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The Kindness of Joseph of Arimathea

“And a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Sanhedrin (but did not consent to the death of Jesus) who was from Arimathea and was waiting for the kingdom of God; this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. He took it down from the cross and wrapped it in a linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock where no one had ever lain.”
Luke 23

We tend to think of the Jewish Elite of Jesus day as all villains, but Joseph was an exception. The key phrase is “he was waiting for the kingdom of God.” Everyone else sought the kingdom of man, not of God, as they claimed. Joseph waited for the city not made by human hands. He took down the body of Jesus, carefully wrapped it, and placed it into his own tomb where no one had laid. Despite the fact Jesus would soon rise and have no use for either, I doubt our Lord would forget this measure of kindness from Joseph, the one who waited for Him.

Today as I reflect on the death of my mama, I want to thank the folks at Sanderson Funeral Homes for taking such good care of my mama’s body. For taking good care of it and laying it in a tomb no one has lain in. For although I know she has no further need of it, I will not forget the care and kindness they have taken with the one so dear to me. I also hope that they all, like our friend Joseph, are waiting for the One who is the Resurrection and the Life and long for His appearing.

I believe in Resurrection.

 
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Posted by on January 12, 2016 in Uncategorized

 

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The Center for Medical Progress

The CMP is the organization that is hosting all the now hopefully infamous Planned Parenthood videos exposing their ghoulish practice of dicing up human babies and selling the parts wholesale for fun and profit. They describe themselves as such:

The Center for Medical Progress is a 501(c)3 non-profit dedicated to monitoring and reporting on medical ethics and advances.

Recently, Planned Parenthood has managed to convince lawmakers to gag any further videos under some pretense of protecting the innocent and miscarriage of justice. Time will tell if we will get to see all 12 videos they have as proof of this morally bankrupt (and by the way) illegal activity.

Since the corrupt blackguards who now infest our courts not only seek to destroy our liberty but also secure wholesale genocide without limit by censuring further videos, I will post here the ones already released and pledge my own liberty to post any future videos that may come to light, legally or not, in order to expose this vile corruption and to stop it for good.

How could I applaud the heroes of old, like William Wilberforce, the British Christian who bravely crusaded to end the slave trade or the abolitionists of the antebellum United States, without also willing to risk my own liberty for the sake of those who cannot defend themselves?

Here is the CMP You Tube account with all their videos. Please go and watch them and share them with the world that the killing may stop.

 
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Posted by on July 31, 2015 in History

 

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I am Doulos

Slave-of-Christ-Doulos-GreekI am His slave.

There is no greater freedom than to be a slave of Yahweh.

I do not have to despair of my life, for my life belongs to Him. It is not mine to take up and it is not mine to lay down.

He purchased me with a price. The price was the blood of His Son Jesus the Messiah.

By His blood I am bought and I am no longer my own.

My decisions are His, my career is His, my house is His, my wife is His, my children are His.

He kills, He makes alive. I live and die at His command.

He gives, He takes away. Blessed is He.

Who is Yahweh? He is my Master!

Those who wish to be their own master have not tasted His goodness. They do not know the freedom His bondage brings.

For bondage to the Righteous One is freedom from unrighteousness, freedom from evil and despair.

Because all happens in accordance to the pattern of His will, it is therefore impossible for misfortune to befall me.

For all things work together for good to who love Him and are called according to His purpose.

When I am alone in the darkness, He is there. When I have no friends He is there.

If I find myself in the Abyss, yes He will still be there.

My life has its meaning in Him. He is my meaning, my life, my song in the night of this world.

The world and all its wonders were formed by His command, they will fall by His command.

What greater Master can a man serve? Show me!

His bondage is my freedom, His discipline is my redemption, His word is my life’s food.

No happiness exists apart from Him, no peace is made without His counsel.

Those who run from Him will only find death. Those who find shelter in His chains will find life.

Would you begrudge chains that bring eternal life? A prison full of joy? This is what Yahweh provides.

A day to serve Him as a slave is worth a thousand without Him.

I cannot live without His provision. I cannot die without His leave. My living and my dying are His to ordain.

Such freedom from life’s burdens and death’s sting are only found in Yahweh. Seek Him while He can be found!

I am His slave. He is my master.

I am His. He is mine.

 
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Posted by on December 22, 2014 in Sanctification

 

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The Special Tree

One-Tree-Hill-D-green-19839104-1280-1024Once upon a time there stood a tree planted in a great forest.
Day by day the tree stood in its place among its kin, its great boughs reaching for the heavens, its leaves swaying to the breeze.
“Perhaps I will stay here forever,” thought the tree, “swaying forever with my kin in this beautiful forest?”
And the tree was happy.

Many years it stood, until men had need of its lumber.
With axes they came and felled the tree to the ground.
“Men have come to shape and make me to their will!” thought the tree.
“I wonder what I will be made into?” pondered the tree.
“A great ship tall and proud, bearing men across the sea?”
“A strong house secure and warm, sheltering generations of families?”
“The throne of a mighty king, supporting him in great matters?”
So the tree sat as lumber, dreaming of what it might become one day.
And the tree was happy.

But one day men came for the tree’s lumber.
“We will make a device of cruelty and suffering from you,” they said, “Criminals will be put to death on you.”
How could this be?
All those years in the forest, growing tall and strong to end this way?
An instrument of cruelty and shame.
An instrument of death.
And the tree was very sad.

