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Online Baptist
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  • Welcome Guest

    Tired of all the fighting that goes on in facebook groups? Are you ready for a community where you can talk about things of God and the Bible without getting branded a heretic? Well, we are glad you found us. Why don't you give us a try and see how friendly and different we are. - BroMatt

  • Saved in 3 tenses?

    Came across this, was a little confused. Can you guys explain this to me? Thanks!  https://billmounce.com/monday-with-mounce/are-you-saved-or-are-you-being-saved”-1-cor-15-2  http://www.simplybible.com/f066.htm

    Roselove
    Roselove
    The Bible 145

    Patriotism

    Brethren, Every once in a while I see numerous articles that only present one side of the Vietnam War.  During that time of the Vietnam War the newspapers, liberals, the Hollywood crowd and the public in general were feed a continual stream of anti-American ideals: especially patriotism. My father taught me one good thing and that was to love our country. America, in spite of all the evil, corrupt politicians, and other forms of corruption, is still the best country on the face of this planet for Democracy, Individual Freedom, and Religious Freedom. It saddens me tremendously to witness the continual downgrade of America, the ideals why we fought the Vietnam War, and the nation of Israel within the threads of OnLine Baptist. While I was growing up (in the house of an agnostic and church hating father), I was taught, (rightly so), the values of America, Democracy, Patriotism, and the evils of Communism, Socialism, Fascism, and liberals. I have not changed a whit from my father's correct moral teachings. While growing up during the Vietnam War every day, (like our day and age), I read the supposedly vile actions of the U.S. Military as brought forth by Hollywood actors, liberal Religious figureheads, and the liberal, atheistic, and propaganda written by the communist leaning press. I read all about the evil actions of the military killing defenseless civilians by our Air Force and Army. And, I read all of the stories of how the Vietnam veterans were dope fiends, anti-military, and crazy in the head: remember Rambo? When was the last time that you heard a story in the press that told the public of the brave, sacrificial, and patriotic deeds of the vast majority of the men in uniform during the Vietnam War? Because of the vicious lies of the press, the traitorous acts of the Hollywood stars, the communist inspired Vietnam War demonstrations,and the unpatriotic acts of the ungodly religious crowd, our cowardly politicians gave in and did not allow the military to win the Vietnam War. Vietnam was the first war America lost. Now, South Vietnam is communist. Laos, which I was also indirectly involved, also was lost to the enemy. The enemy of America, and the nation of Israel, during that age, is Fascist (formally Communist), Russia and her allies. Vietnam was just a pawn that Russia used to obtain her goals. In spite of all the vicious verbal attacks, and numerous speeches, hippies, men rushing to Canada to avoid the draft, and others acts of civil disobedience, I decided to volunteer for military service (the US Air force), to join the war. During the Vietnam War I volunteered and was not drafted. I found out by personal experience that the innocent civilians were not so innocent, the Hollywood actors were traitors, the liberal press was lying and the religious figureheads were lost men seeking fame and fortune. The Vietnam War, started by President Kennedy, was initially a war against communism. Due to communist lies the American public was misled. Even to this day you cannot hardly find an article written against communism. But, you can find plenty of articles against the war and downgrading the men who bravely, and patriotically, fought against the communist North Vietnamese and their Russian allies. I am a proud American Vietnam Veteran. I am a proud verbal defender of America and its ideals of Freedom. And I have come to realize that there is a concerted effort by the enemies of Freedom to downgrade America and the nation of Israel. I hope that there are other patriotic freedom loving Americans who remain faithful to these ideals of freedom in the day ahead in spite of this concerted effort to bash America and Israel through misleading articles. Alan  

