Monday, September 21, 2009

The Fair and Witnessing

Sorry about the timeliness of this post, things have been hectic for me these past few weeks. But about the fair. It seemed that we were not going to have a booth at the fair this year for various reasons, so Jenn and I and some others from church were going to hand out tracts on our own independently from each other.

Someone from church (Paul) did have a booth at the fair for his home business and the spot next to him was vacant. When one of the people in charge at the fair noticed the spot next to him empty the guy told him that if he wanted he could expand his booth. The man said that it looked bad to have empty booths. Well, when Paul's wife Vicki heard this she asked if she could set up a table for our church, and the man said that is was ok.

We now had a booth at the fair. This was encouraging, I had wanted to do some evangelism at fair and was kind of disappointed that we did not have a booth, but God had provided a booth for us. Since the church was not expecting to have a booth, the church did not have many tracts on hand. Providentially, someone had ordered some tracts through the church and did not want them any more, the problem, there were only a few packs. Jenn and I, not knowing we had a booth or that there was a need for tracts, decided to go back to the fair and I happened to grab the two packs I had. We decided to go back and see Paul and Vicki, they told us the situation and we happily handed over the tracts. Because God had providentially set this all up, the tract table had plenty of tracts for the fair.

Like I said before, I had the desire to witness at the fair and we now had a booth. (I know I could have still witnessed, but due to my sinful fear I was going to just hand out tracts.) I had rolled the idea around for months in my head (witnessing at a fair booth), but as soon as the opportunity presented its self, I got sick to my stomach and fear entered my heart! Vicki told us that she needed help to man the booth, so I volunteered to help, my stomach dropped even more. How hypocritical of me, here was the opportunity I was hoping for and once it presented its self I wanted nothing to do with it!

Despite my fear, I helped out at the table. Let me make this clear, it was only by the undeserved Grace of God was I able to overcome my fear and anxiety. I have witnessed one on one in the past, but I have never been able to find a consistent, clear, and concise way of sharing the Gospel. I submitted myself to God in prayer before showing up and in spite if my flesh God used me to clearly proclaim His word.

PLEASE NOTE: I am not searching for any accolades, pats on the back, or atta-boys. I am not trying to draw attention to myself. I am merely showing what God do even through a sinful excuse-filled vessel. I am boasting only in my weakness, that God may be glorified in my weakness. (2 Cor 11:30, 12:8-10)

God gave me the opportunity to share one-on-one, with two to three and once with a small group. Over all, I directly shared the Gospel with about twenty different people. God gave me a clarity that I have not had before. I was able to finally put into better words and analogies that made sense. God opened the recesses of my mind where I had stored all of the witnessing encounters that I have heard and He helped me assemble it together to form a clear Gospel message. at one point there were six or seven people all gathered around wanting to know the Million Dollar Question. It turned into a mini open-air (preaching.) I had to lift my voice so they could all hear, and as a result people walking by stopped (thankfully God caused me not notice them, I would have been thrown off.) After I was done a kind lady encouraged me with a quick "good job," which was very kind.

One more experience I will share was what I call a drive-by. I asked an older lady if she could answer the Million Dollar Question. Paul egged her on and suggested that she could not. So, she asked what it was.

"If you were to die right now would you go to heaven or to hell?"

She leaned over the table and gently touch my hand and said, "I know where I am going, too bad you don't." And she started to walk away!

I replied, "How do you know that I don't?"

"Because of the way you are preaching this!" And she took off!

Needless to say I was flabbergasted. I sat there trying to find words to say. But God knows what He is doing. Sin entered my heart and I wanted to have a "discussion" with her. But God knowing my heart caused her to walk away. Thank you Lord for saving me from soiling Your name!

My evangelism flame before this, was flickering and on it's last bit of fuel. I had let sin overtake my heart and allowed myself to slip into complacency. God used the fair to reignite my flame and passion for the preaching of the Gospel. "Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down? Do you care, do you care, are you going to let them drown?" Do we really belive that if poeple do not come to a saving repentance and faith in Jesus Christ alone, that they are going to hell? Do we REALLY believe it? If we do how can we stay silent? Why do I care If I look like a fool if it is to be a fool for Christ who is the only one who can save them from their sins and Hell? Where is my urgency, my compassion? People are dying everyday! I am preaching to myself as well as all you fellow Christians. We are all called to evangelize (Matt 28:19-20.) We may not all have the gift of being a full time evangelist, but are our lives marked with going out of our comfort-zone to share the Word of Truth? Remember, we are no better than the lost, just better-off. We are just fellow beggars trying to show other beggars where to find the Bread of Life!

Please pray for all of those who heard the Gospel! Pray that God may save some!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Update Coming Soon!

Once I rest up and spend some well needed time with my family, I will post an update about the Gospel sharing at the fair. Please pray for the souls that hear the Law and the Gospel and for those who left with the Spirit convicting them of sin, righteousness, and judgment.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Conviction...From a Sunrise?!

Sunrise in the Magic Valley, Idaho

Well as the title says, I was deeply convicted by the sunrise this morning. I will explain my thought process that I had this morning and it will weave in to my conviction.

As I was driving to my first stop this morning I was preparing myself to start my time of prayer (I have about a forty-minute drive.) One thing I really enjoy, is seeing God's handiwork in each of His sunrises. Today's was magnificent, as usual. The clouds looked like they were drawn across the sky by a wide brush. The color of the sky near the horizon was a fiery orange, with reddish hues being cast on the clouds. When the sun broke over the horizon it came with blazing glory.

I started to think about power of God and how creation unfalteringly obeys His commands to create such a masterpiece. God commanded the earth to be tilted at the perfect amount for their to be different seasons. God commands the earth to be at a perfect distance in orbit around the sun to allow for life to thrive on the earth. God commands the sun's explosions to produce life sustaining energy and light. He commands all this and the creation obeys. He commands the earth to rotate, which produces the sunrise. The atmosphere refracts light just as commanded to shine through the dust that has perfectly obeyed to give the sky its fiery color. God gave wisdom and knowledge to the person who made my glasses that allow my eye to clearly see all that I saw. This is where I paused and came to see my sin, weak and feeble faith in God's faithfulness.

I was planning on confessing my lack of faith, but God brought it to the forefront of my mind right there and then. A little background, I have been starting to stress a little about some changes coming up. We have another little one on the way, we will soon need to find a better and or bigger place to live and to top it all off, my work is reorganizing everyone's jobs and I have to interview for some positions this week. Their is a lot of uncertainty coming up, one thing I do not like. I already knew that God has always provided for my little family. We may not have an abundance but we have always had enough and have not lacked. I had no reason to worry and I was going to confess and repent, until the Holy Spirit wanted to give me a better perspective.

At this point I was crushed and tears came to my eyes. God saw this vile, small, God-hating, blasphemous rebel and instead of snuffing out my little meaningless and God-opposing life, He caused me to be regenerated and born again! And yet He still puts up with my sin as I struggle with my flesh everyday, oh wretched man that I am! But I know their is no condemnation for those who are in Christ, He sees us as perfect even though we are not yet perfect. What right do I have to worry?! How arrogant of an attitude. Look at the birds of the air and the lilies of the field are they not clothed and fed? Will God not take care of those that He has adopted as sons?

Father, forgive me for my lack of faith!

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Does This Offend You? It's Truth...

Saturday, August 15, 2009

God's Loving and Sovereign Hand

Well I thought I would start off with the highlight of the summer for our little family. About a week ago we found out that God has blessed us with another little life! We are so very happy and surprised about this.

