Saturday, November 27, 2010

Christian Prophecy from Moses to Paul

Copyright (c) 2010 Zoe Ministries

Old Testament

Prophets are first mentioned in the Bible with Abraham, who
is the founder of all of Christianity, Judaism and Islam;
and it given premium importance in the bible. God says, Now
Therefore restore the man his wife, for he [Abraham] is a

The first time Abraham says the word Prophet the word is
connected to prayer. Being a prophet requires a solid
prayer life. This is one of the most important and
neglected elements of being a prophet and cannot be
stressed enough. It is best exhibited by a simple and quite
easy-to-remember equation:


It is that simple: A prophet needs prayer. Christian
prophecy requires an open channel with God and prayer is
(by far) the best way to know you are communicating with
the Lord. Without this connection to God, the prophet is
without the gift of Christian prophecy; the prophet will
not hear the message of the Lord with clarity. Clarity is
incredibly important to a prophet because the line between
a false prophet and a real prophet is a thin one in the
eyes of many though it is easily seen by God.

Prophets all share different roles today as they did
before. Prophecy is practiced in different ways by
different individuals. God takes advantage of our diversity
through Christian prophecy. Some Prophets in the Old
Testament were leaders of the Israelites: Moses, Samuel,
Elijah and Elisha. A prophet is usually a supportive
ministry but currently a prophet can lead a church or have
a leadership role inside of it. In other words, not every
leader is a prophet but some prophets are leaders. There
are also many prophets which directly wrote to the people
of Israel. Prophetic writers include those who had a great
impact on the destiny of the people of Israel in the Old
Testament and also; Minor Prophets, whose impact was not
felt as deeply, but were people of the Lord and made holy

New Testament

God ordains Christian Prophecy in the New Testament book of
Ephesians. And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets;
and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For
the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in
the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of
God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of
the fullness of Christ.

After Christ came to earth, prophecy also played a crucial
role. There are different types of Prophets in the New
Testament: prophets of exhortation, prophets who foretell
events, and prophets of confirmation.

When Agabus sees the spirit that Paul would be bound by the
Jews at Jerusalem; this is an example of foretelling. The
Bible says:

And as we tarried there many days, there came down from
Judaea, a certain prophet, named Agabus. And when he was
come unto us, he took Pauls girdle, and bound his own hands
and feet ,and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the
Jews at Jerusalem bind the man that owneth this girdle, and
shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles. Acts 21:

The book of Acts depicts Prophets of exhortation; which
means Prophets who fortify the faith of others: Judas and
Silas, who themselves were prophets, said much to encourage
and strengthen the believers.

Christian prophecy enriches not only your spiritual
well-being, but also brings you closer to our Savior. It's
a spiritual gift that Jesus bestowed on us. Find out how
Prophecies can actually help you. For prophetic christian
counseling come and see us at

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Thursday, November 25, 2010

What is Faith and the Real Reason for the Bible, according to Archangel Chamuel?

You are about to read about what Archangel Chamuel has to
say about faith. He was communicating telepathically with
my wife, who is an Avatara (male is Avatar); a modern
prophet who receives and delivers messages from the
Godhead, for the betterment of mankind.

Jill: What is Faith?

Chamuel: To experience connecting with The Creator, you
must examine this moment closely. Just focus your attention
on the 'now'. Ask yourself, what is it that's difference
about this present moment from anything else you've ever
experienced or will experience in the future?

Chamuel then went on to tell us that the angelic realm is
well aware we may have an infinite number of answers, but
your experience 'now' is something completely different. To
be at one with spirit is a state of 'knowing', which you
may prefer to call faith.

He than went on to tell us that most things you claim to be
true or know, is actually just opinions you have formed and
chosen to believe in. It's important you learn to
differentiate between your beliefs and your inner knowing.

It is human to question your beliefs; but tapping into your
inner knowing is connecting with your heart and with The
Creator, God.

Chamuel told us that we don't need to dismiss our beliefs
and opinions, for many of human kind's opinions can contain
moments of truth, beauty and validity.

Jill: What's the real reason for the Bible?

Chamuel told us it was meant to help us learn mistakes of
the past; to help save us from repeating the same mistakes,
but unfortunately through mankind's desire to be a god
themselves, and wield power over others, they have taught
human kind that the only way to heaven is to believe in
death and the resurrection of Christ.

Chamuel stated that history is meant to save us from
repeating the mistakes of our brothers and sisters. Yet the
church, instead, has made us believe we should live to the
Bible Code literally; and this is wrong.

When human kind creates differences which divide people,
they create a devil. The devil is not some 'one' or
'greater entity'. The Bible was channelled through chosen
prophets, such as Jill, my wife, to guide and assist.

Chamuel stressed that the Bible has now become a devil, in
so much as it causes mankind to take it too literally.

Human kind is too busy looking for God; The Creator;
whichever suits you. People miss the 'knowing' that they
are already 'with' God. It is not a question of faith. It
is an inner awareness; an inner knowing. Just like the
inner knowing of what's truly right and truly wrong.

Chamuel told us that there wouldn't be enough tears in the
galaxies for the times they have tried to help those who
blindly refuse to be open to receiving the God within.

You must ask yourself this question, "Why did the Bible
only come about once mankind had learnt to read and write?"
You don't need a book, or a set of rules, to follow and
connect with God, for you see, one way for one, may not be
the same way for another. For we are all unique aspects of
The Creator, God.

Chamuel then exclaimed that 'they' know there will be some
people protest that, before the Bible, 'everyone' was evil.
But this is wrong. You see the Bible is a record of a
person's moment. You can never know the truth, for you were
not there. All you have is the person's accountability.

Yes, parts are true, poignant and valid. Yet a lot in the
Bible isn't. To have faith in The Creator; God; is to know
that you possess many unique beautiful qualities which The
Creator, together with you, experience.

