Walking in the Spirit one day at a time

Sola Scriptura yet neither Calvinist nor Arminian

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Sunday, November 11, 2012

The Cave's Mouth

This short story by E. Eastman is published here for the first time with kind permission of the author.

David's temper drove him outside. They were sleeping in another cave and he half ran down from the mouth into the scrubby grassland and let a pounding walk take him in a wide circuit around the perimeter they had established. In front of his men he should be flawless, and this irritability was almost womanish. That was his fear, that they would see the effect Jonathan had on him and think that he was a woman.

In his mind he could see the moment when all of their victories and battles and travels together would become meaningless because of this one weakness that he couldn't suppress, when his men would chose a new leader or go back to Saul and expose him, or leave him bound in one of these caves for the scavengers to pick over with the rest of the refuse. His mind could supply dozens of scenarios and did, the biting details were a jumble of images that flooded his mind's eye.

He stopped on a rise out of the line of sight of the sentries and drew deep breaths of the cold night air. He wanted his harp tonight but he was as ashamed to face his God as his men so perhaps the harp wouldn't sooth him either. With a wry quirk of his lips he remembered some of the words and melodies that had poured out of him so easily in those old days 'I lift my eyes to the hills, from where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord.'

Ah innocence! It had been so easy then to lift his soul in praise with nothing in his mind or experience to taint the joy of thinking about the oath keeper, nation maker God. The God who would strengthen the arm and sharpen the aim of a shepherd boy so that a righteous man's flock would increase instead of being lost to beasts. Innocence had brought its reward hadn't it, when that pure trust and guileless faith had led him to victory over the giant Goliath in the face of an army's disbelief.

'My help comes from the Lord' he whispered. It was true, he knew, it was true in every fibre of his body. But where was the help that he needed now? The same body that knew the favour of God was as certain as the dawn was alive with a desire that burnt in his stomach like the hot white heart of a fire.

'David?' Samuel, one of the oldest men in his band of outcasts, had followed him here. David opened his mouth to order the man back to the cave, angry that the peace he had almost captured was being snatched away. Their eyes met and the order died before he spoke it. Samuel squatted next to him, tracing patterns in the dirt with a stick. 'Is it Jonathan?' David sighed and squatted down too, wishing the ground wasn't too cold to sit on.


'Why are you running away from him?'

He saw vivid mental images of bright brown eyes and had a fresh sense of the physical vitality that so defined Jonathan. Thank the merciful God for dusk, it hid his blushes.

'It's not – seemly. What I feel for him isn't seemly.'

'No?' Samuel's face was averted.

'No! You – we travel and fight together all of us. I lead you and if I went to him here what would that make me? How could you follow someone who is weak enough to be moved by every urge that he feels in that way?' Samuel laughed.

'David a blind man could tell that this isn't 'every urge', the two of you are more than brothers.'

David snorted, thinking of his brothers, seven men who he could not have less in common with.

'You are joined together more than any two men I have ever seen. When you are together each of you knows where the other is all of the time. You speak to each other without words. There's no shame in going to him and none of us would think less of you for it.' David could feel tears prickle his eyes and nose. He gritted his teeth against them.

'But -' Samuel wasn't finished.

'Young men sometimes love each other David. We all know it. In youth and in friendship we go to each other. As an important man you'll have wives and children one day, that is what we do as we age, but they will be an addition to what you and Jonathan share, they will never replace him. Take this chance if it is what you want.'

They waited in companionable silence until night fell and walked back to the cave together. When the firelight became visible David couldn't contain his joy any more, laughing as he sped up the last bit of hill towards Jonathan's silhouette in the cave mouth.


A $4000 Home

Wednesday, November 30, 2011


Find A Gay-Affirming Church

Sunday, January 30, 2011


A Gay Affirming Church helps you grow spiritually like God intended.

And please,

Make sure you’re saved.


God cares about the lost - Do you?

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

How To Witness For Jesus
What happens when you witness


Fall To Grace by Jay Bakker

Sunday, December 19, 2010


Here we go again. Under the guise of ministering to the GLBT community, another Bible-rejecting pastor tries to dumb down the gospel, in the process turning it into meaningless drivel.

What is it with liberal christians? Why are they constantly talking about not judging anyone and then they attack Christians who believe the Bible? If you're really SO against judging others, why are you judging others?

Are you too obtuse to realize that your "don't ever judge" monologue ALWAYS ends up judging and attacking Christians who believe the Bible?

Jay has written a new book (which contains nothing new), which is kind of an emergent church primal scream. Its basically a liberal rant toned down a bit but a liberal rant nonetheless.

In the kind of fuzzy interior dialogue which passes for thought in liberal circles, it covers most of the required anti-Bible, anti-Christian biases which liberal rants must cover. And for that reason and in spite of its intellectual barreness it will probably be a best seller.

This about sums up Jay's book.

1. Christians who believe the Bible are TOO judgmental. Liberals aren't judgmental for judging Bible-believing Christians as judgmental mind you. Only Christians who believe the Bible are judgmental.

2. Our New Age touchy-feely God wouldn't send anyone to hell. See, we liberals are too busy promoting justice and criticizing Christians who believe the Bible. And we're too lazy to study the Bible and too intellectually elevated to believe the Bible and too afraid of public opinion to preach the Bible so we make up our own religious rules while decrying the rules of those who believe the Bible. Our rule is that we must never believe or preach ANYTHING in the Bible which is negative.

3. No one needs to worry about God's judgment because God is all about love, according to somebody from my transcendental meditation class. Because judgment and hell and the lake of fire are negatives, we never mention them as Bible truths. Instead, we make fun of people who still believe in that scary old judgment stuff.

4. Did I mention how judgmental most Christians are? Yeah, they judged me when I was a drunk and a druggie, sneaking out at night, lying to Mom and Dad. I could have repented and got my heart right with God but hey, I don't believe all that judgment stuff. Don't believe me? Read my cool new book, Fall To Grace.

5. Christians criticize people who get drunk, get high, have promiscuous sex and refuse to take responsibility for their actions. If you tell anyone anywhere that anything is wrong or sinful, you're being critical and judgmental. And we all know that ain't politically correct baby!

6. It irritated me when they judged me
for my drunken, drug-addled ways so maybe now I'm gettin' back at'em by dissing their Biblical beliefs. And I'm promoting the false doctrine of universal salvation even though its never mentioned in the Bible. I'm just makin' it up as I go.

7. I'm denying that anyone anywhere needs to get saved cause ya know, everyone is already saved. Of course, Jesus never taught that and I claim to be following Him but what the hey, its a free country. I can promote any weird belief I want to promote. Is this a great country or what?

8. To prove my point I'm redefining grace to mean #7 above. No condemnation. No judgment for sin. No repentance. No salvation, well, we're all already saved even if we haven't believed in Jesus. Yeah, that's the story. We're all already saved.

9. My new gospel is palatable and non-judgmental. See, when you rework what the Bible says and chop out all the negative stuff, people will listen to your message in a bar. And if they're drunk enough, they'll think you're a cool preacher.

Wanna know what Jay Bakker really believes? Click the title of this post.


O Holy Night - Jussi Bjorling

Tuesday, December 14, 2010


President Obama

Monday, December 13, 2010


Jussi Bjorling sings Nessun Dorma


7 ways to get extra CASH

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


1. Ask your cable company to lower your bill by applying a special offer to you for the next six months or a year. If you have Internet service or phone service via cable, ask them to discount that too.

I save about $30 a month just by asking the cable company to lower my bill by applying special offers.

2. Switch your cell phone service to one of the Walmart type specials where you get talk, text and Internet unlimited for $45 a month. Why pay two to five times that much?

3. Clean out your closets and sell the stuff you don’t use on your local Craigslist. There’s no fee to sell on Craigslist and you can post pictures of your stuff. People will come over and buy it and you’ve got walking around money.

4. Sell your stuff on eBay. You’ll pay a fee for each item you sell on eBay and it takes some time and organization but thousands of people make a full-time living on eBay. I used to sell on eBay but if I want to sell something now, I use Craigslist. Its a free no hassle way to sell stuff I no longer need.


