HOME               January 27, 2014

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Rick Warren’s New Reformation Lines Up With Tony Blair’s “Open-minded” “Tolerant” World

We have to be prepared to take the security measures necessary for our immediate protection. . . .The answer is to promote views that are open-minded and tolerant towards those who are different, and to fight the formal, informal and internet propagation of closed-minded intolerance.” – Tony Blair

The following article (below) written by Tony Blair illustrates further the world’s efforts to bring about peace (without Christ) and its move toward a one-world religion, which will reject biblical Christians as extremists who are prone to terrorism. Of course, this is absurd as true born-again believers in Christ are not prone to violence. What Tony Blair and other leaders are really calling for is a world where those who say Jesus Christ is theTony Blair only way of salvation are silenced. If you don’t believe that, consider what Blair’s co-comrade Rick Warren said about Christian fundamentalists (meaning those who adhere to biblical doctrine):

Warren predicts that fundamentalism, of all varieties, will be ‘one of the big enemies of the 21st century.’ ‘Muslim fundamentalism, Christian fundamentalism, Jewish fundamentalism, secular fundamentalism – they’re all motivated by fear. Fear of each other.’ (Rick Warren, from the Philadelphia Inquirer, 2006)

A false “Christ” is coming—the Bible predicts it—and he will hate Israel, the Jews, and Bible-believing Christians. While the world is going to do what it is going to do, how is that many of Christianity’s main leaders are falling into step with this world system that will eventually bring about the Antichrist? And how is it that within most denominations (including Calvary Chapel, Southern Baptist, Assemblies of God, etc.) there are many pastors promoting this apostasy and going unchecked and unchallenged? Remember what Rick Warren said about the new reformation he is hoping to help bring about, that it can come not just through Christians but through Muslims as well. He calls it a reformation from God.

Who’s the man of peace in any village – or it might be a woman of peace – who has the most respect, they’re open and they’re influential? They don’t have to be a Christian. In fact, they could be a Muslim, but they’re open and they’re influential and you work with them to attack the five giants. And that’s going to bring the second Reformation.—Rick Warren, May 2005, Pew Forum on Religion

By Tony Blair
UK Guardian

“Religious difference, not ideology, will fuel this century’s epic battles”

The last weeks have seen a ghastly roll call of terror attacks in the obvious places: Syria, Libya, Iraq and Lebanon, as well as Egypt, Yemen, Tunisia and Pakistan. Also suffering are places where we have only in recent years seen such violence: Nigeria, and in many parts of central Africa, in Russia and across central Asia, and in Burma, Thailand and the Philippines. We can either see all of these acts of killing as separate – produced by various political contexts – or we can start to see the clear common theme and start to produce a genuine global strategy to deal with it.

Rick warrenThe fact is that, though of course there are individual grievances or reasons for the violence in each country, there is one thing self-evidently in common: the acts of terrorism are perpetrated by people motivated by an abuse of religion. It is a perversion of faith. But there is no doubt that those who commit the violence often do so by reference to their faith and the sectarian nature of the conflict is a sectarianism based on religion. There is no doubt either that this phenomenon is growing, not abating. Click here to continue reading.

We have to be prepared to take the security measures necessary for our immediate protection. Since 9/11, the cost of those measures, and their burden, has been huge. However, security action alone, even military action, will not deal with the root cause. This extremism comes from a source. It is not innate. It is taught. It is taught sometimes in the formal education system; sometimes in the informal religious schools; sometimes in places of worship and it is promoted by a vast network of internet communications. Click here to continue reading.

Related:

Tony Blair and World Leaders Look for Answers to Terrorism – Missing the Only Answer

Chrislam – The Blending Together of Islam & Christianity

 

 

The Dark Night of Jesus’ Birth?

By Warren Smith

In Jesus Calling, “Jesus” states that he was born in a “filthy stable” “under the most appalling conditions.” He says that the night of his birth was a “dark night” for him.

In what can only be described as the ultimate revisionist description of the night of Jesus’ birth, Sarah Young’s “Jesus” openly bemoans what he describes as that “dark night for Me.” He states in Jesus Calling:

Try to imagine what I gave up when I came into your world as a baby. I set aside My Glory, so that I could identify with mankind. I accepted the limitations of infancy under the most appalling conditions—a filthy stable. That was a dark night for Me, even though angels lit up the sky proclaiming “Glory!” to awe-struck shepherds.1 (emphasis added)

This doesn’t sound like the voice of our Savior—it sounds instead like the voice of a stranger (John 10:5). And when you really think about it, wouldn’t it be more likely that Satan himself would be the one to describe the night of Jesus’ birth as that “dark night for me”?

As to the bemoaning of this “Jesus,” Scripture tells us to be content in whatever circumstances we find ourselves:

 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11)

In whatever way this devotion in Jesus Calling is looked at, it is a very unbiblical message. The conditions of His birth were not “appalling” but, rather, God’s “sign” to the shepherds, and then they, after seeing “the babe lying in a manger,” glorified and praised God for “all” they had “seen“:

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. . . .  And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger. . . . And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told unto them. (Luke 2:11-20) (emphasis added)

(From Part II, chapter 9 of “Another Jesus” Calling)

 

 

University of Wisconsin Removes Gideon Bibles From Guest Rooms Following Atheist Complaint

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Born again Bible pdMADISON, Wis. – The University of Wisconsin-Extension has removed all of the Gideon Bibles from its conference center guest rooms at the urging of an atheist activist organization.

The Madison, Wisconsin-based Freedom From Religion Foundation (FFRF) states that it received a complaint last November from a visitor to the university’s Lowell Center, who noticed the Bible in their room.

The organization then sent a letter to university officials, asserting that the placement of the Gideon Bibles violated the Establishment Clause of the United States Constitution, which reads, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.”

“It is a fundamental principle of Establishment Clause jurisprudence that a government entity cannot promote, advance or otherwise endorse religion,” the letter stated. “Permitting members of outside religious groups the privilege of placing their religious literature in public university guest rooms constitutes state endorsement and advancement of these Christian publications.” Click here to continue reading.



