<p>  Saved By Grace What does it mean to be saved by Grace?   In Matt. 1:21 we are told that Jesus will "save his people from their sins." The word 'save' means to deliver, to protect, to keep safe or to rescue from, so Jesus did not come to save us IN our sins or WITH our sins but to rescue us FROM our sins. In Rom. 7:24-25 Paul said, "What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body of death? [and then he continued on to answer his own question saying,] Thanks be to God - through Jesus Christ our Lord!" So, in the same way that Jesus rescued Paul from his sinful body of death, He wants to rescue you and I from our wickedness so that we can live a holy life because "without holiness no one will see the Lord" (Heb. 12:14).   Holy living comes through the Holy Spirit In our own strength, it's not possible for us to live a holy life. Rom. 8:7 tells us that "the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so." From this verse, we can see that it's not possible for us to keep God's laws so, without help, we will continue in sin. But God doesn't command us to do the impossible and then leave us helpless. He sends the Holy Spirit to live within us so that through the Spirit we have the power to resist sin and live righteously. Rom. 8:4 confirms this where it says, "the righteous requirements of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the sinful nature but according to the Spirit." Note that this verse says that by living according to the Spirit we can FULLY meet God's righteous requirements. So, in His Grace, God gives us His Spirit to save us from our sins so that we can meet His command to "be holy, because I am holy" (1 Pet. 1:16).   A new heart Before we were born again, we had hard hearts and did whatever we pleased. When our conscience convicted us of sin, we would often just ignore it and continue to sin to satisfy our lusts. But when we were born again, as well as giving us His Spirit, God gave us a new heart. In Ezek. 36:26-27 God says, "I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws." So, in His Grace, God not only puts His Spirit in us, He also replaces our heart of stone with a heart of flesh which will respond to the Spirit's leading.   The battle within When the Holy Spirit enters our life, He strongly convicts us of sin by taking away our peace and making us feel very guilty (John 16:8). A spiritual battle begins between our sinful nature and the Spirit of God. Gal. 5:17 explains this where it says, "the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want." This is a very real and often painful battle which God wants us to win, and we will win if we live by the Spirit and repent of our sin whenever convicted. Gal. 5:16 tells us, "live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature." The Holy Spirit works within us to guide and empower us to overcome any sin. Php. 2:13 says, "for it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." The following two passages speak of the Holy Spirit's work within us:   2 Pet. 1:3-4 say, "His divine power [the Holy Spirit] has given us everything we need for life and godliness [so that] you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires." Tit. 2:11-14 say, "For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men. It teaches us to say 'No' to ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright and godly lives in this present age, while we wait for the blessed hope--the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all wickedness and to purify for himself a people that are his very own, eager to do what is good."   From these verses, we see that through God's Grace we can escape the corruption of the world and say "No" to ungodliness and worldly passions and be redeemed (freed) from all wickedness. So, through the power of the Holy Spirit, we can overcome our sinful nature and win the battle against sin.   Finally Eph. 2:8 tells us that we are saved by Grace, through our faith. Because of our faith, in His Grace God does the following. He - Sends His Spirit to live within us Continually wills us to act according to His good purpose Gives us a new, soft heart so that we will respond to His guidance Strengthens us so that we are able to obey Him   It's plain to see that apart from God's Grace no one can be saved from their sin. Without God guiding us, encouraging us, giving us a new heart and strengthening us to follow Him, we would all be lost. However, even though we are clearly saved by God's Grace, we are not totally free of responsibility. We have an obligation to live according to the Spirit as Rom. 8:12-14, 17 tell us:   "Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation - but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God."   Notice that in v.13 there are two ways in which we can live. We can live according to our sinful nature and die or we can live according to the Spirit and live. Next, v.14 tells us that those who are led by the Spirit are sons of God and "if we are children, then we are heirs" (v.17). It naturally follows that if we aren't led by the Spirit, but by our sinful nature, then we are not children of God and not heirs to eternal life.   Being led by the Spirit is simply responding to the Spirit's conviction and confessing/repenting whenever we are convicted. In His Grace, God has made it possible for us to obey His command to live a righteous life and 1 John 1:9 promises that if we confess our sins we will be forgiven and cleansed of all unrighteousness. 1 John 3:7 tells us, "He who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous," so it is up to each of us to do what is right and follow the Holy Spirit's leading if we want to inherit eternal life.     This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html   It can be read online at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=954   Mick Alexander Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz        </p>
Yesterday I titled my message, “Faith not Fact.” Today I say, “Just because faith is not fact, it does not make it fiction.
Some may ask, “How in the world does this make any sense logically.”
It’s easy you see.
The Merriam Webster dictionary defines faith a : allegiance to duty or a person : loyalty
(1) : fidelity to one's promises
(2) : sincerity of intentions
•\tacted in good faith
(1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God
(2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion
(1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof
•\tclinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return
(2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
How can you make something a fact when it’s not direct evidence? How can you make something fictional, when situations occur daily that are not easily understood or explained by science and/or the medical field? How can you explain that of physicians polled believed religion and spirituality (including prayer) have a positive influence on health and recovery . Aren’t doctors some of the supposed “most intelligent” people on the planet? How then, do they overwhelming admit that prayer and other spiritual factors may have an influence on healing?
