Hold fast the form of sound words, which thou hast heard of me, in faith and love which is in Christ Jesus (2 Timothy 1:13)
Friday, February 24, 2006
it's been awhile...
I was actually looking forward to going out for our customary night of street preaching tonight, but alas, again, it wasn't meant to be. My jaw is still quite swollen so it would have been impossible for me to preach, but I was planning on going out with my pastor anyway; I could still carry a Gospel sign and I could still distribute Bible literature.
Well, my pastor had to cancel tonight. He had too much work on his sermons to put in, so he had to take the night off. Brother Laz also canceled since he had to work late again. So, without any sidekick, mumbling Rand would have too much of a hard time.
So I must apologize again, dear readers, since there will be no Friday Night Notes tonight. Please pray for a mighty work of healing over the next 7 days, so that my mouth may be in good shape for a solid night of preaching next week.
Take care, and God bless,
Oh Yeah... That Was Unpleasant
Thursday, February 23, 2006
on the mend...
Well, I had my two bottom wisdom teeth pulled on Monday, and only tonight, am I able to eat something other than apple sauce. My jaw is still swollen, but no where as bad as yesterday, so we're making progress. Still though, I am taking one of the two prescribed pain killers (I tried to quit both yesterday, but the sharp pain changed my mind)
Anyway, I am getting better, so I plan on going back to work tomorrow, and I might
go with my pastor for our usual night of street evangelism. I definitely won't be preaching since I still can't open my jaw more than half-way, but I can hold a Gospel sign and pass out some tracts.
Thanks to all of you who have sent me kind words during this "painful" moment in the life of Rand. Hope to have our regular Friday Night Notes tomorrow.
RandPS: a brother e-mailed me a couple of days ago thanking me for my post on "Revealing the Dispensational Straw Man". He too had prepared a post on the very same issue. Have a look, it's pretty good.
Sunday, February 19, 2006
yes... I know... I'm a whiner...
By this time tomorrow, I will lose half of my wisdom! I'm getting my two bottom wisdom teeth pulled out (I know, I that was a pretty lame joke... I won't quit my day-job)
Kidding aside, I have to say I'm pretty nervous over this. They'll be putting me to sleep for the actual extractions, so that part won't be so bad. It's the aftermath that's got me freaked out. I have heard horror stories from my co-workers of terribly painful jaws, as well as infections. Considering I hate going to the dentist for even a routine check-up, I'm really not looking forward to tomorrow.
I'm being a big baby, you say? Well YES! yes I am!
Friday Night Notes... Sort Of...
Friday, February 17, 2006
So it's -27 degrees Celcius up here in the wind... that's -17 Fahrenheit. That's cold, even for Canada.
So, knowing very little ever stops my pastor, I started preparing for our night of street preaching. Three pairs of pants, four sweaters, two pairs of socks, two winter jackets, gloves, mittens, a scarf, a toque and yes, my super winter boots. Even with all these, there is no doubt that I would still come back home frozen, but my hope was that I wouldn't be "terribly" frozen.
Well, just as I was starting to gear up, the phone rang. It was my pastor informing me that he was going to play "groundhog" tonight... as in, laying low in a warm house rather than going up against the bitter cold. I believe my exact response was: "Oh! okay." But what I really wanted to say was: "Pheee-eww!!!"
Don't get me wrong, I was actually looking forward to getting back to our customary night of preaching this week, but not in this insane cold.
So that's the notes, until next week then...
I Think Chiropractors Are Quacks
Monday, February 13, 2006
but that's just me...
A few days ago, my daughter suffered yet another nasty asthma attack. These attacks are quite severe and quite distressing on my daughter, as well as on her mother and I.
Out of genuine concern, our pastor suggested we visit a chiropractor. "A chiropractor?" I thought, "aren't they the guys who snap bones and muscles back into their place? What good are they with asthma?" Well, apparently, chiropractors CAN help asthma patients. So my wife took my daughter to the Chiropractor today. He said that with a few visits over the next few weeks, it is likely that something can be done for her.
