Monday, October 18, 2010

Thinkers' Thoughts

THE PULPIT IS RESPONSIBLE: Brethren, our preaching will bear its legitimate fruits. If immorality prevails in the land, the fault is ours in a great degree. If there is a decay of conscience, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the public press lacks moral discrimination, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the church is degenerate and worldly, the pulpit is responsible for it. If the world loses its interest in religion, the pulpit is responsible for it. If Satan rules in our halls of legislation, the pulpit is responsible for it. If our politics become so corrupt that the very foundations of our government are ready to fall away, the pulpit is responsible for it. Let us not ignore this fact, my dear brethren; but let us lay it to heart, and be thoroughly awake to our responsibility in our responsibility in respect to the morals of this nation. --Charles G. Finney, December 4, 1873

It would be a godsend if the Church would suffer persecution today; she hasn't suffered it for hundreds of years. She is growing rich and lagging behind. Going back.” --The Need for Revivals, from "Billy Sunday: The Man and His Message" by William T. Ellis, Philadelphia: John C. Winston Co., 1914

“I've stood for more sneers and scoffs and insults and had my life threatened from one end of the land to the other by this God-forsaken gang of thugs and cutthroats because I have come out uncompromisingly against them.” --Billy Sunday

“I'm against sin. I'll kick it as long as I've got a foot, and I'll fight it as long as I've got a fist. I'll butt it as long as I've got a head. I'll bite it as long as I've got a tooth. And when I'm old and fistless and footless and toothless, I'll gum it till I go home to Glory and it goes home to perdition!" --Billy Sunday

Selected article from Couple's Nest Volume 2

Friday, October 15, 2010

Focus: Lessons From Charles G. Finney

(Some people commented on the authenticity of this preacher on focus because of "undesirable things" they read about him.  Others remain to respect him for what he truly represented in the faith despite  various controversies.  Our purpose is to let you read about the truthfulness of his observations because, honestly, when Mike and I read them, we were moved to share them with you.)

Mike and I saw this on and thought of sharing these lessons from Charles G. Finney with you as they are very profitable to every true believers of Christ especially to the pastors, ministers, evangelists and preachers.  Happy reading!


By Charles G. Finney

  1. Let your supreme motive be to increase your own popularity -- then, of course, your preaching will be suited for that purpose, and not to convert souls to Christ.
  2. Avoid preaching doctrines that are offensive to the carnal mind, lest they should say to you, as they did to Christ, "This is a hard saying, who can hear it?"
  3. Make no distinct points, and do not disturb the consciences of your hearers, lest they become alarmed about their souls.
  4. Avoid all illustrations, repetitions, and emphatic sentences that may compel your people to remember what you say.
  5. Avoid all heat and earnestness in your delivery, lest you make the impression that you really believe what you say.
  6. Address the emotions, and not the conscience, of your hearers.
  7. Be careful not to testify from your own experiences of the power of the Gospel, lest you should produce the conviction upon your hearers that you have something which they need.
  8. Do not awaken uncomfortable memories by reminding your listeners of their past sins.
  9. Denounce sin in general, but make no reference to the specific sins of your present audience.
  10. Do not make the impression that God commands your listeners here and now to obey the truth.  Do not let them think that you expect them to commit themselves right on the spot to give their hearts to God.
  11. Leave the impression that they are expected to go away in their sins, and to consider the matter at their convenience.
  12. Dwell much upon their inability to obey, and leave the impression that they must wait for God to change their natures.
  13. Preach salvation by grace, but ignore the condemned and lost condition of the sinner, lest he should understand what you mean by grace, and feel his need of it.
  14. Preach the Gospel as a remedy, but conceal or ignore the fatal disease of the sinner.
  15. Do not speak of the spirituality of God's holy law (by which comes the knowledge of sin), lest the sinner should see his lost condition and flee from the wrath to come.
  16. Make no appeals to the fears of sinners, but leave the impression that they have no reason to fear.
  17. Preach Christ as an infinite amiable and good-natured being, but ignore those scathing rebukes of sinners and hypocrites which so often made his hearers tremble.
  18. Admit, either obviously or casually, that all men have some moral goodness in them, lest sinners should understand that they need a radical change of heart, from sin to holiness.
  19. Say so little of hell that your people will think that you do not believe in its existence yourself.
  20. Make the impression that, if God is as good as you are, He could not send anyone to hell.
  21. Make no disagreeable references to the teachings of self denial, cross bearing, and crucifixion to the world, lest you should convict and convert some of your church members.
  22. Do not rebuke the worldly tendencies of the church, lest you should hurt their feelings, and finally convert some of them.
  23. Do not rebuke extravagance in dress, lest you should make an uncomfortable impression on your vain and worldly church members.
  24. Encourage lots of church socials, and attend them yourself.
  25. Make it your great aim to be personally popular with all classes of your hearers.
  26. Aim to make your hearers pleased with themselves and pleased with you, and be careful especially not to wound the feelings of anyone.
  27. Especially avoid preaching to those who are present.  Preach about sinners, but not to them.  Say "they," and not "you," lest anyone should take your subject personally and apply it to their own life, securing the salvation of their soul.

