Thursday, August 28, 2014

What is evil? You would be surprised.

Here are a few links for you. There is a theme.

This was a great analysis of Mark Driscoll's "Update Apology". The author parsed Driscoll's words and translated into plain-speak. And it isn't good.

An analysis of Mark Driscoll’s update to Mars Hill Church
Because we can do that, you know. We can analyze the words of Driscoll personally, and we can analyze the words as an articulation of Mars Hill Church’s attitudes and intentions. So we can dissect these words to discern what they are really saying to us, the abused. We can listen to what Driscoll is saying and what the church is saying. What is in their heart? Here’s what I’m hearing:
The spiritual abuse Driscoll has heaped on the sheep, and the reproach he has brought to Jesus' name, is heinous in the extreme. It's evil.

Once I wrote on Twitter and this blog that if Hitler had repented, he'd be in heaven, and that "Mother Teresa" was in hell. I got a lot of flak. But I wanted to point out two things: Jesus' work on the cross and His resulting grace covers ALL sins- except the sin of rejecting Him. Secondly, most people don't know what an evil pagan Mother Teresa was. When they think 'evil' the go-to poster boy is always Hitler and when they think 'nice' they always think Mother Teresa. But theological rejection of Christ and a lifetime of working against Him is evil. Let's call it what it is. Here is one author who does.

Here's What We Learned From Mother Teresa and Why We Should Reject It

Speaking of calling evil, evil, here is Denny Burk on that very topic. Let's not get so inoculated with the times that we forget what evil is- opposing Christ in any form. Here, Burk uses ISIS terrorists as the example. In his essay at the top is a photo of a black hooded ISIS terrorist holding a knife.My point is that the ones who terrotize in Allahs' name are not the only evil ones. The smiling pseudo Christians are actually worse.

Refusing to call evil “evil”

This next essay is about apathetic Christians who have emerged from a generation of decisional acceptance of Christ and the prevalent lazy attitude toward obeying Him. We are reaping the 'rewards' of a generation as this author says, of "Millions upon millions of content and confident, flesh-obsessed walking dead who think like the world, act like the world, love what the world loves and hate what the world hates…all in Jesus’ name."

The (church built) Zombie Apocalypse is upon us…

If you haven't caught on to the theme of this essay with links, it is evil, but not Hitler evil. Not ISIS evil. It's pseudo-Christian evil, in my opinion, the worst kind. I expect terrorists like ISIS to be ferocious, bloody knife wielding lawbreakers. But the true Christian world forgets that a Beth Moore, a Mother Teresa, a Mark Driscoll, a sin-avoiding preaching pastor, a lazy pseudo-Christian, are also terrorists. They're terrorists, lawbreakers, spies, and destroyers.

Do you think one of these images is worse than another? You're right, it's Beth Moore who is the more evil.

An ISIS terrorist's gun kills the body. Moore's weapon, the bible, (the way she uses it), kills the soul. (Matthew 10:28)

Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you travel across sea and land to make a single proselyte, and when he becomes a proselyte, you make him twice as much a child of hell as yourselves.  (Matthew 23:15)

For certain people have crept in unnoticed who long ago were designated for this condemnation, ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into sensuality and deny our only Master and Lord, Jesus Christ. (Jude 1:4)

James Robison and wife Betty.
Their program on Wednesdays features Beth Moore

This matter arose because some false believers had infiltrated our ranks to spy on the freedom we have in Christ Jesus and to make us slaves. (Galatians 2:4)

Just because we can see that ISIS terrorists are maniacal, foaming at the mouth unthinking dogs doesn't make them more evil than a Beth Moore or a James Robison. It actually makes them less evil, because they are easy to spot. The true terrorists of earth are the ones who creep in to church in order to destroy the name of Christ and hinder the witness of the sheep.

But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them--bringing swift destruction on themselves. (2 Peter 2:1)

One of the faces of today's evil

Jesus knows we find it hard to bear the evil done in His name. He understands the teeth-grinding righteous grief we feel when we see what is done in His name by those calling themselves His children-

‘I know your works, your toil and your patient endurance, and how you cannot bear with those who are evil, but have tested those who call themselves apostles and are not, and found them to be false. (Revelation 2:2)

A preacher like Mark Driscoll is actually more dangerous than an ISIS terrorist. Same with Beth Moore, Joyce Meyer, Joel Osteen, Kenneth Copeland, James Robison, Mother Teresa, Pope Francis...They have one thing in common, they are all part of satan's system and are his trophies of evil.

