Sunday, December 13, 2009

Temporary Schedule Change

For the remainder of December, the Christianese Radio schedule will be temporarily switched from Mondays to Tuesdays (like it used to be). During the Christmas season, recording the show on Monday nights is a lot easier for me. But this, Lord-Willing, will only be temporary. In January, it should resume it's original Monday schedule.

Sorry for the inconvenience!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Show Delayed

Once again, the show is temporarily being delayed; had another good but tiresome day today and I haven't quite had the time to get all my thoughts and notes together for the show. I'm hoping to record it tomorrow night, though, so that it will be ready on Tuesday morning.

Sorry for the disappointment!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Addendum: "Youth Groups..."

By Joe Harrison

I would like to point out something that I should have said in the previous post, "The Dangers of Youth Groups". And that's the intentions of said Youth Leaders. I want you, the reader, to know that I understand that these Youth Leaders have good intentions. I really believe that. But to quote my man Dr. Alan Grant from Jurassic Park III:
"Some of the worst things imaginable have been done with the best intentions."
And I believe this quote to be entirely true. Now, you know me, I... well... hate is too harsh a term... but I really dislike all the cheesy slogans that Christians come up with these days. "Let go and let God". "No God, No Peace. Know God, Know Peace." And a bajillion other silly ones that may be true, but they still make me cringe. Anyway, so if you know me you know I really dislike Christian slogans. But I have to take a step away from that and come up with one of my own. You ready for it?

Things should not be done with good intentions, they should be done with God intentions.

There. Major cheese-factor, I know, but true. God intentions. As in letting the Holy Spirit guide you in God's Will. Not what you think is the best thing. What God knows is the best thing. Once again, this is one of our biggest problems. We are trying to teach teenagers about God with our own strength. But we need to do it through/with God's Strength. Otherwise it becomes empty and fruitless.

Now I do apologize if, in the previous post, I sounded a bit harsh. My concern is for the unsaved and newly Born Again teenagers out there. My concern is not to bash Youth Leaders. But it often comes out that way. It often sounds like I'm more out to kill all the Youth Leaders rather than wanting to help the teen generation. And I apologize if it came off that way.

I am just so concerned, so worried about where Christianity is and where it is heading today. It devastates me to see so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ being swept away by the false doctrines of modernizing the Gospel to make it more acceptable when this is the exact opposite of what we should be doing. If any of you were hurt by the blogpost, I ask for your forgiveness, but once again I also ask that you not dismiss what I said, but think about it and pray about it.

Please. The teen generation does not need cool Youth Leaders and cool entertainment and a cool atmosphere. The teen generation needs to know Who God is.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

The Dangers of Youth Group

Blogger: Joe Harrison

Youth Group. Young Life. Teen Gathering. Young Adults on Fire. Whatever you want to call it, almost instantly it sends a shiver of discomfort down my spine. Youth Group can be a very dangerous thing for the young kids out there who are either new Christians or not Christians at all. Why, you ask? Because Youth Groups that actually teach the words of God, the lessons of Christ, and so on, are far and few in between.

I have been to a number of different Youth Groups; I can count at least six. And of those six only two were Bible-teaching Youth Groups (my thanks goes out to Josh & Lisa Hatthaway back in the SJCC days and Mr. & Mrs. Farrow back in the CRBC days for being those two groups). Two in Five. That's about 35% Bible-Teaching Youth Groups, leaving 65% out in the dark.

Here's the problem I saw with those 65%: What I saw was a group of Christian Leaders who were worried about being relevant to today's teenagers. Worried about being acceptable to today's teenagers. Worried about being cool to today's teenagers. And it was all of this combined that led to 58 Minutes of worldy entertainment. Games, secular movies, games, jokes, stand-up comedy, more games, and so on. 58 minutes. Leaving a miserable and ridiculous two minutes at the end for a quick prayer.

Youth Groups are more in a danger of turning to the Emerging Church movement than Churches are. I have been to some Youth Groups where they sing secular songs from popular bands that maybe just happen to mention God or Angels or Heaven. This is one of the trademarks of the Emerging Church movement. They teach about life experiences, feelings, and thoughts, unrelated to what the Bible says. Another trademark of the Emerging Church movement. They teach you to be a "Good Person", nevermind bringing the Gospel message into it; and when they do, it becomes a "Accept God because He is the 'Happy Pill'" gospel message. Another trademark of the Emerging Church movement.

Get the picture?

