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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
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What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
What The Bible Says Good Samaritan's Penny Pulpit by Pastor Ed Rice
Lester L. Roloff was born on June 28, 1914 in Dawson, Texas. He grew up there on a cotton farm. At the age of 12, he was saved, and at the age of 18, he surrendered to the Lord's call to preach. He graduated from Baylor University and attended Southwestern Seminary for nearly three years. During this time, he pastored two part-time churches. He then pastored four full-time churches before the Lord called him, in 1951, to be a full-time evangelist.
Dear Friends,A common misconception about Christianity that has drawn many away from practicing it is that it has “too many rules” about moral behavior. Prohibitions against things like premarital sex and drunkenness are seen as arbitrary laws that impinge on people’s “freedom” to do what they want. The Ten Commandments are constantly ridiculed in popular culture (and even deliberately destroyed with cars) as hopelessly old-fashioned and obsolete.What many have failed to see is that having boundaries for moral behavior is actually freeing. An excellent analogy for this is to picture a train on railroad tracks. Strictly speaking, one could look at a train on the tracks and think, “That train is clearly being restricted by the tracks—if it could only be free of the tracks, it would have more leeway to go where it pleases.” But common sense tells us that trains are dependent on railroad tracks to keep their wheels aligned and to allow them to travel great distances at high speeds in a very efficient way—tracks give trains the freedom to operate as they were designed to operate. Anyone who has seen a train going off the tracks knows full well of the disastrous results.When we go “off the rails,” the results aren’t pretty—bad choices can be clearly judged by their fruits (Luke 6:43-45). For example, premarital sex most often leads to broken hearts and STDs, and drunkenness leads to loss of self-control and can cause the physical endangerment of others.God created us in order that we might fully flourish and be happy by following His precepts—the “railroad tracks” that are designed for this purpose. We see evidence of this in our lives as faithful Christians, as explained here: “The more one does what is good, the freer one becomes. There is no true freedom except in the service of what is good and just. The choice to disobey and do evil is an abuse of freedom and leads to ‘the slavery of sin’” (Romans 6:17). May we always walk in the Truth of Christ, which will set us free (John 8:32).Thank you for your prayers and for your continued support of FRC and the family.Sincerely,Dan Hart Managing Editor for Publications Family Research Council FRC ArticlesOn Trump's pick of Kavanaugh, conservatives should trust but verify – Tony PerkinsForcing faith-based agencies out of the system is a disservice to women – Mary Beth WaddellIn Win for Religious Freedom, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals Reminds Us Why Judicial Nominations Matter – Travis WeberWhy California Senate Bill 320 is Harmful to Women’s Mental Health – Sarah StewartWhy the Hysteria Over Roe? Because it Would Strike a Blow to Eugenics – Patrina MosleyWill the Supreme Court Save Sexual Orientation Change Efforts? – Peter Sprigg Religious LibertyReligious Liberty in the Public SquareCalifornia bill banning books, therapy to help unwanted gay attraction stalls amid lawsuit fears – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsWisconsin’s Marquette Decision Is A Big Win For Free Speech And A Sign Of Trouble – Margot Cleveland, The FederalistMaryland Church Banned from Services in Its Own Building Fights Back in Court – Josh Shepherd, The StreamPastor under fire for high school football devotional – Todd