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286474 Posts in 27568 Topics by 3790 Members
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1  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re: Please pray for me on: March 07, 2009, 12:24:39 PM
Thank you Dreamweaver and Grammyluv.

Please pray that I can get a job with a decent salary. God ask us to be fruitful and to work. I don't want to go into details on the net on why there is practically nothing I can do to get a job and why only God can do it. If I were to explain it, then you will understand but I just can't afford to do it on an open forum and in writing. (the inability has nothing to do with criminal or spite if anyone is thinking of such things).  I read somewhere that God put us in situations that there's no way we can get out on our own and I do believe in this. This is one which I have been battling for a long time already,  before I even became a Christian.  This has been the hardest task for me ever since I became a Christian.  I'm pretty much at my wits end in this. Please pray for me because I feel like saying I don't know how long I can bear with this situation anymore (but I 've also experienced God completely removing my extreme fear and emotional pain once when I was so afraid and couldn't bear it anymore and prayed for Him to remove this feeling--He removed it completely and in an instant.So I know that in a way I still can bear it because He has and is able to remove that fear feeling before but I just don't want/think to have this sense of complete hopelessness and fear anymore. I keep praying that He will deliver me quickly out of this situation and to give me hope and guidance.)
2  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re: Please pray for me on: March 02, 2009, 09:42:35 PM
Thank you Brother Jerry
3  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re: Please pray for me on: March 02, 2009, 12:43:30 AM
Thank you blackeyedpeas. Really covet your prayer.

I wish it was doctrine. Unfortunately its salvation issue. The thing is except for my parents which I try to slowly let them see the true gospel, for the others  I keep quiet (and pray) as I know that it would only make things worse especially for myself if I were to talk. However, for some of them, I am always being cornered (for example in my previous 2 examples). Even when it has nothing to do with them, does not affect them at all, I don't say anything, I am also labeled ridiculous, something wrong etc.  There are also other wrongdoings which I do not wish to touch. I really wish for some peace and to be left alone from all these 'attacks for lack of a better word'. I prefer not to harp on the wrongs because our focus should not be on the wrongs and God has asked us to forgive and to pray. I shared it here because I really needed some support and prayer and had to explain somewhat.

My parents salvation I guess is the most critical. But it is very tough to show them the right way when they think (or more of do not want to consider that they are not saved) that they are saved. In a way its hard because they will see what their children does etc and think ok, since they are Christians and the children say its ok, then its ok etc--something like that.
4  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re: Please pray for me on: March 01, 2009, 09:40:03 AM
Thanks Pastor Roger. I was really hoping that you will be one of the person that would reply. I add some things in the edit  in my earlier post. Will you pray for this as well. There are so many things, not just salvation issues that I'm facing right now.Thanks.

Yes, I should focus more on God and His word. It would be simple if they were to accept it if I could just give scripture. But even just that they would not accept and they would react in the way that I mentioned earlier. That's why I have been silent but it seems that I'm always being cornered even when I'm silent. I will give 2 very simple examples. Some of my family members were buying  something similar to 'Big Sweep'. I know that its wrong and I would not participate. I just kept silent and stood outside the shop while they bought. However, I was confronted etc and told that this is a grey area, and God certainly allows it and its not wrong. They would throw back scripture saying : all things are allowable by God. Another example would be I asked a company to remove some old things away as we could not just dump the things here--this would be what God wanted me to do. But I am being called scared when I shouldn't be/stupid/do not know how to behave etc even though they did not pay, I did not complain to them etc. They would say that there's something wrong with me, I'm being ridiculous, sometimes I'm shouted and scolded etc although I keep quiet.

