Echoes From the Campfire

I defend them because I believe in what they believe.  I even believe in it more than they do.”
              –Luke Short  (Saddle By Starlight)

       “Vindicate me, O God, And plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man!”
              –Psalm 43:1 (NKJV)
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I have always been thankful for my wonderful heritage in the Assemblies of God.  I can remember back when I was a kid and someone would ask what church I went to and I would reply, “First Assembly of God”.  They would then most often respond, “What’s that?”  Of course, there would always be that one who would answer, “That’s those holy-rollers in the little white church on Mapleton.”  It has grown from a church that once might be deemed “from the other side of the tracks” to one of the largest denominations/fellowships in the world due largely to its dedication to evangelism and missionary effort.  With that in mind I came across an article published in the Pentecostal Evangel in 1973, written by Percy Brewster.  It would be good for churches and individuals to heed its information.
Trends:
 1)  “Being too sensitive to public opinion.”  
             Don’t try to adapt to the world’s culture and accept worldly values.
 2)  “Some accept the heritage of the past without a corresponding personal dedication.”
             This includes people who identify with Pentecostal tradition, “but whose spiritual life is far from where it should be.  They have form of godliness, but not the substance.”
 3)  “Weakening in the area of evangelism.”
       Evangelism is fulfilling the Great Commission.  When the church fails to do this it is committing “spiritual suicide.”  Yet this is now the popular opinion:  don’t cause waves… to each his own…
 4)  “Spend money on extravagant churches.”
        Be good stewards.  Do not take money from evangelism and missions to build a magnificent edifice.
 5)  “Don’t get caught up in the busyness of church work and committees.”
       Seek the lost, look to the needs of hungry souls.
 6)  “An unhealthy move to segregate the young and the old.”
       Oh, this is so true and becoming more and more the norm.  It is seen in all aspects of the church.  I read recently where a church is going to close its doors in August and reopen them in October and that no one over the age of sixty should attend.  
     Brewster writes, “the older people need the zeal and energy of the young, and the young need the balance of the older people’s wisdom and maturity.”
 7)  “An overemphasis on demon power.”
       Don’t blame all of the problems the church has and that you have upon demonic activity.  Some of it is due to individual neglect or stupidity, don’t give undue recognition to the devil.
 8)  “The tendency to tolerate and excuse sin.”
        The truth must be proclaimed, not compromised.  Do not shift opinions to accommodate human weakness, speak the truth.
 9)  “Don’t think that education can be a substitute for the call of God and the power of the Holy Spirit.”
       What has happened to the notion of a “calling”?  A person doesn’t become a pastor because of the prestige or the fame or the money.  He is called by God.  I have heard so many young people say that they would not leave a certain area.  But what if God’s calls them to?

    Brewster finished his article with the thought “theology trumps sociology.”  Housing developments, social welfare, education, etc. will never take the place of the truth as presented in the Bible.  Do not get caught up in the trends of the culture (i.e., political correctness, toleration at all cost).

Coffee Percs

He broiled turkey over the red coals of his dying aspenwood fire.   With salt, a hard biscuit, and a cup of coffee he thought he fared sumptuously.”
              –Zane Grey  (Nevada)

My, my, my–that pie was shore mighty fine.  Of course I’ve got the best pie baker around.  Pard, I hope you fared well; that yur table saw plenty of feed.  The Lord sure blessed us richly with a fine day, friends and family, along with dee-licious food.  Plus we had plenty of good camp coffee.  Weren’t no “cinos” served out in God’s great cathedral.
    Sure hope yur gizzard and too full as I’ve got the coffee hot, black and strong.  Ahhh, it’s take a might full gizzard where a person couldn’t enjoy a cup.  Yuh know, there’s folks out there that got all a stir with Thanksgiving.  It really doesn’t rile me none about those anti-Thanksgivin’ folks.  The truth is I pity them.  “White supremacist, genocidal maniacs,” they say.  The idiocy is apparent.  Without the Pilgrims and folks like them comin’ to this New World they wouldn’t  be havin’ the freedom to say such a thing.  Then I saw where the vegan folk were all up in arms.  Pard, sometimes all I can do is shake my head.
    But as for me, I thank the Lord for His bountiful blessin’s!  When I look back over the year, He shore has been good to me.  Go ahead, I don’t mind a little slurpin’, but don’t spill any.  Speakin’ of the year, my mercy, only one month left!  If’n yuh haven’t fulfilled this year’s resolutions better be at it and as we move into the advent season don’t be a-frettin’ over the fools and their craziness–just take time to be thankful and love the Lord.
    In all yur doin’s for Christmas, don’t get so caught up in the busyness that yuh forget to check yur cinch.

