Struggling

Yesterday a good friend asked me how I was doing.  She was more than sincere.  She truly wanted to know what was going on in my little head.  I told her I was struggling with being a member of PCUSA. She understood. 

When I became a member of the Presbyterian Church in another town we were PCUS, you know, the southern branch.  Then we came under the unification umbrella headquartered in Louisville.  I still identified myself as a Bible believing follower of Jesus Christ.  I still am.  However, it seems to me the PCUSA has left me behind as it has become an institution that ordains practicing homosexuals, marries same sex couples, is anti-Israel / pro-Palestinian, pro choice, and a litany of other all inclusive enlightened ideas.  My struggle includes the fact that I believe the Bible is the infallible inerrant word of God.  God means what He says.  I find myself leaning toward PCA or the more moderate EPC, or EOC.

I love my local church, First Presbyterian, Madisonville.  I have issues with the Western Kentucky Presbytery and the General Assembly.  I say these things to preface this request: please pray with and for me.

Loving you in the Name of Christ Jesus,

Pete

On Being Jesus' Hands and Feet

It’s an exciting time to be a member of FPC Madtown!

You can truly feel His Spirit moving!

First Presbyterian has just completed the first run of "God’s Warm Place", an exciting adventure into the plight of the homeless.  Next fall we’ll be kicking it into high gear with the shelter being open from December through February.  During the interim we’ll be beating the bushes trying to convince those who are not as fortunate as we that they can trust us and we truly care for their welfare.  We'll also be looking for more help from the community to staff the shelter each evening.

Next month 15 of us are traveling to the Yucatan to finish the San Diego Buena Vista water project, providing our brothers and sisters with pure clean water and checking on the Peto and Xoy projects.  Then hopefully some of us are off to Arkansas to learn how to set up a solar powered water filtration system that can be used in Haiti.

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Famine of God's Word

"The days are coming, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I will send a famine in the land - not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the words of the Lord.  Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from north to east, searching for the word of the Lord, but will not find it."  Amos 8: 11-12

This text reveals to us that God is ruling in this world and universe.  He is the one who executes His purposes.  He can bless and he can punish.  Today the world does not see the hand of God in anything, and when devastation of various kinds come, the world simply sees execution of natural law, and blind mindless force.  In every tragedy man mourns, but, believes he is able to control his environment, and all he needs is more knowledge and understanding of the world.  Even in the Church there is an atmosphere that believes God does not intervene in judgment.  He is universal love, overlooks sin, and would not judge anybody, regardless of behavior.  This text gives us the truth that God is sovereign, and does execute His Word in the world, and what he threatens he can and will perform.  Amos assures us that God does not look on evil and godlessness with indifference, and although his love is seen in providing forgiveness through Christ’s sacrifice, he will execute judgment on sinners when they refuse his pleading to repent and be saved.

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Are We Following Christ?

Because you have rejected the word of the LORD, he has rejected you… [1 Samuel 15:23]

Therefore, as a tongue of fire consumes stubble and dry grass collapses into the flame, so their root will become like rot and their blossom blow away as dust; For they have rejected the law of the LORD of hosts and despised the word of the Holy One of Israel. [Isaiah 5:24]

The wise men are put to shame, they are dismayed and caught; Behold, they have rejected the word of the LORD, and what kind of wisdom do they have? [Jeremiah 8:9]

They made their hearts like flint so that they could not hear the law and the words which the LORD of hosts had sent by His Spirit through the former prophets; therefore great wrath came from the LORD of hosts. [Zechariah 7:12]

There is a judge for the one who rejects me and does not accept my words; the very words I have spoken will condemn them at the last day. [John 12:48]

Two men are standing before God on the Day of Judgment.  One, an unemployed father of four, went into a grocery, stuffed a ham under his shirt, ran out into the street and was hit by a truck and died.  The other robbed a bank and was killed in a shootout with the police.  As they stood there, did God see a man who was trying to feed his family and a man who stole money and tried to kill the police officers?  No, He did not.  He saw two sinners.

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Are You Giving or Returning?

Alan Smith of White Horse, Tennessee shared the following story of a church that had a parking problem.  It was right next door to a store that was closed on Sunday.  They asked the owner if they could use his parking lot.  He said that they could use it for 51 Sundays out of the year but that it would be chained off one week.  They were happy with the deal, but curious why it would be chained off that one Sunday.  He explained that he just wanted them to remember that it wasn't their parking lot!

You know, there's a lot of wisdom there.  Because if you use something long enough, you tend to assume that it's yours.  Everything we have belongs to God.  God wants us to remember that.  He told Israel that one day they would be richly blessed, but he warned them, "Do not say to yourself, 'My power and the might of my own hand have gotten me this wealth.'  But remember the Lord your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, so that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your ancestors, as he is doing today."  (Deuteronomy 8:17-18).

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Filled With Joy

When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, he sent his disciples to ask him, “Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?”  Jesus replied, "Go back and report to John what you hear and see.  The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor.  Blessed is the man who does not fall away because of me." Matthew 11 and Luke 7.  John knew Jesus was the Messiah, yet he doubted because John wanted Jesus to get him out of prison and spare his life.  "Just one more miracle, please."  But Jesus didn’t do what John wanted.  When Paul pleaded with the Lord to remove the thorn, God responded with "My Grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness."  2 Corinthians 11.  Paul wanted relief.  God said “no.”

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The B-I-B-L-E, That's the Word for Me

When I defended my faith statement before Presbytery, I stated that the Bible is the inerrant Word of God.  Even though my good friend ‘DM’ asked me if I was serious and then voted “No” against my Commission, I still believe that.

At Presbytery today, I read the faith statements of three young people desirous of Presbytery approval, and all three said that the Bible is the inspired Word of God and that it is the Living Word.  Also today, I was told that we Presbyterians are reformed and always reforming.

Read more: The B-I-B-L-E, That's the Word for Me