Author Archives: grelanmuse

Nixon: Are Satan and demons real?

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By Brian Nixon
Special to ASSIST New Service

Albuquerque, N.M. (ANS)I’m privileged to host a call-in radio broadcast called Theology Thursday on Star 88. OnBrian Nixon this broadcast we answer a host of questions on various biblical topics. This past week we covered angels and demons, with great questions from our listeners. Because of the general interest, here are some quick facts about angels and demons.

There are many false ideas about Satan and demons in the world today. We live in a world where two extremes exist concerning the realm of the supernatural. On one hand, there are groups of people who deny that the supernatural realm, saying that angels and demons, and even God, are not real. We call these folks, materialist, because they only believe that the material world (that which we can see, touch, and test) is real. On the other hand there are groups of people who do believe that the supernatural world exists. They believe in God, angels, and the like. This group of people we will call supernaturalist, because they believe that there is a supernatural world, beyond what we can touch, test, and see.

As Christians, we would fall under the supernaturalist category. However, we must be careful in how we describe the supernatural world, and here in is where the problem lies: not all supernaturalist believe the same thing about the supernatural world. As an example, Christians are not like the animist who believes that good demons fight bad demons, or that our relatives walk on the earth in the form of ghosts, as some religions teach. No! As Christians we must adhere to a biblical view of the supernatural world. It is very important to get our information from the Bible about the things we cannot see, touch, and test.

Angels are mentioned 196 times in the Bible. 103 references are found in the Old Testament, 93 from the New Testament. The Hebrew word for angels is mal’ach; the Greek is angelos. Both words mean “messengers.” Angels areDemons-and-Angels spiritual beings created by God to serve Him. Some of the angels rebelled, of which we get the term, demons. We don’t know exactly when the demons rebelled (some suggest sometime after the creation of the universe in Genesis 1), but the Bible is clear who the leader is: Satan.

Biblical truth is very important when we turn to the subject of the supernatural and demons. Some would have you believe that demons are under every rock, behind every door, and controlling every politician. As Christians, we must check these statements with what the Bible teaches about demons. So it is to the Bible we turn to give you some points to ponder and think through regarding demons.

1) The Bible teaches that demons are real.Watch Full Movie Streaming Online and Download

2) Demons were once good angels who fell during the fall of Satan (Jude 6).

3) Satan is the lead demon, called Lucifer (Isaiah 14, Matthew 4).

4) Satan originated sin, and has spent his existence tempting and leading humans from God (2 Corinthians 4:4)

5) Satan and demons are not as powerful as God, and are under the jurisdiction of God.

6) Demons are not the only cause of evil in the world, the world’s systems and the works of the flesh, are also responsible for evil.

7) Christian’s need not fear demons. (1 John 4:4)

8) At some point in the future, all demons will be cast into the eternal lake of fire, being separated from God for all eternity.

As you can read, the Bible is clear about the reality of supernatural beings called demons. But unlike the popular description of demons as pitched-forked, horned, red faced creatures – the biblical demons are evil, but still well beneath the control of our Lord. For even they tremble at His name (James 2:19).

Brian Nixon is a writer, musician, artist, minister, and family man. Follow Brian on Twitter @BnixNews.

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Experience ‘The Difference’ in Houston’s nightclub scene

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By Anita Jarrell-Robertson
Special to Inside The Pew

Recently, noted journalist Dan Derozier of Houstonia Magazine published a news story on Jerri P. Beasley’s “TheJerri P. Beasley Difference Venue,” a Christian nightclub located at 13334 Almeda Road in Houston, where “church folks get turnt up.” Derozier captured images of dancing, singing, rapping, poetry, praying, crying, kneeling, preaching, altar calls — people of various nationalities in a club? Together?

“The Difference” has also received national notoriety, as it was the $25,000 question on the May 11 episode of the popular, syndicated game show “Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?” (watch here)

What is the lure of this particular nightclub? “The Difference” is the buzz of Houston and has earned a reputation for being a place for true and lasting deliverance matched with nonjudgmental attitudes from pastors and other spiritual leaders who often wear their street clothes to blend in with club patrons and reduce the fear some people experience when they meet a pastor with formal attire.

On a typical club night, the facility where “The Difference” is held is owned and operated by Kevin Martin. Because his club, “The Manhattan” typically touts a crowd much different from “The Difference,” many of the patrons come on Friday or Sunday nights out of curiosity. Many stay because they end up finding something they need – something different. Different from church. Different from the club. The Difference. Beasley is proud to offer a place for good clean fun without profanity, drugs, and alcohol. Even kids are welcome.

