Saturday, December 16, 2017

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 20, Jesus as the Teacher



How can we know God unless He reveals Himself to us? The creation confirms His existence, but what does the creature know of His attributes, Person, or Power? Unless He teaches us about Himself, we will not know. God sent His Son Jesus to earth as a born-babe, to live the full life of sinlessness under the Law, and to teach us about Himself. He was prophesied to die as the atoning sacrifice, and then rise again to receive His people through His work on the cross. Grace abounds.

We are in the section of these verses throughout the series where we examine His works and ministry. Yesterday, we saw the He first emptied Himself. This is the kenosis, and it's explained on Day 19.

Today we see Jesus as Teacher. I mentioned earlier that Jesus' first recorded words in His incarnation was when he was in the temple as a boy. His desperate parents sought him for three days, and upon discovering him there, he said, "Did you not know I must be about my Father's business?" Jesus had been

sitting among the teachers, listening to them and asking them questions. And all who heard him were amazed at his understanding and his answers. (Luke 2:46-47).

The following is from the Christian Courier.
Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews, conceded that Jesus of Nazareth was "a teacher" from God, as documented by the "signs" which he did (John 3:2). A wealthy young ruler approached the Lord asking, "Teacher, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?" (Matthew 19:16). Even Jesus' enemies addressed him as "Teacher" (Matthew 22:16, 24), though their use of the expression was not always genuine. The Lord is addressed as "Teacher" twenty-nine times in the Gospels. The noun (teacher) and verb (teach) combined are used of Jesus some ninety times. 
Christ's teaching was informative, logical, buttressed by Old Testament evidence, well-illustrated, documented by divine power, original, and uniquely authoritative (Matthew 7:28). When officers once were sent to arrest him, they returned to their superiors empty-handed, exclaiming: "Never man so spoke" (John 7:46). The Lord's various methods of teaching beg for careful study. Source- 
Jackson, Wayne. "Jesus: The Master Teacher." ChristianCourier.com. Access date: December 16, 2017. https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/1497-jesus-the-master-teacher
Go to the link above for more.

GTY Sermon: Jesus Teaches the Teacher


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son

Day 14: Propitiation

Day 15: The gift of eternal life

Day 16: Two Kingdoms

Day 17: Jesus' Preeminence

Day 18: The Highest King

Day 19: Jesus emptied Himself



Friday, December 15, 2017

Ladies, do you want to fulfill your potential? (Think hard before you say yes)

Someone on Twitter asked if we could recommend any good women's conferences. This was my reply:
Good conferences centering on faithful Biblical exposition &an unrelenting love for the church are any from MacArthur, G3, TMU's Truth & Life conference, etc. I'm not an advocate of separate women's conferences. Women need theology, so, "Conference", not "Women's conference" IMO.
This is why I prefer men's conferences, this, as a reader alerted me to a few days after the Twitter inquiry


The Dallas Seminary's Women's Leadership conference concluded a few days ago. Christine Caine as the keynote speaker makes me so sad, because she teaches things unworthy of Christ. Through this invitation, the Dallas Seminary gives Caine credibility. Think of how many women are negatively influenced and exposed to her, or even when they see the line-up of speakers on the website.

I looked up the Bios of the other women who were on the schedule at the Leadership conference. A pattern emerged.

Have you noticed this phrase very often? It's become a constant to many women's ministry bios and purpose statements.

Her mission in life is to equip and inspire women to reach their full potential in Christ.

It sounds good. "Full potential." Who wouldn't want to reach their full potential, especially "in Christ"? It sounds great. Here are some more Ministry purpose statements I found along those lines.

[This ministry] exists to serve the local church, leaders, organizations, and individuals by inspiring and helping them connect with their God-given potential and purpose.

[This ministry] believes in the passion, purpose, and potential of every woman everywhere.

[This Teacher] has committed her life to equipping women of all ages, regardless of marital status, with practical, biblical truth to help them live more genuine lives.

I share this dream with some amazing friends… to gather and equip and unleash a generation of women.

According to these teachers in their ministry purpose statements, I can be genuine, reach my full potential, be 'unleashed' (because I'm shackled now, right?), find my purpose, and more. Sounds good.

Except it's wrong. Ministry isn't about me. It isn't about my potential. It isn't about my life. It isn't about my purpose. We do ministry for an entirely different reason. A reason that has its focus not on ourselves, looking laterally. We look up.

