Monday, October 15, 2012

Dinosaurs? Alive? TODAY?

 



Are dinosaurs alive today? That’s a good question. A lot of us will jump to the conclusion that the idea is ridiculous, outlandish and totally impossible, not stopping to examine the facts and make an accurate assumption on whether or not dinosaurs might still be alive today. But the fact of the matter is, there is more evidence that dinosaurs are still alive than extinct. 




Before I pose the evidence that dinosaurs could still be alive, I would like to address the reason that most people believe they are not. The main reason is because the hypotheses of evolution says that they are dead. Evolution lives off of lies and, when put to the test, will decay under the stresses of scientific data and biblical truth.
Evolution states that the earth, and everything inside and outside of it, was made as a result of an intergalactic explosion about 4.54 billion years ago. Then, after several different stages on biological and geological changes, random chance created dinosaurs from some unexplainable and improvable oozy, spineless amphibian about 230 million years ago at the beginning of the Triassic period of the fabled stage of evolution. “Dinosaurs are a diverse group of animals of the clade Dinosauria. They first appeared during the Triassic period, approximately 230 million years ago, and were the dominant terrestrial vertebrates for 135 million years, from the beginning of the Jurassic (about 200 million years ago) until the end of the Cretaceous (65.5 million years ago), when the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event led to the extinction of most dinosaur groups at the close of the Mesozoic Era. The fossil record indicates that birds evolved from tetrapod dinosaurs during the Jurassic Period, and consequently they are considered a subgroup of dinosaurs in modern classification systems.” Quoted from Wikipedia’s page on dinosaurs.  According to evolution, the dinosaurs went extinct a long time before man came on the scene. They were wiped out by the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, which people say was an asteroid hitting the earth but they really don’t know, or it could have been some really big volcanoes or maybe they all turned into birds and flew away or, their newest guess, the dinosaurs flatulence burned a hole in the O-Zone layer and the UV rays from the sun killed all of the dinosaurs. All of their guesses on how the dinos went extinct are just uneducated guesses fueled by the false belief that there is no Creator. (The interesting thing about the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event is that the evolutionists admit that it happened over a short period of time. The death and fossilization of almost all living things in a short amount of time, a catastrophic event, it sounds more like a worldwide flood to me. ) So I am going to take the evolutionary “truths”, as they call them, and blow them out of the water.
Let’s start with the supposed evolution from dinosaur to bird. Supposedly, our little feathery friends came from dinosaurs. Let’s look at the impossibilities of this assumption. First, let’s examine the external parts of a bird compared to the parts on a dinosaur.
First, the legs. The legs on a dinosaur come off the side of the animal, the legs on a bird come out the bottom. It is impossible for the skeleton of an animal to change so much that the legs come out the bottom of the animal instead of out the side.  Second, dinosaurs were reptiles and, according to the evolutionary thinking, must have had scales. That poses a problem for the mutation. Scales are part of the skin, whereas feathers grow out of the skin and are not part of the skin. It would be impossible for feathers to grow out of scales and for the scales to change into skin that feathers could grow out of. Third, birds are designed to fly, but in order for them to fly, their bones need to be hollow. Dinosaur bones, with the exception of ptarasures (Flying Dinosaurs), have solid bones like humans, dogs, cats, and most other creatures.  In order for dinosaurs to become birds, their bones would have to be hollow, another impossible feat. Next, we have the respiratory system. A dinosaur breathes the same way we do; in one way and out the same. A bird breaths completely differently, it breaths in through its nose, but, instead of breathing out through its nose, the oxygen is sent out to the most active parts of the body to oxidize the blood (the tail, the wings, the heart, etc.). In order for the dinosaurs to become birds, their respiratory system would have to completely change. This is also impossible. You cannot have a half evolved respiratory system or else the animal would die! Lastly, this point has disproven all of the Macro-Evolutionary assumptions; an animal cannot and has never been proven to be able to change into another animal. A dog can never change into a cat and visa-versa. There are other points I could talk about relating to this subject.
What about the asteroid hitting the earth, the hole in the O-Zone layer and the really big volcanoes? Well, there is no substantial evidence for any of that except the volcanoes. Is this a problem for creation? Nope! Creationists believe that during the time of the flood, some major volcanoes may have accrued. In fact, many believe that they are mentioned in the bible. “In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth and the windows of heaven were opened.” Gen. 7:11. It is possible that some of the “Fountains of the Great Deep” were volcanoes. So are volcanoes a problem for the creation model? Not at all, in fact, they better prove creation than evolution.
So what about the dinosaurs being extinct before man evolved from some lesser being? Well, there is a little problem with that. You see, there are dinosaur fossils in the fossil record and right next them are the fossils of people. That causes just a little problem with their evolutionary theory.