The problem though, is that I just can't seem to make myself believe in this chiropractic care. My wife became a believer a few months ago after visiting a chiropractor for the first time over a sore hip. It would seem the guy fixed her up well enough, but to go from there to curing, or at the very least alleviating asthma... well... I just don't buy it.
And it isn't just with this asthma thing that I am suspicious. Ever notice that no one ever goes to the chiropractor just once a year? No, no. Once a person goes to the chiropractor, they are there, in some cases, several times a year, if not several times a month. All the while, the problem never really "gets fixed". Exactly like people who go to a psychiatrist, they all claim it's doing wonders for them, but they never actually "get better".
I don't know...
Call me a "chiropractic Thomas".
The Olympic Spirit: Heathenism
Friday, February 10, 2006
more worldliness...(due to a nasty cold, there will be no Friday Night Notes tonight... hope to be back out street preaching next week)
Having been brought down by a nasty virus, I spent much of the day on the couch, in front of the television set. This afternoon, the main event on TV was the opening ceremonies of the Winter Olympics Games in Turin, Italy.
Talk about heathen nonsense!
Don't get me wrong, I actually like watching many of the Olympic sports events. I love hockey, speed skating and almost all the ski events. But that ceremony... yuck!
The catch words that were continually repeated were: "the Olympic spirit". The given definition of this spirit was fair-play amongst international athletes, as well as a "spirit of peace, good-will and harmony amongst all the world's nations. Cute, but totally foolish. Foolish because this "Olympic spirit" is without the Holy Spirit.
The opening ceremonies of the Olympic games were idolatrous on many different levels. First, there were ABSOLUTELY NO MENTION of the Living God who has these athletes the ability and strength to compete. Meanwhile Venus, as in the heathen goddess, and other false gods were very well represented. Secondly, the worship of man was front and center. Not only were mortal men presented as great, powerful athletes who have gained their talents by their own selves (which one would expect from a worldly sport event
), but men were also presented as having the ability to achieve peace and prosperity WITHOUT GOD.
Proof? Anyone want to wager with me that these Olympic games will have it's share of doped-up athletes? That these Olympic games will have it's share of corruption? That during and after these Games, the world will be the same wicked and violent place it was before the Olympic flame was lit?"Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the LORD: though hand join in hand, he shall not be unpunished." (Proverbs 16:5)
The above verse, without any question, condemns the ceremonies I watched on TV today. You see that's what the Olympic committee is promoting: human pride. "Religion divides!" they say. "We don't need any god! WE are great. WE are masters of our destiny. WE will stand together, hand in hand in Turin and show the world that HUMANITY is great." Well, let them have their vain imaginations. Let them make their excuses when their "Olympic spirit" brings them the fruits of all other forms of idolatry.
Which is NOTHING in this life, and HELL in the next.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
the Christian litmus test...
This past Lord's Day, my pastor mentioned something concerning our use of the King James bible that really got me thinking. He was pointing out that while he was convinced that our use of the KJV was appropriate and good, it probably wouldn't be too hard to find an NIV bible reader that was more spiritual than us. I wasn't at all surprised or shocked at his statement because I can think of a few souls, just at the top of my head, that are WAY MORE spiritual than myself, while professing doctrines that I frown at.
