Sunday, December 10, 2017

Praise to Jesus as the I AM

I'm so glad I have a Savior who is eternal. Because He is eternal, He is independent, self-sustaining, and forever self-sufficient. He is outside of time and matter, therefore He is the I AM, as seen in these metaphorical statements-

I AM the Bread of Life (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51);
I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12);
I AM the Door of the Sheep (John 10:7, 9);
I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11,14);
I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25);
I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6);
I AM the True Vine (John 15:1, 5).

And these absolute statements:

Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am." (John 8:58)

God said to Moses, "I am who I am." And he said, "Say this to the people of Israel: 'I am has sent me to you.' " (Exodus 3:14).

Praise Him today for one of His attributes.

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 14, Propitiation



Further Reading

GotQuestions: What is Propitiation?

Ligonier Ministries: What Do Expiation and Propitiation Mean?

Bible Hub Topical Bible- Propitiation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!

Day 13: God is pleased with His Son


Saturday, December 9, 2017

Movie Review: Hallmark's Garage Sale Mystery with Lori Loughlin

Hallmark Movies & Mystery Channel features a series of movies in the "Cozy Mysteries" genre.
Cozy mysteries, also referred to as "cozies", are a subgenre of crime fiction in which sex and violence are downplayed, and the crime and detection take place in a small, socially intimate community. Cozies thus stand in contrast to hardboiled fiction, which feature violence and sexuality more explicitly and centrally to the plot. The term "cozy" was first coined in the late 20th century when various writers produced work in an attempt to re-create the Golden Age of Detective Fiction. Wikipedia
Hallmark has adapted several cozy book mysteries into movies.

There are the Aurora Teagarden movies starring Candace Cameron Bure. These movies are based on a fictional character created by author Charlaine Harris, in a series of ten crime novels written from 1990 to 2017. "In the first book of the series, twenty-eight-year-old Aurora (Roe) Teagarden is a professional librarian and belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes."

There's the Flower Shop Mysteries based on Kate Collins' books of the same series title. The series stars Brooke Shields as a "professional librarian and belongs to the Real Murders club, a group of 12 enthusiasts who gather monthly to study famous baffling or unsolved crimes."

Source
In the Garage Sale Mystery, Lori Loughlin stars as a vintage store owner who scours garage sales and estate sales for items for her store, and stumbles across mysteries and murders along the way. This series is based on the books by Suzi Weinert. The executive producers of Garage Sale Mystery are also executive producers on the Hallmark television series When Calls the Heart, so the Garage Sale Mystery series features many of the same actors.

You might remember Lori Loughlin from the 1980s television family friendly series Full House. She also stars in When Calls the Heart, and other Hallmark productions.

I like a good caper movie, mysteries, and crime books and movies, but I do not like the gore, psychological tension, or horrible/evil murders especially involving children. I also don't like dark movies, either in psychology or in cinematography.

The Garage Sale Mystery (GSM) features none of that. The main character, Jennifer Shannon, lives in an affluent town in Virginia. The homes she visits throughout the movie and including her own, are beautiful mansions. If you remember the iconic series Columbo, his 'clients' were always located in Beverly Hills, lived in gorgeous homes, and were from the upper class. If I'm going to watch a mystery, at least I'm not watching gutter-dirty, dark, psychological thriller, but a tea drinking, well dressed attractive woman with a genial personality. In GSM there's always lots of light and sunlight and bright colors in most every scene. The main character is in a happy, stable marriage with a movie-perfect husband and two movie-perfect teenage children. She is a good mom. The children usually have some kind of sub-story.

Somehow, the way the movie is written, and despite the fact that a murder does occur and Jennifer is usually in life-threatening peril by the climax, the atmosphere isn't heart-rending or dark. The writers maintain in Jennifer a hopeful innocence with a razor-sharp mind and a high-level ability to observe and remember. As a matter of fact, the last shot of each movie shows Jennifer in a close-up with a big smile. This is an enjoyable way to conclude a movie. The relationship Jennifer has with the co-owner of her store is a good one, always pleasant. No harsh words are spoken, even when Jennifer confronts the murderer. It's a relief to watch a movie where all the interpersonal interactions are warm and polite.

It is a 'cozy mystery' to a Tee.

