Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Brand New Beekeeping Basics DVD

Here is our latest release, May 2013. This DVD is chocked full of God honoring information on the Bee. Instead of wading through the evolutionary junk in most DVD's such as this, we go to the heart of the matter: God created the bee, and man is expected to take dominion over it. 

I don't suppose I will get an academy award for this DVD, but we are hoping it helps folks shed their fear and wrong ideas about the honey bee, and that God might be glorified in the process. 

The following is taken from the back of the DVD. 

Have you ever tasted the pure sweetness of locally produced honey, right from the hive? Have you ever wished you could produce your own? Perhaps you are eager to keep honey bees, but are unsure of where to begin...or maybe you are simply interested in learning more about this incredible insect. In either case, Beekeeping Basics will enlighten your understanding of how to keep bees and harvest their honey safely and efficiently. Whether you are new to beekeeping or a veteran of many seasons, we welcome you to join us on this adventure!

Topics covered: The History of the honey bee and its domestication, How to obtain bee equipment, The process of honey extraction from the comb, Pest management and hive care, Medicinal use of honey.

Produced by Garrett Stowe, Hosted by Daniel Michael, with  Anna Michael and Edwin Moore, Cover design by Julia Stowe

DVD Running Time 52min.

Get your copy today by ordering from Then go to the general store tab!

Perfection in Christ Alone

2 Samuel 22:31: “As for God, his way is perfect”
John 14:6: “I am the Way.”

When God created all things, he said it was "good". Everything, was made exactly how he wanted it. From the giant Elephant to this tiny Chameleon. Nothing was out of place, it was in a word, Perfect. 

Then sin entered into the world, and things changed. We became far from perfect. Now, bent on sinning, we fought against the very thing that could be our help. We rebelled against God in every way imaginable. But in God's grace, he gave us his perfect Son, Jesus. 

Christ is perfect (Hebrews 5:9). As a result of this perfection, His work is also perfect (Hebrews 10:14). As, from the cross, He uttered that famous word, “Finished” (John 19:30), He declared that His redemptive work for us had been perfectly accomplished.
What a joy to know that Christ’s redemptive work is finished and complete.  There is nothing in it that should be out of it, and nothing out of it that should be in it.
Since Jesus is the perfect One (1 Peter 1:18-19), everything that He touches is coloured with His perfection.  He is the embodiment of ‘Sinless Perfection‘.  By faith, we now see Him standing between us and the Father. By faith, we see ourselves now clothed in Christ’s perfection. We no longer need to contrive ways and means by which to earn the Father’s approval.  Why scheme to obtain that which we already have?
Christ and His gospel are perfect! When we look at Jesus, we see perfect love, perfect obedience, perfect faith, perfect worship, perfect prayer, perfect grace, perfect truth and perfect righteousness. 
We see that this perfect Christ has forged a perfect gospel on the anvil of His own obedience.
Our Christian experience is not perfect, it is developing and improving.  Our Christian experience, therefore, cannot be considered as being the gospel. If we preach our experience of Christ and about how we are growing in grace, we are not preaching the gospel. We are not preaching the perfect work of God in Christ. We are not preaching that which is the power of God unto salvation (Romans 1:16). If we, on the other hand, preach Christ’s experience for us on our behalf, we are building on solid gospel ground.
God, in His perfection, has demanded a perfect righteousness from us. As William Cunningham said,
“"The righteousness of God is that righteousness which God’s righteousness requires him to require."
But how can we attain to such a thing?  Ah! How indeed? The answer is that Christ Himself has provided this perfect, required righteousness for us.  What the Father has demanded, He has provided in His Son. Although we hate sin, we, as gospel driven believers, will not fall for the lie that tells us that we will, in this life, attain to perfection within ourselves.  Countless numbers have already shipwrecked themselves on that perilous error. Why join them?
The only Christian perfection that brings us to heaven  is Christ’s. Yet there are those who insist that they have reached such a deep level of Christian experience that they, within themselves, are now sinlessly perfect.  One such man once came to the preacher, John Berridge, and began boasting about his perfectionism. The normally gracious minister treated him very rudely. The perfectionist then reacted and began to utter all manner of insulting words directed at the good preacher. Berridge said to him, “That’s not a great perfection you have, for I was able to spoil it in just a few minutes.”