5. Dumpster dive behind apartment complexes or explore for treasure ahead of the garbage trucks. People throw out lamps, dressers, bicycles, small appliances, computers, computer monitors and all kinds of other treasure.

If you get there ahead of the garbage truck its yours for free! Be sure not to leave a mess. Take your treasures to the flea market each weekend or sell them on Craigslist.

6. Buy stuff at yard sales and resell it on Craigslist, eBay or in your local Penny Saver newspaper or at your local weekend flea market.

7. Get paid to donate blood or plasma. People who donate twice a week usually earn at least $35 per week for their donations.

Merry Christmas!


Thank You God

Monday, October 25, 2010


Leg Cramps Ouch!

Leg and foot cramps are experienced by most people from time to time. There are many reasons why foot cramps develop. Some are related to nutrition while other bouts of cramping are caused by excess strain on the feet themselves.

One of the more common reasons for foot cramps is old-fashioned fatigue. The most common cause of nocturnal leg cramps is calcium deficiency. Magnesium and potassium deficiency can also cause leg and foot cramps. Cramps can occur when the feet are simply tired from walking or standing for extended periods of time.

This can be especially true in situations where the walking and standing take place on a hard and unforgiving surface, such as concrete. Often, adding some cushioning inserts to the shoes will help to minimize some of the stress and strain placed on the feet and help to eliminate frequent foot cramps.

Foot pain and cramping may also be a sign of decreased circulation. When the blood flow to the extremities is not what it should be, those extremities do not receive the oxygen they need.

When it comes to the feet, an inadequate supply of oxygen can cause muscles in the feet to cramp. Addressing the health issue that is causing the decreased circulation will help to minimize the incidence of foot cramps.

A lack of essential vitamins and minerals can also lead to foot cramps.

Low potassium levels often cause cramps in both the legs and the feet. Nutritional deficiencies can be corrected by eating a balanced diet and using supplements to provide the body with anything it is not getting from the food.

A foot cramp due to poor nutrition can be reversed within a matter of days when the body begins to receive the right balance of vitamins and minerals on a daily basis.

Poor hydration may also trigger a bout of foot cramps.

Drinking water will often help; however, anyone who smokes or drinks alcohol regularly will want to try cutting back on those habits. Smoking and drinking alcohol increases the chances of dehydration and may sometimes be the root cause of foot cramps.

General health issues may also lead to foot cramps.

People with diabetes sometimes experience foot cramps due to the decreased flow of oxygen to the feet. There are treatments that help to minimize the physical discomforts brought on by diabetes and other health conditions and minimize the potential for experiencing cramping in one or both feet.

Idiopathic cramps

Most muscle cramps occurring in the foot and leg are idiopathic, (of unknown origin). The general principle of muscle is that if it is overstretched it will tend to go into spasm. Sometimes if a patient has spent the day doing a lot of activity they be more prone to night cramps that evening.

Night cramps

For most people, night cramps are an irregularly occurring problem but there are some, especially older individuals who are more prone to regular bouts.

The most common cause for leg-foot cramps is over-stretching of the muscles during the day. There are other conditions which may cause muscle cramping:

Some medicines can cause cramps as a side-effect, or make cramps occur more often.

These include: diuretics (water pills), nifedipine, cimetidine, salbutamol, terbutaline,lithium, clofibrate, morphine (withdrawal), phenothiazines, and nicotinic acid.

Other causes of muscle cramps

* Dehydration
* Conditions that cause alterations in the balance of salts in the bloodstream (such as a high or low sodium or potassium level).
* Some people who have renal (kidney) dialysis get leg cramps.
* An untreated under-active thyroid gland.
* peripheral vascular disease (narrowing of the leg arteries which causes poor circulation).
* Cirrhosis of the liver is a rare cause.
* Lead poisoning.
* Sarcoidosis.
* Rare disorders of nerves.
* Excess alcohol.

Preventing muscle cramps thru nutrition

1. Vitamin E supplements can help prevent leg cramps.
2. Magnesium supplements can help prevent leg cramps.
3. Drink six to eight glasses of water daily. Doing so will help
prevent dehydration, which may play a role in the cramping.
4. Form the habit of stretching calves and feet throughout the day and also at night if you get cramps.

Exercises to prevent cramps

Nocturnal muscle cramps can often be prevented by doing leg-stretching exercises, such as the one outlined below.

1. Stand 30 inches from the wall.
2. While keeping your heels on the floor, lean forward, put your hands on the wall, and slowly move your hands up the wall as far as you can reach comfortably.
3. Hold the stretched position for 30 seconds. Release.
4. Repeat steps 1 through 3 two more times.
5. For best results, practice this exercise in the morning, before your evening meal, and before going to bed each night.

Acupressure and massage

Acupressure or massage may help to ease the cramping once it’s started. Sit and bend the knee of your cramped leg, bringing your leg up toward your chest.

There is an acupressure point in your calf muscle on the back of your leg. It’s about halfway between the back of your knee and your heel, at the bottom of your calf muscle bulge. Press and hold there for about a minute or until you feel the cramp release – remember to keep breathing while you do.

You can also try gently massaging the back of your leg with long strokes upwards, from your heel to the back of your knee using the palm of your hand

Neuropathy is different than muscle cramps

It is important to differentiate leg pain from cramps. Neuropathy (nerve damage), sciatica, as well as clogged arteries in the leg (vascular disease) can cause leg pain.

These types of pain tend to occur throughout the day and not just at night. Vascular disease also causes cramping with walking. In vascular disease, nighttime pain is relieved with hanging the foot over the bed so that gravity draws more
blood into the feet.

Poor circulation also causes poor healing that results in persistent sores (ulcers). Leg cramps that occur at rest may have a different cause and treatment than cramps associated with activity.

Leg cramps are different than restless leg syndrome

Nocturnal leg cramps must be distinguished from restless leg syndrome, which is a crawling, uncomfortable sensation that forces you to get up and move your legs.

Junk food can make muscle cramps worse

Eating sugary foods forces your body to use magnesium just to metabolize the sweet stuff. Soft drinks contain phosphates, which experts say also deplete your body of magnesium and calcium.

Foods to avoid if you have leg and foot cramps

Soft drinks
Sugary sweet baked goods
Salt or sodium

Foods containing calcium are helpful


Foods containing lots of magnesium are helpful

Dried figs
Whole wheat flour
Prune juice
Canned milk

Sweet potatoes

Foods containing potassium are helpful

Potato chips (low fat)
All Bran
Dried fruits
Unsalted nuts
Baked potato
Bran flakes

The info in this post is quoted from Internet sources.


Jesus and ER

Monday, July 19, 2010


Will God answer my prayers and show me what to do?

Wednesday, July 7, 2010


What is the right path for me?

Is it reasonable for Christians to expect God to show us what to do?

Yes, the Bible is clear that God provides leadership and direction to His people.

1. Expect God to honor the promises in His written word. See verses below.

2. From an obedient heart, claim these promises in your own life. See verses below.

3. Expect God to answer your prayers for guidance. Praying for rain and then not carrying your umbrella is a silly way to pray. Believing prayer based on the promises of God gets results.

4. When God provides guidance obey Him and do what He shows you to do.

5. Guidance may come through circumstances, one door closing and another door opening, a job offer or transfer to another area, an opportunity disguised as a duty like taking care of an aging relative, a defeat or setback which prompts you to change course or let go of something that wasn't working very well in your life anyway, etc.

Bible Verses About Guidance

"I will instruct you and teach you in the way which you shall go: I will guide you with my eye." -Psalm 32:8, American KJV

"Call to me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things, which you know not." -Jeremiah 33:3, American KJV

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart; and lean not to your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your paths." -Proverbs 3:5-6, American KJV

"The steps of a good man are ordered by the LORD: and he delights in his way." -Psalms 37:23, American KJV

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that gives to all men liberally, and upbraids not; and it shall be given him." -James 1:5, American KJV

"The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way." -Psalm 25:9, American KJV

"What man is he that fears the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose." -Psalm 25:12, American KJV

"You shall guide me with your counsel, and afterward receive me to glory." -Psalm 73:24, American KJV

"Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to my path." -Psalm 119:105, American KJV

"And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, This is the way, walk you in it, when you turn to the right hand, and when you turn to the left." -Isaiah 30:21, American KJV

"Thus said the LORD, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD your God which teaches you to profit, which leads you by the way that you should go."
-Isaiah 48:17, American KJV

"Then spoke Jesus again to them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." -John 8:12, American KJV

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Jim Elliot and friends; did they have to die?

