Monthly Archives: June 2019

June 30 Consistent Faith

Scripture Reading: Colossians 2:1–7

Key Verses: Colossians 2:6–7

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Having consistent faith is one area we all struggle in somtimes. We have faith in Jesus, but we often wrestle with our inability to walk consistently in faith.

So, as we examine Colossians 2:6–7, let’s determine what walking by faith means. Keeping in mind that our “walk” represents our behavior as a Christian, what can we gather from the apostle Paul’s teaching in this passage? He explained that, just as we received Christ by faith, we must also walk in Him. In other words, the believer should give Christ lordship over his or her life.

You can confidently submit to His lordship for two reasons:

  • For who He is. Psalm 9:10 says that those who know God’s name will put their trust in Him, because He will not forsake those who seek Him. Oftentimes, nonbelievers are hesitant to trust Jesus because they do not know Him. But when a person steps out in faith, His magnificent character will be revealed.
  • For what He has done. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the price and made us complete in Him. Never will we have to struggle to meet our own needs, because He is our ultimate provider. His love for you is beyond measure.

Will you walk with Him in faith? Will you trust Him to be true to His Word?

Lord, I want to be consistent in my faith. Help me to submit to Your lordship, remembering always the wonder of Your greatness and Your sacrifice for me.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2006). Pathways to his presence (p. 189). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

June 30 His Plans Are Unfolding

Scripture Reading: Genesis 39

Key Verse: Genesis 45:8

It was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

Although brokenness is a process, we can unnecessarily extend the time frame. We prolong God’s redemptive, constructive purposes when we fail to see God’s hand in our adverse circumstances.

Joseph tasted the bitter fruits of unjust slavery and imprisonment for thirteen years before God elevated him to Pharaoh’s administrator. Confronting his brothers who had mistreated him, Joseph said, “Do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life … Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God” (Gen. 45:5, 8 nasb).

Do you see God in everything, understanding that He either sends or permits all circumstances, good and evil? If He is not Lord of all, then He cannot be Lord at all. He is the Sovereign of the universe. Joseph was able to see God’s hand in his brokenness.

God is working all things for good in your shattered circumstances. He knows the heartache you face, and He will comfort your deepest pain.

His plans are unfolding, even in the darkness of your adversity. See God behind it, and you will have His light to see you through your troubles.

Precious heavenly Father, this road I travel is not always easy. Help me understand that Your plans are unfolding, even in the darkness of adversity. Let Your Word and Your love penetrate the shadows and light my way.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1999). On holy ground (p. 189). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Free Press? NY Times Admits It Sends Stories To US Government For Approval Before Publication

Authored by Ben Norton via The Grayzone Project,

The New York Times casually acknowledged that it sends major scoops to the US government before publication, to make sure “national security officials” have “no concerns.”

The New York Times has publicly acknowledged that it sends some of its stories to the US government for approval from “national security officials” before publication.

This confirms what veteran New York Times correspondents like James Risen have said:

The American newspaper of record regularly collaborates with the US government, suppressing reporting that top officials don’t want made public.

On June 15, the Times reported that the US government is escalating its cyber attacks on Russia’s power grid. According to the article, “the Trump administration is using new authorities to deploy cybertools more aggressively,” as part of a larger “digital Cold War between Washington and Moscow.”

In response to the report, Donald Trump attacked the Times on Twitter, calling the article “a virtual act of Treason.”

The New York Times PR office replied to Trump from its official Twitter account, defending the story and noting that it had, in fact, been cleared with the US government before being printed.

“Accusing the press of treason is dangerous,” the Times communications team said.

“We described the article to the government before publication.”

“As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns,” the Times added.

Accusing the press of treason is dangerous.
We described the article to the government before publication. As our story notes, President Trump’s own national security officials said there were no concerns.

— NYTimes Communications (@NYTimesPR) June 16, 2019

Indeed, the Times report on the escalating American cyber attacks against Russia is attributed to “current and former [US] government officials.” The scoop in fact came from these apparatchiks, not from a leak or the dogged investigation of an intrepid reporter.

‘Real’ journalists get approval from ‘national security’ officials

The neoliberal self-declared “Resistance” jumped on Trump’s reckless accusation of treason (the Democratic Coalition, which boasts, “We help run #TheResistance,” responded by calling Trump “Putin’s puppet”). The rest of the corporate media went wild.

But what was entirely overlooked was the most revealing thing in the New York Times’ statement: The newspaper of record was essentially admitting that it has a symbiotic relationship with the US government.

In fact, some prominent American pundits have gone so far as to insist that this symbiotic relationship is precisely what makes someone a journalist.

In May, neoconservative Washington Post columnist Marc Thiessen — a former speechwriter for President George W. Bush — declared that WikiLeaks publisher and political prisoner Julian Assange is “not a journalist”; rather, he is a “spy” who “deserves prison.” (Thiessen also once called Assange “the devil.”)

What was the Post columnist’s rationale for revoking Assange’s journalistic credentials?

Unlike “reputable news organizations, Assange did not give the US government an opportunity to review the classified information WikiLeaks was planning to release so they could raise national security objections,” Thiessen wrote. “So responsible journalists have nothing to fear.”

In other words, this former US government speechwriter turned corporate media pundit insists that collaborating with the government, and censoring your reporting to protect so-called “national security,” is definitionally what makes you a journalist.

This is the express ideology of the American commentariat.

Julian Assange is no hero. He is the devil.

— Marc Thiessen (@marcthiessen) October 24, 2016

NY Times editors ‘quite willing to cooperate with the government’

The symbiotic relationship between the US corporate media and the government has been known for some time. American intelligence agencies play the press like a musical instrument, using it it to selectively leak information at opportune moments to push US soft power and advance Washington’s interests.

But rarely is this symbiotic relationship so casually and publicly acknowledged.

In 2018, former New York Times reporter James Risen published a 15,000-word article in The Intercept providing further insight into how this unspoken alliance operates.

1. #JamesRisen: “A top CIA official once told me that his rule of thumb for whether a covert operation should be approved was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?”

— stefania maurizi (@SMaurizi) May 8, 2018

Risen detailed how his editors had been “quite willing to cooperate with the government.” In fact, a top CIA official even told Risen that his rule of thumb for approving a covert operation was, “How will this look on the front page of the New York Times?”

