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The Baptist Muse

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468x60-AFor several years now, I have been scowering the internet searching for resources that can be used to produce amazing websites for Christian sites.  I have searched for textures, graphics, icons, tutorials, themes, content management systems, and more.  After years of research, I now have hundreds of resources at my disposal which I fully intend on sharing with you here at Site Sketch 101. I remember what a depressing feeling it was when I was just getting started and I was having so much difficulty finding tools that I could use to create websites that actually looked appealing to potential visitors.  I know first hand how difficult it can be to set up a site when you are just starting out in this line of work. Click Here to Visit Site Sketch 101 It’s those memories of working so hard only to create only mediocre websites that are my inspiration to create this website.  I want to take my years of experience and pour them out so every one of you who has a desire to create amazing, appealing websites or blogs for your church, ministry, or business can get it done.  This site is all about taking you from the beginning stages of web design and launching you into a realm of professionalism that will make you stand out on the internet and doing it all in a way that is easy to follow along and enjoy. So friends, welcome aboard Site Sketch 101.  Your web development education is about to begin! In Christ, Nicholas Z. Cardot
A New Exciting Monthly Award That Comes With $15.00 Muser of the Month: We are very pleased to announce the launch of our newest competition which we are calling the Muser of the Month.  Each month a user will be selected by the community to recieve this prestigious award.  This contest will be 100% community driven.  Let me explain.  We are currently taking nominations for this award. Those with the most nominations will be selected and put on a ballot so that you can vote for your Muser of the Month. Voting will take place until the last day of the month.  The Muser selected will receive a $15 gift card, but most importantly the appreciation of his/her fellow Musers. Rules are as follows and are subject to change: Nominations are open until the 15th of each month. When you nominate someone, please include the reason you are nominating them. For example: I nominate loyaldefender because..... Admins can not be nominated nor will we participate in either the nomination process or the voting process. Musers can only win once per quarter. So what are you waiting for?  Stop by right now and nominate one of your friends for this month's award!Here's a link to the forum post where you can nominate your friends: Muser of the Month!In Christ,Nicholas & The Team at the Baptist Muse
Duty-Honor-CountryOn the 12th of May 1962, General Douglas MacArthur received a very distinguished award from a rather esteemed institution in West Point, NY. During his acceptance address, with earnest humility, he expressed deep gratitude for the recognition. He spoke of a great moral code that molds and yet exemplifies the American soldier. He noted that such a code of three dynamic words, "Duty, Honor, Country" would raise the ire of enemies and rile the hypocrite to downgrade and mock such fanciful ideals. But to the soldiers who listened, MacArthur lectured, "They mold you for future roles as the custodians of the nation's defense. They make you strong enough to know when you are weak, and brave enough to face yourself when you are afraid." At each point, the venerated general presented juxtapositions that would arise and be overcome by faithful adherence to the values contained in those three words, "Duty, Honor, Country." These three words are those of men gone by, who believed that our nation was special, and who would never apologize for her prosperity or military power. They, being cast from the same die as Eisenhower and Lincoln, would never apologize for our ambition or ingenuity. Virtues like these teach young men to stand tall, shake firmly, and look eye to eye with anyone that might come their way. They are words like those of Sinclair Lewis who respectfully confessed, "Intellectually I know that America is no better than any other country; emotionally I know she is better than every other country." While beliefs like these readily divide our nation today, ignoring the risk of sounding smug, I will go on record saying that I'll take up sides with Lewis and MacArthur. I don't care. I'm choosing against change. I don't believe America's image is broken, nor do I believe our relationship with communism needs to be reset. I believe if Somali pirates, or terrorists at sea, hi-jack a vessel with an American crew and ask for $10 million to release the captain that the Commander-in-Chief has an obligation, not an option, a duty to his citizenry to dispatch a Navy Seal team to the area. Upon arrival, I believe that particular Seal team has an obligation to rescue the captain by whatever means necessary, up to and including putting a 5.56 mm armor piercing round through the ear hole of each Muslim extremist involved in the capture of the ship. The FBI negotiator can stay at home. I subscribe to the foreign policy school of a big stick, because as has been proven, that is all that ever works. U.N. Security Council resolutions won't deter North Korea or Iran. Neither will a photoshopped magazine cover of our shirtless president. However, missile defense systems and Howitzers will. Apologies for national defense are only enablers which stoke the fires of radical ideologies and demagogues bent at destroying liberty. Ringing the bell of "Duty, Honor, Country" over and over again, to the corps of cadets at the US Military Academy, Macarthur clarified his philosophy by saying this, "Others will debate the controversial issues, national and international, which divide men's minds; but serene, calm, aloof, you stand as the Nation's war-guardian, as its lifeguard from the raging tides of international conflict, as its gladiator in the arena of battle." If only today, as in days of old, they could freely do their duty, we could live with honor and take pride in our country. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist , TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
white-houseBy now I'm sure that you have heard all about our president's trip to London for the G20. Published reports have told us that the staff that made the trip was 500 strong. He took his own chef, specialized O-mobile, 200 secret service agents and several decoy helicopters. No wonder the rest of the world looks at spoiled Americans with disdain. Do you remember when then Democrat candidate Obama chastised the country for being comfortable? His exact words were, "We can't drive our SUVs and eat as much as we want and keep our homes on 72 degrees at all times...and then just expect that other countries are going to say OK." We can't, but he can. Yes, he can! Yes, he can! Anyway, when you're the President of the United States of America, it is a different story. We can't do those things, but he can. According to David Axelrod, he keeps it so balmy in the Oval Office that he could grow orchids. He can transport all of his presidential toys across the Atlantic for a few meetings. He can bring along a personal assistant/brother-in-law/one-on-one basketball partner named Reggie Love to hand him a tic-tac when he needs one. He can park that 15,000 pound Cadillac, which has been described as a hardened missile silo on wheels, right in front of the garden entrance driveway at Buckingham Palace. His driver did just that upon he and Michelle's visit with the Queen. There was only one problem - the prince wanted to leave the Palace, so the Caddy had to go. I have to laugh so I don't cry. All we have seen from this administration in the first 70 days has been like amateur hour. They are coming off like complete buffoons every where they go. Clarke Griswold looks like Einstein in front our president right now. A few weeks ago he gave the British Prime Minister, Gordon Brown, a collection of cheesy DVDs that couldn't even be played across the pond. Then, Secretary of State Clinton gave the Russians a "re-set" button that really meant "overcharge." Where do they get their help? Circuit City? My nine year old armed with a Dell Mini and Google translation services would do better. Next, the Best Buy geek squad czar who recommends all these wonderful gifts must have just missed the cut to make the G20 because somebody decided to give the Queen an Ipod. Yes, of course, she already had one, but not one pre-loaded with can't-live-without Broadway show tunes and, you guessed it - legendary Obama speeches. Amazing! Priceless! Not even Stephen King could make up something so terrifying. I wonder how the First Lady even rides in that big limo between him and his ego. Since the inauguration, the markets have tanked. Unemployment is cresting 10 percent. Our currency is not worth the paper on which it is so rapidly being printed, and all I have heard from our distinguished leader is something like, "Hey, I didn't do it, Bush did." Classless, petty, and dangerous. By day he fires CEOs and by night he parties with the likes of Stevie Wonder and Earth, Wind, and Fire. I'm sorry but I just expect more out of a president. I expect more maturity, more gravity. I expect fewer jokes on Letterman and less hypocrisy behind the Resolute Desk. Sadly, what can be expected from a one term Senator turned President? Presidential Karaoke is all I have seen thus far. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
Praying-Hands"The life that Jesus lived, the Christian life, is characterized by truth, and love, and righteousness. And prayer is the perfect example and expression of all three of these. Love is prayers motive, truth is its expression, and righteousness is its goal." ~ Ray C. SteadmanIt is by the grace of God alone that we have been given such a sublime gift as prayer. In the words of Dr. William Evans, "The Christian life cannot be sustained without it; it is the Christian's vital breath." This provision is even more valuable to us than water. One cannot enter the Kingdom of Heaven with water, but through a man's humble supplication to Jesus Christ is eternal life granted him. Therefore it would be wise to understand how the originator of prayer has ordained its use. Our Holy God has ordained a distinct way that His children must approach Him in prayer. His infallible and wholly inspired Word gives us clear commandments on exactly how we are to pray. The Bible teaches that there are at least four essential elements of prayer. That these four things in particular militate against all other forms of prayer found in the world is clear by their nature and inimitability. In this essay I will expound on the essentials of prayer, and conclude by illustrating their value in man's relationship to the holy, triune God. In The Name Of Jesus Christ John 14:13-14 - "And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it."This instruction from Jesus Christ gives us the knowledge of the proper way to pray, and differentiates our prayers to God from the prayers of those in other (false) religions. The phrase "...in my name" means that where there is no other name whereby a man can be saved (Acts 4:12), neither is there another name in which a Christian can pray. This also tells us of the personal nature of prayer intended for man by the perfect love of God. As compared to the prayers to the impersonal deities and idols of false religion, the Christian's prayer is based on an ever-deepening relationship with the triune God. I have encountered Him in my own prayer life, and can give personal testimony to