Jenn and I have been incredibly blessed. For those of you who do not know our story, I will give you a brief overview. We tried for four and a half years to conceive our son. We went from one heartbreaking month to another. Every time Jenn was late, our hopes soared only to have them come crashing back down shortly afterward. We scrounged up money when we could and went to the doctor to try to figure out what the issue was. The doctors were never able to give us a definite answer about what was causing us not to conceive. (We were not saved at this point.) We thought we were never going to be able to have a child, so we tried putting it out of our minds as best we could

In the fall of 2007, God caused Jenn and I to be born again. In November we found out that God blessed us with a child! Please note, I am not a proponent of "Come to Jesus, and life will be better." We were, and still are, convinced that God had kept Jenn's womb closed until the preordained time, namely our salvation. Looking back, we are convinced that that we were in no position to have a child. We struggled to stay married, to eat, and pay bills.

So, now coming back to the present. God has again shown us his sovereignty in our lives. It took us four and a half years to conceive, we always thought that to have another child might take just as long, or never happen. We sure were wrong. I have come to see that this can not be anything but God's hand at work in our lives presently and in the past.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Will Be Back Soon!

I am very sorry to all of you who follow my blog! I have had an quite an eventful summer. Virtually every night I am exhausted, my job gets very busy in the summer (and hot.) I have many things that I have been wanted to blog about but have been too tired (mentally and physically.) I have some big news that some of you already know. I will try to get a new postout by Sunday!

Thank you for your patience!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Give Us Some Men...

Monday, June 8, 2009

Effects of Sin

To the woman he said,

“I will surely multiply your pain in childbearing;
in pain you shall bring forth children.
Your desire shall be for your husband,
and he shall rule over you.”

And to Adam he said,

“Because you have listened to the voice of your wife
and have eaten of the tree
of which I commanded you,
‘You shall not eat of it,’
cursed is the ground because of you;
in pain you shall eat of it all the days of your life;
thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you;
and you shall eat the plants of the field.
By the sweat of your face
you shall eat bread,
till you return to the ground,
for out of it you were taken;
for you are dust,
and to dust you shall return.”

Genesis 3:16-19 (ESV)

These verses from Genesis poetically describe when our Lord God pronounced judgment upon the whole of creation (for the purposes of this post, I chose only the verses in which the Lord speaks directly to Adam and Eve.) I am sure most of us are familiar with these verses. Chapter three of Genesis is a very important chapter, it is here we get an explanation for all the decay, pain, turmoil and ultimately death that we see in the world. Adam and Eve did not guard themselves from the temptation of the serpent, which then became desire and their desire then brought forth sin and sin then lead to death (James 1:14,15.)

We are all well aware of the curse. For women, pain in childbirth and rearing and conflict with her husband (her wanting to usurp his authority and him ruling over her.) For men, hard work to provide food for our family. Not only do we have hard work, but the very ground is going to fight back with thorns and thistles. Our lives are now to work the dirt we came from to live until the day that we return to the dust from whence we came. Now, according to Dr. John MacArthur, these were special curses (on top the the general curse that fell upon all of creation) that are to remind us constantly of the exceeding sinfulness of sin and how God hates it so.

As of lately my eye has been drawn to another effect sin. I was recently flipping though a magazine and I suddenly stopped and could not pull my eyes from what I saw, a picture of a little girl with a cleft pallet. Sorrow filled my heart. As of recently, that has been happening more and more. I see mentally handicap children, children with deformities, babies dying in the womb and my heart breaks. I shake my head at how sin has permeated even our DNA! I also see the mentally challenged adults and my heart breaks for them as well. When I see these effects on the "innocent" it actually causes a tear in my eye, and I am not one who crys. Maybe having a child myself has caused me to be more sensitive to such things.

I have also been sensitive to people who are suffering from degenerative diseases. I was talking with a manager at one of my stores today who has rheumatoid arthritis, she is only 45 and was diagnosed 20 years ago. She is currently almost completely crippled in her hands and has virtually no wrist joints. Her knuckles are very inflamed and she says she is in almost constant pain. She has been offered wrist replacement surgery, but she has opted out for now (they would have to remove her hands!) When she walked way to help a customer, I could not help but fight back a tear! This is just one example of physical disease in our world not even counting sicknesses. Oh how sin has buried its tentacles in everything!

I recently watched Visual Bible: Matthew in which Bruce Marchiano portrays Jesus in fashion that I have not seen in any movie made about Him. Most movies of Jesus we see him as stern and fairly unemotional except for anger. This movie portrays Jesus' softer and compassionate side with out compromising His hard and stern language and emotion. In the scenes when Jesus is healing people you can see the pain in His eyes. Who could see the incredibly disastrous effects of sin? Mr. Marchiano does an amazing job conveying the sorrow and compassion that Jesus must have felt toward his fallen creation. How merciful of a God it is we serve! Not only do we have God's common grace all around us (the mere fact that we are all still alive,) not only did he heal people (when He was here on earth,) He also willingly died on a cross to atone for the elect's sins for complete spiritual and eventual physical healing!

I really had a lot more to say but that would have gotten me WAY off topic. Listening to John MacArthur's sermons on chapter three of Genesis has given me grat insight into those verses that i will explore in another post!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

The Mirror of the Ten Commandments

Normally I would not post pictures here that I take for another website (Digital Photography School,) but the latest assignment made we think of a spiritual concept: abandonment of sin. The theme for this week was Abandoned, here is the description that I posted along with the photo:

I had to sit for a while and think about this assignment. Of course the idea of an abandoned building came to mind, but I wanted to go for a more abstract idea of abandonment. I started thinking about my life as a Christian and the things that I have abandoned. I came up with this composite photo. The mirror represents the mirror of the Ten Commandments (here are just four: lying, stealing, taking God's name in vain and adultery.) By looking through this mirror we see ourselves God sees us as lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers at heart and that is only four! The reflection in the mirror is what I am in light of the Commandments a filthy, wretched, God-hating sinner. The close up portion represents how though Christ's death on the cross I can turn my back on, forsake, ABANDON my sin.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day

With today being Memorial Day, I thought I would get back to writing some blogs. I know as of late my posts have been few and far between, for that I am sorry. Life has a way of getting in the way of things, as well areas of sin that need to be dealt with.

Traditionally, today is the day we remember our service men and women who have died in service to their country. It has also, over time, been a time we memorialize loved ones who have gone into eternity before us. Today is one of those days where we confront the fact that we are all going to die and their is nothing that can stop the flow of time. For some of us that end comes sooner than others; for some, the thought of what happens after we die terrifies them. If everyone is honest with themselves, it is plain to see why most people are terrified to die.

According the the Bible (Romans 1:19-31) all men know that God exists, and not just a god but the true God. And all men know that they have transgression against God. All men know that God is Good and Just. So Good and Just that He will not only punish murderers and rapists, but liars, thieves, adulterers (mental fantasies and physical,) the covetous, and those who dishonor their parents. God will not only judge them, but will also judge those who pay homage to other gods, who have fashioned and worship idols both physical an in their minds (by having an false view of God,) and those who blaspheme the name of God (with their mouth or by they way they live their life.) I think it is easy to see why most all people are terrified to die, they know that when they die they will face the Just Judge of all the earth and will have to answer to Him for what they have done. Most people will be found wanting that day, they will not have a payment for their crimes and will be punished.

