Tuesday, October 9, 2007

G.K. Chesterton on Materialism

G.K. Chesterton wrote an incredible book called Orthodoxy. Here is a quote from this book.

"All the towering materialism which dominates the modern mind rests ultimately upon one assumption; a false assumption. It is supposed that if a thing goes on repeating itself it is probably dead...The thing I mean can be seen, for instance, in children, when they find some game or joke that they specially enjoy. A child kicks his leg rhythmically through excess, not absence, of life. Because children have abounding vitality, because they are in spirit fierce and free, therefore they want things repeated and unchanged. They always say, "Do it again"; and the grown-up person does it again until he is nearly dead. For grown-up people are not strong enough to exult in monotony. But perhaps God is strong enough to exult in monotony. It is possible that God says every morning, "Do it again" to the sun; and every evening, "Do it again" to the moon. It may not be automatic necessity that makes all daisies alike; it may be that God makes every daisy separately, but has never got tired of making them. It may be that He has the eternal appetite of infancy..."

Let me know what you think?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Thoughts from Peter Kreeft

"The root of most atheism is not argument but attitude, not intellection but feeling, not the love of truth but the fear of truth."

"A complete apologetic does not ignore happiness any more than it ignores truth."

"Kierkegaard said that if he were a doctor and were allowed to prescribe just one remedy for all the ills of the modern world, he would prescribe silence. For even if the Word of God were proclaimed, it would not be heard or heeded, for there is too much noise and busyness in our world. Therefore, create silence..."

"Unless the apologist creates internal silence in his reader, unless he produces somehow that precious moment of sudden standstill shock, his apologetics is only chatter or scholarship, not power."

What do you think???

Monday, August 13, 2007

Isaac's Surgery

Hey Everyone,

We were able to send out two missionaries on Saturday to Kenya and Sudan!!

One of our friends by the name of Isaac, who is an orphan, was severely burned when he was very young. An incredible American doctor flew over to Kenya in order to do plastic surgery on Isaac's arm and fingers.

The two missionaries, Megan Daniels and Robin Oas, were able to travel over to Kenya in order to take care of Isaac during his recovery. They will be travelling back to Sudan with him. Robin will stay a while longer and participate in some women's ministry while Megan will travel back very soon because she is getting married.

If you want to track their journey you can check it out at our ministry blog: www.sudanskids.blogspot.com.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Tozer on "The Warfare of the Spirit"

I have been challenged greatly the past couple of days from A.W. Tozer's words in his book "The Warfare of the Spirit."

"It is possible within the provisions of redemptive grace to enter into a state of union with Christ so perfect that the world will instinctinvely react toward us exactly as it did toward Him in the days of His flesh.

IT IS A GREAT REPROACH TO US CHRISTIANS THAT WE EXCITE IN THE HEARTS OF THE UNBELIEVING MASSES LITTLE MORE THAN PLAIN BOREDOM. They meet us with smiling toleration ot ignore us altogether, and their silence is a portent and a sign. Well might it cause us nights of tears and hours of prayerful self-examination.

It is the Spirit of Christ in us that will draw Satan's fire. The people of the world will not much care what we believe and they will stare vacantly at our religious forms, but there is one thing they will never forgive us - the presence of God's Spirit in our hearts. They may not know the cause of that strange feeling of antagonism which rises within them, but it will be nonetheless real and dangerous. Satan will never cease to make war on the Man-child, and the soul in which dwells the Spirit of Christ will continue to be the target for his attacks."

Let me know what you think.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Thoughts...Luther on Faith

Sorry about not keeping up with the posts! Here is a excerpt from Martin Luther's Preface on the book of Romans. Let me know what you think.

"O, when it comes to faith, what a living, creative, active, powerful thing it is. It cannot do other than good at all times. It never waits to ask whether there is some good work to do...Faith is a living and unshakable confidence, a belief in the grace of God so assured that a man would die a thousand deaths for its sake. This kind of confidence in God's grace, this sort of knowledge of it, makes us joyful, high-spirited, and eager in our relations with god and with all mankind. That is what the Holy Spirit effects through faith. Hence, the man of faith, without being driven, willingly and gladly seeks to do good to everyone, serve everyone, suffer all kinds of hardships, for the sake of the love and glory of the God who has shown him such grace. It is impossible, indeed, to separate works from faith, just as it is impossible to separate heat and light from fire."

Love Truth

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thoughts from Kelly Kapic on True Sanctification

I read this quote and thought it was quite interesting. Read it and let me know what you think.