Echoes From the Campfire

The things that go on in the dark prove that people believe in You.  They are afraid to do those same things in blaze of daylight.  Afraid You will see them.  Ashamed.  But at night, well, they think Your vision or concern is somehow limited.  May I only do those things at night that I would do in the light of day.”
              –Stephen Bly  (Throw the Devil Off the Train)

    “What harmony can there be between Christ and Belial [the devil]? Or what has a believer in common with an unbeliever?”
              –2 Corinthians 6:15 (AMPC)
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I don’t care to say much about Halloween.  Stay away from it; it is the devil’s playground and holiday.  Remember, the enemy of your soul is subtle and deceptive, and takes seemingly innocent things and turns them into a nightmare.  Why do you think there is so much horror associated with Halloween?
    Many Christians, or so-called Christians, entertain Halloween.  They may try to disguise it, but they still are still fooled by the evil one.  Paul writes that we are to “abhor evil…” (Romans 12:9) and to the Thessalonians he writes, to “abstain from every form of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).  Are we mocking God then when we fool around with Halloween?
    We live in a complacent and compromising age.  People want to water on the truth of God’s Word.  That is where the warning in Revelation comes form when the Lord says that He despises the lukewarm (the complacent and compromising).
    Be aware!
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    Here is a good word from one of my favorite Christian writers.  It is hard to go wrong when reading Tozer.  God is a God of light and goodness, then why turn to darkness, even for one night?  The devil is there to steal, kill, and destroy; he wants to bring havoc among those who serve Christ.

         “There have always been professing Christians who argue and insist: ‘I am all right-I worship in the name of Jesus.’ They seem to believe that worship of God is based on a formula. They seem to think there is a kind of magic in saying the name of Jesus! Study the Bible carefully with the help of the Holy Spirit and you will find that the name and the nature of Jesus are one. It is not enough to know how to spell Jesus’ name! If we have come to be like Him in nature, if we have come to the place of being able to ask in accordance with His will, He will give us the good things we desire and need. We worship God as the result of a new birth from above in which God has been pleased to give us more than a name. He has given us a nature transformed, and Peter expresses that truth in this way: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises, that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (2 Peter 1:4)”
                  –A. W. Tozer

Echoes From the Campfire

He is a man, born to poverty and hard work, weaned on nothing, fed on less, raised to make to do with least possible and make the most of that.”
              –Jack Schaefer  (“Stubby Pringle’s Christmas”)

    “I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire; that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see.”
              –Revelation 3:18 (NKJV)
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Greetings from Maryland!  I have often thought, while looking up at the stars that friends and family would be looking up at those same stars.  When the sun rises and sets, friends and family are looking at the same sunrise and sunset.  The same is true, and this includes even those in the southern hemisphere.  What men stand most in need of is the knowledge of God.  The world is in a mess because man follows his own inclinations rather than seek the Creator.
    Oh, some may have a knowledge of the Ten Commandments and some of the parables.  Maybe a few of the psalms float through their minds and they may recall pieces from the Sermon on the Mount, but few seek and search for God.  Some people try to be moral and through that think they might find God, rather than the other way around–the person who finds God will become moral.
God is wanting and waiting for man to seek Him.  Ponder the words of the French theologian–Fenelon.

         “He is, in all things, infinite–in wisdom power and love–and what wonder, if everything that comes from his hand should partake of the same infinite character and set at nought the efforts of human reason.  When He works, His ways and His thought are declared by the prophet to be as far above our ways and our thoughts as the heavens are above the earth (Isaiah 55:9).  He makes no effort when He would execute what He has decreed; for to Him all things are equally easy; He speaks and causes the heavens and the earth to be created out of nothing, with as little difficulty as he causes water to descend or a stone to fall to the ground.  His power is co-extensive with His will; when He wills, the thing is already accomplished…  His mercy, too, is but His pure will; He loved us before the creation of the world; He saw and knew us, and prepared His blessings for us; He loved and chose us from all Eternity.  Every new blessing we received is derived from this Eternal origin; He forms no new will respecting us; it is not He that changes, but we.  When we are righteous and good, we are conformable to His will and agreeable to Him; when we depart from well doing and cease to be good, we cease to be conformable to Him and to please Him….  Mercy is the goodness of God, beholding our wickedness and striving to make us good….  From Him alone proceeds true goodness; alas! for that presumptuous soul that seeks it in itself!  It is God’s love towards us that gives us everything; but the richest of His gifts is that we may love Him with that love which is His due.  When He is able by His love to produce that love in us, He reigns within; He constitutes there our life, our peace, our happiness, and we then already begin to taste that blissful existence which He enjoys.  His love towards us is stamped with His own character of infinity:  it is not like ours, bounded and constrained; when He loves, all the measures of His love are infinite….  He loves like a God, with a love utterly incomprehensible.”

We can only gain a glimpse of who God is.  We only receive a bit of His infinite, boundless love that He showed on the Cross.  Yet, we are to become more like Him.  To do that we must be in His Word, we must seek Him through prayer, meditation, and living a sanctified life.