When Men Run From God

RunFromGod2

My wife and I are both Christian,” the 70-year-old performer explains. “My father AliceCooperwas a pastor, my grandfather was an evangelist. I grew up in the church, went as far away as I could from it — almost died — and then came back to the church.” [ref: Legendary rocker Alice Cooper credits Jesus with curing him of alcoholism] We each have our demons, per se, those things which cause us to run away from God. Even though we tend to go that extra mile by telling ourselves that we are only running from the Church, the priests/pastors, or from the hypocrites within the Church. I myself was born into the Roman Catholic faith, but I always found it to be wrongfully preached or taught. When I was sixteen, I was in the pew listening to the priest say, emphatically I might add, “You are too ignorant and stupid to understand the bible. That is what we priests do, we learn the bible and teach you what you need to know.” While this was paraphrased, it was the crux of what this priest said, in essence, to the congregation. It was this particular straw that broke my camel’s back and sent me packing from the church, or from God. This was the driving force, in my opinion. I would truly say I left the Church because I did not accept what was stated, foolishly I might add.

Return-to-ChurchEventually, I ended up going back to Church, but it was a Pentecostal Church. Of course they had their doctrines which I disagreed with…after all, some of these doctrines that are taught in the Churches of a Denominational God tend to expound upon aspects of the Bible, which in essence, contradict the Bible, or God’s Word. After several other Return-to-Godconcerning issues, I left the Church, yet again. After a ten year hiatus, and much prayer, I returned. But unlike others I never actually left God. Though I had tested God, tried to disprove God, tried to explain away God…I still believed God. He tugs at your heart’s strings. Often times, you are saved from great dilemmas and problems which would essentially destroy you, and rightfully so – I might add. But God in His infinite & divine wisdom protects you in some of the strangest ways. Eventually, by God’s grace, you come around.

As discussed in a previous post we are the church, we the people, with Christ at it’s head. All the world IS God’s possession and can be used as a Church for God. What we do is return to God and return to His presence. It is our purpose to glorify Him in all we do…even if we do so through finding Him again and coming home to Him. Just as was spoken in the Parable of the Lost Sheep., or the Parable of the Lost Coin, or the Parable of the Lost Son.

I have, once I could identify it, always been of the mind of Jean Paul Sartre, who said (effectually):

“To name it is to kill it!”

Essentially meaning that if you define something through a naming process of some sort, you will in effect confine it. Yes, that does include God, as well as religion as a whole. When you name a religion that religion is then defined by it’s name through the associative process in your brain because you will associate all of the tenets of that particular religion to the name it bears, or it’s brand – if you will.

There are, as I recall, approximately 34,000 variations of Christianity throughout the world, today. Why? Because they each have a differing set of tenets to abide by. Drinking, no drinking, dancing, no dancing, snake handling (yeah! you heard me!), acknowledging holidays or not, etc. You change just one thing, one tenet in some manner or form…>>PRESTO!<< You now have a new religion.

Now I have gotten a little off the path of this post, BUT, you can focus on the remainder…This is why we as Christians that we MUST…ABSOLUTELY MUST…study the scriptures and read a lot! Because we will not learn all of this by osmosis. We must research and learn it all in order to have the answers for those who seek to know. We are a beacon of hope, in a manner of speaking. Those who are lost, they too are seeking. Either you and I will answer them…or someone else will misguide them. We have an obligation, according to the Great Commission to enlighten them and at very least steer them toward the truth that God has for them. In doing so, we fulfill the mandate in the Great Commandment.

There are those who are going through something similar to you in your youth, meaning they are running from God & the Church. And God has prepared you for just such an encounter by having you follow the path which you have followed over the course of your life. Man is never satisfied with what he has, because he always wants something more. Me in my youth I can truthfully say that I whored myself out to earn more money so I could obtain more. In so doing, I grew ever so slowly or quickly away from God by slowly divorcing Him out of my life. And though I obtained more, I was none the happier for it. But our God is strong enough and big enough to create something good, or help us to take away something good, from such an experience. And it is just such an experience that we need in order to help another who is going through such turmoil in their lives. We are able to show them God’s love and to let them know…”You are not alone in all of this!”

Jonah ran from God’s mandate and he was not happier for it, in fact he suffered for his brash actions until he fulfilled God’s command. In the Book of Hosea, Gomer ran from her husband back to prostituting herself for more until she was sent to the block to be sold. She was only to be bought back by her own husband, Hosea. This was the story of true love of God for His people and the showing of their ungratefulness.

The bible is full of the information we need, and I mentioned in a previous post as to Why we memorize scripture?…because of those AH-HAH! moments which we can learn quite a bit from.

