Been a while since I've posted a real blog entry ... 

For one, I needed a break from blogging just for a time. But also, I've changed jobs at work and have been working on other various things that have all added up to not giving me much time to think through what to write. I will soon be writing something with content.
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 6 

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Hello!

Yesterday was another busy work day for us. The groups flip-flopped sites again and worked hard. The students at The Colony also took a tour of the mudslide area. I have included some pictures today from the tours. You can see the mudslide down the mountain. There is also a picture of the mass grave that looks like a field. We were actually standing on mud that is covering homes and dead bodies. About 350 people are still living in temporary shelters (many provided by the US) in the area we walked through. The government began building permanent housing nearby (to replace the temporary ones) but after some studies of the terrain declared that area a "red zone" because of the potential of future mudslides. So construction on the new permanent housing ceased and they are considering where in the city they can move those folks.

You'll also notice pictures from a few things we did yesterday. A group of our students played a group of people from the Alfa y Omega church in soccer (in the middle of a corn field). The score was tied 7-7 at the end of regulation. The US lost to Guatemala on the very last PK. A rematch is scheduled for this afternoon (weather permitting).

Also, a group of about 12 folks went to the prayer service that was at the church at the Colony. Pastor Abraham's brother Jose is the pastor there. Our group participated in the service and prayed for Jose and his wife Maria as well as the other folks that live in the Colony. Our group was blessed by the sincerity and generosity of the people they worshipped with and humbled and challenged by their commitment to prayer.

There is an immense amount of laughter at the Posada and on the work sites, sometimes due to practical jokes. At Campamento David some of our folks taught Chelsea Inman how to say, "I am very, very excited" in Spanish and kept encouraging her to speak those words to the Guatemalans. When she finally did, she got some weird looks from the Guatemalans. The group had intentionally taught her to say "I am very, very pregnant" (which Chelsea is not) instead of "I am very, very excited." Also, we print common Spanish phrases in our students' workbooks. One we printed was the translation (or so we thought) for "Only faith in Jesus can save you." Chris Cole, however, informed us that what we had printed actually says, "Only faith in Jesus can save you money."

Last night Brent Kesler continued our teaching on missions and did a great job. He taught on the Great Commission, Matthew 28:16-20. "Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain to which Jesus had directed them. And when they saw him they worshiped him, but some doubted. And Jesus came and said to them, 'All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age.,"

A few folks have stayed in sick this morning. Pray for their health and that none of their illnesses spread to others.

I have throughout the week referred to the Gospel a number of times and have not really defined that word yet. And since I don't know who is receiving this email (Richard keeps the list) I recognize that some of you may not know what the Gospel is. I am including at the end of this email a copy of the Bad News/Good News presentation of the Gospel that our students often use to share the Gospel with folks. It would be their desire (and mine) that all of the Guatemalans we meet and all of you who read this email embrace and believe this amazing news (if you have not already). We are so grateful for what Christ has done for us. And we want all people to receive the blessing of getting to know and be amazed, now and forever, by the person of Jesus Christ, to the glory of God. He is our delight.


Soli Deo Gloria,

Kathy Harrelson
High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 5 

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Hello!

Yesterday was our second full day of work on the sites. The team that went to The Colony on Saturday went to Campamento David yesterday and the team that went to Campamento David on Saturday went to The Colony. The folks at the Colony continued moving rocks for the wall, digging holes, and clearing the new land. The folks at Campamento David moved lots of dirt (which will help level the land on the soccer field), began clearing new land, and helped build the retaining wall (mixed cement, carried rocks, and more). Now is the time in the trip when folks' stamina tends to fade. Prayer for strength for the workers on the site so that we are able to continue to work hard. Pray also that we take the breaks we need (and drink enough water); some of them almost work too hard.

Wayne also took the folks at The Colony on a tour of the mudslide area. Hurricane Stan brought great devastation and mudslides here in October, burying and killing around 600 folks. The students went and stood on what looks like a field but is really mud piled on top of homes and bodies that were buried in the mud. The folks (especially the children) are very fearful when it rains and many lost a number of their family members (we met one man yesterday who lost 33 members of his family). Please pray for all the folks in this area so impacted by the storm.

There are a couple folks who have been a big blessing on our trip. Jared Kesler was a part of the college ministry at Christ Chapel when he was at TCU; he just graduated in May. He is spending the summer living with the pastor of the Alfa y Omega Church (Pastor Abraham) and doing ministry in Santiago. He helped coordinate some of the details for our trip while Wayne and we were in the States. His help beforehand, work on the site, love for the Guatemalans (especially the children), and heart to minister to our high school students is a blessing.