Monday, June 21, 2010

Sometimes in the muddle of life, it is difficult to discern God's hand. Its easy to drift into routine, forgetting that God is at work, usually behind the scenes but at work nonetheless.

If you are stressed and worn, thinking perhaps God has stopped working in your life, take courage from the example of Jim and Elisabeth Elliot.

Not One Thing Has Failed
by Elisabeth Elliot


I love to read people's journals. Except for one which I was allowed to read in the original handwriting, that of my late husband Jim Elliot, I have had to limit myself to published journals--those, for example of David Brainerd, early missionary to American Indians; Katherine Mansfield, short-story writer from New Zealand; Anne Morrow Lindbergh, wife of the famous pilot; and Mircea Eliade, Rumanian professor of the history of religion at the University of Chicago.

Jim Elliot was a jungle missionary in Ecuador. He died in 1958 when Warani warriors attacked Jim and four missionary friends. Their story of courage is told in this dramatic movie.

Jim started his journal as a means of self-discipline. He began to get up early in the morning during his junior year in college to read the Bible and pray before classes. He was realistic enough to recognize the slim chances of fitting in any serious study and prayer later in the day. If it had priority on his list of things that mattered, it had to have chronological priority. To see that he did not waste the dearly-bought time, he began to note down on paper specific things he learned from the Word and specific things he asked for in prayer.

"It is not written as a diary of my experiences or feelings," he recorded in his journal, "but as a 'book of remembrance' to enable me to ask definitely by forcing myself to put yearnings into words. All I have asked has not been given and the Father's withholding has served to intensify my desires.... He promises water to the thirsty, satiation to the unsatisfied (I do not say dissatisfied), filling to the famished for righteousness. So has His concealing of Himself given me longings that can only be slaked when Psalm 17:15 ['As for me I shall behold thy face in righteousness; when I awake I shall be satisfied with beholding thy form'] is realized" (From The Journals of Jim Elliot, ed. Elisabeth Elliot. Old Tappan, N.J.: Fleming H. Revell).

"All I have asked has not been given."

Not, that is, in the way or at the time he might have predicted. Jim beheld the longed-for Face much sooner than he expected. It is startling to see, from the perspective of nearly thirty years, how much of what he asked was given, and given beyond his dreaming.


In his meditations on the Revelation of John, Jim prayed for a greater love for God's church, which he saw "in a shambling ruins," sadly in need of awakening to her calling. "And where shall an overcomer be found? Alas, they all witness that there is no need for overcoming....

But Christ was among the churches. The tarnish of the lamp stand did not send Him away from them; He is still in their midst. Ah, turn me, Lord Jesus, to see Thee in Thy concern for Thy witness and let me write, publish, and send to the church what things I see."

Knowing Jim and the context in which he wrote, I am quite certain it was beyond his dreaming to publish a book. He wanted to witness. He wanted to preach. He was called to be a missionary. But he did not imagine himself a published author. The way this came about (his posthumous notoriety) cannot have entered the frame-work of his prayer.

When Jim prayed for revival he was instructed by reading in David Brainerd's diary how a revival came when Brainerd was sick, discouraged, and cast down, "little expecting that God had chosen the hour of his weakness," Jim wrote, "for manifestation of His strength."

"I visited Indians at Crossweeksung," Brainerd records, "Apprehending that it was my indispensable duty.... I cannot say I had any hopes of success. I do not know that my hopes respecting the conversion of the Indians were ever reduced to so low an ebb...

yet this was the very season that God saw fittest to begin His glorious work in! And thus He ordained strength out of weakness... whence I learn that it is good to follow the path of duty, though in the midst of darkness and discouragement."

Following the quotation from David Brainerd Jim includes in the journal a quotation I had sent him from a book which had encouraged me. At that time I was working for the Canadian Sunday School Mission in the bush country of Alberta. My own journal of the first day says, "It is a new and strange experience and I feel keenly my need of the mighty Fortress."

On the second day, "I woke at 4:30 with the farm fowl. Made a small breakfast and cleaned up my little home [a fourteen-foot trailer]. In the hot stillness of the afternoon I felt desolate, helpless, lonely, discouraged. Was helped by Deuteronomy 1:29, 30: 'Then I said to you, Do not be in dread or afraid of them. The Lord your God who goes before you will himself fight for you."'

Jessie Penn-Lewis's book Thy Hidden Ones showed me God's purpose in my isolation and helplessness. It was her words I sent in a letter to Jim: "In the Holy Spirit's leading of the soul through the stripping of what may be called 'consecrated self,' and its activity, it is important that there should be a fulfillment of all outward duty, that the believer may learn to act on principle rather than on pleasant impulse."

It was a spiritual lesson that was to fortify me through countless later experiences when feelings or impulses contributed nothing to an inclination toward obedience. God allows the absence of feeling or, more often, the presence of strong negative feeling that we may simply follow, simply obey, simply trust.

Jim saw, in reading Brainerd, the value of his own journals. He also "was much encouraged to think of a life of godliness in the light of an early death... Christianity has been analyzed, decried, refused by some; coolly eyed, submitted to, and its forms followed by others who call themselves Christians. But alas, what emptiness in both!

"I have prayed for new men, fiery, reckless men, possessed of uncontrollably youthful passion--these lit by the Spirit of God. I have prayed for new words, explosive, direct, simple words. I have prayed for new miracles. Explaining old miracles will not do.

If God is to be known as the God who does wonders in heaven and earth, then God must produce for this generation. Lord, fill preachers and preaching with Thy power. How long dare we go on without tears, without moral passions, hatred and love? Not long, I pray, Lord Jesus, not long." I read these prayers now with awe--new men, new words, new miracles all granted as a result of this young man's death.

The next day, October 28, 1949, when Jim was twenty-two years old he wrote, "He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose." This was the lesson he found in Luke 16:9, "Make friends for yourself by means of unrighteous mammon, so that when it fails they may receive you into the eternal habitations."

The lesson had one application for him in that early morning devotional hour. He did not know how poignantly it would be applied in his life, how aptly illustrated in his death, and how often quoted in the years following.

He wrote in 1953 of watching an Indian die in a jungle house. "And so it will come to me one day, I kept thinking. I wonder if that little phrase I used to use in preaching was something of a prophecy: 'Are you willing to lie in some native hut to die of a disease American doctors never heard of?'

I am still willing, Lord God. Whatever You say shall stand at my end time. But oh, I want to live to teach Your word. Lord, let me live 'until I have declared Thy works to this generation."'

God let him live another three years and then answered that prayer as he answers so many--mysteriously. Five men from a little Stone Age tribe speared him to death. "We thought he had come to eat us," they told me several years later when I had learned their language.

"Why did you think so?" I asked, holding the tiny microphone of a transistor recorder to the mouth of Gikita, the man who seemed to have made the decision to use his spear first.

He laughed. "Unungi!" "For no reason. For no particular purpose."

But the God who holds in his hand the breath of every living thing had a purpose.

He answered Jim's prayer mysteriously, and "exceedingly abundantly above all" that he had asked or thought. Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Jim's generation for whom he had prayed were brought to their knees, some of them in lifelong surrender to the call of Christ.

Now another generation, born since Jim died, is reading the record of his young manhood - the days which seemed so sterile, so useless, so devoid of any feelings of holiness, when God was at work shaping the character of a man who was to be his witness; the prayers which seemed to go unheard at the time, kept--as all the prayers of all his children are kept, incense for God--and answered after what would have seemed to Jim a long delay.

I think of the farewell message of old Joshua to the elders, heads, judges and officers of Israel: "Be steadfast ... cleave to the Lord ... love the Lord your God.... You know in your hearts and souls, all of you, that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God promised concerning you; all have come to pass for you, not one of them has failed."

