Sunday, September 27, 2009

*~*Prayer Requests for 9/28/09:

"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law" (Galatians 5:16-18).


Hi friend,

Please keep the following individuals in your prayers:

1) Deborah asks for our prayers. She writes, "My mom has just learned she has gout all in her back and neck. it is very painful to top it all off the doct called and said she has a 3 in. mass in her lung and has to have a biopsy. we are so worried and in bad need of prayer!!! plz pray for her.";

2) "Pray for my husband and our family. He is in danger of losing his job in two months. Please pray that he will hold onto his job or find one that is more secure. Please also pray that we all grow closer to each other and our Lord Jesus through this situation." -NN;

3) Monica asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "I would like for everyone to join me in prayer to restore my marriage. It's been 3 and half years since I got separated from my common law husband. We have a 7yr old daughter. She doesnt tell me much but I know she is hurting and wants us to get back together. I too want to get back together with him because I am still in love with him. I gave him my whole heart a long time ago and I never really got it back and I am not ready to get it back. I will not give up. Please please please help me. Thank you to everyone.";

4) "Please pray that I find employment soon or that my unemployment is extended a little bit longer. Please. I have a little boy to take care of." -Aaron's mom;

5) "My name is Rachel- I am going through some difficulty at this time in my life. My husband is leaving and the salary i am making just cannot maintain my children and myself. I need prayer in my life right now to heal. I pray the Lord will take care of my problems as i place them in his care. He knows our needs before we ask. also I need this depression to go away. this i ask in Jesus' holy might name. thank you Jesus."

6) Tammy asks for our prayers. She writes, "Please pray for my son Shaun 12, and his father Jeff. Shaun has a nervous tick of jerking his head, dostors say it is stress. Please pray for healing of Shaun and Jeff's heart,if it be God's will. Also,to bless our marriage.";

7) On Monday evening, I was able to visit the Greenville Detention Center (Greenville, SC). Much prayer and testimony was given by myself and several inmates. Bibles, gospel tracts, Bible studies and Daily Breads were handed out amongst many. Please keep the following individuals in your prayers: Vagler, Ted Butler, Frederick Downer, Juan Lupe, Orion Bullow, Artemio Gonzalez, Curtis King, Aaron Adams, Ron Alexander, Tom Lauritzen, Nathan Cooper, Chuck Hannah, Chris Worst, Charles Gardner, Brian Dodgens, Enrique Martinez, Joey Henry, Glendale Pruitt, Jody Allen, Barry Hall, Joey Owens, Thomas Smith, Sean Crawford, Isaac Rogers, Adam Burnett, Mike Cooley, Daniel Gosnell, Rodgers West, and Danny, Karen & Trenton Ellenburg. If you would like to make a donation towards this ministry, please send funds to: Mark Seay, 105 Quincy Drive, Greer, SC 29650.;

8) "Please pray that the work week ahead will go smoothly with NO problems for both my husband and myself, pray that I will be able to keep a positive and friendly attitude toward everyone, especially the customers. Please pray that God will bless my husband and I with the financial blessing we so need, we really need to either move out of this house, with all of it mold or to be financially able to fix it up the way that it should be, it is falling down all around us, please pray that God will help us with this. Pray that we will be able to retire from our jobs and be able to do some of the traveling and other things that we would really like to do. Please pray that God will watch over and protect Shelly, Isaac, Raymond and Bryant and keep them safe and well at all times. Thank You." -Lynn;

9) Dianne asks for our prayers. She writes, "I don't know how I'm going to pay the bills this month. Electric company won't work with me because I've been late with bills twice this year. Owe on rent. Am short $250. No family to borrow from. Had to borrow from church last month. Nowhere to turn. Had to miss a day at second job due to illness. No money to get diabetes medicine. Please pray for a miracle for me. I know God provides. I know prayer works. I'm scared.";

10) "Please pray that the horible pain in my shoulder and neck go away soon." -Laura;

11) Kakellum asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "Yes, please pray for my husband and our family. That they may keep safe and healthy. I too need prayer that I can keep strong and prosper in the everyday life that I am living. That the Lord will guide me to do his will and be the person that he wants me to be.Thank You Very Much!";

12) "I ask that you pray for me, and ask the Lord that I have no illness or disease. May I be completly healthy." -Aaron;

13) Phyllis asks for our prayers. She writes, "Please pray for my surgery for both hip replacements on Wed AM. Pray for me to survive the surgery with no complications & for me to have a remarkable recovery afterwards. Pray for me to be able to walk well without pain right away. Please help this remarkable recovery be a witness for God's healing grace. Thanks.";

14) Carolyn asks for us to remember her cousin, Linda, who is
currently hopitalized and under treatment for leukemia.;

15) "Pray for my son to be delivered from homosexuality. Satan is a liar and cannot have my son. He was saved at age 12 and baptized. Salvation for his friend, Todd, also. May they both serve the Lord Jesus and seek Him with their whole hearts!" -Patti;

16) Please pray for Cindy as she has several domestic problems to which she would like to find relief.;

17) Omar asks for our prayers. He writes, "Pray for my family, friends and for my court case on Sept 17.";

18) "Pray for my family's well-being." -Dave;

19) Please say a prayer for Dawn & Chris as they celebrate the new addition, Roxie, to their family. Ask the Lord to have them raise her in a Christian home.;

20) Please remember Lisa and Tony in your prayers as they struggle in their marriage over bills. Ask the Lord to reveal Himself to the both of them if it be His Will.; and lastly ...

21) "Please pray for me as im struggling real hard with thyroid problems, sugar, digestive problems that either cause dehydration or overhydration and i blacked out a few days ago from causx eio try to rehydrate myself too fast with too much plain water and i cant find a balance and it causes me weakness, feeling faint and disoriented/confused and it is taking a toll on my body. please pray for healing and for all imbalances and for me to find a good balance where i feel good more days. also pray for my marriage as it is falling apart due to my hubby losing his job and cant find work and also for me to find friends as i feel so lost, empty, sick and lonely. even ,my in-laws dont like me right now from a fight i had with my hubby over finances. please i really need your prayers and so does my hubby and family. we have no income, savings or insurance and 4 children to feed and raise. thanks." -Deanna

**God bless you for caring enough to pray!!!**


A real friend is always and under all circumstances a friend (Proverbs 17:17a).


*~*Spotlight Site*~*


Daily Devotional
By Bill Keller

For those of us who are 50 and younger, we have grown up with television being a big part of our life. Even though when I was growing up in the '60s, there were only 3 or 4 stations. What was on television was a big part of mylife and the life of so many throughout our country. As the years have passed, television has increased in its importance in the daily lives of most people. We now live in the age of 100 plus channels that specialize in everything imaginable. Without even thinking about it, it is a bigger part of most people's lives than they even realize. In most homes, the TV is turned on from the moment you wake up, and is on until you go to bed. Most people get home from work or school and immediately turn the TV on. Again, without even realizing it, many ... no, most people have become so enslaved to television they cannot live without it.

Let me say right up front, that the purpose of this devotional today is NOT to bash the television industry. I am not here today to even talk about the programming that is on TV. My purpose today is to make you stop and think about what role the television plays in your life, and the life of your family. I can tell you from years of counseling, that the absolute number one cause of conflict between people is a lack of communication. Relationships are destroyed because of a lack of sitting down and talking about the problems that exist. I am a firm believer that with the power of God working on people's hearts, and honest, open communication, any conflictcan be overcome.

One of the biggest reasons we do not have the type of communication we should have with our loved ones, the people we are closest to in this life is because of the television. How many men come home from a long day at work, sit down in your favorite chair, and stare at the TV until you are ready to sleep. The only break is dinner, and even then, the TV is usually on and dominates your meal time. Women, aren't much better, though household chores tend to occupy your time initially, but when those chores are over, it is time for the television. Young adults and kids are also guilty of letting the TV dominate your time as well.

One of the things I try to bring home as much as possible is the importance of our daily walk with Christ. Spending time in the Word and prayer everyday. For many, it is a struggle to even devote an hour to that incredibly important time with the Lord. Yet, sitting down and watching what you enjoy on television is no problem at all. Again, my point is not to condemn you,or try to imply television is inherently evil, simply to get you to stop and think about how much time you spend each day in front of the television. Irecently shared with you a devotional on fasting. I mentioned that fasting does not always have to be food, but anything that you give up to spend that time with the Lord. Trust me when I tell you, getting a person to fast and give up food for 3 days is much easier than asking them to fast and give up television for 3 days.

Stop right now and ask yourself, how many hours a day do you spend watching television, than multiply that times 7. Now, take those hours each week you spend watching TV and ask yourself, if you took 25% of that time and did something else, what could you do? Pray more, read the bible more, do things with your family, do things with your friends, find ways to use that time at church or volunteering at some organization helping people. It is endless what you could do, that would make a positive impact on your life, by simply giving up 25% of the time that you now sit in front of the television.

I love you, and care about you so much. Part of what God has asked me to do each day is to help you deal with the very real world we live in, in accordance with your faith in Christ. Making your faith real in your very real daily life. Often, we fall into bondages without even recognizing them as such. Television is one of those subtle bondages that we never even think about in that way. I will pray for you today to pray and really seek theLord on taking 25% of the time you now spend in front of the television that time more productively. Ask the Lord how He would have you utilize that precious time. Time is the greatest resource we have in this life, yet we squander it, waste it, misuse it daily.

Just turning off the television and actually talking with your spouse, with your children, with your family members will make an incredibly positive impact in your relationships. We can't take our time in this life for granted. We can't take the time God gives us with our family and friends for granted. It won't last forever. It is a special gift. We miss so much of the joy, the abundance of this life by getting lost in the endless, often mindless things we watch on the television. For those who are single, DON'T USE THE TV AS AN ESCAPE ROUTE FROM LIVING LIFE! It is an entertainment medium, it is fantasy for the most part. God gave you only one life, LIVE IT, don't miss it.

The enemy uses all kinds of ticks and traps to minimize our effectiveness in serving the Lord. The television is a very seductive, common diversion the enemy uses to bind us and at least keep us off the battlefield. Today, you have heard this warning. It is a very real warning that you need to take seriously. God loves you very much. He only wants the best for your life. Allow Him to open your eyes to this trap today so that you may live a fruitful and victorious life!


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The Healing of Two Blind Men

By Dr. Curtis Hutson

“And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.

“And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him: and Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.

“Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

“And their eyes were opened; and Jesus straitly charged them, saying, See that no man know it.”—Matt. 9:27–30.

There were many blind people in the Eastern countries. I have read that at one time for every one hundred persons there were at least twenty blind people, ten who had sight in only one eye and twenty others who had some affliction of the eyes.

It was probably worse in the Saviour’s day. The fact that He healed so many blind people is an indication that many were blind. The Bible records several instances where Christ healed the blind. He healed blind Bartimaeus in Mark 10:46–52, the blind man in John 9 and others.

When I read the Bible, I am impressed with the fact that Jesus was attracted to the needy. And it seems the needier the individual, the more Jesus was attracted. For instance, in John 5, when He went to the pool of Bethesda, He was seemingly attracted to the man with the greatest need. The man he healed had been stricken with an infirmity for thirty-eight years. Where human sorrow was most conspicuous, divine power was most compassionate. Mercy met misery on its own ground. What an encouragement for the sinner! Romans 5:20 says, “But where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.”

In the story in this text, Jesus healed two blind men. Blindness can be viewed as a picture of the unsaved man. All men without Christ are blind. They have intellectual light but not spiritual light. Everyone comes to Jesus under a cloak of darkness.

John Newton, in that wonderful song “Amazing Grace,” described his own salvation experience by saying, “I once…was blind, but now I see.”

“But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost:

“In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.”—II Cor. 4:3,4.

In this story of two blind men seeking Christ, I want us to consider several things:

I. The Seeking Blind Men

“And when Jesus departed thence, two blind men followed him, crying, and saying, Thou Son of David, have mercy on us.”—Matt. 9:27.

