Posted in theology

Jesus, the High Name Over All

By Elizabeth Prata

“And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.” (Matthew 17:1-8)

The Holy Spirit’s ministry is to point to Christ (John 16:13-14). Christ is the pre-eminent Person in all the universe (Colossians 1:18). Peter, in his boundless and sometimes unthinking enthusiasm, wanted to make a tabernacle for all three of the glorified beings he saw before him. One for Moses, one for Elijah and one for Jesus. In verse 4 Peter makes it clear, he says it twice, ‘three tents’ and then explains, ‘one for you and you and you…’

Continue reading “Jesus, the High Name Over All”
Posted in bible, encouragement, scripture

Some encouragement: The Long and Winding Road ends at Jesus’ feet

By Elizabeth Prata

I really enjoy photography, looking at photos and taking them. I have many photos that I enjoy digging out and looking at and playing with as digital software technologies continue to be made available.

As I look at them, more often than not, a Bible verse comes to mind. like the Penobscot Bay schooner I’d snapped it was while passing by the schooner we were on, the ‘do not drift away’ verse from Hebrews. It’s here.

I’ll be doing this more often. A short burst of encouragement from a verse, with photo. Here is today’s-

Friends, the road is long and we cannot see around the curve. However we know the end of the story. It ends in glory. Keep walking in Jesus’ name, rejoicing as you go.

New song by Matt Papa and Matt Boswell at the Getty’s site, “Almost Home”. Every day that passes is one day closer to seeing Jesus, our eternal Rest, and reunion with loved ones. Hang in there, walk joyfully toward the Great Light!

Posted in theology

Are Daisy Duke Shorts modest?

By Elizabeth Prata

The answer is no. But I’ll get to that shortly. See what I did there?

I wrote about modesty in general earlier today, here. This is a little addendum.

Daisy Dukes were coined back in the late 1970s when the actress playing the character Daisy Duke in the TV show The Dukes of Hazzard sported short-shorts. The style became synonymous with her character, hence, the name of the garment stuck.

Continue reading “Are Daisy Duke Shorts modest?”
Posted in theology

Modesty: what are the limits and what does scripture say?

By Elizabeth Prata

Usually the discussions about modesty come in late spring as the temps heat up and we enter the summer season peeling off some layers of clothes. When bathing suit season approaches, the discussions online often turn to the limits of skin being shown, where to obtain modest clothing, and what the Bible actually describes modesty as.

Continue reading “Modesty: what are the limits and what does scripture say?”
Posted in theology

Pop Tart

By Elizabeth Prata

The first task I do at school every day is to be at my station at opening bell, having unlocked the door so car riders can come in. I am to greet the students, by name if possible, and generally be pleasant and welcoming. By 7:10am the kids may already have been awakened dog-tired, fussed at, rushed, and generally hustled to the car so mama or daddy can get to work. My job is to be calm, smiling, and joyful to see them. I love this duty because I genuinely love seeing the kids come in. Each of them, every day.

They are so cute. The kids enter at different speeds, displaying different emotions, some shy and looking away from me, some shrinking against the wall, some literally bounding in.

Continue reading “Pop Tart”
Posted in encouragement, Uncategorized

What are we all good at?

By Elizabeth Prata

(Podcast link below)

Sinning. Every human on the planet, no matter his or her age, is good at sinning. Hands down. Me included.

EPrata photo

Look at this example from scripture.

Woe to you, blind guides, who say, ‘If anyone swears by the temple, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gold of the temple, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind fools! For which is greater, the gold or the temple that has made the gold sacred? And you say, ‘If anyone swears by the altar, it is nothing, but if anyone swears by the gift that is on the altar, he is bound by his oath.’ You blind men! For which is greater, the gift or the altar that makes the gift sacred? So whoever swears by the altar swears by it and by everything on it. And whoever swears by the temple swears by it and by him who dwells in it. And whoever swears by heaven swears by the throne of God and by him who sits upon it. (Matthew 23:16-21).

What this section of scripture is about is Jesus pronouncing woes upon the Pharisees. The Pharisees were one of the two ruling classes in Israel, the Sadducees being the other. The Pharisees had twisted the faith into something unrecognizable, laying incredible burdens down on the people, (like over 600 laws!) failing to minister to sinners, making sons of hell twice as worse as they were, and being total hypocrites. When Jesus pronounced His many woes upon them, this particular set of woes involved swearing by the LORD and lying.

