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A Tribute to the Life of My Older Sister, Joanne

Psalm 116:12-17
What shall I render to the Lord for all His benefits to me?
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the Lord,
I will pay my vows to the Lord in the presence of all His people.
Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.
O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant.
    You have loosed my bonds.
I will offer to You the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the Lord.

My Sister Was a Lady.

Joanne, my older sister, was born in 1943, a time when the virtues of being a ‘lady’ were more than just a social expectation—it was a way of life. Joanne embodied these virtues with grace and dignity, qualities that seem to be vanishing in today’s darkened world. Her life is a testament to the timeless values of love, respect, and family.

Psalm 116:15 states, “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints.” This biblical verse resonates deeply as I remember Joanne, whose life was a living tribute to Christian values. She approached every aspect of life with a sense of duty and reverence, much like the ‘lady’ she was raised to be. Her legacy of kindness, compassion, and unwavering faith in Jesus Christ is a beacon for those of us who were fortunate enough to know her.

Reflecting on Joanne’s life she was not just a sister, but a mentor, a friend, and a pillar of strength for our family. Her love knew no bounds, and her ability to make everyone feel valued and cherished was unparalleled. Joanne’s life serves as a moving reminder of the lasting impact one can have by adhering to principles that transcend time.

I remember the virtues she exemplified and the love she shared. This tribute is a celebration of a life well-lived, a life that continues to inspire us to uphold the values that Joanne so effortlessly embodied.

Her Virtues of Grace and Poise

Grace and poise have long been heralded as symbols of a true lady. These qualities are not merely superficial traits; they reflect an inner strength, dignity, and composure that transcend external appearances. My older sister Joanne was a living testament to these enduring virtues, embodying them in every aspect of her life.

Joanne’s demeanor was a blend of gentleness and strength. Her interactions with others were always marked by a sincere warmth and kindness, qualities that drew people to her naturally. Whether she was hosting a family gathering or engaging in a casual conversation, her presence exuded a calm and reassuring grace. A notable example of her poise was during our family’s most challenging times. When other family members passed away, Joanne was the pillar that held us together. Despite her own grief, she managed to comfort and support each one of us, showing remarkable composure and strength.

Her grace was evident in her everyday actions. Joanne had an innate ability to make others feel valued and respected, a trait that is increasingly rare in today’s world. She would often handmake cards and notes of appreciation, a simple yet profound gesture that left a lasting impact on those that received one.

Joanne’s life was a living reflection of Psalm 116, which speaks to dignity and composure. Verses like Psalm 116:7, “Return to your rest, my soul, for the Lord has been good to you,” encapsulate the peace and grace that Joanne carried within her. She lived her life with a calm assurance, deeply rooted in her Christian faith, which provided her with the strength to navigate life’s trials with unwavering poise.

In remembering Joanne, I celebrate not just her life but the legacy of grace and poise she left behind. Her example reminds us of the enduring power of these virtues and their profound impact on those around us.

Her Virtues of Compassion and Kindness

Compassion and kindness are hallmarks of a true lady, virtues that Joanne embodied throughout her life. Joanne’s unwavering commitment to love and kindness left an indelible mark on everyone who knew her. Her life was a testament to the power of compassion, a trait she displayed in her relationships, community involvement, and daily interactions.

Joanne’s acts of kindness were numerous and varied. Whether she was offering a shoulder to cry on, or simply lending an ear, her compassion knew no bounds. Joanne’s ability to connect with others was a true gift, one that reflected her deep-seated belief in the importance of love and kindness.

These virtues are beautifully displayed in Psalm 116, which speaks of God’s compassion and mercy. Verses like “Gracious is the Lord, and righteous; our God is merciful” resonate deeply when reflecting on Joanne’s life. Her actions were a living testament to these biblical principles, embodying the love and mercy that Jesus Christ exemplified.

In remembering Joanne, I honor the legacy she left behind—a legacy of compassion, kindness, and unwavering love. Her life serves as a powerful reminder of the virtues that define what it truly means to be a lady.

Her Virtues of Loyalty and Devotion

Loyalty and devotion stand as cornerstones of a virtuous life, particularly in the context of family and friendships. These qualities are not merely ethical obligations but profound expressions of love and commitment. Joanne epitomized these virtues through her steadfast dedication to her loved ones and the causes she held dear. Her unwavering loyalty was not just a trait but a testament to her character, a legacy that continues to inspire those who knew her.

Joanne’s loyalty to her family was evident in countless ways. Whether it was caring for our aging parents, standing by her children and grandchildren through life’s adversities, her commitment never wavered. She was the rock upon which we all leaned, a source of strength and stability. This level of devotion was not born out of obligation but out of genuine love and care.

Joanne’s virtues are beautifully mirrored in the words of Psalm 116. Verses 5-6, “The Lord is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, He saved me,” emphasize the faithfulness and steadfast love that Joanne embodied. Her life echoed the biblical principles of loyalty and devotion. Through her actions, Joanne taught us that true devotion is not just a duty but an act of love, a legacy that will endure in our hearts forever.

Her Virtues of Modesty and Humility

Modesty and humility are increasingly rare, but my older sister Joanne stood as a timeless example of these qualities. Joanne’s life was a testament to the grace and strength that comes with living modestly and humbly. Her actions and choices reflected an unwavering commitment to these virtues, not out of obligation, but from a deeply rooted belief in their fundamental importance.

