Sunday, March 28, 2010

THE SECRET PLACE, Part 8

His Sacrifice
The key that opens the door to that special resting place is Authenticity!
The word "Authenticity" can best be described as "UNDISPUTED CREDIBILITY"! Many verses from God tell that He does NOT hear the prayer of the wicked or unrighteous man (or one who has NO credibility with God). That includes the majority of plastic, professing "Christians" known as American Evangelicals!
One piece of advice to anyone approaching Holy God with sin, self and satan at heart - DON'T DO IT until you are right with God- the God Who sent His Son Jesus to SACRIFICE HIMSELF on the CROSS.
His SACRIFICE was real. Ours should be real. His SACRIFICE was complete, ours must be complete. His SACRIFICE was willing, ours must be too.
As we meditate on WHAT HE did for us on the Cross on "GOOD FRIDAY" meditate on these verse from Psalm 22: 7-18 NLT. This Messianic prophesy is the most graphic description of the Crucifixion and vividly, excruciatingly difficult for me personally. It is heartrending in its stark nature of what my LORD and SAVIOR, through His Own Eyes, went through for me.
PSALM 22: 7-18 (NLT):
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me.
They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8 "Is this the one who relies on the Lord?
Then let the Lord save him!
If the Lord loves him so much,
let the Lord rescue him!"

9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother's womb
and led me to trust you at my mother's breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11 Do not stay so far from me,
for trouble is near,
and no one else can help me.
12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
roaring and tearing into their prey.

14 My life is poured out like water,
and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
melting within me.
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.

16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
an evil gang closes in on me.
They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves
and throw dice for my clothing

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

THE WONDER OF YOUR CROSS, LORD JESUS!

This issue of our newsletter covers the dates when we remember the most significant event in Human History - the Death, Burial and Resurrection of the Savior of mankind. The exact date according to both Jewish and Christian theologians is said to be 14 Nisan (April 3) AD 33.This is the likeliest date, given the timing of John' the Baptist's ministry. What is absolutely clear is - 14 Nisan - Passover. Jesus ate the Passover meal with His disciples in the Upper Room after which came the well-known chain of events.Now, it will take more than a few books to explain and understand the Significance of the True Passover Lamb - Jesus, and the Cross He carried and died on. AND even so, we will never fully grasp its meaning this side of heaven. This much is certain - the Absolute King of the Universe and Creator, pour Himself out of the Throne of Heaven, into the womb of a young maiden (via the Holy Spirit) and OBEYED everything His Father told Him to do for 33 years.To willingly suffer humiliation, scourging, injustice and death at the hands of evil men - representative of all evil of all time - is beyond mortal comprehension. The theology of this scandal is unimaginable, yet it is this same Scandal of the Cross that carries the attribute of its Wonder!
The Wonder of His Cross is this - ONE Perfect Life, sacrificed on two pieces of wood, is responsible for millions from every Tribe and Tongue (going back to Enoch, Seth and Adam) to the those few who will be rescued from hell in the coming Tribulation. This Good Friday, as we reflect on what it really means, an attitude of gratitude could not possibly begin to come close to what we need to possess, in order to honor Him Who now sits at the Right Hand of the Father!

Monday, March 15, 2010

GREAT RESOURCE: 100 Terrific Twitter Feeds for Daily Christian Inspiration!

FROM KAREN L. ANDERSON'S BLOG! CLICK HERE FOR MORE GREAT NUGGETS OF INFORMATION ON ONLINE CHRISTIAN COLLEGES!

by Karen L. Anderson

Regardless of what critics may say of Christianity, it has persisted nonstop for two millennia – constantly evolving and adapting to new movements and technologies in order to keep the core messages alive. Twitter has seen many pastors, churches, periodicals, youth groups, Bible studies, and lay people take to its microblog format as a means of promoting their religious perspectives. The following list contains many different ideologies – some liberal, some conservative. Some accepting of other faiths, some more insular. Some dedicated to the gospels, some to Proverbs. Some Catholic, some Protestant. Their only common thread is that they either update daily or very, very close. Every Christian can find something that correlates with his or her own personal interpretation of the religion on this list to inspire and solidify their beliefs every day of the week.

1. orthodox christian : Subscribers to this Twitter feed receive daily readings, quotes, and lessons regarding Orthodox Christianity.