I have written several posts concerning the subject of “Once Saved, Always Saved.” (Part 1, Part 2, & Revisited) I have always questioned such a thing; however, after much deliberation and much study on the matter I finally concluded that it is in fact the case. I have concluded that IF you do not believe in “Once Saved, Always Saved,” then you must hold the argument that YOU must do something over and above what God has already accomplished. I.e., the substitutionary sacrifice of Jesus as the pure and unblemished lamb for our mis-deeds. Such a fallacious belief to have and I do not say such lightly. It is fallacious because you must ask yourself one very pointed question:

What can I do that is greater than the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, My Lord and Savior? What can I do that is far more superior than His being crucified for ALL of my sins?

[Keep in mind, when Jesus hung on the cross…you were not born excepting only that God knew of you before you were in the womb!]

I have often though long and hard on the opening monologue of the movie, The Patriot, where the opening words were spoken:

I have long feared that my sins would return to visit me, and the cost is more than I can bear.” ~Benjamin Martin, opening monologue of ‘The Patriot’

It is not our sins that come to visit us and cause us turmoil, but rather our bad choices. Choose now to follow Jesus, by accepting Him as the Son of the Most High God and as your Savior, YOUR sins shall be forgiven. Turn from your life of tumultuous behavior and turn toward Jesus who will guide you to the heavenly.

Godspeed my friends! I hope this was helpful and informative for you!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

 

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…avoid foolish and ignorant disputes…

While on Facebook, someone wrote a single question:

Pls share your opinions. CAN A CHRISTIAN LOSE SALVATION ?

Foolish businessAnd foolish me…like so many others like me, responded. Boy-Oh-boy, let the games begin! You just wouldn’t believe it…you would think it was a political posting of some sort! I guess looking back at it in hindsight, I was really not all that surprised by what was to happen. Christians are as social, argumentative, and crazy as anyone else on the face of this earth…sadly, me included! We each will battle to justify our position and our argument, to sustain it’s viability. And if that is not bad enough, we will denigrate those who we think answer us rudely, even though they are just answering a question that we posed. [I don’t think I went that crazy!] But I was asked/told that something I stated was not in the bible, my response was it was in the bible and the scripture. When I responded with that I was accused of arguing…HUH?@#$!

At another point in time, I came to some semblance of sanity and stated/posted:

I have come to the conclusion that this is one of those “…foolish disputes…” (2Tim 2:23-26)that Paul spoke of that we should avoid as children of God! WOW!

I received several comments, some of which were “we aren’t arguing,” and “I wouldn’t characterize the end of time as a foolish or ignorant topic.” Which was not really the topic of discussion anyway. The topic, overall, was what did you (the respondent) believe? Therefore, the question went to the heart of one’s doctrinal beliefs. And trust me…there were a plethora of discussion threads! What was stated by me was that the argument was foolish, in that, we were instructed to avoid such disputes as we are to be of “…one mind…” as written:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. ~Philippians 2:1-4 NKJV

How can we be “…like minded…” and of “…one mind…” where we are arguing over doctrinal issues that, in my opinion, should have been settled long, long ago! And while arguing, we treat others as though they are heathens and tend to answer curtly, coarsely, and denigrate one another in order to show our dominance over their “ignorant beliefs.”  WOW! Just wow! That is all I have. I am of the mind to argue and my wife will attest to such. However, there are times where I will just attain that “AH-HAH! Moment” that we all seek. And often are hit with at one of the most inopportune moments…you know…when you are winning the argument…er..eh hem…spirited debate. [Yeah, that’ll work for me! LOL]

YES! God does work in very mysterious ways, but why couldn’t He wait a few more posts cause I was winning?

So, my Christian friends, can’t we all just get along? What is it that makes us so different, yet very much so the same as all others in this world? As I have mentioned in a previous post, where I was looking into other platforms but Christian oriented, might not be such a great idea after all. Why? Because we each still possess a propensity to argue, as Tony Robbins once stated, because we knew we had to win! We were right after all and that opponent of ours was but a heathen.

Guess what? We are all brothers and sisters in Christ, which also makes us adoptive brothers and sisters. We are a family and we should be able to get along in these matters. Why, you ask? Because if we cannot get along with our brothers and sisters in Christ…how can we think that we will get along in the heavenly with God? Or even with Christ Himself?

The more I learn, the more I find out I still have a very long distance to go before I get to be even a halfway decent Christian…and that still doesn’t make me a good one! We each need to take a step back from time to time in order to see, or assess ourselves, as to how good we are as Christians. And YES…I do mean an HONEST assessment of yourself! We, as the whole body of Christ need to be:

bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ” ~2 Corinthians 10:4-6 NKJV

Sometimes we may take a little longer than usual to get that “AH-HAH!” moment to slap us in the face. You know the drill, some of us just aren’t very sharp or quick witted! Yes, I’ll own that! There will come a point in time, usually during your discussion, where you will note that the argument is foolish or ignorant. So the bottom line is this:

Do you continue on with the argument until you win, or cease arguing and acknowledge to foolhardiness of the argument?

foolish-positinionMany of us have that propensity to fight on until we win [standing on sinking ground in a foolish position] and others are struck with an ethical roadblock [which is not a bad thing]. But there is that small segment of the population who, despite that ethical roadblock which crops up on them, can and will continue the argument until they are victorious. Which type of person are you? Sadly, I have a lot of work to do as I am of the ilk who has, in the past, continued on until victorious…which still makes me the loser in the long-run!

