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Lucarini is a former contemporary worship leader, and his testimony can be found in Why I Left the Contemporary Christian Music Movement. The following is excerpted from Dan Lucarini, It’s Not about the Music, 2010, p. 149.

“At one of the churches where I led worship, we had nearly completed the slide into a totally contemporary style in every service and we had not used a hymnal in months. One weekend I was preparing for a Sunday service that included observance of the Lord’s Supper. … I was led back into the hymnal that I kept nearby on our piano. The Lord prompted me to select ‘Near the Cross.’ …

“On Sunday morning, when it was time to prepare for Communion, I asked the congregation to open a hymnal and turn to the correct page number. There was a brief moment of confusion; I heard murmuring and shuffling. Then I said to the congregation, ‘You know, the blue book stuck under the pew in front of you.’ But the auditorium lights were always dimmed during our worship time, and as a result many could not find either the hymnal or the page. I asked the crew to turn up the lights.

“What happened next was both sweet and sad. The light replaced the darkness and we sang out of the hymnals, with beautiful harmonies that brought tears of joy to my eyes and, from what I could see, to many other eyes in the congregation. … There were no drums or electric guitars or synthesizers to smother the singing of the saints. … Every age group, no matter what their taste or preference, had been joined in a common song of repentance and praise to Jesus. …”

THROWING OUT THE HYMNAL (Friday Church News Notes, April 29, 2011, http://www.wayoflife.org

David Cloud writes:

My readers have sent me countless examples of how the singing at their churches declined after the transition to the screen. More people are standing around watching and listening to the performers. … A hymnal is very different from the contemporary ‘worship song of the month.’ There is the benefit of relying on the wisdom of godly men and women who very carefully assembled the hymnal. No hymnal is perfect, of course, but we can trust the vast majority of selections without the need to examine each song and composer. … When we throw out the hymnals, we also throw out God-given protections against doctrinal drift, heresy and shocking musical worldliness. We turn over the musical catechism of our children to an ecumenical music industry driven by the worst fashions and lusts of this present age. It is past time to end the experiment and invest again in a good hymnal.”

I am reading and studying  Psalm 119 and finding that I could spend an enormous amount of time in this chapter. I am being deeply moved by the desire of David for God to teach him, to cause him to understand His Word and to be given the ability to obey God’s decrees and laws “to the end.”

Also I am enjoying some of the major and well-known biblical pastors and teachers we see on the internet and in our bible-believing churches but still…..I hunger to simply read God’s Word and to let the Holy Spirit convict, instruct and teach me.

Thinking on these things this morning, I came across this article from Mkala’s Korner, and I wish to share it with you.

 Starving in the Wilderness? Not at All.

Yesterday my husband and I met with a group of believers from various places via Skype to have a little study time, to pray and get to know each other. Most of us are out of the visible church, some left on our own, some were asked to leave. Imagine, being kicked out of the assembly of believers because you point out the truth to the leadership. It happens.

Will God leave us to starve in the wilderness? No. As crazy as it sounds, the opposite has proven to be true. In the effort and process to reveal the false doctrines of our time, and all that subject entails, the more I have grown in my own faith. It is in the times of study – the chasing after the truth as if it were gold has proven more precious and more valuable than any time I spent warming a pew. Don’t get me wrong. If the pastor you hear every week can present the truth of the gospel without allowing in the wiggly worms, stay there in the fellowship. I am not against church as a whole. I am against the thing it has become – yes “the thing” – a morphing into a shape and sound it was never intended.

So, let me encourage you. If you have come to that place and have found yourself out-churched, please understand that God has led you to this place to teach you who He truly is, and all that He has for you to become.

Link to full article.

Starving in the Wilderness? Not at All..

Is Isaiah 17 being Fulfilled ?

 By Jack Kelly

Source

Q. Do you think it is possible we are seeing current fulfillment of the Isaiah 17 war in a different manner than usual; but with the net same prophetic effect; in Syria, Egypt, Tunisia, Libya, Yemen etc. and that as a consequence we are virtually at the door with God now dealing with Israel for 7 years?

A. I believe what’s happening in the Middle East goes deeper than the populations throwing off the rule of despotic leaders. As bad as they are, these leaders have been reluctant to go up against Israel because they know they can’t win. The radicals who replace them will have no such fear and won’t be as concerned about self preservation as they are about destroying Israel. They won’t have dynasties to protect like the current leaders have.

I don’t believe Isaiah 17 is being fulfilled yet. What I think we’re seeing is the Lord hastening the day when Israel will have no choice but to take decisive action against its neighbors. One of the major casualties will be Damascus, which Isaiah 17:1 says will no longer be a city but will become a heap of ruins.

In Seattle we already have the swearing pastor Mark Driscoll and the New Age Metaphysical pastor Rodney Romney…..this is embarrassing enough I thought….. but no…..now we also have this.

Pastors at a Renton ministry have found a new calling behind the bar.

Turning water into wine is almost as surprising as turning pastors into bartenders.