Am sorry. I should clarify that I'm more worried about $, job issues and my parents salvation than I am at my other family salvation. I know I've written much about my other family's salvation because although it has been constantly in my mind, one of the 'occurence/inccident' happen today (as explained above) and I finally am seeking help from other Christians because I don't think I can keep it bottled all inside and just share with God only.
5  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Re: Please pray for me on: March 01, 2009, 04:35:18 AM
Anyway, there is certainly 1 good thing that came out ie I do not need to go to that church anymore. During the service, I had prayed that if its God's will that he want me to stay in this church even though the sermons are not right because I may be of help to some people or some other thing, I will do so. The thing is that even in the service, I had put it in my mind that if I were to be asked about the sermon, I would say that it was not my style (and just try not to explain much because it would anger my sister's family). Well, guess God has chosen for me not to attend the church although I would have preferred if the outcome was less painful. The thing is also the day before church, God had taught me something which had also helped me to be even more sure that the preaching today was not what God would have intended it to be. Ever since I was born again, the thing that I was most sure was God's guidance in my life. He has chosen so far to get me to walk the narrow road (but it is very difficult and foolish to the outside world). However, I also know that this is a way to build up at least 1 of the fruit of the spirit ie longsuffering/patience and also humbleness.

Even in the midst of all these carnality, God has put into my path 2 kids (my niece and nephew) that I managed to witness to. It seem strange that a person that has no kids and not married, God would get the kids to either ask me about God or to make it pretty clear that I should share something about what true Christianity is. On both, it would be the kids that took the 1st step and not myself. But that is God's style. God's foolishness is greater than man's wisdom. Even sharing with the kids is not easy and I rely totally on God seeing that their parents are not saved and that they would/may be angry if what I shared with them were not to their liking. Every path that I take is filled with difficulties and I had and continue to rely on God. But it is also that when you see God working, you have such trust and assurance in Him.

Although in my earlier post above, I pleaded with my sister to just let it rest as neither of us were going to change our views and it would only make matters worse etc, I know that this is not the last I would hear of it. I don't even know how to write but know that its going to be tough especially with my brothers and sisters sharing this info. and others and the persecution would become greater. They  think that hmm...they are 'kind' towards me by offering me shelter or for another brother 'some small things'. They (not all of them) don't even realise how cruel they are at times and that they don't even have remorse in what they are doing and that they are doing wrong. Sometimes I feel like shouting out and saying when we die, then I will be justified. The thing is even though they are like that, I still hope and pray that they will be save although its getting harder at times.

They don't realise that my carnal self rather be back home and not be in this country or even migrate to another country because it would be so much harder  on me and that I have to rely on God even more (the main good thing is that I may get a job overseas and maybe my parents can migrate too and thus there will be more people to look after them in their old age.)  Why then do I stay in this country or even try to migrate--its because if this is God's will, then I have to do my best even though its so much harder to bear. Even if it turns out 'not successful in their eyes', I know that God sees the heart and know that I'm obeying Him and that He has a plan for me to stay/go somewhere.' Even though I know this, quite a few times I feel like throwing the towel  (ie just going back home) when it gets so difficult and people are so cruel. But that would not be what God wants and it would be even worse as God would chastize me to bring me back to the right path.

 Its very difficult but I still have complete trust in God that whatever He is doing/allowed to do is right and He will guide me. Too many things have happened to me (both internally and externally) that I cannot do by myself  etc for me to deny God or God's working in me. His witness in me is so strong and I begin to understand why I would be so blessed to have Him giving me many 'occurences/situations' that confirm that I belong to Him. Its like this true story told by a paster. 'There was this boy who pleaded for his life--Please do not shoot me, I'm so scared but I cannot deny Jesus'. The boy was shot to death.

And so it is the same here. Its so difficult, sometimes I'm so down, I cry etc (I find more and more that my life is like the psalms) but I will still follow Jesus.