The Dark Night of Jesus’ Birth?
University of Wisconsin Removes Gideon Bibles From Guest Rooms Following Atheist Complaint
Pew Forum: 2/3 of American’s Believe in Evolution – (No Wonder the Country is Going Downhill So Fast)
Letter to the Editor: Evangelical Free Church Snowballing into Spiritual Deception Through Contemplative/Emerging
Jesus Christ Presented as the Son of Allah – A “New” Way of Doing Missions?
Understanding Mantra Meditation and Altered States
Latrines Continue Being Built in Kenya – And a Look at How Water is Obtained
Latter Rain: The Spawning of Apostasy
Strength From Scripture – David Encouraged Himself in the Lord
AZ Legislator, Pastor Introduces Bill to Protect Churches That Oppose Same-Sex ‘Marriage’
Letter to the Editor: On Jesus Calling, My Wife and I Thought You Were Wrong, But We Have Been Deceived!
A Book Review: ”Another Jesus” Calling by Warren Smith: Sarah Young’s “Jesus” More Like a “Love Struck” Boyfriend
NEW BOOKLET TRACT: So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?
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Letter to the Editor: Evangelical Free Church Snowballing into Spiritual Deception Through Contemplative/Emerging

Greetings Lighthouse Trails:

I never thought I would be writing you, but I would like to tell you how much I appreciate your efforts, for few are those doing your type of ministry, certainly not in my experience, especially at the local level by church leadership! Let me get straight to the point of my writing—my wife and I have been attending an Evangelical Free Church for approximately five years now, but recently things are beginning to snowball in several areas.

One of those areas is that of Spiritual Formation and some other “mystical” directions such as an Emergent-type communion at our ladies retreat (darkened room, candles, veils, prayer stations, candlelight, etc.) along with the current teaching from Henry Blackaby’s Experiencing God in a Sunday School class.  On the heels of this, there was a series begun in the regular preaching service based upon [contemplative author] John Ortberg’s book The Life You’ve Always Wanted, in which his book was used four weeks running right alongside the Bible in the pulpit!  In the course of this (which was stopped due to the protests of a few), [mystic] Meister Eckhart was quoted in the Sunday bulletin. Over this, I’ve had several encounters with church leadership, all to no avail, and now unquestionably I’ve become a ‘marked man’ due to my protests.

All this to say that only recently I went to the National E-Free website only to find the following recommendations in their online magazine, seemingly one more organization lost to this movement.  My primary motive in writing you is merely to inform you regarding this group as well since I haven’t read much, if anything about them in your writings [editor's note: We have written a few times about the EFCA, the most recent time here]. I am a former pastor and have a small e-mail list. Following is a portion of what I sent those on my list:

“FROM MY DESK:  Periodically I like to peruse the website of the national E-free church just as a matter of seeing what might be going on.  This particular site is generally not a fountainhead of information, often at least for me, leaving much unanswered and generally dealing only in the most general and accommodating ways with the subject matter.  Much to my surprise this time I found the following recommended list of books and authors, all of which indicated to me that this national headquarters is, for lack of a better expression, “coming out of the closet” and recommending to all the member and affiliated people and churches contemplative spirituality!

None of the books were written by men like D.L. Moody or G. Campbell Morgan, or Hudson Taylor, or even George Muller, or any other of a plethora of men whose lives and teachings have been respected for many, many years.  No, all of these authors are garnering their information from spiritual disciplines ‘outside’ the confines of Scripture and blending them, if you please, with their own twisted and manipulated version of biblical teachings.  These authors draw from sources such as psychology in its many forms, Quakerism, Hinduism, Catholicism, Zen Buddhism, and many other so-called religious traditions.  So the question becomes: how long will it take for these recommendations to begin having their effect in your local church?

Some of these names were unfamiliar to me, so I did my due diligence and to my utter astonishment–%100 of these authors are deeply involved in the Spiritual Transformation movement.  Something else I picked up along the way was that the common mantra amongst them is becoming “can’t we all just get along.” I suppose this is intended to deflect any opposition to their introduction of a false spirituality into the churches.  Keep in mind these books were recommended by participating E-Free pastors; what might this tell you?”

From the recommended resources of the Evangelical Free Church magazine website [most of these names can be found on the Lighthouse Trails Research site]:

Ruth Haley Barton. Invitation to Solitude and Silence: Experiencing God’s transforming presence and Sacred Rhythms: Arranging our lives for spiritual transformation

David G. Benner. Sacred Companions: The gift of spiritual friendship and direction and Desiring God’s Will: Aligning our hearts with the heart of God (available from Amazon.com)

 – (His) life’s work has been directed toward the promotion of the well-being of the inner life of persons, focusing in particular on the interaction of psychological and spiritual dynamics.  The underlying passion of his life has been the understanding and pursuit of transformation – not merely healing or even growth, but the unfolding of the self associated with a journey of awakening.  This has been the focus of his more than three decades of work in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and his more recent work as a spiritual guide to those who seek awakening and transformation through spiritual openness and contemplative stillness in action.

– David is a faculty member of The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation where he serves as a Master Teacher. He currently makes this the exclusive venue for his teaching because of the deep congruence between the Rohr Institute’s core principles and his own – specifically, his conviction that the understanding and facilitation of transformation cannot be restricted to the best contemporary psychological and spiritual insights but must be grounded in the perennial wisdom tradition.

– The Rohr Institute’s Living School for Action and Contemplation provides such a course of study grounded in the Christian mystical tradition. Cultivating a contemplative mind through teachings and practices, students deepen their awareness of our common union with Divine Reality and all beings.