What I find amusing is that despite the fact that Jennifer seems to stumble on a dead body seemingly every time she leaves her house, the series avoids the claustrophobic feeling of the Cabot Cove Syndrome. This is a TV Trope named after the location in which fictional character Jessica Fletcher of the television series Murder, She Wrote lived. The television series aired for 12 seasons with 264 episodes from 1984 to 1996 on CBS. Angela Lansbury was the main character, and "murder occurred with such regularity in her vicinity that the term "Cabot Cove syndrome" was coined to describe the constant appearance of dead bodies in remote locations. Indeed, if Cabot Cove existed in real life, it would top the FBI's national crime statistics in numerous categories, with some analysis suggesting that the homicide rate in Cabot Cove exceeds even that of the real-life murder capital of the world." (Wikipedia). The UK Daily Mail has more-

The most dangerous place on Earth is revealed to be... the fictional setting for TV series Murder, She Wrote
The idyllic seaside town of Cabot Cove looks at first glance like a pleasant and relaxing place to live.
In fact, it is the murder capital of the world and far more dangerous than the most violent parts of the globe, including Honduras in Central America. Thankfully, it is just the fictional New England setting for popular TV series Murder, She Wrote. Amateur detective Jessica Fletcher, played by Angela Lansbury, encountered a total of 274 killings in the small town in Maine, despite it having a population of just 3,500. This gives it an annual murder rate of 1,490 per million — more than 50 per cent higher than Honduras, where it is 910 per million.
The British mystery series, Agatha Raisin based on the books by M.C. Beaton, is another series that in my opinion suffered terribly from Cabot Cove Syndrome. There were several issues with the single-season series, and one of them was that the series is set in the British area of the Cotswolds. This is an area of outstanding natural beauty and much of it is protected, but the villages dotting the aforementioned beautiful hills are small. Very small. By the end of the one season that was broadcast, I surmise that the fictional death rate was even higher than in Cabot Cove.

Anyway, the confined feeling I got from Murder, She Wrote and Agatha Raisin is absent in Garage Sale Mystery. The series presents an aura that is expansive enough not to be claustrophobic but small enough to maintain the cozy atmosphere so important in this genre.

I also enjoy the garage sale aspect. I like a good hunt myself for just the perfect item that has a history behind it and is also a good deal!

I recommend the Garage Sale Mystery series. They're clean. It can be seen on on Hallmark, Sling TV, an occasional older movie on Youtube, and elsewhere.

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

Further reading


Finding Wonderland, Review: The Deadly Room

Dove review: Garage Sale Mystery

Amazon Customer reviews: 215 reviews of this series (92% are 4 & 5-star)

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 13, God is pleased with His Son



Further Reading

Desiring God: The Pleasure of God in His Son

Kay Arthur/Precepts: Oh My Child, Do You Know How Pleased I Am With You?

God's Well-pleasing Son

JMac sermon: The Commissioning of the King

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Day 11: He was Obedient

Day 12: The Son!


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 11, He was obedient

We've flowed through the first section of this series, in looking at a few verses that prophesy Jesus' coming, His arrival, and His early life. Starting tomorrow, from Day 12-16 we will look at verses that focus on Jesus as The Son. From Day 17-26, verses will focus on the preeminence of the Son, His works, and Ministry. Days 27-36, His resurrection, ascension, and return. Yes, there are more than 30 verses, lol. Either I'll double up on some days, or go an extra week after Christmas. :)




Coffman's Commentaries on the Bible
The precocious wisdom of the boy Jesus, and his certain consciousness of his unique relationship to the Father in heaven, were not looked upon by Jesus as sufficient to his earthly mission; but he recognized himself still to be a child. The hour of his emergence as the world's Saviour would be awaited by him until some sure indication of the Father's will informed him that "his hour" had come. In the meanwhile, he would not disgrace himself as a child prodigy. He manifested the noblest quality of youth, that of loving submission to his earthly parents.

Further Reading

Answers in Genesis: Christ's Obedience to the Father



~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Day 10- the Boy Jesus at the Temple

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

The US President orders embassy move to Jerusalem

Today the US President Recognizes Jerusalem as Israel’s Capital and Orders U.S. Embassy to Move
WASHINGTON — President Trump on Wednesday formally recognized Jerusalem as the capital of Israel, reversing nearly seven decades of American foreign policy and setting in motion a plan to move the United States Embassy from Tel Aviv to the fiercely contested Holy City.

"Today we finally acknowledge the obvious: that Jerusalem is Israel's capital," Mr. Trump said from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House.  
This is nothing more or less than a recognition of reality. It is also the right thing to do. It's something that has to be done." 
The president cast his decision as a break with decades of failed policy on Jerusalem, which the United States, along with virtually every other nation in the world, has declined to recognize as the capital since Israel’s founding in 1948. That policy, he said, brought us "no closer to a lasting peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians."