Joanne’s humility was evident in her everyday life, from the way she interacted with family and friends to her professional demeanor. She never sought the limelight or accolades but instead focused on the well-being and happiness of those around her. Joanne’s actions spoke louder than any words. She embodied the essence of Psalm 116, which states, “The Lord protects the unwary; when I was brought low, He saved me.” Joanne’s life mirrored this biblical truth, as she consistently put others before herself, trusting in divine providence to guide her path.

Her modesty was also apparent in her lifestyle choices. Joanne lived a life devoid of excess, always opting for simplicity and contentment. Her approach to life was a living scripture, resonating with the teachings of humility found throughout biblical passages. Like Psalm 116, which emphasizes humility before God, Joanne’s life was an ongoing tribute to the virtues of modesty and humility, leaving a lasting legacy of love and integrity for all who knew her.

Her Virtues of Diligence and Perseverance

Joanne epitomized these qualities through her unwavering work ethic and remarkable resilience. Her life was marked by numerous challenges, yet she faced each one with unwavering determination and an unshakeable faith in God’s support.

Joanne’s daily routine was a testament to her diligence. She approached every task with a meticulous attention to detail and an unyielding commitment. She believed that every effort, no matter how small, contributed to the greater good of her family and community. Joanne’s involvement in her church community highlighted her spiritual perseverance. Her faith was a cornerstone, guiding her through life’s trials and tribulations with grace and steadfastness.

Joanne’s legacy is a powerful reminder of the virtues of diligence and perseverance. Her life serves as an enduring tribute to the strength and love that come from an unwavering trust in God. Through her actions, she left an indelible mark on her family and community, embodying the timeless virtues that define a true lady.

Joanne was a true lady in every sense of the word. Her life was a beautiful mosaic of virtues that will forever enrich the lives of those she touched. Joanne’s legacy is a lasting testament to the power of love, faith, and integrity, and she will be deeply missed but never forgotten.

This is a heartfelt tribute to my sister Joanne, a woman who embodied timeless virtues such as grace, compassion, loyalty, modesty, and perseverance. Through personal stories and reflections, we celebrate her life as a true lady, deeply rooted in Christian faith and values. Joanne’s legacy of love, integrity, and unwavering faith continues to inspire and guide those who knew her.
I love you Joanne, I’ll see you later.

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Is Celebrating Christmas Christian?

Isaiah 25:1-9

Isaiah 25
1  O LORD, You are my God;
 I will exalt You; I will praise Your name,
 for You have done wonderful things,
 plans formed of old, faithful and sure.

2  For You have made the city a heap,
 the fortified city a ruin;
 the foreigners’ palace is a city no more;
 it will never be rebuilt.

3  Therefore strong peoples will glorify You;
 cities of ruthless nations will fear You.

4  For You have been a stronghold to the poor,
 a stronghold to the needy in his distress,
 a shelter from the storm and a shade from the heat;
 for the breath of the ruthless is like a storm against a wall,

5  like heat in a dry place.
 You subdue the noise of the foreigners;
 as heat by the shade of a cloud,
 so the song of the ruthless is put down.

6  On this mountain the LORD of hosts will make for all peoples
 a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine,
 of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.

7  And He will swallow up on this mountain
 the covering that is cast over all peoples,
 the veil that is spread over all nations.

8  He will swallow up death forever;
 and the Lord GOD will wipe away tears from all faces,
 and the reproach of his people he will take away from all the earth,
 for the LORD has spoken.

9  It will be said on that day,

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us.

This is the LORD; we have waited for Him;

let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

Partying like the Puritans

Christmas was worrisome for the Puritans. They objected to the holiday for several reasons.


1. It has no biblical mandate. Firmly adhering to Scripture in regarding worship, the Puritans thought this celebration was not ordained by Christ and therefore believed it should not be part of our Christian worship.

2. Christmas contradicts the historical record as Christ wasn’t born on December 25th.

3. The holiday has pagan roots. The church in Rome began celebrating Christmas in the 4th century during the reign of Constantine, the first Christian emperor, most likely to weaken pagan traditions.

4. It reminded them of the Church of England and the Roman Catholic Church, which they were trying to escape. 

5. The holiday celebration usually included drinking, excessive feasting, and playing games – all things which the Puritans understood as being opposites to true worship. “Wassailing”, a custom where people of a lower economic class visiting wealthier community members and begged, or demanded, food and drink in return for toasts to their hosts’ health. If a host refused, things would occasionally turn violent and even if it didn’t, the custom would most certainly end in drunkenness.

To celebrate Christmas like Puritans we should prepare for it in the same way, yet with a slightly different outlook. Remembering our Puritan fathers, we must hate sin. But sin is not in celebration, sin is in the human heart. Sin is in the hearts of gluttons, drunkards, those that have no real love for Christ.

Looking at Isaiah 25:1-9

Isaiah 25:1-9

The passage shows death will finally be swallowed up (Isaiah 25:7–8). It will be done for “all peoples.” Not the Jews alone, but individuals from every tribe and tongue. The Lord will wipe the tears from every eye of His elect (v. 8).

Today, Christians know that the defeat of death has been accomplished, even though we await the last day, when death will be fully and finally swallowed. Hundreds of years after Isaiah, our Savior dealt the fatal blow to death itself as He passed from life to death on a cross and then from death to life in His resurrection (Romans 6:9). Death could not swallow up the Christ. He defeated it, bringing the hope of life back to the world. This, of course, could not be accomplished without the birth of Jesus the Christ.

