Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Have a Wonderful Thanksgiving

Normally Mrs. WideAwakeChristian and I are celebrating Thanksgiving with our children a mile up and 1,600 miles west of here, but this year my folks need a little help so we're giving up the snow, the cold, the blowing leaves, the frost, and the frostbite for the beach here in the sunshine state. Personally I like winter, but my folks like summer and never want it to end. This is much like the multitude of ways we love to praise our God. There are many different protestant denominations because God realizes we're not all the same and need to communicate with Him a bit differently, so He gave us different ways to do it. 

And for this, among thousands of other reasons, I am grateful that God made us. Thank you dear Father.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Were Verses Used Out of Context?

I've posted before that it's a bad idea to use a single bible verse, always look for the content first before you use a verse. I'm beginning to see where some modern doctrines come from using bible verses out of context to support a potentially unbiblical doctrine.

While cruising YouTube looking for funny cat videos (well, if I told the truth and said I was looking for steam locomotive videos from the 1940's you'd think I was a nerd) when I stumbled across a video by Monica Dennington about pre-trib vs. post trib beliefs. She starts with the following verse:
I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. (John 14:18)
This is a nice verse, but Jesus is speaking of his resurrection and sending the Holy Spirit to his disciples, there's nothing in the context of that verse that has anything to do with His second coming or the tribulation, or the timing of the rapture. And luckily Monica doesn't use it for backing up either doctrine, she just lets it hang there and continues on to speak about the fact that we don't know when Jesus is coming back, even Jesus doesn't know, and He spoke at length in Matthew 24 about His return. So if Jesus doesn't know when He will return, an event which is in the bible, how could we possibly know anything about a pre-tribulation rapture which is not in the bible? Were Bible verses used out of context when formulation the pre-tribulational doctrine? Was the Bible used at all?

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Giving Thanks

O give thanks to the Lord, for He is good;
For His lovingkindness is everlasting.
1 Chronicles 16:34

Monday, November 25, 2013

Buying Your Way Into Heaven One Burger At A Time

For those of you meat lovers that have never had a bison burger I strongly suggest that you do. Bison has less fat, fewer calories, and lower cholesterol than beef while remaining quite flavorful, a delicious richer sweeter flavor than beef. An adequate description of a bison burger was penned years ago  by drug saturated songster Jimmy Buffett: "Heaven on earth with an onion slice." So what does an exquisitely crafted burger have to do with eternal salvation? Nothing, not a thing... unless you're Jane Fonda and Ted Turner.

When Ted was 24 his father killed himself leaving Ted to run Turner's billboard company, which Ted did and parlayed it into his multi billion dollar empire. His former wife Jane Fonda says that's it's a miracle that he turned out the way he did:
“"Given his childhood, he should've become a dictator... He should've become a not nice person. The miracle is that he became what he is. A man who will go to heaven, and there’ll be a lot of animals up there welcoming him, animals that have been brought back from the edge of extinction because of Ted... And he says he's not religious. But he, the whole time I was with him, every speech -- and he likes to give speeches -- he always ends his speech with 'God bless'... He’s turned out to be a good guy.”
Ok, let's face it, when you think "biblical scholar" the name Jane Fonda is not in your top 10, and probably not in your top 10,000 either. A miracle that Ted overcame his background and became successful? How about the Robertsons who overcame their background, addictions and sinful natures and became successful Godly men? Has Ted accepted Jesus as the Way, the Truth, and the Light? Does Ted realize that no one comes to the Father except through him? Ted Turner summed up his views on Christianity in one sentence:
"Christianity is a religion for losers."

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Food for Thought

But they (the Jews) were deceptive, and Allah was deceptive, for Allah is the best of deceivers (Koran S. 3:54; cf. 8:30)

so that by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have taken refuge would have strong encouragement to take hold of the hope set before us. (Hebrews 6:18)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

The Grinch Is An Atheist

The American Humanist Association has sent identical letters to public elementary schools in South Carolina and Colorado and reports of other schools, threatening legal action if the schools participate in Operation Christmas Child. Operation Christmas Child is an annual charitable event sponsored by Samaritan's Purse which delivers thousands of shoe boxes stuffed with gifts to needy children throughout the world every year during the holidays.

For the sin of spreading Christmas joy to poor children around the world the American Humanist Association is threatening legal action to prevent the horrors of small children making other, dirt poor, small children happy at Christmas. East Point Academy in Cayce SC has knuckled under to the atheist jihadi demands that charity to small poor children stop immediately in order to prevent the attempt of exercising the constitutionally protected horror of freedom of religion. In a statement of surrender the principal of the school, Renee Matthews, admitted "There's no religious literature tied with it, there's no speakers who come. There's no religious affiliation at all." yet she still turned tail and ran.