Let's call it what it is.



Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Jesus will never leave you or forsake you

John F. MacArthur
Our Lord is so faithful. I am often astounded with knowing the great thread of faith that runs through the centuries, unbroken, in men God has raised up. He never leaves us or forsakes us. This means personally, Jesus never leaves us. It means He is immanent. He is indwelling us. He raises up good men through whom He perpetuates the faith, to the blessing of the current generation (whichever generation that may be, whether 1st century or 21st century).

Readers of this blog are often treated to quotes from pastor-teacher John MacArthur, or links to his sermons. I think highly of the man, and I think even more highly of our faithful Jesus who raised him up, empowers him in learning the bible, and strengthens him to persevere.

I'd like to offer you some reasons why I feel this way.

A very kind reader sent me a link to a sermon Dr MacArthur delivered at the Believers Chapel in Dallas, Texas on June 29. This was the church eminent S. Lewis Johnson preached at for many years. I love Dr Johnson's sermons too, and readers will know that I've often linked to sljinstitute.net, where blessedly most of Johnson's sermons can still be heard.

The reader said in his email to me that Dr MacArthur visited Believers Chapel "because S. Lewis Johnson preached here."  MacArthur grew up on Johnson's exposition and has often said that he was was greatly affected by Johnson's theology, exposition, and demeanor.

As Dr MacArthur's sermon opens, he is introduced by someone at the Chapel. He said of MacArthur:

--He has been teaching verse by verse through the New Testament, at Grace Community Church in Los Angeles for 45 years,
--He is the President of Masters Seminary (which he founded),
--He is the President of Masters College (which he founded),
S. Lewis Johnson
--He is the President of Grace To You, where his teaching is aired on the radio over 1000 times a day throughout the English speaking world, in every major population center, on every continent,
--His teaching program airs on the radio nearly 1000 times a day in Spanish, in 23 countries from Europe to Latin America,
--He has written over 400 books,
--He preaches at his home church weekly,
--The cornerstone of his works is the MacArthur study bible, which has been translated into 9 languages,
--But the main work has been as husband, father, and grandfather, because he truly lives as he preaches.

I offer double honor to this man and his family, because it is surely a blessing to be able to access such stellar exposition, and to be witness to a federal headship in a home filled with Christ's love. (1 Timothy 5:17).

I offer all praise and glory to our Christ, who said He will never leave  us or forsake us (Deuteronomy 31:6, Hebrews 13:5).

In raising up men to edcucate us, shepherd us, and love us, this is one of the ways Jesus never leaves us.

How about your pastor, your teachers, your deacons? God has raised them up too. Tirelessly they toil in love for you and under submission to Jesus, who called them to a difficult ministry. When you see those good men of the church, see Jesus in them, and realize you are not alone, you are loved and cared for by them. Jesus has not forsaken you.



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Franklin Graham part of "a new evangelization" partnering with Catholics, Graham's Three Rivers Festival hosts Catholic Bishop Zubik

As many already know. Billy Graham is an ecumenical religionist who preaches an aberrant, unsaving doctrine. [Read also "When Did Graham's Compromise Begin?]

The elder Graham has been a friend of Rome for a long time, partnering with Popes and priests in various ecumenical endeavors as if the Catholic religion was true.


Occasionally people have asked me if the son, Franklin Graham, believes the same about Rome. There is an oft-repeated quote from a newspaper article from 1999 which seemed to indicate the younger Graham does. Franklin Graham told the Indianapolis Star (6/3/99) that his father's longstanding ecumenical alliance with the Catholic Church and all other denominations, "was one of the smartest things his father ever did."

But was one quote enough? Not to me. I waited and watched to see what would come out later. Would the fruit be thorns, or grapes? It didn't seem likely that Graham the Younger raised in such an environment as Graham the elder's, would emerge with beliefs that were true, but in any case, I was in wait and see attitude.

