Tuesday, June 26, 2012

NEWS Christians Should Care About, 6.26.12

Movie Portraying Jesus as a Philosopher, Not God Filmmaker Paul Verhoeven, a professed atheist, is telling the story of Jesus as if he were simply a man, who influenced his time, sparked a political movement and made thought-provoking statements.

The Illusive Gay Gene It is one of the most explosive topics in society today. The social and political ramifications affect the very roots of this country. But is the country being told the truth concerning homosexuality? Is there really a genetic basis for homosexuality?

No More Abortion Clinics Abortion will still be legal in Mississippi next month. It’s just that women who live there probably won’t be able to get one.

Michigan Standing Up for Christian Students The Michigan House has passed a bill named after an Eastern Michigan University (EMU) student who was kicked out of the school's counseling program because of her faith.

Fred Luter Election Should Bring More Diversity to the SBC His election comes at a time when the SBC is already seeing growth among ethnic minorities.

India's Destruction of Baby Girls Every 12 seconds, a baby girl is aborted in India. That's about 7,000 girls killed every day just because they are females.

Court: Third Grader Can Invite Students to Church Function After the legal claim alleging constitutional violations was filed in court, there was a change.

Syrian Christians feel vulnerable in besieged Homs neighborhoods Christians, who make up about 10 percent of Syria's population, say they are particularly vulnerable to the violence sweeping the country of 22 million people. They fear Syria will become another Iraq, with Christians caught in the crossfire between rival Islamic groups.

FCC’s policy on obscenity on TV ‘vague’ The court did not address the broader free speech question of whether federal regulators should have any control over television content. Instead, the judgment dealt only with several specific instances and subsequent fines.

Rescinds Authorization Using Service Emblems on Bibles The Pentagon has revoked permission for a Christian ministry to produce Bibles for different branches of the military, marked with those insignias, after an anti-Christian group called them a threat to national security.

Stay Informed. Make a Difference.

Pastor Trey Rhodes

Monday, June 25, 2012

No You May Not

Jerry Sandusky is guilty. After listening to the morning talking heads, it seems that there is little if any hope that he will ever get out of prison. He was convicted on 45 counts of child sex abuse. Now the focus will be shifting back to Penn State's culpability in the whole situation. We still don't know the impact upon the legacy of Penn State as well as Joe Paterno's mystique.

Thoughts on Joe Paterno's Legacy

Weirdly enough, in January, in the middle of all the legal wrangling, Sandusky asked permission for visitiation rights for his grandchildren while he was under house arrest. He felt is was unfair for his grandchildren not to have their grandfather around as he was waiting for his trial for 48 counts of child sex abuse charges. I have no idea if the parents of his grandchildren were willing to give permission for him to visit with grandpa. I just know the judge was okay with it.

Regardless of what the judge decided, as a parent, if I was asked permission for a grandfather who has been accused of sex abuse of children...did you get that? ...children...sexually abused. This is as dangerous to these children as a Moon Pie would be at a Fat Farm. It's playing with fire. My answer would be "NO, YOU MAY NOT!"

In our Christian walk, we are also playing with fire. We think we can give ourselves permission to sin. Think of it this way, Sin comes to us and demands the right to run our life. Many times we answer with a question, "Do I have choice?" The truth is you do not. Here's the Truth: sin is no longer your master, and you never have to allow it access to your life ever again. Your only choice is to refuse sin access. That is the what the Bible lets us know with this exhortation:

Sin shall not be your master. Romans 6:14

So, here is how we can and should live as Christians, not in misery, but in joy. Sin delights in making us miserable. God never intended for our Christian life to be like that. This is why Jesus entered human history. Not only to free us from the guilt of sin by forgiving us, but also to deliver is from the power of sin by sanctifying us (the process of making us holy). When it comes to our salvation, there can be no distinction between forgiving us and making us holy. It is all a result of what happens the moment we ask Christ Jesus to be our Forgiver (Savior) and Leader (Lord).