Please learn from my mistakes, that you do not have to go through life wondering why things are the way they are?

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Original posting: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ilovebeingachristian/permalink/330412207486570/?comment_id=330965957431195&reply_comment_id=331074717420319&notif_id=1526187331985687&notif_t=group_comment&ref=notif

Church & State on a Collision Course

law-and-religion

In the book of Revelation, Babylon is believed to be the capital of the New World Order. Which, of course, is deemed to be fallen due to the wrath of God being poured out.

Read bible pg 267 referring to the people who were martyred, killed and exiled because of their faith.

“Church, Inc.” by Charles Giuliani, a book showing how the church willingly gives up it’s rights as a church by becoming a fiction of the state. Eventually to be forced to submit to their rule. Of course that is speculation, at best; but if you look and see how many rights and liberties are striped away from the American people…you will start thinking otherwise!

The Church has been on a collision course with the governing authorities for centuries. Look back in history to Rome and Nero, who essentially set fire to Rome and blamed the Christian followers of the Way. Look into the last century where Hitler on his rise to power blamed the Jewish people for all the problems of the German people. Look at Joseph Stalin, shortly thereafter, where he had coined the phrase by Karl Marx:

The full quote from Karl Marx translates as: “Religion is the sigh of the oppressed creature, the heart of a heartless world, and the soul of soulless conditions. It is the opium of the people“.

Which was, in general, his critique of G.F.W. Hegel’s “Philosophy of Right.” To a degree I can agree with his assessment, in that, religion is an “opium” of sort, karl-marx-hiphowever, it is much better, more real, and less expensive a habit. Why you ask? Because religion is a spiritual hope given to man, a hope of his eternal and everlasting future, which will last far beyond his meager and short lived life. Heroin is but a temporary fix, a veering of one’s attention to disrupt his thoughts for a time because he cannot handle the truth of reality. Why else would they be bringing in “cry closets” to  schools for those students who cannot handle finals and allows them to let it all out, if you will. REALLY?

So, who or what is the church?

The Christian church can be seen in two ways: the visible and the invisible. The visible church is comprised of all who claim the name of Christian and who gather together for worship and participation of the sacraments: the Lord’s Supper and Baptism. The members of the visible church claim the name of Christian (excluding the cults like the Mormons and Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc.). The visible church contains both believers and non-believers, that is, there are people in the visible church who are not really saved. ~What is the church? by Matt Slick

So, the church, itself, is not necessarily a brick and mortar building, but the people themselves. You can literally have a gathering outside or in someone’s home and it can be a church. The church I attend now is a multi-location church, but started in someone’s home back in the late 1970s or 1980s. This is how many churches began back in the beginning  of the Christian movement. Now, of course and after it left the homes of those who founded it, it was created into a fiction of the state or a corporate entity. As a corporate entity you are made into a fiction that was created at the behest of the state via a legal process. In so doing, while you create a fictional person with rights under the law, you also have requirements under the law as well.

We have obligations under the law as people, physical people. But “corporate ConspiracyTheoristpeople” are also obligated to follow the law, also. But when they are found to be amiss of the law, who is actually guilty? Who is actually found to be accountable?

It is my assertion, that these fictional entities, or corporate persons, will at some point in time be required to give up their congregants. For years this has been fought in court and a protected right of association. But one day, as with so many of our rights being striped from us, this will be but another theft by the state, or federal, government(s).

Let us look at what a “conspiracy theory/theorist” is?

con·spir·a·cy
noun
noun: conspiracy; plural noun: conspiracies
  • a secret plan by a group to do something unlawful or harmful.
  • the action of plotting or conspiring.
the·o·ry
noun
noun: theory; plural noun: theories
  • a supposition or a system of ideas intended to explain something, especially one based on general principles independent of the thing to be explained.
  • a set of principles on which the practice of an activity is based.
  • an idea used to account for a situation or justify a course of action.

the·o·rist

noun

noun: theorist; plural noun: theorists
  • a person concerned with the theoretical aspects of a subject; a theoretician.

A conspiracy theory, or theorist, by its definition and nature is a person with an alternative theory on a particular subject. It is not good or bad, in and of itself, it just is an alternative theory by someone. Yet, politically and religiously speaking by addressing or labeling someone as a “conspiracy theorist” is derogatory in nature. Sadly, this has been going on for decades. This was but one instance where the state and the church have shown a collision course with one another. The asylum which was given to others is where the church has show, at times, where they are on a collision course with the state. Not yielding their congregant lists to the state has also shown another collision course. The list continues on.

