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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SEVEN BASIC NEEDS OF CHILDREN by Kenneth O. Peterman

SEVEN BASIC NEEDS OF CHILDREN by Kenneth O. Peterman

A NEED TO BELONG: to be wanted
Wise parents develop a unity with the family that includes all children equally. Children need to be a member of a unified whole.
Scripture: I Corinthians 12:12-31; Genesis 33:5.

A NEED FOR UNIQUENESS: to be an individual
Wise parents create a sends of individuality in each child. Children need to know their distinctive contribution to the whole based upon their talents and abilities.
Scripture: Psalm 139

A NEED FOR CONTROL: to cope with their environment
Wise parents teach their children how to control their environment by exercising their abilities by solving problems.
Scripture: 2 Timothy 3:15-17

A NEED FOR RECOGNITION: to be appreciated
Wise parents recognize the unique accomplishments of each child.
Scripture: Proverbs 20:11

A NEED FOR COMMUICATION: to be in touch with others
Wise parents develop social skills by encouraging proper inter-action within the family.
Scripture: Ephesians 4:29; 5:1

A NEED FOR DISCIPLINE: to be corrected
Wise parents encourage a sense of responsibility by implementing a consistent discipline program.
Scripture: Ephesians 6:4

A NEED FOR INDEPENDENCE: to be responsible
Wise parents foster risk-taking tasks and projects for each child according to their abilities.
Scripture: Proverbs 22:6

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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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Prophecy coming to pass before our eyes?

This week at the United Nations both Barack Obama and Vladimir Putin gave speeches. It seems rather clear that Present Obama surrendered his place as a world leader and allowed President Putin to step into the vacuum. Perhaps we cannot make a final conclusion from a single situation but it may indicate the future path of these two great powers. It is interesting that Ezekiel 38 clearly states that Russia will be a world power at the end of the age – not the Soviet Union – but Russia. It sure seems as though Putin is building that nation up again to take a leadership role in the world and that President Obama is doing everything he can to lessen our authority on the world stage. Just recently I listened to a very timely and important sermon in Isaiah by one of my friends who is well-equipped to give such an exposition. He received the highest award given in Theology at Grace Theological Seminary and over the years has honed his ability as an expositor. This message is an exposition of Isaiah 3:1-15 entitled Chaos of a Collapsing Society, Part 1. It’s scary how accurately this message mirrors our nation today! Click the following link to hear the message. tinysa.com/sermon/113131225343

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A BIBLICAL THOUGHT ABOUT ABORTION

by Kenneth O. Peterman

Just recently, the hideousness of abortion surfaced again in the unspeakable videos allegingly exposing the practices of Planned Parenthood. One must bear in mind that the biblical definition of love in 1 Corinthians 13 includes the concept of protection. In verse 7, “beareth all things” literally means to protect or to cover. Protect from what? Protect from harm and danger. And who needs protection more than an innocent, vulnerable and defenseless baby in the womb? Consequently, those who abort babies cannot claim to have any understanding of God’s love because the protection aspect of God’s love and abortion are mutually exclusive. Abortion is a clear violation of God’s protective love.

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NEW IN PAPERBACK BY DR. PETERMAN – ENCOURAGE OTHERS: Support and Strengthen Fellow Believers

Encouraging others is a lot like archery. Any child at summer camp can shoot a bow and arrow. While it is easy to learn; it is hard to perfect. Likewise, everyone can encourage others but not everyone can hit the bullseye. This book perfects you into a master spiritual encourager, understanding more in-depth the stresses people face, appreciating more completely the contexts in which people suffer, comprehending more fully the scope and power of this gift.  In Encourage Others you will learn to help others from a biblical perspective, to string your bow of compassion toward the needy in your family and in the church – and to hit the mark! Encourage Others is now in paperback for only $6.99 and still in ebook format for $4.99. Click the link below to read more or to buy the paperback or ebook format.

http://amzn.to/1TykdWB

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DISTINCTIONS OF CHRISTIAN THERAPY – PART 2

By Kenneth O. Peterman

CHRISTIAN THERAPY OPERATES SOLELY UPON THE POWER OF THE WORD OF GOD AND NOT UPON HUMAN INSTRUMENTALITY.

Biblical counseling centers around the Word of God, believing that “it is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of the soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart” (Hebrews 4:12). The Christian therapist believes in and uses the Word of God in the counseling sessions and in the homework assignments. Certainly other counseling means are used but God’s Word is the basis of the whole counseling process.

