Saturday, August 30, 2008

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.

The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.
Psalm 19:1

One look at creation and the psalmist makes a wonderful statement, that it declares the glory of God and it proclaims God's handiwork.

Day to day pours out speech, and night to night reveals knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words, whose voice is not heard.
Their voice goes out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them he has set a tent for the sun, which comes out like a bridegroom leaving his chamber, and, like a strong man, runs its course with joy.
Its rising is from the end of the heavens, and its circuit to the end of them, and there is nothing hidden from its heat.

But the psalmist goes on, and doesn't concentrate on the awesomeness of creation, no he concentrates on his Maker, God. He continues declaring what he delights in most about his Creator, His Word.

The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

David, after glorying in God through creation and then declaring the majesty of His law and recognizing that there is great reward in keeping them, looks within and asks the Lord for His grace, to keep him from presumptuous sins and its dominion over him. Finally he ends his praise with prayer, asking for God's approval of what he has just said.

Who can discern his errors? Declare me innocent from hidden faults.
Keep back your servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me! Then I shall be blameless, and innocent of great transgression.
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Without trying to steer from the main point of this psalm, it strikes me how David in the last verse says: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."
After praising God and declaring the wonders of His law, he's so reverent to God that he asks the Lord's approval on his thoughts and words, he wants to make sure he's not offending God in any way. What a humbling request. Definitely something to ponder on for future prayers and praises to God.

Me from A to Z

I love these thingies, at Stephanie's request I'm posting it here. From A to Z some facts about me!

Attached or Single? Single.
Best Friend? Jesus most definitely!
Cake or Pie? Well it depends..what kind of cake are we talking about here? the chocolaty type with the chocolate filling? sorry but you can't beat that...although, if there is Apple Pie or Pecan Pie I might just change my mind..
Day of Choice? Sunday I get to do all my favorite things.
Essential Item? My Bible---> agreed
Flavour of Ice cream? chocolate I guess but I'm really not so nuts about ice cream, I prefer Yogüen Fruz (Stephanie you probably have one of those in Canada right?) my favorite mix is all the berries together and granola..yum!
Gummy Bears of Worms? Worms definitely worms!
Hometown? Santo Domingo.
Indulgences? good yarn, I'm thinking Sea Silk..ahh the silky yummyness of it all...*blushes* sorry...
January or July? January...we celebrate here the Three Kings (that visited Jesus when He was born) and all the family gets together to exchange gifts...
Kids? Love 'em
Last Movie I saw in a Theater? if I remember correctly, last movie I saw was Hulk, in spanish, less swearing...
Middle Name? Marcel
Number of Siblings: 1 older brother and 1 older sister.
Oranges or Apples? Oranges for sure!
Phobia or Fear? I'm still afraid of the dark, sometimes...
Quote? right now: " Communion with God is the privilege of every true believer. He alone can approach the mercy-seat in the spirit of adoption, and enjoy a foretaste of heaven while journeying towards it." - Thomas Reade
Reason to Smile? God's in control.---> very true Steph
Season? Winter! it exudes and air of Joy and Love, it's my favorite time.
Tag five more: I'm not sure who would want to participate, so feel free to join in or not...-->ditto
Unknown Fact About Me? ummm I hate sports...I'm not a sporty person at all..i'm not lazy I did Karate in highschool...I just detest all other regular sports, I failed PE in highschool (before they added other options to the PE curriculum, like karate) because I thought those shorts they made us wear were ridiculous..I was very self-conscious back then. Although I did enjoy playing basketball a couple of times with friends from the university.
Vegeterian or Oppressor of Animals? Well when you put it that way it sounds yeah, sue me, I eat meat and love it! oh spicy bbq ribs!
Worst Habit? hmmm getting easily distracted, it makes it nearly impossible for me to finish reading anything at times...
Xrays or Ultrasounds? PET Scan, it gives ya a beautiful picture of everything inside your body without emitting any radioactive ray! :D
Your favourite Food? right now: Sushi! ohh how I love it!...
Zodiac? Horoscopes are baloney.--> I second that Stephanie!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Grace Gems: Revive Me

Revive me!