the importance and dependence upon that wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ; with God.Of John 14:13-14, David Guzik writes, "this signifies both an endorsement (like a check) and a limitation (requests must be in accordance with the character of the name). We are coming to God in Jesus' name, not in our own." That we are coming in Jesus' name and not our own means we are to actively seek the will of God over our own desire. Not only does this verse tell us that we must pray in the name of Jesus Christ, but that in knowing Jesus, we have at least an inclination of His will, which should affect what we are praying for, and how we pray. The phrase "in my name" can only mean one thing: Agreement with and adherence to God's will. That is because the following phrase, "I will do it," must be taken to mean that God will do only what is in His nature. Being that God's nature is holy and absolutely perfect in every moral attribute, we can only ask Him to do for us what is in agreement with His nature. John14:13-14 are implicit with the truth that praying in Jesus' name is intrinsically linked to the will of God. According To The Will Of God 1 John 5:14-15 - "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us. And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him."The word "confidence" in this passage has also been rendered boldness, openly, plainly (and other variants thereof) throughout the New Testament. Therefore, our confidence, which is not of ourselves but is "in him," is that whatever we ask in accordance to His will shall be heard by Him. It is important to note that it is first stated here that our boldness or confidence is that we have been heard. This implies that the fact that our prayers to God our heard is enough to give us confidence! That alone is wonderful news to the believer, and should settle many matters of personal doubt we sometimes experience when coming to the Lord in prayer. The phrase "And if we know that he hear us," uses the condition "if", which is to say that, "if we have asked of Him according to His will," which we have. Here the apostle John is restating the obvious, probably for emphasis, because in the verse prior to this he has propositioned that we already have confidence or boldness in the fact that we asked something of God according to the will of God. Thus, whatever we ask, we know that not only does He hear us, but we have His petitioning on our behalf with God the Father. According to Ray C. Steadman, "Prayer is not a means by which we get God to do our will, Prayer is a means of obtaining the will of God, and is limited always by the will and purpose of God. If we pray outside of the purpose then there is no guarantee that our prayer will be heard." Prayer in Jesus name, and according to God's will, must be accompanied by a third essential element: belief. Belief In Prayer Mark 11:24 - "Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them."In the life of the Christian, prayer is preceded by belief. This is evident in that we must believe in order to be saved (Romans 10:9). As we come to believe, we know to whom we are confessing to and believing in, and we ascend to this through our prayer. Being witnesses to the love of God we believe; we are motivated by the truth, and given to prayer knowing full well that the end of prayer is to bring glory to a righteous God. In 1 John 5:10 we read, "He that believeth on the Son of God hath the witness in himself: he that believeth not God hath made him a liar; because he believeth not the record that God gave of his Son." We must believe, for to not believe is a sin! (See also Hebrews 3:12). Indeed, belief is so essential a part of prayer that the prayers of a man with a doubtful heart are hindered. The verse in Mark 11:24 says, "...when ye pray, believe..." Jesus Christ uttered this the day following His cleansing of the temple in Jerusalem. In Mark 11:17 He says, "Is it not written, My house shall be called of all nations the house of prayer? but ye have made it a den of thieves." Is it not striking that the day after the cleansing of the temple, and Christ referring to the temple as a "house of prayer," He gives the apostles a strong admonition to believe in order to have their prayers heard? Jesus was setting them up for a time to come that He foreknew he would not be with them physically, in person. His temple would be in each person's body, in each personal "house of prayer," and belief in Him would be more vital than ever for them to reap the freedom that is given to one who seeks to bring glory to God through his prayers. And no other prayer could accomplish that but one that is done in the name of Christ, according to His will, with a believing heart, and as we shall see next, with perseverance. Perseverance In Prayer Luke 11:5-10 - "And he said unto them, Which of you shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; For a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not: the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him, because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth. And I say unto you, Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you. For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened."After teaching His disciples how to pray (Luke 11:1-4), Jesus then continues with a parable that illustrated the necessity of perseverance in prayer. This parable, seen in conjunction with another portion of the book of Luke (The Parable of the Unjust Judge, Luke 18:1-8), fully substantiates the point that Jesus was making: the tenacious prayer of the believer will, without fear or doubt, be answered. In light of the facts about prayer that I have expounded on thus far, it is clear that Jesus did not mean simply that anyone who prays fervently gets what they want. Again, the prayer in Jesus' name, following the will of God in relation to His character and His revelation, from a heart that believes, is the prayer that is heard and answered. This excludes all other forms of prayer, such as that which uses beads, idols, the intercession of the dead, or other demonic devices. The perseverance that is implicit in these parables does not mean repetitive. From the parable of the importunate friend, we find the word "importunity" in verse 8. In the original language of the New Testament, this word actually means "shamelessness." The implication in the context surrounding that word is shameless perseverance. Vines Complete Expository Dictionary illustrates, "If shameless persistence can obtain a boon from a neighbor, then certainly earnest prayer will receive our Father's answer." Therefore it is not simply tenacity or continuation that must accompany belief in prayer, but child-like earnest and humility as well. Hindrances and Helps In Prayer It would be reasonable at this point to mention both the hindrances and helps to prayer. To paraphrase Dr. William Evans, some of the hindrances are as follows: Indulgence in known sin, willful disobedience to God, selfishness, resentfulness and blame, faithlessness and idolatry. Some of the essentials to prevailing in prayer are sincerity, simplicity, earnestness, persistence, faithfulness, unison with others, certainty, effort and with fasting. Each of these deserves at least a paragraph unto itself, however to keep to the nature and flow of this essay I will astutely conclude this section by saying that the Word of God is not short on its lists of hindrances and helps to prayer. It is brimming with examples, parables, illustrations and commandments that are integral to the prayer-life of the believer. Conclusion There is so much to be said on the subject of prayer that choosing what I have felt to be its fundamentals seems to be injurious to prayer's myriad of aspects. Prayer is made mighty in its meekness and humility by the power of God, who is faithful to the repentant believer. It is this vessel of prayer which brings us closer to God. In my own limited experience, irregular or insincere prayer can quickly degenerate every aspect of my relationship with God. I recall the many ups and downs I've had along the way, and in reciprocity to that line is the degree of nearness to God that I was cultivating at the time. I recall the many times when God Himself has told me, "Aaron, now is the time to pray." It is in those moments that I have wanted to be the most obedient, falling to my knees, and either praying, or just listening. God is gracious and longsuffering towards His children, and I praise Him for that because my prayer life has been everything but perfect. In His continuous sanctification of the saints, His love is made manifest in our response to Him in prayer. James writes in his epistle, "The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much" (James 5:15b). I will conclude by saying that the four essentials of prayer as discussed in this essay are succinctly stated by James in his use of the words "effectual" and "fervent." Thusly, the good and perfect will of God prevails.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2 Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007. He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church. For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
prologicdesignsI've been working in website development for several years and I am very excited to be launching this online portfolio of my design work. Throughout these pages you will see examples of websites that I have designed as well as digital artwork that I have created. I specialize in designing websites and artwork for churches, ministries, and Christian business owners. If you are looking for a cookie-cutter website, then you have definitely come to the wrong place. I strive to design each site to have bold colors, dynamic content, and an overall appealing look. Because of my passion to help churches, ministries, and Christian business owners get there messages out with bold, dynamic websites, I'm able to take great pleasure in knowing that I charge only a fraction of what many of my competitors charge. My rates are incredibly low compared to others who do this same level of work so if you think that you may be interested in hiring me, don't be afraid to get in touch with me by clicking the contact button at the top of the page. To check out my portfolio, visit ProLogicDesigns.com.   Nicholas Z. Cardot