Yet the author of the video, “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer” seeks to poke fun at the intelligence of a Christian. He basically states that a Christian believes in an imaginary friend. I don’t know about you, but the last time I checked anyone who believes in an imaginary friend past the age of six is considered a little slow.
How can we be intelligent if we have an imaginary friend?
One way a person with low self-esteem attempts to hide his or her insecurities is by bashing others for what they stand for or what they enjoy doing. Rather than spending time enjoying your own hobbies and chasing after your own passions, these people waste precious time and energy trying to scrutinize the passions of others.
They tend to mask behind their own insecurity with statements about how intelligent they are and how much more they know. Yet, a wise person is never boastful because it contradicts everything about wisdom. Sometimes it’s wise to walk away but other times you have to stand up for what’s right.
The author of “10 Questions Every Intelligent Christian Must Answer” is not right, and despite some interesting points he brings up, he just does not get it. I’ll now try to make up a “lousy excuse for God’s behalf.”
Prayer and Healing
Prayer is considered one of the most powerful tools (and even weapons) in Christianity. One very popular example is about a young girl who was traveling alone through an alley where a victim was subject to rape just the day before. The rapist was waiting in the same alley again that day for his next victim. When the girl noticed the suspicious looking man, she instantly felt something was not right. She said a quick prayer, asking God to protect her. She continued walking and passed by the suspicious individual without harm. Weeks later the suspect was arrested and confessed to everything. The girl who walked by that day became a vital witness in the case. When asked why he didn’t attack this particular girl, the man responded, “Are you crazy? She had two men walking on each side of her.”
The guardian angel story is one of many miracles that cannot really be explained. It just happens and the parties involved are never the same again.
In the video, the author poses two questions about prayer and healing. Why does God not heal amputee legs and why does God not provide food for the millions that are hungry in Asia, Africa, etc?
Two great questions with no easy answer. In the Gospels, it does say that God will answer any prayer. Unfortunately, we do not know when the answer will come. It’s important to remember that God works on his time and not ours. If it was our time, everything would happen right away. We need to pray but we also must do our part to help. Are you donating money and other goods to those who need it over in Third World countries? Is the author of this video?
While God will answer prayers, we cannot just ask anything and assume it will magically appear. If that was the case, we would know God did exist and everyone would be a Christian. God is not a genie who grants you three wishes. He answers prayers in a very mysterious way. In today’s world we all want the quick fix, but God’s timetable is just not so. We have to look in the mirror before we point the finger at God. We also must trust completely in God and surrender everything to him before we can believe that anything will really happen.
I do not turn to another individual and demand that he instantly solves this issue for me. God is different yet if he solved everything instantly, the room for doubt would no longer exist.
God works in mysterious ways and you just have to accept it as truth if you really want to believe that he will eventually make a difference. Even non-believers in America without prayer must admit that they are not doing their part financially to support world poverty and hunger despite being in a privileged circumstance to actually have the ability to help.
God’s Demand on Death
The author cites Exodus 35:2, Deuteronomy 21:18-21, Leviticus 20:13, Deuteronomy 22:13-21, and other verses in the Old Testament as examples of an unloving God who was quick to put people to death based on the old law. It’s important to remember that the Old Testament and New Testament are highly different and each represent a different covenant.
As I stated last week, it’s important that we retain some of the old law such as the Ten Commandments. However, it’s obviously that not everything in the Old Testament is correct and or relevant to today’s society. The old law, which the four examples cited above fall under, was broken when Jesus Christ arrived on earth and died for our sins. His death on the cross represents the new covenant between God and man, one that broke the old covenant in the Old Testament.
Remember, back in the Old Testament only certain priests and certain prophets were filled with the Holy Spirit and only those individuals had direct communication with God. The law was established under Moses to keep “God’s people” under check as they left Egypt during Exodus.
The people in Exodus constantly complained and gripped in the desert despite just months earlier being freed from bondage in Egypt. They wanted instant answers much like the author of the video. God continued to show up and make known his presence. The people would flea in fear and then return to bitching as soon as God left.
If you have studied Exodus like I have, I think it’s quite clear that God is actually very loving and forgiving. God had plenty of opportunities to ditch this earth, starting with the original sin, yet he never left.
Yes, the four scriptures cited in the video talk about putting individuals to death, but they were all very serious offenses at the time. What’s to say it’s any different from a death penalty (which is even no longer considered politically correct) that punishes murderers?
Some may argue that killing someone for not honoring the Sabbath is very extreme yet they do not understand the importance of the Sabbath on Jewish culture. Others may say that killing disobedient teenagers is rash, yet couldn’t we afford to punish our rebellious teenagers just a little more in today’s culture. I’m not saying we kill them, but we’re way too soft on the young generation.
Homosexuality and fornication are two issues that each individual must decide whether or not is just. At the time these laws were written, they were nearly as serious as murder. You have to understand the time period and that they no longer apply today because of the new covenant.
In fact, when Jesus appeared, he said “the greatest commandment was to love God and the second was to love your neighbor.”
He preached love, mercy, and passive aggressive behavior rather than the person the author of the video makes him out to be.
