My Nephew is Out of Surgery


Here is the latest update relayed to us:

“Travis is out of surgery, and seems to be doing well. He is in recovery and slowly waking up – most likely the result of the extra medicine that was administered during the surgery. The surgeon described the operation as “challenging” because the tumor had grown about 25% larger since the MRI in Corpus 12 days ago. Dr. Lang felt very confident that he was able to remove almost all of the tumor, but felt certain that individual tumor cells remain.The encouraging news is that Dr. Lang was able to administer the Delta 24 virus at the dosage level that has proven most effective to date. It is likely that Travis will undergo both radiation and chemotherapy to target any remaining tumor cells. Travis will spend some time in ICU and will have a post-op MRI tomorrow to verify the preliminary results from today.
Prayer requests:
1. Travis will continue to wake up and recover full consciousness.
2. Peace for Jennifer (Travis’ wife), family and friends as they absorb and deal with the situation.
3. That the Delta 24 will work as it has shown to do and will provide the CURE for which we all hope and pray.
4. For Jacob (Travis and Jennifer’s oldest son) as he balances starting school with the stress and changes at home.
5. For Connell (Travis and Jennifer’s youngest son) that he will continue to be happy and a source of joy for the rest of the family.”
Please continue to lift them up in prayer my brethren.
Soli Deo Gloria!

An Update on my Nephew


My brother-in-law, Travis’ dad, contacted us just a few minutes ago about what will happen tomorrow. Travis will check in to the hospital at 5:15 tomorrow morning, Tuesday August 28.  My sister and my brother-in-law will be there at 5:00 am so they can see him before he goes in.  They want everyone to know how much they appreciate your prayers for him, their family and for the doctors tomorrow.  It’s estimated that the surgery will begin around 5:30 am and will last about six hours.  So we hope to know something around noon tomorrow as to how the surgeon thinks the surgery went.  My brother-in-law said that he would send out information as he got it.

 

The tumor is the white spot in front of the place that looks like a cavity. They have to remove that part of the brain that is in front of it in order to get to the tumor.

What it Means to be God’s People


I am sure that most of you have not heard of Scottish preacher Eric J. Alexander who is former senior pastor of St. George’s-Tron parish church in Glasgow, Scotland. He is the author of Prayer: A Biblical Perspective. 

The following 5 sermons on 1 Peter are one of the best expositions on what it means to be God’s people that I have ever heard.

1 Peter 1 & 2 part 1

1 Peter 1 & 2 part 2

1 Peter 1 & 2 part 3

1 Peter 1 & 2 part 4

1 Peter 5 postscript to 1 Peter 1 & 2

If you have trouble linking to those files go here.

Soli Deo Gloria!

The Throne Room of Heaven


by Mike Ratliff

“Worthy are you, our Lord and God,
to receive glory and honor and power,
for you created all things,
and by your will they existed and were created.”
(Revelation 4:11 ESV)

The natural mindset is that we thank God and praise him when he has greatly blessed us or delivered us or comforted us in some way, but a study of the Psalms or Romans 8, for example, shows us that Christians worship their God from grateful hearts even in the midst of fiery trials. While the world sees that as a paradox, we who are in Christ know from what we have been saved. Sadly, in our time, there are so many who call themselves Christians who are ignorant of the propitiatory sacrifice deliberately made by our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in order that all who would believe and obey the gospel would be justified by grace alone through faith alone as God’s gift alone. God has imputed the righteousness of his Son to all those he has justified just as he imputed their unrighteousness to his account as he hung on that cross paying the penalty for their sins. This knowledge and the power given to believers as they abide in their Lord enables them to have this paradoxical world-view that the “world” cannot understand nor will it ever understand this side of Judgment Day.  Continue reading

Understanding the Times


To remain as informed as possible on what is going on in Evangelical Christianity in our time I read and listen to many varied sources. Some of these sources you may or may not view in as good a light as others and some may not be “up there” like they used to be. I am convinced that a lot of that is perception and opinion and we must be discerning–being as wise as serpents while as innocent as doves as we seek to learn what God is teaching us. I still subscribe to Tabletalk Magazine  from Ligonier Ministries even though they have guest writers each month in it of the type that I often warn you good people about. However, they also often have gems that make my subscription worthwhile. I received my September 2012 issue today and it is quite good. The interview section in this edition is of Carl Trueman who I deeply respect. – Mike Ratliff Continue reading

God’s Purpose for the Church Part 7


by Mike Ratliff

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints and believers in Christ Jesus who are in Ephesus.  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

As my 61st birthday is less than two months away and the fact that I have seen the incredible changes not only in our culture, but in how Christians and our culture relate I am amazed at how polarized things have become. When I was a young and growing up as a Southern Baptist, the secular government was not Christian by any means, but on the other hand, neither did it invade into what we call Christianity. I never heard the term “Christian World View” until sometime in the mid 1970’s. The Roe v. Wade Supreme Court decision in 1973 that legalized abortion on demand in the United States also created an awakening of sorts within those whose consciences had not yet been seared with a hot iron and so began a resistance to the rise in this country of the Culture of Death. Not everyone who is part of this resistance would be those I would call my brothers or sisters in Christ and neither would some of them share the same Christian World View that I have. Also, many who affirm whole heartedly the precepts of the Culture of Death also claim to be “Christians,” but by their rejection of orthodox Christianity beginning with the Word of God as being authoritative, Jesus Christ as the Second Person of the Triune God, et cetera, they fail the test and thereby show themselves to be apostates.  Continue reading

Did Jesus Heal a “Same Sex Partner”?