However, their are some of us who may be frightened of the dying process,it be painful or slow, but not afraid of death. We are still just as guilty of everything that the first group is, but we have one more thing than they do: payment for our sin though the atoning work of Christ's (the Just Judge) death on a cross. We have responded (only by God's immeasurable Grace) to our sin and the cross in repentance (a contrite apology and turning from all sin) and faith in our Savior, Jesus Christ.

If you are one of those people that are afraid of death, you do not have to be. Look at God's Law the ten commandments, you have violated every single one in spirit if not in action. Let those commandments crush you, see yourself though God's Holy eyes. you know God should crush you but he is willing to forgive. God is also Loving, he Sent Jesus, who is fully God, to pay the penalty for sin for all those who respond in repentance and faith.

As I said before, Memorial Day has become more than just remembering our fallen soldiers. So I propose to all Christians today, let us remember those who have fallen to give us freedom to worship our God, but let us also remember the ones who have preceded us into Glory. The great Heroes of the Faith. Those great men who dedicated their whole being to the Gospel, some died of old age, and most died for the faith. Let us also remember the persecuted Church. Our brothers ans sisters who daily are being beaten, tortured, and martyred for the name of Christ.

I humbly ask you all today, first if you are afraid if death, please follow what I said above and ask God for forgiveness, secondly I ask you all to pray and thank our God for all of those who have preceded us in death and for those who suffering great torment because they are faithful witnesses to Christ's Name.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Story Time...Again!

The basic structure of this story I heard an old Way of the Master Radio phone fisher, Aaron the Actor. He use a very basic version of this in a witnessing / open-air-preaching encounter. I have thought a while how to convert this to a story. I thought the basic concept of this was powerful, I hope you feel the same way. I have also loaded a new song in my music player that might help add to the story, if you have the time please listen to it after reading, it is called "Were You There?"


I would like you to imagine something for me, you have a six year-old son; he is your only son and you are unable to have anymore children. He is the center of your life, you love him virtually more than anything. You two go almost everywhere together: museums, the city park, swimming, putt-putt golf, and even errands.

Today is not unlike any other, he joins you on your daily errands to pay bills, deposit money, get gas, and pick up dinner. So far you have gone to the post office and dropped off your bills and are now walking into the bank. The bank is awfully full today with fairly long lines, of which you join. The man in front of you is spewing obscenities like a fire hydrant, the people in the line next to you are talking about the immoral things they did the night before. Your son asks the man in front of you,"Excuse me sir, could you please not say those bad words?"

The man turns around laughing and says, "Shove-off kid, I will say what ever I want, whenever I want!"

Shocked you ask the man again to refrain from his foul and disrespectful language. The man responds with a string of curse words that you have not heard since high school. He starts to mock you calling you uptight and prudish. He calls attention to you and your son calling your son a brainwashed, snot-nosed, little brat. Gradually, more and more people join in the mocking. everyone is hurling insults at you and your son. You try to speak but the crowd is too loud. You try to leave, but as you head to the door you see something that makes you stop in your tracks. You see about five men run into the bank with masks and guns, the bank is about to be robbed.

Gunfire rings out and debris falls from the ceiling and everyone drops to the floor screaming. Your son, absolutely traumatized from the prior situation and now this, is next to you sobbing and shaking. He is inconsolable. The masked men eventually get everyone to quiet down. except your son. The man in charge yells at you to quiet your child, or he would do it. The men go from person to person taking all they have.

The masked-man in charged says, "Unless you choose someone to die, we are going to kill every single one of you. CHOOSE NOW!"

Almost instantly someone cries out,"That man and his son! Why not, he has brain-washed his son and they are in here trying to get us to stop acting like we want to! What right does he have to tell us to stop doing what we want?" Soon everyone is shouting in agreement.

You and your son are drug to the masked-man. As you stand in front of the man you can smell his stench. His odor reminds you of the rotting carcass of an animal on the side of the road. The man is filthy, everything about the man is absolutely repulsive. Laughing, he bends down and hugs your son ans wraps his jacket around him. He stands up and says to you, "Shoot your son and I will let everyone go, including yourself. If you do not, then everyone dies!" He then hands you a loaded pistol. The gun is heavy, you briefly contemplate shooting the masked-men, but that quickly goes away when you see the assault rifles pointed in your direction.

The crowd starts to shout, "KILL HIM, KILL HIM! SHOOT HIM!"

The masked-man says, "Do it NOW!"

Now, if you were this man would you kill your son to save the people who have mocked you and your son? Imagine that you are willing to do it. As you hold the gun and your son who is covered in filth, you hear your son's sobs. He is shaking as he clings to you leg.

You grab the slide of the gun and pull it back, chambering a round and cocking the hammer, then you turn the safety-off; the gun is now ready to fire. You kneel down next to your son and hug him and tell him how much you love him as people shout to just do it. Slowly you place the barrel of the gun against you son's head. "DADDY!" BANG!

The next thing you feel is the warm sticky blood of your son on your hands and soaking though your clothes. You hold your son close as he bleeds out on to the floor. The masked-man tells everyone to leave and as they all leave they trample on your son's blood, still jeering at you and your son. How do you think this man feels. Those that he sacrificed his son for not only still mocking him, but treading on the very blood at set them free. Would you do that, of course not. I wanted you to see this from this man's perspective, when in reality, you are a person in the crowd who, along with everyone else, shouted for the man to kill is son and disrespectfully walked on the son's blood as you left.

There are two ways one could respond to this. The hostages could just continue on with their lives and not ever think twice about it, or could apologize and thank the man for his sacrifice.

Though all analogies limp and cannot convey perfectly all theologies, this is a rough analogy of the cross and the response of men to that sacrifice. If you have rejected and not have responded to the cross in repentance and faith, you are just like those people who continued to mock the father while treading on the son's blood. Even those who have repented are still guilty until they repented, all humanity was in that crowd shouting "Kill Him!" or "Crucify!"

Have you repented and put your trust in Jesus Christ yet? If not why, why would you reject the offer of forgiveness of sins? Why would you increase the Wrath of God and you will experience in Hell? Please, repent (turn away from your sin and apologize) and then put your trust in the Savior, "Behold, now is the favorable time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Cor. 6:2)

Please listen to the first song in my music player I have included the lyrics of the song below:

Were You There?

written by shai linne

Verse 1

This story starts at the climax, we find that time’s lapsed- don’t mind that
It’s kind of like a night cap filled with divine acts
We zoom in the lens on Christ's agony on the garden
Doomed for His friends- His tragedy for our pardon
Foreseeing the Father’s cup of wrath has Him stifled and weak
He’s sweating blood with His disciples asleep
The Prince of Peace knows the beef shall increase
Since the thief approaches with the soldiers and the chief priests
His arrest is not just- neither is the trial
While Jesus is being treated foul, He sees Peter’s denial
He’s sent to Pilate, to Herod, back to Pilate
The violence of humanity at its finest
So now He stands before the crowd doomed to die
An angry mob who’s yelling out “crucify”
The way they treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
But you miss the point if you don’t see your face in the crowd


Were you there when they crucified my Lord?
Were you there? Were you there? (4x)
Man, sometimes it causes me to tremble
Yo, sometimes it causes me to tremble

