Tag Archives: Jesus

Plot twist: I’ve got cancer.

Also, Jesus is the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and my Savior, and I’m more grateful for that than ever.

I didn’t see that coming.  No risk factors and no typical symptoms, other than a low-grade fever that could have been many things.

But the blessings from this have been many.

It could have gone undetected a long time, but through a series of other ailments and unusual circumstances I ended up getting scans that I wouldn’t have had otherwise.

The healthcare system here has been amazing, with multiple doctors who have never met collaborating quickly to get tests and results.  I am grateful for first-world medical care.  This could have been a death sentence in most parts of the world and certainly most times in history.  The doctors are so skilled at reading things like CT scans.  They look like blobs of grey to me, but they can quickly see where things are amiss.  But I do laugh when they try to point things out to me, as if I could actually follow along.  They could tell me, “Now here’s the spot where there is a unicorn inside you” and I’d say, “Uh, yeah, sure, provided that you ask me no follow-up questions, I see the horn right there . . .”

It is non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma (though we didn’t know that right away), which has a high success rate in treatment.  And it will be probably be addressed via chemotherapy (we should be meeting with the oncologist next week to get a treatment plan).  I was hoping to get through life without chemo, but that is still better than chemo + surgery (the first reviews of the CT scan indicated that it might have been going from my left kidney — my favorite!! — to my stomach, which could have meant losing all of the former and some of the latter).

From a practical standpoint, it has prompted me to document our finances and such even more.  We’ve had wills, power of attorney (medical and legal) forms, etc. along with some general documentation, but I realized it would help to do even more.  After all, even aside from this I could die in an accident any day.  I read about a woman who was so grateful that her husband carefully documented all their financial information so that when he died things were so much easier for her.  It doesn’t fit the worldly definition of love and romance, but it is a great gift to leave your loved ones.  Grieving over losing you will be bad enough, but spending stressful hours sorting out your finances and such will make things harder for them.  So I’ve got a list of things to update to make it more clear about passwords, insurance, retirement accounts, bill paying, etc. I encourage you to do the same.

I am reminded of what a fantastic wife I have and how completely wise and supportive she has been through this.  And my children are amazing, and the rest of the family, friends, co-workers and church family have been tremendous as well.  What an indescribable blessing.

I am much more empathetic to many brothers-in-Christ and others who live with chronic pain.  The last couple months were rough as they included a variety of unusual ailments.  But they pale in comparison to what others deal with on a continuing basis.  Their perseverance and faith are a humbling inspiration to me in light of my far lesser issues.

This was a friendly reminder about our mortality.  Make no mistake: Whether you have 40 more minutes or 40 more years, you will directly face the one true God some day (Psalm 90:12 So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom).  At the risk of being Captain Obvious, you will not sit in judgment of God or dictate the terms and conditions of life to him.   You can’t dictate the terms and conditions to parents, bosses, teachers, police, or even a McDonald’s cashier, so don’t be foolish and think you can do that with God. The rich young ruler walked away sadly when he didn’t like God’s requirements but Jesus didn’t chase after him to negotiate.  Repent and believe now while you can and accept God’s unbelievably gracious forgiveness through Jesus.

I don’t wish these experiences on anyone, but really knowing where your faith is in situations like this is a true blessing.   In the midst of all this – especially when things were less clear — I can honestly say I had contentment through Christ, just as He promised in Philippians 4* and elsewhere.  Yes, there were anxious moments wondering about different scenarios, but whenever I refocused on Jesus I was at ease.  I’ve been sleeping well and am truly trusting in his sovereignty.  Whether I live or die, I trust in what He said in Philippians 1**

Our main prayer is that we won’t waste any of this.  God has already given us many opportunities to encourage others and to share this to his glory.  I did drop the ball once — which I pray won’t happen again — when I failed to pray with a visibly nervous guy in a waiting room.  I prayed for him but should have prayed with him.  We really want to look to the interests of others and not just our own, as in Philippians 2***.  (Yes, I’ve been spending a lot of time in Philippians :-)).

All that said, I have to admit that this involves three things I’m not fond of:

  1. Medical stuff (time, $, decisions, uncertainty, pain)
  2. Things that make my wife anxious
  3. Being the center of attention

Prayers are welcomed, not just for healing and minimal side effects 🙂 but that Christ would be glorified every step of the way**** and that others could be comforted and encouraged throughout this.

It is always a good day to be a Christian, but in times like this I especially enjoy it.

