Tag Archives: Christian LI

That very church which the world likes best!

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That very church which the world likes best!

(Charles Spurgeon)

“As God has said: I will live with them and walk among them, and I will be their God, and they will be My people. Therefore come out from them and be separate, says the Lord. Touch no unclean thing, and I will receive you. I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty.” 2 Corinthians 6:16-18 

That very church which the world likes best, is sure to be the church which God abhors most!

“People will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud . . . lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God–having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them!” 2 Timothy 3:2-5 
 

“We have learned to live with unholiness in our churches, and have come to look upon it as the natural and expected thing. It is scarcely possible in most places to get anyone to attend a church meeting, where the only attraction is God. One can only conclude that God’s professed children are bored with Him, for they must be wooed to church with a stick of striped candy, in the form of religious movies, games and entertainments.” Tozer

Avenge his death!

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Avenge his death!
The following is from Spurgeon’s sermon,
“For Christ’s Sake.” No. 614  Eph. 4:32.

One of the first things which every Christian should feel
bound to do “for Christ’s sake” is to avenge his death.
“Avenge his death,” says one, “upon whom?”
Upon his murderers. And who were they? Our sins! Our sins?
“Each of our sins became a nail, and unbelief the spear.”

The very thought of sin having put Jesus to death should
make the Christian hate it with a terrible hatred. When I
recollect that my sins tore my Savior’s body on the tree,
took the crown from his head, and the comfort from his
heart, and sent him down into the shades of death, I vow
revenge against them.

“O sin! Happy shall he be who takes your little
     ones and dashes them against a stone!”

Yes, doubly blessed is he who, like Samuel, shall hew
the Agag of his sins in pieces before the Lord, and not
spare so much as one single fault, or folly, or vice,
because it slew the Savior.

Be holy, be pure, be just, be separate 
from sinners for Christ’s sake.

“See from his head, his hands, his feet,
 Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
 Did ever such love and sorrow meet,
 Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

 His dying crimson, like a robe,
 Spreads over his body on the tree;
 Then am I dead to all the globe,
 And all the globe is dead to me.

 Were the whole realm of nature mine,
 That were a present far too small;
 Love so amazing, so divine,
 Demands my soul, my life, my all.”

Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe?

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“When disaster comes to a city—has not the LORD caused it?” Amos 3:6

It concerns us all to seriously reflect upon our own sins, and the sins of our land—which have brought these calamities upon us.

We and our countrymen are sinners, aggravated sinners! God proclaims that we are such—by His judgments now upon us: by withering fields and scanty harvests, by the sound of the trumpet and the alarm of war!

O my country, is not your wickedness great, and your iniquities infinite? Where is there a more sinful spot to be found upon our guilty globe? Pass over the land, take a survey of the inhabitants, inspect into their conduct—and what do you see? What do you hear?

You see the gigantic forms of vice bidding defiance to the God of heaven—while true religion and virtue are forced to retire, to avoid public contempt and insult!

You see herds of drunkards swilling down their cups, and drowning all morality within them!

You hear the swearer venting his fury against God—trifling with that Name which prostrate angels adore, and imprecating that damnation, under which the hardiest devil in hell trembles and groans!

You see avarice hoarding up her useless treasures, dishonest craft planning her schemes of unlawful gain, and oppression unmercifully grinding the face of the poor!

You see prodigality squandering her stores! You see luxury spreading her table!

You see vanity laughing aloud and dissolving in empty, unthinking mirth; regardless of God, of time and eternity!

You see sensuality wallowing in carnal pleasures, and aspiring, with perverted ambition—to sink as low as her four-footed brethren in the stalls!

You see cards more in use than the Bible; the backgammon table more frequented than the table of the Lord; novels and romances more read—than the history of the blessed Jesus!

You see trifling, and even evil diversions and amusements, become a gigantic business! The outcome of a horse-race is more anxiously attended to—than the concerns of eternity!

And where these grosser forms of vice do not shock your senses—you often meet with the appearances of a more refined impiety, which is equally dangerous!

You hear the conversation of reasonable creatures, of candidates for eternity— engrossed by trifles, or vainly wasted on the affairs of time! These are their important subjects of conversation, even at the threshold of the house of God!