Copyright 1979, by Elisabeth Elliot,
all rights reserved.


Listen to Aristides

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Aristides was an Athenian Christian philosopher who died around AD 134. He is famous for his oration before the Roman Emperor Hadrian, around AD 124 in which he defended Christianity as superior to any pagan religion.

Aristides free quotes from Romans 1 in his oration, citing male-male sex as an example of idolatry. This impacts our understanding of Romans 1:26-27.

When a native Greek speaking Christian, within 70 years of the writing of Romans, publicly identifies Paul's words in Romans 1 with pagan worship of false gods, we have a strong clue that Romans 1 is not talking about homosexuality in general.

Isn't it about time we stopped to listen to Aristides?


Journey To Everest

Friday, June 18, 2010

Journey to Everest Trailer from Epiphany Productions on Vimeo.

Life is a precious gift from God, full of blank pages we get to fill in one day at a time. Life is God's affirmation that He isn't through with us, that we can still grow, still serve, still tackle great adventures with God.

Life is God's promise writ large that He will give us everything we need to face enormous challenges and succeed, in Jesus' Name.

Life is not for the faint-hearted. Every day we face not only the joy of incredible adventure but the possibility of dismal failure.

Fear of failure causes many people to back off from God's grand adventures, avoiding life's challenges but that kind of life is hardly worth living.

Don't live in a way you'll regret twenty years from now.

You can do exactly the same thing every day for the rest of this year that you did last year and expect different results (that's the classic definition of insanity, by the way) or you can launch out into the deep.

Launching out into the deep with God is living expectantly every day trusting God to lead you through every adventure He has planned.

You can pursue the greatest opportunities, the most incredible adventures with God as your Intimate Companion if you have the courage.

And really, how much courage does it take? God has already promised: "I will never leave you nor forsake you."

With that guarantee why fear any adventure for God?

With that guarantee why waste any day without daring something bold for God?


Wretched Excess

Monday, June 14, 2010


You can build a
Hobbit House

As I prepare to wander the country, I'll be looking for that special southfacing hillside under a fingernail moon, there to build by hand my own small hobbit house.

I don't plan on living in it always but only using it as a home base, a place of retreat from time to time when I weary of travel.

When I was in high school, my best friend Paul Warner and his family spent part of every summer traveling the USA in their pick-up camper. I always envied Paul the excitement of summer travel and thought that one day I would love to travel in a motorhome.

Imagine having your living room, kitchen, bedroom, bathroom always with you. Wherever you stop you're home. No unpacking, no moving into and out of a motel room. Traveling by camper or motorhome is convenient and fun.

Summer of 2009 my high school graduating class celebrated our 40th anniversary. I didn't make it to the celebration but what an incredible milestone to reach. Its hard to believe so many years have passed since we left high school and entered the world of adult responsibilities.

Which brings me to wretched excess. I'm selling my beloved books (including my cookbook collection with 1100+ cookbooks), my furniture and other possessions, moving with elan and determination toward voluntary simplicity as I prepare to sell the house and move into a cargo van which I'll convert into a mini-motorhome.



This week the collapse of a shelving unit in the master bedroom closet drove home the fact of my wretched excess.

I hung too many pairs of slacks on hangers and piled too many folded polo shirts and blankets on the shelf above the slacks until the screws pulled loose from the wall and everything tumbled to the floor.

As I cleaned up the mess I counted the slacks and shirts.

64 pairs of dress and casual slacks

94 shirts

plus excess shoes, sweaters, walking shorts and more.

I am amazed at what I've accumulated. Two years ago I went through the same closet and gave away 40 pairs of slacks and about 60 shirts. They seem to multiply when I'm not watching.

Moving into a small space requires stern self-discipline and severe thinning out of my wardrobe and everything else I own. I'll be moving from a 1600 sq. ft. house into a 100 sq. ft. Mercedes powered cargo van. It won't be easy deciding what goes and what stays but I love a challenge.

Once I've sold the antiques, the books, the wretched excess of clothing and shoes and the antique American pressed glass and other knic knacs inherited from my great-grandmother, life may seem spartan for awhile.

Yet the Bible tells us "a man's life doesn't consist in the abundance of things which he possesses." -Luke 12:15
Sometimes less is more.

Voluntary simplicity will free me from being possessed by my possessions. Without the necessity of supporting a sticks and bricks home and keeping a roof over all my stuff, I'll experience a new birth of freedom.

I'll roam the country at will, enjoying a backyard view of mountains one day and seacoast the next. Living expenses will be cut to the bone.

Instead of being forced to earn money to support a house I'll be free to live simply. Focused on living life and exploring the country, I'll chase my dreams instead of being tied to a piece of real estate till death us do part.

But what will you do for a home, someone asked? That my dear, is for upcoming Blog entries.


Passing out gospel tracts IS Free Speech

Sunday, May 23, 2010


I spend part of every weekend passing out gospel tracts and witnessing for Jesus. Sunday afternoon I went to the Riverwalk Arts Festival in Milton, FL to pass out million and trillion dollar bill gospel tracts.

I've passed out tracts and witnessed at other Milton festivals and never had a problem but Sunday was different. A representative of the Riverwalk Arts Festival to whom I had given a tract approached me and said:

"You can't pass those out here. There are other people who paid to have a booth and they're passing out literature. You need to pay for a booth if you want to pass out your literature."

I patiently explained that we were on a public street and that since I am a Santa Rosa County property owner and a business owner, my free speech rights extend to passing out tracts on a public street.

She responded: "Yes but I rented this street for the festival and you don't have the right to be passing out literature if you haven't rented a booth."

I explained that the First Amendment of the Constitution guarantees me the right of free speech and the Supreme Court says that extends to passing out gospel literature on public streets and sidewalks.

At this point she was getting red in the face. She asked: "Why do people like you always think its alright to get a free ride on someone else's dime? If you want to pass out literature why don't you pay for a booth like everyone else?"

Again I patiently explained that in America we have the right to free speech and passing out tracts in public places. We aren't required to get a booth.

I then asked her if she was a Christian. She replied, "Yes I am."

I asked: "Why would you as a Christian object to me passing out gospel tracts and telling people about Jesus?"

She repeated what she had already said, I should pay for a booth and be part of the community instead of freeloading while others pay.

I explained that I own a business and two pieces of real estate in Santa Rosa County and that I am part of the community.

Since she was growing angrier and more red, I suggested we find a law enforcement officer and get his input on whether or not I have the freedom to pass out gospel tracts on a public street.

At that point she told me just go ahead and pass them out and she walked away and I continued passing out gospel tracts and talking to people about Jesus.

Sometimes its interesting to discover who opposes you when you pass out gospel tracts and witness for Jesus. Sometimes the opposition comes from professing Christians more than from unsaved people.

I encourage you to witness for Jesus and pass out gospel tracts. Its one of our responsibilities as Christians to witness and tell others about Jesus.

And by the way, Federal Courts and the Supreme Court have decided many cases in favor of our freedom to witness and preach and pass out gospel tracts in public places.

Freedom of Speech and
Freedom of Religion

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances." -the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution

“Leafleting, sign display, and oral communications are protected by the First Amendment.” Hill v. Colorado, 530 U.S. 703, 715 (2000).

“The fact that the messages conveyed by [leafleting, sign displays and oral communications] may be offensive to their recipients does not deprive them of constitutional protection.” Glasson v. City of Louisville, 518 F.2d 899, 904 (6th Cir 1975).

“It is well settled that a municipality cannot place content-based restrictions on the protected exercise of speech.” Deborah Kay Anderson et al v. Charter Township of Plymouth, Michigan, et al, USDC CN.02-73056 in order granting Preliminary Injunction.

“We have repeatedly referred to public streets as the archetype of a traditional public forum.” Frisby v. Schultz, 487 U.S. 474, 479 (1988).

“Wherever the title of streets and parks may rest, they have immemorially been held in trust for the use of the public and, time out of mind, have been used for purpose of assembly, communicating thoughts between citizens, and discussing public questions.” Hague v. C.I.O., 307 U.S. 496 at 515 (1939).

