Stop Exploiting So-Called Freedoms in Christ

“You are to abstain from food sacrificed to idols, from blood, from the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. You will do well to avoid these things.
Farewell” —Acts 15:29 NIV.”

There is a runaway mindset in the church today. It has to do with so-called freedoms that Christians are promoting and defending for self-serving purposes and not for the edification of the body of Christ (the church). Understand up front that this is not a rant or diatribe. It is written to teach how to move to a higher level of service to the Lord. There must be an understanding that followers of Jesus can be anywhere along the spectrum of growth from a babe still needing to partake of the milk of the Word to those who are mature and growing through partaking the meat of the Word. That being said, this article is for those who can take the information, not be angry for learning it, and pray about incorporating it into their daily service to our Lord. Continue reading “Stop Exploiting So-Called Freedoms in Christ”

Sally Has Passed Away

Sally at Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania September 26, 2015.
Sally at Keystone State Park in Pennsylvania September 26, 2015.

Sally succumbed to end-stage kidney disease on November 11, 2015. We were not certain of her actual date of birth, but we made a guess based on her apparent age when we got her as a puppy in February of 2003. Our guess was that she was born sometime that prior December. We picked her birthday as December 7th. The same date that FDR said would live in infamy. Sally was our endless source of entertainment, so it is fitting that she passed away on Veteran’s Day since her birthday was on Pearl Harbor Day. Continue reading “Sally Has Passed Away”

Churches With Federal Tax-Exempt Status

There are no new winds of change. The rushing mighty wind of Acts 2 has already arrived and is the power of the church—the body of Christ. Rest assured that the Holy Spirit is orchestrating everything according to the will of God. The Word speaks of all these things that are happening. Nothing is taking God by surprise. We are commanded to be wise as serpents yet harmless as doves (Matthew 10:16). It might be good to review Matthew 10 in its entirety. Add in at least Matthew 9:37-38 too.

Rightly divide the instructions. Jesus was never militant in opposing the will of man to preach the kingdom of God. We are fully instructed that the weapons of our warfare are not carnal (2 Corinthians 10:3-6). Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand still stands today as it did when they were the first words of preaching out of the mouth of John the Baptist and Jesus when he began to preach too. When Jesus speaks of not bringing peace to the earth but a sword, it is not militancy. It is speaking to the line drawn in the sand that the Gospel message brings. Saved by the blood of Jesus bearing fruit, or not. Faith in God and in his Word, or not. Walking in the spirit, or walking in the flesh. Doing what the Lord says, or not (Luke 6:46). There is absolutely no militancy as followers of Christ.

The world opposes the things of God. To be a friend with the world is to be at enmity with God—friend of the world, enemy of God (James 4:4, Romans 8:5-10). The world will do as it has done since the Fall. We will do as we have done since the quickening of the Spirit of God that dwells within us arrived when we put our faith in Jesus for our salvation. Those who have been whelmed in the Holy Spirit know and remain willing to do God’s will, and his will is to simply continue to “preach the Gospel to every creature” (Mark 16:15).

As history has borne out, it is not always an easy task to keep declaring to repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. There will be much opposition to the message, and it comes even in the form of legislation. Churches, be prepared to give up tax-exempt status. Be wise. The law already declares that to have a United States of America Internal Revenue Service designation as a tax exempt organization under Section 501(c)(3) that the organizations “are absolutely prohibited from directly or indirectly participating in, or intervening in, any political campaign on behalf of (or in opposition to) any candidate for elective public office.” Not only the supporting of any particular candidate but also any “group of candidates” is prohibited. This is the law, and churches will abide by it if there is a desire to maintain tax-exempt status.

Now, consider a new law that may make it illegal for any tax exempt organization that performs marriage ceremonies to discriminate against same-sex couples desiring to be married. It is not at all beyond the realm of possibility for that, and more, to become law. Churches that refuse to abide by the law are under threat of losing their tax-exempt status. If things such as that become law, then it is law, it is law, it is law.  The church will either perform what the law instructs or will refuse and no longer enjoy tax-exempt privileges. No big deal. Render unto God the things that are God’s, and he will provide as he always does. Whether a coin in the mouth of a fish or dropping out of the sky (as it was given to me in a word), God will provide. Stay the course. Be wise and remain harmless.

If You Are a Worrier, Read This!

I have no idea if anyone else has noticed or used this in teaching biblical principles before, but my wife pointed out something to me that was quite interesting. It was some time ago she did this, but I wrote it down on a piece of paper to not forget it. I discovered it again today when going through a stack of papers on my desk. It is really simple yet quite profound. Continue reading “If You Are a Worrier, Read This!”

Sally is Still With Us

Our dog Sally has kidney disease. It progressed from being mild to end-stage in about a month. She is still with us, but she is not eating like she used to. We give her subcutaneous fluids since she no longer drinks enough water. She is still acting normal except for the reduced food and water intake. Her weight is slowly going down. Right now we are spending extra time with her, and it is difficult to work as much as we need to when our minds are on her. That is part of the reason the regular posts to our website have slowed.

We are asking all those who believe in Jesus as their Savior to pray for us and Sally.

Thank you.

Sally’s Battle With Three Cancers and Kidney Disease

One of Sally's SubQ IV solution bags. We gave her fluids under her skin at home when her kidney disease worsened.
One of Sally’s SubQ IV solution bags. We gave her fluids under her skin at home when her kidney disease worsened.

Toward the end of October 2014 our dog Sally was diagnosed with mild kidney disease. Sally has battled three cancers too. In fact, it was at the time of diagnosis of her third cancer that the kidney disease was discovered.

Sally’s first cancer led to an amputated toe. She recovered from that like a trooper. She never really missed a beat being her silly self while her foot healed up. We have always referred to her as our endless source of entertainment. Continue reading “Sally’s Battle With Three Cancers and Kidney Disease”

Alex Malarkey Sends Open Letter About Book “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” – Story of Dying and Going to Heaven

NOTE: Just a bit of cursory research into this incident yields a strong feeling that there is more to the dynamic of the Malarkey family that is not being made fully public. That is perfectly okay. Most of us are not reality TV stars and have no wish to air our private lives. Of note is the lack of information about Alex’s father in this unfolding story. This article is written with the intent of supporting and applauding Alex Malarkey in telling the truth. Understand, he apparently has tried to tell the truth to the public at large for a long time, but only got national attention after the Pulpit and Pen website published his short open letter about the situation.

Alex Malarkey is listed as coauthor of the book, “The Boy Who Came Back from Heaven.” His father, Kevin Malarkey, is listed as the other author. An NPR website news article reports that Alex sent out an open letter that was published by the Pulpit and Pen website recanting the story, indicating he made it up to get attention. Alex was just a little boy when the book was published. He is now 16.

Alex Malarkey is reported to have been in an automobile accident in 2004 when he was only 6 years old. It is also reported that he was in a coma for two months after the accident. After emerging from the coma, he told a story about going to heaven. I do not have the details of what actually led to Alex telling the story he did. Was it due to questions posed to him about his coma, or did he volunteer the information from the beginning? Regardless, Alex himself indicates he did it to get attention. Continue reading “Alex Malarkey Sends Open Letter About Book “The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven” – Story of Dying and Going to Heaven”