Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Nationwide Community/School Readings of Kids' Picture Book in Support of theTransgender Agenda Planned for 12-7-17

Nationwide Community/School Readings of Kids' Picture Book in Support of the Transgender Agenda Planned for 12-7-17


On December 7, 2017 nationwide "Community/School Readings" of the picture book I Am Jazz will take place in schools, libraries, LGBTQ centers, houses of worship, and homes.  Using the seemingly innocent book I Am Jazz, the true story of transgender Jazz Jennings written for ages 4-8, that is filled with LGBTQ indoctrination intentionally written to sanction the idea one can be born with what is known as GD or "Gender Dysphoria," and that coming out and choosing your own gender can be done even at a preschool age.  Inside its front flap summary it says: "From the time she was two years old Jazz knew she had a girl's brain in a boy's body."  It continues, "She loved pink ... and didn't feel like herself in boy's clothing."  It ends, "This confused her family and they took her to a doctor who diagnosed Jazz as transgender and explained she was born this way."  These three sentences concisely spell out what the book hopes to teach.

It is also hoped that one will read I Am Jazz's final propaganda page titled: "TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation" that states TKPRF is committed to the premise that Gender Dysphoria is something children can't control, and therefore, society needs to embrace them."  It insists, "Families need to support their children and allow them to grow up free of gender roles."  This page's sole purpose is to convince readers of the need for transgender acceptance everywhere.  Nowhere, does it tell how prominent doctors refute these claims citing twin studies proving no one is born with GD.  Nor does it tell about the abusive drug cocktail of hormones trans children later take, or the dreadful surgeries that complete the "transitions."
https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Jazz-Jessica-Herthel/dp/0803741073

The Human Rights Campaign Welcoming Schools' Organizing Kit for The Readings  

The kit begins with a "Welcoming Schools Letter" from director Johanna Eager.  Eager asserts that this kit was created to aid educators, parents, and community advocates to build more affirming spaces for transgender and non-binary children and youth across the country by hosting I Am Jazz readings. 

It also includes a "Step-by-Step Guide" on exactly how to plan for a school or community reading of "this ground breaking book."  Step one, decide if it's a school, public, or private reading.  Step two, select your venue e.g.: schools, bookstores, churches, temples, or mosques.  Step three, find a prominent, or celebrity reader.  If one can't find a reader, HRC has prepared a You Tube video of Jazz reading the book.  Step four, partner with local leaders that would help with refreshments, finances, and even personal copies of I Am Jazz for participants.  Finally, advertise!

Under "Educator's Notes" readers are told that at the beginning, the book "purposely" doesn't
mention that Jazz is transgender, but focuses on the things Jazz enjoys.  Avoid, cautions the notes, introducing it as a book about a transgender girl!  Readers are also told to especially emphasize: "gender is who you are deep inside," and "gender is a spectrum and not a binary ... for each child is an individual with their own unique expression of who they are in this world."  However, Scripture affirms we were wonderfully created male, and female by a creator God.  Binary we are--God said so!

The lesson script asserts children receive gender information from families, peers, communities, and media and therefore "many messages will empower them, and many messages will limit them."  And because of such limited messages as one, for example, might receive from a Christian home that honors the Word, the lesson warns "it is critical to discuss gender in the classroom" using HRC lessons, books, and ideas to indoctrinate our youth!  Therefore, it is even more imperative for Christian parents and grandparents to follow Deuteronomy 6:6 and 7 which instructs: "And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up."

Scroll all the way down to see video, resources, and at bottom "Organizing Kit."
https://www.hrc.org/resources/i-am-jazz-a-guide-for-parents-educators-and-community-advocates

Think of what has been happening in Delaware where "Regulation 225" is proposed to be in every public school allowing children of all ages (Yes, kindergarten!) to change their gender, or race without their parent's knowledge or consent.  This, readers, could happen in your state!  So be on guard, and be ready--for public education intends to teach students so-called "messages of empowerment" regardless of a parent's position or opposition. Yes, many can remove their children from public schools, and choose homeschooling, or a Christian school.  But, what about the children who cannot do this?  Because of them we must speak out!
https://www.delawarefamilies.org/act-r225-petition

The bottom line is: if one agrees with their agenda, one is loving, an ally, and affirming.  Disagree with their agenda, then one is a hater, a bully, and non-affirming. A school system that agrees with this affirming agenda would certainly have to be Wisconsin's Madison Metropolitan School District   Read more about their plans below to hold an I Am Jazz reading on December 7th!