There is an “informal arrangement” between the state and the press, Risen explained, where US government officials “regularly engaged in quiet negotiations with the press to try to stop the publication of sensitive national security stories.”

“At the time, I usually went along with these negotiations,” the former New York Times reported said. He recalled an example of a story he was writing on Afghanistan just prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks. Then-CIA Director George Tenet called Risen personally and asked him to kill the story.

“He told me the disclosure would threaten the safety of the CIA officers in Afghanistan,” Risen said. “I agreed.”

Risen said he later questioned whether or not this was the right decision. “If I had reported the story before 9/11, the CIA would have been angry, but it might have led to a public debate about whether the United States was doing enough to capture or kill bin Laden,” he wrote. “That public debate might have forced the CIA to take the effort to get bin Laden more seriously.”

This dilemma led Risen to reconsider responding to US government requests to censor stories. “And that ultimately set me on a collision course with the editors at the New York Times,” he said.

“After the 9/11 attacks, the Bush administration began asking the press to kill stories more frequently,” Risen continued. “They did it so often that I became convinced the administration was invoking national security to quash stories that were merely politically embarrassing.”

One year ago: Former New York Times national security reporter James Risen reveals how the paper repeatedly suppressed stories at the request of the Obama and Bush administrations

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) January 3, 2019

In the lead-up to the Iraq War, Risen frequently “clashed” with Times editors because he raised questions about the US government’s lies. But his stories “stories raising questions about the intelligence, particularly the administration’s claims of a link between Iraq and Al Qaeda, were being cut, buried, or held out of the paper altogether.”

The Times’ executive editor Howell Raines “was believed by many at the paper to prefer stories that supported the case for war,” Risen said.

In another anecdote, the former Times journalist recalled a scoop he had uncovered on a botched CIA plot. The Bush administration got wind of it and called him to the White House, where then-National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice ordered the Times to bury the story.

Risen said Rice told him “to forget about the story, destroy my notes, and never make another phone call to discuss the matter with anyone.”

“The Bush administration was successfully convincing the press to hold or kill national security stories,” Risen wrote. And the Barack Obama administration subsequently accelerated the “war on the press.”

CIA media infiltration and manufacturing consent

In their renowned study of US media, “Manufacturing Consent: The Political Economy of the Mass Media,” Edward S. Herman and Chomsky articulated a “propaganda model,” showing how “the media serve, and propagandize on behalf of, the powerful societal interests that control and finance them,” through “the selection of right-thinking personnel and by the editors’ and working journalists’ internalization of priorities and definitions of newsworthiness that conform to the institution’s policy.”

But in some cases, the relationship between US intelligence agencies and the corporate media is not just one of mere ideological policing, indirect pressure, or friendship, but rather one of employment.

In the 1950s, the CIA launched a covert operation called Project Mockingbird, in which it surveilled, influenced, and manipulated American journalists and media coverage, explicitly in order to direct public opinion against the Soviet Union, China, and the growing international communist movement.

Legendary journalist Carl Bernstein, a former Washington Post reporter who helped uncover the Watergate scandal, published a major cover story for Rolling Stone in 1977 titled The CIA and the Media: How America’s Most Powerful News Media Worked Hand in Glove with the Central Intelligence Agency and Why the Church Committee Covered It Up.”

Bernstein obtained CIA documents that revealed that more than 400 American journalists in the previous 25 years had “secretly carried out assignments for the Central Intelligence Agency.”

Bernstein wrote:

Some of these journalists’ relationships with the Agency were tacit; some were explicit. There was cooperation, accommodation and overlap. Journalists provided a full range of clandestine services—from simple intelligence gathering to serving as go‑betweens with spies in Communist countries.

Reporters shared their notebooks with the CIA. Editors shared their staffs. Some of the journalists were Pulitzer Prize winners, distinguished reporters who considered themselves ambassadors without‑portfolio for their country.

Most were less exalted: foreign correspondents who found that their association with the Agency helped their work; stringers and freelancers who were as interested in the derring‑do of the spy business as in filing articles; and, the smallest category, full‑time CIA employees masquerading as journalists abroad. In many instances, CIA documents show, journalists were engaged to perform tasks for the CIA with the consent of the managements of America’s leading news organizations.

Virtually all major US media outlets cooperated with the CIA, Bernstein revealed, including ABC, NBC, the AP, UPI, Reuters, Newsweek, Hearst newspapers, the Miami Herald, the Saturday Evening Post, and the New York Herald‑Tribune.

However, he added, “By far the most valuable of these associations, according to CIA officials, have been with the New York Times, CBS and Time Inc.”

These layers of state manipulation, censorship, and even direct crafting of the news media show that, as much as they claim to be independent, The New York Times and other outlets effectively serve as de facto spokespeople for the government — or at least for the US national security state.

Source: Free Press? NY Times Admits It Sends Stories To US Government For Approval Before Publication

Parking lot? Looks so much like a detention centre, or so AOC thought | RT

Clutching her face in despair and weeping, photos of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez seemingly show her strong reaction to a horrific scene of US migrant detention. However, new angles reveal she may have played things up a bit. READ MORE: RT LIVE Check out Subscribe to RT!

Backup plan launched to ‘force people of faith to abandon beliefs’ | WND

Democrats in Congress already have staged a massive campaign to promote their Equality Act, which would impose the LGBT agenda on churches and faith-based organizations.

But now they’re working on a backup plan should the aggressive Equality Act fail.

It’s named the Do No Harm Act, but it would destroy protections for the exercise of religion by changing the federal Religious Freedom Restoration Act. The bill would make the exercise of religion in public life subservient to LGBT rights in all cases.

The RFRA has helped protect religious freedom since it was enacted in 1993.

The law was cited when a Texas town arbitrarily tripled water connection fees for churches to make up for “lost” property taxes.

The RFRA has enabled citizens to use their constitutionally protected religious faith as a defense against unwarranted demands, including those of LGBT activists.

Doctors have used it to decline to do abortions. Pharmacists have, under its protections, declined to provide abortion-causing drugs.

It has been used to protect a Christian foster care program in South Carolina that provides homes for hundreds of kids. The Barack Obama administration threatened to shut down the program if it didn’t adhere to a “nondiscrimination,” pro-LGBT policy.