Church Affiliation: A Crucial Choice
But if I tarry long, that thou mayest know how thou oughtest to behave thyself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. 1 Timothy 3:15

Mike and I go to different churches.  He attends the Amazing Grace Baptist Church in Nova Scotia, Canada while I go to Bethany Baptist Church in Cantilan, Philippines,  It is quite a long distance apart.  In fact, we are half-a-globe away!  Yet, we do fervently believe we have attended churches that belong to the true and living God.  In other words, we are one in worship, united in Christ, one in the Holy Spirit, and someday we will go to heaven together with other believers.

As I was reading the Amazing Grace Baptist Church tract, I began assessing my church if it qualifies.  I was very happy it did!  Praise God! It is not because I want to fit in to Mike's choices, but that the criteria are based on the word of God, the Authorized Bible.  It must be otherwise it is not God's true church! 

Friends, here are the criteria (Choosing a Church by the Amazing Grace Baptist Church, Bridgetown, NS, Canada).  Assess your church (i.e. pastors and leaders, too) in relation to YOU attending the services:
1.    They clearly teach how to know for sure that I am going to heaven when I die. (1 John 5:13)
2.    I can easily apply the preaching to my everyday life. (Colossians 1:9,10)
3.    All teaching is from the words of God, not man's words. (1 Corithians 2:4,5)
4.    A life of holiness and conformity to scripture is taught and shown by example. (2 Corinthians 7:1)
5.    There is a demonstration of love and compassion among the Christians. (1 John 3:14)
6.    There is an intangible Holy Spirit that ministers to my heart. (Romans 8:16)
7.    There is an abundance of sound teaching and Bible doctrine to feed me spiritually. (Acts 20:28)
8.    They believe the same Authorized Bible that I can read in English (we have vernacular version based on Authorized Bible) is God's final authority in all matters. (1 Corinthians 14:9)
9.   People are routinely given an invitation to come to Christ and submit their will to God. (Matthew 11:28)
10.  Sinners are regularly warned of eternal suffering in Hell for all who reject Jesus Christ as their Saviour. (Ezekiel 33:8)

Friend, be honest with yourself.  Assess whether the Bible clearly states what your practices in the church are.  If they do not follow what the Bible teaches, then you know you are taught differently, too.  Then, you know exactly where YOU might go when you leave this world.  What really matters most is how each of us will stand before God when the time will come.  Make your choice now before it is too late.  

From Couples' Nest, Volume 2
(c) April 2010, Luisa Mercado

Which One Are You?

From Couples' Nest, Volume 2
And he said unto him, Arise, go thy way: thy faith hath made thee whole. Luke 17:19

As I was reading my Bible this morning, I came across Luke 17:11-19. The LORD then stopped me and did not allow me to go any further till I settled what I needed to get right with Him. Conviction set in greatly that when I wrote what  happened in my personal diary, what He had done and how I saw myself in that passage, I decided to share a bit with you, but not all as it is between Him and me. What I am sharing you now is just a few thoughts of the goodness, mercy, and grace of our LORD that we tend to overlook and take for granted.

If you read what I learned with your heart into it, you will be touched. What I saw were 10 lepers ALL cleansed, yet only one turned back to give Jesus the glory and thanks due Him. You see, all ten had to walk afar off from people due to their disease. They had to restraint themselves so as not to contaminate others. They lifted up and protrude their voices above normal tone to communicate with people. They did these for Jesus to hear them and He heard their plea of mercy.

But, after their faith had made them whole, who came back? Did all ten to thank Jesus for what He had so mercifully done for them? Did they made effort to glorify Him and shout the victory in Jesus for the great miracle that Christ the Lord had done for them? NO! Nine out of the ten left, went their good old merry way and took for granted what Jesus had just done for them. Don't you think after such a miracle, they all would of returned to give Jesus thanks and fall at His feet as one did?

So I ask you, which one are you? Are you 9 of the ten that the Lord has given everything? The you who constantly accept what He gives you, yet you NEVER return to Him to give Him the glory due Him? Do you give Him the thanks that He so faithfully deserves? Do you glory in yourself, your own lusts and indulgences and never give one iota thought of what God Almighty has done in your life? Do you get on your face to cry out to God and thank Him for the life He has given you by not throwing you in Hell yet? Do you even give Him one moment of your time in prayer each day, or do your bible studies on a regular basis? Or do you do so little that you think you are good and righteous enough to get by each day with reading and praying as little as you can, making yourself to be a spiritual giant for our God?

