I owe this post to the United Methodist Youth Fellowship of Pangasinan Central District so it is just proper from me to thank and to commend them for exerting much physical, financial, and intellectual resources just to ensure a GOD-glorifying, Christ-centered, Spirit-filled, Scripture-saturated, grace-dependent, and faith-sustained Christmas Institute. I salute you.

This is the second CI wherein there is an integration of three Christian biographies in the activities. I was honored to handle last year’s study on Martin Luther (the other two were John Wesley and George Whitefield). This year, I was again asked to exalt Christ in the life of William Carey, the father of modern day missions.
Remember your leaders, those who spoke to you the word of God. Consider the outcome of their way of life, and imitate their faith. (Heb. 13:7)
If I will remember William Carey, consider the outcome of his way of life, and imitate his faith, I will most especially reflect on eight observable attributes which I will represent using the letters of MISSIONS.

Majesty of Christ
Just like Isaiah (in Isaiah 6:1-8), Carey had a deep sense of the majesty of Christ, seeing Him as altogether lovely and worthy to be served.
“Expect great things from God; attempt great things for God.” Great things are only expected from the great. And great things are only rendered for the great. “Expect great things from [the great] God; attempt great things for [the great] God.”

 In the last visit of Alexander Duff to the missionaries before William Carey died, he talked a lot of Carey’s works. He received a gracious rebuke: “Dr. Carey this.. Dr. Carey that.. Dr. Duff! You have been speaking about Dr. Carey; when I am gone, say nothing about Dr. Carey — speak about Dr. Carey's Savior.”
 Insufficiency of Man
Just like the great Apostle Paul (1 Timothy 1:15), William Carey seriously considers his sinfulness.
“I see more and more of my own insufficiency for the great work I am called to. The truths of GOD are amazingly profound, the souls of men infinitely precious, my own ignorance very great and all that I do is for GOD.”

“Nothing of any importance except to my shame, a prevalence of carnality, negligence, and spiritual deadness; no heart for private duties, indeed everything seems to be going to decay in my soul, and I almost despair of being of any use to the heathen at all.”
 Scriptures’ Worth
Carey has an extraordinary love for languages and he also has an extraordinary gift to learn new ones. He mastered the Latin grammar in six weeks. An old French book gave him the ability in three weeks to read French with ease. In an incredibly short space of time he had acquired a knowledge of Greek and Hebrew. At 21 years of age Carey had mastered Latin, Greek, Hebrew, Italian, Dutch and French.

When Carey died at 73, he had seen the Scriptures translated and printed into forty languages, some he translated by himself while others he supervised. He used his supernatural capability in trying to remove the language barrier in reading the Bible.

Salvation of Souls
“I care not where or how I lived, or what hardships I went through, so that I could but gain souls for Christ. While I was asleep I dreamed of these things and when I awoke the first thing I thought of was this great work. All my desire was for the conversion of the heathen, and all my hope was in GOD.”
 Intense Humility
“A wretched, poor, and helpless worm, on thy kind arms I fall.”

“When I compare myself with my work, I sink into a point, a mere despicable nothing.”
The worm lived 41 of his 73 years of living as a missionary to India who did not return home.

Occupation in the Highest
Before he became a missionary, Carey was a shoemaker. He drew a world map on brown paper, hang it on his wall, wrote notes on every nation. He had a thoughtful consideration of this calling, of this work.
“I would not abandon the Mission for all the fellowships and finest spheres in England. My greatest calamity would be separation from this service. May I be useful in laying the foundations of Christ’s Church in India; I desire no greater reward, nor can conceive higher honor.”
Nearing Reward
The Bible is filled with promised rewards. It is not a sin to desire these rewards. However, for Carey, seeing heaven filled with saints as fruits of missionaries’ works is a reward in itself.
“What a heaven will it be to see many myriads of poor heathens... Who by their [missionaries’] labor have been brought to the knowledge of GOD. Surely a ‘crown of rejoicing’ like this is worth aspiring.”
Sufferings’ Purpose
In his 41 years of missionary work, he...:
  • first seven years with no converts;
  • plunged into depths of depressions;
  • buried 2 wives, one went insane;
  • buried 3 kids: 2 daughters and a son;
  • almost died due to malaria and dysentery.