So now we ask the big question. What happened to the dinosaurs? The answer; nothing. Nothing that didn’t happen to other animals happened to the dinosaurs. How did they survive the flood? Well, how did other animals survive the flood? They went on the ark. But dinosaurs didn’t go on the ark, did they? “You are to bring into the ark two of all living creatures, male and female, to keep them alive with you. Two of every kind of bird, of every kind of animal and of every kind of creature that moves along the ground will come to you to be kept alive” Gen. 6:19-20 answers that question very well, I think. We know the dinosaurs were alive during the time of the flood because they are in the fossil record from during the time of the flood. So if some of them died in the flood, then they were around when the animals went into the ark, which means they were around when God commanded Noah to put two of every kind of animal in the ark and the dinosaurs are certainly a creature that moves on the earth. So there for, dinosaurs must have been on the ark. But how could he fit the dinosaurs on the ark? Here is a little known fact. About 85% of dinosaurs are the same size or smaller than your average Labrador Retriever.  Only 15% are bigger than that and 5% of those are bigger than a horse. 2% of those lived in the water. This would cut down on the size of the space needed to have dinosaurs on the ark. Also, they might have taken babies of the larger dinosaurs. This would cut down on space and would lower the amount of food and waste. Also, we seem to forget that the ark was designed by God. If God wanted dinosaurs on the ark, he would have made it big enough to fit them.
So, once they got off the ark, what happened to them? The same thing that happened to the other animals. They spread out and covered the earth. Some species died out because they were hunted and killed. Others died because there was not enough vegetation. And some died because the climate could not support them. But the majority lived through the flood and the time after the flood. A lot of animals were also killed in the Ice Age. So, going through that process of elimination, how can I say that dinosaurs are still alive? Easy, dogs are still alive and they were at the ark. Cats are still alive and they were at the ark. So, why can’t dinosaurs still be alive? They can still be alive and, I personally believe, are still alive to this very day.
Yes, I know I sound quite a bit radical, but please hear me out. Since the days following the flood, different accounts of dinosaurs have shown up in history. One of the first accounts is found in the book of Job in the Old Testament. “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!” Job 40:15-19 ESV. And then again in Job 41. “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?  Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words? Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again! Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame. Who can strip off his outer garment? Who would come near him with a bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror. His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal. One is so near to another that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated. His sneezings flash forth light,
and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth. In his neck abides strength, and terror dances before him. The folds of his flesh stick together, firmly cast on him and immovable.  His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up the mighty are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves. Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail, nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin. He counts iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; for him sling stones are turned to stubble. Clubs are counted as stubble; he laughs at the rattle of javelins. His underparts are like sharp potsherds; he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire. He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a shining wake; one would think the deep to be white-haired. On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear. He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”
Some Christians believe that the references in Job are referring to an elephant or hippo and a crocodile. They say that God was talking about something else but it sounded like He was talking about a dino like creature or that Job just took poetic liberty writing down this part of his encounter and conversation with God. This, I believe, is more radical and dangerous than saying that dinosaurs are alive today. Why would God tell us something that is different from the actual facts? Why would Job, when writing about have a conversation with God and seeing His incredible creation, leave out or change anything that was said or happened? To me, it makes no since to say that. So, what about the ideas that the Behemoth is an elephant or hippo and that the Leviathan is a crocodile? I see them to be false. In verse 17 of chapter 40, it says that the tail of the Behemoth is “stiff like a Cedar.” Now look at the tail of an elephant or a hippo. The tail on an elephant is a string that hangs down in between their legs, and a hippo’s is a short little stub. Now tell me how you can make either of those animal’s tails “stiff like a Cedar?” Impossible! In one translation of Bible I read, though I do not remember which translation it was, they had changed Behemoth to Hippopotamus, and the foot note for verse 17 said something along the lines of “Probably the trunk.” The last time I checked, hippos didn’t have trunks. Another thing that they forget is verse 19 which says “He is the first of the works of God; let him who made him bring near his sword!” The first part of the verse can also be “He is chief of the ways of God” which, when translated from Hebrew, basically means “Greatest” or “Largest of the works of God!” So we know that the Behemoth was the biggest of all the land creatures, and we know that the elephant is larger than the hippo, and we know that there have been fossils of dinosaurs found that were a lot larger than elephants, so I would say that it is safe to assume that the Behemoth was not either of the two and Behemoth might have even been a dinosaur. Same with Leviathan: Crocodiles can be killed with a bow and a spear, they don’t make wakes in the ocean, they can’t shoot fire out of their mouth. All of these things are what made the leviathan so great. So, if it wasn’t a croc, what was it? I, along with many others, believe it was a dinosaur.
Why would someone want to say that these two incredible creatures that God made to show His power are not what God said they were? I see it as they are a shamed of what the Bible says. They think it makes the Bible sound like a “Fairy-Tale” when it talks about fire breathing dragons and creatures that are virtually invincible to mankind, and can make the deep “like a boiling pot.” But to me, it shows me that our Creator is powerful and is stronger than the strongest and most dangerous of the beasts of the earth. It also says that our God makes amazing creatures. Who doesn’t think a sea monster that can shoot fire out of its mouth and is so big that it makes a huge wake in the ocean isn’t cool?
Our next encounter takes place in the extended book of Daniel. Part of Daniel was left out of the canonized Bible, but is included in the Apocrypha. In Daniel chapter 14, it talks about Daniel’s encounter with a dragon.  “In the brief but autonomous companion narrative of the dragon (14:23-30), "there was a great Dragon, which they of Babylon worshiped." In this case the supposed god is no idol, but an animal. However, Daniel slays the dragon by baking pitch, fat, and hair (trichas) to make cakes (mazas, barley-cakes, but translated "lumps") that cause the dragon to burst open upon consumption. In other variants, other ingredients serve the purpose: in a form known to the Midrash, straw was fed in which nails were hidden, or skins of camels were filled with hot coals, or in the Alexander cycle of Romances it was Alexander the Great who overcame the dragon by feeding it poison and tar.1” It is not a huge reference to dinosaurs, but it still talks about them. But wait a minute; it talks about dragons in this reference, not dinosaurs! Did you know that the word “Dinosaur” was not invented until the 1800’s with the discovery of Iguanodon? During the time of the Bible and after, in records from different cultures and countries, there appear these strange references and drawings of “Dragons.” The descriptions and pictures of these dragons are very similar to the dinosaurs that have been excavated in the present day. It is very possible and likely that these dragons and the dinosaurs are one and the same.
Other references in the Bible are found in Psalms. David talks about both the leviathan and the dragon in the book of Psalms. And in the Revelation, John wrote about the dragon that gets thrown into the lake of fire in the last days.
What about the more recent sightings? What about the flying creature of Tombstone, the torpedoed sea monster in World War I and the “Flying Lizards” of Papua New Guinea? There is also the Loch Ness Monster and Champ and the supposed “Plesiosaur” that was pulled in by a Japanese fishing boat. And then there are the cultures that were built around the dragon or greatly influenced it. The Chinese culture was based on the dragon. In all of their artwork, you see the dragon. In Scandinavia, we have the story of Beowulf who saved his people from the dragon that was torturing his people. We also have the account of St. George and the Dragon, and the list of dragon or “Mysterious Dragon-like Creature” encounters continues to go on. Most of these reports have been researched and been found to be possible and some true, others have been found to be fraud or over-exaggerations like the “Plesiosaur” that was pulled in by a Japanese fishing boat was found to be a decapitated shark. But the winged creature of Tombstone, Arizona was found to be true. Others like the Loch Ness Monster are still not proven to be true or false. I hope you now understand why earlier I said that there is more evidence that they are still alive than against it. The only true argument that people have for saying that dinosaurs are not alive, is that they have not seen them, and, as we have just seen, that argument is not completely valid either.

Do we know if dinosaurs are still alive? In short, no, no one really knows if dinosaurs are still alive except for God. What if someone found a living dinosaur? Well, if someone found a dinosaur that was still alive today, the discovery would be monumental. For Creationists, it would help to further prove that Creation better fits science than Evolution, and Evolutionists would have a lot of explaining to do. If dinosaurs were found living, it would demolish one of the few remaining evolutionary pillars that the atheists cling to so dearly. But would they care about the new evidence, or would they cling to and continue to spread their poisonous lies to children through our corrupt education system? We do know that in the end, truth and good will overcome all.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Were they born that way?