The Rohr Institute’s Living School offers students exclusive access to learn directly from Fr. (Fr. =Father) Richard Rohr, other core faculty, and invited master teachers. Fr. Richard is a Franciscan of the New Mexico Province, and the Founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation, Strongly influenced by the Franciscan (as in Catholic) Alternative Orthodoxy

Mark Buchanan. The Holy Wild: Trusting in the character of God and The Rest of God: Restoring your soul by restoring Sabbath

Bruce Demarest. Satisfy Your Soul: Restoring the heart of Christian spirituality

Brennan Manning. Abba’s Child: The cry of the heart for intimate belonging

 M. Robert Mulholland. Invitation to a Journey: A road map for spiritual formation

John Ortberg. The Life You’ve Always Wanted: Spiritual disciplines for ordinary people

Peter Scazzero. The Emotionally Healthy Church: A strategy for discipleship that actually changes lives and Emotionally Healthy Spirituality: Unleash a revolution in your life in Christ

Dallas Willard. The Spirit of the Disciplines: Understanding how God changes lives and Renovation of the Heart: Putting on the character of Christ

[This note is at the bottom of the EFCA page]: * These resources are recommended by Cedarly Pastors Retreat. While Cedarly does not necessarily endorse every position of every writer, each of the resources listed has important things to say about our relationship with the Lord Jesus and the growth and nurture of that relationship.  [note from the LT reader: And each of them has its own brand of heresy!]

 
Jesus Christ Presented as the Son of Allah – A “New” Way of Doing Missions?

by Paul Proctor
Used with permission.

I have addressed, on numerous occasions, the Church’s ongoing efforts to reinvent Christianity into a global religion of Results & Relationships by using the powers of pragmatism and consensus to artificially grow itself into something more widely accepted by the world instead of faithfully proclaiming the Word of God “in season and out” as we are commanded to do in 2nd Timothy 4:2. The leaders of the new spirituality and its church growth movement have always had a hard time avoiding the “wide gate” and “broad way” choosing clever methods of “evangelism” that are not only incompatible with God’s Word, but also prove them unwilling to trust Him with the increase – ever looking for something more clever, spectacular and impressive to glory in and boast about to a watching world.

“…for men to search their own glory is not glory.” – Proverbs 25:27b

“So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” – 1st Corinthians 3:7

There’s no better example of this than a story from The Baptist Standard where Christians are encouraged by a “veteran missionary” to employ what’s called “The Camel Method” to evangelize, where the Quran is used, instead of the Bible, to share Christ with Muslims – a method that reportedly utilizes “selected verses” and “doesn’t teach or lecture, but asks questions.”

Isn’t this exactly what dialectically trained facilitators have done for years in many seeker-sensitive and Purpose Driven churches to draw and hold large and diverse crowds of potential converts with a lot of non-offensive opinion sharing and relationship building in order to find common ground and greater tolerance for one another through compromise and group dynamics? That may be the agenda of global socialists at the United Nations, but it’s not the Bible’s agenda for Christians or the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I’m sure the UN would have no problem with a program like this where sidelining biblical truths for a contrived unity is celebrated and syncretism is the spirituality of choice.

“There is a way which seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.” – Proverbs 14:12

According to the report, missionary Kevin Greeson, who “has served 16 years with the Southern Baptist International Mission Board,” is “working to start Christian movements among Muslims in Bangladesh, Pakistan and Nepal…” adding that “his goal focuses less on individual conversions and more on starting spiritual movements that will result in thousands of Muslims becoming followers of Christ.”

Greeson: “Our generation can’t afford to be satisfied or happy with winning one lost person to Christ. There are so many lost people, we can’t be happy with that.”

“…I say unto you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner that repenteth.” – Luke 15:10

Certainly most Christians would like to see more than one person they witness to repent and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior, but where in God’s Word are we commanded to “take up thy Quran” and “go ye into all the world and start a movement?” Sure it sounds lofty and high-minded in our Big Box culture where consumers like to impress each other and get the most for the least; but isn’t this more of an exercise in ecumenical egomania and spiritual sleight-of-hand than humble obedience to Jesus’ call to “take up thy cross” and “go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature?”

It’s alarming enough that the Bible is set aside with this method of “evangelism,” but it’s outright heresy that Jesus Christ is presented as the son of Allah, since Allah was widely recognized and worshipped as a pagan moon god even before there was a Mohammed.

How then can the truth set you free if it begins with a lie?

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9

Related Articles and Information:

 

 The New Missiology – Doing Missions Without the Gospel

A “New Evangelism” for the 21st Century” by Mike Oppenheimer (Let Us Reason)

Understanding Mantra Meditation and Altered States

By Ray Yungen

The meditation most of us are familiar with involves a deep, continuous thinking about something. But New Age meditation does just the opposite. It involves ridding oneself of all thoughts in order to still the mind by putting it in the equivalent of pause or neutral. A comparison would be that of turning a fast-moving stream into a still pond. When meditation is employed by damming the free flow of thinking, it holds back active thought and causes a shift in consciousness. This condition is not to be confused with daydreaming, where the mind dwells on a subject. New Age meditation works as a holding mechanism until the mind becomes thoughtless, empty and silent.

The two most common methods used to induce this thoughtless state are breathing exercises, where attention is focused on the breath, and a mantra, which is a repeated word or phrase. The basic process is to focus and maintain concentration without thinking about what you are focusing on. Repetition on the focused object is what triggers the blank mind. Since mantras are central to New Age meditation, it is important to understand a proper definition of the word. The translation from Sanskrit is man,meaning to think and tra, meaning to be liberated from. Thus, the word literally means to escape from thought. By repeating the mantra, either out loud or silently, the word or phrase begins to lose any meaning it once had. The conscious thinking process is gradually tuned out until an altered state of consciousness is achieved. But this silence is not the final objective; its attainment is only a means to an end. What that end entails was aptly described by English artist Vanora Goodhart after she embarked on the practice of zen meditation. She recounted:

[A] light began seeping through my closed eyelids, bright and gentle at first, but growing more and more intense … there was a great power and strength in this Light … I felt I was being drawn upwards and in a great and wonderful rush of power that rose eventually to a crescendo and bathed me through and through with glorious, burning, embracing Light.