Consider the Book of Revelation

And another angel, a second one, followed, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great, she who has made all the nations drink of the wine of the passion of her immorality.” ~Revelation 14:8

And he cried out with a mighty voice, saying, “Fallen, fallen is Babylon the great! She has become a dwelling place of demons and a prison of every unclean spirit, and a prison of every unclean and hateful bird. ~Revelation 18:2

Where Babylon is both the head of the government and the head of the Church. We will, if we do not follow the way of Christ, fall under judgement of God. We will stand before the judgement seat of Christ. In either case, and on either side of the aisle, we will stand before the judgement seat and be judged!

I pray I did not blather on too much in this blog posting and hope it was helpful to you! Godspeed, my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

Attack Your Problems Head On

david-goliath

I was listening to a podcast of CARM on my way home one night and heard a commercial for Harvest America Moment with Greg Laurie which said of David,

As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. ~1Samuel 17:48-49 NIV

We are to attack our problems as David attacked Goliath, the Philistine. We each have our own problems and shortcomings, but God at that moment had told me through one of those great AH-HAH! moments that it wasn’t the problem itself but my inability to obey that holds me back. Think about that for a moment or two!

attackAll too often we feign an attack, ultimately to no avail, because of our inner fears and insecurities. We constantly and consistently fail to push forward to glorify God in all we do all due to fear. We fail to have faith in God and His ultimate power. Who could be more powerful than God? The very one who created our very souls, our spirit, our bodies, the very world upon which we now live! It just get any better than that, don’t you think? Our God loves us and empowers & equips us to do His will. (1 Corinthians 15:9–10, Hebrews 13:20-21)

And do not think I am pointing fingers at you, only…I have to stare at myself in the mirror and do it to myself, as well! Yes, I am guilty of such failures! Remember the

There is none righteous, not even one” ~Romans 3:10 & Psalm 14:3

We are each guilty, in some small way, or grand… I am 57 years old this year and I am having more “AH-HAH!” moments within just this last year than I have had in a very long ah-ha-moment3time! IF, and that is the qualifier, I stay on this path…could you imagine all of the other ah-hah moments I am destined to have in the future? There is so much more to learn, so many difficulties to overcome, so many problems to solve, and so many challenges to overcome! But we each must persevere our plight of doing what is right and just and good in God’s eyes. We each must set our minds on things above and not our earthly plain. For the earth will come and go, it will change from one day to the next, but the heavenly realm we seek shall never change, excepting only the increase of those elected by God to be saved!

I was watching a clip of Legends & Lies, by Bill O’Rielly, about Stonewall Jackson. He was of such a mind that he did not concern himself about such trivialities of how he would die, because God had ordained such a thing. He was one of those individuals that took chances, chances that others would think foolish but he saw as necessary, and if he were to die such was the determination of God, Himself.

Sometimes God will use a show on television to teach us something. Sometimes we learn from that all encompassing ah-hah moment by reading a biblical passage, or verse. It is different for each of us, because God can use all things for His good! We are all called by God to do His will, but not all have responded to that calling. Remember the passage?

For many are called, but few are chosen.” ~Matthew 22:14 (NKJV)

We all have to learn to make those difficult choices in order to accomplish what we must, to God’s glory. At times it may be something on a small scale, but at other times it is on a grand scale! We must be willing to make that leap of faith! Believing that God is behind us desiring us to do our best to His glory!

No matter your position in the working world, nor in your youthful stage in life…God desires you and I to do our best at all times. Why? Because we are, potentially, a light to others who need to see God and we are the light for that person, or those people.

LightUntoTheWorld

Sometimes, and this may be difficult to grasp, WE are the only ones who will cross someones path for God’s sake…there is no other they will meet to bring such a light in their lives.

Think about that for a moment! That is a heavy load to bear for others in this world, but there are times it is true. It is for this reason that we must each challenge ourselves to face our problems head on! We each have a Goliath or a problem or , perhaps, a challenge (or two, or three) in our lives…WE MUST FACE EACH ONE DIRECTLY AND HEAD ON.

Such a thing is much like falling off one’s bike, we need to get back on that bike. Problems and challenges are the same exact thing…we must never stop facing them, because they will always be attacking us throughout our lives until our dying breath.

I hope this was helpful to you, my friends! Godspeed!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Christian Alternatives To Facebook by Pastor Duke

Many Christians have gotten a little fed up with Facebook. Whether they are finding that their posts mysteriously disappear, or are not shared with all of their friends due to Facebook’s decision to censor religious speech, (Facebook, Apple, Google censoring religious speech?) or they are tired of posts that use inappropriate pictures or language, or they just want a place where they can go to get uplifted and encouraged, Christians have been looking for alternatives to Facebook. It was because of this need that I decided to use the popularity of my own website Taber’s Truths and our Facebook Fan Page to enter the Christian social networking niche and launch Christian Faithbook. However, since I have always had a big tent philosophy towards other Christians and Christian websites, I wanted to provide you with a list of the best Christian Social Networking sites for 2013. I have used a 3 point criteria for this list. I have made the decision on who to include based on the number of members, number of features, and whether the site is moderated to weed out spam and inappropriate posts and pictures. This list is not ranked, but just the 10 best Christian social networking sites I could find based on that criteria. [Original Article]

Top Christian Alternatives To Facebook For Social Networking

Christian Faithbook. The Faith and Family Friendly Christian Social Network

Of course, I believe that Christian Faithbook should be in this list otherwise I wouldn’t have bothered to enter into the Christian social networking market. It offers…..