Notice, first, they were earnest. The word which describes their appeal is “crying.” This implies that the men were earnest, energetic, pathetic, imploring, pleading and beseeching. How eager they were! Far too many unsaved people are indifferent to their need.

I have had the happy opportunity of leading thousands to Christ. I remember once when I explained to a man that Jesus Christ had died to pay his sin debt, he shrugged his shoulders and said, “What do I care? I don’t want anybody to do anything for me. I’ll take care of myself!” I could not believe what my ears were hearing. The man seemed so indifferent. Indifference is the dry rot of the church, but in many cases, indifference is the damnation of the sinner. There was no indifference on the part of these two seekers. They were earnest.

Notice, second, they were persistent. Verse 27 says, “Two blind men followed him.” Think of that a moment—they followed Him. The Bible continues in verse 28, “And when he was come into the house, the blind men came to him.” Remember, they were blind.

It is not easy for two blind men to follow anyone. I am sure they had to ask others which way He went. And sometimes He would almost get away from them. It must have been frustrating—two blind men following Jesus. But they were persistent. They would not give up! Being blind—I am sure they kept their ears open for every sound so as not to lose Him. Oh, how I wish that unsaved men were as persistent in seeking Jesus!

Not only were they earnest and persistent, but, third, they had a definite object in prayer. They knew what they wanted. They wanted their sight. There was no beating around the bush with these men. Too many blind souls do not know what they really want.

When I first started leading souls to Christ, I thought it was better for the person to pray his own prayer rather than lead him. But after several experiences, I found that it is wiser to lead the unsaved man in prayer. When he is left on his own, he will pray for everything except the main thing. He will pray “Lord, make me a better father. Lord, I thank You for this preacher. Lord, make me a better husband. Lord, help me to live a better life.” He may never get around to saying, “Dear Lord, I am a sinner. I do believe that You died for me, and here and now I do trust You as my Saviour.”

These blind men had a definite object in their prayer. They knew what they wanted. When the unsaved man comes to Christ for salvation, his prayer need not be long, but it should be to the point.

Then, in the fourth place, they confessed their own unworthiness. They cried out, “Thou son of David, have mercy on us.” They were not asking for justice. If the sinner received justice, he would be in Hell. There was no talking about merit with these two blind men.

When we come to Christ for salvation, we must approach Him as condemned criminals. Nobody ever receives his sonship until he recognizes his sinnership. Jesus Christ came to save sinners, and, if we expect to go to Heaven, we must realize that we are sinners and trust Christ as personal Saviour.

And now that we have seen the seeking blind men, notice:

II. The Saviour’s Question to Them

“Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?”—Vs. 28.

His question concerned their faith. He did not ask what kind of characters they had been, nor if they would do right after they had received their sight. He was not so much concerned with their reputation or their resolution. His question was: “Believe ye that I am able to do this?”

No one is ever saved because he promises to do better. He is saved because Jesus Christ died for him and he trusts Jesus Christ as his Saviour.

“For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God:

“Not of works, lest any man should boast.”—Eph. 2:8,9.

Faith has a receptive power. Faith is not the Saviour. It is an attitude of the soul through which Jesus saves.

When I was a young boy, we lived in a little two-room house. Just behind the house near the back porch was a well where we drew water for drinking and bathing. Many hot afternoons I have gone to that well to draw water to quench my thirst. There were a bucket and rope at the well, but that bucket and rope could not quench my thirst. On the other hand, I could let that bucket down into the well and draw it up with fresh water, and the water quenched my thirst.

Faith is the bucket. Faith never quenched the thirst of a poor sinner, but faith can reach out and take hold of a Saviour who gives living water springing up into everlasting life so that he would never thirst again.

I have often had people say to me, “But I don’t think I have enough faith to be saved.” Dear friend, the Bible never says how much faith you must have. It simply says, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved” (Acts 16:31).

You can take a little faith and get a mighty big Saviour. It is not the degree of faith but the Object of faith that makes faith important. Take whatever faith you have and put it in Christ, and the Bible says you will have everlasting life.

Notice, too, that the question concerned their faith in Jesus. “Believe ye that I am able to do this?” The question was not: “Believe ye that ye are able to save yourselves?” or, “Believe ye that ye are able to live up to a certain set of rules which will produce your salvation?” No. No. The question was not: “Believe ye that ordinances and sacraments are able to save you?” The question was: “Believe ye that I am able to do this?”

I heard the story of a dear lady who was dying. She did not have peace in her heart about salvation, so she sent for the priest. He prayed and read the Scriptures, but she was not satisfied. After trying several things, the priest suggested that she receive communion, and he brought the bread and wine. After she had received communion, the priest asked, “Did it help you?”

Weeping, the lady cried, “I don’t need it. I need Him!”

The Bible never says, “Believe and be saved.” It is always very careful to tell us in Whom we must believe. For instance, John 3:16 says, “That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”

And John 3:36 says, “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” The person who is trusting in Jesus Christ for salvation has everlasting life. But the Bible says that the one who is trusting anything other than Jesus Christ, no matter how good the thing may be, “shall not see life; but the wrath of God abideth on him.”

Now notice another thing concerning our Lord’s question. The question concerned faith for a specific thing. “Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this?” The question was not: “Do you believe that I am able to raise the dead?” or, “Do you believe that I am able to unstop the deaf ears?” The question was not: “Do you believe I healed the woman with the issue of blood?” The question was: “Do you believe that I am able to do this?”

I visited a man in the hospital, and before leaving the room I asked, “Have you ever trusted Christ as your Saviour?”

“Oh, yes,” he replied. “I certainly have.” I knew the man’s background and knew that he did not attend church regularly, and I wondered if he had really trusted Christ as Saviour.

I continued, “Would you mind telling me about it?”

He said, “Well, when they took me down for the operation the other day, I prayed before I left the room and told Jesus that if I came out of the operating room, He would have to do it, and I told Him I was trusting Him to bring me through safely.”

I said, “That is wonderful. Is there another time when you have trusted Christ?”

“Why, yes. There have been a number of times.”

“Could you tell me about another experience?”

“During the Depression,” he said, “when people were out of work and jobs were hard to find, I went several weeks without a job. My family was hungry. We had nothing to eat. And one day when I left the house, I prayed as I walked along the street, ‘Lord, I’m not going back home today until You give me a job.’ I meant that. And before the day was over, I had a good job,” he smiled.

“That’s wonderful. You have trusted Christ for your health, and it was given back to you. You have also trusted Christ for a job, and you got it. But now let me ask you this: Has there ever been a time when you prayed and said, ‘Dear Lord Jesus, I am a sinner; I owe a sin debt, but I believe You died on the cross to pay my sin debt; I will trust You as my Saviour, and if I die, I will trust You to get me to Heaven’?” I waited for his response.

There was silence for a moment, and he said, “No, I’ve never trusted Him for that.”

“Well, just like He gave you a job when you trusted Him, and just like He gave you health when you trusted Him, He will give you everlasting life if you will trust Him for that. Now would you pray with me and trust Him for salvation?”

He agreed. And with his hand in mine, he repeated a simple sinner’s prayer telling Christ he would trust Him as Saviour. The man was saved, and I took the Bible and led him to the assurance of salvation.

If any person will come to Christ and say, “I know You can save me; therefore, I trust in You completely,” that person will not be turned away.

Charles Spurgeon told the story of a dog in his garden. “I threw a stick at the dog to run him away,” said Spurgeon. “But the dog picked up the stick in his mouth and brought it to me wagging his tail. Immediately,” said Spurgeon, “he trusted me; he conquered me.”

Now we want to see one other thing about the Saviour’s question. It was a reasonable question. I say it was reasonable because they had followed Him into the house. If they did not believe, then why did they pray, and why did they follow Him into the house?

Many of you reading this are without the Saviour. In a few moments I am going to ask you to trust Jesus Christ—and my question is reasonable. The fact that you are reading this indicates that you are interested. It shows that you have some concern. It is reasonable that I should ask you to trust Christ.

III. The Answer They Gave

“Jesus saith unto them, Believe ye that I am able to do this? They said unto him, Yea, Lord.”—Matt. 9:28.

There was no hesitation in their answer. They answered immediately, “Yea, Lord.”

Everything depends upon the right answer to the question: “Do you believe that Jesus Christ is able to save you?”

Can you say, “Yes, Lord”?

There was no making of excuses. There was no putting it off. The answer was “Yea, Lord.”

Suppose someone offered you a million dollars. Would you say, “Well, I believe it’s real money, and I know I need a million dollars, but I want to put it off awhile; I need to think about it”? Why, certainly not. You would accept it immediately. And if there were any reason you should not have the million dollars, you would be careful not to let others know about it.

Suppose a man is on death row awaiting execution and one day someone walks in with a pardon and says, “I’ve got good news. In my hand I hold a pardon from the governor.”

What would you think if the prisoner said, “Well, I know I need a pardon and if I don’t get a pardon I’ll be executed in a few days; to be honest, I would like to have a pardon, but I don’t want to rush into it; let me think about it awhile”? Why, you would think the man was crazy, and he would be.

No. No. If a man were offered a pardon, he would jump at it. When Jesus Christ offers to save all who will trust Him, I wonder that they do not jump at it. But in many cases, rather than jumping at it, they begin to make excuses as to why they should not have a pardon and be justified and given everlasting life. The answer of the blind men was immediate.

Now, finally, notice:

IV. The Lord’s Response to Their Answer

“Then touched he their eyes, saying, According to your faith be it unto you.

“And their eyes were opened.”—Vss. 29,30.

The Lord’s response was immediate: “Then touched he their eyes.…And their eyes were opened.”

The moment a man trusts Jesus Christ, he has everlasting life. The believer is not put in a position to have everlasting life eventually, provided he meets other conditions. Everlasting life is a present possession. John 3:36: “He that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life.” Salvation is instantaneous and complete.

The moment the blind men believed, they were healed. It makes no difference how deep you have gone into sin nor how hard your case may seem to be. If you will trust Jesus Christ for salvation, you will have everlasting life the moment you believe.

’Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved.
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!


Tracing the Footprints of God in your Life:


The Pope, Billy Graham, and Oral Roberts were in a three-way plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. They all died and went to heaven together.

"Oh, this is terrible," exclaims St. Peter, "I know you guys think we summoned you here, but this is just one of those coincidences that happen. Since we weren't expecting you, your quarters just aren't ready... We can't take you in and we can't send you back...."

Then he got an idea. He picked up the phone, "Lucifer, this is Pete. Hey, I got these three guys up here. They're ours, but we weren't expecting them, and we gotta fix the place up for 'em. I was hoping you could put them up for a while. It'll only be a couple of days. What d'ya say?"

Reluctantly, the Devil agreed.

However, two days later, St. Peter got a call.

"Pete, Lu. Hey, you gotta come get these three clowns.

This Pope fellow is forgiving everybody,
the Graham guy is saving everybody,
and that Oral Roberts has raised enough money to buy air conditioning."


Double Predestination
By Dr. R. C. Sproul

"A horrible decree ...." "Most ruthless statement. . . ." "A terrible theological theory. . . ." "An illegitimate inference of logic. . ." These and other similar epithets have been used frequently to articulate displeasure and revulsion at the Reformed doctrine of double predestination. Particularly abhorrent to many is the notion that God would predestinate (in any sense) the doom of the reprobate.

The "Double" of Predestination

The goal of this essay is not to provide a comprehensive analysis, exposition, or defense of the doctrine of election or predestination. Rather, the essay is limited to a concern for the "double" aspect of predestination with particular reference to the question of the relationship of God's sovereignty to reprobation or preterition.

The use of the qualifying term "double" has been somewhat confusing in discussions concerning predestination. The term apparently means one thing within the circle of Reformed theology and quite another outside that circle and at a popular level of theological discourse. The term "double" has been set in contrast with a notion of "single" predestination. It has also been used as a synonym for a symmetrical view of predestination which sees election and reprobation being worked out in a parallel mode of divine operation. Both usages involve a serious distortion of the Reformed view of double predestination.