This subject matter came back to mind today after a visit at Puritan Belief
. PB wrote a post on his opposition to tithing (a position I do not share, as you can see from the comments... lol
). You see, it occurred to me, that often the indicators I use to determine a Christian's degree of spirituality is all too often, non-doctrinal. Considering my love of theology, and the importance I place on it, this may surprise some of you, but if you look at my list of indicators below, I'm sure you'll see that there is merit my reasoning:Indicator # 1: Evangelism
Every Gospel in the Bible ends with some mention to the Great Commission. We are commanded in an unqualified way, to go out and preach the Gospel of Christ to the WHOLE WORLD!"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)"Then said Jesus to them again, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you." (John 20:21)
The necessity and importance of evangelism is so clear in Scripture, hardly any Christians apply themselves to it. How sad is that?Indicator # 2: Grace Giving
A Christian that doesn't give is a terribly sick Christian, or perhaps, no Christian at all. Again, the Scriptures are soooo clear, but unlike evangelism which sometimes takes much courage, giving is SO EASY to do!"And he looked up, and saw the rich men casting their gifts into the treasury. And he saw also a certain poor widow casting in thither two mites. And he said, Of a truth I say unto you, that this poor widow hath cast in more than they all: for all these have of their abundance cast in unto the offerings of God: but she of her penury hath cast in all the living that she had." (Luke 21:1-4)"Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; that they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life." (1 Timothy 6:17-19)
And when considering the above verse, I remind you: if you have a personal computer with internet service, YOU ARE RICH IN THIS WORLD.
Also, I don't believe giving tithe is a proper fulfillment of these verses. I believe it should be MORE.Indicator # 3: The Lord's Day
There is no doubt from Scripture that God's people gathered on the Lord's Day (Sunday) to worship God together. The Lord's Day wasn't work-day, or BBQ-day, or golf-day. It was a day given over to God."And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight." (Acts 20:7)
In the 10 Commandments, Israel was instructed to keep the Sabbath day holy. God, in His infinite wisdom knew that His people needed to keep ONE DAY out of the week for Him and for Him only. God isn't in the business of vanity. While they were not (as we are not
) saved by the works of the Law, the Law (all 10 Commandments
) is good and profitable; ignoring or scorning God's Law isn't a New Testament teaching. Keeping, as much as possible, ONE DAY holy unto God is of great value and importance to God's saints.Indicator # 4: Church Services
I remember calling a local church from my parent's house one summer (this would be during my college years
). I asked the pastor what time his mid-week service started at.
"Mid-week service... oh we don't have a mid-week service Rand" he said slowly. "Would you be interested in that Rand? I tried to get some going a few years ago, but no one was interested."
No one was interested. NO ONE WAS INTERESTED??? What in the world is going on here? How can it be that saints of God would be UNINTERESTED in attending a mid-week bible study or prayer meeting? What do you think these saints were up to on their wednesday nights? Honouring God, or watching Seinfeld or the Simpsons?
Shame on them."Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:25)Indicator # 5: Spiritual Conversation
By this I am not referring to the King James definition of "conversation" (as in, a "way of life"
), but rather the more modern definition: to speak, to converse.
I see it all the time. Christians meeting together and the subject of conversation: golf. WHAT? God doesn't care about any of His children's golf handicap!!! So why in the world are we wasting our time together speaking of things that have ZERO profit. What do the Scripture say?"Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord." (Colossians 3:16)
This is a good use of our time together as the body of Christ. Not dumb sports, vain politics, or other worldly affairs.
These five indicators aren't always "fool-proof", but in general, they do reveal the good, or corrupt fruit in a man/woman (Matthew 7:20). And when you take a close look, you realize that a Christian's theology can vary quite a bit, and he/she can still do quite well with these indicators. Arminian, Calvinist, Amillenial, Dispensational, KJV-only or anything-but-KJV, they can all do fairly well if they are honest, and diligent at working out these indicators.
When we stand before God, brothers and sisters, the Lord will not check any "Calvinist" or "KJV-only" i.d. cards. He will judge every one of us, that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. (2 Corinthians 5:10)
I Won't Be Holding My Breath!
Monday, February 06, 2006
I don't think Scott McClellan will either...
Check out this short article
I love this quote from White House spokesman Scott McClellan:"We would also urge people who are criticizing these cartoons to speak out forcefully against all forms of hate speech, including cartoons and articles throughout parts of the Arab world, which frequently espouse anti-Semitic and anti-Christian views."
A well stated, reasonable request, considering all the nonsense going on over a few dumb caricatures from a tiny, dare I say, insignificant, Scandinavian country.
Won't be holding my breath though.