The ultimate battle in today’s society is the warfare between science and the warfare of religion. Many religious individuals instantly neglect anything that is scientific and write it off without checking the facts. Individuals in science on the other hand are too focused on just the facts and often judge anyone who actually believes in a higher power.
An individual with a world that revolves around science is afraid to take risks. For them, everything is centered on what they know and what they can prove. If faith is the belief in something you cannot prove, how can you acknowledge God and religion?
One of the biggest bashes against the Bible include references to passages that go against scientific theory. Obviously God creating the world in six days completely goes against “The Big Bang Theory” and what science understands about earth’s creation. The great flood that also wiped out the entire earth is heavily discouraged in science. The video also cites Jonah living inside a whale for three days and Adam being created from a handful of dust.
Sure, Elijah was carried up into heaven in a “fiery chariot” into heaven too. How can you possibly prove that someone can enter heaven before dying? How can you prove that Jesus walked on water?
You cannot. Some of these circumstances in the Bible completely go against physics and basic scientific reasoning but does that make them fairy tales? Of course not. If you really believe in God and Jesus Christ as supernatural being, than you agree that they can make the impossible possible. I know I cannot walk on water, but I do not know the same about Jesus.
Could I alone live in a whale’s stomach for three days? No way. But what about under the supervision and power of God? You bet.
How does someone just one day decide to wake up after being induced for years in a coma? Is it mere chance or a divine power? Science cannot prove everything either.
A good friend of mine constantly states that one of his beefs with the Bible is the fact that it says “slaves, obey your masters.”
Like the author of this video, for my friend, this just does not make any sense.
What kind of rational person would warrant slavery?
This question that haunts every believer, but once again you have to consider the time period. At the time these passages were written, slavery was very common and accepted as “status quo.” Obviously a time arrived in society when the majority of the world tossed out slavery as taboo.
The video says that any intelligent person cannot support slavery, yet many of the forefathers of this great nation owned slaves. Abraham Lincoln, great of a man as he was, made slavery illegal in part because of peer pressure as much as doing what he knew was right. Are we saying all of our forefathers were dumb? If so, this nation was built on a lie.
Don’t get me wrong. I completely oppose slavery, but you have to consider the times. Abortion for example, is becoming more and more accepted in society. Yet a “radical” could argue that abortion is genocide in disguise. If we fast forward six hundred years and abortion is no longer legal, would people in that generation automatically write off our generation as dumb and ignorant? Despite all our technological advances, would we be haunted by one major misconception?
Why Do Bad Things Happen to Good People?
One of most mysterious questions in all of Christianity yet often misunderstood. Surprisingly, the author of the video “10 Things All Intelligent Christians Must Answer” skips over this question very quickly. Instead of backing it up with misguided information, the author merely poses the question, says “it makes no sense,” and then skips over to the next question
I’m going to take longer to answer this question because you deserve better
It’s a very fair and worthy question right? You may either be suffering now or have suffered dearly in the past. Now you want to get even with God and ask, “Why have I suffered so much?”
To get a better feel of this question, I encourage everyone to turn to their bible. I challenge you to look past Job, the king of suffering. Nearly every individual whose story is in the bible endured a long period of suffering. From Moses’ forty years in the desert, to David’s flee from King Saul, to Paul’s prison term in Rome - all great individuals in the bible often spent years in the lowest of lows.
Yet out of these great trials all of these men and women rose up to become stronger and better than ever.
While it seems unfair, there is a reason we suffer. Pain changes us like nothing else. If we are to be “the light and salt of this world,” we also must understand what’s it like in the darkness. Who goes and preaches to a group of people whom he or she knows nothing about?
People in this world hate nothing more than a fake or poser. Yet when you attempt to reach someone who is suffering, and you have not suffered, that person will automatically recognize you as someone who simply does not understand and shut down.
Jesus himself endured one of the greatest periods of suffering in the history of mankind. He was sentenced to death for no legitimate reason. He was tested through a long period of brutal punishment, however he did not waver in the garden of Gethsemane and took up his cross for the good of mankind.
At the heart of Christianity is Mark 8:34
Whosoever will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. The verse is no hidden secret brothers and sisters. At the heart of the gospels Jesus tells his followers to “take up their cross” long before he was executed by the very same means. It appears Jesus already knew how he would die that way long before it happened and this statement was a foreshadow into the future of what every Christian must endure.
It’s a myth that once you become a Christian everything is fine and you have no worries or problems. A lot of things are fixed in your soul, but you must prepare for suffering and brace for pain. It’s just part of the walk.
Christianity is a sacrifice, and no sacrifice comes without pain.
Good people must suffer. No one wants the pain, but after every dark night we rise up to a warm, sunny day. After every long trek up a mountain, we reach the summit and a view like nothing we have ever seen before.
I encourage you all to read the 365-day devotional, “Streams in the Desert” by L.B. Cowman. It deals a lot with suffering and why we must suffer.
Lack of Evidence to Support Jesus’ Miracles
The video takes a bizarre turn with question eight. According to the author of the question, he wonders “Why didn’t Jesus leave behind any evidence of his miracles?”
Once again he quickly skips the question to the next.