Starnes, Fox NewsPlanet Fitness bans woman for objecting to sharing locker room with ‘transgender’ man – Doug Mainwaring, LifeSiteNewsJudge sides with University of Iowa Christian student group accused of discrimination – Vanessa Miller, The GazetteGOP Volunteers Kicked Out of Uber As Driver Says ‘Welcome To The Resistance’ – Julia Cohen, The Daily CallerUniversity of Minnesota mulls expelling students for not using transgender pronouns – Calvin Freiburger, LifeSiteNewsInternational Religious Freedom'Pure Genocide': Over 6,000 Nigerian Christians Slaughtered, Mostly Women and Children – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostReligious Persecution Again Rises Worldwide – Doug Bandow, The American SpectatorA British Doctor Is Fired for Affirming Biological Reality – Michael Brown, The StreamIn Nicaragua, Paramilitaries Attack Bishop and Besiege Students at Church – National Catholic RegisterTurkish Court Sends American Pastor Brunson Back to Prison – Jennifer Wishon, CBN NewsMilitary Religious FreedomMilitary Sees Increase In Conflicts Over First Amendment Freedoms – Nicole Russell, The Federalist LifeAbortion3 reasons why Roe v. Wade will fall, despite past Supreme Court decisions – Kristi Burton Brown, Live ActionA Closer Look at NIFLA v. Becerra and the Role of Crisis Pregnancy Centers – Helen Alvaré, Family StudiesThe Jewish Position On Abortion Isn’t What You Think It Is – Mitchell Rocklin and Howard Slugh, Public DiscourseJudge Rules Trump Administration Can Defund Planned Parenthood Abortion Biz – Steven Ertelt, LifeNewsAdoptionThis Woman's Search for Her Birth Mother Comes With a Beautiful Message About the Gift of Adoption – Katie Franklin, The Christian PostPoll: Ensure All Adoption Agencies Can Continue to Serve Families and Children – Elizabeth Fender, Heritage FoundationFamilies Warn of 'Devastating' Consequences If Adoption Agencies Are Shut Down Over Gay Marriage Beliefs – Stoyan Zaimov, The Christian PostBioethicsOpponents of Assisted Suicide Offer a Message of Hope – Kathryn Jean Lopez, The Stream FamilyMarriageThree Sisters, Three Weddings in Three Months – Patti Armstrong, National Catholic RegisterMaximizing Everyday Moments in Your Marriage – Greg Smalley, Focus on the FamilyThe Best Way to Properly Apologize to Your Spouse – Ted Cunningham, Focus on the FamilyParenting6 Reasons Millennials Should Stop And Embrace Parenthood – Melissa Langsam Braunstein, The FederalistWhy Parents Should Encourage Risky Play – Justin Coulson, Family StudiesEconomics/EducationDecision to live together negatively affects wealth accumulation – Iowa State UniversityCongress should end marriage penalties in the tax code and welfare system – Erik Randolph, Georgia Center for OpportunityFaith/Character/CultureWhat Is Best in Life? Jesus And the Mayo Clinic Know! – Elizabeth Scalia, Word on FireSteve Ditko’s Great Gift To The World: ‘With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility’ – Aaron Gleason, The FederalistHow conversations with my father have shaped my faith – Benjamin Ball, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionThe Extinction of the Middle Child – Adam Sternbergh, The CutThe Most Dangerous Place to Live: The Subtle Perils of the Past – Greg Morse, Desiring GodI Advocated Civility, But Didn't Practice it When it Mattered – Liberty McArtor, The StreamHuman SexualityWhat do I do if my child doesn’t seem to fit with typical gender norms? – Jared Kennedy, Ethics & Religious Liberty CommissionPodcast: Am I Less Human If I’m Sexually Unfulfilled? – Sam Allberry, Desiring GodThe Myth of the "Desistance Myth" – Julian Vigo, Public DiscourseFor Women’s Health, Maybe It’s Time to Focus on Natural Pregnancy Prevention Methods – Maria Archer, Family StudiesHuman Trafficking277 Arrested In Huge Florida Undercover Sex Trafficking Sting – Fight the New DrugIn Minnesota, Porn Is Now Officially Recognized As A Contributor To Human Trafficking – Fight the New DrugOne Train