Beasley said that it usually “takes about 10 minutes before ‘patrons’ realize they’re not going to hell” for being in the club. In an interview for Houstonia Magazine that recently aired on NewsFix TV, Beasley boldly testified that she began “The Difference” out of an overflow of gratitude for Jesus saving her soul and delivering her from a diagnosis of bipolar schizophrenia almost two decades ago. She now uses “The Difference” as well as her platform on KCOH 1230AM radio and TV programming in Houston to provide much-needed and open-handed exposure for Independent Gospel Artists from around the globe.

For instance, in honor of Mother’s Day 2015, Beasley hand selected an eclectic blend of Independent Gospel Artists/Performers including: Jacquie yForeman (Traditional), Shirley “Beloved Beloved” Hester (Liturgical Dancer), Cher2fication (Neo-Soul/R&B), Gloria Spruce (Contemporary), Pastor Anthony Rogers (Traditional/Contemporary), and yours truly, Anita Jarrell-Robertson (CCM/Contemporary/Latina). Several of the evening’s artists are starring in Beasley’s highly sought after Stage Play Revival, “Can U Pay The Price” on Aug. 8 at Greater Love Church, 4517 Laura Koppe Road in Houston. “The Manhattan” club owner, Martin has described his experience of getting goose bumps when the performers, who are typically filled with the Holy Spirit and prone to spark altar calls, share the Gospel on stage through the arts. Countless testimonies have poured in expressing new faith in Jesus Christ and/or renewed relationship with their Redeemer.

At the 2015 Mother’s Day Concert, Pastor Tabatha C. Whitten, the concert’s main speaker, pastor of Remnant Fellowship in Houston and host of the new hit TV show “Ignite,” shared with club patrons the importance of remembering the name God gave them. Pastor Whitten bounced all over the stage joyfully with fire, red hair; a blue, snazzy top; and hip-hugging blue jeans.

“I bless God for Pastor Tabatha Whitten’s relevant ministry. When you get bartenders to say Amen, God is speaking,” Beasley said.

Beasley believes the concept of “The Difference” will expand to other states in the future. Although many talented artists and pastors grace the stage on a regular basis, there is only one Headliner, Jesus Christ – without apology and with intentionality.

Faith-filled mothers everywhere have an answered prayer for Mother’s Day and every day in “The Difference,” a place where their children can truly come as they are and leave with THE DIFFERENCE. Beasley can be contacted via email at jpbeaspro@aol.com and via Facebook https://www.facebook.com/jerri.p.beasley.

Anita Jarrell-Robertson is a CCM/Contemporary Gospel recording artist and freelance journalist. Email: anitaworships@gmail.com Connect via Twitter @anitaworships. WEB: www.anitaworships.com.

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Bradshaw: My ever-positive mother helped shape me

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By Sherry Bradshaw
Special to Inside The Pew

Our experiences shape us. NO doubt about it. I am convinced that one reason I have started most every day of my life with a positive outlook is because of theSherry Bradshaw, author of The Front Nine: Making Your Shots Count in Life experience my mother provided. I am not sure she even knew what the result would be when she was actually living it and leaving an everlasting imprint and impression.

It was the experience of the way I woke up most mornings in our home….to the song of…”This is the day the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it, whatever it brings there is a song you can sing…you may get tired but don’t fret! Nature is dawning a new day is yawning the sun will be coming up soon, if there is a mountain I will climb it or a valley I will walk through it to wish the top of the morning to you.” Yes, that is how I woke up every day. God used my mother and that defining moment to shape my outlook…daily and in all aspects of life. At 52, I marvel at how many times I wake up with that song in my mind and my heart. I am 52 and haven’t lived under her roof for the last 28 years.

Psychological research suggests that one’s self-concept is defined by a very small number of experiences. Ninety-nine percent of life’s experiences vanish like a vapor into the subconscious. Only 1 percent make it into our conscious memories and less than that, 1 percent of that 1 percent are not just memorable, but truly unforgettable. Those are the moments that they say define us. The positive or negative repetitive experiences can have a lasting impact, depending on how dramatic they are in our lives.

There is no doubt in my mind, now at 52, that my mother’s positive input had a profound effect on the way I have always viewed my day and, thus, my life. I believe God can use every past experience in preparation for our future opportunities. And one way God helps to redeem the past, especially if it is less than good, is by helping us see it through His eyes. His providence, His provision. In light of the enemy and the effects of sin on our lives, either our sin or that of others, HE is willing and more than capable of “using all things for His good, our good and His glory.”

