Watch video about Dr. Peterman’s book: Remain Faithful to your Spouse in a Soap Opera Society

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Watch video of New Christian Book about Encouragement by Dr. Peterman

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Don’t Monkey Around With Sin

My wife, Evie, shared a spiritual observation that I would like to pass on to you. She mentioned that she watched a nature show on TV about survival in the jungle. The part that especially interested her was about a very young monkey who was fascinated with a rather large boa constrictor. Evidently the monkey continually bothered the snake but was agile and limber enough to get away from danger without any consequences. The young monkey would not let this predator alone, taunting it and growing very comfortable in its ability to escape danger until it became more entangled with the snake than it intended. The snake grabbed and held the monkey in its grip squeezing it to death crushing its bones. Evie said, “Don’t we do the same with sin? Don’t we toy with it with the mistaken notion that we can escape its grip and consequences anytime we want to?” She was right. We, too often, think we can flirt with sin without any consequences, especially if we did so in the past and seemed to get away with it. The Scripture says in Ephesians 4:27 “Neither give place to the Devil.” This means that we should not toy with Satan and give him any opportunity to get us in his death grip. We must run from the him as far as we can because of his ability to snare us and cause us to fall. First Thessalonians 5:22 says something very similar yet in a more startling fashion, “Abstain from all appearance of evil.” We must not even toy with the appearance of sin let alone with sin itself. If we do fool with sin and its appearance we are very likely end up just like that hapless and foolish monkey who thought taunting the boa constrictor was such fun!!

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Quick Steps to Deal with Anger

This is a review and summary of Dr. Jay Adams excellent pamphlet entitled, What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand? 

ANGER IS NOT ALWAYS WRONG – IT CAN BE A VERY LEGITIMATE EMOTION.

Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry, and sin not . . .” Psalm 7:11 says, “. . . God is angry with the wicked every day.” (If God is angry, it certainly can’t always be wrong). In Mark 3:5 when talking about Jesus clearing the temple of profiteers, Mark said, “And when he had looked around about on them with anger . . .” Jesus was angry with those that were doing wrong.

THE TWO MAIN WRONG RESPONSES TO ANGER:

a. Clamming up
b. Blowing up

We clam up when we keep our anger inside and allow it to build into resentment.
We blow up when we express our anger in irresponsible ways. 1

While anger is not always sin, it is a sin not to deal with anger as God wants us to.

HOW DOES GOD WANT US TO DEAL WITH ANGER?

God doesn’t want us to blow up or clam up but to deal with the problem that caused the anger in the first place.

The answers to the following questions will help you do that:

1. What is the problem that caused the anger?
Explain the problem in as much detail as you can.
2. How much of the problem is your fault?
Explain your part in the problem. Be honest.
3. How can you specifically deal with your part or parts of the problem?
List the ways you can deal with your part in the problem; deal with it.

Once you have dealt with your side of the problem. Allow time for God to work in the other person’s life. Pray for them. Forgive them.
1 Adams, Jay E., What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand? P and R Publishing co., Phillipsburg, NJ. 1975.

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SATAN IS ALIVE AND WELL . . .

by Kenneth O. Peterman

The recent world-wide terrorist attacks prove that Satan is alive and well in our world. Someone has said, “Sin gratifies Satan. When lust or anger burns in the soul, Satan warms himself at the fire.” You might ask, how do you know Satan is behind these attacks? It is true because Scripture teaches that Satan has full power over every unsaved soul. In 2 Corinthians 4:4, Satan is called the ‘god of this world,’ “In whom the ‘god of this world’ hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Satan is also called the ‘god of this world’ or alluded to as such in John 14:30; 16:11; Ephesians 2:2 and 6:12.

Remember during the temptation of our Lord when Satan took Him to a high mountain and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world, he said, “All these things I will give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” It is interesting that Jesus did not reply, “You don’t have the right to give all these kingdoms to me.” But He did say, “Get thee hence.” The Lord did not challenge Satan’s right to all the kingdoms of the world because He knew that Satan was the ‘god of this world’ and had legitimate control over all but God’s children.

Satan originates these world-wide terrorist attacks and carries them out by conscienceless men. If we are in the last days before Jesus returns, Satan knows his time is short and will wreck as much havoc upon the world as possible. In our better moments we must acknowledge that these horrific terrorist attacks demonstrate an evil supernatural force or element at work in our world today. These attacks are so evil they must be more than the acts of man; they must be the acts of the father of evil itself – Satan.

