RSS Robot

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RSS Robot last won the day on July 14 2016

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  1. “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.” (Revelation 22:5) The Bible reveals that “God is light, and in him is no darkness at all” (1 John 1:5), and also that, in the ages to come, ... More... View the full article
  2. NEW BOOKLET: ATONEMENT REJECTED! How the Emerging Church Views Christ’s Death on the Cross by Roger Oakland is our newest Lighthouse Trails Booklet. The Booklet is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail. Our Booklets are designed to give away to others or […] View the full article
  3. Learning From Creation in Christ’s Kingdom The Word of God will go forth from Jerusalem to the ends of the earth, and the nations will come to Jerusalem to see Christ and to hear His Word and to see the priestly sacrifices that picture His cross-work. Priests will explain the meaning of eternal redemption. As we have seen, there will be a great ministry of teaching and preaching by Spirit-filled ministers. And by Christ Himself! Another of the ways that we learn of God is by the exploration of His creation, which is a textbook of God’s character and a revelation of spiritual wisdom. “And out of the ground the LORD God formed... Read More View the full article
  4. “Where the word of a king is, there is power: and who may say unto him, What doest thou?” (Ecclesiastes 8:4) Perhaps the archetype of absolute monarchs was Babylonia’s King Nebuchadnezzar, of whom the prophet Daniel could say, “Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory&rdquo... More... View the full article
  5. Dear Lighthouse Trails: I just wanted to share with you how helpful this booklet on The Shack has been to me. Two weeks ago, just a few days after the releasing of The Shack movie, I met with the pastor of our church about my concerns about the movie/book. We had a good meeting which […] View the full article
  6. Careful Child Evangelism Unless young people are saved, they can’t be discipled. This is a frightful fact in light of the shallowness of evangelism in so many churches. The church I grew up in probably didn’t have even one saved young person, though we all knew the right things to say. We “talked the talk,” but we didn’t “walk the walk,” and the reason was that we prayed a sinner’s prayer and made a “profession of faith” and entered the waters of baptism, but we didn’t know the Lord by life-changing conversion experience. Suggestions for dealing with children about salvation 1. Fill their minds with God’s Word (2 Tim. 3:15; Heb. 4:12; Psa. 19:7; 119:130). Of one of his daughters, Pastor Kerry Allen says, “I began a program of memorizing salvation Scriptures with her, and rewarding her for her efforts. In less than one month, with numbers of these same Scriptures at work in her heart, she fell under... Read More View the full article
  7. “And because the haven was not commodious to winter in, the more part advised to depart thence also, if by any means they might attain to Phenice, and there to winter; which is an haven of Crete, and lieth toward the south west and north west.” (Acts 27:12) This seemingly insignificant phrase “by any means” (Greek ei pos) is actually used to e... More... View the full article
  8. To Lighthouse Trails Editors: I wanted to write you about Bethel’s trend of trying to make their teachings sound more “mainstream” evangelical, even though their aberrant teachings are clearly not (as LT has pointed out over the past few years through booklets, blogs, etc.). Bethel has gotten more sophisticated with their lingo and presentation of […] View the full article
  9. As we approach Resurrection Sunday, our church is praying and working to impact our community with the largest gospel outreach in our history. Many of our friends around the country are similarly using Easter Sunday as an opportunity to magnify the message of the gospel. Over the years, we have developed printed resources for soulwinning, outreach, and discipleship to use here at Lancaster Baptist Church. As the Lord has blessed these in our efforts, we’ve made them available to other churches through Striving Together Publications. As we all approach a season with extra emphasis on outreach—personal soulwinning as well as training new soulwinners—and then, prayerfully, with new Christians needing to be discipled, I thought this would be a helpful time to share these resources: Tracts, outreach cards, and print materials—From 3.5˝ x 5.5˝ outreach cards to folded tracts, choose from a wide selection of printed tools to clearly communicate the gospel. Available in English and Spanish, preprinted or personalized, these resources are beautiful, affordable, and effective. Paid in Full—Written