Viewing double predestination as a distinction from single predestination may be seen in the work of Emil Brunner. Brunner argues that it is impossible to deduce the doctrine of double predestination from the Bible. He says:

The Bible does not contain the doctrine of double predestination, although in a few isolated passages it seems to come close to it. The Bible teaches that all salvation is based on the eternal Election of God in Jesus Christ, and that this eternal Election springs wholly and entirely from God's sovereign freedom. But wherever this happens, there is no mention of a decree of rejection. The Bible teaches that alongside of the elect there are those who are not elect, who are "reprobate," and indeed that the former are the minority and the latter the majority; but in these passages the point at issue is not eternal election but "separation" or "selection" in judgment. Thus the Bible teaches that there will be a double outcome of world history, salvation and ruin, Heaven and hell. But while salvation is explicitly taught as derived from the eternal election, the further conclusion is not drawn that destruction is also based upon a corresponding decree of doom.1

Here Brunner argues passionately, though not coherently, for "single" predestination. There is a decree of election, but not of reprobation. Predestination has only one side — election. In this context, double predestination is "avoided" (or evaded) by the dialectical method. The dialectical method which sidesteps logical consistency has had a pervasive influence on contemporary discussions of double predestination. A growing antipathy to logic in theology is manifesting itself widely. Even G. C. Berkouwer seems allergic to the notion that logic should play a role in developing our understanding of election.

It is one thing to construct a theology of election (or any other kind of theology) purely on the basis of rational speculation. It is quite another to utilize logic in seeking a coherent understanding of biblical revelation. Brunner seems to abhor both.

Let us examine the "logic" of Brunner's position. He maintains that (1) there is a divine decree of election that is eternal; (2) that divine decree is particular in scope ("There are those who are not elect"); (3) yet there is no decree of reprobation. Consider the implications. If God has predestined some but not all to election, does it not follow by what Luther called a "resistless logic" that some are not predestined to election? If, as Brunner maintains, all salvation is based upon the eternal election of God and not all men are elect from eternity, does that not mean that from eternity there are non-elect who most certainly will not be saved? Has not God chosen from eternity not to elect some people? If so, then we have an eternal choice of non-election which we call reprobation. The inference is clear and necessary, yet some shrink from drawing it.

I once heard the case for "single" predestination articulated by a prominent Lutheran theologian in the above manner. He admitted to me that the conclusion of reprobation was logically inescapable, but he refused to draw the inference, holding steadfastly to "single" predestination. Such a notion of predestination is manifest nonsense.

Theoretically there are four possible kinds of consistent single predestination. (1) Universal predestination to election (which Brunner does not hold); (2) universal predestination to reprobation (which nobody holds); (3) particular predestination to election with the option of salvation by self-initiative to those not elect (a qualified Arminianism) which Brunner emphatically rejects; and (4) particular predestination to reprobation with the option of salvation by self-initiative to those not reprobate (which nobody holds). The only other kind of single predestination is the dialectical kind, which is absurd. (I once witnessed a closed discussion of theology between H. M. Kuitert of the Netherlands and Cornelius Van Til of Westminster Seminary. Kuitert went into a lengthy discourse on theology, utilizing the method of the dialectic as he went. When he was finished, Dr. Van Til calmly replied: "Now tell me your theology without the dialectic, so I can understand it!" Kuitert was unable to do so. With Brunner's view of predestination the only way to avoid "double" predestination is with the use of "double-talk."

Thus, "single" predestination can be consistently maintained only within the framework of universalism or some sort of qualified Arminianism. If particular election is to be maintained and if the notion that all salvation is ultimately based upon that particular election is to be maintained, then we must speak of double predestination.

The much greater issue of "double" predestination is the issue over the relationship between election and reprobation with respect to the nature of the decrees and the nature of the divine outworking of the decrees. If "double" predestination means a symmetrical view of predestination, then we must reject the notion. But such a view of "double" predestination would be a caricature and a serious distortion of the Reformed doctrine of predestination.

The Double-Predestination Distortion

The distortion of double predestination looks like this: There is a symmetry that exists between election and reprobation. God WORKS in the same way and same manner with respect to the elect and to the reprobate. That is to say, from all eternity God decreed some to election and by divine initiative works faith in their hearts and brings them actively to salvation. By the same token, from all eternity God decrees some to sin and damnation (destinare ad peccatum) and actively intervenes to work sin in their lives, bringing them to damnation by divine initiative. In the case of the elect, regeneration is the monergistic work of God. In the case of the reprobate, sin and degeneration are the monergistic work of God. Stated another way, we can establish a parallelism of foreordination and predestination by means of a positive symmetry. We can call this a positive-positive view of predestination. This is, God positively and actively intervenes in the lives of the elect to bring them to salvation. In the same way God positively and actively intervenes in the life of the reprobate to bring him to sin.

This distortion of positive-positive predestination clearly makes God the author of sin who punishes a person for doing what God monergistically and irresistibly coerces man to do. Such a view is indeed a monstrous assault on the integrity of God. This is not the Reformed view of predestination, but a gross and inexcusable caricature of the doctrine. Such a view may be identified with what is often loosely described as hyper-Calvinism and involves a radical form of supralapsarianism. Such a view of predestination has been virtually universally and monolithically rejected by Reformed thinkers.

The Reformed View of Predestination

In sharp contrast to the caricature of double predestination seen in the positive-positive schema is the classic position of Reformed theology on predestination. In this view predestination is double in that it involves both election and reprobation but is not symmetrical with respect to the mode of divine activity. A strict parallelism of operation is denied. Rather we view predestination in terms of a positive-negative relationship.

In the Reformed view God from all eternity decrees some to election and positively intervenes in their lives to work regeneration and faith by a monergistic work of grace. To the non-elect God withholds this monergistic work of grace, passing them by and leaving them to themselves. He does not monergistically work sin or unbelief in their lives. Even in the case of the "hardening" of the sinners' already recalcitrant hearts, God does not, as Luther stated, "work evil in us (for hardening is working evil) by creating fresh evil in us."2 Luther continued:

When men hear us say that God works both good and evil in us, and that we are subject to God's working by mere passive necessity, they seem to imagine a man who is in himself good, and not evil, having an evil work wrought in him by God; for they do not sufficiently bear in mind how incessantly active God is in all His creatures, allowing none of them to keep holiday. He who would understand these matters, however, should think thus: God works evil in us (that is, by means of us) not through God's own fault, but by reason of our own defect. We being evil by nature, and God being good, when He impels us to act by His own acting upon us according to the nature of His omnipotence, good though He is in Himself, He cannot but do evil by our evil instrumentality; although, according to His wisdom, He makes good use of this evil for His own glory and for our salvation.2

Thus, the mode of operation in the lives of the elect is not parallel with that operation in the lives of the reprobate. God works regeneration monergistically but never sin. Sin falls within the category of providential concurrence.

Another significant difference between the activity of God with respect to the elect and the reprobate concerns God's justice. The decree and fulfillment of election provide mercy for the elect while the efficacy of reprobation provides justice for the reprobate. God shows mercy sovereignly and unconditionally to some, and gives justice to those passed over in election. That is to say, God grants the mercy of election to some and justice to others. No one is the victim of injustice. To fail to receive mercy is not to be treated unjustly. God is under no obligation to grant mercy to all — in fact He is under no obligation to grant mercy to any. He says, "I will have mercy upon whom I will have mercy" (Rom. 9). The divine prerogative to grant mercy voluntarily cannot be faulted. If God is required by some cosmic law apart from Himself to be merciful to all men, then we would have to conclude that justice demands mercy. If that is so, then mercy is no longer voluntary, but required. If mercy is required, it is no longer mercy, but justice. What God does not do is sin by visiting injustice upon the reprobate. Only by considering election and reprobation as being asymmetrical in terms of a positive-negative schema can God be exonerated from injustice.

The Reformed Confessions

By a brief reconnaissance of Reformed confessions and by a brief roll-call of the theologians of the Reformed faith, we can readily see that double predestination has been consistently maintained along the lines of a positive-negative schema.

The Reformed Confession: 1536

Our salvation is from God, but from ourselves there is nothing but sin and damnation. (Art. 9)

French Confession of Faith: 1559

We believe that from this corruption and general condemnation in which all men are plunged, God, according to his eternal and immutable counsel, calleth those whom he hath chosen by his goodness and mercy alone in our Lord Jesus Christ, without consideration of their works, to display in them the riches of his mercy; leaving the rest in this same corruption and condemnation to show in them his justice. (Art. XII)

The Belgic Confession of Faith: 1561

We believe that all the posterity of Adam, being thus fallen into perdition and ruin by the sin of our first parents, God then did manifest himself such as he is; that is to say, MERCIFUL AND JUST: MERCIFUL, since he delivers and preserves from this perdition all whom he, in his eternal and unchangeable council, of mere goodness hath elected in Christ Jesus our Lord, without respect to their works: JUST, in leaving others in the fall and perdition wherein they have involved themselves. (Art. XVI)

The Second Helvetic Confession: 1566

Finally, as often as God in Scripture is said or seems to do something evil, it is not thereby said that man does not do evil, but that God permits it and does not prevent it, according to his just judgment, who could prevent it if he wished, or because he turns man's evil into good. . . . St. Augustine writes in his Enchiridion: "What happens contrary to his will occurs, in a wonderful and ineffable way, not apart from his will. For it would not happen if he did not allow it. And yet he does not allow it unwillingly but willingly." (Art. VIII)

The Westminster Confession of Faith: 1643

As God hath appointed the elect unto glory, so hath He, by the eternal and most free purpose of His will, foreordained all the means thereunto. Wherefore, they who are elected . . . are effectually called unto faith in Christ by His Spirit working in due season, are justified, adopted, sanctified, and kept by His power. through faith, unto salvation. Neither are any other redeemed by Christ, effectually called, justified, adopted, sanctified, and saved, but the elect only.

The rest of mankind God was pleased, according to the unsearchable counsel of His own will, whereby He extendeth or withholdeth mercy, as He pleaseth, for the glory of His Sovereign power over His creatures, to pass by; and to ordain them to dishonour and wrath for their sin, to the praise of His glorious justice. (Chap. III — Art. VI and VII)

These examples selected from confessional formulas of the Reformation indicate the care with which the doctrine of double predestination has been treated. The asymmetrical expression of the "double" aspect has been clearly maintained. This is in keeping with the care exhibited consistently throughout the history of the Church. The same kind of careful delineation can be seen in Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, Zanchius, Turrettini, Edwards, Hodge, Warfield, Bavinck, Berkouwer, et al.

Foreordination to Reprobation

In spite of the distinction of positive-negative with respect to the mode of God's activity toward the elect and the reprobate, we are left with the thorny question of God predestinating the reprobate. If God in any sense predestines or foreordains reprobation, doesn't this make the rejection of Christ by the reprobate absolutely certain and inevitable? And if the reprobate's reprobation is certain in light of predestination, doesn't this make God responsible for the sin of the reprobate? We must answer the first question in the affirmative, and the second in the negative.

If God foreordains anything, it is absolutely certain that what He foreordains will come to pass. The purpose of God can never be frustrated. Even God's foreknowledge or prescience makes future events certain with respect to time. That is to say, if God knows on Tuesday that I will drive to Pittsburgh on Friday, then there is no doubt that, come Friday, I will drive to Pittsburgh. Otherwise God's knowledge would have been in error. Yet, there is a significant difference between God's knowing that I would drive to Pittsburgh and God's ordaining that I would do so. Theoretically He could know of a future act without ordaining it, but He could not ordain it without knowing what it is that He is ordaining. But in either case, the future event would be certain with respect to time and the knowledge of God.

