Blog

Pray for Healing

How to Pray for Healing without Treating God like a Genie in the Bottle

How to Pray for Healing

God gives guidelines for HOW we are to pray for healing. And if we don’t pray HIS way, it could negatively affect our chances of healing.

Sometimes we try the “genie in a bottle” approach, expecting God to do our bidding.

But that doesn’t work. We can’t manipulate God no matter how hard we try.

I know. I’ve tried. You can read about my vain attempts to control God here.

Yet He does call us to pray with faith. But it is not OUR faith that heals. It is HIS faithfulness on His terms.

The demoniac in Mark 5 understood this all too well. He had no ability to demonstrate faith. All He could do was accept God’s gracious gift of healing, without boasting.

So how should we pray for healing? Continue reading “How to Pray for Healing without Treating God like a Genie in the Bottle”

Testimony

How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part three

When that long-expected knock on the door never came, I had to accept that either God was a total liar — or I didn’t know Him at all.

By God’s grace, I knew He was real, and right, and true. There was no way I could entertain that He was a liar. I was forced to conclude that I had no idea who this Being was who commanded my destiny.

In all my years of learning, the church had lied to me about who God is and what He requires. Everything I had ever learned about the Almighty was instantly suspect. Was the doctrine of the Trinity true? Was Jesus really God? How does God communicate with His children? Who can I trust to give me the truth?

But a message written on my heart by God Himself instructed me: Go to the source of truth. Obviously, I didn’t have the truth within me. Look how my foolish heart had led me astray to think that I could manipulate God to do my bidding at my whim. Continue reading “How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part three”

Forbidden Food

7 Forbidden Foods the Bible Actually Approves

The Flaw in Modern Diets

Modern diets (both popular and medical) often vilify foods that the Bible calls “good” (I will share seven “forbidden foods” below).

The currently promoted and popular low carb ketogenic diet is one example.  There are definitely some good reasons to curb your carbs — especially the unhealthy ones. But the Bible speaks highly of some of these “forbidden” calories.

We should take care to not call evil that which God has called good — even if for a good reason (to lose weight).

This should evoke caution in choosing any life-style diet which forbids “God approved” foods.

Science Doesn’t Trump The Bible

To be fair, there is science behind the ketogenic diet. It can help you lose weight (which promotes health).

But science is not all knowing, like God. Men interpret data through fallen eyes; and as new information becomes available, scientists must occasionally change their opinions completely. And sometimes, people actually manipulate facts to Continue reading “7 Forbidden Foods the Bible Actually Approves”

Testimony

How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part two

When I was three months pregnant with my first and only child, the father broke up with me, suggesting I have an abortion.

You’d think I’d have been happy since I couldn’t stand the guy and treated him worse than dirt.

But my crooked little heart surprised me.

There was no way that I was going to kill the life growing inside me; I was on board with Madonna and was “gonna keep my baby.”

Though I was dumped and devastated — I would still bring a new life into the world. Little did I know that the new life growing in me would also be the beginning of my new life in Christ. But this wouldn’t happen easily. I had a heart shaped block of cement in my chest. But God knew exactly how to break it up so he could give me a new one.

The devastating reality of single motherhood brought about an amazing transformation in my life toward the baby’s father. I was instantly “in love” again. Oh! how easily the forbidden things create longing in the heart. What lengths I would go to get him back. I did not want to have a baby out of wedlock, be a single mother. [The irony is that I was  living my life in such a way that promoted the very thing I did not want. This is part of the deception of sin.] Continue reading “How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part two”

Testimony

How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part one

My parents brought me into the world shortly after the “sexual revolution.” And they were very much a part of the culture, drinking lots of alcohol and popping bennies — the amphetamines of the day. In that epoch, it wasn’t unpopular for pregnant women to drink alcohol, so I was dosed on wine from the womb.

But something happened after my fourth birthday. My parents decided to get “religion.” So they had us kids baptized in the Lutheran church. Someone at that time must have told me about Jesus, because I remember kneeling by my bed and asking Him to come into my heart.

A year later, we painted the house, packed up our belongings, and headed out of the big city of Simi Valley to small town, USA.

There we joined a little white Methodist church with a steeple bell that rang each Sunday to announce the service. When I came of age, I pulled the rope and sounded the gong myself: a great memory.