“God causes all things to work for good for those who love him and are called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

I encourage you today to truly grasp that God is a God who makes things new. Lamentations 3:22-24, “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘Therefore I hope in Him!’”

HE is the only one who can make us white as snow. His GRACE can takes us to new and exciting places….to soar…as eagles. Whether or not you were blessed, like my sister and I, with a positive ….mom…YOU can choose to be positive…to imprint the Good.

God can be the enabler to help you do this for yourself and others. He is all powerful and can reshape our thinking and our lives. Read the book of John and then the book of James. Jesus is still in the miracle business. He can take the negative in our lives and “flip flop” it into something incredible. It is called surrender!

Look to Jesus today…Surrender…to the ultimate positive…a life…that Jesus created to be significant…He will show you…He never disappoints.

Sherry Bradshaw is author of “The Front Nine: Making Your Shots Count in Life” and founder of Back 9 Ministries. Bradshaw, a native of Columbia, S.C., is a former first runner-up in the Miss America pageant. She speaks at corporate events, schools, churches, and community organization events.

Rossman: To the children’s literary world I go

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By David B. Rossman
Special to ASSIST News Service

Roy, WAI was born with cerebral palsy, and I often heard from the doctors that my legs would eventually give out on me so I should learn to use my mind. So, as aDavid Rossman child I took to writing poetry.

My motto became: “I have cerebral palsy, but it doesn’t have me, it just slows me down a bit.”

For years people told me that I would be good at writing books for kids. At first I didn’t believe them. I was into writing poetry and every time I thought of a storyline for any other type of writing, it would come out as poetry. So, I didn’t even try to write a kid’s book.

Then when my sons from my first marriage were born, life got in the way and I didn’t get to see them grow up. (That is another story.) Writing of any kind took a backseat for a bit.

When Anita, my daughter from my second marriage was born, my focus changed and I took notes on everything I could when it came to her. I did a rough draft called DADDY AND ME TIME. When my daughter and I went to the movies, rode in the car, tried to ride bikes, went for walks in the park, prayed…anything we did together became something to write about. (I really missed out on getting to do these things with my sons.)

Since I was born with cerebral palsy (which makes me walk like a penguin), in the draft of DADDY AND ME TIME, the characters are a daddy penguin and his little girl penguin. After a while, I was able to write with ease. The problem was getting someone to draw the illustrations for the book. I put the idea of publishing a children’s book back on the back burner. Though several friends kept reminding me that I should give it a shot.

Just before my daughter finished school and moved out, I started looking at the pets I live with. They were all adopted. First came Honey-Pup, a Cocker Spaniel; then came Blackie, a black cat and then Axel, the kitten, came to join our family. I began taking pictures of all three of my pets and the things they do.

I then began writing lines to go along with the pictures. I decided to make all the books interactive for the kids reading them. I left blank spaces in the sentences so the kids can fill in the blanks or as a question about the picture, like…can you find the ball for Honey-Pup?

I soon started looking into ways to self-publish and how to cut cost of overhead. I found www.lulu.com, a do-it-yourself website. Through this site I was able to print by order only. At first I thought the prices were a bit high, but when I thought about it and began to see what my work looked like when it was finished, I decided to give it a try.

So here are details of a few of them:

HI, MY NAME IS AXEL

In this book, I didn’t have a whole lot of pics to start with so I used free clip art along with the pictures of this 4-week-old kitten to tell her story.Axel  The Cat

HI, MY NAME IS HONEY-PUP

In this book, I focus on the Cocker Spaniel’s need to play ball all the time and the way she reacts to the two cats that live with her.

HI AGAIN, I’M AXEL AND THIS IS MEOW

Now as Axel the kitten has gotten older, her favorite playground (a fallen tree in the neighbor’s yard) has to be cut up so we can find Honey-Pup’s ball, which is lost in the neighbor’s yard.

HI, MY NAME IS BLACKIE

Blackie, though a lazy cat, deserved his own book so I took what pictures I could and used pictures that I took for the other books and put his book together.

THAT’S MY LIBRARY

In this book, which is a short book about the library I volunteer at, I took a chance on looking at the library through the eyes of a young patron as she visits theHoney Pup library with her mom twice a week. With the permission of her mom and herself, I wrote about the things she liked about the library and what keeps her and her family coming back to this small but mighty library in Roy, Washington.

For more information on David’s books, email him at davidbrian68@yahoo.com or write David B. Rossman, P.O. Box 401, Roy, WA 98580-0401.