You will always find those so-called “perfection” people far from perfect. They can’t be trusted for, ‘he that says he has no sin is a liar, and the truth of God is not in him’ (1 John 1:10). However, Christ can be trusted.  He is sinlessly perfect, and we can completely rest in His perfections before the Father.
To summarise; perfection is not in us but rather, perfection is in the person of Jesus Christ, alone! He is the Perfect One. Dear believer, think of this, the perfect purity of Christ’s sinless life is yours! The perfect obedience of Christ is yours, the perfect goodness of Christ is yours, the perfect holiness of Christ is yours. Everything that Christ has is yours. All that you need is in Him.

Friday, May 17, 2013

Paper Pastors and Porn...a reprint...

Dan Phillips from Pyromaniacs does it again! This is a worthy read, and a great help to all those who find their Pastor, well, Human. So read it with a discerning mind and feel free to respond. I am interested in your thoughts!

Decades ago, I read a disturbingly candid essay by a pastor about his struggles with pornography. It was in 
Leadership magazine. Years later, two of his realizations still stand out to me.

The author came to see (as I recall) that he was attracted to these images because they were unreal. The women in the pictures never had bad days, were never crabby and demanding, never disrespectful and demeaning. No mood swings. They always suited his mood, his needs, his wants. They were unreal.

He came to see that he had no actual relationship with these women whatever. If (he named a female celebrity) had sat down next to him in an airplane, she wouldn't know him from Adam. Whatever may have happened in his sinful fantasies, the two of them had no relationship in the real world.

Of course, this is why so many women resent actresses and models. It isn't catty pettiness or smallness. It is that they know how visually-tempted men can be, and they know that they can't compete with a fantasy — if their man is fool enough to chase one.

And they're right, in a way. They can't compete with these women. Because these women don't exist in the real world! Theymay not even look like their pictures! Thanks to computer wizardry, the pictures we see may actually bear only the slightest resemblance to the actual women.

Nobody can compete with a fantasy.

And this post is not about pornography, men, women, nor marriage.

It is about people with paper pastors.

Now, some professed Christians sin outright, by never physically attending an actual, in-person church. We've talked about that, and they aren't our focus.

But others do attend a church — physically. They come in, they sit down. They sing, they may give financially. They may look at you, Pastor, as you preach.

But you know their heart belongs to another.

Their real pastor isn't you. It's Dave Hunt. Or it's John Piper. Or it's John MacArthur, or Ligon Duncan, or Mark Dever, or David Cloud, or Joel Osteen. Or it's Charles Spurgeon, or D. M. Lloyd-Jones, or J. C. Ryle. Or Calvin, or Luther, or Bahnsen, or de Mar, or R. B. Thieme (Jr.), or J. Vernon McGee.

And they're such better pastors than you are! You know they are!


Well, paper pastors are never in a bad mood. They're never cranky, or sleepy or sick. (Especially the dead ones.)

They've never just had someone else pull their guts out with a rusty fork, and then had to turn and listen graciously to yourcomplaint about the translation they preach from, or argue about a Greek word they can't even pronounce. They don't have a family who loses the time you use. They never half-listen, never have an appointment that cuts short their time. Their office hours are your office hours. They're available 24/7, and everywhere, at your whim, and you always have their undivided attention.

What's more is they always have all the answers! They can tell you with complete confidence and masterful eloquence. They never stammer, guess, nor search their memory. And they can prove it — whatever they're saying! With footnotes!

And these paper pastors maintain the perfect distance. If you don't want to hear something, they don't press it — or you can instantly shut them up, snap! They never ask you to do something uncomfortable and follow up on you. They never persistently probe an area of sin, in you, in person, eyeball to eyeball... nor will they. Church discipline will not be a threat with them.Ever.

