Dec 192014
 

IMG_0027When Miss Kitty first arrived at my home, she came here because she needed something.

Food.

Feline acquaintances had told her that a starving cat could find enough to survive from me and when she had no other options she came to me.

She was a wild looking, wild acting mess, with long, dirty, sticker filled hair.

I would feed her because I’ll feed any stray, but my son loved her for reasons known only to him.

For some time she would only show up when she was desperate, but over time we started to build a relationship.

She slowly started coming into the house for a bit, and she would allow me to help her clean the mess she was wearing.

She wouldn’t stay long though…

There were other cats in my home already and while they acted like she was welcome, there was always some tension in the air…she hadn’t quite learned how to act like a cat who lived in this house.

It was still more comfortable in the uncomfortable environment she was accustomed to.

Today though, things are different.

She is sleeping on my lap as I write this, having slept with me all night.

We got up together as we always do, had breakfast together, and started our day.

She doesn’t much care what the other cats think, she just wants to be with me.

Food is still important, but not as important as being with someone she knows loves her.

When I’m gone somewhere, she waits outside the door for me.. or waits in my chair because she knows that’s where I’ll be when I’m home.

She’s learned to behave like she lives here because I loved her until she could trust me enough to change.

Now, she’s my constant companion.

I enjoy her being here as much as she enjoys being with me.

Now, this is where I usually come up with an ending sentence and slap “make your own application” on the end of another parable about the relationship we have with God as modeled by a cat.

There’s a problem though…a few problems.

After decades of knowing God I still only show up when I’m desperate.

I still have a lot of dirt and a bunch of stickers.

I still haven’t learned to trust enough to find His lap as wonderful as His food.

I’m not completely convinced He loves me like I love the cat.

I’m really not sure about all the other “cats” in the house…

He still feeds me though…He does it for His son.

Now…make your own application…

 

Dec 182014
 

155547_468929542642_7884233_nFirst, thanks to you folks who use the Amazon links to make your purchases.

A small percent comes back to me and it helps out a lot.

Support our advertisers…especially when they are part of the online community.

My book is now free when you subscribe to Kindle Unlimited, 2.99 for the Kindle version if you aren’t.

You can also make direct donations by Paypal using the “donate” button on the top left side of the site.

We covet your continued support and your prayers for what we do here.

I can always be reached at phoenixpreacher@gmail.com with your questions or concerns.

Thank you!

 

Dec 172014
 

HannahAfter five years in prison for the murder of her foster son, Hannah Overton is free on bail.

She was accused of force feeding the child salt as a disciplinary act, causing his death.

 

Through the arrest, trial, and conviction of Overton I was asked repeatedly to advocate for her release based on the fact that she was a Christian.

I didn’t believe I had enough information to do so, but the church and community she came from have worked tirelessly for her release.

Now, she will have that second chance to prove her innocence.

The Texas Monthly has more on this case including a very damning look at the prosecution.

 

Dec 172014
 

1426163_10152538970789156_1955504315_aToday, like every Wednesday, we will remember Saeed Abedini.

We do more than just remember, however…we stand with him by using our social media to advocate for his release.

We ask that you change your Facebook profile picture to his and that you “like”  the “Free Saeed” Facebook page and participate in some of the activities that promote his cause.

We ask…that you remember him and his family in prayer…and that you refuse to give up on efforts to secure his release.

This is his Christmas letter…

Rajai Shahr Prison 2014

Merry Christmas!

These days are very cold here. My small space beside the window is without glass making most nights unbearable to sleep. The treatment by fellow prisoners is also quite cold and at times hostile. Some of my fellow prisoners don’t like me because I am a convert and a pastor. They look at me with shame as someone who has betrayed his former religion. The guards can’t even stand the paper cross that I have made and hung next to me as a sign of my faith and in anticipation of celebrating my Savior’s birth. They have threatened me and forced me to remove it. This is the first Christmas that I am completely without my family; all of my family is presently outside of the country. These conditions have made this upcoming Christmas season very hard, cold and shattering for me. It appears that I am alone with no one left beside me.

These cold and brittle conditions have made me wonder why God chose the hardest time of the year to become flesh and why He came to the earth in the weakest human condition (as a baby). Why did God choose the hardest place to be born in the cold weather? Why did God choose to be born in a manger in a stable, which is very cold, filthy and unsanitary with an unpleasant smell? Why did the birth have to be in such a way that it was not only hard physically, but also socially? It must have brought such shame for Mary and her fiancé that she was pregnant before marriage in the religious society of that time.

Dear sisters and brothers, the fact of the Gospel is that it is not only the story of Jesus, but it is the key of how we are to live and serve like Jesus. Today we like Him should come out of our safe comfort zone in order to proclaim the Word of Life and Salvation though faith in Jesus Christ and the penalty of sin that He paid on the cross and to proclaim His resurrection. We should be able to tolerate the cold, the difficulties and the shame in order to serve God. We should be able to enter into the pain of the cold dark world. Then we are able to give the fiery love of Christ to the cold wintery manger of those who are spiritually dead. It might be necessary to come out of the comfort of our lives and leave the loving embrace of our family to enter the manger of the lives of others, such as it has been for me for the third consecutive Christmas. It may be that we will be called fools and traitors and face many difficulties, but we should crucify our will and wishes even more until the world hears and tastes the true meaning of Christmas.

Christmas means that God came so that He would enter your hearts today and transform your lives and to replace your pain with indescribable joy.

Christmas is the manifestation of the radiant brightness of the Glory of God in the birth of a child named Emmanuel, which means God is with us.

Christmas is the day that the heat of the life-giving fire of God’s love shone in the dark cold wintry frozen hearts and burst forth in this deadly wicked world.

