Faith, Love & Health

Archive for the month “November, 2007”

Hymenaeus

We live in a day where we have many leaders teaching many different ideologies of scripture.  Some of differences that are taught we can agree to disagree, but those who teach in opposition to scripture we must hold strong to scripture and warn those who are in the body of Christ.  Paul had this difficult issue arise in his day.  There was a man by the name of Hymenaeus who professed to be a followers of Christ, but disagreed with the physical resurrection of the believer after death.  They believed that the resurrection was a spiritual resurrection when one was born again.  This teaching spread throughout the Ephesian church and was leading many believers astray. Listen to how Paul addresses Hymenaeus’ teachings. 

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.  Their teaching will spread like gangrene. Among them are Hymenaeus and Philetus,  who have wandered away from the truth. They say that the resurrection has already taken place, and they destroy the faith of some.  2 Timothy 2:16-18

Timothy, my son, I give you this instruction in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by following them you may fight the good fight, holding on to faith and a good conscience. Some have rejected these and so have shipwrecked their faith.   Among them are Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom I have handed over to Satan to be taught not to blaspheme. 1 Timothy 1:18-20

One of the things that we must see is that Hymenaeus along with Philetus were teaching the Gnostic doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which in essence was a doctrine similar the to teachings of the Sadducees, which stated that there was no such thing as the resurrection of the body. We see in 1 Thessolonians 4:15-17  that “For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first.”  It wasn’t just a Sunday morning teaching that spread through the church leading people astray.  It was the godless talk of people sharing this teaching that led them astray.  When we do not know / understand scripture or are not willing to challenge false teaching that people within the church are talking about, this will ultimately spread throughout the church and destroying the faith of many.

The second thing that we must see is that Paul was very direct how he handled the situation.  Hymenaeous was excommunicated from the church and handed over to the world where Satan rules.  This would be a loss of  spiritual covering from the body of Christ and from God himself.  This would be as equivalent today as excommunicating someone from the church and stating that a person’s teachings were of a cult.  People would not associate with this person and would stay away  from anyone associated with them.

 Scripture is clear that we will see more false teaching in the last days.  Each of us need to understand scripture and have an action plan in mind if we are going to battle this destructive force that could shipwreck the faith of those who are part of the body of Christ.  What will your action plan be?  

This a side note:  I just watched a Youtube post at Confessions of a Recovering Pharisee.  It is really sad when you read false teaching in scripture and then you watch Shirley Phelps Roper of Westboro Baptist Church

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Thanksgiving

Wow!  It’s Thanksgiving Day!  Thanksgiving began with the Pilgrams and Wampangoa Indians having a great feast together to celebrate what God had provided for them during a very difficult time after landing at Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts.  If it wasn’t for the Indians helping them to learn how to farm the land they would have never survived.  So 386 years ago during the Fall  these two different cultures came together to celebrate something that they had shared together – Life!  The Great Feast lasted 3 days.  They ate deer, fish, corn, pumpkin and other foods.  They communicated the value they had toward each other by sharing what they had.  The knowledge to grow crops, how to build and survive and how to work together peacfully. 

Thanksgiving didn’t start in America until Sarah Josepha Hale wrote President Abrham Lincoln.  Then it became a National Holiday in the year 1863.  242 year after the origanal Feast.  Today many of us come together as family and friends eating huge meals and having festive activities.  May we never forget the life that we live today is due to the hard work and dedication of two cultures coming together to make what America is today.  We have learned that diversity is what makes life full and hopeful. 

 May your Thanksgiving be full of health, life and peace!  God Bless!! 

Tabitha (Dorcus)

Most of us have heard about Mother Teresa.  She has helped the needy and has sought to help those who have been outcast, sick and neglected in India.  Before there was a Mother Teresa in our century, there was a woman with the same compassion in the day of the Apostle Peter.  Her name was Tabitha or some of us know her by Dorcus.  