Verse 2

This story starts at the climax, we find that time’s lapsed- don’t mind that
It’s kind of like a night cap filled with divine acts
We zoom in the lens on Christ's agony in the garden
Doomed for His friends- it had to be for the pardon
And delivery from misery of kids who speak wickedly
Sinfully, inwardly slick with the iniquity
We see disciples sleep and mock today with a lot to say
But we do the same thing when we don’t watch and pray
Like Judas, we sell Christ out to get the treasure
Whether it’s the cheddar or forbidden pleasure
Like the chief priests, we want Christ to surrender
But we want Him out the way when He doesn’t fit our agenda
Like Peter, we have misplaced, fleshly confidence
But we’ll deny the Lord when faced with deadly consequence
Like Herod, we’re curious about Christ because He’s famous
But we quickly get bored with Him when He doesn’t entertain us
Like Pilate, we see Christ and find nothing wrong with Him
But when the world chooses the wicked, we go right along with them
Despite His kindness, we seek to do our Maker violence
The fallenness of humanity at its finest
So now He stands before the crowd doomed to die
An angry mob who’s yelling out “crucify”
The way they treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
But you miss the point if you don’t see your face in the crowd


Verse 3

This story starts at the climax, we find that time’s lapsed- don’t mind that
It’s kind of like a night cap filled with divine acts
We zoom in the lens on Christ's agony on the garden
Doomed for His friends- His tragedy for our pardon
Foreseeing the Father’s cup of wrath- it has Him stifled and weak
He’s sweating blood with His disciples asleep
The Prince of Peace knows the beef shall increase
Since the thief approaches with the soldiers and the chief priests
His arrest is not just- neither is the trial
While Jesus is being treated foul, he sees Peter’s denial
He’s sent to Pilate, to Herod, back to Pilate
The violence of humanity at its finest
So now He stands before the crowd doomed to die
An angry mob who’s yelling out “crucify”
The way we treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
Ashamed, I bow because I see my face in the crowd


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Esater Special Update!

Oh and on a side note: My son and I made it on the front page of!! Thanks Mike for letting me know about this!

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Just Another Wretch Jr.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Wretched TV's Good Friday/Easter Special!

I just wanted to let you all know that On Good Friday, April 10th, Todd Friel and the gang are putting on a hour-long, uninterrupted, Good Friday / Easter Special. I am not sure at what time it is going to air, I will keep you updated, but it will not be at Wretched's normal time. FamilyNet is going to run it eight times that weekend at different times. It will air on FamilyNet stations. I know locally it is on channel 45 (analog, not digital.)

If this special is going to be anything like what Todd has put together in the past on the old Way of the Master Radio program, it is going to be eye-opening. I truly suggest you not miss it. I will embed a mp3 player below with the audio of one of their Good Friday / Easter Specials.

For those that are unable to get a FamilyNet TV station, or think that they will miss it, I am going to try and record it and if requested I will try and make DVD copies.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fishing Update: Inoculated or True Believer?

I have a confession to make, and I ask that you pray for me and my obedience. Last week while at my fishing hole their were a lot of people and I was disobedient; I made excuses not to share the Gospel with anyone. I have been doing this lately at work and while out and about. I pass up perfect opportunities to at least hand out a tract. This morning was Communion, and before taking it I was convicted of this unconfessed sin. I ask for your prayers in this area, thank you.

Well, today I was back at my fishing hole, and it was pretty empty. I saw an older woman sitting by herself, so being obedient I went over and talked to her, her name was Sandy. It turns out she has see lots of different kinds if money tracts before, but not in the million dollar denomination. She seemed to be familiar with Christianity. She told me that she was raised as LDS and then went to Baptist and Pentecostal churches after her parents divorced.

I was naturally concerned, so I wanted to quiz her and see if she had a correct view of man, God, Jesus, salvation, and Mormonism. I asked her to pretend that I was not a Christian and had a knife in my back and only had three minutes to live, and I came up to her, dying, asking what I needed to do to be saved. She said, "I would simply tell you that you need to ask for it (salvation/forgiveness.)" I asked her what she meant by that and explained to her that we need to use more clear language. I told her that "Repentance" and "Faith/Trust" would be closer to what the Bible says (Mark 1:14,15.) I believe that is along the same lines that she was meaning. From a lot of witness encounters/testimonies I have heard, people use Christian lingo, which to the Christian is clear but to the unchurched can be confusing.

I then went though who God is (i.e. the Trinity, eternal, never created, never was a man) and she confirmed that she thought the same way. We talked about God's Sovereignty and many other subjects that I thought I should cover to be sure she had a clear Biblical view of things (at least to the best of MY knowledge.) She agreed with me on all points, which I have to say surprised me with her background.

We somehow got in the subject of creation and atheism. She told me her grandson claimed to be an atheist since his father died (suicide or murder, he was found at the base of the canyon two years ago) and thinks that there can't be a God. Sandy believes that he is just angry at God for allowing it to happen and he is just acting out rebelliously. She told her grandson that their was a chance that he had repented moments before his death. I told her she should share Luke 13:1-5 with him and to use his father's death to get his attention about his own eternity. In that passage, Jesus tells a group after a disaster to repent or they too would perish. She told me that she would do that.

When I fist talked to her I asked if she went to church, and she said she "had been going to a LDS church." This concerned me and also confused me. She said that she has been to many different "Christian" churches, including Catholic. The answers she gave me did not seem to match her buffet of church going. I asked her again if she went to church currently, and she said no. I breathed a sigh of relief. I was concernded about her going to a mormon church, plus it did not make sense with her answers. I invited her to our church on sunday and she said she may check it out.

So, I ask, if you think about it, to pray for Sandy. I am not sure if she is a true believer or if she is inoculated to the truth. Also, please pray for her grandson, that he sees God and all His might and that his grandmother is able to be used by God. And again, I ask that you pray for me to be obedaint to God's commands, thank you.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Story Time!

I am not a writer by any means, but I have had this idea for a story for a while. Please read and enjoy.


Suddenly aware, I notice that it is pitch black and I cannot open my eyes, where am I? I suddenly hear sounds, faint at first but steadily growing louder. BEEP...BEEP............BEEP..........BEEEEEEP! My body is suddenly seized with excruciating pain and all sounds fade away.

I become aware, but this time it is different. I look around and see that I am heading down a hall. On either side of me are two beings, beautiful yet stoic. I look down, my hands and feet are bound in chains. "What is going on? Where am I going?" I ask the beings. No answer. I ask again. The one on my right says, "You are headed to see the Judge. Now be silent, we are here."

Suddenly alone, I stand in a room filled with a brilliant light emanating from directly in front of me. From what I can make out, there is someone, of massive size, sitting on an enormous throne. I cannot make out who this person is because the light is too brilliant. This must be the Judge I was told about, but why am I here? I am a good person! I haven't done anything!

Suddenly, a voice thunders and shakes the room's very foundation, "What is your plea?"

Defiantly I ask, "To what charge?"

"You have been charged with violating God's Law, how do you plead?"

"Not guilty! I am a good person. I may not be perfect, but I do good," I reply contemptuously. Who was this person to accuse me of such a crime? I ask, "What 'Law' are you talking about? I don't believe in God, so how can I be held accountable to Him?"

"For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse," (Romans 1:20) the voice replied, "They show that the work of the Law is written on their hearts, while their conscience also bears witness, and their conflicting thoughts accuse or even excuse them on that day when, according to my gospel, God judges the secrets of men by Christ Jesus." (Romans 2:15, 16) After a pause, the voice continued, "The Law is the Ten Commandments. No matter whether you believe there is a God or not, you are without excuse!"