• Facebook like styling and functions with a wall for friends posts and ability to like posts or comment on posts

• Uploading of Video, Audio, and Pictures

• Christian Groups and Forums

• Instant messaging of friends

• Membership of 450+ in 3 weeks

• Moderation of posts and pictures.

XX  Kindle

Kindle is a Christian social network to share your prayer requests. It offers….

• The ability to share prayer requests worldwide

• Groups for churches or Bible study groups to gather together and share their prayer requests with one another.

• Ability to comment on prayer requests

• Ability to let people know you support their prayer request.

Christians Like Me

Christians Like Me is a Christian social networking website that connects Christians from around the world.

• 1500 Members

• Christian groups and forums

• Chat room

• Member blogs

• Picture and Video uploading

Christians Like Me also seems to have some type of drug information section, a news section and a live TV section featuring the morning messages of John Hagee but I am not sure how these are relevant to Christian social networking.

XX  Faith Freaks

Faith Freaks is a Christian Social Network that is geared towards teens. Faith Freaks is a safe on-line environment dedicated to helping young people by providing help, hope & encouraging them to grow in their faith. Our trained volunteers help young people find resources to overcome the many challenges that they may be facing. Including, but not limited to, suicide prevention, depression, peer pressure, drug or alcohol abuse & other challenging or life threatening situations. We help by providing many types of resources both online & in their own communities. Additionally we try to encourage healthy decision-making. Moreover we strive to glorify God by providing an alternative social network that is safe, clean, friendly, and Christ-centered

• Over 72,000 members

• Private messaging

• Christian chat room

• Christian forums

• Member blogs

• Picture uploads

• Prayer request section

• Counseling for youth.

Faith Freaks is an impressive site and something every Christian should check out.

XX  Shout Life

ShoutLife.com is a free community / social networking website that offers customized profiles with unlimited photos, networks, events, private/instant messaging, blogging and more.

We are unique in that our community is clean and family friendly, yet is still feature rich. We focus on creating and promoting a fun and positive environment. At ShoutLife.com, you can connect with your friends and meet new people as well as amazing music artists, authors, comedians, organizations and more.

• Personal member profiles

• Author, Musician, Comic, and Group profiles

• Christian groups and directory

Shout Life has a great website design but I did not see a lot of features available. Of course they might be hidden until you sign up.

XX  Holy Pal

Holy Pal is a Christian social network powered by the Ning platform which is similar to a blog powered by blogger. Ning powers lots of different social networks and each one is created and managed by individual users. Holy Pal has ….

• 13,000 members

• Picture and Video uploads

• Christian groups

• Christian forums

• Member blogs

Holy Pal has a clean design and seems to be moderated. I could not tell if it has a Facebook style wall.

Faithbook by Fellowship of World Christians ‘Working Together in Union with Christ’

Faithbook is as the name suggests an alternative to Facebook. I could not tell how many members it had due to the need to sign up before seeing anything however it offers…..

• A Facebook style wall

• Video and Picture uploads

• Christian chat room

• Christian groups and forums

• A radio (podcast) channel

• Christian news

Faithbook looks like something to check out although I am not sure it is moderated.

XX  God’s Faithbook

God’s Faithbook is another Facebook alternative that has a simple design and not a lot of features.

The blogs are not moderated and are filled with spam posts. However it does have these things to offer.

• Almost 10,000 ,members

• Personal profiles

• Video and Picture uploads

• Member blogs

• Christian Chatroom

• Soduko and Crossword Puzzles

It looks like that God’s Faithbook has some good ideas but needs some TLC and knowledge to make it come into a full-fledged Christian social network.

Conversant Life

Conversant Life is part social network, part Christian bookmarking site, and part blogging site. It tries to tie together social networking with sharing content from other websites and having users create blog posts. It is actually a great idea and seems to have some very good traffic.

• Member profiles and messaging

• Posting your favorite videos and articles

• Member blogging

• Video and podcast uploads.

I use conversant life as part of my social strategy for Taber’s Truths.

???  Fellowship of Christian Bloggers.

As a last mention, I wanted to include FOCB. They are a group of Christian bloggers that have joined together to help encourage one another. This is a small social network of about 100 members and they are exclusively for Christian bloggers but many times when people are looking to connect via a Christian social network it is to connect with other bloggers, so I thought I would mention them.

Blessings to all of you!

