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THE ULTIMATE QUESTION

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This is the age-old question: What must I do to be saved? 
What is saved, you ask, and what do I need to be saved from? Some people say salvation is spending eternity in Heaven.  Yes, this is true, but more importantly, it is being saved from God's wrath, separated eternally from Him.  To have eternal life with Him, you must believe in Christ alone for your salvation. 

I am not a theologian, but I know what believing in Christ alone means: trusting that He and He alone paid the ransom for the people the Father gave to Him from before the beginning of time, or eternity past. A ransom was paid for our sins when He shed His blood on the cross. We who believe in Christ alone for our eternal life with Him are redeemed because of His finished work on the Cross. 
There is nothing, not one thing, we are able to do to "earn" salvation.
"I have obeyed the Ten Commandments, I attend a good church, I teach Sunday School, I help my neighbors, I am a pastor's wife." 
I, I, I.…

Where Have You Gone, Jim?

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It was a hot day in late August, 2012.  

I think he must have checked into the hospital because he was severely ill with septicemia. After the fourth day of no word from police, I break into his apartment by pushing on his screen, throwing myself over his couch.  

There is light I see through a six inch space of his bathroom door. I cannot push the door in.

Nothing prepared me for this.   

My hand reaches in the small crevice. I touch what feels like cement. 

Cold, so very cold.






© Angelina Lenahan

IGNORANCE OF GOD'S WORD

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The Duty of Searching The Scriptures

George Whitefield
"Our blessed Lord, though he was the eternal God, yet as man, he made the scriptures his constant rule and guide. And therefore, when he was asked by the lawyer, which was the great commandment of the law, he referred him to his Bible for an answer, “What readest thou?”

And thus, when led by the Spirit to be tempted by the devil, he repelled all his assaults, with “it is written.”

When the Sadducees came to our blessed Lord, and put to him the question, “whose wife that woman should be in the next life, who had seven husbands in this,” he told them “they erred, not knowing the scriptures.”

And if we would know whence all the errors, that have over-spread the church of Christ, first arose, we should find that, in a great measure, they flowed from the same fountain, ignorance of the Word of God.
But how few copy after the example of Christ?

How many are there who do not regard the word of Go…

GOSSIPS AND BUSYBODIES

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Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also gossips and busybodies, saying what they should not.1 Tim 5:11 With regard to women in the church, young and old, widowed or unmarried, there are many women believers who genuinely study His Word, listen attentively to our pastors, and do not partake in gossip.

Sadly there are some who pay little to no attention to the teaching and preaching, but instead cluster together in small groups, whispering, texting, quietly laughing. They have no interest in growing in the knowledge and grace of our Lord.  And to Paul's point, there are women who, in the guise of charitable works, flit from home to home, gathering news, for talk in the pews.  (AL)
The following are comments from Calvin: Not only does he prescribe to Timothy the course which he ought to follow, but the women also must be carefully taught not to be stained with such vices. It is the duty of the pastor not only to oppose the wi…

REMEMBERING

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He called from the bottom of the stairs, "Hey Mom, come here for a minute, no wait, I'll come up there." He knew I was tired and the day hadn't even begun yet. I fatigue easily some days. It's the cancer, but we don't like to talk about it. I try to be energetic, and believe it or not, sometimes I can pull it off. Not today. There's something about the color of my face, the lack of sparkle in my eyes, the look that says, "I really want to listen but I just need to rest." 
He found me sitting comfortably in my easy chair at my computer in the living room. "Remember? No, you probably don't because of your memory," and then he had difficulty finishing what he meant to say. I wasn't sure if it was because he wanted to show me what he was holding, or because he was upset that he knew I was very tired, or maybe both. He's a very sensitive man of 30, and he's sad most of the days now because of our situation. Few things break u…

WHY WE SUFFER

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We who have been called to this great purpose of conformity to the image of Christ will for that reason also be called to suffer with Christ. If we want to know him and the power of his resurrection, then we will need to share in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death (Phil. 3:10). Not that our death in any way is redemptive. Only Christ’s death can save. But yet, if anyone is in Christ, then that person has glory and hardship in store (Rom. 8:17). We are often caught off guard by our sufferings, as though we ought to be exempt. We reason that since we are not condemned, then why should we continue to pay any price?

We hardly have all the answers for the mystery of suffering, especially the suffering of Christians. Ultimately, only God can have reasons for the evil in this world and the pain inflicted on its inhabitants. We do know that the immediate responsibility for evil is ours, not God’s.

But we wonder why believers who are acquitted from the responsibility s…

WHERE IS YOUR TREASURE?

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We have just witnessed the wealthy young man decline the offer to sell his belongings and follow Christ along with His disciples. This fellow walked away disheartened. Having noted the profound effect on His disciples, Christ then turned His attention to them.
This account is recorded in the synoptic books of Matthew, Mark and Luke. Let us continue the episode in the narrative of Mark 10:23-27.

"And Jesus looked round about, and saith unto his disciples, How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God! And the disciples were astonished at his words. But Jesus answereth again, and saith unto them,

Children, how hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God! It is "easier for a camelto go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God."

And they were astonished out of measure, saying among themselves, Who then can be saved? And Jesus looking upon them saith, With men it is impossible, but …

BE NOT FAITHLESS

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The divine events after the crucifixion and resurrection of Christ is recorded in all of the gospels.  It is John the Evangelist who brings us a more intimate glimpse of the disciples' emotions when their Master appears to them individually and collectively.

John tells us that it was evening on this particular day, the first of the week, in the place where the disciples were.  The doors were firmly shut.  Remember, they had been scattered about when Christ was arrested.  They were meeting probably at an unknown house near Jerusalem, behind locked doors.  They were in fear of the Jews.

Suddenly, Jesus stood in their midst. He appeared before the disciples in the room and said to them, "Peace be unto  you."  When He said this, He showed them His hands and His side.

Once more He said, "Peace be with you!"  He reminded them that as the Father sent Him, He also sends them. Then, He breathed on them.  "Receive the Holy Spirit."

Thomas, one of the disciples…

WORTH OF A SOLDIER

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Soldiers' lives differ in value, and so do their deaths. In this disparity lies an important reason why the United States has botched this war in Iraq. Those were the first words I had ever read by Bacevich in a Washington Post op-ed, 2006.

Andrew Bacevich, a professional military man, attended West Point, a PhD from Princeton, served for 20 years in the U.S. Army, and Professor of History and International Relations, Boston University. 

I’ve since read his contributions to the Weekly Standard and National Review, and I just finished his latest book The New American Militarism: How Americans Are Seduced by War.

He has an interesting political viewpoint regarding the war, and the military, which at first glance seem to be in conflict; but after reading his book, I understood how Americans have placed our trust in our country’s military power, just on the say of its generals. President Eisenhower, former 5 star General in the U.S. Army, warned the country about the development of  “the…

TO YOUNG MOTHERS

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The older women likewise, that they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children...that the Word of God be not blasphemed-
Titus 2:3-5.

 What associations with all that is lovely are connected with that blissful word mother! To that sound the tenderest emotions of the human heart, whether in the bosom of the savage or the sage, wake up. The beauty of that term is seen and its power felt alike by the prince and the peasant, the rustic and the philosopher. It is one of the words which infant lips are first taught to lisp, and the charm of which the infant heart first feels. It is a note to the music of which it is difficult to say whose soul most responsively vibrates, that of the parent or the child.

Humanity, however semi-brutalized by oppression, ignorance, or even vice, has rarely been sunk so low as to have the last spark of maternal love extinguished or the last sensibility of this kind crushed out of it. This strength of woman’s love for he…