Jerusalem is an ancient city, first mentioned in the Bible in Genesis 14 when Abraham gave a tenth of all that he had to the mysterious Melchizedek, king of 'Salem' (Jerusalem) and a Priest of the God Most High. Jerusalem was not always the capital of Israel. Earlier in Israel's history, the ark was located at Shiloh, in the tabernacle, for 400 years.

Go now to my place that was in Shiloh, where I made my name dwell at first, and see what I did to it because of the evil of my people Israel. (Jeremiah 7:12).
my place … in Shiloh—God caused His tabernacle to be set up in Shiloh in Joshua’s days (Jos 18:1; Jdg 18:31). In Eli’s time God gave the ark, which had been at Shiloh, into the hands of the Philistines (Je 26:6; 1 Sa 4:10, 11; Ps 78:56–61). Shiloh was situated between Beth-el and Shechem in Ephraim. 
Eventually, the LORD Placed His name at Jerusalem.

but I have chosen Jerusalem that my name may be there, and I have chosen David to be over my people Israel. (2 Chronicles 6:6)
Solomon’s proclamation to the worshipers (6:3–11) links two great themes together as facets of the Davidic covenant: the holy city of Jerusalem and the holy temple building. Solomon acknowledges that God has finally chosen a permanent dwelling place for his Name. From the beginnings of the covenant, the symbol of God’s presence has been portable. As one of the consequences of building a permanent dwelling for God’s Name, the location of that building, Jerusalem, is now a holy city. Three great themes are united in this great effort prescribed by the Davidic covenant: the sacred dynasty, the sacred temple building, and the sacred city of Jerusalem. Bowling, A. C. (1995). 1-2 Chronicles. In Evangelical Commentary on the Bible
The future looks bright for Jerusalem.

The LORD will possess Judah as His portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. (Zechariah 2:12).

I'm very glad that Jerusalem is recognized by the US as Israel's capital city. I pray for peace there, now and forever.



Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 10, the Boy Jesus at the Temple



EPrata photo


With Him are wisdom and might; To Him belong counsel and understanding (Job 12:13).

Further reading

The Day Jesus Went AWOL

Twelve-year-old Jesus goes to the Temple

The Son of God at twelve years old

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Background and Introduction, Thirty Days of Jesus Series

Day 1: The Virgin shall conceive

Day 2: A shoot from Jesse

Day 3: God sent His Son in the fullness of time

Day 4: Marry her, she will bear a Son

Day 5: The Babe has arrived!

Day 6: The Glory of Jesus

Day 7: Magi seek the Child

Day 8: The Magi offer gifts & worship

Day 9: And the Child Grew

Sunday, December 3, 2017

All Beth Moore critiques here in one place (Newest)

I have split the list of Beth Moore critiques into two different essays. There is a long version which includes a lengthy discernment lesson on top before you get to the critiques. Then there's this shorter version which is just the list.

Below is a list of everything I have written about Moore, and below that, a list of women-written critiques, and below that, a list of man-written critiques.

Below that, some general essays about how to spot a false teacher or a heretic.

I also went through and personally checked and weeded out the dead links. Please let me know if you come across a dead one. Blogs go dead fast. I added several critiques written in 2017.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Beth Moore Critiques


Critiques by Elizabeth Prata, writer of this blog:

Joyce Meyer's statement saying "I am not a sinner" aside, the more subtle a false teacher, the less likely it will be that one can find just one 'smoking gun' to point to in proving falsity. Therefore, this link is as close as it gets to just one smoking gun.
Examining Beth Moore's statement: the 'Bride is paralyzed by unbelief

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

2017: Lifestyles of the mega-rich pastors with estates and private jets: You'll be shocked to see who is among them (OK it's Beth Moore)
Title says it all. Moore jets around in a subsidized private plane.

2017: Was this devoted Catholic man swept to heaven upon his death as his obituary states?

2017: Spot the self-refutation- Moore & Mysticism

2017: Beth Moore calling down fire

2016: Deconstructing Beth Moore's most popular story: The Hairbrush Story
In this piece I offer a link to a podcast by Chris Rosebrough, who deconstructs Moore's anecdote sentence by sentence, and in which I also offer a discernment lesson and my own insights regarding that story.

2016: Discernment Lesson: Comparing a Beth Moore & Martyn Lloyd Jones teaching on on the same verse
The title says it all. I listened to The Hairbrush Story as noted above, then in order to wash my brain and heart of the falseness of that "lesson", the next day I turned to Martyn Lloyd Jones and as I listened to that eminent preacher's treatment of the verse, began noticing the two treatments of it (MLJ v. Beth Moore) were completely opposite. This essay contains a side-by side comparison of where and how.