BoatWhen was the last time that you did something really dopey? A few weeks ago I heard an audio clip of a 911 call made by a woman in Florida who was beginning to panic because her car battery was dead and she had locked herself inside the car. With a tinge of hysteria she begged for help because the power windows were disabled by the dead battery, it was getting very hot in the car, and she wasn't feeling well. However, she handled it with great aplomb when the operator told her to pull up on the knob for the door lock and then open the door. As the clip comes to an end, one can actually hear the dear lady becoming aware of her dullness. She plainly apologizes and bids the operator a good day. However simple minded she was, something must be said of her humility. In the very same week, a few thousand miles away, President Obama accomplished a first among American presidents. He performed perhaps the greatest breach of etiquette of any American president, living or dead. In England, upon meeting a member of the royal family, rather than the customary handshake, he bowed, bending deeply at the waist. One might initially think, being in the United Kingdom, that he bowed to her majesty the Queen. Sorry, try again. Our president didn't choose to bow to the jolly Queen. Barack Hussein Obama showed deep appreciation and humble devotion to the murderous enslaver, King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia. Instead of reciprocating the bow, denoting equality and mutual respect, the King waited for the act of adoration to be complete and then shook Obama's hand. If you ask me, it was a pretty dopey thing to do for a man holding the highest office of the world's only superpower and leader of the free world. I would say very dopey, if I were to put it bluntly. Our president - however humble he tried to be, something must be said of his dimness. Although, unlike the security challenged lady in Florida who recognized her hilarious error, those surrounding our president refuse even to acknowledge the obvious. Therefore, the obstinacy continues to abound with a presidential aide denying that the bow was even a bow at all. According to Ben Smith of Politico, an Obama aide defended, "It wasn't a bow. He grasped his hands with two hands, and he's taller than King Abdullah." The ridiculous denial of an obvious act of fealty sounds like something out of the "my dad can beat up your dad" school of playground insults. Hint to the White House - admit it, move on, and don't make the same mistake again. Americans should not bow to anyone other than Jesus Christ. They should worship none other than God Almighty. We are a free nation, and our ancestors fought long and hard to ensure our liberty. Hence, the sight alone of seeing the Commander-in-Chief self-deprecate before arguably one of the five worst dictators in the world makes my blood boil. But for everyone at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue to deny it, compounds the problem ten-fold. Learn this Mr. and Mrs. White House Aide, the American people are not idiots, but they are forgiving. We are not helpless, but we are trusting. Don't treat us like kids. Try treating us like adults, and maybe the same respect will be returned, with a firm handshake, instead of groveling genuflection. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
Destroyed-Jefferson-MemorialOver the past few days, I've been focusing my articles on the plight of America.  I believe with all of my heart that America is going to face the wrath of God if we do not turn back to him soon.  This is the third article out of four where I discuss this topic.  If you have not already read the first two articles, The Coming Destruction of America and Obama's Post Christian America, I would strongly encourage you to do so before reading this post.  I think that they will aid in expressing my heart on this matter as you read this article. Most people drastically underestimate the consequences of sin.  Many people wrongfully believe that their sins, however large or small, will have little or no consequences and that if it does have consequences it will be only on the person comitting the sin.  Yet the Bible clearly displays example after example demontrating a clear pattern that this is not the case. When Joshua was leading the armies of God into the promised land, one man chose to disregard the Lord's instructions.  A man named Achan stole a set of clothes and a few pieces of money.  Shortly after Achan's mild indescretion, Joshua led the people into battle again.  This time they were met with defeat.  The army of God who clearly outnumbered their enemies faced a tragic defeat due to the sins of one man.  After the battle Achan was killed along with his entire family.  The consequences of his sin resulted in the defeat of an army and the death of his family.David's advisors had encouraged him not to number the people.  After all, God had clearly forbidden the kings of Israel from taking the census.  Instead of relying on numbers, God simply wanted David to rely on Him.  Didn't David know that God could provide for his nation's defense?  But David persisted.  He numbered the people.  As a result, God took the lives of thousands of Israelites.  Again the consequences of sin went far beyond the sinner.When the prophet Jeremiah looked out over his nation, he saw a nation that like America, drastically underestimated the consequences of their sin.  They believed that they could continue living their lives however they liked without ever having to feel the pain of any consequences.  They turned their back on God and believed that their national safety, their economy, and their way of life would simply continue uninterupted.  "...Yet my people have forgotten me days without number."  ~ Jeremiah 2:32Unfortunately for this great prophet, he lived to see the destruction of these people who he had so fervently pleaded with to turn back to God.  Bablyon swept in and destroyed their cities, killed and enslaved their men, and took their women and children captive.    "How doth the city sit solitary, that was full of people!  How is she become as a widow! She that was great among the nations, and princess among the provinces, how is she become tributary!" ~ Lamentations 1:1Jeremiah looked ahead and saw the destruction that he had been preaching about for years.  He saw first hand the consequences of their sins coming down upon them...and he wept.  Look again at that first verse in Lamentations, "How doth the city sit solitary...she that was great among the nations..."  Do we think that America is exempt from the wrath of God?  Do we think that our patriotism trumps God's disgust with sin?  America boasts her tolerance of sodomy, her allowance of on-demand murder of unborn children, her divorce kits purchasable at Wal-Mart, her growing pornography industry, and her rejection of God from our society.  Yet America, and most Christians, fail to realize that our days are numbered.  We will see the curse of Jeremiah soon.  Sin always has its consequences.  I would say that I hope that I don't see it in my day, but then I am just wishing  it on my children.  I'd like to see it stayed for good.  In Christ,Nicholas Z. CardotNicholas Z. Cardot is the founder and site administrator for the Baptist Muse, a site dedicated to challenging Christians to think on the things of God by promoting and defending the Biblical truths for which historical Baptists have lived and died.
Righteous_Lion"And Enoch lived sixty and five years, and begat Methuselah: And Enoch walked with God after he begat Methuselah three hundred years, and begat sons and daughters: And all the days of Enoch were three hundred sixty and five years: And Enoch walked with God: and he was not; for God took him." ~ Genesis 5:21-24There are two notable dispositions in the life of Enoch: before and after he begat Methuselah. The Bible teaches that he was sixty-five years old when his son was born, and after that he walked with God. Therefore the first disposition is that he did not walk with God in the first sixty-five years of his life; the second then being that he walked with God for the remaining three-hundred years before his death. The significance of his latter disposition will be dealt with in this article. In Genesis 5 the phrase "Enoch walked with God" is repeated twice. (This repetition, however, is not verbatim in the original language. The Hebrew text in the original MS includes the word ‘with' in the first rendering of this phrase, possibly offering a clue as to the depth of this relationship he had with ‘elohiym). This is significant in that it is unique throughout the entire Bible. The only other person who we know "walked with God" was Noah, and to him was this tribute ascribed to but once (Gen. 6:9). I'm not implying that repetition is indicative of a ‘closer,' or ‘better' walk, but just that it is noteworthy. It is because of this small but significant detail that I chose to write about Enoch as on of my favorite peoples from the history of the Old Testament. Part 1: Enoch the Prophet Before examining the latter disposition in Enoch's life, it will be important to note the meaning of his and his son's names. Enoch fittingly means ‘dedicated', while Methuselah means ‘his death shall bring'; or ‘when he dies, judgment.' Of Methuselah's name, Matthew Henry writes, "it was fair warning to a careless world, a long time before the judgment came." We know that in the year that Methuselah died came the flood. It would be reasonable to assume that God foreknew he would be taking his dedicated servant Enoch early (Gen. 5:24), and left a prophetic message bound within the name of his progeny. This aptly illustrates a mere fragment of the boundless wisdom of God, and of His sovereignty. The prophetic naming of Enoch's son and the subsequent change in his disposition are not simply coincidental. It would appear that they are somehow linked in implication.So with this knowledge of the coming catastrophe through his son, what did Enoch do for three-hundred years? We can't look any further into Enoch without examining what is said of him in the New Testament epistles: "And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, To execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." ~ Jude 1:14, 15 From Jude we learn that Enoch was a genuine prophet of God. The Holy Spirit sealed this information about Enoch into the Word of God through the writer of this epistle and that is all we need to know. Jewish legends aside, it is clear that the early church had at least an oral tradition about the prophecy of Enoch, and that it was important enough to God to be included in His holy book. And what was the prophecy? In the context of these verses from Jude, we understand that he prophesied that Jesus, with a multitude of His saints, is coming and they will execute judgment upon all of the ungodly men of the world. In Enoch's day, only seven generations from Adam, he was proclaiming the coming of a Messiah and the judgment on the wicked. His prophecy applied both to the antediluvian society in which he lived, and to the ages to come. These prophecies set the tone for the three-hundred years of Enoch's walk with God. They may be exemplary of his preaching in an increasingly evil and God-hating world. One would have to be quite intimate with God to continue in this work. Perhaps this life was passed on to Methuselah. Perhaps he trained his son for those three-hundred before he was, as the epistle to the Hebrews expounds, translated. Part 2: Enoch Walked With God Hebrews 11:5 - "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." The first prophecy of the Bible is in Gen. 3:15. The seed of the woman, Christ Jesus, will crush the head of Satan. This speaks of the hope of the Savior to come and his breaking of the curse brought on by Adam. Enoch's prophecy concerning the Messiah, as recorded in Jude, fits as the Bible's second prophecy (it would have been uttered during the 300 years after the birth of Methuselah; a time when we have no other recorded prophecies). This speaks of the judgment of the coming Messiah on the ungodly. Enoch, a righteous man, would have to have known the prophecy of Gen. 3:15 through oral tradition. We can assume this because it was spoken by God to Adam and pertained directly to Adam's lineage. Enoch, being only the seventh generation from Adam, would indeed have clung to the very words of God as they had been passed down through his contemporaries and forefathers. Some time after the birth of Methuselah, Enoch began walking with God. Undoubtedly he, knowing this prophecy of the coming Savior, and having had received himself a prophecy of God of this Savior's coming judgment, began to draw nearer to God than any of his forefathers had. The book of Hebrews tells us two more things about Enoch that pertain to his relationship with God: 1. In the book of Hebrews we read, "By faith Enoch was translated..." By faith in what? I believe this is tells of his pure, unrelenting faith in God which included everything God had spoken to man at that time. He had faith in the three prophecies of the eternal God that had come down to man thus far: the coming savior (the Lord had spoken this to Adam), the prophecy that God had revealed to him of the judgment of the coming Savior and His saints, and the prophecy of the coming catastrophe spoken of through the name of his first son, Methuselah. 