don't care for rantings neither but I've
had my share of those, too.
Secondly -- the pic was not meant to offend,
it was not meant to be derogatory in nature.

ANYHOW --
I did receive my book in the mail and WOW!
I am anxiously awaiting Tim's blog to start rolling!
I am struck by the remark's of Ryle, the
Epigraph reads like something on a blog
today concerned about the Emerging,
Seeker-Sensitive churches but what drew
my eye and my heart is this ...
Page 94) "It is, however, of great importance that the whole subject should be placed on right foundations, and that the movement about it should not be damaged by crude, disproportioned, and one-sided statements. If such statements abound, we must not be surprised. Satan knows well the power of true holiness, and the immense injury which increased attention to it will do to his kingdom. It is his interest, therefore, to promote strife and controversy about this part of God's truth. Just as in time past he has succeded in mystifying and confusing men's minds about justification, so he is labouring in the present day to make men "dark counsel by words without knowledge" about sanctification. May the Lord rebuke him! I cannot however give up the hope that good will be brought out of evil, that discussion will elicit truth, and that variety of opinion will lead us all to search the Scriptures more, to pray more, and to become more diligent in trying to find out what is "the mind of the Spirit."

Ryle has already prayed over these pages
for even future readers. All those years past
he knew those who broke open the pages
of this book would need prayer coverage.
The prowler is at work and once our eyes
begin to feast upon the truths in these
pages war will rage. Pray yourself up
dear friends, the prowler
does not want us to take these
truths to heart. Prayer is fleshed out
all through this book I am seeing.
I am looking forward
to this study more than any I
have in sometime ...
it's just the smack between
the eyes I need ...
"Lord, You always know what's
best for me ... thank You for leading me here."
I think we will all be on our knees ...
join me.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Back to School ...are your children ready?


The New Paradigm shift ... it is at a school near you ...

Let's take a closer look ...