Luther, in discussing the traitorous act of Judas, says:

Have I not put on record in many books that I am talking about necessity of immutability? I know that the Father begets willingly, and that Judas betrayed Christ willingly. My point is that this act of the will in Judas was certainly and infallibly bound to take place, if God foreknew it. That is to say (if my meaning is not yet grasped), I distinguish two necessities: one I call necessity of force (necessitatem violentam), referring to action; the other I call necessity of infallibility (necessitatem infallibilem), referring to time. Let him who hears me understand that I am speaking of the latter, not the former; that is, I am not discussing whether Judas became a traitor willingly or unwillingly, but whether it was infallibly bound to come to pass that Judas should willingly betray Christ at a time predetermined by God.3

We see then, that what God knows in advance comes to pass by necessity or infallibly or necessity of immutability. But what about His foreordaining or predestinating what comes to pass? If God foreordains reprobation does this not obliterate the distinction between positive-negative and involve a necessity of force? If God foreordains reprobation does this not mean that God forces, compels, or coerces the reprobate to sin? Again the answer must be negative.

If God, when He is decreeing reprobation, does so in consideration of the reprobate's being already fallen, then He does not coerce him to sin. To be reprobate is to be left in sin, not pushed or forced to sin. If the decree of reprobation were made without a view to the fall, then the objection to double predestination would be valid and God would be properly charged with being the author of sin. But Reformed theologians have been careful to avoid such a blasphemous notion. Berkouwer states the boundaries of the discussion clearly:

On the one hand, we want to maintain the freedom of God in election, and on the other hand, we want to avoid any conclusion which would make God the cause of sin and unbelief.4

God's decree of reprobation, given in light of the fall, is a decree to justice, not injustice. In this view the biblical a priori that God is neither the cause nor the author of sin is safeguarded. Turrettini says, "We have proved the object of predestination to be man considered as fallen, sin ought necessarily to be supposed as the condition in him who is reprobated, no less than him who is elected."5 He writes elsewhere:

The negative act includes two, both preterition, by which in the election of some as well to glory as to grace, he neglected and slighted others, which is evident from the event of election, and negative desertion, by which he left them in the corrupt mass and in their misery; which, however, is as to be understood, 1. That they are not excepted from the laws of common providence, but remain subject to them, nor are immediately deprived of all God's favor, but only of the saving and vivifying which is the fruit of election, 2. That preterition and desertion; not indeed from the nature of preterition and desertion itself, and the force of the denied grace itself, but from the nature of the corrupt free will, and the force of corruption in it; as he who does not cure the disease of a sick man, is not the cause per se of the disease, nor of the results flowing from it; so sins are the consequents, rather than the effects of reprobation, necessarily bringing about the futurition of the event, but yet not infusing nor producing the wickedness.6

The importance of viewing the decree of reprobation in light of the fall is seen in the on-going discussions between Reformed theologians concerning infra- and supra-lapsarianism. Both viewpoints include the fall in God's decree. Both view the decree of preterition in terms of divine permission. The real issue between the positions concerns the logical order of the decrees. In the supralapsarian view the decree of election and reprobation is logically prior to the decree to permit the fall. In the infralapsarian view the decree to permit the fall is logically prior to the decree to election and reprobation.

Though this writer favors the infralapsarian view along the lines developed by Turrettini, it is important to note that both views see election and reprobation in light of the fall and avoid the awful conclusion that God is the author of sin. Both views protect the boundaries Berkouwer mentions.

Only in a positive-positive schema of predestination does double-predestination leave us with a capricious deity whose sovereign decrees manifest a divine tyranny. Reformed theology has consistently eschewed such a hyper-supralapsarianism. Opponents of Calvinism, however, persistently caricature the straw man of hyper-supralapsarianism, doing violence to the Reformed faith and assaulting the dignity of God's sovereignty.

We rejoice in the biblical clarity which reveals God's sovereignty in majestic terms. We rejoice in the knowledge of divine mercy and grace that go to such extremes to redeem the elect. We rejoice that God's glory and honor are manifested both in His mercy and in His justice.

Soli Deo Gloria.



"Doctor, I have an ear ache."

2000 BC - "Here, eat this root."
1000 BC - "That root is heathen, say this prayer."
1850 AD - "That prayer is superstition, drink this potion."
1940 AD - "That potion is snake oil, swallow this pill."
1985 AD - "That pill is ineffective, take this antibiotic."
2000 AD - "That antibiotic is artificial. Here, eat this root!"


"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares
about you" (1 Peter 5:7 – NLT).

Be sure to send in your prayer request for the next

You are in my thoughts and prayers! May the Lord
continue to bless you with knowledge of Himself.

Yours in His vineyard,

Mark Seay
Lighthouse Prayer Line
105 Quincy Drive
Greer, SC 29650

"My mouth is filled with your praise,
declaring your splendor all day long"
(Psalm 71:8).


A Minister was walking down the street when he came upon a group of about a dozen boys, all of them between 10 and 12 years of age.

The group had surrounded a dog. Concerned lest the boys were hurting the dog, he went over and asked "What are you doing with that dog?"

One of the boys replied, "This dog is just an old neighborhood stray. We all want him, but only one of us can take him home. So we've decided that whichever one of us can tell the biggest lie will get to keep the dog."

Of course, the reverend was taken aback. "You boys shouldn't be having a contest telling lies!" he exclaimed. He then launched into a ten minute sermon against lying, beginning, "Don't you boys know it's a sin to lie," and ending with, "Why, when I was your age, I never told a lie."

There was dead silence for about a minute. Just as the reverend was beginning to think he'd gotten through to them, the smallest boy gave a deep sigh and said, "All right, give him the dog."

We hope you have found today's newsletter encouraging to your
walk with Jesus Christ. Please send all prayer requests and
praise reports to us by using the "comments" hyperlink, which
can be found at the end of each blog/article. God is Good!!!

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"The Computer is Down"

Two priests died at the same time and met Saint Peter at the Pearly Gates. St. Peter said, "I'd like to get you guys in now, but our computer is down. You'll have to go back to Earth for about a week, but you can't go back as priests. So what else would you like to be?"

The first priest says, "I've always wanted to be an eagle, soaring above the Rocky Mountains."

"So be it," says St. Peter, and off flies the first priest.

The second priest mulls this over for a moment and asks, "Will any of this week 'count', St. Peter?"

"No, I told you the computer's down. There's no way we can keep track of what you're doing."

"In that case," says the second priest, "I've always wanted to be a stud."

"So be it," says St. Peter, and the second priest disappears.

A week goes by, the computer is fixed, and the Lord tells St. Peter to recall the two priests. "Will you have any trouble locating them?" He asks.

"The first one should be easy," says St. Peter. "He's somewhere over the Rockies, flying with the eagles. But the second one could prove to be more difficult."

"Why?" asketh the Lord.

"He's on a snow tire, somewhere in North Dakota."


Sunday, September 20, 2009

Now THIS is Missions!

What an awesome time we had with the Lord today in New Orleans. First we want to give props to Jerulasem Gospel Church on Teche St in Algiers, their faithfullness in serving God through the Brown Bags And Jesus ministry is amazing. They have not missed a week since they joined our team, and the ladies they bring with them are fearless. Brother Vincent and his team bring 60 lunches to match the 60 we bring each week, and have even started bringing a hot lunch the second Sunday of each month.They are helping get people off the street by finding housing though government programs, and spend time driving homeless people around after they get approved looking for their new homes.
Next I want to mention another church from near Sun, Louisiana that joined us for the first time today. Isabel Baptist Church's youth pastor brought several youth and a few mom's out to pass out lunches and to help teach the youth that there is no fear in serving God. They brought out an additional 50 lunches and waters to go with what we served today. The youth were absolutely fearless, telling the homeless that "Jesus loves you and He died on the cross for your sins". Isabel Baptist Church will be joining us the third Sunday of every month and we look forward to seeing what God does through them as He has done through the others involved. After the meals were served and our time of fellowshipping was over, we went back to the bridge where we first started serving the lunch and had our usual prayer circle with Brother Lenny from Isabel Baptist Church leading the prayer.

The greatest thing I saw God do today touched everyones heart that was involved, as we were going to the truck to leave, a homeless man approached me and asked if I could have one of the boys (Joseph) from Isabel Baptist Church pray with him. I called Joseph over to us and the homeless man told heim that he was certain that some people could actually "touch" God when they spoke to Him and he believed that Joseph was one of those people. Joseph I don't believe is even 10 years old yet, and while he was a little embarassed, without fear, he grabbed the man's hands, bowed his head and said a prayer for God to watch over this man, protect him and help him find what God knows he needs. I don't think there wasa dry eye around! This is Absolute proof what the bible says in Acts 1:7-8 7He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. 8But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."
The last thing I want to say, is that we need YOU to be a part of this, not only do we need your prayer and if you are close enough we need you to volunteer your time, but God's work isn't done for free, not only do the lunches and waters cost money, but the packing materials and the scripture we put in the bags cost money, not to mention it is 120 mile round trip EACH week so we also need financial support. Please visit our website and even if it is only $5, that will help! Thank you, and God Bless!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

We Can Use Your Help!

Aside from the fact that ALL of your donation will be used to purchase Bibles, Gospel Tracts & Bible Studies, you will be serving as an active witness in someone's life. Your donation will directly touch the lives of many who are being introduced to Jesus as their Lord & Savior for the very first time!

Friend, we have the unique opportunity of being able to offer purple & gold, 100%-siliconized wristbands. These attractive bands have been debossed right here in the good 'ole USA with "Need Prayer?" etched on one side; and with "" on the other.

So many wonderful causes will be helped through this drive, such as countless numbers of inmates through our prison ministry, South Indian missions and many USA workers.

We are waiving the postage fees. FREE Shipping!!

Would you be willing to help "the least of these"?

1 band ... $ 5
2 bands ... $ 9
3 bands ... $12
5 bands ... $15

We appreciate your support and witness to a fallen world!

Send your gift in the form of cash, check or money order to:

Mark Seay
105 Quincy Drive
Greer, SC 29650

(Please allow 2 to 3 weeks for shipping.)
**If you are able, please forward this offer to a friend.

*~*Prayer Requests for 9/19/09:

Hi friend,

Please keep the following individuals in your prayers:

1) "This is Gloria; please continue to pray that God will lead me to a good paying job with good benefits; not a temp. service job, not a fast food job, or retail store job. I was working at --- and was fired for reading a newspaper in the store lobby while on break. I was only working there to pay off dental bills; I have 18 yrs. manufacturing exp. and 3 yrs. college. I am a born again Christian and have asked God to forgive me if I did anything wrong to cause my termination and to give me a 2nd chance. Pray that --- or ---- will call me and I'll get a job with one of them; These are 2 new companies in my area that should begin hiring any time now. Also pray that God's will be done in a class I've signed up for; it's to become a certified production technician. I could get a job with major automotive suppliers. I don't want to settle for second best (a minimum wage job)." -Gloria;

2) Melissa asks for our prayers. She writes, "Please pray for me and my husband . We are both going thru and our marriage is on the line ,i love him and want things to get better between us.";

3) "thank you father, for this blessed day that i had with my children--- grandchildren... it was awsome i loved every minute lord there are 2 of my grandchildren that are out of state im very worried about them i ask you to wrap your loving arms around them keep them safe.... there mom took them and we dont know if or when they are comming back also please wrap your loving arms around us all , protect us guide us give us pease,, i praise you lord watch over miny to god bless all amen" -C;

4) Mary asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "please pray for my finances. I haev been out of work and filed for disability recently. i had leg surgery that didnt go well. i have several bills due and no income to pay them. pray that all my bills will be met and paid on time that the lord will bless me . Thanks.";

5) On Monday evening, I was able to visit the Greenville Detention Center (Greenville, SC). Much prayer and testimony was given by myself and several inmates. Bibles, gospel tracts, Bible studies and Daily Breads were handed out amongst many. Please keep the following individuals in your prayers: Frederick Downer, Broadus Rosemond, Guadalupe Loves, Danny Cline, Chad Portchinski, James Shipman, Vagler, Ted Butler, Hector Serano, Bradley Major (mother, sister & both nieces), Pat & Joey, Thomas Jackson, Robert Moore, Haley Waters, Michael Eagan, and Charles Gardner.

