a puritan's blog

O God, stamp eternity on my eyeballs…

Tag Archives: Church

The squeeze of normal days

In the squeeze of these apparent ‘normal’ days, when the times do not dramatically or forcefully call for a witness, what comes out? There is definitely a squeeze on everybody and this squeeze makes wine or sewage. And, everyone most likely thinks that in that future and important day, when corralled onto buses or forced into formation and called on to step forward – all you filthy christians – that the feet will automatically step forward and brave the onslaught, the assault. But not so, ye professing Christ follower. The Christ follower in these ‘normal’ days toes the line and lays it all down unto death. For if we find ourselves quiet, comfortably fed and complacently drunk (not with wine) today, when the WOE-be-gone days come, and they are upon us, we will remain just as we were.

Its not the times that make the man – the times or the age merely reveals the stuff of men. It is the testing pot, the refining cauldron and the reviewer of men – by God’s design.

Yield to God in the closet until He manifestly comes. Then rise, yield yourself to the age and die to wash the feet of the ungodly by the glorious news of the risen, ascended and reigning Lord, Omnipotent!




By Rev. Rusty Lee Thomas

Lou Whitworth stated, "Were one of these two bents given full rein, the balance required for authentic Christian manhood would be lost. Strength and power, without tenderness, for example, give us the brute. Tenderness and compassion without masculine firmness and aggressiveness produce a male without the fire to lead or inspire others." With this statement the challenge for true biblical fatherhood commences.
People in public places occasionally comment on how "good" our children are and how blessed we must be as parents. Yes, we are blessed. However, our blessing is not found in the inherent "goodness" of our children. It is found in Christ, His Word, and in the high calling of Biblical parenting. It is in fulfilling the dominion mandate as articulated in Genesis 1:28, Malachi 2:15, and the Great Commission, Matthew 28:18-20. It is discovered in seeking to conform our lives, marriage, and family in accordance to God’s will.
Our children are not perfect, but prized. They are prized because God has said they are His (Ezekiel 16:21) and they are His reward (Psalm 127:3) granted to faithful parents. Yet, we did not receive "good" children at birth. We received sweet, adorable sinners with the same feet of clay that we as parents possess. Every day we must contend with their bent towards foolish, sinful behavior, our limited energy, and our own short comings. But deal with it, we must, if we are to train up children to glorify God and fulfill their God-ordained destiny, which benefits them and others (Proverbs 22:6).
Character training is the most important and most difficult aspect of parenting. In fact, it is the primary purpose of education. Noah Webster, considered the Father of American Education, defined the term education in these terms, "The bringing up, as of a child, instruction; formation of manners. Education comprehends all that series of instruction and discipline, which is intended to enlighten the understanding, correct the temper, and form the manners and habits of youth, and fit them for usefulness in their future stations." In other words, parents need to inculcate in their children the necessary biblical attributes to forge a godly character that prepares them for their future.
Any good fruit in children’s lives is the result of the Holy Spirit’s sanctification and the parents, especially the father’s, faithfulness to the Word of God. Dads must not only be able to teach the precepts of God’s Word, but model its message faithfully before their families, friends, and foes. To mistakenly believe children are naturally well behaved is to ignore the power of the Word in the lives of even the youngest of sinners and to disregard the lofty position of a father in God’s Kingdom.
This lofty position in God’s Kingdom carries with it a great weight of responsibility. According to Moses, who received the Ten Words, "For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments" (Exodus 20:5, 6). It is not the sins of the mother, the church, the state, or the culture that places our children’s future in jeopardy; it is the sins of the patriarchs.
In light of these truths, what fathers say or do not say, what they do or do not do, carries a profound impact upon their children’s souls, lives and future. We fail to recognize this important human relationship to our nation’s peril. For as goes the father, so goes the family and as goes the family, so goes the church, and as goes the church, so goes the nation.
It is the father who will stand before God to give an account for his family. It is the father who must protect his family from the fallen world, the deceitfulness of sin, and the enemies of God while advancing His Kingdom through a multi-generational vision. It is the father that must stand as guardian at the gate of his home to determine what comes in and what is kept out of his family.
Does evil flourish under his watch that devours his children? Does he neglect the spiritual training and moral welfare of his children? Does he train them in the goodness, holiness, and righteousness of God? If not, why not? All the money, perks, and materialism in this poor-fallen world cannot make up for the failure of not being the loving, yet firm watchmen upon the wall of one’s home. Obviously, this holy endeavor is not for the weak or faint of heart. This is why true Biblical fatherhood is a rare and precious thing. To overlook or ignore it is to devalue it.
William Wordsworth once wrote, "The flower that smells the sweetest is shy and lowly." How does the flower become lowly? It is the Father’s hand from heaven that presses down upon our petals. In the same way, a father must form his children’s character by pressing down on their tendency to grow into something corruptible, something other than a poet, chivalrous warrior, statesman in boys and a meek and quiet spirit in girls that is highly prized by God in heaven.
When the discipline and nurturing of children is done correctly, there is little trace of the father’s hand. Yet, it is the father, who is to work the soil of his children’s heart. Solomon speaking as a kingly father preparing to pass the righteous scepter of a godly reign to his children stated, "My son, give me your heart, And let your eyes observe my ways" (Proverbs 23:6). The heart of each child finds its safest rest in the ways of a godly father.
The ways of the father plow the hardened ground and carefully sows the Word of God. The father pours out the living water, drenching the roots of his children with the Holy Spirit. It is the father, who must tirelessly weed out the evil that surround his children’s frail stalks. It is the father, who constructs a trellis of truth, to which his children can secure themselves and go further up and in to God’s Kingdom.
Finally, it is the father, who carefully builds a hedge around his children, providing the safety of an enclosed garden in which to grow. It is a consecration unto impact and not isolation a father seeks to instill in his budding plants. A spiritual covering arches over their development. It allows the Son to shine, a gentle rain to fall, and when the storm hits, the wise father provides the solid rock of faith that applies God’s word to secure their lives.
Some might accuse such a father of "keeping his children from the socialization of the world," as though his children were wild plants, not exquisite ones requiring constant love and pruning. Yet he is not keeping his children from the world; he is dressing and keeping them to change the world. As they grow and mature in the security of their father’s love, they will bring the fragrance of Christ to all who meet them. To those who are perishing in their sins, it will be a fragance of death. To those who are saved, it will be the wonderful aroma of life (2 Corinthians 2:16).
Remember, those who will finally pluck these children from their father’s garden, their godly characters are no accident of nature. They are a father’s labor of love offered to the Lord. He endured their worse to give you their best. They grew to be a gift to the Maker of the "shy and lowly" flower. They may not have become the fragrance of Christ without God using a father’s cultivation, which combined tenderness and discipline in their training.
Happy Father’s Day to every man who has attempted to be such a father in an age that dishonors true, biblical fatherhood in Jesus’ holy and precious name!