THE OLD PARADIGM
Biblical Truth
Facts
Observation
Logic
Science
Reality
Factual History
Objective Thinking
Individual Responsibility

~~~~~~~
THE NEW PARADIGM
earth-centered myths
experience and feelings
imagination
speculation and feelings
politicized-pseudo science
fantasy
fictional or multi-cultural stories
subjective feelings
group thinking

(Sounds like the Small Group Bible Study guidelines - does it not??? Sorry but this is how I see it folks, right now I'm hearing that old song "Feelings ... nothing more than feelings ..." that is what the small group bible studies are pushing, not the word of God like they used too.) OK, back to the matter at hand ...

Today, the various forms of values training or values clarification effectively erase those old moral values (right or wrong), social values (bad or good), and esthetic values (beautiful or ugly). Taken from
"Teaching of Values," Title III, Grant, Northwood Public Schools, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1968. According to Anita Hoge, this is the federal grant that funded Sidney Simon's development of values clarification techniques.

In their place stands the politically correct notion that children are naturally good and endowed with inner wisdom. Andy LePage, acclaimed author of Transforming Education, elaborates,

"Many, mostly traditionalists, still carry the cynical belief that we are, by nature, evil, irresponsible and untrustworthy. This belief is gradually being countered by a growing number who believe that, instead, and to the contrary, we are naturally inclined toward becoming life-affirming, cooperative, responsible and trustworthy.... Under [the] negative assumption, we logically act to repress and contain ourselves. Under the newer positive assumption, we logically act to liberate and express ourselves; even to fulfill ourselves. ...[It] is precisely... this limited view of ourselves as human that has our world today in such disarray and despair...

"The way out is to be found in re-envisioning ourselves...." taken from Andy LePage, Transforming Education (Oakland, CA: Oakmore House Press, 1987), xii.

The arguments by global-minded educators for stressing "higher order thinking" might sound something like this: Don't bother teaching a lot of useless information. You don't know what facts will be relevant in the 21st Century. Instead, teach children to ponder the universal truths in myths and symbols, to envision their own perfections, to imagine a better world, and to create their own stories of the future. This will help them connect with their inner wisdom - which in turn draws inspiration from the global mind. Then teach them persuasive communication skills and encourage them to share their self-expressions with parents and others in need of enlightenment.

Notice the words used ... ponder, enlightenment, self-expression, inner wisdom, global mind, inspiration, universal truths, myths, symbols ... you gagging yet? What is your child being taught? ** Reads like that so called bible I threw away that someone gave me ... the m`e`s`s`a`g`e b i b l e .... nope, don't like that one either ....

Here are the prophetic words of Raymond Houghton, Professor of Secondary Education and Special Assistant to the President for Urban Affairs at Rhode Island College--and don't let anyone intimidate your family into believing the lie. Taken from: To Nurture Humaneness: Commitment for the '70's (Washington DC: Association for Supervision and Curriculum Development, NEA, 1970). Huh? The 70's ... how did we miss this one? ....

"...absolute behavior control is imminent.... The critical point of behavior control, in effect, is sneaking up on mankind without his self-conscious realization that a crisis is at hand. Man will... never self-consciously know that it has happened.



Train your children thru the Biblical Filter world view. If we don't then they will teach them the new paradigm perspectives, Christian beliefs and values will make no sense.


A war is raging for the minds of our children. That's nothing new. Two thousand years ago, God said, "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ." (Colossians 2:8) Never has this warning been more relevant.


Take time each day to train your children to....
  • Know biblical truth--the only source of genuine wisdom (Proverbs 2:6)

  • Learn the facts needed to defend what they know and believe

  • Recognize the difference between logic and speculation

  • Ground personal plans in reality, not fantasy

  • Base their understanding of the world on observation rather than imagination

  • Trust genuine science based on facts and logic, not social philosophy

  • Learn the lessons found in a factual study of history

  • Base actions in objective thinking, not subjective feelings.

  • Remember their individual responsibility before God and people



And pray, pray, pray ... if you don't pray for your children ... who will?


Contemplative Prayer, Keating, Foster, & Kundalini ...

Keating, Kundalini and Contemplative Prayer

By Brian Flynn

The class began with a meditation exercise that we were to practice everyday when we awoke and again each evening. Elinor instructed us to sit with our feet firmly on the ground and to close our eyes. She then asked us to imagine roots or cords extending from the soles of our feet down into the earth. She said to imagine going deeper and deeper to the light, with the heat and power of the earth below us. Her words flowed from one to another and had an almost hypnotic effect on me:

Once the cords reach a certain point, attach the cords to that power. Bring that energy up those roots, up through the soles of your feet, up your legs, and allow them to attach to the base of your spine to the first Chakra. You are now grounded in earth’s energy.

I finally felt I was heading in the right direction and tapping into a world and an energy that would give guidance and insight. Excerpt from Running Against the Wind.

During my years as a New Age medium, grounding myself was one of the first steps required to prepare my mind before performing psychic readings. It was from this series of meditative steps that I was able to hear from my spirit guides. Who could have guessed that years later I would be warning Christians not to imitate this exact same practice?

After I was saved, many church leaders asked me if I would be willing to share my testimony and to offer an explanation of the New Age practices that I used to perform. At first I felt a little apprehensive because although I was involved in these practices personally, I actually knew very little about their origin. This led me to do extensive research on the movement I had left behind.

After several years of research on this topic, I was fortunate to have the chance to speak to Peter Jones who has authored many books on the occult. When I described the meditation process of what we called in class "running our energy" he explained that it was a form of a Kundalini meditation. I had never heard the word used to describe this practice before.

The Sanskrit word Kundalini means the curled one, and is also called Kundalini awakening or the awakening of the serpent. Practitioners describe it as a curled channel in the tailbone area. It can rise through the chakras (psychic centers situated along the spine from the tailbone to the top of the head), creating physical symptoms ranging from sensations of heat and tremors to involuntary laughing or crying, nausea, diarrhea or constipation, rigidity or limpness, and animal-like movements and sounds.

I considered myself fortunate to have never experienced the symptoms that are described above. However, I never knew the reason why until recently. My publisher, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, received a letter from a woman who before becoming a Christian was practicing Kundalini. After reading my book, she offered an interesting insight as to why I did not experience any of the negative manifestations of the Kundalini awakening:

