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Showing posts from March, 2006

"5 Ways Not to Hide God From Your Children" By Ray Rhodes Jr. (

5 Ways Not to Hide God from Your Children

Ray Rhodes, Jr.

“We will not hide them from their children, but tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the LORD, and His might, and the wonders that He has done” (Psalm 78:4 ESV).

What a tragedy it would be to have the remedy for a dreaded disease and to hide it from those who need it so much. We normally think it a necessity to pass along good and helpful news. However, many parents may be hiding the best news of all from their children.

You might be thinking that there is no way you would hide such good news from your children. Yet many parents are in fact hiding God. You might hide God from your children by failing to lead your family to eat meals to God’s glory (I Corinthians 10:31), by failing to point out the glory of God on a starry night, by failing to expose your children to regular family Bible reading and even forsaking church attendance. Robert L. Dabney wrote “The education of children for God is the most important busin…

Clean Flicks Dot Com

Okay, for those who didn't already know, I'm a movie buff. I like Action movies, Sci-Fi, and some Drama. We have a language blocker in our VCR and DVD Players, but that only takes care of profanity. There is a company out that takes profanity, sex scenes and excessive violence out of movies. I'm trying them out for a 30 day free trial, and I'll let you know how it goes. If you're interested, go to and check them out for yourself.


Lest There Be Any Doubt: Spurgeon on Christ's Atonement

"Now, mark: when you see Christ going up the Mount of Doom, you see man going there: when you see Christ hurled upon his back, upon the wooden cross, you see the whole company of his elect there; and when you see the nails driven through his blessed hands and feet, it is the whole body of his Church who there, in their substitute, are nailed to the tree. And now the soldiers lift the cross, and dash it down into the socket prepared for it. His bones are every one of them dislocated, and his body is thus torn with agonies which cannot be described. ’Tis manhood suffering there; ’tis the Church suffering there, in the substitute. And when Christ dies, you are to look upon the death of Christ, not as his own dying merely, but as the dying of all those for whom he stood as the scapegoat and the substitute."

"It is true, Christ died really himself; it is equally true that he did not die for himself, but died as the substitute, in the room, place, and stead of all believers. W…

Sermon Outline: "The Application of the Word of God" By Pastor Bret Lovitz of Grace Fellowship of Mountain Home, ID (

“The Application of the Word of God”
Preached at Cornerstone Community Baptist Church
By Pastor Bret Lovitz on Feb. 22, 2006

I Introduction

A) Opening Remarks, Reminder About How Pastor Chris and I Know Each Other.

B) My Concern For God’s Church and Burden Over Recent and Past Experiences Over How Some Professing Christians Struggle With the Preaching of God’s Word on Commands and Against Sin.

II Reading of Supportive Texts Acts 17:10-11;Rom.2:4-8;2Cor.7:8-10;2Tim.3:17-4:4; Heb.4:12-13

III Tonight’s Message

A) The Responsibility of the Pastor-Elder to Proclaim the word of God.
1. The Whole Counsel of God By Expository Preaching and Teaching Acts 20:27.
2. Dealing With Specific Needs of the Church Through Topical & Textual Preaching
Acts 20:28; 1Pet.5:1-2.

B) The Responsibility of the Sheep to Receive and Apply (Obey) the Word of God Acts 2:41;11:1; 17:1;1Th.2:13;Jam.1:21;1Pet.2:1-2.

C) How God’s People React to the Word of God.
1. It Will Not Return Void, But Will Accomplish That Which God Ple…

Follow Up Article About the Church of Christ Pastor Who Was Murdered Yesterday

Slain Preacher's Wife Faces Murder Charge
Police Say Woman Has Confessed in Shooting

SELMER, Tenn. (March 24) -- The wife of a minister found shot to death in his church's parsonage has confessed in the case, police said Friday.

Tennessee Minister Found Dead


Selmer Police investigator Roger Rickman said Mary Winkler, who is in custody in Orange Beach, Ala., 340 miles south of their home, admitted shooting her husband, Matthew, on Wednesday and then leaving town with their three daughters.

Rickman declined to discuss a motive in the case. He said she had been "very cooperative" talking with investigators from Tennessee, where she has been charged with first-degree murder.

Matthew Winkler, the 31-year-old minister at Selmer's Church of Christ, was found dead Wednesday night in a bedroom of the parsonage. Church members discovered the body after he missed an evening service.


Tenn. Pastor Found Killed, Family Missing By Woody Baird of the Associated Press

Tenn. Pastor Found Killed, Family Missing
Thursday, March 23, 2006 2:10 PM EST
The Associated Press

SELMER, Tenn. (AP) — A church minister was found shot to death in his parsonage, and authorities were searching for his missing wife and three young daughters Thursday.

"We're just really puzzled," Selmer Police Chief Neal Burks said Thursday. "We're concerned about the safety of the children, also."