2. Christian Today : Christian Today online magazine posts news stories and articles meant to both educate and inspire.

3. The Village Church : Dallas-area The Village Church – with 3 convenient locations to choose from – updates readers on their (almost) daily blog posts covering a wide variety of Christian topics.

4. Faith Baptist Fresno : Daily readings and the occasional sermon notes comprise almost all of the content from this Californian Baptist church.

5. Daily Bible Verse : Everything there is to know about this Twitter feed is right there in the title. A new Bible verse gets featured every day, usually posted in the mid-morning.

6. Christ’s List dotcom : This classified ad service focuses exclusively on anything and everything Christian, from events to sales. Some choose to post inspirational stories and prayer requests to help stimulate readers into action.

7. OnlyJesusSaves.com : Some of their retweets come off as a bit harsh, but overall this microblog brings up several points for Christians to meditate upon throughout the day.

8. A Bible Verse a Day : BibleGateway.com delivers daily Bible verses from its main site for readers to consider. However, one must click over to the rest of the article in order to finish.

9. Christian Newswire : Christian Newswire delivers nothing but headlines and stories involving the titular faith, featuring men, women, and causes that their subscribers may find particularly inspiring.

10. Bible Answer Man : For Christians wanting their daily reassurances in audio format, Bible Answer Man tweets links to his regular radio show.

11. Bible Promises : Tweeting daily, Bible Promises organizes its verses by theme. One need only scan their archive to find something relevant to the subjects that garner the most interest.

12. THE HUB : The three preachers at Dallas’s The Hub Church tweet about their sermons, observations, and blog updates.

13. Bible As Poetry : All of Bible As Poetry’s microblogs involve verses with more lyrical translations that still retain the original meaning.

14. Rev Michael Cauley : This painstakingly detailed Twitter involves articles on a very broad variety of religious subjects as they relate to Christianity. Readers walk away challenged with plenty to think about throughout their day.

15. Just 1 Word Bible : Puzzles, word games, and reassuring messages get posted diligently throughout the day, making this a nice, quick stop for Christians on the go.

16. Bible4U : Rev. Mark Brown tweets Bible verses he finds relevant and inspiring as well as personal messages of faith, hope, and charity.

17. Lutheran Study Bible : Daily excerpts from the Lutheran Study Bible serve as provocative supplements to Twitters with canonical verses.

18. YourPrayerBlog.com : YourPrayerBlog.com serves as a network for people to make requests and support others who wish for prayers. Christians looking for inspiration towards meditation and prayer have plenty to think about with this feed.

19. Fuel Bible Study : LifeWay student ministries tweets often about its DVD curriculum as a means of helping Christians find some structure.

20. Jesus Bible Study : Any Christians needing inspiration on what to pray about and who needs their help the most would do well to check this Twitter feed on the subject.

21. A Daily Bible Verse : Read daily affirmations on love, forgiveness, service, and peace with links to corresponding bible verses.

22. StreamingFaith.com : Daily devotionals, polls, articles, videos, streams, and other media offer visitors to this Twitter plenty to mull over when it comes to their faith.

23. NLT Bible Verse : This Twitter posts nothing but quick, concise verses from the New Living Translation of the Bible along with a link to the surrounding context.

24. bible_quotes : Read multiple Bible verses and religious quotes on a broad spectrum of subjects throughout the day.

25. Extant Magazine : Quotes, profiles, articles, and many other venues of inspiration pepper this extremely active, lively feed.

26. Jay Bakker : Sick of the judgmental attitudes and exploitative, commercial eye of many fellow Christians – his own controversial parents included – Jay Bakker focuses on nothing but Christ’s message of love, tolerance, peace, and harmony for all mankind…no matter an individual’s appearance or circumstances.

27. Bible Harvest : Daily Bible verses and mentions of inspirational individuals working tirelessly with charities or promoting interesting messages comprise the bulk of this Twitter’s content.

28. Bible Hour : As one can ascertain from the title, Bible Hour posts a new verse every hour for a plethora of sources for inspiration and guidance throughout the day.

29. Bible Bytes : Blog posts, articles, prayers and prayer requests, and community perspectives have plenty to offer Christians in need of a little bit of thought and inspiration.