directly to an unsaved person, this small book explains salvation simply and engages with the reader conversationally. It is a great tool for soulwinning and makes a wonderful gift for unsaved family and friends, follow-up visits, and first-time guests to church. (A similar resource is the minibook Done.) Salvation cards—The size of a credit card, these high-quality, plastic cards feature a brief recap of the gospel along with Scripture references used to share the gospel. With a line for someone to write their name and the date they were saved, these are helpful to leave with someone who just trusted Christ as a record of their decision and a reminder of the truth of salvation. Baptism brochure—This full-color brochure carefully communicates the scriptural importance of baptism to a new convert. It is a perfect tool to use in a follow-up visit and answers the following questions: What is baptism? Is baptism for me? Why should I be baptized? How should I be baptized? When should I be baptized? What if I’m not baptized? What can I expect? First Steps for New Christians—This small paperback is designed to help someone who recently trusted Christ to begin learning the basics of the Christian faith and lifestyle. Perfect to use in altar packets or follow-up visits with new Christians, this is a powerful “pre-discipleship” tool that will help to quickly encourage a new convert on the path of growth and spiritual stability. Continue discipleship book—Featuring fourteen lessons that cover key Bible doctrines with personal applications, Continue is perfect for helping a new Christian become grounded in God’s Word. Each lesson includes a straightforward outline with thorough support Scriptures and is written so anyone can easily teach it. Additionally, each week includes daily devotions to encourage the new Christian to develop the habit of getting into God’s Word. The Prayer and Prospect Book—This pocket-sized book provides a convenient way to record contact information for gospel prospects and to track your continued contact efforts. Out of Commission—Written for every Christian who desires to obey the Great Commission of Christ, this comprehensive volume is motivational and practical, diagnostic and corrective. Whether you are new to evangelism or an experienced soulwinner, Out of Commission will challenge and equip you to share your faith and more effectively reach your community for Christ. Take It Personally—In this practical manual, learn how to share the gospel, how to follow up on new Christians, how to cultivate relationships with people not yet saved, and how to involve young Christians in growth and gospel witness. Take It Personally workbook—A companion to the Take It Personally book, this work book is designed as outlines for teaching the material of the book in a class or group study. I trust one or more of these resources can be a help to you as you labor to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ. Related posts: What If You Took It Personally? 3 Often-Overlooked Ways Every Spiritual Leader Can Be Engaged in the Great Commission 7 Ways to Engage a Church in Regular Outreach View the full article
  10. I’ve never had a conversation with God in which His voice was audible. But I’ve had many where His voice was clear. As a spiritual leader, my daily conversation with God is often drawn by His Spirit back to recurring themes. As Jesus asked His disciples “Who do you say that I am?” or “Will you also go away?”—I often sense His rhetorical cross-examination of my leadership. It’s rhetorical because Jesus never asks a question to get information. He always knows the answers in advance. He asks questions to gently bring us face to face with ourselves. He wants us to face the answers that already exist, and to realign our hearts with His will. It’s gracious in that His approach is gentle, motivated by love, and always designed to free me from myself! Hence, the questions rather than accusations. Here are the questions Jesus most often asks me: —Are you doing this, or am I? —It’s easy to push ahead faster than He is. It’s easy to hesitate when He finally says “act in faith now.” Often He has asked me to release my agenda, my plan, or my pace to embrace His. —Am I following you, or are you following me? —It’s easy to try to sit in the driver’s seat, as though I’m doing Him a favor. It’s easy to tell God what He needs me to do for Him. It’s a different experience entirely to climb into my car seat in the back seat and enjoy the journey He has ordained. —Are you strong because I’m weak, or am I strong because you’re weak? —So often I have subtly attempted to prove my strength to God. All the while, He desires to show His strength to me. He reveals my utter weakness that His massive strength might be evident. We work hard in life to not “feel weak.” When I’m willing to admit my weakness (to Him and others), it’s an open invitation for Him to show His strength. —Are you increasing or am I increasing? —Per the previous point—since I’m a pathetic weakling, it would be ridiculous to grow an enlarged sense of self. God does not share His glory. He resists the proud. Any good fruit or outcome is in spite of me, not because of me. —Are you building your kingdom, or are you allowing me to build mine? —Warning signs of “pastoral proprietorship” are easy to see, painful to experience, and oppressive to God’s sheep. He is the only King. He is the only one who is great. His name is the only one worthy of glory. His kingdom is the only one that matters. —Are you the shepherd or am I? —Am I trying to reform people or is God transforming them? Am I attempting to “manufacture change?” Or am I simply a steward (under-shepherd) of the true Master, true Lord, true author of grace and growth? Am I exploiting others or serving them? Am I taking better care of me than I am of God’s heritage? Do God’s sheep have green pasture and still water as a result of my leadership? Or is my leadership oppressive and heavy to God’s sheep? Jesus is always a loving, gentle, patient shepherd. —Are these your sheep are or they my sheep? —It’s not my church, it’s Jesus’ and at best, ours as a church family. They aren’t my people or my staff, they are Jesus’ sheep, and I am one of the sheep. These are not my resources, they are God’s and I will one day give a detailed accounting of how His resources were stewarded for His purposes. He has harsh words for leaders who mistreat or exploit His sheep. —Whose agenda are we following here, yours or mine? —Again, there’s a difference between my agenda for God vs. God’s agenda for me. How easy it is to impose my will on God. If you can’t see a lot of things that are “not the way you would have done them” —then maybe you’ve merely recreated God in your own image. God will often do things differently than you would, and He will never always agree with you. When He is the true leader, things won’t always be “the way you want them.” —Will this function without you, or without me? —If I’m not preparing God’s redeemed hearts to walk forward in faith without me (should something happen to me), then I’m doing them a grave disservice. No leader physically lives forever, therefore God’s sheep should be dependent upon Jesus, not man. The healthiest ministry is one in which I am expendable but Jesus is essential! —Will you relax your dependence or deepen it? —Seasons of desperation call us to deep dependence on Jesus. Seasons of blessing tempt us to relax that dependence. When blessing causes dependence to wane, shallow motives are exposed—it’s not Jesus I long for, it’s merely His performance I most crave. Yet, if radical dependence remains through times of blessing, it is evidence of a passion for Him not merely “what He can do.” Leveraging Jesus is not the same as loving Him. ________________ Spiritual leadership is an exercise in rediscovering my own brokenness over and over again, while simultaneously experiencing His great grace over and over again. It’s a perpetual, growing awareness that I am exceedingly small and He is exceedingly big. Spiritual leadership is very much like being three years old—small, weak, helpless, and rather short-sighted—when, the much larger and stronger hands of your father gently pick you up and place you on His shoulders for a ride. It’s a bit terrifying and a bit fun at the same time. You can see things you otherwise wouldn’t. Yet, you know you’re small and vulnerable. Apart from His grip, you realize you are in grave danger! You’re riding the shoulders of a powerful, dangerous, gentle, loving Father. You have a terrifying awareness that you are utterly not in control. Yet, gradually you discover you can rest on the shoulders of the Father who is in control. Let Jesus lead the way. Enjoy the journey, but don’t think for a second it’s actually about you. View the full article
  11. Feedback From “A Plea to the Clark Family” and “A Plea to Southern Gospel Fans” Following are some of the responses I have received from the free eBook A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Fans and the report “ A Plea to the Clark Family ” (published March 14, 2017) - POSITIVE RESPONSES “Thank you, Brother Cloud. I appreciate your excellent spirit blended with zeal for righteousness. You remind me of my Saviour.” “God Bless you Bro. Cloud! Continue to ‘Cry aloud.’” “[O]n Facebook you were called Satan, and a jackass and all kinds of things. ... If these responses are the fruit of the Clark’s ministry then I'd have to really question if you were not overly gracious in your article. It’s almost a Hyles cult like loyalism. The way I see it, these people are addicted to fleshly music and they respond just like an addict when confronted about their addiction.” “Thank you very much for the book ‘A Plea to Southern Gospel Music Lovers.’ I was both amazed, challenged and saddened when I started reading it. I have generally ignored warnings about Southern Gospel because I associated it with groups like the Gaithers, the Cathedrals, the Blackwood Brothers, etc - groups that... Read More View the full article