I’m confused by what exact evidence the author is seeking. Perhaps he wanted Jesus to leave behind a note on a gigantic rock that reads, “Hello, this is Jesus, I took off but I’ll be back soon”? What about a photo of Jesus’ arm wrapped around the back of Peter while they stand on the water smiling? Perhaps he wanted to find a tomb with a body still in it?
Miracles, both past and present, rarely leave behind evidence for the long-term. For example, the recent emergency landing on the Hudson River. Some may say the pilot was very lucky while others may say the angels were there that day and it was actually a miraculous event. Sure lucky odds can describe anything, but when do they become so great that it’s hard to ignore a higher power?
Jesus, according to the bible, raised people from the dead, healed leprosy, removed demons, and cured other disorders to name a few of his many miracles. Unfortunately Lazarus is no longer around to tell us if the story is true or not.
The bread that fed thousands was ate centuries ago.
f you’re searching some hidden or lost clue that may prove or disprove Christianity, you’re a helpless idiot like Tom Hanks in ”The da Vinci Code.”
Has Jesus Appeared to You?
The author of the video claims that you should be able to pray to Jesus and he will magically appear to prove that he exists.
While this concept is once again very ideal, it really does not make any sense. Just like I stated yesterday with Jesus instantly answering prayers like a genie, anyone who expects instant answers - especially from God is really misguided on the whole idea.
If Jesus would appear to anyone who asked through prayer, than once again the doubt would no longer exist. Everyone would be a Christian and the whole challenge of it all (your faith), would no longer exist. I mean after all, if God appeared to me, I would have to be the stupidest person on earth not to follow his word.
Even the great men and the bible had rare encounters with God and Jesus was even more obsolete. The bible does say that Jesus obviously meant a lot of people while on earth and twelve men in particular followed him religiously. John also notes that Jesus appeared to many crucial members in the Gospels days and weeks after he was resurrected. Acts 9 says Paul (then Saul) had a direct encounter with “God” (King James), but it fails to mention whether or not it was Jesus or just God’s voice from heaven as described as “a light from heaven.”
Interesting enough, Acts makes known that anyone who chooses to accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior is immediately filled with the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost (as commonly referred in the bible) is the east understood of the trinity. While I could spend an entire day explaining The Holy Spirit and what it means - I’ll break it down in a nutshell.
The Holy Spirit is not an inanimate power or force, but rather a person
The Holy Spirit is one with God
The Holy Spirit has many responsibilities (to instruct, to counsel, to intercede, to comfort, and to convict to name a few)
(if anyone would like direct scriptural references, please email me email@example.com)
The most direct verse relating to The Holy Spirit and how Jesus is always within you is John 14:16
And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever. If you understand anything about Christianity you will understand that Jesus by spirit is always in you. You do not need him to come to you.
The author continues to show his misunderstanding of Christianity and the bible when he ignorantly asks, “Why would Jesus want you to eat his body and drink his blood?”
According to the author, eating one’s body and drinking one’s blood is from another pagan tradition but apparently he missed that in all of the Gospels, the books describe Jesus’ spending the Passover feast to honor the Jewish tradition and symbolize his sacrifice for mankind. Even when the declaration is made, the disciples do not immediately begin chewing on his body and drinking his actual blood.
Jesus symbolized his blood through wine and his body through bread. How can you possibly misunderstand that?
Anyone who takes that verse literal is an idiot.
Both the blood and the body have deep symbolic meanings. The blood represents the sacrifice Jesus made on the cross. At the time, the disciples were completely unaware of what Jesus meant by this but in due time they would understand. If you have a deep background in the Old Testament you will surely know that the original Passover involved Moses slaying a lamb and letting the blood drip on the altar to seal the covenant with the Lord. Some may find this act very unusual and even cruel, but the lamb’s slaying actually represented God’s pact with his people to free them from Egypt and to keep them safe.
When Jesus made this claim in the Gospels, he was directly stating the new covenant was between his blood and our sins. At the time the disciples were unaware of the impact this gesture meant and apparently some people are still unaware of it today.
Secondly, the body represented both Jesus as a human and his sacrifice. When the bread was broken, Jesus said, “This is my body which is given to you. This do in remembrance of me.”
Divorce in Christianity
The last question on the video is “Why do Christians get divorced at the same rate as Non-Believers?”
Apparently the author believes that once you become a Christian you are not allowed to make a mistake. Once again this is a really naive question and falls in succession with the past four or five questions.
Yes, a Christian marriage is a sacred celebration where family, friends, co-workers, etc join in union to witness the declaration and eternal commitment of two people. Unfortunately it does not always work out that way.
Does a man or woman become a Christian and never sin again? Of course not, so why would you expect all Christian marriages to last?
What is the downfall or cause of a divorce? Some may say two people no longer love each other anymore. Okay, that’s a fair assessment, but what makes them not love each other anymore? Is it lust, greed, or pride?
All three are valid explanations and all three are part of the seven deadly sins.
If you really expect all Christian marriages to succeed, you must say that a Christian will never sin again. We’re all human, so how can you expect that? I’m not defending Christian divorces but rather offering an explanation for why it happens.
Look at all the famous individuals of the bible once again. Show me an individual besides Jesus who did not sin and I’ll make you a rich man.
Hint - For those of you who do not get it, the answer is “You can’t.”
Everybody sins, everyone makes mistakes, and marriage is something that does not always work out for the parties involved.