Wisconsin's Madison Metropolitan School District Promotes an I Am Jazz Reading 

A November 8, 2017 notice on the MMSD's web page invites educators and school employees to join them on December 7th for an I Am Jazz Community Book Reading.  This "family event" includes art activities, pizza, and ice cream with rainbow sprinkles. "In these challenging times," the notice says, "show your support for transgender, non-binary and gender expansive youth."

For its celebrity reader MMSD has chosen Sarah McBride who was the first openly transgender person to address the 2016 Democratic convention, and who is the National Press Secretary for the Human Rights Campaign. Sarah also is on the board of "Equality Delaware" the very same organization that has sponsored the proposed Delaware Department of Education "Regulation 225"  described above.

In addition to McBride, Wisconsin's special speaker at the community reading will be MMSD Superintendent Jen Cheatham (who hailed from Chicago) who has stated MMSD is a place "that values and celebrates diversity unequivocally."  Besides, MMSD this reading is co-sponsored by:  Welcoming Schools, The Human Rights Campaign Foundation, GSAFE, A Room of One's Own Bookstore, Madison Public Library, Fair Wisconsin, and The Madison Children's Museum. 

Host of the reading is Madison's longtime openly gay MMSD activist, and elementary school art teacher Michelle Hatchell.  Hatchell is known for her grade three-five "Lego Lesson" which she designed that challenged The Lego Group to make their product more inclusive.  Michelle, part of he Welcoming Schools Staff, is a "Welcoming Schools Expert Trainer."
https://act.hrc.org/page/16429/event/1  and http://www.welcomingschools.org/our-program/our-staff/

https://www.madison.k12.wi.us/3rd-annual-i-am-jazz-community-book-reading-december-7-2017

The Human Right Campaign, the National Education Association, Equality Delaware, and so many more organizations are passionately becoming advocates for transgender instruction to our very youngest, and what about you?  Should such a reading of I Am Jazz be scheduled in your school what would you do? Are you ready?

We, in Christian love, must speak out, certainly never offending or hurting any child who is caught in this gender driven web; but at the same time we must not be ashamed of our convictions, nor our stand against such indoctrination. 

For a Christian there is a "transition" named in II Corinthians 5:17 that transforms us that reads, "Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold all things are become new."  And for a Christian there is a motto in I Peter 3:15 that must shape all our reactions that says, "But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear." 

And in the meantime, we must do what we can, on behalf of all children, to inform Christians to stand on Biblical principles and to redeem the time for truly the hour is late.

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Romans 1:16

" For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that believeth; ...."

For More Information:

National Education Association and Human Rights Foundation's "Welcoming Schools" hosts I Am Jazz Reading in Las Vegas' "The Center" with NEA's president Lily Eskelsen Garcia.
Find at: https://www.hrc.org/events/hrcfs-lasvegas-i-am-jazz

"A Public School Transgender Agenda Alert: A Wake-Up Call for Christians," (Lighthouse Trails Blog)  and  "It's Time to Speak Up Against Transgender Indoctrination Programs Aimed Against Children!"  Read my two previous blogs to learn more.
  


        



Tuesday, November 28, 2017

It's Time to Speak Up Against Transgender Indoctrination Programs Aimed At Children!

It's Time to Speak Up Against Transgender Indoctrination Programs Aimed At Children!


Dear reader, if ever there was a time for Christians to stand up, and speak out against the transgender agenda the time is now!  For Ecclesiastes tells us:  "There is a season, and a time for every purpose under heaven: ... a time to keep silence, and a time to speak.  (Eccl. 3:1,7)  For the world this time is known as the "Trans Moment."

And as the pace of this transgender indoctrination continues its targeting of the youngest in our society, Christians must endeavor to do all we can to sound the alarm.  Is anyone daring to do this?  Yes, a few are. And here are some examples:

Cambridge, New York Parents Speak Out for Righteousness!

In October 2017, parents of the upstate town of Cambridge, New York, chose to speak out against a LGBT presentation by a staff member from the Pride Center of the Capital Region during which
a Pride Center's Gender Identity Packet was distributed to students.  One handout given to seventh graders, says the article "Cambridge Parents Push Back Against LGBT 'Instruction'" in the Albany Update, was forty-two pages long including detailed information on "gender reassignment surgery" and LGBT terminology.