Such dynamic experiences as this are what New Age mysticism is really all about … not just believing in some doctrine or a faith that is supported by some creed but rather a close personal contact with a powerful Presence. The renowned occultist Dion Fortune acknowledged: ‘shifting the consciousness is the key to all occult training.’ In other words, meditation is the gateway to the ‘light’ Goodhart experienced. The ultimate objective of the meditation effort lies in the concept called the higher self. This is thought to be the part of the individual linked to the divine essence of the Universe, the God part of man. The goal is to become attuned with the higher self, thus facilitating the higher self’s emergence into the physical realm bringing the practitioner under the guidance and direction of God. This connection is referred to in New Age circles as: awakening, transformation, enlightenment, self-realization, cosmic consciousness and superconsciousness. This is also why an interchangeable term for New Age is metaphysics. Metaphysics means that which is beyond the physical realm (the unseen realm) and being intimately connected to those powers not perceived by the normal five senses.”

Latrines Continue Being Built in Kenya – And a Look at How Water is Obtained

Finter is opening the two doors of bathroom and latrine.Check out this new “scrapbook” of photos sent over last week from the Bryce Homes for Widows and Children in Kenya. The new latrines (which were paid for by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers) are continuing to go up. Also in here, you will see some photos of how some of the widows must travel to get water for family use from a borehole. But soon Widows Lewnida and Alice will have a well built right next to their two homes (also thanks to our donors). Thank you Lord for Your faithfulness!

The background music in the slideshow is from Amanda LeBail’s CD A String of Pearls. Amanda is from the UK and sings beautiful irish-styling hymns and other biblically-based songs. You can listen to clips of this CD here.

To learn more about the Bryce Homes missions project (supported by Understand the Times and Lighthouse Trails readers), click here.

 

Click to play this Smilebox scrapbook
 

 

Latter Rain: The Spawning of Apostasy

by Kevin Reeves 

LTRP Note: The following article by Kevin Reeves describes the background of much of the Word-Faith, River movement, Latter Rain, IHOP, Joel’s Army, Apostles and Prophets movement, etc. taking place today. Mike Bickle, Rick Joyner, John Wimber, and many others rose out of the 1940s Latter Rain movement. Followers believe that the Latter Rain “revival” is the latter rain referred to in such Scriptures as Jeremiah 3:3, Joel 2:23, and Hosea 6:3. These movements have now intersected with the contemplative prayer movement; now combined with Purpose Driven, the emerging church, Willow Creek, etc., a powerful mystical body is merging as an apostate, end-time church.

“The Headwaters of the River”
by Kevin Reeves

In February of 1948 in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, a community of believers met to seek God for His power. A power did manifest. Miracles were reported, and Christians from all over set out on a pilgrimage to get this power. The Latter Rain movement emerged full-blown, evidencing supposed signs and wonders, prophetic utterances, and impartations via the laying on of hands. The movement was also marked with a spirit of elitism, false prophecies, and an inbred authority structure based upon the new “word of the Lord.” When the Christian community was faced with the decision between solid biblical teaching and awe-inspiring miracles, many swung their legs over the fence of indecision and jumped with both feet into one of the first major 20th century tributaries of the “River.” The reasoning went that a new thing, based on the prophecy in Isaiah 43:18-19, had sprung up. All concerns about doctrine or practice could be dealt with sometime down the road, if at all. The pendulum had swung from the Word to experience as the final arbiter.

What many do not realize is that two issues factored heavily into this revival. The first is that a 1946 book written by Franklin Hall, called Atomic Power with God Through Fasting and Prayer,1 was read and promoted by the revival’s leaders. The other is that one of the foremost prophets of the era, William Branham, had imparted his ministry power through the laying on of hands to some of those involved in this revival. His teachings were a strong determining factor in the Saskatchewan revival’s course.

The Franklin Hall book is a strong call to return the church to a pattern of fasting and prayer. While the premise of fasting is itself biblical, the book strangely asserted that without the discipline of fasting, prayer goes unanswered. As proof, Hall even cites the answered prayer received by pagans offering supplications to their false gods. In his excellent analysis of Dominion doctrine and practice, Vengeance Is Ours: The Church in Dominion, noted Christian researcher Al Dager astutely observes:

If we analyze Hall’s claims, we must come to the conclusion that those who pray to demons will have their prayers answered if they fast, but Christians will not have their prayers answered if they don't fast. At the least, it seems, they would be hindered greatly.2

In another of Hall’s books, he wrote that the church would eventually produce an elite group of overcomers with the power to defy the laws of gravity, to walk upside down, and even attain to present immortality. He also spoke of a shining gold dust appearing on the skin of believers. Interesting that reports of this kind of phenomena have been circulating in River churches–even though at least one chemically-analyzed “gold dust” sample proved to be nothing more than children’s plastic glitter.3

William Branham, called by some in today’s prophetic ministries the greatest prophet to have ever lived, had also drunk deeply of Hall’s teachings, including Atomic Power with God Through Fasting and Prayer. Emerging into the late 1940s spotlight with a reputation for accurate words of knowledge and miraculous healing power, Branham astounded the multitudes. It was said he could tell a person he’d never before met what conversations the person had and the situation which he was facing, and he could speak restoration to a chronically diseased part of the body and heal it. He made it known that he was a prophet of the Lord, and his preaching drew the crowds. But what those same crowds didn’t generally hear were some of his other pet doctrines.

Branham taught that Satan had sex with Eve in the Garden of Eden, and Cain was the result of that union. He taught that he himself was the seventh angel of the book of Revelation, that he was Elijah the prophet, and that a belief in the Trinity was of the devil. But as long as he kept these beliefs under his hat and continued to wow the mob, the invitations to speak at churches worldwide kept pouring in.

His life certainly appeared marked by the miraculous. And Branham had no hesitation to say so. His testimony included a halo around him at his birth, and an actual photo of him in later life shows what appears to be a ring of light around his head while he stands at the pulpit preaching. It’s what his followers have sometimes called The Pillar of Fire. This strange phenomenon supposedly happened in grander manifestation on June 11, 1933 as Branham was baptizing converts in the Ohio River near Jefferson, Indiana. Hearing a voice tell him to look up, Branham beheld a mysterious, star-like light in the sky, which rapidly descended until it rested just above him. Some in the crowd of 4,000 fell in worship, others ran in terror. The voice commissioned Branham, telling him that as John the Baptist was the forerunner of the Messiah, so Branham would be the forerunner of Christ’s second coming.