Meanwhile, in 2011 I saw a very interesting article from Maryland. It's obvious that Rome's doctrines are not saving doctrines and that the Roman Catholic Church is false. Yet astoundingly,
"An Episcopal church has decided to convert, en masse, to Catholicism. The parishioners, along with the pastor, wants to be under the authority of the Roman Catholic Church and its pope. Why? "[C]hurch members said, they were satisfying their longing for a clear religious authority by welcoming the leadership of Pope Benedict XVI. ... they decided that the Reformation was a mistake. "It feels fantastic," Delaney said. “It’s like correcting 500 years of history.”"
I was flabbergasted that they would choose such obvious falsity. However, that little trickle was an example of what by now has become a broken dam. Falsity of all sorts of Catholic mischief has flooded into the faith. Lighthouse Trails has a good rundown of the examples of formerly evangelical leaders embracing various aspects of Catholic ritual. (Labyrinths, Contemplative Prayer, Lectio Divina, ecumenical partnerships, acceptance of Catholic dogma etc.) Just this month, I wrote about the infiltration of the Protestant use of Catholic prayer bead rosaries.

Since my first awakening notice of Catholic-Protestant unification in 2011, I've seen that Catholicism has become all the rage in Protestantism. The avalanche since 2011 in Catholicism entering Protestantism has been veritably sweeping away many individuals and whole churches. The acceptance of and promotion by top Protestant evangelical leaders is furthering this cause.
Jasmine Goldband Photography

Case in point- Franklin Graham. In August at the Three Rivers Festival (Franklin refuses to call the gatherings "Crusades" like his father,) the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association hosted a Catholic Bishop on stage, partnered with the city's Catholic church as part of the "evangelistic outreach." Bishop David Zubik was the Catholic representative, and he was invited to give the opening prayer. Worse, seekers were encouraged to come to the Catholic church for counseling, since they were 'right next door.' Here are the Bishop's words. This is from the August 10 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette:
Bishop David Zubik said the festival dovetails with calls by recent popes to a ”new evangelization,“ bringing back cradle Catholics who drifted or became estranged from the faith.

"We felt as long as there was a Catholic component to this particular crusade, we wanted to be a part of it,“ Bishop Zubik said. Those who respond to Rev. Graham’s invitation to make a decision for Christ, and who identify as Catholic, will be given the opportunity to go to Epiphany Church — adjacent to the Consol Energy Center — for the sacrament of reconciliation, or confession. ”We’re right next door,“ Bishop Zubik said.
Franklin Graham and Billy Graham will have to answer to our Holy Savior for their part in decades of consigning babes to darkness. They are false apostles, workers of darkness making sons of hell twice as worse as they are (Matthew 23:15, Luke 13:27). Their end will be as they deserve.

And no wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. So it is no surprise if his servants, also, disguise themselves as servants of righteousness. Their end will correspond to their deeds. (2 Corinthians 11:15)

Did you know that Bob Jones Sr. called the elder Graham a "limb of satan"? We must call evil what it is. Denny Burk wrote a good essay the other day, "We must call evil, "evil." He was referring to Islam, but I apply his concept here to Catholicism. Just because Islam is ferocious and obviously false doesn't make it more evil than Catholicism, which sort of looks partly Christian and acts kind of nice. They're both evil, because both religions and its adherents are doing evil against Jesus.

Bishop David Zubik said the [Franklin Graham Three Rivers] festival dovetails with calls by recent popes to a ”new evangelization,“ bringing back cradle Catholics who drifted or became estranged from the faith.
I'm very sad that I must call the younger Franklin a false teacher, a false worker, but the evidence is clear. It gives me no pleasure to say it nor to see it. I do grieve for the many people who come to his 'festivals' (of darkness) and are brought full circle back to their unsaved state. If anything comes from this essay let it be two concepts that stay with you:


1. We must see evil what it is; and after prayer and evidence, call it out (Jude 1:3,) and marking those who cause divisions (Romans 16:17)
2. We must be vigilant. These are dangerous times (2 Timothy 3:1).

-------------------------------------------

Further reading

1966 Catholic Herald on Billy Graham – “friends…among the Jesuits”

Like Father, Like Son: Franklin Graham (Son of Billy Graham) Allows Roman Catholic Bishop To Pray At His Pittsburgh Evangelistic Revival! Watch The Video Here!