The LORD of hosts will make for all peoples a feast” (v 6). A feast is an outflowing of joy in the Christian life. The Lord wants His people to be joyful! Scripture shows that He gave them feasts to help them be joyful. We have great reason to be joyful, even in this dark sin-sick world of death. What God has done for His children is so beautiful and glorious, no wonder there should be feasts remembering it. Christians should rejoice in the Lord everyday, no question. I see no sin in enjoying some days even more than others.

A feast at Christmas bears witness to the world of the history of God’s salvation. Christianity is not simply another religious idea. No, we believe things that happened in this world on days such as Christmas. Our faith is in a real Person, His supernatural birth, His sinless life, His death, and His resurrection from the dead. It is vital that this truth, this historical reality, and this foundation never be lost.

The Reason to Feast

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen His glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14
Solus Christus

What we celebrate at Christmas is that we have the incarnation of God Himself. We see the Trinity; God the Son, conceived by the Holy Spirit, to the glory of God the Father. “And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death,” the horrific death of the cross.

We believe in Jesus Christ, God’s only Son, our Lord, Who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the virgin Mary, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried; on the third day He rose again from the dead; He ascended into heaven, and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty; from there He will come to judge the living and the dead.

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain. For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve. After that, he appeared to more than five hundred of the brothers and sisters at the same time, most of whom are still living, though some have fallen asleep. Then he appeared to James, then to all the apostles, and last of all he appeared to me also, as to one abnormally born. 1 Corinthians 15:1–4

Let us Feast

Feast - because we are in need of a way out of the desperate state of our sinful human condition and it's result; eternal death. We only find it in the One born lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus the Christ, our long-promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.

Feast - because He doesn't just come as a man, He comes as a servant. He comes with no exaltation and no dignity. He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death, taking upon Himself the debt that we owe.

Feast - because Jesus is the Son of God incarnate. He is Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” This infant, who is our King, brings peace on earth, ultimate and permanent peace.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, feast this Christmas but sin not.

Feast – because we are in need of a way out of the desperate state of our sinful human condition and it’s result; eternal death. We only find the way in the One born lying in a manger, who was and is Jesus the Christ, our long-promised Messiah, Redeemer, and King.

Feast – because He came as a servant. He came with no exaltation and no dignity. God the Son humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death, taking upon Himself the debt that we owe.

Feast – because Jesus is the Son of God incarnate. He is Immanuel, which translated means “God with us.” This infant, who is our King, brings peace on earth; ultimate and permanent peace.

Dear Christian brothers and sisters, feast this Christmas but sin not.

“Behold, this is our God; we have waited for Him, that He might save us. This is the LORD; we have waited for Him; let us be glad and rejoice in His salvation.”

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What Is The Bible All About?

The Bible Is Not About You.

God is not a supporting actor in a movie about your life. The Bible is not about you. He has graciously allowed us to be in His unfolding story of redemption, but a lot of us have gotten that reversed today.

The Bible

We like to place ourself into the stories of the Bible as if we are the hero. This is a way of reading the Bible that always makes man the hero and not the acts of God. When we do this, we are reading the Bible entirely wrong because its not you that are able, It’s almighty God that’s able.

The Bible is God’s revelation to lost mankind. The message of the entire Bible is that God will save His people. Any point you go to in Scripture, whether it is the Old Testament or the New Testament, God is revealing the good news of how He is working in our world.

The Bible Is My Him Book, It Is All About Him.

Jesus said in John 5 that the whole Bible is about Him and Luke records for us that Jesus taught them all the things concerning Himself from the law of the prophets and the writings, which were a way of describing the whole Hebrew Bible of the Old Testament. So either Jesus was a egomaniac or He is who He said He is, and the whole Bible is about Jesus.

You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that bear witness about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me that you may have life.

For if you believed Moses, you would believe Me; for he wrote of Me.

John 5:39–40,46

I don’t know about you, but I am a follower of Jesus and I want to follow Jesus’ understanding of the Old Testament. Therefore, if we read any text in isolation from Him, we will fail to see the very thing that He said it’s about. He said it’s about Him.

And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself.

Luke 24:27

The Bible Is About Who God is.

God cannot be properly studied without great humility and great praise. God is the Creator, Sustainer, and Redeemer of the entire universe. His attributes are not parts of God but ways of describing the whole essence of God in a manner that we can understand. He is the one and only true God who subsists in three persons—the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. He is ever blessed, thrice-holy, eternal in the heavens (Isaiah 6).

The Bible

Jesus Christ is the divine Son of God in whom are perfectly and inseparably united deity and humanity, without mixture or confusion, with each nature retaining its own attributes. Only those with the hardest of hearts and who lack understanding of Scripture can deny that the Bible reveals Jesus as the Lord God Almighty who is worthy of all our love and worship.

If we don’t understand who God is, then the gospel does not make much sense. The greatest issue for mankind is that God is holy and God is just and we are not.

The Bible Warns Us About Who we Are.

We can look at others and say, “Well, I am not as bad as them. I don’t do what they do, so I’m not so bad”, but that’s a lie. Our problem of sin goes far beyond our actions. It goes to who we are as a person, we have a nature of sin. That is our essence. the human heart is predisposed to love everything else besides God, to love self more than God, to love wrong more than right. The heart is totally opposed to God, conceived in iniquity, born in sin. You and I are naturally rebels to God.

