Posted in theology

Jesus is…

By Elizabeth Prata

Jesus is greater than Moses (Hebrews 3:3)

Jesus is greater than the temple (Matthew 12:6)

Jesus is greater than Jonah Matthew 12:41,42

Jesus is greater than Solomon (Matthew 12:42)

Job Says There Is No Arbitrator between God and Man

1Then Job answered, 2“In truth I know that this is so; But how can a man be in the right before God? 3“If one wished to dispute with Him, He could not answer Him once in a thousand times. 4“Wise in heart and mighty in strength, Who has defied Him without harm? 5“It is God who removes the mountains, they know not how, When He overturns them in His anger; 6Who shakes the earth out of its place, And its pillars tremble;

7Who commands the sun not to shine, And sets a seal upon the stars; 8Who alone stretches out the heavens And tramples down the waves of the sea; 9Who makes the Bear, Orion and the Pleiades, And the chambers of the south; 10Who does great things, unfathomable, And wondrous works without number. 11“Were He to pass by me, I would not see Him; Were He to move past me, I would not perceive Him. 12“Were He to snatch away, who could restrain Him? Who could say to Him, ‘What are You doing?’

13“God will not turn back His anger; Beneath Him crouch the helpers of Rahab. 14“How then can I answer Him, And choose my words before Him? 15“For though I were right, I could not answer; I would have to implore the mercy of my judge. 16“If I called and He answered me, I could not believe that He was listening to my voice. 17“For He bruises me with a tempest And multiplies my wounds without cause.

29“I am accounted wicked, Why then should I toil in vain? 30“If I should wash myself with snow And cleanse my hands with lye, 31Yet You would plunge me into the pit, And my own clothes would abhor me. 32“For He is not a man as I am that I may answer Him, That we may go to court together. 33“There is no umpire between us, Who may lay his hand upon us both.

34“Let Him remove His rod from me, And let not dread of Him terrify me. 35“Then I would speak and not fear Him; But I am not like that in myself.

Job keenly felt the gap between himself as sinner and God as holy. He knew there was an insurmountable chasm between him and the Holy One in heaven. How to overcome this? Job could see no way. He pleaded for an umpire to be the bridge between man and God.

Jesus is that umpire. He is our advocate before God and defender against satan. The cross is His bridge that lays one hand on our shoulder and the other on God’s. Take a moment today to reflect on Christ’s work on earth and in heaven. Think of His unfathomable love for us, He who lived on earth with sinners, died an excruciating death, and ascended in flesh to live in heaven as man-God forever. When Job passed into glory, he finally met his umpire, the Christ. We will too. What a day that will be.

Posted in theology

What are some good biographies to read?

By Elizabeth Prata

I like to read Christian biographies, especially missionary bios. I am currently reading the biography of William Borden, and I like it very much. Someone had asked me what were some good biographies, and I compiled a list. Some of these I have read and can recommend. Others come recommended from trustworthy sites.

Moody: A Biography, by John Charles Pollock

John MacArthur: Servant of the Word and Flock, by Iain H. Murray

Reformation Women: Sixteenth-Century Figures Who Shaped Christianity’s Rebirth, by Rebecca VanDoodewaard (a 100-page book, each short chapter is a bio of one of the women)

The Little Woman by Gladys Aylward (Author), Christine Hunter (Contributor). There is another book named almost the same thing, not by Gladys herself. Get this one.

The Life of Moses: God’s First Deliverer of Israel, by James Montgomery Boice

Marriage to a Difficult Man: The Uncommon Union of Jonathan & Sarah Edwards by Elisabeth D. Dodds. As a side note, I really enjoyed Ligonier’s short series by Steve Nichols of the Life of Jonathan Edwards. It was fascinating and interesting and worth it! Here is a link to a summary of the 6-part series. The teaching series is here.

Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon, wife of Charles H. Spurgeon, by Ray Rhodes Jr.

Newton on the Christian Life: To Live Is Christ, by Tony Reinke

Amy Carmichael: Beauty for Ashes by Iain Murray. A short but packed little biography of an important figure. Iain Murray wrote several other biographies, too.