On February 28, 1963 a few miles from Tucson, Arizona, an immense, bright ring of cloud appeared in the clear sky. Branham claimed he was caught up into its midst where it turned out to be “seven mighty angels” who had appeared to give him yet another divine commission; this time he was to make known to the church the mystery of the seven seals of the book of Revelation.4

Taken at face value, this means that the incomplete church had waited two thousand years for Branham to appear on the scene.

A presence made itself known around Branham throughout his life. He had been followed since childhood by a spiritual being that, when Branham reached manhood, manifested as a young man with long hair and flowing robes. Stepping out from a ball of brilliant light, this being commissioned him to go out and heal the afflicted and said that he would know of diseases present that affected an individual by vibrations in his left hand. Branham also claimed to have been given another spiritual gift–he would know what was in the hearts of men.5

Killed by injuries received in an automobile collision in 1965, Branham has physically faded from the scene, but his legacy of incredible tales, supernatural signs, and prophetic anointing lives on. He has a following to this day.

Branham’s tradition of sensing the anointing in one’s hands is something that continues as well. Many of those within the old Latter Rain ranks, and in the Faith Movement that followed, claim heat or vibrations in their hands which they believe indicates the presence of God for healing…. While Branham and Latter Rain proponents claimed allegiance to God’s inerrant Word, their practices and peculiar doctrines denied it. Here are some of the basic beliefs they do adhere to:

* A great, end-times army will arise and take authority over the earth, putting Satan and his minions under their feet.

*The last days remnant of the true church (meaning those adhering to the Latter Rain doctrine) are the elite.

* Specific desirable anointings can be imparted from person to person by the laying on of hands.

* The church needs to experience restoration of all the gifts and revelation knowledge of who we really are in order to walk in fullness of power and finally be complete.

* Modern apostles and prophets must be set up in the church and the elect must submit to them.

* Restoration of the five-fold ministry of Ephesians 4:11 must take place for that authority structure to be erected.

* The church must come into complete physical unity.

* The rapture of believers is a myth, spawned by Satan to corral the church into a retreat mentality.

Some Latter Rain adherents no longer wait with yearning for the redemption of our bodies at the Second Coming. Now, in place of the rapture, they teach to expect Christ to come in us, instead of for us.

According to the Bible, believers in the last days are not, in triumph, going to make the nations fall at their feet (Matthew 24:9). And as for the need for restoration of revelation knowledge in order to be complete–we’ve always been complete in Christ Jesus (Colossians 2:10). We have always had all the authority (Matthew 28:18; Titus 2:11-15), gifts, and revelation knowledge needed to live righteous before Him and be witnesses of Christ before a lost world (II Peter 1:3)…. The God of the Bible is big enough to carry on the work of the Spirit’s empowering throughout world history. He doesn’t need to create it over and over, as Latter Rain doctrine insists. The canon of Scripture is forever closed. Prophets, by their pronouncements, add to the Bible. This was their purpose before the complete written testimony was set down. There is nothing lacking in the scriptural record. Today’s supposed prophets add to the Bible. While they vehemently deny this, a quick glance at their words from the Lord is enough evidence to stop them cold.

For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; And they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables. (II Timothy 4:3-4)

(For more information on this, read The Other Side of the River by Kevin Reeves.)

Notes:

1. Franklin Hall, Atomic Power with God Through Fasting and Prayer, 1946.
2. Albert James Dager, Vengeance is Ours (Redmond, WA: Sword Publishers, 1990). p. 51.
3. Mary Owen, “Oregon church says gold dust, feathers fell during meetings” (Charisma magazine, September 2000, http://www. charisma mag.com /display.php?id=517, accessed 02/07); also see “There’s Gold in Them Thar Teeth” by Mike Oppenheimer, http://www.letusreason.org/Pent5.htm, accessed 02/07.
4. Mike Oppenheimer, “The Teachings of ‘the Prophet’ William Branham” (Let Us Reason ministries, http://www.letusreason.org/Latrain4.htm, accessed on 01/07).
5. Ibid. For photos, history and detailed information on William Branham, see http://www.biblebelievers.org.

 

Strength From Scripture – David Encouraged Himself in the Lord

By Maria Kneas

David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

After fighting the Amalakites, David and his men returned to Ziklag to find that their wives and children had been taken captive by their enemies, and their homes burned. As a result of this tragedy, David’s men turned against him.

And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God. (1 Samuel 30:6)

Immediately after this, there was a radical change in David’s men. Instead of stoning him, they followed him and overtook their enemies. They rescued their families and returned with animals and other plunder.

How could David, who was cornered, and about to be stoned to death, turn around and inspire these angry, grieving, tired men to successfully undertake this?

What brought about such a transformation in David and his men?

We can find some keys in the psalms, which record David’s prayer and worship. They show us how David encouraged himself in the Lord, and how we can do the same.

In Psalm 42, David talked to his soul (his mind, his will, and his emotions):

Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him for the help of his countenance. (Psalm 42:5)

The term “cast down” is significant. David was a shepherd. A “cast” sheep is one that is unable to get back up on its legs. If the shepherd doesn’t find the sheep and help it get back on its feet, the sheep will die.

David says that his soul is like a cast sheep. He talks to his soul, telling it to get back up on its feet again, to hope in God, and to praise Him.