The Bible

So how do you fix the broken part of the human heart that loves the wrong things? The Bible says that we are dead in trespasses and sin. Ephesians 2:1 immediately comes to mind. To be dead in sin means that we are physically alive but that we are morally unable to respond to God.

What can a dead man do?

The Bible Answers Mankind’s Greatest Question.

How can sinful man be reconciled to a just God whose justice demands that they be punished?


The answer is found in the person of Jesus Christ. The historical person, God the Son, intervening into human history. And this Jesus of Nazareth lived the perfect life that you and I could never live, have never lived. Then He goes to the cross. We owed a debt to God because of our sin and that debt was suffering eternal punishment. But on the cross God Himself, Jesus took our place. Jesus bore our sin and suffered the wrath of God that we deserve. He extinguished it, He put it away. On the third day He rose from the dead. Then he ascended up into heaven. And this Jesus, the Son of God, sat down at the right hand of God. The Bible teaches that Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, that no man comes to the Father except through Him, that there is one God and one mediator between God and man, the man Christ Jesus.

And if you repent and trust alone in Jesus as your Savior, God will remit your sins, dismiss your case, and grant you everlasting life as a gift. Not because you’re good, but because He is rich in mercy.

Come to Christ.


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Christian Confidence in Times of Chaos

Christian Complacency

Church Complacency

When we first come to Christ, we are filled with wonder at the gospel and the beauty of Christian truth. We are like new babes, amazed by everything we see and experience. But over time, this wonder can fade. We become accustomed to the truth, and it no longer seems as amazing. We may even start to take it for granted.

When we lose our wonder for God’s truth, we also lose our passion for the gospel. We become less committed to sharing our faith with others, and we may even start to doubt our own beliefs. We become more susceptible to theological error, because we are no longer grounded in God’s truth, tossed to and fro by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine.

We often fail to take the time to really think about the gospel and other Christian truths. We may read the Bible, but we don’t really meditate on it. We may go to church, but we don’t really listen to the sermons. We may even pray, but we don’t really engage in meaningful conversation with God.

Therefore, as you received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, just as you were taught, abounding in thanksgiving.

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

Colossians 2:6-8

Cultural Chaos

A Culture in Chaos

We live in chaotic times. Political corruption, advances in technology, and worldwide disasters have created both anxiety and unsettledness. We are bombarded with information, both accurate and inaccurate, making it difficult to know what to believe. Anyone can share their opinions, no matter how outlandish, and those who disagree are often shouted down. We don’t know who, if anyone, we can trust.

For Christians, the sense of complacency and uncertainty is made worse by the degrading moral landscape. In the past, it was expected that people would hold certain values that were drawn from Christian doctrine. However, in recent years, there has been a shift away from Biblical truth towards secularism. As a result, the truths of the Bible that were once mainstream in culture are now seen as extreme or outdated.

For to set the mind on the flesh is death, but to set the mind on the Spirit is life and peace. For the mind that is set on the flesh is hostile to God, for it does not submit to God’s law; indeed, it cannot. Those who are in the flesh cannot please God.

Romans 8:6-8

Churches in Chaos

Chaos in Churches

Covid took its toll on churches with lock-downs. Fear over faith was prevalent in many churches that shut their doors for long periods of time. Many have yet to return to church. But even before covid, denominations were embroiled in controversies. We see many denominations splitting while their conventions and meetings remind us of the infighting of nasty political races. We have chaos rather than Christ.

When Christ is not the head of our church and our lives there is chaos. Without Christ as the head, denominations and churches are easily led astray by false ideologies and worldly desires. We see churches and our children falling prey to the increasing acceptance of the ‘alphabet army’. Focus on evangelism and discipleship dwindles and is replaced with “social justice issues”. With Christ being put to the side, more children are being killed in the womb and there is a greater sense of darkness, despair, and chaos.

And He put all things under His feet and gave Him as head over all things to the church, which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Ephesians 1:22-23

Confidence in Christ

Dear Christian friend our hope, our life, our confidence is found only in Christ.

Discerning Encourage
built on nothing less than hope in Jesus Christ and His righteousness.

Our way onward is to look back. We can find confidence in Christ by looking to the past, to the foundational truths of the early church that have stood the test of time. These truths can refresh and satisfy us, and they can help us to lift our eyes above the chaos and confusion of the present and give us confidence in Jesus Christ.

We return to foundational truths tested by time. Open and read your Bible, go to church to worship and learn. Study the creeds. The truths in our creeds are eternal, and they are not subject to the whims of fashion or the tides of public opinion. These truths provide us with stability in a world that is often confused and chaotic. They are truths of Christ.

Follow the pattern of the sound words that you have heard from me, in the faith and love that are in Christ Jesus. By the Holy Spirit who dwells within us, guard the good deposit entrusted to you.

2 Timothy 1:13-14

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
He descended to hell.
The third day He rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy apostolic church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Come to Christ.


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The Great Heinous, Evil, Unholiness of our Sin.

Against You, You only, have I sinned and done what is evil in Your sight, so that You may be justified in Your words and blameless in Your judgment. (Psalm 51:4)

The greatest evil of sin is that it is against God.


Sin is the most significant and terrible issue in the world. It is the root cause of all kinds of heartache and misery. Sin is not merely a violation of a moral code but a direct affront to God. It is an offense against His character and nature.

The great evil of sin lies in the fact that it is against God. David acknowledges this in Psalm 51:4 when he says, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight.” Sin is rebellion against the sovereign and holy God who created the universe. Sin separates us from God and disrupts the intimate relationship that we were meant to have with Him. Romans 3:23 tells us that “all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” The very essence of sin is falling short of the glory and perfection of God.