    Alan
    Alan
    IFB Lounge 36

    How to sharpen an axe

    A few years ago I realized something(praise the Lord), but I haven’t yet seen an open door to share it, until now.  Yesterday’s response on this site, by DaveW, was the open door I have been waiting for. What I am referring to is the Scripture..........
    "Iron sharpeneth iron; so a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend." (Proverbs 27:17) What the Lord pointed out to me, is the fact that most people do not know how to “sharpen” an axe!  If you do not know how to make an axe’s edge SHARP, you will not know how this Scripture works!
    ------------------------
    Let me start, at where I learned to “make an edge SHARP”!  I was just a young married man with a young family to support and had a job at a shop that built air conditioning ducts(the old fashioned way, by hand), This construction required thousands of 1/8" holes to be drilled in sheet metal. All of this drilling, caused these 1/8" drill bits to become dull.  But instead of throwing them away, my boss would have us “re-sharpen them”, and they would be LIKE NEW.  So as I was being instructed on how to do this, I leaned that the way that my mind thought, would make these bits sharper, actually made them duller!  I quickly learned the right way to do it and the same principal works with any iron, that needs to be sharpened. Occasionally, over the years I would see on a television show or movie, an actor’s  depiction of an old farmer, sharpening an axe and I would be reminded of the way that I thought it should be done and how that most people think that it is done that way. Then, a few years ago, I applied this fact, of “how to truly sharpen an axe”, to this Scripture; And realized God’s method, of truly making my self sharper!
    ------------------------
    Picture in your mind, a grinding wheel, in front of you; and your ready to sharpen your axe.  Now, as your lowering the axe toward the wheel, with it’s edge away from you, is the wheel turning toward you or away from you.  The way that seems to be more “logical” and “safe”, is for the wheel to be turning away from you. That is, with the wheel going in the same direction as the blade’s edge.  This will make the blade duller and duller(building up more and more metal on the edge).  But, if the wheel is turning against the sharp edge of the blade, it will be removing more and more metal, making the blade sharper and sharper.
    ------------------------
    The way this applies to this scripture, is: If we only debate and discuss the Bible with people that we totally agree with, than we will get more and more assured, that we are right.  But, if we discuss the Bible with Christians, that hold an apposing view of that subject or Doctrine, than it will give the Holy Spirit a chance to chip away at some of the wrong ideas that we have. I can somewhat understand, why some people would want to avoid these kinds of heated discussions, because it is not always fun, to be told that your opinion is wrong.  But if it’s wrong, you(we), should be anxious to be corrected, so that we can be “rightly dividing the Word of truth”!
    ------------------------
    I have yet to find an individual in my area, who is willing to have these kinds of discussions with me.  Local pastors and friends that I know, do not want to get into the weeds, of any of those subjects, we are not in total agreement on. But, praise the Lord for the internet, where people feel more free to be truthful with you, when they think that you are wrong.  And for forums like this, where you are able to say “almost” anything.  I recall a few years ago, there was a site called “The fighting fundamentalists”.  Where you could go and discuss ANY SUBJECT OR ISSUE.  It was kind of like the old west.  Sure, there may have been a lot of “un-Christlike responses”, but you had to be tough and stand your ground with Scripture. Nothing was ever said or done, to PROTECT anybodies feelings!  Those were the good old days. I recall a “Reformed site”(Calvinist), that did not allow any statements or even questions, that would call into question the “Calvinist view of things”.  I was kicked off almost immediately.  But the problem with that was, it HURT the Spiritual Walk, of every true Christian that was on that site, because they are being PROTECTED from opposing views.
    ------------------------
    Facing OPPOSING VIEWS, is good for us.  Because it forces us to take a closer look at what we believe.  
    There is another site, called “the Baptist Board”.  I spent a lot of years there and it did some wonderful things in my life, because it is ran by and filled with, people who believe that being King James Only, is some incurable disease. All the years that I spent “defending the Bible” on that site, increased my faith in God’s
    Word a hundred fold.  BUT, on a few occasions, I had to back off.  On times when the onslaught of attacks became too pointed or when attacks started coming from people that I respected on that site, I would have to back off and stay away from that site.
    There were times that I felt like David, when he penned....
    "But as for me, my feet were almost gone; my steps had well nigh slipped." (Psalms 73:2) When there were times, when I would start to even consider the possibility, that God’s Word could have any mistakes!!!!  I knew that I needed to back off from these lies and get back into God’s Word and allow the LORD, to restore my faith! Yes, these were dangerous times; But they worked together for good, in my life.  And who knows how many souls, were encouraged by my stand, to take a stand of their own.  