2. Also in the book of Hebrews we read, "...for before his translation he had this testimony, that he pleased God." We know from the verse in Hebrews that follows this that without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Enoch's life was a living testimony of faith and that he diligently sought after God, the rewarder of faith. From this we can also ascertain that Enoch must have had thoughts which were in alignment with the moral nature of God. Amos 3:3 says, "Can two walk together, except they be agreed?" It is absolutely clear that Enoch was a man who walked with God, and in so walking with God he was in complete agreement with whatever God had to say. Enoch was surely in agreement with God's coming judgment on the wicked world that he lived in. Conclusion The Bible says that Enoch was translated, or, taken up to be with God. Little is known about this man of God except from what a few verses in Genesis, Hebrews and James tell us. However Enoch's testimony, as extrapolated through diligently studying the Word of God, reveals a great deal about this man. "He walked with God," it says twice about Enoch. He prophesied. He listened. He had faith. Although not always, because it is clear that for the first sixty-five years of his life he walked apart from God. Then, after a revelation from God in the prophetic naming of Enoch's son, we can imagine that he seems to put the pieces together: The coming Savior who will crush the head of the serpent; the coming catastrophe that will follow Methuselah's death; the newly revealed prophecy of God of the coming judgment of this Savior along with ten thousand saints. "And Enoch walked with God: And he was not; for God took him." His faith is counted among the faith of those who we regard as the patriarchs. It is a faith worth examining, for we live in an era not unlike that of Enoch, just before the flood. The kingdom of God is at hand, and we could be taken up at any moment.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2 Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007. He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church. For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
altNina and I have a friend – sounds like the start of a bad joke doesn't it? Shocking as it is, we have more than one, but this particular friend is going through an unusually difficult time right now. Almost constantly, for the last several years, her family has been served tragedy and hardship with a side of grief. They have continued to put one foot in front of the other each day, at times stopping simply to ask – why? Casualties have abounded and shame has been an unwelcome yet frequent house guest. For the record, let it be said that last year irritated so many like a bad boil. It festered and oozed and only seemed to worsen with its ever-maddening pain. Thank the Lord that just before midnight last Wednesday it finally popped. Her struggles began before 2008 and sadly may last through 2009. When she called last week, her first words were, “I need help.” No, "Hello, how are you?" Just, “I need help.” She began to pour out her heart to us and with a shaky voice while quickly wiping away tears she continued, saying, “I just don't have any faith.” It is the death knell for the faithfulness of believers. The white towel of service. Normally these words are so much worse than an "I quit" that my heart sinks. But, a strange thing happened. She kept talking. Uncertainty clouded the way as she peppered questions at me. While I listened intently to what she was saying, I really only heard the words, “I don't have any faith.” Finally, when she stopped, I carefully asked about her loss of faith. I certainly didn't want to appear like a psychiatrist (How does that make you feel?) or a snake-oil salesman (I've got just the cure.). Most importantly, I had heard what she said but wanted to know what she was doing. For her, it was clearly a can't-see-the-forest-for-the-trees situation. The cancer of unbelief had not spread from her mind into her heart and legs and arms. Though her mind told her she had no faith, her actions proved just the opposite. She hadn't lost any faith at all. She had just forgotten where to look for it. She started believing that faith was what she said rather than what she did. Beyond any doubt, our actions always prove our beliefs. For instance, Hamas hates the Jews. How do we know? With a blatant lack of discrimination they lob rockets into Israel. They hate the men, the women, and the children. They hate the whole lot. Say what they will about wanting peace; however, their actions prove an entirely different story.In much the same way, an unfaithful husband tells his wife how much he loves her just before his midnight tryst. His actions betray him even as he unkindly returns the favor to his own marriage. Then what of our friend? She will make it through this bout and on she will continue. Hopefully it will be with a renewed sense of the substance of her actions. Hopefully she will stand firm on the conviction that what we do should swell while what we say should abate. Friends, remember: in this turbulent sea of life, it's what we do that really matters, not what we say. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN.  For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
thinking_of_youAs I have worked to hone my skills in website development, I have spent a lot of time searching for resources across the internet to help me in my pursuit.  Over the past two or three years, I have bookmarked dozens and dozens of some of the best tools you could ask for in a variety of categories.  In an effort to help others who are on that same journey, I have decided to start posting some of these resources that I have found.As many of you know, the Baptist Muse recently moved from a Godaddy hosted server to a JustHost hosted server.  For more details about why we did that just check out our blog post from when we did: A Faster, More Exciting Website.  The Baptist Muse is much faster today that it was prior to this move.  When I first set out to discover a new hosting company where I could store the files for the Baptist Muse, I had no idea where to turn.  So just in case you  are ever in the situation that I found myself, I wanted to post a link to a site that helped me out:  Web Hosting Choice. They simply provide a list of the best hosting companies available and they provide reviews and key features of each one.  So if you are looking to design a church website, a ministry website, a blog, or whatever you need, this site is the place to start.  The reviews of each hosting company include pricing information, services offered, support information, and several other gold nuggets of information.  So depending on the services that you need to power your website you can select the one that is right for you.  If you have any questions or comments be sure to drop them in the comments.  Also, if you have questions that you would like answered in future posts, please drop those in the comments also.  In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
stop-sign"This know also..." Paul's words to Timothy (and to the Church), describing the perilous times to come, were not just a warning to turn away from these characteristics, but to turn away from those who portray or embody them as well. To any child of God it is obvious that these characteristics absolutely define the times we live in now. There is no place in history where these things have been so utterly fulfilled as to the point where they seem to be overflowing and ready to explode, as today. If fallen, sinful man is a vessel for these things, I cannot imagine how he could hold any more of it. Even the world's heroes, icons, leaders and entertainers manage to glorify and justify these things to those who follow them. Simply turn on your tv, or walk through a bookstore, or go to a university campus, or even sit down to dine at a local restaurant. These characteristics are pervasive, invasive, and almost overpowering. "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, without natural affection, truce breakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, traitors, highminded, lovers of pleasure more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away." ~ 2 Timothy 3:1-5These verses were read from the pulpit a few weeks ago, and I was suddenly struck by the following understanding:Turn away from people who love themselves.Turn away from people who are covetous.Turn away from people who boast.Turn away from people who are proud.Turn away from people who are blasphemers.Turn away from people who are disobedient to their parents.Turn away from people who are unthankful.Turn away from people who are unholy.Turn away from people who are without natural affection.Turn away from people who are truce breakers.Turn away from people who are false accusers.Turn away from people who are incontinent.Turn away from people who are fierce.Turn away from people who despise others who are good.Turn away from people who are traitors.Turn away from people who are highminded.Turn away from people who love pleasure more than they love God.But this is nothing new. What I am writing has been written many, many times before. So why write about it now? For personal reasons. I write about this now to share my convictions with you. I've heard this passage before, but this was the first time I thought to apply that last phrase from verse 5 to each of these characteristics of the last days. I have only just realized the scope of the words "...from such turn away". This resonated through me during the service when I heard it. Why? Because I don't always turn away from these things. How? Every time I allow myself to be "entertained" by this world's media. Am I so prideful and self-assured as to think that I can somehow filter out this garbage from the things I let into my home, in the form of "entertainment"? Why would I ignore this warning before? When I watch a program that I may even deem as "innocent," yet plainly it contains some element of the characteristics from 2 Timothy 3:1-5, why do I not turn away? Why have I been so prideful for so long, thinking that I could pick and choose which parts of the Bible I want to ignore because they infringe upon my use of time, and the lusts of my flesh? Why do I turn away from only a few of these things: the ones that are gratuitous, glaring, outwardly dangerous, and avoidable? Why not all of them? Am I in less need than Timothy of this prophetic warning? Do I know more than Paul? Does my confidence in my flesh outweigh my fear of God, who breathed these words into existence? These are perilous times today. Timothy saw a vision of the future through the apostle Paul's words that was comparable only to the days of Noah. Now, in the nearness of the extent of their fulfillment, do I heed them? Or do I obey the flesh? "But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." ~ Romans 13:14Make no provision for the flesh. There is my answer. And to what end? Obedience to my Lord and Master; glory to God the Father; separation from the world; and the edification of God's saints - my brothers and sisters in Christ.Able to write to you by the grace of God,Aaron EveringhamRomans 12:1,2Aaron Everingham and his wife Brittany live in Edmonton, Canada, and by the loving grace of God they were saved through the ministry of an Independent Fundamental Baptist Church in June of 2007.  He is currently preparing for a life of serving the Lord as a pastor of a local New Testament Baptist Church.  For more articles like this one please visit his blog at Aharown Qadowsh.
