Friday, August 27, 2010

Take Courage in the Lord

By: Rob Peralta

Courage is a great and honorable trait to the Lord. Great men in the bible showed this courage and were blessed for it. Our Christian walk should like wise have courage. We will see just what God does to those who possess and USE this courage.

David, as a young lad, proved to be a man of great courage. When none of the other big and mature "men" would stop the great giant Goliath, he stepped forward. The taunts and cursing of God's people was just too much for him to take. He went out to meet this giant (supposedly 9 feet 9 inches). The giant started laughing. We can imagine God's eyes intently watching this courageous teenager. David remember's that God had promised to help His people overcome their enemies. David pulls out the slingshot, loads the stone and fires. Bam! It perfectly lands in the giant's forehead and he collapses. David grabs the giants sword and finishes the deed and beheads him.

In the above story we can see that David took the first step and showed COURAGE. Backed by faith in God he proceeded to "action". God took notice as He always does when someone acts courageously. And then God completed this act of courage by guiding the stone and helping it's force do the deed.

Then we have the great story of the three men, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah. When Nebuchadnezzar erected a large golden idol, he ordered everyone to bow down to it. The three men knew that it would directly break a Commandment of God. So they refused and showed great courage and did not summit to the King's wishes. They knew very well that they were most likely going to be burned alive yet, just like David, they "acted" upon their COURAGE in the Lord and stood their ground. Then the horrible act came upon them, they were led to the furnace. But God's eyes were watching intently. And then God covered them with His protection and the flames were as a cool breeze.

The next story is not in the bible but must be brought up due to this man's awesome courage in doing the "right" thing and standing up for justice. His name was Wyatt Earp. Many of you probably have heard about Him. In the book called "Wyatt Earp, frontier Marshall" by Stuart Lake, the life story of this one man, is truly amazing in regards to courage. If you want to read about "courage" read this book!

In just one of the stories ( and there are many!) Wyatt was just a young man in his mid 20's when he happened to come into a town called Ellsworth, Kansas. Shortly after arriving he learned that the town had been "corralled" by the bad cowboys and they were shooting up and raising kane. He wasn't a marshall yet but noticed that a horrible thing had happened. The town marshall had just been shot by one of the 'Thompson" brothers (notorious cowboy leaders).

After watching the meyhem as a bystander, he noticed the assistant marshall wasn't doing anything about this crime. "Go get em" Wyatt instructed. "Not me" the assistant replied. "See all those cowboys over there, they'd go gunning for me if I did". Wyatt shook his head and watched the action. Then the mayor came on the scene and began to complain why anything wasn't being done. Wyatt overheard him and said "I know what I would do" then the mayor looked at the young man and said "WHO are you???" "Just a looker on. It's none of my business, but if it was I'd arrest Ben Thompson or kill him" Wyatt replied. The mayor was taken back by this young man's boldness, even as his own assistants had failed him. "Well" the mayor shot back. "I'm making it YOUR business. You're marshall of Ellsworth. Here's your badge."

Wyatt proceeded to go to the gun shop and got some "second hand" 45's and holster. Wyatt knew that peace must be restored or else even more killing would come. He stuck up for justice. he hooked up the guns and walked out ALONE and towards Ben Thompson ( the leader). Wyatt could have called upon other men to "help" him but he chose to go it alone (as he almost always did against the bad guys). The troublemakers were half drunk and scattered all over town, and their leader (Ben) was with many others backing him up, sitting on their horses, talking about what their next move would be. Then a lone man comes walking down the dirt street. Ben Thompson notices he's walking for him and yells "Hey, Wyatt what do you want?" Wyatt is at about 50 yards and says "I want you Ben" and slowly walks towards him. Then what happens next truly had God's hand guiding the situation.

