The Dark Guest

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“Destroy, O God, the dark guest within, whose hidden presence makes my life a hell.”

-Valley of Vision

 

The Dark Guest. 

If one would look upon me physically, they would see a rather calm man, yet there is a war within and behind the physical exterior. A battle rages daily. A battle that takes place in the mind and heart. It is the battle against besetting sins. Sins that we face daily in our lives and will face until we are freed from this body. I long for that day when sin shall be vanquished, I long for it.

When I was young, I watched movies I should not have and when I entered the military, I was dwelling in pornography. It runs rampant in the military I must admit. It is everywhere. Once it gets into you mind, it forms your perspective and objectifies women. It is a sin that I wish I never came into contact with. It has been years since and now, I fight the images that remain in my mind. It is a daily fight that I must wage war against it. If I do not take the offensive, it takes ground and wants more. It is a sin that I know a lot of men fight and a lot of men fall too. Hence, why I don’t understand why there are “Christian” men who defend watching Game of Thrones. As a man, we hold onto those images, we simply do. We carry those images with us and then when our minds are idle, they emerge from the dark shadows of the mind. It leads forth to masturbation, and worse to adultery and so forth. It is a sin that rots the mind.

I have been reading Paul’s letter to the Romans and Romans 6:16 has been on my mind daily:

“Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or obedience resulting in righteousness?” – Romans 6:16

This sin is a slave driver. It enslaves the mind of the one it ensnares and I can speak with experience, it does. I daily fight the remaining remnant of this sin, its thoughts that come looking pleasurable and innocent, but are not. It is a daily fight for many of us who were ensnared. As the next verse says in Romans 6:17…”But thanks be to God”. Martin-Lloyd Jones once said, ‘Thanks God for the “buts” in the bible.”  I am sinner, a great one at that but Christ is a greater Savior. There are times when I overlook that as I can wallow in the grief of my sin from time to time. I must not as that in and of itself is a sin. I often looked to myself for rescue and I have only found myself burying myself deeper into a hole that I can not escape. No, it is not my strength, but Christ’s and His alone.

I am not one of those happy-clappy Christians…I fight daily the ongoing attacks of sin. I want to be honest about it and not hide it. I am thankful for a loving and Godly wife who I can confide in daily and my church. I know that there are many of you, and men who daily fight this battle. Know that you are not alone in this fight. Know that we come to Altar of Grace, Jesus Christ. May we do so daily.

 

Stephen

 

 

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A Morning Musing

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HARVEY. 

One can not escape the images that are coming out of Houston this week. We have seen heart-breaking images and images displaying the heroism and courage of simple neighbors rushing to the aid of others. We also have seen in this storm the power of the Almighty God. We see easily just how small and fragile we are. We tend to think that we are superior because we have built mighty things, but in matter of days we are reminded that we are not.

Psalm 24:1 states “The earth is the Lord’s, and all it contains. The world, and those who dwell in it.” Some may say  ask, ‘Why does God send these storms? Why does He do these things?” Well, I can not give an answer, for I do not know, nor am I privy to His secret counsel  and why He does things.  I suppose that one can say sin and so forth, but that is another discussion for another time. Yet, we are to remain faithful in these times, for we know that these things work out for good and to the glory of God.

What we do not see on the news are the many faithful ministers of the gospel, the many congregations ministering to many people who have lost their homes. There was one photo that was posted of a minister searching cars that were stranded in flooded waters to make sure no one was in them. What a sight. A faithful minister not caring about himself, but for others.

Indeed, I know that many of us have friends and family there and we are certainly praying for them at this hour. Pray that the goodness and mercy of God is shown through the Gospel and actions of his people during this time.

Word-Faith Fail.

Gloria Copeland, the wife of Kenneth Copeland once boasted that she and her husband could “rebuke” storms and even touted once that Kenneth Copeland rebuked a tornado. These are indeed bold claims. Yet they are empty bold claims as their words hold no weight. Why, one would ask with days notice of this massive storm, where were they? They were in fact, not in Texas. Odd, isn’t it? These vipers who claim to “christians” are in fact empty vessels, clouds without water, preaching and teaching things that are well, deep down heretical.  There shall come a day where they and others like them shall stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, before a unsympathetic Judge who will give them no pardon. They will like Jesus said in Matthew 7 claim, they did these things in the name of the Lord. The Almighty Judge, righteous in His judgments will reply with the sobering words, “I NEVER KNEW YOU…DEPART FROM ME!”.

Indeed, they shall be sent to an eternity of torment. This should sober us. This should make us tremble. These Word-Faithers care only for the temporal things of the world and its riches, nothing more. The name of Christ is a means by which they get rich. They walk upon the backs of the poor, the helpless to gain their riches. They are also a form a judgment upon those that do not want Biblical Sound teaching. These are people who want all the glories of the temporal world with no suffering, no affliction and so forth. It is like a tragic greek play, where in the end, all shall die who do not repent.

 

Stand Fast.