Borden of Yale ’09 by Mrs Howard Taylor

Biography Recommendations according to Tim Challies, book reviewer: “Christians you should know”-

Fearless Pilgrim: The Life and Times of John Bunyan by Faith Cook. A fast-paced and interesting account of Bunyan’s life.

Faith Cook is a well-known biographer who also wrote, Lady Jane Grey – the short, tragic life of Lady Jane Grey.

Eric Liddell: Pure Gold: The Olympic Champion Who Inspired Chariots of Fire, by David McCasland. An Olympic hero who left it all behind and died on the mission field.

"Reading is an important activity for the Christian. The way we are accustomed to taking in information on our phones, tablets, and computers has impacted how we approach reading books, too. Reinke wonders if Christians “will be patient enough to find meaning embedded in words” instead of surrendering to the idleness that entertainment affords. But Christians of all people should absolutely be patient enough. Not only is patience a fruit of the Spirit, but Christians are a reading people," says Andy Cassler. 
"I encourage you to make reading a priority in your life. Resolve to not only love God and your neighbor, but to love God with the mind He gave you. Exercise the life of the mind in your loving of God", says Dave Jenkins. 

What is one of the benefits of reading? Tony Reinke says that constantly swimming in social media fragments his mind and results in less ability to concentrate. He chooses classic books to read in order to combat this: Reinke says,

"I pick up Shakespeare’s works (the Jonathan Bate edition). In order for me to track with his works, I must pause at every antiquated word and look up the definition at the bottom of the page until the meaning becomes clear. To do this requires that I slow myself down and read with sustained concentration for 20-60 minutes. Rushing is not an option. As a result, I find that when I turn to read my Bible, I read it with much greater care and attention, able to once again focus my attention more carefully on each word and phrase that I read. So Shakespeare recalibrates my reading pace, restores my fragmenting brain, forces me to slow down, and ultimately helps me to read my Bible more carefully".

I myself feel that fragmentation. When I get home I’m tired and tend to scroll rather than read. My concentration suffers, and this spills over to Bible reading. With school nearing its year’s end I’ll have time to delve with concentration and energy this summer when I’m not working.

I hope these suggestions for good books and this little encouragement helps you think about spending some time during your day reading. Even if it’s 10 minutes, if it’s with concentration that is so much better than half an hour of mindless scrolling. I’m preaching to myself now!

Posted in theology

Please…you need to know Jesus

By Elizabeth Prata

The entire point of having social media, for me, is to point to Jesus. It’s an opportunity to get the scriptures into the public square, to show who Jesus is and why people need Him. Although this video is ultimately a promotion for the G3 Conference, most of this video explains who Jesus is and why we need Him. It is only 2:44 long. The video is very well done.

In his sermon The Heart of the Gospel, Charles Spurgeon opened with the following:

THE heart of the gospel is redemption, and the essence of redemption is the substitutionary sacrifice of Christ. They who preach this truth preach the gospel in whatever else they may be mistaken; but they who preach not the atonement, whatever else they declare, have missed the soul and substance of the divine message. In these days I feel bound to go over again the elementary truths of the Gospel. In peaceful times we may feel free to make excursions into interesting districts of truth which lie far afield; but now we must stay at home, and guard the hearths and homes of the church by defending the first principles of the faith. In this age there have risen up in the church itself men who speak perverse things. There be many that trouble us with their philosophies and novel interpretations, whereby they deny the doctrines they profess to teach, and undermine the faith they are pledged to maintain. It is well that some of us, who know what we believe, and have no secret meanings for our words, should just put our foot down and maintain our standing, holding forth the word of life, and plainly declaring the foundation truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Who is Christ? Here is the video-

Posted in theology

James Coates addresses TMS grads: “I can’t think of a better time to be stepping into pulpits”

By Elizabeth Prata

EPrata photo

The Master’s Seminary had its annual graduation ceremony this past weekend. TMS is a premier seminary in the United States, where Dr. John MacArthur was its President from 1985 to 2019, and now is the seminary’s Chancellor. The goal since the Seminary’s founding was and is to produce men of the Word, men of courage and conviction to preach that word – in season and out of season.