Sin is often seen as a mere moral or ethical issue, but in reality, it is a deeply theological problem. The psalmist David recognizes this truth in Psalm 51 as he cries out to God for forgiveness and cleansing after committing adultery with Bathsheba and murdering her husband Uriah. Through David’s confession, we can learn about the great heinous evil of sin and its devastating impact on our relationship with God.

The consequences of sin are severe. Sin separates us from God and brings death and destruction into our lives. As we read in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Sin has a high cost, and we will all pay that price unless we turn from sin and come to Christ.

Never was a sinner pardoned while impenitent.


Another truth we see in Psalm 51 is that never was a sinner pardoned without repentance. David models true repentance as he confesses his sin and pleads for mercy from God. He acknowledges that he has sinned against God and that God is just in his judgment of sin. In verse 17, he says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.” It is only when we acknowledge our sinfulness and turn from our sin that we can receive God’s forgiveness, mercy, and grace.

The Bible teaches us that forgiveness of sins is conditional upon repentance. As we read in Acts 3:19, “Repent therefore, and turn back, that your sins may be blotted out.” This verse reminds us that we must acknowledge our sin and turn away from it if we want to receive forgiveness. If we refuse to repent, we cannot be forgiven.

Never was a sinner truly penitent, while insensible of the great evil of sin.


We cannot truly repent of sin unless we understand it’s great evil. Sin is not a minor offense that we can simply overlook or excuse. It is a serious offense against God that has severe consequences. As we read in Psalm 51:3, “For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me.” True repentance requires a deep understanding of the gravity of our sin.

Sin is not just a mistake or a slip-up; it is a deeply ingrained issue that affects every aspect of our being. David understands this in Psalm 51:5 when he says, “Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.” Sin is not just something we do; it is part of who we are as fallen human beings. Only when we recognize the gravity of sin and its effects on our lives can we truly turn away from it and come to Christ.

Never did a sinner see the great evil of sin until he was first acquainted with the infinitely Great and Glorious God.


Only when we encounter God and His holiness do we see the true nature of sin. As we read in Isaiah 6:5, “And I said: ‘Woe is me! For I am lost; for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; for my eyes have seen the King, the LORD of hosts!‘” This verse reminds us that when we encounter God, we see ourselves as we truly are, and we realize the great evil of our sin.

Sin is not just a ‘problem’ that we can solve on our own; it requires a divine solution. As we come to know God and understand His character and holiness, we begin to see our sin in a new light. It is only through the power of the Holy Spirit that we can truly grasp the depth of our sin and our need for Christ.

In conclusion, Psalm 51 teaches us about the great heinous evil of sin and its devastating impact on our relationship with God. Sin is a rebellion against His holiness and righteousness and has severe consequences. We cannot be forgiven unless we repent of our sin and come to Christ. True repentance requires a deep understanding of the gravity of our sin, and we can only see the great evil of sin when we encounter God and His holiness.

A door of mercy has been opened by the blood of the Son of God: Pardon and rest are proclaimed to a rebellious, guilty, dying world. Repent therefore, and be converted; that your Sins may be blotted out.
But if after your Hardness and impenitent Heart, you continue to go on, treasuring up wrath against the Day of Wrath; you will know, to your everlasting grief, “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31)

Come to Christ.


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Teaching that salvation can be lost is dangerous.

a green snake is curled up on a leaf

As Christians, our salvation is at the very core of our faith. The Bible teaches that salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned, but is freely given to those who believe in Jesus Christ. However, there are some who teach that Christians can lose their salvation. This is contrary to the teachings of Scripture, and it is a dangerous heresy.

This false teaching not only undermines the doctrine of the sovereignty of God, but it also undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. It undermines the fact that Christians can rest in the finished work of Jesus on the cross for the full accomplishment of our redemption. Worse, it trivializes the work of our Lord.

person holding white paper with it is well text

The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is contrary to the clear teachings of Scripture. For example, in John 10:27-29, Jesus says, “My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand”.
This passage clearly states that those who belong to Jesus will never perish and cannot be snatched out of His hand or the hand of the Father.

Romans 8:38-39 says, "For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord". 
This passage highlights the fact that nothing can separate believers from the love of God, which includes losing their salvation.

“And I am sure of this, that He who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ”.

Philippians 1:6

The teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is inconsistent with the sovereignty of God. God is truly sovereign, and to think that He would allow those whom He has saved to fall away and lose their salvation is nonsense. If a person could lose their salvation, then it would mean that they have the power to undo the work that God has done in their life, which is a direct challenge to His sovereignty.

The sovereignty of God is strongly evident in the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans. Augustine, one of the most influential church fathers, wrote, “The perseverance of the saints is the gift of God, and that He who has begun the good work in them will carry it on to completion” (Augustine, On the Gift of Perseverance, ch. 16). Similarly, the Puritan theologian John Owen wrote, “Those who are truly converted and justified, He [God] will so guide and uphold by his Spirit, as that they shall not totally nor finally fall away from Him” (Owen, The Doctrine of the Saints’ Perseverance, ch. 6).

A commonly cited passage in support of the idea that Christians can lose their salvation is Hebrews 6:4-6, which says, “For it is impossible, in the case of those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, and have shared in the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, to restore them again to repentance, since they are crucifying once again the Son of God to their own harm and holding him up to contempt”. However, this passage is not speaking of believers losing their salvation, but rather of those who have heard the gospel and tasted of its benefits, but have not truly been born again. The warning here is not to fall away from faith, but rather to come to true saving faith.