**If you would like to make a donation towards this ministry, please send funds to: Mark Seay, 105 Quincy Drive, Greer, SC 29650.;

6) "Please thank God for all that I have. Please pray that we are attuned to the opportunities God places before us so that we may payoff our debtors without having to file bankruptcy. In His name we pray. AMEN Thank you and God Bless!" -Donna;

7) "Would you please pray for me that God frees me from pornography addiction? I wish that he sets me free." -Daniel from Germany;

8) Larry asks for our prayers. He writes, "for Gods provision to pay all my monthly bills,gas and rent are past due and must be paid now. also good food.";

9) "Pray I can send emails.Somthing is wrong with the email.I can't send them and it's driving me nuts." Mona;

10) "Please pray for Gina's healing, and for the Lord to free her from the pain she's experienced after her operation." -CH;

11) Mark asks to be remembered. He writes, "Pray that God would reduce my worry by increasing my trust and faith in Him even more. I ask that you pray that Satan would be restrained in his efforts to cause my worry. 1 Peter 5:6, Thank you for your prayers!";

12) "Please pray for my niece Lori ---, she has a chest cavity infection that could lead to pneumonia; has been to the doctor but requests Gods help in her healing so she can go back to work." - RA;

13) "Please pray for my daughter continually. Her name is Karyn, she deserves a second chance in life. If she doesn't get this chance she will more than likely end up committing suicide. She was recently arrested for narcotics, 1st degree theft and burglary. She is guilty because she was with the "others" who actually commited the crime. Not to say she could have said no - but this is her first offense at age 20, and this doesn't give her much a chance to get her life back on track. She has many more years ahead of her and she needs to focus and get back on track. Please pray that will have a public defendent, prosecuting attorney and Judge that they will be competent and sees Karyn for her potential and to have lenancy. And then I pray for Karyn that she too does what she states in getting control of life.. Be with her to make the right choices from here on out, she wants to attend college and get motivated to get out of this mess. Please pray for our whole family, financially, emotionally and let God do his work. Thank you." -Deb;

14) Marvell asks for our prayers. He writes, "Thank you for sll your prayers for all my family and i. shalom.";

15) "Pease pray for my house to sell quickly so that I can afford to take care of my family again. Thank you." -Laura;

16) Lorenzo asks to be remembered in our prayers. He writes, "I need prayer for my mind that i will be freed from fear that can move forward in faith GOD has delivered me from drugs so i know he can do this.....Lorenzo";

17) "Need a prayer for wayne ---in ohio just find out that he has cancer ..." -Perdue;

18) Mary asks for our prayers. She writes, "Please pray that God will change my fourteen year old grandsons mind about his sexuality. He says he thinks he is gay or bisexual. All the adults that he has talked to at school about this have told him that this kind of lifestyle is perfectly normal.";

19) "Please pray the my husband and I can reconcile our marriage. We have been separated for almost a yr. We have a small child. Please ask the Holy Spirit to open his heart so we can work this out! It is so hard waking up every morning in agony-not knowing where my marriage stands. Thank you." -Marcie;

20) Tammy asks for our prayers. She writes, "Thank you Lord for the Angel you sent me yesterday. There wasnt any way I could have bought those prescriptions the Dr gave me. Bless her Lord. There arent many people left who would do for a person, let alone one she didnt even know, as she did yesterday. Thank you for her goodness and thank you for restoring my faith. Un Jesus name I pray this. Amen.";


22) Linda asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "Lord I lift up my beautiful daughter Leilani up to you. Bless her and help & guide her with her struggle with losing the weight she has gained. I pray & believe that it is you will, your plan, your vision, your grace, your wisdom, and your blessings for my daughter Leilani to lose all of the weight she has gained to get and be healthly, and to feel better and have more energy, she is only 23 yrs old, and she is such a beautiful person inside and out and the biggest heart and love for people. I pray & believe that it is your will, your plan, your vision, your grace and your blessings for her boyfriend Dave to be a strong support for Leilani and that he will give her encouragement and will help her by walking and riding bikes with her on Sunday's. I pray and believe that it is your will, your plan, your vision, your grace and your blessings for Leilani & Dave to be together now & forever, and that you will open up their hearts and souls to one another now & forever to reveal how much they love and care about one another and how much they both want to be life-long partners with each other now & for the rest of their lives. Thank you Lord for hearing my heart, hearing my prayers and answering all of my prayers. Amen";

23) "Please pray for me, I'm seeking the Lord for a Clean heart and to renew a right Spirit in me. Also that my Pastor will be refreshed while on vacation." -Darrell;

24) Gage asks us to pray for William.; and lastly ...

25) "I would appreciate it if you could please pray for me. I have a small request. I am the mother of a beautiful, silly, sweet 11-month-old baby boy. He is the joy of my life. My husband and I decided to start trying for baby #2 this month, as we desperately want to conceive our next baby. Our life has been very busy and hectic, and we've lived through some very tough and trying times the past year or so. We've experienced a lot of tragedy and heartache this past year as well. The wonderful news of another baby on the way would be SUCH a blessing to us. We need some good news right about now! Anyway, if you could pray that we conceive a healthy baby this month, we would greatly appreciate it. We are praying and hoping for a healthy baby girl, since we already have a beautiful baby boy, but of course any gender would be a wonderful blessing and would be much loved. I will be taking a pregnancy test at the end of the month...please pray that it is a POSITIVE result. Please pray that we conceive a healthy baby. And if God is so willing, please pray that it is a girl. Much love and thanks, in Jesus' name." -Kristine

**God bless you for caring enough to pray!!!**


A real friend is always and under all circumstances a friend (Proverbs 17:17a).


*~*Spotlight Site*~*


Signs on Church Property

"No God -- No Peace. Know God -- Know Peace."
"Free Trip to Heaven. Details Inside!"
An ad for St.Joseph's Episcopal Church has a picture of two hands
holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed and
a headline that reads, "For fast, fast, fast relief, take two tablets."
"People are like tea bags -- you have to put them in hot water before
you know how strong they are."
"God so loved the world that He did not send a committee."
"When down in the mouth, remember Jonah. He came out alright."
"Fight truth decay -- study the Bible daily."
"Dusty Bibles lead to Dirty Lives"
"Come work for the Lord. The work is hard, the hours are long and the
pay is low. But the retirement benefits are out of this world."
"Do not wait for the hearse to take you to church."
"If you're headed in the wrong direction, God allows U-turns."
"If you don't like the way you were born, try being born again."
"Looking at the way some people live, they ought to obtain eternal
fire insurance soon."
"This is a ch_ _ ch. What is missing?" ---------> (U R)
"Forbidden fruit creates many jams."
"In the dark? Follow the Son."
"If you can't sleep, don't count sheep. Talk to the Shepherd."


An Untold Horror: A Review of ‘The Stoning of Soraya M.’
By J. Lee Grady

It took an independent film company to make a movie that exposes the cultural oppression of women in the Middle East.

Millions of women around the world live under the ironfisted rule of male domination. They are gang-raped in Latin America; their genitals are mutilated in parts of Africa; they are forced to wear burkas in Afghanistan; they are sold as sex slaves in Thailand; they are denied education in India. Yet most westerners are oblivious to this cruel injustice. It's out of sight, out of mind.

But now, thanks to an independent film company and a director who cares about issues that Hollywood ignores, we have a movie that exposes the plight of women in Iran. It hit theaters last weekend, just a few weeks after Iran's authoritarian government came under international scrutiny.

“If you care about the global oppression of women, or the current crisis of freedom in Iran, this movie is a must-see.”

I must first warn you: The Stoning of Soraya M. is based on a true story. A woman is executed publicly by stoning—and, yes, her death is portrayed in a graphic scene. Obviously this movie is not for children. But if you care about the global oppression of women, or the current crisis of freedom in Iran, this movie is a must-see.

The story begins when a French-Iranian journalist named Freidoune Sahebjam (played by Jim Caviezel, who was Jesus in The Passion of the Christ) has car trouble outside a rural Iranian village. We are introduced to a woman named Zahra (Shohreh Aghdashloo) who is gathering bones from a stream and burying them while dogs watch.

While Sahebjam waits for his car to be repaired, Zahra begs him to listen to her story while the men of the village try to shoo her away. Sahebjam records her testimony on a cassette player. That tape becomes the basis of both his 1994 book and this movie.

Zahra is distraught because the men of her village (she calls them "devils") have killed her niece, Soraya (Mozhan Marn). Through flashbacks we learn that Soraya's immoral husband wants to put her away so he can marry a 14-year-old girl. He has also turned his two sons against their mother but shows no interest in his two young daughters. When Soraya dares to defy her husband's scheme, he trumps up false adultery charges against her with the help of the local Islamic mullah.

Zahra tries to stop the madness, but in the end the villagers commit the Islamic version of a lynching. Along the way we learn how thick anti-woman attitudes are in this part of the world.

"Women now have no voices," Zahra says at one point. We see how Iran's women, under the regime of the Ayatollah Khomeini, were forced to live in prisons of silence and were valued only as sex objects and domestic servants.

The 20-minute stoning sequence is horrible. (I expect some comparisons to The Passion of the Christ, since Stephen McEveety produced both films). But if you close your eyes during some parts, don't miss how various villagers—including even Soraya's two sons—participate in her execution. You'll find it difficult to forget the way young men in the village click their rocks together while they wait for the signal to kill.

The triumph of this film lies in the character of Zahra, who ends up telling the whole world about a horrible injustice that men tried to hide in a dark corner of Iran. Aghdashloo, the actress who plays her, is equally triumphant: She seethes onscreen with righteous rage against an unfair system. We see the story from her viewpoint, and we find ourselves cheering for her as she bravely confronts the men who have the power to stone her along with her niece.

An Oscar nominee, Aghdashloo is an Iranian-born actress who has told reporters she hopes this film will help the cause of freedom in Iran. She told the Orlando Sentinel that she has seen video footage of a real stoning that took place in Iran, and she wants to stop such violence, even if it means that the world's image of Iran might be tarnished in the process.

Said Aghdashloo: "At the end of the day, I think about that woman, sitting alone in her cell, waiting to be stoned. I must stand with her and not worry about Iran's image."

Some movies are purely entertainment. The Stoning of Soraya M. is not that. It is artfully filmed, yet in the end this movie is meant to educate us—and hopefully inspire us to cry out for justice against all forms of gender oppression. It is the Christian community's job to do just that.

The Stoning of Soraya M. is in English and Farsi, with subtitles. It is rated R for a scene of brutal violence.

(J. Lee Grady is editor of Charisma. He is ministering in South America this week. You can find him on Twitter at leegrady.)


What is KingdomSounds Christian DJs?

We are a Mobile DJ/Party Service, based in
Greenville, SC, and we specialize in what we
like to call "Positive Entertainment." Also, all
of our DJs represent other ministries in the
Upstate as well: i.e. by working in Christian
media, serving in Church leadership, and
volunteering our time with Christ-centered
non-profit organizations, etc.

Visit us:


That Good Old Altar Call

As I would sit through many a church service, in many different denominations, it would always intrigue me as to the methods that were used to draw people to the Altar for the 'Altar Call.' The pastor, preacher, teacher or who ever was delivering the service would finish their sermon and then they would do something that kind of surprised me, they begged. They begged for people to come and make a confession towards Christ, to repent and be saved! Now while what they were begging for seemed noble and right it always made me wonder if they just were not being manipulative, either without thinking about it, or with full knowledge.

A good example of someone who used such methods was the one individual that the origination of the Altar call is attributed, Charles G. Finney. Finney employed what ever method necessary to manipulate the will of the individual in order to get them to come forward and make the confession of faith. He had the nervous seat, sinners chair, or what ever you would want to call it, but the point is that he felt that it was necessary to employee manipulation in order to get the job done.