Edit : well, it seems that there is a possibility that I may not migrate after all as the support that I was counting on has been changed somewhat. Still not sure which direction God wants me to take. The bad thing about not migrating is the chances of getting a job is so slim here or if I go home. Please pray that I will be able to get a job that will be enough to support,and save some and will provide a roof over my head and parents. My parents are extremely worried about me too and they have been very badly hit by the recession and am finding it hard themselves. I'm more worried about my parents salvation than $/survival issues although the $/job is very tough too. Also worried about their health. They are really old already.
6  Prayer / Prayer Requests / Please pray for me on: March 01, 2009, 02:39:28 AM
Would appreciate your prayers.

Its in a way hard for me to tell some of my story here as I'm a pretty private person and God has caused/allowed hardships in my life so that I will turn to him and always seek Him despite the difficulties I may/will be/are going through. So I apologize if there are parts that I do not explain fully. There's also another reason which I will explain later for that.

First, I am currently staying with my sister's family and relying on their kindness for that and my expenses. However, I'm surrounded by people who think that they are Christians when I don't believe that they are. I do not know of anybody near me or that I can meet up in person (exclude those people on the net of whom some I believe are true Christians) to share. Its difficult because although I keep quiet knowing that they will not agree with real Christianity and since I am dependant on some of them (although I know deep in my heart that it is God doing it and I am grateful to God and also grateful to my sister's family), it is not always possible when I'm being cornered.

Today, such an inccident occured. We went to church, a church in which I was rather reluctant to go to because I feel that they may not be really preaching the word of God and because I can get really good sermons from pastors that I know are true Christians from the net. However, I also pray and hope that God will provide me fellowship from real Christians. Also, since they knew I was born again less than a year ago, I also do not want to give them the wrong impression that I am lazy or busy (and in a way become a bad witness for God) and that's why I do not want to go to church. Well, today the pastor preached on talents ie we must multiply the talents. He preached for a long time. The problem was that he was preaching it mostly from a 'human motivational aspect' ie I am the one that put in the effort and that's why I can change rather than from a Godly perpective. He said we have to put in effort, change our attitudes etc--very much like what you will hear from any motivational seminar like Anthony Robins etc . But there was basically no reference that it was God working in us causing us to change and that we can do nothing except for God's strength. Hardly/no mention of we need to pray, ask God to work in us etc. The only thing which would distinguish his sermon from any religion or motivational sermon was that he quote the verses on the talents and that we will need to account to God when we die. Yes, I agree with the pastor that we have to put in effort, there's no doubt about it (but don't forget about coming to prayer and that it is God working in us--it is not our own human strength that make us able to change our minds, attitudes, behaviours etc)

The thing is, pretty much most churches and sermons here are like that to various degrees (some at least you feel that there's some reference to the Bible although its like you have to try so hard to get the Godly message in it because its so filled with 'worldly' things/efforts). Most of the sermons are not able to save us except to make us better human beings (ie work harder, be kind etc which pretty much almost all religions teach). I do think that a few of the  pastors who preach the sermon are real born again Christians although I feel that they are not really relying on the Holy Spirit to work through them. I guess the culture and fear of offending the people and fear that the people will not come is part of the reason.

So back to the earlier inccident where we attended the church today. On the way back, my sister asked how did I find the sermon. I just said a short sentence that he was not preaching the word of God. I didn't really want to explain further as I already strongly suspect that the family was not born again. How can I be truly  honest and tell them that they are not able to understand etc when they are not born again and if they truly do not want to seek God (ie sacrifice their worldly pleasures etc to seek God), especially I am staying in their house and cannot afford to offend them and have not had a word from God to tell them this yet although I have prayed about my family? Also, my sister although kind has a very short, hot temper  and I will not touch on the rest etc. Anyway, when my sister heard my sentence, she tried to corner/pigeon-holed me and said that just answer 'yes/no' that the pastor was wrong (something like that) and refused me the chance to explain. I tried to tell her that I can't say like that and I have to explain but then she started saying some very hurtful things, among others that I was very critical and implying strongly  I was not  born again because I had not change,also, that I was agitated etc. All these things happen in the car.