Suffering is not a hindrance in glorifying Christ. Instead, it is an agent in glorifying Christ. The Bible says in Romans 8:17, “…we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.” When we keep on serving Christ amidst pain, the world will be astonished and be pointed to the Savior who is infinitely worthy of all our sacrifices.

Books that "Confused" Timothy Keller

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 10:32 AM 1 comments

When you search Amazon’s best-selling Christian books, one of the authors who hit the list is Timothy Keller, senior pastor at Redeemer Presbyterian Church in New York and founder of Redeemer Church Planting Center. But this post is not intended to hover on his influential books but instead on the books that influenced him.

In the Reform and Resurge Conference of 2006, Keller preached on “Doing Justice” wherein he nailed my ear to his introduction:
“When you listen and read one thinker, you become a clone. If you really spend a lot of time listening and reading two thinkers, you become confused. If you really spend a lot of time in reading and listening to about ten thinkers, you'll start to develop your own voice. And you listen and read two or three hundred thinkers, you become wise and develop your voice. However, the first couple that confused you... always stay with you.”
I became curious of the books that perhaps “confused” Keller so I contacted www.timothykeller.com asking for a list of Keller’s recommended books. I received the following entries from Tim Cox, Digital Engagement Manager of Redeemer City to City:

College Years
Seminary Years
Good Basic Reading I've Found Since Then
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Westminster Bookstore
The Reason for God (Keller, Timothy)

Westminster Bookstore
The Meaning of Marriage (Keller, Timothy)

Westminster Bookstore
The Prodigal God (Keller, Timothy)

Westminster Bookstore
King's Cross: The Story of the World in the Life of Jesus (Keller, Timothy)

The Love that Wants You Dead

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 10:34 PM 2 comments

Self-centeredness and loving others had always been oppositions to me. I always thought that you can’t truly love others when you deeply think about your own personal image. However, GOD is really weird. He harmoniously maintains His passion for His personal glory and His passion for our personal gain. I will try to illustrate this using a very familiar story.

1Now a certain man was ill, Lazarus of Bethany, the village of Mary and her sister Martha. 2It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. 3So the sisters sent to him, saying, "Lord, he whom you love is ill." 4But when Jesus heard it he said, "This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it." 5Now Jesus loved Martha and her sister and Lazarus. 6So, when he heard that Lazarus was ill, he stayed two days longer in the place where he was. (John 11:1-6)

The Sandwich
Lazarus and her two sisters are very close to the heart of the Lord. Christ’s love for them is in verse 3 and Christ’s love for them is in verse 5. And there is a sandwich: Christ’s love in verses 3 and 5 sandwiches the glory of GOD in verse 4.

The So-Dilemma
Verse 6 will give a dilemma for the critical reader. Most literal Bible translations initiate verse 6 with a “so” or with a “therefore.” “So” implies a transition from reason to outcome.
  • I studied hard so I passed.
  • I was soaking wet yesterday so I am sick today.
  • Anna loves pink so she wears pink almost daily.
Verse 5 is then most likely the reason for the outcome in verse 6. I, therefore, paraphrase, “Christ intensely loves the three SO, when Lazarus was dying, He made sure that he would die (He stayed two more days).” If you think I am implying that it was Christ’s very love for them that wanted Lazarus dead, then you got my point. Jesus loved Lazarus much SO He wanted him dead.

The Love that Wanted Lazarus Dead
This was a problem to me and I believe it still is a problem to some. The problem arises primarily because of our poor definition of love. For most people, to love is to desire no harm for the loved. But true love is much more than just desiring no harm – it is desiring the highest possible good for the loved. And there is no higher possible good than GOD Himself. Jesus, in His love, wanted Lazarus dead because He wanted them to see the glory of GOD (verse 4). I strongly believe that these three whom Jesus loved never had a weaker faith after seeing this display of GOD’s glory. They had received a gift infinitely more valuable than life from the One who loves them much.

GOD desires to show us His glory. And His glory most of the time shines the brightest when our pits are the deepest. He Himself digs these pits and He Himself puts us in the deepest. And when He finally decides to show His glory, He will shine the brightest. He loves to show His glory because He loves you and wants to attract you to Himself. He loves you much and may perhaps want you dead.