Also, I wanted to be sure to mention what a blessing the Burketts are. Joe (a doctor) and Molly (a nurse) are here with us for any medical needs. Thankfully we haven't needed their medical assistance very much this year. But they work as hard as anyone on the site. Elizabeth Butler mentioned in Give God the Glory last night Molly's tenacity in a hole they were digging. The Burkett's love for the Lord and students encourages us as well. I told them that though their children have now graduated from high school that the two of them still are not allowed to graduate from the CCBC high school ministry.

Last night Jon Dansby taught the group. We are continuing with our discussion of missions. Jon taught about how God is a missionary God and talked about His Kingdom. We looked through the Scriptures at God reaching out to all nations and then at the vision of victory in Revelation 5:9-14. It has been incredible to see the students' eyes opened to missions; I've walked by and heard discussions among some of them considering extended summer missions experiences or maybe even a career in missions. In Matthew 9:36-38, we read Jesus' words: "When he saw the crowds, he had compassion for them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd. Then he said to his disciples, 'The harvest is plentiful but the laborers are few; therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest.'"

Happy Birthday to Sarah Ice! She turned 15 yesterday. We asked for a candle to be put in her dessert last night so we could sing to her (which we did). As I went to the kitchen to check on it, I saw 6 Guatemalan men gathered around decorating a small cake for her. They wanted to put 15 candles in the cake but eventually gave up and settled for 5.


By grace alone,

Kathy Harrelson
High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 4 

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Hello!

Yesterday (Sunday) was our day of relaxation, rest, play, and shopping. We started with breakfast at 9am (much later than our normal 7:15 breakfast) and then had our worship service at 10:30. Two of our seniors who just graduated, Malcolm White & Dave Burkett, taught us at the service. They chose to talk about suffering. Malcolm began by talking about how many people refuse to believe in the Christian God because suffering exists. Their argument is that if God is both all-powerful and all-loving then suffering should not exist. Yet their argument doesn't consider the fact that God can and does have a good purpose in suffering. Romans 8:28 communicates this. 1 Peter 4:12-13 also talks about suffering. Dave then shared about the life of Job and Job's life of suffering. Job didn't know all God's purposes or see what was really going on during his suffering, but God was definitely involved and at work.

Here's how Malcolm concluded the talk: "The most important thing to realize is that nobody understands our sufferings better than Jesus. He understands physical and emotional pain better than we ever will, and more than that, he understands its purpose. How pointless must His death have appeared to the disciples! He to be their president and they his cabinet. But God demonstrated purpose and love in suffering by sending his Son to die a death in pain and abandonment. For with His resurrection, we find salvation."

After our worship service, we gathered for a cookout around the pool. We had hamburgers, hot dogs, corn on the cob, potato salad, and brownies. Then we all went into town to shop at the market and returned to the Posada mid-afternoon. We all then played cards, swam in the pool, took naps, played hide and seek/tag, and more until dinner. There is one large room at the Posada where we all eat and hang out, and there is always someone in that room playing cards or chess or some other game.

A group of us (Wayne Huff, Micah Barnum, Andrew & Sarah Haverly, Tyler Roberts, Clifton Hickman, Ernie Elbert, Chris Cole, Brent Kesler, Kellye Watson, Mary Norris, and Joe Burkett) went to part of the evening worship service downtown at the Alfa & Omega Church.

After dinner we all gathered for singing, Give God the Glory, and a brief talk by Wayne Huff (the Wycliffe missionary who is coordinating the trip) about our work projects. Then we broke into separate groups (girls/guys) for teaching and discussion. The guys (led by Brandon Stewart, Brian Granaghan, Kyle Gitchell, Tyler Roberts, & Carlton Alexander) chose to talk about man-centered vs. God-centered missions. They broke into groups and discussed the difference between the two and how the right motive for missions and evangelism flows out of worship (both obedience to God and amazement at Who He is). Acts 4:19-20 quotes Peter and John (after they were told not to talk about Christ) and says, "Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard."

The girls (led by Sunni Sonnenburg, Blythe Duffey, & Kara Bagley) also talked about how the perfection of Christ and amazement at who He is motivates us to do missions and evangelism. (By the way, they picked topics separately and yet ended up discussing the same thing.) Specifically the girls broke into groups and discussed how Christ has so many seemingly "opposite" characteristics but is perfect in all of them. Each group discussed a different pairing (justice & grace; all-powerful & submissive; Lion & Lamb; strength & gentleness.)