"Consider a man who is struggling with inappropriate sexual thoughts about one of his female coworkers. What does holiness look like in this case? Very often Christians have a truncated view of sanctification, which stops far too short of true righteousness. Although it would be a good thing for this man to get to the point that he no longer looks at this woman as an object of lust, that is not all that is hoped for in sanctification. Rather, in the power of the Spirit the goal is to move to a life-affirming position. Thus, the objective is not the absence of thoughts about this woman but the presence of a godly appreciation for her. Under normal circumstances this man should not simply try to deny her existence by avoiding her, but rather begin treating her with dignity, offering words that build her up instead of dehumanizing her with his thoughts. Ultimately lust will be replaced with genuine and appropriate respect and love. Similarly, the goal of dealing with gossip is not merely the absence of slander (which is the good work of mortification), but eventually the creating of an environment of encouragement, peace, and trust (further fruits of the Spirit's enlivening presence and work)...sanctification involves both putting sin to death and becoming free to love and obey."

(Kapic worte this in his introduction of John Owen's three works of "Overcoming Sin and Temptation" ISBN: 1-58134-649-2)

Thursday, May 31, 2007

Thoughts...Spurgeon on Suffering and Trials

Charles Spurgeon was an incredible pastor from England. He wrote a well known devotional called Morning and Evening. Here are some thoughts from this morning.

"God had one Son without sin, but not a single child without the rod."

"The idea of strangeness in our trials must be banished at once and for ever, for He who is the Head of all saints, knows by EXPERIENCE the grief which we think so peculiar."

I pray you are encouraged by the ability of Jesus to comfort us in all our sufferings and trials. You are not alone. The lie of isolation, which the enemy wants everyone to believe, is not possible. We are never alone, whether we believe it or not. I pray that you FEEL and KNOW the nearness of God today. I pray that you pray this for others who are feeling alone today. May His goodness be your comfort today.

Love Truth

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thoughts on loving others

Over the top of Luke 10-11 I have a quote written that I think is very interesting.

"Love for others is the overflow of God-given security for the good of others. It signifies that we have the resources to care about others because God cares about us." (Not sure who said this)

Let me know what you think.

Love Truth

Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Our New Website

Hey Everyone!

We have a new website up for what we are doing in Sudan.

The address is www.hisvoiceforsudan.com.

Let me know what you think.

Sunday, May 6, 2007

Thoughts on the disposition of the demonic

After spending time looking at various paintings in a history course I am taking, I started to think more about the disposition of satan and demons. For some reason I have always thought they were always laughing and “cutting it up” with other demons and satan when someone would yield to temptation. For some reason I have always thought they were so confident and actually laughing at God when another person would deny Him.

This does not seem to be the picture Scripture gives when it comes to the disposition of the demonic. James 2:19 says the demons believe, but the response they have is one of shuddering and not True confidence. It seems they have a form of confidence, but the Object which they worship is wrong. The reason why this has been such different thinking for me is that demons and satan act from a disposition of desperation. God is not mocked! He will not be mocked! He knows the reason why demons and satan want to lead people astray is so they can also become well acquainted with a disposition of desperation. I may be wrong, but it seems like satan or demons would have to come and beg God in order to even have the opportunity to tempt man (this may be a better picture of satan’s disposition in front of God in Job 1). Maybe this is too much speculation. I am not sure.

My point in writing this is to get some of your opinions on this subject. I think I have been giving to much credit to satan and his demons in many areas of my life. I do not deny that the demonic may laugh at us, but my main meditation has been the root of this laughter. The root seems to be desperation. The demonic is confident in desperation and the reality of condemnation. Our confidence should come in the greatness of God, not only to conquer evil, but also to satisfy every longing in our souls.

Again...let me know what you think.

Love Truth

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Letter From the Protestant Church of Smyrna

The following entry is a very graphic description which documents the recent martyrs in Turkey. Please pray for them!!!

Dear friends,

This past week has been filled with much sorrow. Many of you have heard by now of our devastating loss here in an event that took place in Malatya, a Turkish province 300 miles northeast of Antioch, the city where believers were first called Christians (Acts 11:26). On Wednesday morning, April 18, 2007, 46 year old German missionary and father of three Tilman Geske prepared to go to his office, kissing his wife goodbye taking a moment to hug his son and give him the priceless memory, "Goodbye, son. I love you." Tilman rented an office space from Zirve Publishing where he was preparing notes for the new Turkish Study Bible. Zirve was also the location of the Malatya Evangelist Church office. A ministry of the church, Zirve prints and distributes Christian literature to Malatya and nearby cities in Eastern Turkey. In another area of town, 35 year old Pastor Necati Aydin, father of two, said goodbye to his wife, leaving for the office as well. They had a morning Bible Study and prayer meeting that some other believers in town would also be attending. Ugur Yuksel likewise made his way to the Bible study. None of these three men knew that what awaited them at the Bible study was the ultimate testing and application of their faith, which would conclude with their entrance into glory to receive their crown of righteousness from Christ and honor from all the saints awaiting them in the Lord's presence.