  12. “For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you.” (John 13:15) Schools, businesses, and institutions are all well-advised to develop and live by a “statement of purpose” if they are to be successful, evaluating each activity by its effectiveness in fulfilling that purpose. As Christians, we should also have a well-d... More... View the full article
  13. By Cedric Fisher Professing Christians are fawning over every heretic, heresy, heretical book, and blasphemous movie. They will race off to conferences with a speaker lineup that reads like a “Who’s Who” in false “ministers of righteousness.” The truth floats on by them, but they eagerly reach out, grab, and gush over every falsehood. But they will […] View the full article
  14. “Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest unto God; and I trust also are made manifest in your consciences.” (2 Corinthians 5:11) The use of the English word “terror” in this verse as a translation of the Greek phobos (from which we get our word “phobia”) indicates that the frequent... More... View the full article
  15. The Rembrandt Shop - The Departure of the Shunammite Woman 1640 While I’m not going to repeat all of conference notes, I do want to cover some of the “Be Our Guest” notes about hospitality. Take time to read II Kings 4 to learn about her. If you find it interesting, move ahead to II Kings 8, where we learn more about this hospitable lady, whom the Bible describes as “great”: And it fell on a day, that Elisha passed to Shunem, where was a great woman; and she constrained him to eat bread. And so it was, that as oft as he passed by, he turned in thither to eat bread. And she said unto her husband, Behold now, I perceive that this is an holy man of God, which passeth by us continually. Let us make a little chamber, I pray thee, on the wall; and let us set for him there a bed, and a table, and a stool, and a candlestick: and it shall be, when he cometh to us, that he shall turn in thither. (2 Kings 4:8-10 KJV) Not all of us have the means to build “a little chamber” and furnish it for a traveling preacher – but wouldn’t it be nice? That is hospitality above our cultural level. But, we do invite people into our homes – unless we live in CHAOS!!! That’s an acronym. One I’ve used as the full statement when I believed my house was a mess (and it often is – to me) and I simply Couldn’t Have Anyone Over. It’s a Syndrome. Yep, that CHAOS. Mrs. Terrie Chappell gave us that acronym, but I recognized the syndrome. For Christian women, if we don’t believe we live up to Proverbs 31, we simply can’t have anyone over until everything is picked up, put in the right place, cleaned, polished, decorated correctly – but that’s ridiculous, isn’t it? We respond to invitations and assure the lady of the house that having the dog food bowls in the kitchen aren’t a problem. We kiss the child with the chocolate-covered face and love them before and after the chocolate is wiped away. I am reminded of a missionary I heard speak in North Carolina in 1960. She and her husband ministered to migrants who made the trip from south to north picking the ripened fields along the way. She and her husband had served their ministry a short while before a migrant family asked them to join them in their evening meal. It was a huge step, and she was not expecting the same lifestyle she lived. The differences between their lifestyles were much more than the mismatched, cracked dinnerware. That was made evident when the lady opened a can of dog food instead of a can of hash, heated it on a wood fire and shared with her family and the visitors. Yes, our missionary ate the same meal as those in her ministry. Tell me, is our personal CHAOS similar to this situation? Are you concerned about being an example in a mission conference? If so – and even your home truly is chaos – would you deprive someone of being a blessing to you. Would you deprive them of receiving a blessing, too? Hospitality isn’t even showing our very best. It is accepting people into our home in the same manner Jesus accepts us into His kingdom. The thief on the cross simply asked to be remembered – and Jesus accompanied him to Paradise. When Jesus is our daily companion as Savior, let us open our homes as we have opened our hearts. What better place to share Him with people who wish to spend time with us?View the full article