Chamuel then asked us to look at the greatness of human
kind, when they put aside their differences and work
together as one. He told us that when you work in an
awareness of love and compassion, you are working through
the Divine purpose.

Yes you are all different in looks, colour and beliefs; but
together on the inside you are all one; and all together,
the power of The Creator is complete.

Chamuel commented that they are sure people will need to
ponder what has been brought to us. But this knowledge is
given by them for the betterment of mankind, this blessed
planet and its part in the universes.

He signed of with,

"Blessed be! Chamuel Elohim Gabor."

Glenn Harrison is an ANGEL MESSENGER. He was contacted by
The ANGEL OF DEATH: Archangel Azrael, in 2005; and later,
recorded messages from over 50 Archangels, Ascended Masters
and Light-Beings.
If you want more messages like these, get our first book
'Conversations with Archangels' -
FREE at :==>

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Friday, November 19, 2010

Haven't Found Your Purpose? Choose Again And Persevere

Copyright (c) 2010 Scott F Paradis

In both the grand design and in the unremarkable minutiae
of everyday existence — purpose unfolds. As obscure
and insignificant as the shards of meaning may seem their
function is to guide you to your destiny. The impediment
to realizing your true purpose is as the distance from
fragile form to pure elation. The chasm from what is, to
what could be, is the width and breadth of that aspect of
yourself known as ego.

Ego contends you are separate from all that is - separate
from things, separate from other people - separate from
God. Ego is the nature of your being anchored firmly in
the material world. To survive in what appears a
threatening landscape ego seeks power and covets control.
Ego demands to be noticed and intends to dominate.

Human beings live life in a dualistic nature - the mystery
of it all an apparent paradox. Puppets on a string, lost
in the world of form, directed by the intentions of ego, we
live amongst shadows. Vainly we interpret reflections on a
wall. Reluctant to embrace the realization that life is
more than it seems, we yield to fear and hide from the
light of revelation. In this brick and mortar creation we
lack understanding and grovel at the indulgences of ego.
We compete to succeed, compete to survive.

The truth is, you need not live this way. While
experiencing this reality of polar opposites you can seize
upon the truth. While you are in this world, you are not
of this world. You do not have to succumb to the will and
fear of ego. Your nature is divine. While in this
creation you maintain the capacity to shape your
experience. You are creator. And as creator you can
choose how to navigate the passage, how to fulfill your
destiny. You have a choice.

Will is the point of decision, the synapse of choice. Will
is the element of character that merges feelings, yearnings
(wants, needs, desires) with viable options, and chooses.
Each choice is either guided in harmony with life's purpose
or influenced by a scheming, power-hungry ego. Every
choice is an opportunity to select wisely in concert with
the grand design or an ego-grounded pick doomed to lead
through suffering to a similar point of decision once again.

Life has meaning. Your life has meaning. You have a
purpose, a purpose to fulfill - a mission to achieve.
Fulfill your purpose. Achieve your mission. Meet your
destiny with playful abandon. If you haven't yet found
your purpose choose again and persevere. Unbounded
opportunity and great experiences await.

Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life
of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will" publishes "Insights" and
a free weekly ezine, "Money, Power and the True Path to
Prosperity". Subscribe now at

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The Truth About Salvation

Do you believe that you are rescued from the powers of sin
and death to walk in an everlasting covenant relationship
with the one true God?

If your answer is yes, then let me ask you this; what is it
that you base that belief on?

Allow me to be straight up with you. Salvation is not a one
off event that takes place in our lives. We are saved
through a continual journey of deepening relationship with
God through faith in our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This
Salvation is freely available to all, but if we are to
truly accept it and walk in it, their must be a willingness
to turn from going our own way.

Repentance and Salvation are inseparable. When Jesus came,
he revealed the ways of His Kingdom to be in stark contrast
to those of this world. He instructed us to love our
enemies, when our natural inclination is to hate them, and
to pray for those who persecute us, when our desire is to
fight back.

Jesus Christ, through His teaching, revealed the standards,
values and practices of His Heavenly Kingdom, which we have
all failed to uphold. Jesus took the law which was given
through Moses and revealed to us even deeper levels of
truth pertaining to it. This was done so that we might more
clearly recognize the corrupt, vile state of humanity and
our desperate need for salvation from the power of sin.

By an act of shear grace, Jesus willingly took our place
and received the wrath of God as the atonement for our
sins. Because of what Jesus has done, we now all have the
opportunity to step into a new life and walk in
relationship with our Heavenly Father. All we have to do to
become partakers in this new life is be willing to
surrender all that we are back over to Him.

To believe and have faith in Jesus is not to merely
acknowledge his existence with our words. If we truly have
faith in Christ, then we will adjust our entire state of
being, not only in accordance with the truth of that which
He has done to make our redemption possible, but we must
also live and walk according to the truth of who He is.

Jesus is not only our Savior, he is our Lord. If we truly
accept Jesus as our Lord then we will begin a process of
conforming our lives to the standards, values and practices
of His Holy Kingdom.

2 Corinthians 13:5 tells us to examine ourselves to see if
we be in the faith, if indeed to pass the test. If we are
looking for evidence in our own lives, to see if we are
truly walking with God, then we need only look at the style
of life that we are leading, and compare it to the life
that Jesus Christ has called us to, under His Lordship.

Do we see evidence of ourselves undergoing a gradual
process of change, of being conformed to God's ways? Are we
driven by an eternal, Kingdom orientated purpose, do we
desire more of God each day? Or are we conforming to the
ways of this world; seeking the same pleasures, and driven
by the same selfish motives as those who know not God. Are
we able to enjoy the pleasures of the world without any
sense of conviction? Or does the Holy Spirit continually
press on our hearts to turn from our wicked ways and follow
Him into a Holy way of living.