Democrats believe they can reverse the Supreme Court’s Masterpiece Cakeshop decision if the RFRA is changed. The ruling protected a Christian baker from being forced to violate his religious beliefs by creating a cake for a same-sex wedding.

Now come Democrats with their H.R. 1450.

While it claims to be the Do No Harm Act, it would allow LGBT activists to impose their religious “views, habits, or practices” on Christians or people of other faiths.

It would prevent using the RFRA to protect a citizen’s religious liberty if the action imposes “dignitary harm” or an insult “on a third party.”

It would modify the RFRA simply to say its provisions do “not apply” in such disputes.

And it states that “sexual orientation or gender identity” protections trump constitutional protections for religious freedom.

Faith-based morals also could not be used to deny “a person the full and equal enjoyment of a good, service, benefit, facility, privilege, advantage, or accommodation.”

Courthouse News reported this week the House will hold a hearing on the bill.

The report explained it condemns “those who wield their faiths to hurt others,” according to a civil-rights lawyer.

Rachel Laser of Americans United for Separation of Church and State claimed the Trump administration is “weaponizing” the law to “undermine civil rights protections.”

She said it harms “women, people of no religion, the LGBT community and religious minorities.”

She condemned RFRA because it allowed the South Carolina foster agency to operate according to its faith, which she said is unacceptable.

Rep. Phil Roe, R-Tenn., had a different perspective.

“This isn’t about forcing religious beliefs; this is about forcing people of faith to abandon their beliefs.”

An obstetrician, he asked: “Will I be forced to perform something I believe is wrong? Will I be forced to perform an abortion?”

Rep. Tim Walberg, R-Mich., explained that the Constitution doesn’t confine religion to houses of worship.

“I understand that I am a Christian first and a congressman second. My faith is not divorced from my life. And I would expect everyone else who has a similar belief, that they, in this country, should be free, whether they’re Judeo-Christian or not,” he said.

Source: Backup plan launched to ‘force people of faith to abandon beliefs’

WATCH: Three Born-Again Christian Jews Say That Andy Stanley’s False Preaching in Book “Irresistible” is Tragic, Borderline Anti-Semitic, and Textbook for Replacement Theology — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

(from left to right) Ryan Lambert, Toby Janicki, Damian Eisner, and Andy Stanley

You will be shocked as you watch our 45-minute review of Andy Stanley’s new book, Irresistible. Stanley is one of the most influential Christian leaders in our day. Just watch the first five minutes to see the most aggressive dismantling of the Bible and articulate example of supersessionism (replacement theology) in our day. If the first five minutes of the video alarms you—keep watching and consider the solutions we offer.

Daniel Whyte III says, “Here are three very kind and respectful Christian Jewish men who rebuke and condemn and dismantle the false preaching of Andy Stanley and the false teaching in “Irresistible” written by Andy Stanley that is doing great harm and causing great confusion in the Church.”

via WATCH: Three Born-Again Christian Jews Say That Andy Stanley’s False Preaching in Book “Irresistible” is Tragic, Borderline Anti-Semitic, and Textbook for Replacement Theology — BCNN1 – Black Christian News Network

Putin says liberalism is ‘eating itself,’ criticizes migrant influx | New York Post

OSAKA, Japan — Russian President Vladimir Putin fired a new broadside against Western liberalism at the Group of 20 summit in Japan, saying that policies such as welcoming migrants have hurt people’s interests.

Speaking after the summit in Osaka concluded on Saturday, Putin charged that Donald Trump’s victory in the 2016 US presidential election and a drop of popularity of traditional parties in Europe have been rooted in growing public dismay with mainstream liberal policies.

He said Trump’s election victory was driven by growing disenchantment with liberal policies.

“The liberal idea has started eating itself,” Putin said at a news conference. “Millions of people live their lives, and those who propagate those ideas are separate from them.”

He also charged that the influx of migrants to Europe has infringed on people’s rights. “People live in their own country, according to their own traditions, why should it happen to them?” Putin said.

The Russian leader added that while “liberal ideas remain attractive as a whole,” election results show that people want change.

Putin hailed his meeting with Trump on Friday on the sidelines of the G-20 summit as “business-like and pragmatic.”

“We addressed almost the entire list of issues of mutual concern,” he said. “Of course, we talked about the situation in various parts of the world. Overall, these consultations were useful.”

He said the claims of Russian meddling in the US election were part of the agenda of his talk with Trump.

At the start of Friday’s meeting, the Russian leader laughed when a reporter shouted about Trump warning Putin “not to meddle” in the 2020 presidential election.

Asked Saturday whether the issue was discussed during the meeting, Putin said that “we talked about it,” but didn’t elaborate.

He said he believes it’s necessary to “turn the page” in relations with the US, which have plunged to the lowest level since the Cold War era.

Source: Putin says liberalism is ‘eating itself,’ criticizes migrant influx

Here’s exactly how to get the cheapest life insurance policy online | Business Insider

Life insurance isn’t something you should put off.

It’s an ideal time to get life insurance if you’re newly married, earning a high salary, or starting a family. If anyone relies on your income for their financial well-being, whether a spouse, children, aging parents, or anyone else, you probably need life insurance. Plus, usually the younger you are, the better the rate you lock in on a fixed-rate policy.

Life insurance policies come in many different varieties, though, and navigating the fine print to find the right one for you can be intimidating. You also want to make sure you’re getting the best deal, money-wise. For most people, experts recommend term life insurance because it’s cheap and simple.

“You purchase a policy for a set term — usually 10 to 30 years — and during that term you pay premiums to keep your coverage active,” explained Logan Sachon, an insurance editor at insurance-comparison site Policygenius. “If you die during the term, your beneficiaries receive a death benefit. If you don’t die during the term — the preferred outcome — your coverage ends when your term expires and you don’t get any money back.”

How much you pay depends on how much coverage you want, the type of policy you get, and how much risk you pose. The average person can expect to pay between $300 to $400 a year for life insurance, according to Policygenius, but it really depends on your situation.

How to get cheap life insurance

If you’re signed up for group life insurance through work, you only need to supplement that amount with an individual policy. Many companies offer life insurance coverage for employees, but it’s usually a multiple of annual salary and not enough to replace income for a family. The policy is often free and the money is guaranteed, so it’s typically worth taking.