(Octavius Winslow)

"My soul cleaves to the dust; revive me according
to Your Word." Psalm 119:25

"Revive me, Lord--quicken Your work in my soul,
and strengthen that which You have wrought in me.
The love which congeals, the faith which trembles, the
hope which fluctuates, the joy which droops--inspire
with new life, new energy, new power! It is of little
importance what others think of me; Lord, You know
that my soul cleaves to the dust. There is in my heart
more of earth than of heaven; more of self than of
Christ; more of the creature than of God. You know
me in secret--how my grace wanes, how my affections
chill, how seldom my closet is visited, how much my
Bible is neglected, how insipid to my taste are the
means of grace, and how irksome and vapid are all
spiritual duties and privileges. Lord, stir up Yourself to
the revivifying of my soul; quicken, oh, revive me!"

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Wednesday, August 27, 2008


In light of what preacher Luis Sena had been talking about the past couple of Wednesdays for bible studies, a Biblical worldview, I decided to go back to the Book of Acts and learn about the beginnings of the church and the first Christians. As I began to read one word jumped out at me, in spanish its unánimes, in english it's the phrase "with one accord".
The greek word is Homothumadon, and it means "with one mind, with one accord, with one passion".
"All these with one accord were devoting themselves to prayer, together with the women and Mary the mother of Jesus, and his brothers."
Acts 1:14
"When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place."
Acts 2:1
"And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to their number day by day those who were being saved.
Acts 2:46-47
"And when they heard it, they lifted their voices together to God and said, "Sovereign Lord, who made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything in them..."
Act 4:24
"Now many signs and wonders were regularly done among the people by the hands of the apostles. And they were all together in Solomon's Portico. None of the rest dared join them, but the people held them in high esteem."
Act 5:12-13

Want to take a guess at what that one Passion, which drove them to prayer, to praise God, to preach the gospel, to love their brethren, to break bread, attend the temple, etc., is?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:
Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places, even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him. In love he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the purpose of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the Beloved.
In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace, which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight making known to us the mystery of his will, according to his purpose, which he set forth in Christ as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth. In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will, so that we who were the first to hope in Christ might be to the praise of his glory. In him you also, when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and believed in him, were sealed with the promised Holy Spirit, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until we acquire possession of it, to the praise of his glory." Ephesians 1:1-14

If we believe that we are saved by grace (unmerited favor) through faith and this not of ourselves so that no man should boast, that salvation is OF the Lord not just from the Lord, and believe the passage above, how then can you say that predestination is only in Jesus, and Noah but not in the Elect?
Acts 13:48 --> "And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed."
Yes there is a battle against the Enemy, but listen to what Paul told his brethren in Thessalonica:
"The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders, and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.
Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false, in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.
But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.
To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.
So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.
Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word." 2 Thessalonians 2:10-17

And Paul again to his beloved Timothy:
"Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God according to the promise of the life that is in Christ Jesus, To Timothy, my beloved child: Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.
I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day.
As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well.
For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony about our Lord, nor of me his prisoner, but share in suffering for the gospel by the power of God, who saved us and called us to a holy calling, not because of our works but because of his own purpose and grace, which he gave us in Christ Jesus before the ages began, and which now has been manifested through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, who abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel, " 2Ti 1:1-10

And then in Jude:
"Beloved, although I was very eager to write to you about our common salvation, I found it necessary to write appealing to you to contend for the faith that was once for all delivered to the saints.
For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. " Jude 1:3-4

Finally, I re-quote Romans:
"What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God's part? By no means!
For he says to Moses, "I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion."
So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy.
For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, "For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth."
So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills.
You will say to me then, "Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?"
But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, "Why have you made me like this?"
Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use?
What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory-- even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?
As indeed he says in Hosea, "Those who were not my people I will call 'my people,' and her who was not beloved I will call 'beloved.'" Romans 9:14-25