Following the recent Chick-Fil-A controversy there has been a lot of homosexuality news.  People have been saying they were born homosexual and therefore they are good to go, since they were born that way.  Folks spread this message and people are believing it.

I see a very clear message woven throughout these people's message that is influencing the youth of America every day.

What is being done, effectively, is to say (besides the blatant "I'm important, I can do what I want") that God is okay with homosexuality... because that was the way they were born and they cannot do anything about it.

Homosexuality is really wrong.  People can say it is okay because it does not hurt anyone... but it hurts God.  He says in the Bible that homosexuality is wrong.  Romans 1:26 says this:

"Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts.  Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.  In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another.  Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error."

When you look in the Old Testament, there are verses that say homosexuality is against the law of God.  But in addition Genesis 1:27 says this:


"So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.  God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it.  Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground."  God is saying here that one man and one woman should be married, and nothing else.

On a slightly different topic, I was emailing a friend the other day and he said people should become Christians because being one gives one a sense of happiness and contentment, one that sports, friends, etc cannot give you.  I would like to post a portion of my response here:

"[I]f I wasn't a Christian, that would not convince me of much.  I can say I have a family that loves me, a job I love, a great house, enough money, lots of great friends, and a dog that loves me.  I don't think I can be any happier or content with life. 
Look at it this way.  Mankind is suffering with a disease, it is called sin.  We are all born in sin and constantly struggle with it.  The only way into heaven is absolute perfection, but we cannot attain that since we have all sinned.  [Two thousand] years ago God sent His Son, the Lord Jesus, into this world to die on a cross and pay the full price for our sins.  To accept this free gift, we need to Repent of our sins and Trust in the Savior. 
So, in my opinion, the problem with mankind is sin.  And we need to hear the Gospel and become saved.  We need to be saved... from God ['s wrath] and the place he prepared for [lawbreakers], Hell."

Why I bring this up in a post on homosexuality is the one point I was stressing in the email.  Sin.  Ephesians 2 says this: says this:

"And you were dead in your trespasses and sins, in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.  Among them we too all formerly lived in the lusts of our flesh, indulging the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, even as the rest."

Through reading this it is clear that we are born in sin.  So, in a sense, these people are correct.  Before we were even born we inherited a sinful nature, a nature of evil and vile intentions.  But they have it wrong, they are really not on the right track by pursuing those evil desires of the heart." Like all of us, homosexuals needs a Savior.  Ephesians 2 goes on:

"But God, being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our transgressions, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves, it is the gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand so that we would walk in them."

What wonderful news!  What I said above is what you need to be saved by God.  You need to repent of your sins, apologize with a remorseful heart for breaking the law of God.  Then you need to trust wholeheartedly in the Savior, and make Him your Lord!

Matthew

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

What About...



Please listen to this song. Especially the third line, it applies especially to this post- the Joker more specifically.

Most of you have probably heard about the shootings in Colorado. Some guy dressed up as the Joker from the movie "The Dark Knight Rises" went into a movie theater and started shooting people. (Find the details here: http://www.foxnews.com/us/2012/07/20/witnesses-to-batman-massacre-describe-terrifying-scene/ and here: http://www.foxnews.com/sports/2012/07/23/shooting-suspect-in-court-with-orange-red-hair224093/ )

The stories I have been hearing about the heroic acts of others have been on my mind lately. Three guys and their girlfriends entered that theater. One guy and three girls made it out alive. When the shooting started the men either pushed those girls to the floor or threw themselves on top of them in order to save their lives. Two men died, the third was shot three times .
One of the men who died had earlier (in life) told his buddies that he wanted to die a hero.
Men and women died in that shooting. Children died in that shooting.
Children.
People all over the country are praying for the families who have lost loved ones.
What about the Joker*? Is anyone praying for him?
What about that young girl that could have been in the audience? What if she was totally excited for her birthday the following week because she would finally get to see her over-worked dad? What if she died?
What about the Joker? What traumatized him so much as a child that he would grow to hate mankind?
What about the rest of us? What are we supposed to do with this catastrophic even that just rocked so many of our worlds?
What about the Joker? What if he really is sitting in a jail cell grinning evilly at the chaos he has created? What if he really is crazy? Is there any hope for him- at all?
What about the mother ready to commit suicide because her husband and son are dead? Who will comfort her?
What about the Joker? Can he come to his senses and realize what he has done? Will he be the old man in a jail cell waiting to die? Will he be the one begging God for mercy when no one else will?
What about you and I? What will happen when we are put to the test?
“If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small.” Proverbs 24:10 (KJV)
What about the Joker? Is anyone praying for him? Would I? If I gain the strength to pray for him, will I?
“And be ye kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Ephesians 4:32 (KJV)
“forbearing one another and forgiving one another. If any man hath a quarrel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye.” Colossians 3:13 (KJV)

will I?
Tirzah

* I am calling the murder suspect "Joker".

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

On My Mind

Hello all. There have been a lot of things on my mind lately. Like how much I love coffee and how much I don’t want to get addicted to it. And how awesome storms are when it’s super dark out and there are raindrops on your window and you can hear the thunder. Boom.
Anyway- this is a super awesome 2 minute video. Would you please watch it before you read the rest of this post? Otherwise you may not understand what I’m saying… or writing. Whatever.

Lately I was wondering what I would do if I had to evangelize to someone. More specifically, what would I say if they asked me “Why does God let bad things happen to good people?” I know that God gives you the words to say in the right moment, but sometimes I am very slow to listen. A few days later I got a newsletter from Living Waters with that ^ specific movie in it. Boom. I love it when God answers me when I didn’t even ask Him something. That’s like, so cool. :D
I also found these awesome verses when I was reading Job the other day. “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty: For he maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole.” Job 5:17-18 (KJV)

In a way I guess this also applies to the above thoughts. In another way it reminds us that even when we fail, God has a plan. Sometimes I think that we have to fail, so that we know who is actually good. I think sometimes our past, our pride, our temptations have to wound us so that God can heal us. What do you think?
Thoughtfully,
Tirzah

Thursday, July 5, 2012

~The Challenge~

Over the last ten days we have been discussing the ten commandments laid out in Exodus 20.  I want to summarize something very important in this post, one I hope all of you will read and ponder.

Through going over these commandments, all of us have seen areas we have failed in.  Failed by doing, or by not doing something.  But, through all of this we may never reach the heart of the issue. Where will you spend your eternity? How can you know?