Some employers offer supplemental life insurance to make up the difference, but it’s smart to compare rates for additional coverage through a third-party broker.

Below, we’ll take you through a rate comparison and application process on Policygenius:

Source: Here’s exactly how to get the cheapest life insurance policy online

Following In Rome’s Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality | ZeroHedge News

Authored by Charles Hugh Smith via OfTwoMinds blog,

Here is the moral decay of America’s ruling elites boiled down to a single word.

There are many reasons why Imperial Rome declined, but two primary causes that get relatively little attention are moral decay and soaring wealth inequality. The two are of course intimately connected: once the morals of the ruling Elites degrade, what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, too.

I’ve previously covered two other key characteristics of an empire in terminal decline: complacency and intellectual sclerosis, what I have termed a failure of imagination.

Michael Grant described these causes of decline in his excellent account The Fall of the Roman Empire, a short book I have been recommending since 2009:

There was no room at all, in these ways of thinking, for the novel, apocalyptic situation which had now arisen, a situation which needed solutions as radical as itself. (The Status Quo) attitude is a complacent acceptance of things as they are, without a single new idea.

This acceptance was accompanied by greatly excessive optimism about the present and future. Even when the end was only sixty years away, and the Empire was already crumbling fast, Rutilius continued to address the spirit of Rome with the same supreme assurance.

This blind adherence to the ideas of the past ranks high among the principal causes of the downfall of Rome. If you were sufficiently lulled by these traditional fictions, there was no call to take any practical first-aid measures at all.

A lengthier book by Adrian Goldsworthy How Rome Fell: Death of a Superpower addresses the same issues from a slightly different perspective.

Glenn Stehle, commenting on a thread in the excellent website (operated by the estimable Ron Patterson) made a number of excellent points that I am taking the liberty of excerpting: (with thanks to correspondent Paul S.)

The set of values developed by the early Romans called mos maiorum, Peter Turchin explains in War and Peace and War: The Rise and Fall of Empires, was gradually replaced by one of personal greed and pursuit of self-interest.

“Probably the most important value was virtus (virtue), which derived from the word vir (man) and embodied all the qualities of a true man as a member of society,” explains Turchin.

“Virtus included the ability to distinguish between good and evil and to act in ways that promoted good, and especially the common good. Unlike Greeks, Romans did not stress individual prowess, as exhibited by Homeric heroes or Olympic champions. The ideal of hero was one whose courage, wisdom, and self-sacrifice saved his country in time of peril,” Turchin adds.

And as Turchin goes on to explain:

“Unlike the selfish elites of the later periods, the aristocracy of the early Republic did not spare its blood or treasure in the service of the common interest. When 50,000 Romans, a staggering one fifth of Rome’s total manpower, perished in the battle of Cannae, as mentioned previously, the senate lost almost one third of its membership.This suggests that the senatorial aristocracy was more likely to be killed in wars than the average citizen…

The wealthy classes were also the first to volunteer extra taxes when they were needed… A graduated scale was used in which the senators paid the most, followed by the knights, and then other citizens. In addition, officers and centurions (but not common soldiers!) served without pay, saving the state 20 percent of the legion’s payroll…

The richest 1 percent of the Romans during the early Republic was only 10 to 20 times as wealthy as an average Roman citizen.”

Now compare that to the situation in Late Antiquity when

“an average Roman noble of senatorial class had property valued in the neighborhood of 20,000 Roman pounds of gold. There was no ‘middle class’ comparable to the small landholders of the third century B.C.; the huge majority of the population was made up of landless peasants working land that belonged to nobles. These peasants had hardly any property at all, but if we estimate it (very generously) at one tenth of a pound of gold, the wealth differential would be 200,000! Inequality grew both as a result of the rich getting richer (late imperial senators were 100 times wealthier than their Republican predecessors) and those of the middling wealth becoming poor.”

Do you see any similarities with the present-day realities depicted in these charts?

And how many congresspeople served in combat in Iraq or Afghanistan? How many presidential candidates had boots on the ground in combat theaters? The answer is one. Here is the moral decay of America’s ruling elites boiled down to a single word.

Source: Following In Rome’s Footsteps: Moral Decay, Rising Inequality

June 30 Power of the Flesh

Scripture reading: Romans 8:12–18

Key verse: Romans 8:8

So then, those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

The part of man that is called the flesh can surface at any time in many ways. However, we can know one thing for sure: the goal of the flesh is to elevate self. We call it the flesh because it has to do with our fallen nature, which is in direct opposition to the things of God.

The fleshly attitudes within us can become quite obvious. They always prompt us to seek to be heard first and noticed above those around us. In dealing with the flesh, we quickly discover that not only does the flesh want its way, but it becomes indignant if others do not agree with it.

The flesh cannot be improved, disciplined, changed, or redeemed. It is the part of man that represents the fallen state of Adam. Only God can deal successfully with the flesh, and He has done this by eliminating its power.

Jesus has overcome the power of every fleshly action that we struggle against. When we pray and confess our need for Christ, He comes to us and abides with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. We are no longer under the rule of the flesh.

No longer are we reduced to pushing, planning, and plotting to be noticed or to attain worldly treasures. The very best is ours because we belong to almighty God. And His love for us is everlasting.

Lord, I realize that I cannot improve, discipline, change, or redeem my flesh. I submit my flesh to You. I am no longer under its rule.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (2000). Into His presence (p. 189). Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

Paul Helm debates William Lane Craig on Calvinism and Reformed theology


Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win! Two tough rams butt heads, and may the best ram win!

I listened to this excellent discussion between Dr. William Lane Craig and Oxford University Calvinist philosopher Dr. Paul Helm. I think this is a useful discussion in general because atheists often bring up problems with Calvinism as objections to Christianity in general, such as:

  • If God knows the future, then I don’t have free will
  • If God controls everything, then I am not responsible for my sinning
  • If God has to override my free will to be saved, then I am not responsible for being damned if God doesn’t choose me


If God ordains the future, can humans have free will? Are people predestined for salvation? And what does the Bible say on the matter? William Lane Craig is a Christian philosopher and leading proponent of Molinism, a view of divine sovereignty that seeks to reconcile God’s fore-ordination with…

View original post 1,984 more words

Sunday’s Hymn: From Ev’ry Stormy Wind That Blows — Rebecca Writes



From ev’ry stormy wind that blows,
From ev’ry swelling tide of woes,
There is a calm, a sure retreat,
‘Tis found beneath the mercy-seat.

