Let Jesus Be

The following article by Rebecca Hagelin appeared in the October 30, 2017 edition of the Washington Times as: Leave Jesus as he is. Perhaps you’ll appreciate it as I do.  RMF

Leave Jesus as he is
by Rebecca Hagelin


Rebecca Hagelin

The gentle breezes rustling through the palm trees were matched in melodious beauty by the crash of the waves against the shore.
As if in a symphony, the voices of some 50 worshippers rose in praise to our awesome God as we sang of his goodness at the outdoor service on Little Gasparilla Island.
Erica Emmanuel, the pastor’s wife, led us in Hillsong’s “Oceans”:

You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Your grace abounds in deepest waters
Your sovereign hand
Will be my guide
Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me
You’ve never failed and You won’t start now
So I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise, my soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours and You are mine
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders
Let me walk upon the waters
Wherever You would call me
Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander
And my faith will be made stronger
In the presence of my Savior
I will call upon Your name
Keep my eyes above the waves
My soul will rest in Your embrace
I am Yours and You are mine.

Continue reading

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First Cosmic Observation: Gravitational Waves and Light From the Same Event. (Multi-messinger Astronomy)

It’s a big deal. Not so much perhaps with the way you eat your Wheaties in the morning or balance your checkbook, but in the mysterious world of science which always seems to impact the overall trajectory of our lives it is a major event.  This is fascinating stuff.  I enjoy following the way science bores into the secrets of how God has designed our existence in the universe and marveling at the brilliance of all He has created.  This is just one more step and I love that we live in an age when we can see and learn from so many wondrous revelations and discoveries.  This article is by Nancy Atkinson, one of my favorite writers in the world of astronomy and astrophysics.  It appeared at: www.universetoday.com as: First Cosmic Event Observed in Both Gravitational Waves and Light. Also see: Click HERE.  RMF

by Nancy Atkinson

Artist’s illustration of two merging neutron stars. The narrow beams represent the gamma-ray burst while the rippling spacetime grid indicates the isotropic gravitational waves that characterize the merger. Swirling clouds of material ejected from the merging stars are a possible source of the light that was seen at lower energies. Credit: National Science Foundation/LIGO/Sonoma State University/A. Simonnet

Nancy Atkinson

About 130 million years ago, in a galaxy far away, two neutron stars collided. The cataclysmic crash produced gravitational waves, ripples in the fabric of space and time. This event is now the 5th observation of gravitational waves by the Laser Interferometer Gravitational wave Observatory (LIGO) and Virgo collaboration, and the first detected that was not caused by the collision of two black holes.

But this event — called a kilonova — produced something else too: light, across multiple wavelengths.

For the first time in history, an astronomical phenomenon has been first observed through gravitational waves and then seen with telescopes. In an incredibly collaborative effort, over 3,500 astronomers using 100 instruments on over 70 telescopes around the world and in space worked with physicists from the LIGO and Virgo collaboration.

Scientists call this “multimessenger astronomy.”   Continue reading

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The Primacy of Evangelism in the Church’s Mission

I love the church that Jesus established through His redemptive work on the cross.  It is my desire to contribute in a positive way to the church’s growth through the spread of the Gospel message which is the hope of glory.  Certainly there are many facets of the church’s mission but to me none is as important as evangelism, and disciples making disciples in order to accelerate evangelism exponentially.  My regard for evangelism is captured wonderfully by this article by Bob Russell.  It appeared first at: http://www.bobrussell.org  as: The Oft-Repeated Cycle of Church History.

The Oft-Repeated Cycle of Church History
by Bob Russell

Pastor Bob Russell

A decade ago when I was the minister of Southeast Christian Church in Louisville, Kentucky, our mission statement read, “We exist to evangelize the lost, edify the saved, minister to the needy and be a conscience in the community.” Experts on effective mission statements insisted it needed to be abbreviated so everyone could grasp it. But I liked that mission statement because it not only articulated our purpose, it stated the order of our priorities.

The primary purpose of the church is evangelism and discipleship. (See Matt. 28:18-20.) One of Satan’s most clever deceptions is to invert our mission and replace the primary with the secondary. Social justice or political influence can easily become more important than the paramount task of evangelism.  Continue reading

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A Defense for Signing the Nashville Statement

The following is a statement by Randy Alcorn, a Christian writer and blogger at: www.epm.org. The article, which appears as: Why I Signed the Nashville Statement: It Speaks the Truth in Love About Human Sexuality,  concerns his signing of the Nashville Statement which you can read at: Click HERE.
This article by Mr. Alcorn explains his rationale for his decision to sign the statement and provides a perspective on the contentious subject which in relatively recent times has become so divisive for Christians and today’s society in general. I wrestle with issues like this and seek God’s grace and “the mind of Christ”  (Philippians 2:5) to give clarity to my understanding.  Irrespective of one’s opinion of the Nashville Statement I praise God that His love is available for all and wish for all to come to a believing faith that seeks to honor God and glorify His name.  RMF 

Why I Signed the Nashville Statement: It Speaks the Truth in Love about the Biblical View of Human Sexuality
Randy Alcorn

Randy Alcorn

If you follow social media and news online, you’ve likely heard about the Nashville Statement, put together by The Council on Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. Along with several dozen other Christian leaders, I’m one of the initial signatories of this statement, which seeks to provide a Christ-honoring and biblically faithful standard on homosexuality and transgenderism.

When it was posted in late August, unfortunately during Hurricane Harvey (its release was prearranged some time earlier), it caused another kind of cultural and online hurricane. Here are a couple of comments from people on Twitter who expressed disappointment at my signing it:

So disappointed in @randyalcorn for signing #nashvillestatement. He gave me hope of heaven & now he banished me for loving people.

