You know... sometimes I truly feel like I've gone barking mad. God keeps stripping things from me. Anything that keeps me from Him has to go and I am embracing this. Every now and then when I whine, Tim says "are you bleeding yet?". *sigh*
Dr. Roger Skepple did a series of classes on Propitiation and gave this amazing explanation of what happens when God saves a man. He explains how prior to regeneration you have the inner man (spirit)and the outer man (flesh) conspiring, participating and reveling in sin. When God takes that heart of stone and converts it to a heart of flesh, all things become new. The inner man has been crucified and the Holy Spirit sets up shop. We still have to contend with the outer man saying "Hey... THAT looks like fun!" and where the inner man used to say, "Sure! Have at it... " the new creation not only says, "No" but "No and how COULD you possibly entertain such a thought, you vile, wretched sinner, don't you understand who we are now?" Eek.
So, all that to say we have wheeled the big tv-idol out of the living room. Neither of us can longer watch the things that God hates. Do you realize how difficult this is? Wow, it really makes me understand how much I use crutches to make myself feel better rather than turning to God. Why do I do that? I mean, I guess it's because of this inner/outer struggle.
My inner self is totally thrilled and happy with this decision, but my flesh is screaming NOOOOOOOOOO.... not THAT! You took away all the other fun things and now THIS?! Really?! And so I deal with the lies my flesh is telling myself like, "Oh, you're just a legalist.. " "It's really not that bad" "Everyone watches tv"
God is removing all that is not Jenny... to make me more like Him. What a mighty Lord we serve, what a loving all-powerful God we have. Do you realize we were created to glorify God? Anything we do that is contrary to that end is not who we are. He's merely trying to show us why we were created and thusly what will bring us the most joy in fulfilling our purpose.
This is my story... this is my song, praising my savior all day long.
I'm starting to read again. It's been awhile and I suppose the business has kept me from studying as much as I should, but not as much as my own flesh has. I bought some books from a dear friend, Lane and one of them is a daily devotional called Truth for Today by John MacArthur.
In the preface of the book, Dr. MacArthur talks about human wisdom. He's so good.
He says, "The last century produced an information explosion unparalleled in human history. Yet modern knowledge has been unable to shed any new light on the most basic spiritual questions facing the human race. That's exatly how the Bible describes mankind in the end times: "always learning and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth" (2 Tim. 3:7).
Man has solved incredibly difficult problems in the fields of mathematics, astronomy, microbiology and even space travel. But the true meaning of life stubbornly eludes those whose methods of pursuit are purely rational. They end up totally puzzled about life, death, God, man, sin, heaven, hell, love, joy, and peace.
The problem is that spiritual answers cannot be deduced by human reason alone (1 Cor. 2:14). It's not that spiritual truth is irrational or illogical, but that human wisdom is defective, because it's tainted by man's sinfulness, and unable to perceive the things of God."
Wow, it's true. Sometimes I still get these fleetings moments of doubt, but it's true. That's why God's Word is so important. I'm very analytical by nature and so the supernatural eludes me at times, but then there are other times when I'm just slapped with the reality of the supernatural. I've actually heard of people who, like the Pharises cannot see the truth. Election for example, "I just don't see it" "I don't believe because it's not there" What? Yes it is! God is working on me to be more merciful, loving and compassionate.
We're experiencing some persecution at our church for our reformed beliefs so it the conference was especially wonderful and poingiant. The gentleman who started this conference (this was the 25th anniversary) was Elder D.J. Ward. He went home to the Lord in April 2008. The sentiments expressed and the heavy loss that was felt during the conference helped me come to the realization that a Pastor/member relationship is so important. Being a fairly new Christian, I particularly feel the loss and desire to have that relationship. One who knows me personally, shepherds, instructs, rebukes etc.
I was so impressed with the conference, it was excellent. I appreciated that there was certainly a schedule, however the direction was driven by the spirit. It was not uncommon to have a soft music interlude break into standing, singing, clapping, praising the Lord. I learned quite a few new songs that I won't soon forget. The website for the conference has the music from last year, I urge you to check it out (Deeper than the Stain has Gone) is one of my favorites.
The teaching for the week was done by Dr. Stephen Wellum (Professor at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary) and Dr. Roger Skepple (Pastor/Teacher at Berean Bible Baptist Church in Atlanta, GA). Dr. Wellum taught on the Gospel of John and 7 of the "I AM" statements. Dr. Skepple taught for 6 hours on Propitiation. This is from the Stone Mountain Conference.
The preaching was dynamic, spirit filled and true to the Word. Elder Jim McClarty (Grace Christian Assembly) was fabulous. I have seen and heard so many of his sermons and true to form he faithfully exposited the text, all to the Glory of God. Elder Jim should be posting on his bloggy-spot soon about the conference if you're interested.
...and there was "the love"... this conference was filled with so much love and grace and HATS! Did I mention the hats?
The 2008 messages should be posted very soon. In the meantime, check out the 2007 messages. You will be greatly blessed.
Thanks to Brother Josh at Truth Matters, I just learned that the wonderful story of Pilgrim's Progress by John Bunyan has become a movie! Here's the website. I ordered it two days ago from Reel Christian!
"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."
Well, I finally decided to do my own blog. I plan to post my favorite YT videos, quote, rants and raves and just see where the Lord would have me go with this. There's a lot going on with my husband and myself right now so there should be some regular activity here.