    Donald
    Donald
    IFB Biblical Issues 9

    SOS

    Dear One, I would like prayer for two urgent needs:    That my son, Bobby, get sober and clean free from alcohol and drug addiction and may his beautiful projects come to manifest in his highest and best interest.  That my daughter, Jennifer, keep her daughter, Eleanor, 100% custody and receive the restraining order and win her case against Rob Madrid. His family has a history of sexual addiction and abuse.   Thank you so much for this. With a heartfelt thank you, Corinne I will be sending a donation next week with a grateful heart.... 

    corinne gomez
    corinne gomez
    Prayer Requests 2

    Pray for our church please

    Our church is losing our pastor as he is leaving for a missions ministry. Pray for wisdom for the pulpit committee as they search for a new pastor. Thank you.

    Andrea
    Andrea
    Prayer Requests 4

    Matthew 12:40

    Whenever the three days and three nights of Matthew 12:40 is brought up in a "discussion" with 6th day crucifixion folks, they frequently argue that it is a Jewish idiom for counting any part of a day as a whole day. I wonder if anyone has documentation that shows an example from the first century or before regarding a period of time that is said to consist of a specific number of days as well as a specific number of nights where the period of time absolutey doesn't/can't include at least a part of each one of the specific number of days and at least a part of each one of the specific number of nights?

    rstrats
    rstrats
    The Bible 116
  • Pleasing God & Peace

    Proverbs 16:7, “Pleasing God & Peace.”   Proverbs 16:7, “When a man’s ways please the LORD, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him.”   God can give peace to a person, or a nation, or He can take away peace from a person, or a nation. Isaiah 45:6 & 7, “That they may know from the rising of the sun, and from the west, that there is none beside me. I am the LORD, and there is none else. I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things.”   Most people seek peace through worldly and physical pleasures. Most people love pleasure more than God and sometimes the saints love pleasure more than God. 2 Timothy 3:4, “Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God.”   When a person pleases God than God can give that person peace. God wants us to give us peace in our hearts. The Lord Jesus said, John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” In the early church, the disciples were persecuted severely for their faith in Christ and in the ages since that time, more persecution arose from various false religions and leaders. In the midst of these persecutions, the Lord Jesus gave these people peace.   Even though we sometimes have problems and difficulties, the Lord Jesus can give us peace in our hearts. We need to learn how to please God. Colossians 1: 9 & 10, “For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you, and to desire that ye might be filled with the knowledge of his will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding.” That ye might walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being fruitful in every good work, and increasing in the knowledge of God.”   God can give us peace in our hearts and peace among our enemies if we please him.  

    Alan
    Alan
    Devotionals 10

    last weeks sermon plus singing at the beginning

    http://www.gracebaptistinbridgeport.com/sermons/i-need-him/?view=audio 

    gbcbridgeportmember123
    gbcbridgeportmember123
    Devotionals 1

    The Mule Walked on by Lester Roloff

    While I did not hear this message in person, this message touched my heart as a young teen.     

    BroMatt
    BroMatt
    Sermons & Devotions 4

    Leviticus 18 - Social Abominations God Hates (A baseline for Nations)

    God is long suffering and forgiving towards sinners, giving them many opportunities to repent and do right. However, God lets us know that there are certain immoral actions that cannot be allowed to continue openly in a just society. In Leviticus 18 God explains the baseline moral requirements for the nation to be allowed to remain in His Holy Land. In this sermon we show the moral sins God particularly hates. Including Abortion, Infanticide, Incest, Molestation, homosexual acts, Bestiality, and etc. The passage explains that if they are not put away from the people then God will visit the iniquity of these sins on us all and the land itself will "vomit" them and us out of it. We also deal with the Sodomite Agenda to deceive society in these matters. Attempting to make these things acceptable in our land. Preached: April 15, 2018 Sunday Morning. By Pastor John Young, at Edgecliff Baptist Church, Spokane Valley, WA.
       

    John Young
    John Young
    Devotionals 2

    Leviticus 20 - Giving Seed to Molech (Penalties for Abomination)

    Leviticus 20 gives the Penalties for committing the Abominations listed in Leviticus 18. The primary sin from which the rest flows is the abomination of "whoring with Molech". This basically was the giving of their new born babies to be killed by burning over a fire on the hands of a metal Idol called Molech. This evil practice was done by people who wanted to get rid of their unwanted children in exchange for the idol to give them good crops. This practice was popular with promiscuous men who did not want the responsibility for the child or mother. God commanded the most severe penalty for such whoremonger. Not only was Molech outlawed any man spreading his seed in the land and giving it to Molech was to be put to death and if he was not then wrath would also be against his family and nation. In this sermon we see how allowing such men in the land will result in and lead to the other societal abominations as well. This chapter deals with the penalties for molestation, fornication, adultery, hatred of parents, homosexual acts, bestiality, and witchcraft. In this sermon we explain how each nation has a duty to keep the whorish men of Molech from destroying their land or the land will spew us out and God's wrath will be on our nation. Preached: April 29, 2018 Sunday Morning. By Pastor John Young, at Edgecliff Baptist Church, Spokane Valley, WA.    