30. Scrip.ly Proverbs : This daily Bible verse feed focuses exclusively on the rich passages from the Book of Proverbs.

31. Just Jesus! : Just Jesus posts short blips about the life and teachings of Christ as a means of promoting a quote book on the subject.

32. Religion; Philosophy : Christians who enjoy their religion spiked with philosophy and a pluralist, comparative perspective embracing multiple viewpoints have plenty to appreciate and love about this Twitter feed.

33. beliefnet : Another excellent, thought-provoking resource for Christians who enjoy pulling inspiration from a wide variety of religious views.

34. Catholic Climate : This United States Conference of Catholic Bishops-approved Twitter feed updates all Christians on relevant news, views, and inspiration from around the world.

35. Desiring God : Those seeking quick tips, tricks, and bites of information throughout the day may find Desiring God of particular interest.

36. The Catholic Herald : Follow news and views from the Catholic community for perspectives on political, religious, and social justice that can inspire positive change in an individual and society as a whole.

37. The Catholic Sun : Straight from Phoenix, this Twitter feed serves as another venue for Christians to look towards news sources and social, religious, and political movements that provoke activity.

38. New Advent : Christians looking for news and views that will move them and shock them out of complacency would do well to explore this microblog.

39. Bible Study Planet : The official feed of BibleStudyPlanet.com posts up intriguing articles, prayers, and charitable links.

40. Calvary Chapel Page : A community-oriented Twitter that microblogs on a multitude of different stories and articles of interest to Christians.

41. Bible Verse SMS txt : On days when the internet fizzles out, Bible Verse SMS will send the verses straight to a cell phone. They also provide links to other free readings for those with a little more time on their hands to reflect.

42. Bible Companion : Christians who resolve to read through the entire Bible in the span of a year will enjoy Bible Companion’s highly accessible walkthrough.

43. Daily Bible Readings : Daily Bible Readings offers another year-long exploration of this influential religious text for Christians hoping to understand it as thoroughly as possible.

44. Daily Bible Promise : Subscribers to this Twitter feed access several biblical readings a day, along with links that place them in the proper context.

45. CatholicRelief : Any people pulling their greatest inspiration from the charitable and social justice communities must read through the CatholicRelief Twitter. Here, the services that dedicate their time, money, and resources to the betterment of mankind come pushed to the forefront.

46. Christine Smith : Join inspirational jewelry maker and Bible study leader Christine Smith in her suggestions for daily devotionals, readings, and prayers.

47. Lynn Mosher : In between personal asides, Lynn Mosher shares some interesting articles, prayers, and ideas she discovers throughout her day.

48. GodsLoveatWork : Christians in need of reassurance throughout their workdays need to explore GodsLoveatWork, whose verses cater specifically to harried professionals.

49. undue favor : Two sisters focus their ministry on the virtue of forgiveness, with inspirational Bible verses and quotes posted throughout the day.

50. Jemima Kezia : One Jakarta teenager retweets bilingual prayers, affirmations, Bible verses, and articles – a nice feed for those hoping for a younger perspective.

51. Scrip.ly Feed : Scrip.ly Feed offers readers several Bible verses throughout the day, picked specifically for their meditative qualities.

52. The Active Word : Some of what Pastor Bob Coy and his Calvary Chapel have to say may make more liberal-minded Christians uncomfortable, but he offers some perspectives that conservatives will likely find thought-provoking.

53. @GodsWordisTruth : Most of the Bible quotes on this microblog have been hand-picked to provide lightness and smiles for Christians hoping for positive inspiration.

54. #worldprayer : One of the most beloved and active Christian Twitter feeds, #worldprayer asks the community to join it in meditation and prayer for those suffering across the globe.

55. RELEVANT Magazine : Pop culture, social justice, and religion blend together to offer readers a multitude of different perspectives and people to simultaneously intrigue and inspire.

56. Faiths Act Fellows : 30 different young people from several countries and religious ideologies come together to battle malaria, making this a wonderful Twitter feed for Christians who enjoy supplementing their faith with perspectives outside their frame of reference.

57. Sojourners : Become uplifted and inspired by men and women who apply their religious convictions in service to those victimized by social injustice.

58. Cpas.org.uk : CPAS posts both daily prayers and weekly verses in addition to news, articles, and people of interest to offer their readers several different routes towards inspiration.