Federal Court of Appeals, Florida, 1972: Hostile audience is not basis for restraining otherwise legal first amendment activity. U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. I (Collie v. Chicago Park Dist., 460 F. 2d. 746).

Federal Court of Appeals, Florida, 1974: Public expression of ideas may not be prohibited merely because ideas are themselves of offensive to some of their hearers. West's F.S.A. 877.03; U.S.C.A. Const. Amend. I (Wiegand v. Seaver, 504 F. 2d. 303).

“A function of free speech under our system of government is to invite dispute. It may indeed best serve its high purpose when it induces a condition of unrest, creates dissatisfaction with conditions as they are, or even stirs people to anger. Speech is often provocative and challenging. It may strike at prejudices and preconceptions and have profound unsettling effects as it presses for acceptance of an idea. That is why freedom of speech... is... protected against censorship or punishment... There is no room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view” (Terminiello v. City of Chicago, 337US 1) (1949), at 3-5).

“The fact that society may find speech offensive is not a sufficient reason for suppressing it. Indeed, if it is the speaker’s opinion that gives offense, that consequence is a reason for according it Constitutional protection.” Simon & Shuster, Inc. v. Members of New York State Crime Victims Bd., 502 U.S. 105, 118 (1991). See also Forsyth County v. Nationalist Movement, 505 U.S. 123, 134-35 (1992)/ Erznoznik, 422 U.S. at 210/ Cohen v. California, 403 U.S. 15,21 (1971).

“Our decisions establish that mere public intolerance or animosity cannot be the basis for abridgement of these constitutional freedoms... The First and Fourteenth Amendments do not permit a state to make criminal the exercise of the right to assembly simply because its exercise may be “annoying” to some people.” Coates v. City of Cincinnati, 402 U.S. 611, 91 S.Ct. 1686, 1689 (1921).

“Reasonable time, place and manner restrictions on free expression and their enforcement cannot be based on speech thereby restricted.” Davenport v. City of Alexandria, Virginia 683 F.2d 853, on rehearing 710 F.2d. 148.

“The right to speak carries the right to be heard... Freedom to be heard is as vital to freedom of speech, as freedom to circulate is to freedom of press... [When] the right to be heard is placed in the uncontrolled discretion of the Chief of Police... He stands athwart the channels of communication as an obstruction which can be removed only after criminal trial and conviction and lengthy appeal. A more effective previous restraint is difficult to imagine.” Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 559.

“Freedom of speech is protected against censorship or punishment unless shown likely to produce a clear and present danger of a serious substantive evil that rises far above public inconvenience, annoyance, or unrest... There is not room under our Constitution for a more restrictive view.” Edwards v. South Carolina, 372 U.S. 229 (1963) at 703.

[For Pennsylvania Use] “Civil law may, at times, give way to religious beliefs.” Commonwealth v. Barnhart, 345 Pa. Supp. Ct. 9.

“The right to speak carries the right to be heard.” Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 559.

“Annoyance at ideas can be cloaked in annoyance at sound.” Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 562.

“The native power of human speech can interfere little with the self-protection of those who do not wish to listen.” Saia v. New York, 334 U.S. 558, 568.

“The ordinance also proscribes conduct that tends to disturb or annoy. The language of the ordinance is both vague and overbroad. The constitutionally protected exercise of free speech frequently causes a disturbance, for the very purpose of the First Amendment is to stimulate the creation and communication of new, and therefore often controversial ideas. The prohibition against conduct that tends to disturb another would literally make it a crime to deliver an unpopular speech that resulted in a disturbance. Such a restriction is a clearly invalid restriction of constitutionally protected free expression.” Gardner v. Ceci, 312 F2d. 516/ Landry v. Daley, 280 F. Supp. 968.

“The phrases leave determination of what is legal behavior to the unfettered and arbitrary discretion of the individual “person in authority”, and is unconstitutionally broad.” Shuttleworth v. city of Birmingham, 394 U.S. 147/ 89 S. Ct. 935/ Gardner v. Ceci, 312 F2d. 516.

Borrowed from Reuben Israel's
Official Street Preachers Website

Yes, I am aware that Brother Reuben is anti-gay. He's wrong on that issue but right about our free speech rights, our Christian duty to tell others about Jesus and the absolute necessity of trusting Jesus Christ alone by faith alone, without any works being involved, as your Savior from sin.


Logan Sky Angel Cowboy

Thursday, April 29, 2010

From Logan's Mom-

"Wow, is the only word I can think of when I think of what God has done through this phone call that Logan made over a year ago. God continues to use it to minister to people around the world. Some are encouraged and struck with emotion. Others have found healing for their hearts through the phone call. Some have even come to Christ through the message.

The Holy Spirit has definitely been at work through this from the beginning. Logan, from the beginning, has been humble about all that has happened and even has had the 'deer in the headlights' look at the response that he continues to receive.

To him, he was just sharing his heart from a life experience on the ranch and expressing what God had laid on his heart.

This message is going around the world again. Millions of people have heard it and they continue to share it with others.

Logan still gets cards, emails and phone calls every week. We still do interviews here and there. We love to talk about what all God has done through this one phone call. Logan's Dad and I desire for the message to continue to be used according to God's plan, for many to come to know Jesus Christ as their Savior and Lord of their life, and for God to guide Logan in how to continue to use this gift of communicating that he has been given."


Logan and his sister


Ed Koch compares Obama to Neville Chamberlain

Friday, April 2, 2010

According to the Bible, Jesus the Messiah is coming back to restore Israel to their land and rule over them for 1000 years, Revelation 20.


You Can KNOW God's Will

Monday, March 22, 2010

1. Its God's will that you get saved - 1 Timothy 2:4

2. Its God's will that you be filled with the Spirit - Ephesians 5:17-18

3. Its God's will that you be sanctified or separated - 1 Thessalonians 4:3

a. from sin
b. from sexual immorality
c. from lust
d. from dishonesty (defrauding anyone)

4. Its God's will that you be submissive to God - James 4:7

a. submit to each other - humility - Ephesians 5:21
b. submit to spiritual shepherds - Hebrews 13:17
c. submit to civil government - 1 Peter 2:13, Romans 13:1-2

5. Its God's will that you suffer - 1 Peter 3:17, 5:10 - you can't do right and get away with it.

Jesus suffered - Hebrews 5:8 and in human flesh, learned obedience by the things which He suffered.

Suffering teaches you lessons you can't learn any other way.

I walked a mile with pleasure;
She chattered all the way.
Yet none was I the wiser,
For all she had to say.

I walked a mile with sorrow,
And not a word said she.
But oh the lessons I learned that day
When sorrow walked with me.

6. Its God's will that you be thankful - 1 Thessalonians 5:18 - give thanks IN everything, not FOR everything

Conclusion: If you're doing these six things, you can do anything you want.

How so?

Because of Psalm 37:4

"Delight yourself also in the LORD: and he shall give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass."
-Psalm 37:4-5, American King James Version

When you're doing the six things above and delighting yourself in the LORD, you will want what He wants for you.


My Dad died Friday morning

Sunday, March 21, 2010


L.H. "Brent" Brentlinger
August 9, 1921 - March 19, 2010

My father died early Friday morning, in Pandora, OH. He was 88. For the last few days of his life, he was in a comatose state. My sister Chris spent most of Friday sitting with him because she knew he was in the end-stage of life. About 9:30 in the evening she went home, took a shower and was getting ready for bed.

She told Steve, her husband, that she wasn't sleepy and she was going back to the nursing home to sit with Dad for a while. In his comatose state, Dad wasn't moving at all. He was lying peacefully, not in distress. Chris said at 3:51 in the morning, Dad raised his head, opened his eyes, looked at the ceiling and a big smile brightened his face, then he laid his head back on the pillow and was gone.

We had been praying that the Lord would take him home so its a blessing to know he is now in heaven with Mom, my two brothers David and Dan, who died several years ago and with so many others he knew who were already in heaven.

For the first time in his life, Dad is seeing in person, the Jesus who saved him and Whom he served so faithfully on earth.