City_ScapeDo you remember the scene in the movie, "The Christmas Story" when Scut Farkas, the consummate bully goads Ralphie into crying after pelting him in the face with a ginormous snowball? Something snaps in the mild mannered Ralphie, and he commences to unleash a torrent of tiny fists and swear words in an unknown tongue rendering the bully humiliated, bloodied, and reformed. Well, smack dab in the middle of the winter of our economic depression, the spirit of Scut Farkas has been channeled into the US government. They have pitched snowball after taxing, hypocritical snowball toward the quiet, unassuming Ralphies across the country. How many more snowballs will it take to reach critical mass? What will be the final salvo launched to insight the bullied and bespectacled to punch back? For the record, I believe that we should pray for our leaders on every level that we may live a quiet and peaceable life. I would never advocate anarchy or revolution; however, I firmly believe if the government continues its current pompous taunting of the citizenry, some will respond in an unprecedented fashion. Atlas will shrug. Today, the current checks and balances are breaking down and people are starting to understand the intentional destruction that is taking place. At least I want to believe it is intentional and not borne completely out of idiocy. Since the inauguration we have systematically alienated our closest allies and opened new doors to welcome our enemies. We have shaken hands with Syria, pledged to give $900 million to Hamas (er, Gaza), and spit in Israel's face. We are genuflecting before Russia and telling the Poles and Czechs to take a slow train to Siberia. Do you know that Poland is such a strong ally that within our intelligence community some refer to them as the 51st state? In the middle of a recession, we are turning down sales of fighter planes to Taiwan because we don't want to upset the Red Chinese. We just gave the British Prime Minister 25 DVDs in exchange for priceless heirlooms and blew off a joint press conference. With friend like this...you know how it goes. As far as I'm concerned, the President would have done worse only if he had urinated in the Englishman's tea. But at the same time we are falling over ourselves to hug the Taliban and sing kum-ba-yah with Islamic terrorists around the globe. Farkas gave us about a quarter raise ($13 a week tax break) at the exact same time he was lifting our wallets so that he could max out all of our credit cards while buying environmentally friendly golf carts, paying for our neighbors' abortions, building a snowmaking facility in Minnesota, and upgrading intercoms in Alaska. Incomprehensible! President Scut armed with even more snowballs and insults (aimed at freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right to bear arms, among other things) daily treads closer and closer to that imaginary line in the sand for so many. Whatever faith there was in the government has now dwindled down to those who lazily stand with an outstretched hand crying for someone else to pay for their mortgage and put gas in their car. Like a parasitic side kick they look to big brother Farkas to fix it all. But one of these days that last frozen missile will plant itself for the last time in Ralphie's face. The gloves will come off and the landscape could look dramatically different. Although I'm not a betting man, my money's on Ralphie. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael AndrzejewskiBro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
Tattered-Old-GloryJust two days ago I posted the article The Coming Destruction of America where I pointed out that the cause of America's greatness politically, economically, militarilly and in every other way is due to our nation's relationship to Israel and to rightouesness.  The more we strengthen those two relationships and work as a nation to exalt and defend both Israel and righteousness then the more our nation will be blessed by God.  Our nation's strength comes from our nation's rightouesness.  Yet our newly elected president seems to believe that exactly the opposite is true.  In fact, let me quote a few of his recent remarks on this subject so that you can try to wrap your mind around the wickedness that this man is spewing to the world.  "One of the great strengths of the United States," the President said, "is ... we do not consider ourselves a Christian nation or a Jewish nation or a Muslim nation. We consider ourselves a nation of citizens who are bound by ideals and a set of values."  That is one of our strengths? The defining characteristic that is going to bring this nation to it's knees is the simple fact that we are no longer a Christian nation.  As long as that fact remains, our nation will only decline just as the once great Roman Empire did.  Just as in 386 AD when the Romans allowed a non-Roman to sit on their thrown, we will allow a non-patriot, a non-lover of liberty, a tyrant to reside in the White House.  Some speculate that that day has already arrived.  May the Lord help us. As Christians, we should grasp this truth and work to spread it like a great wild fire.  America's strength can be measured by it's level of righteousness...by the remnant of Christians who are exalting Christ.  Yet as that very thing declines in America and our nation begins to fill with Muslims, Buddhists, Confusionists, and many other cults, our Satanically inspired leader claims that our nation grows stronger.There is no national security outside of God's grace.  As we turn our back on God will we will face the same things that Israel faced in the Old Testament.  God sent prophet after prophet begging those people to turn back to Him. Finally after years of warnings He sent a great flood.  Finally after years of warnings He sent the Babylonians to enslave them.  We have already sped past the point that those Israelites were at during those times in their history.  Why God has not already poured out a thick helping of his wrath upon the wickedness of our nation is beyond my understanding.  But if something is not done soon, God will turn his loving hand of grace away from us.  Our nation can only spit in his face for so long before he decides to turn off the spout where the blessings come out.  So Mr. President, is our strength in the fact that we are not a Christian nation? Hopefully these readers will know better than to believe you.In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
Destroyed_CapitolGod is not a patriotic American.  Before you try to crucify me for making a statement like that, let me explain what I mean.  God has no preferential treatment among nations.  He would be just as pleased to bless Pakistan, South Africa, Ukraine, or America.  It is all the same to Him.  In fact, I believe that Scripture teaches clearly that God would be very happy to bless every nation on earth.  Yet if this is true then why is it that God has blessed America so abundantly as compared to every other nation on earth.  The current international climate seems to indicate that God does favor America...that perhaps God is an American patriot.  Scripture defines two standards by which God judges nations.  Those nations that practice these two principles, he blesses.  Those who ignore these two end up living in the dark ages for thousands of years.  God has blessed America so greatly not because we are the bastion of liberty or because of our national pride, or because he is an American patriot.  He has blessed America only because we have historically followed these two principles.  So what are the principles that either drive nations to great blessing or to their knees?  "Righteousness exalteth a nation..."  ~ Proverbs 14:34 The first principles is our nation's relationship to righteousness.  God has blessed America because our nation has spent great effort promoting righteousness.  Historically many of our nation's laws were grounded in the Word of God.  Historically speaking our nation has been a religious people that promoted doing right.  Now our nation is quickly sliding down the road of embracing immorality and pure ungodliness as right.  On April 27, it became legal to marry men with men and women with women in the state of Iowa.  This only follows the trend of a few other states and helps to pave the way for others to come.  Even our president touts to the world that we are not a Christian nation.  And although you might debate about the idea that we may have once been a Christian nation, I believe that I must agree with our far left liberal president on this issue.  Today we are not a Christian nation.  The truth is that our nation is not characterized by rightousness as it once was.  In the 1800's a man named Alexis de'Toqueville came to America from France to observer and study the American model.  Our fledgling nation was rapidly expanding, our industries were booming, and our economy was strong.  After his study he cam to this conclusion, "Not until I went into the churches of America and heard her pulpits aflame with righteousness did I understand the secret and genius of her power.  America is great because America is good.  And if America ever ceases to be good, America will cease to be great."  Would he come to that same conclusion if he were to have made his visit to America today? "And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed." ~ Genesis 12:3 The second principle is our nation's relationship to Israel.  Isn't it Ironic that within a week of American diplomats urging Israel to pull out of Gaza our nation was hit with one of the worst hurricanes our nation has experienced.  No friends, I don't believe it is ironic that Hurricane Katrina followed on the footsteps of these events.  I believe that it was the hand of an almight God who was simply following through on a promise that he made to an old man all those years ago.  If our nation continues to turn her back on the people that God has chosen to safeguard, then soon God will turn his back on our nation.  They are currently passing a bill in Congress that will make it illegal for preachers to proclaim the truth about the wickedness of homosexuality.  Preaching against sin will soon be classified as "hate crimes."  The world looks on us as if we are crazy, divisive, and exentric.  They believe that so much, in fact, that they are willing to pass laws to illegalize our preaching against sin.  They must silence us.  Yet they fail to realize this one thing.  We are not the enemies to the government.  We are not the enemies to this nation.  Their sin is.  The preaching of rightousness from the pulpits across this nation is the only thing that can save our nation from total destruction.  We must once again elevate the Word of God and the power of the cross in our churches.  We must stand up, stand up for Jesus ye soldiers of the cross!A new stimulis package is not going to save our economy.  Rightousness will.  Prison reform will not curb crime in America.  Righteousness will.  Increased education spending will not save our nation's youth.  Righteousness will.  Righteousness will.  Righteousness will.In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