My potential is this: as a sinner I have the utter and constant potential to sin. (Genesis 6:5). Sinners gossip, steal, covet, murder, lust, and more. That is what sinners do. It is what we have the "potential" for. As a believer, my potential is in Christ, and will be fully realized in Christ when He comes. When we are glorified our potential will be full, but not until then. As it is now, as long as we're not raptured or dead and dwelling in heaven until the Day, we have the total potential to sin. More than potential, actually.

We have the Holy Spirit as a help and an aid to resist our sin-nature. The more we grow, the more we can resist sin through the Holy Spirit's help. But we do sin. Paul remarked about that, and if there was any believer who had a shot at reaching his "full potential", as Christine Caine puts it, it was him. Yet he still struggled with doing what he didn't want to do, and didn't do what he wanted.

For I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. (Romans 7:15-20).

The kind of ministry purpose statements I read and quoted some above sound more like a fortune cookie than deeply committed evangelical purpose. It's like that funny blog essay Challies did, 'Joel Osteen or Fortune Cookie?'  Joel Osteen was selected as the unwitting target because he is well-known for issuing nebulous platitudes instead of firmly proclaiming the Word. We can play the same game. "Ministry Purpose Statement or Confucian saying?" Confucius was a Chinese philosopher who lived in around 500 BC. Here is an example:

The will to win, the desire to succeed, the urge to reach your full potential… these are the keys that will unlock the door to personal excellence.

It's a Confucian saying, but if we add "in Christ" to the end it might well match any of the liberal Christian ministry purpose statements we find of the type I'm talking about.

I wish these ministries would have in their purpose statements and their leader bios, something like this:

"Helping women learn who Christ is through the study of His word."

Or,

"Helping women to learn theology so we bring honor to Christ in our lives and deeds."

Or,

"Women together studying the person, life, work, and ministry of Jesus Christ."

Or,

"Studying His word so as to transform our minds and become more Christ-like."

Or,

"Encouraging women to study God's revelation to us through His written word."

If you're checking out a ministry online and see something like the me-statements mentioned above, promising full potential or unleashing or finding your purpose, beware. Alternately, just because a ministry puts up a solid-seeming purpose statement, it doesn't mean they are necessarily solid. There's this purpose statement for a famous ministry, which sounds fantastic:

[This ministry] is dedicated to encourage people to come to know and love Jesus Christ through the study of Scripture.

Sadly, the about statement of purpose is Beth Moore's at Living Proof. Rather, her purpose statement should read:

This ministry is dedicated to encourage people to come to know and love Beth Moore through the study of my direct revelations, personal dreams, pop psychology, and funny anecdotes."

So, just be aware of the language ministries use. If they claim to want to help you attain your full potential, it might be wise to say to yourself,

"No thanks, I want to study Christ while on earth, resist my potential, and wait for Him to fulfill it when I'm glorified."



Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 19, Jesus emptied Himself


Barnes' Notes explains the 'emptying'

The word does not occur elsewhere in the New Testament, except in the passage before us. The essential idea is that of bringing to emptiness, vanity, or nothingness; and, hence, it is applied to a case where one lays aside his rank and dignity, and becomes in respect to that as nothing; that is, he assumes a more humble rank and station.
In regard to its meaning here, we may remark: 
(1) that it cannot mean that he literally divested himself of his divine nature and perfections, for that was impossible. He could not cease to be omnipotent, and omnipresent, and most holy, and true, and good.
(2) it is conceivable that he might have laid aside, for a time, the symbols or the manifestation of his glory, or that the outward expressions of his majesty in heaven might have been withdrawn. It is conceivable for a divine being to intermit the exercise of his almighty power, since it cannot be supposed that God is always exerting his power to the utmost. And in like manner there might be for a time a laying aside or intermitting of these manifestations or symbols, which were expressive of the divine glory and perfections. Yet, 
(3) this supposes no change in the divine nature, or in the essential glory of the divine perfections. When the sun is obscured by a cloud, or in an eclipse, there is no real change of its glory, nor are his beams extinguished, nor is the sun himself in any measure changed. His luster is only for a time obscured. 
Further Reading

GotQuestions: What is the Kenosis?

GTY Study Guide: Christ humbled, Christ exalted


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son

Day 14: Propitiation

Day 15: The gift of eternal life

Day 16: Two Kingdoms

Day 17, Jesus' Preeminence

Day 18, The Highest King



Thursday, December 14, 2017

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 18, The Highest King




Further Reading

Though the verse is literally speaking about King David, the relation of David to Christ means the verse also prefigures the preeminence of King Jesus. The throne, through David's line, would last forever through Christ.