Now, let's examine the Why. Let's jump back up to what I said a couple paragraphs above. I said:
...Christian Leaders who were worried about being relevant to today's teenagers. Worried about being acceptable to today's teenagers. Worried about being cool to today's teenagers.
All three of these things are true, but they stem from one main root. And it's the same root problem of all the Christians out there who think we need to update the Gospel message to make it more relevant and acceptable. The root problem is: they are putting too much work on their shoulders and off of the Holy Spirit's. Understand that it is the Holy Spirit Who prepares people to hear the Gospel. It is the Holy Spirit Who convicts. It is the Holy Spirit Who leads someone to Christ. We the Christians are but the vessel of the Holy Spirit. We share the Gospel, the Holy Spirit does the work. When we worry about the Gospel message's relevance and think we need to change it, that's us starting to think that we have something to do with a person coming to Christ. Don't get me wrong, we do in some way, but it is the Holy Spirit through us Who does most of the work. He works through us, as in we should still share the Gospel. I say that because I could see some readers thinking I meant that we don't need to evangelize because we can just let the Holy Spirit do it. That's not what I'm saying at all. While, certainly, He doesn't need a vessel, the Holy Spirit works best when using us as a vessel to reach the Lost.

But this is why we do not need to change the Gospel. This is why we do not need to become relevant to teenagers. Teach the Truth for what it is. But you may say:
"But then we will lose some attendance!"
First off, God is not concerned with the numbers as much as He is concerned with the Truth being declared. Secondly, look to the Flagship Verse of Evangelism:
"So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; it shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it." Isaiah 55:11 (NKJV)
I mean, do I even really need to continue this point any further than that verse? It seems pretty crystal-clear to me. Declare God's Truth for what it is, because it will not return to Him void! What we tend to fail to understand is that we may share the Gospel with someone, with a teenager, and that person leaves and never comes back again... but the Truth that you revealed to him/her is now in his/her mind. It is in his/her memory. He/she will remember it. They have been exposed to the awesome revelation of Christ! You have done your part, now the ball is in the Holy Spirit's court.

But when we waste time being relevant, playing games with the teenagers, singing strange secular songs with them, watching secular (and usually dirty) movies with them, we are only "callusing" them to the work of the Holy Spirit. Why are we taking 58 minutes to share with these kids what they already get when they are out in the World? Why are we not sharing with them something new and exciting like the reality of Christ? I think another part of it is that Youth Leaders get stuck in the idea of "Well, if we preach about Christ than that means we have to talk about Sin and Hell all the time." NO! No, sir. You do not understand. God isn't just about Sin and Hell and Punishment and Death. God is far beyond our wonders, beyond anything we could ever imagine, He is so glorious and wonderful, and there are a boat-load of stories in the Bible that show us how incredibly magnificent God is. So preach the Gospel, but also teach Who God is!

If you are a Youth Leader and you are reading this, I beg you, if I knew you personally and knew where you lived I would drive over to your house right now and fall to the ground wrapping my arms around your legs in a desperate plea: TEACH THE TRUTH TO THE TEENAGERS. And regardless of whether they come back or not, LET THE HOLY SPIRIT WORK. They have been exposed to the revelation of Christ. And they will not soon forget it. And also think about it as preparation. You share the Gospel and teach from the Bible to the teenagers, and they never return again. But maybe a few days, weeks, months, or years down the road they come face-to-face with someone else who is preaching the Truth. Instantly their minds will jump back to when they were first exposed to It. That first time hearing it has prepared them; they have already been exposed to It, now when they come face-to-face with it again, they are familiar with it.

Please. Teach from the Bible. And teach the Gospel.

Now I have nothing against games and fun per se, but taking 90% of the time to play the games and leaving only 10% for the Bible is just completely and utterly ridiculous. If anything it should be reversed. Games have their time and place, but they should certainly never override the Bible. I would go as far as to say that it shouldn't even be balanced at 50/50. Bible-teaching should always have a higher percentage than games, etc.

Remember. You are the vessel of the Holy Spirit. Do your job, and He will do His. Don't damage today's generation even more than it already is. Do that which you have been sent into the World to do.

(Look for a future episode of Christianese Radio that will be taking this subject further)

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Show Delayed

Much apologies, this week's episode of Christianese Radio will be delayed. Nothing bad has happened as much as it is just that I feel like a weekload of exhaustion that has been held back has suddenly been dumped on me. Lord-willing there will be a show this week, possibly Tuesday or Wednesday. I definitely have a lot I want to talk about and share, so I'm excited about being able to do it. It's just a matter of "when".

But until whenever it happens happens, the Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

"Christianese Radio" Delayed

This week's episode of Christianese Radio will be delayed until Tuesday. Sorry about the short-notice, but be sure to check back on Tuesday (27th) morning.

10-26-09 Episode Preview

(Sorry, I know it's been a while) Half-Hour 1: Discussion on interesting events involving criminals being stopped by prayer twice in the same week, as well as comments on the current Bi-Weekly Poll question. And finally a quick review of the film The Visitation based on the novel by Frank Peretti.

Half-Hour 2
Some of us have a huge problem of seeing what God wants us to do, but either by fear or by pride we turn away and run in the opposite direction. Somewhat a part two to the episode from three weeks ago about being Christ's Representatives, we look at this scenario of turning away from what God may be calling us to do as His Representatives.

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Thursday, October 22, 2009

Get Out of Hell, Free!