Passenger’s Tweet Saved 25 Girls From Human Trafficking – Fight the New DrugPornographyIs Pornography Use Increasing Loneliness, Particularly for Young People? – Mark Butler, Family StudiesYour Friend Just Told You They Struggle With Porn—Now What Do You Do? – Fight the New DrugGroundbreaking Study Finds Video Game Addiction Is Linked To Compulsive Porn Use – Fight the New Drug“My Life Isn’t Your Porn” – Thousands of Women are Protesting Spycam Pornography – Lana Lichfield, National Center on Sexual ExploitationSmartphones have given your teen daughter a secret life – and it’s destroying her – Jonathon Van Maren, LifeSiteNews
Two days ago, in a 2-1 decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled in favor of the freedom of the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops to live out their faith as it pertains to pro-life issues. Close votes like this remind us of the importance of judicial nominations, along with why it matters that we have judges who understand religious freedom law.After Texas passed a law requiring the remains of unborn children to be properly cared for, pro-abortion groups challenged it, and used the lawsuit to harass and compel information from the Texas Conference of Catholic Bishops (TCCB)—who had been supportive of caring for these babies’ remains. The TCCB wasn’t even a party to the case, but out of animus against its pro-life work, the pro-abortion groups tried to force it to turn over all sorts of internal communications which normally would not be disclosed as part of the discovery process. Unfortunately, in a bizarre sequence of actions for which we may never know the reason, a district court judge obliged the abortion groups, forcing the TCCB to turn over internal communications pertaining to the group’s motivations and religious workings in violation of the First Amendment—all under a ridiculously tight timeline—and all on a Sunday, Father’s Day, no less.Thankfully, the Fifth Circuit reversed this absurd discovery order, with Judge Edith Jones penning the opinion, joined by Judge James Ho (a recent Trump appointee). Judge Jones wrote that the lower court’s “analysis was incorrectly dismissive of the seriousness of the issues raised by TCCB,” such as the inherent danger in forcing groups to disclose “internal communications within a religious body concerning its activities in the public square to advance and protect its position on serious moral or political issues”—which the First Amendment clearly protects.Agreeing with Judge Jones, newly-confirmed Judge James Ho wrote in a separate concurrence that “[i]t is hard to imagine a better example of how far we have strayed from the text and original understanding of the Constitution than this case. The First Amendment expressly guarantees the free exercise of religion—including the right of the Bishops to express their profound objection to the moral tragedy of abortion, by offering free burial services for fetal remains. By contrast, nothing in the text or original understanding of the Constitution prevents a state from requiring the proper burial of fetal remains.”He concluded that the “proceedings below” are “troubling,” and “leave this Court to wonder if this discovery is sought . . . to retaliate against people of faith for not only believing in the sanctity of life—but also for wanting to do something about it.”Indeed. We have seen this type of harassment of religious groups before, when the City of Houston sought internal communications from pastors and churches during a lawsuit to which they were not parties—actions reasonably expected to harass these pastors and chill their activities in violation of the First Amendment.The fact that the Fifth Circuit’s ruling was decided by one vote should remind us all of the importance of confirming good jurists like Judges Jones and Ho, and the cost of not doing so. Our religious freedom, and our nation’s fidelity to the Constitution, hang in the balance.