Finney on the Anxious Seat:

“The church has always felt it
necessary to have something of this
kind to answer this very purpose.
In the days of the apostles,
baptism answered this purpose. The
gospel was preached to the people, and
then all those who were willing to be on
the side of Christ, were called out to be

It held the place that the anxious
seat does now as a public manifestation
of their determination to be Christians.”
Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875)

The question is, is this right? Should we manipulate the will of a individual in order to gain a apparent commitment to Christ or should we rely on God who is the one that brings the increase? It seems that Baptism is the place where, those that have come to know Christ, should go in order to make their public profession of faith. There seems to be a given order in the word of God;

Acts 2:38
38 And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (Ac 2:38). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

6 I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the growth. 7 So neither he who plants nor he who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.

The Holy Bible : English standard version. 2001 (1 Co 3:6-7). Wheaton: Standard Bible Society.

So, this is the pattern that God has prescribed, the order that He would have things done. It appears throughout the Bible that there is no place where manipulative tactics are employed. The Gospel is simply presented and then God does the rest from their. I have known people that have been saved in a number of settings, however it seems that the majority were simply called by God in his timing and not at a emotional event or altar call. Don't get me wrong, this does not mean that the point of conversion could not have been emotional, that emotion somehow makes ones conversion less sincere and genuine. All that I am saying is that the altar call or any other marketing tool or method has very little to do with the actual conversion. It was God moving on the heart in his time. God will and does use the altar call, but is there a better way, a more biblical way?

I found this article on Banner of Truth by Dr. Martyn Lloyd Jones and I think He gives a excellent synopsis with regards to this issue. Read on and let me know what you think:

Martyn Lloyd Jones - On the Altar Call

We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people.

Early in the 1970s Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones was the speaker at a ministers' conference in the USA and at a question session was asked the following question:

Q During recent years, especially in England, among evangelicals of the Reformed faith, there has been a rising criticism of the invitation system as used by Billy Graham and others. Does Scripture justify the use of such public invitations or not?

A. Well, it is difficult to answer this in a brief compass without being misunderstood. Let me answer it like this: The history of this invitation system is one with which you people ought to be more familiar than anyone else, because it began in America. It began in the 1820s; the real originator of it was Charles G. Finney. It led to a great controversy. Asahel Nettleton, a great Calvinist and successful evangelist, never issued an "altar call" nor asked people to come to the "anxious seat." These new methods in the 182Os and were condemned for many reasons by all who took the Reformed position.

One reason is that there is no evidence that this was done in New Testament times, because then they trusted to the power of the Spirit. Peter preaching on the Day of Pentecost under the power of the Spirit, for instance, had no need to call people forward in decision because, as you remember, the people were so moved and affected by the power of the Word and Spirit that they actually interrupted the preacher, crying out, "Men and brethren, what shall we do?" That has been the traditional Reformed attitude towards this particular matter. The moment you begin to introduce this other element, you are bringing a psychological element. The invitation should be in the message. We believe the Spirit applies the message, so we trust in the power of the Spirit. I personally agree with what has been said in the question. I have never called people forward at the end for this reason; there is a grave danger of people coming forward before they are ready to come forward. We do believe in the work of the Spirit, that He convicts and converts, and He will do His work. There is a danger in bringing people to a "birth," as it were, before they are ready for it.

The Puritans in particular were afraid of what they would call "a temporary faith" or "a false profession." There was a great Puritan, Thomas Shepard, who published a famous series of sermons on The Ten Virgins. The great point of that book was to deal with this problem of a false profession. The foolish virgins thought they were all right. This is a very great danger.

I can sum it up by putting it like this: I feel that this pressure which is put upon people to come forward in decision ultimately is due to a lack of faith in the work and operation of the Holy Spirit. We are to preach the Word, and if we do it properly, there will be a call to a decision that comes in the message, and then we leave it to the Spirit to act upon people. And of course He does. Some may come immediately at the close of the service to see the minister. I think there should always be an indication that the minister will be glad to see anybody who wants to put questions to him or wants further help. But that is a very different thing from putting pressure upon people to come forward. I feel it is wrong to put pressure directly on the will. The order in Scripture seems to be this - the truth is presented to the mind, which moves the heart, and that in turn moves the will.


World Impact, hosted by Billy Wilson, presents Biblical information and Spiritual Inspiration from locations around the world. World Impact reaches out globally to deliver God's word through an inspirational message for a global society, and we hope you will stand with us and be a part of World Impact as we share Jesus with the World! World Impact, presently seen in over 175 nations, airs throughout the week on many stations and cable channels.

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Proverbs 22:14

"The mouth of strange women is a deep pit: he that is abhorred of the LORD shall fall therein" (Proverbs 22:14).

The enticing and flattering words of beautiful women are an incredible draw, and they seduce and trap men in sin, as pits were dug to trap wild animals. Adding intimate kisses to her alluring words, only a few exceptional men can resist her! But her warm embrace and charming words should chill your soul, for they indicate the LORD has forsaken you!

In Solomon’s time, digging a deep hole and covering it with sticks and leaves was a way to capture large animals. While prowling at night, the animal would fall through the weak covering and be unable to get out of the deep pit. In the same way, the luscious mouth of a whore hides the pain, trouble, and destruction of touching her (23:27-28; 6:29).

Once a man has fallen for the seductive pleasures of a whore, he is only rarely recovered. The pit is too deep, or too narrow, to allow ordinary means of escape (23:27). Proverbs and Scripture warn that only a few men are ever delivered from the addicting and damning attraction of other women (2:19; 5:22; 6:32; 7:26; 9:18; II Pet 2:14; Rev 21:8).

A whorish woman uses her mouth to allure, invite, and kiss her prey into submission, and few can resist her (2:16; 6:24; 7:5,13,21). “For the lips of a strange woman drop as an honeycomb, and her mouth is smoother than oil” (5:3). A woman’s mouth can be used for good or evil: holy women use them to adore, reverence, and kiss their husbands.

The sensual look, sound, feel, and invitation of a woman’s mouth were too much for Samson (Judges 16:15-17), but Joseph heard her words, rejected her, and fled the scene (Gen 39:7-12). And here is the secret to avoid her deep pit – run, young man, run! Go far from her (1:10; 4:14-15; 5:8; 7:6-10; 9:6; 13:20; Matt 5:27-30; Rom 13:14; II Tim 2:22)!

How do strange women use their mouths to seduce men today? They flirt boldly in public with compliments, insinuations, jests, and invitations. And sometimes these even occur in the churches of Christ! And they also use the modern means of telephones, chat rooms, cell phones, email, cards, notes, letters, and e-cards. All wise men will steer clear of all such correspondence and communication with any bold or forward woman. Be a Joseph!

God is able to deliver men from strange women, which is why Jesus Christ taught men to pray that He would not lead them into temptation. But when a man has sinned against Him, He can and will abhor him practically and temporarily. He will let him fall into the deep pit of the whore (Deut 32:19; Ps 78:59; 81:12; 106:40; Amos 3:2; Rev 3:16). If it were not for the examples of David and Mary Magdalene, men might despair of mercy!

How do you get out of the deep pit? Repent, and beg God sincerely for mercy, fully stating the obvious nature and consequences of your folly (28:13; Job 33:27-28). Then get away from her and anything to do with her! Cut off all avenues Satan has to remind you of the “pleasure” she gave and all opportunities for you to encounter her again. Show your sincerity by practicing godly repentance as defined in the Bible (II Cor 7:10-11).

Do not despair with this sin or its horribly binding consequences! Run to Jesus Christ and beg for mercy. He does not owe you immediate grace and strength, so stay on your face before Him until He delivers you. He will forgive and strengthen you, as He did all the harlots that came to Him in the New Testament. Take Paul’s example of casting himself upon the mercy of Jesus Christ for his own problems with concupiscence (Rom 7:7-25).

When you think it is impossible, when you think your case is hopeless, remember our Lord’s answer to His disciples about the impossibility of a rich man making it to heaven, “With men this is impossible; but with God all things are possible” (Matt 19:23-26). The Lord Jesus suffered every temptation you face to a much greater degree: He can relate and help with your temptations and failures with strange women (Heb 2:18; 4:15-16).

Young man, in order to never need the remedy, you must avoid all attractive and forward women. Keep your heart with all diligence, and avoid all lusts and activities that lead in her direction. Find a God-fearing wife and maximize your marriage. Learn to appreciate and love Joseph! Forget Samson’s strength and see his great weakness for evil women!

God condemns false religion by comparing it to an adulterous woman – a whore that leaves the truth for doctrines of devils. But none has used her mouth more lasciviously and promiscuously than the Church of Rome. John described her as the great whore and mother of harlots, who had committed fornication with the kings of the earth, and who was drunk with the blood of the saints (Rev 17:1-6). The solution with false religion is the same as with a false woman – get away from her (Rev 18:4; II Cor 6:14-17; 11:3-4)!


The First Parent - by Bill Cosby

Whenever your kids are out of control, you can take comfort from the
thought that even God's omnipotence did not extend to his kids.

After creating heaven and earth, God created Adam and Eve. And the
first thing God said to them was: "Don't" "Don't what?" Adam asked.
"Don't eat the forbidden fruit," said God.

"Forbidden fruit? Really? Where is it?" Adam and Eve asked jumping
up and down excitedly." "It's over there," said God, wondering why he
hadn't stopped after making the elephants.

A few minutes later God saw the kids having an apple break and he was
very angry. "Didn't I tell you not to eat that fruit?" The First Parent asked.

"Uh huh," Adam replied.

"Then why did you do it?" God asked exasperatedly.

"I dunno, " Adam answered.

God's punishment was that Adam and Eve should have children of their
own. Thus the pattern was set and it has never changed.

But there is a reassurance in this story. If you have persistently and
lovingly tried to give your children wisdom and they haven't taken it,
don't be so hard on yourself. If God had trouble handling his
children, what makes you think it should be a piece of cake for you?


"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares
about you" (1 Peter 5:7 – NLT).

Be sure to send in your prayer request for the next

You are in my thoughts and prayers! May the Lord
continue to bless you with knowledge of Himself.

To God alone be the Glory,

Mark Seay
Lighthouse Prayer Line
105 Quincy Drive
Greer, SC 29650

"Say to them, 'As surely as I live, declares
the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the
death of the wicked, but rather that they turn
from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your
evil ways! Why will you die, O house of Israel?'"
(Ezekiel 33:11 - NIV).


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Sunday, September 13, 2009

*~*Prayer Requests for 9/14/09:

Hi friend,

Please keep the following individuals in your prayers:

1) "Hello, 6 and a half days till my MCAT and I would like someone to pray with me so I do on the test. Its been real hard on me, and I know that everything is God's will, but I really, really want to pass this test-and hopefully be a great doctor someday." -Yelena;

2) AN asks for our prayers. She writes, "I thank God everyday for all of my blessings. Right now, my roof is leaking and I've got more bills than I can pay. Can you please pray for the repair of my roof and the end of my family's financial troubles. Thank you.";

3) "Please help me pray that i would be able to get back home for a visit where my children are, i miss them so much it has been 2 yrs i havent seen them. please help me pray too for a good job with great pay for me to be able to support my children financially." -Jad;

4) LP asks for us to pray: "that my neck and left elbow pain be completely gone. thanks and God bless!";

5) "I was able to consult with another doctor over the phone free of charge to discuss my chemical spill. She took interest with my story because it's something she is seeing more and more these days and she experienced something similar working on a farm as a child spraying herbicides. ---There are 3 places I have been considering. ---So far I have consulted with some of the top doctors and centers. My issue is not gonna go away on its on and the longer I wait to get treatment my health and symptoms will continue to stay the same or get worse. The doctor I spoke with is exteremely confident that I will be able to get better and she said I will be amazed that the symptoms I am experiencing now will be gone. She said go after the cause and the cure. It may take a year or two or maybe less. It could be dramatic or more gradual. I have been procrastinating doing anything. I would just ask for prayer that God would direct me to the right doctor and for the financial resources to pay for this as well as the health and strength I need as well as the drive I need. I put it in the Lord's hands on where I need to go and how I will pay for it. Thanks again for standing in the gap!" -Pat;