Dad told my sister several months ago that he wanted to close his eyes on earth and open them in heaven and that's exactly what he did.

Here is the Obituary I wrote for Dad.

L.H. "Brent" Brentlinger, formerly of Pace, FL, was a member of Bible Baptist Church, Pace, FL and an avid witness to the grace of God in Jesus Christ, was born on August 9, 1921, in Wapakoneta, Ohio and died in Pandora, Ohio on March 19, 2010, at age 88. His wife, Connie preceded him in death on January 3, 2002, after 55 years of marriage. Brent and Connie got saved in 1951 and God radically changed their lives. Brent was the loving father of six children, Rick, of Pace, FL, Chris (Sandy), John, Dan and David (both deceased) and James and proud grandfather of 13 grandchildren. 

Brent served for three years as an Army Medic, first in New Guinea and later in the Philippines during World War II, finishing his tour of duty as part of the Army of Occupation in Japan. In civilian life Brent was a Master Tool & Die maker, an Independent Baptist Deacon at Northside Baptist Church in Lima, Ohio, Sunday School Superintendent, Bible teacher and witness for Jesus Christ. A strong believer in the power of prayer, it gave Brent great joy to know that all of his children had trusted Jesus Christ as Savior.

Brent will be interred beside his loving wife Connie, at Barrancas National Cemetery, Pensacola, FL. He requested that no service be held for him. In lieu of flowers, Brent encouraged those who knew him to support Bible believing missionaries who preach the gospel around the world.


Gay Christian Mall

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


We have built a stand alone Amazon Affiliate Store for our GayChristian101.com website. We call it Gay Christian Mall. Click the title to see our store.

GayChristian101.com provides hundreds of pages of FREE information and resources to the GLBT community around the world.

When you purchase something from Amazon through our Gay Christian Mall, you pay the same price you would normally pay.

And all your purchases are protected by Amazon's superb security and excellent customer service. Because we're advertising for Amazon, they pay us a small percentage based on what you buy.

That small percentage helps us pay the bills and keep GayChristian101.com online, providing FREE information for tens of thousands of visitors each month.

Your support - buying things through our store - is a great way to partner with us in this gay Christian ministry. It costs you nothing extra but it helps us get God's truth to thousands of people. Thank You!

If you'd like to post a Link to Gay Christian Mall on your Blog or website, feel free to do so. Here's the address of Gay Christian Mall.


Many thanks! -Rick


Leather Jackets and Atheists

Monday, March 15, 2010


The Gospel is more than...

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The gospel is more than feeding the hungry, clothing the poor, helping the sick...

God designed the gospel to be the good news that our sin debt was paid by Jesus, dying in our place, as our Substitute...

He shed His sinless blood to pay the penalty for our sins, "God made him to be sin for us," and then He arose from the dead so that we could be saved. -1 Corinthians 15:1-4


How To Witness For Jesus

Monday, March 8, 2010

What will happen if you witness faithfully for Jesus Christ, week by week, year in and year out?


Aggie Hurst

Sunday, March 7, 2010


I want to encourage you that God has a purpose for everything He allows in our lives, including the bad, hurtful, difficult things which defy human logic and make us feel as if God has forsaken us.

In truth, God has neither forgotten nor forsaken you. I read this story online tonight and wanted to pass it along to you. It reminds us of God's faithfulness, even in the most terrible of circumstances.

In 1921, a missionary couple named David and Svea Flood went with their two-year-old son David, from Sweden to the heart of Africa—to what was then called the Belgian Congo. They met up with another young Scandinavian couple, the Ericksons, and the four of them sought God for direction. In those days of much tenderness and devotion and sacrifice, they felt led of the Lord to go out from the main mission station and take the gospel to a remote area.

This was a huge step of faith. At the remote village of N'dolera they were rebuffed by the chief, who would not let them enter his village for fear of alienating the local gods. The two couples opted to go half a mile up the slope and build their own mud huts.

They prayed for a spiritual breakthrough, but there was none. Their only contact with the villagers was a young boy, who was allowed to sell them chickens and eggs twice a week. Svea Flood — a tiny woman missionary only four feet, eight inches tall, decided that if this was the only African she could talk to, she would try to lead the boy to Jesus. And in fact, after many weeks of loving and witnessing to him, he trusted Christ as his Savior.

But there were no other encouragements. Meanwhile, malaria continued to strike one member of the little band after another. In time the Ericksons decided they had had enough suffering and left to return to the central mission station. David and Svea Flood remained near N'dolera to go on alone.

Then, of all things, Svea found herself pregnant in the middle of the primitive wilderness. When the time came for her to give birth (1923), the village chief softened enough to allow a midwife to help her. A little girl was born, whom they named Aina (A-ee-nah).

The delivery, however, was exhausting, and Svea Flood was already weak from bouts of malaria. The birth process was a heavy blow to her stamina. After seventeen desperate days of prayer and struggle, she died.

Inside David Flood, something snapped in that moment. His heart full of bitterness, he dug a crude grave, buried his twenty-seven-year-old wife and took his children back down the mountain to the mission station. Giving his newborn daughter to the Ericksons, he said, "I'm going back to Sweden. I've lost my wife, and I can't take care of this baby. God has ruined my life." With two year old David, he headed for the coast, rejecting not only his calling, but God himself.

Within eight months both the Ericksons were stricken with a mysterious illness (some believe they were poisoned by a local chief who hated the missionaries) and died within days of each other. The nine month old baby Aina was given to an American missionary couple named Berg, who adjusted her Swedish name to "Aggie" and eventually brought her back to the United States at age three.

The Bergs loved little Aggie but were afraid that if they tried to return to Africa, some legal obstacle might separate her from them since they had at that time, been unable to legally adopt her. So they decided to stay in the United States and switch from missionary work to pastoral ministry. And that is how Aggie grew up in South Dakota. As a young woman, she attended North Central Bible college in Minneapolis. There she met and married a young preacher named Dewey Hurst.

Years passed. The Hursts enjoyed a fruitful ministry. Aggie gave birth first to a daughter, then a son. In time her husband became president of a Christian college in the Seattle area, and Aggie was intrigued to find so much Scandinavian heritage there.

One day around 1963, a Swedish religious magazine appeared in her mailbox. She had no idea who sent it, and of course she couldn't read the words. But as she turned the pages, all of a sudden a photo stopped her cold. There in a primitive setting in the heart of Africa was a grave with a white cross and on the cross was her mother's name, SVEA FLOOD.

Aggie jumped in her car and drove straight to a college faculty member who, she knew, could translate the article. "What does this say?" she asked.

The instructor translated the story:

It tells about missionaries who went to N'dolera in the heart of the Belgian Congo in 1921... the birth of a white baby girl... the death of the young missionary mother... the one little African boy who had been led to Christ... and how, after the all whites had left, the little African boy grew up and persuaded the chief to let him build a school in the village.

The article told how that gradually the now grown up boy won all his students to Christ... the children led their parents to Christ... even the chief had become a Christian. Today (1963) there were six hundred Christian believers in that one village.

Because of the willingness of David and Svea Flood to answer God's call to Africa, because they endured so much but were still faithful to witness and lead one little boy to trust Jesus, God had saved six hundred people. And the little boy, as a grown man, became head of the Pentacostal Church and leader of 110,000 Christians in Zaire (formerly the Belgian Congo).

At the time Svea Flood died, it appeared, to human reason, that God had led the young couple to Africa, only to desert them in their time of deepest need. It would be forty years before God's amazing grace and His real plan for the village of N'dolera would be known.

For Rev. Dewey and Aggie Hurst's twenty-fifth wedding anniversary, the college presented them with the gift of a vacation to Sweden. There Aggie met her biological father. An old man now, David Flood had remarried, fathered four more children, and generally dissipated his life with alcohol. He had recently suffered a stroke. Still bitter, he had one rule in his family: "Never mention the name of God because God took everything from me."

After an emotional reunion with her half brothers and half sister, Aggie brought up the subject of seeing her father. The others hesitated. "You can talk to him," they replied, "even though he's very ill now. But you need to know that whenever he hears the name of God, he flies into a rage."

