Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Falling Into October

Greetings everyone! I'm still alive and kicking, much to some people's chagrin, I'm sure.

Early September we vacationed for the first time in Manasota Key, Florida. [photos here] We stayed for almost a week in an old, but nice, Condo on the Gulf of Mexico, the stay graciously donated by my husband's father. Hubby's family all live in that area, so, I anticipated it would be fun to hang out at the beach together, going shopping, share meals, etc., like we usually do. I thought not staying in their incredibility small home would be less stressful for my dear sister-in-law. This trip, however, SIL was a Royal Pain In The Patoody. By the time we left for home (two days early, by the way), I was suffering from a colon spasm from holding in anger and swore I'd never speak to her as a friend or sister again. I know, perhaps I'm over-reacting. I hope that's the case. I was still grieving from the loss of my little dogs and she was having unusually bad back pain but right now I'm still in broil mode.

But sometimes time does heal all wounds. We'll see.

On to something happier. I decorated for Fall today. The photos are below.

Enjoy. And thank you for listening.

Front Door

Front Porch

Scarecrows by the gate.

Gate

Close up of gate decoration.

Down by the road and gate.
There was was a Scarecrow here but
Jack and Sam, the Jack Russell Terrorists,
lived up to their names and proceeded to shred it
to itsy bitsy pieces. Good thing they're cute.[lol]

Carport Door.

Ride Safe,

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ Banners To Display

Banners To Display 

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

If there is one thing that God would have His people do amid the rising apostasy of our day it is to show their colors. As the enemy comes in like a flood, even Bible-believing Christians are apt to hide a banner which they should unfurl and boldly display. That banner is Christ. How many believers fear to speak up for Him because His name is increasingly despised!
But, as in any war of any size, many and varied flags are carried into battle, this is so in the Christian conflict too, for the Bible, godly living, faithful comrades, etc., are all banners by which we should take our stand, flags we should display.

One such banner is fundamentalism, a slogan, a battle cry, which many believers are putting aside and hiding away just when they should display and wave it boldly. Some, recognizing the spiritual decline among fundamentalists, prefer to be called simply believers or Christians. We can appreciate this point of view but do not feel it is valid in this time of spiritual crisis.

At a time when the fundamentals of the Christian faith are being threatened as never before, we can do much to show that we stand for these basic doctrines, identifying ourselves openly with them by calling ourselves fundamentalists. The rapid pace at which the apostasy is rising about us makes it the more urgent that we display this banner. We believe that there is strong Scriptural support for this view, e.g., in Acts 23:6, where we read that Paul called himself a Pharisee to show that he stood for basic Bible doctrine and against those who denied it.

Bible-believing Christian: show your colors!


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ Are You A Token Grace Believer?

Are You A Token Grace Believer? 

by Pastor Ricky Kurth
“We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure:
“Which is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God” (II Thes. 1:4,5).
In 32 years of pastoral ministry, this writer has had the privilege to officiate at many a wedding ceremony. When it comes time for the groom to say “I do,” we initiate this response by asking him, “Do you give your ring, and accept your bride’s ring, as a token that you will keep the pledge and perform the vows that you have made this day?” Since the word token has been defined as “something that serves as an indication or an expression of something else,” we then conclude the ring ceremony by saying, “These gold rings will serve as continual reminders of the lasting and imperishable faith that you have pledged to one another this day.”

In the Bible, we read that God gave the rainbow as a “token” of His promise to never again destroy the world with a universal flood (Gen. 9:11-13). Similarly, circumcision is said to be a “token” of the covenant God made with Abraham (Gen. 17:11), and the blood of the Passover lamb was said to be a “token” of God’s promise to Israel to spare their firstborn (Ex.12:13).

Here in our text, the apostle Paul says that the patient manner in which the Thessalonians were enduring persecution was “a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.” That is, their patient endurance of tribulation was a sign that, when God finally does judge the world, “He will judge the world in righteousness” (Acts 17:31), for He will be paying the world back for persecuting His people. As Paul goes on to say in the verse that follows our text,
“Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you” (II Thes. 1:6).
You see, when a Christian is persecuted for his faith, an injustice has taken place; an unrighteous thing has occurred. In God’s perfect system of justice, which can leave the debt of no sin unsettled, this injustice must be paid for, and God solemnly vows to right this wrong “when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels,
“In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ: 
“Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord” (II Thes. 1:7-9).
Here God vows that He will someday avenge the Thessalonians for the tribulations given to them by their persecutors, beginning with the destruction that He will bring upon the world at His Second Coming. Of course, God knows that He will be charged with unrighteousness, as He always is when He is forced to sit in judgment upon men. This is why the Book of Revelation is sprinkled with affirmations that God’s Tribulation judgments are not unrighteous, that they are rather “just and true” (Rev. 15:3), and “righteous” (16:5-7; 19:2). Similarly, here in our text, Paul is defending the righteousness of the Lord’s Second
Coming judgments.

