Monday, April 25, 2011

Bible Reading is crucial

Let's read our Bibles this week.

Will you commit to daily reading? Even if only one sentence?

I know you will benefit.

There are many people that I know that have recently plunged into their Bibles and they are FULL of surprises and valuable insights and extremely happy to get TRUTH into their lives.

The way things are in many of the churches (in the USA) people are not really learning the Bible. They "think" that they are, but they are not always. They FIND OUT when they read for themselves how greatly deceived they have been.

The "social" gospel as it's sometimes called, has blinded many. Church has become a "club" meeting much like going to the Elks, or to a Country Club for socialization.

I'm not one to accuse ministries and throw around alarming emails. If you know me at all then you know this is true.

What I'm attempting to do here is get you into the Word of God anyway that I can for your own benefit, not mine.

Two weeks ago I was telling a woman that reading the Bible is a very good and needed thing for her to do. She says she is a Christian and I know what church she attends. I used to go there. As I advised her to get reading I mentioned that Bible reading is the BEST way to be "cult-proof" to which she remarked, "What is a cult?"

Okay, there you have it. But that's not all. As she and I went over some Bible passages for one hour it was clear that she did not know the Old Testament from the New Testament. She did not know the gospels from the epistles, she had zero Bible knowledge. She attended church for over 1 year and came out knowing very little. She only knows what the pastor said in the way of sermons. I've checked with myself and others that went there about what we recall from these sermons. You know what? It appears that those who attend his church, those I know, have zero recall. Isn't that a little bit strange? I think so.

I think it means there is very little content, at least nothing memorable.

I also know that folks don't take a Bible with them when they go on Sundays. I know from attending the mid-week home groups that the regulars who have attended there for over 10 years cannot turn to I Corinthians or Romans because they don't know where that is in the Bible and they freely admit that they have never read major portions of the Bible. One grown man from there recently remarked that He did not know that the Holy Spirit is "in" the believers of Christ. He got out a pencil and made a note of that when one of my children mentioned the concept in an ordinary conversation. This is someone clearly not well versed in Romans, Galatians and many other passages yet he never misses a Sunday at a so-called Bible believing church.

I also know that the "token" verse on the overhead screen is not enough to feed and nourish a Christian. It would be like living off of one green bean a week. It just doesn't work. A physical body would perish! What would one's spirit do with such a lack of nourishment?

I can tell you the "fruit" of this particular church but it would not be "G" rated. I know because I have seen the "fruit" of this type of "church" ministry.

You will know THEM by their fruit---plain and simple!!

When the fruit is adultery and leaving the faith then you're not witnessing the fruit of the Holy Spirit which is so evident that it cannot be mistaken for flesh (sin nature).

What is even more frightening is that I'm not just picking on this one church in any sense of the word and it's not the ONLY church in my city that is ignoring the Bible and having the same outcome.

I know another Christian woman who attended a similar church very near by. We met for discipleship for over one year. She did not know who Judas was. This positively floored me. She has gone to church her entire life!! Her entire life!! The "Judas" example is only an example and certainly not the only bit of information that she lacked.

I don't want to sling mud at anyone. I only want to wake up possibly one or two of you that might be spiritually asleep. You might be one of two that goes to church regularly and thinks that you are gaining spiritual strenght and Biblical knowledge. Yet, you might find that by getting into God's Word for yourself that there is a giant, huge, bigger than you yet know world of knowledge about our God, about our relation to Him, and about our very salvation.

Please try. Please pick up your Bible regardless of how busy you are and read some of it.

Side NOTE: The women I met with 2 weeks ago also freely admits that she doesn't know "how" to pray. How does she walk with the Lord? How does she know HIM or the things OF HIM? She doesn't read the Bible and never has, she doesn't pray and she no longer attends the game playing church that seemingly does not feed the flock. I can't understand how she "follows" Christ Jesus with no knowledge and no contact with Him.

And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me.~~Jesus

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Question & Answer on Headcovering


Lori asks: Have you ever been confronted with the "two or three witnesses" argument against the headcovering? A friend of ours was at one time convinced that unless a commandment appears two or three times in the Scripture (thereby constituting the "two or three witnesses"), the matter hasn't been fully "established" as a truth... (see Deut 19:15)

Clevsea's Answer:

I have heard that there are Christian denominations that set policy that way.