Church members went searching for pastor Matthew Winkler late Wednesday when he didn't show up for an evening service at Fourth Street Church of Christ, Burks said. He said they used a key to enter the parsonage and found him dead in a bedroom.

Winkler, 31, had been shot, and his family was gone, Burks said.

The chief declined to say if Winkler's wife was considered a suspect. Investigators also weren't sure if she had the children or if any outsiders were involved in shooting and disappearance, he said.

According to Tennessee Bureau of Investig…

"What I Believe About Regeneration" A Confession of Faith by Dr. James White of Alpha and Omega Ministries (

While this is a confession of faith by Dr. James White for which I want to share, there is nothing in here that I disagree with. Whether it is what's quoted by the LBCF of 1689, Charles Spurgeon's exposition, or Dr. White's comments himself, I am in full agreement.

Pastor Bret Lovitz of Grace Fellowship of Mountain Home, ID (

What I Believe About Regeneration

1. Those whom God hath predestinated unto life, he is pleased in his appointed, and accepted time, effectually to call, by his Word and Spirit, out of that state of sin and death in which they are by nature, to grace and salvation by Jesus Christ; enlightening their minds spiritually and savingly to understand the things of God; taking away their heart of stone, and giving unto them a heart of flesh; renewing their wills, and by his almighty power determining them to that which is good, and effectually drawing them to Jesus Christ; yet so as they come most freely, being made willing by his grace…

Let's Remember.....

Come now, you who say, "Today or tomorrow we will go into such and such a town and spend a year there and trade and make a profit"-- yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. Instead you ought to say, "If the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that." As it is, you boast in your arrogance. All such boasting is evil.

(Jam 4:13-16, ESV)

"Gimme That Showtime Religion" By John MacArthur From the article section at

Gimme that Showtime Religion
by John MacArthur

Can the church fight apathy and materialism by feeding people's appetite for entertainment? Evidently many in the church believe the answer is yes, as church after church jumps on the show-business bandwagon. It is a troubling trend that is luring many otherwise orthodox churches away from biblical priorities.

Church buildings are being constructed like theatres. Instead of a pulpit, the focus is a stage. Some feature massive platforms that revolve or rise and fall, with colored lights and huge sound boards. Shepherds are giving way to media specialists, programming consultants, stage directors, special effects experts, and choreographers.

The idea is to give the audience what they want. Tailor the church service to whatever will draw a crowd. As a result pastors are more like politicians than shepherds, looking to appeal to the public rather than leading and building the flock God gave them.

The congregation is served a slick, professiona…

"Parenting is not a Game of Hide and Seek" By Ray Rhodes of "Nourished in the Word Ministries"

Nourished in the Word Ministries
Teaching, Writing, Resources, Church Planting
Ray Rhodes, Jr. President

Parenting is not a game of Hide and Seek

There are some things that should be concealed. Both Scripture and common sense tell us that there is a time to be quiet (Proverbs 25:9).

However concealment can be both ungodly and dangerous. Hide and Seek may be a fun game but when it comes to parenting there are some things that we are commanded by God not to conceal. The faithful parent will be committed to a clear articulation of certain truths. Anything less is offensive to God and puts our children in grave danger.

Listen to the urgent words of Asaph! “We will not hide them from their children, Telling to the generation to come the praises of the LORD, And His strength and His wonderful works that He has done” (Psalm 78:4). Asaph had a proper theology of parenting. Asaph understood that the children of God’s people do not belong only to their parents. …

Believers Baptism From "Baptist and Ordinances" By Tom J. Nettles- Taken From

Taken From "Baptists and the Ordinances"
Tom J. Nettles
©1997, 1998 Alliance of Confessing Evangelicals


Virtually all historic Christian groups view Baptism as organically related to Church membership. Although Baptists share the conviction that Baptism is the door to Church membership and thus prerequisite to it, they reject infant Baptism in pursuit of a principle of regenerate Church membership.

The dominant argument for this has been the prima facie evidence of the New Testament. First, there is a clear command to baptize believers but no command to baptize infants. Second, every Baptism recorded is a Baptism of a professed believer (e.g. Acts 8:12; 35-38). There are no instances of infant Baptism, including the household passages. One should compare the following Scriptures: Acts 10:2, 47, 48; Acts 16:14, 15, 40; Acts 16:31-34; 1 Corinthians 1:16; 16:15 (cf. with 2 Thess. 2:13 where "first-fruits" may be read according to several reliable witnesses instead …

Article On Baptism

This is taken from the article titled: "What is an Historic Baptist" By David West Sr. (

5. The right of all people to soul liberty or religious liberty, to freely worship according to the dictates of his heart.