*Predestinated: προορίζω, proorizo. Defined by Thayer's Greek Definitions as:
1) to predetermine, decide beforehand
2) in the NT of God decreeing from eternity
3) to foreordain, appoint beforehand

*Appointed: τάσσω, tasso. Defined by Thayer's Greek Definitions as:
1) to put in order, to station
1a) to place in a certain order, to arrange, to assign a place, to appoint
1a1) to assign (appoint) a thing to one
1b) to appoint, ordain, order

*Designated: προγράφω, prographō. Defined by Thayer's Greek Definitions as:
1) to write before (of time)
1a) of old set forth or designated before hand (in the scriptures of the OT)
2) to depict or portray openly
2a) to write before the eyes of all who can read
2b) to depict, portray, paint, before the eyes

And from the Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary:
Romans 9:23
"They are said to be vessels, and so considered as creatures, made and brought into being; "vessels of mercy", and so fallen creatures, and by sin become miserable, for only such are objects of mercy: they are not called so, because deserving of mercy more than others, they are in no wise better than others, and are by nature children of wrath, even as others; but because God of his infinite goodness fills them with his mercy, displays it in them, in the redemption of them by his Son, in the regeneration of them by his Spirit, and in their eternal salvation: and these are by him "afore prepared unto glory"; to everlasting happiness, which he has chosen them to before time, and calls them to in time; to this glory he does not take them, until he has prepared them for it; which act of preparation does not regard the eternal predestination of them to eternal life, but an act of his grace towards them in time; and which lies in putting upon them the righteousness of his Son, and in putting his grace in them; or in other words, in justifying them by the imputation and application of the righteousness of his Son unto them, and by the regeneration, renovation, and sanctification of their hearts, by his Spirit. Now what if God willing to make known his glorious perfections, by displaying his mercy to such sinners, and by preparing them for heaven in a way consistent with his holiness and justice, what can any man that has the exercise of his reason object to this? The whole of his conduct is free from blame and censure; the vessels of wrath he shows his wrath upon, are such as fit themselves for destruction, and whom he endures with much longsuffering and patience, and therefore he cannot be chargeable with cruelty; the vessels of mercy he brings to glory, none of them are taken thither, until they are prepared for it, in a way of righteousness and holiness, and therefore he cannot be charged with acting contrary to the perfections of his nature.

I rest my case.

Recommended Audio: Ten Reasons To Give God Praise by Chuck Swindoll

When you feel like hiding...

This has been the weirdest vacation so far...everything in this life is different, but sometimes just sometimes i feel like hiding under a rock, or in a cave like David. The difference is he was under persecution, I'm not.
My birthday was great, my cousin threw me a surprise party, the family and medschool friends were there.
Friday is when all this strangeness began, I found out some things I didn't know were going on, which then lead to a theological discussion of sort that left me all confused...and though I've prayed for clarity, the theological discussion follows me without clarification.
I went to church Saturday, the Sunday service was moved to Saturday because they couldn't lend us the salon on Sunday. It seemed like everything I was being told on Friday emerged throughout the sermon on Saturday.
Sunday I went to another church, whose pastors have preached at IBI times before. It was a different experience, it was great, they sing hymns only, I liked it a lot. The sermon touched a lot of points but it was mainly about the Holy Spirit and its regenerating and converting work in salvation. Yet even within the sermon they mentioned and explained some of the things I was being told on Friday. But still no clarity.
All I can do is wait and read and pray.

UPDATE: And then Clarity!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Of Birthdays and Other Celebrations

Exactly 23 years ago on a day like today inside the delivery room the Lord allowed me to breathe my first. Ordained before the foundation of the world to be the day of my birth, so that on the year 2005 I, by His Grace and Mercy, would be saved and be born again. It is a privilege and honor to be allowed to have a chance in this thing called life, and an immeasurable blessing to be allowed to be a part of God's family, that such a Saviour would go through the pain of the cross for a sinner like me. Thank You Lord Jesus! Thank you for mercies which are new everyday!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