Some groups decide that if a teaching appears both in the Old Testament and again in the New Testament then they will obey it.

Some groups agreed amongst themselves that if a teaching is written a total of 2 times in the New Testament, then they will obey it. Some groups have even said three times in the NT and then they will obey it.

To me these are man-made policies. I once attended a church that followed one of the above methods. It was the elders who decided to do things that way.

I personally feel that I will personally stand before God---in fact I already do---and that my obedience will be laid bare before HIM. Even now He sees all. My heart, my motives, my actions. He sees what I decide to obey and what I cast aside as un-needed or not pertaining to me.

I personally don't think that I can "fool" the Lord God for one second and He will know if I try to "hide behind" my elders at my local assembly and try to claim that I was following what they had set as policy.

Make an extreme example and it gets easier to understand. If the elders at my local assembly set a policy that is sinful, clearly sinful (insert your own sin) and I do that under their authority then I still am sinning.

The other place in Scripture where the words "2 or 3 witnesses" are used is here:

Do not receive an accusation against an elder except from two or three witnesses. ~~ I Tim 5

That teaching safeguards an elder from one liar (with a false accusation) who could ruin their reputation and has nothing to do with whether we will obey a clear teaching from I Cor 11.

The headcovering teaching was obeyed for 2000 years. Christian believers followed the teaching until the 1960's when all manner of sin emerged in Western Society. Bra burning was in style as women marched in the streets. There was that misunderstanding about what the Catholics did and did not change about headcovering at the same time.

To not obey I Cor 11 is a new teaching. The funny part is that a lot of churches do obey the second half of I Cor 11 and they even read it every Sunday as they take the Lord's Supper.

So many New Testament passages could be set aside and not obeyed if mankind follows the 2 or 3 "mentions" and decided that was some kind of oracle.

Every Christian following Christ needs to do just that. Follow Him. Seek Him.

Pray and read the Bible and you'll find that many times you have to ignore human teaching when it conflicts with Biblical teaching.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Sleepy Disciples