Gill's Exposition says,
Also I will make him my firstborn,.... Or, "make him the firstborn"; make him great, as Jarchi interprets it; give him the blessing, the double portion of inheritance: so Christ is made most blessed for ever, and has all spiritual blessings in his hands; and is heir of all things, and his people joint-heirs with him. Christ is God's "firstborn", or "first begotten", Hebrews 1:6, being begotten by him, and of him; ... even him the Father promises to make "higher than the kings of the earth"; having a kingdom of a superior nature to theirs, and a more extensive and durable one; and even they themselves shall be subject to him; hence he is called "King of kings", Revelation 19:16. 
The King of Kings shall reign forever, His Kingdom shall endure. See Day 16: Two Kingdoms for related verse & info.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son

Day 14: Propitiation

Day 15: The gift of eternal life

Day 16: Two Kingdoms

Day 17, Jesus' Preeminence



Wednesday, December 13, 2017

List of important Christians to follow on social media (not). Plus, ridiculous books

Crosswalk Ministry recently posted a story titled 20 Important Christians You Should Follow on Social Media. Crosswalk.com's About says,
Crosswalk.com aims to offer the most compelling biblically-based content to Christians on their walk with Jesus. Crosswalk.com is your online destination for all areas of Christian Living – faith, family, fun, and community.
After seeing the list of  "important" Christians you should follow, Crosswalk should not be your destination for anything. Why? Most of their list is populated by false teachers. Sadly, the author of this list states that she is a teacher/leader at her church. It is apparent that the author lacks discernment, which is terrible for a church teacher/leader. It's clear that the publication's editors lack discernment, too, because they allowed it to be published.



We can pair this list of who (not) to follow with a recent vlog by Challies-

5 Most Ridiculous Books to Ever Become Christian Bestsellers
If you were to scan the lists of the best selling Christian books of all time you’d see some truly amazing books there. You’d see some books that have helped us better understand who God is and books that have instructed us. and how we as Christians can live lives of obedience to Him, and like you, I’m genuinely thankful for these books. Sadly though, you’d also see some truly flat-out awful books. Today I’ve narrowed down that list to the five most ridiculous books to ever become Christian bestsellers.
Asked what the biggest problem facing the American church is, John MacArthur replied that it is a lack of biblical knowledge, a lack of biblical discernment. When you see a list like Crosswalk's, this certainly seems to be sadly true.

And besides, didn't the Bible tell us that no believer is more "important" than another? (Galatians 3:28, James 2). Their list is a who's who of false teachers. The list is a slideshow, and as each page came up it got worse and worse. I couldn't think of any worse people to put on the list if I tried. They're all there. I thought to myself, "Surely they won't put Joel Osteen on their list, but when he popped up at #15 my heart sank lower than the floor.

Anyway, here is Crosswalk's list of "important" Christians you should follow in their order:
  1. Beth Moore
  2. Steven Furtick
  3. Toby Mac
  4. Lysa TerKeurst
  5. Franklin Graham
  6. Max Lucado
  7. Judah Smith
  8. Joyce Meyer
  9. Andy Stanley
  10. Rick Warren
  11. Jen Hatmaker
  12. Tim Keller
  13. Candace Cameron Bure
  14. Levi Lusko
  15. Joel Osteen
  16. Sadie Robertson
  17. John Piper
  18. Shauna Niequist
  19. Christine Caine
  20. Brian Houston
Most of these people teach a false doctrine of one kind or another. I know that no one is perfect, and we all hold to some error at one time or another before being graciously corrected. However many of these people on the list teach not immature and temporary error, but permanently damning heresy. Meyer teaches (or taught) that she isn't a sinner, and that Jesus went to hell and allowed satan to stomp all over His back. Joel Osteen refuses to preach half the Gospel (sin and wrath). Beth Moore gets extra-biblical revelation knowledge and purports to add to the canon by the prophecies and directives Jesus supposedly gives her.

These are actions that by God's own word, the one who teaches them are doomed. (2 Timothy 4:3-4, Acts 20:28-30, 1 John 4:6, Titus 1:16, 2 Peter 2:3, Romans 16:18...)

Others teach error (Piper, for example) but at this point he can't said to be false.

I've looked at Bure's statement of faith and her life trajectory and can't find anything that seems to contradict a foundational tenet or is a damaging teaching. So 1 out of the 20 might be solid, and she isn't even a Bible teacher or preacher or ministry leader but is an actress (one who albeit takes her platform seriously and promotes Christian standards through the transparency of her life).

