Tuesday, December 23, 2008

What I Want (For Christmas?)

I want to gather like-minded Christians together for small-group Bible studies.

I want to have fellowship with others who are loyal to our King.

I want to sharpen and challenge each other, until our sword of the Spirit becomes a blade like a razor, and we wield it with skill, for Christ.

I want this unit of Christ's warriors to take up the whole armor of God, that we may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. I want us to stand, therefore, having girded our waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod our feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which we will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And taking the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. Praying always with all prayer and supplication for all the saints.

I want these fellow servants of the King to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature, for our Lord commanded us to do this.

I want to give food to those who are hungry, drink to those who are thirsty, clothes to those who are cold and naked. For our Lord commanded us to do this!

I want to go where the people are gathered, in the malls and on the streets, shining light on those who are in darkness! I want to give hundreds of people booklets that reveal the truth about our God. I want to leave Bible studies everywhere, like hidden mines ready to explode with truth when someone finds them. I do not want to sit idly by while the enemy of souls is destroying my King's children.

I want to invite people to come and watch presentations of Bible-study seminars.

I want to tell them that all the signs are being fulfilled, that time is short and Christ is coming soon. I want to tell them ahead of time what will happen, so that when it comes to pass they will see and know the truth.

I want to cut them out of the world with the great cleaver of truth!

I want to draw nearer to Christ by sharing in His work.

I want to say, "Lord, what would Thou have me to do?"

I want to say, "Not my will, but Thy will be done."

I want to say each morning, "Father, only You know what tomorrow brings, but today, my Lord, I am Yours."

I want you to watch the videos at the bottom of this page!


  1. If you dangle bait, they will come. ;) This is 'Margaret Catherine' over from the Christ our Hope blog...just dropping by right now, but I did want to ask you about the origin of the Q+A Bible studies on your blog. Are they yours - or if not, whose are they?

  2. Thanks for posting that passage of Scripture about putting on the whole armor of God. I was thinking of it today and couldn't remember where it is found.

    I see you are on fire for God! Good for you, we need more like you.

  3. Margaret Catherine,

    I figure if Christ be lifted up, He will draw all men to Him. :-)

    Unfortunately I can't take credit for those Bible studies, they are put out by Amazing Facts, an evangelistic ministry. I think they are written by Doug Batchelor.

    They were among the first Bible studies I ever went through that made me stop and say, "Wow, I had no idea the Bible said that!" I love them very much because they were really what led me into doing my own Bible studies to "see whether these things were so."

    You can find them at Amazingfacts.org and I think even at Bibleuniverse.org

    I hope to hear more from you, I'd be interested to know what the Catholic perspective is on all these Scriptures.

    By the way, I am especially fond of Saint Francis of Assisi. :-)

    God bless you and keep you

  4. Deb, it was my pleasure as always. :-)

    Funny how God answers our curiosity, especially when we're wondering about His word.

    I remember when I was around 14 or 15 years old, not a true Christian but curious about the Bible, I thought to myself, "I wonder what the Ten Commandments are?"

    Keep in mind I didn't have a clue where to even find a specific book in the Bible, but I flipped it open randomly...and just guess where it landed. You got it, right on the Ten Commandments! I don't recall if it was Exodus or Deuteronomy, but...how amazing. I still remember it to this day, I was shocked. Yet how quickly we dismiss these small miracles God shows us.

  5. I hope you don't feel like I am trying to dampen your enthusiasm. God knows we desperately need more enthusiasm. But I have been sorting through all of these same things for over 40 years and have learned some extremely important lessons about the crucial importance of the condition of my heart as opposed to knowing all the answers. What I have observed over my life is that much of the time we are trying to propagate answers to questions that most people are not currently asking and failing to listen to the questions of the heart that they so much need to find resolutions for.
    What I see in your experience is very, very typical and I don't say this to be condescending in the least. A new believe coming into this church in particular very often gets quite excited about knowing all the doctrines and texts and spreading them to others. But what I have also observed is that it is very easy for those same individuals over time to move too far into a head-oriented religion that becomes reflective of the Pharisees of Jesus' day who certainly knew the Scriptures backward and forward but failed to open their hearts to the most complete revelation of truth ever given to this earth.
    Every one of us is in just as much danger of doing the very same thing that people did when Jesus was here on earth. What I have been learning is that God is far more keen on us listening and responding to His Spirit with our heart than knowing all the "truth". I am not saying that truth should be ignored. But one of the most important passages that reveal our need for both is what Jesus told the woman at the well in Samaria. The Father is looking for those who will worship Him in spirit AND in truth.