Starting this November, Thrown Scabbard will be giving away a quality Christian book every month. What makes this free book give away more interesting is that you can have the book of your very own choice! Moreover, you can have more than one chance of winning. Click here for details...

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LIFTing Christ By Separating Him

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 11:39 PM 0 comments

13 Now who is there to harm you if you are zealous for what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness' sake, you will be blessed. Have no fear of them, nor be troubled, 15 but in your hearts honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks you for a reason for the hope that is in you; yet do it with gentleness and respect, 16 having a good conscience, so that, when you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ may be put to shame. 17 For it is better to suffer for doing good, if that should be God's will, than for doing evil. (1 Peter 3:13-17)

To honor Christ the Lord as holy (15a) is to literally separate Him. It is not the kind of separation that you do when you separate boys from girls, lanzones from rambutan, or freshmen from seniors. It is the kind of separation that you do to a gold bar when you have one. You don’t see diamonds rolling around streets. You separate them. You put these into vaults because they are extremely precious. Peter, therefore, exhorts us to magnify and LIFT Christ’s name and consider Him extremely precious in at least four practical ways.

Labor Goodness (13-14a, 16-17). Good behavior and good conscience flood these five verses explicitly in 4 verses and implicitly in one. Christians should abound in good deeds. The most loving, most forgiving, most kind, most patient, most gentle, most peaceable among men should be the Christians. There should be an observable excellence in us in all of the highest virtues and works. The world should be puzzled and ask how we do it and why can’t they outrun us in doing good. GOD will then be lifted up when the common ground by which all the good-doers stand shines: Christ.

Imply Fearlessness (14b). Verse 15 starts with a “but.” We use “but” to connect opposing points. We don’t say, “I am sick but I am weak,” but instead, “I am sick but I am strong.” The “fearing” in verse 14 is in contrast to the “honoring” in verse 15. The more we fear things, the less we glorify Christ. We fear because something that is so dear to us is threatened. We fear for our life. We fear for our family. We fear for our properties. We fear for our businesses. But when we start considering Christ to be so valuable, all our other valuables start to fade. The fading of these minor loves is also the fading of the fear for these loves. When a zealot points a gun to your head and threatens you, your family, and all that belongs to you because of your Christ but you stand fearless, Christ is lifted up.

Forge Readiness (15b). The world should not just be puzzled but answered about the puzzle. We are asked to forge readiness in address anything that pertains to our hope. When a Christian finds difficulty in answering questions, it is tempting to blame it to his head. However, I come to believe that inability to provide sufficient answers is more of a heart-issue than a head-issue, more of a passion-matter than an intellect-matter. We learn the most in subjects we love the most. Moreover, we defend most violently on matters we value most passionately. To be always ready to answer about Christ is to lift Christ because it shows how we value Christ.

Tender Meekness (15c). No one who will faithfully search the Scriptures will miss two essential points: (1) the greatness of GOD; and (2) the feebleness of man. And the more we meditate, the greater the expanse becomes between GOD and man when it comes to magnificence. Meekness and humility are unpreventable fruits of knowing GOD. Therefore, when GOD equips a saint the ability to answer, He graces him with humility. A Christian who answers with arrogance forgets the distance between him and the One whom he represents. Christ is lifted high when we answer in a way that acknowledges that our ambassadorship is an undeserved grace.

Thrown Scabbard: The great Apostle Peter has warned in the second chapter of his second epistle that false teachers will try to attack the church from within with what he calls damnable heresies. I take this to mean that even United Methodist pulpits and councils will be occupied by wolves. Will you give us some marks of "wolves in sheep’s' clothing" who may preach as Methodist ministers?

John Wesley: The first and great mark of one who corrupts the word of God, is, introducing into it human mixtures; either the errors of others, or the fancies of his own brain.

TS: Mixing the Bible with human inventions will require a lot of Scripture-twisting, will it not? How will a fraud preacher manage this?

JW: When the imposture was too bare-faced, and the text cited for it appeared too plainly either to make against it, or to be nothing to the purpose, then recourse has usually been had to a second method of corrupting it, by mixing it with false interpretations. And this is done, sometimes by repeating the words wrong; and sometimes by repeating them right, but putting a wrong sense upon them.