Increasingly, we are learning that this season is an ‘out of season’ time for the people of God. The darkness is encroaching, and not stealthily, either, but boldly and wantonly. Bible, God, Jesus, slaying sin, repentance, grace, forgiveness, anything gentle, is anathema to the world. It is a world where the promises in Romans 1 are evidently seen, a world where…

“…they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a depraved mind, to do those things that are not proper, people having been filled with all unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, and evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, and malice; they are gossips, slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors of evil, disobedient to parents, without understanding, untrustworthy, unfeeling, and unmerciful; and although they know the ordinance of God, that those who practice such things are worthy of death, they not only do the same, but also approve of those who practice them.” (Romans 1:18-32).

A world where despite the assurances written in a Constitution or Charter, religion is suppressed and pastors are arrested. Where under cover of the pandemic, tyrants use the health guidelines to marginalize the people of God out of the public square and we become enemy #1 if we dare gather.

What does one say to a group of men who entered seminary 4 or 5 years ago and starry eyed, pressed on with studies hoping to make a difference for the kingdom of God? Who now see lions at the gate, enemies calling themselves Christians, and demons coming to the fore?

You get graduate James Coates to share some encouragement. Dr Coates is a TMS grad from ten years ago and has been serving as pastor ever since. He has been at ground zero on the battlefield of truth these last 6 months, as Edmonton, Alberta Canada has tried to put a stranglehold around him and his people and shut them down. Health rules you know, even though the v.irus is dying out and deaths are minimal. Refusing to still his tongue and strongly committed to proclaiming holy truths to a sinful society, Coates was arrested and jailed. He spent time in a maximum security jail, and was recently released but only for his trial.

This past weekend another pastor was arrested, Artur Pawlowski of Calgary, also in Alberta. He had refused the same restrictions as Coates, enforcing mask wearing and reduced building capacity limits. His confrontation with police who’d entered his Easter Sunday Service went viral. The police tried several other times to enter, harass, and restrict Pawlowski’s services, even though religious services are protected under Canadian Charter. So this weekend they just simply arrested him like a dog on the road, instead.

Copyright Artur PawlowskiTV/Youtube

What do you do where it’s a Braveheart scene…where the enemy is picking up speed and gaining like-minded cohorts, trampling onto sacred ground? A pastor’s job is to hold the ground. We pierce them not with weapons but with the Word of God. We stare steely-eyed into the whites of their eyes, proclaiming the truths of God until our throat is raw or our tongue is stilled in death. We stand our ground.

Stand firm therefore, having belted your waist with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having strapped on your feet the preparation of the gospel of peace; in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:14-17).

In other words, Pastors, stand your ground!

Here is the link to Pastor Coates’ The Master’s Seminary graduation address. It is encouraging! Please click on the link to listen. Below is an extended quote from the video, which is about 6 minutes long. LINK HERE

"The reality is that there were many moments in preparation for that time when I'd have to choose imprisonment to obey Jesus Christ. Those moments along the way required conviction, resolve, and a steadfast desire and commitment to do what the Lord would require of me. Every moment counts. Every moment along the way was a moment of preparation, so by the time I got to the point where I'd have to choose whether I was going to keep my comforts or stay in obedience to Christ, it was already settled. It wasn't easy, it was difficult, it came in the face of fear and trembling. But the Lord at each point assisted me with a conviction to know what it was He was calling me to do as well as the grace to carry it out. ... You need to resolve in your heart to obey Christ no matter what the cost...and to be faithful all the way to the end."
"We need men of conviction, we need men who are going to stand firmly upon the scriptures. We need men who are resolved to obey Christ- no matter the cost, and the cost in increasing, you know that. ... It's a more hostile world than the world I stepped into ten years ago."
"Even as I call you in this moment to be men of courage and resolve with kindness it's going to have to be with graciousness and patience. The call to be faithful and committed and obedient is not a call to be cantankerous. It is a call to be like Christ, bearing the fruit of the Spirit in your obedience." 
"I can't think of a better time to be stepping into pulpits in the US and all over the world, and a better time to exposit the scriptures with clarity, accuracy, and conviction. I'm excited for you. "
"Glorify God, give your life for Christ. Preach the word with boldness and conviction. Let the word of Christ govern your life."  ---end excerpt James Coates video.