In Joppa there was a disciple named Tabitha (which, when translated, is Dorcas), who was always doing good and helping the poor.  About that time she became sick and died, and her body was washed and placed in an upstairs room.  Lydda was near Joppa; so when the disciples heard that Peter was in Lydda, they sent two men to him and urged him, “Please come at once!”  Peter went with them, and when he arrived he was taken upstairs to the room. All the widows stood around him, crying and showing him the robes and other clothing that Dorcas had made while she was still with them.  Peter sent them all out of the room; then he got down on his knees and prayed. Turning toward the dead woman, he said, “Tabitha, get up.” She opened her eyes, and seeing Peter she sat up.  He took her by the hand and helped her to her feet. Then he called the believers and the widows and presented her to them alive.   Acts 9:36-42

This morning I was flipping through the channnels and stumbled upon Pat Robertson’s show.  I watched as Pat Robertson presented the great need for the children to be fed in Africa.  I know we have seen sences like this on televison before and some of us pass by the channel and others are enriched with compassion for those who are suffering.  I am kinda in the middle, my heart is saddened by the sickness and hunger, but I don’t have a strong compassion that motivates me to reach out to the needy like this. (Maybe the business of ministry in my world clouds out or numbs our universal need to help those who are need.) 

I am truely amazed by the compassion that God places in the hearts of some of his people.  Tabitha was one of those individuals that was motivated by compassion to help the poor.  Scripture states that she was “always doing good and helping the poor.”  Tabitha was more than a person who saw a need and gave toward the need.  She devoted her life to make a difference in the lives of those who were in great need.  She gave of her resources, time, and energy to make sure that the people who were created in the image of God had there needs met.  These are more than foreign people in need, they are our extended family who are in great need.  Who of us wouldn’t do everything possible to help those who were in need in our own families. 

The best question I think we could ask ourselves is how can we develop a heart of a Tabitha – which is really the heart of God.  Here are some things that run across my mind as I ask myslef this question:

#1.  Be an extention of God’s love to those you come in contact with on a daily basis.  It may be a your neighbor, someone you have come across as you go to the grocery store.  It could be someone you meet on a business trip.  What ever the case be open and willing to be an extention of God’s love monetarily, emotionly, and spiritually. 

#2.  Ask God to begin to give us a heart of compassion.  Remember compassion means to suffer.  You literally feel the pain others are going through in their life.  As this is developed in us, so will our motivation to help the needy. 

Tabitha used her abilities, and resources as extentions to communicate God’s love and grace to the poor and the needy.  Those who walk in compassion will always be remembered and be a source of inspiriation to all us to never forget what God has extended to us.  May we never forget, if it was not for Christ, we too could be the needy of this world. 

Susanna

Do you rememer the lyrics from the song Oh SusannaStephen Foster wrote the song back in 1847.  I really don’t remember where I heard the song as I was growing up, but I know I heard it somewhere.  Well today I want to talk about Susanna, but not the lady from Alabama.  The Susanna that I want I want to highlight on is the Susanna that we read about in scripture in the New Testament.  She is only mentioned once in scripture, but let see what scripture says about her. 

After this, Jesus traveled about from one town and village to another, proclaiming the good news of the kingdom of God. The Twelve were with him, and also some women who had been cured of evil spirits and diseases: Mary (called Magdalene) from whom seven demons had come out; Joanna the wife of Cuza, the manager of Herod’s household; Susanna; and many others. These women were helping to support them out of their own means.  Luke 8:1-3

One of the things that we see about her is that she was either demon possessed or had an incurable disease.  We know that she had an encounter with Christ.  She was set free from a stronghold and then followed Christ and the twelve disciples, helping support the ministry of Christ through her own means.  We really don’t know what type of means Susanna had, but whatever she had she was willing to use it to help promote the kingdom of God.  Some great things that I see revealed in her life is:

#1 She was a woman that overcame a huge obstacle in her life through the healing power of Christ.  The difficulty in those who struggle with a life controlling problem is that they have to cope with the sickness until they receive the healing.  My mother in law lives with me and has a chronic illness and everyday she must overcome the pain and limitations she has due to this illness.  We continue to believe and wait for the healing, but waiting can be difficult.  Susanna overcame limitations in her life until the healing power of Christ came.  This gives all of us who are waiting on our healing great hope. 

#2 Susanna was totally surrender to Christ and willing to give of herself to help proclaim the kingdom of God.  We live in a culture today that expects the pastoral leadership to do the work of church while everyone else watches.  We call this the consumer mentality.  This was not the case for Susanna, she was serving and giving her time, energy and whatever she may of had to support the ministry of Christ. Many of us think about Jesus’ leadership team being mainly the twelve disciples, but Christ had a huge support leadership team, like Susanna who enabled Him to minister. They helped prepare their conference meetings, where they were going to stay and much more. 