On the other side of town, ten young men all under 20 years old put into place final arrangements for their ultimate act of faith, living out their love for Allah and hatred of infidels who they felt undermined Islam. On Resurrection Sunday, five of these men had been to a by-invitation-only evangelistic service that Pastor Necati and his men had arranged at a hotel conference room in the city. The men were known to the believers as "seekers." No one knows what happened in the hearts of those men as they listened to the gospel. Were they touched by the Holy Spirit? Were they convicted of sin? Did they hear the gospel in their heart of hearts?

Today we only have the beginning of their story. These young men, one of whom is the son of a mayor in the Province of Malatya, are part of a tarikat, or a group of "faithful believers" in Islam. Tarikat membership is highly respected here; it's like a fraternity membership. In fact, it is said that no one can get into public office without membership in a tarikat.

These young men all lived in the same dorm, all preparing for university entrance exams. The young men got guns, breadknives, ropes and towels ready for their final act of service to Allah. They knew there would be a lot of blood. They arrived in time for the Bible Study, around 10 o'clock. They arrived, and apparently the Bible Study began. Reportedly, after Necati read a chapter from the Bible the assault began. The boys tied Ugur, Necati, and Tilman's hands and feet to chairs and as they videoed their work on their cellphones, they tortured our brothers for almost three hours*

[Details of the torture-- * Tilman was stabbed 156 times, Necati 99 times and Ugur's stabs were too numerous to count. They were disemboweled, and their intestines sliced up in front of their eyes. They were emasculated and watched as those body parts were destroyed. Fingers were chopped off, their noses and mouths and anuses were sliced open. Possibly the worst part was watching as their brothers were likewise tortured. Finally, their throats were sliced from ear to ear, heads practically decapitated.]

Neighbors in workplaces near the printhouse said later they had heard yelling, but assumed the owners were having a domestic argument so they did not respond. Meanwhile, another believer Gokhan and his wife had a leisurely morning. He slept in till 10, ate a long breakfast and finally around 12:30 he and his wife arrived at the office. The door was locked from the inside, and his key would not work. He phoned and though it had connection on his end he did not hear the phone ringing inside. He called cell phones of his brothers and finally Ugur answered his phone. "We are not at the office. Go to the hotel meeting. We are there. We will come there," he said cryptically. As Ugur spoke Gokhan heard in the telephone's background weeping and a strange snarling sound. He phoned the police, and the nearest officer arrived in about five minutes. He pounded on the door, "Police, open up!" Initially the officer thought it was a domestic disturbance. At that point they heard another snarl and a gurgling moan. The police understood that sound as human suffering, prepared the clip in his gun and tried over and over again to burst through the door.

One of the frightened assailants unlocked the door for the policeman, who entered to find a grisly scene. Tilman and Necati had been slaughtered, practically decapitated with their necks slit from ear to ear. Ugur's throat was likewise slit and he was barely alive. Three assailants in front of the policeman dropped their weapons. Meanwhile Gokhan heard a sound of yelling in the street. Someone had fallen from their third story office. Running down, he found a man on the ground, whom he later recognized, named Emre Gunaydin. He had massive head trauma and, strangely, was snarling. He had tried to climb down the drainpipe to escape, and losing his balance had plummeted to the ground. It seems that he was the main leader of the attackers. Another assailant was found hiding on a lower balcony.