The Bible is one of the primary ways in which God
communicates with his people. It is our accountability and
instruction, so that through it we would know the will of
the father, that we might be built up in our faith and walk
with Him in Holy Communion. We are to hold up the bible
against our own lives, to test ourselves and see if our
thoughts are His thoughts, and if indeed the intentions and
purposes of our hearts are all gradually and progressively
coming into alignment with that which His word states they
are to be.

We can never afford to neglect the Word of God. Mathew
7:13: "For wide is the gate and broad is the road that
leads to destruction, and many enter through it. 14But
small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life,
and only a few find it".. As soon as we cease to abide in
His word and in prayer, we begin to loose sight of the
truth. Our sight becomes darkened and we quickly begin to
loose our way. It's scary when you realize just how quickly
this happens.

I know that I can attest to the fact that in my own life,
in times when I have neglected to be in prayer and in the
word of God for days at a time, the cares of this world,
such as anxieties over finances, the desire to reach a
higher level of social status, a heightened awareness of
what I must accomplish in my own strength to ensure a
greater quality of life for myself and those I love etc
have quickly overtaken my mind and I've begun to loose
sight of what really matters.

Mathew 7:21 reads; "Not everyone who says to Me, "Lord,
Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does
the will of My Father in heaven. 22 Many will say to Me in
that day, "Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name,
cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your
name?" 23 And then I will declare to them, "I never knew
you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness."

This is speaking of those who say Lord, Lord; those who
with utter conviction, profess that they are walking in the
way. But they are deceived in themselves, because the
reality is that they have not turned from following their
own selfish desires. Scripture tells us that it would be
better for us to have never come to know the truth at all,
than to have come in to the knowledge of the truth and then
chosen to forsake its way.

When we come to know the truth and yet fail to walk in it,
our hearts begin to harden towards that very truth, as we
are willingly giving ourselves over to the power of
deception. We need to realize that whenever we resist the
truth, we are resisting God Himself.

When we find ourselves resisting the plainly stated,
fundamental truths of God's word in light of what man has
preached, or in light of what human society and culture
believes is right, or what we personally 'feel' is right,
we ought to be deeply disturbed. Don't allow the popular
voices in human societies and cultures to influence the way
in which you interpret the Holy scriptures of God. Instead,
prayerfully allow scripture to interpret scripture, and
open your heart so that the Holy Spirit can freely shape
you according to the true purposes of God.

If you disagree with anything I have said in this message
that is fine. I would only urge that you look into the
scriptures for yourself. Pray and ask God to show you if
what I'm saying is indeed the truth or a lie. If what I
have said has caused you to question your salvation, then
good. It is better for you to test yourself now and know
the truth, than to risk living in deception for many years,
or perhaps even for the rest of your life.

Mathew 7:22: Many will say to me on that day, 'Lord, Lord,
did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive
out demons and perform many miracles?' 23Then I will tell
them plainly, 'I never knew you. Away from me, you
evildoers!' Jesus is prophesying here that many will come.
The correct translation for that word 'many' is 'a great
multitude'- given the way in which this term was readily
used in that day, it could potentially be talking about
hundreds of thousands or perhaps even millions of people
who believe themselves to be saved.

Don't allow yourself to become one of them. Get into the
word of God and examine yourself. Fall on your knees in
desperation before God and surrender your life wholly and
completely over to Him. Commit yourself to a journey of
faith and repentance that will last the rest of your life,
and understand that nothing else matters. Because on that
day, everything in this world that is not of Him will be
consumed in Holy fire, everything and everyone.

God loves you. And he is desperately reaching out to you.
God has done all that He can to bring you into relationship
with Him, but he cannot force you to love Him in return.
It's your choice to make; Repent now for the Kingdom of God
is at hand.

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Are You Religious Or Are You Spiritual?

Do you consider yourself religious, or do you consider
yourself spiritual? Is there a difference? I think there
is a big difference.

I was talking to a repairman at our home and the subject of
the end of the world came up. As our discussion proceeded,
he asked me if I was religious and spiritual. Now that's
quite a question.

I had been talking to him about how I believed that Christ
will return. I told that when he does return, those who
are born again will be gathered together to meet him in the
air. That's what the Bible says.

Now some when they hear statements like that might
immediately think, "Oh, he's a pretty religious person."
Others might think, "Well, someone who believes that sort
of thing must be a spiritual person." Well, which is it?

I couldn't give the repairman a simple, "yes," or "no"
answer. The biggest problem in answering a question like
that is simply terminology. Being religious means
different things to different people, just as being
spiritual means different things to different people.

Personally, I do not believe that Christianity is a
religion, although I think there is a lot of religion in
what people refer to as "Christianity." Religion is man
made and it is usually full of rules and regulations on how
to be right in God's eyes.

Contrary to that, I believe that true Christianity is the
way of the Father with His children. I believe true
Christianity involves a real, personal relationship between
a person and God Almighty. I believe true Christianity is
what the Bible teaches, not what some people think that the
Bible teaches.

Anyone who has read the Gospels knows that the greatest
opposition that Jesus Christ faced while here on earth was
from the "religious" leaders of that time. They were so
caught up in all of their rules, regulations, and
traditions that they failed to even recognize that the
Messiah had finally arrived.

They saw Jesus as interfering with their system. They were
jealous of the numbers of people that were following him.
They were absolutely afraid of losing their power and

They were afraid that if his popularity continued to
escalate then they might soon be out of a job. So they
opposed him at every turn. It was the religious leaders
who instigated his arrest and his execution.

After the death of Jesus, it was again religious leaders
who persecuted the early Church. The followers of Jesus
were labeled a cult by the same religious leaders. These
religious people endeavored to silence those who preached
about Christ, especially those who preached his
resurrection from the dead.

Throughout history, time and time again, terrible things
have been done by religious people. People convinced that
they were right, believing that they were doing God a
favor, have done many cruel things. Who will ever know how
many people have lost their lives at the hands of religious

Meanwhile, true Christianity is not about rules and
regulations or sacrifices and penance required for heaven.
True Christianity is all about what God made available to
people through the accomplished work of His Son, Jesus
Christ. True Christianity is all about the Father and His

When it comes to being spiritual, that term has different
meanings to a lot of different people too. There is indeed
a natural realm and there is a spiritual realm. But being
a "spiritual" personal does not necessarily mean that
someone is involved with the one true God.