Live By Faith: God Seeks Friendship With Men | Week 1 (audio)
A Study of Abraham
Becoming God’s Friend: How God Shapes Those He Loves
“And the Lord God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed
into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being. The
Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man
whom He had formed.”
Formed in the untamed part of creation
-a heart driven to explore and seek adventure
Marco Polo… Hannibal over the Alps… Lewis and Clark… Peary and Cook… Randy and George and Steve…
Adventure [with danger and wildness] is an inborn longing in the soul of men!
Moses encounters the Living God at the Mall, while shopping? NO!
Jacob wrestles with God on the living room sofa? NO!
…in a wadi east of Jabbok, in Mesopotamia!
…Deserts of Sinai!
Elijah gained his strength in a sauna in Jerusalem? NO!
…in the wilderness!
Did Jesus find His strength and defeat the devil holding his mother’s hand in the kitchen? NO!
…the Spirit drove him into the wilderness!
Deep inside a man’s heart questions bubble up… Who am I? What am I made of? What am I destined for?
<p>Whitney Houston. A tribute album for recently passed Whitney Houston is currently being planned and developed in New Jersey...Those who are involved in this special project were specifically chosen who can see and intimately connect to this vision.   FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE   KMille Yeah PRLog (Press Release) - Mar 14, 2012 - Whitney Houston Tribute Album Project being planned. A tribute album for Whitney Houston is currently being planned and developed in New Jersey. "Whitney Tribute" Album. Producers Don Guillaume-Drummer with "The Fugees" for 10 years and Donnie Atis. Don Guillaume has worked with Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder and Eric Clapton...Background Vocals Paulette Guillaume and K'Mille. This is a intimate and dear project that is close to my heart, says singer/songwriter K'Mille. "I'm Whitney's cousin. We are related through my father's side of the family." The songs that are written just dropped into my spirit during the unexpected passing of Whitney. There are so many emotions here. Whitney will be greatly missed. Whitney can never be replaced. But, she will be honored. K'Mille is The "Quiet"cousin who mainly kept to herself in the shadows, so to speak. A childhood friend of Whitney had met K'Mille years ago stated to K'Mille. "You talk like Whitney." K'Mille gestured and the childhood friend of Whitney responded. "Whitney does that too." Then, "You look like Whitney." These observations continued before K'Mille got huffy and puffy, shrugged with irritation because of the bombardment of comparisions and shifted, thinking to herself, "Uggh! Whitney this and Whitney that!"  and in response to this gesture, Again, the child hood friend of Whitney calmly repeated. "Yeah, Whitney does that too!" K'Mille thinking back and laughing at the experience now. But back then, truthfully, I felt like I was hidden in Whitney's shadow. I have to remember, I know there will be comparisions, but I know after awhile, I will stand on my own talents with my own identity intact. Whitney found her way out of Dion's and Cissy's shadow. I will find my way too. Still, K'Mille responds, "I guess there are some family characteristics I can't run away from." This album is very important and has great "Spiritual" significance. The Lord is pressing on my heart to go forth. There is a grieving process and a healing one. This album is the healing phase we all need. Whitney's fans and family. I asked the Lord, "Why did Whitney and I have to grow up apart?" The Lord stated to me, "It was not a "Healthy" enviornment." I understand His wisdom and it runs deep. The Lord deals with all of us personally. We all have issues. The Lord freed me from things and I intend to keep my spiritual healing. I'm strong enough to go forward now. My testimony is currently being published and anticipated release late 2012. This Whitney Tribute project is for my whole family. I prayed for Whitney many years, many have. I have prayed for family. God answers prayer and God always gets the glory.  Family knows what this means. But, healing is coming. Family curses, family secrets. Time to break and be set free. God sees. And He is faithful. K'Mille grew up not far from East Orange in Ocean County, NJ and now currently resides in Hunterdon County, NJ. K'Mille attends South Ridge Community Church in Clinton, NJ and sings on SRCC Worship Team. K'Mille has her own music projects released, But Whitney Tribute album. "This is the one most special to my heart." Those who are involved in this special project were specifically chosen who can see and intimately connect to this vision. We love Whitney. This one's for you "Cuz". ARTIST K'MILLE's OFFICAL WEBSITE http://www.k-mille.net DON GUILLAUME-MUSICIAN MYSPACE http://www.myspace.com/drummerdon1 K'MILLE-MUSICIAN MYSPACE http://www.myspace.com/kmille1 PAULETTE GUILLAUME-MUSICIAN MYSPACE http://www.myspace.com/paulettegm7 # # # Rowdie Riot Records publishes and distributes original music. Music genre's include, R&B, Soft Pop, Hip Hop, Adult Contemporary, Contemporary Christian, Inspirational and Club. Rowdie Riot Records also publish literary writings and movie scripts. K'Mille is available for interviews, speaking engagements and performance events. Inquires, please direct to office number: 1-212-726-1154 or E-mail: RowdieRiot@gmail.com --- end --- ShareThis inShare   Contact Email   : ***@gmail.com Issued By   : Rowdie Riot Records Phone   : 1-212-726-1154 Fax   : 1-212-726-3154</p>
