Monthly Archives: December 2016

HEBREW HONEYCOMB


 HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
LIVING IN THE PRESENCE OF THE ALMIGHTY
The world has seen more than its share of philosophers, particularly of a religious nature. The stoics strive for indifference in pain or joy. The Gnostics know it all and cannot be taught. The Agnostics cannot know anything for sure and discount anyone who thinks he does. Pantheists see every form of life highest to lowest as being God manifest in those forms. Hindus and others believe in reincarnation: that living well advances the form of one’s next appearance, and living poorly the opposite. The Epicurean believes the pleasure of food and drink is God, and that one should gorge those things often. If the various strains of these and others similar to them appear to be endless, it is perhaps because they are.
The ancient Greeks saw God in the form of idols of stone and wood. Paul hit their philosophy head on in his great sermon on Mars Hill recorded in Acts 17. His presentation is God-given, and brilliant. It should be given meditation time by every modern Christian. Think about it!
As Paul made his profound presentation of the one, true, living God to the philosophers on Mars Hill, he capitalized on their acknowledgment that there was an “unknown God.” He further argued in the words of their own poets that we are the offspring of God, therefore, God could not be likened to gold, silver, stone graven by art and man’s device.
Perhaps the most astounding thing those philosophers heard, and a considerable number of folks today, too, is that He is not far from everyone of us. People put much stock in privacy. They just want to be secluded from everyone and everything at times. The idea is so pervasive that some actually feel they are truly alone in ultimate privacy. They would do well to review the 138th Psalm. The Psalmist’s basic question, verse 7, is “ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence?” The ultimate answer is there is no such place in the universe. The eyes of the Lord run to and fro in the universe of men. There is no refuge from His presence. He is only a prayer away from cries of our heart, and His arms are outstretched to receive all who cry out to Him in repentance and faith. Paul nailed it. God is not remote, rather He is not far from everyone of us! How comforting always, and especially in this wonderful Christmas season.

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Amazing Grace


I am moved and amazed. Andre Rieu and talented musicians playing “Amazing Grace” with violin, Bagpipes and I believe a piccolo. The people are entranced, awed and moved by this performance. People are hugging and tears are shed. For some it just emotion because of the beauty of the music. For others it is a recognition of their spiritual need and the gift of a life to meet that need. I think I will listen to this again.

 

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1. magic marker


Wonderful story.

Storyshucker

“No, no, no!”

That tone of reprimand rang a bell for some reason. Behind me in the check-out line, a young mother wrested something from her toddler’s tight grip.

“No, no, no!” she repeated. The little boy had grabbed a ball point pen from a display rack near the cash register. Having swiftly removed the cap, he was about to demonstrate his unique brand of artwork across a stack of Washington Posts. He clenched his little fist when his mother tried to take the pen. What child doesn’t like to draw?

I drew constantly as a child. Pens and pencils were my implements of choice and when I could sneak it away I’d use my oldest sister’s fountain pen until it emptied. She always wondered why her ink ran out so quickly and unless she reads this it will remain a decades-old secret. Of course I had a…

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HEBREW HONEYCOMB


HEBREW HONEYCOMB

William Andrew Dillard
ECUMENISM: TWO VIEWPOINTS AND A REJECT
“Ecumenism,” what is it, anyway? The word is basically Latin, and means “The whole world” according to several dictionaries. Within the Christian context, it means the idea and/or the movement to bring all of the “Christian churches” in the world together as one. Protestants see this as invisible, universal, and Catholics largely see this as persuading all churches to return to the Catholic fold from which they supposedly went astray. Baptists know that Catholics originated by departing from them. They see it as rank heresy; religious baloney, to be avoided at all cost.
The history of ecumenism is interesting, but it is bad. The first ecumenical movement succeeded in society at large in the days of Noah. God destroyed the entire world as a result (except for those on the Ark, of course). But men are sinful, fleshly, and do not learn spiritual truth as those things can only be understood by spiritual people. So, time found the whole populated world in another ecumenical movement at the Tower of Babel. To break it up, God created languages, and the population was segregated to the language they could understand. The language and scattering of the people accordingly created an effective separation which has served well until recent times.
Today, modern technology has all but eliminated the barrier of language. Modern transportation allows men to be global in bodily presence in only a few hours. Communications are global and instant, and for many years world leaders have been working consistently on a “New World (ecumenical) Order.” It is intended to be ecumenical politically, economically, and religiously. As nations march steadily onward toward that goal purported to be the apex of man’s existence, but apart from his Creator, the very idea of individualism and exceptionalism is abandoned.
All of this does not bode well for the nations, but it is their determined goal. Still the Creator’s clarion call to all who will hear Him is to “come out from among them and be ye separate saith the Lord.” 2 Cor. 6:17. Baptist churches stand or fall on their understanding and treatment of the Word. For them ecumenism offers nothing to gain, and everything to lose. They have stood on God’s truth while Catholic, Protestant, and Neo-protestants left them to go their own way. Doubtless, it will be increasingly harder to stand alone, but by the grace of God some will.