I recently remembered what I had seen the last time I read the gospels. I was struck by this in Luke 22:44-46

~~~~ And being in agony, He prayed more earnestly. Then His sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. When He rose up from prayer, and had come to His disciples, He found them sleeping from sorrow. Then He said to them, “Why do you sleep? Rise and pray, lest you enter into temptation.” ~~~~~

The disciples were sleeping from SORROW --- somehow I had missed that in my other readings.

I'm rather amazed at that because I usually think less of them for falling asleep (as if I would have done much better). Probably not if I were honest. The flesh is indeed weak.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Men's Modesty

I came across this on a Quaker group and I wrote to the author and got permission to quote him.

I think he makes several interesting points here. Some pertain to women's modesty too.

His name is k.d. Roberts and again I received permission to quote this.

Don't take it elsewhere please.

Any discussion points here?

I think this could spark a good conversation for modest dressers.

**** Here it is:

i wear the broadbrim [a hat that lasts him 10 years], and the monochrome clothing, and the leather suspenders, and all that, along with the rest of the modified plain quaker conservative getup, for several reasons:

--it identifies me to other plain friends immediately as someone who follows a similar witness.

--it identifies me to non-friends as someone who might have something interesting to say about god. so i get asked a lot of questions by strangers.

--it identifies me to legal authorities as someone who is likely not to react in a typical fashion in a courtroom. in the past, not raising my hand to swear cost me a lot of money, when i was dressed like the dominant culture dresses. now i don't take off my hat in a courtroom either, but they let me alone, being pre-warned.

--it keeps me out of marginal places, such as strip clubs and bar rooms, because i don't fit in.

--it reminds me constantly that i represent a faith tradition that is larger and more important than myself or my own dignity, and therefore i am constantly called to attempt to be better than i otherwise would be.

simplicity is peripheral to why i wear what i wear, although the fact that it all looks the same simplifies my presentation to the non-plain world. economy is not involved at all, although i guess i spend about $75 per year on clothes, which includes two straw hats, two pairs of trousers, a shirt or two, and a pair of shoes. i drive a truck for a living, and i'm rough on clothing. the broadbrim is nice because it keeps the rain and snow off my face and neck while i work. the suspenders are nice because without them my trousers fall down.

i don't sweat the philosophy too much.

Friday, April 8, 2011

Christians: Do you want to commit to One Hour a Day?

Anyone want to commit to One Hour a Day?

I have it laid on me to find out if any Christians are interested in committing to one hour a day of prayer/Bible reading.

I know that I am and I know one other on-line friend who is.

Anyone else?

Let me know.

Perhaps we can have a "team" blogspot for this purpose.

Zephaniah 3:17~~~

The LORD your God in your midst,

The Mighty One, will save;

He will rejoice over you with gladness,

He will quiet you with His love,

He will rejoice over you with singing.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

What I'm not

I have a profile here that does very little to describe me.

I have had it on my mind for a while now to try to describe myself.

Like always, I cannot seem to do that. I can't seem to find that one phrase that sums it up so I feel led to say "what I am not."

I am not a Catholic, I am not a Protestant. I am not a Lutheran, not a Quaker. I'm not a Methodist, not a Mennonite. I'm not Amish, not a Gothardite, not Pentecostal, not Anglican, not a Two by Two, not a Baptist. I'm not Reformed or unreformed. I'm not Evangelical-Free, not LDS, not Plymouth Brethren or any other Brethren. I'm not even "non-denominational" because oddly enough that is a denomination that has seminaries for their pastors to graduate from. I'm also not Charismatic, Presbyterian, Eastern Orthodox, Russian Orthodox, Greek Orthodox, Torah Observant, Holiness, or Nazarene. I'm not a hybrid like Christian Buddhist or any kind of "kingdom now" or "replacement" theorist. It goes without saying (at this point) that I'm not Seventh Day Adventist, not "Word Faith" or "Name it and Claim it" and I'm not Church of Christ.

The list goes on and on and on .........

Anything I left out---I'm probably not that either.

I don't like to use terms like "Calvinistic" because it sounds like I'm a disciple of John Calvin. Any other man's name you can think of and I will probably feel the same way.

The very early Christians were splitting into "named" groups too. It appears to be convenient. It appears to be human nature. Paul writes, "each of you says, 'I am of Paul' or 'I am of Apollos,' or I am of Cephas,' or 'I am of Christ.'" ---that's what I would have said, by the way. But even that is division. Paul goes on to say, "Is Christ divided? Was Paul crucified for you?"

A few lines later Paul adds, "For when one says, 'I am of Paul, and another, 'I am of Apollos,' are you not carnal?" Paul goes on the to explain that Christ is THE foundation and he asks this:

"Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?"

"Let no one boast in men ... you are Christ's and Christ is God's."

All of the above is found in I Corinthians.

In the book of Romans Paul writes, "But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ he is not his."


"if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you."


"For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the sons of God."

because, "The Lord is the Spirit" according to II Cor 3:17 and Phil 1:19 this means that Jesus Christ is IN those who believe in Him and follow Him.

Which brings me back to what I am.

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I know that doesn't say much in the way of distinguishing what "branch" of Christianity best describes me.