Why then do so many Christians continue to be ruled by sin? They have not been given the information they need to live an overcoming life. It is Satan's greatest weapon against believers...just keep them in the dark.

That is no longer the case. We now know that Christ empowers us to live life joyfully and without guilt. Knowledge can be your quantum leap in weapon technology when it comes to defeating sin and living as God intended. That is why the next time sin comes to you with temptation and asks, "May I?" All you need answer is, "NO, YOU MAY NOT!"

Pastor Trey Rhodes

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Thursday, June 21, 2012

Working Your Faith Muscle

I'll never forget walking into the gym at Porter-Gaud School at the insisting of Coach Utsey. He told us us if we wanted to be great football players, we had to be strong. That would come with lifting weights. So, this 120 pound weakling headed for the gym. When I go there, I saw for the first time a machine that I would have a love/hate relationship with...the universal weight machine. All I had ever seen was free weights, but this was much more technologically advanced, for the 70's that is. Not only was it a new machine, it was also going to be a new way of lifting weights, negative repititions.

Here's how "negatives" (as it came to be known) worked. You lifted the maximum weight that you could on the machine. The coach saw what that was, he made a simple calculation and told you where to start lifting. Here's what was different. Once you lifted all the repititions you could at the weight he had determined for you, your spotter would then lift the weight back up with your help, and you would slowly allow it to come down. Believe me, you had to let it come down. Now you did that until you could no longer hold it up for any length of time. Once you were able to pass 10 repititions, you moved up 10 pounds and the process began all over. I went from barely being able to lift 100 pounds to lifting over 200 pounds from my freshman to my sophomore year. That not only doubled what I could lift, but it was also considerably more than I weighed.

Here's what was happening. When my muscle burned and was forced to go beyond what it was able, it strengthened my muscles. So, when I tried to lift the same amount of weight the next time, it became and easier. When the muscles built back, they were stronger and bigger and were soon ready for heavier lifting. There is very little difference when it comes to our faith.

To most of you reading this, you consider faith what I would define as "saving faith," but our faith cannot remain the same as the moment we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior. There is so much more. So, my challenge is that you will dive into "active faith." This is the kind of faith that Jesus told us that we could move mountains is we would only have faith as small as a mustard seed.

So, as I see it it, there are 2 requirements to the kind of faith Jesus desperately wants us to have:

1) Have faith

2) Use Faith

As followers of Christ, we "have faith" when we take God at His word and allowing God to be God in any and every circumstance (John Phillips, Exploring Romans, p. 85). We need go no farther than Abraham in the book of Genesis and explained in detail in Romans 4. Abraham went where God told him to go and believed God when he told him he would have a child to carry on his line in order to bless every nation:

For what does the Scripture say? Abraham believed God, and it was credited to him for righteousness. (Romans 4:3 HCSB; See also Genesis 15:6)

It was his belief that God was pleased with. As we should know, without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrew 11:6). It was his faith that brought about the beginnings of a movement that would change the face of the world, not just the middle east. That is mustard seed faith. God used the faith given to Abraham and grew that faith into the huge mustard tree we have before us today as those who follow of the Messiah, Jesus Christ.

How do we know that Abraham had faith? He used it. Think about it, he left his home. He went to a foreign land. He waited on God to fulfill His promise. Abraham exercised the faith given to him. You got to read this:

He did not waver in unbelief at God's promise but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, because he was fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform. (Romans 4:20, 21 HCSB)

He was fully convinced. how did that happen? Through exercise...of his faith. It began many years before when God told him to leave and go and he did. It starts small (a mustard seed) and becomes big (a mustard tree). That's how faith works.

If you have never exercised faith, today is a great day to begin. Start believing and asking for something small, watch God work, and receive your answer. Repeat the cycle, only make it bigger this time. Soon, you will see God begin to do things that you thought was reserved for the greatest of biblical characters. Remember, "For every one of God's promises is "Yes" in Him. Therefore, the "Amen" is also spoken through Him by us for God's glory." (2 Corinthians 1:20 HCSB). Grab a hold of some of that "yes" in your life and see what God can do. As you excercise, you will see growth and strengthening. It can be the best thing you have ever experienced in your walk with Christ. Just exercise. That is the CORE of strengthening your faith.