I personally do not know all of you who are reading this now.  But I honestly care about you and where you will spend eternity. I am pretty sure if I ask you if you would sell one of your eyes for a million dollars, you would say no. Why is that?

That is because your eye is precious to you. How much more precious is your soul?

One of the standards God has set for us are the Ten Commandments.  By looking at these we can see our true sin.  Have you ever told a lie?  Have you ever dishonored your parents?  The Bible says that whoever breaks one of his commandments is guilty of the whole (James 2:10). We are wretched sinners, and all deserve hell and damnation before God.

Nothing we can do will reconcile us to Him, neither will any amount of worship or promising you will never do it again. If you are in a court of law and you have stolen millions of dollars, you might appeal to the judge saying, “But judge, I promise I will never steal again, ever!” If you do that, he may feel compassionate towards you, but still, a just judge, had to sentence you according to what you have done.

Since we have established there is nothing we can do on our own to attain salvation, we need to look at Jesus Christ and His sacrifice on the cross. When He died on the cross, He took our sins upon Himself so that we could reconcile ourselves to God.

Mouthing a prayer and saying you are saved will not save you.  There are two things you must do to know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior.  Repent and Trust.

Trusting in Jesus Christ includes faith. Believing in Him and what He has done on the Cross.

The other part is that you need genuine repentance. You are sorry you have broken God’s law and want forgiveness since there is absolutely nothing you can do on your own. If you then truly believe that Jesus died for your sins and is the Lord of your life, you will become a true born again Christian.

So let me challenge you all today.  If you have not already, repent, and trust in the Lord.  Through that, you will find the True Light, Jesus Christ, and make Him your Lord and Savior.

If you have any questions, the Dedicated Christian team will be happy to help in any way the Lord enables us.  Please email us at dedicatedchristians@gmail.com.

God Bless,
Matthew

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

"You shall not covet!"

Now, God was very specific when he wrote this commandment. "You shall not covet your neighbor's house; you shall not covet your neighbor's wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor's."

Now, if you are a human being, then you must be something that you want that someone else has. I have this problem constantly, and it's a difficult commandment to overcome. Here are a few pictures of the things I covet constantly.


The saying is true "The grass is greener on the other side"
Awesome cars~


Rich people with a ton a money.
Huge houses...


And more beautiful grass.
































However I don't only covet tangible items. I also covet how people look or act. I wish I had muscles like the guy next to me in the gym. I wish I had the faith that Ray Comfort and Living Waters have. I wish for a lot of stuff but this commandment tells us not to.

Now, I'm not saying we can't wish for stuff...but don't wish you had something that someone else has. God will give it to you if He wants you to have it. But don't covet stuff in a way where you are doing it "religiously" ... meaning, don't constantly covet other people's things, everyday minute of your day.

The main purpose of life is to live for Jesus. We don't need anything else, we just need Him. That's it. Everything else will be destroyed later anyway! :-)

God bless!!
Josiah

Monday, July 2, 2012

You shall not lie.

“You shall not bare false witness against your neighbor.” Ex. 20:16

You probably have never been to court and false testified against your neighbor. So you should be in the clear on this commandment, right? Wrong! Basically, God was saying “Don’t lie!” Now, I know that you have lied, and if you say you haven’t, well, you just did.

In Colossians, Paul says that we have died to the world and are alive in Christ; we have put on the new man. We once walked in sin, but now we are saved in Jesus.

Col. 3:1-17 “If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. 2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. 3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory.
5 Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry. 6 Because of these things the wrath of God is coming upon the sons of disobedience, 7 in which you yourselves once walked when you lived in them.
 8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your mouth. 9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, 10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him, 11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but Christ is all and in all.
12 Therefore, as the elect of God, holy and beloved, put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, longsuffering; 13 bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do. 14 But above all these things put on love, which is the bond of perfection. 15 And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to which also you were called in one body; and be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord. 17 And whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.”

Here is something else to think about: Isaac Newton said that “for every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction." That is the same with the actions that that we do, there a consequences for everything, either good, or bad.

The next time you are tempted to lie, remember what Christ wants you to do.

Matt  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Steal

Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:13

I love it when God is short and sweet.  I don't really think there are any hidden meanings here, it's just what it says it is, no need to explain, so I won't. I'll just tell a story.  

I was chatting with my boss recently, we were talking about the retail business.  He said something that struck me.  "Show me someone who's worked in retail for over 5 years and I'll show you someone who's stolen, at least one, whether it's an entertainment center or a little jelly candy".  

By the world's standards, that's probably true.  As Christians, we should have a reputation of being honest, totally and immovably.  Working at a store everyday, I have to say, I've been tempted.  It's not like I want to go steal some high ticket item.  It's more like, "Ok, I just grabbed a water from the cooler, I have to remember to pay for it before I leave today".  It would just be so much easier to forget and leave, owing the store only ninety-nine cents, but still owing none the less.  Recently, we had a stealing indecent, where an expensive item was being taken on a continual basis.  Because of my reputation, I passed scrutiny and continue to work there as a respected employee.  Others were not so fortunate.

I don't know how or in what situations you're tempted in this, if at all, but just know, stealing is a sin, no matter how big or small the item is.  Being an upright person above reproach is just another way to show the world the light of Christ.

-Victoria 

          

Saturday, June 30, 2012

You Shall not Commit Adultery

Exodus 20:14 states this:

"You shall not commit adultery."

Now I would guess most of you have not committed adultery during your lives.  But there are probably some of you who have never heard this verse in Matthew 5:27-28.

“You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery’; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart."

This verse should jolt us all.  If we have so much as looked with lust at the opposite sex, we have committed adultery of the heart.  You may not think it is such a bad thing, but since we have broken God's law, it is.

It seems like something that cannot be controlled to an extent, but it can.  You should do things like quote scripture.  Todd Friel gave an analogy once that when we have a bad thought, one thing we can do is instead of the thought, picture Jesus hanging on the cross.  On the cross with blood pouring down His sides, paying for your sin.

There are some verses that talk about this concept I would like to share with you.  They are pretty self-explanatory, so I will post them without commentary.

"But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh in regard to its lusts." ~ Romans 13:14

"Beloved, I urge you as aliens and strangers to abstain from fleshly lusts which wage war against the soul.  Keep your behavior excellent among the Gentiles, so that in the thing in which they slander you as evildoers, they may because of your good deeds, as they observe them, glorify God in the day of visitation." ~ 1 Peter 2:11-12

"Watch over your heart with all diligence, For from it flow the springs of life." ~ Proverbs 4:23

There is one more verse I would like to leave you all with today.  1 Corinthians 9:24-27:

"Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but only one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may win.  Everyone who competes in the games exercises self-control in all things. They then do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.  Therefore I run in such a way, as not without aim; I box in such a way, as not beating the air; but I discipline my body and make it my slave, so that, after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified."