P.S. If you would like a great, easy to read summary of the Bible and Christianity, I highly recommend The Story of Reality by Greg Koukl. Even if you don’t end up believing you will have a much better understanding of what you disagree with.


*Philippians 4:10–14 I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at length you have revived your concern for me. You were indeed concerned for me, but you had no opportunity. Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. Yet it was kind of you to share my trouble.

**Philippians 1:15–26 Some indeed preach Christ from envy and rivalry, but others from good will. The latter do it out of love, knowing that I am put here for the defense of the gospel. The former proclaim Christ out of selfish ambition, not sincerely but thinking to afflict me in my imprisonment. What then? Only that in every way, whether in pretense or in truth, Christ is proclaimed, and in that I rejoice. Yes, and I will rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help of the Spirit of Jesus Christ this will turn out for my deliverance, as it is my eager expectation and hope that I will not be at all ashamed, but that with full courage now as always Christ will be honored in my body, whether by life or by death. For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain. If I am to live in the flesh, that means fruitful labor for me. Yet which I shall choose I cannot tell. I am hard pressed between the two. My desire is to depart and be with Christ, for that is far better. But to remain in the flesh is more necessary on your account. Convinced of this, I know that I will remain and continue with you all, for your progress and joy in the faith, so that in me you may have ample cause to glory in Christ Jesus, because of my coming to you again.

***Philippians 2:3–4 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.

****Ephesians 6:18–20 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.

Remember, it is called the Good News for a reason

It is bad enough that Christians aren’t more intentional about sharing the Gospel. But in a twist that Screwtape would be proud of, countless people who profess to follow Christ are actually proud about not sharing the Good News.  Michael Moore gave a good example of this when he said:

I have always believed that one’s religious leanings are deeply personal and should be kept private.

I’m not sure where he came up with that belief, but it isn’t in the Bible.  Since Moore was claiming to speak for Jesus, perhaps he should tell us how the Bible teaches that we should be private about our religious beliefs.  That would make it hard to fulfill the Great Commission: Matthew 28:19-20 Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.”

A commenter named Joanne noted that:

Progressive denominations have stopped trying to proselytize with their missionaries YEARS ago. Look at Global Ministries (UCC/Disciples of Christ). They make no efforts to convert people.

She’s right, and it is pathetic that those organizations who willfully withhold the Gospel call themselves churches or “disciples of Christ.”

A regular commenter (“Sunday School Teacher”) noted this:

Our church is currently having a sermon series on Wesley’s “Three Simple Rules”.

The 1st rule is “Do No Harm”. Some people are trying to use this rule to argue that we should not try to change the religious view of others, as this could lead to conflict and thus harm.

I’m glad that SST is trying to lead his church in the right direction, but it is amazing that people learning about John Wesley would ever imagine that he’d discourage people from sharing the Gospel.  They couldn’t be more wrong.

As Paul said in Romans 1:16:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.

From the Newsboys song, I’m Not Ashamed:

What are we sneaking around for?  Who are we trying to please?

Shrugging off sin, apologizing like we’re spreading some kind of disease.  I’m saying no way.  No way.

I’m not ashamed to let you know I want this light in me to show. I’m not ashamed to speak the name of Jesus Christ.

This one says, “It’s a lost cause.  Save your testimonies for church time. ” Other ones say, “You’d better wait until you do a little market research.”

I’m saying no way.  No way.

The Gospel can and will offend people.  We don’t want to add to the offense with our own style, but that is no excuse not to share it.  The bad news is that we are all sinners in need of a Savior.  The Good News — and it is still good news worth sharing — is that there is a Savior.  He is Jesus, and He is the only way to salvation.

Hear the Good News, believe the Good News and share the Good News!  But please don’t identify as a Christian if you think it is bad news and refuse to share it with others.

People who slaughter children for a living are capable of lying. No, really!

Planned Parenthood got busted, again, this time with audio and video showing that 92 out of 97 office contact do not offer prenatal care.  The timing is great considering how they just finished the #womensmarch #abortionmarch and were all saying how awesome and important Planned Parenthood is to women’s health.  Plus, the March for Life is in a few days so it will increase awareness of that.

Please watch and share this video.  So many people are deceived about what Planned Parenthood does.   My favorite part is at the 1:40 mark, where the on-hold recording specifically mentions prenatal care and then the employee says they don’t do prenatal care.  And you can see Cecile Richards lying and how so many clinics just kill children.