6) "My prayer request today is for a gentleman, Ron, I met in a Donut Shop and his wife, Dina and son, John. Ron is going to be praying for his son's heart to be softened by the Holy Spirit. Please pray for Ron, Dina and John that GOD'S hand is upon them and GOD almighty will shine his mercy and love and grace upon them. That Ron will be a witness of his son's change of heart, in JESUS name, Amen. Thank you." -Pinkgram;

7) Lisa Dawn asks for us to remember her in our prayers. She writes, "I would like to ask for prayer concerning my co-workers. There are five of us in my department and we are all Christians. However, only two of us are strong in our faith, my friend Michelle and myself. The other three bring us down all of the time, my supervisor being the ring leader. They can be sweet at times, laugh, and act as friends one minute and then hating us the next. My friend Michelle and I have even heard them all talking about us behind closed doors. It wasn't what they said, which was very hurtfull, but the way they said it, with so much anger and hate behind it. I have to tell you that it has taken all of my christian strength and courage to forgive these women who so righteously claim that they are christians. I sometimes, no, I often feel that I work with the devil. I don't know what to do nor do I know how to handle this. Please pray for me and my friend Michelle. Thank you and God bless!";

8) "I just got bad and confusing news about my interview scheduled for Wednesday. I am so discouraged and frustrated. Please pray that I can relax and believe strongly that God has me in his love. I am starting to waiver and it makes me feel awful. I'm in a bad place. please pray for me. I don't want to feel desperate. i want to be filled with faith and know God will provide. Please pray for me." -C;

9) Dorothy asks for our prayers. She writes, "Would you pls. pray for a firefighter in Ca., who is fighting for his life right now. His name is Don ---. His wife , Rose and his 2 daughters and sister Gail , also need your prayers. May God bless all of you at Silent Unity!!!";

10) "Please pray for healing for Tom and for Carole's son." -Marilyn

11) Loney asks for our prayers. He writes, "I have been single and saved for some years now. Please pray for me to be free of guilty feelings and shame for all sexual sins. I just want to be free!";


13) Cordell asks to be remembered in our prayers. He writes, "My Prayer Is That My GirlFriend Angela And I Cordell Get Married By The End Of The Year.";

14) "Please pray for a quick sale of my house and pellet stove. thank you." -Lynne;

15) AN asks for our prayers. She writes, "please pray for my relationship with my non-christian parents, sisters and entire family.I've been praying for them for over 18-years, and am getting farther away from them emotionally and relationally.";

16) Raquel asks for us to pray "for the revival of righteousness, Christ being our righteousness, to places of authority.";

17) "I need prayer for me and my daughter as well her her three kids. We need the LORD to show us the way. I reach up to you Lord with my hands held high and my heart wide open Amen!" -Jonni;

18) Tim asks for our prayers. He writes, "I need financial help, please pray for me.";

19) "Please pray that I find a way out of my financial problems. I know everything is "in God's time", but I need to resolve matters before I lose my home. I am deeply in debt and am being sued by one creditor. All of my accounts have gone to collections. Please pray that I can get back on my feet again, soon. Thank you for your prayers." -Teri;

20) Peter asks to be remembered in our prayers. He writes, "Brothers and Sister, please pray for healing for me. I went to do blood work and the results show something unexpectedly very wrong with my kidney. I know our God who created us is the only One who heals us. Please pray with me and for me, that God will have mercy on me and give me rapid healing. I’ll have to do the blood work again in two weeks and I pray that by this next test everything will be alright. I am trusting God for this. Amen! Amen! Amen!";

21) "We have an urgent prayer need in our cousin, Nicole Menard was shot by her boyfriend twice...with a shot gun! Then he turned the gun on himself. She is thankfully still with us, but she's in bad shape, as you can imagine. She's 27 years old. She might lose her left hand, her right arm & her shoulder is shattered completely. She has pellets in her liver, too. It's soooooo hard to understand someone who says they love you doing that, we don't know what the whole thing was about, because she's not yet come to long enough to say." -Tam;

22) Mary asks for our prayers. She writes, "Please pray for our business. Please pray that they get busier today. Please pray that I can pay some bills Monday, and me. Please pray that I can pay the rent. Please help me through another day. Please pray for our elderly parents in assisted living. Please pray for our children in their daily lives. Please pray for Edna with Lymphoma and Janes granddaughter with CF. Please pray for Gail and Rose who lost their husbands recently. Please pray the I make it through another day. Thank you for what you do.";

23) "Lord, let there be honesty between Mary and me and help her sell her properties. And prepare me for interviewing Connie and writing the article...give me the heart and enhusiasm. Please guide and heal Audrey in her back and from fybermyalgia. In Jesus name, Amen." -Flora; and lastly ...

24) Symilia asks to be remembered in our prayers. She writes, "I am a 19 year old mother i need prayer i just dont know what to do am a single mother i have not finish school its hard every time i try to make a change it just seem like i keep on going back i want to change i want to give my life to god but i need help, my name is symilia ---please pray for me."

**God bless you for caring enough to pray!!!**


A real friend is always and under all circumstances a friend (Proverbs 17:17a).


*~*Spotlight Site*~*


Daily Devotional
By Bill Keller

What are you supposed to do when you are down, when the walls of life seem to be closing in, and you have no joy in your heart? Praise God!!! In my darkest moments, in those times when I am most down, I have always found the express lane out of the valley back to the mountaintop is by praising God.Trust me, I know it is at those moments in life when we least feel like praising God.

Our natural inclination often is to curse God. That is a human reaction. But it is in our praise that we recognize who God is. It is in our praise that we realize how much He loves us. It is in our praise that we understand God is on our side. The quickest way out of the valley is by praising God! The way we often end up in the valley is because of our rebellion. Not always, but we often end up in the valley because we have been disobedient and tried to do it our way, instead of God's way.

Normally, there is no one to blame for being in the valley but ourselves. God understands our weaknesses. He understands our nature. He also loves us enough that even when we rebel and disobey Him, He doesn't abandon us. We may abandon Him, but He NEVER leaves us! It is that unconditional love He has for us that we must tap into when we are down and need to get the joy back into our life.

The way we tap into that love is through our praise. Our praise tells God that we acknowledge Him. We thank Him for loving us and not leaving us. We may try, but can never live a successful, happy, blessed life without Him. Our praise is our recognition that He is our God and we are His creation.

I want to encourage you today. No matter what may be going on in your life. No matter how difficult things may be, take some time today to Praise God. Praise Him for all the good things, all the blessings.

As bad as things may be, they could be much worse. His love and mercy has kept you and helped you through the difficult times, now praise Him for loving you so much. Show Him how much you love Him this day by your praise offering to our God and Creator.

I love you so much. I really do care about you. I want you to know the great joy and peace and blessing of this life. Don't let some bad decisions destroy the most important thing you have in this life, your relationship with God. You can reconcile that relationship right now, this very day. You can start on that road by simply giving God the praise He deserves. Recognize Him for who He is-God Almighty-.the Creator of heaven and earth-your Father! Tell Him today how much you love Him through your praise.

Remember, God is on your side and will restore your joy, your peace, and your happiness if you simply go to Him and let Him. Get out of the valley, praise your way out of the valley and back onto the mountaintop today!


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So Jesus Never Claimed to be God?
By Miles McKee

Every so often some ‘smart alec’ gets on TV and claims that the early Christians did not consider Jesus to be God. “This belief”, they say, “started some 400 years after the gospel events transpired. “And”, they continue, “Jesus himself never once claimed to be God. All he said was that he was the Son of God!”

What are we to say in the face of such onslaughts? Are they true? Did Jesus ever claim to be God? Did the early Church believe that He was God? The answers are in the scriptures. Take the question about whether or not Jesus ever claimed to be God. Did you know that in John’s Gospel, chapter five, Jesus makes no less than 7 claims to being God! ----------------- Not one, but seven claims!

For the next few weeks we will consider each of these claims. If ever we are to be strong in the gospel we need to be established in the grand truth of the Deity of our Lord Jesus Christ.

As we come to the first claim in John 5, we should note that Jesus has just done the ‘inexcusable’; He has healed a man on the Sabbath day. This brings Him into direct conflict with the Jewish authorities, and it is during this confrontation Jesus strongly testifies to His deity.

Claim #1:

John 5:16-18 “And therefore did the Jews persecute Jesus, and sought to slay him, because he had done these things on the Sabbath day. But Jesus answered them, My Father worketh hitherto, and I work. Therefore the Jews sought the more to kill him, because he not only had broken the Sabbath, but said also that God was his Father, making himself equal with God.”

The Jewish folks were furious because they believed Jesus to be a Sabbath breaker. However, Jesus did not actually break the law of God. The law of God made no specific prohibition against healing sick folk on the Sabbath! But, by healing on the Sabbath, Jesus stepped on ecclesiastical toes and barbequed sacred Jewish cows! The Jews, you see, had gone way beyond Moses and, like all good religionists, had made up their own rules and regulations. They had decided that one couldn't do excessive things like healing on the Sabbath, -----it was wrong simply because they said it was wrong.

I always think the attitude of Christ’s enemies was, in one sense, vaguely amusing. Had an angel healed on the Sabbath they would have, no doubt, welcomed him. They would have in no way tried to rebuke or censure him. Angels, of course, would obviously have been exempt from the slavish Jewish adherence to the Sabbath. Sabbath observance was, after all, for men, not angels.

Likewise, God was exempt from Sabbath observance. God can do whatever He pleases, whenever He pleases…. that’s one of the advantages of being God! So what was it exactly that now enraged the Jewish leaders? They were incensed because, not only had Jesus healed on the Sabbath, He had had the audacity to claim the same Divine exemption from Sabbath observation as belonged to God. He says, in effect, “My Father can work on the Sabbath and so can I.”

God, in actuality, had always been exempt from Sabbath observance in that He had made the Sabbath for man and not for Himself. In fact, He had never stopped working at any time. True, He rested on the first Sabbath, but this rest was only from His works of creation. And ever since that first day of rest, He has been actively involved and working with mankind regardless of what day of the week it is.

This claim to Sabbath exemption was serious enough, but Christ goes even further by referring to God as uniquely being His own Father. To the Jews it was clear that Jesus by this statement had blasphemed for, after all, He was, in their estimation, a mere man and, therefore, in no way equal with God. Think about it, if a man claims equality with the omnipotent Deity then he’s claiming to be God.

It would indeed have been a great blasphemy for Jesus Christ to claim to be God ---if he was lying about it! There's no greater blasphemy than that. The Jews said, “You can't claim to be God, that's blasphemy.” And of course they were right, anybody who claims to be God, who isn't God, is blaspheming.

Let’s face it, when Jesus Christ stood up and said, "I'm equal with God," He was either God or the greatest blasphemer who ever opened his mouth. And when some person comes along and says, "Well, Jesus was just a wonderful human teacher, but not God” you can reply TWADDLE!

And when somebody comes along and says, "He was an elevated human, a great moral example, but not God” you can say “Double Distilled Twaddle!

Don’t allow any of this patronizing dribble that says He's a good teacher, but not God. Good teachers don't claim to be God. Blasphemers do! And God does! There's no middle ground.

The Jews were enraged. That’s why the religious leaders of Christ’s day were out to kill Him! At least they clearly understood what today’s critics do not: they were very clear on this matter; Jesus had claimed to be God. They had heard Him, there was no mistaking Him, there was no ambiguity. Jesus could easily have backed down and averted the ensuing storm by saying, “That’s not what I meant.” But He didn’t! He stood by His statement. Both He and His audience knew what He had said.

It is only if one dismisses the clear statements of Jesus that one can conclude that He is not God!

Since Jesus was God clothed with humanity, He claimed, therefore, equality with the Father and the divine right to heal and work on the Sabbath.

And that’s the Gospel Truth!


Which sermon to deliver?

One beautiful Sunday morning, Samuel, a priest, announced to his congregation: "My good people, I have here in my hands, three sermons...a $100 sermon that lasts five minutes, a $50 sermon that lasts fifteen minutes, and a $10 sermon that lasts a full hour. Now, we'll take the collection and see which one I'll deliver."


