|May 28, 2004|
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ROAD TRIP: My wife and I are scheduled to take a road trip through Idaho, Washington, Oregon, and California. We are looking for a new place to move with affordable housing since here in San Diego home prices are outrageous. I've developed an itinerary of the cities (and peripheral areas) we are mainly interested in checking out. So, if any of you want to show us around an area then please us at email@example.com. I know we will get lots of emails. We always do. But, because we have such limited time, we can only meet with one person or couple per area -- and that would be dedicated to cruising through neighborhoods looking at homes and prices. Remember, we are trying to find a home and are looking for areas with low cost housing that is in decent neighborhoods and we know that the "natives" know the good areas as we pass through. We want help and advice. Thanks.
CARM CONVENTION: The CARM Convention was last weekend. The turnout was rather poor. Nevertheless, we have it recorded on VHS and DVD and will be offering them on the CARM website in the future.
ONLINE SCHOOL: The online school is doing well. Its success is helping me to work on the apologetics version which, I hope, will be even better than the CARM school of theology. As usual, I will seek to keep things simple yet comprehensive enough to provide an excellent foundation for defending the Christian faith. Of course, I do recommend that anyone interested in the apologetics school do some prep work by first signing up for the school of theology (http://www.carm.org/online.htm gives you all the info). You need to know what you believe before you tackle error and become better at defending the faith. Again, you must know what you believe before you can defend it and expose the errors of false religious and atheistic systems. In fact, do you know what you believe? Do you know what the basics are of the Crhistian faith? If you want to know and if you are interested in supporting CARM at the same time, then check out the demo of the Online School of Theology at www.carm.org/demo/equip.htm. The full version has a tuition of $50 and you can sign up at http://carm.1plan.net/login.php. I'll have an early demo of the apologetics school ready in a couple weeks.
WIFE'S HEALTH: Please keep my wife in your prayers. She has Marfan Syndrome and her back is acting up. There is the possibility of back surgery looming on the horizon. We'll see.
JOB SITUATION: As some of you know, my job situation has been rather tentative lately. Well, I just found out today that they are probably going to cut heads and that includes mine. There isn't any date yet when this will happen, but it looks like it will be within the next few weeks, if not much sooner. Therefore, if you could remember me in your prayers regarding this, the possible move, and trying to go full time in CARM, I would greatly appreciate it. Only the Lord can work everything out and I'm trusting Him with all of this.
CARM'S DIRECTION: Please pray for me to have wisdom in knowing what the will of the Lord is regarding CARM. I'm praying to be in God's will and do whatever He wants us to do and go wherever He wants us to go. I hope, by God's grace, to produce downloadable lessons for Sunday School, Bible studies, etc., on a variety of subjects. Additionally, I want to provide audio and video lessons. It all takes a lot of work and I'll be needing help.
CARM ON PDA: I've begun converting the entire CARM website to PDA. Actually, it is just a stripped down version of CARM with NO graphics. It seems to be around 22 megs. Sound like a good idea? I'll release it in a month or so.
INTERESTED IN WORKING FOR CARM?: One of the goals of moving is to find a cheaper place to live so that I can then hire a staff for CARM who would work with me at the CARM location. Of course, initially anyone who works with CARM would have to either raise his/her own support or work at CARM part time with another job. I am aware that so much can be done over the internet and that proximity isn't a necessity. But, the truth is that CARM needs to grow and I need to have people with me with the same vision and calling. The areas that need to be addressed in CARM's future include web design, writing articles, answering emails, research, grunt-work, and public speaking. I do all of these things now and am inundated. There is more than enough to do. Sound enticing? Want to move to where CARM is in the future (either California, Idaho, Washington, or Oregon)? Do you have a bachelors degree (but don't have to have one), have a passion for apologetics, and want to do what you can for the body of Christ? If so, then please write me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I don't need a resume, just a paragraph or so about yourself, age, education, etc. I'm only gathering information at this point. So, pray and trust God.
There is a God. You are not Him: One of the best things I learned in Seminary was when a professor wrote on the board "There is a God. You are not Him." Boy, has that proven true! Over the years I've discovered how unwise, inexperienced, and ignorant I really am. Also, I've noticed that God doesn't consult me with making decisions about running the universe. And, if that isn't humiliating enough, He doesn't take any of my suggestions about how things ought to be in my own life. I don't understand why God doesn't take my suggestions. But, it comes down to one thing: There is a God. I am not Him!
The Mormons teach you can become gods. The New Agers teach that you are, basically, already god(s) in nature. Certain heretical "Christian" teachers on TV say we are little gods. And, some religions teach that when you die you join with the god-consciousness so you can "realize your full potential in oneness with the divine essence"...or whatever that means. They sure have high opinions of themselves.
When I look inside, I don't find a divine nature. I find a sinner, a person who is struggling with sin and hoping to please the true God as he stumbles through life. I also find the indwelling Lord who has cleansed me and continues to cleans me of my sins. Praise be to Jesus.
"There is a god. You are not Him," is a delightful piece of truth. Think about it. Who created the universe? Was it the infinite and wise God, or was it me...or you? I have not heard whether if God consulted any of you about how universe should be run. If He has, please let me know. But as it stands now, He doesn't need our help.
When I look back on my life and I remember some of the prayers and desires of my heart, I find that I'm quite happy He has not answered most of them. Many times I have reminisced and winced at some of the immature and self-centered requests I have laid before God. The older I get, the more my prayers include thanks to the Lord for not answering my prayers. Now, I find myself praying that God do with me as He wills and that He teach me what He wants.
Since I am not God -- and the more I realize that -- the more I accept the fact that God knows a lot more than I do and is quite capable of seeing the future. He is perfectly able to weave into my life (and yours) answers and denials to prayer requests. In fact, He is quite good at providing for us in ways that we have never even conceived of. He is so wise and so perfect and so incredibly good, that we can trust completely Him to hear our prayers and know what is best for us, even if we don't lift it up to Him.
Now, sometimes this means that we must confess our ignorance before God since we do not understand why He will not answers some prayers such as healing others or saving others the way we want Him to. But, it is not for us to decide what is and is not answered. It is not our world. It is God's world. We are His people and we are to follow Him and seek His will in our lives no matter what it is. He is to receive the glory, not us.
Have you tried to be the God of your own life? Have you tried to inform God how things should be done? Have you spent your prayer times expressing self centered desires and wants? I have. But, I have also sought the will of God and asked the Lord to work His will in my life -- in spite of me. It is comforting to know that God is in control and that I am not. It is comforting to know that God loves me more than I can imagine. It's comforting to know that God can see the future and that He has it all mapped out for me. It is comforting to know that I'm trusting in an infinitely good and holy God and that He will provide for me, no matter what.
If you truly understand that there is a God and that you are not Him, then you can begin to relinquish your own rights, hopes, desires, and wants and submit them to His will. Bend your own will to submission to His work in your life. Trust Him in all things. He is God and you are not.
"To you it was shown that you might know that the Lord, He is God; there is no other besides Him," (NASB).
If you think CARM is a worthwhile ministry, please seriously consider supporting it financially and prayerfully as we move closer to full time status. CARM is a ministry to the Internet that affects thousands of people in the real world. If you want to be a part of supporting this missionary work that please prayerfully consider donations. All donations are tax deductible. (If the buttons below did not work, please go to http://www.CARM.org/goods/donations.htm). If you do contribute, could you please email me at email@example.com and let me know? Thanks and God bless.
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Rev. Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet. Equipping the church to defend the faith in a secular society.
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