I don't Trust PoliticiansI consider myself to be like most American citizens. Contrary to what the national news media portrays, I believe that most Americans families, while flawed, still retain some core values. I understand that we are on a downhill slide morally and we are losing our children with breaknecking speed; however, I still cling to the somewhat antiquated idea of the quiet, small town American family who leads a typical, traditional life. I don't believe that everyone has a meth lab in their basement. Neither do I believe that most postal workers live with suppressed and untreated psychotic tendencies, just waiting to slaughter unsuspecting patrons and co-workers.No, deep down I hold the conviction that most Americans believe in God – the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob that is taught in Sunday schools around the country. I trust that most Americans want a job, and a home, and a family, and I trust that most of us want to work for those things. I dare say that most Americans hold dear fireworks on the 4th of July, homemade apple pie, and mom. Most of us are law abiding, flag saluting, and tax paying citizens. I assume that most of us, excluding politicians, for the most part, are decent people. From now on, I draw the line at politicians. From now on, I don't trust any of them. They have no ethics. To them honesty is relative, and they only serve those who have the capacity to line their pockets and advance their careers. I'm sorry Mr. Nixon, but you were a crook. Blagojevich? Daschle? Neither of them would I refer to as honorable. This goes for both sides of the aisle. The elephants and the donkeys are both as rotten as a soiled diaper in the noon day sun. Our elected officials regularly prove themselves to be tax cheats, liars, and adulterers. The best they can do after they are caught red-handed is juke at a half-hearted apology, make an excuse, promise to do better, and ask you for their vote in the next election. You know it is true and so do I. The problem I have is this: have they always been crooked or does the position inevitably shove them into a shady, sleazy, fraudulent life? How long has it been since each of the latest string of potential cabinet appointees paid their actual taxes? We might be able to pay for an actual economic stimulus package if all the politicians just paid what they owed the IRS. It is important for me to know if we are electing convicts who just have never been caught or if we are breeding them once they are in office. Yet, I don't think I am the only one with these questions. Inquiring minds want to know. My best guess is that, generally speaking, good, honest, morally upright people never pursue a career in politics because of all the huckster politicians that are already there, and as despondent as it may appear, I only see it getting worse. Let them prove me wrong, and I'll write a retraction. Until then, politicians, as far as I'm concerned are guilty. Like waiting for the other shoe to fall, we have only to sit and wait to discover which particular villainy will be committed. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN. For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
cash-card-giveawayWelcome to the Baptist Muse! We're thrilled to have you join us, and we hope you're excited to be a member of one of the most energetic Baptist communities on the web. As we continue to grow our site, we are constantly looking for ways to attract new users and to get our current users more involved. To support that effort, we have launched a campaign where you can earn points and rewards for your involvement in our community. Starting on April 1st and continuing through the duration of the month April, your participation at the Baptist Muse can earn you points towards cash and prizes! Points are added automatically to your account upon completion of each task. Be sure to check back periodically as we will be adding more and more items to this list.If you are a winner at the end of the month, be sure to contact us immediately with your mailing address and your choice of preferred gift card! (e.g. Wal-mart, Amazon, Target, etc.) This competition will end at midnight April 31, 2009. At that time, the users with the most points will be rewarded with the following prizes: Points Prizes and Cash alt 40 DollarsThe first place winner will be taking home a $40.00 gift certificate to any one of the following stores or restaurants: Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Target, Wal-Mart, plus many more! In fact, if you are the winner, you choose any store you like and if they offer gift cards, we'll get you one! alt 10 Dollars The second place winner will be taking home a $10.00 gift certificate to any one of the following stores or restaurants: Amazon, Best Buy, Circuit City, Starbucks, Barnes & Noble, Target, Wal-Mart, plus many more! In fact, if you are the winner, you choose any store you like and if they offer gift cards, we'll get you one! alt pat on the backThe third place winner will be awarded a very congratulatory slap on the back and great big "job well done." We'll tell you how much we appreciate you and then we'll send you on your way! I guess what we're saying is that you'll be an honorable mention. Earning Points 500 Points Blog About UsHelp get the word out about the Baptist Muse!  You will recieve 1 point per word for a total of a maximum of 500 points for writing and posting an article about the Baptist Muse at your website or blog.  Once you've written it, just leave a comment below letting us know about it then we'll jump in and add a bunch of points to your account!  We're just gonna copy your article into Microsoft Word and let it count the words for us.  Just make sure that you include a Baptist Muse Banner in your article.  There must be a banner to recieve credit.  You can select a banner for your article by visiting the "Link Here" page.  Limit 1 Per Account. alt Refer a FriendClick Here to Use Our 'Invite a Friend' Feature. You will receive 100 points every time someone who you invited registers and becomes a member here at the Baptist Muse. This is the highest valued achievement, so get out there and invite some friends. Note: You must use our 'Invite a Friend' feature to receive credit. alt Sign On Bonus Click Here to Sign Up! If you are not yet a member at the Baptist Muse, one of the most exciting Independent, Fundamental Baptist Communities available online, there has never been a better time to join! Sign up today and receive 50 points toward this months competition just for joining. Submit an ArticleWe are always looking for engaging content to post over at our blog. If you submit an article, we will reward you with 50 points. Be sure to contact us first so that we can change your account status to author and give you instructions on how to post your articles. alt Leave a CommentOn almost every section of this website there are located forms where you can leave comments. You can comment on the blog, on the resources, on just about everything. Each comment is worth 25 points. Note: You must be logged in for your comment to count for points & this does not include comments on the forum. Purchase Points Click Here to Purchase Points. In order to finance the upkeep of the site including server space, domain name registration, advertising, and the awards for this very competitions, we allow donations from users. Each dollar donated is worth 25 points. alt alt Click Here to Use Our 'Invite a Friend' Feature. You can even import email addresses directly from your email contact list with Yahoo!, Google, and others. Receive 20 points for every friend you send an invitation to and 100 for every friend that signs up. Note: You must use our 'Invite a Friend' feature to receive credit. Answer A PollScattered throughout this site are several polls covering various topics. Browse through the site to find these surveys and submit your answers to receive 20 points per poll. Note: Each poll can be answered once per day! 10 Points New Topic on the Forums Every time that you create a new topic in the forums section of this website, you will be rewarded with ten points. If your checking your point count then don't get confused, the 10 points will show up in two parts. Five points will show up in the form of a new topic and five points will show up in the form of a new post. Daily LoginOkay, so you already login everyday? Perfect. Now get rewarded for it. Every day that you login to your account will bring you another 10 points closer to becoming our champion!  See, isn't it nice to be rewarded for what you're already doing? alt Reply on the ForumsThe forum is one of the hottest sections of the Baptist Muse. There's always a discussion, debate, or praise for you to jump in and be a part of. And now, every time you join in, you get 5 points!  With all of the conversations and fun going on in the forums this will be one of the easiest ways to build your points fast.  So come on...what are you waiting for?
sparklersA lot of exciting things happened at the Baptist Muse during the month of April.  First, the Baptists Muse was moved away from a Godaddy.com server onto a more conservative and a much faster, more reliable server.  Hopefully you all will notice the much faster load times of each page here.  You can read more about that move here: A Faster, More Exciting Website! But perhaps the most exciting thing that took place at the Baptist Muse this past month was $50.00 in cash card giveaways.  The first place winner is going to be rewarded with forty dollars and the second place winner is going to be rewarded with ten dollars. And of course, we said that our third place winner would recieve a strong pat on the back. Throughout the month members have been competing to earn points toward the cash card giveaway.  You have earned points by leaving comments on the blog, by commenting on the forums, by inviting friends to the site, by voting on polls, and through getting involved here at the site in other ways as well.  I want to say thank you to everyone who participated in this past months competition.   We had a fun time of fellowship in the forums and a lot of great participation throughout the whole site.  Thank You!So are you ready to know who won?  Here you go:1.  Aaron Everingham2.  Dale R. Hart3.  Baptist BrethrenCongratulations to everyone who won!  If your name is on this list, be sure to contact us immediately with both your mailing address and the form that you would like to recieve your money.  You may choose a gift card to anyplace that sells gift cards (i.e. Wal-Mart, K-Mart, Barnes &Noble, Target, Dairy Queen, etc.).In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
unicornIs the word "unicorn" an erroneous translation in the King James Bible? The English word unicorn occurs nine times in the KJB, and is found in Numbers 23:22; 24:8; Deut. 33:17; Job 39:9,10; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 92:10; and Isaiah 34:7. It is translated from the Hebrew word reem, which comes from a verb used only once, and found in Zechariah 14:10 "Jerusalem, and ‘it shall be lifted up' and inhabited in her place." This animal is characterized by something lifted up or high and in a prominent position. It is very strong - "God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn." Num. 23:22. It is also used in a symbolic way in our Lord's prophetic prayer as recorded in Psalms 22:21 "Save me from the lion's mouth: for thou hast heard me from the horns of the unicorns." There was no literal lion present when Christ died, but Satan, as a roaring lion, was present, for it was his hour and the power of darkness. There were no literal unicorns present either, but they symbolically or spiritually were present and assisted our Lord Jesus in His greatest hour of need. This animal was untamable, as can be seen in Job 39:9 - 12, where God asks Job "Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib? Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee? Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?" This passage shows that the unicorn, whatever it was, could not be tamed at all, nor used in farming to plow the fields like an ox can. This, as well as other verses soon to be discussed, shows that many modern versions, like the NKJV, NIV, and NASB, are incorrect in their rendering of this word as "wild ox". The wild ox is nothing more than a "wild guess" and pure speculation on the part of the modern bible editors. A wild ox is like a wild horse. It can be tamed, by castration or placing a yoke on its neck, and bind him with his band in the furrow to bring home thy seed. God's question to Job is intended to produce a definite NO, not a ‘Yeah, I can do that.'Those who criticize the KJB's unicorns try to muster a group of "scholars" who give their opinion as to what this animal was. But listen carfully to their words. Henry Morris - "The Hebrew word translated unicorn is believed by most Hebrew scholars to refer to the huge and fierce aurochs, or wild ox now extinct." W. L. Alexander (Pulpit Commentary) "the reem is supposed to be the aurochs, an animal of the bovine species, allied to the buffalo, now extinct." Charles Spurgeon wrote "The unicorn may have been some gigantic ox or buffalo now unknown and perhaps extinct." William Houghon "we think that there can be no doubt (how is that for certainty !) that some species of wild ox is intended."Eastons' Bible dictionary says: "The exact reference of the word is doubtful. Some have supposed it to be the buffalo, others the white antelope called by the Arabs rim. Most probably, however, the word denotes Bos Primigenius, which is now extinct."All of this is pure speculation. The fact is the modern bible translators do not know what this animal was, and many of them say that whatever it might have been, it is now extinct. Wild oxen still exist, and they can be tamed and domesticated. In fact some bibles like Darby and the Spanish of 1960 translate this word as "buffalo", while the Douay Rheims sometimes has "rhinoceros" and other times "unicorns". Young's 'literal' translation shows that he simply did not know what the animal in question referred to, so he merely transliterated the Hebrew word, and did not translate it at all. His version consistently reads "the rheem".I recently discovered something that I think is very interesting of quite enlightening about how modern scholars are changing the definitions that words once had. I have in my study two different printings of the well known Liddell and Scott's Greek-English Lexicon. One is from 1887 and the other one is from 1976, which was a reprint of the 9th edition of 1940. The more modern Liddell and Scott defines the word monokeros as "a wild ox". However the 1887 edition gives only one definition of the word - A UNICORN!!!. Now, it should be obvious that Liddell and Scott themselves were not alive in 1976 so that they could suddenly change their minds about what this word meant. So who changed the definition of this word for future generations?Unicorn means literally, "one - horned"; it was a one horned animal. Daniel Webster's Dictionary of 1828 defined unicorn as "an animal with one horn; the monoceros. This name is often applied to the rhinoceros." There have been fossils found, and are now in museums, of a giant one horned beast or dinosaur. There are also the unicorn bird, the unicorn fish, the unicorn moth, the unicorn shell, plant, root and the unicorn constellation. So several things, both plants and animals have the word unicorn attached to them to describe some physical characteristic.There are even historical accounts of the unicorn. In 416 BC, the Greek physician Ctesias set out to attend to the Persian King Darius II, where he spent 18 years. He later wrote a book called Indica, in which he said: "There are in India certain wild asses which are a large as horses, and larger. They have a horn on the forehead which is about eighteen inches in length."Pliny the Elder, in the first century AD, describes "an exceedingly wild beast called the Monoceros (one - horned)...It makes a deep lowing noise, and one black horn two cubits long projects from the middle of its forehead. This animal, they say, cannot be taken alive." Aristotle frequently mentioned the unicorn. He said in one passage: "I have found that wild asses as large as horses are to be found in India. It has a horn on the brow, about one cubit and a half in length.." Julius Caesar said they could be found in the Hercynian Forest, and Alexander the Great is said to have seen one before attempting to invade a certain territory, and took it as a sign not to attack, because the land was protected. Are these reports true? I do not know, but I mention them only to show that there are many conflicting views as to what this animal was and in what form it existed.Justin Martyr writes concerning the unicorn in Psalm 22. In his book "Dialogue with Trypho" this early church fathers says: "And what follows of the Psalm,--'But Thou, Lord, do not remove Thine assistance from me; give heed to help me. Deliver my soul from the sword, and my only-begotten from the hand of the dog; save me from the lion's mouth, and my humility from THE HORNS OF THE UNICORNS,'--was also information and prediction of the events which should befall Him. For I have already proved that He was the only-begotten of the Father of all things, being begotten in a peculiar manner Word and Power by Him, and having afterwards become man through the Virgin, as we have learned from the memoirs. Moreover, it is similarly foretold that He would die by crucifixion. For the passage, 'Deliver my soul from the sword, and my only-begotten from the hand of the dog; save me from the lion's mouth, and my humility from the horns of the UNICORNS,' is indicative of the suffering by which He should die, i.e., by crucifixion. For the 'horns of the, unicorns,' I have already explained to you, are the figure of the cross only."In chapter 16 Justin Martyr continues his reference to the unicorn, saying: "And God by Moses shows in another way the force of the mystery of the cross, when He said in the blessing wherewith Joseph was blessed, ‘From the blessing of the Lord is his land; for the seasons of heaven, and for the dews, and for the deep springs from beneath,... Let him be glorified among his brethren; his beauty is like the firstling of a bullock; his horns the horns of an UNICORN: with these shall he push the nations from one end of the earth to another.' Now, no one could say or prove that the horns of an UNICORN represent any other fact or figure than the type which portrays the cross. For the one beam is placed upright, from which the highest extremity is raised up into a horn, when the other beam is fitted on to it, and the ends appear on both sides as horns joined on to the one horn. And the part which is fixed in the centre, on which are suspended those who are crucified, also stands out like a horn; and it also looks like a horn conjoined and fixed with the other horns."The King James Bible is not at all alone in translating this specific Hebrew word as unicorn. In fact the word unicorn is found in Wycliffs translation 1395, Tyndale 1525 (he translated part of the Old Testament before he was killed), Coverdale's Bible 1535, Taverner's Bible, the Great Bible, the Bishops Bible 1568, the Geneva Bible 1599, the so called Greek Septuagint version, the Italian Diodati 1649, Las Sagradas Escrituras of 1569, as well as the Spanish Reina Valera of 1602, all of which preceeded the King James Bible. Today, other more modern versions that contain the word unicorn are the Spanish Reina Valera of 1909, the Spanish Las Sagradas Escrituras 1999 edition "unicornio", the French Martin 1744 "licornes", Luther's German 1545 and the updated Luther German Bible of 1912 "einhornshomer", the Modern Greek translation of the Old Testament "monokeros"(not to be confused with the so called LXX), the Catholic Douay version of 1950, Darby's translation of 1870, the 21st Century King James Version, the Third Millenium Bible, Daniel Webster's translation of the Bible 1833, Lamsa's 1933 Bible translation of the Syraic Peshitta, and in the 1936 edition of the Massoretic Scriptures put out by the Hebrew Publishing Company of New York.The Greek Septuagint (LXX). Regardless of when you think this Greek translation of the Old Testament was made or by whom, this version is chock-full of satyrs, devils, dragons, and unicorns. The word unicorns is found in Numberbs 23:22; Deuteronomy 33:17; Job 39:9; Psalms 22:21; 29:6; 78:69, and 92:10.One other verse that puts the lie to the modern versions use of "wild ox", besides the reference in Job, is Psalms 92:10. ‘But my HORN shalt thou exalt like the HORN of AN UNICORN." The NASB, NIV, NKJV read: "You have exalted my HORN like THAT OF A WILD OX." Now, I ask you a simple question. How many horns does a wild ox have? Not one, but two.Psalm 92:10 Wycliffe 1395 - And myn horn schal be reisid as an vnicorn; and myn eelde in plenteuouse merci.Bishop's Bible 1568 - But my horne shalbe exalted lyke the horne of an vnicorne: for I am annoynted with excellent oyle.Coverdale 1535 - But my horne shalbe exalted like the horne of an Vnicorne, & shal be anoynted with fresh oyle.Geneva Bible 1599 - But thou shalt exalt mine horne, like the vnicornes, and I shalbe anoynted with fresh oyle.Third Millenium Bible 1998 - But my horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of a unicorn; I shall be anointed with fresh oil.Some would criticize the KJB in Deut. 33:17 where Moses is blessing Israel. He says: "His glory is like the firstling of his bullock, and his HORNS are like the HORNS OF UNICORNS: with them he shall push the people together to the ends of the earth." The Oxford and Cambridge KJB editions say in the marginal note: Hebrew - unicorn. This is a masculine singular absolute noun. Yet it is rendered as a plural "unicorns" not only by the KJB but also by Websters Bible, the Third Millenium Bible and the 21st Century KJB. Those who criticze the KJB for rendering a singular noun as a plural are showing their selective use of the Hebrew language.All Bible translations frequently translate a singular masculine absolute noun as a plural. In this same book of Deuteronomy, in just the first 10 chapters, the NKJV, NIV and NASB do this very thing. Deut. 8:15 "nachash" & "aqrab" (singular nouns) are translated by all as "serpents & scorpions", in Deut. 1:19, 20 "har" is mountains in the NKJV, Deut 1:1, 2:37 "bahar" and "har" as hills or mountains in NKJV, KJB, and NIV. Deut. 1:23, 35 and in many many other places "ish" as "men"; Dt. 3:3 "sarid" as survivors in NIV, NKJV; Deut. 5:15 "ebed" slaves in NIV, Deut. 7:9 "dowr" generations in NIV & NKJV; Deut. 8:8 "rimmown" as pomegranates in NASB, NIV and NKJV; Deut. 9:ll, 18, 25 "layil" as "nights" in NASB, NIV and NKJV; and Deut. 10:19 "gare" as strangers or aliens in NIV, NKJV, and NASB.So the person who tries to attack the KJB for rendering a singular noun as a plural, just doesn't know what he is talking about. Because of the "horns" plural, the KJB has made the singular noun as plural in the context. There are many words like this in English which can be either singular or plural like: deer, sheep, moose, elk, fish and trout etc.By the way, some have tried to blame the rendering of unicorn on the alleged KJB translator's use of the so called Greek Septuagint. However, the translators marginal note in Deut. 33:17 clearly says: "Hebrew - unicorn", not "LXX - unicorn". The King James Bible translators clearly believed that the Hebrew word itself means unicorn. You can differ if you like from their beliefs, but don't try to blame this reading on the supposed use of the Greek Septuagint.The historic rabbinic commentary (Ibn Ezra, Radaq, Rashi, Saadi Gaon et. al.) views on Deuteronomy 33:17, and the re'em question in general support the King James reading in Deuteronomy. As an example Radaq (Kimchi) is considered, historically, as the single most important Hebrew linguist and grammatical expert.http://britam.org/proof3.htmlRabbi David Kimchi (Safer HaShorashim, RAEM): His horns are like the horns of unicorns (Deuteronomy 33:17). "It is intended to mean that his horns are like the horns of (several) unicorns for the Raem has only one horn."The Unicorn was a one horned animal of some kind. I don't think we know for sure what it was, but it was not a wild ox as the NKJV, NASB, NIV have it. It could not be tamed (Job 39: 9, 10) and Psalm 92:10 is speaking of a one horned animal, while the "wild ox" of the NKJV, NIV, NASB has two horns; not just one.One definite possibility is the Indian rhinoceros, of which there are still about 2000 alive today. They used to cover large areas, but are now limited to India and Nepal. They weigh about 4,500 pounds, can run at over 20 miles an hour; they have one large horn on the snout and their scientific name is Rhinoceros UNICORNIS.In the original 16ll edition of the KJB, the editors placed "or Rhinoceros" in the margin of Isaiah 34:7 where it reads: "And the unicorns shall come down with them." It is still in the modern editions of the KJB. So the KJB editors were not ignorant of the possibility of the unicorn being a rhinoceros. I do not know, nor does any one else but God, what the unicorn was or is.It was a one horned animal of great strength; it could not be tamed, and it is always used in a good and positive sense in Scripture. The KJB is not in error by translating this word as unicorn, but the modern versions are just taking a wild guess with their "wild oxen" and the other scriptures show their wild guess to be wrong. Will Kinney