TS: Putting a wrong sense. That is -- giving a wrong interpretation to the verses.  What is a sure mark of an interpretation with a wrong sense?

JW: [It is] one that is either strained and unnatural, or foreign to the writer's intention in the place from whence they are taken; perhaps contrary either to his intention in that very place, or to what he says in some other part of his writings.

TS: A wrong interpretation does not fit in the surrounding verses, doesn't it?

JW: [Yes.] Any passage is easily perverted, by being recited singly, without any of the preceding or following verses. By this means it may often seem to have one sense, when it will be plain, by observing what goes before and what follows after, that it really has the direct contrary.

TS: Aside from taking verses out of context, what else do false teachers tend to do with the Word?

JW: [Another] sort of those who corrupt the Word of God are those who do so, not by adding to it, but taking from it; who take either of the spirit or substance of it away, while they study to prophesy only smooth things, and therefore palliate and colour what they preach, to reconcile it to the taste of the hearers.

TS: Oh, eliminating hard-to-swallow verses such as...

JW: Not one word must be said of the tribulation and anguish denounced against sinners in general; much less of the unquenchable fire.

TS: I have often heard it said that this is love. They just don't want their hearers to be terrorized or hurt. Is this love?

JW: [No.] They purpose to do good by the gospel of Christ; but it is to themselves, not to others. These are the methods of those corrupters of the word, who act in the sight of men, not of God.

TS: So, who then are the true loving and faithful ministers?

JW: [They know that] it is not their own word they preach, but the word of Him that sent them. They preach it genuine and unmixed. As they do not only profess, but really believe, that, "if any man add unto the word of God, He will add unto him all the plagues that are written in it."

TS: Purity of the Word with no additions! What else?

JW: In the next place, they are as cautious of taking from, as of adding to, the word they preach. They must publish, as proper occasions offer, all that is contained in the oracles of God; whether smooth or otherwise, it matters nothing, since it is unquestionably true, and useful too.

TS: Purity of the Word with no subtractions!

JW: [And also] They speak with plainness and boldness, and are not concerned to palliate their doctrine, to reconcile it to the tastes of men. They endeavour to set it always in a true light, whether it be a pleasing one or not. They will not, they dare not, soften a threatening, so as to prejudice its strength, neither represent sin in such mild colours as to impair its native blackness.

TS: A marriage of truth and passion, light and heat, logic on fire! We need more preachers of this frame in the 21st century, Sir Wesley. We praise Jesus for raising you as one in your own century.

I am new to Soundcloud.com and I am testing its proficiencies by uploading a 40-minute sermon. This is the latest from our pulpit at Dorongan-Punta United Methodist Church. Since our congregation is half-Ilocano-and-half-Pangasinan tounged, we preach in Filipino (although there were few Pangasinan throws here.) This was on 1 Peter 2:18-25:
18 Mga alipin, magpasakop kayo sa mga nagmamay-ari sa inyo at igalang ninyo sila, hindi lamang ang mababait kundi pati ang malulupit, 19 sapagkat kapuri-puri ang nagtitiis ng parusa kahit walang kasalanan, bilang pagsang-ayon sa kalooban ng Diyos. 20 Maipagmamalaki ba ang magtiis ng parusa kung ito ay dahil sa paggawa ng masama? Hindi! Ngunit kung magtiis kayo ng hirap sa kabila ng paggawa ninyo ng mabuti, pagpapalain kayo ng Diyos. 21 Ang pagtitiis ng hirap ay bahagi ng pagkatawag sa inyo ng Diyos, sapagkat nang si Cristo ay magtiis para sa inyo, binigyan niya kayo ng isang halimbawang dapat tularan. 22 Hindi siya gumawa ng anumang kasalanan, o nagsinungaling kailanman. 23 Nang siya'y insultuhin, hindi siya gumanti. Nang siya'y pahirapan, hindi siya nagbanta; sa halip, ipinaubaya niya ang lahat sa Diyos na makatarungan kung humatol. 24 Sa kanyang pagkamatay sa krus, pinasan niya ang bigat ng ating mga kasalanan upang tayo'y mamatay na sa kasalanan at mamuhay ayon sa kalooban ng Diyos. Kayo'y pinagaling na sa pamamagitan ng kanyang mga sugat. 25 Sapagkat kayo ay tulad ng mga tupang naliligaw, ngunit ngayon kayo'y nanumbalik na upang sumunod sa Pastol at Tagapangalaga ng inyong mga kaluluwa.