    John Young
    John Young
    Devotionals 1

    The Bondage Of Sin And A Freedom Of Jesus Christ

    Exodus 20:2 I am the LORD thy God, which have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.

    You think that there is no captivity in sin? Are you unequal/unjust/unrighteous with people? Engaged in premarital sexual relations or married and having relations with others or lusting after men or women other than your spouse? Do you corrupt God's law as explained in the King James Bible in your actions? Do you have a strong desire for things that you don't posess? Do you do things that hurt others physically or emotionally? Does the success of others bother you? Are you an angry person? Do you have a habit of arguing? Do you mislead other people? Are you spiteful or mean? Do you reveal the secrets of others? Do you speak bad about people when they are not present? Are you an enemy of God (if you are not for God's program as explained in the King James Bible then you are God's enemy, see James 4:4)? Are you mean or hateful without being provoked? You think alot of yourself (are you the big man/woman in your universe)? Like to tell people how wonderful you are? Spend your time thinking of bad things to do (things that may hurt others)? Ignore what your mom or dad says (disOBedient)? Can't comprehend this list or your King James Bible? Make commitments and break them? No desire to do the right things? You can't be satisfied or come to resolutions in a conflict? Are you cruel or unforgiving? Well, the Bible says about me, you, and anyone else who does this (Romans 1:32) "Who knowing the judgment of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death." and (Romans 2:5,6) "But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; Who will render to every man according to his deeds:"

    If you want to know where that list above came from then look at Romans 1:29-31 at http://av1611.com/KJBp/KJV-bible-text/Ro-1.html and compare the words to their definitions in Websters 1828 dictionary at http://webstersdictionary1828.com/

    if you have a prOBlem with the above then may I invite you to Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ has the power to set the captive free. John 8:

    34 Jesus answered them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whosoever committeth sin is the servant of sin.

    35 And the servant abideth not in the house for ever: but the Son abideth ever.

    36 If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.

    The book of Romans has a lot about this. When you accept the Lord Jesus Christ who was made (2 Corinthians 5:21) "to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him." The spotless Lamb of God who shed his blood on the cross, the crucifixion, and John the Baptist said of Jesus (John 1:29) "Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world." is the same Jesus Christ that had victory over sin and death and rose from the dead and (Ephesians 4:8) "he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive". The Son of God, the Lord Jesus Christ , can make you free indeed.

    Once you trust Jesus Christ you must ask (Romans 6:1,2) "What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound?...How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein?" When you trust in Jesus Christ you are (Romans 6:4) "buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life" So you should (Romans 6:11) "reckon ye also yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord." being freed from sin you should CHOOSE to (Romans 6:12) "Let not sin therefore reign in your mortal body, that ye should OBey it in the lusts thereof." Thus don't (Romans 6:13) "yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Paul clearly indicates that on whomever has put their faith in Jesus Christ is no longer captive to sin but (Romans 6:14) "sin shall not have dominion over you." and you are now (Romans 6:18) "Being then made free from sin, ye became the servants of righteousness" Thus it is now a CHOICE where in the past (Romans 6:19) "ye have yielded your members servants to uncleanness and to iniquity unto iniquity; even so now yield your members servants to righteousness unto holiness." REJOICE! For (Romans 8:1-2) "There is therefore now no condemnation to them which are in Christ Jesus, who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death."

    Romans 8:
    14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

    15 For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father.

    16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

    17 And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.

    Ephesians 4:
    8 Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

    Psalm 68:
    18 Thou hast ascended on high, thou hast led captivity captive: thou hast received gifts for men; yea, for the rebellious also, that the LORD God might dwell among them.