Aggie could not be deterred. She walked into the squalid apartment, with liquor bottles everywhere, and approached the seventy-three-year-old man lying in a rumpled bed.

"Papa?" she said tentatively.

He turned and began to cry. "Aina," he said, "I never meant to give you away."

"It's all right Papa," she replied, taking him gently in her arms. "God took care of me."

The man instantly stiffened. The tears stopped.

"God forgot all of us. Our lives have been like this because of Him." He turned his face back to the wall.

Aggie stroked his face and then continued, undaunted.

"Papa, I've got a little story to tell you, and it's a true one.

You didn't go to Africa in vain. Mama didn't die in vain.

The little boy you both won to the Lord grew up to win that whole village to Jesus Christ. The one seed you planted just kept growing and growing. Today (about 1964) there are six hundred African people serving the Lord because you and Momma were faithful to the call of God on your life."

"Papa, Jesus loves you. He has never hated you."

The old man turned back to look into his daughter's eyes. His body relaxed. He began to talk. And by the end of the afternoon, he had come back to the God he had resented for so many decades.

Over the next few days, father and daughter enjoyed warm moments together. Aggie and her husband soon had to return to America—and within a few weeks, David Flood had gone into eternity.

A few years later, the Hursts were attending a high-level evangelism conference in London, England, where a report was given from the nation of Zaire (the former Belgian Congo). The superintendent of the national church, representing some 110,000 baptized believers, spoke eloquently of the gospel's spread in his nation. Aggie could not help going up afterward to ask him if he had ever heard of David and Svea Flood. "I am their daughter."

The man began to weep. "Yes, madam," the man replied in French, his words then being translated into English.

"It was Svea Flood who led me to Jesus Christ. I was the boy who brought food to your parents before you were born. In fact, to this day your mother's grave and her memory are honored by all of us."

He embraced her in a long, sobbing hug. Then he continued, "You must come to Africa to see, because your mother is the most famous person in our history."

In time that is exactly what Aggie Hurst and her husband did. They were welcomed by cheering throngs of villagers. She even met the man who so many years before, when she was less than a month old, had been hired by her father to carry her down the mountain in a soft bark hammock.

The most dramatic moment, of course, was when the pastor escorted Aggie to see her mother's grave, marked with a white cross, for herself. She knelt in the soil of Africa, the place of her birth, to pray and give thanks. Later that day, in the church service, the pastor read from John 12:24:

"I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds."

He then followed with Psalm 126:5: "They who sow in tears shall reap in joy."

(An excerpt from Aggie Hurst, Aggie: The Inspiring Story of A Girl Without A Country [Springfield, MO: Gospel Publishing House, 1986].)

Personal note:

Sometimes I get so discouraged with my life because I feel like a failure. Life always seems like a struggle, with much difficulty, loneliness and hardship and little visible success for the cause of Christ.

Reading this story of God's faithfulness behind the scenes in a situation which looked like disaster but which God used to bring hundreds of people to salvation encourages me that God is faithful even in the midst of our most awful circumstances.

"Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit."

Only in heaven will we know how God turned so many of our failures and defeats into triumphs of His grace.

Have you taken time to tell someone about Jesus this week?


How to witness for Jesus

Monday, March 1, 2010

Are you fulfilling your purpose in life?

Have you told anyone about Jesus lately?

This witness to Lilly and Travis was recorded live in California.

Where can I get some good gospel tracts to pass out?


men who have sex with men?

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Happy New Year! I've been corresponding with Colin Smith, founder of an Australian website, GaysAndSlaves.com

Colin is encouraging the NIV Committee, when they revise the NIV, to translate the Greek word, arsenokoitai, in 1 Cor 6:9 as "men who have sex with men."

Here is Colin's most recent email to me on the topic.

"Hi Rick

Thank you for your email earlier this month about my suggestion for the revision of the NIV.

It appears to me that although we both have a similar objective, we are using different tactics to achieve the objective. “GayChristian101” seems to aim at showing that any biblical condemnation of homosexuality (same-sex activity) is actually condemning only specific activity such as shrine prostitution, and not sex between faithful, committed, same-sex equals.

Conversely, the “Gay and Christian” site (www.gaysandslaves.com) accepts that the Bible does prohibit and criticize all penetrative sex between men (homosexuality). But the site also shows that the prohibition and criticism do not apply today when the sexual activity causes no harm. Also, the prohibition and criticism do not apply today because they applied only to the ancient Israelite and Greco-Roman cultures. The Bible criticizes, but does not prohibit, sex between women. The site gives detailed reasons for all these conclusions.

In answer to your first, third and fourth points, it does not really matter what arsenokoitai meant during the first 600 years of church history since words change meaning over decades and centuries. It only matters what arsenokoitai meant during Paul’s time.

The fact that Paul does not define arsenokoitai is, strange as it may seem, an indication that it means “men who have sex with men”. We can assume that Paul intended the Corinthian Christians and Timothy to understand what he meant by the newly-coined word arsenokoitai (without defining it). They would therefore have had to work out its meaning. And the only way they could do this would be to break the word into its constituent parts (arseno – male and koitai – beds or sexual-lying) and recombine it as male-bedders (men who take men to bed for sex). This is a special instance where one can only find the meaning of a word from its constituent parts.

You also stated that arsenokoitai may have indicated shrine prostitution, based on Philo's assertion that Moses intended to prohibit shrine prostitution in Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. However a careful study of the full passage you refer to (The Special Laws, III, VII, 37-42) shows that if Philo is referring to Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13, he is primarily referring to men acting like women and men having sex with other men. He refers only incidentally to shrine prostitution. Therefore arsenokoitai does not really indicate shrine prostitution at all.

In answer to your second point, I don’t think that using “men who have sex with men” in 1 Corinthians 6:9 and 1 Timothy 1:10 will make the present situation any worse for gay men. It seems probable that the NIV translators will at least change the NIV words to those in the TNIV, i.e. “nor male prostitutes nor practicing homosexuals” (Corinthians) and “those practicing homosexuality” (Timothy). Therefore men having sex in faithful same-sex partnerships would be criticized in the new NIV whether “practicing homosexuals” or “men who have sex with men” is used. Using the latter has the advantage of avoiding any stigma attached to the word “homosexuals”.

And “men who have sex with men” also has the advantage of being a more accurate translation. These suggested words would reflect Paul’s apparent intention of not covering same-sex women (lesbians) while covering straight men who have sex with men (his letters uphold the sexual conduct parts of the Torah, including Leviticus 18:22, in line with Acts 15:28-29).

It might be noted that both malakoi and arsenokoitai in 1 Corinthians 6:9 are included in my suggested translation of “men who have sex with men”. Malakoi probably means either “effeminate men” or “men who have passive sex with other men”. It would appear that the case for malakoi meaning “men who have passive sex with other men” is the stronger, particularly because Paul implicitly condemns such men elsewhere in his letters (Romans 1:27) but does not similarly condemn effeminate men. A detailed examination of the possible meanings of malakoi can be seen onhttp://www.gaysandslaves.com/mal_discuss.html.

Finally, I would emphasise again that although I consider the Bible does prohibit and criticize all penetrative sex between men, I also consider that the prohibition and criticism do NOT apply to men today for the reasons given on the “Gay and Christian” site (www.gaysandslaves.com). Sex between men is therefore okay provided no one is harmed.

As you sent substantially the same email to Mary Pearson of ChristianGays.com, I am sending a copy of this reply to her also.


Colin Smith"

And here is my reply to Colin.

"Hi Colin-

How nice to hear from you again. I hope you are enjoying the beautiful Australian summer. Its chilly here (even in north Florida where I live, it is expected to be 25 degrees tonight) and I long for the warmth of summer.

I believe we have a basic disagreement over what the Bible says about homosexual relationships. You are of the opinion that the Bible prohibits and criticizes all penetrative sex between men, essentially the Robert Gagnon position.

A careful reading of Dr. Gagnon's book indicates that he believes the Levitical prohibitions are linked to shrine prostitution (see pages 100-110, 130-136) but he segues from that truth to conclude, against the evidence, that Moses and God intended nonetheless, to prohibit all lesbian and gay sexual activity.