There is a place where Jesus sheds
The oil of gladness on our heads,
A place than all besides more sweet;
It is the blood-stained mercy-seat.

There is a spot where spirits blend,
Where friend holds fellowship with friend,
Tho’ sundered far; by faith they meet
Around the common mercy-seat.

Ah, whither could we flee for aid,
When tempted, desolate, dismayed,
Or how the hosts of hell defeat,
Had suff’ring saints no mercy-seat?

There, there on eagle wings we soar,
And time and sense seem all no more,
And heav’n comes down our souls to greet,
And glory crowns the mercy-seat.

O may my hand forget her skill,
My tongue be silent, cold, and still,
This bounding heart forget to beat,
If I forget the mercy-seat.

—Hugh Stowell


Other hymns, worship songs, or quotes for this Sunday:

via Sunday’s Hymn: From Ev’ry Stormy Wind That Blows — Rebecca Writes

June 30, 2019 Afternoon Verse Of The Day

And you will be hated by all on account of My name, but it is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. (10:22)

All is obviously not an absolute term in this context. Believers will not be hated by every single unbeliever on earth. The idea is that of all people in general, society as a whole. As verified by the last two thousand years, believers find they are hated by all classes, races, and nationalities of mankind.

Some believers live lives of almost constant conflict with the world, while others seem to escape it entirely. Some Christians are not persecuted simply because their testimony is so weak it goes unnoticed by the world. When biblical doctrine and standards are compromised to accommodate fallen human nature, society has little argument with that kind of Christianity and will give little opposition to Christians.

But to confront the world as Paul did with the declaration that “the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness” (Rom. 1:18) is to guarantee society’s wrath against the gospel and those who preach it.

Because they were so uncompromising in proclaiming the gospel, Paul declared himself and his fellow apostles to be “men condemned to death; because we have become a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. We are fools for Christ’s sake, … weak, … without honor, … both hungry and thirsty, and are poorly clothed, and are roughly treated, and are homeless” (1 Cor. 4:9–11).

When a Roman general won a great victory, he would parade his captives through the streets in a grand triumphal procession, purposely making a spectacle of his conquered foes, especially of the military officers and the rulers. That is the sort of spectacle the ancient world figuratively made of the apostles.

In summary, false religion reacts against believers because it is generated by Satan. Government reacts against believers because it is under the control of the prince of the power of the air, the ruler of this world. Ungodly families and society react against believers because they cannot tolerate righteous people in their midst.

Endurance of persecution is the hallmark of genuine salvation: It is the one who has endured to the end who will be saved. Endurance does not produce or protect salvation, which is totally the work of God’s grace. But endurance is evidence of salvation, proof that a person is truly redeemed and a child of God. God gives eternal life “to those who by perseverance in doing good seek for glory and honor and immortality,” Paul says (Rom. 2:7). The writer of Hebrews expresses the same truth in these words: “For we have become partakers of Christ, if we hold fast the beginning of our assurance firm until the end” (3:14). We do not earn our salvation by endurance, but prove it. Continuance is a verification of being a real Christian. Theologians call this the perseverance of the saints. The following Scriptures also emphasize perseverance: Matthew 24:13; John 8:31; 1 Corinthians 15:1–2; Colossians 1:21–23; Hebrews 2:1–3; 4:14; 6:11–12; 10:39; 12:14; 2 Peter 1:10.

Persecution quickly burns away chaff in the church. Those who have made only a superficial profession of Christ have no new nature to motivate them to suffer for Christ and no divine power to enable them to endure it if they wanted to. Nothing is more spiritually purifying and strengthening than persecution (cf. James 1:12).

It is because God’s Word assures us that absolutely nothing can separate us from Christ that we can count on such unshakable endurance. “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?” Paul asks rhetorically. “Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?” He then answers his own question. “But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 8:35, 37–39).[1]

22. But he who endureth to the end shall be saved. This single promise ought sufficiently to support the minds of the godly, though the whole world should rise against them: for they are assured that the result will be prosperous and happy. If those who fight under earthly commanders, and are uncertain as to the issue of the battle, are carried forward even to death by steadiness of purpose, shall those who are certain of victory hesitate to abide by the cause of Christ to the very last?[2]

21–22 It is not enough for Jesus’ disciples to be opposed by Jewish and Gentile officialdom. They will be hounded and betrayed by their own family members (see vv. 34–39). The theme of division between persons as a sign of the end is not unknown in Jewish apocalyptic literature (4 Ezra 5:9; Jub. 23:19; 2 Bar. 70:3—though none of these refer explicitly to family divisions). Here the allusion is to Micah 7:6, quoted in Matthew 10:35–36. “All men” (v. 22) does not mean “all men without exception,” for then there would be no converts, but “all men without distinction”—all men irrespective of race, color, or creed. That the good news of the kingdom of God and his righteousness should elicit such intense and widespread hostility is a sad commentary on “all men.” The hatred erupts, Jesus says, dia to onoma mou (lit., “on account of my name”)—either because one bears the name “Christian” (cf. 1 Pe 4:14) or, less anachronistically and more likely, “on account of me” (see comments at 5:10–12).

