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Showing posts from 2016

My Little Black Bag: Forgetting The Unforgettable

"Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore, as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you." - Philippians 3:13-15 (KJV)

While serving as a Missionary in Belize I made trips frequently to the southern Toledo District.  Up to that point I had always kept my pockets full of random stuff along with leaving several things I wish I could have had with me in my suitcase or in the car when I traveled.  Finally, at a small "this-and-that" store in Punta Gorda Town, I purchased a small, black canvas shoulder bag that was perfect for my need.  Today you will find that I am seldom very far away from that bag.

When I'm at home, the bag sits by the bed in a convenient place to …

Your Prayer Shawl Scares Me

"So don’t let anyone condemn you for what you eat or drink, or for not celebrating certain holy days or new moon ceremonies or Sabbaths. For these rules are only shadows of the reality yet to come. And Christ himself is that reality." - Colossians 2:16-17 (NLT)

The efficacy of Judaism, as a theological system, is dead.  This was the message of Jesus of Nazareth and, for that message, the Jewish leaders sought to kill Him.  The Law of Moses, having served its purpose, was to be nailed to the cross along with the Lamb of God who was taking away the sins of the world (Colossians 2:14).  The Law's ultimate purpose was as a teacher to bring men to Christ and, once an individual is in Christ, the authority of the Law ceases to exist (Galatians 3:19-25).  It is by true faith leading to the New Birth that one is "circumcised" in the means that God now recognizes (Romans 2:25-29; Colossians 2:8-13).  Thus, the one who would cling to any of the traditions of the Law does…

Hymspirational Moment #10

"He'll Understand And Say 'Well Done'"
Verse 1 If when you give the best of your service, Telling the world that the Savior is come; Be not dismayed when men don't believe you; He understands; and say, "Well done."
Chorus Oh when I come to the end of my journey, Weary of life and the battle is won; Carrying the staff and the cross of redemption, He'll understand and say, "Well done."
Verse 2 Misunderstood, the Savior of sinners, Hung on the cross; He was God's only Son; Oh! hear Him call His Father in Heav'n, "Not my will, but Thine be done." 
Verse 3 If when this life of labor is ended, And the reward of the race you have run; Oh! the sweet rest prepared for faithful Will be His blest and final, "Well done." 
Verse 4 But if you try and fail in your trying, Hands sore and scarred from the work you've begun; Take up your cross, run quickly to meet Him; He'll understand; and say, "Well done."

Do you ever fall on your…

The Pagan Origins of Spring Cleaning (2016 Edition)

"Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving is nothing pure; but even their mind and conscience is defiled." - Titus 1:15 (KJV)
The season is coming upon us again.  That means it's time to revisit this subject once more.  "The Pagan Origins of Spring Cleaning" was one of the most read and shared articles from The Bruised Reed Blog in 2015 and we are sharing it once again by popular demand.    

Speaking of the December season and related celebrations both religious and secular, Edward Pola and George Wyle wrote a song in 1963 titled, "It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year."  In it they lauded the roasting of marshmallows, the joy of children playing and, yes, even the dreaded pagan term "Christmas."  Lately this song has been playing on the radio and in retailers across America. And so, once again, we are made aware that the world is turning its calendars nearer to the 25th of December and we are le…

10 Commandments for the American Voter

Several weeks ago I published an article entitled "Pentecostals and Secular Politics."  If you have not read that article as yet, I would encourage you to do so by clicking HERE.

To my international readers, there's no doubt that you have at least heard of the commotion in the United States in regard to the upcoming General Election.  Most of this uproar hinges on the Presidential race between Donald Trump (Republican), Hillary Clinton (Democrat) and various other third party candidates (Johnson - Libertarian, Setin - Green, etc.)  While this brief article is geared more specifically to the United States General Election on Tuesday, November 8, 2016, many of the principles contained herein are applicable anywhere a system exists whereby a free people may chose their leaders by election.