God was keenly aware that this one man wanted justice and had the COURAGE to face as many as a hundred half drunken cowboys to get justice done. Ben , no doubt stunned by this man's courage yell's out "I rather talk than fight Wyatt" Wyatt, not giving up his edge responds "I'll get you either way Ben". Wyatt was very close now and Ben says "What do you want Wyatt?"
"Throw up your hands, and tell your friends to stay out of this" Wyatt responded. "Ok boys, do as Wyatt says" Ben responded. The battle was over and the outlaw and all his friends threw down their guns and Wyatt marched Ben into jail.

The preceding stories show that when we take a stand of courage to do the right thing, whether it's stopping someone from stealing, or taking the Lord's name in vain, God WILL BE WITH US. Courage is keenly noticed by him. So let us be full of courage in the Lord and we will prevail, for once we start our act of courage He will finish it, be assured!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

An Unbiased View of California's Liberal Adventism

The article below was posted as a comment on the uber-liberal Spectrum website by an anonymous person under the name "City Lights." It was so eloquent and true that I felt it should be shared.

While my post was tongue-in-cheek, I have no doubt that Ted Wilson's strategy will likely be to get the most conservative men into top positions in the whole of California eventually. The little pockets of conservatism they now have are not enough to stem the tide of liberalism there, so it behooves them, if they want to execute a calculated takeover of the whole state, to install men who will set the stage for an eventual purge of what many conservatives in the church consider the tarnishing black spot of the NAD.

I am not conservative by any stretch of the imagination and I abhor purges, but I also hold a lot of the constituency (of the SCC mostly) responsible for the mess we are in right now, for continually testing the boundaries and limits of Adventism. Do you think it is just coincidence that Dale Ratzlaff and Colleen Tinker's Former Adventist ministry is located in California? Of course not. It's the hub of disenfranchised Adventists and the pickings couldn't be better for them anywhere else. Larry Kirkpatrick apparently couldn't handle it anymore and promptly fled CA.

Pushing incessantly for years on the women's ordination issue, going ahead with WO in defiance of GC policy, Hyveth Williams peeving off the conservatives at every opportunity during her tenure as pastor with her controversial sermons, teaching theistic evolution in the colleges, being the epicenter of Moral Influence Theory and God-Does-Not-Kill theology, openly drinking wine and coffee, pushing for acceptance of gay marriage, openly attending and proudly endorsing movies, relegating EGW to devotional writer and nothing more, going out to eat on Sabbaths, featuring Desmond Ford as a speaker in many churches....

And you think this is going to do anything but infuriate and fuel the anger of fundamentalist SDA's? It's tantamount to thumbing the nose at the right wing of the church and it's needlessly antagonistic. Does one prance through a pride of lions with raw meat in hand and then feign surprise when the lions awake and attack?

Remember Union President Tom Mostert's editorial in the Pacific Union Recorder entitled 0+0+0+0=0 where he bemoaned the state of California Adventism just before his retirement?

That was just one of the rumbles heard in the past about lax California Adventism. It was a foreshadowing of things to come. It's almost as if Mostert was issuing a cry of help in 2007 which echoed down the tunnels of time into the future where Ted Wilson would hear and respond with aplomb in 2010.

Even notorious California SDA liberal Steve Daily finally wrote an open letter which was posted on on Educate Truth pleading with West Coast constituents to cease and desist inflaming and stirring up the witch hunt crowd, specifically calling out the La Sierra bio professors as the prime offenders at the moment.

Being immersed in the laid-back California style environment has apparently caused many West Coast Adventists to forget that while they are contentedly indulging in their own Liberal SDA Disneyworld, there is a massive segment of fire-breathing, EGW-venerating, hard-core conservative SDA's out there in the NAD they are miffing off who are losing their minds and just foaming at the mouth for the California cleanse that is sure to come eventually. California liberals poke and provoke the slumbering beast and rouse it to its full fury time and again, and such can only end very badly.

It's one thing to privately, in one's own personal life, live out the Adventism one chooses...but if you are out there for all the church to see, read and hear, stirring the pot - can you honestly act surprised when the backlash arrives in full-force?