The Scriptures declare that when someone is born again,
they receive God's gift of holy spirit. Looking at it that
way, you could say that such a person is indeed a spiritual
person. That would be accurate because the person has
God's spirit residing in them.

The Bible states that God is Spirit, and that holy men of
God wrote the Bible, being directed by the Holy Spirit. It
would then seem to be very profitable to gain information
and understanding about spiritual matters from the
Scriptures. And, in a manner of speaking, someone who
regards the Scriptures as God's communication to mankind
could indeed be called a spiritual person.

Regardless of your definition of what constitutes
religious, or what makes someone spiritual, The Bible
cannot take a back seat in these matters. And, after
reading this article, perhaps it will be easier for you to
answer the question: Are you religious, or, are you

Michael A. Verdicchio offers a FREE eBook, "9 Keys to
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Monday, November 15, 2010

Free Will?

Copyright (c) 2010 Scott F Paradis

Fate or free will? Choice or predestination? The debate
has raged since man first conceived himself separate from
his surroundings and apparently presented with options.
Some say the script is written, that we move through life,
experiencing the rush but not really choosing the course.
Others contend that choices abound, options are infinite -
we creatures are free.

Scientists exploring the nature of forces, point to the
nearly infinite string of cause and effect — the
consequence of every force is an incontrovertible result.
Every "a" leads to a "b" leads to a "c" without deviation.
Forces set in motion are not deterred from their net
effect. In this construct there is no room for choice.
Cause and effect, and ultimately life, are reduced to a
mathematical equation moving to a determined quotient.

In the day-to-day reality of life we believe we have
choices. We can choose coffee, tea or milk; beer, wine, or
schnapps for that matter; or nothing at all. We can choose
to wear blue, red, yellow, green; a turtleneck or cutoffs;
a beret or bonnet. We can work in industry or government;
services or manufacturing. We can live here, there, or
nowhere at all. Choices abound. In the end - it is belief
that matters.

The argument for fate, as rational as it may be, assumes a
finality - a limit, an end, a definable, ultimately
measurable state of existence. This argument presupposes a
perspective so grand it accounts for every variable - the
entire complex motif; the awe-inspiring wonder and richness
of infinitely complex forces at play. The proponents of
fate suppose no influence of powers outside the dimensions
of what can be known. But all might not be as it seems.

Science, nor philosophy, nor religion can define the bounds
of what is. The scope of it all is beyond the ability of
human intellect to conceive. While we cannot see beyond
the reach of our sight, we cannot presume to "know" what is
out there. Luckily, however, life is not an experience in
a theoretical realm. Life is a foray into a wondrous brick
and mortar adventure.

Can beauty or truth exist with no conscious choice? For
without the ability to choose an option, effort is for
naught - all of life is a regimented process - not an
engaging quest. Without choice, life would seem a hoax
perpetrated on ignorant beings - an experience of the
illusion, a colorful drama, but a drama lacking purpose.
Without free will, life truly is a divine comedy.

If this reality is not the ultimate reality, if we are in
this sensory world, temporarily immersed in the illusion,
it stands to reason - powers in another dimension can
influence what happens here. If we further subscribe to
the belief that though we seem to live here, ultimately we
are not of here, we can begin to grasp that we, ourselves,
have a means to influence this reality - here again, we
have a choice.

In attempting to resolve the argument between free choice
and predestination we seek not an intellectual
understanding of the means of this illusion, but rather the
facts about who and what we are. We seek to know the truth
and in this way understand and embrace our nature.

The ability to change direction, to influence an outcome is
evident in what we observe. The universe is too big to
confine. Our intellects cannot grasp the expanse nor
understand the complexity of it all. Even if fate leads to
an ultimate destination, in practice the roads to travel
there are so diverse we have every choice. The
opportunities in life are so varied, the promise and
potential so vast that fate has no practical impact on the
options before us. Our will is free enough. To experience
a full and fulfilling life choose.

Scott F. Paradis, author of "Promise and Potential: A Life
of Wisdom, Courage, Strength and Will" publishes "Insights" and
a free weekly ezine, "Money, Power and the True Path to
Prosperity". Subscribe now at

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Saturday, November 13, 2010

Music in Scripture - An Overview

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

In the words of the final Psalm, No.150 we read:

"Praise him with trumpets. Praise him with harps and lyres.
Praise him with drums and dancing. Praise him with harps
and flutes. Praise him with cymbals. Praise him with loud
cymbals. Praise the Lord, all living creatures! Praise the

The Psalms are often referred to as the Old Testament
hymnbook. This psalm would suggest that instrumental music
as well as vocal music was widely used as part of worship
in those days. We can certainly look to the psalms for
information about the use of music in scripture.

The previous Psalm, No.149, also makes a number of
allusions to music in worship:

"Sing a new song to the Lord"

"Praise him with dancing; Play drums and harps in praise of

"Let God's people rejoice in their triumph And sing
joyfully all night long."

Other psalms too make reference to both vocal and
instrumental music being used in worship and at other times
of religious celebration. It would seem that the use of
what today we would refer to as "worship bands" were very
much in evidence.

Other examples of music in scripture occur elsewhere in the
Old Testament. We regularly read of occasions when music is
used. After the crossing of the Red Sea and the destruction
of Pharaoh's army we encounter the passage often referred
to as the "Song of Moses":

"Then Moses and the Israelites sang this song to the Lord:
I will sing to the Lord, because he has won a glorious
victory; He has thrown the horses and their riders into the
sea. The Lord is my strong defender; he is the one who has
saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father's
God, and I will sing about his greatness."