 

 

 

Smith: Are our origins coincidental or intentional?

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By David R. Smith
Special to Inside The Pew

Ms. Eloise heard a knock at the door one afternoon, and shuffling her way over to it, opened it to find Kyle, a sweet-but-hyper little boy, standing on her porch

David R. Smith

clutching a baseball glove. The elderly woman, a grandma many times over in her own right, immediately noticed the sheepish look on the little boy’s face.

Kyle looked up at Ms. Eloise and politely said, “Umm…there’s something that belongs to me in your garage and I’d like it back.” Ms. Eloise walked him around to the garage door and as soon as she opened it, noticed two recent additions: a baseball lying in one corner…and a destroyed window with a baseball-size hole in it.

Ms. Eloise crossed her arms, looked down at Kyle, and asked, “How do you suppose that ball got in here?” Kyle looked at the ball, then the window, and then back at Ms. Eloise. Thinking quickly, he said, “Wow! I must have thrown it right through that hole!”

Kyle’s response required Ms. Eloise to believe an extremely coincidental explanation: that the baseball-size hole in her window and his missing baseball had nothing to do with one another. Yes, it was an explanation…but it probably wasn’t the best explanation. In fact, Kyle’s explanation sounded downright unlikely.

Interestingly, the scientific community is continually uncovering evidence that makes the current theory of our origins – known as the Big Bang theory – sound just as unlikely when it comes to the tedious task of explaining us. In layman’s terms, the Big Bang theory states that the Universe we now inhabit started as a very hot, dense nothingness that underwent radical expansion about 14 billion years ago forming planets, stars, and whole galaxies.

But this theory has intrinsic problems beginning with the observation that Epicurus made over 2,000 years ago: “Something never came from nothing.” And what are the chances that a completely random expansion – what is often called the “explosion” part of the Big Bang – could yield Earth…let alone this magnificent Universe? After all, when we analyze our celestial home, we all note the same realities about this shared rock:

  • It’s the only planet known to have water in liquid form.
  • Earth has a perfect balance of water and land.
  • We’re located in “the habitable zone,” the perfect distance between Earth and the sun ensuring our planet is neither too hot nor too cold.
  • Earth has an atmosphere that shields its inhabitants from dangerous radiation and (most) of the debris flying through space.
  • We have a moon of perfect size and proximity to us that ensures life-giving tides to the creatures of the seas.

These are just a few of the requirements our planet must meet to shelter life. However, there are other necessary attributes for sustaining life – scores and scores of them, in fact – each one more awe-inspiring than the last. For example, we need a very precise balance between the four known forces of nature – strong nuclear, weak nuclear, gravity, and electromagnetism – and we have it! But for life to exist on our planet we also need a “sweeper planet” located nearby to clean comets and asteroids from our orbital pattern. Ours is known as Jupiter.

In light of these criteria, the Big Bang theory – the idea that these absolutely perfect conditions for life sprang from a completely random explosion of nothingness – is starting to sound as unlikely as Kyle’s explanation to Ms. Eloise. That little boy and proponents of the Big Bang theory have something in common: holes they can’t explain.

Consequently, a different theory for explaining us, known as the Fine-Tuned Universe, is gaining traction. This line of thinking states that the Universe didn’t come about by chance, or by necessity, but by intentional design. In short, the Fine-Tuned Universe theory rejects the notion that a world as calculated and precise as ours could be generated by accident.

But the modern world has a problem with this theory: a fine-tuned Universe requires a Tuner.

In the opening chapter of my latest book Christianity…It’s Like This, I make the simple case that all of us acknowledge that a spectacular building requires a builder and a beautiful design requires a designer. So why wouldn’t a brilliant creation require a Creator?

In reality, this is hardly groundbreaking. Three thousand years ago, the king of a relatively small nation said, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork. Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.” (Psalm 19:1-2) King David knew how to explain us: God created us.

In the end, there will always be those who want to dismiss a Creator in spite of such a marvelous creation. They’d have us believe that our world is the way it is because of a series of completely random events that have never been repeated, not even once, even though there are billions and billions of other planets.

When it comes to explaining us, the biblical explanation isn’t the only explanation…but it’s certainly the best explanation.

Though he’s earned two undergraduate degrees and one advanced degree, David R Smith prefers to have simple conversations about faith and life. He pastors First Baptist Church in Linden, Florida, where he lives with his wife, Jenn, and their son, Josiah. When he’s not preaching, he’s usually looking for great BBQ joints or his errant golf shots. David was recently named as one of Vyrso’s top authors to watch in 2015. Smith’s latest title Christianity…It’s Like This is available now!