Pastor Duke

********

Now Here is Where I and Pastor Duke Part Ways…

Since the writing of the original article, it would seem, many of these platforms are non-existent (XX). One seems to be a one-time fee based ($$) system and another is in existence (focbonline.com), but only has one posting, which for all intents and purposes is non-existent, the remainder I will touch on in order to see how they compare to say…Facebook or Titter. Thus far, I am unimpressed…Facebook for it’s platform and functionality is by far the greatest of the social media platforms.

But I continue looking into other platforms while sifting through my iTunes apps store:

(All those highlighted in RED are those that I continue to toy with.)

Christians Like Me is a platform that reminds me of MySpace…does it even exist anymore?? Yes, as a matter of fact it does. Chunky but functional. I will be playing around with it to see what it has to offer. The others, not so much.

FAITH BOOK & Conversant Life due to the fact that they are overseas based would be the answer as to why my AVIRA Security indicates that they are unsecured and are open to the public, even though they do not show the information you type in to sign-up or sign in.

MyPraize (www.mypraize.com) claims, “…is a free Christian social network with the best of Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest & YouTube.” This is both app form and online My initial playing with it on-line was rather chunky, as well as, my attempting to maneuver around. I sought help, but it didn’t seem to grant me any. Not the same in trying to make friends, but I will continue to play.

Christbox.com in both app form and online is chunky but functional. It reminds me of an upgrade to a bulletin board system back in the 1990s. It has some functionality of Facebook, but it is not facebook-like by any stretch of the imagination.

WWJDNOW is a simplistic messenger repository for prayers.

Way2Jesus is, also, a simplistic version of Instagram, in my opinion. No bells and no whistles…just picture posting and check-ins.

ThePowerOfOne is an app platform where your church, or organization, signs up to use. It enables a group/church/organization to maintain contact with one another through their set-up. Uncertain, specifically, how and through what it will make the connection.

iC (Instant Christ) I would say this is a hybrid of LinkedIN & Twitter rolled into one. Similar but with limitations. It has a nice and appealing look, but could be better, they have the ability.

MissionHub is more like a Goal making Reminder board. It is good for what it is, an aid to help you walk with Jesus by following the steps you have created. I will send notifications, but instead of using the phone notifications it is all via email.

FaithLife Much like LinkedIN. You share, you create different groups for discussions, church, books, bible study, etc. It could be a great way to network for church groups, churches, bible study groups, etc. But it is not necessarily limited to these. Helpful and seems to be self explanatory and fairly user friendly.

Precarii is a prayer app. Seems to be a very powerful prayer circle of friends. I have no friends and I set up my first prayer…and WOW! The responses were awesome! 31 people came to my following and prayed for my first prayer request. What a circle of diligent and ardent Christian Prayer Warriors! KUDOS!

VOKE A video sharing app, I would probably liken it to Instagram/Snapchat, but it does not have all of the added features that either one, or both, have to work with.

CollectiveFaith Unlike many other apps, you seem to have to sign-in every time you try to use it. I find this rather inconvenient on one hand, but more secure on the other.

MyDub I was not impressed, while I was setting up an account it required a password with 1 uppercase, 1 lowercase, 1 number & 1 special character. I did so and it kept erroring out saying my password did not meet criteria. That being said, I emailed them and lo-and-behold the email was dead. There were no guiding principles.

Shine this app has the feel of a hybrid between LinkedIN and Twitter, maybe just LinkedIN…you decide. You create a chain of invites and build up your Christian network. You share, you discuss and you create groups.

$$ PrayerPower seemed like it was going to be an interesting and good prayer circle application set-up, based upon the grouping people and adding them through their cellular phone numbers; so you end up messaging (I assume) for all of your prayerful needs. Much to my chagrin it turned out to be a fee based. Sorry, paint me the king of cheap…I LIKE FREE!

PrayerWall Is an app that is a prayer platform where you pray with others, kind of liken it to Twitter. Not bad overall, but it also serves as a prayer reminder. Neither good nor bad…it just is so.

FaithLife is an app which is tied to LOGOS Bible Software. While I find their software intriguing, but no time to really try it out as well as it is an a-la-cart system of pay for this and pay for that – well set up in itself, but just need to get use to it. But as far as the FaithLife app, not quite certain how to use it, yet. But there are groups to join and I assume friends to be made. We shall see.

 

Many of these platforms have great potential to overtake Facebook and it’s lead in the world community, but there needs to be greater innovative ideas put into place! It is my firm opinion that each of these platforms could supersede Facebook just in the allowance of all speech without repercussion. While I, along with so many others, believes that one could share his or her opinion without all of the “colorful metaphors” that are used in today’s vernacular. But the transference of ideas is what is most important, in my opinion. Facebook lead because of it’s freedom to speak one’s mind without any problems, but now (in the advent of the 2016 election campaign & the liberal mindedness of the leaders in many of these corporations) have begun a war to stifle freedom of speech. Consider, for example, Google employee James Damore who was fired for freely speaking after Google promoted freedom and diversity of speech…hmmmmmmm…that was just the beginning.