    Now make your choice. through the Lord Jesus Christ you are set free and should

    Romans 12:
    1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

    2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

    We are out of time and (Romans 13:12-14) "The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof." Yep, MAKE THAT CHOICE!

    2T3:16
    2T3:16
    2T3:16's Sermons & Devotionals 2
  • Our picks

    • Please pray for the church and college. The following was released from the school: It has come to our attention that allegations of inappropriate conduct have been made against Cameron Giovanelli, a member of our staff. Upon receipt of the notice of the allegations, we immediately placed him on administrative leave of all activities and responsibilities, to conduct a thorough and honest investigation. ..........
      • 30 replies
    • Many preachers teach that 1 Corinthians 13:8-12 teaches that the sign gifts will cease, the claim is that the "perfect" of vs 10 is the completed canon of scriptures. However I have a hard time seeing how the completed scriptures were what enable Paul to "know even as I also am known". I am beginning to wonder if this interpretation of this passage of scripture is a knee jerk reaction to charismatic doctrine and chaos? I see it as a definite possibility that what the "perfect" is and what Paul means by "then shall I know even as I also am known" as a reference to our condition in glory, or something of that nature. So I have several questions

      1. Does the cessation of spiritual gifts hinge on 1 Corinthians 13:8-12? What other passages of the bible teach cessationism of the sign gifts?

      2. Can we know with certainty based on Biblical exegesis that the "perfect" of vs 10 is the completed canon of scripture? or do we just say that because we have heard preachers teach that? 

      This was the closest to an acceptable explanation that I could find about vs 12, but I still have trouble and feel like it glosses over the phrase "shall know even as also am known"

      "The word translated as glass (esoptron esoptron) literally refers to 
      a mirror. The ancients did not have the technology to make useful mirrors from glass. Rather, they were made from polished metal. Of course, the imagery thereon was not clear, but somewhat fuzzy. The word translated as darkly (ainigma ainigma) is whence the English word enigma derives. Here it has the sense of ‘not clearly,’ or as the Authorized Version renders it, darkly. The idea was of the obtuse imagery of ancient mirrors. The application was to the limited degree of spiritual understanding and knowledge present in the early church ab- sent the New Testament. 

      • 87 replies
    • If you could not find an IFB church in your area, what kind of Baptist churches would you never attend?   
      • 56 replies
    • Giving the Gospel / Are You Ashamed of Christ?

      I had intended on writing a SHORT encouraging note to others about sharing the gospel.
      That truly was my main intent prior to setting about to type some thoughts and copy corresponding scripture down...

      But as often happens, the Lord put something else on my heart. 
      I recently had a discussion with a fellow believer who admitted that he or she rarely shared the gospel with others.
      Since the conversation was somewhat recent, it may be why the Lord put it on my heart, BUT I think it may well be that it wasn't this person (in particular) but someone else (unknown to me whom) and perhaps ALL of us that could benefit by serious consideration of the following 2 questions (and why the Lord put it on my heart to bring this forward HERE today, I am not sure, but felt compelled to do so).

      The 2 questions I am asking each one of us to consider today are these:
      #1. Do you share the gospel with others?
      #2. Are you ashamed of Christ?

      Most of us here (at least those whom I've come to know somewhat) would likely answer the questions with an emphatic "YES, I share the gospel", and "NO, I am not ashamed of the Lord".

      • 10 replies
    • Saved in 3 tenses?
      Came across this, was a little confused. Can you guys explain this to me? Thanks! 

      https://billmounce.com/monday-with-mounce/are-you-saved-or-are-you-being-saved”-1-cor-15-2 

      http://www.simplybible.com/f066.htm
      • 145 replies


  • Today's Birthdays

    1. BamaAngel
      BamaAngel
      (52 years old)
  • Recent Status Updates

    • Alan  »  Jim_Alaska

      Jim,
      Thank you for helping to fix the problem with posting.
      I do hope that the services went well at your church and that the Lord used you as you filled in for the pastor.
      We just got back from reporting to two churches. Both services went well and we enjoyed the fine fellowship, and the good spirit, of both churches.
      God bless!
      Alan
      · 1 reply
    • corinne gomez  »  OLD fashioned preacher

      Hi there, I cannot find the prayer request site to implement my prayer request.... Can you please help me? Thank you....
      Dear One,
      I would like prayer for two urgent needs: 
       