Blogger: Joe Harrison

Don't pretend like you have never done it before, because we are all guilty of doing this at least once (but probably more than once) in our lives. We treat the Salvation given to us by Jesus Christ as a "Get Out Of Jail, FREE" Card. Now, right away, I may have people jumping on me and saying that this analogy is correct because we can't work our way into Heaven and the gift of Salvation is free. Well, I have no dispute there. But that's not all it's about.

First of all, think about the card in general. Think about its use. Notice the smaller set of words underneath:


And here's where the problem comes. We look to Christ's Salvation only when we think we need it. But until then, we continue to "walk in darkness" (as John talks about). Maybe you have friends who are not Christians, and you give no indication that you are a Christian. You use foul language, you laugh at their crude (sometimes even God-mocking) jokes, sometimes you even add a few jokes of your own. THEN, something bad happens in your life and you go running to God with your little "Get Out Of Jail, Free" card and start begging Him to help you. OR, maybe your friends know you're a Christian, but you've purposefully told them a number of times "Well, I'm not really strict" or "I'm a loose Christian", and you proceed to let words and jokes come out of your mouth that are grieving the Holy Spirit Who dwells in you. Do you understand that? We Christians really do take that for granted. The Holy Spirit is within us. And when we sin, we are grieving Him, and I think, in a lot of ways, it may be worse for this Member of the Trinity because He is seeing us commit these sins firsthand.

As mentioned above, John tells us in his first epistle:

"If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the Truth." 1 John 1:6 (NKJV)

It is not enough to just have Salvation. If we profess to be Christians but treat Salvation as a monopoly card, in other words not taking advantage of Salvation until the very End, thereby letting us live our lives however we want, then we are walking in darkness; a.k.a. Satan's Territory. A place where Satan (and anyone else for that matter) pretty much has the right to call us his "children" because if we're in Satan's Territory it means we're acting like Devils, and as that old saying goes: "Like father, like son."

The Apostle John's letter was written (including the above verse) largely to a dangerous heresy called Gnosticism. Now Gnostics held to many heretical beliefs, but among their beliefs was the idea that they could do whatever they wanted to their bodies because sins committed could not affect the spirit. So even if they led the most sinful life in the history of the world, they would still get to Heaven. Now we look at that and say "That's terrible!" But in actuality... we have to admit that that doctrine is what many of us practice. Christ's Salvation is our "Get Out Of Jail, FREE" Card, so it doesn't matter what kind of life we live. In the End when we stand before God, we simply give Him the card and He opens the gateway of Heaven for us, saying "Well done, good and faithful servant."

I hope you're seeing something wrong with this picture. Notice what God says to us: "Well done, good and faithful servant." We are to serve God with our lives. Now while works do not get us into Heaven, they do play an important part in our service to God. James tells us:

"Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." James 2:17 (NKJV)

Work for the Kingdom. Serve God. Start acting like His children! Otherwise, Paul tells us:

"He himself will be saved, but only as one barely escaping the flames." 1 Corinthians 3:15 (NIV)

Doesn't that sound awful? I mean it's great that this person would still be Saved... but I don't know about you, I don't want to just barely escape the flames. I want to be as far away from them as possible! So all this is not to necessarily say that you are not Saved, but you are clearly in a lot of danger. You are exactly at the reaching-distance of the Devil, and believe you me, he will grab you and pull you down lower.

Throw out that "Get Out Of Jail, FREE" Card. Don't just apply Christ's Salvation at the End. Apply it to your life now. And let the Holy Spirit begin the Sanctification process as you stop walking in darkness.

"But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, His Son, purifies us from all sin." 1 John 1:7 (NKJV)

Thursday, October 8, 2009

The Role of the Holy Spirit

Blogger: Joe Harrison

For several years I am ashamed to admit that I have profoundly neglected the Holy Spirit, though I professed to be a believer in the Trinity. I rarely ever gave Him any thought! And when I did, I often referred to Him as an "it". But this year I have really begun to turn around and see Him for Who He truly is. And in this blogpost were taking a look at the role of the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity; a Person, not a thing. And on the note of Masculinity, Jesus Himself refers to the Spirit as "He" in the Gospel of John:

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever--the Spirit of Truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you." John 14:16-17 (NKJV)

Furthermore, we know that the Holy Spirit has personality (if that quote from Jesus Himself is not enough to convince you). Paul talks about the Mind (Rom. 8:27) and Will of the Holy Spirit (2 Cor. 12:11). Luke also tells us in Acts 13:4 that Barnabas and Saul (Paul) were "sent out by the Holy Spirit". Ephesians 4:30 and Isaiah 63:10 talk about grieving the Holy Spirit. Luke 10:21 and 1 Thessalonians 1:6 talk about the Holy Spirit giving joy.

There are numerous texts in the Bible that are clear indications that the Holy Spirit is a Person, referred to as a Man, and equal with God the Father and Jesus the Son. In one of the most popular passages in Christendom, the Great Commission (Luke 24:44-47) Jesus commissions us to baptize "in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit". If the Holy Spirit were not equal with God, it seems a little strange to me that Jesus would hold Him up to such a high level of importance with His name and God's Name. Simultaneously, notice that Jesus says "the NAME". He does not say "the Names". The Holy Spirit is the third member of the Trinity.