Once a man realizes these terrorist acts are clearly supernatural in origin and scope and evidences the presence and working of Satan, he is forced to acknowledge the reality of the battle between God and the Devil. He must make a decision which side to follow: Jesus Christ, the God of heaven or Satan, the god of this world.

To follow Satan you must do nothing. To follow Jesus Christ, you must acknowledge your sin (Romans 3:23), believe that Jesus died for you (John 1:12; 3:16; 1 Peter 2:24) and call upon the name of the Lord to be saved (Romans 10:13).

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JOIN THE BOYCOTT

While I seldom (actually never) urge folks to sign petitions, I believe this one is an exception. Unless you live on another planet, you’ve heard of the hideous stance by our government to open up our public bathrooms to the opposite sex. This is nothing short of diabolical. As you know, one of the stores that has taken a firm stand for this irresponsible position is TARGET Department stores. They feel it is alright for a man to use the woman’s restroom endangering our women and children. The American Family Association says about TARGET’S position: “Target has crossed the line by intentionally exposing women and girls to voyeurs and sexual predators with their restroom and dressing room policy.”

When I learned of this policy, I went to my local TARGET store (the one in which I frequently shop) and asked the manager if this policy was accurate. She said it was. I must confess that it was difficult to believe such a nice, young lady was telling me about a policy that could actually endanger her life as though it were of no more consequence than discussing the weather.

Christians must do something. One thing we can do is join the boycott against TARGET by signing the petition provided by the American Family Association. This organization is taking a stand and urging all of us to do the same. It doesn’t seem like much but in the short time the petition has been in existence over 1 million have signed it: pledging to boycott TARGET until the policy is changed.

Even though TARGET doesn’t want to acknowledge it, the boycott has already had a incredible effect on the profit margin of the TARGET organization. I urge each of you to sign the petition on the www.afa.net website. The more we boycott TARGET because of this policy, the more they are likely to change this position. This victory will hopefully discourage other stores from adopting the same ungodly policy.

Please go to the website and join the boycott!!  http://www.afa.net/

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Why Use Encourage Others When Dealing with Grief

In my book Encourage Others I give many specific situations in which comfort and encouragement can and should be given. Some of these situations are obvious and rather easy to guess while others are not.

The death of a loved one is probably one of the most obvious categories yet is the most difficult situation to apply comfort. Exactly how do you comfort someone who has lost a loved one? How to you approach them? Should you always use Scripture? Should you encourage them to talk about their departed loved one or should you sit with them and do and say nothing? What should you expect of a person experiencing grief? Does grief manifest itself the same in each case and in each individual? If not, how do you know what to do in each situation? Should you try to direct the thinking of a person in grief? If not, why not? If so, exactly how should you direct their thinking and what should you direct them to think about? Should you encourage mourners to talk? If not, why not? If so, exactly how to you do it? What should you encourage mourners to talk about? Should you try to stop mourners from crying? If so, why? If not, why not?

What is grief anyway? Are there stages in the grief process? If so, what are they and how do they differ from each other? If there are stages of grief, how do you know what stage a person is in and how do you deal with that stage? What specific biblical truth does a mourner need when going through each stage of grief? What attitudes should a mourner be encouraged to have? Does a mourner need practical help? If not, why not, If so, what type of practical help does a mourner need? Does their need for practical help differ in each stage of grief? Encourage Others provides answers to these questions and prepares you to know exactly how to comfort others in one of the hardest situations of all – the death of a loved one.

When you first log into the biblicalmatters.com website, click and watch the short video about the book Encourage Others.

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QUICK STEPS TO DEAL WITH ANGER by Dr. Kenneth O. Peterman

1. ANGER IS NOT ALWAYS WRONG – IT CAN BE A VERY LEGITIMATE EMOTION.

Ephesians 4:26 says “Be angry, and sin not . . .” Psalm 7:11 says, “. . . God is angry with the wicked every day.” (If God is angry, it certainly can’t always be wrong). In Mark 3:5 when talking about Jesus clearing the temple of profiteers, Mark said, “And when he had looked around about on them with anger . . .” Jesus was angry with those that were doing wrong.

2. THE TWO MAIN WRONG RESPONSES TO ANGER:

a. Clamming up
b. Blowing up

We clam up when we keep our anger inside and allow it to build into resentment.
We blow up when we express our anger in irresponsible ways. 1

While anger is not always sin, it is a sin not to deal with anger as God wants us to.

3. HOW DOES GOD WANT US TO DEAL WITH ANGER?

God doesn’t want us to blow up or clam up but to deal with the problem that caused the anger in the first place.

