Tag Archive: encouragement


INTRODUCTION

Sadly, we live at a time when many of us are like sheep without a shepherd. Many once trusted pastors and teachers have forgotten their God-given role of protecting their sheep from ravenous wolves and have instead chosen to willingly join with them wholeheartedly. Therefore, many precious Christians are prey for the enemy as they attempt to seek a new church where God’s Word is being preached without compromise, and some end up getting involved with another church where yet another form of compromise or spiritual deception is taking place, which is what has happened to me many times now. With that in mind I will rarely be sharing any sermons from any pastors with you here, because the more I find out about them, the more I realize that the only one we can completely trust is Jesus Christ. So, for the time being, I will just be sharing videos like the one below that just have the audio of God’s Word accompanied with pictures highlighting some of the main verses from each particular book of the Bible.

When time allows, I hope that you will take six minutes out of your day to listen to the Book of 2 Thessalonians and allow God’s Word to comfort you, to free you from worry, doubt, and fear, exhort and convict you of sin, and to guide you into all truth.

For those of you who have yet to come to understand all that Jesus Christ accomplished for us when He  willingly entered our sin-filled world wrapped in human flesh as an innocent baby, to one day become our Savior, I pray you will come to understand and believe and receive the good news of the Biblical gospel:

Still being God, the second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ came into our world to rescue us from sin and hell; He grew and lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live, to become the spotless, Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world. He willingly hung on a cross and suffered the extremely brutal death of crucifixion in our place.  God the Father, poured our His full wrath that we deserve for our sins upon His one and only Son — Jesus Christ, God in the flesh — who paid the debt in full for every one of our sins, no matter how heinous the sin may be! He died, was buried, and gloriously arose from the dead bodily on the third day for our justification. Salvation is a free gift; we are not saved by good works or by obeying the law, or Jesus Christ died in vain! (Galatians 2:21) If a person chooses to place their trust in the only provision that God has made for us to be forgiven and to be reconciled to Himself, (which is by trusting in Jesus Christ alone for our salvation), according to God’s very Word we will then have the assurance of eternal life with Him in heaven. (1 John 5:9-13) That, dear reader, is the good news of the Biblical gospel that is not being heard in many churches today! Please get yourself a Bible (preferably a King James version because many verses in newer translations have been either omitted or drastically changed in such a way that changes the meaning of the verses), and read the Gospel of John, the Books of Romans, Ephesians, Hebrews, and 1,2, and 3 John to begin with, so that you might come to know the joyously good news of all that Jesus Christ accomplished for us, and the depth of the love that God has for you. (Ephesians 3:17-19) (1 John 4:9,10)

Thank you very much for stopping by today.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

UPDATE:

Lord willing, if all continues to go well, after two months of my sister being in the hospital she is scheduled to finally be released this coming Tuesday, after just having two weeks of therapy! Praise the Lord! \0/ She is a living miracle in that she survived all that she went through when it was discovered that her appendix had burst which caused many other serious, life threatening problems. The doctors weren’t sure that she was going to make it, so I praise God that He was gracious to bring healing to her. Losing our sweet Mom last year on Easter/Resurrection Sunday was devastating to all of us, and I just could not imagine the depth of our grief and sorrow if we would have lost our sister too!

Please treasure every moment that you have with your loved ones so that you will not have any regrets when the day comes and you will no longer have them in your life. The emptiness and void that one feels after losing a very special person, is a sorrow that truly grips your heart and fills your eyes with tears, daily. Even though I still have the joy of the Lord which can never be taken away from me, there is still a deep sorrow in my heart because my sweet Mom was the type of person that one can never forget. She was more than just my mother; she was also my friend.