Without the Spirit of God, there can be no true healing.
AWMF seeks to minister to both body and soul.


Dispensationalism vs Covenantalism (cheat sheet):

Here is a list of essential differences between dispensationalism and covenantalism (D= dispensationalism, C = covenantalism)

D 1. May be Arminian or modified Calvinist. Almost never 5-point Calvinist.
C 1. Always Calvinist. Usually 5-point.

D 2. Stresses literal Interpretation of the Bible.
C 2. Accepts both literal and figurative interpretation of the Bible.

D 3. Usually does not accept the idea of the 'Analogy of Faith
C 3. Almost always accepts the idea of the 'Analogy of Faith.'

D 4. 'Israel always means only the literal, physical descendants of Jacob
C 4. 'Israel' may mean either literal, physical descendants of Jacob or the figurative, spiritual Israel, depending on context.

D 5. 'Israel of God' in Gal. 6:16 means physical Israel alone.
C 5. 'Israel of God' in Gal. 6:16 means spiritual Israel, parallel to Gal. 3:29, Rom. 2:28-29, Rom. 9:6, Phil. 3:3.

D 6. God has two peoples with two separate destinies: Israel (earthly) and the Church (heavenly).
C 6. God has always had only one people, the Church gradually developed.

D 7. The Church was born at Pentecost.
C 7. The Church began in the O.T. (Acts 7:38) and reached fulfillment in the N.T.

D 8. The Church was not prophesied as such in the O.T. but was a hidden mystery until the N.T.
C 8. There are many O.T. prophecies of the N.T. Church.

D 9. All O.T. prophecies for 'Israel' are for literal Israel, not the Church
C 9. Some O.T. prophecies are for literal Israel, others are for spiritual Israel.

D10. God's main purpose in history is literal Israel.
C 10. God's main purpose in history is Christ and secondarily the Church.

D 11. The Church is a parenthesis in God's program for the ages.
C 11. The Church is the culmination of God's saving purpose for the ages.

D 12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Isaac and literal Israel.
C 12. The main heir to Abraham's covenant was Christ and spiritual Israel.

D 13. There was no eternal Covenant of Redemption within the Trinity.
C 13. The eternal Covenant of Redemption was within the Trinity to effect election.

D 14. There was no Covenant of Works with Adam in the Garden of Eden.
C 14. God made a conditional Covenant of Works with Adam as representative for all his posterity.

D 15. There was no Covenant of Grace concerning Adam.
C 15. God made a Covenant of Grace with Christ and His people, including Adam.

D 16. Israel was rash to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.
C 16. Israel was right to accept the Covenant at Mt. Sinai.

D 17. The 'New Covenant' of Jer. 31:31-34 is only for literal Israel and is not the New Covenant of Luke 22:20.
C 17. The 'New Covenant of Jer. 31 is the same as in Luke 22; both are for spiritual Israel according to Hebrews 8.

D 18. God's program in history is mainly through separate dispensations.
C 18. God's program in history is mainly through related covenants.

D 19. Some Dispensationalists have said that O.T. sinners were saved by works.
C 19. No man has ever been saved by works, but only by grace.

D 20. Most Dispensationalists teach that men in the O.T. were saved by faith in a revelation peculiar to their Dispensation, but this did not include faith in the Messiah as their sin-bearer.
C 20. All men who have ever been saved have been saved by faith in Christ as their sin-bearer, which has been progressively revealed in every age.

D 21. The O.T. sacrifices were not recognized as the Gospel or types of the Messiah as sin-bearer, but only seen as such in retrospect.
C 21. O.T. believers believed in the Gospel of Messiah as sin-bearer mainly by the sacrifices as types and prophecies.

D 22. The Holy Spirit indwells only believers in the Dispensation of Grace, not O.T. and not after the Rapture.
C 22. The Holy Spirit has indwelt believers in all ages, especially in the present N.T. era, and will not be withdrawn.

D 23. Jesus made an offer of the literal Kingdom to Israel; since Israel rejected it, it is postponed.
C 23. Jesus made only an offer of the spiritual Kingdom, which was rejected by literal Israel but has gradually been accepted by spiritual Israel.

D 24. O.T. believers were not 'in Christ', nor part of the Body of Bride of Christ.
C 24. Believers in all ages are all 'in Christ' and part of the Body and Bride of Christ.

D 25. The Law has been abolished.
C 25. The Law has three uses: to restrain sin in society, to lead to Christ, and to instruct Christians in godliness. The ceremonial laws have been abolished; the civil laws have been abolished except for their general equity; the moral laws continue.

D 26. O.T. Laws are no longer in effect unless repeated in the N.T.
C 26. O.T. laws are still in effect unless abrogated in the N.T.

D 27. The Millennium is the Kingdom of God Dispensationalists are always Pre-Millennial and usually Pre-Tribulational.
C 27. The Church is the Kingdom of God. Covenantalists are usually Amillennial, sometimes Pre-Millennial or Post-Millennial, rarely Pre-Tribulational.

D 28. The O.T. animal sacrifices will be restored in the Millennium.
C 28. The O.T. sacrifices were fulfilled and forever abolished in Christ.

D 29. The Millennium will fulfill the Covenant to Abraham. Israel has a future.
C 29. Christ fulfilled the Covenant to Abraham. Some Covenantalists believe in a future for literal Israel, most don't.

D 30. David will sit on the Millennial throne in Jerusalem.
C 30. Christ alone sits on the throne. Saints rule under Him.


Church Membership or Biblical Fellowship?
By Terry Rayburn

Over the years the question of Church Membership swirls around the Christian world, and is debated and discussed, sometimes fought over, and sometimes just taken for granted.

Now by "Church Membership" here, I mean it in the commonly used sense of the phrase, referring to formally joining a particular local church, in a formal way, maybe agreeing to some doctrinal statement, or agreeing to some written covenant, and actually being put on a list of "Members".

Is that Biblical? Is it O.K.? Is it demanded? Is it optional? And so forth.

Today I want to open a discussion in what I think is a new direction regarding Church Membership, especially as it relates to Fellowship.

See, I believe that the discussion of Church Membership is in one sense missing the real point of what the Church is to be about.

Is Membership Fellowship?

There's a big elephant in the room that no one mentions. This elephant is ignored, walked around, or maybe mentioned only in passing. The big elephant in the room is Fellowship.

Now I've read many extensive studies which attempt to prove from Scripture that Membership Lists are taught in the Bible. And I will admit some of them SEEM logical, and SEEM to make sense in a certain way.

But the truth is, there are no commands for Church Membership Lists in the Bible. There are no examples of Church Membership Lists in the Bible. And there are no examples of formal joining of the local church in the Bible.

Because of this, and in relation to Biblical Fellowship, I have come to believe that Church Membership Lists, and the formal joining of a local church, is a man-made result of a lack of true Biblical Fellowship, or what the Bible in Greek calls Koinonia.

No let me make a disclaimer, before I go any further. If you attend a local church that practices Membership Lists, I'm not saying you shouldn't join, or formally become a member. Because the Bible also does not PROHIBIT the making of Membership Lists. So I want to be clear on that. The Membership List itself is not the problem.

Three Aspects

With that, I want to look at three aspects of this question of Church Membership:

1. What does the Bible teach about membership in general?
2. What made one a member of a local church?
3. What does Fellowship have to do with it?

1. What does the Bible teach about membership in general?

Romans 12:4,5, "For as we have many MEMBERS in one body, but all the MEMBERS do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually MEMBERS of one another."

1 Cor 6:15, "Do you not know that your bodies are MEMBERS of Christ? Shall I then take the MEMBERS of Christ and make them MEMBERS of a harlot? Certainly not!"

1 Cor 12:12, "For as the body is one and has many MEMBERS, but all the MEMBERS of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ."

1 Cor 12:18, "But now God has set the MEMBERS, each one of them, in the body just as He pleased."

1 Cor 12:20, "But now indeed there are many members, yet one body."

1 Cor 12:25, "...that there should be no schism in the body, but that the MEMBERS should have the same care for one another."

1 Cor 12:26, "And if one MEMBER suffers, all the MEMBERS suffer with it; or if one MEMBER is honored, all the MEMBERS rejoice with it."

1 Cor 12:27, "Now you are the body of Christ, and MEMBERS individually."

Ephesians 2:19, "Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and MEMBERS of the household of God."

Ephesians 4:25, "Therefore, putting away lying, let each one of you speak truth with his neighbor, for we are MEMBERS of one another."

Ephesians 5:30, "For we are MEMBERS of His body, of His flesh and of His bones."

Acts 2:47, "...praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved."

2. What made one a member of the local church?

Acts 15:41, "And he went through Syria and Cilicia, strengthening the churches."

Acts 16:5, "So the churches were strengthened in the faith, and increased in number daily."

"The Church" vs. "the churches"

Belief in Jesus Christ, baptism, and then practicing "church".

Acts 2:42, "And they continued steadfastly in the apostles' doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers."

3. What does fellowship have to do with it?

Fellowship = "koinonia", "commonality", as in "koine" greek.

1 John 1:3, "...that which we have seen and heard we declare to you, that you also may have FELLOWSHIP with us; and truly our FELLOWSHIP is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ."

1 John 1:6, "If we say that we have FELLOWSHIP with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth."

1 John 1:7, "But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin."

Now we get back to Membership Lists, regarding church discipline and dis-fellowshiping a member.

Biblical "membership" involves "fellowship" --- a commonality of spiritual Life in prayer, teaching, breaking of bread, drinking of cup, knowing one another, bearing one another's burdens, sharing in one another's financial needs, fervently loving one another, recognizing the hurt in one another and applying the balm of Jesus with warmth, stirring one another up to good works, exhorting, encouraging, blessing, hugging, welcoming, caring about, feeding with the true Bread, Who is Christ.

In other words, church discipline which may lead to dis-fellowshiping someone presupposes there is something to be dis-fellowshiped *from*. Something infinitely valuable, something one doesn't want to miss, if they are a believer.

The modern American "church service", where everyone files in at 11 and files out at Noon, with a, "How you doing?", "I'm gr-r-r-eat!, how about you?" to a few people, followed by going home for another week apart from everyone else (or maybe till Wednesday for the truly "spiritual") --- doesn't know what fellowship is. So it substitutes Membership Lists.

Then it either never dis-fellowships anyone, because "who cares?", or it practices the church discipline of taking the unrepentent publicly sinful "off the Membership List", whereupon the unrepentent publicly sinful either goes to the next church, or is "shamed" back onto the Membership List, not because they really miss the so-called "fellowship", but because they are humiliated (too often they remain humiliated, with a red letter on their back...marked as a lesser being, not ike "us" who are incapable of falling so low..."How are you doing, Lesser being? ...O.K.? ...go-o-o-d...see you next week...Ciao!").

This is not meant to be a cynical comment at all, but a mere observation of many churches over many years, and a heart's cry for a continual renewal of Biblical Fellowship.

"Church Membership Lists" is not primarily an exegetical question, it's a spiritual one.

May God work His Fellowship in the churches.


"Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares
about you" (1 Peter 5:7 – NLT).

Be sure to send in your prayer request for the next

You are in my thoughts and prayers! May the Lord
continue to bless you with knowledge of Himself.

Agape & Shalom,

Mark Seay
Lighthouse Prayer Line
105 Quincy Drive
Greer, SC 29650

""But while they were on their way to buy the oil, the bridegroom arrived. The virgins who were ready went in with him to the wedding banquet. And the door was shut. Later the others also came. 'Sir! Sir!' they said. 'Open the door for us!' But he replied, 'I tell you the truth, I don't know you.' Therefore keep watch, because you do not know the day or the hour" (Matthew 25:10-13 - NIV)


"Envy someone and it pulls you down.
Admire them and it builds you up.
Which makes more sense?"
-Elvis Presley

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"The man went away and told the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well. Life Through the Son 16So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jews persecuted him" (John 5:15-16 - NIV).