Planned Parenthood usually pretends to fire “rogue” employees when they get caught on things like this, so they will have a ton of openings across the country next week!

These people kill children for a living, so it is no surprise that they’d lie about doing prenatal care. Hopefully Trump will keep his promise and defund these ghouls.

Also see Planned Parenthood overview.

If you exclude pro-lifers it’s an #abortionmarch not a #womensmarch

If you exclude pro-lifers your event is an #abortionmarch not a #womensmarch, and that’s exactly what the Molech-worshiping Left — including the “Christian” Left — just did.  Never forget that the #1 goal for them is the right to kill children up to their first breath with taxpayer-funds. Everything else takes a back seat to that, as evidenced by these marches.

First, check out the size of Hillary’s inauguration crowd!  It will warm your heart.

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Some other thoughts on the #abortionmarch:

  • They really, really, love themselves some abortion. While pretending to march for women, they deliberately excluded over half of women — those who don’t share their pro-abortion extremism.
  • I’m not sure what dressing up as a vagina accomplishes. Seems to objectify women.
  • Same thing with the pu**y hats.  Do they realize that Trump’s infamous quote will have much less impact on future generations now that the Left — including the “Christian” Left — has de-stigmatized that word?  Once again, they can’t think 15 minutes into the future.
  • Not sure what threatening to blow up the White House accomplishes, other than that the senior citizen named Madonna should be arrested.
  • Not sure what creepy speeches about period blood accomplish.
  • Watching the “Christian” Left gush over the pro-abortion ghouls was not surprising. Can’t wait to see how excited they are when the real Christians do the pro-life march in Washington this week. You know, the one that is always much larger than the pro-abort marches but that the media ignores.
  • Noticed that these were Leftists protesting in Leftist cities that Clinton won.  Yes, we get it, you are sad about the election.  Just not sure what you think being a sore loser accomplishes.
  • Abortion kills blacks at over three times the rate of whites – and Hispanics at double the rate — but nearly all the marchers were white.  Seems racist.
  • Still waiting for pictures of the big crowds in Saudi Arabia and other Muslim countries.  Aren’t their abuses of women slightly worse than having to pay more for pink razors?
  • Yes, there were some big crowds.   But what for? Matthew 7:13–14 Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.
  • I’m pretty sure Trump is still President.
  • Trump’s team told some big lies yesterday. I never defend his bad deeds, and I have countless conservatives in my feeds that routinely criticize him.  But I’m waiting to find one Leftist criticizing Trump that also criticized Bill, Hillary and Barrack for their serial lies.
  • The “Christian” Left loved abortion, so they gave the Clintons a pass on all their crimes against women. Therefore, they have no moral authority to criticize Trumps’ sexism (don’t worry, conservatives will do it for you).  Remember that if not for the blue dress, they’d still be demonizing Monica Lewinski.

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  • All the #abortionmarch business distracted us from some great news, such as defunding Planned Parenthood International (hopefully the domestic piece is next!) and especially General Mattis’ appointment.  That alone will reverse much of the perversion-fest of Obama’s reign.
  • If they impeach Trump we get Pence for 2+ terms.  I don’t think they realize how much worse that would be for them.
  • Never be surprised at the volume and persistence of pro-abortion and pro-LGBTQX people.  Remember that the whole towns of Sodom & Gomorrah were destroyed, except for Lot’s family, and that the men of Sodom groped for the door even after being literally blinded.  Christ-haters – especially the “Christian” Left kind — are very stubborn.
  • I believe this is @RachelHeldEvans, or a reasonable facsimile of her and the “Christian” Left.  Hopefully they’ll come to terms with the election soon.  When Obama won twice, one of the things we were able to model for our kids was how to react as Christians, i.e., “That was disappointing, but God is sovereign and we will continue to live our lives with hope and joy while fighting evil.”  If I had behaved like the whiny, sore loser “Christian” Leftists I’d be mortified now.

In closing, check out the size of Hillary’s inauguration crowd!  It will warm your heart — again!  Seriously, even with all Trump’s warts she would have been so much worse.

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Opposites

One of my irritations with the “Christian” Left and their theology is that it pretends to be slightly different from orthodox Christianity while it is usually 180 degrees away on the essentials of the faith and any current hot topics.  Please note that by “Leftist theology” I don’t mean the theology of political liberals.  I am referring to people who call themselves Christians but deny the essentials of the historic faith (i.e., the kinds of things countless martyrs died for — Jesus’ divinity and exclusivity, the authority of scripture, etc.).  If you want to debate the disputable matters, go right ahead.  I’m flexible on those.  But words mean things, and far too many people use the term Christian in error.