#3  I already said this, but I want to make sure we don’t neglect to understand that Susanna gave of her own means.  She managed her resources well and gave what she had to make sure that the ministry of Christ could have the resources needed to continue. I know in the back of minds we are saying to ourselves that Jesus didn’t need Susanna’s support, Jesus could have made food and any other supplies needed to just appear as he spoke them to life.  I would agree that he could have done this on a regular basis, but that would have been a disservice he would have done to his twelve disciples, if he choose to raise up his core ministry team without teaching them the value of the body of Christ.  We all have different giftings and talents to edify and build each other up.  I have to believe that Christ encouarged his beleivers to operate according to the giftings and function in accordance to his teaching about the body of Christ. 

I know it is so easy to pass by the gospel of Luke and not give attention to Susanna, but when we do this, we neglect to see the need that each of us have for Christ to take care of our needs and enable us to be the church.  An active church that brings life giving change through Christ as we come in contact with people in our everyday life. 

Rhoda

Some people we read about in the Bible we don’t have a clear picture of their character, but we can see their actions and how they respond to situations.  One of the people we read about in scripture is the servant girl Rhoda.  The only thing we really know about Rhoda is that she serves in Mary’s house.  It would also appear that she was a follower of Christ.  

 The only time Rhoda is mentioned in scripture is once in the books of Acts:   

Peter knocked at the outer entrance, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to answer the door.   When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed she ran back without opening it and exclaimed, “Peter is at the door!”  “You’re out of your mind,” they told her. When she kept insisting that it was so, they said, “It must be his angel.”   – Acts 12:13-15

The picture that we see in this passage is that Mary’s house is full of praying believer’s, seeking the face of God.  I’m sure they were interceding for Peter.  While everyone was in prayer Rhoda hears a knock on the outer entrance door and goes to answer the door.  Rhoda then hears a familiar voice, it is Peter (Apostle Peter) and she became so over-whelmed after hearing the voice of Peter that she ran inside the house to tell everyone!  I love the response of everyone.  You’re crazy Rhoda it’s just an angel you are hearing, but she continues to insist that it was Peter at the door.  Then finally they hear Peter knocking on the door and they see for themsleves who is at the door.  It was Peter! 

A couple things stand out as I read this story: 

#1 The servant girl must of built relationships with others (She wasn’t passive relationally when around people.) or been around Peter a lot.  For her to recognize his voice without opening the door communicates to us that Peter must of ministered at Mary’s house on a regular basis.  Rhoda must of been a regular part of this church and committed to those in the body of Christ.

#2 Rhoda was confident and persistent in what she believed.  She wasn’t a passive servant girl, but one who stood strong on what she believed.  This is a needed mentality in the church today.  We need to be confident in who we are in Christ and persistent  in communicating Biblical truth to edify and build the body of Christ. 

#3 Without stretching out this story too far, I believe that she was a woman of prayer.  We see in this passage that the church was gathered together in prayer for Peter and Rhoda was also there. We could say that Rhoda was their doing her job, but her excitement after hearing Peter’s voice was so large, I believe she was there praying, also.  It would be as exciting as praying for God to help us in a difficult situation and in the middle your prayer God brought the provision.  Who wouldn’t be excited! 

As we look through the window of Rhoda’s life we see just a glimpse of who she was, but we must not forget the huge role that she played in the life of the body of believers.  She was a key person in the life of those who were part of the church that met in Mary’s house.  It’s the servants of the church that get the job done.  Without the servants the main leaders would not be able to do their job.

E-mail on Your Cell Phone

For those who can’t afford the smart phones here is a great way to get e-mail sent to your phone.  Check it out:  teleflip

Muiltimedia Builder?

Just to let you know I love technology.  One of the tools that I have embraced was the ability to create a CD that has a website feel to it without needing to be connected to the Internet.  It has been a great way to connect with visitors and pass on information that people are less likely to throw away.  People want to know what is on the CD. 