You can do anything with Christ, friend.  Strive for the goal!

Matthew

Friday, June 29, 2012

Thou Shalt Not Kill

My first thought when I read my commandment that I needed to write on was “Um, how do I relate with this?!” I’ve never murdered anyone!

However, my brother kindly reminded me of 1 John 3:15 “Whosoever hateth his brother is a murderer: and ye know that no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him.”

Have you ever hated any one? There have been a few times in my life where I have felt like lighting was going to strike me dead because I told myself that I hated someone.

So what is hate? What if I hate someone and I don’t realize I’m doing it? That would mean I am a murderer. The Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary’s definition of hate is: To dislike intently;detest; also, to dislike greatly; as, to hate to write. Hate, the general term, implies extreme aversion, especially with enmity or malice; detest suggests violent or intense antipathy1 or dislike.

Two Latin words2 for hatred are odium and invidia. Odium means hatred, dislike, displeasure, insolence. Invidia means envy, jealousy, ill-will; unpopularity.
I’m sure we have all felt envy and dislike at many moments of our lives. That means we have all hated; which means we are all murderers; which means that we are all guilty of the sixth commandment.

“ Thou lovest righteousness, and hatest wickedness: therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows.” Psalm 45:7 (KJV)

Hang on a second, David is clearly saying that God hates. Wouldn’t that make God a murderer? Nope. God is perfect and holy in all things. He hates with a righteous anger. He doesn’t hate people, He hates sin: two totally different things.

For they speak against thee wickedly, and thine enemies take thy name in vain.
Do not I hate them, O Lord, that hate thee? and am not I grieved with those that rise up against thee?
I hate them with perfect hatred: I count them mine enemies.
Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 20-24 (KJV)

In this Psalm David is saying that he hates whom God hates, with a perfect hatred. Did you know that perfect means complete-finished? Complete means (Again, I quote from the Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): 1.Filled up; with no part lacking; completed; 2.Perfectly equipped or skilled; Syn. Entire, perfect, whole. One of the Latin forms3 of complete is iustus: just, fair; lawful, right; regular, proper.

So David is saying that his hatred is the “right” kind of hatred. He hate’s whom God hates, he loves whom God loves. Does that make David a murderer? In the last two verses in the above passage, David is asking God a parallel of this question. “If this is wrong, show me, and re-direct my thinking.”- is basically what he is saying.

Passing on the question of whether David was right in his hate or not, the point is is that we have all disobeyed the sixth commandment. Most likely we have disobeyed every other commandment on the list. We’ve failed. Before the Jesus came, the only way we could fix this is by taking an animal to the temple to atone for our sins. Unfortunately not everyone is Jewish, so what hope is there for us?

Hope came in the body of Jesus Christ. He took our sins, our hate, our envy, our lies, our jealousy, our doubt, our fear, our shame and put it on Himself when He was crucified. When we accept that fact, that freedom, that gift; it doesn’t matter who we have hated in the past, what matters is that we love them now. Even if they hate us instead. When our own strength falls short, we can put our failures at the feet of Jesus. He will pick up where we have left off… and carry us with Him.

Tirzah


1- Antipathy (Webster’s Elementary School Dictionary): Opposition or disagreement in feeling; aversion, repugnance.
2,3- Definitions from Collins’ Latin Concise Dictionary

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Honor Your Parents

"Honour thy father and thy mother, as the Lord thy God hath commanded thee; that thy days may be prolonged, and that it may go well with thee, in the land which the Lord thy God giveth thee." Deuteronomy 5:16 KJV

Commandment #5, you're probably very familiar with this one.  Between Sunday school and VBS this one is pretty much hammered in good Christian kids' heads.  It's time for a fresh perspective.  Mostly, this verse is taken to mean "obey" you parents and while this is part of it, especially when you're a child, the Lord specifically uses the word "honor" here.  I am so glad I got to write about this commandment because I've been on a quest to find out what it means to honor a person.  To honor someone means to put them before you, to respect them, to put you, and how you feel, and what you want aside, and make a place for them.  So as a teen, young adult, or even full adult, we need to honor our parents, to pay them the respect they are due.  And if we do, God promises us a long and fruitful life.


As a young teenager, I may have obeyed my parents, but in my heart it was far from honor  no matter how good it looked on the outside.  Honor is a heart thing that comes out in your attitude.  I'm 19 years old now, and my parents don't "command" me or "make" me do things, they respect my age, but that doesn't mean I disregard their wisdom, or dishonor them by rebelling against the rules of the household that I still live under.

Honor your parents, if you're just doing what they tell you it's not enough, pray for a heart that is humble and willing to subject yourself to those in authority over you.  

-Victoria       

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Keep the Sabbath Holy




Ex. 20:8-11 "Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord your God. in it you shall do no work: you, nor your son nor your daughter, nor your male servent, nor your female servent, nor your cattle nor your stranger who is within your gates. for in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and al the is in them, and rested on the seventh day. Therefore the lord blessed the sabbath day and hallowed it."


 In today’s world, it seems that Sunday has become another day for work. Businesses are now open on Sundays; people skip out on church to do yard work, and so on. Our culture has declined from the “Good Ol’ Days” in “Mayberry” where the people understood that the Sunday was a day to be reverent and spend in worship, both corporately and privately. In the 1800’s, church was an all-day event. You would arrive in the morning, get a break a noon for lunch and then came back to church and were there until dark. It was not an extra day to split wood, make hey or hunt, it was a day that the family was to rest and go to church.

God gave us 6 days to work and 1 to be set aside for worship of Him. Can’t we spare 1 day not to work? Can’t the choirs wait? Of course, this is not an excuse to not work. We are to be like Christ, doing our work on the 6 other days Christ made and then resting on the 7th.   2 Thess. 3:10 says “For even when we were with you, we commanded you this: If anyone will not work, neither shall he eat.”

This Sunday, remember that it is a day of rest and worship.
Matt

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Don't Take the Name of the Lord in Vain!

Thou Shalt Not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain:

Deuteronomy 5:11 "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain."(KJV)

From the past few posts (and probably some of the future posts), I think that one (of the many common themes) is that these laws almost always seem "easy to keep" but Satan has a way of deceiving us. He makes it seem like we can do these things and break these commandments in a way that seems "okay", but is compromising our conscience and breaking Gods law. This commandment is no different!