If this has ministered to you, please let me know. Thanks..

Free Christian MP3s

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 7:00 PM 0 comments

I have compiled some of the most recent Christian MP3s that I have downloaded (legally). All were (and still are) given away at Worship Matters, home of worship leading resources by Bob Kauflin. If you want to download the MP3s, just look for the downward arrow found at the right of each player.


Lead on, O King Eternal
(Ernest W. Shurtleff and Ryan Foglesong)

Lead on, O King Eternal, the day of march has come;
Henceforth in fields of conquest Thy tents shall be our home
Through days if preparation Thy grace has made us strong;
And now, O King Eternal, we lift our battle song

So lead on, lead on, King of Heaven my light and my salvation
Your faithfulness endures
O lead on, lead us to Your Kingdom. Through joy or tribulation
We follow You, we follow You alone.

Lead on, O King Eternal, 'til sin's fierce war shall cease
And holiness shall whisper The sweet amen of peace.
For not with swords loud clashing, nor roll of stirring drums
With deeds of loving mercy the heavenly Kingdom comes.

Lead on, O King Eternal, we follow, not with fears,
For gladness breaks the morning where 'er Thy face appears
Thy cross is lifted o'er us, we journey in its light;
The crown awaits the conquest; Lead on, O God of might!


Grace is Not Earned
(Kate Simmonds)

Grace is not earned, nor deserved,
It is a gift from God.
Saved by Your mercy alone,
Rescued by Your great love.
Grace is the heart of the Father,
Grace is the gift of the Son,
Grace is the work of the Spirit,
Revealing the wonder of an amazing God.

You know how often I fail
And all that I can't undo,
Stains I've no means to erase,
How can I stand before You?
Christ takes the cross on His shoulders,
Steadfast to Calvary's hill,
Leaving my sin in the grave
He rises, the conquering Son,
Such amazing love!

Raised by Your life, now in Christ,
Chosen and dearly loved,
I am now seen through Your eyes:
Righteous through Jesus' blood!
Ransomed, restored and forgiven,
My sins are remembered no more!
Though still I'll stumble, You'll keep me.
By grace, I'll continue on in unending love!

Oh the mercy, oh the mercy of our God, of our God. (repeat)


Completely Done
(Jonathan Baird, Ryan Baird, and Rich Gunderlock)

What reason have I to doubt
Why would I dwell in fear
When all I have known is grace
My future in Christ is clear

My sins have been paid in full
There's no condemnation here
I live in the good of this
My Father has brought me near
I'm leaving my fears behind me now

The old is gone, the new has come
What You complete is completely done
We're heirs with Christ, the victory won
What You complete is completely done

I don't know what lies ahead
What if I fail again
You are my confidence
You'll keep me to the end
I'm leaving my fears behind me now


We Belong to the Day
(Michael Morrow)

We belong to the day
To the day that is to come
When the night falls away
And our Saviour will return
For the glory of the King is in our hearts
On that day we will be seen for what we are

We belong to the day
Let us journey in the light
Put on faith, put on love
As our armour for the fight
And the promise of salvation in our eyes
On that day the proud will fall, the faithful rise

CH: Strong as a mighty rock
Our refuge in the coming wrath
The heart of the bride belongs to Jesus, Jesus
The earth in its turning stops
To marvel at the Son of God
And all of that day belongs to Jesus, Jesus

We belong to the day
We were bought with Jesus' blood
Soon he comes as the judge
In the power of his word
We must tell of his salvation while we wait
For the day when Jesus comes will be too late

BR: Oh, if ten thousand years go by we will wait
Let us tell of his great love, he will come
For his patience means salvation!