Your views about 1 Cor 6:9 and 1 Tim 1:10 are inextricably linked to your incorrect view of Leviticus 18:22 and 20:13. Starting from an incorrect understanding of Leviticus leads inexorably to a false conclusion about Paul's use of the arsenokoit stem.

I believe it is vitally important to know what the arsenokoit stem meant in the early centuries of church history.

You wrote: "We can assume that Paul intended the Corinthian Christians and Timothy to understand what he meant by the newly-coined word arsenokoitai (without defining it)."

I believe we need not "assume" your conclusion, that arsenokoitai means "men who have sex with men" or that Paul intended his readers to arrive at that conclusion based on the etymology of arsenokoitai.

Philo's views were widely known in the first half of the first century. Jews and intelligent Gentiles knew that arsenos koiten (from the Greek Septuagint version of Lev 20:13) was understood as a reference to forbidden male incest (from the Talmud) and shrine prostitution (from Philo's writings). Either one of those meanings is far more plausible than "men who have sex with men."

Over the next six centuries the arsenokoit stem also came to mean rape or anal sex (usually with one's wife) or masturbation.

If arsenokoitai meant "men who have sex with men," as you believe, we would expect to find arsenokoitai used that way during the first 600 years of church history. Yet arsenokoitai is NEVER used to mean "men who have sex with men," not even one time.

46 of the first 56 historical uses of the arsenokoit stem simply quote 1 Cor 6:9 or 1 Tim 1:10, without defining arsenokoitai.

I am unable to see the logic in your assertion that "men who have sex with men" has the advantage of being a more accurate translation of arsenokoitai.

If your opinion is true (that arsenokoitai means "men who have sex with men"), one would expect someone in the early centuries of the church to use arsenokoitai with the meaning you imagine it had yet they never did.

I believe you have given too much weight to Rob Gagnon's opinon that Romans 1:27 condemns men who have passive sex with men. Again, the historical context of first century Rome and the personal context of Paul (who got converted after hearing Stephen preach against shrine prostitution in Acts 7:43) points to the Romans 1:26-27 prohibition being aimed at shrine prostitution.

The almost universal testimony of early Christians for 250 years after Paul wrote Romans is that 1:26-27 refers to shrine prostitution. Even anti-gay commentators down the centuries linked Romans 1:26-27 to shrine prostitution, not homosexuality in general or committed gay relationships in particular.

You are arguing for a translation of 1 Cor 6:9 which has no historical substantiation - no one ever used arsenokoitai with the meaning you give it - in the first six centuries of church history.

However, shrine prostitution as the meaning of arsenokoitai fits historically since that was the Jewish understanding of arsenos koiten, from Leviticus 20:13, in the first century when Paul penned arsenokoitai in his original letter to Corinth.

I wish you God's best as you walk the path of His purpose for your life. I admire your intelligence and look forward to meeting you in person eventually.

I remain, your loving brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger


What about Gary Lee?

Monday, December 28, 2009

Okay, yesterday's post (December 27, 2009) was about emails from Gary Lee, an anti-gay christian who loves to condemn gay people and then claim that he's "just quoting scripture." For example, Gary Lee used the following phrases.

a Sodomite Christian

all Sodomites do is recruit and die of aids

Blessing and reproduction are for heterosexuals

lesbians and sodomites are cursed

perverts can only pervert the Scripture

Homosexual is... like an alcoholic, a thief, a liar, a murderer

Sodomite death style

you twist the scriptures

Sodomy is an evil deed

Here is my response to Gary Lee

Hi Gary Lee-

In spite of your accusing language and unkind words, I pray God will give you peace in your heart and help to deal with the pain in your soul. Wishing you God's best,

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger

"Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee. Trust ye in the LORD forever for in the LORD Jehovah is everlasting strength." -Isaiah 26:3-4

Gary Lee's answer
to my words of grace

"Unless you repent you will perish. I simply quoted the Bible!

Historically speaking Homosexuality is a blight on any society! God love required His Son to Shed His Blood to save mankind from sin.

God's Justice requires men repent of Sin to be saved.

There is no such thing as a Sodomite Christian. Such were some of you, but you are washed, you are sanctified! To call homosexuality Christian is to call Atheists SAVED!"


Weird emails

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Its tin foil hat time!

Occasionally we receive really weird email rants from anti-gay christians. Here's one we received on December 26, 2009.

From Gary Lee -

"Sodomy is a sin. Unless you repent you shall all like wise perish. a Sodomite Christian is about the same as a Born Again Atheist. The 2 cannot be reconciled.

The fruit of homosexuality is extinction. All men are created equal, all sex acts are not. Repentance means to give up your sin. Read Genesis 19, Romans 1, Leviticus 20 vs 13 and 18 vs 22, and read them in context.

Judges chapter 19, anywhere sodomy takes root, it destroys the society. Two of the same cannot marry. Only male and female can advance the human race. All Sodomites can do is recruit and die of aids. Judgment follows homosexuality. Blessing and reproduction are for heterosexuals. Read the Bible and understand that lesbians and sodomites are cursed. God calls the act vile and reprobate.

david and Jonathan is not a story about sodomite affection. It is a story about a fleshly love (agape) that surpasses physical pleasure. Of Course perverts can only pervert the Scripture, otherwise you would repent of sin instead of trying to defend it.

Please use the Bible to support any of your comments.

In Christ Who is My Life,

Gary Lee"

My Response

Hello Gary-

Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you for writing and sharing the burden of your heart. Although we disagree on what the Bible says about homosexuality, I am glad you are actively engaged in witnessing. Were you one of the guys who witnessed to David Berkowitz and led him to trust Jesus Christ? Praise God for his salvation and changed life. Has it ever occurred to you that saved gays and lesbians are also your brothers and sisters in Christ?

If you care enough to read Biblical views which challenge your incorrect interpretation of the clobber passages, you will find lots of conservative, hermeneutically sound, Bible believing information on my website. Click the buttons on the NavBar to find my answers to the scriptures you listed.

If nothing else, would you be so kind as to educate yourself about the meaning of the word, sodomite? Sodomite is never used in the Bible to mean homosexual. Sodomite(s) in the Bible always translates the Hebrew word, qadesh, which has no linguistic relationship to Cedom, the Hebrew word translated as Sodom in English language Bibles. In the Bible, qadesh and qadeshah or sodomites always describes pagan, cult prostitutes (shrine prostitutes or temple prostitutes) who worshiped the Canaanite fertility goddess. I present the Biblical proof at this Link:


I pray God's richest blessings on you and your family as you walk the path of His purpose for your lives. Perhaps 2010 will be the year our Lord returns to catch up His bride.

With thanks for your fellowship in the gospel,

Your brother in Christ,

Rick Brentlinger
Two responses from Gary

Response #1

The name is Gary Lee - not Gary!


You need to repent, ask The Lord Jesus to change your heart, and he will make YOU A NEW CREATION IN CHRIST! Homosexual is a different type brought about by sin. Like an alcoholic, a thief, a liar, a murderer, and so on. Only male and female can have sexual relations with each and receive God Almighty's approval!

When God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah it was because of the Sodomite death style. I do not want Him to destroy America! Repent, Jesus blood, Resurrection, and Sending of the Holy Spirit makes being Born Again possible. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN!

God is angry with the wicked everyday!

Gary Lee - The Poet of Truth

Response #2


It seems you have embraced God's peripheral attributes but denied repentance and his Holiness!

Read Romans chapter 1 - Men with men working that which is unseemly. God gave them over to reprobate minds. You Rick have a reprobate mind. Rather than repent you twist the scriptures. Why? Because men love darkness rather than light because THEIR DEEDS ARE EVIL. Sodomy is an Evil Deed.

Please read the verses in context. Why? Because language without definition in context is meaningless.
Your word study cannot be right because it is in direct conflict with the maning of each passage and the Bible as a whole.

Rick, repent or die in your sins! There is no hope unless you repent!

Gary Lee - The poet of Truth.


Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay and Lesbian Christians

Gay Christian 101 - Spiritual Self-Defense For Gay and Lesbian Christians
Click the red book
for info

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