I would have joy that would truly lessen the sorrow if I knew for sure that she chose to place her trust in Jesus Christ alone for her salvation instead of trusting in her good works or in the Catholic church to save her before she took her final breath, but I just have to rest in the Lord and in the fact that ‘He is not willing that any should perish but that all would come to repentance.’ My precious Mom heard me share the gospel with her countless numbers of times when she would ask me questions about God, salvation, death, and different things concerning the Catholic church, and I tried so hard to explain the gospel to her, simply and in depth so that she would realize the importance of the decision that we all need to make before our life comes to an end. However, I need to give by burden to the Lord and spend the time I have remaining on this earth “earnestly contending for the faith that was once for all entrusted to the saints” (Jude 3) by getting back to sharing the truth with those of you who need to hear it, whether you listen or fail to listen. I am already in the process of writing some posts and hope to have one finished for you in the near future –Lord willing.

Thank you again for stopping by.

God Bless You

~Mary Dalke/Living4HisGlory

 

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As another year has come to an end, many of you may find yourselves disappointed because things did not work out as you had hoped and prayed that they would. Or you may be among the many who find yourself in the midst of an overwhelming trial that seems as if it will never come to an end. You may even feel as if you do not have the slightest bit of hope left and now you are spiraling down from just being discouraged to feeling as if you are sinking down in the depths of despair and into a deep depression. Sadly, this is what happens when our expectations are not met because we made the mistake of playing out certain scenarios in our minds on how we think God is going to do the things that we have prayed about. But we must choose to trust in God with all of our hearts and lean not on our own understanding; as Christians we must love God and live for Him regardless of what the outcome of our situations may be.

We must also come to the realization that because man has a free will, God will not violate man’s freedom in order to bring about an answer to our prayer. For example: I had prayed for many years that God would fill my “husband” with a godly sorrow for all that he had done and bring him to repentance and that he would believe the truth of the gospel that I had not only shared with him personally, but also through a very long letter that I had written to him, and through the truth of God’s Word in the Bible that I had given to him. I firmly believed that the day would come when he would believe the good news of the gospel and place his faith and trust in Jesus Christ alone for his salvation and that he would repent and return home. I believed that God would restore our marriage and use us both in ministry for His glory and to give hope to others who had problems in their marriage. And in spite of the fact that God hates divorce, God did not violate the choice that my “husband” made to file for divorce and to bring our marriage to an end.

Our God is a mighty God who is capable of doing the most amazing miracles, but we must never forget the part that man plays in the scheme of things. Therefore, when the battles continue to rage, when our hearts continue to break, when the tears once again fill our eyes, we must choose to continue to trust Him and praise Him in spite of what we see.

When circumstances attempt to steal our hope, we must then recognize that we have put our hope in the wrong place; our hope must be in God alone. It is He who is the lifter of our heads and the one who gives us His strength where we are weak and His peace that surpasses all human understanding. True joy comes from knowing God through placing one’s trust in what Jesus Christ did for all of us when He lived the perfect, sinless life that we could never live, died a horrendously painful death by crucifixion in our place for all our sins, and arose from the dead on the third day for our justification. No matter how dark and evil your deeds may be, if you choose to believe the truly good news that Jesus Christ died for you and receive this free gift of salvation He will be the one who will change your heart and renew your mind; you will be born-again and become a new creation in Christ.  Your sins will be cast into the deepest sea never to be remembered again (Hebrews 10:4-14, Micah 7:19), and they will become as far as the east is from the west (Psalm 103:12).

So, dear reader, I will not say “Happy New Year” to you, because the happiness that the world speaks of depends on happenings which, as you well know, change from day to day. Instead, I pray that you will place your hope and trust in God and receive His love and forgiveness if you have not yet made the choice to do so. Life will still be hard and trials will come to test your faith to see if it is genuine or not, but I can assure you because of all that I have been through that His grace will be sufficient, His strength will be made perfect in your weakness, and His peace that surpasses all human understanding will guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus as you choose not to worry but choose instead to pray about everything. (Philippians 4:6,7)

And now to give you a glimpse, yet a rather detailed look, at what (Lord willing) I will be sharing with you on this blog in 2017:

I will be continuing to write more posts for the Catholicism series in which I am presently comparing many of the teachings that can be found in the Catechism of the Catholic Church with Scriptures in a Catholic New Testament Bible, trusting that God will use His Word to reveal the truly good news of the gospel to many precious Catholics. There will be many posts that will be written in this series in which the mystical aspects of Catholicism will clearly be shown to you (one of these posts is coming very soon), and you will, once again, not only realize the extreme importance and necessity of testing the teachings of men (and women) against the truth of God’s Word, but also you will realize  how we must make the choice to believe God’s Word over the words of men.