posted by Phil Johnsony friend and one-time joint pastor of GraceLife wrote this brief post on FaceBook yesterday, and it was so good I wanted to save it here for easy access. FaceBook posts always disappear into the timeline, and it's really hard to search for them, so let's preserve this here:When like-minded brothers and I voice warning about the so-called Christian justice movement, it would do you good to recognize something important.(I speak primarily to those who are confused and trying to sort it out; I realize the main speakers, writers, and promoters have chosen their way and resent the fact that we won't hop on their train.)We are trying to safeguard you and your faith. We think there is a genuine danger to this movement that will lead you far away from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.The burden of proof is not on us to defend a continuance of the faith once and for all delivered to the saints, but entirely upon those men who point to an immoral heretic as grounds for re-defining the very nature of what historic Christianity should be and do. We don't believe these men have come close to making their case.We see them driving people from their churches with harsh words and judgment. We see them calling their opponents racist Confederates. We see their defensiveness when sincere concern is expressed against their agenda.We assess all that and say, âThat is not the Spirit of the Good Shepherd who cares for His sheep.âWe fear lest the precious good news be obscured and hidden by men with a grievance trying to accomplish political and economic goals rather than pursuing the interests of Christ Jesus, who plainly said His kingdom is not of this world.To be sure, we are men of clay feet. We never said anything different. We are near Paul at the front of that long line of men who are foremost among sinners.But over time we've seen these kinds of movements come and go. They're fundamentally all the same. Biblical preaching and the transforming power of God's Word isn't enough to them.We disagree. And we're not moving. The angrier they get, the more resolved we areâwhether we are in the majority or minority is of no consequence to our position.We do it preeminently for love for Christ, who loved us and gave Himself up for us in His atoning death on Calvary. Loyalty to Him allows us no other option and we wouldn't take a different path if we could.But know this. We do it in love for you, too. We seek to feed His lambs and tend His sheep.We believe that's the ultimate justice we can render in respond to Christ, who not only saved us, but who also in one way or another has put us in a position of ministry. Don Green Pastor Truth Community Church, CincinnattiAnd follow Don on FaceBook. He's not the most prolific FaceBook celeb, but when he posts anything substantive, he always has great stuff to say.
by Hohn Chohe introduction to this series is here. As we look at a number of key biblical principles in the area of Christian dating, I'm going to start with the importance of Christian character. In many ways, this is kind of a "no duh" principle, and it's not uncommon for pastors preaching a dating series to lead with multiple sermons on this concept. So my goal in addressing it in this one blog post certainly isn't meant to be comprehensive.But just as there are matters of first importance in the Bible, there are matters of first importance with respect to specific issues as well, and when it comes to dating, nothing is more important than Christlike character. All through Scripture, we are called to imitate Christ, such as 1 John 2:6 and Ephesians 5:1-2. We also see calls to imitate faithful Christians among us, even as they strive to imitate Christ, as Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 4:16 and 1 Corinthians 11:1. So this concept of imitation, of Christlikeness, is very clear in Scripture.I'm initially going to aim this first principle inwardly: Are you displaying Christlike character, before you even start thinking about anything else? As a Christian, you really ought to be doing that to at least some degree, or else you probably shouldn't be dating at all. Without some minimum baseline of tested and proven Christian character, and the ability to demonstrate to others that your profession of faith is genuine, perhaps you should spend some more time working on yourself first.At the risk of being cliché, however, it's about direction, not perfection. Remember that historically, people got married both in general society and in the church quite a bit younger than the 2017 US median age of 27.4 for women and 29.5 for men, and today's modern trend of waiting longer and longer for marriage is actually both historically unusual and on some levels concerning, according to Dr. Al Mohler (a consistent warning he's sounded over the years) and numerous other Christian leaders.Although the idea of getting married before the age of, say, 25 might be an astonishing one to some Christians today, there's nothing inherently or biologically different between young people today and young people in the 1700's, or even young people in the Ancient Near East. Now, cultural expectations of maturity and overall life expectancy have certainly changed significantly, but even so, there's no reason to think that a spiritually mature 18- to 22-year-old Christian man or woman today couldn't get married. With that said, on a practical