You see swarms of prayerless families all over our land! You see ignorant, wicked children, unrestrained and untaught by those to whom God and nature have entrusted their souls!

You see the holy religion of Jesus—abused, neglected, disobeyed, and dishonored by its professors!

You see crowds of professed believers, who are in reality, practical atheists! These nominal Christians are really unholy heathens! They are abandoned slaves of sin—who yet pretend to be the servants of the holy Jesus!

You see multitudes lying in a deep sleep in sin all around us! You see them eager in the pursuits of the vanities of time—but stupidly unconcerned about the important realities of the eternal world just before them! So few are concerned what shall become of them—when all their connections with earth and flesh must be broken, and they must take their flight into strange, unknown regions! So few lamenting their sins! So few crying for mercy and a new heart! So few flying to Jesus!

(Samuel Davies, “The Justice of God—and the Sins of Our Country” 1755)

True beauty is not of the face…but of the soul!

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“Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain; but a woman who fears the LORD shall be praised!” Proverbs 31:30

Every girl is a lover of beauty. Beautiful homes, beautiful furnishings, beautiful flowers, beautiful clothes, beautiful faces — anything wherein beauty is found, there will be found girls to admire it. From the time her little hands can reach up, and her baby lips can lisp the words, she is admiring “pretty things.” And when a little of that beauty is her own — her pleasure is unbounded.

Every girl longs to be beautiful. There is in woman a nature, as deep as humanity, which compels her to strive for good looks. There is no more forlorn sorrow for a young girl, than for her to be convinced that she is hopelessly ugly and undesirable. Oh, the bitter tears that have been shed over freckles, or a rough and pimply skin — and the energy that has been expended in painting and powdering and waving and curling herself into beauty!

A desire to be beautiful is not unwomanly. But, mark it: true beauty is not of the face — but of the soul! There is a beauty so deep and lasting, that it will shine out of the homeliest face and make it lovely! This is the beauty to be first sought and admired. It is a quality of the mind and heart — and is manifested in word and deed.

A happy heart,
a smiling face,
loving words and deeds, and
a desire to be of service —
will make any girl beautiful!

A beautiful soul shining out of a homely face — is far more attractive than a beautiful face out of which looks a soul full of selfishness and pride!

Let your chief charm be of heart and mind — not of face and form. Seek the true beauty which lasts even into old age!

Solomon, in one of his wise sayings, expressed plainly the evil that comes to a woman who is beautiful of face, but lacks the true beauty of soul: “Like a gold ring in a swine’s snout — is a beautiful woman who shows no discretion!” Proverbs 11:22. As the swine would plunge the golden jewel into the filth and the mire as he dug in the dirt — so will a pretty woman who is not godly, drag her beauty down to the very lowest.

There are many peculiar temptations to those who are only lovely of face. Without true beauty of soul — a pretty face is a dangerous gift!

“Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as braided hair and the wearing of gold jewelry and fine clothes. Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight!” 1 Peter 3:3-4

(Mabel Hale, “Beautiful Girlhood” 1922)

My 7Cubed Interview!

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by Heather Mertens ~ 40YearWanderer

Blind Photographer – Steve Rebus {Worshipping through his art, his music, and his writings.}

Me playing my Dean Razorback Rust USA

Meet Steve Rebus. You can read on his website how he breaks the ice about who he is: Blind Photographer.  But we’ve gotten to know Steve as so much more than that – although he is a fabulous photographer! He is a writer, a musician, and most importantly he is a follower of Christ. In every sense, he seeks to be like and love like Jesus. WHAT A POWERFUL testimony he has!

  7Cubed: Hi Steve. Tell us about your life, your music, and your photography. 

Steve: Two Souls Entwine….. 

Me  Sarah in Church

I‘ve been married to Sarah for nearly six years now and I’m really struggling to put how I feel into words! My heart overflows with love for her. She has encouraged, inspired and loved me and is the sunshine that warms me along my journey.  

My love of music….

Since being registered blind I’ve learned to play the drums and guitar. This is amazing in itself but being able to play alongside Sarah every Sunday to assist myself and others in worship is just mind blowing. I play in two churches – drumming in the morning and playing guitar in the evening and I feel so blessed to be able to come before God and thank him with the gifts he’s given me. Gifts that give me great joy too!