Exercising daily,

Pastor Trey Rhodes

See you Sunday at Oceanside Church. More on how our FAITH can change our lives like we never believed possible!

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Saturday, June 16, 2012

Perfect "Creekside Farm" Scrambled Eggs

As a child, I grew up on an egg farm. The first years of my life were spent chasing chickens, watching the ladies sort eggs, enjoying the day of baby chick delivery, and even getting the occasional kick by a horse or or two. It was great fun and quite an experience for any child. And it all happened in the boonies of Mount Pleasant. You see, Creekside subdivision was my Grandad's chicken farm.

Because of that I grew up eating eggs. I heard that there were all kinds of ways to eat them, but my experience was of the scrambled sort. I had no idea how to cook scrambled eggs, I just ate them with a lot of toast on the side, and the toast had to be drowned with chunky applesauce. Mmmmmmmm..... But I digress. As I got older, I realized that my Grandad was the one who cooked them...and there was a certain way he did it. Then, when I became an adult, I wanted to know how he did it. So, when he wasn't paying attention I watched...and learned. I have been cooking scrambled eggs the same way ever since.

So, here's the secret to perfect scrambled eggs. Never before published...that I know of. Hope you enjoy these tender, succulent, wonderful Creekside Scrambled eggs.


Eggs: this recipe is for 6 eggs, but you'll need 1 to 2 per person...3 for really large appetites.

1/4 cup Canola or Olive oil (a little less if cooking fewer eggs, a little more for more eggs)

Salt and pepper to taste

Paprika for garnishing

Cooking Procedure:

1. Begin with a good non-stick pan (otherwise you lose half the eggs in the pan). I bought a good commercial pan at Berlin's Restaurant Supply for around $20. Just a suggestion.

2. Liberally cover the bottom of a 10" pan with oil. A couple of glugs usually do it for me. It will be more than a coating. It turns about to be a 1/4 cup. I just eyeballed it in the pan and then measured it. You are welcome to use a little less, but not much. This is one of the keys to these scrambled eggs. As much as you might grimace at that amount, it really is the key to soft, moist scrambled eggs.

3. Crack eggs in pan with oil. DO NOT scramble yet. Add salt and pepper to taste.

4. Turn stove to low medium heat.

5. Watch eggs. As the oil begins to heat, it will begin to turn the eggs white. Once the eggs on the bottom are white, using a spatula, scrape them up and turn them over. At this point, I break the yokes while turning them.

6. This is the point where you must tend them. They will cook slowly at first, but it won't take long once they begin to firm up.

7. As the eggs firm, slide the spatula against the bottom of the pan and gingerly flip the eggs on the bottom to the top of the pile.

8. Continue this procedure until the eggs are as firm as you would like. Mine tend to be on the soft side, which is what I recommend. BUT there should never be any liquid eggs in the pan NOR should they be hard. Strike a balance between what we call runny (that won't do at all) and rubbery (yuck!).

9. Get your eggs out the pan immediately. Otherwise, they will continue to cook.

10. Place eggs in a bowl to serve. Sprinkle with a generous amount of paprika. It has a little peppery taste without any heat and gives your masterpiece a nice finished look.

Serve and enjoy!

Trey Rhodes


Wednesday, June 13, 2012

NEWS Christians Should Care About, 6.14.12

Here's some of the latest news that we as Christians should take the time to read. What happens in our world matters. In order to become well-informed, we need to know and understand the culture and what affects us all. Ignorance is the key to being taken advantage of. These articles can help you stay in the know. Blessings and good reading.

Creflo Dollar''s Daughter and her 911 call. The Creflo Dollar saga. Did he or didnt he?