<p>  The Fat Shepherds Are Fleecing The Sheep - Ezekiel 34   What has happened to our society? Why is the world becoming more and more immoral and lawless? Why has the church lost its godly influence? There was a time when the church was well respected and had a strong moral grip on society but that is no longer the case. Why? The fact is, when the world looks at 'Christianity' today, they see paedophiles, homosexuals, filthy-rich leaders and televangelists teaching false doctrine, self appointed prophets prophesying lies, crazy antics in churches and so called Christians joining with cults and pagan religions etc. There really is no need for us to scratch our heads and wonder why there has been such a strong moral decline in society – it is simply because the church has gone astray and lost its stabilising influence. The unsaved are not stupid; they see through much of the nonsense and, quite rightly, consider themselves as good as any 'Christian' and perhaps even more righteous. How can a Christian talk to them about their sinfulness when they see the 'church' doing the same things? Why should they bother seeking our guidance? A friend said that the Devil has done such a great job destroying the church that he is now holidaying somewhere in the Caribbean, and it doesn't look as though he will ever need to return to work. He can relax and enjoy his holiday because the shepherds he has placed in the church are doing a great job for him.   Looking after the flock Ezek. 34 tells how the shepherds of Israel fed richly off the people but didn't take care of them, just as many of the church leaders do today. Ezek. 34:2-4 says, “Woe to the shepherds of Israel who only take care of themselves! Should not shepherds take care of the flock? You eat the curds, clothe yourselves with the wool and slaughter the choice animals, but you do not take care of the flock. You have not strengthened the weak or healed the sick or bound up the injured. You have not brought back the strays or searched for the lost. You have ruled them harshly and brutally.” Israel's shepherds were feasting off the flock while neglecting to care for them physically or spiritually; the spiritually weak were not being helped in their faith; those needing physical help were ignored; those who had strayed from the faith were not brought back or even searched for – the flock was neglected and abused in every way while the shepherds ate off the fat of the land. This is exactly what is happening in many churches today. Leaders are not tending their flocks but rather they are fleecing them and living in luxury while there are believers in great need worldwide. It can't be justified.   Ezek. 34:5 gives the result of neglecting the flock: “They were scattered because there was no shepherd, and when they were scattered they became food for all the wild animals.” When believers are not being cared for, they can lose their faith and hope and wander off to become food for the many false religions and cults. It is common for people to get sucked into churches who promise all sorts of things but when these promises fail they leave in disappointment and bitterness, rejecting Christianity in the belief that it is full of lies. This leaves them wide open to other wolves who will seduced them into their hell-bound ways.   False doctrine 2 Tim. 4:3 tells us that “the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.” Surely that time is now. Many leaders and televangelists have replaced solid doctrine with shallow 'all about me' nonsense - “Make me rich! Give me power!” Their teachings are shamelessly self-centred yet well received by many itching ears because it is all about what they can get from God, rather than death to self. Death to self is complete self-denial but many prefer the lies as Jer. 5:31 tells us: “The prophets prophesy lies, the priests rule by their own authority, and my people love it this way. But what will you do in the end [at the judgment]?”   Most Christians believe that Jesus' return cannot be too far off. If we really believe this then we must also take careful note of His warnings of end time deception (Matt. 24). If you and I want to be able to discern this deception then we must have a good understanding of scripture. If we don't know the real thing then how can we discern a fake? Do you study your Bible and take it to church or do you just believe the voice from the pulpit? That voice could be one of the Devil's co-workers masquerading as a servant of righteousness (see 2 Cor. 11:13-15). We only get one chance at salvation so we must be careful and study the Bible to see if we are in the truth and truly born again. Jesus commands us not to be deceived - can you biblically defend what you have been led to believe? Do you get upset when someone questions your beliefs? If so, then it is a sign that you are not secure in your doctrine, you may be in error. We all need to study opposing doctrine and have peace about what we believe. If we are misled then we can't blame someone else. We must check things out for ourselves. Remember, there is no second chance, no Purgatory.   Finishing off The greatest reason for the world's ever worsening condition is that the church has lost its godly influence over society. Christianity was once a standard for morality and common decency but ungodly behaviour by so called Christians has blackened the name of Jesus. Sadly, the unsaved see the wickedness and nonsense in the 'church' and think it is Christianity. A good way to explain things to the unsaved, and witness at the same time, is to show them Matt. 24 where Jesus predicted it would happen before He returns to destroy the wicked.   We really can't do anything about the falling away of the church because it is part of end time prophecy. However, we can be good Bereans and search the scriptures to be sure of what we believe. My question to you is, “Are you in the faith or into heresy?” Search the scriptures and be separate from the wicked.     This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html     Mick Alexander Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz              </p>
Keep Your Hand On The Plow
Every Christian is called to be God's servant and should strive to serve with all their heart, soul, mind, and strength. In Luke 9:62, Jesus said, "No one who puts his hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God." Jesus is telling us not to look back at the world and our old way of life but to to keep looking to God for all things. He seems to be speaking mainly to those in ministry, however, it applies equally to all believers. Even though everyone is not called into ministry, all believers are called to be servants for life. The Bible does not mention part-time Christians, part-time service or early retirement for anyone. Once a person accepts God's call into ministry, he becomes God's servant for life and should continue in service for as long as he or she is able. Once we have put our hand to the plow, we should not look back otherwise we will drift off the path God has chosen for us. If we long for what we have left behind, we will soon become worldly and backslide to become unfit for service in the kingdom of God. Our focus must always be on God and how to serve Him better.