In Psalm 103, David tells his soul to bless the Lord. Then he reminds himself about God’s mercy and love and faithfulness:

Bless the LORD, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. (Psalm 103:1-5)

At the end of the psalm, he exhorts all of God’s creatures to bless Him:

Bless the LORD, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the LORD, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his, that do his pleasure. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: bless the LORD, O my soul. (Psalm 103:20-22)

In Psalm 104, David tells his soul to bless the Lord:

Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty. (Psalm 104:1)

After that, he praises God for His might and His greatness. In the process, David reminds himself of reasons for blessing the Lord. Look at some of these reasons, and see why David was so compelled to praise the Lord:

Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain. (verse 2)

Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire. (verse 4)

Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever. (verse 5)

He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills. (verse 10)

He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works. (verse 13)

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man. (verse 14)

The high hills are a refuge for the wild goats; and the rocks for the conies. (verse 18)

He appointed the moon for seasons: the sun knoweth his going down. (verse 19)

The young lions roar after their prey, and seek their meat from God. (verse 21)

Thou sendest forth thy spirit, they are created: and thou renewest the face of the earth. (verse 30)

In Psalm 116, David tells why he loves the Lord, and he exhorts his soul to be at rest. Then he addresses God, giving some reasons for his gratitude:

Return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the LORD hath dealt bountifully with thee. For thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. (Psalm 116:7-8)

Psalm 146 is another example of David exhorting his soul to praise God:

Praise ye the LORD. Praise the LORD, O my soul. While I live will I praise the LORD: I will sing praises unto my God while I have any being. (Psalm 146:1-2)

(from Strength for Tough Times by Maria Kneas – encouragement for weary saints)

AZ Legislator, Pastor Introduces Bill to Protect Churches That Oppose Same-Sex ‘Marriage’

By Heather Clark
Christian News Network

Montenegro wsPHOENIX – A legislator in Arizona has introduced a bill that would protect churches in the state from being forced to perform same-sex ‘weddings.’

Representative Steve Montenegro (R-Litchfield Park), Associate Pastor and Youth Pastor at Surprise Apostolic Assembly, recently announced the First Freedom Act to ensure that pastors retain their First Amendment rights when it comes to the institution of marriage. The Act would make it illegal to “require a minister to solemnize a marriage inconsistent with a minister’s sincerely held religious beliefs.”

“The United States Supreme Court has ruled against the Defense of Marriage Act and allowed same-sex marriages to be performed in some states,” he wrote in a news release announcing the proposed bill. “Arizona’s Constitution is clear on this subject, but the willingness of federal courts, including the U.S. Supreme Court, to rewrite state Constitutions threatens our most precious freedoms, specifically those found in the First Amendment.” Click here to continue reading.

Letter to the Editor: On Jesus Calling, My Wife and I Thought You Were Wrong, But We Have Been Deceived!

Dear Lighthouse Trails:

When you announced that Warren Smith was writing a book exposing the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling, I wrote you a friendly, but critical, e-mail in which I accused you of rushing to judgment and too hastily condemning the book. My wife, who is generally very discerning, has used Jesus Calling extensively in her devotions and has felt blessed by the book. She occasionally shared with me nice things from the book, and I saw no harm in them and thought they sounded true. I never read it with my critical faculties in gear. Through the years, our discernment has enabled us to see through the Word of Faith heresy, the contemplative movement, the Emergent errors, the Third Wave/Latter Rain/ Manifested Sons doctrine, the Toronto false revival, and other false teachings. We congratulated ourselves on our discernment. Like Warren Smith, I was involved with the New Age movement, in my case before it was a movement. So we thought we were equipped to spot any counterfeit. But our discernment failed us when it came to God Calling and Jesus Calling. We feel very foolish. At first, I though Warren Smith should not have written his book. I’m now quite sure that Jesus Calling is the book that never should have been written.

Lighthouse Trails responded with a courteous, brotherly e-mail in which you offered to send me a copy of “Another Jesus” Calling. Though I felt the book was a mistake, I agreed to read it. When it arrived, I read it and told my wife that we had been deceived. Then she read it, and we are both quite humbled, as we should be. Once our eyes were opened, we realized that the “Jesus” of Jesus Calling does not at all sound like the Savior we have loved and served for over 40 years. How could we have set aside our discernment so easily? Since my wife was the one who was most involved with the book, she hopes to write you with her thoughts and thanks too.

I would challenge anyone who has the indwelling Holy Spirit and has liked Jesus Calling to read it again, comparing what that “Jesus” says to what the real Jesus has said. Or read Warren Smith’s excellent book, “Another Jesus” Calling. Thousands and thousands [actually millions] of Christian women and some men are unguardedly reading these pages as if under a spell. What they do with all the things that don’t ring true, I don’t know. It seems so harmless, so full of wise and comforting things. It’s flattering to think that Jesus so much wants our fellowship. We just push the other things, things that don’t sound right, to the back of our minds. My wife and I are humbly grateful to Lighthouse Trails and Warren Smith for exposing this seductive, plausible, but blasphemous and false book.

Blessings, love, and gratitude to you,

Michael (not real name)

A Book Review: ”Another Jesus” Calling by Warren Smith: Sarah Young’s “Jesus” More Like a “Love Struck” Boyfriend

Young also has Jesus flattering her to a point where it gets tacky and uncomfortable to read. Jesus in these communications sounds like a breathless love struck teen. Young has cast Jesus almost as a boy friend who says; “When you trustingly whisper My name, My aching ears are soothed.”

By G. Richard Fisher

Another Jesus CallingEvery believer should read and digest Warren Smith’s newest book, ”Another Jesus” Calling ( Warren Smith, Lighthouse Trails Publishing, Eureka, Montana, 2013, 174 pages, $12.95). It gives insight from a former New Ager about the way in which New Age thought and terminology is infiltrating and permeating the Christian church at large. Sadly it is all being done through publishers, book stores and books that are supposed to be Christian. The allure of these questionable books is often a veneer of Bible terms, a promise of deep inside information and the excitement of a current mystical trip with personal impressions and perhaps even voices from the beyond.

Jude 4 warns about those false teachers and spiritual counterfeiters who “secretly slip in”. The antidote of course is to “earnestly contend for the faith once delivered d to the saints”, (verse 3). John Benton’s statement is surely as true today as when Jude wrote; “The church was being corrupted by false teaching and false teachers. If the truth is lost or perverted then the devil will have halted the work of salvation”, (Slandering Angels The Message of Jude, Evangelical Press, England, 1999, page 54).

Warren Smith is a graduate of Tulane University and a former New Age insider and practitioner. He clearly understands the major mystical philosophies and themes being brought into the church today. Some of these masquerade as the voice of Jesus but upon biblical examination show themselves not to be what they claim but rather another voice from another place. Are we to look for voices or look at verses? One has to wonder if these experiences are fabricated, imagined or worse yet demonic. Click here to continue reading this book review.