Operation Save America comes to Little Rock

Operation Save America is starting a STATES OF REFUGE Campaign which will target the five states in the USA that have only one surgical abortion mill left: Arkansas, Mississippi, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wyoming. These mills are vulnerable and at their weakest points of survival. This past week OSA met in Little Rock, Arkansas. Little Rock Family Planning Services is the only such facility in the state.


Most of the people arrived late Wednesday and we met that night at Pastor Marvin Barham’s church: VCFI (Victory Christian Fellowship International)  located at 10321 Maumelle Blvd in North Little Rock, AR 72113. Bill and Ruth Darr were kind enough to pick up the people that flew in and the rest drove there locally or from other states. Pastor Flip Benham led the service each night and taught us segments of his “Christmas Package” series, re-presenting the miracle that took place in Bethlehem (Luke 1:39-45 ).
The VCFI music ministry led worship Wednesday through Friday night. Bishop Robert Smith spoke of the anemic condition of the church the first night. He spoke to us about “doing the done”.  Pastor Marvin (of VCFI) spoke and shared some Hebrew words with us. He said the Church has lost its sense of urgency, that we must have the credibility of righteousness to back up our prayers and we are supposed to be the conscience of the culture. Carmen and I spoke about OSA-CT. Every night a few saints shared about their ministries. It is so very interesting to hear the experiences of others in this ministry all over our nation.


 Every morning after our 6 AM breakfast we had Bible Study with Flip (6:30 AM) as he added more tidbits about the “Christmas Package” ( Phil. 2:6-11) and then we left for the mill or the high schools after 7AM. Carmen and I were sent to the mill for sidewalk counseling and the others went to high schools on Thursday and Friday morning. Students were  very receptive to take literature and signs were displayed on the streets. Students at the first stop Thursday morning, Little Rock Central High School – focal point of the 1957 integration battle –  came face to face with hard truth regarding current violations of the human rights of pre-born babies to exist.  We wondered what Social Studies teachers were teaching when one student insisted the U.S. Constitution prohibits the mention of Jesus on the public sidewalk in front of a school.  When the school group was done they all came over to the abortion mill. On Friday morning OSA went to West Little Rock High School. Some of the teeens asked for more literature to pass out and they said they were going to put one in each locker. PTL! Becky and Shelley gave out many brochures in the school parking lot.
After lunch we were off to the University of Arkansas where we gave out the “Sing a Little Louder” brochures and Flip preached in the courtyard. Students on the top floors were listening out the windows and asked Flip to turn up the volume (that’s a switch). One student bringing a garbage can around telling students to throw their literature in. Police asked Pastor Hollick and he did have a permit for us to be there. PTL!