Discernment is spiritual insight that is honed by experience and age. However, discernment isn't by osmosis. It doesn't just drop in one's lap. Wisdom is accrued through careful study of God's word, prayer, and constant application. Through study, one becomes instantly familiar with what is true and what is false, even a little false. In other words, the discerning person has nuance and a humble spirit. The person who can discern displays biblical knowledge, wisdom, and the ability to proclaim it, apply it, and use it.

Ultimately, though, discernment comes from God. David prayed for discernment. Psalm 119:125 says (NIV)

I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.

It's obvious that the current global church lacks discernment in tremendous and devastating ways. Just as over the centuries, the leaders of Israel and eventually the Pharisees turned God's glorious light and truth into a dark and perverse religion, today's leaders of the Christian church have turned Christianity into a perverse and ridiculous paper tiger religion that saves no one.

Fortunately, God always has a remnant, which is what true believers are. We are certainly not the majority, if we ever were. A remnant, standing on the rock, proclaiming truth for the glorification of Jesus' name remains unsullied. The rest, the so-called Christians on the top 20 list and their followers, are a crowd that lacks discernment, to their detriment, perhaps eternally.

Here is my list. Top 20 people not to follow- and why
  1. Beth Moore (no)
  2. Steven Furtick (Steve Kozar says no) (Todd Friel says Furtick's false)
  3. Toby Mac (Ryan Martin at Religious Affections says no)
  4. Lysa TerKeurst (Michelle Lesley says no)
  5. Franklin Graham (no)
  6. Max Lucado (no)
  7. Judah Smith (no)
  8. Joyce Meyer (CARM says no)
  9. Andy Stanley (Josh Buice says no), (no), (And just no)
  10. Rick Warren (Challies says no), (Warren publicly prayed to Islam's false god),  (JMac negatively reviews Purpose Driven)
  11. Jen Hatmaker (Christine Pack says no), (Denny Burk says no)
  12. Tim Keller (no)
  13. Candace Cameron Bure
  14. Levi Lusko
  15. Joel Osteen (nope)
  16. Sadie Robertson (maybe)
  17. John Piper (there's issues...) (and other issues)
  18. Shauna Niequist (Michelle Lesley gives her a 'not recommended')
  19. Christine Caine (Rosebrough says no)
  20. Brian Houston (no, with a lot of other NO's inside)
Pray to the Spirit for wisdom and He will give it without reproach (James 1:5). Be wise as serpents regarding "Christian" publications including mine and others listed on this page. Use your eyes to see and ears to hear when reading or listening to Christian material. Compare to scripture and give no place to falsity. Jesus is too precious and His torture, death, separation from the Father too heart-rending to cover with any compromise in doctrine by accepting false teachers.

It's too bad about Crosswalk. That list sure is ridiculous.


Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 17, Jesus' Preeminence



Further Reading

Grace To You sermon: The preeminence of Christ

Desiring God: The preeminence of Jesus for Life

Institute for Creation Research devotional: Preeminence of Christ

11 verses on the preeminence of Christ

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son

Day 14: Propitiation

Day 15: The gift of eternal life

Day 16: Two Kingdoms


Sunday, December 10, 2017

Praise to Jesus as the I AM

I'm so glad I have a Savior who is eternal. Because He is eternal, He is independent, self-sustaining, and forever self-sufficient. He is outside of time and matter, therefore He is the I AM, as seen in these metaphorical statements-

I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51);
I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12);
I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9);
I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14);
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25);
I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6);
I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5).

And these absolute statements:

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58)

God said to Moses, "I am who I am." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel: 'I am has sent me to you.' " (Exodus 3:14).

Praise Him today for one of His attributes.

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 14, Propitiation



Further Reading

GotQuestions: What is Propitiation?

Ligonier Ministries: What Do Expiation and Propitiation Mean?

Bible Hub Topical Bible- Propitiation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Movie Review: Hallmark's Garage Sale Mystery with Lori Loughlin

Hallmark Movies & Mystery Channel features a series of movies in the "Cozy Mysteries" genre.
Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozies thus stand in contrast to hardboiled fiction, which feature violence and sexuality more explicitly and centrally to the plot. The term "cozy" was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Wikipedia
Hallmark has adapted several cozy book mysteries into movies.

There are the Aurora Teagarden movies starring Candace Cameron Bure. These movies are based on a fictional character created by author Charlaine Harris, in a series of ten crime novels written from 1990 to 2017. "In the first book of the series, twenty-eight-year-old Aurora (Roe) Teagarden is a professional librarian and belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes."