Pittsburgh Post Gazette: Revival Headliner Franklin Graham has trail of support

Pittsburgh Catholic Newspaper: Catholics extend welcome to [Franklin Graham's] Festival of Hope crowds

The End Time: "The dangers of the bible...AND..."

Monday, August 25, 2014

The original "humblebrag". Can you guess who humblebragged first?


Humblebrag: Urban Dictionary

Subtly letting others know about how fantastic your life is while undercutting it with a bit of self-effacing humor or "woe is me" gloss.
Uggggh just ate about fifteen piece of chocolate gotta learn to control myself when flying first class or they'll cancel my modelling contract LOL

The New York Times has a good article about the emergence of humblebrags.

"Bah, Humblebrag!"
By HENRY ALFORD
Published: November 30, 2012
SOMETIMES when I crave a powerful dose of humility — the kind of humility that can come only from fully apprehending the lot of those less fortunate than me — I turn my attention to the plight of the former White House press secretary Ari Fleischer. He experiences an exquisite kind of pain. As he lamented on Twitter earlier this year: “They just announced my flight at LaGuardia is number 15 for takeoff. I miss Air Force One!!

When my stores of sympathy have not been fully depleted by contemplating the indignities heaped on Mr. Fleischer, I’ll then go on and immerse myself in the ennobling humility of the comedian Dane Cook. Mr. Cook, who has nearly three million Twitter followers, once tweeted: “Being famous and having a fender bender is weird. You want to be upset but the other drivers just thrilled & giddy that it’s you.” Finally, on those days when my humanity is fathomless, I turn to the selfless tweets of Deepak Chopra. Like: “Hope & despair are born of imagination. I am free of both.”

There’s nothing new about false modesty, nor its designation as a form of bad manners. But the prevalence of social media has given us many more canvases on which to paint our faux humility — making us, in turn, increasingly sophisticated braggers.

Enter the self-deprecating boast known as the “humblebrag,” a term devised by the comedian Harris Wittels, a writer for the NBC series “Parks and Recreation,” who collects hundreds of these cockeyed chestnuts on his Twitter feed and in his new book, both called “Humblebrag.” Whether it be the publicist Jenny Marie Miranda asking, “Why do men hit on me more when I’m in sweat pants?” or Dina Manzo, one of the “Real Housewives,” stating, “I obsess over the welfare of old people & animals on hot days like today. OBSESS #thereissomethingwrongwithme,” a humblebrag is an opportunity for the attention-starved to stake a claim on our sympathy.
The term humblebrag is new. The humblebrag itself is not new. It's just getting more exposure due to social media. However, there is one media that has been with us for two thousand years: the New Testament. In it, there is an epic humblebrag. This humblebrag has garnered more page views, more re-tweets, more social media exposure than any other epic humblebrag, Deepak Chopra's tranquil state of mind notwithstanding.

Here it is: introducing first.... from the red corner, weighing 175 pounds... he hails from Jerusalem, Israel, and was rated by many, as the best pound for best Pharisee of the last decade. With 52 sacrifices, a full tenth of his tithe, 38 of them coming by the way of knockout in the synagogue, 21 successful fasts, and 0 defeats. He is, the former Pharisaical champion, former super junior Pharisee spelling bee champion, HEAVYWEIGHT HUMBLEBRAGGER OF THE WORLD, Pharisee 'Boom Boom' Liebowitz!!

The Pharisee, standing by himself, prayed thus: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even like this tax collector." (Luke 18:11)

Annnnnnnnd, in the blue corner, introducing next.... weighing 135 pounds... he hails from Bethphage Israel, and was rated by many, as the worst personnnnin the worrrrrrrld, pound for worst human being of the last decade. With 52 losses, 38 of them coming by the way of bribery, and 412 defeats. He is, the former middleweight tax collector, former super middle weight toll taker, former light heavyweight extortioner, and former HEAVYWEIGHT CRETIN OF THE WORLD, Tax 'Money Snatcher' Collector!

But the tax collector, standing far off, would not even lift up his eyes to heaven, but beat his breast, saying, ‘God, be merciful to me, a sinner!’ (Luke 18:13)

Now that is a real humble with no brag.