Thursday night Rusty Thomas did an awesome teaching on what it really means to be a Christian. He said he has had more grief from the “brethren” than from the pro-aborts. He taught on following Christ through a lifelong journey of justification, sanctification and compassion. The apostle Paul was filled with such bitter sorrow and unending grief that he was willing to give up his salvation if it would save others! (Romans 9:1 & 2 ) You can hear the teachings that were streamed to the Internet at http://ustream.tv/channel/vcfi-tv
There is also an effort in progress to discourage anyone who delivers to abortion mills. Tony Massey has a website www.Bloodworker.com that he will post pictures of vehicles making deliveries to the death camps. The mill and the vehicle with the company name needs to be in the photo. His email is 2f@tonymassey.com   All the men prayed over Pastor Kiser who will be in charge of the local operation at Little Rock’s baby killing center. Pastor Hollick gave us our marching orders for each day.
Friday night Pastor Flip Benham continued his Christmas Miracle (Matthew 2:1 & Rev. 12). You have to deny yourself and pick up your cross. Also, Bruce Garren , the Darrs and Chris Clegg spoke.  Pastor Kizer did an awesome testimony/teaching about his life of football, gambling, beer and jail before he met Jesus! It was great, you have to go to the same web address to hear it!   http://ustream.tv/channel/vcfi-tv.
We did the same schedule for Saturday morning except there was no school outreach. We all went to the death camp. We saw the abortionist, Tom Tvedten, who came in every morning in his pick-up truck. Please pray for his conversion. Some did an outreach and flyer distribution in his neighborhood. We all need to pray for the security guard there, Wayne, that he will repent and get saved and find another job. The police gave us a hard time for being in the driveway handing out materials to cars that stopped. They threatened me with F.A.C.E. At one point there were 8 cop cars and 4 federal agents scrutinizing us. A couple of cops privately said they were for us, but most of the time at the mill they were harassing us for every little thing. Workers would speed into the driveway trying to hit us and the did nothing. At one time a cop went into the abortuary to talk to them.


At 10 Am Saturday we left the mill and went to a playoff high school football game at War Memorial Stadium where five to ten thousand people gathered. We passed out literature and showed the “hard truth” of abortion in our nation where 3500 precious children are killed daily. Shame on us. We met a man there that was thanking us and wanted to get some people and his church involved.  Three teen girls stopped their car and said they were prolife and so happy we were there. They took literature and encouraged us. Another couple stopped and said they would be with us but their six month baby was still in the hospital since birth. The whole church prayed for them Saturday night. PTL!
At the Saturday night service Pastor Hollick asked if anyone wanted to come up and lead the worship. Ante raised his hand and went up there and led a wonderful spirit filled worship with a guitar. He did not hesitate and knew all the words, it was great. Pastor Hollick taught on the magi and the Messiah and how the brethren needs to gather together while there is still time. (Matthew 2:13, John 7:40-41, Zepheniah 2). Bruce Garren and Pastor Kizer spoke and prayed and last but not least Jo Scott came up and talked about what her and her husband Ken do. They are our heroes who are fearless for Jesus! Please pray for Jo’s exoneration in there present court case. She also told us about Pepsi and Kraft using aborted babies to test their products on. Ugh!  Jodi shared the heart wrenching story of the mom that they brought to the CPC but still decided to kill her baby. We also heard from Tom Huey who was totally humbled by us being there in his city! Here are some of the videos he took: http://youtu.be/34mRrQdMhGk
http://youtu.be/jehKx_fobgc http://youtu.be/q2P4szcGS2g http://youtu.be/1cOa9aeE21c http://youtu.be/5a1Kviii8Vk
Pastor Kevin Battle joined us Saturday night. He previously prophesied the closing of the mill by January 21st. Deanna Waller also put her videos on You Tube at DWALLER 1978.
Sunday morning there was a church outreach at Agape Church. The Pastor there is Happy Caldwell. “Sing a Little Louder” brochures were passed out. We really didn’t have much feed back they took the brochures and went on their way. Comments on our approach were made. Ante Pavkovic delivered a very anointed message on the speaker system and Pastor Hollick and Chris Clegg also delivered messages in the open air.
Pastor Kiser went into the congregation and the pastors wife gave a prayer before the service thanking God for Obama as our President and that he has the mind of Christ and the heart of God. Pastor Happy said do not be upset with the people outside because we believe the same way about abortion we just have a different approach than they do.
It was different not to have people from such a large mega church come out to talk to us. The police were called and sat and watched.  A security guard was the only person we talked with at the start of this event when he was opening up the church.  He was not in favor of what we were doing.
The above written by Marilyn Carroll
%d bloggers like this: