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Have A Great Christmas, Friends!


merry Christmas fron Notforitching ears

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New Year’s Resolutions We Can All Keep!


This should be EASY!

This should be EASY!

I think I can do this!

Making Room for God in Your Life


Making Room For GodMerry Christmas everyone!

Not being catholic, I seldom read what the Pope has to say. But this year I actually read his Christmas eve sermon. I was moved by his words and challenged in my own life and faith. I have posted it here. I hope my protestant friends can read it and Read the rest of this entry

A Christmas Prayer for All


The following prayer is from the largely forgotten deposit of the Puritan Movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They testify to the richness and color of evangelical thought and language, as well as their devotion to the Savior. They can be found in a book titled “The Valley of Vision”, by Arthur Bennet. I have included them in this blog so that others can use them in their own prayer life as a springboard to a more faithful walk with Jesus. These prayers are 200-400 years old! They were written in old English, but that should not get in the way if you don’t let it.

Following Him together…
Read the rest of this entry

Fiscal Cliff and Gun Control? I Can’t Hear You Because I’m Listening to Myself


I'm Right and You're Wrong“Two plus Two is Five, and I don’t see how you can’t see that!”

Often, when I engage in political dialogue with people who believe what I wholeheartedly reject, they look at me like the guy in the photo to the left.    It is as if I am proclaiming that 2+2 is 5 and they don’t know what to say!  To be fair, it goes both ways.  Their arguments sometimes make as much logical sense to me!

Go online to discuss things and the discourse degenerates pretty quickly!  Read through the comment section of any hot topic of the day, and you will find people screaming Read the rest of this entry

God’s Christmas Gift to Humanity


Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas

“God, infinitely perfect and blessed in himself, in a plan of sheer goodness freely created man to make him share in his own blessed life.For this reason, at every time and in every place, God draws close to man. He calls man to seek
him, to know him, to love him with all his strength. He calls together all men, scattered and divided by sin, into the unity of his family, the Church.

To accomplish this, when the fullness of time had come, God sent his Son as Redeemer and Savior. In his Son and through him, he invites men to become, in the Holy Spirit, his adopted children and thus heirs of his blessed life.”

May you receive Him with open arms!  Merry Christmas everyone.

A Christmas Prayer of Praise


Christmas CrossWe praise you, O God,
we acclaim you as Lord;
all creation worships you,
the Father everlasting.

To You,   all angels,
all the powers of heaven,
the cherubim and seraphim, sing in endless praise:

Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
heaven and earth are full of your glory.

The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you:

Father, of majesty unbounded,
your true and only Son, worthy of all praise,
the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.

You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.

When you took our flesh to set us free
you humbly chose the virgin’s womb.
You overcame the sting of death,
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.

You are seated at God’s right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come to be our judge.

Come then, Lord, and help your people,
bought with the price of your own blood,
and bring us with your saints
to glory everlasting.

Seeing Past the Glitter…Encountering Christ at Christmas


Merry Christmas everyone!

Not being catholic, I seldom read what the Pope has to say.  But this year I actually read his Christmas eve sermon.    I was touched  by his story of the Church of the Nativity in Bethlehem.  I have posted it here.  I hope my protestant friends can read it.

“Today, anyone wishing to enter the Church of Jesus’ Nativity in Bethlehem will find that the doorway five and a half meters high, through which emperors and caliphs used to enter the building, is now largely walled up. Only a low opening of one and a half meters has remained. The intention was probably to Read the rest of this entry

A 300 Year Old Prayer for The Difficult Seasons of Life


The following  prayer was first offered back in the   1700′s.  It is from the largely forgotten deposit of the Puritan Movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries.  These people knew God and they knew how to pray.  We can learn a lot from them. They are written in old english.  I have updated  a few outdated words and changed the Thee’s and Thou’s to make it more 2011.  However, they still have the feel of that era.   This prayer, titled ’The Valley of Vision’,  along with many others, can be found in a book titled “The Valley of Vision”, by Arthur Bennett. Read the rest of this entry

The Bottom 5: Our LEAST Read Posts from 2011


Yes, it is that time again.  The “Best of” posts are all coming out.  Tomorrow we will have our top 5 posts of the year.  Today, as an act of humility, we present our Bottom 5.  They are our least read posts of 2011.  Go ahead and read one.  They can’t be all bad!