Persecution by the Romans was rampant during the early centuries. It was not until the wedding of Church and State under Constantine in A.D. 313 that "Christians" began to persecute (true) Christians. While the Roman Catholic Church did not personally kill its opponents, the "State" to which it was wed did the work of killing those who opposed the Church's doctrines. It was this union which led to the bloodbath that ensued, and continued through the centuries. True believers were not allowed to worship and believe as the Bible taught. For their fidelity to Scripture, their reward was banishment, scourging, drowning, burning at the stake, etc. All this was because they strove to live a quiet life and follow the te…

"Pastoral Marriage Counseling" By Dan Phillips From the Team Pyro Blog (

Pastoral marriage counseling: What if?
by Dan Phillips

Some of the hardest, scariest, most dangerous, heart-wrenching work pastors do is marital counseling. (I can hear the Amen's from where I sit.)

The pastor is very much like baseball's relief pitcher. He's not called into action when everything is going great, as a rule. No, the manager waves for him when it's the bottom of the ninth, bases loaded, score tied, and the opposition's power-hitter about to approach the plate.

Similarly, couples often come into the study grim-faced, tight-lipped, angry, bringing years of entrenched patterns of behavior, scar tissue, grudges, and angry memories. Bottom of the ninth. Bases loaded. The breathless crowd leans forward.

And ol' Pastor Bud is supposed to fix everything.

So he tries gamely, God help him. Depending on his orientation, maybe he talks about boundaries, or love language; maybe he tries to teach the husband to think and talk more like a woman. He carries some Bible…

"Oh Lord, I Desire to be Humbled" By James Meikle From Grace Gems (

O Lord! I desire to be humbled

Under a sense of my sins and unmerited mercies,
I desire through grace, in sincerity and humility of
soul, to approach to the Author of all my mercies,
and to lay before You, O merciful Father! all my
plans--desiring Your divine direction.

And, in the first place, I confess my own sins. I
desire to be humbled under my natural proneness
to evil and aversion to good; for my many sinful
thoughts, which You, O Lord, know; for my wrong
conceptions of the great Jehovah, and the smallness
of my holy fear when in Your presence, calling on
You before whom all the earth should tremble.

I also desire to be humbled for my limiting God,
as if he were not Almighty; for not placing all my
faith and hope on Him alone, but on appearances
and probabilities; for my ingratitude to God for
His many matchless mercies to me in feeding and
clothing me, and giving me favor in the eyes of
men with whom I had to do. Providence has never
failed me, but always supplied me; yet in the time
of prosperity …

"Leaving One Church For Another, Church Discipline, Disfellowship, God's Will, and Their Application" By Pastor/Elder Bret Lovitz

Due to recent events and discussions, I thought I would take the time to deal with the above titled issues, and hopefully clarify where I stand at least as "an" Elder of Grace Fellowship that I hope are based on biblical principals, and clarify some possible misunderstandings.

When a person or family is searching for a church, whether it is their first as a Christian individual or family, or because they recently moved into another area, they make the decision of which church to become a member of based on the will of God and biblical guidelines for what a church should be. It is not my intent to go into those biblical guidelines but just deal with it from the perspective that sovereign grace Christians know what those guidelines are. Many areas of the country will not have much of a choice of sovereign grace baptistic churches. Some areas may have more than one to chose from within an hour or so drive. But once that choice is made, while subjective, it's based on what th…

"Vocation Or Vacation" By Pastor Greg Withrow

Vocation or Vacation?
...a biblical view of work ethics

by Pastor Greg Withrow (Pastor Greg is also a member of FIRE- BL)

"Based upon conversations and personal observations over two decades in the pastorate, I have compiled the following list of the three primary things most people would do if they came into a fortune: pay off all their bills; quit their jobs; and go on vacation (predominantly in that order). It seems that our bills represent our need to work, our job the source of work, and vacation the escape from work. In lieu of a fortune, most will simply begin to count the years to retirement. However, after retirement most will not have an unlimited income, or enough to do to keep busy, and without knowing how long they might live, no freedom to spend what they do have. In fact, it has been my experience with retirees that the closer they get to retirement, the less sure they are that they are ready for it.

It is a sad testimony that work has come to be seen as a necessary ev…

"Church Discipline: The Missing Mark" By Albert Mohler, President of Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (


R. Albert Mohler, Jr.

“What is pure is corrupted much more quickly than what is corrupt is purified.”

(A.D. 360-435)

The decline of church discipline is perhaps the most visible failure of the contemporary church. No longer concerned with maintaining purity of confession or lifestyle, the contemporary church sees itself as a voluntary association of autonomous members, with minimal moral accountability to God, much less to each other.

The absence of church discipline is no longer remarkable—it is generally not even noticed. Regulative and restorative church discipline is, to many church members, no longer a meaningful category, or even a memory. The present generation of both ministers and church members is virtually without experience of biblical church discipline.

As a matter of fact, most Christians introduced to the biblical teaching concerning church discipline confront the issue of church discipline as an idea they have never before enc…