2015: Beth Moore's Strangely Disappearing Tweet: A Discernment Lesson


I wrote this series in 2011 after having attended a two day Living Proof Conference.
Beth Moore: Reactions to Living Proof teaching
Reactions Part 1
Reactions Part 2
Reactions Part3a
Reaction Part3b
Reactions Part 4

Investigating Moore's teachings led me to research further. This series was the result:
Troubled by Beth Moore's teaching:
Beth Moore Part 1: Introduction, and Casualness
Beth Moore Part 2: Undignified Teaching
Beth Moore Part 3: Contemplative Prayer
Beth Moore Part 4: Legalism
Beth Moore Part 5: Personal Revelation
Beth Moore Part 6: Eisegesis, Pop Psychology, and Bad Bible Interpretations
Beth Moore Part 7: Conclusion

When I read that Beth Moore said she had received the book directly from God as if a force had taken control of her, it reminded me of previous research I'd done years ago into automatic writing. This series was the result.

Examples of Channeling Christians, like Beth Moore
Part 1: Introduction
Part 2: How Walsch, Young, and Moore channeled their books
Part 3: How Walsch, Young, & Moore channeled their books
Conclusion: Why Walsch, Young and Moore channeled their books

Beth Moore's role as a feminist and redefining biblical womanhood for the next generations (Rev 2:20 again)

Secret Christian feminists
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 1 
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 2
How the Christian secret feminists are reforming the definition of biblical womanhood. Part 3

Beth Moore led a "commissioning" for 11,000 women (and men) at Unwrap the Bible conference

Beth Moore defenders said I was being too picky in making charges against the way Moore teaches, fast-talking, casual speaking of God being one of them. But here is an essay showing that such casual speech is actually a breaking of the Third Commandment not to take His name in vain.
The Third Commandment: ways to take God's name in vain you might not have thought of

Taking Beth Moore to task for claiming to have been with Jesus in another dimension and taught new things
Beth Moore says God lifted her into another dimension & showed her the church through Jesus' eyes

2010: This critique of a 2010 clip from LifeToday TV show clearly demonstrates Moore's apostate status. In the clip, Moore describes repeatedly begging God for a manifestation and believing as a result, 'he' sent her a dream involving a dead person, after which Moore went on to personally interpret some future events based on the dream. This is a textbook definition of the abominable practice of necromancy, something God describes on a par with infant sacrifice.
Jude's dreamers and Beth Moore's necromancy

A discernment lesson on how Mrs Moore twists scripture and comparing her exposition to credible teachers' work
Discernment lesson: The Shack and Beth Moore's treatment of Paul. Part 2 

Really, if Revelation 2:20 doesn't speak of Beth Moore's type of prophesying as a Jezebel spirit, then I don't know what does.
Beth Moore: a type of false prophetess of the church at Thyatira? 

Examining how Luke 6 and the curse of popularity is one huge indicator of a false teacher
Discernment lesson: the curse of popularity, Beth Moore, and Billy Graham

Book Review: "Things Pondered," Beth Moore's story of adopting a boy and giving him back

Beth Moore's Heretic Hunting Article and its Fallout

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further Reading, Critiques by Various Women:

Michelle Lesley: (Michelle Lesley Books), August 2014, Five Reasons It’s Time to Start Exercising "Moore" Discernment 

Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) March 2014, Beth Moore Prophesies a Coming 'Outpouring,' Warns of 'Scoffers'

Erin Benziger (Do Not Be Surprised) Jan. 2014 "Why Beth Moore and Not Me? The Danger of Claiming to Receive Direct Revelation"

1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part One: General Observations, 2014

2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Two: Bible Interpretation Issues, 2014

3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Beth Moore Simulcast Review Part Three: Personal Revelation 2014

1. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Evaluating Beth Moore’s Upcoming Live Simulcast, 2015 (How to pay attention to the red flags the Spirit raises in us, a good discernment lesson in prep for evaluating Moore's simulcast)

2. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, Class on Discernment: Living Proof Live Simulcast, 2015

3. Sharon Lareau of Chapter 3 Ministries, 2015 Living Proof Live Simulcast Review Part One

Pam Terrell: Breaking Up With Beth Moore

Book Review by Discerning Reader: Get out of That Pit (the reviewer does not recommend the book)

Sunny Shell: What Do Ann Voskamp, Beth Moore and Sarah Young Have In Common?

Adriane Heins, she is a Lutheran I believe. In this essay she also mentions Joyce Meyer. I appreciated this a lot: "Beth and Joyce want you to feel your theology; Christ assures you of it." (Cached version)
"Friends Don't let Friends Read Beth Moore"


The Upward Call's Critique of Beth Moore's "The Patriarchs"

Beth Moore: “Biblicism, Spiritual Warfare, Mysticism and Pop Psychology”

Chapter by Chapter critique of Moore's book "So long, Insecurity"


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Further reading, Critiques By Men:

2017: Justin Peters comments on a very bad tweet Moore published that was full or error and just plain strange I call "The Noah Instinct". It caused a minor uproar, so Moore simply deleted it. But screen shots abound.