The Dominican Restoration War

Throughout all of history different peoples from different nations have fought for a common cause, freedom. From the Israelites and their freedom from Egypt and Nebuchadnezzar, to the Indians of the new world and their freedom from colonialism, to the English and their freedom from religious oppression, to the Africans from their freedom from slavery, and so on and so forth. Many a people have fought for personal freedom, for freedom of speech and freedom of thought, for independence as a nation.
Today in my country we celebrate a special day, not our independence day (which is celebrated on February 27th) but our restoration day. One hundred and forty five years to this day a group of people
"under the leadership of one Gregorio Luperón made a daring raid on the capital Santo Domingo raised the Dominican flag on the Capotillo hill. This action, known as El grito de Capotillo, was the beginning of a war lasting until 1865." (1)

Why a restoration?

In 1861 general Pedro Santana asked Spain to retake control of the country, after a period of only 17 years of independence. Spain, which had not come to terms with the loss of its American colonies 30 years earlier, accepted his proposal and made the country a colony again. (1)

After 17 years of independence we were colonized once more by the Spanish people, whom we had already been freed from once one 27th of February, in 1844. This resulting in the degradation of our country and a monetary crisis. So the dominicans backed by the Haitian territory armed themselves with courage and fire arms and began a war with a shout that lasted 3 years, and while many died they died to gain freedom and return once more the country's independence.

But Dominican history lesson aside, there is one freedom in particular which a great deal of people give little thought to. If only they knew that slavery to this particular tyrant is the root of all their sufferings. And the reason why, once they leave this world, they will be led to a prison where there is no freedom, no rest, no joy and certainly no second chances. If they knew and understood, if their understanding was not darkened and their hearts not hardened, all of them would give up their constant fight for physical/individual/national/collective freedom and seek instead spiritual freedom, freedom from the power of Sin.

Here's a little summary on human history: "sin came into the world through one man (Adam), and death through sin, and so death spread to all men because all sinned"
God says in His Word that the wages of sin is death but the gift of God is everlasting life. Freedom from sin is only found in the One who gave up his life for a Truth he deemed worth dying for. The One who, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross." (Philippians 2:6-8)

This one Saviour is Jesus Christ, who lived a righteous life being tempted in all but never falling into sin(Luke 4:2), whom on that cross paid the penalty for OUR sins, died and rose again on the third day according to Scriptures(1 Cor 15:4), beating DEATH, the Power of Sin and Satan. So that all who believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life(John 3:16).

How can one be freed from sin? The Lord says that: "if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." Romans 10:9
You do that by repenting of your sins and recognizing that Christ alone can save you because of what he accomplished on the cross, and setting your trust(faith) in Him alone.

As we celebrate this day, please meditate on these things, there is nothing more important than your eternal salvation which is worth so much more than freedom from anything else in this world. Do not wait another day!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Prayer Request: "The Lord Gave...

"Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD." Job 1:21

Yesterday afternoon as I walked up the stairs on the 2nd floor of the Educational Center: The Meadows (Centro Educativo Los Prados) toward the auditorium where the International Baptist Church congregates, I no longer smelled the distinct scent it always had every Wednesday, Saturday night, Sunday morning and any other day I went there to gather with my brothers and sisters in Christ. The fowl smell that penetrated my nostrils had erased it. No longer were the large wooden doors wide open for the visitors and attendees to go in through there, the engulfing fire had blown them away. As I entered the auditorium, referred to as Temple by its congregates, there were no bright white lights illuminating the place, no air conditioning to refresh even the hottest day, no comfortable chairs and pews, it was all dark, wet, empty and chaotic. Now we the IBC/IBI are building-less, but never homeless for our Heavenly abode awaits us as the Lord has promised in His Word, the auditorium may have burned completely but the Church still stands ready to continue serving the Lord wherever he leads us, whether it's in the middle of the desert or in a promised land. We rest in knowing that the Lord, our God, is in control always, He is faithful and good.

Father now that you have washed off our make-up, may we continue to worship you in Spirit and in Truth as we remain striped bare of our commodities that you had provided us for the past 10 years. What lies ahead is unknown to us, but the One who goes before us we do know, and that is our comfort.