FireworksI'm very excited to announce to the Baptist Muse community that we have just moved the site to a new server. We perviously had this site located on servers that we were renting from Godaddy but there were two main reasons that I've been wanting to move away from them. First, their servers are painfully slow and I'd recieved many, many reports about the time that it takes to load a page on the site. Second, I don't like the promotional efforts of godaddy and I don't want to support their business any longer. Godaddy is run by a man named Bob Parsons who, if I'm not mistaken, was also the creator of QuickVerse Bible software. When I originally selected Godaddy as our hosting company for this site, I thought that I would be supporting a man who creates software that honors Jesus Christ. I have learned that quite the opposite is true. If you visit the Godaddy website you will find a link that says "Too-Hot for TV Internet Only Commercials." Those types of promotions don't get my business. I'm sorry to say that Bob Parsons has come a long way from where he once was and I've taken my our business elsewhere. We're glad to get away from this company and we are absolutely thrilled about the speed of the new site. Previously it would take 10, 15, or even 20+ seconds to load a page on this site. I can now load a page in between 2 and 5 seconds. I am very happy with that and hopefully that will allow us to be a greater blessing to a greater number of people. There are a few minor glitches that we have noticed during this transition. If you notice anything that seems different or broken, be sure to leave us a comment here so that we can get it fixed up right away. If it seems faster, leave us a comment. If it seems the same or slower, leave us a comment. We want to hear from you. Hopefully the Baptist Muse can begin to grow once more! In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot
No More WhiningAt work lately, I've noticed a lot of complaining.  Soldiers are complaining about the work load, the hours, the conditions or the way that we are treated but they are always complaining about something.  Some of the guys are extremely vocal about it and, as a result, it becomes contagious.  Just the other day, I found myself complaining about some things at work.  I was pouring an earful of whine to a few other soldiers and to my sergeant.  Most of the guys were right on the same page as me...except for one.  My sergeant turned to me and said, "Whenever I think about how bad it is here in the Old Guard (the unit I'm stationed in) I always think about how glad I am that I'm not in Iraq any more.  The guys over there have it a whole lot worse than we do.  Just ask your brother." He knew what he was talking about and he was exactly right.  Before coming to the Old Guard, he had served two combat tours in Iraq.  He had seen his share of hard times during his time at war.  And he was right also about my brother.  My brother brought a purple heart back from Iraq.  His tank had been hit by an armor piercing rocket-propelled grenade.  Unlike the interpretor sitting in there with him, he was fortunate enough to live through the attack, but with a lot of pain. My sergeant was right that they certainly had it a lot worse than we do.  His mention of my brother was the perfect testament to how pathetic my complaints were. People are prone to whining.  I've worked several jobs, including the military, and every place that I have ever been employed has been plagued with complaining.  Every school that I have ever attended has been stacked with gripers.  No matter how good the conditions are, people always complain.  And just last week, I found myself falling into that same pit.  I might as well have laid on the ground and threw my arms up and down while screaming.  I was acting as mature as a little kid. As I began to think about the important lesson that my sergeant had brought to my mind, I realized that most Christians show the same grumbling immaturaty.  We go to God in prayer and spend so long complaining about our rights being stepped on by the liberal government and spend so little time thanking Him that we are not being tied up in the colleseum to be entertainment for the masses as lions or tigers rip our limbs from their sockets.  We complain to God that our nation is being destroyed as taxes are increased instead of praising Him that we are not being dragged to the edge of the city and being stoned for mentioning his name as Stephen was. I'm sharing with you firsthand that I need to grow in this area.  I need to mature and get over my circumstances and enjoy the great blessings that God let's me have.  I need to be more thankful and more filled with praise to my great God. Come on, friends.  How about we grow together in this? In Christ, Nicholas Z. Cardot Nicholas Cardot is the founder and Chief Executive Visionary for the Baptist Muse.  He is a graduate of Commonwealth Baptist College who is currently serving as a United States Army Infantryman.  He started the Baptist Muse after getting frustrated with the lack of Independent Baptist material available online and because he had a vision of an online Baptist community that would bring together Christians from around the world to encourage and challenge one another to live for Christ with more passion and zeal.
You Are All A Bunch of CowardsCoward. That's what the Attorney General of the United States just called you. A coward. No, you're not the only one who lacks the courage to do something unpleasant. Apparently the entire nation is, and just to make sure that he topped the icing with a nice red cherry, he also denigrated over 200 years worth of our majestic heritage. His words are forthcoming, but I want to make sure that you understand that in the mind of Mr. Eric Holder, the greatest nation on the planet is made up of a bunch of milquetoasts. He must have gone to the same history class as our finally-proud-of-my-country First Lady. His exact words, according to an AP story were, “Though this nation has proudly thought of itself as an ethnic melting pot, in things racial we have always been and continue to be, in too many ways, essentially a nation of cowards.” He said, “we have always been” cowards. Besides being both childish and elitist, I think it was a good strategy. I mean, didn't schoolyard insults always promote tolerance in your neighborhood? Consider it on this level: I think Chavez and Ahmadinejad alone fulfill the slander quotient for our nation. Apparently some people are just not content to leave well enough alone. Do they teach all law students to call everyone sissies while sounding extremely pious? Don't answer that. Instead, let's take a quick roll call. The most racially integrated nation in the world, made up of people from every nook and cranny on the globe, that since its inception has championed freedom of speech and religion around the world? Check. Plaque at the base of the Statue of Liberty that reads, “Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed, to me...?” Check. Thirteenth Amendment? Check. Interracial president? Check. AG using his pulpit for race-baiting during Black History Month? Check. Don't believe me about the race-baiting? Disagree with Mr. Holder and see what you get called – a racist. State publicly that the government can only force segregation so far and you instantly become a bigot. What Holder doesn't get is that you can't socialize or regulate friendships. Most often people choose their friends based on something much deeper than skin color. I learned from organized sports that there's only one color – the one on the jersey. From the military I learned that the only colors that really matter are the ones on the flag, and from the Bible I learned that God concerns himself with only a few colors – the crimson stain of our sins and white purity which comes with forgiveness in Christ. I'm Caucasian, meaning my skin is a lighter tone than others, but that has nothing to do with the color or size of my heart. No, I don't have a problem talking about race and I doubt you do either. Yet, I do have a big problem with a high ranking government official perpetuating a culture of guilt and divisiveness. He would have done better to call me a honky or a cracker. He could have called me white bread. I would have been less offended. That doesn't really bother me. Call me a racist if you want. My friends know better. Just don't call me a coward. Those are fighting words. Yours for Portugal, Bro. Michael Andrzejewski Bro. Michael Andrzejewski currently serves with his wife and five children as a missionary to Portugal and is sent out of Milledgeville Baptist Church in Milledgeville, TN.  For more information about their ministry please visit MBC Portugal Missions.
Drinking_CoffeeThe great thing about the Internet is that everything is just a click away. If you’re interested in finding information, all you have to do is key a few words into the address bar of your browser and within seconds you will have all the facts, statistics, articles, and reviews that you might need. If you’re interested in purchasing something, you have only to reach as far as your back pocket to find what you want. Grab your credit card and browse an online marketplace to make instant purchases. You can even order home-delivery pizza from several major franchises directly through their websites.This kind of convenience seems to be the end-goal of every major industry. Fast food restaurants attempt to fill your drive-thru order in as little time as possible. Television networks try to provide you with your favorite TV shows according to your busy schedule through Tivo or On-Demand Pay-Per-View programming. Some stores even allow you to have your groceries delivered directly to your home. By now, your probably beginning to get the idea. Convenience vs. Character Most people have been conditioned by these luxuries into what I like to call an ‘instant gratification mindset.’ People with this mindset always seem to be in a hurry. They want things now, and I mean right now! They are in a hurry to get things they want, in a hurry to make a lot of money through get-rich-quick schemes, in a hurry to see something finished that normally requires a lot of time and hard work and, last but not least, in a hurry to see results.Years ago there was a maxim: Patience is a virtue. A few generations ago, Americans believed that the key to being wealthy was through years of hard work and a solid buy-and-hold investing strategy. Former generations of Americans avoided debt like the plague. They would never have imagined putting a new pair of shoes on a credit card since they wouldn’t have enough money to pay for them for a few more months. They saved and spent only the money they had. Theirs was a generation, not of instant gratification, but of patience. The truth in this principle has nearly been forgotten to today’s modern society. The World's Influence On Christianity As America continues this downward spiral toward impatience and instant gratification, she seems to be dragging Christianity along for the ride. American Christians seem to typify these same negative character traits leading to a drastic decline in their spirituality and in their ability to positively influence the world.Christians seem to be living their lives in such a hurry that they neglect the very activities that they were commanded to be doing. Many Christians have stopped praying because they didn’t see instant answers. Many Christians have quit soul-winning because they didn’t claim instant conversions. Many churches have compromised on music, dress, and doctrine because standing for truth didn’t bring instant crowds.What are your thoughts? Are you one who patiently obeys and serves God or are you neglecting your responsibilities and your stand for truth because you didn’t see instant results?In Christ,Nicholas Z. Cardot

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