      That my son, Bobby, get sober and clean free from alcohol and drug addiction and may his beautiful projects come to manifest in his highest and best interest.  That my daughter, Jennifer, keep her daughter, Eleanor, 100% custody and receive the restraining order and win her case against Rob Madrid. His family has a history of sexual addiction and abuse.  
      Thank you so much for this. With a heartfelt thank you, Corinne
      I will be sending a donation next week with a grateful heart.... 
      · 1 reply
    • Jim_Alaska

      This is quite a long read, but I thought that there may be some that would like to hear my testimony. I know that as far as testimonies go, most are short. Mine differs in that it actually took place over many years.
      ________________________________________
      My exposure to religion began at a very early age. As a young child I can remember my grandmother taking me to church. She was a staunch Catholic and attended church quite regularly. I can still remember the awe I had as a child, in relation to the pomp and ceremony of the Catholic Mass, the statues, candles, confessional, holy water and all the things that go to make up the Catholic worship.
      My mother and father were not religious people and I can never remember a time when they went to church. Interestingly enough, in about the second grade they put me in a Catholic school run by Nuns. They also made sure (at my grandmothers insistence I am sure) that I studied for and received my “first communion.” This was about the extent of my exposure to religion for many years.
      My mother and father divorced when I was in the third grade and there were times when I would go to spend time with my father and his second wife. They did not go to church, but insisted that my brother and I go. We hated church, so every Sunday we would pretend that we went, when really we went to play in the park.
      As a young man, I never though about God or religion very much, except on Christmas. I guess the old teaching of the Catholic Church still held some influence for me. Most Catholics, even if they did not attend church the rest of the year, would make an attempt to attend Midnight Mass. I would usually find some big Catholic church to go to on Christmas Eve for their Midnight Mass.
      The years went by; I married, had two children, and completely ignored God and religion. After seven years we divorced and went our separate ways. I became more intolerant and hostile toward religion and God and anyone who tried to talk to me about it. I actually took some pride in the fact that when someone would try to talk to me about religion; I usually thought I got the best of the conversation. I had a set series of questions and statements that usually did the trick and they would leave me alone after that…..until one day I met a Baptist preacher. That meeting, although very short and for the most part unproductive in the eyes of that preacher, made an impression on me that I never realized until years later. I do not remember his name, or the circumstances under which we met. And I am sure that he went away thinking that this was a very unprofitable meeting. I remember that he was not the least bit flustered by my incessant questions and assertions concerning creation and how this or that thing could possibly be. I am sure that he went away thinking that this guy is hopeless; he has no spiritual understanding and is very antagonistic to say the least. His answer to the questions and statements I kept banging his ears with was simplicity in the extreme. When I had finished, he simply said that all the things I was asking about and trying to reason out could not possibly be found out by reason and intellect. He said that to have those questions answered and to actually find God, it must be done through the eyes of FAITH….and that was all he said, there was not the usual argument I had come to expect, but with those words he planted a seed that was not to come to fruition for another 8 years, and in the most profound way possible. Of course I left that meeting with the idea that I had won again and felt pretty good about his inability to form a good argument in response.
      Again the years passed, I remarried, we moved to Florida and life was pretty good. In all this time I never went near a church and the people I associated with were not Christians. By this time I had even stopped going to the Midnight Masses on Christmas. Church, religion and God were for those religious nuts that went to church three times a week and were always trying to get you to go to church also. I actually hated and ridiculed people like this, they were fools, I knew better than to be taken in by this foolishness.
      Then began a chain of events that, had someone told me were ordered of God, I would have said they were nuts. But looking back on it from almost thirty years in the future, I would have to agree now that these events were no accident….God had a plan and it was yet for me to realize this plan. I have always loved nature and the outdoors, hunting, fishing, the wilderness and all that went with it. While living in Florida, I read everything I could about my obsession with the outdoors, including any articles about a far away place called Alaska. Alaska began to draw me like a magnet and when I read a book by someone who was living the wilderness lifestyle, I was sure that this was for me. In his book he said that there was still free homestead land available in Alaska and that it was indeed possible to live a subsistence lifestyle. That was all it took, we sold our home in Florida and hit the road to Alaska.