There were two things I specifically noted yesterday. (1) The group of seniors that graduated this year is stellar. I cannot wait to see the impact they have at the colleges they attend and jobs they start. They have been significant leaders for us. In addition to some of them teaching, a group of a few upperclassmen found a few of the underclassmen and they (about 10 of them) went aside during their free time to pray specifically for the trip and talk about the Lord. (2) The spirit of unity and genuine Christian fellowship on this trip has been amazing. Christian fellowship is more than simply some Christians eating a meal together. It is sharing in the things of Christ (talking about Him, serving together, and more.) Last night I looked around the room during our free time and saw several groups with their Bibles open asking hard questions and talking about the Lord.

One funny note. Our group uses every room at the Posada in Santiago and we need more. So several people who have homes right by the Posada let us use their homes. Dave & Malcolm (two senior TVS football players) are staying in one. Dave was so freaked out by some of the odd, weird-looking decorations that he moved his bed into the room where Malcolm is sleeping so he'd be less freaked out. (Sally, Molly wanted me to share that as she thought you'd particularly find that funny.)

Once again, thanks for your prayers. Pray for continued spiritual growth and Christian fellowship among the students. Praise God for this group of graduating seniors and pray for them as they move into new areas of ministry. Pray for our work on the sites.


In Christ alone,

Kathy Harrelson

High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 3 

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Hello again from Guatemala!

We completed our first day at our work projects yesterday. The rain stayed away for almost the perfect amount of time. We were slated to leave for work about 8am (and left a little late due to transportation delays) and slated to finish work about 3pm (because that is often when the rain begins.) Indeed it started raining almost exactly at 3 so we returned a little wet but having gotten in a full day of work. The electricity at the hotel went off around 3:15 and didn't come back on until 7:30 so some of us got cold showers, but it wasn't that big of a deal.

I am thankful to report that we have no illness at the moment. Those of you who've known about our trips in the past know that we have had many illnesses in past years. We've made a few changes to our menu and cleanliness on the site and so far so good. Thanks for praying about that for us; please continue! Also, we had largely a safe day on the sites. JD Roberts hit one of his toes with an axe. A few centimeters one way or the other could have been bad, but as it is, a bandage on his toe is all that is required and we think he will be fine. As we use lots of sharp equipment,, please continue praying for safety for us.

For all our work here in Santiago, we partner with the Alfa y Omega Church in Santiago. Christ Chapel first began working with them about 10 years ago. This year we are partnering with them for two projects so we split our group into two teams of 40.

One group went to The Colony. The Colony is a ministry of the Alfa y Omega Church where they have been building homes for widows, orphans, and homeless. Years ago they recognized that folks who did not own land would never earn enough money to own their own homes as they could barely earn enough money for food. So the church allows people to live in The Colony and tries to help them find jobs so that they can save money to buy their own land and home. There is also now a church at The Colony as well. Due to the mudslides in this area the past year, the number of homeless have increased and flooded the Colony (an increase from 65 last summer when we were here to 178 at one point this spring). They have worked hard to build extra homes and we can see big changes at the Colony compared to last year. All of those displaced by the mudslides who moved into temporary homes on the Colony have now left the Colony for other housing or moved into permanent housing that has been built on the Colony. Malcolm White, Andrew Haverly, and Tyler Roberts tore down the final two temporary shelters on the Colony yesterday. This year our main projects at the Colony are to build a retaining wall to help protect against further mudslides and to clear a new piece of land recently purchased to expand the Colony. We will be cutting down brush, removing stumps, and clearing trash on the land. On this site Brandon Stewart got the nickname lumberjack, and Jordan Young and Slava Seely worked particularly hard. You'll also see pictures of lots of kids who live at the Colony who we get to play with and share the Gospel with.

The second group yesterday went to an area we first began working on last summer. The youth (and singles) of Alfa y Omega purchased a piece of land that they want to use as an outreach. Their vision is to build a soccer field, basketball court, and hopefully some cabins one day. The only soccer field now in Santiago is an a bad area of town (drugs, etc.) so their desire is that this area will be a retreat for Christian youth as well as an area that they can bring their non-Christian friends. In God's providence many people will soon be moving to this part of town. Due to the mudslides some areas (including the Colony) are now considered high-risk areas and over the next 6-8 years will be moved to that area of town. A month ago the Alfa y Omega church called and told us that they are planning to name this outreach/retreat area Campamento David in memory of David Phillips, who had been coming to Santiago and working with the church for about 10 years. We are blessed by their kindness to us to honor Dave in that way and even more blessed to be working there this year. Last year we cleared lots of brush and trees there (removing many stumps and rocks). The Christ Chapel college ministry continued the work there in March and we will be leveling the soccer field, moving rocks, and much more this week. I was told that Hayley Holland and Kaylan Lee were amazing workers there yesterday.