The one who “stands firm”—the verb hypomenō (GK 5702) does not signify active resistance so much as patient endurance (cf. Da 12:12 LXX; Mk 13:13; Ro 12:12; 1 Pe 2:20)—will be saved; but he must stand firm eis telos (“to the end”). Though this anarthrous expression could be taken adverbially to mean “without breaking down,” it is far more likely purposely ambiguous to mean either “to the end of one’s life” or, because of the frequent association of telos (“end,” GK 5465) and cognates with the eschatological end, “to the end of the age.” This is not to say that only martyrs will be saved; but if the opposition one of Jesus’ disciples faces calls for the sacrifice of life itself, commitment to him must be so strong that the sacrifice is willingly made. Otherwise there is no salvation. Thus from earliest times Christians have been crucified, burned, impaled, drowned, starved, racked—for no other reason than that they belonged to him. As with martyrs among God’s people before the coming of Jesus, so now: the world was not worthy of them (Heb 11:38).[3]

22 The mutual hostility within the family is only part of a more general hostility to Jesus’ disciples. Verse 22a will be repeated verbatim in 24:9, with the addition of “all the nations.” The broad expression “hated by everybody” is reminiscent of the famously ambiguous statement of Tacitus (Ann. 15:44) attributing Nero’s persecution of Christians to odium humani generis (“hatred of the human race”)—either because they were alleged to hate all other human beings, or because the whole human race hated them. Such hatred of disciples “because of my name” is explained by John as an extension of the world’s hatred for Jesus himself (John 15:18–25; 1 John 3:13–14). It must be balanced against the positive response of other people to the disciple’s “light” which was presented in 5:13–16, though there too persecution (vv. 11–12) coexists with admiration. Here we hear only one side of the love-hate relationship of the world to the gospel.

The world’s response is put in perspective by a reference to salvation at the “end.” Verse 22b will be repeated verbatim in 24:13, and in that context the “end” is related to the events predicted in 24:1–3, the destruction of the temple, the parousia of Jesus and the “close of the age;” which of those events is referred to by the word “end” in 24:6 and 14, and whether “to the end” in 24:13 has the same “end” in view, will be discussed when we come to ch. 24. Here there is no such context to define it, and the phrase eis telos, “to the end,” can hardly have such a specific reference, but simply means persevering for as long as may be necessary. The “end” is defined more by the future “salvation” which terminates the period of “remaining faithful” than by a specific historical or eschatological reference. The thought loosely echoes Dan 12:12–13, a beatitude on those who remain faithful and will receive their reward “at the end of the days.” Sōzō, “save,” is used by Matthew in a wide range of senses: often it refers to physical deliverance from death or disease (8:25; 9:21–22; 14:30; 24:22; 27:40, 42, 49), but it is also used of salvation from sins (1:21) and in 19:25 it stands in parallel with “entering the kingdom of God,” while in 16:25 the disciple’s “life” is paradoxically saved by losing it. These latter uses are the most probable pointers to the meaning here. Jesus is talking not about the preservation of physical life, but the ultimate well-being which is compatible with the loss of physical life. In the face of persecution and possible martyrdom disciples must remain true to their loyalty to Jesus; if they do so “to the end” they will be “saved,” even though they may be executed. Cf. the word-play in 27:42 where Jesus’ failure to “save” himself (from physical death) is contrasted with his “saving” other people, a fact which the evangelist, unlike the mocking authorities, wishes to affirm.[4]

22. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name’s sake—The universality of this hatred would make it evident to them, that since it would not be owing to any temporary excitement, local virulence, or personal prejudice, on the part of their enemies, so no amount of discretion on their part, consistent with entire fidelity to the truth, would avail to stifle that enmity—though it might soften its violence, and in some cases avert the outward manifestations of it.

but he that endureth to the end shall be saved—a great saying, repeated, in connection with similar warnings, in the prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem (Mt 24:13); and often reiterated by the apostle as a warning against “drawing back unto perdition” (Heb 3:6, 13; 6:4–6, &c.). As “drawing back unto perdition” is merely the palpable evidence of the want of “root” from the first in the Christian profession (Lu 8:13), so “enduring to the end” is just the proper evidence of its reality and solidity.[5]

Ver. 22.—And ye shall be hated. For no little time (ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι). “Suffering sometimes becomes as a reward for doing. You read of the heifers which brought home the ark out of the Philistines’ country, that, when they brought the ark home, the Israelites took the heifers and offered them up to God, as a sacrifice (1 Sam. 6:14). ‘Why so?’ saith one. ‘It is an ill requital to the heifers.’ No; the heifers could not have so high an honour put upon them (Phil. 1:29; Acts 9:16; 21:13)” (Wm. Bridge, in Ford). Of all men (ver. 17, note). As with the old Israel, so also with the new (cf. Kübel). For my name’s sake (ch. 6:9, note). But he that endureth to the end (Revised Version adds, the same) shall be saved (so ch. 24:13). The emphatic insertion of οὗτος points out both the absolute necessity of endurance and the certainty of blessing to him who shows it (cf. 2 Tim. 2:11). To the end (εἰς τέλος); i.e. not to the end of the time during which persecution shall last (εἰς τὸ τέλος), but to completeness in the endurance required (cf. John 13:1 [Bishop Westcott’s note]; 1 Thess. 2:16). Shall be saved. In the fullest sense (cf. the parallel passage, Luke 21:19).[6]

22 The hyperbolic statement (ὑπὸ πάντων, “by everyone”) in the first half of this verse points again to the time of eschatological trouble. There will be widespread hatred of those who follow Jesus and preach his message. διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου, “because of my name,” is again a highly significant christological element in this material (cf. v 18; cf. John 15:21). The words καὶ ἔσεσθε μισούμενοι ὑπὸ πάντων διὰ τὸ ὄνομά μου, “you will be hated by all on account of my name,” are found verbatim in 24:9 except that the latter has τῶν ἐθνῶν, “the Gentiles,” after πάντων, “all.” The situation envisioned here is also anticipated in 5:11 (cf. ἕνεκεν ἐμοῦ, “on my account”), where the persecution is seen paradoxically to be a mark of the blessedness of Jesus’ disciples (cf. too the Lukan parallel, 6:22, where the verb μισεῖν, “to hate,” is also used [cf. too ἕνεκα τοῦ υἱοῦ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, “on account of the Son of Man”]; cf. John 15:18; 1 John 3:13). That the persecution and hatred of v 21 and the present verse are a part of the eschatological trouble is indicated by the words ὁ δὲ ὑπομείνας εἰς τέλος οὗτος σωθήσεται, “the one who endures to the end will be saved,” words that appear again verbatim in 24:13. The point of the statement is clear: the one who faithfully endures this persecution εἰς τέλος, “to the end” (i.e., the end of the person’s life or the end of the persecution and hence the end of the age), will be saved (see 4 Ezra 6:25; 9:7–8; 2 Tim 2:12) and will enter finally into the blessed peace promised to the participants in the kingdom.[7]

[1] MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1985). Matthew (Vol. 2, pp. 209–210). Chicago: Moody Press.