I remember one of the first tools I used to create this was called Muiltimedia Builder.  It was a great tool that helped you build a decent site, but it took a little work to make it happen.  Not so long ago Snapshot put together a decent program with the ability to do the same thing, but since they have gone to their web program they have had a lot of problems with spacing and font styles.  Well at least I’ve had multiple calls into tech support. 

Since I value their concept of using this type of format for communication to guest and those interested in our ministry I want to continue to build these CD’s.  My question goes out to those who may also use the same type of tools.  Do you know of a better program available that would build a quality multimedia CD? 

Count Down Creator

cd creator

A few weeks ago I purchased a program called Countdown Creator, this program allows you to make personalized count downs for your services.  It has been so much fun!  You can use still pictures or video that you can loop.  You choose where the countdown is placed on your screen, the amount of time you want displayed and you can choose the font style for the countdown!  You can even add your own music in the back ground.  This has really helped make those special services, that have a theme, come together! 

There is a down side to this great program and it is compatability.  It doesn’t work with Mac.  I know this is very sad, but hopefully in the future all of the Mac world will be able to use this great program! 

Desperation Band

desperation

The Desperation Band has just come out with a new album- “Everyone Overcome.”  Wow!  It is great!  I am using a lot of this album for worship with our youth church.  This worship team is from the youth ministry of New LifeChurch in Colorado Springs.  

You will not be disappointed with their mix.  I have enjoyed every album that I have listened to from them.  They create a great sound that moves you to worship and motivates the listener to sing.   

Man of God – Unknown

There a few people that read about in the Bible that we have no idea what their name is.  We read about one of these individuals in 1 Kings the 13th chapter.  The only name that is given to this man is “Man of God.”  We don’t know much about his background, but we do know that God used this man to communicate to Jeroboam after he became King and began building false idols throughout Judea.  One of Jeroboam’s greatest fears was that the people would go to Jerusalem and pledge their allegiance to King Rehoboam (King Solomon’s Son) rather than supporting his kingdom. 

After the Man of God gave the word of the Lord to King Jeroboam, the king was furious and stretched out his hand to have him seized, but when the king did this, his hand shriveled up.  Then the king begged for the Man of God to intercede to God on his behalf to have he hand restored.  When the man of God did this, King Jeroboam’s hand was restored. 

After this, the King invited the Man of God to go back to the palace for some food, drink and a gift with him, but the man of God explained, “I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.  I have been told by the word of the LORD : ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.‘ ” So the man of God departed in a different direction then he originally came.  You would think at this point all was well, but it gets sticky! 

 The son’s of a old prophet who lived In Bethel was at the altar where all of this took place and told their father what happened.  After hearing all that took place the old prophet told his son’s to saddle his donkey so that he could go find the man of God.  After traveling in the direction that man of God left, the old prophet find the man of God sitting under an Oak tree.  The old prophet ask are you the man of God that God used in Bethel?  He responded by saying “Yes I am he.”  Then the prophet asked for the man of God to come to his house for food and drink, but the man of God says, ” I cannot turn back and go with you, nor can I eat bread or drink water with you in this place.  I have been told by the word of the LORD : ‘You must not eat bread or drink water there or return by the way you came.‘ ” Then the old prophet lies and tells him that he was a prophet and an angel appeared to him and said it was okay for the man of God to come to his house for food and drink, so then the man of God agreed and went home with the prophet. 

Finally they arrive at the old prophet’s home and a word of the Lord come to the old prophet.  ‘You have defied the word of the LORD and have not kept the command the LORD your God gave you.  You came back and ate bread and drank water in the place where he told you not to eat or drink. Therefore your body will not be buried in the tomb of your fathers.’”  After the man of God finished eating and drinking he left and on his way back home a lion met him and killed him. Later the old prophet learns what happened to the man of God saddles up his donkey and brings the man of God back to Bethal and has him buried in the old prophet’s grave. 

There are a couple things that stands out to me as I read about the man of God. 

1.  We should never take what God has spoken to us lightly. 

2.  Don’t defile what God has entrusted you with.

3.  Listen to God for yourself, don’t let someone tell you what God is speaking to you.

I think the man of God’s mistake was he allowed someone else to speak into his life and he listened to them, when he had originally heard from God for himself and this caused him his life.  We need to make sure that we are men and women of God that listen to God and not others.  When we listen to God, we have the chance to live in complete obedience and that is when we become true men and women of God. 

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