First and most startling, when Brian and his wife went to the spiritual coach, to learn to channel, they did a type of grounding exercise which they called "running their energy." This running of the energy is what saved them from possibly having a neurological crisis. In other words, although the purpose of the class was nefarious, the technique was good! The technique was to keep them "grounded" while they were flying off into the empyrean (the highest heaven) to contact spirits, for their protection. Apparently it worked to this extent: although they became subject to spirit guides, they did not become sick.

People who practice kundalini in America often become sick. Because they are not grounded, for one thing, or if they are grounded, they push the exercise beyond where grounding can physically protect them. When I had my kundalini awakening, I was not grounded and was not taught what it was at all. So I became very sick.

I am not sure if my teacher knew that the grounding portion of the multiple steps to running our energy was to prevent the Kundalini effect or not. When I asked my teacher what were the origins of this practice she often danced around the question. She either did not know or refused to share that information. In either case, does it not seem odd that a spiritual practice whose purpose is to either bring harmony in one’s life or to feel closer to God would have a negative physical manifestation?

On a pro-contemplative spirituality web site, I came across the descriptions of those who had experienced the same effect while practicing contemplative prayer. Here is one example:

"I have been practicing Centering Prayer for 2 ½ years…. I began experiencing Kundalini-like symptoms three months after beginning the practice. They were quite intense at first. They have continued in various forms since then. Lately, I only experience them at the very beginning of prayer. I am not aware of any other moral manifestations. Father [Thomas] Keating advised me personally to ignore them if I could, and if they were too bothersome to “balance the energy” with physical exercise or a yoga practice."—Gary

Thomas Keating

Is the practice of kundalini and contemplative prayer the same? Father Thomas Keating, who has inspired many evangelical contemplatives like Henri Nouwen, Richard Foster, and Brennan Manning, wrote the foreword to Philip St. Romain's book, Kundalini Energy and Christian Spirituality. In the forward, Keating acknowledges that kundalini is the same as Christian contemplation. He states:

Since this energy [kundalini] is also at work today in numerous persons who are devoting themselves to contemplative prayer, this book is an important contribution to the renewal of the Christian contemplative tradition. It will be a great consolation to those who have experienced physical symptoms arising from the awakening of kundalini in the course of their spiritual journey ... Most spiritual disciplines world-wide insist on some kind of serious discipline before techniques of awakening kundalini are communicated. In Christian tradition ... the regular practice of the stages of Christian prayer ... contemplation are the essential disciplines...

Keating explains that the reason spiritual directors are needed is to help guide the Christian contemplative is because of the powerful and dangerous nature of kundalini. He says that these "spiritual directors" may need to consult with "Eastern teachers in order to get a fuller understanding."

The disciples of Jesus Christ did not call upon Eastern teachers to guide them when praying to our Lord. Nor is there any warning in the Bible cautioning us about negative physical manifestations when engaging in simple Christian prayer. For years, I have been telling my Christian brothers and sisters that contemplative prayer is an Eastern form of meditation. Finally, I have a contemplative who admits it to be so. And now that I know about Keating’s declaration that kundalini is the same as contemplative, Richard Foster’s statement makes more sense. In Foster’s book, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, he states:

I also want to give a word of precaution. In the silent contemplation of God we are entering deeply into the spiritual realm, and there is such a thing as a supernatural guidance that is not divine guidance. While the Bible does not give us a lot of information on the nature of the spiritual world, we do know … there are various orders of spiritual beings, and some of them are definitely not in cooperation with God and his way! … But for now I want to encourage you to learn and practice prayers of protection.… “All dark and evil spirits must now leave.

I believe Foster made these comments because he was well aware that contemplative prayer could be dangerous because it is no different than kundalini. And yet in Celebration of Discipline (p. 13, 1978) he says “We should all without shame enroll in the school of contemplative prayer."

The unfortunate outcome is that both Thomas Keating and Richard Foster continue to endorse contemplative prayer and encourage others to engage in this un-biblical practice when they know good and well it can have detrimental effects.

How much more evidence do the leaders in our churches require before they repent of promoting this practice When Rick Warren stated in his first book, Purpose Driven Church that Foster’s spiritual formation was a wakeup call to the church, he gave the green light to millions to practice something that could potentially have long or permanent lasting damage on practitioners.

I pray fervently that my fellow Christians will return to the word of God for comfort and knowledge and that they will come to understand the true means of grace that our Heavenly Father has bestowed upon us. Please pray with me that this will come to pass.

FOLKS --- IT IS IN A CHURCH NEAR YOU !!! . . .

Sunday, August 12, 2007

This Lord's Day ...

He Walks Among the Golden Lamps

T.D. Smith
Hope Pub. 1972


He walks among the golden lamps on feet like burnished bronze;
his hair as snows of winter white,
his eyes with fire aflame and bright;
his glorious robe of seamless light surpassing Solomon's.

And in his hand the seven stars and from his mouth a sword;
his voice the thunder of the seas;
all creatures bow to his decrees,
who holds the everlasting keys and reigns as sovereign Lord.

More radiant than the sun at noon, who was, and is to be:
who was, from everlasting days;
who lives, the Lord of all our ways;
to him be majesty and praise for all eternity.

The Holy Scriptures: Revelation 1:13-18 ESV

13 and in the midst of the lampstands one like a son of man,
clothed with a long robe and with a golden sash around his chest.
14
The hairs of his head were white, like white wool, like snow.
His eyes were like a flame of fire, 15 his feet were
like burnished bronze, refined in a furnace,
and his voice was like the roar of many waters.
16
In his right hand he held seven stars, from his mouth
came a sharp two-edged sword,
and his face was like the sun shining in full strength.
17 When I saw him, I fell at his feet as though dead.
But he laid
his right hand on me, saying,
“Fear not, I am the first and the last,

18
and the living one. I died, and behold
I am alive forevermore,

and I have the keys of Death and Hades.


Thus says the Word of our LORD ....

AMEN

Sunday, August 5, 2007

This Lord's Day ...

AT THE LAMB'S HIGH FEAST WE SING

At the Lamb's high feast we sing
Praise to our victorious King,
Who hath washed us in the tide
Flowing from his pierced side;
Praise we him whose love divine
Gives his sacred blood for wine,
Gives his body for the feast,
Christ the Victim, Christ the Priest.

Where the paschal blood is poured,
Death's dark angel sheathes his sword;
Israel's hosts triumphant go
Through the wave that drowns the foe.
Praise we Christ, whose blood was shed,
Paschal Victim, Paschal Bread;
With sincerity and love
Eat we manna from above.

Mighty Victim from the sky,
Pow'rs of hell beneath thee lie;
Death is conquered in the fight,
Thou hast brought us life and light:
Hymns of glory and of praise,
Risen Lord, to thee we raise;
Holy Father, praise to thee,
With the Spirit, ever be.