2017: Delivered By Grace (Josh Buice), Why Your Pastor should say "No More to Beth Moore"

2017: Pastor Gabe Hughes of Junction City 1st Baptist: Breaking Down Beth Moore's Comment at Passion 2017
Can you talk about the dangers of popular teachers who are not heretical but say that God talks to them? I am thinking specifically of Beth Moore. What are we to do with people who refuse to see the danger and insist such teachers are OK?

Believers must always listen carefully when any teacher or preacher speaks about the Bible and theology. They must share the nobility of the Berean saints whom Luke commended for double checking Paul’s teaching according to Scripture (cf. Acts 17:1–11). While Beth Moore teaches with accuracy on some points, she also holds positions and teaches doctrines that are both incorrect and dangerous.

Beth Moore promotes contemplative prayer, a mystical practice not found in Scripture which includes elements of eastern mysticism. She chooses not to draw firm doctrinal lines on her website while implying the Roman Catholic Church is a Christian denomination alongside the Methodist, Baptist, and other denominations. Beth also claims that she has received visions from God and sometimes receives revelation from Him in her heart. From these examples we must conclude that the lack of biblical and theological depth in Beth Moore’s teaching renders her a dubious and dangerous source of Bible teaching. 
From Rev. Matt Slick, Christian Apologetics and Research Ministry: A critique of Beth Moore’s teaching here.

Rev. Chris Hull: Lutheran pastor on Beth Moore: "She's a wolf in sheep's clothing trying to destroy my flock" (transcript of linked podcast)

Beth Moore Confronts Young Pastor’s Wife for Criticizing Her Direct, Divine Revelation

Beth Moore's followers don't understand the Gospel, by Jeff Maples

From a man named Dale Wilson at the blog The King's Dale: Beth Moore - False Teacher

Pastor Mike Abendroth, 90-second video: Where is Beth Moore's Husband?
Pastor Mike Abendroth, sermon clip: Beth Moore-a or Sola Scriptura?
Pastor Mike Abendroth 22 minute radio show, answering emails about Beth Moore

Justin Peters: Spiritual Shipwreck of the Word Faith Movement (not solely devoted to critiquing Moore but she is part of the overall sermon lesson)

Chris Rosebrough: 90-min., Line-by-line audio critique of Moore's handling of a lesson on Hebrews 10:35-36, Beth Moore's Dangerous Bible Twisting

I do not agree with a lot of what Mr Wade Burleson has to say. But I include this link because by his own admission he is a fan of Moore and considers her an asset to the Body of Christ, and even he is scratching his head at how Moore treated James 4:10-11 in the study Mercy Triumphs. I especially appreciated his critique of Moore's penchant for making promises about God's intentions, as if she knows at any given moment what God will do in this or that situation, something I mentioned in the Commissioning essay above.
"God Will Kick Your Tail" - A Critique of Beth Moore's Teaching on James 4:10-11 from Mercy Triumphs



From Sharper Iron, it is a very good critique. Highly recommended. Beth Moore: Her John Piper Connection and Her Very Bad Doctrine

Strange Fire Q&A: Beth Moore
This short Q&A addresses Moore's claim of extra-biblical revelation

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Of Interest:
Grace To You sermon series:
How to Talk to a Heretic

Biblical stance on why Beth Moore has always been false (or any false teacher) and it didn't just come on suddenly


Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 7, The Magi Seek the Child

The flow of the series is a presentation of an initial section of 11 verses on photos depicting the life of Jesus from prophecy to birth and boyhood.

The next section beginning at #12-16 will feature verses about the Son.

From #17-26 we will survey the Preeminence of the Son, His attributes, & ministry.

From #27-36 we'll look at His Resurrection, Ascension, & Return.

Yes there are more than 30 verses. I just couldn't pare it down! Some days will feature two scripture photos.

All photos are by EPrata unless otherwise noted.

There is no better refreshment for the soul than to meditate on Him. Enjoy!

I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. (Psalm 119:15)







Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1 post
Day 2 post
Day 3 post
Day 4 post
Day 5 post
Day 6 post


Further Reading

Art & The Bible: Adoration of the Magi

GotQuestions: What Does the Bible say about the Three Wise Men (Magi)?

Answers in Genesis: We Three Kings

Grace To You: Who Were the Wise Men?