Praise the Lord
(Doug Plank and Bob Kauflin)

Praise the Lord, Oh praise His name
From the heights of heav'n He reigns
Seated in the highest place
Surrounded by unending praise

Praise Him for His mighty deeds
Awesome in His majesty
Praise Him now with trumpet sound
Lift your voice and dance around

Everything that has breath, praise the Lord
Everything that's in us, praise Him
Everything that has breath, praise the Lord

Praise the Lord with instruments
Praise Him for His excellence
Look at what He's done for us
Bore our sins upon the cross

Praise the Lord with all you are
Mind and soul and will and heart
From His hand comes everything
He alone is God and King


Free Book: Refuting Evolution 2

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 6:30 AM 0 comments

The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith.
~ 1 Timothy 1:5

“Why Do You Believe What You Believe?” is the theme for the second council meeting of the young people here at our district. It is enthusing to learn that United Methodist youths are recapturing interests for Christian apologetics. It is, therefore, timely to give away an apologetic book. Jonathan Sarfati “adroitly makes light of the inaccuracies and fallacies of evolutionary theory, and offers sound creationist interpretation of the facts” in his Refuting Evolution 2.

Take a look at its table of contents:

Unit 1. Claim: Evolution is Science
Evolutionists insist that evolutionary theory is science, and claim that creationism is religion.
Chapter 1: Argument: Creationism is religion, not science
Chapter 2: Argument: Evolution is compatible with Christian religion
Chapter 3: Argument: Evolution is true science, not ‘just a theory’
Unit 2. Claim: Evolution is well supported by the evidence
Evolutionists claim that they have found abundant, observable evidence of evolution.
Chapter 4: Argument: Natural selection leads to speciation
Chapter 5: Argument: Some mutations are beneficial
Chapter 6: Argument: Common design points to common ancestry
Chapter 7: Argument: ‘Bad design’ is evidence of leftovers from evolution
Chapter 8: Argument: The fossil record supports evolution
Unit 3. Claim: ‘Problems’ with evolution are illusory
Evolutionists argue that there are reasonable theories for even the biggest ‘surprises’ of evolution.
Chapter 9: Argument: Probability of evolution
Chapter 10: Argument: ‘Irreducible complexity’
Chapter 11: Argument: Evolution of sex
Chapter 12: Argument: Evolution of mankind
Appendix 1: Common arguments for evolution that have been rejected
Appendix 2: Common arguments for creation that should not be used

(In case you don’t win, you may read the book online at the website of Creation Ministries International.)

To enter the draw, just answer a simple question: What is the common word found in the titles of the following books?

DOUBLE your chance of winning! Like our Facebook page and you automatically get your draw entry doubled. (If you have already liked our page, your entry is automatically doubled.)

You ought to enter the draw with the right answer only once. The game closes by September 24 midnight and the winner will be announced on September 25.  ^_^

The "No-Spank" Act (HB4455) Still SPANKs

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 9:59 PM 4 comments

I highly honor and greatly love my parents. I cannot really imagine who would I be if they were not my parents. I could have been uneducated, or perhaps someone who had sold properties for gambling, or may had not even reach twenties after dying in a frat war. We were eight in the family (I am the eighth) and we can describe our ever lovable parents in hundreds of words. However, I and my siblings will agree that their being "DISCIPLINARIANS" will make it to the top 10... or even higher. We are products of rods and we are incalculably thankful for it. I would spank them if they had not spanked me. I would not be me without those rods.

Therefore, I find lots of mess and nonsense with the thoughts of representatives Susan Yap, Bernadette Herrera-Dy, and those who lined on their ranks. The former two principally authored House Bill No.4455 or “An Act Promoting Positive and Non-violent Discipline of Children.” Although the Act aims for the best of children - to protect them against abuse, it restricts parents and guardians to utilize corporal punishment, any punishment in which physical force is used and intended to cause some degree of pain or discomfort, however light. In short, this bill will jail my parents if only we are in the 80s.

With Bible on my hand, I will show that this "no-spank" house bill still SPANKs.

Scorns GOD's Attributes
"For the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and chastises every son whom he receives... For the moment all discipline seems painful rather than pleasant, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it (Heb. 12:6,11)."
GOD is infinitely loving, infinitely holy, infinitely wise. If the premise of this 4455 that corporal punishment does no good but rather has negative effects to kids is truthful, then GOD is the most foolish of all parents. GOD is not worthy of imitation in parenting. And GOD is even causing unwanted effects to His kids. Or is He? That's an insult to my holy GOD's parenting methodologies.

