Thursday, November 27, 2008

The Blessing of Thankfulness

This weekend I will be celebrating thanksgiving day in Miami, FL with some extended family, and I thought it would be a good day to be reminded that we have an amazing God deserving of all our thankfulness for He has blessed us all first and foremost with life, secondly by giving us His Son as a propitiation for our sins (1 John 4:10) so that by His grace through faith those who believe in Him may be saved. (Romans 3). Let us also remember to thank God for even the simplest things as I once said to a dear friend, if there is toothpaste in your bathroom, if you have underwear or clean water, or even a decent plate of food at the table, shoes on your feet never forget to give thanks to the One who owns all things and has provided it all, our amazing and exceedingly kind and loving God.

"Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."-- Eph 5:20.
"Let us offer the sacrifice of praise to God continually."-- Heb 13:15.

"SOME PEOPLE seem born with a sullen and feverish temper, and it is very difficult for them to brighten into smiles and songs. But whatever our natural disposition may be, if we belong to Christ it is our bounden duty to cultivate a thankful heart. A melancholy person has a bad effect upon others. It is miserable to have to work with or under a confirmed pessimist. Nothing is right, nothing pleases, there is no word of praise or encouragement. Once, when I was at Aden, I watched a gang of Lascars trans-shipping the mails. It was a pleasure to see them, one after another, carrying the bags cheerily because their leader kept them all the time singing as they did their work. If, instead of finding fault with our employees or servants we would look out for things for which we could commend and thank them, we should probably find a miraculous change in their attitude.
The advantage of joy and gladness is that it is a source of strength to the individual soul, and to all others who come within its range, and commends our Christianity! Sidney Smith says: "I once gave a lady two and twenty recipes against melancholy; one was a bright fire; another, to remember all the pleasant things said to her; another, to keep a box of sugar-plums on the chimney-piece, and a kettle simmering on the hob. I thought this mere trifling at the moment, but have in after life discovered how true it is, that these little pleasures often banish melancholy better than more exalted objects." We may interpret the advice of this humorist and essayist by turning into joyous praise all the incidents of our daily life, arising with gratitude and thankfulness from every good and perfect gift to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The world is sad, and has to pay her jesters and entertainers; it is a mystery to her that the face of the Christian should be bright and smiling, although the fig-tree does not blossom, and there is no fruit in the vine. Let us count up our treasures and blessings, and we shall find that even in the saddest and loneliest life there is something to turn our sorrow into singing (2Co 6:10).1

Help us, O Lord, to rejoice always; to pray without ceasing, and in everything to give thanks. AMEN."

1: Taken from my e-Sword devotional.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Grace Gems: Satan's herd of swine!

Satan's herd of swine!

(William Secker, "The Consistent Christian")

"You shall not follow a multitude--to do evil."
Exodus 23:2

The generality of people--are like dead fish,
which float down the stream, wherever it runs.

The 'voice of the people'--is often the voice
of the devil.

Satan's herd of swine--is larger than Christ's
flock of sheep!
Let them be ever so mighty--we
are not to fear them. Let them be ever so many
--we are not to follow them.

If we will not have the people of the world to be
our leaders--we shall be sure to have them as our
troublers. If they cannot seduce us into their evil
ways--they will oppose us in our holy ways. If they
cannot scorch us with their fire--they will try to
blacken us with their smoke. They will speak evil
of us--because we do not run into the same excess
of evil with them. Because we refuse to play the
fool with them--they will say that we are mad.

"Though the people of Israel are as numerous
as the sand on the seashore--only the remnant
will be saved." Romans 9:27. The whole piece
belongs to the Devil--but God cuts off a remnant
for Himself!

The trees of righteousness are thinly
--in the world's orchard.

There are many wicked sinners
--to one godly man!

Pebbles lie abundant in the streets
--but pearls are rare to find.

Sinners are certainly the greatest company
--but they are also the worst company.

Remember, the multitude of people, are like the
droves of cattle
--which go to the slaughter!

Those who follow after others in sinning--will
be sure to follow them in suffering! Alas, the
largeness of the multitude, will not extinguish
the fierceness of the flame! The great number
of those immortal faggots--will but intensify
the fury of the eternal fire! .

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

Memorizing Scripture Together

So this week is the first week of the "Memorizing Scripture Together" challenge. You can join too at Challies' website! This week's "fighter verse" is:

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work."
2 Timothy 3:16-17

I'll be posting it both in english (ESV) and in spanish (SRV-1960) because I really need to learn verses in spanish...sometimes I'm witnessing to someone and I know the verse in english and have it my head (this used to happen with Hebrews 9:27) and when I tried to translate it in my head to spanish it would sound weird.