The Hebrew word used for the Holy Spirit is ruah, which means "breath", "air", or "wind". Many Antitrinitarians (or Nontrinitarians) use this as "proof" that the Holy Spirit is a thing, not a Person. But, just was with Yahweh (God the Father) and Yeshua (Jesus the Son), Ruah describes Who the Spirit is and what His role is. Case in point: Yahweh basically means "I Am what I Am"--God is Eternal, and eternally there for us. Yeshua means "Salvation", Jesus is our Savior or Rescuer, because He has (and will) rescue us. Ruah means "Breath", "Air", or "Wind", because He is God's Breath, but also He is our Breath of Life, He sustains us and sanctifies us, bringing us fresh air and releasing the bad air (just as our normal breathing process works).

So the Holy Spirit is God's Breath. Surely now you are beginning to recall some Bible passages that talk about God breathing. Paul tells Timothy "all Scripture is God-breathed" (2 Timothy 3:16). But here's something interesting. Turn back to the very beginning, in Genesis.... How did God bring life to Adam and Eve? The Bible tells us He breathed into them! So could that possibly mean that the Spirit was responsible for bringing us to life? It seems to make sense, and we see why by taking a look at the overall role of the Holy Spirit.

The overall role of the Holy Spirit is to focus us on Jesus Christ. Almost everything the Spirit does results in Jesus Christ being glorified/focused on. He is called by Jesus the Spirit of Truth, because He holds the Truth (Jesus Christ, John 14:6). The Holy Spirit is prominent in evangelism because He, as with Barnabas and Paul, sends us out to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ; it is He Who gives us the courage to do so. When we share the Gospel, it is the Spirit Who convicts, Who leads the convicted to Christ. The Holy Spirit sanctifies us throughout our lives so that we may praise Christ. Now look at the Bible. The Bible is God-breathed; the Spirit wrote it. Why? So that we may know the Truth and glorify our Savior! Now, once again turning to the beginning, if it was, indeed, the Spirit Who brought us to life (as mentioned in the previous paragraph) then this makes sense because we are given life so that we may turn to (and glorify) Christ!

Without breath we could not speak. We need our breath in order to speak (and speak loudly). And keeping that in mind, here's an interesting way of looking at the Spirit's role:  you're a little kid who's gone with your dad to the supermarket. Then it happens... one wrong turn and you are separated and lost. You wander around alone... when suddenly you hear a voice calling out to you. What happens next? You follow the sound of the voice, which can be difficult. But eventually, the sound of the voice leads you back to your dad.

Make sense? The breath/voice of your dad led you to find him. The Holy Spirit leads you to Christ, or if you're already with Christ, when the Holy Spirit 'speaks', you focus on Christ, just as whenever someone in the same room as you speaks, you (usually) turn to look at the person.

The Role of the Holy Spirit is to focus us on Jesus Christ.

(Note: Be on the lookout for an upcoming episode of Christianese Radio where we talk, once again, about the Holy Spirit. For previous show discussions, see the 05-04-09 episode: "The Trinity" - links to Podcast Archive)

Monday, October 5, 2009

10-05-09 Episode Preview

Half-Hour 1
2 Corinthians 5:20 calls us to be ambassadors (also translated "representatives") of Christ, and there is more to this job than we realize (or sometimes even want to admit). We really do take Christianity for granted a lot of time, and while we may not realize it, we start to treat Salvation like a "Get out of Jail FREE" card. But in this half-hour we examine what it actually means to be a Representative of Christ.

Half-Hour 2
Deception. It was Satan's very first tactic against mankind. And it's this tactic that we look at in this half-hour. Be wary! Satan is good at his job, and just by looking and examining Genesis 3:1-6, we have insurmountable proof that he is! But sometimes, we can even try to deceive ourselves by making excuses for our sin. See these deceptions for what they really are, and start being Christ's Representative.