When I started writing this post, me and my pride had me thinking that I had kept this commandment pretty well. I mean, I had never sworn or anything! But the more I thought about it the more I realized that swearing might not be exactly what this verse is talking about. Have I ever said things like, "God Bless You" (or something like that) when I don't really mean it? Do I ever talk about God in a way that is bringing me more glory than it will Him? I have always thought of this commandment as "do not swear", but I realize that it is saying more than just that! The new meaning that it has for me is it is also saying is that the Lords name is Holy and Sacred, and should NEVER be misused because of how holy and powerful it is!

The first thing that came to my mind when I started to write this post was a video I had seen a long time ago. It was about a man who's name was Sean and how when things where going wrong around him, people would say, "Oh, Sean!" and he would run to them and say, "What?"! the people would say, "I don't want you." and walk away. All through out his day, that kept on happening, and he got super frustrated! The "moral" of the story was that when you say the Lord's name, you are "calling" Him!

As many of you know (or have discovered by reading my blog) is that music is a big part of my life. So of course, I have to incorporate a song into this post. I was listening to the radio this morning and I heard a song called "Your Name". It would be too long to put it in this post, so I decided to just put the chorus in it. It goes like this:


Your name is a strong and mighty tower
Your name is a shelter like no other
Your name, let the nations sing it louder
'Cause nothing has the power to save
But Your Name


Thank's for reading!

God Bless,
Gracie

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

Monday, June 25, 2012

"You shall not make for yourself an idol"

“You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. “You shall not worship them or serve them; for I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children, on the third and the fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing lovingkindness to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments." ~ Exodus 20 4-6

The second commandment talks about worshipping other gods, and replacing the One True God. The word "idol" is seen in different lights. One way is in the terms of a famous person, such as in the popular show, American Idol. But the other way goes back to what Josiah said about the first commandment. Things such as television, music, internet, and even food... All of these can be things you put above God. Noah Webster's 1828 dictionary has several definitions of the word idol. I will post one of them:


"[An idol is] Any thing on which we set our affections; that to which we indulge an excessive and sinful attachment.


Little children, keep yourselves from idols. 1 John 5.


An idol is any thing which usurps the place of God in the hearts of [H]is rational creatures."

The last sentence is especially true. An idol is anything that usurps the place of God in the hearts of His rational creatures.


Look at the verse that is at the beginning of Exodus 20.

“I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery..."

The Lord is GOD! How dare we put things above Him in our lives? If we put anything above God, it is like saying that object is more important that He is in our lives.

"You shall not make for yourself an idol."

Matthew

Sunday, June 24, 2012

"You shall have no other gods before Me."

I believe this commandment has a lot of arms and legs to it. First of all, God is a jealous God (Exodus 20:5), and He hates it when His creation follow false gods. Think about when the Israelites followed other gods instead of the One who saved them? Or King Solomon when he started worshipping other gods instead of the One who gave him wisdom!

The word "god" has several different meanings.

1.  The creator and ruler of the universe and source of all moral authority; the supreme being.
  • 2. A superhuman being or spirit worshiped as having power over nature or human fortunes; a deity.


  • 3. An image, idol, animal, or other object worshiped as divine or symbolizing a god

  • 4. Used as a conventional personification of fate
    • - he dialed the number and, the gods relenting, got through at once

  • 5. An adored, admired, or influential person
    • - he has little time for the fashion victims for whom he is a god

  • 6.  A thing accorded the supreme importance appropriate to a god

                   - don't make money your god

    Now, for the second "arm and leg" look at the definition #6. The example they gave I thought was very interesting; "Don't make money your god." It's true, do you love something or feel more passionate about something other than God? If you live for food, games, TV, money or something like that then you may be putting that in higher importance than God.

    I myself have had many problems with this in my life, and I have put worldly and man-made objects and entertainment before God.

    Don't put other things in the place of God, instead, follow the Lord full-heartily, and believe that He is the only One to make you Whole!

    God bless,
    Josiah

    Wednesday, June 20, 2012

    The Ten Commandments

    The Dedicated Christians team is working on writing TEN blog posts all about the ten commandments and what we think about them, and how they relate to us. This marathon of blog posts will begin next week on Sunday, the 24th!

    Thank you so much for reading, and please, don't forget to write us at dedicatedchristians@gmail.com with questions or comments!!

    God bless,
    Josiah

    Kudzu


    During our trip through the south a few weeks ago, kudzu was a common sight.  In light of that, I did a little research on the plant.  I found that in 1876, the government imported a plant called kudzu from Japan and payed farmers to plant it for erosion, herbs, and food for their cattle.  They soon found out it would totally take over the south if not stopped... but they were too late.  It spreads fast and there is no biological way to kill it.  The above picture, believe it or not, is a house covered with kudzu.

    It starts with one plant, and spreads rapidly over everything, leaving destruction in its wake.  If you think about it, sin can do the same thing in our lives.

    When you sin, it can be like a vine, leading to sins that are worse and worse.  This creates a labyrinth, one that is hard to escape.

    We start to cover up the cross with our sin and guilt, forgetting what He has done to make us right, and instead indulging with pleasure in our sinful acts.

    Man's nature is sinful from birth.  The Bible says that from birth the wicked go astray (Psalms 58:3).  But there is hope for those of you who know Jesus Christ as your Savior.  1 Corinthians 10:13 says this:

    "There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it."

    The best way to stop sinning is to stop it as soon as you realize your problem.  This verse offers a wonderful promise, that God is faithful and will not allow us to be tempted above what we can bear.  It talks about a way to escape, and there always is.

    This verse is not telling us we can escape our sin alone, and I am sure most of you know that is impossible.  The way of escape is God.  Through the power He gives us we can overcome sins and find grace and peace at the cross.  He is the only way to free us, as He has give us salvation.

    If you do not know the Lord God as your Savior, please click on this website, www.needgod.com.

    If you have any questions about the Christian life we would love to try answering it.  Please email us at dedicatedchristians@gmail.com and we will do our best, with the Bible as our guidebook, to answer to the best of our abilities.

    Matthew

    Monday, June 18, 2012

    "When the Stars Burn Down"

    I first heard this song on the radio a couple of months ago on my way to church. It's called "When the Stars Burn Down" by Phillips, Craig, and Dean. I really couldn't understand the words from where I was sitting, so I came home and looked it up.
    I really enjoy this song.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bvMf4W78MDo
    The songs words are taken from Rev. 5:13-14 "And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying: "Blessing and Honor and Glory and Power be to Him who sits on the throne and to the Lamb, forever and ever." And the four living creatures said, "Amen!" And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever."

