Pilgrim’s Progress Chapter 14

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Adventures on the Enchanted Ground

Hopeful and Christian enter the Enchanted Ground and feel sleepy. They remember what the Shepherds told them about being watchful and decide to talk in order to stay awake. Hopeful shares his conversion experience and talks about his spiritual life. Ignorance who trailed behind them all along, catches up to the two and joins their conversation. He claims to follow Christ but still holds on to his own righteousness for salvation.
Christian and Hopeful continue on and find two shining men who tell them they are two difficulties away from the Celestial City. There is a river with no bridge across, which is very deep, but they must pass through or else they cannot reach the gate. Christian begins to sink but Hopeful encourages him and eventually they reach the bank of the river. The Shining Ones tell them of all the glory of the place and the things to come on the other side of the gate.

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新书介绍: 教养儿女的秘诀

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“感謝主,終於編完了蘇緋雲博士的「教養兒女的秘訣」書稿。可以毫不掩飾地說:我是近水樓台先得月,首先得了蘇博士著作的大好處。因為在我教導兩個女兒時,蘇博士所寫的東西給了我很大的啟發和幫助。雖然我自己是所謂的「教育學博士」,但我所學的教育學理論是完全建基在「辯證唯物主義」的基礎之上的,它的出發點就是無神論。若不是神的憐憫叫我歸入祂自己的家中,我實在只會是一個誤人子弟的所謂「教育工作者」。

當我們把創造主從人生的視野中完全移開,排除了一切超自然的、超越性的觀念之後,其實也就是我們徹底放棄教養兒女的道德權柄的時候。假如我們的孩子提出一些挑戰性的問題:爸爸媽媽,你們以什麼標準來要求我們呢?你們的標準是以哪些原則為根基的?那些原則是你們任意的選擇,還是社會的硬性規定呢?我們為什麼必須要遵循這些標準和原則呢?請問在這樣一個高舉「道德相對主義」的時代,你我如何回答這樣的挑戰呢?

感謝天父上帝,祂把自己的心意清清楚楚地在聖經中表明。我們只要按著聖經所教導的基本原則去做,就不會出錯。

蘇博士是一位教養兒女的「能手」,她和夫婿何仲柯醫生一道,把自己的四個孩子都培養成了聰敏好學,愛主愛人的有用之材。這方面的事,讀者諸君可從她自己的見證中看到(已附在本書中)。她告訴我們,教養兒女是有秘訣的,而這秘訣就在聖經裡面。她之所以能成為一位教養兒女的「能手」,就因為她能下功夫去認識隱藏在聖經中的秘訣,並把它用在教養兒女的實踐當中。

感謝主,因為蘇博士的辛勤努力,如今讓我們也可以更方便地從她的著作中得到這秘訣!當然,並不是說有了她的書我們就不必再去讀聖經,而是說因為有了她的書,我們就可以更容易進入到聖經中有關教養兒女的那些道理中去。所謂「老馬識途」就是這個意思。我不是說蘇博士「老」,而是說蘇博士先我們一步,走過了教養兒女和探索聖經有關教訓的雙重途程,這就使她成為了一位最合格的「嚮導」,可以帶領我們少走一點自我摸索中難免會有的彎路。

蘇博士從真理報剛剛創辦的1993年就開始,就為「教養兒女」專欄寫稿,每月一篇,極少脫期。沒有對神毫無保留的委身和對千千萬萬「別人家的」兒女深切的關愛,有誰能這樣十數年如一日,堅持不斷地把自己的經驗和對聖經真理的感悟,原原本本地奉獻給我們大家呢?蘇博士寫了十多年的稿,卻從未拿過一分錢的稿酬,在這世界的眼光看來,她豈不「傻」到了極點?!

蘇博士和她的夫婿何仲柯醫生,都是為主四處奔走的神國裡的「義務工」。在繁忙的佈道行程的「夾縫中」,還能按時為真理報寫稿,積累成這樣一本十數萬字的書稿,我自己對他們的「擺上」真的是由衷的敬佩。希望讀者諸君和我一道為他們禱告,願神繼續保守帶領他們的事奉之路,並繼續大大地使用他們講道和寫作的恩賜。 – 楊愛程”

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Free eBook: Jesus in the Present Tense

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God reminds His people throughout Scripture that He is the great “I AM.” Take the opportunity to download Warren Wiersbe’s eBook Jesus in the Present Tense for free today here.