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The Darkest-Side of Life

Blogger: Sarah Gilbertson

One of my biggest fears is cancer. I feel like the world is getting cancer, if you hear someone in your distant family died you can almost bet it's going to be cancer. Sometimes I feel insane like it's only a matter of time until I get it....sometimes it really feels like EVERYONE is GETTING IT! For a really dark couple of weeks in my life....okay...actually couple of years...I was continually worried about getting cancer or some other disease like it, I would worry that my parents were going to get it too. I was worried everyone in my family was going to get it. It really controlled me. I let my fear control me.
Then I got married....and it only got worse. Worrying about my husband getting sick took a lot of time out of my days, worrying that I was going to get sick and die and leave him alone and thinking of how sad he would be made me so scared. And that fear got in the way of our marriage at times, sometimes I would just end up sounding like a paranoid idiot because everything I said started with "Well...I'm afraid that..." I can't imagine living with someone who is continually afraid, but my husband did. He was VERY patient but there came a time when we had to talk about it. And I came to the realization just how much time I wasted by worrying about things all the time. I was robbing me and my husband and my family of valuable time, time that God had given us! I think I justified it in my head sometimes by thinking: "If I am always paranoid about it and talking about it then maybe I won't get it!" You know those weird thoughts we have to ourselves, where we think if we think something in a certain way like: "I'm NEVER getting married!" over and over so that then the opposite will happen somehow is SO ridiculous! We don't have that much power! God's going to decide whether something happens or not no matter how or what we think. That's not to say that thinking in a way that is pleasing to God is not important (though thinking thoughts like that are probably not very pleasing to God), but it's a reminder that we can't control what happens to us just by thinking the right thoughts. We are in a way trying to take that power away from God, we might not be realizing we are doing it, or doing it on purpose but that's what it is.
My husband, Andrew, would try to comfort me when I got down and depressed about my 'inevitability' of getting cancer, he would say: "God knows what's going to happen! Worrying isn't going to change anything! You just have to let go and know that God is going to control it all and He wouldn't let anything happen that wasn't for a reason." To which I would glumly reply: "Yeah...well maybe His reason is that I get cancer and leave you alone forever. Sounds like a good reason to me." or I would say "But that doesn't help! It means I could STILL get cancer, that could still be what happens, even though God is in control of everything" and Andrew would say "But if that's what God allowed to happen, don't you think there would be a reason? Don't you think His ways are higher than our ways?" To which I would never reply because I knew it would be stupid to try and argue with that point even though I wanted to. I knew Andrew was right, deep down I knew he was right...but I couldn't convince myself of it. So I kept on dealing with this dark side of me, the side that was always worried I wouldn't live to have kids, or live to have a house of our own someday, or just live to be old with Andrew; happy and satisfied that we'd 'made it', that we'd gotten to grow old together and 'who cares what happens next? we're 98!!!" I tried half-heartedly praying that God will help me defeat this side of me, that He would give me some assurance. But I think even when I was praying that I still was secretly praying: "Give me some assurance that I WON'T get cancer, that Andrew won't either, that we WILL grow old together!". It's weird how we pray so earnestly to God sometimes, and then sometimes we REALLY think we can hide the real reason we are praying. Like somehow if we say the right words but slip in a different meaning God will be tricked into giving us the REAL thing we want, the thing we are too afraid to ask for out loud, or the thing we are SURE He will say no to. Kind of like when we were kids and we would try to slip things past our parents by asking for permission to do something in a roundabout, bare-bones of information kind of way.
I think that we really should come to God with the REAL desires of our hearts, that He wouldn't be angry with me for praying: "Give me assurance that Andrew and I will be happy and healthy and together for forever!!" but I don't think He will necessarily give that to me, He might have some bigger plan. Yeah that scares me...but it's how it is. But that doesn't mean I can't still pray about that desire I just means that I need to open my heart to Him and say that I will accept His will for me even if it's something really terrible...even if it's something sad...even if it's the BEST THING that ever happened in my life! I need to bow to HIS will, and know that HE'S the one who knows best...even if it feels like awful to me. Now that's a hard thing. Because that means accepting His will even if that means one day I will get cancer. Bleah. I just didn't know how I was going to get to that point. And then one day I was reading in the Bible Pslam 139:16 "All the days ordained for me were written in your book before any one of them came to be."
And it hit me...that THIS was what God and Andrew were trying to tell me all DOESN'T matter how much I worry or how careful I try to be...God knows already how many days He's given to me. Sometimes you have to read it and feel it for yourself for it to be true, that's how I know that some people reading this might feel like "That doesn't comfort me!", if you are dealing with these same kind of fears and this blog isn't helping then you need to go on your own journey, seeking God's comfort through the Bible and prayer in your own way and GODSPEED!...but for those who it IS helping...keep reading!:) It made me realize how futile and silly and DUMB it was for me to be overly worried about my life or Andrew's life or anyone in my families life. (Now for those who might say "So if we DO get sick or have serious health problems we are just supposed to ignore it?" NO! Don't ignore it, seek help for it, find out what it is but DON'T worry so much about it that it takes over your entire life!) Because God already knows. If God, who is all-powerful, amazing, loving, supernatural, and awesome, already knows how long I am going to the heck could I change that by worrying about it? It's already taken care of, God knows when He's going to pick me up and take me to heaven, He already knows when He's coming to pick up Andrew, when He's coming to pick up Joe, and Mom, and Dad and Tim and ALL the rest of my wonderful family, immediate and extended. What can I, an immortal soul in a mortal body whose only power and strength and goodness comes from God, do to change that? Why would I even try? Doesn't God know when it's best and HOW it's best?
I am sorry for the families who go through cancer. It really tests you and tears at you, and makes you question God, I am sure. And I don't know what it's really like...because PRAISE GOD, so far none in my family have gotten it, but I know it must be SO so hard. I think the hardest thing is that you think; "God doesn't HAVE to let this happen! He doesn't WANT us to suffer, does He?". But then I realized...God doesn't WANT us to suffer, He loves us so much I am sure that He WANTS to keep us from EVERY kind of suffering there is, He's our father! Why would He want us to suffer? But He also knows what is best for us. And maybe...the really difficult thing we are going through is happening because HE knows...something good is going to come of this. This is how things need to happen...for a reason. And the sucky part is...we might not know that reason until we die and go to heaven...but we need to believe that God would never let anything happen just to let it happen. That would not make sense and it wouldn't be the God we love, a God who just goes; "Ooh...I think I am going to let this girl get shot today, just so I can see what happens!!" He already KNOWS what happens, He doesn't need to perform experiments or tricks or bad things just to satisfy some sadistic need! There is a reason. I think people lose that belief sometimes because they can't SEE the reason, they can't find it, and they think there isn't one and that there never will be one. But sometimes the reason may be SO far above our understanding that God can't show it to us until we are with Him in heaven where we WILL understand. "OH!!! So THAT'S why I crashed my brand-new car, God! Wow. That's cool...and weird." I think if we knew some of the reasons now they would only confuse us....or we just wouldn't understand them.
Another thing is...consequences and bad things are JUST a part of this fallen world, sadly it's just how things are. "Innocent" people pay for 'bad people's mistakes or actions, and I HATE that, and I know God hates it too. But, praise God, even though those bad things happen....God can ALWAYS and will ALWAYS use it for a reason, for a GOOD and GODLY reason....just once again...unfortunately...we will NOT always be able to see what the reason is. And if we don't trust that He does know what's best, and that He does have a reason even if we can't see it, it's going to drive so much distance between us and Him because we will start having the attitude of Him being a cruel, cold, and horrible God, that He just lets things happen to let them happen. I am not saying this is easy in ANY way, shape or form, and I am also not saying that I am going to be able to think this way all the time, that I am going to be able to rest assured that God knows best even if I can't understand it. But I know I am going to keep coming back to that belief because if I really love God, then I will know that's how He is. He loves us, He wants to be near us...but Fear separates us from Him. When I give into fear I put myself into a little dark room where everything is out to get me and I'm alone. "There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear..." 1 John 4:18 God IS perfect love, He DOES drive out get into GOD and let God get into you! Don't let it be fear that gets into you, and don't get into fear! If you are getting into fear keep crying out to God to save you! "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters. He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes who were too strong for me." Psalm 18:16-17 "He brought me out into a spacious place, because He delighted in me" Psalm 18:19. He loves you, let Him save you. You might have to keep asking Him to save you from fear every second, hour, day, year because we are weak and we fall back into doing the wrong thing so easily...but He loves you, He will save you!
"If I say "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," even the darkness will not be dark to You; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to You." Psalm 139:11-12
I am still going to pray that I won't get cancer...and I am still going to HOPE that's His will...but I am not going to ruin the joyful days that He has given to me by worrying about everything, because I know He has a plan; that even if sucky things happen, there is a reason.
"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity but a spirt of power, of love, and of self-discipline" 2 Timothy 1:7
(The Greek definition for the word timidity is fear)
God didn't give you fear, so don't use it.
And if the only thing you can hold onto is that God loves you and He died on the cross for your sins so you could go to heaven to be with Him when you die....that's more than enough.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