 

NEW BOOKLET TRACT: So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?

So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That? written by Lynn Lusby Pratt is our newest Lighthouse Trails Print Booklet Tract. The Booklet Tract is 10 pages long and sells for $1.95 for single copies. Quantity discounts are as much as 50% off retail.  Below is the content of the booklet. To order copies of So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?, click here. 

So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?

By Lynn Lusby Pratt

How about if we call a spade a spade? I’m speaking of contemplative prayer. If you’ve been using the term as the new way to describe your own practice of getting alone with God, being quiet, and praying silently . . . well, you haven’t been doing contemplative prayer (also called centering prayer, breath prayer, and Jesus’ prayer).

It’s easy to misunderstand. Popular writers and teachers portray contemplative prayer in vague language that seems “almost intentionally inaccessible.”1

About seven years ago, I began to seriously investigate its true nature. Having some knowledge of Eastern religions and the occult, I soon saw red flags. I found that contemplative prayer is neither contemplative (thinking deeply) nor prayer (talking to God). Instead, it involves a mantra (a word or phrase repeated for ten to twenty minutes) as the means for erasing thoughts.

I would have voted for the practice not to be called contemplative prayer! But alas, it’s too late. That term and its meaning have been established for centuries.

The process itself is the same for mystics of all religions—in Zen and Tibetan Buddhism, in Hinduism with transcendental meditation and Yoga, in Sufism (Islamic mysticism), in the meditation of New Age spirituality, and in contemplative prayer. Participants are advised to choose a “sacred word.” But the repetition renders any words meaningless (ask a psych prof), so it doesn’t really matter whether a Christian says “Jesus loves me” or a Buddhist says “Hail to the Lotus.” The repetition induces an altered state of consciousness in which the practitioner senses a “union with the divine,” having presumably contacted the god of choice.

“But that can’t be!” you protest. “I know what I read about contemplative prayer.” Do you?

ASK THE EXPERTS

We can learn all we need to know from two recognized experts on the subject, Richard Foster and Thomas Merton.

Richard Foster, author of the best-selling Celebration of Discipline, contends that contemplative prayer is not Eastern. But what he describes matches Eastern practice, and he favorably refers to Eastern and occult proponents. In his book Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home, Foster teaches that the practice is “unmediated,” exclusive—“not for the novice,” “wordless,” and dangerous—requiring that “prayers of protection” be offered against dark forces before one attempts it.2

Unmediated. Scripture speaks of Jesus as our mediator (1 Timothy 2:5) and the Holy Spirit and Jesus as intercessors (Romans 8:26, 34). I have no idea what Foster considers a hindrance in normal prayer that should be bypassed in favor of “unmediated” prayer.

Exclusive. Are we to believe Jesus forgot to tell us that certain prayer is reserved just for the initiated? And that this secret was only finally figured out by medieval mystics? Where’s the evidence?

Wordless. Foster does not mean praying silently, in our minds. Upon further study, it’s clear that he means no word spoken or thought. No content. Is there in the Bible a kind of prayer with no content? Is this “silence” (also sometimes called the void or the pure darkness) a sacred place where God speaks and acts?

Dangerous. No true prayer offered to the true God could accidentally dial a wrong number! The Lord hears us when we call (Psalm 4:3; Isaiah 58:9). I submit that dark forces are frequently contacted during contemplative prayer because mysticism opens occult doors.3

The late Thomas Merton’s books remain popular with Christians even though his Catholic theology gave way to Buddhism—a religion with no creator God and, of course, no Jesus. Merton said that Buddhism is “an opening to love,”4 and “I see no contradiction between Buddhism and Christianity . . . I intend to become as good a Buddhist as I can.”5 Merton echoes Foster’s four points about the nature of contemplative prayer:

Unmediated. Merton speaks of “direct realization” and even of going “‘beyond God’ to the ultimate perfect emptiness.”6

Exclusive. What is experienced is “the sign of the Spirit upon the Chosen People of God.” Do it wrong, and you’ll be “impervious to the deepest truths.” Only in this experience can you find God, he says, but he also scolds “people who try to pray and meditate above their proper level.”7

Wordless. “Often making use of no words and no thoughts at all.”8

Dangerous. There is a “danger of psychological regression,” a “deep dread and night,” a descent into “dread to the center of our own nothingness.” A person may “find himself getting all kinds of strange ideas.”9

OUT IN THE OPEN

To peel off another layer, we find many pro-contemplative writings relatively open in their explanations—like these articles from three different websites.

1. The article “Contemplative Prayer in the Western Tradition” states that contemplative prayer goes “beyond the level of sense perception.” Even the word mantric is used to describe the repetitive, mind-emptying technique.10

2. “The History of Centering Prayer” specifically mentions that Fathers Pennington and Keating, the architects of centering prayer, went to “ancient sources” to revive this “simple method of silent prayer for contemporary people.”11 You might assume those ancient sources mean the Bible. But in their book Finding Grace at the Center, Pennington and Keating are clear that they draw on Eastern practice: “We should not hesitate to take the fruit of the age-old wisdom of the East and ‘capture’ it for Christ. . . . [We should] acquaint ourselves with as many of these Eastern techniques as possible. . . . Many Christians who take their prayer life seriously have been greatly helped . . .”12

3. At contemplativechristian.com, proponents try to tie contemplative prayer to the Bible and dispel any idea that it is a “new age belief system” but admit the practice is in all world religions. The writer is excited about the “deliberate efforts to encourage contemplative prayer” in Protestant churches, stating, “The Protestant Church can’t boast of this kind of historical tradition, as its concern for the Bible as sole truth has limited its receptivity.”13

I find it impossible to mesh with Christianity the “contemplation” of the mentors named on the third site. There’s Thomas Merton again; Richard Rohr, who hosts Zen retreats at his center14; and Teresa of Avila.