Other fond memories of that time still bring a smile to my face: great friends; fellowship; food; Sunday school; Kids of the Kingdom; vacation Bible school; ice cream socials; the invasion of box-elder bugs; and more. But something else happened in that church, something that almost destroyed me: I was raped. Continue reading “How God Turned This Wretch into a Treasure: part one”

God and Alcohol

(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About God and Alcohol

God and Alcohol

Did you know people actually called Jesus a drunkard in the Bible?

The accusation against Him was blasphemous, of course.

Many people don’t think God and alcohol mix. And, sadly, there are Christians who would make the same blasphemous claim about Christ today. Why? Because Jesus actually drank alcohol with his friends and family; He encouraged others to drink it by turning a boatload of water into wine; and He even commanded Christians to drink it in remembrance of Him.

Where Does It Say All That?

In the Bible.

We must sift every bit of knowledge and understanding through the lens of the Bible. And alcohol is one of the big topics that needs to be brought under submission to the obedience of Christ. Do you have questions about God and alcohol?

  • Ever wonder how God REALLY feels about you or others drinking wine?
  • Suspect that you or someone you love is drinking TOO much alcohol?
  • Curious if wine REALLY has any health benefits?
  • Unsure how to treat your brother or sister with DIFFERENT views on alcohol?

We have answers to these questions — and they come straight outta the Bible. Some of them might surprise you. Continue reading “(Almost) Everything You Need to Know About God and Alcohol”

Brotherly Love, Alcohol, and Romans 14

Brotherly Love, Alcohol, and Romans 14

Love One Another

This post will take a thorough look at Romans 14 and how it applies to Christian liberty, brotherly love, and alcohol.

As a reminder, we began the topic of alcohol consumption in the context of 1 Timothy 4:3-4. This passage instructs us to not refuse (nor forbid) the consumption of food which God has designed to be received with thanksgiving.  We have explored the pros and cons of drinking alcohol, sifting them through the lens of God’s word. This post (our final before concluding the discussion of alcohol) will probe into the “if and when” we should lovingly choose to abstain from alcohol in preference to a weaker brother. I will draw heavily from Dr. Kenneth Gentry’s work God Gave Wine.

Early in Chapter 6, Gentry asks, “Is the Christian under obligation to alter his behavior, which in itself is not sinful, for the sake of others?” He then appeals to Romans 14 (rather than 1 Corinthians 8-10) because it concisely addresses the topic and specifically mentions drinking wine.  In addition, Gentry notes that the Corinthian passage approaches the topic in the context of foods sacrificed to idols, whereas Romans does not. Continue reading “Brotherly Love, Alcohol, and Romans 14”

Christian Liberty and Alcohol Addiction

Christian Liberty and Alcohol Addiction

Christian Liberty and Alcohol Addiction

As Christians with liberty, we are free to drink alcohol under three conditions:

  • Abstain from drunkenness
  • Avoid alcohol addiction
  • Do not harm a weaker brother

We’ve addressed Christian Liberty and Drunkenness here and now we will consider Christian Liberty and Alcohol Addiction.

What Does the Bible Say About Alcohol Addiction?

I Timothy 3:8 warns: “Deacons likewise must be men of dignity, not double-tongued, or addicted to much wine or fond of sordid gain.”

While this admonition is directed specifically to deacons, the “likewise” points also to overseers, who are instructed in I Timothy 3:3 to “not be addicted to wine” in general. This later passage leaves out the word “much,” as does Titus 1:7, which also instructs overseers to “not be addicted to wine.” Continue reading “Christian Liberty and Alcohol Addiction”

Christian Liberty and Drunkenness

Christian Liberty and Drunkenness

Christian Liberty and Drunkenness

Alcohol consumption for Christians can be a controversial topic. But it shouldn’t be. The Bible is full of evidence that God created wine and alcohol for man’s enjoyment. Sure there are warnings in the Bible concerning alcohol. But there are many warnings in the Bible about excess anything. God has established bounds which the Christian must live within, this includes Christian liberty and drunkenness. There are two simple laws which sum up these bounds: love God and love neighbor.

And even more, the Bible explicitly tells us how we are to love man and neighbor. There are 10 basic laws which are divided into many statutes and principles. These statutes and principles are explained, according to Jesus, in the law and the prophets (or the Old Testament). Wisdom literature celebrates these principles and gives great insight into their meaning. And finally the New Testament reiterates everything written in the Old (with a few anticipated changes).

This means that anything not expressly forbidden, commanded, or implied in the Bible falls into the category of Christian Liberty; and concerning alcohol, Christians have the liberty to drink under three basic conditions. Continue reading “Christian Liberty and Drunkenness”