An alert parent, Sirell Fiel, upon reading his eleven-year-old son's handouts, later read them on You Tube.  Following complaints from other seventh grade parents, the district suspended a health teacher with pay and indicated that the Pride Center would not be welcome.  The Pride Center countered by saying they had presented materials before--over a twelve year period--without reaction.  They also said, "Transgender kids are coming out younger and younger.  Middle school is not too early to start.  If a parent has a problem with this presentation, that's the parent's problem."

At the end of the article, The Albany Update (New Yorkers for Constitutional Freedoms) posed this important question: "What lessons can Christian families draw from this controversy?"  Lesson one was that parental involvement is paramount.  Parents must review student's handouts, ask about guest speakers, and protest pro-LGBT advocates.  Lesson two, parents must use social media to keep each other informed.  Finally, parents must not be afraid to make "a stink" by contacting the school system, and attending board meetings.  And the bottom line was, "If you speak out for righteousness your voices can make a difference."

By the November 9 school board meeting, although the suspended teacher had been reinstated, the board chairman, the Glen Fall's Post Star reports, "acknowledged parents' concerns that some material was not age appropriate, and cited measures to ensure that parents would know ahead of time what material was to be covered" in the future.
https://www.albanyupdate.com/cambridge-parents-push-back-lgbt-instruction/

Delaware's Family Policy Council Speaks VS. Education Regulation 225

Nicole Theis, of the Delaware Family Council, recently spoke out on "Fox and Friends" program admonishing Delaware parents to sign a petition against "Regulation 225" declaring: "ENOUGH!  NO on Regulation 225!"

Just what is "Regulation 225" you ask?  "Regulation 225" is a Delaware Education proposal that allows a child to change their gender or race, at any age, without a parent's knowledge or consent.  (Yes, we are speaking of kindergarteners too.)  It is a proposal that would allow DE schools to talk to a child privately and he or she could take on a new identity.  Therefore, the Delaware Family Council urged parents to sign the petition to the governor and Department of Education by December 4, 2017.  Read the proposed regulation here: https://www.delawarefamilies.org/act-r225-petition



On the other hand "Equality Delaware," realizing Regulation 225 is under "heavy attack," has posted a sample letter for its supporters to copy.  This letter advocates immediate passage of the regulation.  It also suggests improvements to add to the bill such as e.g.; "... it would serve the regulation's purpose better if more of the antidiscrimination school language is mandatory rather than simply suggested."
www.equalitydelaware.org

In summary, it's time that Christians would awaken and realize that what is being proposed in Delaware may soon be proposed in your own state.  As Theis shared on Fox News program Regulation 225 has been one of the most controversial issues ever taken on by the Delaware Family Council!  Kudos to Theis, and her associates for having the courage to voice truth.

At Such a Time As This--A Courageous Christian Mom Speaks Up!

A Christian mom, a such a time as this mom, dared to confront her school superintendent, and the school board over transgender issues her son and others had encountered.  Her riveting story: "Christian Mom Shares Her Story Re: Public School Transgender Agenda" can be heard on the August 28, 2017 podcast of "Stand Up for the Truth."  Listen here:
https://standupforthetruth.com/2017/08/christian-mom-shares-her-story-re-public-school-transgender-agenda/

The mom, named "Jenny," to protect all of the youth involved, courageously voiced her poignant story on national radio.  Under the summary of the program it says, "If you think the transgender movement could never happen locally think again!"

Jenny shared how some of the students at her son's school were "gender fluid"-- that is on certain days they said they were one sex, and on other days the opposite sex.  Jenny also shared how a Christian teacher lost her job when she voiced concern over field trips where students were involved in all sorts of unsupervised co-ed activities.  And these were but two of the troubling incidents Jenny's son encountered in his local public school.

The radio hosts explained how listeners might contact Jenny to obtain further information on how to raise awareness of this transgender indoctrination.  Praising Jenny for her bravery to speak out they admonished parents to talk with their children about these issues, and to attend and participate in
school board meetings.  Romans 12:2, a verse quoted, says it clearly, "And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that it may prove what is that good and acceptable, and perfect will of God."

A Christian's Challenge: It's Time to Speak Up Now!

As Christians, we need to remember the words of Ephesians 5:16 which remind us to: "Redeem the time for the days are evil."  However, many Christians are willing to sit in their comfortable bubble, and as gender issues surface voice opinions such as, "It would never be in our school system!" or "Just homeschool!"  No, perhaps it is not in your locale now, but it might be tomorrow!  "Just homeschool!" may be an option for you or your friends, but I ask what about the children who are unable to be homeschooled, nor ever will be able to?  What about them?  Is there anyone speaking up for them?