  6. Clay Feet,

    No need to worry, brother. Your comments are always welcome here. If it were possible for something anyone said to dampen my enthusiasm for God, then that would be something I would need to work on! :-)

    You can get a little taste of my thoughts about learning the many wonderful truths in God's word in my post titled "Levels of Study", or something like that.

    It was a wonderful time and I was indeed very on fire for God when I began learning all these Bible-truths and searching the Scriptures. But in time, perhaps as quickly as over the course of 1 year, that excitement slowly faded.

    I was familiar with all the doctrines of the Remnant church as revealed through the Bible, and yet there was a feeling of being far from Christ. And indeed, a lack of developing His character.

    Now I am learning a different set of truths, Christ is leading me on a new adventure in seeking Him. You can read some of this sentiment in the post "Isaiah 58, a message for my church", or something like that.

    Anyway, God is leading us all toward Him in our search for truth, some are further along that road, some are not. It is not so important for us to try to bring everyone to where we are in our walk, perhaps God is working with them on other things. But we are simply to encourage our Christian brothers and sisters to keep moving forward, wherever they may be. My goal in spreading these doctrinal truths is to get people on the road, get people to start their journey, get people's eyes on Christ.

    There is indeed a place for all of God's truths and spreading the doctrines and the knowledge. But you are so right in that, if we're not careful, we may lead people to ONLY a knowledge, and not leave them connected with the Light from which that knowledge flows.

    This is one of the main focuses of Jim Hohnberger, he was a head elder in the church after coming to the Lord, and brought many people into the church through Bible studies. Then he found a deeper experience, and realized he wasn't truly following God as he should be. He actually went back to all those people he'd brought into the church and retaught them with the new truths he learned about what it means to walk with God.

    Anyway, these fundamental truths are milk, and easy to post. The things Christ teaches me day to day about walking with Him, well, those things are harder to express and organize into posts.

    But rest assured, my friend, I hear you.

    God bless you and keep you!

  7. Clay,
    Also in the post "Present help from a past message", these comments of inspiration speak directly to what you were saying about how simply knowing these Bible-truths doesn't necessarily connect us with Christ in a real way. Hopefully you can check out this post and the others, (especially Isaiah 58, a message to my church) and let me know what you think.

  8. Thanks for your response to my comments. As usual, phrases from the Bible arouse my curiosity. This thing we refer to as "milk" and "meat" that Paul talked about is yet another of those things we think about more from assumption than from careful study and contemplation. It sounds like something worth meditating on and posting about myself.

  9. No problem, I love having doctrinal dialogues. I'd be very interested to read your thoughts on these different matters. :-)

    God bless you and keep you!

  10. Todd - To be sure, He did, and does...but that's a rather confident statement to be making, isn't it? There's a lot to comment on on your blog. And yes, there's a lot that differs very greatly from Catholic belief. But one thing I am not is an apologist. I'm more the sort that bristles at being told, first thing, that her beliefs aren't from the Bible. :) If you are really interested in Catholic interpretation of Scripture, I'd honestly recommend reading through my blog. There's a fair amount of Catholic perspective - or this Catholic's perspective - to be found there, and who knows? It might help you in future discussions, with me or others.

  11. Or at least read this entry, for an understanding of my style of discussion. ;) http://christourhope.blogspot.com/2008/04/at-shrine-part-3-wednesday-416.html

  12. Thank you for commenting on my blog... I have read through a few of your posts. You are correct that there are a number of areas where you and I would disagree, but I believe we would also find many areas of agreement.
    I can tell that you sincerely seek the Truth and that you have a great love for the Word of God. In that we share something in common.
    Would you like to discuss some doctrinal matters? I'm always open to a friendly religious discussion. If not, I wish you all the best.