The thing was that I was not angry. I was a bit agitated/nervous (my voice reflected it) in the sense that I can't really tell the truth without offending you all and making you understand (since you all are not born again and am not really willing to listen with an open mind/heart, plus the kids were in the car and I am staying in your house) but yet I was not allowed to keep quiet because you keep forcing me  to say something (I didn't say those things out loud).   I did not tell her that I don't believe that she was born again but tried to explain in a more indirect and nicer manner saying that only when one is born again then one would really undersand what God's word really is. Also, I said that only the Spirit could discern God's word. My sister's husband countered back by saying the bible is for everyone (basically not understanding that only the Spirit could discern God's word--although its clearly mentioned in the bible).

Also, my BIL (brother in law)  tried to drag another issue ie there was 1 time in which I got angry with my brother. They thought that I held a grudge and would not forgive him. I couldn't really explain to them because I know that they were not born again. In fact, I don't even know whether anyone in my 'pretty large family' is really born again although they all claimed to be Christians and Catholics (from their behaviour, conviction of sin, love of God etc). There's only 1 person (I'm excluding their spouses and children or it would get too complicated) that I think may be born again. Ok, back to the brother who I got angry with. What I realise after I got angry was that God lifted the lid on this (ie I basically had no control at the time).(There were many times in the past on other things, where I had sinned but I always could make a choice whether to sin or not--this time it was totally different). Also, God would show me later on things that I didn't know/feel etc what they did that was wrong to me.  But God also showed me that even though He lifted the lid in this case (ie caused me to lose my temper), He wanted me to apologize--not at that time but later on. Sorry I can't go into further details here as its too long.

Its very tough because pretty much all my family members (who are all doing financially pretty well except for me) doesn't really understand what it means to be born again, having God's fear, conviction, a conscience given by God to know what is right and wrong etc. And even though I keep quiet and am so sad, there would be many times in bed that I will cry but I can't do anything except to pray. To their thinking my life is so difficult (financially etc) because I did not work smart etc but what they failed to recognise that this was the way for me to always seek God, trust in Him, not go astray and cultivate the fruits of the spirit. One cannot learn longsuffering, peace, joy etc in the Lord if one has not experienced it. One has to learn to rely on God. I have the witness of the Spirit and am so sure that God is with me and He hears my prayers. I also know that when we follow God, we are to give up everything to follow Him. TO love Him more than anything. To take up our cross, to die to self every day, to understand that His mercy is new everyday, to die to self and to live in Christ. All these are alien to them.

They don't even realise that when I do certain things its because I think that this is what God wanted me to do  (to them its foolish eg: why bother or they think that I'm doing it because for my own benefit or that I'm doing it because I'm straight/scared/stupid. They don't even realise and will not begin to realise until they are born again). They don't want to hear. They will ask you to explain but their motive is so that they can hear with the intention of poking holes  into what you are saying/hurting you especially if its not to their liking. That's why I always keep quiet and not say anything until I'm really forced to say something and I try so hard not to make it worse (knowing that they are not born again and until God does something in their heart to make them born again), to just keep my peace.

Please realise that I'm not trying to badmouth them. Its just that I need prayers and support from people who  understand what being born again and true Chrisitianity really is and to have their prayers. I would have preferred to not type it out in a forum but the PM is disabled. I have kept it bottled all this while, not wanting to hurt them  or sinned (by sharing with others if the motive is wrong) and share it only with God but I guess maybe its time to share with others. I know that being true Christians we will be persecuted and scoffed and maligned, but I wish that I would have real Christians around me too to make it easier to bear.

The gospel is offensive in a way and only those who are willing and that God has determined will be saved. To others, the true gospel is foolishness.

PS: I'm sorry that I'm not very clear but its impossible for me to type out more clearly as it would be so much longer etc

7  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re: James 2:22 on: February 16, 2009, 10:02:34 AM
Thanks blackeyedpeas.
8  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re: James 2:22 on: February 14, 2009, 11:56:20 AM
9  Fellowship / You name it!! / James 2:22 on: February 09, 2009, 04:20:32 PM
Appreciate your views on the below:

James 2:22 You see that his faith and actions were working together, and his faith was made complee by what he did.