Now, about the one that returned, he came running back all excited, happy and thrilled to the bone because after he had gotten healed by the Lord Jesus, he acknowledge His greatness and went out to proclaim the name of Jesus to others. I saw in this one cleansed leper that he witnessed to others about what Jesus had done for him. I am sure he led many others to Christ by testimony. He was once spotted by the blight of sin and disease, he is now clean. I myself personally believe this one who 'turned back' with a loud voice, glorified and thanked Jesus at HIS FEET; probably in tears and his heart full of joy, is in heaven now.

So again which one are you young man or woman? Are you the one who glories, thank and praise God every day for ALL He has done for you? Or are you one of the nine who has been given everything by the grace of our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, yet ignore His goodness and mercy? Do you just live for yourself portraying as a just and righteous person who THINKS you walk with God, if saved? Or if you are not saved and born again, you may have that same attitude like many do, yet proclaim "saved" as they do.

In this great passage I can see our Lord Jesus Christ's great compassion as He healed the lepers. I saw His abounding grace as He decided to give to them all , even to the 9 who never returned to give Him glory, thanks and reverence. I saw the Lord Jesus' righteousness as He did not condemn those who did not return to give glory due to His holy name. I saw His mercy which He did not have to give, but He did because He knew they did not deserve it, yet He still gave to them His healing. I saw His goodness as the Lord Jesus immediately saw their desire and need to be made whole.

Though Jesus never had to do anything for them, yet, He chose to show them His unique goodness by allowing the bondage they were in to be released and cleansed. I also saw Jesus as He is the only one who can cleanse anyone who is under the chains of the self life. These lepers were under a chain of heaviness after which Jesus Christ lifted it off them. They were relieved and though the others may have been thankful in some little ways, they were not really like the one who returned. I felt this man who returned was convicted and he loved Jesus in a way that he was so excited when he thanked and glorified Him.

What about you friend? Do you want to have a walk with the Lord each day and have His blessings pouring down on you ? He can give you much. If you have never trusted Jesus as your personal Saviour, you will never be released from the bondage of your sins together with the chains of this old world. It's carnality will drag you down into an inferno of hellfire. You shall never see the face of the One who can save you from such a fiery, tormenting place.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and He will give you peace, happiness and joy. After salvation, you will still go through trials and bad times. Never listen to fake televangelists who say you will never go through any bad times anymore. They will just lead you astray. Listen to people who know better, even if they speak in biblical truth and hurt your ego. They do mean well and you will be directed to the truth.

Yes, as a Christian, we will all go through many trials, and will be tested by the world or by God Himself. We all go through things that are unpleasant, but that does not mean God is not with us. He is there with us through everything. We just need to keep our faith and trust in the Lord to help us through all things. He will help us in our walk each day with Him.

John 3:16, probably the greatest verse in the Bible on salvation, tells you that 'For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.' God is where you are, the distance between the floor and your knees. Your religion, works, penance, or keeping His commandments will not save you. Only trusting in Jesus as your personal Saviour can. You will be delivered from a hell, and saved by the blood of Christ to be with Him in heaven forever.

My prayer is that the Lord will convict those who read this, and will do a miracle in saving a dear soul from the pits of hell. He will give that person His grace and that person will make a profession of faith in Jesus Christ. He will be cleansed from the chains of sin and be renewed in soul, mind, spirit. He will call on the name of the LORD in humility and tears, and have a life that is committed in serving our risen Saviour. He will turn from all sins and live for Jesus Christ.

If you come to be saved, please drop us a line here on our blog. We love to hear how the Lord delivered you, how you are serving Him and all the blessings He is giving you.

God bless us!

(c) August 2010, Michael Carey

Stroke Victim: My Love and Life Story


Me, before the stroke.


Me, a year after the stroke.

Me, now attending church and happier, too. 

Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savor of his knowledge by us in every place. 2 Corinthians 2:14
Friends, I want to share you my own story of coping as a paralyzed stroke victim in a place where there is no medical help for poor patients like me to get better except for strong determination and acceptance of my destiny,  the encouragement of a very dear one despite the ups and downs of the love relationship, plus the support of family and friends.  Best of all, I have the most powerful God to back me up!

My story:
I was a stroke victim and paralyzed for more than 3 years now (more reason was stress due to studies and my blood pressure went up). Based on me , I am more or less 80%-85% well because I can walk now and do some light work at home, go to the grocery store on my own, etc. than when I started as a bed-ridden patient. I am half-body paralyzed, right side, with little movement in the arms and hands but not opening the fingers (I can close them though). I can talk with a slur but still understandable.