Because they don't know you from Adam.

Yet how many pastors know that there are people in their flocks, thinking, "John Piper would never say it that way. Dave Hunt says that what he just preached is heresy. John MacArthur isn't like that. Mahaney says that... Mohler says that... Lloyd-Jonessaid...."

So, because it's awkward for your pastor to say it to you — and because I've no church who'd suspect I'm talking to them, at the moment — I'll just tell you plain:

Brother, sister: John Piper isn't your pastor. John MacArthur knows nothing about you. Dave Hunt never got on his knees and prayed for you. Lloyd-Jones won't come to your house when you're recovering from surgery, or one of your children shatters your heart, or your marriage is shaking and rocking and barely hanging on. Charles Spurgeon won't weep with you as you weep.

You could buy or not buy _____'s next book, and he'd never know it. But if you're in a manageable-size church with a caring pastor and you're suddenly gone next Sunday, he'll be concerned. He may call. He may ask if everything's okay.

God gave you the pastor He gave you.

God told Paul to tell you:
We ask you, brothers, to respect those who labor among you and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Be at peace among yourselves. (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13)
God told the writer to the Hebrews to tell you:
Obey your leaders and submit to them, for they are keeping watch over your souls, as those who will have to give an account. Let them do this with joy and not with groaning, for that would be of no advantage to you. (Hebrews 13:17)
Your flesh-and-blood pastor can't compete with these paper pastors for the same reasonyou can't compete with paper women and paper men.

Because they're not real.

Epicurus and the problem of evil

This article appeared at the American Vision website. A link is provided at the bottom. I am not sure who Rob Slane is, but the short bio that follows gives us a glimpse. His article however on the problem of evil is captivating. A worthy read! 

 Rob Slane lives with his wife and five home-educated children in Salisbury, England. He is the author of The God Reality: A Critique of Richard Dawkins' The God Delusion, and a soon-to-be-released book, A Christian & an Unbeliever discuss Life, The Universe & Everything.

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? 
Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? 
Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? 
Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? 
Then why call him God? 

Thus spake Epicurus, the Greek philosopher who lived from 341-270 BC. 

This is what you might call a tight spot argument. It seems to cover all the bases and leave us Christians without the faintest hope of getting out. But tight spots are okay. The people of God have been there before. And so with a range of impregnable rocks to the left and to the right, the most formidable army in the world chasing after us from the rear, and an impassable sea right before us, what do we do? Trust in the God of tight spots and march right on ahead over the path that he clears for us through the waters

Although the riddle is undoubtedly clever, it turns out to be loaded with a couple of erroneous presuppositions: firstly, a flawed presupposition, and secondly, a really flawed presupposition.

So what is the flawed presupposition? In a nutshell, it is the idea that to deal with evil, God must do so in exactly the way we think he ought to, and if he doesn’t, we’re going to get all uppity and tell him that he doesn’t exist. In our wisdom, we know that he ought to deal with evil, and we also know just how he ought to do it. Yet the problem we have is that any of the ways we can come up with to deal with evil end up destroying not just evil, but humanity itself. Let me explain. 

Take the simplest example of the kind of evil that Epicurus might have envisaged: Cain and Abel. “Okay,” says Epicurus, “so if God is good, willing and omnipotent, why did he allow Cain to kill his brother?” Now how could God have prevented it? There are only really three options: he could have simply prevented Cain from doing it either by natural or miraculous means; he could have destroyed Cain either before or after he did his deed; or he could have “reprogrammed” Cain so that he never again had such a thought in his head. But with each of these “solutions” there is an insurmountable difficulty. 

The problem with the first option – preventing Cain doing the deed – is that Cain’s heart remains unchanged, and he will simply look for another opportunity to carry out his crime. 

The problem with the second – destroying Cain – is that not only must Cain be destroyed but Abel too, because he is also a guilty sinner before God. 

And the problem with the third – reprogramming Cain – is that Cain loses one of the characteristics that make him to differ from the beasts. 