When I am finally finished writing the Catholicism series, I will then begin writing another series in which the teachings of Calvinism/Reformed Theology — T.U.L.I.P. – Total depravity, Unconditional election, Limited atonement,  Irresistible grace, Perseverance of the saints — will be compared to many Scriptures. These teachings have been weighing heavily on my mind over the past four years after learning about them by not only reading many articles written by Calvinists, but also by listening to many debates on the teachings of Reformed Theology/Calvinism as well as by listening to teachings and reading articles by former Calvinists and pastors who compare the teachings of Reformed Theology against Scripture. I will be sharing some of these teachings with you here, as well, when the time comes. 

I have personally come to know a few Calvinists who have become very special to me, so I am also doing this series with them in mind, and in my prayers, and upon my heart.

In the beginning of this year I actually thought and prayed about writing and expressing my concerns about Calvinism at some point this year, but clearly I had no idea then just how long it was  actually going to take me to write this series on Catholicism. Once I briefly mentioned my concerns about Calvinism when I  replied to a comment that someone had made about it in my post about Matt Chandler (who is a Calvinist), and in many of my recent posts this year when I found it necessary to post a warning about a false teacher that was written by a Calvinist I made it clear to all of you that I do not adhere to the teachings of Reformed Theology, but I never went beyond that –until now.

Since I do not want to mislead anyone, and because I want to make it clear to all of you just how serious I am about this, and how deeply concerned I am (just like many other Christians are) about what Calvinism teaches because it distorts the very character and nature of God and the Word of God, I just deleted one of the more popular posts that I wrote back in March of 2014 entitled, IS YOUR PASTOR A SHEPHERD OR A WOLF – WOLVES IN THE PULPIT. In this post I shared Tom Pennington’s message, as well as Phil Johnson’s message from the 2014 Shepherd’s Conference. I originally shared their messages because I was still deeply troubled due to the fact that my former pastor for 14 1/2 years — James MacDonald of Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows — made the decision to place Steven  Furtick and Mark Driscoll in the pulpit while I was still attending there. Even though I thought Phil Johnson and Tom Pennington’s messages were good at the time that I posted them, I now realize that I cannot keep their messages on my blog and still claim to be deeply concerned about what Reformed Theology/Calvinism teaches. At the point in time when I shared that post with all of you I was not fully aware of all that Calvinism teaches. Since I am much more informed now after doing so much research on Calvinism I  did not even hesitate for a moment before deleting that post. When time allows, I will be going over all of my previous posts and either deleting other things that I have posted, or I will at least be adding warnings if for some reason I see the need to keep something that was done by a Calvinist.

The one thing that comes to mind that I would like to keep on my  blog is the video that Calvinist, James White did in which he analyzed everything that Modalist and Word of Faith teacher, T D Jakes had said when he took part in the Elephant Room II Conference in January of 2012. Christians need to hear what went on that night during that Conference and realize that T D Jakes did not embrace the doctrine of the Trinity as those in attendance that night were led to believe, and James White made that abundantly clear in his video. However, if I come across something equally as good that was written or recorded  by a pastor or teacher who is not a Calvinist I will delete James White’s video and replace it with what I find. Okay, I am beginning to ramble, so I need to get back on track:

Unbeknownst to those who read this blog, as I seriously thought and prayed about addressing the teachings of Calvinism on my blog I was actually contacted by three different people who requested that I write about it. What they shared with me will remain confidential, but I will simply say that God used them to strongly confirm to me that this is something I need to write about.

I will now admit to you that one reason why it is taking me so long to write the Catholicism series is because my concern about Calvinism is equally as strong as it is about Catholicism. Therefore, I sometimes find myself doing research on Calvinism when I should actually be writing the next post in the Catholicism series. But with God’s help I will be more focused in 2017 and I will choose to concentrate on writing what I need to share with you about Catholicism first before I do any more research on Calvinism.