  13. Margaret Catherine, I thank you again for stopping by the blog. It caught me a bit off guard when you said you bristle at being told your beliefs aren't from the Bible. I hope I didn't come off as harsh when I left a comment on your site, I just meant to warn you ahead of time that our beliefs differ quite a bit. When we come to the heart of the matter, there is the essential truth that if anyone believes differently than me, I automatically assume that they misunderstand Scripture. BUT I am always sure to study out the Scriptures that others use to defend their beliefs, because I always admit that it may be I who misunderstands. That's the important thing. So I hope you won't take offense when I said that since everything I believe comes from the Bible and the Bible only, that it is quite different from Catholic doctrine. It is just the nature of things, like I suppose you, as a Catholic, suppose Protestants misunderstand Scriptures on many points. But as long as we are all willing to take a closer look at our beliefs, and examine them in the light of other Scriptures and doctrines, we should all be able to get along wonderfully.

    I read that post you linked to, and I really like more dialogue between faiths than one having a picket-sign and the other giving a one-sentence reply. It was kind of a funny scene that played out in my imagination when I read of you walking up to that protestant and answering his challenge with a Scripture. LOL

    Thomas - Absolutely, what is one of the things we differ on, and what is your understanding of the Scriptures regarding the matter?

  14. I really get what Clay was saying here. For years I was an Adventist stuck in the miserable mire of legalism. There is no peace there, no peace apart from that which comes from knowing God through Christ.

    I had the head knowledge alright--still have so much of it crammed into my brain. But I had to unlearn a lot in order to begin to get back on track with my first love: knowing and delighting in Christ.

  15. Todd - Yeah, it was one of my Moments. :) I too enjoy more discussion than that, but in the setting, it was not going to happen...so, why not a one-liner? :)

    I was exhausted (8 hours' sleep in two days) when I commented last, and I'm scarcely less so now...so when I recover, whenever that is, I'll swing by again. Take care, till then!

  16. Deb,
    For sure. Since I lost the love and zeal I first had for Christ, I have been learning new things about God. Things of a more..."inexpressible" nature. I'm not sure that's the right word, I simply mean things about God's infinite love. It's the love of Christ that I love to meditate on these days. And praise Him for His faithfulness, for even when I was living as the world, He still loved me and pulled me back to Himself. But God's truth is God's truth and it will always have its place. So I try to keep a balanced view. Good to hear from you!

    Margeret Catherine,
    LOL indeed, they asked for an answer and you gave them one! Hope you get plenty of rest at some point during the holidays. :-)

    God bless you and keep you all!

  17. I didn't have any particular topic in mind for discussion. I just figured that since you first posted on my blog maybe you were looking for a discussion with a Catholic. I am always open to such exchanges, (I enjoy them thoroughly), but I don't have any particular doctrine or belief in mind for you.
    What compelled you to post on a Catholic's blog in the first place? Are you interested in the Catholic faith?

  18. Thomas,

    I would be interested to hear what your thoughts are on the Scriptures I presented showing that in death we simply sleep in the graves until the resurrection.

    Mainly what I am looking for from those of different faiths is not to argue randomly about different subjects, but rather I want to learn what their views are on the Scriptures that lead me to believe the way I do. Also, after addressing the Scriptures I pose as reasons for my belief, I'd like to read Scriptures they use to support their beliefs, and see what I think of them.

    In this way, I hope to be able to 1) Strengthen my faith in the foundational doctrines I adhere to, and 2) Learn of any errors I may currently have in my theology.

    This has already happened in one priceless exchange between myself and "author" from ptkbook.blogspot.com. We had a very interesting exchange in regard to whether anyone has actually ascended to heaven (namely Elijah and Enoch), or whether everyone is still awaiting the resurrection at the return of Christ.

    Because of that discussion I've had to really examine my own beliefs and have accepted the possibility that perhaps not even Elijah, Enoch, or Moses have gone to heaven yet.

    Anyway, hopefully you can check the post entitled "Are the Dead Really Dead?" and comment with your thoughts on each of the texts, or since there are a lot of texts to meet, perhaps you could make an answer to my Scriptures as well as present Scriptures supporting your own belief as a post on your blog, and I can comment there. In this way we can continue having an interesting, and hopefully enlightening, dialogue.

    To be honest, I wasn't searching out Catholic blogs, I was just searching for blogs of any faith.

    Thanks again for stopping by.

    God bless you and keep you.