|July 21st, 2005|
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(The server crashed during the email send so I am resending it. I apologize if you receive this two times.)
Welcome to the July 21st newsletter.
It has been too long since the last newsletter. I apologize for the delay. Life has been hectic and I have been overwhelmed with projects, typo corrections, emails, writing, research, and general fatigue. I'll try and make up for it in this newsletter.
As many of you know I had planned to quit my job on July 1 and move full-time and to CARM. Unfortunately, that has not happened because of medical insurance reasons. I have mentioned that my wife has Marfan syndrome (a connective tissue disorder affecting the entire body). As a result, she needs occasional surgeries to literally put joints back in place. Her hands, feet, back, are all affected -- mild pain is also a constant problem. You would not know by looking at her but she is, in a real sense, falling apart. Add to this that she has recentlythe suffered a relapse of Siliac Sprue. It is an allergy to wheat....as if Marfan syndrome wasn't enough. Anyway, it took a couple three weeks to get it under control.
As it stands, we have not been able to find insurance will cover her and my whole family without costing way too much. I want to be able to do this Ministry full-time, but we are still short about $800 a month that would cover insurance. That is why I'm not full time yet. We thought that we could go without Insurance for a little while as I built up CARM and its support, but the recent events have pushed that into the future. We're still looking for insurance and when we find some something that we can afford and will will cover her and our children, then we are probably going to take the leap into full-time status. It would be a true step of faith.
That reminds me, so many people have e-mailed me and said, "Just trust God and go. If you are doing God's will, he will provide." While the statement is very true, the Bible also tells us to be wise and to count the cost before you undertake a project. Since I am responsible for the welfare of my family, I must count the cost in more ways than one. Nevertheless, as I continue to give this to the Lord, I know that our needs will be met.
My family and I took a vacation in Southern California and we were gone for two weeks. Since I've been up here in Idaho for about a year now, my return trip to San Diego was rather interesting. I have grown accustomed to the slower pace of life , the politeness of people, and a lack of traffic. In short, I don't miss San Diego anymore after having visited and returning here to home. We are blessed here in Idaho.
I want to thank all of you who have been supporting financially. You need to know that it is because of your support, that I am able to do what I do with CARM. I'm not just saying this. My secular job only pays me $11 an hour and I only work 20 hours a week. The reason I am still there is solely for the medical insurance. Of course, it goes without saying that there is absolutely no way that it would provide for my family on that income. The only other source of income I have is through the support this ministry receives from the great Christians that have undertaken the burden of helping to support CARM. So, when I say thank you, I'm not simply uttering obligatory words of gratitude. I am honestly and sincerely thanking you. You are helping to provide for my family as well as providing the undergirding support for the continuation of CARM whereby I am able to continue to research and write. Again, thank you very much.
There are three books I'm working on. I have put two of them on hold to finish what I tentatively call "The Garden." It is a teaching novel. The idea is to present a fictional account where an angel is given the responsibility of answering a man's questions about the meaning of life, purpose, evil, creation, salvation, et cetera. The book is aimed at unbelievers and it was motivated out of the books called "Conversations with God" which has become a bestseller series and purports to be actual conversations a man has with God. Did you get that? He says they are real conversations with God! The only problem is what he is teaching is antichrist theology. Well, I started thinking that I wish we had something like this in Christianity; hence, I came up with an idea and have been working on it for several weeks.
Undertaking such a work has been challenging. How do you keep the interest of unbelievers while you're trying to teach them proper Christian principles?. Well, I think I found a way. If you're curious to read the first chapter please go to www.carm.org/temp/01.htm. It is the second draft and needs to be polished a bit more, but you'll get the idea of what I'm trying to do. In short, it is about a man who is driven by the unanswered questions about the purpose and meaning of life who is given an audience with an angel who answers his questions. Just so you know, it is not until the third chapter that the main character, Mark, actually starts dialoguing with the angel about the questions. But, the first two chapters are the hook. Anyway, I'm interested in any feedback you would have. I hope to send out copies to publishers requesting publication. If no one picks it up, I will self publish it and provide it on CARM. Again, the idea is to reach unbelievers. The book is designed to be intriguing, and yet informative, a book that a Christian could hand to an unbeliever that would, hopefully, get them hooked from the beginning and keep them interested enough to want to continue to read to the end. It is a difficult balance to produce, but I think it can be done.