The idea that Christians can lose their salvation undermines the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. If a person believes that they can lose their salvation, then they will always be in a state of uncertainty and fear. However, the Bible teaches that believers can have confidence in their salvation. 1 John 5:13 says, “I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life”. This passage emphasizes that believers can have assurance of their salvation, which is a critical aspect of the Christian faith.

The Perseverance of the Saints

The doctrine of the Perseverance of the Saints affirms that salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort. Those who are truly saved are kept by God’s power and are sealed by the Holy Spirit until the day of redemption (Ephesians 1:13-14). This assurance of salvation is a source of great comfort and hope for believers, who can rest in the knowledge that their eternal destiny is secure in Christ.

The Perseverance of the Saints is a central doctrine in theology. This is because it is grounded in Scripture and in the sovereignty of God. While the silly debate may continue, Christians can take comfort in the fact that if they have been saved, God will keep them until the end.

In conclusion, teaching that Christians can lose their salvation is a dangerous heresy that undermines the sovereignty of God, the clear teachings of Scripture, and the assurance of salvation that believers are meant to have. While some passages may seem to support this idea, a careful examination of Scripture and the teachings of the church fathers and Puritans reveals that it is not a biblical belief. As believers, we can rest in the assurance that once we have been saved, we will remain saved for all eternity. Let us trust in the Lord and the promise of His Word,


“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Romans 8:37-39

Come to Christ

Salvation is a gift of God’s grace that cannot be earned or lost by human effort.

Come to Christ and rest in the assurance of His finished work on the cross.
Hebrews 4:10–11


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Who was King James I?

King James I, also known as King James VI of Scotland, was the first monarch to rule both England and Scotland. He is a notable figure in history for his contributions to literature, his efforts to establish peace between Catholics and Protestants, and his impact on Christianity. He ruled from 1603 to 1625.


King James

King James I is most known for his role in a translation of the Bible into English, which became known as the King James Version (KJV). He commissioned this translation in 1604, and it was completed in 1611. This version of the Bible became a widely accepted translation, and it remains one of the most widely read versions of the Bible today. It is considered one of the greatest works of English literature and has had a significant impact on the English language.

James was also a strong advocate of the arts and literature. He sponsored many artists, musicians, and writers during his reign, including William Shakespeare. James was himself a writer, and his most famous work is “Daemonologie,” a treatise on witchcraft and demons.

Another significant accomplishment of James was his efforts to bring peace to the ongoing religious conflict between Catholics and Protestants. He sought to establish a middle ground between the two sides, known as the “via media,” or the “middle way.” He also issued the Declaration of Sports in 1618, which allowed certain types of sports and games on Sundays, thereby reducing the religious tension caused by the Puritan Sabbath observance.

King James I was also known for his successful efforts to bring peace to the ongoing conflict between England and Scotland. He united the two countries under one monarch and established a more stable and unified government. He also oversaw the colonization of America, including the founding of the first permanent English settlement in Jamestown, which is in my home state, Virginia.


King James

Despite his accomplishments, King James I certainly was not without faults. He was known for his extravagance, which often led to financial difficulties for the kingdom. He also had a reputation for being indecisive and easily influenced by those around him.

King James I was also known for his belief in the divine right of kings, which meant that he believed that he had been chosen by God to rule over England and Scotland. This belief led him to clash with the English Parliament, which believed in the importance of limiting the power of the monarch.

James was also criticized for his treatment of religious minorities, particularly the Puritans. He believed in the divine right of kings and saw any challenge to his authority as a challenge to God’s will. As a result, he was often harsh with those who opposed him, and he saw the Puritans as a threat to his authority. He viewed their beliefs as extreme and believed that they were trying to undermine his rule.

King James despised the Geneva Bible, the Bible used by the Puritans, because he believed that the comments in the margin notes were seditious and did not show enough respect for kings. James’ new English translation was to have no commentary in the margins.

With the publication of the KJV in 1611, the Church of England had an “authorized” translation that it could use as its official version, and it began to discourage the use of other translations in public worship. As a result, these other translations lost much of their popularity and influence in England and elsewhere.

The KJV was Not the First English Translation.

1611 KJV

Although some claim that the King James Bible was the initial English translation of the Scriptures, this statement is not true. In fact, John Wycliffe’s Bible was the first translation of the Latin Bible into English in the 1400s, and it was hand-copied. Before the KJV was published in 1611, several other English translations of the Bible existed. William Tyndale, for instance, printed his English translation of the Greek New Testament in 1526, almost a century before the KJV was available. The Coverdale Bible (1535), the Matthew Bible (1537), Richard Taverner’s Bible (1539), the Great Bible (1539), the Geneva Bible (1556), the Bishops’ Bible (1568), and the Douay Rheims Bible (1582) were all printed before the KJV.

Of these translations, the Coverdale Bible and the Matthew Bible relied heavily on Tyndale’s New Testament. The Great Bible (1539) was edited by Myles Coverdale, who also oversaw the production of the Coverdale Bible, and it was the first Bible authorized for public use by the Church of England. The Geneva Bible (1556) was published by Calvinist Puritans, and it became immensely popular among English-speaking Protestants. The Bishops’ Bible (1568) was developed by Church of England bishops as a response to the Geneva Bible. The Douay Rheims Bible (1582) was the first English translation of the Latin Vulgate, and it was intended for the Roman Catholic Church.