level, what are some ways that a young single Christian, and the key people speaking into that person's life, might be able to gauge his or her readiness for marriage?When I refer to gauging readiness for marriage, to be clear, my spiritual assessment of a 22-year-old single man isn't going to be the same type of assessment as a 45-year-old husband and father who's been a Christian for most of his life. Too often, I think, single Christians develop an unrealistically high expectation that their potential romantic interests need to match up to the godliness of their Christian parents, pastors, elders, and role models. And if anything, Christian parents, who are obviously going to want the best for their kids, and to protect them, can be even more stringent in this examination. And yet if we believe, as many of us do, that marriage and parenthood will be the most blessedly sanctifying experiences and relationships in our lives, then if anything, it's even more unfair to think that single people who haven't yet embarked upon those adventures ought to be held to the same standard of sanctification as older saints who are well under way on their journeys.Now, with that said, of course there are some assessments to be made in these areas, and some basic minimums ought to be satisfied. And it can get especially tricky when those minimums are considered on a case-by-case basis, by each individual romantic interest (and in some cases, by the parents of that romantic interest, as well). One young woman might look at a guy and say, sure, he's faithful and godly, I'd consider him . . . whereas another young woman and her parents might look at the same guy and immediately shake their heads. This helps explain both the intense desire within conservative evangelicalism for a standard "formula" and the (at times) messy and confusing results when the answer instead is that we need to figure this out for ourselves in our own Christian liberty, stewardship, and wisdom, as we mine the Scriptures for appropriate biblical principles to apply.For single Christian men, I suggest considering three key areas that are especially important for husbands: readiness as a leader, a protector, and a provider, as Tim Challies lays out in an excellent series. For over a decade, Chris Hamilton, the chairman of my church's elder board, has also identified the same three traits of leading, protecting, and providing as fundamental in Scripture for raising boys into young men. And all of this matches my own examination of Scripture on this topic.So as a future leader in the home, does the single man have some kind of goal or vision in terms of what he's thinking and planning with respect to a future wife and family? Proverbs 29:18 is clear on the wisdom of having such a vision, so what is that vision for the single man's future family, and is that vision biblical, in accordance with the Word of God? Having that vision and being able to articulate it to others would be incredibly helpful in terms of discerning how the single man would lead.As a protector, I'm not talking about just physical protection. Buying a gun doesn't check off this box! But will the single man be able to protect his future wife and family from error, from the dangers and deceptions of this world? 2 Timothy 3:1-7 warns about lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful arrogant revilers, haters of good, lovers of pleasure, who are nevertheless holding to a form of godliness. And we're told to avoid them, lest they enter your household and captivate the people under your care. Can the single man identify dangers such as these and guard against them?As a provider, Scripturally this isn't necessarily the highest bar to clear, because as 1 Timothy 6:8 says, we ought to be content with food and covering. Remember, most Christians throughout the history of the church have been relatively poor and would probably view today's modern abundance with a mixture of awe and even apprehension per Proverbs 30:8-9! But food and clothing and a place to lay your head all still cost money. Is the single man able to lay down a security deposit and first and sometimes even last month's rent, and pass a credit check? Even more importantly, is the single man a hard worker, and will he be able to earn some kind of living moving forward?For single Christian women, Scripture directly informs us in Genesis 2:18 that wives are to be helpers to their husbands. Titus 2:4-5 also speaks more expansively about the importance of young women being, among other things, lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children, and excellent workers in the home . . . not necessarily a worker at home only, this verse does not forbid jobs outside the home, and we see a clear example of a godly wife in Scripture working outside of the home in Proverbs 31:16-18. But the example does assume, and display, that the wife is being an excellent worker within the home, as well. And I can again recommend Hamilton's message about how fundamental the traits of being lovers of their husbands, lovers of their children, and excellent workers in the home are for raising girls into young women.So as a future lover of her husband and helpmate to him, does a single woman know what that entails? Does she have any role models in her life in this regard, has she seen how a godly married couple behaves toward each other? Has she ever worked alongside others closely