The NY Times again:

Indeed, this may be why false modesty is no less discomfiting to its audience (and is sometimes more so) than outright bragging. Outright bragging expects to be met with awe, but humblebragging wants to met with awe and sympathy. It asks for two reactions from its audience, and in so doing makes fools of its beholders twice over.

The moral of the story is simple. Don't humblebrag.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Jesus, tempted at all points, knew no sin

Why did Jesus have to live a full-length life from babe to adulthood? Why couldn't He have come down, taught, died and then been resurrected?

John MacArthur preached on the reconciliation (2 Cor. 5:17-21) and included the answer to this question.
He said, "I must fulfill all righteousness. He said that to John the Baptist, remember, "I must fulfill all righteousness." (Matthew 3:15). When the writer of Hebrews says He was tempted at all points like we are yet was without sin, "all points" are chronological. He was tempted the way a child was tempted. He was tempted the way a young person was tempted. He was tempted the way a young adult was tempted. He was tempted at ALL points in the chronology of human life. He lived a complete life into adulthood, tempted every way possible that a human being could be tempted...and yet without sin. Why does there have to be this complete, sinless life? Answer: so that sinless life can be credited to your account. Understand it this way- on the cross, God treats Jesus as if he lived your life so He can treat you as if you lived His.
Jesus is estimated to have lived 33 years. The Compass Point system of headings has 32 "points of the compass". Jesus was tempted "at all points" from birth to death in adulthood and all points in between." It's not exact, but I like the visual.


This one's prettier

Judy Merrill
It is amazing to think our Savior lived a full, perfect, complete life so that He could take on our sin, and we could receive His righteousness. Let this encourage you and humble you and bring you joy. Much joy. Jesus is the unique, wonderful, beautiful God-Man there could possibly ever be.

How I long for my tongue not to be limited to mere constraining words, so I can express the beauty of Jesus in more complete terms. When we are glorified, I pray that our fullness in body and mind will allow a more expansive expression of devotion to the One who is beyond superlatives. For now, here is a psalm of praise-

My heart overflows with a pleasing theme;
I address my verses to the king;
my tongue is like the pen of a ready scribe.

You are the most handsome of the sons of men;
grace is poured upon your lips;
therefore God has blessed you forever.
Psalm 45:1-2


Magnitude 6.0 quake hits Napa Valey, photos of damage; Iceland volcano begins eruption


Strong 6.0 quake Rocks San Francisco Bay area, Napa Valley epicenter
A magnitude 6.0 earthquake and at least 25 aftershocks rocked the San Francisco Bay Area early Sunday morning, centered in the Napa County town of American Canyon, causing widespread power outages in Napa, causing minor damage across the region, and forcing the CHP to close down a bridge on a major highway. This was the largest quake to hit the Bay Area since the 6.9 magnitude quake hit Loma Prieta nearly 25 years ago. Initial reports had the quake magnitude at 6.1.
Lyall Davenport ‏@Lyalldavenport twitter photo showing a building destroyed in the Napa Quake


--Structure fires
--Wires down
--Power outages
--Road buckling
--No injuries reported so far

Anthony De Rosa ‏@AntDeRosa twitter photo

PzFeed Top News ‏@PzFeed twitter photo

Napa County Hall of Justice damaged after quake rocks California

Interior damages from malfred05, Instagram

Elizabeth Naylor ‏@ENaylorEvents Twitter photo

Meanwhile, another Iceland Volcano has begun erupting. There was some confusion yesterday as to whether the Bardarbunga volcano had actually begun an eruption, but scientists are unified at this point that indeed it has begun, magma is on the move.

Iceland Raises Aviation Alert As Subglacial Eruption Begins At Bardarbunga Volcano
Iceland's Bardarbunga volcano burst forth with a small eruption Saturday under the ice of Europe's largest glacier, scientists said, prompting the country to close airspace over the area.
Thousands of small earthquakes have rattled the volcano, located deep beneath the Vatnajokull glacier, in the last week. Icelandic Meteorological Office vulcanologist Melissa Pfeffer said Saturday that seismic data indicated that an eruption had begun, with magma from the volcano melting ice within the glacier's Dyngjujokull icecap.