Last night we had our group meeting as usual. Andrew Haverly (high school staff) taught about the purpose of missions and shared a lot of information with us about the number of non-Christians across the globe, specifically the third of the world that is "unreached" and has no access to the Gospel in their language and no stable, indigenous church. (Check out www.gmi.org/ow and www.calebproject.org for more info on this.)

Today (Sunday) is our day of rest and relaxation. It's needed after a day of hard work. More tomorrow.


In Christ alone,

Kathy Harrelson

High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 2 

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Hello from Santiago, Guatemala!

After a long day of traveling, we arrived safely at our home for the week: the Posada de Santiago. David & Susie Glanville own the hotel and host us; they do a great job taking care of and feeding so many folks.

Here's a recap of some of our activities from yesterday. We spent Thursday night at the Posada de Don Rodrigo in Antigua and spent Friday morning sharing the Gospel in Antigua. I've included some pictures from around our hotel in Antigua and of the students sharing the Gospel. As the students returned from sharing the Gospel, I was able to see their excitement and hear some of their stories. Walker Johnson talked about how he had a "blast" with Kara, Kaylan, and Alex sharing the Gospel with the Guatemalans. They shared the Gospel with one gentlemen, left a paper explaining the Gospel and a Bible with him, and then later (when they walked back by the gentleman) saw him still reading the materials they'd left with him. Mary Norris was encouraged by the boldness of the people in her group who didn't speak much Spanish at all and yet initiated conversations with folks.

The students also talked to some people who were already Christians and were encouraged by those conversations as well. Chris Cole talked to a man named Juan who, along with some other Guatemala friends, had been praying for Christian materials to read but they are too poor to buy some. Chris gave him some of the copies of the Gospel of John in Spanish that we brought with us. Robert Ryan also talked to a man who wanted to start going to church but didn't know where to go. About that time Brent Kesler walked by with a Christian Guatemalan man who he'd met who goes to a church nearby. Brent's friend planned a time and place to meet Robert's friend to take him to church on Sunday.

After evangelizing in Antigua and eating lunch at the hotel, we boarded the bus for a three hour ride to Panajachel and a boat ride to Santiago . A light (and occasionally moderate) rain started toward the end of the bus ride and followed us to Santiago, even when we went to bed. We were grateful the rain ceased before this morning so we could go to the work sights. The rain brought some cooler weather so it's not quite as hot today for our work. We pray the weather is good for the rest of our time here.

Last night after dinner we gathered as a group for our worship, teaching, and Give Glory to God time. I always love worshipping here at the hotel in Santiago. The acoustics are tremendous, ahd there are 80 folks singing in one room. Jon Dansby (on guitar and vocals), Alisha Wilkerson (on vocals), Malcolm White (on guitar), and Joe Burkett (on harmonica) will be leading us this week.

Give Glory to God is an opportunity for anyone to share out loud about how they would like to praise and glorify God. They share with the whole group by completing the sentence, "I give glory to God for…".

This week in our large group teaching time we are teaching about missions. What is it. Why do we do it. What is the Great Commission. How can and should we be involved. Michael Burr (high school staff) taught last night and laid the foundation for missions, which is the glory of God. He spoke mainly from Isaiah 6 and Hosea about who we are before God without Christ, who God is, and who we are before God with Christ.

I thought it was appropriate that Jon started our service last night (our first group meeting since we started the trip) by giving glory to God for David Phillips, our friend and high school pastor who was killed in a car accident in February. This trip is a reminder of and a testimony to Dave (who planned many mission trips over the years, including this one). He loved the glory of God. He loved the Gospel. He loved missions. He loved students. And he loved students being involved in missions. I'll close with the words to one of Dave's favorite hymns which also communicates what missions is really about…laboring so that many people from many tongues will forever praise the glories of our great God and King!



O for a thousand tongues to sing
My great Redeemer's praise
The glories of my God and King
The triumphs of His grace!

My gracious Master and my God
Assist me to proclaim
To spread through all the earth abroad
The honors of Thy name.