Blind Photographer?? 

“You don’t need sight to see, you need vision“ 

“I strongly believe that Disability doesn’t have to mean inability or lack of creative talent!” 

I used to enjoy photography when I was sighted, taking and developing photos in my dad’s darkroom, When I lost most my sight 13 years ago I thought this would put a stop to my hobby, but I have learned that my camera can act as my eyes allowing me to see what my own eyes will not. I am proud of the fact that I have been able to produce photographs despite my visual impairment– and like to think that although I may have lost my useful sight I have not lost my vision and instinct for a good photograph. (see Blind Photographer).

7Cubed: In what ways has life changed for you and your relationship with God because of your blindness? 

Steve: When I was fully sighted I never had a relationship with God, nor was ever taught about him. We didn’t go to church and he was never part of my life. In my early twenties I was really into body building, football, driving, and night clubbing. I judged people on looks alone; if they didn’t look fit, they were nothing! My fuel was pride and vanity. Since I have been blind and the eyes of my heart have been forced open by God’s amazing grace I’ve found my identity in Him, and as He is continually transforming me into the person He knew I could be. I simply just love people without any preconceptions of what the world thinks is beautiful.

7Cubed: Obviously, God blesses your music, your writing, and your photography! They are all wonderful. At what point in your life did you really understand that Christ wanted to work through your adverse situations?

Me playing my Taylor Macasser Ebony

Steve: I think it was when I wrote my testimony at the beginning of this year when God started to show me what he can do through me. I posted it onto iChristian and my blog seemed to explode with blessings. I realised that my little story can actually help connect, encourage, and inspire people on a few different levels, and I will share His good news for the rest of my life. 

7Cubed: We’ve seen some cool pictures of you playing your guitar! Do you play any other instruments? When did you first learn how to play your instruments? 

Steve: Yes, I also play the drums. I first started playing 13 years ago when a teacher at the college I reluctantly attended (as it was only a few months after I’d lost my sight and I was in a real dark place) asked me, “Steve, is there anything you would like to learn?” I said I would like to play the drums, so she found a local drum shop called “Rattle & Drum” that also had teaching rooms upstairs and that’s where I started my lessons. Dave, my drum teacher, was fantastic and worked around my struggles, and playing the drums to my favourite songs quickly became my therapy and still helps to this day. 

I didn’t start playing guitar until 2005 when I had met Sarah and had to sell my drum kit to be able to move into her flat. As I’ve been a Metal fan for most of my life, I’ve always played the air guitar, but never really tried to play a real one. Harry, my fantastic guitar teacher, recorded our lessons with my video camera so I could sit for hours with my guitar in front of my huge TV to try and figure out what finger went where. As I can’t see to read sheet music or guitar tabs, I have to play from memory. I now have quite a few beautiful guitars that I love playing, and I’m truly blessed to be able to play my chords for the Lord on such amazing instruments.  

7Cubed: You take some awesome photographs! What kind of camera do you use? Do you have any specialized equipment that assists you when taking these amazing photos?  

Steve: I have bought 5 cameras over the 8 years of digital photography. I have 2 DSLR cameras. My main camera is a Nikon D2Xs and my second is a SONY Alpha a100. I also use a Canon Powershot SX40 HS which is a bridge camera, and my compact camera is a Samsung WB550. Oh and my iPhone! As you can imagine there is not much in the way of assistive technology for blind photographers as it’s not something that many would think of. The only piece of adapted tech is a 2x magnifier that is screwed onto the Nikon’s viewfinder, which doesn’t help me at all, but I can’t get it off! lol Having said that, my iPhone is the only camera that’s accessible for me. It speaks to me when it has focused, and when I take a portrait it will tell me where the face is on the screen and if its a big face or a small face so I can get the right distance. This feature is fantastic and also standard on the iPhone, and I’d love to see this software on other cameras!  