Quick update on Gaza/Isis

Life in Israel today:

Warning sirens have sounded over 4,000 times in Israel over 45 days of fighting with the Gaza Strip.

Israelis take cover as siren sounds warning
of incoming rockets near the Gaza border. Photo by Reuters. Source
Joel C. Rosenberg writes of the war in Gaza against Israel. (Biography source). This is yesterday's update.
War with Gaza Day #46, by Joel C. Rosenberg
(Jerusalem, Israel) — The last 48 hours have seen a dramatic surge of violence here in Israel, and horrific atrocities throughout the epicenter. At the moment it is 2:15 in the morning here, the beginning of Day #46.

Here is the latest:

--Hamas and its allies have fired more than 320 rockets at Israel since Tuesday night when it broke its 11th ceasefire agreement.
--This represents one of the largest surges of violence in the past 46 days.
--Why such a ferocious barrage by Hamas? Because the Shin Bet and IDF just scored an enormous intelligence and operational coup — IDF airstrikes killed three very senior Hamas military commanders.
There is much more at the link.

Bomb Fired From Gaza Kills Israeli Child, Netanyahu Vows Tough Response
In new violence, a 4-year-old Israeli boy was killed by Palestinian rocket fire, while four Palestinians were killed in Israeli airstrikes in Gaza. Israel's prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, vowed a tough response to the killing. In all, more than 2,000 Palestinians and 68 people on the Israeli side have died.
Source
A four-year-old Israeli boy was killed by a mortar shell fired from the Gaza Strip on Friday afternoon. The boy, named late Friday as Daniel Tragerman, was at home with his parents and siblings at Kibbutz Nahal Oz in the Sha’ar Hanegev Region, close to the border with Gaza, when the attack took place.
Pray for the peace of Jerusalem! “May they be secure who love you! (Psalm 122:6)

Why Should we pray for the peace of Jerusalem?
God tells us to pray for the peace of Jerusalem in Psalm 122:6-9: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: ‘May those who love you be secure. May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.’ For the sake of my brothers and friends, I will say, ‘Peace be within you.’ For the sake of the house of the LORD our God, I will seek your prosperity.” From this passage, we see that praying for peace and good to come to God’s holy city benefits those who pray. God promised blessings on those who bless Israel and curses on those who curse her (Genesis 12:3), and since Jerusalem is depicted as the center of Jewish life, it follows that those who pray for her peace and security will be granted peace themselves.
Praying for the peace of Jerusalem is most appropriate for a city whose name literally means “peaceful” and which is the residence of the God of peace. The phrase “peace be upon Israel” is found also at the end of Psalm 125:5 and 128:6, indicating that it was a common farewell blessing. Further, Jerusalem will be the scene of Christ’s return (Acts 1:11; Zechariah 14:4), and at that time He will establish permanent peace with its walls. All Christians should be eagerly awaiting His return and praying for the time when the Prince of Peace will reign in Jerusalem.
Jesus also said that we should be peacemakers, which would include praying for peace. “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God” (Matthew 5:9). And we are commanded to do our best to live at peace with others. “If possible, so far as it depends on you, be at peace with all men” (Romans 12:18). So, God wants us to seek peace among all people, and that would include praying for peace in Jerusalem, especially because of its special place in His heart.

America is not escaping the terrorists' notice. While Hamas is busy fighting Israel in Gaza, ISIS has made threats against the US on our soil. Joel Rosenberg again
  • Increasingly, U.S. officials see ISIS preparing to attack Americans directly in the homeland.
  • “ISIS today represents a direct and growing threat to the United States,” reports National Journal.
To conclude, a biblical perspective by Joel Rosenberg,
At the same time, let’s maintain a Biblical perspective on all that’s happening. Bible prophecy warns us that such terrible things are going to happen in the last days before the return of Christ. Indeed, they are signs that the return of Jesus and the establishment of His kingdom is getting closer. Therefore, as we study the Scriptures, let us not lose heart. Rather, let us be motivated to love our neighbors, and love our enemies, and care for the persecuted church in the Middle East and around the world. We may not have the power on our own to stop such evil. But we can help our brothers and sisters to stand firm in the Lord, and be to brave in sharing the Gospel and to show compassion to the helpless, and to be true lights in the darkness.