Thursday, December 31, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Best-selling author and evangelist, Ray Comfort, said, "What may sound like compassion is actually pulpit betrayal. Rather than a sermon telling his hearers to steal from businesses, he should be telling them to take what they need from his own church's collection plate. If he didn't do that because his church is feeling the economic pinch, that brings into question his motive. If his parishioners take his advice and his weekly collection increases, he is benefiting from the crime he instigated and therefore complicit to it. The question also arises as to whether or not the priest personally practices what he preaches. Does he himself shoplift? If he doesn't, he's a hypocrite. If he does, then he's a criminal. If he says that he doesn't need to shoplift because he is financially sound, then he should be giving to his poor folks, rather than making them into thieves."
Britain's Daily Mail reported, "He told parishioners it would not break the eighth commandment 'thou shalt not steal' because it 'is permissible for those who are in desperate situations to take food that they might not starve.' The Yorkshire Evening Post reported that he said, "'My advice, as a Christian priest, is to shoplift,' he told his stunned congregation at St Lawrence and St Hilda in York."
Comfort said, "The twisted advice of the Reverend is nothing new. The religious leaders at the time of Christ also perverted the Ten Commandments. In Matthew 15 they changed the Fifth so that they didn't have to honor their father and mother, and they even tried to soften the Seventh. But in the Sermon on the Mount Jesus warned that God considers lust to be adultery of the heart.
"This all comes from something called 'idolatry,' which is the sin of making a god in your own image. Once you do that, anything goes. The Bible says that if you steal, even in the case of dire need, you pay back seven-fold. Sex becomes okay "if you love someone." Lying becomes morally okay if they are lies that don't "hurt" anyone. Adultery becomes acceptable if the marriage is boring, and the murder of children in the womb is permitted if a pregnancy is an inconvenience. But the Bible is clear that all liars, adulterers, murderers and thieves will end up in Hell."
The Rev. Jones added, "I do not offer such advice because I think that stealing is a good thing, or because I think it is harmless, for it is neither." He said that people shouldn't steal from small, family businesses, but from large national businesses.
Comfort, who spent a lot of his time feeding the homeless in Los Angeles' infamous McArthur Park, said, "This is what happens when unconverted men go into the ministry. Many of today's preachers should have been plumbers, motivational speakers or bankers, rather than what the Bible calls 'preachers of righteousness.' The moral Law is meant to show us that we are sinners and that we need a Savior. The Ten Commandments don't need changing. We do. We may change them to suit ourselves, but they will still be the standard of judgment on Judgment Day. God wrote them in stone for a reason."
Contact: Trisha Ramos, 800-437-1893, www.livingwaters.com
Saturday, December 26, 2009
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek." Romans 1:19
Here's what to do to win:
There are 2 Ways to enter your name in the drawing...
1. For 2 entries, post this give away on your website, blog, or social networking site.
2. For 1 entry, simply enter your name below (in the comment section) and a way for me to contact you if you win.
Contest ends Sunday, Jan. 10 2010. I will randomly pick 5 names and the winners will be announced on Monday, Jan. 11 2010.
Open to US and Canada residents only
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
If you'd like to download Christmas Carols, download the files here:
Christmas Carol Song Sheet 1
Christmas Carol Song Sheet 2
Thursday, December 17, 2009
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Meet Chris. He was on Hour 2 of Wretched Radio.
Chris laughs with Todd on air. Todd's a very funny guy.Chris said that he was a Christian but when I asked him, "Chris, say I was a Muslim...why would I want to switch to your Christian religion?"
After Chris got of the air he was very grateful and wanted to listen to more of what Emilio and I had to say. We invited him to church to talk more and we hope that he'll take us up on the offer. As he walked away he said, "Thank you for doing this today."
Chris, if you're reading this...we'd love to see you at Sovereign Joy someday. Thank you for being on the air. And Hala, if you're reading this...that goes for you too. :-)
Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Emilio and I got married in Nov of 2003 and the next year I was bugging him for a dog. For about a month my friend Jaylene and I would pay a visit to the Riverside Pound and look for a dog after we got off of work.
"We're not home enough to take care of a dog...it wouldn't be fair to the animal." Emilio wisely would respond to me.
After several attempts of trying to coerce him, I decided to go straight to God.
"Lord, since Emilio won't give me a dog...I pray that you will."
The week after I prayed, Emilio and I were studying Koine Greek at our kitchen table. It was about 11pm at night and we heard rustling in the back yard. I thought it was an opossum -they were drawn to our house since we had a lot of bushes - this was a normal sound that we'd hear late at night.
Emilio walked over to the sliding glass door, "I think there is a pit bull in our back yard!" He yelled.
My heart leaped for joy. You should have seen my face. "How cool!" I thought.
We ran outside together and sure enough there was a stray mangy-looking white dog hiding in the corner of the yard. She found her way in through a missing slat on our fence.
It was drizzling that night and the dog was getting wet...it just broke my heart. I wanted to take it in the house. Emilio tried to get her out of the corner but it was too wet and she started growling. She was afraid of us. I don't blame her. :-)
So to no avail at capturing her, went went back in the house and she spent the night in the back yard. The next morning she was gone.
For the next week or so I saw her roaming around the neighborhood -we lived in a pretty bad part of town in Riverside, CA at the time and so stray dogs were pretty common, but none had made it in our back yard like she did.
Each time I saw her roaming the streets she looked more and more skinny as the days went by.
She took one look at me and was off - as fast as lightening.
A couple days later it was a Saturday morning, Emilio was gone and I looked out the sliding glass door and she had made her way back in the yard! But this time it was sunny outside and she was lying on her side soaking up the sun as it was beating down on her little skinny body.