When I do begin the series on Calvinism, I promise to be Christlike in how I present this information to you, and I will not bash any Reformed/Calvinist pastor or teacher as I present this information to you. I will also ask those of you who will choose to make a comment on any of these posts in this upcoming series to respectfully do the same, no matter what side of this issue you presently stand on.

One of the things that I will be doing in order to prepare to write this series on Calvinism is that I will be listening to all of Calvin’s Institutes of the Christian Religion which I found recorded on YouTube, and I will then compare John Calvin’s comments against Scripture and present them all to you.

For those of you who have subscribed to this blog and consider yourselves to be Reformed/Calvinists, I realize that some of you may now decide to unsubscribe to this blog after reading some of what I will be sharing here in 2017.  However, I truly hope and pray that you will at least consider reading what I have to share here when the time comes. After all, if you truly love Jesus Christ — and I believe that you do — I know that the desire of your heart is to walk in truth as God’s Word shows us that we are to do:

“I rejoiced greatly that I found of thy children walking in truth, as we have received a commandment from the Father.” (2 John 1:4)

“For I rejoiced greatly, when the brethren came and testified of the truth that is in thee, even as thou walkest in the truth. I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” (3 John 1:4)

Will you be willing to test the teachings of Calvinism and the teachings of your favorite teacher on the subject against Scripture as God shows us in His Word that we are to do?I pray that you will.

“These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” (Acts 17:11)

In this series I will also be presenting posts to you in which former Calvinists will be sharing their testimonies. Two people have already agreed to share their stories here with all of you.

You will also be reading a post that will originally be written by someone who has a loved one who is presently deeply involved in Calvinism. By reading what this person is willing to share with all of you, my prayer is that many of  you will then come to realize how the teachings of Calvinism distorts one’s thoughts about God and Biblical Christianity.

If you are a former Calvinist and you are interested in sharing your story here, please contact me using the Contact Form and I will consider sharing your story here, as well, as long as you are a born-again Christian and not an Arminian…Arminianism  is based on some theological ideas of Jacobus Arminius who was a Dutch Reformed theologian.  Like I have said in many of my posts, as Christians we are to be followers of Jesus Christ alone; we are not to be followers of any man (or woman) and their ministry.

In the coming year I will also be presenting teachings to you on Reformed Theology by pastors who have compared these teachings against Scripture and have found them to be very troubling.

Recently I heard Pastor Chris Quintana of Calvary Chapel Cypress  announce that he will be having George Bryson speaking on Calvinism in March.  George Bryson has written books on Calvinism such as, THE FIVE POINTS OF CALVINISM:  WEIGHED AND FOUND WANTING and THE DARK SIDE OF CALVINISM. If this presentation by George Bryson will be live streamed I will (Lord willing) share it with you here, as well.

A good suggestion was given to me way back in June of this year by a reader of this blog in which he stated in his comment that I should consider putting together a page or a post which lists some of the videos that I believe to be the most important or helpful. So Alec, thank you very much again for that very good suggestion! Lord willing, that post will be coming in January or February. I am so sorry that it is taking me so long to actually getting around to putting it together!

I will also be writing some posts to show the importance of praying for discernment –even while listening to so-called Christian songs!

As always, I will continue to challenge all of you in my posts to test everything that you read and listen to against Scripture so that you will never be deceived by the many pastors and teachers who are encouraging Christians to have experiences with God or telling them to look for truth outside of the pages of God’s Word.

Truly we are living at a time when Jesus Christ could return at any moment! Maybe even before the first day of this New Year comes to an end! If so, would you be ready? Is your faith in what Jesus Christ has already done for you? Or are you trusting that your good works will be the evidence that will grant you eternal life? Do not be deceived!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a  workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” (2 Timothy 2:15)

“Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (John 6:28,29)

 

 

Thank you to those of you who have taken time out of your busy days over this past year to stop by here to read some of my posts and poems. I appreciate all of you very much!