I suddenly become very sober-minded. I realize that I shut up and ignored my conscience a long time ago. "Surely my crimes have not been that bad," I say, regaining my defiant attitude.

"Let's see the evidence of your guilt."

I become painfully aware of my guilt. In front of me I see my life and every violation of the Law. The Judge went thought the Commandments:
  1. "You shall have no other gods before me." (Exodus 20:3)
  2. "You shall not make for yourself a carved image, or any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth." (Exodus 20:4)
  3. "You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes his name in vain." (Exodus 20:7)
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy." (Exodus 20:8)
  5. "Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you." (Exodus 20:12)
  6. "You shall not murder." (Exodus 20:13)
  7. "You shall not commit adultery." (Exodus 20:14)
  8. "You shall nit steal." (Exodus 20:15)
  9. "You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor." (Exodus 20:16)
  10. "You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbor’s." (Exodus 20:17)
As the Judge goes though all of the Law, I see all of my violations. I did not break these just once, but countless times. It seems like an eternity, but finally He finishes and asks, "Defend your actions, give Me an account of all your deeds. As you saw, I have not only seen the deeds done in the light, but your secret sins done in darkness. How can you defend yourself?"

Like a rebellious child I reply, "Come on! I am but man! My violations have not been that bad. I may have broken all your Laws, but my sins are not spectacular! Do I really deserve punishment?"

The thundering voice says,"You are correct. Your sins are not spectacular, but it is against whom you have committed the crimes. You have offended Me, the Just Judge of all the world. Your offenses have been against an infinite and Holy God! You are deserving, therefore, of infinite punishment in the Lake of Fire and Burning Sulfur!"

Crushed under the weight of my guilt and impending punishment, I cry out,"Who are you? Who have I offended?"

He leans forward and I can now make out the face of my Judge. I gasp as I realize what I am looking at. His face was hardly recognizable as a man's, yet I know who this this. As I study His face I see the bruises, lacerations, blood, and missing bits of His beard. I see that His wrists still bear the nail holes. This is Jesus the Christ, God the Son, who was crucified on the cross. While on the cross He suffered the full Wrath of God the Father for the sins of all who repent and trust Him. He died, was buried, and rose on the third day.

I recall that God is supposed to be an "all-forgiving" God. Hopefully and with tears I say,"I know who you are. You are Jesus, the Son of God. You died for my sins on the cross." I then start to beg for forgiveness. "Please, forgive me. I am sorry that I violated your Law. I know that you will forgive me and let me go. You have to, I apologized and believe in you."

"You fool! The demons believe and tremble!" He thunders, "You think that you can just say that you 'believe' in Me? You think just because you apologize now that you will be forgiven? You foolish man! It is too late to beg for forgiveness!"

Startled, I reply, "What do you mean it is too late? I can't be held accountable for what I did not know! You never showed Yourself to me! How was I supposed to know that You were real?"

"You have no excuse. I gave you all of My Creation - the stars, moon, and planets; the changing seasons, extravagant sea creatures, and a wide variety of plant life. You have suppressed the Truth in your unrighteousness and have silenced your conscience." I can feel the heat emanating from Him, getting more intense with every word. He continues, "I had mercy on you by ordaining you run into My servants. Just recently you heard one of them preaching out in the open at the beach."

Before me appears a man on a soapbox. He is not a large man, but his voice is powerful and carries without amplification. I remember the scene. He was proclaiming that people were not good and were going to hell. I see myself step up and take his test. I did not take it seriously and mocked him the entire time. After he was done, he came up to me and explained where I would go if I died in my sins - Hell. I scoffed, so he handed me a Million Dollar bill and told me to at least ponder what I had been told and he walked off. I see myself crumple up the tract and shove it into my pocket.

The images disappear and He says, "I sent my servant, Ray, to you just today and you ridiculed him. But he was faithful. You are without excuse. You are guilty!"

I am defeated. I know that my next destination is eternal torment in Hell. If I had only listened! My chains fall off and He reaches out grabbing me. I see a Lake of Fire and I am cast into it. I start screaming....


My eyes open as I scream at the top of my lungs. I look around. I am in my room! The buzzing is my alarm clock, which I promptly shut off. I finally catch my breath. "It was just a dream. Just a dream," I say to myself. I am not comforted. That was too real. I still feel the weight of my sins on my shoulders. What did that preacher say? I know that I am a sinner, I know that God is real, and I know that if that was real and I had died in my sins, I would be going to hell. But what did he say I needed to do to be saved? I am such a fool! Why did I not take him seriously?

I fumble around looking for the pants I was wearing yesterday. I dig in the pocket and uncrumple the Million Dollar tract and read the back:
The million dollar question: Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here's a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything, or used God's name in vain? Jesus said, "Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart." Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heart. The Bible warns that if you are guilty you will end up in Hell. That's not God's will. He sent His Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God's Law, but Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." Then He rose from the dead and defeated death. Please, repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus alone, and God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.
I fall to my knees, tears pouring down my face as I sob uncontrollably. I am undone, crushed by my guilt. With a contrite heart, I cry out to The Lord. I confess all my known sins. I forsake my sinful life. I also trust in Jesus to save me from my sin and for having paid my fine!


Well, I hope you enjoyed my tale. If you have any feedback please let me know. I have tried to be as theologically correct as possible, but if I have erred please let me know!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Fishing Update: Tom Clancy is More Interesting Than The Gospel

I think I have found a fishing hole, the laundromat. While I am not the point I want to be, I am getting more bold and confidant about witnessing. On Sunday, I was washing my cloths reading the Word and my hermeneutics book (I am WAY behind,) and gentleman joined me at my table and saw that I was reading the Bible. He ask what I was reading and told him that I was in the Gospel of Luke. He asked what church i want to and told me that he was an Episcopal priest. I know the Episcopal church has strayed from orthodox Christianity, but I do know that there are a few rouge churches out there that are trying to bring their denomination back to Biblical Christianity. After we talked briefly we both went back to our books. While I was reading I saw a man I have seen several times at the laundromat, I prayed a quick prayer for this man's soul and then approached him.

Let's just say I was shot down pretty quick. I waled up and asked if he had received a Million Dollar Bill (I told him it was part of the stimulus package.) He gave me a chuckle, and I preceded to tell him it was a Gospel tract that asked the Million Dollar Question, if you were to die would you go to Heaven? He responded quickly with "If I am lucky," and he quickly handed back the tract. I said that he could keep it and he made it clear he did not want it. He then acted like I was not even there anymore and continued to stare blankly at the TV. I respected his nonverbal request and went back to the table.

When I sat down I asked the priest if he had see the tracts before. He said that he had not, and I tried to talk to what I was hoping was a fellow believer (I am not saying that he was not.) I tried telling him about the nice and concise message on the back and he handed it back to me and went right back to his book, End War by Tom Clancy.

I was a little disheartened, but I will not let this deter me. I know that not all conversations are going to go well, I may even get people who get really mad at me, but I is not me who converts the soul, it is God and His Spirit alone. I was obedient, and that is what God wants.

I ask that when you remember, please pray for my boldness and obedience. I want desperately to have a passion for spreading God's Good News!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Am I Really a Christian?