When the Ark of the Covenant was brought to Jerusalem
during the reign of King David, there was a great
procession, led by the king himself, when the glory of the
occasion was enhanced by the use of music. In Chronicles we
read of the rededication of the Temple where music again
played a huge part in the worship and in the celebrations
which surrounded it; all adding to the grandeur of the

The New Testament gives us far fewer references of music in
scripture. In his letters to both the Ephesians and the
Colossians, Paul refers to the use of psalms, hymns and
sacred songs. When Paul and Silas were in prison in
Philippi we are told that they passed the time by "praying
and singing hymns to God". We also read in the Gospels that
after the Last Supper the Disciples "sang a hymn and went
out to the Mount of Olives".

These are the main references to music in scripture to be
found in the New Testament. It must be remembered that the
situation was very different for the early Christian church
when compared to the long established Jewish tradition. The
early Christian Church was run on a house-church basis so
the use of music on any significant scale was simply not
possible. It would appear that some psalm and hymn singing
was part of worship but on a very small scale.

As the church grew over the next few centuries a music
tradition developed which has produced a massive repertoire
of wonderful music in many styles and idioms; - a fantastic
resource on which we can draw today.

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist
local preacher. He is an oboist and composer; - also a
writer of worship songs. This article is a result of his
recent research into the development of music in Christian
worship. For more details visit and find out how
you can access a FREE copy of Robert's new Christmas song,
"The Greatest Gift".

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Friday, November 12, 2010

Creative Worship Ideas - The Use of Hymn Words

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

When planning an act of worship, hymns are usually selected
to reinforce the theme of the service. One technique which
I have used very successfully on a number of occasions is
to effectively reverse this and actually use the hymn words
as a basis for preaching. In other words, I don't prepare a
single 15 - 20 minute sermon but follow each hymn with a
'mini' sermon of about 5 minutes taking a particular phrase
or phrases from the words of the hymn as a text. By careful
selection of hymns it is possible to create a really
cohesive service which flows easily from one element to
another. I have found congregations to be very responsive
to this approach.

Ideally, it is best to choose a service which has a very
particular theme. I have used this approach for a Harvest
service, on a Mothering Sunday and at a church anniversary.
Any Sunday which has a very precise place in the church
calendar would be appropriate for this approach. Pentecost
or Advent, for instance, would be ideal. In all cases there
is a wealth of suitable worship music available, from
traditional hymns to contemporary worship songs.

This approach is particularly effective in an all-age
worship situation. A 'blended' worship approach would be
most appropriate for this kind of service so that both
hymns and worship songs can be used; - something for
everyone. Also, this way of doing things means that the
young people don't have to sit through any lengthy talks by
the preacher. There is a lot to commend it!

To give an example of how this all works I will refer to a
Harvest Service I did in this way a couple of years ago. I
took the twin themes of "Thanksgiving" and "Caring", two
topics which we associate with Harvest. I then used three
of the hymns as texts for my 'mini' sermons. These three
hymns were:

- "For the fruits of His creation" - This hymn relates to
both the chosen themes. The two main quotes from this hymn
which I used were "The just reward of labour" which led
logically to the issue of the Fair Trade movement. The line
"In the help we give our neighbour" led me neatly into the
importance of caring and sharing.

- "For the healing of the nations" - This hymn contains the
line, "For a just and equal sharing of the things that
earth affords". I made the point here that the earth has
the richness to easily feed, clothe and resource all its
people yet so many go on living in poverty, in despair and,
sometimes, in virtual slavery. The hymn then goes on to
give us the answer, "To a life of love in action help us
rise and pledge our word." The reference to "love in
action" is, of course, at the very heart of the Christian

- "God in His love for us lent us this planet" - Sung to
the tune 'Stewardship', this is a relatively recent hymn
which focuses our mind on the resources which our world has
and how we should be doing better in preserving it for
future generations. It has been said that we don't own the
planet we just have it on loan from our children.

By using these hymns in this way and expanding on the main
points I have mentioned, (I have just given you the 'bare
bones' here) I got across the message of my twin themes in
a concise way which the congregation found easy to follow.

As I said earlier in my article, I have found this approach
very successful and I intend to use it more when leading
worship on appropriate occasions. A secondary issue with
this way of doing things is that it makes the congregation
very aware of the words they are singing, perhaps giving
them a whole fresh understanding of hymns they have sung
for many years.

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist
local preacher. He has a keen interest in the use of church
music of all kinds and has recently completed a study of
Music in Christian Worship. If you have found this article
of interest please visit and find out how
you can access a FREE copy of Robert's new Christmas song,
"The Greatest Gift"

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Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Instrumental Music in Church

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

The use of instrumental music in church goes back to the
earliest days of Old Testament writing. There are quite a
number of psalms which refer to the playing of musical
instruments in acts of worship Psalm 150 is a particularly
good example:

"Praise him with trumpets. Praise him with harps and lyres.
Praise him with drums and dancing. Praise him with harps
and flutes. Praise him with cymbals. Praise him with loud

In Psalm 149 we read:

"Play drums and harps in praise of him."

Elsewhere, we read of women using tambourines whilst
dancing in worship. The fact is that in Old Testament days
the use of instrumental music was widespread. People of
that time were very exuberant and demonstrative in their
ways of worship.

In more recent times, indeed for several centuries, the
vast majority of instrumental music in church has been the
exclusive province of the organ. There is no doubt that a
good organist playing a good organ in a large cathedral is
a thrilling sound which greatly enhances worship. However,
this isn't the only form of instrumental music which finds
its way into churches these days.

Many acts of contemporary worship are led by worship bands
of one kind or another. This really is a throwback to the
Old Testament times mentioned above. Ever since the early
1960's there has been an increasing use of contemporary
music styles and idioms in worship which inevitably draws
in the instruments which we associate with that kind of
popular music. Contemporary worship bands today are usually
built around the playing of guitars, drum kit, saxophones,
trumpets, etc. which are particularly appropriate for the
expression of contemporary worship songs.