The answers to the following questions will help you do that:

1. What is the problem that caused the anger?
Explain the problem in as much detail as you can.
2. How much of the problem is your fault?
Explain your part in the problem. Be honest.
3. How can you specifically deal with your part or parts of the problem?
List the ways you can deal with your part in the problem; deal with it.

Once you have dealt with your side of the problem. Allow time for God to work in the other person’s life. Pray for them. Forgive them.
1 Adams, Jay E., What Do You Do When Anger Gets The Upper Hand? P and R Publishing co., Phillipsburg, NJ. 1975.

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Reviews of Dr. Peterman’s latest book: Encourage Others

WHAT A WONDERFUL BOOK!  by Toby Drews
I am so moved by this book. As an alcoholism counselor, I try to help recovering alcoholics see beneath the surface as to their “missing links” to others — see “way down in the engine room” what makes them tick, where they might still be selfish and self-centered and not even know it . . . and who wants to see “their blind spots” in their recovery, to help them attain peace of mind, to more deeply love others, and to please God. This book has so many AHA’s in it ——-helps us all see the nuances that get in the way of truly helping and encouraging others. Things, as a counselor, I’ve never thought of as being as important as they are. This book is also so important to help sponsors in twelve-step programs, to learn how to better encourage their sponsees, their “pigeons.” What a Blessing this book is.

How can I effectively help those in crisis of any kind?” Stop wondering and start reading Encourage Others.  by Marjie Reed

This book answered many questions for me as to how to effectively help those who in crisis of any kind. This book is clear, concise and well supported by great men of the faith. This writer has thoroughly researched the subject of exhortation from Scripture. It is a great book to read and have on the shelf for reference when dealing with a problem that we as lay-people may not know how to handle. I can imagine that professional counselors could greatly benefit from the guidance in this book, as well. Encourage Others is easy to read and full of insight and helps. A must for anyone who desires to be an effective help to those with a hurting heart.

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Can a Christian go a casino to eat and not to gamble?

by Kenneth O. Peterman

Going to dinner at a casino is not a sin as far as I can determine, but the greater question is: is it wise?

I’m sure some Christians will argue that casinos offer great bargains on food and entertainment and they may very well be right. And, I suppose, there are some Christians who might be able to take advantage of these offers without gambling or getting involved in wrong.

The question is not whether they can do it but should they?

First Thessalonians 5:22 encourages us not only to avoid sin but also to avoid the very appearance of wrong doing when it says, Abstain from all appearance of evil. I doubt whether anyone would question that casinos are identified with the darker side of life: the entertainment, the seductive dress of the waitresses and many of the patrons, the greed of the gamblers, the emphasis on drinking, and the pleasure seeking all indicate more of an appearance of evil, than of godliness.

Years ago while attending an antique show in Atlantic City, New Jersey, I decided to walk into one of the casinos on the Boardwalk. It didn’t take very long to realize that I wasn’t exactly in the most edifying environment. Actually, the Scripture encourages that we choose the very opposite surroundings: Flee youthful lust: but follow righteousness . . . (2 Timothy 2:22); Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul. (1 Peter 2:11); Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world. (Titus 2:12) These verses operate far from the world of the casino.

Although the original question assumes the individual only wants to eat and not to gamble, he must remember that the overall character and purpose of a casino is to gamble—nothing more, nothing less! The more you hang around the casino, the more likely you are to gamble. The effect of the environment might be more devastating than you think. The situation could be very much like the man who bought a baby boa constrictor as a pet. He enjoyed the snake as it was growing, and often allowing it to entangled itself around his body when showing it off to friends. Without realizing it, the snake became much stronger than the man thought and the next time he allowed the snake to entangle his body, his friends were horrified when they heard his bones begin to crush as the man struggled in vain to get out of the snake’s grip. But it was too late. Could this type of thing happen to someone who becomes enamored with a casino?

Just for the sake of argument, let’s suppose you can handle dining at a casino without being tempted to gamble. What about the influence on your family members and friends? Do you have the right to exercise your liberty in light of the possibility of stumbling a weaker brother or sister in the Lord? First Corinthians 8: 9 says otherwise, But take heed lest by any means this liberty of yours become a stumbling block to them that are weak. Do you want other believers to copy your example and possibly fall into temptation? Do you want those in your family to follow your lead? Do you really want your children to grow up in such a compromised atmosphere?

Ask yourself: Is the advantage of enjoying a dinner at a casino worth the possible disadvantages to yourself, to your family, and to other believers?

It’s your decision, but why not exercise your liberty and go to another restaurant.

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Sparks Fly At Christmas

By Kenneth O. Peterman
On Christmas day during a short after-dinner devotional I simply asked the family to give me their opinion about a portion of Scripture. I never thought it would turn into a rousing discussion with strong interaction.