Muse: ‘Behold I stand at the door …’

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he-is-risen-from-the-dead

Editor’s note: This is a reprint of a column run March 30, 2013.

By Grelan Muse Sr.
Inside The Pew

BATON ROUGE, La. – Easter is one of the most sacred holidays to Christians.

On Sunday, take a moment and remember the reason we celebrate it. I remember Easter Sundays vividly growing up. It wasn’t the Easter

Grelan Muse Sr.

Grelan Muse Sr.

egg hunt after service, but the message of His death, burial, and resurrection.

With a change in priorities by many people, it is important to continue to tell the story of Jesus beyond Easter. As believers, we must be consistent and resonate that message because it is His death that we are saved.

According to Revelation 3:20, the author said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with Me” (ESV).

No matter how we live our lives, Jesus is the door. To make any strides to get to heaven, it goes through Him. Therefore, we have to learn all we need to know about Him and teach His words to the next generation. If Easter means dressing up to the 9s and Easter baskets, we are doing the Lord and our children a great disservice. Be accurate and tell the truth. The secular world has tried its hardest to take Him out of the holiday (Christmas too); believers won’t deny Him.

If you take a look at the sacrifice He made for us, we don’t need flashlight Christians. These are the people who cut His word on when they want to cut it on. Instead of flicking His word on and off, become a spotlight for God. My favorite scripture on this is 2 Corinthians 4:6: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”

He didn’t die for Himself. He died for all mankind.

Grelan Muse Sr. is founder of Inside The Pew and Pew Talk Radio. Email him at pewnews@aol.com.

 

Round: Why did He remain silent?

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Jesus before Pilate

By Carol Round
Special to Inside The Pew

“As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate” (Mark 15:1 NRSV).

What if you knew tomorrow would be your final day on earth? How would you prepare? Would you spend time eating a meal—or maybeCarol Round two—with those you love? Would you prepare them for your death? What would you say?

During Jesus’ final day on earth, beginning with the last meal He ate with His disciples and ending with His death and burial, those 24 hours changed our world.

Jesus had been betrayed by Judas, deserted by the rest of His disciples, denied by Peter—not once, but three times—and put on trial by the Sanhedrin. Jesus knew what was ahead. But did that make it any easier?

When the chief priests handed Jesus over to Pontius Pilate, he asked Him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” How did Jesus answer? “You say so.”

And when those chief priests continued to accuse Jesus of many things, Pilate asked Him again, “Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you.”

Mark tells us in his gospel that “Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed (15:5).

In Adam Hamilton’s book, “24 Hours That Changed the World: 40 Days of Reflection,” he tells us more about Pilate. “Philo of Alexandria described Pilate as cruel, corrupt and violent.”

Yet, Pilate saw through the Jewish ruling council’s apparent interest in attempting to uphold Rome’s authority. Hamilton says, “There they presented Him to the governor, charging Him with the capital offense of claiming to be a king—a crime tantamount to treason and insurrection.”live streaming film Life 2017

Hamilton adds, “He knew they tolerated Rome’s authority and accommodated to it, but their presentation of Jesus to him was not out of a concern for Rome. Pilate knew they were jealous of this man who had challenged not Rome’s authority, but their own.”

Why did Jesus remain silent when questioned by Pilate? Why didn’t He defend Himself against the accusations? Hamilton says, “Some see His silence as another occasion when Jesus was intentionally fulfilling the words of the prophets, in this case Isaiah 53:7:

He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth.

Hamilton asks his readers to picture the expressions that might have crossed Jesus’ face as He listened to the charges against Him?

Hamilton says, “I picture dignity; resolve; a certain righteous disdain for the high priest; and an awareness that the trial will end in His own death, regardless of what He says, and that God will use His death to change the world forever.”

Born in a stable, sought out by shepherds from the fields and wise men from the east, Jesus was born for just this moment. That’s why He remained silent.

Email carolaround@yahoo.com for information about speaking at your next event.

 

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Davis: 7 reasons why the truth really matters

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John 17:17

By Laurel J. Davis
Special to Inside The Pew

A comic tells the story of how one night when they were kids, he and his brother kept jumping on the bed despiteLaurel Davis their father’s repeated warnings. Of course, the predictable happens: the bed finally breaks. Startled, Dad rushes to their room, sees the broken bed and demands an explanation.

“Dad, a strange man came through the window while we were trying to sleep. And he kept jumping on the bed ‘til it broke. And then he ran away.”