Sound Judgment, an Observation and a Thought
Sunday, February 05, 2006
always watching...Sound Judgment:
From time to time, my friend Scott really nails it on the head!
I couldn't have said it better myself.
Islam... religion of peace
... uh huh
Through the personal witness of brother Laz, a man came to church tonight to learn about the Bible. We'll call him Bob. Bob was pretty excited at learning about God and how to serve God. He was so excited that he talked three of his friends to come with him.
So there they were, all four of them, sitting in a row. After five minutes (before the service actually started)
, one of the men turned to Bob and said:
"You know what Bob, I'm all good, I think I'll see you later."
The man got up, and left. A few minutes later (still before the service)
, Bob's remaining two friends made excuses and left. Bob didn't seem phased at all over it all. Brother Laz ended up sitting with him and they had another good conversation about the Lord.
The whole thing kind of made me smile. The Scriptures proven again: "To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life." (2 Corinthians 2:16)
You see, to Bob, we are a savour unto life, but to his four friends, we were a savour unto death, and that's why Bob wanted to stay, while his friends wanted to go.Thought:
Today is the Lord's Day for God's saints. Yet, undoubtedly, for some saints, today was Superbowl Sunday. Most likely, there are many saints today who have missed church services to watch the vain nonsense. Shame on them."Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful that promised); and let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching." (Hebrews 10:23-25)
Friday Night Notes
Saturday, February 04, 2006
I'm afraid this was another one of those nights where I went out street preaching, not out of caring for the lost, but out of pure duty. It rained for most of the day, so I thought our usual Friday night of street preaching was going to be canceled, and to be honest, that kind of made me happy. A Friday night without the threat of violence, without cursing and mockery... well, it felt kind of good. Well, the Lord had other plans.
You see, it stopped raining in the evening, so my pastor gave me call and told me he was going out preaching. He said: "I was going to forget about tonight, but looking at all the young people heading for the marketplace, I feel like I owe them a night of Gospel preaching." God bless my earthly shepherd for his heart for the lost, and may the Lord give me that kind of compassion. And finally, the Lord forgive my lack of zeal in working at His Great Commission:"And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature." (Mark 16:15)
Anyway, I did struggle through 3 hours of street preaching with my pastor (Brother Laz was stuck working all night)
taking every harsh word, every mockery with a sense of resignation. If I'm sounding whinny, I do apologize... it's been a long day. We were, once again, under the threat of violence from a very drunk beggar (yes, the same one who gave us a taste of his fists a couple of months ago)
, but praise be to God who sent us a police officer to rid us of the poor wretch. Other than that, I had a couple of sodomites throw trash at me; nothing hard thankfully, mostly used tissues and papers.
On a positive note, we did give out a fair number of Gospel tracts and I did have a number of conversations with people who showed some interest in the Gospel. In particular, I spoke to a Finnish fellow who told me he had just finished reading the Gospel of Luke. We had a pleasant conversation and I invited him to church on the Lord's Day... I really hope he comes.
I'm going to close the notes here tonight. I'm tired and I don't feel particularly good about my attitude. I hope the Holy Spirit will straighten me out tomorrow, after a good night's sleep.
I covet your prayers friends.
Couple of Goodies
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
check these posts out...
I have found a couple of blog posts that I find are quite worth the read... so much so that I'm going to give out some free advertising:The first
is a post on what a Christian should do when Christmas comes around. This post was put together by my sister-in-the-Lord, Pearl, on her blog "Of Great Price
", and it was written in response to my post called "The Aggravation Called Christmas
." It doesn't solve all of my particular problems with Christmas, but there are some pretty good pointers I plan to explore. Have a read, it's quite good.The second post
is by my brother-in-the-Lord Pete, at My All For One
, and it is a detailed account of the many false prophecies and teachings of my favorite heretic: Benny Hinn. Hinn is an exceeding wicked man who preys on the weak and ill, promising them blessing and healing for "a nominal fee" of course. Pete holds nothing back in exposing this con-artist. A very good and well researched post.