Thursday Thoughts


Just a few things I was thinking about or read elsewhere and thought were worth sharing…


Given the hoopla over this “revival” in Florida (which I spoke of earlier this week) and the rise of prophetic ministries across this nation, consider what revivalist Leonard Ravenhill said were the marks of a true prophet and see if any of those characteristics match prophets in today’s modern charismatic movement. (Ravenhill’s comment that “The degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity” should be a good indicator of direction.)

Also in this vein, with people obsessed with signs and wonders, consider what David Wilkerson authored in his message “A Christless Pentecost: Is Christ Becoming a Stranger in Our Midst?

What is it with people acting like animals at some of these supposed revivals we keep hearing about? Nothing disturbs me more than to hear this kind of nonsense. The late Derek Prince offers some discernment that is much needed but rarely heeded.

Had enough charismatic-bashing from me, a charismatic? Well, how about this for positive spin?

Because I write Christian fiction, I’m all too aware of the traps that such an endeavor poses. It’s very easy to lead one’s readers into a ditch. Tim Challies does a worthy job dismantling the questionable theology of the über-bestseller The Shack.


I’m finding that the latest version of WordPress is much slower than previous versions, not only in the Admin pages, but in loading the blog itself. WordPress dropped gzip compression and their object caching. Without them, this site loaded like molasses, so I restored that functionality and cut load speeds to a third of what they were after the upgrade. I’ve spent several hours trying to optimize Cerulean Sanctum for faster loading.

Firefox 3.0 RC1 is a fine update, but it proved devastating to the way my computer ran. I have an old PC running XP that has 512 MB of RAM (and the cost of 1GB of 168-pin ECC PC-133 DRAM for it is ridiculously high, so I’m stuck with the following issue and solution). Between all the bloatware updates on Windows and most other software out there, my processes were paging, including my satellite Internet drivers, causing them to spontaneously unload when Firefox grabbed all the CPU cycles and RAM. Grr. If you have a similar problem, setting Firefox 3.0’s process priority to “Below Normal” will solve that problem. Don’t understand why the software slams the CPU so hard, but there you go. If the upcoming update of Firefox were a kid, the verdict would be “Doesn’t play nice with other children.”

Creation Care

I’m surprised that no one is looking at the upcoming Beijing Olympics as the cauldron of some future pandemic. You’ll have people from all over the world descending en masse on China—the world’s petri dish for disease. The Asian continent, and China in particular, serves as the birthplace of many communicable diseases, influenza being only the most prominent example. The Beijing Olympics will concentrate groups of far-flung people who normally never congregate and do so in that disease-spawning region. It not only offers the possibility that people dispersing after the Olympics will take disease worldwide, but also that people will bring diseases into the region that may find the environment to their liking, either mutating into something more virulent or finding some combination of factors that encourage DNA-swapping. No matter what occurs, we should keep our eye on this.

I think this is one of the coolest, wettest springtimes I can remember. What does this say about global warming?

On the other hand, scientists are finding that the massive increase in carbon dioxide levels in our atmosphere since the 1950s has created ultra-potent poison ivy. As someone who never used to be bothered by the stuff during my years in Christian camping ministry, I can attest to the change.

As an Audubon member (and treasurer of my local chapter), I keep a lookout for birds. My neighbor, the chapter president, and I both note an alarming lack of bluebirds this year after years of increases. Anyone out there seeing bluebirds or noting changes in their numbers?

On the other hand, we have plenty of meadowlarks on our property, a bird that is rapidly dying out due to the overdevelopment of pasture land. This article at Audubon notes other familiar birds that were once common but are now in trouble.

I continues to grieve me how carelessly we trash the world God gave us in pursuit of avarice. On another blog, a commenter lambasted me for my concern that putting in a massive Wal-Mart superstore in my little town would ruin the night sky. He told me in no uncertain terms that if I cared about that loss I should move out of the area. My valid question: Are there any such places left, and if so, how long before they, too, get turned into a strip mall? Sometimes I am just staggered at our willingness to defecate all over our living spaces and think nothing of it. Heck, even dogs don’t do that.

Think deep thoughts this weekend. When we get opportunities to relax, we need to be considerate and thinking people. Christians, more than any other people, must be wise. We know the Source of wisdom, right?

Be blessed.

Lord, To Whom Shall We Go?


White cross on a hillRob Wilkerson of Miscellanies on the Gospel (latest winner of a Warnie Award, I might add) burns up the Internet with the question of why Christians aren’t satisfied with Christ and have to go to other sources for their spiritual fulfillment:

In closing, might I add a more practical way that we can lurch backwards into the simplicity of the gospel message of Christ and Him crucified? It involves a ‘put off’ and a ‘put on.’ First, let’s put off Hollywood. It offers nothing but a mirage. Too many Christians, including myself, watch movies in order to gain some redemptive element which we can use as common ground to share the gospel with others. That works sometimes. But I’m beginning to think that when that is used as common ground, generally their perception of Christianity, priests, and preachers is just what Hollywood has told them it is. So if we start with Hollywood, we’re already starting with a broken tool…a severely broken tool. I say let’s ditch the whole thing. Ironically, it’s filled with nothing but emptiness. There’s no gospel in Hollywood, so let’s stop allowing it to seep into our minds, hearts, and homes.

Second, let’s put on the Lord Jesus Christ as He’s already revealed Himself in the Bible. He hasn’t revealed anything of Himself in Hollywood. If we read our Bibles as much as we watched Hollywood’s products, or better yet, if we read our Bible as much as we watched Hollywood’s products and instead of Hollywood’s products, what kind of Christians do you think we would be?

Amen, Rob.

A few years ago, I came to the stunning revelation that nothing ultimately satisfies but Jesus. I stopped giving my time and effort to things that accomplished nothing but satisfying my own craving to be entertained. So much of Christianity has turned into entertainment! Seymour over at The Light Is Sweet posted this perfect commentary from one of my personal faves, Leonard Ravenhill:

Entertainment is the devil’s substitute for Joy; the less joy of the Lord you have, the more entertainment you need.

How eerily true.

Too many want to justify their entertainment fixation by saying that one can find truth in films. My answer? You can pan for flecks of gold in vast fields of manure, but why do it when Christ can fill you up with an infinitely more satisfying treasure: Himself.

Anyway, my journey into the revelation that only Jesus is needed came about because of a passage that has always been one of my favorites, but which I did not fully understand until two years ago:

After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the Twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
—John 6:66-69 ESV

Lord Jesus Christ, to whom shall we go? There is no truth apart from You. There is nothing that satisfies forever like You do. There is nothing worth possessing more than You. There is no one worth knowing more than You.

And yet how easily so many go careening from one cheap, throwaway thrill to the next. Even people who call themselves by Christ’s name. How desperately sad.

That’s not me anymore. I hope it’s not you, either.