    Saturday, June 16, 2012

    The Misconception on Modern-Day Christian Music

    Is modern day Christian Music, turning us away from the Truth that Jesus put before us?
    I recently heard that Carrie Underwood, a well known country singer, who claims to be a true Christian; has done something terrible. Mrs. Underwood promotes gay marriage. She exclaims that people shouldn't feel bad about who you marry... It's sickening...

    Below is On The Box, a show that I highly respect from a group of evangelists from Living Waters. Ray Comfort and Tony, two evangelists, share their opinions about what Mrs. Underwood said.




    The main point I want to make with this blog post is that we need to remember not to idolize the singer or the writer of a song. Every singer and song writer have a unique gift, these gifts were given by no one else but the Lord. We need to focus on who the song writer was directing the song to.

    Why do we sing praise and worship songs? Because we are worshipping the One who created us, not because we want to sing a song that some popular artist sang...this should be our main purpose of singing songs.

    Psalms 33:1-3

    "Rejoice in the Lord, O you righteous! For praise from the upright is beautiful. Praise the Lord with the harp' Make melody to Him with an instrument of ten strings. Sing to Him a new song; Play skillfully with a shout of joy."

    Psalms 67:3-4

    "Let the peoples praise You, O God; Let all the peoples praise You. Oh, let the nations be glad and sing for joy! For You shall judge the people righteously, and govern the nations on earth. Selah."

    There are many more references to how we should praise God throughout Psalms. David did a really good job praising the Lord. But we are idolizing him are we?? Not like we do with Carrie Underwood, and people like Philips, Craig and Dean. Everyone falls off the path sometimes, we just need to make it a priority not to idolize or "look-up" to singers too much...they are just people, like you and me.

    Praise God, not the singer. Follow the Creator, not the writer. Believe the Word, not the script. Idolize the One who made all, not the one who sang the song.

    Thanks for reading,
    Josiah

    Wednesday, June 13, 2012

    Mining for Gold

    Every Friday we have a Bible Study at our house.  My pastor comes with his family as well as a few other people.  A few Fridays ago we were talking about something that really interested me, the different ways to read the Bible.  When people talk about reading the Bible a lot of terms are thrown around like "meditation" and "study", things like that.  What is the correct way to approach your Bible?  We broke it down into 3 sections and then compared it all to mining for gold.

    1. Basic Reading
    The title describes it all-you sitting down and just plain reading the Word.  You don't have any particular motive other than to just absorb what you can.  This method is is effective at covering a lot a ground and picking things up here and there.  Great for memorization and getting into the habit of thinking like a Christian.  Sort of like walking along the ground and finding pieces of gold, you don't find much but it's simple and effective.

    2. Studying
    What my pastor describes as "ripping apart Scripture and then putting it back together again".  You are reading the words, but with the distinct intent of trying to figure something out.  This where we get out doctrine and theology.  You don't just start and chapter 1 and and read to chapter 2, you hop around comparing different verses, taking into account audience, speaker, time line, context, etc.  This is like going deep into the darkest parts of the earth and searching for a vein of gold.  It takes a lot of work and time, but what you find is valuable and deep.

    3. Meditating
    Eastern religions have made us hyper sensitive to this word.  Meditation is not the emptying of your mind but the filling of it.  You take a single verse or a few verses and mull it over in your mind.  It takes time and it teaches you the meaning of verses that maybe you've heard a million times before.  You stop, think about each word and it's meaning and contemplate it as if you've never heard it before.  You already have your gold here, but now you're refining it.  Heating it, pounding it, weighing it and forming it.

    All three of these ways to read Scripture are needed, we need to be strong in all these areas or something about the way we interpret the Bible will be off balance.

     Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you. 1 Timothy 4:13-16 NKJV

    Thursday, May 24, 2012

    Half and Half

    Here at Dedicated Christians we are really big into evangelism.  And I completely agree with that.  A word of caution though, when sharing the precious gospel with non believers, please make sure you know what you're saying.  Especially if the person you're talking to has no predetermined ideas about Christianity, because you will be the one creating those preconceived notions.  No pressure.

    I had the opportunity a while back to have a very sobering yet joyous conversation with an acquaintance of mine who is slowly turning into a friend.  She's a spunky young woman who is searching.  She came over to my house to spend the night.  At 11pm she got the urge to straighten my hair with the flat iron, "just to see what it would look like".  The next thing I know, I'm plopped down in a chair, yawning my head off as a hot piece of metal comes frighteningly close to my ear.  Suddenly she asks, "So I don't really get the whole Christian thing, I mean, I know we're all sinners, but then what's the point, if we're already going to hell?"
    -1st thought: I am SO glad you asked
    -2nd thought: What a weird time and place to share the gospel......
    Whatever I told her about what I knew to be true was going to dictate not only how she viewed me, but also how she responded to "religion" from now on.  I told this woman the truth, the truth about the the gospel, the WHOLE gospel.  And I can only pray she finds what she's looking for in God. 

    And He said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground, and should sleep by night and rise by day, and the seed should sprout and grow, he himself does not know how.  
    Mark 4:26-27

    I know too many people whose hearts had been hardened to the truth because of the hypocrisy and self righteousness of some believers.  And I've also met too many people who have only heard half of the gospel.  That saddens me because the half of the gospel that breaks down, leaves you broken down unless the healing part is included.  The opposite is equally as dangerous.  Only giving half the gospel is like tilling the ground but not planting the seeds.    
    Please, when you share your faith, make sure you don't share one half without the other.  Walk to walk and be genuine.  With the gospel it's either all or nothing.

       

    Tuesday, May 15, 2012

    Should we "dance" in church?

    Mrs. Pastoor sent us an e-mail asking what we thought of dancing in church. Here is what she asked:


    " Some people think that dancing in church is a sin. Do you think you can write something about dancing to show that dancing in church is good as long as you are dancing to god praising to him. That would be very wonderful if you did that because that is something that has always confused me."

    Below are the responses from several of the authors.

    From Matt: 2 Samuel 6:14 says "Then David danced before the Lord with all his might....."

    David worshiped the Lord with dancing. We can worship God in song and in dancing. God wants us to give him Glory in everything that we do. If you dance, then you should dance in a way that glorifies God and brings Him honor. If you play the piano, you so pay in such a way that brings honor and glory to God. The same with Football, and anything else.