I know this question haunted me at one point. The problem is it only haunted me AFTER I was saved (I lived most of my life as a false convert, for my testimony visit this post.) No one ever openly questioned me or told me that I should examine myself to see if I am in the Faith or not (2 Corinthians 13:5.) The next logical question them becomes, how can I know if I am in the faith or not? This post is for all you readers who profess being a Christian. You need examine yourself to make sure that you yourself are not a false convert. I took this list from The Lawman Chronicles blog on what warning signs will be present in a false convert. Below this list is a Sermon Jam that my fellow blogger Wretched Sinner put together. It is from a sermon that Todd Friel, host of Wretched Radio, did about how you can know that you are a Christian. PLEASE listen to it it is only about four and half minutes long. [EDIT] Also if you want to hear more information about this subject please listen to two messages by Ray Comfort called Hell's Best Kept Secret and True and False Conversion, you can listen to these for free at the Living Waters' website (on the right-hand side.)

Ten Marks of a False Convert:
  1. You believe that you are inherently a good person, thus denying the doctrine of Original Sin.
  2. You commit idolatry of the mind and blaspheme the very character of God by denying essential doctrines such as judgment, hell, regeneration, and justification by faith alone; and you replace the truth with lies such as sinless perfection and open theism.
  3. You think that only the red-lettered words in your Bible are the words of Jesus and, therefore, the rest of the Bible can be interpreted and applied to your liking.
  4. You believe that a person can be a Christian while wantonly engaging in habitual sin; such as homosexuality, fornication, adultery in mind or body, the support in any way whatsoever of the murder of the unborn, or any other sin.
  5. You believe that because a person has prayed a prayer and asked Jesus into their heart, then they are saved.
  6. You believe a person can be a Christian, even if they bear no fruit after making a profession of faith in Christ. You treat the grace of God as a license to sin. You like the word “backslider.”
  7. You struggle with the thought of missing a meal; but going days, weeks, even months without reading your Bible doesn’t faze you.
  8. You pray when you want something from God; but beyond that you have very little time for conversation with Him.
  9. You believe that Darwinian, macro-evolution is a scientific fact and compatible with belief in the God of the Bible.
  10. You see evangelism as a gift other people have; and you have no real concern about the fact that 150,000 people die every day, with the vast majority of them bound for hell. You soothe your conscience by convincing yourself that “friendship evangelism,” as it is most commonly practiced among American Christians, is actually in the Bible. You think that if you “let your little light shine,” you don’t have to verbally proclaim the gospel.

I pray that you read through this and listened to the audio, please consider these things. If your pride is saying that you are ok and this is just one person's opinion, please put that away and truly examine yourself. You do not what to be one of those who on the Day of Judgment says, "Lord, Lord..." and Jesus in turn says, "Depart from me you worker of inequity, I never knew you!" I know how you feel, you think that you are a Christian that this offends you, ask yourself why.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Arguments for Why Abortion Needs to Stay Legal

I have listed here four arguments FOR abortion that most supporters use to advocate keeping abortion legal.

Arguments For Abortion
  1. If illegal, abortions would be forced into back alleys and would not be safe for the women.
  2. Women have the right to choose what they want to do with their bodies.
  3. This is a private and personal issue between a woman and her God.
  4. No one agrees on when person-hood begins.
Below, I have included a video that takes these points and see how valid they really are by applying them to other social issues. This video was created by the team at WretchedTv.

Monday, February 9, 2009

God-Honoring Story

As many of you know my wife and I recently (Sept. 08) started going to a new church, Magic Valley Bible Church. We love our new Church Family and have been growing so much and maturing in the Faith. Jenn and I have recently been able to see just how God-Honoring our body is; on December 10, 2008 one of the families was struck a tremendous blow. Their daughter was involved in a serious car accident resulting in her being in a coma. Last week the doctors officially changed her status from being in a coma! God has shown great mercy and grace throughout this ordeal, and as always it is to His Glory! God has given this family tremendous faith and strength. I am reposting one of Lynn Rivers' latest updates, you will see God glorifying Himself throughout it all!

Sat pm

Well, we are 1 day shy of 60 days since Ashley's accident. Take a look at the difference:

Machines breathing for her

At least 10 meds being administered by drip

no movement

no responses

Uncertain of her survival

Unknown of her recovery


Her breathing on her own and NO trache

Only a couple of medicines to help with her recovery

All kinds of movement, scratching her nose to rolling over , sleeping on her side, to standing with assistance.

Talking, expressing her opinion, reading, remembering her family, friends and other things.

Certain of her survival

And looking forward to her next BIG achievement.

And this isn't close to the end of this wonderful, miraculous, God-honoring story.

Please understand, I have done nothing in this venture. God-Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior has done EVERYTHING. He has brought a group of people together to encourage my family and I during this time, people who don't even know each other. In fact, people who didn't even know us until this time. He has brought Ashley from uncertainty to this very day and will carry her through to exactly where HE wants her. He has pulled, poked, stretched me and yet all the while encircling me in HIS loving arms (that would be all of you!) until only His glory shone.

I fully know that this trial isn't over. Our trials will never be done as long as we live on this earth in this flesh BUT GOD (you gotta love those words!) will always be with us.

Blessings to you all, for your love, prayers and ministering spirits. You have changed my life.


As you can see from the post, they are giving God all the Glory. As I was working today, I was pondering the progress God has done in Ashley and was struck by a parallel. Granted this is not perfect, but Ashley's progress is similar to what it is like when God saves us from our sins. Ashley was, with out the saving help of machines and trained professionals, dead like we are in our sins before Gods saves us. She was unable to do anything, she could not breathe or do anything to sustain herself. The machines and the doctors and all who helped keep Ashley alive vaguely represent God resuscitating our dead-to-sin souls the moment we repent and put our trust in the Savior. Ashley's progress to this point has been nothing short of a miracle of God. Last I heard she was talking on the phone to our pastor, wanting an caramel frappachino, and today was checking her email and Facebook! Is this change not unlike the inner transformation that happens in a person after salvation?

Who can say that our God in not a Sovereign God? The world would say that this was a terrible thing to have happen to a young woman and her family, but they are wrong. Everything that happens in ordained by our God, good or bad. Just look at what this event has done to just our church body. It has caused us all to be more ernest in prayer, to be supportive to a family in need, but most importantly it has given us the opportunity to Glorify our King! God is using Ashley to Glorify Himself, just as he does with all of those that have been saved by His wondrous Grace. Christians remember this, we are a trophy of God's grace so that throughout all eternity we will be an example of how Good God is!

[edit] For updates on Ashley's progress here is the link

Saturday, February 7, 2009

"What You Trusting in, You Decide!"

Before I was saved I used to like to listen to some rap music, not all of it but some. Since being saved, I have found an artist called Shai Linne. He has more correct theology in one VERSE of one of his songs than most "seeker-friendly" pastors have in an entire month's worth of sermons. On top of that he is easy to understand his lyrics. I have posted a video below that includes the words to his song. I hope you enjoy it!

Friday, February 6, 2009

He's Been Distorted by the People...

...And it Just Ain't Right!

I had this video emailed to me from a fellow vendor and Christian brother, it is from the Passion for Christ Movement. I am curios what you all think of this video, please let me know.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

President Obama, I Want to Respect You...