“But you don’t have a window!”

“Oh, he brought that with him!”

It’s not hard to imagine what that father could have thought about his kids at that moment. Quick thinkers, yes. Creative, yes. Clever? Maybe. Smart? No way!

What does our Heavenly Father think of us when we lie? We might be as quick-thinking, creative and clever as we want to be, but only a fool thinks he can fool God. Of course, any of us can stumble and lie, and most of us aren’t actually thinking, “Oh, I can fool Almighty God.” But still, only a fool forgets that God is always watching.

Okay, sure, the truth hurts sometimes. The truth tends to expose fault, error or weakness, and when it exposes us, who really wants to face it? Whether by denying it, twisting it, covering it up, or pretending it’s not important, we’re all intimidated by it at some level. It’s okay to “keep it 100” in life…but not so much when it messes with our comfort zones.

Still, we can’t get away from the fact that truth really does matter, and only the fool thinks it doesn’t.

It’s one thing not to know the truth, or to not be aware of the truth in any given situation or context. It’s entirely something else to not value the truth. Only a fool devalues the truth. Whereas the wise person will appreciate the truth by seeking it out, loving it, keeping it close and standing up for it, the fool will ignore it, deny it, twist it, embellish it, pervert it or in some other way reject it.

Does this sound too strong? It’s only to arrest our (I’m including myself) attention to just how much, and why, truth really matters. If we are like those kids in that crucial moment of truth-or-lie decision, and God is like their father demanding accountability, is it not foolish for us to think we can pull the wool over our Father’s eyes? Is it not foolish to think we can avoid accountability by lying before the very One who already knows the truth? Is it not foolish and prideful to think our cleverness provides more security than our Father’s own loving mercy?

But the real truth is, there’s so much more to truth than just the painful side of it once it catches up with us. With a biblical understanding of “truth” – a word used at least 234 times in God’s Word – we will actually want to seek it out in every area of belief, attitude, purpose and conduct of life:

  • Truth in heart attitude.
  • Truth in daily living.
  • Truth in relationships.
  • Truth in serving.
  • Truth in good works.
  • Truth in worship.
  • Truth in witnessing.
  • Truth in Christian doctrine.
  • Truth in one’s own faith in Jesus Christ.

We need a more balanced understanding. The truth hurts sometimes, yes. But it also blesses and, if nothing else, God hates the alternative. Here are seven reasons why truth – God’s truth – really matters:

God’s Word, the Bible, is Truth.

Jesus said to the Father in heaven, Your word is truth (John 17:17b). The Bible is God’s truth because it consists of the inspired thoughts, words, commandments and prophecies from the mind and heart of Almighty God Himself; and it is profitable for equipping us to live godly in an ungodly world (2 Timothy 3:16-17ff). In light of that, the Bible is clearly mankind’s only reliable guiding help for every aspect of life as a follower of Jesus. That’s why reading the Bible is foundational to knowing how to – and that you can – operate in the truth with confidence.

Truth is trustworthy

The Lord is our God of truth who cannot lie (Deuteronomy 32:4; Numbers 23:19; Titus 1:1-2). Everything He does is true and consistent (Psalm 19:9; 25:10; 33:4; 57:10; 85:10; 89:14; 96:13; Isaiah 25:1). His truth endures forever (Ps 117:2; 119:160; 146:6). How comforting to know that God’s truth is one of the most powerful things we can lay hold to in this life.

Truth saves us.

John 17:17 infers that believers are sanctified by the truth. Plus, Jesus told Pilate, Everyone that is of the truth hears My voice (John 18:37). Why His voice? Because not only is Jesus the very embodiment of truth (John 1:14), He is the only embodiment of it because He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6). Therefore, only those who accept Jesus accept the Truth, and only those who accept the Truth receive salvation onto eternal life (John 14:6 with John 1:14,17; 16:13; Exodus 34:6).

Truth protects us.

Truth is the very first piece of the whole armor of God that Christians are to put on (Ephesians 6:14-17). Also, the upright person who speaks the truth in his heart will abide with the heavenly Father (Psalm 15:1-2). Even the greatest kind of love, love that never fails, protects our joy because it rejoices in the truth (1 Corinthians 13:6; Zechariah 8:16; John 4:24; Romans 2:8; 2 Corinthians 4:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:10; 1 Timothy 4:6; 6:35; 2 Timothy 3:1-9; 4:3-4; 1 Peter 1:22).

God hates lying.