Apart from the accompaniment of hymns and worship songs,
instrumental music in church can be used very effectively
for the creation of atmosphere. Many Christians are used to
the soft playing of the organ during the offering or as
underscoring to Communion. I even encountered a church
some years ago where the lights were dimmed and the organ
played softly beneath the voice of the preacher as he led
the congregation in prayer.

The use of other appropriate instruments can be most
effective too. I. myself, used a flute and violin to
underscore a meditation in a Service of Remembrance which I
was leading a couple of years ago. I have used a similar
technique in an Easter Service too. On each occasion the
feedback from the congregation was most encouraging. If it
is done with taste, this approach can be most effective.

The issue always with the use of music in church is that it
must enhance worship and not detract from it. So long as
that criteria is met, instrumental music in church can be
used in many different ways. It can be used simply to
accompany singing or to create atmosphere or, as with early
liturgical music, act as a framework around which the other
aspects of worship are woven. Of course, if it is to
enhance the worship experience of a congregation, it must
be well prepared and well done. Poor instrumental music in
church is like poor hymns or unimaginative worship songs.
Instead of enhancing the worship experience it will have
quite the opposite effect.

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist
local preacher. He is an oboist and composer;-also a writer
of worship songs. This article is a result of his recent
research into the development of music in Christian
worship. For more details visit and find out how
you can access a FREE copy of Robert's new Christmas song,
"The Greatest Gift"

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Sunday, November 7, 2010

How To Build Your Faith in God

There are times when we feel that our lives are so off
track, even though we are still walking with the Lord. We
have the faith to believe that Jesus Christ came down from
heaven, was born of a virgin, and walked among men. We
believe that he bared our sins on the cross as he died. We
also believe that our God and Father, resurrected Jesus
with all power and that he sits at the right hand of his
God interceding on our behalf to God. We believe that he is
the redeemer of our souls, and yet we cannot believe Him
for the simple day-to-day miracles.

We as Christians long deeply for a greater trust in God. We
desire to grow in the Lord but our faith is weak, unsure,
and unstable at times even though we want to believe.
However, we do not have to long always; we can grow our
faith in God. The word says, "Without faith it is
impossible to please the Lord" Hebrews 11:39 (KJV). We must
have faith to please the Lord, and like anything else we
have to grow in our faith and most often it is a process.
Learning the process is simply following what works for you
in your life. Here are some basic steps for growing your
faith in God, and learning how to trust the Lord at the
same time.

Step One: Create a Faith Journal

Writing is a powerful way to build faith. Creating a faith
journal is simple. Find a book with bound blank sheets of
paper and begin to journal your weaknesses. Each time you
write, be sure to include the date. Journal entries should
include the areas where you are struggling to trust God.
Write as often as you have doubts and include your prayers
asking God to help you believe. Over time, when you return
to read your entries, you will find that God has resolved
many of the problems in your journal. You will find that
God answered your prayers which will offer concrete proof
what God has done and that he will do greater things in
your life. When you begin to search for faith to trust God
on greater levels, you can read how God has worked on your
behalf in the past.

Step two: Devotional time

Devotional time is a very much needed in our lives to build
our faith in God. Yes, many of us are busy and our spare
time is limited in each day. Nevertheless, we must take
time to spend with the Lord on a daily basis. Participating
in daily devotion unto the Lord will keep your heart
focused on God and the power in God. Start a daily devotion
with a quiet or guided meditation, read scriptures on
faith, and remember to attend your devotional services and
Bible study at a church. When you feel doubtful or
hopeless, grab hold of faith through your devotional time.

Step Three: Obey God

Another necessary step to grow in faith is listening to
what God has to say. When you are in line with what the
Lord expects of you, then you can expect his promises to be
fulfilled. There are many promises from the Lord in the
Bible. However, each promise rests upon our actions and
level of belief. When you are aligned with what God
commands of us as his children, you can confidently rest in
expectation that God will fulfill his promises. One promise
from the Bible states, "If ye abide in me, and my words
abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be
done unto you." John 15:7 (KJV)

Step four: Filter Your life

Let's be honest, sometimes we need to filter a lot of junk
out of our life that drains our faith. When we live a godly
life, and walk with God, our faith will start to grow. When
you walk with your entire mind focused on God and with a
pure heart, you are bound to grow in faith. Our faith
increase over time, and with time, it will start to spring
up. However, that only comes when you have purified your
heart. If you do not filter out the impurities in your
life, like fear, doubt, negativity, and unbelief, it is
hard to have faith in God. Instead of trusting God, we
start to look at our circumstances. Just as we filter our
water that it will be fresh to drink it, we need to filter
a lot of the things we watch, and listen to that
contaminate our spirit.

As we know, "Faith is the substance of things hope for and
the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrew 11:1).We might not
see faith, but have to know that faith is there. The
scripture says we not going to see it, we just have to
believe it. God sees our shortcoming, and he knows our
weaknesses. He knows that our faith will grow as we mature
in Him. At times God will even test our faith. The Bible
says, (1 Peter 4:12): "Beloved, think it not strange
concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though
some strange thing happened unto you". We are going to be
tested, and we need faith to carry us through it. That is
why we have to grow in faith by devoting our time, obeying
God, and filtering out our lives.

Learn about Guided Christian Meditation CDs and resources
that will enhance your life and relationship with God at . Are you ready to
transform your life and live with more purpose and passion?
Visit Detox Your Life Now and Awaken Your Inner Spirit at to learn about this 10-week
Christian faith-based program.

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Thursday, November 4, 2010

Hymns of Charles Wesley - 5 of My Particular Favourites

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

Within the vast repertoire of church music the hymns of
Charles Wesley (1707-1788) are widely considered as some of
the greatest ever written. Many of the hymns which
congregations most love to sing came from his pen. The
scriptural detail of his writing and his inspired turns of
phrase put him up there with the very best.