Mr. President, as the Bible says in 1 Peter 2:17, "Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor." I want to be able to honor you, but you must be honorable. I want to mirror what Pastor John Piper has said, and ask you to honestly and honorably answer truly honest questions. I believe that a honorable man will answer these questions:
  1. Are you willing to explain why a baby's right not to be killed is less important than a woman's right not to be pregnant?
  2. Or are you willing to explain why most cities have laws forbidding cruelty to animals, but you oppose laws forbidding cruelty to human fetuses? Are they not at least living animals?
  3. Or are you willing to explain why government is unwilling to take away the so-called right to abortion on demand even though it harms the unborn child; yet government is increasingly willing to take away the right to smoke, precisely because it harms innocent non-smokers, killing 3,000 non-smokers a year from cancer and as many as 40,000 non-smokers a year from other diseases?
  4. And if you say that everything hangs on whether the fetus is a human child, are you willing to go before national television in the oval office and defend your support for the "Freedom of Choice Act" by holding in your hand a 21 week old fetus and explaining why this little one does not have the fundamental, moral, and constitutional right to life? Are you willing to say to parents in this church who lost a child at that age and held him in their hands, this being in your hands is not and was not a child with any rights of its own under God or under law?
[EDIT] (These questions were taken from John Piper's Blog at the Desiring God web site)
Maybe you have information that you can revel to us in response to these questions or can defend your position reasonably. You are the President of the United Sates, you have immense sway and power, please use your power to protect the least among us, the defenseless unborn!

Regardless of what you do, I am going to try and be respectful of you. I will do my best to respectfully disagree with you on matters that I feel are too important to keep quiet on. I will try my best not to teat you disrespectfully, the way opponents of our last President treated him. Above all, I am going to try and make a point everyday to pray for you and your decisions, that they are good and in line with Biblical principles.

President Obama, please, please, please, consider the responsibility that God has graciously ordained you to have.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Humbled Servant

I am a little reluctant to share this for several reasons, mainly because it shows how I allow my sinful flesh to control me. I do not write this to lift myself up at all, I am not patting myself on the back, but rather I want this to give glory to the King.

On Sunday night I was at the laundromat doing...well laundry. For the first 45 min to an hour there was hardly anyone there and was able to read a good portion of God's Word. It started getting busier after I moved the laundry to the dryers. The thought of sharing the Gospel, or at least handing out some Million Dollar Bill tracts, entered my mind, but I allowed pride and shame to pushed the idea out of my mind. I thought that I really needed to read my hermeneutics book instead, after all I have been procrastinating and am behind. So, I started read the book and I kept noticing more people walk in, and the thought of sharing kept popping in my head, but I ignored it. I was having the hardest time concentrating on my book (I still have no idea what I read, I have to reread it) and then I noticed my palms started to feel clammy and my heart was pounding. I knew what I was about to do and it terrified me.

You might wonder why it terrified me, it was because I was about to something that my pride knew was going to make me look foolish and I had never done it to a complete stranger. I stood up, prayed, pulled two tracts from my wallet, and approached two Hispanic guys. Looking back, I now realize that my fear had temporarily dissipated as I walked over and handed the tracts to the guys. I explained what I handed to them was not real money but a Gospel tract and then ask what they thought happened to people when they die. One responded with very broken English about not being sure. This is where I became like Peter when he walked on water. When he was on the water he was fine until he saw the wind and the waves, then he started to sink. Well, when I heard his broken English my heart, unfaithfully, sank. I stumbled through asking him if he thought he was a good person and, of course, he thought he was. I tried asking him if he had ever told a lie and he gave me a shrug and a face that implied that he had NO idea what I was talking about. I tried a few more questions with the same result. Finally I asked him if he had a Bible at home and if so to read the Gospel of John. Almost seeming miraculous, the guy said that he did have a Bible and would read John at home that night. As I walked away I saw them both reading the tracts, so I now leave it in God's hands. As it says in Isaiah 50:11:
so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth;
it shall not return to me empty,
but it shall accomplish that which I purpose,
and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.
I know that I can trust God's Word in this matter. I know that I just did one of several things: (1) I just sowed a seed that will one day be watered and grow then be harvested, (2) I just helped water a seed someone had already sown, or the most terrifying of all (3) I just added to the cup of God's wrath that they will experience on the Day of Judgment. Let me explain what I mean on that third one. On the Day of Judgment, if these two men die in their sin, they will stand with out excuse in front of Almighty God and have to explain why they did not respond to His Grace in repentance and faith.

By man's standards, I was a complete failure, but I am not bound by man's standards, only God's. I am ashamed to say that I was so reluctant to be obedient. As my buddy, Wretched Sinner, said in his latest blog post, I needed and still need to "get out of my own way" when sharing the Gospel. There are lessons that I am going to take from this, one is not to ignore my conscience and be disobedient. I thank my God that this sin, along with all the rest, has already been forgiven. Another thing that I learned was how I am going to need to get direction and training to be more effective.

I have to say that my compassion for the lost has definitely increased since this encounter. I encourage you if you do not share your faith with strangers please consider it. I started out by dropping tracts on the ground in busy places, putting them in ATMs and handing them to cashiers. I know how terrifying it can be to go up to a stranger and talk about these things, but consider where they might be headed. Please consider these lyrics from Keith Green's song Asleep in the Light:
Do you see, do you see
All the people sinking down
Don't you care, don't you care
Are you gonna let them drown

God's calling and you're the one
But like Jonah you run
He's told you to speak
But you keep holding it in,
Oh can't you see it's such a sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark
That the church just can't fight
Cause it's asleep in the light
How can you be so dead
When you've been so well fed
Jesus rose from the grave
And you, you can't even get out of bed.
I ask for your prayers for these two gentlemen. Please pray for their salvation. I also humbly ask that you pray that God continue to grow my compassion for the lost and that my fear of man become fear for man.

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Magnitude of God

As I drive to my first stop in the morning and as I drive back from my last stop in the afternoon I have a fair amount of time to let my mind wander, usually about God or what I had been discussed on Wretched Radio that day (which is always about God and theology.) For the past few weeks I have been thinking about the magnitude of our God.

Not that anyone wants to know but I am 5' 7" tall, compared to most people I know, I am short. I am telling you what my perspective of height and size are. Mt. Everest is 29,035 feet (about 5.5 miles) above sea level and the Challenger Deep in the Mariana Trench is 35,840 feet (about 6.8 miles) below sea level. These are the highest and the deepest points on our planet. This is absolutely amazing and hard to fathom these heights, but that is not all the circumference of the Earth at the equator is 24,901.55 miles. The earth is also home to 6.7 billion people. That kind of make me feel insignificant, but my mind does not stay there, it keeps going.

Now the Earth's volume can fit into the volume of Jupiter a thousand times and Jupiter can fit into the volume of the Sun a thousand times. Feeling small yet? Our solar system is 3.7 billion miles across. But wait there's more! As my mind expands out we not have to switch measurement scales, we now need to use the speed of light. Light travels at roughly 186,000 miles per second (light can travel 7.5 times around the Earth in one second!) A light year is 5.9 trillion miles and our galaxy is 100,000 light years across and contains 200 billion stars. Our closest galactic neighbor is Andromeda, which is 2 million light years away. I read recently that the Hubble Space Telescope has a current viewable distance of about 12 billion light years. There are millions of galaxies out there, we will never be able to say definitively how large the universe is and how many galaxies there are.

I know that this is a lot data and it is hard to comprehend the scope of it all, but I do have a point. In Isaiah 40:12, Isaiah tells us that God measures the universe in the span of His hand. There are millions of galaxies with billions of stars in them and Psalms 147:4-5 tells us that He not only knows the number of the stars but also knows the name of each one. God also knows each and every person that has lived, is living, and will live on this Earth. God also knows the number of hairs on each person's head, your head (Matt 10:30.) Are you starting to see the magnitude of God?