“If you say, ‘Hey, did you hear that those Lutherans are serving beer down there in Renton?’ All of a sudden, people go, ‘Really? Really? Great!’ And a window is opened that was never opened before,” said Gretchen Mertes.

Mertus is among the Lutheran pastors called to serve – beer and wine, that is – at Luther’s Table.

“They didn’t train me to do this in seminary, I tell you what,” she said.

The new café isn’t limited to Lutherans, but it’s run by the Outreach Ministry of St. Matthews Church. The idea is to provide a caring gathering place where people can share chardonnay and gripes.

“So you got laid off. You’re in good company,” said Mertus.

The cafe is the brainchild of Mertus, who left her clerical collar at home but not her purple Converse shoes.

“I marry and bury — weddings and funerals, baptisms and preach,” she said.

When you belly up to the bar at Luther’s Table, you won’t find a Bible.

 “oh, heavens, no,” said Bishop Chris Boerger.

There are just brews and pews.

“This is a place for the church to be, not arm-twist,” Boerger said.

The ministry sees Luther’s Table as a way to carry on Martin Luther’s tradition of reflecting on studies with students over food and beer.

“Luther would have rejoiced over it,” the bishop said.

The pastors not only have tradition on their side, but also a stained glass Jesus from the old Renton Lutheran Church watching over them.

“We love to say that he’s ordering two beers, please,” said Mertus.

Luther’s Table is holding its grand opening this coming Saturday with live music, kids’ activities and giveaways.

Money raised at the restaurant is put toward developing the ministry.

If your pastor has personal body guards, it’s time for a new church.

If the only time your pastor mentions Jesus is in the prayer, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor preaches sermons consisting almost entirely of quaint illustrations, and funny stories about grandma’s and puppies, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor uses the first 15-20 minutes of the service to tell corny, irreverent, borderline blasphemous jokes, talk about sports and poke fun at church members for being K-State fans, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor doesn’t open his Bible during the sermon, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor prepares a sermon by picking a topic he wants to preach on, and then finds 30 verse fragments taken out of context, in 15 different translations to keep the sermon “Biblical”, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor uses ‘Nooma’ videos during any part of any sermon (unless to deconstruct it, explain its errors, and warn you about the heresy within) it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor preaches sermons based entirely on the latest Blockbuster flicks, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor’s name is Rick Warren, it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor ever says the word “relevant”, it’s a safe bet that it’s time for a new church.

If your pastor claims the church is “Christ-Centered, and Cross-Focused”, but never talks about either, it’s time for a new church.

THERE’S MORE HERE

Not too long ago, I was thinking about earthquakes and the areas they occur. It seemed as though the majority of the shaking occured where there was false religion. I noticed that Haiti was filled with Voodoo and that an area in Mexico, Oaxaca, known for tremors, specializes in occult crafts and  beliefs in “nahuals” or spiritual companion animals.

I found this chart from Barry Brumfield that I thought was very interesting.

SOURCE

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Religion considerations regarding locations of major earthquakes:

Year      Date     Mag.   Region         Primary Religion

2011 03/11 8.9 Honshu, Japan Shinto, Buddhism

2010 01/12 7 Haiti Catholicism, Vodou, Islam

2009 09/30 7.5 Sumatra, Indonesia Islam

2008 05/12 7.9 Sichuan, China Buddhism

2007 08/07 8.0 Peru Roman Catholicism

2007 03/06 6.4 Indonesia Islam

2006 07/17 7.7 Indonesia Islam

2006 05/27 6.3 Indonesia Islam

2005 10/08 7.6 Pakistan Islam

2005 03/28 8.7 Indonesia Islam

2004 12/26 9.0 Indonesia Islam

2003 12/26 6.6 SE Iran Islam

2003 05/21 6.8 N. Algeria Islam

2002 03/25 6.1 Afghanistan Islam

2001 01/26 7.7 India Hinduism, Buddhism

2000 06/04 7.9 Indonesia Islam

1999 09/21 7.6 Taiwan Buddhism, Taoism

1999 08/17 7.6 Turkey Islam

1999 01/25 6.0 W. Colombia Roman Catholicism

1998 05/30 6.6 Tajikistan Islam

1997 05/10 7.3 N. Iran Islam

1996 02/03 6.6 Yunnan, China Buddhism, Islam

1995 01/16 6.9 Kobe, Japan Shinto, Buddhism

1994 06/20 6.8 Colombia Roman Catholicism

1993 09/29 6.2 India Hinduism, Buddhism

1992 12/12 7.8 Indonesia Islam

1991 10/19 6.8 India Hinduism, Buddhism

1990 06/20 7.4 Iran Islam

1985 09/19 8.1 Mexico City Roman Catholicism

1978 09/16 7.7 N.E. Iran Islam

1976 07/28 8.2 Tangshan China Buddhism, Islam

1960 02/29 5.7 Morocco Islam

 18   nations

7 religions – Biblical?

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