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

Incendio afecta iglesia Bautista
En Los Prados, Distrito Nacional
Por Máximo Zabala / El Caribe
Viernes 15 de agosto del 2008 actualizado a las 12:18 AM

Acción. Los bomberos acudieron a sofocar el fuego.(María Peña)

Un incendio provocó ayer cuantiosos daños en la Iglesia Bautista Internacional, en la tercera planta del Centro Educativo Los Prados, en el sector del mismo nombre, en la capital.
Varias unidades del Cuerpo de Bomberos de Santo Domingo acudieron al lugar ubicado en la calle Eugenio Pichardo logrando impedir que el siniestro provocara daños en el resto del edificio.

Se informó que una persona, sólo identificada como Luis, resultó con heridas en un brazo, ocasionadas por los cristales, que fue necesario romper para que los bomberos pudieran sofocar el fuego, cuyo origen se desconoce.

Neridania Martínez, profesora del centro educativo, dijo que el fuego fue intenso y que se quemó todo el mobiliario de la iglesia, tras agregar que el mismo inició cerca de las 12 del mediodía.

La educadora dio gracias a Dios que el fuego se produjo, precisamente, cuando los estudiantes se encuentran de vacaciones, lo que evitó la ocurrencia de una desgracia mayor.

En los dos primeros pisos del edificio funciona el Centro Educativo Los Prados y en el tercero la Iglesia Bautista Internacional, la cual sufrió daños de consideración.

La profesora Martínez indicó que tras verificar el piso que ocupaba la iglesia y que está hecho de madera, vio que se quemó casi completo.(1)

1: El Caribe El Portal Informativo de la República Dominicana (The Informative Portal of the Dominican Republic)

Friday, August 08, 2008

Grace Gems: Christian amusements

Christian amusements

(J. R. Miller, "In Green Pastures" 1890)

Amusement must never become an end in life. It
must always be a means, a help on the way--just
as sleep is, just as rest is. An hour's amusement,
should be to you, just what a night's sleeping is. It
should make you stronger, clearer-headed, braver,
calmer-souled, more hopeful, more earnest, more
enthusiastic--inspiring you for godly living.

Anything which leaves a taint of impurity upon the
life, or starts a thought of impurity in the mind,
anything which degrades or debases the soul--is
an unfit and unworthy amusement for a Christian.
Christian amusements
must be such, as do not
harm spiritual life; they must be means of grace.

"Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever
you do--do everything for God's glory!" 1 Cor. 10:31

This is so very important to have in mind whenever you go out with your friends, or whenever you're in front of the TV, or in front of the computer, when reading a book, or even when you're just hanging out with a group of people. Lets not forget we serve a Holy God who died to save us, and that He has given us His Holy Spirit and has commanded us in scripture not to quench the Holy Spirit (1 Th 5:19), and whenever we entertain ourselves with "amusements" that fall short in anyway, that "leave a taint of impurity", we do just that we quench the Holy Spirit.

"Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. " 1 Th 5:23

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Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Religious Affections - Part II

I know it's a tad early, actually I still haven't finished reading the 2nd part of part II, I'm currently on point VIII, but something caught my attention from what I was reading:

"...terror and a conviction of conscience are different things. For though convictions of conscience do often cause terror; yet they do not consist in it; and terrors do often arise from other causes. Convictions of conscience, through the influences of God's Spirit, consist in conviction of sinfulness of heart and practices and of the dreadfulness of sins as committed against a God of terrible majesty, infinite holiness and hatred of sin, and strict justice in punishing of it."

This is the reason why I don't stress that much on hell but do stress a lot more on our sins and God's Holiness when witnessing to someone.
There is a Paul Washer video on Evangelism and he gives some pointers on how to witness to people and examples of how he has witnessed to people. In it, he explained that one should always begin with God's Holiness. I agree wholeheartedly, while hell is a terrible place and people should fear it, it should never be the reason why we run to Christ.
Jonathan Edwards explains:

"...there are some persons that have frightful apprehensions of hell, a dreadful pit ready to swallow them up, and flames just ready to lay hold of them, and devils around them, ready to seize them; who at the same time seem to have very little proper enlightenings of conscience really convincing them of their sinfulness of heart and life."
"The devil, if permitted, can terrify men as well as the Spirit of God, it is a work natural to him, and he has many ways of doing it, in a manner tending to no good."
Satan can instill such fears in a person and if a person runs to Christ because of fear of hell and not conviction over their sin, the person may be deceived into thinking he/she is saved and not be saved at all.