There's the Flower Shop Mysteries based on Kate Collins' books of the same series title. The series stars Brooke Shields as a "professional librarian and belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes."

Source
In the Garage Sale Mystery, Lori Loughlin stars as a vintage store owner who scours garage sales and estate sales for items for her store, and stumbles across mysteries and murders along the way. This series is based on the books by Suzi Weinert. The executive producers of Garage Sale Mystery are also executive producers on the Hallmark television series When Calls the Heart, so the Garage Sale Mystery series features many of the same actors.

You might remember Lori Loughlin from the 1980s television family friendly series Full House. She also stars in When Calls the Heart, and other Hallmark productions.

I like a good caper movie, mysteries, and crime books and movies, but I do not like the gore, psychological tension, or horrible/evil murders especially involving children. I also don't like dark movies, either in psychology or in cinematography.

The Garage Sale Mystery (GSM) features none of that. The main character, Jennifer Shannon, lives in an affluent town in Virginia. The homes she visits throughout the movie and including her own, are beautiful mansions. If you remember the iconic series Columbo, his 'clients' were always located in Beverly Hills, lived in gorgeous homes, and were from the upper class. If I'm going to watch a mystery, at least I'm not watching gutter-dirty, dark, psychological thriller, but a tea drinking, well dressed attractive woman with a genial personality. In GSM there's always lots of light and sunlight and bright colors in most every scene. The main character is in a happy, stable marriage with a movie-perfect husband and two movie-perfect teenage children. She is a good mom. The children usually have some kind of sub-story.

Somehow, the way the movie is written, and despite the fact that a murder does occur and Jennifer is usually in life-threatening peril by the climax, the atmosphere isn't heart-rending or dark. The writers maintain in Jennifer a hopeful innocence with a razor-sharp mind and a high-level ability to observe and remember. As a matter of fact, the last shot of each movie shows Jennifer in a close-up with a big smile. This is an enjoyable way to conclude a movie. The relationship Jennifer has with the co-owner of her store is a good one, always pleasant. No harsh words are spoken, even when Jennifer confronts the murderer. It's a relief to watch a movie where all the interpersonal interactions are warm and polite.

It is a 'cozy mystery' to a Tee.

What I find amusing is that despite the fact that Jennifer seems to stumble on a dead body seemingly every time she leaves her house, the series avoids the claustrophobic feeling of the Cabot Cove Syndrome. This is a TV Trope named after the location in which fictional character Jessica Fletcher of the television series Murder, She Wrote lived. The television series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on CBS. Angela Lansbury was the main character, and "murder occurred with such regularity in her vicinity that the term "Cabot Cove syndrome" was coined to describe the constant appearance of dead bodies in remote locations. Indeed, if Cabot Cove existed in real life, it would top the FBI's national crime statistics in numerous categories, with some analysis suggesting that the homicide rate in Cabot Cove exceeds even that of the real-life murder capital of the world." (Wikipedia). The UK Daily Mail has more-

The most dangerous place on Earth is revealed to be... the fictional setting for TV series Murder, She Wrote
The idyllic seaside town of Cabot Cove looks at first glance like a pleasant and relaxing place to live.
In fact, it is the murder capital of the world and far more dangerous than the most violent parts of the globe, including Honduras in Central America. Thankfully, it is just the fictional New England setting for popular TV series Murder, She Wrote. Amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, encountered a total of 274 killings in the small town in Maine, despite it having a population of just 3,500. This gives it an annual murder rate of 1,490 per million — more than 50 per cent higher than Honduras, where it is 910 per million.
The British mystery series, Agatha Raisin based on the books by M.C. Beaton, is another series that in my opinion suffered terribly from Cabot Cove Syndrome. There were several issues with the single-season series, and one of them was that the series is set in the British area of the Cotswolds. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and much of it is protected, but the villages dotting the aforementioned beautiful hills are small. Very small. By the end of the one season that was broadcast, I surmise that the fictional death rate was even higher than in Cabot Cove.

Anyway, the confined feeling I got from Murder, She Wrote and Agatha Raisin is absent in Garage Sale Mystery. The series presents an aura that is expansive enough not to be claustrophobic but small enough to maintain the cozy atmosphere so important in this genre.

I also enjoy the garage sale aspect. I like a good hunt myself for just the perfect item that has a history behind it and is also a good deal!

I recommend the Garage Sale Mystery series. They're clean. It can be seen on on Hallmark, Sling TV, an occasional older movie on Youtube, and elsewhere.