"Toda la Escritura es inspirada por Dios, y útil para enseñar, para redargüir, para corregir, para instruir en justicia, a fin de que el hombre de Dios sea perfecto, enteramente preparado para toda buena obra."
2 Timoteo 3:16-17

Questions to help memorize the verse:
1. What are we talking about?
All of Scripture.

2. What about it?
it is breathed out by God.

3. What is it good for?
it is profitable for:
1. teaching
2. reproof
3. correction
4. training in righteousness

4. For what purpose?
That the man of God may be competent, equipped for every good work.

5. What verse are we talking about?
2 Timothy 3:16-17

En Español:
Preguntas para ayudar a memorizar el versículo:
1. ¿De qué hablamos?
Toda la Escritura.

2. ¿Qué de ella?
Es inspirada por Dios.

3. ¿Para qué sirve?
Es útil para:
1. Enseñar
2. Redargüir
3. Corregir
4. Instruir en justicia

4. ¿Con qué propósito?
A fin de que el hombre de Dios sea perfecto, enteramente preparado para toda buena obra.

5. ¿Cuál es el versículo?
2 Timoteo 3:16-17

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why I don't like Rob Bell

To treat scripture in such a trite manner...around minute 20:12....ugh.

Recommended Audio: Dan Phillips' Post-Election Sermon (on Galatians, the Cross of Christ and our precious Gospel. A very very awesome sermon!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Embargo Over?

For the first time in all this time will I post something on the political issue, it's a news report I heard today over the radio:
"Bolivian and Brazilian Presidents Call on Barack Obama to Lift Economic Blockade Against Cuba

La Paz, November 5 (RHC)-- Bolivian President Evo Morales and his Brazilian counterpart, Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva, urged U.S. President-elect Barack Obama to lift Washington's economic blockade against Cuba.

Morales said: "We hope Obama will lift Washington's economic blockade against Cuba, in addition to withdrawing U.S. troops from several countries."

For his part, Lula highlighted that Washington's anti-Cuba policy "does not make sense." Peruvian opposition leader Ollanta Humala made a similar statement.

Meanwhile, a statement issued by Venezuela's Foreign Ministry characterized the results of the U.S. election as "historic" and President Hugo Chavez congratulated President-elect Obama "for his important victory."

Mexican President Felipe Calderón, Uruguay's Tabaré Vásquez and Chile's Michelle Bachelet sent their congratulations to the newly elected president of the United States, who will take office in January next year.

Several European leaders greeted Obama's victory and called for a strengthening of relations between the United States and the so-called Old Continent.

Spanish President José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, his counterpart from Ireland Brian Cowen, and German Chancellor Angela Merkel also congratulated the first African American president of the United States.

Chinese President Hu Jiantao, expressed his country's hopes that Obama can strengthen cooperation between both nations and stressed that the U.S. election opens a new stage for the country. "

Not only do I hope he does that, but he better remove that blockade since he's a socialist and soooo many people are embracing socialism with absolutely no problem, to not remove it would be very hypocrite of him. I wonder though if that does happen, what will the Cuban community living in the US and other parts of the world do? will they stay where they are? will they go back? Just my 2 cents.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Grace Gems: Our sins--His mercies

Our sins--His mercies

< (Letters of John Newton)

"Where sin abounded--grace did much
more abound!" Romans 5:20

March 18, 1767.
Dear friend,
You have one hard lesson to learn, that is--the evil of your own heart. You know something of it--but it is needful that you should know more; for the more we know of ourselves--the more we shall prize and love Jesus and His salvation. The more you know Him--the better you will trust Him. The more you trust Him--the better you will love Him. The more you love Him--the better you will serve Him. This is God's way. You are not called to buy--but to beg; not to be strong in yourself--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. He is teaching you these things, and I trust he will teach you to the end.

Do not be surprised to find yourself poor, helpless, and vile. All whom God favors and teaches--will find themselves so. The more grace increases--the more we shall see to abase us in our own eyes!