Next, Paul says that the righteous judgment of God on these persecutors of God’s people will then continue in the Lake of Fire, the “everlasting destruction” of which he goes on to speak of here in II Thessalonians 1:9. Here we see clear evidence that all those in any age who reject God’s provision for their sins will die in their sins (cf. John 8:24), and must themselves be made to pay for their sins.

Of course, the Thessalonians themselves could have retaliated against their persecutors, and forced them to pay for the crimes they committed against them. Surely there were times when they felt like evening the score. However, had they done so, it would then be unrighteous for God to someday recompense tribulation to their persecutors, and God will not be guilty of double jeopardy. As it was, Paul was able to tell the Thessalonians that the “patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure…is a manifest token of the righteous judgment of God.” If the world should someday ask why God is troubling them, He can reply, “Well, you used to trouble My people, so now, by the same token, I am troubling you!

There is a lesson that we can learn from this. If we take vengeance on those who trouble us, that means God can’t. What an incentive to leave vengeance to the One whose judgments are always fair and equitable! When we take vengeance, we often retaliate too little, leaving our sense of justice feeling unsatisfied. Or we retaliate too much, creating an additional imbalance of justice that leaves our adversary feeling a need to strike at us again. “But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things” (Rom. 2:2). God will judge all men fairly, for His judgment will be according to truth. No wonder Judgment Day is called “the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God” (2:5).

Are you a token grace believer? Is your patientendurance of those who trouble you a token that, when God judges your persecutors, He will do so in righteousness? None of us would ever knowingly and purposely take something away from God that He says belongs to Him, and yet this is what we do when we take vengeance away from the One who has said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay” (Rom. 12:19). If you are thinking of making someone pay for what they did to you, why not determine right now to leave it all with Him?


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ The Incarnation of Christ

The Incarnation of Christ 

by Pastor Paul M. Sadler

Historically, it is a well-established fact that Jesus of Nazareth was born in Bethlehem in the days of Herod the King. Matthew and Luke record our Lord’s arrival with remarkable simplicity that even a child can understand. But it is the Apostle to the Gentiles who explains the significance of the incarnation of Christ.

According to Paul

When Christ left heaven’s glory, He as God, emptied Himself of the outward manifestation of His attributes. It was essential that the Lord veil the glory of His deity so sinful humanity could exist in His presence.
—Philippians 2:6,7
Christ’s entrance into the world was through natural means like any other birth. He was born of the woman that He might accomplish the great work of redemption.
—Galatians 4:4,5
Our Lord humbled Himself by stepping into a sinless human form so that He might experience all the trials and temptations we encounter. Therefore, He took upon Himself the form of a servant that He might minister to others.
—Philippians 2:7,8
Into this pure, sinless vessel was poured our sins and iniquities. As a result, He was made sin for us so that His righteousness might be imputed to us.
—II Corinthians 5:21
The Manger and the Cross stand at the opposite ends of our Lord’s earthly life, but they are uniquely connected by a special revelation given to Paul that “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” It has been said, “Though Christ a thousand times in Bethlehem be born, if He’s not born in you, your soul is still forlorn.”

Although tradition often overshadows the truth, may God, in His infinite grace, use us as instruments to show a lost and dying world the Way, which is Christ Jesus.


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ How God Empowers His Witnesses

How God Empowers His Witnesses 

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

As we know, Paul wrought mighty miracles, as Peter and the Pentecostal believers had done. Indeed, a comparison of Paul’s miracles with those of Peter shows Paul’s to have been the mightier. This was mainly in divine confirmation of his apostleship, since Paul was not one of the twelve (II Cor. 12:11,12).

But it is clear from a study of Paul’s ministry and his epistles that these miraculous demonstrations were to vanish away as the dispensation of grace was fully ushered in (See I Cor. 13:8; Rom. 8:22,23; II Cor. 4:16-5:4; 12:10; Phil. 3:20,21; I Tim. 5:23; II Tim.4:20). In fact, in the last seven of Paul’s epistles nothing whatever is said about signs, miracles, healings, tongues, visions or the casting out of demons.

How, then, does God now empower His servants in their conflict with Satan and his demons? The answer is: by the Holy Spirit through His Word, as it is preached with conviction. There is a great volume of evidence as to this in Paul’s epistles, including his early epistles. Two examples:
I Cor. 2:4: “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing [persuasive] words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.”
Mark well, this was power in his preaching, not in performing miracles. Indeed at the very same time when he proclaimed his God-given message with such power, he himself was very weak, for in the preceding verse he says:
“And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling.”
The other example is I Thes. 1:5:
“For our gospel came not unto you in word only, but also in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance…”
In Thessalonica too, Paul had suffered much opposition and persecution, until the whole city was in an uproar (Acts 17:1-5), and this may well have been the result of his powerful preaching. Out of the “uproar,” however, sprang the beloved Thessalonian church, an example and inspiration to those won to Christ under more benign circumstances.