      All my life I had always been awed by the splendor of true wilderness. Although at that time I would never have admitted that it was God that instilled this awe in me, I can see now that this was the case. The trip up to Alaska made a lasting impression on me as we traveled through mile after mile of wilderness, and with each new vista my awe and wonder took on an almost spiritual awareness. Psm. 19: 1“The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. 2 Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge.  3 There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.” In later years I would come to see the truth of this scripture and the power it holds to witness to man that GOD IS. I believe that at this time God was preparing my heart for an even greater truth than simply the fact that He Is. But at this time I was still a long way from God, both spiritually and in years.
      In later years I would come to see that the following scripture was to have great significance to me, although at the time I was not even aware of it.
      “Ro 1:18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the truth in unrighteousness;
      19    Because that which may be known of God is manifest in them; for God hath shewed it unto them. 
      20    For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse:”
      When we arrived in Alaska, we immediately set out to find our little corner of wilderness. There was no land free for homesteading that was even remotely close to a road. We decided on land about 100 miles west of Fairbanks that could only be reached by plane. This began what I can see now as a well ordered chain of events. When we flew in to this remote parcel of land, it became evident very quickly that we were not prepared for the exacting wilderness lifestyle. We had spent all of our money trying to find the wilderness, and once we found it there was only enough money for one flight and we had to pack everything we would need for a year in the woods in one trip. Fortunately as we were unloading the plane at this remote lake, we had a pet dog break his leg while we were unloading. This in itself would not have deterred me, but it was a major problem. We sat down on the shore of this little lake to take stock of our situation and decided that discretion was the better part of valor. We had tried and failed and our pilot was concerned that we did not really know what we were getting into, for when he left us, there was no help or even any people for a hundred miles. The only reason we got as far as we did was my tenacity to see a project through to its finish. But when the decisions you make could mean the difference between life and death, I was convinced that going back to Fairbanks was the right thing to do. We left on the same plane that brought us. It was a crushing blow to my ego that all our planning had come to failure.
      I was devastated and the only recourse I could see was to try to get a refund on some of the Arctic Gear and provisions we had bought and tuck our tail between our legs and go back to Florida. When I had written to the State of Alaska about what I intended to do, they very emphatically told me that jobs here were very few and far between and to be sure I had one lined up before coming.
      We spent the first night back in Fairbanks in a campground and talked about how we would get some money back to leave for Florida as soon as possible. As we talked, my wife said, “Why don’t you just try for a couple of days to get a job and if in that time you don’t have one, we will leave.” I agreed and the next morning, in the first place I tried, I landed a job making 3 times as much as I had ever made in my life. This chain of circumstances, as I look back on it, is so profound that it is hard to believe. Perhaps two or three of these circumstances could be chance, but the sheer number of them, as well as the direct trail that led me to God is now unmistakable.
      We were elated at our good fortune in finding a job and we set out immediately to look for a house to rent, we did not want to be in town, so looked for places outside of town. We saw an ad in the paper for a log cabin about 25 miles outside of town and went to look at it. The rent was very cheap, and when we got there it was obvious why it was so cheap. There were no windows, just holes in the wall covered by plastic. The cabin had a lop-sided tilt to it where it was settling on the north side. The floor consisted of planks that were painted battle-ship gray, and it was all one room divided by a large closet. The only heat was a giant wood-burning furnace in the dirt-floored cellar. It had a wood cook stove as well as an electric range. The logs were old and the roof obviously leaked and had a definite sag in the middle. And last but not least…. there was no water!
      The man who owned this cabin seemed nice enough and we had spent some time talking to him before we actually saw the cabin, we had told him of our dream of living in the wilderness and how it seemed to be impossible. He suggested that we could live in this cabin for a year and gain the experience we would need to live in the wilderness and then try again when we were better prepared. After seeing his cabin, we told him we would think about it and left. On the ride back to town we were laughing and amazed that this guy actually thought that he could rent this dump to someone, well it certainly was not going to be us.
      A week went by and we did not find anything else we could rent and it was getting expensive living in an apartment in town that was rented by the week. During that week, while I was at work, I kept thinking back to that cabin, and little known to me, my wife was doing the same, but neither one wanted to say anything about it. Finally one evening I told her that for some reason I could not get that dump of a cabin out of my mind. To my amazement she had been having the same thoughts. We decided to see if it was still for rent and go look at it again with an eye toward what we could do to make it livable. It was still for rent and we did rent it. Later the man who owned it told us that he was sure that these “city slickers” with a brand new truck and used to the comfort of living “outside”, meaning outside of Alaska, would never rent this dump.