Perverts Church Discipline
"If he refuses to listen to them, tell it to the church. And if he refuses to listen even to the church, let him be to you as a Gentile and a tax collector (Matt. 18:17)."
"As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest may stand in fear (1 Tim. 5:20)."
The church is designed by the Lord to be an assembly of believers helping each other to grow in Christlikeness. It is a family of siblings guiding each other to be like sheep worthy of the Great Shepherd. The Shepherd, with a rod on His hand (Psa. 23:4), disciplines those in the flock (through the church) who act as goats. Church discipline is so much important that confessions (the Belgic Confession for example) consider it as an essential mark of the true church. If families won't witness discipline in their homes, church discipline becomes blurry or worse, unacceptable.

Abducts Parental Respect
"We have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we respected them (Heb. 12:9)."
The Bible is clear in saying that respect is what parents get when they give discipline. Our experience will testify to this with a thousand Amens. It is then safe to say that the worst thing that hardens the hearts of children towards their parents, that robs them of their kids' respect, is restricting them in practicing discipline.

Neglects Human Nature
"Folly is bound up in the heart of a child, but the rod of discipline drives it far from him (Prov. 22:15)."
Jeremiah 17:9 refers to the heart of man as desperately wicked, untrustworthy! We are sinners not because we do bad things. We do bad things because we are sinners. After Adam's fall, the nature of man is corrupted that it bends towards wickedness. This depravity manifests as early as infancy and grows more and more conspicuous as someone progresses through childhood. This further implies parents are not just facing simple naughtiness but so much more than that. Parents, as they deal with their kids, are facing man's corrupted and sinful nature. They are at war with the very reasons that nailed Christ on the cross, the very reasons that caused GOD the Son. GOD disclosed a secret tool -- the rod of discipline.

Knocks Divine Commands
"Whoever spares the rod hates his son, but he who loves him is diligent to discipline him (Prov. 13:24)."
"Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol (Prov. 23:13-14)."
The crux of disagreements on this matter is actually whether to have faith in GOD who inspired the Scriptures or not, whether to listen to psychologists who lived a few years or to take heed on the words of GOD who breathed the stars, whether to believe that the Bible is infallible and is the sufficient guide to shepherding kids or not. The Bible has lots to say about discipline. It is just a matter of admitting that you can never be wiser than GOD.

Curiosity is creeping in, "Did these congress people receive corporal punishments themselves?" If not, then who are they to talk with authority on this matter? If yes, then aren't they proud of what they have become? I am aware that there are lots of kids also who are battered on the guise of discipline. They should really be saved and protected. However it is always unwise to throw the baby out with the bath water.

9 Unusual Ways of Saying "GOD Bless You"

Posted by Bernard Rosario On 6:22 PM 1 comments

1)      May you fully admit your emptiness and helplessness.
2)      May your knowledge about your unworthiness draw you to cry out and mourn.
3)      May all of your fleshly confidence and pride be fully smashed that you may trust no one but GOD.
4)      May you be fully convinced that your are disgustingly sinful and crave for genuine righteousness that comes from Christ alone.
5)      May you realize that you ought to show mercy because you have received mercy too.
6)      May you not be satisfied on outward acts of holiness only but have genuine purity of heart.
7)      May you be an agent of peace and reconciliation between men and between man and GOD.
8)      May you face tons of persecutions from those who can't stand with your display of Christlikeness.
9)      May others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely because of Christ.

The Beatitudes (Matthew 5:3-11)
1)      Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
2)      Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted.
3)      Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.
4)      Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
5)      Blessed are the merciful, for they shall receive mercy.
6)      Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.
7)      Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.
8)      Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
9)      Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account.


Deadlines are flocking on my schedules leaving me with so scarce time to blog. I must admit that my book giveaway is past my self-imposed deadline. But I hope a set of two books is worth the wait for those who are already asking. The winner will be taking home a copy each of The Radical Cross by A. W. Tozer and I Kissed Dating Goodbye by Joshua Harris.

We ought to acknowledge that books are essential to our spirituality. The Apostle Paul himself was still asking for his books even in the concluding days of his life (2 Tim. 4:13). And as I ponder upon this importance, I have just realized that the books that I read in the earliest seasons of my Christian life (at about my teens) have incalculable effects on what I am now. If you are a new believer, let me exhort you to choose very sensibly the materials that you read. These may shape you, your ministry, and your fellowship with the Godhead more than you can imagine. Let me introduce you to 10 books that I read when I was much younger.