The Pharisees had cunningly devised a way to appear to swear by the Lord but be able to get out of it later. As Romans 1:18 says, we all know the truth but we suppress it in unrighteousness. They knew what they were doing but they were devising evil in rationalizing what they THOUGHT were clever ways to wriggle out of it.

They THOUGHT that if they swore an oath by the temple and not by the gold of the temple, they could break their oath later with no repercussions. Or swear by the altar and not the gift on the altar, or by heaven and not by the throne in heaven. As President Bill Clinton famously said when he was trying to avoid an answer, “It depends on what the meaning of is is.”

Photo Pixabay.com. cc.

Look how finely they were splitting hairs! They were dead wrong, as we read Jesus’ excoriation of their sly practices. All the hairs matter.

But you see how we as humans excel at sinning and rationalizing our sin. We’re really, really good at it. “It wasn’t that bad.” “It wasn’t a real promise.” “No one keeps promises anymore.” “I’m not gossiping, I’m sharing a prayer request.” “It wasn’t as bad as that other guy’s sin over there.” “No one saw.”

All rationalizations are simply self-justifications. And there is only One who justifies, Jesus. Our pitiful attempts to justify ourselves when we sin are just evil blasphemies and vain delusions. When we transgress God’s laws, we injure ourselves and dig ourselves deeper into the pit we will eventually fall into. (Matthew 15:14)

As I go through the day I ask Jesus to show me where I am sinning but I’m rationalizing it away. Where I am too ignorant or blind to see my own sin. I ask Him to help me sin less against Him tomorrow than I did today, by the Spirit’s conviction and strength. I am not only the Chief of Sinners, I am Queen of Rationalizations! Open the eyes of my heart, Lord. I pray mine and your walk grows purer with each day and each step. Paul was so wise to pray this for his people:

I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, (Ephesians 1:18).

Lord open the eyes of my heart so I may see and repent of the sins that lurk there.
All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit. (Proverbs 16:2).

Your eyes are too pure to look upon sin but my eyes are too depraved to see holiness. I need Your eyes, Lord.

Tribulation Inflation- I’m beginning to see how easily it can happen The End Time Blog Podcast

Rome wasn’t built in a day and it didn’t collapse in a day. The Roman Republic lasted a bit more than 500 years, one of the best examples of a representative democracy the world has seen. However, when the first emperor came in it spelled their doom. When the city was a Republic the people were supposedly sovereign, but then it became an Empire with a dictator who thought he was a god. Corruption, moral decay, and judicial rot subsequently infected the Empire and it became an unwieldy, lumbering, ripe-for-sacking has-been. Will that happen to the United States? Yes. In this episode, I explore how it might go down. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://the-end-time.org/2021/10/21/tribulation-inflation-im-beginning-to-see-how-easily-it-can-happen/
  1. Tribulation Inflation- I’m beginning to see how easily it can happen
  2. The Permanence of an Electrolux, and waste
  3. Report back: Apologetics Live interview & list of women’s ministries
  4. Dis/Contentment in your life and how to overcome it
  5. This woman spoke volumes by not speaking
Posted in darkness, encouragement, john 1:5

And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not

By Elizabeth Prata

Podcast link below

For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (2 Corinthians 4:6)

EPrata photo

Does it feel to you that the darkness has grown so dark it’s unmanageable, unalterable, unassailable? After the Supreme Court allowed homosexual marriage…after closing churches due to Covid but allowing riots, after the hypocrisy of the government with mandating masks for us but not for them…all that and more…does it feel dark to you? It does to me.

Does it feel to you like the darkness is deep and your own light puny against it?

Does it feel like there are simply no solid Christian around you with whom you can commiserate? Or that there is not a good local church in which you can even half-way trust the teachings from the pulpit or Sunday School? Or if there is a Christian around you, that he or she is flying in a different direction than you are?

It is not so! None of it!

Walk as children of light (for the fruit of light is found in all that is good and right and true), and try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord. (Ephesians 5:8b-10)

It seems that secular society has segmented into ever smaller bits and groups and factions as each group seeks its own agenda. No one is for anyone else and all are against each other. Yet for Christians, this is the opposite of the truth. Paul wrote,

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus. (Galatians 3:28)

We are one in Him, aligned into one Body for one common purpose- to glorify Jesus. Society splinters as sin rises yet Jesus keeps His Bride whole and united. Stark contrast. We might feel all over the place, alone in the darkness with only a puny light to shine, but we are One in Christ.

