26 October 2012

This 'n' That

I replaced my toothbrush this week. (Stick with me). Every time I do this, I lament the fact that my favorite toothbrushes of years past are no longer being made. Now I'm using some fancy Oral-B contraption with rubber bristles on the side (I had a coupon). Rubber bristles? Really? Whose idea was that? I would love to have heard that conversation in the Oral-B monthly brainstorming meeting. Nothing I love more than brushing my teeth with recycled tires.

If all of these newfangled and fancy toothbrushes and flossing devices are so fantastic, then why are dentists still around? And did you ever notice that when your dentist gives you that free toothbrush at the end of your visit, it's one of those "old-fashioned" tried and true, plain jane toothbrushes? No fancy ridges or rubber, just the normal, soft bristles with which we all grew up. If those old school toothbrushes are so awful, why is our dentist giving them to us? Are these new, ritzy toothbrushes really that much better?

Okay, it's time for the lame transition from an awkward toothbrush conversation into a church-related application...

Just as we're jazzing up toothbrushes to raise prices and gain customers, so we're spicing up our churches to increase tithes and fill seats. But when it comes down to it, we don't need those ridiculous rubber bristles—we don't need the flashing lights, smoke machine and loud music. All we need is the "old-fashioned," tried and true, plain jane Gospel. Pastor, if you are faithful to the Word of God, then don't worry whether you have entire sections of empty pews or standing room only. God will bring in His sheep. That is, after all, to whom you are preaching. The Gospel doesn't need to be fancied up. Trust me, God does not need your help in making His awesome message of salvation and forgiveness of sins more palatable or exciting. Just preach the Word.

Yeah, yeah, I know that analogy broke down in multiple places, but you get the idea. Now, go brush your teeth, come back and enjoy your week in review (kind of):
  • Ken Silva walks us back through some of the, ahem, highlights(?) of the James MacDonald, T.D. Jakes, ER2 controversy.
  • Okay, this is a snake video, so it's a little disturbing. I loathe snakes. Still, in watching this I couldn't help but be amazed by yet another creature made by the hands of God.
  • Bloggers, beware! Buy all of the Flamin' Hot Cheetos that you can now, before they're stripped from the shelves!
  • If you've heard some of the hoopla surrounding "Christian" feminist Rachel Held Evans' new book, then you need to read Sarah Flashing's review of the work. Masterful.
  • 'King of kings' and 'Lord of lords'—Mormonism Research Ministry shows us what Brigham Young taught about these phrases. (Hint: It's blasphemous and wrong).
  • Hey, Jimmy Carter—Israel doesn't have to move towards a two-state solution...it's their land!
  • These wildlife photos are amazing (no snakes here!).
  • Mitt Romney's jab about the president's "Apology Tour" during Monday's debate was classic. Yet, the president was quick to call it the "biggest whopper of the campaign." Was it?
  • I've been weaning myself off of an afternoon cup (or three) of coffee and onto a more healthier option—tea. I found this article on the health benefits of tea really helpful. Oh, and if you're a tea drinker, feel free to leave any suggestions of favorite teas in the comments.
  • Brian McLaren will be touring the UK to promote his new book. His focus? Interfaith relations. Shocking.
  • S. Lewis Johnson on being a slave of Christ:


  1. "The gift of discernment of spirits is a gift the Spirit has given to me."

    Discerning of spirits is the supernatural ability given by the Holy Spirit to perceive the source of a spiritual manifestation and determine whether it is of God (Acts 10:30-35), of the devil (Acts 16:16-18), of man (Acts 8:18-23), or of the world. It is not mind reading, psychic phenomena, or the ability to criticize and find fault.

    Discerning of spirits must be done by the power of the Holy Spirit; He bears witness with our spirit when something is or is not of God. The gift of discerning of spirits is the supernatural power to detect the realm of the spirits and their activities. It implies the power of spiritual insight - the supernatural revelation of plans and purposes of the enemy and his forces. It is a gift which protects and guards the Christian life.

    I have been given the gift of discerning the spirits.

    But the serious problem I have along with others who have been given this gift by the Holy Spirit is that we tend to notice and catch something wrong before most anyone does. All who have been given this gift are the most misunderstood people and usually dismissed as either too harsh, judgmental or know it alls if we say something early on--taking the chance of upsetting people's applecarts.

    Most of the time I won't even say anything about people up front. I'll usually keep things to myself until several people begin to take notice of something wrong with a certain person and then I will speak out... Until then I pray for that person and myself that maybe I'm wrong. If evidence comes out it will speak for itself

    One example is John Piper.. Ever since I checked him out online several years back (8)years now--after listening to one of his sermons on my car radio, something never settled well with me about him from the very beginning.. Now that more things have been coming out in the open over time I can say what I have known about him for a long time.

    When I was first saved, I was so full of God's joy and His love that everywhere I went I was just bubbling over in my gratitude to Christ. 2 weeks after being saved, I walked into a Chinese restaurant and approached one lady to take my order whom I believe was in Occult, she look at me like something evil in her saw Jesus in me and she couldn't take my order. Her eyes got very big and she suddenly was backing up very scared and grabbing someone else pushing them forwards to take my order. I didn't do anything. I didn't have some strange powers or do anything. It was JESUS and my love for HIM. I was just a baby in Christ, what did I know??...

    People who go around thinking they have this gift are mostly frauds. It's just so obvious. they have no genuine love for Christ. The most excellent of gifts is LOVE...

    1. Linda, I wholeheartedly agree with you as another believer with the gift of discernment - actually both my husband and I have that gift, and like you, tend to stay pretty quiet these days, and tend to pray extensively before we speak out against the errors. I call discernment "the gift no one wants to receive", based on how we're treated when we attempt to confront error.

      Like you and your initial concern about Piper, we find it remarkable that all of the "teachers" who are being exposed today with major problems in either doctrine or practice (or both), well, we never were keen on any of them from the get-go either (to name but a few: Piper, Warren, Driscoll, MacDonald, Keller, Moore, Mahaney). That is truly only Christ's work in us, for sure. Praise His Holy Name!

      You nailed it, 1 Cor 13, if we have all [discernment] but have not love, we are but noisy gongs and it profits us nothing. Love is... patient... especially with those who are unwilling to see/hear the truth. As the Lord said, let them who have eyes/ears see/hear. And the bondservant of the Lord must be PATIENT when wronged, able to teach, in gentleness correcting those in error, hoping that God may grant them repentance and they may come to their senses and escape the devil's snare (paraphrase 2 Tim 2).

      Grace and peace to all in Christ
      carolyn (anon because I don't have online accounts)

  2. Thanks for the tip on the Cheetos, Erin. Having only recently returned to the work force, I haven’t had any money to spend on Cheetos since the .

  3. I have tried some teas that are good like Chai tea or Raspberry tea. I've tried some sample teas but well I always go back to coffee since it's just such a rote part of my life.


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