09-28-09 Episode Preview

Blogger: Joe Harrison

Each weekend before Monday you will receive a preview/overview of what the new week's episode of Christianese Radio will be about.

Half-Hour 1: "So here's what happened..."
In this half-hour I will be giving the "lowdown" on what has been happening, specifically why there was no episode this past week, even though it was promised twice that there would be one. Then I share some interesting possibilities that God has been revealing to me about my future in serving Him and the Kingdom. We also take a look at the final results of the last Christianese Poll question: "How many Natures does Jesus Christ have?" and then take a look at the new poll question.

Half-Hour 2: "The First Commandment"
As a reversal followup to the 09-08-09 episode, "The Second Commandment", we take a look at the First Commandment, "You shall have no other gods before Me." It is easy to put God second, in both times of joy and crisis. We rush into action, which can lead to negative consequences. If a relationship is breaking up, we focus on the person and try to rush into fixing the problem, putting your relationship with God second. In worst cases, such as divorce or death of a spouse, we lose sight of God altogether and put our needs first. But this is the exact opposite of what needs to be done. It is better for us if we put God first.


The new episode will, Lord-willing, be available early tomorrow morning ready for you before you go to work and/or start the day. Be sure to sign-up to receive these blogposts as newsletters in your e-mail inbox. Just enter your e-mail address into the box on the upper right-hand side of this site.

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"Christianese Radio" and Lion's Mouth Entertainment are for non-profit use only and copyright © 2009 by Joe Harrison. All blogposts herein are permitted to be shared and distributed freely. For more information visit Lion's Mouth Entertainment online at

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why Isn't God Blessing Me?

Blogger: Joe Harrison

All of us have hit this problem at one point in our lives. You're praying so hard, probably about multiple things, day in, day out; yet God is not answering your prayers. He is not blessing you. Maybe you're praying that your friend would turn to Christ. Maybe you're praying for financial aid. Maybe you're praying for peace of mind or that God would bring you out of spiritual depression.