I used for my text the simple and familiar verse of John 1:14 that states, And the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us . . . mentioning that the Word was obviously Jesus who was made flesh. I touched on the subject that His incarnation at the stable in Bethlehem was not the first time He appeared on earth and gave a couple of the appearances of the Lord Jesus Christ as the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament. So far, so good. then I said, “now I would like your opinion of the rendering by one author of the next phrase . . . and dwelt among us. He worded the text like this . . . And the Word was made flesh and moved into our neighborhood!* What do you think of the phrase, . . . and moved into our neighborhood?”

I could see by their faces they had strong and differing opinions. Some felt the phrase was condescending for the Lord; others felt that it seems to reflect the exact condescension that Jesus took upon Himself when He came as a babe at Bethlehem; others felt it was justified because it seemed to represent a paraphrase (a rewording of the English) and not a translation of the original text.

I won’t tell you how our discussion concluded because I want you to think about it.

* I am not sure of the source of this phrase, but I think it is Eugene Peterson’s book, The Message.

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Why is faith essential for victory in our spiritual battle?

by Kenneth O. Peterman

Faith allows us to overcome the ungodly world system in which we live.

First John 5:4 says, For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith. The word translated world does not refer to the world of matter or to the world of nature or to the world of humanity, but to the system of ungodly principles that governs unbelievers. The shield of faith successfully deals with the principles of the ungodly world system.

In chapter 2:16 of this same epistle, John categorizes the contents of the ungodly world system when he says, for all that is in the world (system), the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world (system).

The lust of the flesh includes the fiery darts of uncontrolled passion, impurity, indulgence and independence from God. The lust of the eyes includes the fiery darts of greed, shameless self-promotion, pomp, and selfishness. The pride of life includes the fiery darts of arrogance, pride, personal ambition, status-seeking, and self-glorification. We have all seen these fiery darts destroy friendships, cause divorce, encourage suicide, produce mental and emotions breakdowns, and induce financial ruin.

We utilize the shield of faith against the world system when we:

Combat the lust of the flesh through holiness.

Foundational verse: 1 Corinthians 6:10, 11 says, Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God. (11) And such were some of you; but you are washed, but you are sanctified, but you are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus and by the Spirit of our God.

We overcome the lust of the flesh when we:

Think and meditate upon good and godly things: Philippians 4:8 says, Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are honest, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.
Love one another: 1 Timothy 1:5 says, Now the end of the commandment is love out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience and of faith unfeigned . . .
Flee youthful lusts: 2 Timothy 2:22 (a) says, Flee also youthful lusts,
Follow righteous living: 2 Timothy 2:22 (b) says, but follow righteousness, faith, love, peace, with them that call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
Avoid temptation: 2 Corinthians 10:13 says, There has no temptation taken you but such as in common to man; but God is faithful, who will not permit you to be tempted above that you are able, but will, with the temptation, also make the way to escape that you may be able to bear it.

God promises to sustain us in holiness. Our holiness does not depend upon our own strength but on the promises of God.

Combat the lust of the eyes through hospitality.

Foundational verse: Romans 12:13 says, Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality.

We combat the lust of the eyes when we:

Give to needy believers: Romans 12:13 says, Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality.
Visit those in prison: Hebrews 13:2 says, Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them who suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
Serve others in need with our time, money, and energy: 1 Peter 4:9 says, Use hospitality one to another without grudging.

It’s difficult to be greedy and selfish when you are serving others by sharing your money, time, and energy.

Combat the pride of life through humility.

Foundational verse: Ephesians 4:1 says, I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that you walk worthy of the vocation to which you are called . . .

We combat the pride of life when we:

Forbear one another in love: Ephesians 4:2 says, With all lowliness and meekness, with long-suffering, forbearing one another in love,
Keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace: Ephesians 4:3 says, Endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
Do nothing through strife or vainglory: Philippians 2:3 says, (a) Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory. . .
Consider others first: Philippians 2:3 (b) says, . . . but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than themselves. Philippians 2:4 Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
Submit to the elder: 1 Peter 5:5 (a) says, . . . you younger, submit yourselves unto the elder . . .
Subject yourselves one to another: 1 Peter 5:5 (b) says, . . . Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility . . .

God does not expect us to conjure up the ability to be holy; He provides that ability through the indwelling presence and control of the Holy Spirit of God. As we yield to the Spirit, holiness is a natural result. The more time we spend in holy pursuits, the less time will be spent pursuing deeds of arrogance and pride.

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