Lades, if your husband is in any way ministering as elder, pastor, teacher, church planter, missionary, in any way, it is our call to be supportive, gracious, forgiving, and steady. He is on that battlefield staring at hostiles much of the time. The future is uncertain, especially for Christian ministers in Canada and of course elsewhere. He needs a safe space at home. He needs a refuge. He needs to know that one person will always be on his side. It’s our duty and privilege as help-meet. It’s always nice to come home to a neat house, warm dinner, and loving wife, but especially now when the battle ‘out there’ is rising. Nurture him, listen to him, go the extra mile for him.

Even more important, we women also need the word of God so that we can also stand strong on the day we might meet a fork in the road and called to count a cost. Erin Coates did when police chained her husband and carted him off. Marzena Pawlowski did when they handcuffed her husband Artur Pawlowski and carted him off. Wives, be ready. Only the word of God can ready us for that moment. As James Coates said in his video, resolve in your heart, nurture your convictions, and stand. Let the Lord prepare you and stare strongly into the future, which is bright with opportunity to proclaim Light to a darkening world.

EPrata photo
Posted in prophecy, Uncategorized

Kay Cude Poetry: Desertion

Kay Cude is a poet whose sensitivity to the glorious salvation of Jesus Christ is uniquely expressed through poetry and picture. Here is her latest offering, in which she explains her thought process. Enjoy.

—————————–Kay Cude—————————–

If you look closely at the tower, you’ll see a tiny figure of someone, which refers to the statement, “As gazed I o’er the valley fair, to there below from tower high.”

That little figure caught my eye, as well as the city lighted up and the storm approaching from the left (approaching spiritual death). So I began to write. The city represents the safety of true salvation in Christ and understanding His Gospel.

The people represent those captured by a “different gospel” suggested as the “real” place of safety. Even though they “know” God’s truth — they are persuaded to run to false teaching and reject Christ.

Christ’s refuge is known to them and still stands in its truth, but when extreme peril approaches, they are convinced by someone’s whim (spiritual deception), to flee to eternal death and separation. Even the donkey digs in his heels against the “unknown” way,” and the dog barks at their sudden rejection.

Their end is eternal separation and eternal living death because they quickly deserted Christ’s truth for a distorted gospel.

Kay Cude is a Texas poet. Used with permission

Posted in theology

Prata Potpourri: Adding and subtracting, Plagiarizing pastors, being workers in our homes, developing children’s work ethic, Proverbs series, and more

By Elizabeth Prata

What an interesting week at work! A tornado touched down a few miles from school. We spent a good while in the hallways ducking and covering while that nearby event happened. Then as the storms swept through, lightning zapped the school transformer to our adjacent building housing 4th & 5th grade. The next morning, early arriving teachers found no lights to half the building and no air conditioning! So that meant the 5th grade that was scheduled to take the State End of Year Assessment had to be moved to our building housing the K-3rd grades, and some of the K-3 classrooms reshuffled. Since they had to use the Library and other Activity rooms for the test, the K-3 Activity time had to be shuffled, and then that change announced to everyone. Plus there was more stuff that happened…and in between all the emergencies and contingencies, our Principal still managed to provide the Staff & Teacher appreciation week gifts…including Popcorn Bar on Monday, Charcuterie Box lunch on Wednesday, and Ice Cream Sundae bar on Friday. Phew!

The kids are getting antsy for the end of the school year and summer to start. I am too. We have 11 1/2 days of school left. I was pretty tired when I got home on Friday. I was nodding off at the table at 5:30 so I went for “a little lie-down” as my British grandma used to say. So… 11 hours later I woke up!