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Lifestyles of the mega-rich pastors with estates and private jets: You'll be shocked to see who is among them (OK it's Beth Moore)

I know that we're all familiar with the ridiculous extravagance of some of the word of faith preachers. Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, Creflo Dollar, Joyce Meyer and Joel Osteen with their jets and mansions and vacation homes and gold commodes and the like. Occasionally when someone comments on their over-the-top lifestyles of these supposed men and women of God, especially the private jets, replies often veer to the extreme in defending their purchase and use for a 'ministry'. Duplantis said he needed the plane so he could work. Copeland said the same, the private plane is his sanctuary. They agreed they could talk to God better and there would not be distractions of people coming up to them asking for prayer. They needed the plane so they could work. Remember these reasons later. For work.

Can you picture Paul spending ministry money to hire this palanquin, the Lear Jet of the day?



We chortle and giggle at these obvious extremes, and wonder how much money could be spent elsewhere if only the preacher would cut down on the luxury living and donate the funds to worthy ministries, their own congregation, or anywhere else except to support their self-indulgent lifestyle choices.

The Bible is clear on life and doctrine. Ministers and leaders must be pure, humble, and Godly. It is not a sin to be rich, not at all. Abraham and Job and Solomon and Joseph of Arimathea were extremely wealthy. Lydia was rich. Joseph and Mary were nearly peasants and many of the disciples were simple fishermen. The Bible runs the gamut on the sliding scale of wealth, showing us many different people and lifestyles in its pantheon of heroes and villains. The point isn't having the money. The point is what you do with it.

The Bible does warn, however, that it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to gain heaven. (Matthew 19:24). Barnes' Notes explains well:
The difficulties in the way of the salvation of a rich man are:
1. that riches engross the affections.
2. that people consider wealth as the chief good, and when this is obtained they think they have gained all.
3. that they are proud of their wealth, and unwilling to be numbered with the poor and despised followers of Jesus.
4. that riches engross the time, and fill the mind with cares and anxieties, and leave little for God.
5. that they often produce luxury, dissipation, and vice. that it is difficult to obtain wealth without sin, without avarice, without covetousness, fraud, and oppression, 1 Timothy 6:9-10, 1 Timothy 6:17; James 5:1-5; Luke 12:16-21; Luke 16:19-31.
Still, Jesus says Matthew 19:26, all these may be overcome. God can give grace to do it. Though to people it may appear impossible, yet it is easy for God.
When we think of mega-rich pastors and leaders living luxuriant lifestyles, we usually think of Copeland, Duplantis, Dollar, Meyer and Osteen. Yet there are other leaders who live similarly to the megapastors I've just mentioned. I'd like to bring your attention to Beth Moore's lifestyle. Yes, Beth Moore.

Moore puts forth the deliberate image that she is just a sister to us all, living a struggling life with her man, eatin' Ramen, and listening to the crickets for entertainment. The lifestyle image she carefully cultivates is a Ma Ingalls type. Here's her description under her photo of the creek by their home on their property. It's true. Read for yourself.
We have a tiny little sliver of water not far from us that you could call a creek if you were in a particularly generous mood. It's got some sand by it that the kids really like. Be blessed that this is not a scratch and sniff picture because the creek doesn't always smell all that good, especially if it hasn't rained in a while. But if your nose is slightly stuffy, it can be pretty fun.
Here's her description of her home they moved into several years ago:
So, three years to the day later, we’re making it out in these modest woods. These acres would not be beautiful to everybody but they're beautiful to us. Life has been brand new out here. I won’t kid you. It's been an adjustment. A lot less eating out. A lot more cooking. A lot more driving to work. The cars stay filthy. The raccoons won't stay out of the trash. Fed Ex never can find us. But we don’t mind. Because it was time to make a move. For us, it was out where the dawn breaks to the crow of a rooster.
She presents that veritably, she's scrimping and saving, eating peanut butter sandwiches by firelight to save on electricity but sighing contentedly amid all this hayseed hardship. What Moore doesn't tell you is that the Moore property in Tomball TX, these "modest woods," as she puts it, that "would not be beautiful to everybody," is part of a 46 acre enclave with its own road, two houses with total of 7 bedrooms and 7 1/2 baths, custom outdoor kitchens and fireplaces, a combined square footage of 6600 sf, and assessed by Harris County TX at $1.8 million dollars. What she wants to evoke in your mind with her carefully worded PR is this:

source
when what her property really is, is this:

Note the size of the lot compared to surrounding lots. Ahem. Modest? No.