“In Jesus in the Present Tense, Dr. Warren W. Wiersbe explores the “I AM” statements of God—from His burning bush conversation with Moses, to His powerful reassurances to the Israelites, to Jesus’s startling claim to be the Light of the World.

Many Christians find themselves mired in past regrets or future fears, but the name of God itself reminds readers that God wants them to live in the present. The more readers understand and apply God’s I AM statements from the Old and New Testaments, the more they will realize God’s peace and joy. Then they will be free to live, serve, and know God more richly in the present tense—which is just where He wants them to be.”

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新書介紹: 親近天父的禱告要訣

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“克萊布博士跟許多信徒一樣,曾因禱告生活枯燥乏味而有多番掙扎,例如:只在危急關頭,才有動力去迫切祈禱;平常的禱告則只是例行公事。這本書是他個人的體會,記載他怎樣透過四個禱告的要訣(縮寫是PAPA,正好表達親近天父的用意),重新發掘與神談天、享受天父同在的樂趣。”

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Free eBook: Wiersbe Bible Study Series – 1 John

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David C. Cook is offering a free download of Warren Wiersbe’s 1 John Bible study handbook; you can download it here.

“A religious climate filled with false teachings. Christians whose lives don’t line up with their words. A seductive world that distorts the truth. Sound familiar? These issues have challenged believers since the early church. The book of 1 John examines what it means to be an authentic follower of Jesus Christ. This study examines themes that are relevant to every believer, and encourages us to be real in our faith, our words, and our lifestyle.”

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Pilgrim’s Progress Chapters 12-13

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The Delectable Mountains

Christian and Hopeful come to the Delectable Mountains which belong to the Lord, and upon them they can see the Celestial City. They meet four Shepherds named Knowledge, Experience, Watchful and Sincere, who invite them to stay for the night. In the morning, they show the pilgrims some wonders, namely the hill Error, where some had fallen and were dashed in pieces, and a mountain named Caution, where men were blind and stumbling among the tombs after their encounter with Giant Despair. The pilgrims cry at these sights and are speechless in front of the Shepherds.
Christian, Hopeful and The Shepherds
Next, the Shepherds show them the byway to Hell and explain that even those who had been on the pilgrimage to the Celestial City for a long time could end up in the place of judgment. As a way to strengthen the pilgrims, the Shepherds give them their glass to look at the gates of the Celestial City, keeping their hope within sight. As a final warning, the Shepherds give them a note and ask them to beware of the Flatterer.
Christian and Hopeful continue on and meet Ignorance who claims to be on the road to the Celestial City. He did not enter through the wicket gate though and wants to enter the gate on the basis of his own righteousness. Christian and Hopeful begin a discussion about a man named Little-faith and how he is like Esau who had no faith. Having little faith is better than no faith at all.
They meet a black man clothed in white and begin following him, only to find themselves entangled in a net. How quickly did they forget the Shepherd’s warning of the Flatterer. A Shining One comes to their rescue and sets them back on track. They are more careful with the next person they meet, a man named Atheist who tries to persuade them that the Celestial City does not exist. But they do not listen and press on, walking in faith.

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Pilgrim’s Progress Ch 11

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Christian Has Another Companion

After Faithful was martyred, Christian found Hopeful as a companion and they continued on their journey together to the Celestial City. They are joined by Mr. By-Ends who wants to travel with them, but Christian is aware that Mr. By-Ends may be seeking his own gain and still has not denounced his love of the world. Mr. By-Ends finds his own companions, Mr. Hold-the-world, Mr. Money-love and Mr. Save-all and they enjoy each other’s company as they converse about the benefits of religion and how they can use it for personal gain. When the group challenges Christian and Hopeful with a question, they are speechless when Christian gives a sound, biblical answer. The group did not follow them anymore.
Christian and Hopeful run into another lover of the world, Demas who invited them to see a silver mine and dig up its treasure. Hopeful was persuaded to go, but Christian warned him otherwise and that saved them from disaster. The two wander into By-path Meadow and witness a man named Vain-confidence fall into a pit because he continued in the dark. They come to Doubting Castle owned by Giant Despair and because they trespassed his property, they were put in a dungeon. After consulting with his wife, the Giant beats the pilgrims and even tries to persuade them to end their own lives. Christian begins to doubt but Hopeful reminds him to stay the course and recount all that he has been through. They pray on Saturday night until morning and then Christian remembers he has a key called Promise. He uses this key to open the prison doors and successfully escapes. When they are out, Christian and Hopeful made a sign on a pillar to warn other pilgrims of this danger.

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