And here I am preparing another Prata Potpourri for you. I’m ‘Spanning the globe to bring you the constant variety of sport … the thrill of victory… and the agony of defeat … the human drama of athletic competition, This is “ABC’s Wide World of Sports!” I’m showing my age here…that was the opening spiel of Jim McKay’s long-running Wide World of Sports. In the late 1960s when the show began, it was a magazine format showing viewers the history, culture, and of course the sports in countries where new jet travel and satellite linkage was just beginning to provide to audiences. Capitalizing on the people’s curiosity about the wide world now opening up to them in ways previous generations hadn’t seen, the montage showed lots of different kinds of sports, and then went on to cover these once-exotic competitions.

It’s the same with Prata Potpourri. I like to scan the globe to find edifying material that readers may not come across, and present them to you in case you have time to read, listen, or watch. There is a lot of bad out there, which is more easily found. I like to find the good, and show that despite where you may be living may have a dearth of accessible Christian material in real life, the world is not a Christian desert. The globe is full of Christians writing, speaking, offering good and solid biblical material to the saints. We are blessed to be living in a time when the internet affords us this availability.

So without further ado, here are some links for your perusal.

ESSAYS

Paul Twiss at The Master’s Seminary advises recent graduates to write, write, write. He said that “Writing Clarifies, and Writing Influences”. That second part is aimed at future pastors, who want their congregation to think like him (he presents biblical concepts and soon they will begin to think biblically too). I concur on both aspects of writing. I write to clarify my thoughts, and though my goal isn’t to influence, by default my presentation of essays and podcasts does end up influencing in some ways. My goal then, is that hopefully the material here influences to the good; solid, credible, and biblical.

At Media Gratiae they say, “This week, we’re sharing Part II of one of the most unusual and beneficial messages we have had the privilege of hearing. It was preached by a man named Paris Reidhead, and it has the strange title “10 Shekels and a Shirt.” It’s based on the account of a young priest, an idolatrous Jewish family, and the tribe of Dan, from the 17th chapter in Judges.” You can listen here, or read the sermon here.

Pastor Gabe Hughes (the WWUTT guy) writes an excellent essay dissecting the errors of A Typical Beth Moore Study. It’s clearly written and I believe an important essay to read, since it covers so much of what we see today as errors in many ladies’ ministries.

Tom Buck writes, Preachers, Don’t Add or Subtract. I thought this one also was important, for the men who are pastors and their congregants. We see so much adding to scripture these days with claims of direct revelation, and so many subtractions with timid preachers neglecting to preach the hard concepts, or make the bold, biblical claims that we must declare to the world. (For example, homosexuality is a sin. A woman should strive to be a submissive wife. There are only two genders, He made them man and woman. Hell is real. And so on). Buck writes, “He must handle God’s word in a way that makes it clear that he is not the authority, but is one under authority. The preacher’s words are only authoritative in so far as they are evidenced to come from the biblical text, and not simply his own ideas.” As laypeople, ladies, we need to be discerning so that if the preacher adds or subtracts, we will know it.

Pastors who plagiarize is a bigger problem than we know. I sat under such a one who not only plagiarized every sermon he delivered for at least 4 years, he even stole the original pastor’s personal life anecdotes and passed them off as if he’d lived them. Did it start out that way? No. Plagiarizing is incremental. It starts out with a preacher failing to go to scripture first, but going to another pastor’s material first. He says “I’m adapting another pastor’s outline”. Soon enough, he then uses the entire outline’s points and subpoints. After a while, he just copies the other pastor’s sermon. This “adaptation” creeps bigger and bigger and inevitably the pastor is just ripping off other pastors’ material wholesale. As a congregant, I want to know what the Holy Spirit says to THIS pastor for OUR church. The 7 letters of Revelation aren’t “adaptations of another pastor’s outline” swapped around and around, they are unique messages tailored to each church’s successes and failures, inspired by the Holy Spirit saying what Jesus wanted them to know. Using other pastor’s outlines, examples, or even whole sermons denies the preacher’s congregants from hearing from the Holy Spirit and cheats them by giving them another guy’s words instead. Here is Jared C. Wilson at For The Church with 4 Reasons Pastors Plagiarize.