--------------------------------------------

Further reading


Finding Wonderland, Review: The Deadly Room

Dove review: Garage Sale Mystery

Amazon Customer reviews: 215 reviews of this series (92% are 4 & 5-star)

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 13, God is pleased with His Son



Further Reading

Desiring God: The Pleasure of God in His Son

Kay Arthur/Precepts: Oh My Child, Do You Know How Pleased I Am With You?

God's Well-pleasing Son

JMac sermon: The Commissioning of the King

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 11, He was obedient

We've flowed through the first section of this series, in looking at a few verses that prophesy Jesus' coming, His arrival, and His early life. Starting tomorrow, from Day 12-16 we will look at verses that focus on Jesus as The Son. From Day 17-26, verses will focus on the preeminence of the Son, His works, and Ministry. Days 27-36, His resurrection, ascension, and return. Yes, there are more than 30 verses, lol. Either I'll double up on some days, or go an extra week after Christmas. :)




Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible
The precocious wisdom of the boy Jesus, and his certain consciousness of his unique relationship to the Father in heaven, were not looked upon by Jesus as sufficient to his earthly mission; but he recognized himself still to be a child. The hour of his emergence as the world's Saviour would be awaited by him until some sure indication of the Father's will informed him that "his hour" had come. In the meanwhile, he would not disgrace himself as a child prodigy. He manifested the noblest quality of youth, that of loving submission to his earthly parents.

Further Reading

Answers in Genesis: Christ's Obedience to the Father



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The US President orders embassy move to Jerusalem

Today the US President Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital," Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.  
This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done." 
The president cast his decision as a break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which the United States, along with virtually every other nation in the world, has declined to recognize as the capital since Israel’s founding in 1948. That policy, he said, brought us "no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

Jerusalem is an ancient city, first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 14 when Abraham gave a tenth of all that he had to the mysterious Melchizedek, king of 'Salem' (Jerusalem) and a Priest of the God Most High. Jerusalem was not always the capital of Israel. Earlier in Israel's history, the ark was located at Shiloh, in the tabernacle, for 400 years.

Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. (Jeremiah 7:12).
my place … in Shiloh—God caused His tabernacle to be set up in Shiloh in Joshua’s days (Jos 18:1; Jdg 18:31). In Eli’s time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the hands of the Philistines (Je 26:6; 1 Sa 4:10, 11; Ps 78:56–61). Shiloh was situated between Beth-el and Shechem in Ephraim. 
Eventually, the LORD Placed His name at Jerusalem.

but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. (2 Chronicles 6:6)
Solomon’s proclamation to the worshipers (6:3–11) links two great themes together as facets of the Davidic covenant: the holy city of Jerusalem and the holy temple building. Solomon acknowledges that God has finally chosen a permanent dwelling place for his Name. From the beginnings of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence has been portable. As one of the consequences of building a permanent dwelling for God’s Name, the location of that building, Jerusalem, is now a holy city. Three great themes are united in this great effort prescribed by the Davidic covenant: the sacred dynasty, the sacred temple building, and the sacred city of Jerusalem. Bowling, A. C. (1995). 1-2 Chronicles. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
The future looks bright for Jerusalem.

The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 2:12).

I'm very glad that Jerusalem is recognized by the US as Israel's capital city. I pray for peace there, now and forever.



Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 10, the Boy Jesus at the Temple



EPrata photo


With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding (Job 12:13).

Further reading

The Day Jesus Went AWOL

Twelve-year-old Jesus goes to the Temple

The Son of God at twelve years old

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Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Sunday, December 3, 2017

All Beth Moore critiques here in one place (Newest)

I have split the list of Beth Moore critiques into two different essays. There is a long version which includes a lengthy discernment lesson on top before you get to the critiques. Then there's this shorter version which is just the list.

Below is a list of everything I have written about Moore, and below that, a list of women-written critiques, and below that, a list of man-written critiques.

Below that, some general essays about how to spot a false teacher or a heretic.

I also went through and personally checked and weeded out the dead links. Please let me know if you come across a dead one. Blogs go dead fast. I added several critiques written in 2017.

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Beth Moore Critiques


Critiques by Elizabeth Prata, writer of this blog:

Joyce Meyer's statement saying "I am not a sinner" aside, the more subtle a false teacher, the less likely it will be that one can find just one 'smoking gun' to point to in proving falsity. Therefore, this link is as close as it gets to just one smoking gun.
Examining Beth Moore's statement: the 'Bride is paralyzed by unbelief

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2017: Lifestyles of the mega-rich pastors with estates and private jets: You'll be shocked to see who is among them (OK it's Beth Moore)
Title says it all. Moore jets around in a subsidized private plane.