Edwards explains that Satan can instill such fears in a person, "not to convince persons of things that are true, and revealed in the word of God, but to lead them to vain and groundless determinations;"

There should always be a balance, but above all we should stay as true to scripture as possible, reading and rereading those valuable examples left for us by the early Christians on how to witness to unbelievers. Below are some of them from the book of acts:
Acts 8:9-24, 8:26-40, chpt 10, 13:4-48, 17:1-4, 24:24-27, chpt 26, 28:16-31

Sunday, August 03, 2008

Open Air Preaching

If preaching the gospel aloud inside a hospital counts as open air preaching then I open air preached for the first time in my life yesterday! Glory be to God!!
The first Sunday of every month we go to Robert Reid Children's Hospital to pray for the children and their mother, to evangelize, and give away cookies and juice to children and sometimes to both children and mom. Every Tuesday the week before we have a general meeting in which we pray for the ministry, for everybody who's participating, and if there are special prayer requests we include them in the prayer as well, we discuss which verse(s) we will be sharing with them and Flora, the leader of the ministry, updates us on any child we wanted to follow-up after the last visit.
After much prayer I decided I wanted to preach this time and so last Tuesday when Flora was assigning the different tasks to people, she asked Marisol to preach and since I wanted to be on Marisol's team Flora put me on her team AND made it clear that I was going to be preaching as well with Marisol! I was quite nervous but nodded in agreement. Needless to say I prayed for boldness and courage I also prayed that the gospel would be preached correctly and that souls would be saved. Because I like to write so much I did a little outline on what I would be preaching from the verses we were to be sharing with the people at the hospital.
The verses were, from Romans my all-time favorite, Romans 6:23, 3:23, 5:8, but sometimes things don't go as planned, as Christians we should all know that while we make our plans the Lord we serve is Sovereign, I forgot my outline at home and the notepad I was planning on taking to write down the names of the children I wanted Flora to follow up, but I had read the outline and the verses so many times before that I can safely say the Holy Spirit engraved it in my heart and mind.
We got to the hospital, as usual gathered in a circle on the parking lot and prayed. We divided into teams and divided the cookies and juices in bags so that each team would get a bag of cookies and a bag of juices. Our team got the right wing of the third floor but we ended up taking the left wing, Marisol preached on the first 2 rooms of 12-18 beds and I got the other two rooms. A revival didn't break loose and people didn't fall on the floor crying in repentance but the gospel was preached and the seed was planted, there were a few kids and mothers who seemed receptive I only pray that the may be saved.
The Lord is so good! and I say that because, well its true, this is truly an honor and a blessing to be able to freely preach the gospel without being stoned, mocked, or persecuted. Not only that but we get to glorify God through the preaching of the gospel and souls are saved!
Other things happened at this monthly visit. Because I live in a nation that endorses idolatry and superstition a lot of these mothers or family of the patients have their children wear these red bracelets called Azabache, its basically a red bracelet with a black rock (the azabache) which hangs from it, that supposedly has magical powers and protects against evil spirits (the irony of it) and so it is quite the battle when going to share about Christ to confront these mothers and tell them that it is wrong in the eyes of the Lord, that they're putting their faith in an idol when they should be putting their faith in Christ, and that they're opening doors to the evil spirits those things are supposed to protect their children from. Well during our visit one of the other groups had such an encounter and by the grace of God the mother took the bracelet off of her child, she claimed her mother had put it on her child.
Please pray for the children of this hospital and their families who heard the gospel, pray for their healing and for the ministry I belong to at church, thanks in advanced!