To my readers in the United States especially, I hope you will take time to examine these 10 Commandments for the American Voter.

1. Obtain a sample ballot from your County Clerk, Boa…

Two Years of The Bruised Reed Blog

In October 2014 I began a small writing project called "The Bruised Reed Blog" with hopes that it would be both a blessing to a small group of friends and acquaintances as well as a form of catharsis for me.  I never dreamed that it would turn into a collection of over four dozen articles (and growing) and last for two years.  Nor could I have foreseen this endeavor reaching and audience spanning every inhabited continent on earth.  But that's exactly what has happened.

At the end of our first year at The Bruised Reed Blog in October 2015 I reported the following statistics reflecting the progress of the website in its first year online:  

5,491 users 951 cities 10 languages  90 countries 
Today, at the end of two years online, I am happy to report the following statistics reflecting the year over year progress of the site:  
17,728 users  (+69%) 1,866 cities  (+49%) 41 languages 114 counties
Along with these statistics, we are very thankful that 454 have participated …

The Faith Illusion

"Oh that I might have my request; and that God would grant me the thing that I long for!" - Job 6:8 (KJV)

Quite frequently I come in contact with individuals possessing that which most kindly could be called a "lowness of spirit."  They are most often individuals who either presently or recently experienced disappointment or, at some point in the past, were let down in an extremely distinct and definitive way without finding recovery.  They are, in short, defeated and, in many cases, have given up on victory entirely choosing to accept simple existence over abundant living.

All too often, the process by which a Christian finds themselves slumping into this particular condition is the result of receiving, accepting and embracing incorrect teaching on the subject of faith.  The fault lies at the feet of those who perpetuate these bizarre ideas in regard to faith and, finally, with those who believe it.  At this stage, some are already ready to shoot the messenger be…

Disconnected

By Pastor Douglas Raynor, II
"And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God." - Colossians 2:19 (KJV)

"They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow." - Colossians 2:19 (NIV)

When I started my journey living for God, I made mistakes, lots of mistakes.  I would mess up at the drop of a hat, horribly.  I will spare you the details of the struggles, but they were real, nonetheless.

As I search the farthest memories of my early days living for God, without over sensationalizing it, I recall that when I fell, I always fell TOWARDS the House of God.  What I mean by that is, I would mess up but I wasn’t looking for an excuse to leave the church, I fell knowing that I had issues and I wanted to get them right.  Something in my spirit caused me to run TO the pl…

Pentecostals & Secular Politics

"Daniel answered and said: 'Blessed be the name of God forever and ever, to whom belong wisdom and might. He changes times and seasons; he removes kings and sets up kings.'" - Daniel 2:20-21a (ESV)

2016: THE YEAR OF ANGRY POLITICS 
The depth of anger which has been manifested openly and without restraint during the 2016 United States Presidential election cycle perhaps has been greater than at any time in a generation or more.  At the center of the debate for many people has been the religious beliefs of the candidates or, perhaps more accurately, what people believe the candidates believe.  On the Democratic side there was an ethnic Jew named Sanders who teeters between agnostic and atheist.  And, though he did much better than many expected, the Vermont Senator fell short of gaining the Democratic nomination for President.  Instead the laurels fell upon Hillary Rodham Clinton, a self-described follower of the "Methodist Tradition," who laid the blame for t…

Pentecostals & Gay Bashing

"Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: neither the sexually immoral, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor men who practice homosexuality, nor thieves, nor the greedy, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And such were some of you. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God." - 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 (ESV)

"You really feel like it's your right to look down your nose at me, don't you?"  That was the statement made to me by a very angry homosexual male.  It was my first time to meet him and the discussion up to that point had been completely neutral and far from any conversation about sexuality.  It was not until the subject of marriage came up that he informed me he was a homosexual.  As more time passed in our conversation, I asked what he did for a living.  He told me and asked what…