Christian vindicated. Will share faith. Gregory Owen won’t be kicked out of this year’s Italian Festival for handing out religious material—but it took a court order to make it happen.

Planned Parenthood Sells tax funded sex selection abortions. Two new expose’ videos reveal the Hawaii-based Planned Parenthood abortion business selling taxpayer-funded abortions to women posing as potential customers seeking an abortion for purposes of sex-selection.

Could the Leviathan of the Bible Be a Dinosaur? Some translations suggest that "leviathan" is a river crocodile. But it has been pointed out that this description doesn't even come close to fitting the most fearsome crocodile.

The Risks of Same Sex Parenting. Two studies released Sunday may act like brakes on popular social-science assertions that gay parents are the same as — or maybe better than — married mother-father parents.

Parents Beware! TV Rating System Is the Fox Guarding the Hen House. TV watchdog says that decision "rings hollow" without reform to a system it says lacks accuracy, consistency, transparency, and accountability.

Thief in Queens Didn't Count on the Missionary. One missionary, Andre Aganbi, 19, a student at Duke University, had spent the day on the plaza with his church group peers from Durham, reading the Bible and chatting with passers-by about God.

The New Romans Road for Christianity. The famed Roman Roads of the Ancient Empire were among the foremost technological advances that helped Christianity spread so rapidly.

Anglican and RC Churches Issue a Defense of Traditional Marriage. Both state firm opposition to British Government plans to change the legal definition of marriage.

American Idol's Phillip Phillips Gives Advice to Christian Teens. Tweets to Christian campers.

Stay informed. Make a difference.

Trey Rhodes


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hope for Sinners (Like Me)

I will never forget the day I asked Christ to forgive me of my sin. When I was in eighth grade at Porter-Gaud School, I saw billboards all around Charleston advertising an upcoming event. Usually, the billboards I noticed were for the circus or a rodeo. This time, though, it was for a meeting being led by someone known as the chaplain of Bourbon Street. Later, I would come to know him as Bob Harrington. I begged my mom to take me to see him. for some reason, I was strangely drawn to the idea of listening to him preach. It's not because I liked church, I did not. I couldn't stand preaching. I used to count the lights in the chandeliers and pray for church to be finished as soon as possible.

I don't know why I hated church. I think I must have hated the idea of being inside when there were mini-bikes to ride, lawn tractors to drive, and waves to catch. There was so much more to life than wasting my time listening to a man tell me how awful a person I was, I knew that already. I knew I had sin problems. I had gotten into enough trouble at school, and I had been punished for it. I deserved what I got.

I seemed to get into more trouble than most of my friends. I'm sure to my teachers, I was "that" child. They certainly would have discussed my potential in the teacher's lounge and in staff meetings. They surely would have said that I could be so much better if I would behave, quit talking out of turn, and just apply myself.

Little did they know who I was inside. It wasn't simply a discipline problem. I certainly wasn't reared in an uncaring or abusive home, but I did have a problem. I wanted things my way. I hurt people, physically and emotionally. I cursed like a drunken sailor. I freely admitted that I hated my brother. I obeyed my parents and other adults in authority when they were looking...but when their backs were turned, I was another boy. I worshiped dirt bikes and motorcycles in general. I longed to be even worse...if I thought I could get away with it. Yup, that's who I was.

So, to me it was of utmost importance that I got to hear this man that seemed to have the ear of God when it came to getting my sins forgiven. Still, I knew there was no hope for me. I had sinned waaaaaay too much. I had even admitted to hating my brother. My grandparents were greatly concerned with my hatred for him, so they reminded me as a warning that those who hated could not go to heaven. They quoted to me book, chapter, and verse:

We know that we have passed from death to life because we love our brothers. The one who does not love remains in death. (1 John 3:14 HCSB)

So, I knew there was no hope for an unloving, brother-hating sinner like me. But, maybe, just maybe, there could be some way out of my eternal destiny. Maybe I could at least find myself in the coolest section of hell. Maybe... but, wouldn't that be too good to be true?