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EXERCISING POWER OVER TEMPTATION


 

William Andrew Dillard
Parson to Person

The alluring power of sin creates temptation. As it was in Eden, so it is today. Truly, an appeal from the devil, and the resident sin nature within to transgress in deference to the flesh is powerful. John summed it up as “. . .the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life. . .” I John 2:16 Since all men are sinners; temptation is common. Much then is penned in Holy writ to warn, to guide, to provide escape, and to triumph over the power of temptation. 1 Cor 10:13 (There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.). The bottom line is that no power can negate the free moral agency of man. Thus, it is incumbent upon every individual to be proactive in guarding what is received and entertained. Paul put it like this: “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things” Phil. 4:8. Control, control, control what is mentally entertained at all times!


Certainly, temptations are strong or they would not be temptations. Somehow, they seem to hit in the weakest moments; hence, the necessity of the power of Christ. Temptations may be effectively countered by identifying present blessings. Why should I fall for the slimy pits of sin when I have a spouse who loves and respects me; children who look to me for guidance and example; fellow Christians whose fellowship is priceless; a Creator God who loves me even in my unlovely state so much that He left heaven and died for my redemption and eternal well being, I am a child of the King. My Father owns the universe, and I am a sharing owner in Him, I am in a brief experiential training environment designed to prepare me to rule and to reign in this grand universe we own, and graduation time draws near. Should I throw all this away for what I cannot keep; for what will benefit me nothing?!? That is just crazy! But some have done it; others will, but I choose to not be one of them. Sin knocks at my door, but I invite Jesus to answer the knock! Oh, yes, God’s people have power over temptation! They just need to exercise it more often!

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My Church?


by Dale – From a Pastor’s Heart

While visiting family in Kentucky last week, I passed a storefront church with a catchy name . . . My Church.  Of course, my warped sense of humor made me think, “What a cool play on words for church outreach?”  And then, I heard the following conversation in my head:

Church Member: “How about visiting My Church this Sunday?”

Neighbor:  “What’s the name of your church?”

Church Member:  “My Church.”

Neighbor: “Yes, your church.  What’s it name?”

Church Member:  ‘My Church.”

And this could go on and on like an old Abbott & Costello routine entitled Who’s On First?

Seriously, the name caused me to do some thinking about church.  Jesus said, “Upon this rock, I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18).  What’s the difference between Jesus’ “My Church “and . . . my church.

Jesus’ My Church

  1. Christ is the issue, the motive, the celebrity, the subject, the preeminent One, and the name that matters (Colossians 1:15-19; 1 Corinthians 1:29-31).

  2. Christ is the architect, the builder, the model, and the planner (Matthew 16:18; Ephesians 4:11-16).

  3. Christ builds His Church with broken, sinful lives (Acts 16:12-34) who are eternally changed for God’s glory (2 Corinthians 5:17; 1 Thessalonians 1:5-10).

  4. Christ offers forgiveness (Ephesians 1:7; Colossians 1:14), reconciliation (Romans 5:10; 2 Corinthians 5:18), redemption (1 Corinthians 1:29-31; Ephesians 1:3, 7), adoption (Romans 8:15, 23), righteousness (Romans 3:21-26), and acceptance to all sinners on His merit alone (Ephesians 1:6).

  5. Christ fits every one into His body (1 Corinthians 12:18; Ephesians 2:21; 4:16).

  6. Christ is Who and What unifies His Church (1 Corinthians 3:11; 12:12-18; Ephesians 1:3-14).

  7. Christ’s Word is the Operations Manual for the Church (Acts 2:42; 2 Timothy 3:16-17; 4:2).

  8. Christ’s church answers and handles all personal matters by obedience to the Word (Matthew 18:15-20).

  9. Christ is the “face” of His Church (Ephesians 5:22-27).

 My church

  1. My church promotes man, his struggles, his failures, his sins, his illnesses, and his pride.

  2. My church is built around what I believe the church should be and look like.

  3. My church says, “Come as you are,” but let’s you stay as you are.

  4. My church offers a temporal fix, a warm, fuzzy small group, and/or man-centered solutions.

  5. My church fits me and what I like; what makes me feel good.

  6. My church is unified around my music style, my dress code, my service times, my schedule, my selfish theology, my textual choice, and my perspective/assumptions.

  7. My church is entertainment driven, perhaps constitution over the Bible motivated, board-run, and man-feared.

  8. My church reacts to personal matters by anger, bitterness, gossip, and church-hopping.

  9. My church’s “face” is the pastor, deacons, the person (pastor, deacon, church member) who hurt me or disappointed me, and the denomination.

So, now I must look at the church I serve and ask, “Is this Christ’s church or my church?”  Look at the church you attend.  Is it really Christ’s church or your church?

Let me add, I know very little about My Church in Kentucky, and this article is not about them. It could be if any of these nine things fits them, but I am not out to target them. I will say this, on their website I read these words, “Make My Church your church.”  I think I understand their motive, but only you can make My Church into my church (your church).  Only Christ can make His Church, His Church.  I’ll choose the latter. . . and by His grace, make that the goal.

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