With the first option, sin is harboured within Cain’s heart to be brought out into the open on another day. With the second, all humanity is wiped off the face of the earth, because all – not just the Cains and the Hitlers of this world – are guilty before God. And with the third, Cain is no longer made in the image of God. None of these options deals with evil in a satisfactory way, and if God were to choose any of them, humanity dies.Now in his riddle, Epicurus castigates God for not doing something about Cain, but for choosing another option instead, which was “do nothing.” Here is exactly where the presupposition is flawed. Epicurus assumes that God must deal with Cain in one of the first three ways, and if he doesn’t, this is evidence of his inability, unwillingness or malevolence. Yet God does choose another way, but rather than it being “do nothing”, it is something that not only deals with the evil, but which does so in a way that overcomes all the other problems as well. So how can this be done? Well God’s method, which may well sound like foolishness to the likes of Epicurus, is the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. 

It is the only method which not only deals with the problem of evil, but does so at the same time as overcoming the three problems mentioned above. It deals with evil by God taking evil upon himself. It deals with the heart problem by drawing men to God through the Cross, changing their hearts and bringing them into a right relationship with God. It deals with the problem of destroying humanity by offering hope of salvation to sinful humanity. And it deals with the reprogramming problem by restoring men to righteousness, so that they learn to choose the good and forsake evil. 

Whether Epicurus can accept the “folly” of this method is another matter entirely.

So much for the flawed presupposition, what of the really flawed presupposition? 

Well if Epicurus happened to be around today, the one question I would want to put to him would be this: “Mr Epicurus, your famous riddle about evil and the impotence of God has wowed many an atheist with its cleverness, and no doubt stumped many a Christian with its difficulties, but what I am really keen to know is this: what do you actually mean by evil.” At this point it wouldn’t come as a surprise to see Epicurus’ face contorting in barely concealed contempt, implying that I am some sort of a dimwit for not knowing what evil is. 

Have I never heard of murders and wars and rapes and thefts and that sort of thing? Well yes I have, but contorted faces notwithstanding, that still doesn’t answer my question: what do you mean by evil? 

Is it just a bunch of actions such as those you have mentioned, or is it something far deeper than that? 

What actually is it? 

The problem with Epicurus’ riddle is that it never gets around to telling us what this “evil” is that God ought to be stopping, and so it seems a pretty safe bet that Epicurus had in mind a bunch of things “out there”. But since his riddle assumes the existence of God before apparently going on to disprove him it follows that the riddle really ought to allow God to define evil, rather than leaving it to Epicurus to assume that his half-baked definition will suffice. If God is God, then evil is not defined merely as a bunch of bad actions “out there”, but rather as “anything and everything which is opposite of God.” 

Now if this is the case, then what this means – amongst many other things – is that Epicurus’ riddle itself falls into the category of evil. I doubt very much whether this possibility actually crossed his mind when he wrote it, but if evil is defined by God as being that which is opposite to him, then Epicurus is guilty of that very thing in even proposing his conundrum. In which case, his only legitimate questions would be these: why doesn’t God come and strike me down for even daring to state such a thing? Why doesn’t he come and deal with my evil? 

The answer, once again, is the mercy of God. Epicurus had an evil heart, just like the rest of us. He was opposed to God, just like the rest of us are by nature. He calls on God to come and deal with evil, but does he include his own in this? Is he really prepared for God to come and deal with his evil? If he really does desire this, is he prepared for God to leave his heart unchanged, or to strike him dead or to reprogram him? Does he really want God to deal with it in that way? Or will he not rather hope that God can deal with it in such a way that changes his heart for good, leaves him alive, and doesn’t turn him into a machine? 

The good news is that this is exactly what God does. It took some thorns, some nails and the death of the Light of the World to achieve it. But it is finished. The grave is empty and the throne is filled. So come, Epicurus, God has found a way to deal with evil and he invites you to join him. Now are you willing to accept?

Read more at: | The American Vision