Teresa of Avila was the medieval nun best known for her book Interior Castle, whose contemplative experience was described as:

. . . a sweet, happy pain, alternating between a fearful fiery glow, a complete impotence and unconsciousness, and a spell of strangulation, intermitted sometimes by such an ecstatic flight that the body is literally lifted into space. This after half an hour is followed by a reactionary relaxation of a few hours in a swoon-like weakness, attended by a negation of all the faculties in the union with God. From this the subject awakens in tears; it is the climax of mystical experience, productive of the trance.15

Though the biographies of medieval contemplatives tell of levitation, self-torture and starvation, and erotic encounters with entities, today’s promoters tend not to mention that!

WHAT NOW?

I’m stunned when some respond, “I do contemplative prayer but not your definition of it.”

It’s not my definition; we’ve established that. But for the sake of argument, let’s say there are two kinds of contemplative prayer: a good kind rooted in “ancient Christian practice” and a bad kind rooted in Eastern/occult practice. Then we should be able to produce two lists of experts, one promoting each kind.

But after years of research, I’ve come up with only one list—because there is only one.

Both the people who claim contemplative prayer is not of Eastern/occult association and those who gladly affirm its occultic roots reference and recommend the same list of experts—those mentioned above and more. Philip Yancey labels such experts “masters of prayer.”16 J. K. Jones calls them a “lush rainforest of spiritual giants.”17 The Web Site of Unknowing speaks of their “fascinating theological insights.”18

Such recommendations influence us, especially after we’ve already been seduced by ethereal words like these:

“In silence and contemplation, we rest from all of our human striving and division.”19

“Move beyond thinking into a place of utter stillness with the Lord . . . and then God works.”20

“It is to this silence that we all are called.”21

A vast crowd has been quoting and recommending today’s proponents of contemplative prayer while also misunderstanding them. If the writer is following in the footsteps of Foster, Merton, and the medieval Catholic mystics, then he or she absolutely does not mean normal silent prayer and legitimate biblical meditation. The “contemplation” and “silence” of the mystics is mantra meditation. That’s what the authorities being referenced mean.

If you’re not doing contemplative prayer, this might be a good time to consider not applying that term to what you are doing.

And . . . well, if you have been doing contemplative prayer, please research further what’s been presented here. Look to the Scriptures. Our God is not silent on these things. Isaiah speaks of the Lord abandoning his people because they had adopted practices “from the east” (Isaiah 2:6). Deuteronomy 12:30, 31 is just one of many passages with warnings about being “snared” by false worship: “Inquire not after their gods, saying, How did these nations serve their gods? Even so will I do likewise. Thou shalt not do so unto the Lord thy God.” We can take some cues from Jesus’ instruction against using “vain repetitions, as the heathen do” (Matthew 6:7). And there’s Peter’s call to prayer, which speaks of clearheadedness, not an empty mind: be “sober, and watch” (1 Peter 4:7).

This is just the tip of the iceberg, friends. Contemplative prayer is a dangerous, unscriptural practice. And that’s calling a spade a spade.

To order copies of So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?, click here. 

Endnotes
1. Ken Wilson, Mystically Wired: Exploring New Realms in Prayer (Nashville, TN: Thomas Nelson, 2009), p. 9.
2. Richard Foster, Prayer: Finding the Heart’s True Home (New York: HarperCollins, 1992), pp. 155-157.
3. Occultists themselves admit this connection. For example, in Richard Kirby’s book, The Mission of Mysticism, he states, “The meditation of advanced occultists is identical with the prayer of advanced mystics,” p. 7.
4. Thomas Merton, Zen and the Birds of Appetite (New York, NY: New Directions Books, 1968), p. 79.
5. David Steindl-Rast, “Recollection of Thomas Merton’s Last Days in the West” (Monastic Studies, 7:10, 1969).
6. Thomas Merton, Thoughts on the East (New York, NY: New Directions Books, 4th Printing), pp. 70, 76.
7. Thomas Merton, Contemplative Prayer (New York: Doubleday, Image Books edition, 1971), pp. 109, 103, 101, 37.
8. Ibid., p. 42.
9. Ibid., pp. 40, 100, 101, 35.
10. “Contemplative Prayer in the Western Tradition”  (http://www.kyrie.com/inner/contemplative/contemplative_prayer_western_tradition.htm).
11. “History of Contemplative Prayer” ().
12. M. Basil Pennington, Thomas Keating, Thomas E. Clarke, Finding Grace at the Center (Petersham, MA: St. Bede’s Pub., 1978), pp. 5-6.
13. http://web.archive.org/web/20130909233645/http://contemplativechristian.com/contemplative-prayer/history.
14. Richard Rohr is the founder of the Center for Action and Contemplation (https://cac.org/richard-rohr).
15. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saint_Teresa_of_Avila.
16. Philip Yancey, Prayer (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2006), p. 184.
17. J.K. Jones, “What the Monks Can Teach Us” (Christian Standard, 2/22/09, ), p. 7.
18. Carl McColman, “Who Are the Christian Mystics?” (http:www.anamchara.com/mystics).
19. Ruth Haley Barton, “Make a Joyful Silence” (Sojourners, February 2009, ).
20. Tony Jones, The Sacred Way (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2005), p. 15.
21. Henri Nouwen, The Way of the Heart (New York: Ballantine Books, 2003), p. 66.

To order copies of So You Want to Practice “Good” Contemplative Prayer . . . What’s Wrong With That?, click here. 

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Shepherd's Garden Bible Verse TeaThe Shepherd’s Garden is extremely pleased to announce the arrival of our two new organic Bible verse tea blends – Vanilla Almond Rooibos and Spicy Red Chai. And are they delicious! At least, that’s what we are being told. Plus we have the long awaited for Sampler Box, which holds 3-4 tea bags of each of our 6 blends (a total of 20 tea bags: Cranberry Orange Rooibos, Chai Green, Peppermint, Peach White, Vanilla Almond Rooibos, and Spicy Red Chai).

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As a way to say thank you to our readers and customers of our catalog and online store, we are offering, indefinitely, to our U.S.A. customers a $5 flat rate shipping on all orders (you can choose a lesser rate for smaller orders). When you get to the third step at check out, just choose the FLAT RATE shipping option. Click here to enter store.