CHRISTIAN THERAPY GIVES AN ABSOLUTE DELIVERANCE FROM ADDICTION BECAUSE IS PROVIDES A NEW LIFESTYLE THAT IS SATISFYING AND LASTING.

Biblical counseling offers specific and definite answers to problems that lead to addiction, problems such as loneliness, fear, worry, rejection, pride, neglect, broken relationships — just to name a few. As these pressures and problems are dealt with from the Word of God, the counselee realizes that there is no more need to use drugs to solve his or her everyday problems. The Word of God offers a new and wonderful lifestyle along with the power and the motivation to live in it. Consequently, the individual is delivered from the ungodly context and lifestyle associated with addiction.

CHRISTIAN THERAPY TRANSFORMS CHARACTER; IT DOES NOT MERELY REFORM CONDUCT.

When a man or woman accepts Christ as Savior, he or she becomes a new creation in Christ. Second Corinthians 5:17 says, “Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creation; old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” The core of a person’s existence changes, experiencing something never experienced before: a new life, a new motivation, a new viewpoint, a new power and a new purpose. This wonderful reality is the basis of and the reason for the success of Christian therapy.

CHRISTIAN THERAPY DEALS WITH WHY A PERSON IS ADDICTED AND NOT MERELY WITH THE ADDICTION.

Christian therapy deals with the root of all addictive behavior: sin. Once a counselee comes to Christ as Savior, then and only then can he or she have victory over sin. Only as an individual grows in the Lord through the Word of God can they experience the practical victory over previous sinful behavior. Christian therapy strives to help a counselee understand the principles of the Word of God and the victorious experience of living in their new nature.

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Distinctives of Christian Therapy

by Dr. Kenneth O. Peterman

While many different types of counseling today represent themselves as Christian, some are much less than Christian and others are downright frauds. How can we know the difference? What makes Christian therapy obviously Christian and definitely genuine is its approach to the Word of God. The therapist or counselor who puts the Word of God at the center of his or her practice is genuinely Christian. It’s not enough to come from a religious or a general Christian perspective — the Word of God must be the basis and emphasis of truly Christian counseling.

In order to evaluate a true Christian or biblical therapy, there are several distinctives to consider:

True Christian therapy views a drug or alcohol abuser as a person, not as a label such as addict or drunkard.

This is not just a play on words. The genuine Christian counselor does not define his client in terms of his addiction. When a person is labeled an addict or a drunk, he begins to define himself as such and greatly hinders his struggle for freedom. A true Christian counselor stays away from labels and sees his client as a person who obviously needs help.

True Christian therapy views recovery as an accomplished fact for the believer.

Biblical therapy sees the Christian individual not working toward recovery but from victory which has already taken place in Christ. Second Peter 1:3, 4 says, “According to his divine power hath he given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness . . . by which are given unto us exceedingly great and precious promises, that by these you might be partakers of the divine nature . . .” In Christ each believer receives a new nature – a divine nature – that combats the old sinful nature and guarantees victory. Born-again believers are working from a victorious position in Christ and not from the failure position of the addictive old nature.

True Christian therapy views a born-again person as capable of dealing with his or her addiction through the implementation of biblical principles.

When a person receives the divine nature by new birth, he or she is encouraged to grow in the Lord (2 Peter 3:18) through knowing the Word of God and through implementing all the precious promises given in God’s word. This divine nature forms the basis for a totally new lifestyle. This new lifestyle provides new motivations, new desires, new wants and new needs with the goal and purpose of changing character. In other words, true Christian counseling does not merely reform a man’s conduct but transforms his character with permanent results.

True Christian therapy deals with why an individual is addicted, not merely with his addiction.

True Christian therapy deals with the root of a man’s problem and not merely with symptoms. Biblical counseling deals with — sin! Treating addiction as sin is vitally important to recovery because it is the only way to provide lasting hope. Treating addiction as a disease is hopeless because there is no cure to this condition and there is a permanent loss of control. Organizations (like AA) view addiction as a disease which can never be cured. The motto of these organizations is “Once an alcoholic, always an alcoholic.” This is a dismal and dark conclusion that true Christian counseling cannot and will not accept. My ebook What is Alcoholism? explains why alcoholism is a sin and not a disease.

Use these four guidelines to evaluate Christian counselors and therapists.

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