But the days go by and your prayers go unanswered. This can sometimes lead to a dangerous faith-crisis. Sometimes we get angry with God; we say "God! Why aren't you answering my prayers!? Why aren't you blessing me!?" And this often times leads us to turning our backs on God for a time. We lose our hunger for His word. We stop praying. We stop talking to Him. We either stop going to Church or we go but don't pay attention to the message from the pulpit.

We start blaming God.... Which is an absolute "No-no".

Time after time after time we see in the Bible that when someone blames someone else, you can usually trace the blame back to the accuser. Let us not forget the famous words of a certain man in the Garden of Eden:

"...This woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me from the tree, and I ate." Genesis 3:12 (NASB)

Not only is dear Adam blaming Eve for his troubles, but he is blaming God. And, of course I don't have to tell you what's wrong with this. But I'm going to. It was Adam's choice to take the fruit from Eve. She didn't make him eat. He took it.

So, perhaps you're blaming God. But now, as you look at your finger, pointing upward, you noticed three other fingers pointing back at you, as the age old saying goes.

But maybe you're trying not to blame God. And whenever you're about to, you turn away. Well that's good. But, either way, you will most likely find that the problem is yours, not His.

If God isn't answering your prayers or blessing you, it's time to start examining yourself. Chances are, if you dig deep enough, you will find that there is Sin in your life that you have not yet let go of. A habitual sin, which we are warned of all throughout 1 John. Something you're doing, something you're holding onto, maybe even something you did in the past that you haven't had fixed yet. Maybe you hurt a friend of yours some time ago in some way and never apologized. Maybe the friend doesn't even know you hurt him, and you need to confess it to him (and to God, if you haven't already). Maybe you're engaged in illegal activity, but you try to dismiss it as 'nothing', making up excuses for it. Maybe you've set up an idol in your life; your TV, computer, video games, sports, work, a relationship; something that you just can't let go of. That is an idol. And the Second Commandment commands us to do away with our idols. Maybe you're not tithing each Sunday; not giving your 10% to God; this is thievery. You are stealing from God. And then while you're stealing from God you turn around ask Him for financial aid..... This doesn't work!

"Will a man rob God? Yet you are robbing Me! But you say, 'How have we robbed You?' - In tithes and offerings." Malachi 3:8 (NASB)

I can tell you from experience; there was a time, I am ashamed to say, (to listeners of the show this is old news) that I used to download computer programs illegally off the Internet. Programs I didn't pay for. So I was stealing these programs from their manufacturers. During this time, I hit so many rough bumps I nearly turned my back on God once or twice. But when, through Christ, I was able to rise up and do away with those programs, I turned to God with a renewed heart and renewed strength, and He brought me by the hand out of my Spiritual Depression. My hunger for the Bible returned. My comfort in talking with Him returned. He brought great joy in His Grace into my life. And while it was very hard to give up those illegal programs, the joy and blessing I received afterward gave me more peace then I had ever known up to that point. And since then I have been working with God to reveal all my deepest Sins that I haven't yet confessed, or maybe habitual sins that perhaps I didn't even know were sins.

Maybe you don't know what sin you're committing. But that's when you need to ask God to reveal it to you. And because He desires to have no hindrance in His relationship with you, He will help you! But either way, we must rid ourselves of the sins we are holding onto, otherwise John calls us liars:

"If we say we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth." 1 John 1:6 (NASB)

God is waiting eagerly to bless you, to answer your prayers! But you need to let go of your sins, first. Stop walking in the darkness and start walking in the Light that you profess to walk in. Stop being a liar and "practice the truth". Seek out what's hindering God from blessing your life and answering your prayers or what's causing you spiritual depression. And when you, through the strength of Jesus Christ, remove that hindrance, God's blessings will pour out. Now this is not, necessarily, to say that you will find the type of blessings that certain "pastors" would have you believe, such as health, wealth, and prosperity. God will bless you in that He will meet your needs in the way that He knows is best for you, not what you think is best for you, what He knows is best for you. With the hindrance gone, you will regain a hunger to read the Bible. You will find yourself in almost constant deep gratitude to God for what He's done. You will find peace in talking with Him. These blessings which have to do with your relationship with HIM.

We will go more into this issue in a future newsletter, because I should also note that unanswered prayers do not always mean something is wrong, for God may have other plans, but for now, examine yourself, seek out the hindrance with God's help, and overcome it through Christ's strength.

"I can do all things through Him Who strengthens me." Philippians 4:13 (NASB)

Meditate on this as we near the closing of the week, and may the Grace of Christ be with you.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Refurbished Christian

Blogger: Joe Harrison

There are, of course, many things in life that can be refurbished, but I'm sure most of us in the younger generation are more familiar with the term when it refers to video game systems. Refurbishing refers to the cleaning up of something that has already been furbished (or brand new). Take a video game system, for instance; you buy a brand new Nintendo Wii and play it for hours, days, weeks, months, and while there are some systems that remain strong, 1 in 4 will usually crack under the stress of remaining in constant heat. So, rather than just throwing the console away, it gets taken to the manufacturer to be refurbished; cleaned up, tweaked, given new parts that work better, etc.