Darrell B. Harrison writes “The Old Testament provides an excellent, though rather disturbing, example of the distinction between equity and equality.” It’s a good rumination based on the two prostitutes vying for the same child in front of King Solomon. It’s called Equity or Equality?

Rick Holland at Expositors.org asks a timeless question, are you gaining information about God? Or are you gaining knowledge of Him? “It is easy to think that because we’ve heard and appreciated the information presented in a sermon, our responsibility is complete. However, unless that information takes root in our hearts as something we really know (knowledge), we’ve merely been amused by divine truth. It’s interesting that the Bible writers do not speak much about gaining information about God; instead, they emphasize gaining knowledge of Him.” Here we read about Turning Information into Knowledge.

Mary Beeke at Reformation Heritage Blog has an essay Four Ways to Teach Children to Work. I applaud this. As a former teacher and now a teacher’s aide, I’ve been in education on and off since 1984. I see a severe decline in children’s work ethic. Mary Beeke says, “How do we build a positive work ethic in them? At what age should children begin to work? What does it take to train them to be responsible adults? From conversations with families who have successfully made this journey, I have observed four common traits.” Read to find out!

PODCASTS

In episode 416 of Relatable, Allie Beth Stuckey examines “Once Saved, Always Saved?” and also answers some questions about the differences between Mormons and Christians in this Q&A episode.

Dr. Shelbi Cullen and Kimberly Cummings bring hope and encouragement through 25 years of combined experience in biblical discipleship and counseling as ACBC counselors. At their Women’s Hope podcast, the latest lesson is Ep. 119: Teaching What is Good – Being Workers in Our Homes (With Special Guest Marci Ferrell). Take a listen 🙂

This is timely from Founders Ministry: on The Sword and The Trowel, Tom Ascol and Jared Longshore talk about our current season of political instability, civil unrest, governmental overreach, godless ideologies in our churches and the question that many Christians are facing of “to move or not to move”? When is it right to leave a church, job or city? What are biblical principles to apply when navigating these decisions? Building your life around the church: To Move or Not to Move? (also in video).

VIDEOS

I’m very excited to have found this series from Paul Washer at HeartCry going through Proverbs. It’s aimed at the young adult but the adult can learn from it too. I am fascinated by Proverbs, but find it my most difficult book to understand, because I’m so literal. It’s hard for me to understand examples, parables, allusions, and, well, proverbs. These short lessons at 15-20 minutes each are just right. Start here- Studies in Proverbs, Lesson 1

Justin Peters presents a video of Franke Preston, a friend of both Kathy and himself, was saved out of homosexuality. Justin would like you to hear her testimony. The video is 13 minutes. Saved From Homosexuality

Speaking of that, Polite Leader (Alan Hunter) presents information on “What is the G*y Christian Movement?” part of an ongoing series looking at Progressive Christianity. Video is 8 minutes.

Open Hearts in a Closed World Justin and Brooke Bartz ask, “How can Paul say that our afflictions are light and momentary? Join them on the LIT podcast as they look at how we as Christians, endure affliction faithfully knowing that an eternal weight of glory awaits us. Seeing Affliction as Light“. 20 minutes.

I snapped this photo this morning of a cardinal enjoying the seeds in the seed ball I’d hung, only to be disturbed and fly to a higher branch because of the yard cat stalking him. I’m not going to hang any more seed balls, three yard cats are now aroused to the hunt. I do not want the seed balls to lure unsuspecting birdies to their death! Yard cats do a good job clearing the yard of mice and snakes :), but also are a menace to other cats, birds, and similar friendlies. 😦

Have a good day everyone!

Posted in theology

Are you a woman of excellence?

By Elizabeth Prata

So now, my daughter, do not fear. I will do for you whatever you say, for all my people in the city know that you are a woman of excellence. (Ruth 3:11).

An excellent wife, who can find her? For her worth is far above jewels. (Proverbs 31:10)

When I was a kid in school, the best thing you could earn from the teacher was a gold star with the word “excellent!” next to it. I worked toward that all the time. Who doesn’t like some affirmation! I do, I do! I loved it when my teacher deemed my work of top quality and stuck that sought-after star on the top of the paper.