I pushed off the posting of this blog an additional 2 weeks to give me the time to try each of the platforms. Thus enabling me to see what they were and how they handled. Hope It was helpful to you…it was helpful to me. Though, I will not tell you which is best or the worst of the bunch, that is not my purpose here. I am presenting to you other options for what seems to be liberally run and conservatively limited & censored platforms. It will, in fact take me a longer time to determine that which I like and that which I find sub par for use. Could these take the place of Facebook or twitter? Yes they could, but will they? That is the $64,000 question! Will there be a platform to take over? Eventually, I think there will be, because I think people are vying for such a thing to happen. They need their outlet of privacy and other forms of outbursts. Will it be a pay or fee system, it very well could be…BUT why pay when you can throw your tantrums for free?

Hope you were  able to get something from this. Hope it was an interesting possibility placed before you!

Godspeed my friends!

MK Murphy

Prayer is the Foci of All Things

Prayer is the foci of all things! Meaning prayer, or lack of, is at the center of all our blessings or problems. Each of us tend to have a bad time because we do not focus on God and all of the blessings that He has provided each of us every day! Many of us are having problems despite our focus on God and being grateful and thankful for the blessing we possess. How can we focus on God, be grateful or thankful to God, or for that matter praise God for all that He has given us without prayer in our lives?

Consider this, for a moment, just talking to God can be considered prayer. The meaning of prayer can be rather simple or complex, dependent upon who is doing the defining.

Bible Quotes on Prayer

effective prayer works

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us.1 John 5:14

And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.1 John 5:15

Hear the supplications of your servant and of your people Israel when they pray toward this place. Hear from heaven, your dwelling place; and when you hear, forgive.2 Chronicles 6:21

My prayer is not that you take them out of the world but that you protect them from the evil one.John 17:15

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.Mark 11:24

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.Philippians 4:6-7

More Bible praying quotes at the BibleStudyTools.com Prayer Bible Verses page.

The Christian life is not a constant high. I have my moments of deep discouragement. I have to go to God in prayer with tears in my eyes, and say, ‘O God, forgive me,’ or ‘Help me.’” – Billy Graham

While watching a series on PureFlix, Unlocking the Secrets of an Intentional Life (Season 1), which began as something to watch after work & before bed…after all, I had about 30 minutes to kill off. But it is an interesting series (as of now I am 3 into the series of 6.) But the premise is to develop new habits through making intentional decisions, thereby uncovering your purpose and potential in all areas of your life to glorify God in your life. My “one thing”, or habit, that I have chosen to develop through this is the power of prayer by setting aside time by the end of my day, at the very least, to be thankful and grateful to God and to petition Him for me to be more submissive to His will and to rejuvenate my heart, soul and spirit with the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. I am during this period of time trying to also set aside the time in the morning to be grateful for the breath of life. You know the old adage:

Targets-Zig

It is as simple as that! The classic Zig Ziglar quote that makes you chuckle, ponder, reflect and think all at the same time!

In order to accomplish anything, we must first know what it is that we want. A novel idea for some people who just desire to dream. After you know what it is that you want to do, you need to break them down into small steps (ahhhhhh…the dreaded To Do List!) This includes when we desire to change our habits or other problems we desire to fix in our lives. But any-hooooooo…let us get back to prayer.

So prayer is something that I need to do more of and my ignorant angering frustrated actions and reactions should slowly go to the wayside. Or so I hope.

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. ~Romans 12:10-13 NASB

According to the Apostle Paul, we should be devoted to prayer, why so? Because if we are to truly seek God’s will and purpose in our lives…we must seek HIS face and Spirit! Through this guidance is the only way to accomplish such a task in our life.

In order for us to understand God, His Word (the Bible), find our purpose, and what we should do while we reside on this mortal coil called earth…we must pray, we must read & study the Bible, and reflect on the ultimate meaning within the context of the Biblical text.

THIS is the prime reason that we should be following a Bible reading plan at all times, it is also a reason as to why we should be members of a home church, and why we should be members of a Bible study group. We should be surrounded by those who are like minded Christians (not to mean you will never have disputes, but with respect to the Bible that we should be in unity as Paul described in Ephesians 4:1-16 and at Corinth in 1 Corinthians 1:10. In this respect we are to agree with the Word of God and it’s intended meaning…not what we think it means. The Books of the Bible say what they mean to say, but all too often people try to see extra biblical meanings and tend to teach or believe heresies, very potentially. THIS is also why we are to study the Word of God! To prevent such heretical beliefs.

We as Christians, as a community, society, a country, and as a world need to get back to our basics by praying to God (request, supplicate, praise, seek, etc.) with all aspects of our lives, as meaningless as we feel they may be. Seek His will and your purpose through prayer. This is how we can become closer to God! This is my one thing goal to accomplish…to become closer to God, daily!