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.


Comments turned off as I continue to enjoy the self-imposed blog vacation.
Have a blessed day.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ Christ The Son Of God

Christ The Son Of God 

by Pastor Cornelius R. Stam

St. Paul opens his Epistle to the Romans by stating that the Lord Jesus Christ was “declared to be the Son of God with power,” or “powerfully declared to be the Son of God… by the resurrection from the dead” (1:4).

In Psa. 2:7, we have Christ, in prophecy, saying:
“I will declare the decree: the Lord hath said unto Me, Thou art My Son; this day have I begotten Thee.”
Our Lord was, of course, eternally one with the Father, but the word “begotten” here comes from Israel’s laws, referring to the time when the child was officially declared to be the father’s full-grown son.

But what day was He referring to? On what day did the Father officially proclaim:
“This day have I begotten Thee”?
The answer is found in Acts 13:33, where the Apostle states that God “raised up Jesus again; as it is also written in the second Psalm: Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee.”
So our Lord was officially — and powerfully — declared to be the Son of God at His resurrection from the dead. But what did Paul mean in II Tim. 2:7,8, where he said:
“Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things. Remember that Jesus Christ, of the seed of David, was raised from the dead ACCORDING TO MY GOSPEL.”
The answer is that the twelve had proclaimed Christ as the Son of David, to sit on David’s throne. Theirs was “the gospel of the kingdom.” But when the King and His kingdom were rejected, God raised up another apostle, Paul, to proclaim “the gospel of the grace of God” (Acts 20:24).

Christ was, indeed, raised from the dead to sit on David’s throne, and this will yet come to pass, but Paul has a message for us, here and now: that Christ was raised from the dead to certify our justification and to become the Head of “the Church which is His Body.”


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

                             Comments turned off while I am on blog vacation. Have a blessed day.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two Minutes With The Bible ~ The Spirit of Holiness

The Spirit of Holiness 

by Pastor Ricky Kurth
“… Jesus Christ… was… declared to be the Son of God… according to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom. 1:3,4).
What does it mean that the Lord’s resurrection declared Him to be the Son of God according to the spirit of holiness? Well, have you ever heard it said that there is a difference between the letter of the law and the spirit of the law? When you drive 66 m.p.h. in a 65 m.p.h. zone, you are breaking the letter of the law, but you are not breaking the spirit of the law. The spirit of the law is for you to drive safely and responsibly. This is why most police officers will not ticket you for going one mile per hour over the speed limit.

The letter of the law of holiness is expressed well in Proverbs17:15:
“He that justifieth the wicked, and he that condemneth the just, even they both are abomination to the Lord.”
But isn’t that what God did at the Cross, when He condemned “that Just One” (Acts 22:14) and justified wicked sinners such as ourselves? In so doing, He surely broke the letter of the law of holiness.

Or did He? For those who would argue that God was not acting in accord with the law of holiness, we would reply that when God the Father took your sins and placed them on the Lord Jesus Christ at Calvary, He justly condemned the One who was made wicked (II Cor. 5:21). Then when you believed the gospel, God took His righteousness and put it on you, enabling Him to justify the ones who were made the very righteousness of God in Christ (II Cor.5:21). The resurrection of Christ then proved that this was also done in perfect accord with the spirit of holiness, for Christ’s sacrifice surely satisfied the just demands of God’s righteousness.

If you haven’t yet trusted Christ as your Savior, however, God has not yet given you the righteousness that is available only in Christ. Speaking of the Lord Jesus, the Apostle Paul says,
“In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).
The forgiveness of sins purchased by Christ’s blood is only available in Him. If you are not in Christ, you are still “in trespasses and sins” (Eph. 2:1). “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).


To the Reader:
Some of our Two Minutes articles were written many years ago by Pastor C. R. Stam for publication in newspapers. When many of these articles were later compiled in book form, Pastor Stam wrote this word of explanation in the Preface:
"It should be borne in mind that the newspaper column, Two Minutes With the Bible, has now been published for many years, so that local, national and international events are discussed as if they occurred only recently. Rather than rewrite or date such articles, we have left them just as they were when first published. This, we felt, would add to the interest, especially since our readers understand that they first appeared as newspaper articles."
To this we would add that the same is true for the articles written by others that we continue to add, on a regular basis, to the Two Minutes library. We hope that you'll agree that while some of the references in these articles are dated, the spiritual truths taught therein are timeless.

Comments turned off while I am on blog vacation.Have a blessed day.