Merry Christmas Everyone! Read the rest of this entry

Monday Mornings with The Early Church Fathers: What Authentic Christianity Looked Like- Justin Martyr


Do you ever grow weary of all the new fads and techniques the modern church creates? I do! What is important to us, may not have been important to those who were personally discipled by Jesus Christ and those whom they disicpled.

I am continually challenged when I read the history and the writings of the early church. I am drawn to them over and over again because of how close they were in time to the Apostles. Their writings are not scripture, but neither are the writings of Luther, Calvin or John Stott. These writings shed tremendous light on how the Apostles and the early church viewed the Christ event and the implications of it. Anyone who wants to follow Jesus Christ faithfully owes it to themselves to read the writings of these Godly men.

Today, I have posted a quote from Justin Martyr as well as the quote in context.  It deals with identifying real Christians and is from his First Apology, chapter 16.  Justin lived from 100 AD to 165 AD.  He was a philosopher who was converted to Christianity and became a tireless evangelist and apologist.  He was executed for his faith sometime Read the rest of this entry

A Wise Word of Encouragement from the Early Church to Today’s Generation


Saint Cyprian penned the following wise words in AD 256.   Brothers and sister, we would be do well to take them to heart.  They remind us that what God requires of us is not a deeper understanding of his ways, but a life that is lived following them.  It is easy to get the two confused.  Learning facts is one thing.  Living them out on a daily basis is something entirely different.  When we have more facts than fruit in our lives, our lives are out of balance. Of course, theology was important to the early church.  It just took a back seat to living the Christian life. Cyprians words reminded me that Read the rest of this entry

A Strong Argument Against Calvinisim? Part 2 You Decide….


Over here at Not For Itching Ears we like to discuss issues that challenge our view of Christianity and the Church.   It is healthy to consider what one believes about the Christian faith and how we express that faith in our corporate church life.  If all we ever do is listen to ourselves, we can inadvertently become the kind of people Paul warned Timothy about:  People who surround themselves with “teachers who say what their itching ears want to hear.”  Today’s post is an attempt to counter that tendency among us as we discuss Free-Will and Determinism.  To do this, we turn to an extremely interesting email exchange between Father John Whiteford (an Eastern Orthodox priest) and  some proponents of Calvinism.

This isn’t your typical argument!  Father Whiteford brings another line of argumentation to his view that is almost entirely absent from the typical back and forth between Calvinists and Arminians:  What did the early church fathers teach about this?

I recognize that there are three groups of people who will read a post like this:  1) Strong Calvinists who will want to defend their view.  2)Strong Arminians who will want to find ammo for their view and 3) those who don’t have their minds made up but may lean to one understanding of things.  My hope, is that all three groups of people will be challenged and encouraged.   It’s a long discussion so I will be breaking it up into three posts.  Read Part 1 Here;  here’s part 2: Read the rest of this entry

A Christmas Prayer: Thank You for The Gift of All Gifts


Merry Christmas everyone!

The following Christmas prayer is  from the largely forgotten deposit of the Puritan Movement of the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. They testify to the richness and color of evangelical thought and language, as well as their devotion to the Savior. They can be found in a book titled “The Valley of Vision”, by Arthur Bennet. I have included them in this blog so that others can use them in their own prayer life as a springboard to a more faithful walk with Jesus. These prayers are 200-400 years old! They were written in old English, but that should not get in the way if you don’t let it.

Following Him together…
Read the rest of this entry

Jesus, THE Christmas Story


Click on the following link to read why Jesus Christ was born in a manger and died on a Cross. The Reason for The Season.

What is Your Life Centered On?


C.J. Mahaney writes in his bookLiving The Cross-Centered Life:  Keeping the Gospel THE Main Thing”

“Each of our lives is centered on something. What’s at the center of yours?  Think about it for a moment.  What’s really the main thing in your life? Only one thing can truly be first in priority; so what’s at the top of your list, second to none? What are you most passionate about? What do you love to talk about? What do you think about most when your mind is free? 

 Or try this, what is it that defines you?  Is it your career?  A relationship?  Maybe it’s your family or your ministry?  It could be some cause or movement or some political affiliation.  Or perhaps your main thing is a hobby or talent you have or even your house and possessions… Read the rest of this entry