As a student, I depended on freebies over the internet to sustain my desire for books. I received a couple of books from Moody Radio. One of which taught me about Bema Judgment and about bringing my money to heaven. Eversince reading Your Eternal Reward by Erwin Lutzer, my view on the Judgment Day and the selflessness of desiring rewards have just slightly changed.
Another gracious giver of free materials was Insight for Living, a ministry of Charles Swindoll. Swindoll is a very gifted teacher for young Christian minds. Christlikeness is so vividly presented in this Christmas gift that I received in 2000 from friends, Anna and Dol. For sanctification in new believers, The Quest for Character will be a recommendation.

The first reference material that I bought with my own money. Though already a local church youth president, I still had taken a lot of Scriptures out of context. My most persistent critic then, my pastor, had frequently emphasized my poor hermeneutics. How could I improve my hermeneutics if I didn’t even know what “hermeneutics” mean? Thank God for Kaiser and Silva’s An Introduction to Biblical Hermeneutics. I did not just learn the meaning of hermeneutics; I also learned better biblical interpretation.

Church discipline is a very unpopular theme in churches nowadays, unlike in the time of the Belgic Confession when it was still considered a mark of the true church. Jay Adams’ The Handbook of Church Discipline made me love Matthew 18 and other parts of Scripture that a lot find contradicting with love. Even excommunication can be the most loving act to a sheep acting like a goat. No other book made me a disciplinarian than this.

Argentina found My Utmost for His Highest in a Oneness Pentecostal bookstore. It appeared that someone already owned and used it but perhaps re-sold it because it was Trinitarian. So I received it on my birthday. I did not straightaway realize that it was 100x harder to understand than my previous daily reading. But Oswald Chambers’ thoughts were so brilliant that I made my perusing so slow in order to dig gold from day to day. Up to now, after 12 years, I still esteem this book to the highest among devotionals.

The Forgotten Spurgeon shaped the ambitious idealistic reformist zealot in me. It presented to me the hero I would be admiring ‘til my grave, to a man of whom this earth is not worthy. From his crash against the Hyper-Calvinists to his downgrade controversy, the prince of preachers is someone to whom I can wish to lose all knowledge that I have just to get a pinch of his pastoral skills.

I should warn that Knowing God is not an easy reading… but it is neither hard. Though J. I. Packer designed it for the scholarly, God perhaps marginally tweaked his writing style so that younger ones could also devour theology studies with more ease. For more than two decades, this book has already blessed millions of the exciting and rewarding joy of knowing God. I am glad that I am one of these multitudes.

I am surprised that I would even place I Kissed Dating Goodbye above J. I. Packer on influencing my Christian behaviour. Joshua Harris was such a popular name when we were teenagers because mainly of this book. It was not an understatement that new attitudes on love and courtship developed not just in individuals but also in youth organizations. If God will grant me a teenage child, I will definitely require him to read this book at least more than once.

Nothing shaped my view pertaining to the pulpit more than John Piper’s The Supremacy of God in Preaching, my first Piper title. Its Trinitarian formula (goal, ground, and gift) for preaching and the expository preaching examples of Jonathan Edwards and Charles Spurgeon had stuck on my mind and heart and became very handy now that I already am a preacher. If I would institute a pre-requisite to not wasting the pulpit, surely reading this small book would be one.

Honestly, God’s providence used my foolishness to make this book my first buy. As a youth leader, I was looking for a book that would help me to deal with the young people’s materialistic living. I thought Ashamed of the Gospel’s subtitle “When the Church Becomes Like The World” was the cue for my battle against materialism. Thank God because John MacArthur did not just offer a solution to an itty-bitty youth problem. He called me to faithful ministry, faithful to God and to His Word. It contains the first of my favorites from Spurgeon, “Look you, sirs, there are ages to come. If the Lord does not speedily appear, there will come another generation, and another, and all these generations will be tainted and injured if we are not faithful to God and to his truth today.”

DOUBLE your chance of winning! Like our Facebook page and you automatically get your draw entry doubled. (If you have already liked our page, your entry is automatically doubled.)

You ought to enter the draw with the right answer only once. The game closes by July 30 midnight and the winner will be announced on July 31.  ^_^

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