To untangle the web we need to back up six years. In April 2001, the National Security Council of Turkey (Milli Guvenlik Kurulu) began to consider evangelical Christians as a threat to national security, on equal footing as Al Quaida and PKK terrorism. Statements made in the press by political leaders, columnists and commentators have fueled a hatred against missionaries who they claim bribe young people to change their religion. After that decision in 2001, attacks and threats on churches, pastors and Christians began. Bombings, physical attacks, verbal and written abuse are only some of the ways Christians are being targetted. Most significant is the use of media propaganda. From December 2005, after having a long meeting regarding the Christian threat, the wife of Former Prime Minister Ecevit, historian Ilber Ortayli, Professor Hasan Unsal, Politician Ahmet Tan and writer/propogandist Aytunc Altindal, each in their own profession began a campaign to bring the public's attention to the looming threat of Christians who sought to "buy their children's souls". Hidden cameras in churches have taken church service footage and used it sensationally to promote fear and antagonism toward Christianity. In an official televised response from Ankara, the Interior Minister of Turkey smirked as he spoke of the attacks on our brothers. Amid public outrage and protests against the event and in favor of freedom of religion and freedom of thought, media and official comments ring with the same message, "We hope you have learned your lesson. We do not want Christians here." It appears that this was an organized attack initiated by an unknown adult tarikat leader. As in the Hrant Dink murder in January 2007, and a Catholic priest Andrea Santoro in February 2006, minors are being used to commit religious murders because public sympathy for youth is strong and they face lower penalties than an adult convicted of the same crime. Even the parents of these children are in favor of the acts. The mother of the 16 year old boy who killed the Catholic priest Andrea Santoro looked at the cameras as her son was going to prison and said, "he will serve time for Allah."

The young men involved in the killing are currently in custody. Today news reported that they would be tried as terrorists, so their age would not affect the strict penalty. Assailant Emre Gunaydin is still in intensive care. The investigation centers around him and his contacts and they say will fall apart if he does not recover.

The Church in Turkey responded in a way that honored God as hundreds of believers and dozens of pastors flew in as fast as they could to stand by the small church of Malatya and encourage the believers, take care of legal issues, and represent Christians to the media. When Susanne Tilman expressed her wish to bury her husband in Malatya, the Governor tried to stop it, and when he realized he could not stop it, a rumor was spread that "it is a sin to dig a grave for a Christian." In the end, in an undertaking that should be remembered in Christian history forever, the men from the church in Adana (near Tarsus), grabbed shovels and dug a grave for their slain brother in an un-tended hundred year old Armenian graveyard. Ugur was buried by his family in an Alevi Muslim ceremony in his hometown of Elazig, his believing fiance watching from the shadows as his family and friends refused to accept in death the faith Ugur had so long professed and died for. Necati's funeral took place in his hometown of Izmir, the city where he came to faith. The darkness does not understand the light. Though the churches expressed their forgiveness for the event, Christians were not to be trusted. Before they would load the coffin onto the plane from Malatya, it went through two separate xray exams to make sure it was not loaded with explosives. This is not a usual procedure for Muslim coffins. Necati's funeral was a beautiful event. Like a glimpse of heaven, thousands of Turkish Christians and missionaries came to show their love for Christ, and their honor for this man chosen to die for Christ. Necati's wife Shemsa told the world, "His death was full of meaning, because he died for Christ and he lived for Christ. Necati was a gift from God. I feel honored that he was in my life, I feel crowned with honor. I want to be worthy of that honor." Boldly the believers took their stand at Necati's funeral, facing the risks of being seen publicly and likewise becoming targets.

As expected, the anti-terror police attended and videotaped everyone attending the funeral for their future use. The service took place outside at Buca Baptist church, and he was buried in a small Christian graveyard in the outskirts of Izmir. Two assistant Governors of Izmir were there solemnly watching the event from the front row. Dozens of news agencies were there documenting the events with live news and photographs. Who knows the impact the funeral had on those watching? This is the beginning of their story as well. Pray for them. In an act that hit front pages in the largest newspapers in Turkey, Susanne Tilman in a television interview expressed her forgiveness. She did not want revenge, she told reporters. "Oh God, forgive them for they know not what they do," she said, wholeheartedly agreeing with the words of Christ on Calvary (Luke 23:34). In a country where blood-for-blood revenge is as normal as breathing, many many reports have come to the attention of the church of how this comment of Susanne Tilman has changed lives. One columnist wrote of her comment, "She said in one sentence what 1000 missionaries in 1000 years could never do."

The missionaries in Malatya will most likely move out, as their families and children have become publicly identified as targets to the hostile city. The remaining 10 believers are in hiding. What will happen to this church, this light in the darkness? Most likely it will go underground. Pray for wisdom, that Turkish brothers from other cities will go to lead the leaderless church. Should we not be concerned for that great city of Malatya, a city that does not know what it is doing? (Jonah 4:11) When our Pastor Fikret Bocek went with a brother to give a statement to the Security Directorate on Monday they were ushered into the Anti-Terror Department. On the wall was a huge chart covering the whole wall listing all the terrorist cells in Izmir, categorized. In one prominent column were listed all the evangelical churches in Izmir. The darkness does not understand the light. "These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also." (Acts 17:6) Please pray for the Church in Turkey.