So, I went to hear Bob Harrington with a huge burden of sin on my back. Even though I was only 13 years old, I thought I had more sin piled up than most. As I took my seat in the balcony of the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium on that early spring night in Charleston, SC, I noticed there was an excitement in the air. I was already experiencing something I had never been a part of before... authentic church. People voices were buzzing, the music was exciting, and I was actually glad to be there.

I really don't remember much about that sermon. I couldn't even tell you what book of the Bible it was preached from, but I do remember these words at the end of the message, "If anyone of you would like to ask Christ into your life and have your sins forgiven..." That's all I needed to hear. "If anyone of you..." "Wait," I thought "Were there more people that needed their sins forgiven?" I actually thought that the preacher was speaking directly to me. Then, my mind drifted back to that verse my grandparents had shared with me...and once again I reminded myself... there was no hope... I was a hater. Haters don't get to be with God in heaven. Then, in what turned out to be a moment of clarity, I turned to my mom and asked if she wanted what he was talking about...forgiveness. She let me know that I could go forward if that's what I wanted to do. "Wait," I said to myself. "let me see, I'm supposed to go down front?" Well,if that's all it took, I was on my way. I jumped out of seat and made my way to the counselors as fast as I could. If forgiveness was available, I wanted it... and I wanted it right now!

The time it took me to walk down the aisle seemed to be only moments. Soon, I was at the front of the huge auditorium and was speaking with a lady who asked what I came forward for. I told her that I wanted what that man was talking about...forgiveness. She then escorted me backstage to what I now know as a counseling room where many others who had walked that same aisle that night were already. She helped me read through many Scriptures from the book of Romans. I then asked Christ to forgive me of my sin. In that moment in time, He did just that. My sin was forgiven. As much as I knew before that my sin had condemned me, I now knew that same sin had been forgiven. My sin that had weighed me down, had been lifted. Darkness was driven out by His light. Sin was displaced by His righteousness. Through faith, I knew that not only could my sins be forgiven, but they were forgiven.

What happened? I had experienced Romans 3:21-22 in my life:

But now, apart from the law, God's righteousness has been revealed -attested by the Law and the Prophets -that is, God's righteousness through faith in Jesus Christ, to all who believe (Romans 3:21, 22 HCSB)

I would never have been able to be good enough or do enough good works to ever get into heaven. That's because God could not allow one sin into His presence. Jesus Christ had paid my time through His death on the cross and His resurrection from a cold dark tomb three days later. I believed now, He did it FOR ME. My faith in Christ's work brought me forgiveness.

The hope that I could to be forgiven of my sin was never going to be found in me. That kind of hope is only found in Jesus. Through Him, my sin had met its match.

Have you trusted Him to forgive you? God brought you to this point and is asking you to make that choice right now. He may not come this way again. There is hope for you. Believe Jesus gave His life for you. Do it now before you do one other thing. It will be your greatest choice... It will be your greatest day... It will lift your heavy burden... You will never be the same...

Pastor Trey Rhodes

More of the Core of our beliefs from Romans this week. Don't miss one exciting week! Also, ask for your very own notebook when you get to Oceanside Church.





Wednesday, June 6, 2012

NEWS Christians Should Care About, 6.6.12

Occasionally, I will be posting news that Christians should care about. It will not always be written by Christians for Christians. Althoug, many times it will. I will be using everything I read on an ongoing basis. Hopefully, it will help you catch what you could be missing. If you disagree, I would like to hear about it. If you think action is necessary, give us an idea what to do. However, comments that are not in the spirit of good debate, such as name calling and the like, will not be posted.

Not everything i post will be what I believe is right. After all, it is news. But, there are times that what we hear about should alarm us. There are times we must sound the alarm bells. Thaf way we can get involved and so as to determine what we should do.

My hope is that this helps you gain perspective on what we as conservative evangelicals believe, hold precious, and should be vocally supportive or opposed to. It does matter.