The youngest brother of John Wesley, the inspiration behind
the founding of Methodism, Charles supported his brother in
his evangelical work, writing many great hymns in the
process. In his university days at Christ College in Oxford
he and John founded the Holy Club which was the embryo of

A look at some of the finest hymns of Charles Wesley will
demonstrate his genius and reveal why Christians so love to
sing his work. All church goers will have their own
favourites, but here are five of mine.

- On Easter morning churches ring to the words, "Christ the
Lord is risen today". This is a great opener for worship on
the greatest day in the Christian year. The words, "Love's
redeeming work is done, Fought the fight, the battle won;"
sum up beautifully the full meaning of Easter to all
believers in the Christian faith.

- On the other great day in the Christian calendar,
Christmas Day, Charles Wesley penned one of the greatest of
all Christmas carols, "Hark! The herald-angels sing glory
to the new-born King." In the first verse of this carol we
sing that we, "With the angelic host proclaim: 'Christ is
born in Bethlehem.' Usually sung to the great setting by
Mendelssohn, this hymn has rattled many a church window on
Christmas morning.

- One of the hymns my wife and I chose for our wedding
ceremony was another of the great hymns of Charles Wesley,
"Love divine, all loves excelling". Because of its theme of
love it has become a very popular choice for weddings.
Although the theme is not actually about earthly love but
of heavenly love, it refers to Jesus as "Pure, unbounded
love thou art."

- In a recent survey of the most popular hymns "And can it
be that I should gain" came out top of the poll. This, of
course, is another great congregational hymn of Wesley's
and not surprisingly it is at the top of many people's
list. The repeat of the final two lines of each verse, when
sung to the tune Sagina, never fails to make the hairs on
my neck and forearms stand to attention.

- As a local preacher, I always try to send the
congregation out at the end of worship with a clear message
in their minds. "Forth in thy name, O Lord, I go" is a
great hymn with which to end a service. The words encourage
the members of the congregation to take their faith out
into the community with confidence.

The hymns of Charles Wesley are loved by pretty-well
everyone within the church, whatever their particular
musical preference may be. The five hymns above are some of
my particular favourites, although it was a difficult task
to select just five. There are so many others I could have
chosen. There are, after all, plenty to choose from as,
during his lifetime, he wrote well over 6000 of them.

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist
local preacher. He is an oboist and composer but also a
writer of worship songs. His recent research into the hymns
of Charles Wesley came as a result of a more general study
of music in Christian worship. If you would like to know
more please visit
and find out how you can access a FREE copy of Robert's new
Christmas song, "The Greatest Gift".

EasyPublish this article:

Music in Christian Worship

Copyright (c) 2010 Robert Hinchliffe

The history of music in Christian worship is a substantial
one which can trace its origins all the way back to
pre-Christian times in the Old Testament. In those very
early days we read of the Jewish people singing, playing
instrumental music and even dancing. Such activity was
widely used as a means of expressing faith. Music played an
important role in many acts of celebration and worship. It
was into that society that Jesus was born.

Over the two thousand years since Christ's life the use of
music in Christian worship has gone through many phases and
many musical idioms. It is really over the second of those
two thousand years that church music, as we know it today,
has developed.

One of the most important events in the whole of the world
of music came about through the work of a Benedictine monk,
Guido of Arrezzo who lived from about 995 to 1050. He
didn't actually 'invent' staff notation but he perfected
it, completing the evolution of the earlier neumes into
plainsong script, which was the forerunner of what we know
today as 'tonic-solfa'. All music had previously been
passed down by aural tradition so the facility to write
down music for others to read and perform was a massive
step forward. Almost all musical expression since that time
has come as a direct result of that development.

From that time on, composers were able to create
substantial works for use in worship. This early church
music was written to form the framework of an act of
worship. The music was performed primarily by professional
musicians attached to the church and was not for
congregation participation. Composers did eventually begin
to incorporate chorales (hymns) into the liturgy which gave
the congregation the opportunity to join in at certain
points in the service.

Many of the greatest composers over the centuries have
added their voices to the ever growing repertoire of great
church music. Bach, Handel, Mozart, Beethoven and many
others have given us masterpieces adding to the wealth of
music in Christian worship. We tend to know many of these
works today through concert performances, forgetting that
many were originally created as liturgical pieces for use
in church services.

At times of spiritual revival (the Protestant Reformation,
the missions of Moody & Sankey, the evangelical energy
which led to the founding of Methodism and the Salvation
Army, etc.) there was a burst of hymn writing surrounding
these events. These highly creative times in church music
led to the appearance of many of the greatest and most
popular congregational hymns of all. The hymns from these
eras of church history have stood the test of time and are
still to be heard today in even the most contemporary of
worship situations.

Over the last 50 years worship music has gone through a
whole new phase of development. Since the early 1960's
composers of church music have gained much inspiration from
the popular music of their day. We now regularly encounter
worship bands accompanying church singing rather than the
traditional organ. More and more, we hear the term "worship
song" rather than the word "hymn" and congregations are
becoming much more attuned to worship music in a popular
contemporary idiom. This can be a contentious issue at
times but it is important that all Christians have the
right to express their faith in a manner which suits them.
Many churches are coping with this by having both
traditional worship and contemporary worship on a Sunday.

So, music in Christian worship continues to develop and
change. We now have a massive repertoire of music in many,
many different styles and idioms to choose from. At all
costs, we must avoid the blinkered view of focusing on
music of one idiom and ignoring the rest. Every generation
adds to the rich tapestry of worship music we have
available to us.

Robert Hinchliffe is a professional musician and Methodist
local preacher. This article is a result of his recent
research into the history and development of music in
Christian worship. Would you like to know more about his
research? If so please visit and find out how
you can access a FREE copy of Robert's contemporary
Christmas song, "The Greatest Gift".