Now, in pretty much all bible commentaries, they talk about that genuine faith will of course produce good works and how it is not contradictory to what Paul says etc. That I do agree. However, I do feel that there is 1 more thing that is important in this verse which I have yet to find in bible commentaries (I know of a few reasons why its not dealt with though).

The 1 thing which I feel is important also is that when we obey, our faith grows too. Just like when Abraham was told to sacrifice his only son and yet he was told that he would have many offsprings. And yet, through the pain etc, he obeyed and when he obeyed, God saved his son by providing a ram for sacrifice.  And by this, I believe Abraham's faith in God did increase.

So what do you ll think?  Thanks
10  Fellowship / Witnessing / Book or DVD to witness on: November 30, 2008, 03:44:24 PM
Have seen the show End of Spear. It is a very good movie and there's a book by the same title too (I heard the book is much better than the movie). It is about 5 American missionaries who were killed by Aucas and some of the killed missionary family members later came to live with the Aucas and convert them. They still maintain close relationship even now (imagine the son ie Steve Saint whose father was killed by Mincaye (an Auca) calls him father). 

The story is so powerful that I think it  would be a good gift to give someone (whether they are born again or not). I do think its a good witnessing tool. That's why I'm putting it here instead of the book or movie forum

There's an earlier story and documentary (Through/Beyond the gates of Splendour) that is relating to this as well.

I'm attaching some websites so that you can have a better idea what the story is about.


PS: I suggest getting the book as the book is more accurate and has so much more. The movie had to change quite a fair bit so that it is more interesting etc

11  Theology / General Theology / Re: Are Catholics Christian too? on: November 26, 2008, 11:26:37 AM
In most denominations including Catholics, there will be some real Christians (ie real believers that are born again). [Just like in some churches, where the teachings are mostly wrong, there may be a few that are real believers]. When one is born again, there will be a relationship with God.

However, generally speaking I will not classify Catholics as real believers (although for some of them I will say that they are real believers --see above paragraph) due to the doctrines that they teach. First, the Christian bible (which contains 66 books) is different (has lesser books) from the Catholic bible (the numbering of the verses are different. But there are more important differences (ie many of the teachings of the Catholic church  are contrary to the Bible)  for example :

--Catholics teach that the final authority is the church and not the bible (and the bible is subject to the Church)
--Catholics teach about papal infability which is not in the bible
--The bible says not to have any statues and to pray to God only. But Catholics have statutes and pray to Mary.
--The bible never mentions purgatory while the Catholic Church mentions that there is purgatory
--Many others

You may want to look at the below to help you.

Lastly,my suggestion is to read the Christian bible  and compare it with the Cathecism of the Catholic Church. For me, although there are real born again believers in the  Catholic church, I will not go there because I do not  want to expose myself to wrong teachings.

There will always be wrong teachings here and there, that's why its so important to read the bible  to know when one is faced with wrong teaching.
12  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re: Bible verse hangman on: November 23, 2008, 04:03:41 AM
'f' please
13  Theology / Debate / Re: The Meaning of "FOREKNEW" in Romans 8:29 on: November 23, 2008, 03:40:23 AM
Something has just come to my mind. And now, I can agree with what Allinall says on that partial sentence that I wasn't sure of earlier on.

In Acts 16:14 One of those listening was a woman named Lydia, a dealer in purple cloth from the city of Thyatira, who was a worshiper of God. The Lord opened her heart to respond to Paul's message

The above has been one of the stronger points used by Calvinists to say that God choses whom He allows to believe. But if you meditate on this verse  and other verses where the people believed, I noticed this. I'm far from the best at remembering the bible verses but as far as I know I can't recall a verse that  says God makes/caused/forced them to believe in Him (rather, the verses have been : And they/men/women believed.)