There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call— one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. (Ephesians 4:4-6)

A lot of ‘ones’ there:

One Body
One Spirit
One Hope
One Lord
One Faith
One Baptism
One God

You might feel like a little, ineffective firefly, but no matter where you are, remember that you are not in Light, you ARE the Light, because you are one with Jesus, who is the Light. So don’t fear any ineffectiveness of your light in this great darkness. You and I were darkness itself but when we came into Jesus we came into His light.

But now are ye light in the Lord; either in, or by the Lord Jesus Christ, the light of men, from whom all spiritual light comes; or by the Lord the Spirit, by whom the eyes of their understandings were enlightened, to see the exceeding sinfulness of sin, in heart and life; the insufficiency of their own righteousness and moral virtues, to justify them before God; and the true and right way of righteousness, life and salvation by Christ; and to have some light into the several doctrines of the Gospel, and even a glimpse of the invisible glories and realities of another world: and this light is so great, that they are not only said to be enlightened, but to be light itself; and this they have not of, and from themselves, but the Lord; and therefore should walk as children of light; not in sins, which are works of darkness, but in faith, truth, and holiness. Gill’s Exposition of Eph 5:8.

We are one with Him, who is this:

Tribulation Inflation- I’m beginning to see how easily it can happen The End Time Blog Podcast

Rome wasn’t built in a day and it didn’t collapse in a day. The Roman Republic lasted a bit more than 500 years, one of the best examples of a representative democracy the world has seen. However, when the first emperor came in it spelled their doom. When the city was a Republic the people were supposedly sovereign, but then it became an Empire with a dictator who thought he was a god. Corruption, moral decay, and judicial rot subsequently infected the Empire and it became an unwieldy, lumbering, ripe-for-sacking has-been. Will that happen to the United States? Yes. In this episode, I explore how it might go down. This episode is also available as a blog post: https://the-end-time.org/2021/10/21/tribulation-inflation-im-beginning-to-see-how-easily-it-can-happen/
  1. Tribulation Inflation- I’m beginning to see how easily it can happen
  2. The Permanence of an Electrolux, and waste
  3. Report back: Apologetics Live interview & list of women’s ministries
  4. Dis/Contentment in your life and how to overcome it
  5. This woman spoke volumes by not speaking
Posted in theology

Introducing: ‘Country Preacher at Large’, David Miller

By Elizabeth Prata

When I plan to attend the National G3 Conference put on by Josh Buice and his church, Pray’s Mill Baptist, I eagerly look forward to the moment when lineup of speakers and their topics for preaching are published for the public. I usually know of most of the men slated to speak, I mean, how can you NOT know of Voddie Baucham, Paul Washer, John MacArthur and so on?

But there was one name this year with which I was not familiar – David Miller.

David Miller?

I was anticipating his sermon, it was on The Excellency of Christ. What a great theme for a sermon.

David Miller is an Arkansas pastor, now evangelist with Line Upon Line Ministries. I’d offer a website url or a Facebook page but there is little public or current about this ministry other than churches and organizations announcing that Brother Miller is set to speak at their event. Line Upon Line was founded in 1985 and since 1995 Miller has been evangelizing, speaking at various places in and around his home of Heber Springs Arkansas.

Here is Miller’s bio, from Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church, Line Upon Line’s partner in their joint endeavor, the Expository Preaching Conference (EPC). More about that in a moment. Here is a partial bio of Miller-

David Miller has been preaching for over 50 years. He has been in full-time evangelism since 1995 with Line Upon Line Ministries. He prefers the title “Country Preacher at Large.” He resides in Heber Springs, Arkansas, with Glenda, his wife of 50 years.”

Miller has suffered from a degenerative muscular disease called peroneal muscular atrophy. Miller is in a wheelchair and cannot hold a Bible. His work-around? Miller has memorized the Bible. He also memorizes his sermons.

The Baptist Press published a good story on Miller and the Expository Preaching Conference, here. The opening of this story is a huge encouragement-

In a quiet little town two miles north of Heber Springs, Ark., a church with a congregation of no more than 75 on an average Sunday morning has been providing training for pastors for the past 19 years. Through the Expository Preaching Conference (EPC), Tumbling Shoals Baptist Church has helped train more than 1,500 pastors in biblical preaching and ministry.