For example, claiming that Jesus is one of many paths to God isn’t a little different than saying He is the only way, it is the opposite.  There is either one way or there is not one way.  The Bible has over 100 passages teaching directly or indirectly that Jesus is the only way to salvation.  If you don’t agree that it is your prerogative, but please don’t claim to be a Christian.

Claiming that Jesus isn’t God isn’t a little different than saying He is God, it is the opposite.  He is either God or He is not God.

Claiming that the original writings of the Bible were not inspired by God isn’t just a little different than saying they were inspired by God, it is the opposite.  The Bible is God’s Word or it is not God’s Word.  It makes roughly 3,000 claims to speak for God, so if liberal theologians think those are all false then why do they bother with the Book at all?  Their claim is that the authors of the Bible were blasphemous pathological liars because they falsely claimed to speak for God countless times.

Claiming that miracles never happen (Virgin birth, loaves & fishes, healings, the physical resurrection, etc.) isn’t just a little different than saying they did happen, it is the opposite.

Claiming that marriage can be for two men or two women isn’t a little different than saying it is between a man and a woman, it is the opposite.  It is claiming that marriage is not just between a man and a woman and that “marriage” is now whatever we want to define it to be.  The Bible couldn’t be more clear about God’s ideal for marriage and sexuality.

Claiming that Jesus approves of killing children up their first breath isn’t a little different than saying, “Don’t murder,” it is the opposite.

The “Christian” Left claims the opposite of what historic, orthodox, biblical Christianity does regarding the essentials of the faith.   They are entitled to their opinions, of course, but it is disingenuous and misleading for them to call themselves Christians while espousing those beliefs.

They have invented their own religion, which is their right.  It would just be less confusing if they would give it a new name.  And it would be more intellectually honest to stop taking money from people who do believe in the essentials that those denominations were founded upon.

They appear to worship a fictional Gandhi-Christ.  The most accurate description would be that of a Hindu sect (nothing personal, Hindus!).

Run, don’t walk, from the wolves of the “Christian” Left.

Video: Pro-life reasoning — The case for life & responding to pro-choice arguments

Hi all,

This is a video version of the PowerPoint slides I’ve shared before.  I taught this for years to volunteers at Care Net Pregnancy Center.  What was always interesting is how these great folks, who were strongly pro-life, hadn’t heard how to make the case for life and how to respond to pro-choice sound bites.  And most of them had never heard of people like Kermit Gosnell, the greatest serial killer in American history, because they got most of their news from the mainstream media that successfully hid his story.

Pro life reasoning from Eternity Matters on Vimeo.

 

2,000 year later, Gamaliel is still right.

Shortly after they saw Jesus killed on the cross, the Apostles were still in Jerusalem preaching the Good News.  As usual, they are being beaten and jailed for not watering down their message.

Acts 5:27–42 And when they had brought them, they set them before the council. And the high priest questioned them, saying, “We strictly charged you not to teach in this name, yet here you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching, and you intend to bring this man’s blood upon us.” But Peter and the apostles answered, “We must obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised Jesus, whom you killed by hanging him on a tree. God exalted him at his right hand as Leader and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are witnesses to these things, and so is the Holy Spirit, whom God has given to those who obey him.” When they heard this, they were enraged and wanted to kill them.

This is where Gamaliel comes in and makes an interesting observation.

But a Pharisee in the council named Gamaliel, a teacher of the law held in honor by all the people, stood up and gave orders to put the men outside for a little while. And he said to them, “Men of Israel, take care what you are about to do with these men. For before these days Theudas rose up, claiming to be somebody, and a number of men, about four hundred, joined him. He was killed, and all who followed him were dispersed and came to nothing. After him Judas the Galilean rose up in the days of the census and drew away some of the people after him. He too perished, and all who followed him were scattered. So in the present case I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail; but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!” So they took his advice, and when they had called in the apostles, they beat them and charged them not to speak in the name of Jesus, and let them go. Then they left the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer dishonor for the name. And every day, in the temple and from house to house, they did not cease teaching and preaching that the Christ is Jesus.

And here we are.  The plan and undertaking was of God, and it still advances despite the continued opposition of man and Satan.  And it will keep accomplishing exactly what God wants it to.

And did you see how they rejoiced at suffering dishonor for the name of Christ, and how they did not cease speaking the whole truth?