Clip shows about a quarter the actual size of the lot

It's an enormous private property. The house isn't as large as other mega-rich pastors', to be sure. Her home, house A on the tax map, is 4500 square feet, (still 10X the size of my home), with 4 bedrooms, which does make sense as a family with two grown daughters and lots of grandchildren running around. But the land is a huge parcel, YUGE. The other home is for the in-laws, a 3BR home 2,200 sf in size.

To be fair, Moore moved to this enclave of 46 wooded private acres with creek and two homes, according to her blogs, was so that she and her husband Keith could give Keith's father a quality of life in his final days, close to the family and away from the busy city. I say if you have the means to provide a house and atmosphere for elderly parents close to the nuclear family, more power to you. It honors the mother and the father as the Commandment said.

But the down-home, aw shucks lifestyle is an image, not the reality. It's PR, and it's not honest. The reality is, Beth Moore is President of a globally known corporation, with a constant annual salary of a quarter of a million dollars, and its net worth last year of 15 million, living in a large home in pristine wooded enclave of 46 acres outside a major city, held in a trust, with all the toys and machines one could hope for in this enclave like tractors and golf carts etc. Her social-collegial sphere is populated with other mega-rich pastors and leaders, hobnobbing with the glitterati, and flying by private plane, just like Kenneth Copeland, Jesse Duplantis, and Benny Hinn do. This is NOT a "modest" lifestyle.

This is a screen shot from the tax return FY ending 2015 for
net worth of Living Proof Ministry.
Below, Moore with mega-rich pastrix Victoria Osteen and friends. Joel Osteen’s net worth (and his wife Victoria's, pictured below) is estimated at $40 million, according to Celebrity Net Worth. Meanwhile, BeliefNet has Osteen, 54, listed as the fifth richest pastor in America. Source heavy.com, Aug, 2017. Friends of a feather.

Source

I'll tell you what's "modest". Modest woods and filthy cars and sandy creeks, bah. Let's get real about these terms Moore uses.

Me, I live modest. All my clothes are hand me downs. I drive a 20-year-old car that's constantly in the repair shop. I live paycheck to paycheck, most of which is gone the first day I receive it each month. My domicile is a 400 sf apartment. A luxury for me would be to get my hair styled in a salon, and not the assembly line barbershop I usually go to. Or, not having to buy food that is expiring because I can save a dollar, is modest. My sphere is populated with other lower middle to middle-class folks who are just trying to make it, too. My sphere does not include private planes, fellow rich friends, wooded enclaves, and custom outdoor kitchens. It's populated with middle class folks who really scrimp and save.

My concern is not so much the income or the large property Moore lives on, but the carefully curated image designed to deceive people into thinking she is less well-off than she is. It's the hypocrisy. But wait, there's more.

Beth Moore does not own a private jet, (yet) but she is given one to use. LifeWay, who partners with her in producing the Living Proof Live events, jets her around on a private plane, half the cost of which is paid by LifeWay and half by Living Proof Ministry. Is this any different than Kenneth Copeland or Jesse Duplantis jetting around in their jets for "ministry,"? Is this how LifeWay spends its ministry money, jetting Beth Moore from state to state?

These screen shots below are from publicly available Living Proof Ministry's posted tax returns. Their returns are open for public inspection.

The screen shot below says "President Beth Moore on ocassion [sic] traveled by private plane to events as the ministry saw necessary. LifeWay, a partnering nonprofit, paid for 50% of the cost of the private plane, the remaining 50% was paid by Living Proof Ministries."




Is this what Hillsong congregants expect their tithes and offerings to go, subsidizing a celebrity speaker's luxury travel?
"Elizabeth Moore flew first class for a speaking engagement to Australia for the Hillsong Conference. Her daughter Melissa Moore, who is also an employee of Living Proof Ministries, traveled with Mrs Moore as her assistant. As per contract, Hillsong reimbursed Living Proof for the price of two coach tickets. Living Proof paid the difference. The benefit was not included as taxable compensation since it was ministry related, allowing Elizabeth and Melissa Moore to both work on the flight and continue working immediately upon arriving in Australia."

Oh! just like when Jesse Duplantis said he needed a private plane. For work. Or when Kenneth Copeland said he needed a private plane. For work.

LifeWay Christian resources is under the umbrella of the Southern Baptist Convention, as is the International Mission Board. (also here).

I want to relate these facts I've shared to the Bible. Paul sent Timothy to the baby church at Corinth. (1 Corinthians 4:17). The Southern Baptist Convention through its sub-arm International Mission Board sends missionaries abroad to plant churches and to help baby churches. Same-same. So far so good.

Last year (2016) the IMB recalled about 1000 missionaries in a cost-cutting measure. Not good. The other part of the SBC 'body', its other sub-arm, Lifeway, subsidizes private planes for Beth Moore.