I think for a lot of Christians this line of events is true for us. We get going in our faith in Christ and we are running strong. But as time goes on, the heat of fighting against sin becomes too strong--this is usually because, when things are going great we tend to start getting too self-confident--and we start buckling, and not working the way we're supposed to.

Throughout the Bible we see such occurrences; that when you're on the right trail and everything's going great, the longer you are on that trail it can sometimes lead to you straying from God. Among our examples, King David, who became so wrapped up in his kingly authority and his place of royalty, which God had given to him, that he distanced himself from God and committed adultery with Bathsheba, and had her husband Uriah killed (2 Sam. 11:1-12).

You know this is why it isn't healthy for us to have comfortable lives in which nothing bad happens and why we need spiritual exercise with trials. James tells us:

"Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." James 1:2-4 (NASB)

If our faith isn't tested, then it can go stagnant, bringing our temperature down to lukewarm (which God abhors, Rev. 3:15-16), or worse, it can turn us away from God completely.

So now that you know we need trials and tests, we return to the original point of this post. Often times we will hit a period in our faith in Christ where we feel invincible. Everything's going great, you're feeling strong! This is when you are especially vulnerable to self-confidence. And that's when it happens. Paul warns us:

"Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall." 1 Corinthians 10:12 (NASB)

As we become more self-confident we start trying to fight sin with our own strength. And it is very evident that Sin is stronger than us. You can hinder sin with your own strength, but doing so only makes it stronger, so that when it hits the next time it will be harder to fight.

We buckle under the heat, and break down. Sin is victorious. And there we sit, alone and broken, most likely wallowing in our guilt, just as Jonah felt when he was swallowed up by the great fish. But what did Jonah do next? He spent three days in the belly of the fish evaluating, examining, testing himself and getting right with God (Jonah 2:1-9). Paul tells us to do this very thing:

"Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you--unless you indeed fail the test?" 2 Corinthians 13:5 (NASB)

When we break down, we can't waste our time wallowing in our guilt and feeling sorry for ourselves. We need to immediately turn to God and examine ourselves to see where things went wrong and why they went wrong. The chances are pretty high that you will come to see that you fell because you were relying on your own strength as opposed to God's strength.

So now a crossroads stands before you. Go on sulking, or get up and get "refurbished" in Christ. Let Jesus Christ renew you and re-strengthen you. Because this is exactly what God wants to do! He wants to renew you. And as you set out, refurbished, continuously examine yourself to see if you are "in the faith". Make it a weekly habit. Maybe even a daily habit. Turn to God and ask Him "Lord, reveal to me anything that is in my life that is hindering my relationship with you." Keep in contact with God, even when your life seems to be going great. Don't let your self-confidence take over! Abide in God's word, the Bible. Take a daily walk and talk with Him. And each week (or each day) examine the last few days and make sure that your contact with God hasn't been diminishing. And if it has been, you know the danger, and you have God help you get it fixed before it's too late.

"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight." Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

I hope you will remember all of this as we begin the new week. And as you set out prepared to deal with your self-confidence, may the Grace of Christ be with you.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Christianese Radio: Apologies!!!

Blogger: Joe Harrison

I am really, really, really, sorry, but once again there will be no episode of Christianese Radio today. I promise, this is not just a scheme to get us back to the Tuesday schedule! A lot has happened this week, a lot of thought about my future, actually. And so much has been on my mind that I just haven't found the time to work out an episode. Plus I am coming down with a cold that has me in a pretty much constant state of exhaustion. But Lord-willing it will be short-lived and I will be back up and running soon!

As for the show, Lord-willing I will be able to do one tonight (Monday night) and have it ready by Tuesday morning (as has been the case with the last two episodes). But if anything changes I will post it here.

I really am terribly sorry for this because I know it is not very professional. But I promise I will start doing better. Just a few kinks I have to work out (and get worked out).

In the meantime, take a look about this new blog (the official Christianese Radio Blog) and add it to your Favorites (or Bookmark it), as, Lord-willing, this will be the future home of blogposts from myself and other Guest Bloggers (see the "Welcome" section to the Right, as well is the first blog post below)

Again, I really am sorry!

The Grace of Christ be with you,


Please Excuse Us!

Blogger: Joe Harrison

Hello and welcome to the official blog of Christianese Radio! I decided to give the show it's own blog, as opposed to using my Sola-Scriptura Man and the Blog of Absurdity blog for Christianese updates. This blog will (hopefully) feature some posts from Guest Bloggers in the near future, as well as my own thoughts (see Welcome section on Right for information on this blog).

But I have to ask you to excuse the appearance of the blog. It's a little bare, but Lord-willing will look a little bit more presentable in the near future. But for now, I hope you find something of usefulness to you with whatever blogposts may come.

The grace of Christ be with you,

~Joe Harrison