I was a college teacher before the stroke (but no insurance as my length of service did not warrant the pension payment due to teachers serving qualified years of service). How I wish to undergo a speech therapy (perhaps on aid through a foundation or groups ) so that I can work online as a teacher-tutor and earn something for my daily needs.

At 43, I am still single, and living with my sister's small children and a house help (she and her husband are not with us for financial reasons). We are not financially stable so that I am not able to get the regular medical treatment I need. My last medical treatment in the hospital was more than two years ago and the daily complete medicine intake plus physical therapy were 6 months only immediately after the stroke (again due to finances). The only medication I get now are anti-hb tablet (1 variety only) and multi-vitamins given by my uncle from USA plus some mixture of herbal medicine as tea, green tea and non-fat milk that I drink every morning. I eat meat sparingly, usually boiled or broiled chicken without the fat. In other words, I am on a healthy diet. One thing I do twice a week is hot-stone and shiatsu combined massage from a trained lady friend in reflexology. It's the only thing I can afford paying (in my country, services like this is affordable). I am a Christian and truly believe God would heal me soon.

I have a more than five years boyfriend overseas (our relationship goes beyond the stroke). He is poor and a true Christian also. Our only means of communication is chatting through the internet or calling by phone (and he cannot understand me except when I laugh and say I love you). We saw each other personally once - three years ago. I quarreled with him many times to free him. Yet, he still wants to marry me next year despite everything.

Honestly, a lot of my friends consider my life as worth telling. There is only one thing I could tell about all these. God is amidst all these. One day, He will finish my story and it must be good. Why? I believe I am favored by Him!
From Couples' Nest Volume 2
(c) August 2010, Luisa Mercado (mermalu, lifebeyond)

Thursday, October 7, 2010

You... Diligent Preachers?

Proverbs 27:23-27 says:  Be thou diligent to know the state of thy flocks, and look well to thy herds.  For riches are not for ever: and doth the crown endure to every generation?  The hay appeareth, and the tender grass sheweth itself, and herbs of the mountains are gathered.  The lambs are for thy clothing, and the goats are the price of the field.  And thou shalt have goats' milk enough for thy food, for the food of thy household, and for the maintenance for thy maidens.

I like these verses as they tell me of farming, the farmer, what he owns and how he endures.  It tells me how diligent and persistent he is in tending his livestock and in his care of them.  He looks to his herds with much delight and satisfaction as he knows they will be protected under his watchful eye. He knows, too, that his riches may not last long because sooner or later he will sell all his flocks, earn from them, but may not use the income on good purpose. When he will squander it all, then he has nothing - not even the flocks that he once had. 
The same is true with the Preacher.  He looks to the state of the flock (the congregation) and realizes that when he looks too well to the “status” of the herd in the church (income from the people), he soon finds out that his “payment” will not last forever.  The following generations may give less than what the previous generation so willingly once gave. The giving will  not last forever.
I will break down the rest of the verses to help you understand how l perceive what is going on here, in a Biblical sense, with the help of the Holy Spirit.  l believe this may be right.  Here they are:
  • The hay appeareth is the LORD Himself in all His  glory revealing Himself to us through His Holy Word, convicting us thru the Holy Spirit, humbling us and allowing us to see our need for Him.
  • The tender grass sheweth itself, ass sheweth itself, l believe are new Christians and babes in Christ Jesus, who just received salvation and have been born again by the Spirit of God.
  • The herbs of the mountain are gathered  l believe are those Christians who were once backslidden, have run back in the arms of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, to be sheltered once again and kept in safety till He comes again, that blessed hope we look forward to so much.
  • The lambs are for thy clothing l feel is the precious blood of Jesus Christ that clothes us each day from sin, protects and preserves us, and keeps us safe from the snares of Satan.

Verse 27 tells me of the lost who will have enough to sustain their needs and have nothing in the end.  But, that verse tells me of the saved that he will have enough milk (Word of God) to last.  The saved (the sheep), too, will be supplied by the goats (unsaved) in ways they don't realize or fully understand. The household and maidens (those who are saved) will receive enough to live off from the unsaved that may live in the same house with other maidens who may be unsaved.  Not all are saved in each household.

These are just my thoughts on the mentioned verses of the Scripture.  Friends, especially the preachers, l pray the Lord will bless you all and keep you in safety.  With a reliance and dependence on HIM, you will not go wrong.  Your life is a never ending battle as the Devil is against you and hates you, so be wary and let your thoughts and heart be of one accord with GOD Almighty.  He will sustain you each day till you see Him face to face.

(c) October 2, 2010, Michael Carey