2017: Was this devoted Catholic man swept to heaven upon his death as his obituary states?

2017: Spot the self-refutation- Moore & Mysticism

2017: Beth Moore calling down fire

2016: Deconstructing Beth Moore's most popular story: The Hairbrush Story
In this piece I offer a link to a podcast by Chris Rosebrough, who deconstructs Moore's anecdote sentence by sentence, and in which I also offer a discernment lesson and my own insights regarding that story.

2016: Discernment Lesson: Comparing a Beth Moore & Martyn Lloyd Jones teaching on on the same verse
The title says it all. I listened to The Hairbrush Story as noted above, then in order to wash my brain and heart of the falseness of that "lesson", the next day I turned to Martyn Lloyd Jones and as I listened to that eminent preacher's treatment of the verse, began noticing the two treatments of it (MLJ v. Beth Moore) were completely opposite. This essay contains a side-by side comparison of where and how.

2015: Beth Moore's Strangely Disappearing Tweet: A Discernment Lesson


I wrote this series in 2011 after having attended a two day Living Proof Conference.
Beth Moore: Reactions to Living Proof teaching
Reactions Part 1
Reactions Part 2
Reactions Part3a
Reaction Part3b
Reactions Part 4

Investigating Moore's teachings led me to research further. This series was the result:
Troubled by Beth Moore's teaching:
Beth Moore Part 1: Introduction, and Casualness
Beth Moore Part 2: Undignified Teaching
Beth Moore Part 3: Contemplative Prayer
Beth Moore Part 4: Legalism
Beth Moore Part 5: Personal Revelation
Beth Moore Part 6: Eisegesis, Pop Psychology, and Bad Bible Interpretations
Beth Moore Part 7: Conclusion

When I read that Beth Moore said she had received the book directly from God as if a force had taken control of her, it reminded me of previous research I'd done years ago into automatic writing. This series was the result.

Examples of Channeling Christians, like Beth Moore
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: How Walsch, Young, and Moore channeled their books
Part 3: How Walsch, Young, & Moore channeled their books
Conclusion: Why Walsch, Young and Moore channeled their books

Beth Moore's role as a feminist and redefining biblical womanhood for the next generations (Rev 2:20 again)

Secret Christian feminists
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 1 
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 2
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 3

Beth Moore led a "commissioning" for 11,000 women (and men) at Unwrap the Bible conference

Beth Moore defenders said I was being too picky in making charges against the way Moore teaches, fast-talking, casual speaking of God being one of them. But here is an essay showing that such casual speech is actually a breaking of the Third Commandment not to take His name in vain.
The Third Commandment: ways to take God's name in vain you might not have thought of

Taking Beth Moore to task for claiming to have been with Jesus in another dimension and taught new things
Beth Moore says God lifted her into another dimension & showed her the church through Jesus' eyes

2010: This critique of a 2010 clip from LifeToday TV show clearly demonstrates Moore's apostate status. In the clip, Moore describes repeatedly begging God for a manifestation and believing as a result, 'he' sent her a dream involving a dead person, after which Moore went on to personally interpret some future events based on the dream. This is a textbook definition of the abominable practice of necromancy, something God describes on a par with infant sacrifice.
Jude's dreamers and Beth Moore's necromancy

A discernment lesson on how Mrs Moore twists scripture and comparing her exposition to credible teachers' work
Discernment lesson: The Shack and Beth Moore's treatment of Paul. Part 2 

Really, if Revelation 2:20 doesn't speak of Beth Moore's type of prophesying as a Jezebel spirit, then I don't know what does.
Beth Moore: a type of false prophetess of the church at Thyatira? 

Examining how Luke 6 and the curse of popularity is one huge indicator of a false teacher
Discernment lesson: the curse of popularity, Beth Moore, and Billy Graham

Book Review: "Things Pondered," Beth Moore's story of adopting a boy and giving him back

Beth Moore's Heretic Hunting Article and its Fallout

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Further Reading, Critiques by Various Women:

Michelle Lesley: (Michelle Lesley Books), August 2014, Five Reasons It’s Time to Start Exercising "Moore" Discernment 

Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) March 2014, Beth Moore Prophesies a Coming 'Outpouring,' Warns of 'Scoffers'

Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) Jan. 2014 "Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation"

1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations, 2014

2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Two: Bible Interpretation Issues, 2014

3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Three: Personal Revelation 2014

1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast, 2015 (How to pay attention to the red flags the Spirit raises in us, a good discernment lesson in prep for evaluating Moore's simulcast)

2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast, 2015

3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, 2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast Review Part One

Pam Terrell: Breaking Up With Beth Moore

Book Review by Discerning Reader: Get out of That Pit (the reviewer does not recommend the book)

Sunny Shell: What Do Ann Voskamp, Beth Moore and Sarah Young Have In Common?