Trey Rhodes


COURT: CHRISTIANS CAN BE ORDERED TO VIOLATE BELIEFS Refuse to photograph lesbians, get fined $7,000

BOXING CHAMP 'PAC-MAN' PACQUIAO A FIGHTER FOR THE FAITH From bars and adultery to living for Christ

HIS CHOICE: DENOUNCE JESUS OR FACE TORTURE Persecution for many Christians is a daily reality

TO VOTE OR NOT VOTE? Dealing with concerns about the upcoming elections


EVANGELICALS CAN SHOW GRACE TO STRUGGLING HOMOSEXUALS AND BELIEVE WHAT THE BIBLE TEACHES This issue is not going away. We must learn what we can do when it comes to homosexuality and our culture.

To Make a Difference, Be in the Know

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Decadence Is in the Chocolate?

Sin is one of those issues that gets everybody in the hot seat. Whether we speak against sin, talk about it, or even sin ourselves, we face it every day. What I see is that people have taken on the job of trying to make sin not nearly as wrong as it once was. We try our hardest to believe that sin is not so bad. That's because we know that God's boundaries would make it so that "sin might become utterly sinful" Romans 7:13, NIV). So we deal with it by speaking of sin in at least 2 ways:

1. the "that's not so bad" way of thinking - That's when way we change our vocabulary and actions to reflect the current socially acceptable morals of society. for instance, we no longer deceive, we tell white lies. We don't commit fornication, we "hook-up." We don't commit adultery, we have an "affair." We don't steal, we help ourselves. And we don't get drunk, we're just a little tipsy. Every one of those ways of saying things reflects the changing attitudes in our society that helps us deal with the tinges of guilt we can face with our ongoing sinful lifestyles.

2. the "delicious made decadent" description - That's when we take something like a piece of cake, and make it taste really good. When we describe it, we say it is "decadent" or "sinful" or "heathen." When we do that it can belittle the intended use of the word, making sin not seem as bad. Having an "affair" is no different than having delicious piece of cake. Both are decadent, right?

To understand decadence, we need go no farther than the lifestyles of the First Century Romans. Their lives have been shown to be people that thought little of family commitment, less of human life, and indulged illicit sexual appetites on a regular basis (Ever heard of Caligula or Nero?) Believe it or not, even large portions of the worship of their gods was built around the cults of Venus and her sacred prostitutes. But, we can't stop there, mankind has always been guilty of sinful lifestyles and debased living. From the excesses of the royal French houses to the "Pornacracy" of the medieval church, we have seen sin rear its ugly head over and over again. I think we can all agree, we have all seen enough sin to understand the difference between a good piece of cake and a lecherous sexual appetite.

But, the question is not how we look at sin, but how God looks at it. When God sees sin, it is an absolute. It is not eating a good piece of cake, but it is getting drunk. It is not "hooking up;" it is fornication. God has moral absolutes. He has standards that He expects us to adhere to. He has defined right and wrong for us without any misgivings. Here's a few:

  • unrighteousness (This is not being perfect)
  • evil
  • greed
  • envy
  • murder
  • quarrels
  • deceit
  • gossips
  • slanderers
  • God-haters
  • arrogant
  • proud
  • boastful
  • inventors of evil
  • disobedient to parents
  • untrustworthy
  • unloving (For more SEE Romans 1:29-31 HCSB)
And I'm just naming a few. God knows exactly what sin is and what it is not. He is perfect and cannot sin. The boudaries for life are well-defined. And when it comes down to it, our whining will ring hollow that we didn't really know what God expected, nor will the excuse, "no one's perfect" stand God's scrutiny. God expects perfection. He cannot allow sin in His presence.

We are even told what we already knew:

Although they know full well God's just sentence-that those who practice such things deserve to die-they not only do them, but even applaud others who practice them. (Romans 1:32 HCSB)

So it begs the question, is there hope for me? With sin, there is no hope. But, suppose for a moment that there was a way for to God forgive sin, your sin. Wouldn't you like to know?

You can know. God wants you to.

Pastor Trey Rhodes