Our Heavenly Father literally hates the alternative to truth: lying (e.g., Psalm 119:163; Proverbs 12:22). And so should we (Proverbs 13:5). That’s because no lie is of the truth (1 John 2:21), because the devil, in whom there is no truth, is the father of lying (John 8:44), and God tells us not to give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:27). I can’t help but think in particular of all the wolves in sheep’s clothing today who go about deceiving and being deceived (2 Timothy 3:13) by false doctrines that tickle the ears and fill their own bellies but emaciate the soul.

Lying brings worse consequences.

For God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evil (Ecclesiastes 12:14; cf. Galatains 6:7). In the long-term, truth, even when it hurts, is so much easier to deal with than the complicated chain of lies each previous lie requires – not to mention the consequences God promises will follow (Psalms 63:11; Proverbs 12:19; 19:5). Anyone who practices lying, especially the lie that God doesn’t exist, faces consequences for eternity (Psalms 101:7). Sins, including lies, often result in calamities (e.g., Isaiah. 59; Acts 5:1-11). But all liars are among those who shall have their part in the lake of fire that burns forever (Revelation 21:8).

Truth sets us free.

Jesus said, If you continue in My word, then you are My disciples indeed; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free (John 8:31-32). The truth – the real truth – offers freedom! Freedom to rest in truth’s saving grace! Freedom to rely on God’s protection in all earthly and spiritual matters of truth! Freedom to think, live and grow by the guiding wisdom of truth! Freedom to share the truth with others! Freedom to defend it! Freedom to search out the truth even when “keeping it 100” pushes against the boundaries of our comfort zones! Freedom to love the truth even when it hurts, knowing that God is still, in all things, forever faithful!

Let’s be wise and always value the truth in every area of life. I’m reminding myself, too. And I’m just telling the truth. Even though it hurts sometimes, truth is not some horrible or some cheap thing for us to avoid, twist, cover up, or toss aside but to love, seek out, possess, keep close. Truth has its blessings, and God honors the truth in us infinitely more than our creativity, cleverness or ability to think quick on our feet.

Laurel J. Davis is a Christian writer, editor and blogger at www.reluctantfirstlady.com, where this article originally appears. She is a pastor’s wife from Los Angeles.

Sulack: Guide to understanding stress

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By Dr. Pete Sulack
Inside The Pew

Stress is the internal reaction to outside circumstances. Modern life is stressful, and no two people respond to it the same way – even if they are faced with the same stressors. We Dr. Pete Sulackare wonderfully made, and the ability of “choice” is a gift from God. With this gift comes the responsibility to make choices that best take care of our body, mind and spiritual health. However in order to live a less stressful and fulfilling life, we must first understand stress: what it means, what it does and how it can present.

Stress in not inherently bad. Everything in life stresses us to a point, but some stress can motivate us and wake up our brain. At the first signs of stress, the immune system, memory and the ability to learn actually all increase. Without stress in our lives, our minds would be come dull and our bodies, weak. Good stressors can be identified as normal responsibilities: a regular schedule, productive work and study, strenuous physical exercise, interaction with others and fighting off normal germs and toxins found in the environment.

However, chronic stress can both shorten the length and diminish the quality of your life. Chronic stress from career, family obligations and even good things like ministry or volunteer work can eventually wreak havoc on your overall health. If you drove your car at a high speed every day, all day, it would wear out faster than if you drove it a reasonable amount and speed.

Stress affects the body and mind. The true cause of sickness and disease is not stress, but rather the body’s inability to adapt and recover from stress. When we are stressed, our pulse rate and blood pressure increases and the adrenal gland dumps cortisol into the bloodstream. Stress can also create a desire to escape or avoid tasks, because we believe we are out of control – and the more out of control we feel, the more stressed we become. This is what we know about stress and the body: it’s not so much the amount of stress, but the amount of time you are in a state of stress.

It is possible to “catch” stress. Recent studies show that when we observe another human under stress, our bodies react empathetically as if it were our own. If people around you are consistently negative, sarcastic, combative, or stressed out, there is a good chance it will cause you to feel distress as well. The autonomic stress response (fight or flight) is triggered by both real and perceived events, so even something as small as a stressful scene in a movie can elevate your cortisol levels. Found in your common morning brew, too much caffeine puts the nervous and hormonal systems into a constant state of “fight or flight,” depleting energy reserves and leading to anxiety, weight gain and insomnia.