Would Paul recall Timothy's mission from Corinth in a cost-cutting measure, and then turn around and use the money the very poor church in Macedonia collected (2 Corinthians 8:1-3) to fund his luxury travel? Would he? Think on this: while the SBC-IMB is calling missionaries home to save money, the SBC-Lifeway is spending money for Beth Moore's private plane.

This should not be.

When Beth Moore traveled to Hillsong Australia with her daughter, Hillsong paid her Coach plane fare, but that wasn't good enough. Beth Moore then used her LP Ministry money to upgrade herself and her daughter's travel to luxury First Class. For work.

The Living Proof Ministry does donate to worthy causes, their philanthropy is clear and present. It's not all bad. But the hypocrisy evident in Beth Moore's carefully presented down-home image and the reality of the money-money-money that includes private plane travel for her and her daughter needs to be exposed.

It's a fact that Moore is not a down-home sister, but is in theology and in lifestyle more similar to Joyce Meyer and Victoria Osteen.

Paul had advice on how to engage with Believers and Gentiles.

19 For though I am free from all, I have made myself a servant to all, that I might win more of them. 20 To the Jews I became as a Jew, in order to win Jews. To those under the law I became as one under the law (though not being myself under the law) that I might win those under the law. 21 To those outside the law I became as one outside the law (not being outside the law of God but under the law of Christ) that I might win those outside the law. 22 To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. 23 I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings. (1 Corinthians 9:19-23).

Paul did not say he needed a pillowed palanquin, for work. He did not take the Macedonian church's ministry offering and upgrade himself to a first class cabin on the ship. He did not pretend to sew tents for work by a sandy, smelly creek while actually writing his epistle from a palace filled with luxury comforts on the personal estate of Felix. Paul was real. His life was transparent and open, and he well knew how it would look to present one image while living another. It's called hypocrisy.

Birds of a feather flock together.
Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 9:18,
What is my reward then? Truly that, when I preach the gospel, I may make the gospel of Christ without charge, that I abuse not my power in the gospel.

Paul had a right to be supported. All true ministers do. It is good for the minister to be supported and good for the hearer to give. But for the sake of those who are weak, and for several other reasons, Paul chose to give up his right, for the sake of the Gospel. Gill's Exposition says of the verse,
that I abuse not my power in the Gospel; his right of having a maintenance, whilst he was preaching the Gospel; to have made use of which would have been an abuse of it, since it would have given occasion to the false apostles to reproach and calumniate, and might have been an hindrance to the Gospel of Christ, and a stumbling to some weak minds.
Leaders must make wise choices about their lifestyle for the sake of the Gospel and not appear to be abusing it like Beth Moore does for self-indulgences and personal luxuries.

I'm a reasonable person. I know that weather, illness, and emergencies sometimes impact the travel plans of a busy and sought-after speaker. Earlier on in Moore's ministry, the tax records show an occasional chartered plane. I understand this. Sometimes you've got to get to where you're going in order to honor a commitment. However, Moore's upgrading herself and her daughter to first class on the Living Proof Ministry's dime for the excuse that she can "work" isn't very different from the word of faith preachers' excuses. Also, using ministry money for private jet travel on both Lifeway's and LPL's dime is extremely questionable. This is how a person gets to be a Jesse Duplantis or a Kenneth Copeland. This is how it begins. And for Beth Moore, it has begun.

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

Further Reading

What Does The Bible Say About Material Possessions?
Is owning material things bad? If you are very wealthy, are you in sin? Is there a line drawn in the sand about owning material possessions? Well, the Bible does talk about money and material things quite a bit and doesn’t leave anything for debate. Can you own lots of material possessions and be without sin? The answer is yes, but that road, my friends, is a very treacherous and hard road to walk rightly with the Lord. Let’s look into scripture and see what the Bible says about material things.

From October 2017: Top 15 Richest and most Successful Pastors In the World (We promise that #1 will shock you)

You can't get on a long tube with a bunch of demons. It's deadly!

Megachurches and mega-rich pastors, a graphic

Non-Profit tax returns: search


Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 6, The Glory of Jesus









Further information

God's Glory: Ligonier Devotional

Thinking about Jesus: Owen on meditating on Christ's glory

John Owen quotes on Jesus' glory (Goodreads)


Thirty Days of Jesus Series-

Introduction/Background
Day 1 post
Day 2 post
Day 3 post
Day 4 post
Day 5 post


Thirty Days of Jesus: Day 17, Jesus' Preeminence

Further Reading Grace To You sermon: The preeminence of Christ Desiring God: The preeminence of Jesus for Life Institute for Creatio...