Reported by Darlene N. Bocek (24 April 2007)

Tuesday, May 1, 2007

Darwin and God

When Darwin was asked on his belief's about God he responded:

"In my most extreme fluctuations I have never been an atheist in the sense of denying the existence of a God. I think generally, (and more and more as I grow older), but not always, that an agnostic would be the more correct description of my state of mind."

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Some thoughts from the stake

John Hus was a Czech that was burned at the stake on July 6, 1415. His love for Jesus was what sent him to be burned and I pray our words woud be the same as his if we would ever be faced with renouncing Christ.

"God is my witness that the evidence against me is false. I have never thought nor preached except with the one intention of winning men, if possible, from their sins. In the truth of the Gospel I have written, taught, and preached; today I will galdly die."

Some More City of God "Goodness"

"It is the glory of vain men never to yield to the truth."

"How could anyone give us eternal life who cannot even make us happy? And, by eternal life I mean a life where there is happiness without end."

"There can be no greter or worse death than where death itself never dies. Since it is the nature of the soul that it cannot be without some sort of life, having been created immortal, it is the depth of death for it to be alienated from the life of God in an eternity of pain."

St. Augustine

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some challenging thoughts on Pacifism

Here is a blog from an old professor of Amber's. He is an amazing man who has influenced a ton of people. I pray the Lord will keep Dr. Reeves strong in Him.
click here a genuine faith (the comments are worth reading)

Let me know what your thoughts are on pacifism. By the way...it is fine to not agree, but we are all called to disagree with humility.

Love Truth

Some of St. Augustine's thoughts on suffering

"For, in the same fire, gold gleams and straw smokes; under the same flail the stalk is crushed and the grain threshed; the lees are not mistaken for oil because they have issued from the same press. So, too, the tide of trouble will test, purify, and improve the good, but beat, crush, and wash away the wicked. So it is that, under the weight of the same affliction, the wicked deny and blaspheme God, and the good pray to Him and praise Him. The difference is not in what people suffer but in the way they suffer. The same shaking that makes fetid water stink makes perfume issue a more pleasant odor."

St. Augustine (The City of God)

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Some Reasons

I started a personal blog for several reasons (by the way, these are not in order of importance).
1. I have been learning some great things in school and I want to share quotes from the books I am reading.

2. History, theology, and philosophy are areas I really enjoy and would love to grow in.

3. Many people from our past have debated and come to some incredible conclusions that some people today are walking around and professing as new ideas. I believe it is important to see how these questions were confronted in order to see how each of us can grow more.

4. I LOVE JESUS. I believe HE is the greatest Historian, Theologian, and Philosopher ever. Looking at these areas through a "God-centered" lense will cause one to know the greatest Thinker of all time!

5. C.S. Lewis said that good philosophy must exist, if for no other reason, that bad philosophy does.

6. It is unloving to watch people act and live in a wrong manner, all the while walking down the street singing "How Great is Our God" and being silent when it comes to confrontation. This thinking is sadistic. A good word picture may be someone who puts their arm around another and smiles at them as they are on the way to Hell. A person who would do this has problems, yet many Christians live this way.

7. It is important to think properly so that we can act properly. It is not good enough to have what appear to be good actions. OUR ACTIONS MUST BE PROPERLY INFORMED. Jesus made this clear in the Sermon on the Mount when He said that some people will come and tell Him that they preached in His name and did what they perceived to be good things in His name. He will tell them they must depart from Him because they never knew Him.

8. We do not know Jesus better by celebrating ignorance.

9. Truth is ultimately relational. First and foremost is the relationship of God amongst Himself (the intra-Trinitarian relationship). He is then relationally focused with us. This does not cause God to be dependent on us or needy in anyway, but shows that His relationship amongst Himself is the greatest joy one can have and therefore He invites us into His greatest pleasure and our greatest pleasure...HIMSELF! To miss that Truth is ultimately relational is to turn words such as glory into a "thing" to be pursued and not ultimately a relationship. God is a person, not a thing. Therefore, from enjoying relationship with Him we will spread His glory to others.

10. I have so much to learn from others. I will be posting quotes from unbelievers as well as believers. Daniel's testimony was that he was 10 times smarter than any of the other pagan's in their own beliefs. He knew what he believed and was also able to see the Truth in other pagan literature (Acts 17 is also another testimony of this).

Love Truth