How much more should we seek excellence as Christian women? We would love to have that affirmation from Jesus, our ultimate teacher! He is the ultimate everything. And the excellence there in the verses above doesn’t mean only the work women produce, but the moral character they exhibit.

Strong’s defines the word excellent in the Ruth verse as “ability, efficiency, often involving moral worth.”

Continue reading “Are you a woman of excellence?”
Posted in theology

Despite evil days, the word spreads

By Elizabeth Prata

It’s evil days. The Bible tells us that. And we only need look at both secular and Christian news sites to see it playing out in living color before our eyes. It’s enough to get a person down. We get concerned with the length of time it’s taking Jesus to return, with the church being increasingly persecuted, with pastors being arrested, or worries about getting the Word of God to the lost as countries either close due to Covid or from hatred of the Gospel.

Here are two encouragements for you. This set of verses from God’s word are but a few of the verses that tell us that no matter that satan’s efforts to try and thwart, interrupt, or block God’s plan, none of it will work. Satan tried six ways to Sunday in the Acts era of the first century church to get the word stopped, and it never worked for one second. We know what happened, the word went out MORE.

Acts 6:7 So the word of God continued to spread. The number of disciples in Jerusalem grew rapidly, and a great number of priests became obedient to the faith.

Acts 19:20 So the word of the Lord powerfully continued to spread and prevail

Acts 12:24 But the word of the Lord continued to grow and to be multiplied.

Secondly, if you’re impacted too emotionally from the day’s news, then here is some good advice from Dan Crabtree at The Cripplegate with an article titled What to do with evil news. Here’s just a snippet-

Church history records more dark years than halcyon days. Persecution, slander, and mistreatment has always been par for the Christian course. Jesus told his disciples, “In this world you will have trouble…” (John 16:33), and he meant it. Heads are still on the menu. ... 
Brothers and sisters, we are surrounded with bad news about the evil that permeates this world. Given the dominance of Satan’s handiwork in the headlines, it would be so easy to despair. To get angry. To embitter. To whip someone online with a fresh one-liner because you’ve just had enough. But King David has a better way for us.

Take heart, if you are in the Lord, you are IN the Lord! 1 John 4:4 says, You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Posted in theology

This is a funny scene in Acts

By Elizabeth Prata

Herod had arrested Peter. He was chained between two soldiers inside his cell, and guarded by a rotating squadron of soldiers at the door of his cell. When the Passover concluded that night, he was due for sentencing.

Meanwhile, “Peter was kept in the prison, but prayer for him was being made fervently by the church to God.” (Acts 12:5). The word fervently here means stretched to the limit, completely taut (like a stretched out muscle), or full potential. Fervently means these church folks were praying with all they had to the bottom of their soul.

Back at the prison, note that Peter was sleeping and so were the guards. So, this was the middle of the night, maybe 2:00 in the morning. An angel appeared inside the prison cell, shining his light all over, and Peter did not wake up. The angel had to smack him to wake him up. (Acts 12:7).

Continue reading “This is a funny scene in Acts”
Posted in theology

God told me: part 5, Conclusion

By Elizabeth Prata

For the last week I’ve been presenting different essays examining from a biblical perspective whether direct revelation is happening today. There were 4 previous parts to the series. Today is the conclusion. It was sparked from a conversation I’d had with Jennifer Ross of Confidently Called Homemakers on her podcast. Please go take a listen to the wonderful material Jennifer has for you over at her site.

Part 1 here
Part 2 here

Part 3 here
Part 4 here

Over the course of the series, I looked at what is the ‘God told me’ religion? We also examined whether God speaks audibly today. In part 2 we learned how we can we confirm a voice we hear. And if it’s not God, then who is speaking? In part 3 I asked what is the difference between hearing audible voices and claims that God “spoke to my heart?” In part 4 I asked if we should we avoid ministries where the person says they receive direct revelation.

Here is my final question: Why is all of this important knowledge for the average Christian mom and wife?

Continue reading “God told me: part 5, Conclusion”