Rant warning.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Officer Getting Back Up

Fund Raiser for my Brother In Law
As I mentioned before, my brother-in-law was very seriously injured in a motorcycle vs semi accident. It's been a very turbulent time in our lives as his condition changed from day to day. At one point his liver and kidneys had shut down, his gall bladder had gangrene, he was unable to breathe on his own, and due to a blood infection he was running a 106.5 temperature. When ever the medical team had one problem cleared another would pop up, and maybe an old one would resurface just to keep them busy.

The outpouring of love and support has been incredible, from blood drives to fund raisers, the people of Ontario CA have been incredible. The Ontario Police Officers Association had a BBQ fund raiser for him, which was so well attended by police, civilians and numerous motorcycle clubs that they ran out of food to serve. Prayer chains from coast to coast prayed for my brother in law and today I'm happy to report that 41 days after being hit by a truck my brother in law has been moved out of the Intensive Care Unit. He's still not out of the woods yet but he is much stronger and his spirits have never been better.

Thank you all so much for your love and prayers, and thank you Father in heaven for your healing and your love.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

What Happened to John 5:4???

Pastor Lovejoy and I have been going over my favorite author recently, and while reading the Gospel of John I discovered something that truly shocked me. What I do is simply read the chapters we're going to discuss, take notes on my impressions and any questions and we get together and discuss my notes together. Sometimes I have a problem with a verse so I'll switch versions because many times that gives me a better idea of what is meant or implied. I was reading John 5 in the NASB in parallel with John 5 in the NIV, it's a great way to see the same thing spelled out in two different ways. 

(Disclaimer: avoid reading a REAL translation of the Bible in parallel with The Message. Doing this may cause some unwanted effects such as Chest pain, confusion, irregular pulse, feeling sad or empty, fever, general feeling of discomfort or illness, irritability, lack of appetite, lightheadedness, shakiness and unsteady walk with God, tiredness, trouble concentrating, trouble sleeping, and the urge to burn the Message)

But as I'm reading and taking notes I noticed something odd - the NIV skipped a verse:
"Some time later, Jesus went up to Jerusalem for a feast of the Jews. 2 Now there is in Jerusalem near the Sheep Gate a pool, which in Aramaic is called Bethesda and which is surrounded by five covered colonnades. 3 Here a great number of disabled people used to lie—the blind, the lame, the paralyzed. 5 One who was there had been an invalid for thirty-eight years. (NIV John 5)
Check it out - 1... 2... 3... 5... see it for yourself here. What's going on? The entire paragraph doesn't make any sense unless you simply assume that Bethesda is a place where the disabled gather for coffee and bagels every morning and talk about their recent doctor visit. However if you swap to another version, you'll find this is missing from the NIV: 

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

My Favorite Quote And My Favorite Egg

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept his claim to be God. 

"That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic — on the level with the man who says he is a poached egg — or else he would be the Devil of Hell. 

"You must make your choice. Either this man was, and is, the Son of God, or else a madman or something worse. You can shut him up for a fool, you can spit at him and kill him as a demon or you can fall at his feet and call him Lord and God, but let us not come with any patronizing nonsense about his being a great human teacher. 

"He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.” - C.S. Lewis, Mere Christianity

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Conversations with an Atheist

Recently I was engaged in an online conversation with an Atheist who knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that prayers don't work. His reasoning: there is no God so there's no way prayer can work. Lets call him Cooter Bucks. The poor souls story goes like this:

He was a born again Christian in a small church when a young girl in the congregation got bone cancer. The congregation prayed for her recovery but she didn't recover, so Cooter prayed for a quick death for the girl, but she lingered on.  Since God didn't answer Cooter's demands then it's plainly obvious that God doesn't exist, prayer is a sham, and Christians are stupid ignorant hillbillies like on Duck Dynasty. Personally I'd love to be a stupid ignorant hillbilly like on Duck Dynasty, they're all college graduates, all millionaires, and all love God, Jesus, and each other with a pure love that's a joy to behold. The diametric opposite of these ignorant hillbillies is, of course, the God denying atheist, and for these people I have pity. 

Monday, November 11, 2013

Veterans Day

This Veterans Day I'm praying all my brothers and sisters in arms find the inner peace that only Christ can bring, and the healing that His love guarantees.

