Welcome to the Sept. 28, 2007 Newsletter
Mini-devotional - our gentleness and their repentance.
"And the Lord’s bond-servant must not be quarrelsome, but be kind to all, able to teach, patient when wronged, 25 with gentleness correcting those who are in opposition, if perhaps God may grant them repentance leading to the knowledge of the truth," (2 Tim. 2:24-25).
Differences of opinion can sometimes lead to quarrels. If we are to be the bond servants of the Lord (the willing servants of God), then we need to be able to manifest kindness and patience when we are trying to teach people about Jesus. Paul tells us that when we need to correct someone who is in opposition to the faith, we need to do it with gentleness and patience.
Notice how Paul relates our performance with his granting repentance to the unbelievers. I'm not saying that God only grants repentance if we are kind and gentle. But, there is a relationship. There is the unknown of how God's sovereignty and our witness leads to the salvation to others. We cannot fathom it, but we can walk in obedience and be patient, gentle, and kind.
Therefore, when you seek to teach someone who is in opposition to the Christian faith, do it with kindness, with patience, and with gentleness. And, hopefully, God would grant them repentance leading to salvation.
In the last newsletter I mentioned my struggles with the CARM office computer. Man, can computers be frustrating! I finally ended up going back to Windows XP so I could have a stable system that would also integrate my calendar with my cell phone, and enable me to work another very important program that Vista would not allow. Its a good thing that I spent five years as a computer tech. Without that experience I would not have been able to get everything up and running. Praise God.
Speaking of computers, does anyone out there have any computer parts they want to get rid of? I'm always looking for hardware so I can build new systems, especially since were going to have a new employee next year. He will need a system.
I don't want to be picky, but if the parts are more than three years old they probably won't be powerful enough to handle all the heavy software used in the CARM office. Still, I thought I'd ask. If you have anything, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pinnacle Video Editing
As you know, I have been gathering information, software, and hardware in order to produce evangelism/teaching videos for release on the Internet and DVD. It has been a lot more difficult than I ever imagined. Gathering all the information is like integrating different people groups: software, technology, filming, etc. Anyway, someone sent me an older version of Avid Liquid 5. That enabled me to buy an upgrade to the latest version 7.2, instead of having to fork out the full price. Praise God for this.
However, I have since learned that video editing software has been specifically designed by people who are trying to make it as mind numbingly difficult as possible to learn. I find basically nothing intuitive in the program. Every step of the way is like trying to climb a vertical rope for 50 feet. So, please bear with me as I try and teach myself the software so I can get to the point of being able to actually use it competently.
Love and Hate
CARM is constantly getting e-mails of thanks and praise and condemnation. Here are a few...in the raw. (At the suggestion of a reader, the hate mail is first so that the last taste in your mouth, is the love mail). "
- Hate mail:
- "I bet you fancy yourself smart and wise and must feel a personal sense of satisfaction in tearing down other's beliefs. There are so many contradictions in your own philosophies and understandings of what you profess to know that it would take a lifetime to work them out. Why don't you take your precious knowlege, gained from a school taught by men, with man's limited understanding, and do something productive with your life? You profess to helping others know the truth about other religions but in fact enjoy the personal sense of feeling important. My and my testimony of the Savior are strong and unwavering and I pity your answer when you are asked by the Lord to what end you spent your life."
- "how does it feel to judge hearts of millions of people? How does it make you grow spiritually? What a great amount of love you must feel towards Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses and other denominations? How does it make you closer to Christ when you say "those Mormons are evil doers" or Joseph Smith is fraud. Oh, it must make you feel happy!!!"
- "Thank you for showing me the type of Christian forgiveness through Jesus that you follow. The teachings that I follow allow me to be gracious in the face of hypocrisy, so pax vobiscum." [this means 'peace be with you']
- "I just wanted to thank you for your ministry. I’ve plugged it on my blog a couple times. I started listening to your Podcast recently and am really enjoying it. You have a great mix going: Very humble, yet always forthright. You exercise a lot of patience with atheists and others hostile to the faith. You are also very conversational and approachable."
- "While the true idea of atheism, a belief in a lack of god or even the refusal to acknowledge the possibility, appalls both my emotional and philosophical instincts, by the standards outlined in your series of essays I am considered to be one. Despite the many criticisms sent in to you by offended atheists, I would like to commend you on your articles. The authors of those criticisms seem to forget what part of the atheism-associated movement of humanism holds rather high: we are all human beings and we all deserve to be treated as such. Although I would not consider myself to be religious, I wouldn't disregard you or your ideas because you are religious. It is hypocritical of the authors to discriminate in this fashion while acting from a place of bigotry stood upon by very few Christians, or --for that matter-- anyone."
- "Just wanted to say thank you for all that you are doing Matt and all those around him who help in any small or little way, the Lord tests the heart and knows the motives. Not only supplying and equipping the saints with knowledge as we so desperatly need, but the sound teaching of Christian doctrine. Praying for you and your family, God bless you!"