An article appeared last week in The Huffington Post entitled, “When Jesus Healed a Same-Sex Partner.” The author argues that the word translated as “servant” in Matthew 8 and Luke 7 actually should be rendered as “lover.” This change would mean that, when Jesus healed the centurion’s servant, He actually was healing the centurion’s same-sex partner.

Dr. James White of Alpha & Omega Ministries responds to this appalling argument.

For more in-depth reporting on this go here.

God’s Purpose for the Church Part 6


by Mike Ratliff

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints and believers in Christ Jesus who are in Ephesus.  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

I originally planned on this being a six part study, but have decided to break the last part into two posts so there will be a “Part 7.” I had a lot of work to do today of the sort that enabled me to listen to podcasts while I worked. I have been keeping up with Dr. Al Mohler’s “The Briefing” podcast since April of this year. If you don’t listen to it I highly recommend that you do even if you do not agree with Dr. Mohler on some theological issues. Why? The podcast is simply him going over what is going on the secular media and then he contrasts that with the Christian World View. It has been most enlightening. The podcasts is only about 20 minutes long each weekday. After those, I usually, if I have the time, try to catch up on listening to Dr. James White’s “The Dividing Line” podcasts. I also listen to the White Horse Inn podcasts, with Dr. Michael Horton, which comes out weekly. My theology is probably lined up closest to that of Dr. James White of those I just listed, but the input I get from those others in invaluable. Why?  Continue reading

God’s Purpose for the Church Part 5


by Mike Ratliff

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints and believers in Christ Jesus who are in Ephesus.  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

While visiting in Oklahoma over this last weekend I heard a sermon Sunday morning taken from 2 Peter 3:17,18.

17 You therefore, beloved, knowing this beforehand, be on your guard so that you are not carried away by the error of unprincipled men and fall from your own steadfastness, 18 but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory, both now and to the day of eternity. Amen. (2 Peter 3:17,18 NASB)

It was a good sermon. The preacher used the example of how we are able to discern what is error from what is not by remaining faithful to our study and obedience to the truth, that is, God’s revealed truth, which is his Word. When we do that then when counterfeit truth is taught as if it is the truth we are already on guard and are able to not be carried away by the error of those unprincipled false teachers who are seeking to draw away followers from the flock of God unto themselves. This series on going through The book of Ephesians a verse at a time is what the Holy Spirit uses to build the mind of Christ in Christians. This is their transformation through the renewing of their minds (Romans 12:2). Let us look at Ephesians 2:1-10 for some more of that mind renewal. Continue reading

God’s Purpose for the Church Part 4


by Mike Ratliff

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints and believers in Christ Jesus who are in Ephesus.  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1)

What I am about to say is indicative of the doctrinally confused times in which we now live. I have written posts that teach nothing more than the doctrine of Justification by faith and have received criticism from more commenters than I care to count and several confused questions concerning not our Justification, but our Sanctification. Here are two examples. One was from a Roman Catholic priest who wanted me to stop teaching people about the sufficiency of God’s Grace at our Justification because, according to the traditions and teachings of the RCC, that grace is not sufficient and with each sin, Christians must attend Mass and confession, et cetera and even then that did not entirely pay the entire penalty for that sin in the eyes of God and so Purgatory awaits all true believers. Sigh… The other example was a very short angry comment that contained a link. The comment stated, “Calvin, John MacArthur, James White, John Piper are wrong” then there was link to a post on another site that was a very confused teaching about the fact that no one can enter into the presence of God carrying any sin so even though each believer is “saved” when they believe, it is conditional on their walking in repentance and keeping the law, et cetera. Those who are not able to reach this level of perfection lose their salvation. Sigh… My brethren, We are sinners and our salvation is a miracle because not one of us do one thing to deserve or earn.  Continue reading

God’s Purpose for the Church Part 3


by Mike Ratliff

1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus through the will of God, to the saints and believers in Christ Jesus who are in Ephesus.  2 Grace to you and peace from God our Father and  our Lord Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 1:1-2 Possessing the Treasure New Testament v1) 

In these dark days there is an accompanying Biblical ignorance within the Church. This ignorance is in itself quite sad because so many genuine Christians actually have a wrong view of God. This means they also have a skewed understanding of the gospel that is doctrinally shallow. In fact, the religious structure around this is man-centered rather than God-centered. The end result is a religious system that does not satisfy the spiritual needs that God designed into all of us. This is why those church leaders behind this moving tragedy are continually attempting to derail all attempts by their people’s demands to “go deeper” into the Word or to address what the Word says about election and the Sovereignty of God after they read a book by Dr. James White or listen to a sermon by John MacArthur, for instance, that does indeed address these highly relevant spiritual topics. My brethren, man-centered religiosity is so spiritually thin because it is based on man’s traditions that came out of policies designed to offend no one. In doing this, the theologians and religious leaders behind this also produced a religious system that is based on feelings and, therefore, is temporally based rather than focused on the eternal.  Continue reading