Jesus, the name that calms my fears
That bids my sorrows cease
'Tis music in the sinner's ears
'Tis life and health and peace

He breaks the power of canceled sin
He sets the prisoner free
His blood can make the foulest clean
His blood availed for me


Blessings,

Kathy Harrelson
High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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High School Guatemala Mission Trip - Update 1 

Hopefully they don't mind me posting these email updates:
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Greetings from Antigua Guatemala!

We (the high school ministry at Christ Chapel Bible Church) have all arrived safely in Antingua, Guatemala. As I type, the students are spread across different parks in the city sharing the Gospel. Their energy and excitement about getting to share about Christ is so exciting. Pray that the students will be bold in speaking about Christ and that the Lord would open the hearts of the folks they meet to respond in faith to the Gospel. I look forward to sharing more with you tomorrow about their conversations.

A brief report from yesterday. 65 of us left DFW about 3:30 pm while the 14 folks on the Senior Extension left Belize at 2pm. We met up at the airport in El Salvador. Kate Dorris & I got the last two seats on that flight (we weren´t sure for a little while if we´d all make the overbooked flight but we did) and we arrived in Guatemala City about 9pm. Wayne Huff is already in Guatemala so he completes our group of 80. Everyone´s luggage arrived, except for one of Amanda Godwin´s bags (which we hope to locate soon). We then took an hour bus ride to Antigua, ate a late spaghetti dinner around 10:30, and then went to our rooms to do our daily devotionals.

The daily devotionals are based off the book ¨The Passion of Jesus Christ¨ by John Piper. He looks at 50 reasons why Christ suffered and died. Each day the students read a brief chapter, look up verses in the Scriptures, and then answer questions we´ve written. The 9 reasons we´ll be focusing on this week for why Christ suffered and died are: (1) to show the wealth of God´s grace for sinners, (2) to show His own love for us, (3) to give us a clear conscience, (4) to obtain for us all things that are good for us, (5) to reconcile us to God, (6) so that we might belong to Him, (7) to become a sympathetic and helpful priest, (8) to create a people passionate for good works, (9) so that He would be crowned with glory and honor. Please pray for the students as they study the Scriptures this week. By the way, when the folks who publish this book (Desiring God Ministries) heard we were taking 80 high schoolers on a mission trip, they offered to sell us a book by John Piper for $2.50 per book.

I also wanted to give you a quick report on the folks who went to Belize. I´ve been told that they played lots of Mafia, learned how to climb palm trees and pick coconuts, went mudding in golf carts (the laundry when they get home will be horrible!), went snorkeling to Hol Chan Marine Sanctuary, a few went scuba diving at the blue hole, and were on the beach a lot. They had a fun, relaxing few days.

We are in Antigua through lunch today, then we travel 3 hours by bus to Panajachel, and then another hour by boat to Santiago. We´ll eat and sleep in Santiago tonight and then begin our work projects tomorrow. Please pray for a day of safe, healthy (no motion sickness on the bus ride!) travel.

Again, thanks for your prayers, especially today as we share the Gospel and travel. It´s amazing to see God at work as we talk about Who Jesus is and what He´s done for us. Yesterday the gentleman next to me on one of the plane rides initiated a conversation with me when he saw my Bible. He asked me questions the whole plane ride, things like ¨Why do you believe in God?" and "I´ve heard that Jesus is coming back one day. Is that a good thing or a bad thing?" I ripped some of the pages out of my workbook that explain the Gospel and discuss answers to apologetic objections to faith and gave them to him so that he could look at it more later. Pray for him (his name is David).

If you would like to have your name removed from this email list, please email Richard Yantis at r.yantis at tcu.edu (sorry...the at sign doesn´t work on this keyboard). Or if you´d like to add someone to this list, please email Richard as well.

Hopefully tomorrow I´ll have some pictures to include.

Blessings,
Kathy Harrelson
High School Director at Christ Chapel Bible Church
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By Works of the Law, No Human Will Be Justified in His Sight 

"For by works of the law no human being will be justified in his sight, since through the law comes knowledge of sin."
> Romans 3:20

What a remarkable verse this is. It sums up so much thought on religion, moralism, and every other way, besides the gospel of Jesus Christ, of entering the Kingdom of Heaven. If the scriptures are the inerrant Word of God, given to us as God's words Himself, then this verse is saying what God states concerning works of the law. And what He says, through the apostle Paul, is that by works of of the law, by your own moral toiling and by the sweat of your brow, you cannot present yourself clean, without impurity before the God of the universe. It is not possible. In fact, just to go a step further, Paul didn't just leave it there, but he then adds, "Since through the law comes the knowledge of sin." But what does that have to do with anything in this context? We go from speaking of justification to talking about the knowledge of sin coming through the law.