I’m always gladdened by the news that in various corners of the world, Jesus is raising up churches. He is raising up men. He is sustaining his elders who persevere in gracious joy. I mean, you know in your heart, He is. But what a joy to see the layers peeled back a bit and learn of new pockets of His remnant!

Not every preacher has opportunity to attend seminary. Yet many men are called to preach. The article on Miller further states,

"Many of the pastors who attend the EPC are not, and probably will not be, seminary-trained," said Brad Johnson, pastor of Tumbling Shoals Baptist, about the event held this past spring. He said the conference is "often the closest they will come to being formally educated in biblical preaching and ministry." The conference began in 1997 as the brainchild of Miller, who has preached expository sermons for 51 years. After serving as director of missions for Little Red River Association for 25 years, often counseling preachers on how to preach from the Bible, Miller retired in 1995 and began looking for another mission position to fill."

Miller calls himself “Country Preacher at Large”. He has the country accent, much gravitas, an understated delivery of the truths anchored in the word of God, and an arched wit. His precise understanding of the scriptures combined with his delivery make for a powerful listening experience.

At G3, Miller delivered the sermon, “The Excellency of Christ“. I was eager to hear this new voice, one of which I had not been aware. I trust the G3 ministry to properly vet who they will choose to platform, so my discernment radar was on low volume.

David Miller at the 2018 G3 Conference, video screen shot

And what a voice it was. During sermons or at conferences, especially one like G3, my spirit will connect in a major way with the Sprit in me. The Holy Spirit will use the words preached to convict my heart, awaken my conscience, expand my mind in knowledge and aroma of Christ, lead me in sanctification, all that and more that the Bible promises He will do when we revel in the Word. Mike Riccardi’s sermon on the Cleansing of the Leper plunged my mind into the depths of despair over my sin before raising me to see the glory of Christ as compassionate Savior of our sinful state.

Miller, though…David Miller! I heard, I rejoiced. For the rest of the day I never came down from the mountaintop of glorious words. Miller’s sermon knit a view of Christ in my mind that brought me over beams of light traveling back to before the universe began to glimpse the holy and loving intra-Trinitarian delight the Three Persons of the One God has in each other. I lay at Christ’s feet in the starry ether, alone, reveling in His excellency. I closed my minds’ eye to the bright glory evoked by the words he delivered. David Miller is an amazing preacher.

David Miller’s sermons are on SermonAudio. I am interested to listen to his Overview of the book of Ruth, for a start. There are videos of his sermons on Youtube as well, including his address at the 2018 G3 Conference.

Apart from your own pastor, if you are looking for a preacher to add to your list, David Miller is a good one to add. Isn’t it wonderful to see that the Lord is working among the Lampstands of heaven to persevere men all around the globe? That He is sustaining men, churches, ministries for the good and glory of His name? And Jesus will do so all the days until the consummation of His prophetic plan, when we will be united as one Bride, adoring our Groom, ‘up there’. Revelation 1:12-16 shows us our Lord, at work, curating his church, leading as Head of the Church. For he is El Roi, our God who sees.

Then I turned to see the voice that was speaking with me. And after turning I saw seven golden lampstands; and in the middle of the lampstands I saw one like a son of man, clothed in a robe reaching to the feet, and wrapped around the chest with a golden sash. His head and His hair were white like white wool, like snow; and His eyes were like a flame of fire. His feet were like burnished bronze when it has been heated to a glow in a furnace, and His voice was like the sound of many waters. In His right hand He held seven stars, and out of His mouth came a sharp two-edged sword; and His face was like the sun shining in its strength.

Posted in theology

Paul Washer with an admonishment to pastors

By Elizabeth Prata

Plagiarism is a plague in the church. Many pastors are not working out their sermons with fear and trembling under illumination of the Holy Spirit. They are reading other men’s sermons, reformatting, swapping out some words with synonyms and re-delivering the other man’s words to their churches as if they were their own. Or they take another guy’s sermon outlines and his structure and his flow, rename the sermon points, and pretend they crafted it together with their own brain and sweat and labor.

In no case did the preacher dig out truths the Spirit wanted him to pass to the local body. He didn’t spend time sweating and laboring and unearthing scriptural gems with the precise emphasis the Spirit wanted for this specific congregation to hear. The plagiarizing pastor just took the easy way out.

THIS IS BAD.

Continue reading “Paul Washer with an admonishment to pastors”