in a team environment, in a support role? Proverbs 31:11-12 is a helpful passage here, is she trustworthy and benevolent, seeking the good of others even more so than herself (which is a general call to all Christians, per Philippians 2:3)?As a lover of her children, has a single woman spent any time with children, either with younger siblings or babysitting or observing a godly family with each other? Proverbs 31:25-28 paints a picture of a strong, dignified, wise, kind, conscientious, and diligent mother whose children "rise up and call her blessed," a classically maternal image. And again, we're not looking for perfection here, especially in a single woman who has yet to bear any children, but are those traits at least in progress, or anywhere in view? For that matter, in our modern day and age, does the single woman view the development of these characteristics, and even the very notion of motherhood itself, as desirable (or as a blessing, as we see in Psalm 127:3) to begin with?As a worker in the home, does a single woman know how to be an excellent at that, how to manage a household? Is she industrious? How is she with money? Given a certain level of provision, can she supply her household with its basic needs? Once again, we see a helpful passage in Proverbs 31:13-15 on this topic, even as I also feel the need to reiterate that the portrait in Proverbs 31 is of an ideal, of a woman who has been at this whole "wife and mother" thing for quite some time. (And for another thought-provoking take on Proverbs 31, here's an interesting piece by Jasmine Holmes.)Of course, there are many other character traits in Scripture which are critically important for single Christian men and women, such as purity, humility, love, teachability, contentment, willingness to serve and put others first, and most of all, a love for Christ and His church. Again, this article is not intended as a comprehensive word on the importance of Christian character in (or prior to) dating. But prayerfully it will serve as a helpful and practical encouragement. And now that you've considered this question with respect to yourself, next in the series we'll consider this question in connection with the person you're interested in, with our second principle being to cast off consumerism.
Today's category: StupidityDaily Affirmations - As I let go of my shoulds and feelings of guilt, I can get in touch with my Inner Sociopath. - I have the power to channel my imagination into ever-soaring levels of suspicion and paranoia. - I assume full responsibility for my actions, except the ones that are someone else's fault. - I no longer need to punish, deceive or compromise myself. Unless, of course, I want to stay employed. - In some cultures what I do would be considered normal. - Having control over myself is nearly as good as having control over others. - My intuition nearly makes up for my lack of good judgment. - I can change any thought that hurts into a reality that hurts even more. - I honor my personality flaws, for without them I would have no personality at all. - Joan of Arc heard voices too. - I am grateful that I am not as judgmental as all those censorious, self-righteous people around me. - I need not suffer in silence while I can still moan, whimper and complain. - As I learn the innermost secrets of the people around me, they reward me in many ways to keep me quiet. - When someone hurts me, forgiveness is cheaper than a lawsuit. But not nearly as gratifying. - The first step is to say nice things about myself. The second, to do nice things for myself. The third, to find someone to buy me nice things. - As I learn to trust the universe, I no longer need to carry a gun. - All of me is beautiful and valuable, even the ugly, stupid, and disgusting parts. - I am at one with my duality. - Blessed are the flexible, for they can tie themselves into knots. - I will strive to live each day as if it were my 50th birthday. - Only a lack of imagination saves me from immobilizing myself with imaginary fears. - Does my quiet self-pity get to me? Yes? Or should I move up to incessant nagging? - Today I will gladly share my experience and advice, for there are no sweeter words than "I told you so." - False hope is nicer than no hope at all. - A good scapegoat is nearly as welcome as a solution to the problem. - Just for today, I will not sit in my living room all day watching TV. Instead I will move my TV into the bedroom. - Who can I blame for my own problems? Give me just a minute... I'll find someone. - Why should I waste my time reliving the past when I can spend it worrying about the future? - The complete lack of evidence is the surest sign that the conspiracy is working. - I am learning that criticism is not nearly as effective as sabotage. - Becoming aware of my character defects leads me to the next step - blaming my parents. - To understand all is to fear all. - I will find humor in my everyday life by looking for people I can laugh at. - The next time the universe knocks on my door, I will pretend I am not home. - My body is a temple. Do you want to come over for midnight mass? - To have a successful relationship I must learn to make it look like I'm giving as much as I'm getting. - I am willing to make the mistakes if someone else is willing to learn from them.View hundreds more jokes online.Email this joke to a friend
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