I would again, with Pastor Daily, like to plead for California liberal Adventists to tone it down and scale it back, as I agree with you guys more often than not on a lot of issues - but I fear it may well be too late. The conservatives are making it increasingly clear that enough is enough and already we see the forces mounting as they push, pressure and lobby the GC to deal with the liberal West Coast situation once and for all.

Because, you see, Ted's in the house now and you can bet the farm he has his sights set on that segment of the NAD for a good 'ole fashioned purge. It's coming and I don't think even moderate and reasonable Dan Jackson will be able to stop it or hold it back for long. Liberal Adventists claim they just want to 'live and let live' and that they don't want to go to war with the right wing. But war is coming, whether they want it or not, and their brazen flaunting of liberal Adventism is primarily what is to blame for the marshaling of forces we are now seeing with the likes of Hold Them Accountable, GYC and Educate Truth.

The unfortunate thing is, liberal Adventism has shot itself in the foot. The writing was on the wall a long time ago, it was just a matter of getting the right man into power.

Posted by: City Lights (not verified) 12 August 2010 at 6:20

Friday, August 13, 2010


By: Rob Peralta

I recently blindly opened my bible, as I frequently do (to let the Lord lead), and came upon (John 15:1-2) it says " I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, He discards. And every branch that beareth fruit, He prunes it, that it may bring forth more fruit"

It is amazing how the Lord says so much truth in so few words. Let me tell you the truth I received from these words. The first words " I am the true vine" is a fascinating analogy of "who" the Lord is. We can believe that the Father's being flowed through the Son, and by the Son all life and form came. In imaging the vine, as it is pulsating, breathing, it is giving life through out it's being. We can see our Lord pervading all life and matter(the true vine), and as such He is a part of the good and bad. Aware of His good parts and sadly aware of His bad parts.

His Father, the gardener (ultimate judge) cannot accept the rotten or useless branches, and as such must eliminate them, lest they spread and destroy even the good branches.(Reminds me why the devil was "pruned" out of heaven). Then the Father carefully cares for the "good branches" and helps us to bear fruit to make the Father and Son proud. Just as a gardener stands proud of his beautiful vine.

After reading this I was inspired to talk about this "fruit". How can we produce more of it? The first thing is to stand strong against "sin". Our Christian walk is a lifelong process of sanctification and our sins are not eliminated immediately. I recently was greatly tempted to engage in a previous lifelong sin, which to me, was a dire one. I was in need of some serious help and I prayed earnestly for strength from the Lord and I also rebuked the devil. IT WORKED! Right after I immediately felt relieved. The more victorious we are to each sin temptation, the STRONGER our armour of God becomes. Another bolt is added to our tank. The devils bombs (temptations) become less tempting and our steadfastness becomes easier.

As we continue in our walk, with more and more victories, our mind and heart naturally turns to producing fruit due to the confidence we have in overcoming "sin". God's spirit is pleased and helps us to produce two different types of fruit. One is the fruit produced by showing God we love HIM, and the other fruit is produced by showing our BROTHERS AND SISTERS we love them. By showing God we love Him, the fruit we produce is by keeping His Commandments AND teaching people to obey His Commandments. Also a VERY important fruit to produce is to FEAR Him(hold Him in reverence). Just as the wise man Solomon said ( Ecc. 12:13) " For this is the sum of all that matters, FEAR God and keep His Commandments, for this is the WHOLE DUTY of man".

In producing fruit concerning our brothers and sisters, we become to them, better givers, listeners, and helpers. The down and out, the poor, the sick, strike a cord in us and we reach out to be there for them. A most beautiful fruit is produced and the great "Gardener" stands back and admires this.

In summary, let us make our best effort daily, beginning each day with a thankful prayer. For when we STAY in the vine and produce fruit, we make our Lord and our God, most proud. Amen.