You may be stressed and not even know it. Between the bromine in flour, the chlorine and fluoride in drinking water, and the carcinogenic chemicals in personal care products, our bodies are bombarded every single day with toxins that stress the entire system. When you combine an overabundance of toxins with the number of years we are absorbing these toxins unknowingly, we eventually hit the tipping point. Years of chronic stress wears out the adrenals and immune system, and unbeknownst to us it can feel quite normal. When our bodies are used to the high stress levels, anything different would alert us to an issue. God made thousands of foods for us to enjoy, and most of them don’t even require preparation. Instead of opting for man-made foods, eat a variety of raw, natural, organic foods to nourish your body.

Understanding stress is the first step in identifying it and how it might be infiltrating your mind, body and overall health. To help combat chronic stress, make physical exercise a priority, get adequate sleep, eat a diet that optimizes gut health and learn to slow down – being busy is not synonymous with being successful.

Some stress is good, but too much stress can be harmful. A good rule to remember: some stress motivates; more stress complicates; and a lot of stress deteriorates.

By Dr. Pete Sulack is a stress expert, writer and speaker and is the author of “Fellowshipping with God’s Voice.” Sulack is  founder of Matthew 10 Ministries and Unhealthy Anonymousa wellness support program that provides tools for healthier living.

 

Jenkins: Dangers of the Golden Calf; the calf just doesn’t happen

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The Golden Calf

Editor’s note: This is the second installment in a series of columns on Exodus chapter 32.

By Dave Jenkins Jr.
Inside The Pew

In Exodus Chapter 32 we see the dangers of falling prey to the Golden Calf syndrome. The Golden Calf represents our attempts to do what only God can do. The next danger of theDave Jenkins Jr Golden Calf is that the calf just doesn’t happen.

Aaron was afraid of the faces and voices of the people in the absence of Moses. A lot of times the second in command thinks that he/she can do what God’s appointed leader can do, all they think they need is a chance.

When a leader is anointed they make it look so easy. They seem to be able to stop a speeding financial crisis and leap dangerous traps with a single bound. So, when the second has his/her chance to act, they sometimes find out what looks easy from the outside is actually a very prayerful and skillful balancing act.

Thus, when the faces and tones of the voices became menacing – Aaron did what any poor leader would do, he folded like a cheap tent. What the people needed was direction and he gave them sinful satisfaction.

In Exodus 21, Moses asks Aaron the accountability question, “what did they do to you to cause you to lead them in the wrong direction?” Aaron takes the next couple of verses to blame the people and indirectly he blames Moses. However he lays the final blame at the feet of “it just happened.”  Look at his explanation in verse 24. However, in verse 35, God declares that Aaron made the calf. If you are going to lead, it must be God’s purpose that leads you and not the voice of confused people or the result will be a Golden Calf.

The biggest danger of the Golden Calf is to get things back in order, drastic action must be taken. Aaron and the people had allowed things to get wildly out of control. To get things back in order Moses had to take drastic action.

Because of the nature of the mistake and the way that the majority of the people had embraced the Golden Calf as their new god, Moses could not just send out a memo. Where Aaron was weak, Moses was stern and to the point. He knew the importance of this moment.  It was not just about the temporal comfort of the people but their eternal destiny. Something had to “GO” and in Moses’s eyes it was the Golden Calf and those who were now foolishly aligned with it.

Moses next decision was not an easy one. He called for faithful men and then instructed them to kill every man near the “gate.” Even if that man was your friend or brother he had to be killed no exceptions. Why those near the gate? It could have been they were telling anyone who passed by about the false god and not the true God.

The action Moses took was similar to what the skier whose arm was trapped under a boulder had to do. The skier knew that he could not move the boulder and if he stayed pinned by the boulder he would eventually freeze to death. So he made the decision to live – with one arm. He began the process of cutting off the arm that was trapped under the boulder. It was not an easy choice but it was the only way that he could survive.

On that day 3,000 men lost their lives. The body could only move forward when the infected part had been removed.Watch movie online The Transporter Refueled (2015)

Dave Jenkins Jr. is an ordained minister and leadership and relationship teacher. Jenkins, a former chaplain for the Allen (Texas) Police Department, is a graduate of Grambling State University in Grambling, La., and earned a master’s of Christian leadership from Criswell College in Dallas. He also received advanced counseling training from Amberton University. Jenkins and his wife, Phyllis, are hosts of their own weekly family relationships show, “Marriage Monday,” on KGGR 1040 at 5 p.m. CST. Follow him on Twitter at @IamDaveJenkins and “like” him on Facebook (IamDaveJenkinsJr). Learn more about his ministry at www.davejenkinsjr.com.

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