    Dancing to praise God is great, but I would say that it is not appetite to dance in front of everyone in church. You should be aware of what you are doing, too. Some dances are not appropriate or meant to bring glory to God. Exodus 32:19 "So it was, as soon as he came near the camp, that he saw the calf and the dancing. So Moses' anger became hot, and he cast the tablets out of his hands and broke them at the foot of the mountain." Lots of dances are made to worship idols, not the one true God.


    I would conduct your own bible study on dancing and see what conclusions you come up with.


    From Victoria: I think it’s obvious that dancing for the Lord is a positive thing. It’s accounted so many times in Scripture as a legitimate worshiping of our Lord, I think it’s pretty undebatable. Things become less obvious when we start talking about dancing in church. So is dancing in church a sin? The short answer: no I don’t think it’s a sin. Is it wise? That depends. Like everything we do in church from singing, to raising hands, to clapping, to testifying, I believe there’s a time and a place. Church is for the saints, and more specifically for the edification of the saints (1 Corinthians 14:12), so whatever we do in church must be to encourage and lift up our brothers and sisters. Does dancing in praise to God fit that bill?

    Before you start dancing in the aisles ask yourself these questions. Am I doing this for Christ and will this edify my church, not causing dissension? If the answer is yes to those, then I believe you are perfectly in the right to rejoice. "God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." 1 Corinthians 14:33 I don’t believe dancing in church fits into the “confusion” category of this verse. I think if entered into with discernment and the right heart attitude, rejoicing before the Lord in the house of God can edify your fellow believers and bring much glory to Him.



    From Josiah: Just like Matt quoted from the Bible, David did dance to glorify the Lord. He danced along side the ark of the Lord! Now I have mixed feelings about this topic, and hopefully I'll be able to clarify what I mean in the following paragraphs.


    First off, glorifying the Lord in anyway, whether by dancing, singing, or praying, is wonderful; however I don't think that we should be a "scene" or make others marvel at what we do. Don't be like those rock stars who draw people's attention to yourself. You are doing it for God, not for man. Keep that in mind.


    Second, today's culture in America (not sure about other cultures, but they are probably the same) dancing is a form of drawing closer to someone intimately. If you were dancing on your own in church, then it might be okay, but if your dancing with others then that is probably not okay in a church.


    Overall, I would just be careful, don't dance in a church because you want to show off your skills, dance with someone, or be popular; dance because you want to glorify the Lord in what you do best. I wouldn't say that dancing for the Lord has to be done in church, you could do it at home also! :-)


    From Matthew: Throughout the Bible and throughout our culture, dancing has been used as a form of expressing joy and having fun. My friends have expressed that in their responses. I do not have the time to go into all of the concepts and topics I would usually like to, but I do want to go into a few things that have not been covered yet.


    When I read the question, the words "in church" stick out at me. I am not against dancing as a whole, and usually enjoy doing it. But in church is a different matter entirely. Let's look at 1 Corinthians 14:40.


    "Let all things be done decently and in order."


    When in church, our affections should be set on the Lord Jesus. When I dance, it is usually at an organized event where everyone dances in sync... to a degree. But if one person is dancing in church and another is singing, etc. That does not seem orderly to me. When worshiping, we worship in order. When we dance, we disturb that worship. That brings me to my second point. Let's look at Romans 14:13.


    "Let us not therefore judge one another any more: but judge this rather, that no man put a stumbling block or an occasion to fall in his brother's way."


    When we are in church, it is a place of fellowship with other believers. Though a lot of true Christians disagree on several minor points, we all get along together with the unity and love of Christ. The second part of this verse talks about not being a stumbling block for another. I have several friends who do not believe dancing is something they should do. This falls under a minor point in theology, meaning it is not something that determines Salvation. But we should still be considerate of another's Christians beliefs. If you are dancing in a church where others have convictions against dancing, it can hurt their spiritual walk.


    So I would not recommend dancing in church... but dancing as a whole is alright in my opinion.


    From Tirzah:
    "To everything there is a season, a time for every purpose under heaven:" Ecclesiastes 3:1 (NKJV)
    Personally I love to dance; I think that to truly dance for Jesus, and Him only, is an incredibly beautiful sight. I believe that certian kinds of dancing, however, are not pleasing to Jesus. Some kinds of cultures only learn certain dances though, so I think that your dance, if it proves to be a stumbling block to others, should be done someplace where it is just between you and God.


    "A time to weep,
    And a time to laugh;
    A time to mourn,
    And a time to dance;" Ecclesiastes 3:4

    Hopefully these responses answered your question Mrs. Pastoor!


    God bless!


    The Dedicated Christians Team

    Thursday, May 3, 2012

    Killing the Shame

    Something I have seen so many people struggle with, and something I have tasted myself, is guilt. Or rather shame is the correct terminology. The feeling of such utter despair for your sin that you run and hide from God.

    That feeling is so painful, replaying that one sin in your mind over and over, beating yourself up for it, mentally, or even physically. Shame, it's a heavy burden to carry, and maybe you're carrying it. What causes this hurtful emotion and what can you do to kill it?

    Let's take a hard look at why we feel shame. We sin and that thing inside us, the "c" word (our conscience), lets us know we sinned. So far, so good. We feel guilty because we know sinning is wrong, very wrong. We need to be punished for it. Still on the right track. But then, consciously or not, we throw away God's precious gift, deny HIS punishment in our place, and decide we can do it better. Our sin is too great for God's sacrifice, our own punishment is better. So we fall into shame, the carrying of our own sin, trying to atone in whatever way we can. Denying ourselves, giving to others, cleaning up our act, all right things done for the wrong reasons.

    So if you dust it off and really take a look at it, shame is really pride, thinking we can save ourselves, how conceited is that? And that realization could drive us into feeling even worse. We not only carry shame, but now pride as well!? And no amount of good work is going to fix that because we already established trying to atone for our sin is the cause of the problem.

    So that's shame, self righteousness. Now for the real question, how do we get rid of it?

    The short answer? Lay it at the foot of the cross, along with all your other junk. Jesus can take it, He already paid for it.
    The practical, everyday answer? Preach yourself the gospel every day, or whenever you catch yourself beating yourself up about the past. Stick a sword through it. Learn and move on. Trust God will use your sin and weakness for good, and for His glory. Memorize Scripture that assure you of God's gift and your freedom, or write them down on sticky notes and put them on your bathroom mirror.

    Whatever you do, just kill it, and not by yourself, let God do it.

    And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.” John 8:32
    Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed. John 8:36

    And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand. John 10:28-29
    Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed. Romans 3:24-25

    For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2