59. Our Sunday Visitor : This Catholic Twitter shares all sorts of intriguing insights into Christianity with its blogs, articles, and news stories.

60. The Christian Post : Read news stories from across the Christian community – including opinions and commentaries – and keep abreast of the different movements and trends underway.

61. Of First Importance : Of First Importance tweets both Bible verses as well as inspiring quotes as a means of reminding readers of Jesus’s love and gospel.

62. ELCA News Service : Read news and updates from the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America on the people who shape their organization and reflect their goals.

63. Trinity Daily Prayer : Trinity Daily Prayer simply posts quick, painless verses and reflections for Christians on a time crunch but still seeking something deep and thoughtful.

64. Germaine Copeland : Author Germaine Copeland tweets a daily prayer every evening for reflection before bed or upon waking.

65. Grace Point Amplify : This San Antonio-based youth group offers the Christian community a few of their particularly interesting findings in addition to the expected notifications of events and meetings.

66. Show Hope : Pray about and reflect upon the plight of orphans and others who find themselves marginalized because of social injustice.

67. worship Word God : Subscribers to this Twitter feed also have the option of receiving their daily Bible passages on their cell phone as well.

68. Rick Warren : Celebrity Pastor Rick Warren keeps a Twitter feed of his thoughts, prayers, and perspectives for readers to ponder as their day ticks on.

69. Follower of Christ : One man shares his journey through Christianity with anyone willing to listen, and his microblog covers a very broad spectrum of related topics to think about.

70. jfreakhideout : The official Twitter feed of Christian music resource Jesusfreakhideout.com offers updated news and trends in the scene for those who enjoy their inspiration set to a certain soundtrack.

71. AudioBible : An audio Bible makes for a great source of affirmation and reflection for Christians on the go.

72. Voice of the Martyrs : Voice of the Martyrs updates consistently on Christian news, missions, and ideologies with a special eye for symptoms and instances of religious persecution.

73. Paul : Paul’s Twitter starts at Genesis and posts several passages a day in chronological order – and that is all it simply, effectively entails.

74. EWTN : Eternal Word Television Network’s official microblog tweets daily homilies from different priests as well as news from the Catholic community.

75. AmericanCatholic.org : Every day, AmericanCatholic.org posts information on a particular saint. All Christians can benefit from this, as the featured men and women all stand as pillars of faith and inspiration.

76. Genesis-RevelationTV : Both the Genesis and Revelation channels tweet on this microblog, and visitors are able to watch and listen to their streams on a wide variety of Christian topics.

77. faith-based film : Movie buffs in search of something with a Christian bent need to keep up with faith-based film, which offers relevant recommendations and articles on a daily basis.

78. ACTS Network : ACTS Network links readers up with trends, news, and perspectives from across the community that may have gone overlooked by more mainstream media outlets.

79. FoundationEvangelism : Look to the future of evangelism with this feed, which features men and women doing their best to spread the message and love of Christ.

80. a Christian CHURCH : A vibrant community full of all sorts of people with varying points of view, this Twitter feed posts up prayers, quotes, and anything else Christians may find of interest.

holyspirit281. Christian : Prayer requests, personal testimonies, quotes, stories, and Bible passages make up the majority of this microblog’s content, making this a nice eclectic source for Christians to explore.

82. LCMS World Mission : The Missouri Synod of the Lutheran Church keeps a regularly updated Twitter feed regarding prayer requests and information on their missionary services.

83. The X-Factor Church : This fellowship community tweets not only on their regular activities and discoveries, but Christian movie recommendations, Bible verses, relevant quotes, and insights as well.

84. ESV Daily Verse : Crossway Books provides a daily tweet of excerpts from the English Standard Version Bible, nothing more and nothing less.

85. The Navigators : The Navigators compile and share daily devotionals with lists of Biblical passages revolving around a given theme.

86. Soul Supply : Offering up daily “soul snacks,” Soul Supply microblogs on several different aspects of Christianity – from prayer and meditation to simple reassurances of Christ’s love.

87. Cameron Strang : The RELEVANT magazine founder parallels many of the ideas found in his periodical.

88. WingsGlobalOutreach : Wings Global Outreach focuses on students and young people hoping to travel around the world and spread their ministry through music and social justice projects.

89. Media Salt : Hoping to make Christianity more accessible for people without deviating from the core messages of faith, hope, and love, Media Salt offers up articles and blog posts to better nurture its readers and participants.