Friday, November 8, 2013

Forging a New Me

Heating the metal with bellows afloat.
The steel blending ready forging, tempering the blade
Hammer and anvil sing to the same.
Folding over and over again, and again
Taking hours and days to meet the grade,
The heart and sound, the heat and sweat.
Injected each blow the numerous repent.

(from Katana by Nigel Wilcox)

Sometimes it seems that the Lord is punishing us, beating us down for an offense we may or may not be aware of, But in truth He's not punishing us, no matter how much we deserve it. Punishing is a punitive act, it is the infliction of a penalty in retribution for an offense,  Jesus took our punishment for us, every sin we ever committed or planned to commit or desired to commit He paid the penalty for. Jesus carried our sins to the cross, the perfect sacrificial lamb, the ultimate scapegoat;
and He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness; for by His wounds you were healed. (1 Peter 2:24)
So how come those atheists down the street have the new cars and the ski lodge, and the boat, while we Christians have kids in the hospital, long hard hours at work, and macaroni & cheese three nights in a row before each payday? Oddly enough because God loves us

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Precious Lord Take My Hand

I just can't do it without you dear Jesus, take me, lead me

Precious Lord, take my hand
Lead me on,
Let me stand
I'm tired, I am weak I am worn
Through the storm, through the night
Lead me on to the light
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When my way grows drear precious Lord linger near
When my life is almost gone
Hear my cry,
Hear my call
Hold my hand lest I fall
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

When the dark appears and the night draws near
And the day is past and gone
At the river I stand
Guide my feet,
Hold my hand
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Y'all Bow Please - Faith Returns to TV

For some reason I get asked a lot by people I know "Are the Duck Dynasty guys are really Christian?" Now personally I don't know the Robertson family, but I wish I did. From what I've seen of the Robertson's they have everything that I've dreamed about: loving family, tons of land to hunt and camp in, and a rock steady unshakeable faith in Jesus Christ. Having been raised RCC the faith was something I had to learn on my own, but having  spent many of my formative years growing up in the woods I can identify with their redneck ways. Although Louisiana appears to have much more tasty critters than upstate NY, and hardly anyone calls someone with a "Buflo Noo Yawk" accent a redneck, a redneck I am and will always be. 

Now I'm not fit to judge the depths of anyone's Christian faith, but I can Google nearly any subject into submission so I think my friends are asking me about the Robertsons for this reason. Personally I don't watch "Reality Television" because; 1. It's not reality and 2. It's stupid. But from what I saw on the internet I just had to take a peak at what was going on in West Monroe LA. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Emergent Monday: Joel Osteen Heretic Superstar

There's one hard and fast rule about writing about Joel Osteen - it feels best when you pray before and shower afterward. To be honest I was going to write about Mark Driscoll's sinful public behavior at Strange Fire... fish... barrel... open fire. If Mars Hill was a true Christian church Mark would be standing tall before the elders and to quote Ricky Ricardo "He have some 'splainin' to do" But by their silence the elders of Mars Hill are condoning his sinful actions. Then again maybe the elders get pay-per-view access to Mark Driscoll's mental porn channel.

Like Rob Bell, Mark Driscoll is an easy target, you just scuff your heel to find some dirt. Joel Osteen is special though. I mean, who else but someone with otherworldly assistance could step into a pulpit with less formal schooling than the average 18 year old and suddenly have 30,000 followers? There's a spirit influencing there, but is it the Holy Spirit? 

Friday, November 1, 2013

Happy All Saints Day To All You Saints!

I fervently pray that you avoided (survived) the pagan rituals that swirled around your neighborhood on "All Hallows Eve" and today find your trees toilet paper free and your windows untainted by egg. Today is All Saints Day and mark this day on your calender because today I declare that we Christians usurp this holiday and make it our own!

I was thinking of changing the name from All Saints Day to Take A Saint To Lunch Day, but it just doesn't have the same ring as "All Saints Day". But the idea is good, so from now on let's celebrate All Saints Day not by obsessing over dead people but by taking a saint in our life out to lunch, or dinner, or coffee, or how about just going up to your favorite saint and say "Thank you so much for your guidance/mentoring/love."

No, I don't mean going over to the rectory at St. Timmy's and borrowing the St. Christoper statue off the dashboard of Father DiNozzo's '68 Buick and taking it to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast, I'm talking about the real saints, the saints God talks about in the bible. Take a real saint in your life over to Denny's for a Grand Slam Breakfast... unless (like me) you're not quite sure what a biblical saint is, so let's explore the biblical concept of sainthood for a moment.