May we stand firm in the word of God and in these times of affliction and tribulation, may we carry forth the Light, the Gospel to people who are hurting and lost.

 

Stephen J. M.

Wednesday Musings

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Wednesday Musings. 

I have finally completed two book designs. I am happy to say that they have turned out very well and the authors are rather delighted by the covers that I came through with. It is always a good thing when you can make the author happy, especially at a time when they are stressed out by the writing and publishing part of the job. With the two cover designs completed, I now can take a break and focus on some other matters.

Justification. The Five Solas and the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation.

I have been in the study phase of late, since completing two book designs. I now have turned my focus and concentration to study prep. When I am not designing and working full time. I have had the gracious task of being  a lay teacher at my church here in Tulsa. Of late, I have taken the task of teaching through the book of Revelation over the last year and some months. Two weeks ago, I completed Chapter 20 and the Great White Throne Judgment. It was a very sobering chapter to teach through I must say and one that needs to be taught soberly and truthfully. Now as October comes around, we shift our focus to Martin Luther and the Reformation. My task, or my assignment to teach is on Justification and the Five Solas. It is a lesson that I take with great enthusiasm. I love church history and the subject itself. Why? You ask. Well, growing up I never knew anything about this. You see, I grew up in a rather legalistic church that was founded upon the ideas of the late Jack Hyles. So, as you can imagine, they were never keen on Calvin or any of the reformers. These are men who cared about creating their own history, and nothing more. So, later in my life, way later that is I was introduced to the Reformation and such men as Luther, Calvin, Knox, Hus and so forth. My eyes were open to such a rich history and solid biblical truth that had become lost.

I am looking forward to teaching on the Five Solas and Justification. These are subject that define and will define ones eternity. They are subjects, doctrines that have been placed outside the church as entertainment and the culture have been invited in. So, with the whole month of September ahead, I will be immersed in the Five Solas!

Social Media.

Ah, social media is like that of a forest that has had no rain and when a match is dropped with the fire lit, the forest is engulfed. Social media is the same thing. Yet, the matches are our fingers. We are quick to start fires and quick to run away from the fire that ensues. We must tread carefully on Social Media as Christians. We simply must. For it is said, so the fingers type, so twitter reveals the thoughts and intentions of our hearts. I myself, have been guilty of being bitter and rather loosed with my tongue. It is perhaps the Brooklyn in me that wants to speak bold at times. Yet, at times, silence is the best response to such nonsense that we see. Hence, I must follow suit. I tend to gaze upon false teachers and talk about them. I am rather angered at their mangling of scripture, but no more of that nonsense. Only edifying things shall come forth! I promise!

Well, this really concludes today’s musings! I pray you all have a splendid evening or night and may we grow closer to Christ with each day!

Stephen J. Melniszyn

 

Why We’re Protestant


This week, Why We’re Protestant hit Amazon and from what I have seen, orders have been pretty big. I am happy for my dear friend, Nate Pickowicz. I am also happy that the cover printed very well. That is perhaps the nerve racking part of the job, waiting to see how your design looks when it is printed. I have to say, that I am impressed. I will say though that Create Space needs to improve on their templates, but other than that they have been amazing thus far. I have done all my designs all through CreateSpace and every time there have been minor problems, but the staff is pretty good about getting back to the author and letting them know what needs to be corrected. I have also have to thank Pastor Nate Pickowicz. He has given me the privilege of doing this cover, which to me is an important cover. I mean, all covers are important, because they basically give you insight as to what is the content of the book, but for this one, it was much more special. It is special because this year marks the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation. A very pivotal moment in history for the church. Important because truth then had been lost in superstitions and mystical ideas that no where near biblical. Also, because Truth had been withheld by the Roman Catholic Church, thus starving and enslaving the people to a false spiritual system that damned instead of saved them. From Jon Huss, to Luther, Calvin and onward, God would raise men to restore the truth of the Gospel during these times, thus rescuing men and women out of the slaver of darkness and into light, Post Tenebras Lux. 

Today, though, many have forgotten as to why they are are in fact Protestant. Churches today withhold the great rich history of the church. In doing so, history is lost and the most important doctrines that were brought back to the church have all but been placed in the back and buried as entertainment has taken captive of the church. For most, people’s church history starts upon the day of the their conversion. We are now in a period of darkness in the church, just as what Luther faced in his time. Nate draws upon the battle cry of the Reformation, the Five Solas. If we want revival in our land, we must have a Reformation today. Pulpits must throw away the wisdom of the world, the drama teams, the quest for cultural relevance and stand on the sole authority of Scripture and Scripture alone. Right now, as George Whitfield has said, we have dead congregations because dead men stand in the pulpits. 

So, when we are asked, why are we Protestant? Let us have a solid answer. Let us a have a firm understanding of what it means to be Protestant. So, go and get Why We’re Protestant today. I pray this book opens the eyes of the sleeping churches. I pray that in our time we would see what Jonathon Edwards, Whitfield, Spurgeon saw in their time: the true salvation of the souls of men and logic on fire emanating from the pulpits once more.
Stephen