If I say I have Jesus' Spirit in me that aligns me with the Pentecostals and/or the Charismatics in some people's mind.

If I say I wear a headcovering many people will jump to Amish or Mennonite to categorize me.

If I say there is only ONE church, one body, one bride of Christ (which is true) then many will assume I am Catholic.

If I say that I rely solely on the Word of God (the Bible) then the word "fundamentalism" pops up.

If I dress in plain attire that can bring up Quakerism--especially if the guesser knows how important "quiet contemplation" is to me and how I yearn for an unprogrammed meeting only.

What one word would work? What one phrase? "Bible believing Born Again Christian" seems to say it in one phrase but I have had people tell me that the word "Born Again" is abrasive and sounds judgmental and that we ought to avoid the term.

Such a world we live in.

So clearly we are near the Great Apostasy, aka the great falling away. Clearly the Christians are divided and "grouped off" and settled into denominations just like they were at the very begining of the Christian Church history.

People bicker over "inter-denominationalism" and "ecumenism" and some actually think that the building they walk into is the Church. No, that's not true as any student of the Bible can sooner or later see for themselves.

The church is the people, not the building.

Lastly, I want to share that there are so many "kicks" out there to choose from, to get involved with. It makes my head spin. Evidently some people will fall for anything and they can easily lose years of their lives following a "kick" that they later come to realize was not the path they were to be on.

Next time someone asks me what I am I will be at a loss for words, like so many times before. No one has time to hear my long list of what I am not and very few have the patience or true curiosity to find out what I am.

Also, allow me to add that I have lots and lots of Quaker friends, Catholic friends, Pentecostal friends, Anglican friends, Mennonite and Baptist friends, to name a few. They like me and I like them. They, as people, are not the problem and I have no problem with them.

I even have a tiny bit of envy that they have found a title, word or phrase that speaks for them.

So there is peace between us. Amen to that.

Monday, April 4, 2011

We Are the Exiles, by John Michael Talbot

We Are The Exiles

John Michael Talbot's Lyrics

Night is our diocese

Silence our ministry

Poverty our love

Helplessness our cry

Beyond the scope of sight or sound

We dwell upon the air

Intercede for this world’s gain

Yet unthinkable to share

Those who vow lie buried

In the cloistered hermitage

The speechless and gray granite

House the quiet barefoot child

Planted deep within the soil

Of contemplation’s light

Sealed within the darkness ever dying ever born

We are exiles in the far end of solitude

We are the exiles living as listeners

With hearts attending to the skies we cannot comprehend

Yet waiting for the first far drums of Christ the coming King

Planted like sentinels upon the world's frontier in exile we sing

Night is our diocese

Silence our ministry

Poverty our love

And helplessness our cry

"We Are The Exiles" From the: "Mediatations from Solitude" Album Not to be confused with: "Meditations in the Spirit" Album These song lyrics are adapted from a small portion of Thomas Merton's Poem: "The Quickening of St. John the Baptist--On the Contemplative Vocation" 1949

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Follow Me, I'll lead you home

Follow Me; I'll lead you home
David Meece 1977
A simple banjo song of faith
You can hear a snippet on David Meece dot com
Look for "I just Call on You."

Thought I knew which way to go
Down that long and winding road
I thought no matter how the wind might blow
I could make it on my own

But the storm winds grew so cold
When the night began to fall
I fell down frightened in that dusty road
When I heard a distant call

Follow me, I’ll lead you home
I’ve been down this road before
There’s no need for you to be alone
I’ll lead the way – you tag along

So I walked on through the rain
Though my spirit rocked and tossed
Friend I couldn’t see a thing
But I knew He wasn’t lost
When the skies began to clear
All my worries disappeared
He pointed to a cross upon a hill
Then He turned so I could hear

Follow me I’ll lead you home
I’ve been down this road before
There’s no need for you to be alone
Just follow me – I’ll lead you home

Follow Jesus

"Whoever desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me." Mark 8:34

I know that is an obvious verse but I have this question: How many times can we read this and not understand?

Our Lord Jesus also said: "The kingdom of God is within you." Luke 17:21

Another well-known passage of Scripture but are we truly believing these words?

One more ... "Shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him ... when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" Luke 18:7-8

Someone will be helped by these verses. I know this.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Live your life--love your neighbor

It is important to limit your computer time and stay current in your real life.

Everything comes first before computer time. That includes prayer, Bible reading, wife-ing, mothering, cooking, cleaning, loving your neighbor and so much more.

This cyber fellowship is important and very vital to those who cannot find like-minded lady friends. It's not wrong to belong to a Yahoo group, or to read wholesome blogs (in my opinion) but for some ladies it becomes wrong when they cannot manage their time well.

Being "able" to communicate this way is certainly very handy. It puts you in touch with people from all over the world that you could not otherwise know. However, don't neglect your real-life and your real-life friends.

I lead some on-line discussion groups and I never worry about a quiet group. I always hope that our members are praying, reading, and living peacefully with those they know. It's a good sign that they living in the real world.