EasyPublish this article:

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

How to Conquer Your Fears with God's Help

Living with fear can be paralyzing and not God's best for
our lives. The Bible encourages us saying, ""For God has
not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and
of a sound mind." 2Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)" Meaning, that any
type of fear is not God's will for our lives. Whether it is
s fear of speaking to a crowd, trying something new, or
even a fear of reading your Bible, it is not of God.
Conquering fear is an attainable feat as a Christian.

We have to conquer the fear in our lives in order to live
in complete submission to God. Jesus died not just for our
sins but that we might have life and life more abundantly.
An abundant life includes a life free from fear. When we
live in fear, we are exercising a lack of faith. Our fears,
if strong enough, can produce negative outcomes in our
lives, as it did for Job, "For the thing I greatly feared
has come upon me, and what I dreaded has happened to me."
Job 3:25 (NKJV). There are steps to conquering fear that
will lead to a greater peace in Christ Jesus.

Step one: Identify Your Fear

You must identify your fears and the root causes of the
fear. Some root causes are not quite as obvious or easily
recognized on the surface. Ask yourself questions to
identify the actual problem. For example, questions like
what is fear. What are you scared of, and what does it
reminded you of? When did you first notice this fear in
your life? Most of all, is this a valid fear for a believer
of Jesus Christ? These questions must be answered before
going on to the other steps.

Step Two: Read God's Word

Reading your Bible will help you to conquer fear in your
life. The Bible provides instructions on how to overcome
any stronghold in our lives. Specifically the Bible tells
us that we should not fear anyone or anything. Psalms 27:1
says "The Lord is my light and salvations-whom shall I
fear." Find scriptures that declares God's sovereign power
and Jesus' lordship as our savior. Build your faith
believing that God is who he said he is and he will do
everything he said he will do in your life.

Step Three: Meditate

When you find scriptures that admonish your fearful
thoughts, meditate on those scriptures. Meditation is to
reflect in thought, repeating words or principles in the
mind. The benefits of meditation can reduce fear in our
life. The more you give your mind and spirit to focusing on
the power in Christ Jesus, the more fear will begin to
fade. Think on something that GOD HAS ALREADY DONE for you,
which could have ended much worse. If you feel those old
fearful thoughts creeping back in your mind, remind
yourself that God has a plan for your life, "For I know the
plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper
you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
future" Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV). If God's plan for your life
is good and without harm, what is there to fear?

Step four: Pray

You can never pray too much or too hard about an issue in
your life. All things begin and end with prayer. When we
have a problem in our life, we need to take it to Jesus.
Fear can ultimately be prayed out of our lives if we
believe in our prayers. Anything is movable or able to be
conquered in life through sincere and fervent prayer, even

Fear is a spirit of torment to a Christian. As Christians,
we have to fight fear in our life by identifying the root
cause, reading God's word, meditating on God's word, and
praying. Just like any other habit or spirit, which seeks
to disrupt our walk with Jesus, and we need to conquer
fear. When we are able to fully accept who God is in our
lives and the ultimate sacrifice that Jesus made for us,
fear will leave. Jesus' love for us, already conquered fear
on the cross. However, our love for Jesus will move fear
completely out of our lives. "There is no fear in love;
but perfect love casts out fear: because fear hath torment.
He that fears is not made perfect in love" (1 john 4:18).

Learn about Guided Christian Meditation CDs and resources
that will enhance your life and relationship with God at . Are you ready to
transform your life and live with more purpose and passion?
Visit Detox Your Life Now and Awaken Your Inner Spirit at to learn about this 10-week
Christian faith-based program.

EasyPublish this article:

Monday, November 1, 2010

Using Affirmations to Create the Life You Want

Affirmations are positive statements that you tell yourself
to believe. They can help you create the life that you want
because your actions are governed by your thoughts. You
will find the most powerful and beautiful affirmations from
God's own book, the Holy Bible.

Be Strong and Confident in Life

"I can do all things through Christ." Norman Vincent Peale,
a world renowned lecturer and author of many books call
this verse from the Bible as "the seven magic words". Many
times you are faced with seemingly insurmountable obstacles
in life. Saying this affirmation constantly to yourself
will give you the realization that there is nothing you
can't do with God by your side.

Have Peace and Contentment in Life

"The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want." This verse
from Psalm 23 of the New Testament of the Bible can bring
so much peace to one's heart and mind especially in times
of trouble. It creates the feeling of assurance that you
are always safe with the Lord. You know that He will never
let you go astray from the path of righteousness if you
follow Him.

Be Healthy and Overcome Diseases

"I am the Lord that healeth thee." What a consoling
affirmation for people faced with illness. A visit to the
doctor can scare you out of your wits. Or he may sap your
energy with his frightening findings about your health. God
promises healing to those who seek Him. There are so many
stories of miraculous recoveries from life threatening
diseases which are attributed to faith. What is indeed
impossible with man is possible with God. Even doctors
acknowledge that they are merely instruments of God.
Spiritually healthy people are healthier according to
findings. They also recover faster from sickness compared
to those who don't practice their faith.

Delight in God and Get the Desires of your Heart

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the
desires of your heart." This beautiful verse from Proverbs
37:4 brings cheer and joy. Just like a loving father, God
bestows blessings to those who love Him. God wants you to
be happy because you are His child. When you have a joyful
heart because of loving the Lord, you radiate this joy to
other people Positive feelings can result to so many good
things and happiness in life.

Positive affirmations cost nothing unlike synthetic drugs
used to treat depression and other psychological problems.
Why not try them? They can make your life more meaningful.
You only need to believe the truth behind these words to
help you create the life you want.

Are you ready to transform your life and live with more
purpose and passion? Visit Detox Your Life Now and Awaken
Your Inner Spirit at to
learn about this 10-week Christian faith-based program.
God wants you to be healthy and whole. Find articles and
resources that promote fitness, weight loss, and
relationships from a Christian perspective at today.

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