Friday, October 29, 2010


Bernie's Note: I love this piece by my friend and sister in Christ Nikhole Hahn!

The Church of No People has done an excellent job in tackling worship.  I’ve included a couple of quotes from the main article:
“For a special few Christian soldiers, the front row just can’t contain them.  It’s okay for amateurs, but once you graduate from stretching your hands to block everyone’s view and yelling over everyone so God can hear you, you have to start to make your own way.  Every once in a while you’ll meet one of these people who’s totally comfortable with doing something no one else is doing.  Last week, a woman (of course, in the front row) decided the third verse of the second song was just the right moment to start waving a flag.  Yes, a flag.  A cloth on a stick, which she brought from home.”
“I just can’t figure it out.  I try to love other Christians and accept their worship.  But I can’t deny that their worship definitely interferes with myworship.  I’m sitting there, trying not to stare at someone flailing around in the front row when I should be focused on God.”
“This is me.  I sing the songs, but not too loud, because I can’t carry a tune.  I’ll tap the chair in front of me with my hands and kind of move around, but I have a really hard time moving my hands higher then waist height because: A) my arms are so manly that I don’t want to cause my sisters in Christ to stumble, and B) because I know by putting my hands up in the air, the guy behind me won’t be able to see the screen.  Don’t get me wrong.  I’ve got sweet dance moves (ask my wife.)  I’ve been in several Black Eye Peas videos as a body double for (well, that’s not true.)  I just don’t rock dat body in worship.”
“This is the least distracting Christian.  This person sits quietly, stands when they’re supposed to, and hardly makes any audible sounds.  If anything spiritual is going on with this person, only God knows about it.  Some more boisterous Christians might be tempted to be annoyed with this guy, but hey, he just doesn’t care to put on a show for your sake.”
“It reminded me how diverse worship is, and how I’m only comfortable with a small slice of it.  Really, a lot of worship makes me uncomfortable.  I want to emphasize that I have nothing against Christians who worship differently than me.  I’m just uncomfortable around them.  So I started wondering if I should just be more comfortable with Christians who worship differently from me, or if they should take a seat and not draw so much attention to themselves.”
Matt does an excellent job of presenting a problem and talking about it without offending anyone (well…almost all of the time).  It made me think and question the whole worship argument.  Shouldn’t we focus on God?  Here are a few of the comments from that post:
“Yay! first again! First thanks for stopping by my site…It was a pleasant surprise.
On to your post…lmao again. Lol at circumsion sunday ewww. I’m not sure i fit into any one category im probably an amalgam of the self-conscious christian and the front row Christian…although i tend to exhibit front row behavior from the middle row….does that make me a middle row Christian?  Ah…i believe i am a middle row Christian….a perfect blend of worship…not in your face and not a ‘living stone’:-p” –
“I heard Louie Giglio quote 2 Corinthians 5:13 to a bunch of ‘overly loud’ kids at a Passion event in Cape Town.  He was saying “There is a time for the way you are behaving and it is not now.” or “Take into account what is happening before you express yourself”.  I hope that neither he nor I have messed up the interpretation of that verse.”  –
“The continuous cryer? I’m the one toward the front row who bawls her eyes out at nearly every song. Not THE front row, because a raised stage and progressive lenses just don’t mix. I dab my eyes & blow my nose with Kleenex as unobtrusively as possible, then squirt with purse-size Purell just prior to the “greet the person next to you” portion of the service. Timing the nose blow is an art. You have to do it in sync with the drummer or you ruin the worship experience for everyone.” –
“I have to admit I was a little afraid to read the comments on this one! I guess my style is sort of in the moment. I like to be exuberant, but I definitely don’t mind silence. I’ll get down on my knees or raise my hands and I don’t have to be in the front row to do that. As someone who leads worship, I of course want everyone to be passionate about singing and music but I know that’s not how it works. I just trust that God is moving and pray people respond as I try to respond. I realize its pretty cliché to say it, but if people will get all crazy and exuberant at a football game or a rock concert why can’t we get excited when we worship God and consider all the great things He’s done for us? The key there is WHEN IT’S APPROPRIATE, but that’s for another comment…” –
So how does God speak to me?
At church, I sit quietly and do a lot of listening and watching.  I love expository messages.  Tony and I talk about the message on the way home.  It is in the quiet of my living room minus the distraction of the television and the internet where I find my communion with God complete.  I can open His Word and dig deep.  I can blog about Him, and in that moment of reading scripture and exploring an idea, He gives me scriptural references that I wouldn’t have discovered otherwise.  The best communication is when I am in prayer.  The second best is the answer to prayer.  Worship is living every day in Christ.  It’s in the falling down and the rising up and it’s in the quiet moments—the sunset, the sunrise, a lake, the changing colors of the leaves, or the peace of a wide open valley.  Worship is uncomplicated.  It doesn’t matter if a hymn or an electric guitar is playing.  He is in the every day.  Worship in context is beautiful.
How Does God Speak To You?
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Friday, October 22, 2010