      After we had fixed up the place and made it livable we discovered that there was a young man who had just been divorced living in an old barn next to our cabin, it was only about twenty feet away. After meeting him we found that we were from the same part of New England and we became fast friends. He had been in Alaska for some time and was, among other things a trapper. He was to be my door to the wilderness, but not in the way I had envisioned in far away Florida. He was very much anti-religion and not afraid to make it known, so he and I hit it off right from the start. It was through him that I learned that my landlord was a religious nut. Although he and my landlord were friends, he hated to have to listen to him “preach at him” and made his objections known in a very sarcastic manner. He only lived in that run down shack for the summer and when he could not take any more of my landlord’s preaching, he left and rented an apartment in town.
      This was in the summer of 1973. Unknown to me, the summer before that, a group of people arrived in this little dead end, out-of-the-way place to start a mission work. They built houses before the winter set in and were holding services in one of the houses. By this time, my landlord, having no one else to preach to, began preaching, or “witnessing” as he called it to my wife and I. He would come and visit quite often and more times than not the visit would end with him being asked to leave. I did not know it at that time, but he had been saved in that little enclave of religious nuts up the road a mile or so. Every once in a while he would ask us to go to church with him and we always refused. But about three years after we moved into this cabin, we decided that we had had enough and something had to be done about this guy’s incessant “witnessing”. I decided that the way to accomplish this was to go with him one time, that way I could say that I didn’t like it and had no interest in his religion and that would be the end of it.
      Up until this time in my life, I had never stepped foot inside of a Bible believing church, but this was not a church, it was someone’s house and the guy doing the preaching looked like something out of movies you see of a stern, turn of the century, bible thumping preacher. He was a very large man with a beard like you see the Amish wear. They had moved all the furniture around to make room for folding chairs, and the preacher spoke from a huge Burl pulpit in the corner of the room. There were not many people there except for those that had started this mission with him and three of four others who I assumed lived in the community. There were very few people who lived beyond this point on this dead end road 25 miles from Fairbanks.
      This was a Thursday night service and I was thinking that all I had to do was to get through this next hour and then my problem of being preached at would go away. But something happened that night that will remain forever indelibly etched in my mind. The preacher was talking about Jesus Christ in a way that I had never heard before. He was also saying that each person in this world had sin that had to be dealt with and that the only way to deal with that sin was to accept the provision that Jesus had made by paying for that sin. He was very graphic in showing that Jesus died on that cross to pay for our sins. The words rang true, I had no idea why at that time, but somehow I knew that this was a truth to be dealt with. At the end of his sermon, we stood and sang a hymn and he gave an “invitation”. With that invitation came the most powerful experience I have ever felt. I had the definite impression of words forming in my mind that I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt were put there by God. There was a …. This is hard to explain…. Except to say that I was aware of the words without an audible voice, and they were this: “what you have heard is the truth, you have to deal with this NOW.” I was impressed in a way that I can still not explain to this day.
      It was then that the words of that Baptist preacher so long ago came back to me…. “These things can only be seen through the eyes of FAITH.” It was then that I gave my life to God, I did not know the first thing about salvation, but turned my life over to Jesus and asked Him to show me the truth of this new way, because I was not able to understand it myself. The rest is now history. I have one regret; I did not come forward that night and make known my decision. I now realize that this would have been a great encouragement to this new and struggling mission work. I never made my decision known for the next year, although later, the Sunday school teacher said that they could all see the difference and the change in me.
      · 1 reply
    • HappyChristian

      And our son is now here! He arrived at 5:30 Sunday morning (drove all night so he could beat our 5 day/4 night record).
      He's staying with us a few days, and putting out applications. Then he'll stay with my sister, who is closer to where he needs to be to get a job. If you think about it, would appreciate prayer that he finds good work.
      · 1 reply
    • BroMatt

      I've been away from OB for a week or so because of my daughters wedding. It is a great joy to see your kids doing things the Bible way.  
      · 1 reply
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