Until next we meet again, dear brothers and sisters!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD

 

Why we memorize scripture?

We do it for the learning, furthering of our knowledge & understanding of the Bible and the words passed on to us by God through others who were inspired by the Holy Spirit of God.

You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 6:7 NASB

You shall teach them to your sons, talking of them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road and when you lie down and when you rise up.~Deuteronomy 11:19 NASB

Train up a child in the way he should go, Even when he is old he will not depart from it.~Proverbs 22:6 NASB

He called a little child to him, and placed the child among them. And he said: “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever takes the lowly position of this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me. ~ Matthew 18:1-5 NASB

People were bringing little children to Jesus for him to place his hands on them, but the disciples rebuked them. When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, “Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Truly I tell you, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it.” And he took the children in his arms, placed his hands on them and blessed them. ~ Mark 10:13-16 NASB

But there are other reasons for memorizing the scriptures before us. By memorizing them they become a part of us, something we will think on and use to guide us in our daily lives; spiritually, morally & ethically. And of course for those ever present “ahh-hah” moments in our lives. You know where those things you had memorized years ago, or memories from days long gone by and we wake up with an epiphany of ideological wonder, where we see the reason for such and such to have happened, but we could not see it at that moment.

Here are ten biblical reasons to memorize Scripture:

  1. Jesus memorized Scripture. (He quoted twenty-four books of the Old Testament almost 180 times in the New Testament.)
  2. We are called to memorize Scripture. (Colossians 3:16, Deuteronomy 6:4-9)
  3. Memorizing Scripture renews our mind and transforms our life. (Romans 12:2)
  4. Memorizing Scripture helps against temptation. (Matthew 4:1-11, Psalm 119:11)
  5. Memorizing Scripture helps us live in obedience. (Psalm 119:9)
  6. Memorizing Scripture will bring God’s blessing to our lives.(Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1)
  7. Memorizing Scripture allows us to more readily encourage believers. (Romans 15:4, 1 Thessalonians 4:18)
  8. Memorizing Scripture allows us to share with unbelievers better. (Isaiah 55:11; Hebrews 4:12; Jeremiah 23:29, 1 Peter 3:15)
  9. Memorizing Scripture gives us a better understanding of God and his will. (John 8:31-32, 14:21, Romans 12:2)
  10. Memorizing Scripture makes us wise. (Luke 2:52)

    ~Ten Biblical Reasons to Memorize Scripture

Chuck Swindoll wrote, “I know of no other single practice in the Christian life more rewarding, practically speaking, than memorizing Scripture. . . . No other single exercise pays greater spiritual dividends! (Why Memorize Scripture? by John Piper, 09/05/2006)

I, myself, still have a lot of transforming to do and many, many changes to go through…and I still won’t become perfect before I draw my final breath. Unfortunately, that is just not in our nature as human beings nor is it the end accomplishment of the nature of man. Once we fell from God’s perfect world…we fell hard. We can only rely on God’s grace & loving nature to save us and make us better. There are things we can do to act and be better than we presently are, and hopefully better than our nature conforms us to be, but we can never do anything that will save us from the pit of hell…excepting but one thing!

if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved~Romans 10:5-13 NASB

Of course, we each have our own reasons for memorizing scripture and the end result of such and action.

If you have ever tried to memorize a speech or a part for a play, then you know that it is hard work to learn something so that you can repeat it word for word. Further, if you do not review it regularly, a couple of weeks after you have memorized it, you have forgotten it. Memorizing passages from the Bible is no different. It is hard work, and could take a huge portion of your time. However, if we look into the Bible to see what it teaches, then we will see that this hard work is not only worth the effort, but it is essential and it is expected of us. ~Why Memorize Scripture? by Stephen Simpson

John Calvin, in his Commentary on II Timothy 3:16 says:

“Whoever then would profit by the Holy Scriptures, let him first decide this within himself, that the Law and the Prophets are not a doctrine which has been given according to the desire or will of men, but dictated by the Holy Spirit”

We have purpose in reading the Bible, studying the Bible, reading about the different characters within the Bible and about their lives (how they lived and died), and memorization of scripture. We each do it in a different way and we each use a different version of the Bible, from which we read, study, and memorize. Personally, the version that is more comfortable to you is the best one to use. There are those who are KJV Only-ites, there are those who are stuck on the NIV, NASB, NKJV, Living, etc. There are as many as 50 different translations of the original Bible. Some at one end of the spectrum are best word for word translations and on the other end of the spectrum are idea for idea translations. Each one suited to specific people. Some people are better off with the word for word translations and others think differently and are thus better suited for the idea for idea translations. The best version of the bible is the one you are willing to use, provided it is not the “Book of Yesus”!

BibleSpectrumChart1

Look on the scale and see what there is available to you. Once you get hooked, you will probably have several versions for study and reading purposes!

May God Richly Bless You, My Beloved!

MK Murphy, PhD, DD