Adriane Heins, she is a Lutheran I believe. In this essay she also mentions Joyce Meyer. I appreciated this a lot: "Beth and Joyce want you to feel your theology; Christ assures you of it." (Cached version)
"Friends Don't let Friends Read Beth Moore"


The Upward Call's Critique of Beth Moore's "The Patriarchs"

Beth Moore: “Biblicism, Spiritual Warfare, Mysticism and Pop Psychology”

Chapter by Chapter critique of Moore's book "So long, Insecurity"


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Further reading, Critiques By Men:

2017: Justin Peters comments on a very bad tweet Moore published that was full or error and just plain strange I call "The Noah Instinct". It caused a minor uproar, so Moore simply deleted it. But screen shots abound.

2017: Delivered By Grace (Josh Buice), Why Your Pastor should say "No More to Beth Moore"

2017: Pastor Gabe Hughes of Junction City 1st Baptist: Breaking Down Beth Moore's Comment at Passion 2017
Can you talk about the dangers of popular teachers who are not heretical but say that God talks to them? I am thinking specifically of Beth Moore. What are we to do with people who refuse to see the danger and insist such teachers are OK?

Believers must always listen carefully when any teacher or preacher speaks about the Bible and theology. They must share the nobility of the Berean saints whom Luke commended for double checking Paul’s teaching according to Scripture (cf. Acts 17:1–11). While Beth Moore teaches with accuracy on some points, she also holds positions and teaches doctrines that are both incorrect and dangerous.

Beth Moore promotes contemplative prayer, a mystical practice not found in Scripture which includes elements of eastern mysticism. She chooses not to draw firm doctrinal lines on her website while implying the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination alongside the Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations. Beth also claims that she has received visions from God and sometimes receives revelation from Him in her heart. From these examples we must conclude that the lack of biblical and theological depth in Beth Moore’s teaching renders her a dubious and dangerous source of Bible teaching. 
From Rev. Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: A critique of Beth Moore’s teaching here.

Rev. Chris Hull: Lutheran pastor on Beth Moore: "She's a wolf in sheep's clothing trying to destroy my flock" (transcript of linked podcast)

Beth Moore Confronts Young Pastor’s Wife for Criticizing Her Direct, Divine Revelation

Beth Moore's followers don't understand the Gospel, by Jeff Maples

From a man named Dale Wilson at the blog The King's Dale: Beth Moore - False Teacher

Pastor Mike Abendroth, 90-second video: Where is Beth Moore's Husband?
Pastor Mike Abendroth, sermon clip: Beth Moore-a or Sola Scriptura?
Pastor Mike Abendroth 22 minute radio show, answering emails about Beth Moore

Justin Peters: Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word Faith Movement (not solely devoted to critiquing Moore but she is part of the overall sermon lesson)

Chris Rosebrough: 90-min., Line-by-line audio critique of Moore's handling of a lesson on Hebrews 10:35-36, Beth Moore's Dangerous Bible Twisting

I do not agree with a lot of what Mr Wade Burleson has to say. But I include this link because by his own admission he is a fan of Moore and considers her an asset to the Body of Christ, and even he is scratching his head at how Moore treated James 4:10-11 in the study Mercy Triumphs. I especially appreciated his critique of Moore's penchant for making promises about God's intentions, as if she knows at any given moment what God will do in this or that situation, something I mentioned in the Commissioning essay above.
"God Will Kick Your Tail" - A Critique of Beth Moore's Teaching on James 4:10-11 from Mercy Triumphs



From Sharper Iron, it is a very good critique. Highly recommended. Beth Moore: Her John Piper Connection and Her Very Bad Doctrine

Strange Fire Q&A: Beth Moore
This short Q&A addresses Moore's claim of extra-biblical revelation

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Of Interest:
Grace To You sermon series:
How to Talk to a Heretic

Biblical stance on why Beth Moore has always been false (or any false teacher) and it didn't just come on suddenly


Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 21, Shepherd

This section of verses that show Jesus' life are focused on His earthly ministry. We've seen Him as servant, teacher, and now shephe...