I hope what you find in yourself by daily experience, will humble you--but not discourage you. For if our Physician is almighty--our disease cannot be desperate. Our sins are many--but His mercies are more. Our sins are great--but His righteousness is greater. When our sins prevail, remember that we have an Advocate with the Father, who is able to pity, to pardon, and to save to the uttermost! Think of the names and relations which Jesus bears to us. Does He not call Himself--a Savior, a Shepherd, a Friend, and a Husband? Has He not made known unto us His love, His atoning sacrifice, His righteousness, His promises, His power, and His grace--and all for our encouragement? It is better to be admiring the compassion and fullness of grace which is in our Savior--than to dwell and pore too much upon our own poverty and vileness.

Remember that He has loved you with an everlasting love--and therefore in loving-kindness has drawn you to Himself. He will surely accomplish that which He has begun. Nothing which can be named or thought of--shall ever be able to separate you from Him! This persuasion will give you strength for the battle! This is the shield which will quench the fiery darts of Satan! This is the helmet which the enemy cannot pierce! Be strong, therefore--not in yourself--but in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

Remember, the growth of a believer is not like a mushroom--but like an oak, which increases slowly indeed--but surely. Many suns, showers, and frosts, pass upon it before it comes to perfection. And in winter, when it seems to be dead--it is gathering strength at the root. Be humble, watchful, and diligent in the means, and endeavor to look through all, and fix your eye upon Jesus--and all shall be well. I commend you to the care of the good Shepherd.

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Thursday, November 06, 2008

18 Minutes with James White

Two Psalms to Meditate on Today

Psalm 135

Praise the LORD!
Praise the name of the LORD, give praise, O servants of the LORD,
who stand in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God!
Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; sing to his name, for it is pleasant!
For the LORD has chosen Jacob for himself, Israel as his own possession.
For I know that the LORD is great, and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the LORD pleases, he does, in heaven and on earth, in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth, who makes lightnings for the rain and brings forth the wind from his storehouses.
He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants; who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings, Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan, and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
The idols of the nations are silver and gold, the work of human hands.
They have mouths, but do not speak; they have eyes, but do not see; they have ears, but do not hear, nor is there any breath in their mouths.
Those who make them become like them, so do all who trust in them!
O house of Israel, bless the LORD! O house of Aaron, bless the LORD!
O house of Levi, bless the LORD! You who fear the LORD, bless the LORD!
Blessed be the LORD from Zion, he who dwells in Jerusalem! Praise the LORD!

Psalm 136

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who alone does great wonders, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights, for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day, for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and brought Israel out from among them, for his steadfast love endures forever;
with a strong hand and an outstretched arm, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who divided the Red Sea in two, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and made Israel pass through the midst of it, for his steadfast love endures forever;
but overthrew Pharaoh and his host in the Red Sea, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who led his people through the wilderness, for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who struck down great kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and killed mighty kings, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Sihon, king of the Amorites, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and Og, king of Bashan, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and gave their land as a heritage, for his steadfast love endures forever;
a heritage to Israel his servant, for his steadfast love endures forever.
It is he who remembered us in our low estate, for his steadfast love endures forever;
and rescued us from our foes, for his steadfast love endures forever;
he who gives food to all flesh, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.

After saying 26 times that God's steadfast love, or mercy as it is written in other translations, endures forever you'd think the Psalmist is trying to tell us something huh? How have you seen God's steadfast love made manifest in your life? God has left us His Word, the Bible, with countless stories of His mercy, His faithfulness, His loving-kindness. Our God is good and He is in control of all things! So rest in Him and Him alone and dwell in His word which He has left us. Don't forget to Praise Him and Thank Him for His blessings, for His afflictions and for His steadfast love and faithfulness which endure forever!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Compassion International in Dominican Republic

Don't miss this one!

Tim Challies and other bloggers were chosen by Compassion International for a one week tour here in my lovely country, the Dominican Republic, to show them the work they do here, the children they sponsor and all about their sponsorship program and the future of these kids.
"Compassion began work in the Dominican Republic in 1970. There are more than 22,000 children in 122 projects in the country."
"Compassion works to free children from such poverty through its education programs."
"In the midst of the Caribbean, the Dominican Republic has one of the hottest tourist scenes in the world. But prosperity doesn't reign. The poorest half of the population receive less than one-fifth of the national income, while the richest 10 percent enjoy 40 percent of the national income."
So join them in their journey and perhaps after reading about what they have learned and seen and experienced, you might be moved to sponsor a child, or confronted to see what you can do about the poor and downtrodden in your country, in your city or town.

"Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this: to visit orphans and widows in their affliction, and to keep oneself unstained from the world."
James 1:27

Sunday, November 02, 2008

A Mighty Fortress Is our God

I've had this song in my heart and lips all day long. Enjoy and rejoice! :)