The same way that the heat from the earth’s core melts the hard stones in itself and produces lava, the fiery love of God, Jesus Christ, through the virgin Mary’s womb came to earth on Christmas to melt the hard heart of sin and wickedness of the world and removes them from our life. In the same process, the work of the Holy Spirit is a fiery rain of God’s Holiness and Mercy that flows into our body, soul and spirit and brings the light of Christ into us and through us making this dark, cold, wintry world into radiant burning brightness. He is turning our world into a world full of peace, joy, and love that is so different than the dark, cold, and wintry world that we used to live in. Hallelujah!

So this Christmas let the lava-like love of Christ enter into the depth of your heart and make you fiery, ready to pay any cost in order to bring the same lava love to the cold world around you, transforming them with the true message of Christmas.

Pastor Saeed Abedini

Soaking in the lava love of Christ

Dec 162014
 

timthumb.phpThe evangelical catholic heritage in Lutheranism…

The church and mental illness part 3…

The dance of the dirty, rotten, sinners…

Legacy of a disciple maker…

Standing with the protestors…

Religious freedom and American history…

Saeed writes a Christmas letter…

Should Christians trust scientists?

Scot McKnight with 10 things we need to know about Mary…

The darkness of Christmas…

Challies top ten books of 2014…

James McDonald sells out to TBN…

Lukes counter culture Christmas…

Free weekly devotional from Tulian…

The life and ministry of George Whitefield…

Running out of nuns…

How tech is changing the holidays…

Staying awake for Advent…

The debate over torture…

How BJU responded to the rape claims on campus…

Who is unworthy to take the Lords Supper?

Why most financial whistleblowers go unheard…

Bruskas on Driscoll…

Calvin’s Corner has it’s own home now…

Dec 152014
 

 

Calvin's Corner header

Pastor Michael Newnham and Phil Naessens talk about the the Jets winning, Phil’s addiction to the Jets and the guys share their list of ten books they feel are essential to every Christian lay person plus more great talk.

Calvin’s Corner is now on Facebook.

Calvin’s Corner is now on iTunes and Stitcher.

Download the mp3 file 

Listen to Calvin’s Corner on great networks Max Sports Channels and The 405 Media.

Dec 152014
 

thinking_man_ape_wood_3d_sculpture_thinker_think-480x3251. I tend to look at things as a social liberal and a biblical conservative. However…I’m at a point where I think both have gone to seed. Liberalism or conservatism without a biblical foundation is death to a culture…it’s just picking which poison will kill you.

 

 

2. If you believe in radical gun control, move to Mexico where a defenseless population is slaughtered by both the state and the criminal element…which are often working together.  Enjoy.

3. I’m sure that there are people who are legitimately “transgender”. I also believe that it is an incredibly tiny part of the population and laws should be written for the benefit of the masses, not the exceptions. The fact that a twelve year old boy has gender confusion shouldn’t mean he gets to use the girls bathroom until he figures it out. It’s an amazing fact that we didn’t have much “gender confusion” when I was growing up…

4. Two things we never get a complete handle on…the depths of our sin and the grace of God that is even deeper.

5. I really don’t care what my liberal friends think…the nuclear family served society well and it’s destruction is destroying ours.

6. What ever happened to common sense?

7. Bowden was right…the biggest lie of all is “it can’t happen here”…

8. I’m all for being tolerant of other faiths…right up to the point where that other faith starts cutting the heads off innocent people. Then, I’m all for blowing them to hell.

9. So far this article is missing a holiday flavor…

10. I might as well finish  off this darkness…pretending that evil doesn’t exist or that certain people and practices aren’t evil doesn’t change the fact that there is real evil…it simply makes you completely vulnerable to that evil.

 

Dec 132014
 

thumbnail.aspxA Prayer For Hard Times

Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Lord, have mercy.

Merciful Father, You know how difficult these days are for me.

In Your holy Word You have promised to hear those who cry unto You in the day of trouble.

Listen to my cries for mercy and send me help from the sanctuary of Your grace.

Preserve me from bitterness of spirit and rescue me from every temptation to despair.

Calm my frustration with the knowledge that my life is secure in Your redeeming love, for I am baptized into the death and resurrection of Your Son.

Draw me out of self-centered worry, which stifles faith, and cause me to take comfort in the great and precious promises that You have made to me and all believers in the Gospel.

Sustain and strengthen me under every cross and affliction, that Your grace might be made perfect in my weakness.

Give me confidence to pray without losing heart and to trust in Your mighty deliverance according to Your good and gracious will.

Father, into Your hands I commend myself. Hear me, for the sake of Your Son, who alone is my Brother and Savior.

Amen

Lutheran prayer book

Dec 122014
 

galleryWe received word this morning that (despite Tom Randall and Joe Coffeys statements to the contrary), the trial against the two men accused of child abuse in the Sankey orphanage will be allowed to continue.

The judge in the case found that last Januarys raid on the compound and the arrests made during it were justified.

Toto Luchavez and his son Jake will be arraigned on January 22.

This is a huge victory for the alleged victims and for those who took the courage to speak on their behalf.

It also demands a response from Randall and Coffey who declared on Twitter that all charges had been dropped.

It is vital that this story be spread and direct questions asked of Coffey and Randall about their statements and their involvement in this case.

If you or your church  donates to World Harvest Ministries…you need to be asking some tough questions.

You can get the full background through all the stories we’ve written on this tragedy

Whistleblower Under Fire in Phillipine Child Abuse case.

Death Threats Alleged for Philippine Whistle Blowers

Randall Freed, Charges Remain Against Associates

Update and Podcast with One of the Whistleblowers and Victims

An update on the scandal.

Pray for justice.

Strange twist in the Philippine child abuse case.

Lie exposed in the Philippine child abuse case.

 

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