I quickly ran to the kitchen, grabbed some chicken, and prayed, "Lord, I pray that dog won't attack me...I pray that it will like me...and let it not want to leave again."
I slowing approached her and she got up quickly, looked at me and then she crouched down as low to the ground as possible and started creeping towards me. I was kind of afraid of her. I wasn't sure what she was going to do. But I opened my hand and she took the food and feel into my lap.
Emilio came home and couldn't believe she returned. When I asked him what I should name her... he said, "Well, you've been calling her "baby" all of this time...why don't you name her 'Baby'. "
She's been a part of the family ever since and I didn't even have to go to the pound to get her - God brought her to us. :-)
The above video is in our old back yard in California. We probably only had Baby for about a week or so. She's much heavier now. She loves to eat.
I'm reminded of Job when he says "The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away. Blessed be the name of the Lord." God is good when He gives and He is good when He takes away.
We took Baby to the vet on Monday of last week and they ran some tests on the lymph nodes that were swollen and gave her about 2-4 weeks to live. She has Lymphosarcoma (cancer of the lymph nodes). I could hardly believe my ears. We thought we'd have her for many more years. This just came out of the blue and it is a reminder that life is short, isn't it!
Death can sneak up upon us when we least expect it. I've come to realize more and more that this place is not my true home - I can't wait to see the Lord and be in heaven where there is no more pain and suffering. And I can't imagine some of the suffering that many of you have gone through or are going through right now - but God can.
The other day I was doing chores in the house, Baby was in her bed in the front room, and Emilio's bible was on the coffee table. It's funny because I had been walking past it all morning and well into the day and I hadn't even noticed it on the table. But at that moment it was as if it jumped out at me. I was pretty sad about Baby... and I knew the only place I could find comfort was in the Words of Christ. I walked over to the bible and I saw that that it was opened to John 14-16 and my eyes hit these words "I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you." (John 14:18).
About an hour later one of my dear friends emailed me this:
"Oh...Trish... Job 12:10..."In His hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind." Look forward to this time with the Lord because just when you feel as if you can't even breathe...He'll renew your strength and be more precious than ever. I know you know this but I also want to reassure you that when those times do come, remember, you are not an "orphan," yet the daughter of The King Most High."
By this point, I was a teary mess.
That very same day I went on to the Chandler's blog (this family has been going through a trail way beyond mine) and I read this verse from Lauren Chandler:
For the righteous will never be moved;
he will be remembered forever.
He is not afraid of bad news;
his heart is firm, trusting in the LORD.
His heart is steady;
he will not be afraid,
until he looks in triumph on his adversaries.
Psalm 112: 6 -8
Then on Tuesday, Sue (Ray Comfort's wife) comforted me by sharing what happened the day that they lost their dog:
"One brighter note that came of it though was we left the Vet's at the same time as another lady and her daughter who had just had their big dog put to sleep. We were all crying and Ray handed the lady a Million dollar bill tract to cheer her up and we all ended up laughing and consoling each other. It must have looked funny really. Ray saved the day again."
I hope that if your struggling with something or if you'd had bad news come your way that you'll be encouraged by some of the scriptures that I've mentioned.
"Resolved, when I feel pain, to think of
the pains of martyrdom, and of hell."
Jonathan Edwards, Resolution #10
When my friend Jaylene heard about Baby (she's a dog lover too) she sent me this:
My soul, wait in silence for God only,
For my hope is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation,
My stronghold; I shall not be shaken.
On God my salvation and my glory rest;
The rock of my strength, my refuge is in God.
Trust in Him at all times, O people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us. Psalm 62:5-8
I thank God for bringing me this special dog and I pray that she defies all the bad reports and lives till she 19 yrs old. After all she may want to stick around to keep eating my burnt pizzas. :-)
And if she doesn't, praise be to God for giving us wonderful gifts like the gifts of pets.
"A righteous man has regard for the life of his animal, But even the compassion of the wicked is cruel." Prov 12:10
One day everything that I hold dear will be stripped away by death. But I thank God for the good news of the gospel.
"He will wipe away every tear from their eyes; and there will no longer be any death; there will no longer be any mourning, or crying, or pain; the first things have passed away." Rev 21:4
If you're reading this, I'm sure you've had some sort of suffering in your life. Isn't it true that the longer we live the more we will experience the loss of loved ones and the loss of our possessions? Things grow old, don't they? That new car isn't so new anymore. Pets grow old and die, people grow old and die. Life is hard.
The Bible gives us the answer for death and how we can have everlasting life. We experience death because Adam transgressed against God in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). Now, we all have to go through suffering. But who of us hasn't sinned? All we have to do is look at God's law (the 10 Commandments) and see how we measure up. We've all told lies, or perhaps we've stolen or looked with lust. Who of us hasn't done this? The bible says that the soul that sins will surely die (Ezekiel 18:4). "Whosoever commits sin transgress also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law" (1 John 3:4). When we have to face God on Judgment Day we'll be guilty of breaking his holy law. But wait! There's Good News!
God Himself made a way for sinners to be forgiven...Listen to this...
"For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life." (John 3:16). Jesus Christ was fully God and fully man and was without sin. He suffered and died on the cross and then He rose from the dead, defeating death. You broke the Law and Jesus paid the fine with His precious blood for sinners! Today, here's what to do, confess your sins to God, repent (turn) from your sins, put your trust in Jesus to save you from eternal damnation, and you will pass from death to life. Only through Christ can God forgive you and grant you the gift of everlasting life.
Trust in Him today and death will no longer have a sting and you will have victory in Jesus Christ (1 Cor 15:50-58). Thank you for reading this and I hope you've found comfort that will last forever.