Thursday, October 21, 2010


Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls…” 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT)
Each year around this time, we go through this exercise – what  does a sold-out Believer in Christ to make of Halloween.  Each year men, fathers and radical Christians like me sound like fuddy duddys to the rest of the world….and that includes a number of Christians (professing and real)!
However, I can take the blowback, as am used to being hammered and ostrasized for taking a bold stance for Christ. So basically, I have never allowed my own kids to trick or treat, celebrate Halloween or watch the horror show garbage on TV, each and every October, period.  I don’t see how one can allow their kids to dress up like the devil or something sleazy, and then try to teach them to watch out for Satan who comes to steal, kill and destroy!!
This is selective insanity. Halloween is an oxymoron – like “Christian Yoga”….which I will address next issue.  Sin and darkness have been around since Genesis 3 and the Fall of Man caused by Satan. But some of the modern incarnation of the popularity of Witchcraft, Wicca and the like began with Ouija boards and the TV Show BEWITCHED!! Yes, BEWITCHED!!
For the 8 years it ran (1964-72), BEWITCHED brought a “sweet” All American family face to the an ancient evil by deception! Starring Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha the witch, who married a mortal named Darren Stephens, “Samantha” was portrayed as a normal suburban wife.
Darren married her knowing she was a witch with the admonition/command to “not  practice any witchcraft in this house”!! Of course, a witch is going to obey you! The entire series was full of wizards, warlocks, spells, incantations and the like.  Sam’s mother – Endora – is taken directly from the Witch at Endor whom King Saul stupidly visited to have a séance with the late prophet Samuel (see 1 Samuel 28:3-25)…and on and on. All the other worldly beings in this TV series were ageless beings who lived in the air!
DOES THIS SOUND FAMILIAR??!! “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood enemies,  but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world and against EVIL SPIRITS in the heavenly places” (Ephesians 6:12, NLT).
It is my contention that this TV series “boiled the frog” slowly by showing witchcraft as this harmless little lifestyle that was “oh, so cute…just look at Samantha and Tabitha (her daughter – another witch)”!  Combine this with “I Dream of Jeannie”, only three TV networks for decades, and you have a cultural absorption into worldwide consciousness from the pit of hell!
Think am overreacting?  I don’t believe so. The Spirit of God and the Word of God are EXPLICIT in their commands about this evil. Until we were saved and redeemed and knew better, we too thought these shows were funny….even though something did not quite feel right!
What BEWITCHED and Jeannie opened up was an explosion in the ancient cult of Wicca…and not to mention a number of new brand of female TV shows with “nice” witches .
Concerning Wicca – that involves prayer circles and seeking “help” from spirits of another world as well! Most practicioners are women. Most mature believers think that Wicca and other satanic rituals involving pagan “goddesses” appeal to women, because it gives a certain amount of Power to those seeking that kind of thing! Never mind this kind of empowerment leads straight to eternal damnation in the Lake of Fire!
Concerning other TV shows with attractive female witches, here is a short list: SABRINA, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, CHARMED AND TABITHA (offshoot of BEWITCHED).  The new book and movie phenomenon called TWILIGHT is also a demonic-induced attack on the mostly young female population of America. That story was given to its creator by what she called an “angel of light”!! Read here in the Bible to find out who the “angel of light” really is!!
What does this have to do with Halloween? Everything! Halloween is a celebration of all these spirits – clean and unclean, which are not from the Real God.  I am sure many well-meaning and Christians will disagree with me, and say celebrating Halloween or watching Sabrina or TWILIGHT is JUST entertainment.
Concerning our children – there are many other ways to have alternative activities for them at this time of year. This will take a proactive stand to live DAILY in the Word, and according to His Word (see Psalm 119). This can involve all like-minded members of the Body of Christ, in the Local Church.
Finally, I close with what the Bible says in Philippians 4:8 (ESV) : "Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think* about these things.”.
*(THE WORD THINK HERE IS “LOGIZOMAI” (in the original Greek) OR consider , counted , credit , dwell on,  reason , reckon or  regard ,take into account ….these things)
All images are courtesy Google Images.
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Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Billy Ray and daughter, Miley Cyrus
"But if you cause one of these little ones who trusts in me to fall into sin, it would be better for you to be thrown into the sea with a large millstone hung around your neckMark 9:42 (NLT).
Billy Ray Cyrus has to be one of the biggest pinheads ever…not just as a man but as a father of one of the now most controversial “role” models to the young girls of America – Miley Cyrus! Now that we see that Miley has turned out to be the same paragon of “virtue” like fellow ex-southern Baptists Brittany Spears and Jessica Simpson.