90. The Gospel Coalition : Unsurprisingly, the 4 gospels sit as the foundation of The Gospel Coalition, who targets younger audiences with the hope of bringing them closer to Christ.

91. Collide Magazine : Tech-savvy Christians and their leaders hoping for something beyond the Twitter craze ought to see what Collide has to say about the latest developments and how to utilize them to spread the gospel.

92. Doug Connelly : Hudson Community Baptist pastor Doug Connelly tweets daily with Bible verses and snippets of advice and insight.

93. A Pilgrims Progress : Receive quick, easily-digested Bible verses through this simplistic Twitter with absolutely no filler.

94. Mars Hill Fellowship : Mars Hill Fellowship stays abreast of current cultural trends and tries to find ways to seamlessly integrate Christian doctrine in a way that makes sense to readers.

95. Reformed Glory : Every day, this feed posts a relevant, thoughtful inquiry into Christianity by a celebrated reformer – though Catholics can find plenty to appreciate about their words as well.

96. Jimmy Lin : Receive a daily dose of Christian quotes, ideas, and prayers with this eclectic Twitter manned by a seminarian.

97. Oswald Chambers : This daily devotional compiles quotes from Oswald Chambers and links visitors to more detailed, in-depth information on meditations and reflections to think about.

98. Mark : Christians looking for inspiration beyond the 140-character limit of Twitter will appreciate this feed’s book reviews on literature to seek out in their free time. It also posts prayers and parables as well.

99. VirtueOnline : Virtue Online offers a plethora of news stories, trends, and movements throughout the day, with enough content diversity to appeal to a wide variety of Christians.

100. Steve Kryger : Art and religion have always fed off one another since the advent of humanity, and this Twitter feed looks at graphic design and other communication tools as conduits for spreading the gospel of Christ.

Christians in a rush can still devote time to the Lord every day with these quick tweets of insight and inspiration. No matter their denominational leanings or political affiliations, people of all types wanting a daily dose of Christianity on their Twitter or phone have somewhere to turn to for reminders of their faith that stoke both their imaginations and their minds.

Monday, March 8, 2010

THE SECRET PLACE

Then what am I to do? I will pray with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will also pray [intelligently] with my mind and understanding; I will sing with my spirit [by the Holy Spirit that is within me], but I will sing [intelligently] with my mind and understanding also.

1 Corinthians 14:15 (Amp)

PART 7
Praying in the Spirit

The first thing we must grasp in the so-called "prayer closet" or as I prefer to call it "The Secret Place" is that it begins in the spiritual realm - not a physical room. Where you sit, kneel or lie face down on the floor in your home (or as Dick Eastman did once - build a prayer shed/chapel in his backyard), is secondary.
Romans 8:26 (AMP) says "So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance".
The two verses posted here lay the foundation for "Praying in the Spirit" once we accept the command to go into the Heart of God through joining our inner man joined with His in-dwelling Spirit. We can only pray to Holy God through the Spirit of Christ. This is why the bible says that God does NOT hear the prayer of an unrighteous man, so to speak (Proverbs 28:9 etc).
Before we get into the meat of Praying in the Spirit next time, I wish to briefly address "private prayer language" (glossalalia....from the Greek words for language and speech together). Some call that "speaking in tongues". There is a huge misunderstanding by some that Praying in the Spirit ONLY means "speaking in tongues". No one will get me to either criticize, endorse or reject "speaking in tongues". I am not that educated but I know the Holy Spirit. THE LORD CAN CHOOSE TO SPEAK TO AND USE OTHERS IN ANY WAY HE CHOOSES, BECAUSE HE IS GOD AND WE AIN'T!

Therefore, to get this short series off and grounded where it should be, these matters of dispute within the body, should be objectively dispatched. How saints pray is their own business and between them and God. The Lord reigns in and loves ALL TRUE believers. Any person who is indwelled by the Spirit of God is my brother or sister and can pray for me, with me, over me and for my friends and family all day long, amen and amen.
This had to be addressed to move away from discord between brethren and some who look down on our fellow spirit-filled believers brethren. We wish to fully grasp, get and glorify God through Praying in the Spirit - a legitimate BIBLICALLY-based function that is expected of any Christian of any age. Amen.