I do believe that God needs to open up our hearts to believe and be willing to believe/respond first (just like in Lydia's case) but then we need to then make a choice whether to follow God or not.

Does the above then rule out God's sovereign choice and election or does that mean God is frustrated in His plans--not at all. How all this seemingly conflicting meanings fit in--God has chosen not to reveal fully to us. After all in Isaiah 55:8   "For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways," declares the Lord. Let's not try to force an understanding that God has chosen not to give us. Just like the Trinity, we have not tried to force an understanding but accept it because the scriptures say that.  So is it with this election, God's sovereignty and the many verses that seemed to conflict with God's sovereign choice and election.

With this I can now reconcile and accept Allinall's partial sentence of 'somewhere along the line, I made a decision that He gave me to make that had eternal consequence' (I've already agreed with the 1st half of his earlier sentence but was a bit unsure about the later half.

Allinall's sentence
My personal viewpoint?  I'm saved because God chose for me to be saved before the foundations of the world, and somewhere along the line, I made a decision that He gave me to make that had eternal consequence

With regards to 'free will', election and God's sovereign choice, I believe in all three, with God's sovereign choice taking 1st place and the 'free will' definition maybe not as wide a meaning as some people would define it. As I do not have a better word for this 'free will definition' of mine, I have continued and most likely will continue to use 'free will' for usage simplicity and understanding.

I believe when we are really willing to let God lead us to the truth and not hold on dogmatically to manmade doctrines or try to satisfy our own 'carnal desire' to understand it the way we want it to be (one of the reason for some Calvinists could be to make them feel more secure--after all they are part of the elect), then God will lead us. This has to be done with lots of prayers, meditation on the verses and the willingness to be wrong and  to be hurt before the truth can be revealed.

I realize that I'm not very clear in my post above, but its difficult to write down everything in my thoughts as that would make for very long posts which is not my desire. So I've chosen to say just a small portion of my thoughts above and omit mentioning the many verses to substantiate my reasoning. One day I may need to recall this thought and I guess that's one of the reason why I write so that I can refer to it back in later years.
14  Theology / Debate / Re: The Meaning of "FOREKNEW" in Romans 8:29 on: November 22, 2008, 01:31:24 PM
Allinall, you've given one of the best explanations and there's only a partial sentence that I'm not exactly sure on it but I will keep it in mind until the time when its needed for me to meditate on which I don't think is now.

I too have studied, pondered, prayed, reasoned on Calvinist theory, Calvinist Christians, famous Calvinist preachers and do not agree with Calvinism. I'm so glad that this board does not go crazy like other boards where Calvinists try to force their theories (which they insist is biblical ie Calvinist=Biblical) down people's throats and those that do not agree with them are falsely accused to have misunderstood Calvinism or refused to 'bow down' to God. Please keep the board this way. There are better things that should be done with one's time ie saving souls and disciplining oneself to cultivate the fruits of the spirit. Discussions can be good but when it gets  non-stop and other more important areas are overlooked, then its wrong. A board need not be the most active to be the most fruitful. This board is far from being the most active Christian board, but is certainly one of the Christian board that has the least fights and wasting of time coupled with good biblical teachings.

Guess, the main reason why I have decided to write is so that I am able to search for this thread easily now by just searching for my username. Also, I hope that any Calvinists that see it would really stop, think for a while how they come across to others and PRAY A LOT before they keep posting on this topic (Calvinism) and instead choose to cultivate the fruits of the spirit instead. I do agree with Allinall that Calvinists have some deep understanding of scriptures but not all their understanding is correct and the way that is being done to spread Calvinism is incorrect. Spend more time instead on the board's bible study section. Its not the most 'interesting' but it can be one of the most 'fruitful'.

15  Fellowship / You name it!! / Re: Bible verse hangman on: November 22, 2008, 12:15:58 PM
Ok, am guessing more words instead of one. I'll take o , u, g, f please
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