A decade after he became a laughing stock with his line-dancing hit “Achy Breaky Heart”, Cyrus gained credibility with a serious and inspiring role in the PAX TV series, DOC. This family drama last three years and showed Cyrus as big hearted Christian doctor from Montana, who opened a clinic in New York City.
Miley Cyrus, is she out of control?

But something happened on the way to fame and fortune.  Billy Ray somehow bought into the lure of Hollywood and allowed his young daughter to move to California from their idyllic home in Tennessee to become the loud, almost obnoxious (some say, cute) Hannah Montana!  Miley  (whose real  name is Destiny Hope Cyrus) became an instant megastar at the tender age of 14. Then old Achy Breaky himself joined the cast and is still part of this Disney money machine.

Somewhere along the line, culture trumped Christ.  Miley’s parents allowed her, a 15 year old minor, to be photographed topless by top US photographer Annie Liebowitz  for Vanity Fair Magazine. After parents of America’s threw a fit, due to the fact that their pre-teen daughters was seeing this trash, Billy Ray issued this weak statement about not being there when the photos were taken! Never mind that he was also in some of the Vanity Fair pictures!

The worst was yet to come! Old “Achy Breaky” stood silently by his 16 year old “Christian” daughter, Miley,  carried and cavorted with members of both  sexes on stage and was pole dancing during the 2008 Teen Choice Awards! Now that Miley has left “Hannah Montana” and gone solo into her own music career, she has picked up where the corrupted Baptist-turned-pagan Kabballah Brittany Spears left off! Not just this fact, but she has done so in spades.

Just a week or so ago, Miley’s latest video would make even Hugh Hefner shake his corrupt head! This comes hot on the heels of the 16 year old Miley giving Producer Adam Shankman (Last Song) a Lap dance! When they asked Billy Ray for a comment, all he could say was “Miley was just "having fun" and that "it's what people her age do".

“Who owns my Heart” is her latest release and the 17 year old Miley is seen writhing all over her wrinkled sheets in her underwear while singing seductively. It was so inappropriate that the O’Reilly Factor had to issue a warning to Viewers before showing it, in a piece on the latest anti-Miley outrage expressed by the Parents Council.

Former Baptist "pastor" Joe Simpson 
The issue here is not just what kind of parent Billy Ray Cyrus happens to be, another in the extremely long line of professing “christians” . He will account to God for this. What is more important than him and his out of control teenage daughter is the corruption of young girls under the age of 14 by this family! We saw it when Madonna led her generation of young females astray in the mid 1980’s; when the scantily clad Brittany Spears did it in the 1990’s and now a decade later – Miley Cyrus!