Going into ministry
Jesus warned those who wanted to follow Him that He had no place to lay his head and if anyone wanted to follow Him then they must leave their old life behind (Luke 9:57-62). Elisha is a perfect example of the attitude needed by a person accepting God's call into ministry. In 1 Kings 19:19-21, we are told that Elijah anointed Elisha to succeed him as prophet. At the time, Elisha was plowing with his oxen. After Elijah anointed him, he went home to say goodbye to his family. He then slaughtered his oxen and burned his plowing equipment to cook the meat as a feast for the people. Then, after burning his bridges, he set out to follow Elijah and become his attendant. Elisha knew he was going into ministry for life so he completely cut himself off from his old way of life; he left family, friends, cattle and land to serve the Lord. Jesus said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23). Elisha denied himself all things and completely relied upon God.
Remaining faithful to the call
Not all who go into ministry remain faithful. For example, Balaam loved the world more than he loved God and he became wicked (2 Pet. 2:15). Initially, going into ministry may not be such a hard thing to do but it can become very testing. It seems that when we first go into ministry, and also when we first get saved, we go through a honeymoon period with the Lord. We strongly sense the Lord's presence and everything goes very well (I floated on clouds for ages). However, after a while the Lord withdraws those feelings somewhat and the honeymoon ends, so to speak, because God wants us to live by faith, not feelings.
Continuing in faith
Some years ago, I quit work and went into full time service for the Lord. In Mark 10:29-30 Jesus promises to provide for anyone who, like Elisha, leaves everything for Him and the Gospel. He said, "I tell you the truth, no one who has left home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or fields for me and the gospel will fail to receive a hundred times as much in this present age (homes, brothers, sisters, mothers, children and fields--and with them, persecutions) and in the age to come, eternal life." For many years I had no trouble believing this promise but, with age, my faith has weakened at times. It is easy to trust in something that is a long way off but the real test of faith comes when we are face to face with the situation. Jesus' disciples were very confident that they would not desert Him but they soon scattered in fear when He was arrested. In the same way, my faith is being tested as I face old age.
This testing of my faith resulted in serious agitation at times and a complete lack of peace for long periods. Recently, worrying that the Lord would not provide for me, I considered getting work to stop my bank account from emptying but that thought brought an even greater lack of peace. After much prayer, I came to understand how I was sinning against God: I was seriously offending Him in two ways:
I had previously fully committed myself to Him but now I was considering going back into the world and removing myself from His service. Num. 30:2 came to mind and heavily convicted me. It says, "When a man makes a vow to the LORD or takes an oath to obligate himself by a pledge, he must not break his word but must do everything he said." If I went back to work then I would be breaking my word and that would make me a liar.
I was calling God a liar because I was no longer trusting His promise to provide for those who had left everything for Him and the Gospel.
It's no wonder that I had no peace. God doesn't like being lied to or being called a liar so it is easy to see why He had taken my peace away. Thankfully, once I came to see that my weak faith was leading me into great error, I repented and, needless to say, the peace of God returned. There is no doubt that in the future I will waver from time to time but big mistakes leave big scars and I am not likely to forget this lesson in a hurry.
When we look back, it is always easy to see our error but, the truth of the matter is, sin often creeps up and can overcome us like cancer. It starts out small but if we don't deal with it quickly then it will grow and cause us to sin. A lack of peace is a sure sign that there is sin between us and God; He always removes our peace when we sin. Sin can start out small but if it is not quickly repented of then it can soon cause big problems: A lie can utterly destroy relationships; dislike can lead to hate and even murder; a lingering look or touch can lead to lust and immorality; a covetous thought can lead to theft or jealousy or worse and our emotions can lead us into error just like my fear led to unbelief. For this reason, if we want to keep our hand on the plow and honour God then we have to keep our eyes on Jesus and deal with sin as soon as the Spirit convicts us. As soon as we lack peace we should ask God why He has taken our peace away. In this experience of mine, I was far too slow in seeking God and I suffered for it. I should have looked to Him much, much sooner. I have an article on hearing and following the Lord's voice, called The Way Of Peace, at
(Please note that this article is about my personal walk with the Lord. I am not saying that it is wrong to be in ministry and work at the same time. Paul worked as a tent maker during his ministry.)