God commands the galaxies to form, and their stars to shine, and they do. He commands planets to form around the stars, and they do. He commands the mountains to rise and the ocean's depths to drop, and they do. He commands the seas to go only so far and the wind to blow, and they do. He commands storms to form and to dissipate, and they do. All of Creation obeys the commands of it's Creator, all but one group. Humans, the one part of Creation that God created with the ability to appreciate and enjoy the rest of Creation and to glorify and worship God as a result. But what happens? God calls us to to obey and glorify him and we say "NO! I want to do things MY way!" Woe to us rebels, God clearly laid out his commands and we all fail to meet his standards. He is so Holy and so Righteous and so Just that He cannot have sin, our disobedience, in His presence.

We have all fallen short of His standard. When we have lied, stolen, and taken his His name in vain He see us as lying, thieving, blasphemers. God also sees our thought life as well. In Matthew 5:27-28 Jesus tells us that just looking with lust (sexual desire) is adultery of the heart, and in verses 21-22 we are told that even being unjustly angry is murder of the heart. Who of us has not broken these commandments? Being guilty of these God sees us as lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterers and murders at heart, and these are just five of the ten commandments! The first five commandments deal directly with God himself. Have any of us always put God first in their lives? How many of us have fashioned an incorrect view of God in our minds?

As the Bible says, God is Holy, Righteous and Just and must punish sin eternally (for a description of Biblical hell view this post I wrote about it.) But God also has other attributes such as Mercy and Grace. God wants to show His mercy and grace but cannot just universally hand it out because He is a Just Judge. The Law has been broken by all men and the fine needs to be paid. We have to stand in front of this huge and mighty God. How can we justify ourselves, we can't.

God sent the Son, Jesus, to be the payment for all sin, all transgression of God's Law. Jesus was crucified and suffered the full wrath of God as payment for all of our sins. Jesus willingly walked into the court room and paid our fine. How great a sacrifice! The God who measures the universe with the span of his hand paid the fine! In order to receive forgiveness we need to respond to Jesus and his sacrifice in repentance and faith. Repentance is a turning from and forsaking of all sin and asking for forgiveness from God. Faith is putting your full trust in Jesus that he has saved you, like trusting a parachute when jumping from a plane. If you do this God will change you from the inside making you a new creature with new desires. All of the sinful things that you used to love you will start to hate and the things you used to hate, like read the Bible and going to church, you will start to desire.

I beg you, if you have not responded to God's grace and forgiveness on His terms, please do it! Think of all of your sins, your rebellion against God, and then think of His sacrifice on the cross. While we were and are sinners He still died for us to make that payment for sin. Let that burden crush you, then call out to God for forgiveness in repentance and faith!

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

More Paul Washer

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Friday, January 23, 2009


...No Emergent Church!

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Quite a mess!

Please excuse my mess, I am changing/updating my Blog!

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Are You Ready?

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Preach It!

Check out this video my buddy and brother in Christ, Wretched Sinner, edited and put music to. The sermon clip is amazing; Voddie Baucham is a great teacher!

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch

Sunday, January 4, 2009

My First Hermeneutics Paper...Presented Humbly

Well, after hearing from several people I have decided to post my first hermeneutics paper. I was not initially going to post it, but several people have expressed an interest in reading it. I want to say that I post it with humility and with trepidation. Please bear in mind that this is my first paper and that this is not a full hermeneutic process, but rather an exercise in observation.

The task was to make observations on the text of Ephesians 5:18. We were to pull out 18 observations on what the text SAYS, seven observations on what the text does NOT say, and ten questions that would need to be answered for further analysis. So here I present to you my paper:

Observations on Ephesians 5:18 (ESV)

"And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit,"
18 Key Observations on What IS Said
  1. Paul is contrasting two states of being: being drunk and being filled with the Spirit.
  2. Paul connects drunkenness as debauchery.
  3. Paul specifies being drunk with wine.
  4. By using “but,” Paul conveys that you cannot be drunk and filled with the Spirit at the same time.
  5. Paul connects being filled with the Spirit with addressing each other with songs, hymns, etc all to the Lord; giving thanks; and submission to one another. (vs.19-21)
  6. The verbs “addressing,” “singing,” “making,” “giving,” and “submitting” are all in present participle (showing that the action is incomplete,) which means that the actions are on going. (vs. 19-21)
  7. The verbs “get” and “be” are both present tense verbs describing “drunk” and “filled,” together implying that when these actions happen that they are completed (which differs from #6.)
  8. “And” connects v. 18 with the preceding verses, and all the way back to v. 11 by the use of “therefore,” “then,” and “for.”
  9. Throughout chapter 5, Paul uses seven contrasting sentences. (Vs. 3, 4, 8, 11, 15, 17, 18)
  10. In all of the contrasting verses, Paul puts the immoral/sinful comparison first.
  11. In the immediate context (v. 15, 17) Paul says not to be “unwise” or “foolish,” and then connects them with being drunk in v. 18.
  12. In a broader context (up to v. 8,) Paul writes about being “light in the Lord,” (v. 8) and Christ’s Light shinning on us (v. 14.) Because of this, we need to be careful how we walk and make use of our time (vs. 15-16) by warning us of the points in number 11.
  13. “Spirit,” in verse 18, is capitalized, implying that this instance of spirit is God’s Spirit. It is used this way 11 times in the entire epistle and twice it is preceded “Holy” and six times it is preceded by the definite article “the.”
  14. In chapter 1:17, Paul says that he prays that God the Father would give them a “spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him,” and later in 1:22, 23 he writes about “the fullness of him who fills all in all.” Three times Paul states that things are put together, reveled, or strengthened either “by the Spirit” or through the Spirit.” All this to say that being “filled with the Spirit” is done by God and the changes are by the Spirit.
  15. Verse 18 is the only instance in the epistle that Paul addresses drunkenness.
  16. The statements “do not get drunk” and “be filled” are both stated as commands and not as suggestions.
  17. Paul does not appear to abolish all drinking, just drinking to the point of getting drunk.
  18. The evidences of being drunk and being filled with the Spirit are shown to be diametrically apposed.
3 (supposed to be 7) Key Observations on What is NOT Said

  1. “Debauchery” is not fully described like the effects of being filled with the Spirit are.
  2. Paul does not mention being drunk on anything other than wine.
  3. The verse does not specify if being filled is a one time event or if you have to keep getting filled (like with drunkenness, it wears off and you must drink some more to get drunk again.)
11 Key Questions
  1. Is the use of “the Spirit” an interpretation of a more generic Greek word for spirit?
  2. What is the Greek word for “debauchery?” What other meanings could it have?
  3. Was drinking wine a common practice (not for getting drunk)?
  4. Was getting drunk a problem in Ephesus at this time?
  5. Was this a big problem in the church its self?
  6. Why does Paul have to say that drunkenness is debauchery?
  7. Why does Paul specify wine?
  8. What is the Greek word for “drunk,” and what other meanings could it have?
  9. Why is drunkenness only discussed in one relatively small verse, and how often does Paul mention it in his other writings?
  10. Why does Paul need to tell the church “to be filled with the Spirit,” did he assume they were just ignorant to these things or that there were goats among the sheep?
  11. Is being filled with the Spirit a euphemism for Salvation?
This was a difficult task, I have never approached the Word of God in this manner before. It has really opened my eyes to the depth of the Bible and the need for CAREFUL study and interpretation. I welcome comments.

"Peace to all of you who are in Christ." (1 Peter 5:14 ESV)

--The Wretch