No concern is shown by either DISNEY or so-called family friendly Cyrus, for this generation of young women who are not being brought up in purity either at church, school and unfortunately at home. They are bombarded by filth on iTunes, TV, movies, the internet and more and more by social media (Facebook, Twitter, and MySpace etc).

In times like these, we look to the grown-ups to lead the way. However, whether we have people like Joe Simpson, the former Baptist minister from Texas, who shamelessly “markets” (to keep it clean on a Christian site) his daughter Jessica Simpson or Billy Ray helping a corrupt and evil culture further lead young people away from any shred of decency and accountability, it is no wonder parents are getting no help to reign in their teens!
God help us, as fathers and husbands as we try to raise our kids in a corrupt and wicked generation!

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Thursday, October 7, 2010


Mark 1:14-15 (AMP)Now after John was arrested and put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the good news (the Gospel) of the kingdom of God, and saying, The [appointed period of] time is fulfilled (completed), and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent (have a change of mind which issues in regret for past sins and in change of conduct for the better) and believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to) the good news (the Gospel)”.

Now here is the Author of Salvation Himself – the Lord Jesus saying PLAINLY REPENT AND BELIEVE! It is no accident the Lord phrased it in THAT order. Anything else is Easy Believism. It is easy to sit in church during a particularly inoffensive sermon in America, pray a closing prayer at Invitation time, agree in one’s heart (or raise your hand, walk the aisle…whatever)…and think you’re saved! But are we really?

The debate over the pejorativeLordship Salvationand Free Grace is over the issue of Repentance. To be sure, the so-called Free Grace proponents have a point in that Grace is free to those who will believe. But think of the Thief on the Cross for a minute. When he rebuked the other thief by saying that he and the other thief deserved to be punished with the death penalty (while Christ was innocent), THIS thief was in the process of Repentance with a brief period of time to accomplish it! He acknowledges his sins before the Lord before saying “Lord remember me when You come into Your Kingdom!” This thief followed Mark 1:15 above!

There is no way Repentance is Good Works as the “Free Gracers” call it. I was at a concert just feet away from the popular Christian singer Natalie Grant, who boldly declared “I am sick and tired of those who say if you don’t repent, you’re going to Hell”! She had it right! What do you think “making your peace with God” means?!!! Think about it.

Only in America can this kind of debate go on. Sometimes I think we have too much time on our hands, as we consider the 300 million Christians who are persecuted daily in the underground Chinese Church! Read the Parable of the Sower (Matthew 13:1-23) again and decide for yourself where the theory of Easy Believism, as practiced in most American churches would fit! Then transpose that revelation to Mark 1:14-15 and the process described by Christ Himself. Decide for yourself if there is any connection.

Then decide for yourself if He is Lord of your life NOW or in some future time in Eternity! For me, Christ is not only my Savior NOW, but my LORD and THE LORD OF MY LIFE NOW! If that makes me a Lordship Salvation dude like Ray Comfort or John MacArthur or Paul Washer or Nancy Lee DeMoss…let’s roll!

Being TRULY saved and being made an adopted son/daughter of God means we are immediately living in the Eternals, and are part of that Inheritance from Creation. It is the Lord Who caused this and HE IS THE LORD! In my own walk with Christ, I knew I was not truly saved until I repented of my sins, and for me that included writing them down on a piece of paper and confessing them in tears. It was almost as if I could hear the Lord smiling as I finally got “IT”!

The Apostle Paul says in Romans 7:7 “I would not have known sin BUT for the Law!” Law without Grace is Works. But does this verse mean Paul is for good works??!! NO! If your sin and recognizing it before a Holy God does not drive you to your knees, friends, I would question if the Sower’s seed fell on clay soil, rocks or fertile soil!

As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord in Repentance and acceptance of Christ as the Lord and Master of our lives, in Jesus’ Name, amen.

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