The KJV, which was published in 1611, incorporated many elements of earlier English translations, including Tyndale’s New Testament and the Bishop’s Bible. Therefore, while the KJV remains a significant translation of the Bible, it certainly was not the first English version.

View towards Protestants & Puritans:

King James I was raised as a Protestant and supported the Church of England. However, he also had a complex relationship with Protestantism and Puritanism. While he believed in the importance of religious unity, he was often critical of the Puritans’ desire to purify the Church of England and remove all traces of Catholicism.

James 1

One of the key issues that the Puritans raised was the need for greater simplicity and purity in the Church’s liturgy and practices. They objected to the use of certain vestments, such as the surplice and the cross, and to the use of organs and other musical instruments in worship services. They also criticized the practice of kneeling during the Communion service, which they saw as promoting a form of idolatry.

King James I had a complicated relationship with the Puritans. While he shared many of their religious beliefs, he saw their views as a threat to his authority. He also believed that their insistence on strict Sabbath observance and other religious practices was harmful to the kingdom’s economic well-being. While King James was sympathetic to some of the Puritans’ concerns, he also saw them as a threat to the stability of the Church and the monarchy.

Despite this, James did make a few concessions to the Puritans, such as allowing them to have their own preachers and providing them with some protection from the Anglican Church. However, he was still wary of their influence and did not hesitate to crack down on them when he felt they were getting out of line.

In response to the growing Puritan movement, King James I issued a series of proclamations and laws aimed at suppressing their activities. In 1604, he issued the Book of Sports, which encouraged people to engage in wholesome leisure activities on Sundays and criticized the Puritans for their strict observance of the Sabbath. He also authorized the use of a new version of the Thirty-Nine Articles, which reaffirmed the Church’s commitment to the monarchy and its rejection of radical Protestantism.

King James I also supported the imposition of stricter penalties for those who refused to conform to the Church’s practices, such as the use of the Book of Common Prayer. The infamous “Five Mile Act” of 1665, for example, prohibited non-conforming ministers from coming within five miles of any town or city.

Despite these efforts, the Puritan movement continued to grow in England and ultimately played a significant role in the events leading up to the English Civil War in the mid-17th century. Nonetheless, King James I’s treatment of the Puritans had a lasting impact on the development of Christianity in England, reinforcing the idea that religious dissent was a threat to political and social stability.

King James I was also known for his involvement in the Gunpowder Plot, a failed attempt by a group of Catholic extremists to assassinate him and other prominent Protestants in 1605. This event further heightened tensions between Catholics and Protestants during his reign.

Effect on Christianity:

King James I’s impact on Christianity is still felt today, primarily through his contribution to a translation of the Bible into English. The King James Version of the Bible is one of the most widely read translations in the world, and it has had a profound influence on the English language and literature.

James’ efforts to establish the “middle way” between Catholics and Protestants also had a significant impact on the development of Anglicanism, which remains one of the dominant Christian denominations in the world today. However, his treatment of religious minorities, particularly the Puritans, has been criticized as being too harsh and intolerant.

King James I’s commissioning of the King James Bible has had a lasting impact on Christianity. The translation of the Bible into English made it more accessible to the general population and helped to spread the Christian message.

The “Middle Way”


One of the defining features of King James I’s religious policy was his advocacy of the “middle way” approach to religious issues. The middle way was a compromise position that attempted to balance the competing demands of the Church of England’s various factions, particularly the Puritans and the more conservative Anglicans.

The middle way sought to find a compromise between the two sides by allowing certain aspects of Puritanism while retaining the essential elements of the Anglican Church. King James I believed that this approach would help to bring about religious unity in the country, which he saw as essential for maintaining political stability.

One of King James I’s efforts in this regard was the publication of the “Millenary Petition” in 1603, which was a document signed by around 1,000 Puritan ministers asking for certain reforms in the Church of England. King James I responded to the petition by convening the Hampton Court Conference in 1604, which brought together leading Anglican bishops and Puritan ministers to discuss the issues raised by the petition.

At the conference, King James I listened to the Puritans’ concerns and made some concessions to their demands, such as allowing for the translation of the Bible into English and the removal of certain Catholic elements from the Church’s liturgy. However, he also firmly rejected some of their more “radical” demands, such as the abolition of bishops.

Despite these efforts, the middle way approach was not entirely successful in achieving its goals of religious unity and stability. Many Puritans felt that the Anglican Church was not going far enough in its reforms, while many Anglicans believed that the Church was being too accommodating to the Puritans.

Nonetheless, King James I’s efforts in promoting the middle way approach to religious issues helped to shape the development of Christianity in England. His emphasis on compromise and moderation laid the foundation for the growth of a more tolerant and diverse religious landscape in England in the centuries that followed.

In conclusion

King James I was a complex figure in history, with both accomplishments and faults. His impact on Christianity, particularly through his contribution to a translation of the Bible, is significant, and his efforts to establish peace between Catholics and Protestants have had lasting effects. However, his treatment of religious minorities, particularly the Puritans, has been criticized as being too harsh and intolerant.


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A Life of God-centeredness is the Christian Life.

We are constantly bombarded by messages that tell us to prioritize our own interests and desires above all else. In today’s world, it is easy to fall into living a self-centered life. However, as Christians, we are called to live a life of God-centeredness – one that is focused on Him, His will, and His purpose for our lives.