Thank you also to those of you who took the time to leave your comments  and words of wisdom, as well as your words of appreciation and encouragement. I can never thank you enough!

God bless each and every one of you in 2017 with His wisdom, His discernment, and His grace.

~Mary/Living4HisGlory

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INTRODUCTION

While I am still preparing to write Part 2 of my testimony, (UPDATE: ALREADY WRITTEN AND POSTED) I decided to take some time first to write a poem that I have thought about writing a few years ago. The subject of ‘godly friendships’ was also requested as  an idea for a poem by one of this blog’s faithful readers, who is also a blessing and a great encouragement to me.  So here’s another one for you, Cindy.  And thank you SO much for your encouragement and interest in reading these poems.

Thank you also to those who have subscribed to this blog, and thank you also to those who stop by from time to time.  I appreciate every one of you!  God bless you.

**UPDATED 6/17/13** As I began to think about ‘godly friendships’ in order to gather my thoughts so I could write this poem, many thoughts crossed my mind, and some of the verses of the following poem reflect those thoughts.  I thought about the godly friends that God brought into my life who helped and encouraged me through the many years of rejection and heartache that I endured through the years that I was married.  I thought of the friends I made on the Internet who crossed my path for a few short years and who always seemed to show up just when I needed some encouragement and hope, and then they were gone; some sadly never to be heard from again. 

I thought about other friends I have made on the Internet, some whom I have personally met and enjoyed getting to know, until sadly, life calls them to move on, and your heart breaks and your eyes fill with tears because you hate to see them go.  And I also thought about others whom I have interacted with but have not met, yet still a strong bond begins to form because of sharing the same deep hurt and righteous anger that one experiences when one sees their pastor begin to change and drift from constantly preaching a Biblically solid sermon, to a sermon laced with manipulative thoughts and distorted Scriptures in order to promote his own agenda, and who oftentimes chooses to reject godly advice and valid concerns from godly men and some godly sheep under his care.  It has been a blessing to meet some of you, because when I knew I had to take a stand for Biblical truth and leave my church, Harvest Bible Chapel, Rolling Meadows, a deep sense of loneliness came upon me.  And meeting some of you gave me a sense of connection and healing, because my heart in part is still there, and goes out to all of you knowing how many of you must feel.  Please know I am still praying for all of you, as well as for James, Rick, and all the elders on staff.

Even though many of us may be blessed with godly friendships, we must be cautious because some of us may find ourselves depending on these friends more than on God Himself, when He alone is the only one who can provide the peace that surpasses all human understanding, His grace that is always sufficient to see us through the trials we may face, and the wisdom that can be found in His Word and in times of prayer as we seek Him for the wisdom we need to deal with the heartache and trials that we face, which is why I posted the song below.  Truly Jesus is ‘the Friend of a wounded heart.’

Thank you again for stopping by, and thank you again very much for taking the time to read my posts and poems. God bless you!

(The only thing that bothers me about the following video is the fact that Jesus is portrayed without scars on His hands/wrists.  I wondered if the person who put this video together was part of some type of cult, but didn’t see any evidence in their other videos to support my concern.  I thought that was important to mention, and would have chosen another version of this song, but this was the best choice of the ones that had lyrics).

FAITHFUL FRIEND – TWILA PARIS AND STEVEN CURTIS CHAPMAN

WHAT A FRIEND WE HAVE IN JESUS – PIANO WITH LYRICS

RELATED SCRIPTURES

“Even my close friend, whom I trusted, he who shared my bread has lifted up his heel against me.” (Psalm 41:9)

“You have taken my companions and loved ones from me; the darkness in my closest friend.” (Psalm 88:18)

“A righteous man is cautious in friendship, but the way of the wicked leads them astray.” (Proverbs 12:26)

“Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!” (Proverbs 4:9,10)

“Moses said to Joshua, “Choose some of our men and go out to fight the Amalekites. Tomorrow I will stand on top of the hill with the staff of God in my hands.” So Joshua fought the Amalekites as Moses had ordered, and Moses, Aaron, and Hur went to the top of the hill. As long as Moses held up his hands, the Israelites were winning, but whenever he lowered his hands, the Amalekites were winning. When Moses’ hands grew tired they took a stone and put it under him and he sat on it. Aaron and Hur held his hands up — one on one side, one on the other — so that his hands remained steady till sunset.” (Exodus 17:9-12)