[2] Calvin, J., & Pringle, W. (2010). Commentary on a Harmony of the Evangelists Matthew, Mark, and Luke (Vol. 1, p. 456). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

[3] Carson, D. A. (2010). Matthew. In T. Longman III & D. E. Garland (Eds.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Matthew–Mark (Revised Edition) (Vol. 9, p. 290). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.

[4] France, R. T. (2007). The Gospel of Matthew (pp. 394–395). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publication Co.

[5] Jamieson, R., Fausset, A. R., & Brown, D. (1997). Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (Vol. 2, p. 36). Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[6] Spence-Jones, H. D. M. (Ed.). (1909). St. Matthew (Vol. 1, p. 412). London; New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company.

[7] Hagner, D. A. (1993). Matthew 1–13 (Vol. 33A, p. 278). Dallas: Word, Incorporated.

June 30 Compromise

scripture reading: 1 Corinthians 3:1–17
key verse: Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.

A veteran U.S. senator humorously tells how his late father used to describe fence–sitters: “My daddy told me there isn’t anything in the middle of the road except dead skunks and a yellow line.”

His reference was obviously political, but the same principle applies in the spiritual dimension: compromise with worldly, fleshly standards does not please us or God.

And that is exactly where the carnal Christian finds himself: trying as best he can to walk a spiritual middle of the road where he can blend his bent toward self with faith toward God. God described such a state in more graphic terms: “I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot.… So because you are lukewarm, and neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of My mouth” (Rev. 3:15–16 nasb).

Why such disgust? Because Jesus must be acknowledged as Lord of all. Receiving Christ is the step on a brand–new course of life that can be run only by wholehearted Christians as we trust Christ to express His life through us.

If you are attempting to hold on to a lifestyle that denies the absolute lordship of Christ, realize the danger, and ask Him to take total possession and control of your life.

I refuse to compromise, Father. Take total possession and control of my life. Replace my selfishness with the Christ–life.[1]

[1] Stanley, C. F. (1998). Enter His gates: a daily devotional. Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.

30 june (preached 29 june 1856) 365 Days with Spurgeon

Men chosen—fallen angels rejected

“Verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham.” Hebrews 2:16

suggested further reading: 2 Peter 2:4–9

Adam broke the covenant of works; he touched the accursed fruit, and in that day he fell. Ah! What a fall was there! Then you, and I, and all of us fell down, while cursed sin triumphed over us; there were no men that stood; there were some angels that stood, but no men, for the fall of Adam was the fall of our entire race. After one portion of the angels had fallen, it pleased God to stamp their doom, and make it fast and firm; but when man fell, it did not so please God; he had threatened to punish him, but in his infinite mercy he made some the object of his special affection, for whom he provided a precious remedy, and secured it by the blood of his everlasting Son. These are the persons whom we call the elect; and those whom he has left to perish, perish on account of their own sins, most justly, to the praise of his glorious justice. Now, here you notice divine sovereignty; sovereignty, that God chose to put both men and angels on the footing of their free-will, sovereignty, in that he chose to punish all the fallen angels with utter destruction; sovereignty, in that he chose to reprieve, and grant an eternal pardon to a number, whom no man can number, selected out of men, who shall infallibly be found before his right hand above. My text mentions this great fact, for when properly translated it reads thus:- “He took not up angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham.”

for meditation: The Lord Jesus Christ witnessed Satan’s expulsion from Heaven, and as surely guarantees the believer’s entrance into Heaven (Luke 10:18, 20).

sermon no. 90[1]

[1] Spurgeon, C. H., & Crosby, T. P. (1998). 365 Days with Spurgeon (Volume 1) (p. 188). Leominster, UK: Day One Publications.

‘Twas Grace That Taught My Heart To WHAT? — The Outspoken TULIP

Fearing God fell out of fashion decades ago, and I’d venture to guess that it’s not going to make a comeback among months evangelicals. Popular wisdom (if you can really call it wisdom) says that we should come to Christ out of love,  not out of fear.

But I praise God for allowing me to feel afraid of eternity in hell for two weeks in January of 1971. It was a miserable two weeks, most assuredly, and I wouldn’t want to repeat them. But the Lord graciously gave me that dreadful period of fear as a preparation for hearing that Jesus died for my sins.  The grace of fearing God enabled me to experience the grace of receiving His mercy.

Verse 2 of Amazing Grace reminds me of that horrible two weeks and that wonderful day when He opened my heart to the Gospel. Indeed, it was grace that taught my heart to fear, and precious grace relieved those fears!

via ‘Twas Grace That Taught My Heart To WHAT? — The Outspoken TULIP

30 JUNE 365 Days with Calvin

The Enticing Snare of Wealth

Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. Matthew 19:23

suggested further reading: Deuteronomy 8:11–20

Lusting for wealth is such a deadly disease that it may prevent us from going to heaven, Christ tells us here.

In Mark, Christ softens the harshness of this warning by restricting it to those who place “confidence in riches.” But these words are, I think, intended to confirm rather than correct the former statement. It is as if Jesus once more asserts that people ought not to think it strange that entering the kingdom of heaven is difficult for the rich because they tend to trust in their riches. Yet this teaching is highly useful to all: to the rich, that being warned of their danger, they may be on their guard; to the poor, that being satisfied with their lot, they may not so eagerly desire what would bring them more damage than gain.

It is true that riches do not by themselves hinder us from following God. Rather, one result of the depravity of the human mind is that it is scarcely possible for those who have much to avoid being intoxicated by such riches. Those who are excessively rich are held by Satan, bound, as it were, by such chains that they cannot raise their thoughts to heaven. They are so busy and entangled with possessions that they become utter slaves to this world.

The illustration of threading a camel through the eye of a needle, which follows, amplifies the difficulty of rich people entering the kingdom of heaven. It tells us the rich tend to be so swelled with pride and presumption that they cannot tolerate being reduced to the narrow places through which God makes his people pass. I think that the word “camel” here refers to a rope used by sailors rather than to the animal so named.

for meditation: If we are wealthy, let us heed Jesus’ warning here and examine ourselves closely. But let us also remember that it is not necessary to have much in order to become infatuated by wealth. How many of us do not want a bigger house, a newer car, a better rate of interest for our savings, greater advancement at work? The warning comes to all of us, regardless of poverty or riches: beware of becoming so entangled with earthly things that you lose sight of heaven.[1]

[1] Calvin, J., & Beeke, J. R. (2008). 365 Days with Calvin (p. 200). Leominster; Grand Rapids, MI: Day One Publications; Reformation Heritage Books.