7Cubed: What advice and encouragement would you give to others who have been through a similar situation? 
Steve Koa 1

Steve: If there is someone reading this who is experiencing the creeping death called depression, then I’d just like to give them hope. The hope that although you may feel that no one cares and that there’s nothing to live for anymore, there’s no pit too deep that God won’t reach down and lift you out of. He wants a living relationship with you starting right now! He loves you no matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been; He loves you completely and he wants to bless your life and bring you that peace inside that you’re craving for. 

 7Cubed: How did you became a Believer and Follower of Jesus? 

Steve: I hope you don’t mind but I’ve answered this question using the text from my iChristian blog. 

Broken, Psalm 116:3 The cords of death entangled me, the anguish of the grave came over me; I was overcome by distress and sorrow. 

Another day, another attempt! …. Oct – Nov 2000

 I kneel down in the centre of my living room. Tears stain the blade I hold to my chest. “Come on Steve, don’t fail again! All you need to do is throw yourself forwards and thats it!” I’d been doing this every morning for the last couple of months and still I waited, willing myself to do it. Then nudge…nudge.. my three month old Boxer dog “Bruce” pushed against my leg with his nose. His whimpering cries pierced my very soul. “He relied on me for everything and I had no idea I would be relying on a furry angel to help me through this dark period in my life.” 

After three months of failed attempts I felt more useless than ever …. I couldn’t even manage the task of killing myself. I realised I didn’t even have the strength to do this properly. I just didn’t know how I could get lower than this!!! – I’d been registered blind at 25, after loosing my sight quite suddenly. in the same month my mum finally died after a 12 year debilitating and demoralizing struggle with progressive MS. Missing her added misery to my own struggle to come to terms with the isolation and insecurities of managing life with sight loss – I’d lost my job, my custom car, the ability to drive, my girlfriend and nearly all of my so called friends! 

My answer…. 

To throw myself into binge drinking, womanising, dark depression, and raw anger. I felt that this was what I had to look forwards to for the rest of my life. 

Then I met Sarah…… July 2004 

She wasn’t like the other girls I’d met. Sarah too had suffered sight loss and depression because of her uncontrollable diabetes but no matter how bad things got for her, she always had comfort in someone called “Jesus”. Oh no I thought not a Christian! She suffered all of my taunts, jibes and nasty comments but worst of all my coldness and my inability to show love. I made it a personal challenge to show her that everyone will let you down and no one can be trusted or faithful! I felt that if I could make her hurt as much as I did then she’d hate this Jesus and know that he wasn’t real! 

Then HE came to visit ME…. 

Hope, Psalm 116:4 Then I called on the name of the Lord: “Lord, save me!” 

I’d seen a guitarist called Eric Bibb on the music show ‘Later with Jooles Holland’ and called Sarah up to see if she had heard of him too. She hadn’t but as a lovely gift she booked tickets to go and see him in London. I’d only ever been to Metal concerts before so i didn’t know what to expect. It was Eric Bibb’s “Friends” tour and when Eric started the song “Needed Time” and sang the words. 

“I’m down on my bended knees, I’m on my knees, praying want you come back, come back here?
Even if you don’t stay long, oh my Jesus, If you don’t stay long, I’m praying, Come back here.
Singing Right now is the needed time, I know you feel the needed time right now. Bless us!” 

This was the moment when I asked Jesus to save me saying “I can’t fight any more. Please help me!” From that moment something happened inside me and I just felt an outpouring of my entire being. My heart seemed to clear itself of all the darkness, hatred and anger I’d filled it with replacing this with pure love. I couldn’t stop my river of tears for the rest of the show. 

February 2013 – Now and into the future….

 Romans 12:2 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will. 

My eyes are filling with tears as I write this section. I just can’t believe I’m sitting here typing this. If it was up to me than I’d be dead. I’d have missed God’s amazing grace and a living relationship with Jesus along with the countless blessings I simply didn’t know existed! He’s transformed me in so many ways and I’m no longer held captive by drinking, swearing, anger, lack of compassion and self loathing, along with much much more. I’m also getting a long way to overcoming my ever big struggle with over eating.

7Cubed: Steve, we agree with what you said “there’s no pit too deep that God won’t reach down and lift you out of.” Praise God for that Truth! Thank you for taking a moment to share your beautiful life with us and may God bless your work and vision throughout the mission He has laid on your heart!

Don’t miss Steve’s beautiful photography on his blog

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