This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at
<p>  Denying Self "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" (Luke 9:23).   Jesus left heaven and humbly denied Himself all things to become God's greatest servant. In Luke 9:23, He said, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me" so if we want to follow Jesus then we also must deny self. The Bible tells us of many great men and women of faith who, like Jesus, denied themselves all things to serve God. These saints humbled themselves and turned their backs on worldly power, position and wealth to serve the living God whom they loved more than life. The following examples highlight the self-denial we are all called to.   Humbling ourself In Luke 14:7-11, Jesus tells us not to take the best seat at a gathering otherwise the host may ask us to move so that he can give the seat to a more honoured guest. We should take a less important seat and the host may honour us by moving us to a better place. Jesus said, "For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted" (Luke 14:11). The first step to becoming a disciple is to be humble because "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble" (1 Pet. 5:5). Denying self starts with being humble.   Power and position Peter was the leader of the Jerusalem church and a powerful, miracle-working Apostle yet he referred to himself as just a fellow elder. He didn't lord it over his fellow workers but wrote, "To the elders among you, I appeal as a fellow elder … be shepherds of God's flock that is under your care, serving as overseers - not because you must, but because you are willing, as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock" (1 Pet. 5:1-4). Peter put serving others ahead of power, titles and money. Denying self includes treating others as equals and not lording it over anyone.   Probably our greatest example of humility and servant-hood is Moses. We are told in Num. 12:3 that he was "more humble than anyone else on the face of the earth." At forty years of age, he no longer wanted to be part of Pharaoh's family (Heb. 11:24-27). He chose to leave his great wealth and power in Egypt to become a simple shepherd in the desert for forty years. Then, when he was chosen to lead Israel out of Egypt, he resisted that powerful position but God commanded him to go. Moses was a very humble man who denied himself enormous power, authority and wealth in order to serve God. Denying self includes answering God's call at the expense of all things.   Wealth Many Christians seek wealth but, in 1 Tim. 6:8, Paul said, "if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that." Paul had absolutely no interest in money or the things of this world. Writing from prison he said, "I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ" (Phil. 3:8). The only thing Paul wanted was a greater knowledge of Jesus. Like all the great men of God, power, position and wealth were meaningless to him.   Money can cause terrible problems, even the loss of faith. We are told in 1 Tim. 6:10 that "the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs." We need money for our basic needs but, other than that, the only thing money is good for is giving, either for the Gospel or to help those in need.   Regarding giving, in 2 Cor. 9:7, we are told that "Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver" and 2 Cor. 8:13 gives the reason for giving: "Our desire is not that others might be relieved while you are hard pressed, but that there might be equality." The generosity of our giving is not determined by the amount we give but by the amount we keep. Jesus praised the poor widow of Mark 12:42-44 because she gave her last two small copper coins, all she had to live on. He said that she had given more than all the others because she had given not out of her wealth but out of her poverty. If what we give doesn't affect our lifestyle then we really have nothing to boast about to anyone, least of all to the Lord. Denying self includes not clinging to our wealth.   Reputation Because of our pride, one of the most difficult things to give up is our reputation. We are easily offended by what others have to say but we must put our reputation firmly into God's hands, just as Jesus did. 1 Pet. 2:23 says, "When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly." Jesus didn't allow His pride to rule His actions and, in Matt. 5:11-12, He said that there is a great reward for those who do the same: "Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you." Denying self includes putting our reputation into God's hands.   Finally Denying self is one of the greatest challenges in our Christian walk. We can't be a disciple of Jesus and love the things of this world at the same time; we must be willing to deny ourself worldly power, position, wealth and reputation; anything we put ahead of God is an idol. 1 John 2:15-16 tell us, "Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For everything in the world - the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does - comes not from the Father but from the world." We only have a short time on earth in which we can honour and serve the Lord so let's fight our sinful nature and deny our cravings, lusts and boasting and humbly serve Him while we can.   This article can be downloaded under the heading Blog Articles at http://www.christianissues.biz/downloads.html   It can be read online at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/?p=871   Mick Alexander Email: email@example.com Website: www.ChristianIssues.biz                    </p>
Sin’s Relationship to Sickness
And he that was healed wist not who it was: for Jesus had conveyed himself away, a multitude being in that place. Afterward Jesus findeth him in the temple, and said unto him, Behold, thou art made whole: sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. (John 5:13-14).
For years I have known of so many who have blamed God for sickness. This has made some very bitter towards God and others simply accept it as God’s will for their lives without any attempt to seek His relief. I have often been saddened by God getting blamed for the results of sin, be it our personal sin or someone else’s.
Before going any further, we are quick to point out that not all people are sick due to personal sin. A baby born with AIDS due to promiscuous parents is not at fault nor is any person who has been crippled due to the negligent behavior of another. Nonetheless, we cannot dismiss the truth that there is a clear relationship between sickness and sin. For the most part, we are reluctant to admit that much of the sickness suffered by so many may have its roots in sin and this is why they remain sick.
Jesus is very clear in his statement to this man that his sickness was the result of sin. He warned him that if he used his new found health to engage in sin again that the consequences will be worse than before. Jesus, in His warning, made a very solid connection between sin and its harmful results.
When we sin we risk opening the door to so much pain and hurt in our lives. God’s prohibition against sin is not so much an attempt to set up boundaries as it is to set up safeguards that will protect us from sin’s unmerciful judgments upon us. Sin entices us to selfishly pleasure ourselves and then repays us with sickness and other tragedies.
Jesus’ healing ministry both then and now is given to undo the results of sin upon our lives. Here we have rebelled against God’s righteous laws, disrespected Him, separated ourselves from Him, placed ourselves in Satan’s territory and reaped the results. Yet God still reaches out and completely heals the sick one despite what brought sickness in the first place. Truly there is no love that compares to this and there is no god of any religion who loves so unconditionally as the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He did not tell this man, “You made your own bed, now lie in it.” Instead, He displays divine love through healing and warning to stay away from the cause of worse sickness.
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