The tree was carried out to the man who would die on him.
“Do not be sad,” He said, “for you are My most special tree.”
“I am special? What will I do?” asked the tree.
“You will lift me high on your branches, and I will show God’s love to all the world.” He said, “And when they remember you, they will remember Me.”
So the two walked up the hill, and the tree held its Maker while He gave His life to save the world.
And the tree was happy.

– Jason Cohoon
(Inspired by The Dream of the Rood and The Giving Tree)

 
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Posted by on March 16, 2013 in Christology, Soteriology

 

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The Death of Sin

ImageRomans 6
6 What shall we say then? Are we to continue in sin that grace may abound? By no means! How can we who died to sin still live in it? Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.

For if we have been united with him in a death like his, we shall certainly be united with him in a resurrection like his. We know that our old self was crucified with him in order that the body of sin might be brought to nothing, so that we would no longer be enslaved to sin. For one who has died has been set free from sin. Now if we have died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. 10 For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. 11 So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.

12 Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, to make you obey its passions. 13 Do not present your members to sin as instruments for unrighteousness, but present yourselves to God as those who have been brought from death to life, and your members to God as instruments for righteousness. 14 For sin will have no dominion over you, since you are not under law but under grace.

I have been a Christian for 18 years. Yet recently I realized that for all those years, I don’t think I’ve truly experienced repentance more than a handful of times.

I know that sounds scary. It scared me too.

About two weeks ago, I attended the Men’s Conference at Woodstock GA. God struck my heart with the truth of His word, and convicted me of an old sin. There was something in this world I loved too much. Something bigger to me than God. If I told you what it was, you would think it trivial, unimportant. Trivial like a small wooden doll is trivial, but oh what snares they were to our ancestors.

For years I’d try to put it away for good, only to take it back up again. I just couldn’t decide in my heart it was really sin. I justified it. I compromised. I suffered. My family suffered.

Finally, I put it down. I turned my heart away from the detestable idol and toward God.

Then something awful happened. I felt a void in my heart, like a wound that I could not explain. Depression swept over me, rather than the joy I expected. My life felt a little less bright for a few days, like I had lost a part of me.

I had. The sin part.

The pain, the loss, the depression was the idol dying inside of me. The sin’s last breath. The death rattle of iniquity. It hurt so much because of how close it had clung to my heart. This evil cancer breeding death was a part of me. Now it was dying.

The temptations came like a flood. Take it back! You cannot live without this! You will be lost! Many times past I had believed such lies. Not this time. I watched this part of me die a cruel death. A death it deserved. The sin was drawn back 2,000 years and nailed with Christ to the cross, and died.

After that, something amazing happened. I drew in a deep breath and suddenly I could see more, understand more, feel more. A part of me had died. A new part of me was suddenly very much alive.

It was at that point that the Word from Romans 6 came to life before my eyes. This was what Paul was talking about. Death was not just a metaphor for repentance, it was repentance. Death to Life. Just like Jesus.

It was also then that I realized I haven’t really repented of much since my conversion. Other than my conversion, I can probably count three other times when I truly repented of a sin and let it die the death it deserved on the cross.  Sure, I’ve asked for forgiveness countless times during my Christian life, but repentance is a different matter.

Now that I have tasted the freedom and life it brings, I hope in Christ that will change. I want to kill more sin in me to see more of me brought to life in Him.

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
– Galatians 2:20

 
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Posted by on February 17, 2013 in Sanctification

 

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A Thousand Deaths

“The man that worries about his own death will die a thousand times before death comes for him.” – Unknown

That quote was on my first family doctor’s office wall. It was the caption to a painting of a young man gazing into a mirror, with the reflection of an old, withered man staring back. I will never forget it.

Worrying accomplishes nothing. Whether you worry about death itself, situations, money, or terrible (and often irrational) “what if” situations, worrying only serves to cause you to live out the dreaded situation before (if it even does) come to pass. In the end, most of our dreaded fears never materialize, meaning that we suffer needlessly.

What is even worse is that with much worry often comes discouragement and even sin. At the least, worrying can discourage you from doing what you ought to do for God, and at the worst, it can cause you to sin. Sometimes, just worrying about what might happen will tempt us to act upon it as if it is happening. How foolish!

It’s not just a good idea not to worry, it’s actually a divine command. “Be anxious for nothing.” Philippians 4:6 says the Word. That is a command, hence it is actually a sin to worry. It is a sin because worrying automatically implies a distrust of God. For God promises to take care of us. He promises it over and over and over in both the Old and New Testaments. I am not even going to list scriptures to support that, because if you read the Bible at all you will find plenty of promises from God to take care of His children.

I leave you with this passage from the Gospel of Luke, where the Lord is teaching His disciples about worrying and God’s provision for us. One day when I was worrying about things, it greatly encouraged and convicted me. May it do the same for you.

“Then Jesus said to his disciples: “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat; or about your body, what you will wear. Life is more than food, and the body more than clothes. Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds! Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?
“Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today, and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, how much more will he clothe you, O you of little faith! And do not set your heart on what you will eat or drink; do not worry about it. For the pagan world runs after all such things, and your Father knows that you need them. But seek his kingdom, and these things will be given to you as well.
“Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Luke 12:22-34

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2008 in Sanctification

 

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