Somehow @randyalcorn believes, from an eternal perspective, that publicly condemning LGBTQIA people who are facing persecution is good.

Redefining God’s Love

I cannot apologize for signing a statement that I believe to be true to Scripture and true to reality. As for the claim that by signing it I “banished” someone “for loving people,” I hardly know what to say. I believe that I truly love people who think and live differently than I do in terms of sexual desires and practices. I also believe God loves them far more than I, or the people who sent these tweets, do.  Continue reading

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God’s Glory

The Crippplegate website just ran a really neat Pastor Eric Davis article on the recent total solar eclipse.  See: Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God.  The eclipse itself and the article reminded me for the many-th time how really glorious our God really is.  And He is that way all the time – not simply when He displays His creative genius in “natural” events such as eclipses — but truly His glory is there all the time for us to witness if we will but pause to consider it.
In thinking about God’s glory I decided to capture some of my  favorite words of others which tell of God’s glory and His unsearchable riches. First, however, is Pastor Davis’ The Cripplegate article which reminded me of God’s glory.  That will be followed by the words to one of my favorite hymns, How Great Thou Art by Pastor Carl Boberg.  (My favorite line in this hymn is: “I scarce can take it in”).  And then the words to Dr. S.M. Lockridge’s (that is Dr. Shadrach Meshach Lockridge’s) declaration: That’s My King.  Finally, the evening devotional for August 22, from Charles Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening. RMF

Eclipses are Telling of the Glory of God

by Eric Davis

Pastor Eric Davis

At 11:35am MST yesterday (that was August 21, 2017 RMF), the entirety of our moon’s shadow hit the Jackson Hole area. Moving at over 1800 mph, with a shadow width of 66 miles, it brought almost instant darkness, making visible the most spectacular observable event in creation; a total solar eclipse.

In God’s kindness, I’ve had the opportunity to see pristine, underwater forests while scuba diving in Roatan. I’ve sat on the spectacular, jagged peaks of the Tetons. I’ve seen Yellowstone, Yosemite, the Northern Lights; from Alaska to the tropics.

But the total solar eclipse was like nothing I have ever seen before. There were those final, eerie, darkening minutes before totality. The bizarre feeling as it went from day to night in about 90 seconds. Cows mooing hysterically in the field next to me. The beads of light peering through the moon’s craters. The diamond ring effect. The temperature instantly dropped fifteen degrees. Then, totality. The sun’s atmosphere blasting forth in praise to God; the white, jagged rays bursting from behind the blackened moon for a full two minutes. And there was the 360 degree sunset (two sunsets in one day!). It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. It was utterly stunning; a spectacle that is emblazoned in my mind forever. I’m still wondering if I really saw it as it was completely different than anything in all creation. I can almost understand why humans have venerated that ball of burning hydrogen for millennia.  Continue reading

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Solid Rock v. Sinking Sand

I love the old Edward Mote hymn, The Solid Rock.  It is a great reminder of the ultimate in peace and security – a hope that will stand the test of time and adversity; of pain and of sorrow.  I was reminded of the hymn this morning when I read the most recent blog article by my online and email friend, April Cassidy.  April blogs at: peacefulwife.com and her article appeared as: Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials.  If in the destruction of a relationship you have ever experienced the “darkness of  high and stormy gale, the whelming flood when all around your soul gave way,” you’ll relate to the experiences described in April’s post.  And, if you are a Christian, you will recognize the wonderful hope that comes from knowing “The Solid Rock.”  So, here then, the lyrics to the hymn (and HERE is a Hillsong version which is on YouTube),  and then April’s article.  RMF

The Solid Rock
by Edward Mote

Edward Mote

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand;
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale,
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
Oh, may I then in Him be found;
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Finding Contentment in Christ Alone in Painful Trials
by April Cassidy (The Peaceful Wife)

Photo by Tim Foster on Unsplash

April Cassidy
The Peaceful Wife

Three strong believers share about finding contentment in Christ alone even in very painful, difficult, lonely situations where worldly peace and contentment are completely impossible. I pray their words and stories might bless you and your walk with the Lord richly!

From Sister in Christ #1

I had to hit rock bottom and surrender everything to the Lord before I found that peace and trust in Him. I had to get to the point where I truly realized that my husband and my marriage had been an idol – that I had been depending on my husband to meet my needs, instead of God. So truthfully, the main reason I was so afraid of losing my husband (in the beginning) was because he was the one that I had been looking to – to take care of me, provide for me, love me, and fill me. I knew the Lord, but I had not been fully relying on God for these things – and I didn’t even realize that until after my husband left! Continue reading

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On Religious Liberty

Here is an article by respected theologian and religious educator Dr. Albert Mohler.  It appeared at: www.albertmohler.com as: Religious Liberty vs. Erotic Liberty – Religious Liberty is Losing.  It is a thoughtful article which deserves our attention.  RMF

Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

Barely five days after The New York Times ran a major news article on the firing of Atlanta’s fire chief for his views on homosexuality, a major Times opinion writer declared that religious liberty is a fine thing, so long as it is restricted to “pews, homes, and hearts” — far from public consequence.

Kelvin Cochran

The firing of Kelvin Cochran as chief of Atlanta’s Fire Rescue Department came after the city’s mayor, Kasim Reed, determined that the chief could not effectively manage the department after he had written a book in which he cited Scripture in defining homosexuality as a sin.
The most crucial portion of the Times story includes the mayor’s rationale:
“At a news conference, Mr. Reed said that Mr. Cochran’s ‘personal religious beliefs are not the issue.’ But Atlanta’s nondiscrimination policy, the mayor added, is ‘nonnegotiable.’  Continue reading

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