SSB Sunday Gathering – June 30, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

This is your place to gather and share in an open format.

-by Kathi

Scripture is taken from the Book of Common Prayer, Readings for Ordinary Time, Year 1 and may be found here.

Psalm 145

I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever.

Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty — and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works — and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

The Lord is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and rich in love.

The Lord is good to all; he has compassion on all he has made. All your works praise you, Lord; your faithful people extol you. They tell of the glory of your kingdom and speak of your might, so that all people may know of your mighty acts and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures through all generations.

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does. The Lord upholds all who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.

The Lord is righteous in all his ways and faithful in all he does. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The Lord watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord. Let every creature praise his holy name for ever and ever.

Romans 4: 13 – 25

It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath. And where there is no law there is no transgression.

Therefore, the promise comes by faith, so that it may be by grace and may be guaranteed to all Abraham’s offspring—not only to those who are of the law but also to those who have the faith of Abraham. He is the father of us all. As it is written: “I have made you a father of many nations.” He is our father in the sight of God, in whom he believed — the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.” Without weakening in his faith, he faced the fact that his body was as good as dead — since he was about a hundred years old — and that Sarah’s womb was also dead. Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. This is why “it was credited to him as righteousness.” The words “it was credited to him” were written not for him alone, but also for us, to whom God will credit righteousness — for us who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead. He was delivered over to death for our sins and was raised to life for our justification.

Matthew 21: 23 – 32

Jesus entered the temple courts, and, while he was teaching, the chief priests and the elders of the people came to him. “By what authority are you doing these things?” they asked. “And who gave you this authority?”

Jesus replied, “I will also ask you one question. If you answer me, I will tell you by what authority I am doing these things. John’s baptism — where did it come from? Was it from heaven, or of human origin?”

They discussed it among themselves and said, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ he will ask, ‘Then why didn’t you believe him?’ But if we say, ‘Of human origin’—we are afraid of the people, for they all hold that John was a prophet.”

So they answered Jesus, “We don’t know.”

Then he said, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I am doing these things.

“What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’

“‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went.

“Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go.

“Which of the two did what his father wanted?”

“The first,” they answered.

Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.



May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you: wherever he may send you;

may he guide you through the wilderness: protect you from the storm;

may he bring you home rejoicing: at the wonders he has shown you;

may he bring you home rejoicing: once again into our doors.


Feel free to join the discussion.

You can share your church struggles and concerns.

Let’s also use it as a time to encourage one another spiritually.

What have you found spiritually encouraging lately?

Do you have any special Bible verses to share, any YouTube songs that you have found uplifting?

via SSB Sunday Gathering – June 30, 2019 — Spiritual Sounding Board

EChurch@Wartburg – 6.29.2019: Wade Burleson: Don’t Just Love, Be Loveable — The Wartburg Watch

Prayer of Patrick ( c 389-461)

Our God, God of all men
God of heaven and earth, seas and rivers,
God of sun and moon, of all the stars,
God of high mountain and lowly valley,
God over heaven, and in heaven, and under heaven.
He has a dwelling in heaven and earth and sea
and in all things that are in them.
He inspires all things, he quickens all things.
He is over all things, he supports all things.
He makes the light of the sun to shine,
He surrounds the moon and the stars,
He has made wells in the arid earth,
Placed dry islands in the sea.
He has a Son co-eternal with himself…
And the Holy Spirit breathes in them;
Not separate are the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Prayer of Anselm (1033-1109)

Lord, becsue you have made me,
I owe you the whole of my love; because you have redeemed me,
I owe you the whole of myself;
because you have promised so much, I owe you my whole being.
Moreover, I owe you as much more love than myself as you are greater than I,
for whom you gave yourself and to whom you promised yourself.
I pray you, Lord, make me taste by love what I taste by knowledge;
let me know by love what I know by understanding.
I owe you more than my whole self, but I have no more,
and by myself I cannot render the whole of it to you.
Draw me to you, Lord, in the fullness of your love.
I am wholly yours by creation; make me all yours, too, in love.

The Lord’s Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be thy name;
thy kingdom come;
thy will be done;
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom,
the power and the glory,
for ever and ever.

Scripture: Ruth 1:6-18 NIV

6 When Naomi heard in Moab that the Lord had come to the aid of his people by providing food for them, she and her daughters-in-law prepared to return home from there. 7 With her two daughters-in-law she left the place where she had been living and set out on the road that would take them back to the land of Judah.

8 Then Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, “Go back, each of you, to your mother’s home. May the Lord show you kindness, as you have shown kindness to your dead husbands and to me. 9 May the Lord grant that each of you will find restin the home of another husband.”

Then she kissed them goodbye and they wept aloud 10 and said to her, “We will go back with you to your people.”

11 But Naomi said, “Return home, my daughters. Why would you come with me? Am I going to have any more sons, who could become your husbands? 12 Return home, my daughters; I am too old to have another husband. Even if I thought there was still hope for me—even if I had a husband tonight and then gave birth to sons— 13 would you wait until they grew up? Would you remain unmarried for them? No, my daughters. It is more bitter for me than for you, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me!”

14 At this they wept aloud again. Then Orpah kissed her mother-in-law goodbye,but Ruth clung to her.

15 “Look,” said Naomi, “your sister-in-law is going back to her people and her gods. Go back with her.”

16 But Ruth replied, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God. 17 Where you die I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord deal with me, be it ever so severely, if even death separates you and me.”18 When Naomi realized that Ruth was determined to go with her, she stopped urging her.

Wade Burleson: Don’t Just Love, Be Loveable from Emmanuel Enid on Vimeo.

Benediction Colossians 3:15-17

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts,
to which indeed you were called in one body;and be thankful.
Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you,
with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another
with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God.
And whatever you do in word or deed,
do all in the name of the Lord Jesus,
giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

via EChurch@Wartburg – 6.29.2019: Wade Burleson: Don’t Just Love, Be Loveable —