“A friend loves at all times…” (Proverbs 17:17a)

“Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared.” (Proverbs 22:24)

“Wounds from a friend can be trusted, but an enemy multiplies kisses.”             (Proverbs 27:6)

“Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart, and the pleasantness of one’s friend springs from his earnest counsel.” (Proverbs 27:9)

“A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” (Proverbs 18:24)

“Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.  You are My friends if you do what I command.  I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business.  Instead I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from My Father I have made known to you.” (John 15:13-15)

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.” (2 Corinthians 1:3,4)

“A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” (Proverbs 25:11)

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have,because God has said,  “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.”  (Hebrews 13:5)

“Therefore since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us.  Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so you will not grow weary and lose heart.  In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood.  And you have forgotten that word of encouragement that addresses you as sons:  “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when He rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines those He loves, and He punishes everyone He accepts as a son.” (Hebrews 12:1-6)

“See to it, brothers, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God.  But encourage one another daily, as long as it is called Today, so that none of you may be hardened by sin’s deceitfulness.  We have come to share in Christ if we hold firmly to the end the confidence we had at first.” (Hebrews 3:12)

“When I say to a wicked man ‘You will surely die,’ and you do not warn him or speak out to dissuade him from his evil ways in order to save his life, that wicked man will die for his sins, and I will hold you accountable for his blood. But if you do warn the wicked man and he does not turn from his wickedness or from his evil ways, he will die for his sin; but you will have saved yourself.” (Ezekiel 3:18,19)

“Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.  Carry each other’s  burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.” (Galatians 6:1,2) 

“Yet do not regard him as an enemy, but warn him as a brother.”                                    (2 Thessalonians 3:15)

“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke, and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.  For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine.  Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.  They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.” (2 Timothy 3:16, 4:2-4)

“But unless you repent, you too will all perish.” (Luke 13:3)

“He who heeds discipline shows the way to life, but whoever ignores correction leads others astray.” (Proverbs 10:17)

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anybody does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense — Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the whole world.” (1 John 2:1,2)

“But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:13,14)

“Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize?  Run in such a way as to get the prize.  Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training.  They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.” (1 Corinthians 9:24,25)

“Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial,because when he has stood the test he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love Him.”       (James 1:12)

“Be shepherds of God’s flock that is under your care, serving as overseers — not because you must, but because you are willing as God wants you to be; not greedy for money, but eager to serve; not lording it over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock.  And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away.” (1 Peter 5:2-4)

“I am coming soon.  Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.  Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of My God.”                     (Revelation 3:11,12)

IcyMorning

A GODLY FRIEND IS A GIFT

A godly friend is a gift from heaven above

To encourage and bless you with a sense of God’s love

They give you strength and support when life’s battles wear you down

And spur you on to run life’s race to receive an everlasting  crown

Many are ‘forever friends,’ some only for a season

Each one seems to arrive at just the right moment in time, and stays till

they accomplish God’s own purpose and reason

Some may come to give you extra courage to face paralyzing fears

Some may come to give you comfort in the midst of blinding tears

One may come just to give you hope when all hope appears to be lost

They help to turn your eyes back onto Christ, reminding you your debt to sin was paid

in full at such a high cost

One may come for a brief moment just to put a smile upon your face

By speaking words that will encourage you, or by simply giving you a warm embrace

A godly friend will care enough to warn you when you stray off the narrow path

So you’ll repent and find God’s mercy, and not face God’s judgment and wrath

A godly friend will always embolden you to press on; to finish the race

So you will walk by faith and not by sight, depending upon His strength and His grace

A godly friend will never abandon you, in the midst of trials and sorrow,

Yet their path in life may lead them away, after years –or maybe tomorrow

Yes, a godly friend is a gift from heaven above, but we should never allow them

to take God’s place

We should run to Him first when life’s battles rage, for He alone can give us His much

needed strength and grace

Christ will be a faithful friend who will stick closer than a brother

He alone will never leave or forsake you, He is above and like none other

Copyright©2013 Mary K. Dalke/Living For His Glory/Living4HisGlory All rights reserved.

Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version®1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

Photo obtained from Photobucket – Icymorning1.jpg

(UPDATED 5/6/15 Enlarged and darkened print to make this post easier for you to read on my new blog design. Lord willing, I will be doing this to all my previous posts, as well, when time allows).

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INTRODUCTION

This poem came about as the result of a request by a faithful and very encouraging reader of this blog — C. Curtis, who asked me to consider writing ‘a poem about how God leads His people out of the darkness and into the light,’  implying  in part, she’d like a poem about what it would be like for those of us who are presently attending a church where there has been a shift from expository preaching to a watered down, man-centered message (to say the least), to then finding a church where the gospel is clearly presented and Biblical truth is the focus.  I can tell you by personal experience that it’s like a breath of fresh air after a spring rain, or like breathing a sigh of relief after coming to the end of an extremely stressful ordeal.

When I first found the church I am now attending, tears of joy filled my eyes after I heard the pastor preach.  To hear the Word of God being preached without any manipulation or hidden agenda added, was like drinking a refreshing cold glass of water to my parched and thirsty spirit and soul.  Tears also filled my eyes to know that I had finally found a church where I could call my home.  I thanked God for leading me there after an exhausting search for a church that took over a month to find after leaving my former church of almost 15 years — Harvest Bible Chapel Rolling Meadows; a church I thought I’d never have to leave. (If you’d like, you can read all about it on my post>> WARNING YOU WITH TEARS).

In prayer, my heart continues to go out to all of you who are still hanging on, hoping and praying for things to one day change, but I just ask that you would examine your heart and test your motives against God’s Word to see if maybe it’s time for you to take a stand for Biblical truth, and to trust God and finally leave.

The following poem is divided into two parts — THE DARKNESS and THE LIGHT — so you can clearly see the contrast of how things are at a church that has given in to compromise, compared to a church where Christ is exalted and God’s Word is preached line upon line, precept upon precept.

Thank you very much to all who continue to check in now and then to read my posts!  God bless you and Happy New Year!

SCRIPTURES FOR YOU TO REFLECT ON

“Why are you downcast, O my soul?  Why so disturbed within me?  Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God,”  (Psalm43:5)

“This is what the LORD says:  “Cursed is the one who trusts in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the LORD.  He will be like a bush in the wastelands; he will not see prosperity when it comes.  He will dwell in the parched places of the desert, in a salt land where no one lives.  “But blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him.  He will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream.  It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green.  It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.  The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure.  Who can understand it?  “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.”   (Jeremiah17:5-12)

“It is better to trust in the LORD than to put confidence in man.”  (Psalm 118:8)

“Fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe.”  (Proverbs 29:25)

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?  For if he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying,  ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’  “Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be my disciple.”  (Luke 14:28-33)

“Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.  Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of Me.  Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.  “You are the salt of the earth.  But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again?  It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.  “You are the light of the world.  A city on a hill cannot be hidden.  Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl.  Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house.  (Matthew 5:10-15)

“Be strong and courageous.  Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; He will never leave you nor forsake you.”  (Deuteronomy 31:6)

“For I am the LORD, your God, who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”  (Isaiah 41:13)

“Enter through the narrow gate.  For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it.  But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few will find it.  Watch out for false prophets.  They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves.  By their fruit you will recognize them.  Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?  Likewise every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.  A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a bad tree cannot bear good fruit.  Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.  Thus by their fruit you will recognize them.  “Not everyone who says to me,  ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of My Father who is in heaven.  Many will say to Me on that day,  ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in Your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’  Then I will tell them plainly,  ‘I never knew you.  Away from Me, you evildoers!’ ” Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock.  The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”  (Matthew 7:13-27)

“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past.”  (Isaiah 43:18)

“Forgetting what is behind, and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.”  (Philippians 3:13,14)

“Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to know Him.  As surely as the sun rises, He will appear; He will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth.”  (Hosea 6:3)

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OUT OF THE DARKNESS AND INTO THE LIGHT

THE DARKNESS

Many pastors who once stood for Biblical truth, are now following a dangerous path

Away from Christ, their once firm foundation, without repentance they will sadly face God’s wrath

Willingly led astray by those who preach a gospel that’s tainted with false doctrines and compromise

They ignore the clear truths presented in Scripture, some even allow the pleasures of this world

to be the focus of their eyes

Sermons are rarely centered on Christ, and the gospel of Your mercy and grace

But rather on their own dreams and endeavors, these things seem to constantly take their place

Some pastors even twist Your Word to wrongly justify the choices they have made

Attempting to manipulate our emotions, so we’ll go along with their latest charade

Our hearts break for new church attenders, for they are not aware of what many of us know

But we choose to place our trust in You, Lord, and pray the truth to them You will indeed show

We have fervently prayed for our pastor’s eyes to be opened, to repent and return to His first love

But there is not even a glimmer of hope yet to be seen, as we have sought You in prayer for him,

O Lord, our Father above

Our hearts are torn by discouragement and sorrow, hope for change seems to be coming to an end

Our choice to stand for Biblical truth is the reason many of us are without a friend

The blessing of discernment sometimes comes with a very high price to pay

For when we attempt to lovingly speak the truth to expose error, some pastors demand that we leave

and go our own way

Who would have thought that wrongly being branded ‘divisive’ by our pastor, could one day possibly

be part of ‘counting the cost’

We can’t help but wonder if they are truly saved, or is it possible that they are still helplessly lost

I’m ready now, Lord, just lead the way, out of this darkness and into the light

Guide me to where You want me to be, let Your will become clear within my mind and to my sight

THE LIGHT

Out of the darkness and into the light

All that I had hoped and prayed for, is now in plain sight:

A pastor who rightly divides Your Holy Word

Who preaches Scriptures in context; no hidden agenda or distortion of verses is ever heard

A body of believers woven together as one, for they seek not after an exalted man, but only after

Jesus Christ,Your only begotten Son

The songs we sing are hymns of praise that express what You have wrought

When You paid our debt to sin in full, with the blood of Your Son we have been bought

My heart is now free to worship You; all cynicism and bitterness are no longer there

For I have asked for Your forgiveness, and continue to lift my former pastor up to You in prayer

Through it all You’ve taught me to listen carefully to all that I will hear

For Your Word warns of mass deception when the return of Christ is drawing near

A good Berean I have become, so that I will never be deceived

For Your Word above all others, is what’s to be believed

I’ve discovered Your Word is so rich in truth, and so accurate in detail

That it doesn’t matter what man’s intentions are, the truth of Your Word and the gospel will prevail

Dear reader, joy and peace can once again be yours as you start this brand new year

He’ll guide your steps and light your path, and give you hope and courage instead of weariness and fear

To all who have ears to hear, and a heart to understand

He is waiting to lead you out of your spiritual darkness, if you will just trust Him and take His hand

Copyright©2012 Mary K.Dalke/Living4HisGlory/Living For His Glory All rights reserved.  Unauthorized use and/or duplication of any material on Living4HisGlory’s Blog without expressed permission from this blog’s author and/or owner, is strictly prohibited.  Excerpts and links to information may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Mary K. Dalke and Living4HisGlory’s Blog, as well as the author of any of the information at any of the links posted, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.Scriptures taken from The Holy Bible New International Version® 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society.  Used by permission of Zondervan.  All rights reserved.

Photo obtained from Photobucket – Suns rays

Definitions (Added for interest, because they not only accurately describe how many of us are feeling, but also what is taking place)

Wearinessexhausted in strength, endurance, vigor, or freshness; having one’s patience, tolerance, or pleasure exhausted –used with of <soon grew weary of waiting.

Charade – Latent pretense or deception, especially something so full of pretense as to be a travesty. 

Latent – Present and capable of emerging or developing, but not now visible, obvious, active or symptomatic.