So what's the point? He's saying that you cannot be justified by works of the law because through them comes the knowledge of sin, and through the knowledge of sin you then, because of your sinful nature begin to do the very things the law tells us not to do. And in reading further on in Romans 7:7-8, Paul qualifies this by saying, "What then shall we say? That the law is sin? By no means! Yet if it had not been for the law, I would not have known sin. I would not have known what it is to covet if the law had not said, 'You shall not covet.' But sin, seizing an opportunity through the commandment, produced in me all kinds of covetousness." And so we see that the law cannot justify us because we are that desperately wicked.

So many Christians out there will say, "God helps those who help themselves." But the Biblical response to people who think this, is that God helps those who can't help themselves and give up on their own righteousness and trying to please God on their own moral strength (Isaiah 65:1-2). What's the answer though if we're helpless to help ourselves? Faith in the blood of Jesus Christ. Belive in the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved. Justification before the Father, being presented clean without spot or blemish, cannot be accomplished of your own moral working, but can only become yours through faith in Jesus Christ. You see, through Christ, we can be presented clean because He was clean and yet still went to the cross for us who believe, taking on our filth called sin and its deserved penalty, that we might be clean before Him forever. It's called the Great Exchange.

By faith in Christ, He being perfect, takes on our sin and its penalty, and then in exchange gives us His very righteousness. Or to put in theological terms, by faith in Christ, our sin and the deserved wrath of God as a result is imputed to Him on the cross, and in return, He imputes His righteousness to us. This is the only way we can be presented perfect and righteous before God almighty. Nothing else will do. Christianity is the only religion with a suffering deity, where God actually humbles Himself and becomes one of His own creation, uniting His deity to humanity. His name is Christ. He was fully man and fully God at the same time. Two natures consisting in one Messiah.

Many people think of God as being angry and furious and asking, "How can He allow such awful things to happen in the world? If He only knew what it was like." Well, actually, He does. Christ experienced more pain and torment than we can possibly imagine. And I'm not talking about the physical pain He experienced on the cross. I'm talking about the pain deep within His soul as He experienced the full fury and wrath of God for sinners. God knows what pain is and has Himself experienced it. And we cannot even begin to compare our pain and misery to His. And it is through this pain and suffering that christ has purchased pardon for any who would believe in Him. Believe in Jesus and you will be saved. There is salvation in no one else. Acts 4:12 confirms this, "And there is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved."
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The Sensationalization of Major Media 



It used to be that you would see actual news on the front page of major news papers and websites. But now, major media outlets are resorting to the same antics as that of the National Enquirer and other tabloids. "Watch Video! Bush saying naughty word!" Who cares? This is absurd. Journalism in the West is going down the tubes. It's no longer about legitimate news, but all about making someone else look bad and slandering them. It's no longer professional in any manner. And if it involves Bush, then CNN will leave it up as the main topic on their front page all day long ... good grief. Leave it to the far-left to pander to our enemies and enjoy their same spirit of Bush-hating! As if many far-left leaders themselves don't swear all the time and work to lower the bar on what level of cursing is accepted within the media ... hypocrites. Why is this even that big of a deal? Rhetorical question: it's not.
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The Day of the Lord 

I was reading in Zechariah today and it has made me so excited about the day of the Lord, where He will destroy the wicked and all wickedness, and bring perfect restoration and fullness to His people. Man, how I yearn for that day! I started reading from ch. 9 to the end, and it just makes me so hopeful in the perfect promise God has made to bring eternal renewal to those who believe in His Son for salvation, where He cleanse us once and for all from all sin, that will be rid of that which temporarily bears down on us now. We will be free sin! After reading Zechariah, I then flipped over to Revelation 22 where the river of the water of life is coming out of the new Jerusalem and how all things will be perfect! What an amazing hope we have in Christ, that one day He make all things new, where there will be no more destruction, war, death, suffering, famine, chaos, drout, financial woes, pain, strife, tears, persecution, corruption, futility! It just makes me want to push on to know Christ more and make Him known to everyone I know that we might all be saved from His wrath. On that day, all the things wrong with this world will be wiped away and all things will be made new; a place where there will be no more need for the light of the sun and stars, but God Himself will be our light, and so much more infinitely beautiful and glorious! How I love You, great and mighty King, You are faithful through the ages, You never change!
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