I had been pastoring a small home church for about half a year here in Idaho. It was mainly a rest stop for several families who were tired of looking for churches to attend. But, the Lord has seen fit to move the families into regular established churches and our home fellowship is no longer. This is sad as well as good news. It's sad in that our fellowship was very tight and very good and we all enjoyed it. But it's good because people were able to have a rest before they went looking for other churches. Now they are fellowshipping with other believers in larger bodies. Praise God. By the way, it was not because of my preaching which they said was excellent. It was for the kids who needed more stuff geared for them. Pray for us too as we continue to look for a church to attend.
CARM slowing down?
I do not know what the issue is, but the rate of increase of visitors to CARM has been slowing down. For nine years I have kept a chart of the page views on the homepage. If you want to see that chart go to www.carm.org/temp/chart.htm. Though the chart shows a steady increase, the rate of increase is declining -- I have details that you cannot see in the chart. Typically, at the end of each July there's a certain rate of increase and that rate has not occurred. In addition, the CARM discussion boards are also lagging quite a bit. I don't know what the problem is but since there are, of course, many groups and individuals who want CARM not to succeed, perhaps they are praying against CARM, hacking, or it could be that the internet is growing in different areas. I don't know, but if you could remember to pray for the situation that would be great.
Wicca and Kaballah
As many of you know Wicca and Kabbalah are increasing in popularity in America. As I've been working on books, e-mails, etc., I have not been researching as many projects as I would like to. But a few days ago I went and bought a bunch of books on Wicca and Kabbalah in order to start researching them both for release on the CARM web site. The night that I bought them, I had a nightmare dealing with spiritual oppression. When I woke, I clearly remember saying to myself that it was because of those books. I had already prayed over them and have been trusting the Lord for protection from anything occultic that is associated with either topic. But, the enemy persists.
Also, it seems that there might be a spiritual battle coming because -- and I know this is subjective -- but I feel as though I'm under spiritual attack and that more is coming. Again, I need your prayers. Just as those who have been supporting financially are of great value to the continuation this Ministry, so to are those of you who pray for CARM. Please remember to pray. Please don't forget. My family, this Ministry, and I need all the spiritual support we can get. This is not an easy thing to do and I must face spiritual oppression, various attacks, and the like, as I read through occult material and study it in depth. The enemy does not want me to do this which is why I need your prayer support.
Email Feedback - Hate Mail - (I get this more than you realize)
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Nail it to the cross
The greatest example of love ever demonstrated is found in the sacrifice of Jesus where he took our place and bore our sins so that we might receive forgivingness and blessing. Jesus lived what he taught; after all, Jesus said that the greatest act of love was to lay one's life down for his friends (John 15:13). Therefore, the primary way that we show love for others, is to lay our lives down for them.
In the case of Jesus, he laid his life down by voluntarily going to the cross. There is no literal cross for us to bear, but there are things that we can nail to the cross. The first thing that we need to nail to the cross, is our pride. It was pride that lifted up the evil one to rebel against God. It is pride in our own hearts that separates us from the Lord's fellowship and moves us to do things contrary to his will. None of us are immune from a touch of pride.
Comfort is the next thing to nail to the cross. We are so comfortable in so many ways. Though there's nothing wrong with comfort in itself, when it comes between God and us, or between doing what is right or staying comfortable, then we need to nail that to the cross, too. And don't forget, this can be the case in church, as well as the home, at work, on the road, or wherever. Doing what is right sometimes requires sacrifice.
How about selfishness? Have you taken it to the cross and left it there? I have...many times. The problem is that it is easy to go to the cross and confess our pride, our laziness, our overdependence on comfort, and our selfishness, and be forgiven of it all. Yet, these things reside in our hearts even after we've given them to the Lord. We continue to war and to struggle against our sinful desires and habits.
But, this is why Jesus says “If anyone wishes to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me." Notice that he says "daily." Jesus recognized the strength of our flesh and he taught us a simple lesson. Every day, take your sins, your bad habits, and nail them to the cross by confessing them to the Lord and receiving forgiveness in Christ. Then continue to fight against them.
Even though we may never have complete victory over our flesh in this life, by the grace of God that victory is guaranteed in the person of Jesus, and God sees us in him complete, pure, and righteous. Thank you Jesus.
"Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity; and I have trusted in the Lord without wavering."
SUPPORT CARM FOR FULL TIME MINISTRY
We need your support. 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.
Please support CARM
Rev. Matt Slick, your missionary to the Internet.
Equipping Christians. Defending the Faith.