It is important to distinguish between selfishness and self-centeredness. Selfishness is the act of putting oneself before others, while self-centeredness is the focus on oneself to the exclusion of others. While both can be, and usually are, detrimental to our relationships and well-being, only God-centeredness can purge both selfishness and self-centeredness.

The Bible warns us against self-centeredness in Philippians 2:3-4, which says, “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” 

It is easy to become consumed by selfishness and self-centeredness. Christians often fail to recognize the true purpose of our existence. However, the Bible and Puritan teachings offer a valuable solution to this problem – a life of God-centeredness.

We are commanded to love God with all our hearts, minds, and souls.

The Bible is filled with teachings about the importance of putting God at the center of our lives. In Proverbs 3:5-6, it says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

The Bible has much to say about selfishness and self-centeredness. In Philippians 2:3-4, we are instructed to “do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Similarly, in Romans 12:10, we are told to “be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.”

For if we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or whether we die, we are the Lord's. (Romans 14:8)

In Matthew 6:24, Jesus instructs us that “no one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Similarly, in 1 John 2:15-16, we are warned against loving the world and the things in it, as they are ultimately temporary and fleeting.

Similarly, in Matthew 6:33, Jesus says, “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” This verse emphasizes the importance of making God the top priority in our lives, and promises that our needs will be taken care of as a result.

When we live a life that is centered around God, we recognize that our existence is not about ourselves. The Bible teaches us that selfishness is a sin and we were created to glorify God and serve others.

Learning from the Puritans.

The Puritans, who were known for their devotion to God and their strict moral code, recognized the danger of selfishness and self-centeredness, and stressed the importance of a God-centered life. They believed that only by surrendering our will to God and seeking to do His will can we overcome our natural inclination to sin and selfishness. As John Flavel, a Puritan minister, wrote, “The more any man studies to live unto God, the less he shall care for the applause of men.”

The Puritan preacher Jonathan Edwards wrote, “The happiness of the creature consists in rejoicing in God, by which also God is magnified and exalted.” 
This is the ultimate goal of a God-centered life.

Puritan theologian Jonathan Edwards also wrote, “Self-centeredness is that disposition or frame of mind, wherein a man makes his own private interests his rule and governing end in all his actions.” Jonathan Edwards, emphasized the importance of God-centeredness when he said, “The enjoyment of God is the only happiness with which our souls can be satisfied.” Edwards recognized that true satisfaction and fulfillment can only be found in a life that is centered around God.

Puritan leader, Richard Baxter, echoed this sentiment when he said, “The way to heaven is ascending; we must be content to travel uphill, though it be hard and tiresome, and contrary to the natural bias of our flesh.” This uphill journey towards a God-centered life requires us to sacrifice our own desires and put the needs of others first.

Living a God-centered life requires sacrifice.


We must be willing to sacrifice our time, money, and efforts for the sake of others and for God’s Kingdom. However, it is important to note that not all sacrifices are created equal. We can sacrifice for a deeply self-centered cause, such as pursuing fame or success at the expense of others, or we can sacrifice for a God-centered cause, such as serving those in need or spreading the gospel.

Living a God-centered life requires a daily commitment to putting God first. This means actively seeking ways to serve and love those around us, even when it is inconvenient or uncomfortable. It means recognizing that our own desires and needs are not the most important thing in the world, and that true fulfillment and joy come from living a life that is centered on God and His purposes. God-centeredness is the antidote to both selfishness and self-centeredness. It requires sacrifice and a daily commitment.

Jesus said, "If any man will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matthew 16:24).

A God-centered life is not an easy or comfortable life. It requires us to put aside our own desires and ambitions, and to seek God’s will in all things. It requires us to love our enemies, to forgive those who hurt us, and to serve those who are in need. It requires us to be humble, patient, and obedient to God’s commands.

When we live a God-centered life, we can still sacrifice our time, money, and efforts – but we do so in service to Him and His purposes. This is a deeply meaningful and fulfilling way to live.

A God-centered life is a life of joy, peace, and fulfillment. When we put God first in our lives, we grow in His mercy, love and grace, and we experience His presence and power. We also find that our relationships with others are transformed, as we become more loving, compassionate, and generous.

By putting God first and living in obedience to His Word, we can find true joy, purpose, and fulfillment. May we all strive to live a life that is focused on Him and His glory.

Come to Christ.


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Highway to the Need for Creeds.

Revvin’ up your faith Listen to the truth’s roar.

Your faith under tension. Begging you to know more

Creeds, oh. creeds, The need for creeds. Helping us know what to believe.

Revvin’ up your engines, Listen to the teachings and learn.

Igniting your conviction, Gettin’ ready to discern.

Rising up, standin’ tall , We’ll use the Creeds to guide us. And we’ll never fall.

The need for creeds.

Creeds never are outdated. And they help us stand our ground.

They remind us of the truth, That in Christ, our faith is found.

Head to the church pew, Listen to the ancient creeds.

Faith under attention Guiding us to what we need.

Creeds, oh creeds, The need for creeds. Helping us know what to believe.

Creeds, oh creeds, The need for creeds. We’ll take the highway to the Need for Creeds.

So let us hold on tight, To the creeds that we confess.

They guide us on the way, To everlasting rest.

Creeds, oh. creeds, The need for creeds. Helping us know what to believe.

In the church we need some direction. Creeds help us with our confession

It’s not just about our own views.

It’s about what the early church knew

Creeds, oh. creeds, The need for creeds. Helping us know what to believe.


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