So, it is up to us--you and I-- to speak up for these children who are being inundated with transgender
indoctrination.  Even if you and your family are protected, inform pastors, parents, grandparents, and youth workers of how impassioned transgender activists have become in public education. May the Lord help us all to arise, to wake up, and to respond now! 

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:   Luke 12:48

"For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required."

Thursday, October 19, 2017

A Public School Transgender Agenda Alert: A Wake Up Call for Christians

A Public School Transgender Agenda Alert: A Wake Up Call for Christians     


Perhaps, you've heard of the Sacramento, California charter school Rocklin Academy where a kindergarten teacher read the transgender picture book I Am Jazz, and who, after reading it, presented a little boy to the class as now being a little girl.  You can imagine how perplexing and unsettling this incident was to these little ones, as well as to their uninformed parents.

Recently, a board meeting at the school caused a huge confrontation between upset parents and a defensive teacher and school board.  In the end, the board boldly asserted that topics dealing with "gay, lesbian and transgender issues" are open for discussion at Rocklin, and that parents may not always be notified before such discussions occur. The board also maintained that opting out of these discussions promotes a "discriminatory environment ... prohibited by law."

With this incident in mind here are some questions:  What exactly is in this innocuous looking picture book I Am Jazz?  Who are its authors?  What organizations are supporting this book?  How should Christian parents, and teachers respond? Will you be an upstander or a bystander? To answer these questions and more, here is a brief review of the book, the so-called "essential tool for parents and teachers."

I Am Jazz-- Co-Author Jessica Herthel

Jessica Herthel, its co-author, is a Broward County, Florida  mom of three, and an all-out advocate of the transgender agenda.  Herthel, having met Jazz's mom at a community function, soon formed a friendship with her and her little boy who became "a trans girl" renamed "Jazz." Herthel then went on to co-write the book, along with Jazz, telling what it is like to be a trans kid.

As a result of writing I Am Jazz Herthel has become a recognized LGBTQ advocate on many fronts.  It began with her volunteering for the Florida Broward County Schools (sixth largest district in the USA) where soon she was designing inclusive lesson plans, and purchasing diverse books for elementary classrooms.  Later, she became the primary content editor of "Broward County's LGBTQ Critical Support Guide" presented to all district administrators in 2014.  After, Herthel worked as the Education Director at the Stonewall National Museum and Archives in Fort Lauderdale, Florida,  which is a nonprofit that shares the culture of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender people, and the role they play in society.

Beyond Florida Herthel travels nationwide spreading the trans kids agenda using I Am Jazz as a jumping off point.  This message has taken her to such diverse places as: Mt. Horeb Public Library, Mt. Horeb, WI (The Mt. Horeb School System refused to allow her to read I Am Jazz in a public school setting so it was read in the public library.); Temple Bat Yahm, New Port Beach, CA (This is a welcoming Jewish congregation for all including the LGBT community.); and The Human Rights Campaign "Time to Thrive" Conference in Dallas, TX. (HRC partnered with the National Education Association and the American Counseling Association to reach out to LBGTQ Youth).
http://jessicaherthel.com/

It must be noted the Human Rights Campaign considers Jazz Jennings their foundation "Youth Ambassador."  Coming this December 7, 2017 HRC is sponsoring an "I Am Jazz: School and Community Readings" all over the nation at many venues.  Besides, HRC has a web site www.welcomingschools.org with lesson plans to aid in creating LBGTQ-inclusive schools.  Its "Top 10 Books for a Welcoming School" includes I Am Jazz and an accompanying lesson.   Readers, I would urge you, to click on this site to view this invasive school agenda--while it gives the appearance of being about safe schools and stopping bullying, much of the its materials are about other causes.
https://www.hrc.org/resources/i-am-jazz-a-guide-for-parents-educators-and-community-advocates

I Am Jazz--Its Transgender Agenda

I Am Jazz ( Ages 4-8) is "a picture book lure," based on the actual life experiences of Jazz Jennings
designed to be read to preschool through grade three introducing them to transgender ideas.  Herthel begins by presenting Jazz as a "girl" whose favorite color is pink, and who likes girly things like drawing, dancing, and putting on make up.  Most of all Jazz is mesmerized by "mermaids."

Now, Jazz's best friends are Casey and Samantha with whom Jazz plays dress up in high heels and princess gowns.  They also do fun things like turning cart wheels, or jumping on trampolines.  However, as a "sad-faced Jazz" says, "But, I'm not exactly like Samantha and Casey."

To explain, there's a page of kids' drawings showing a very unhappy Jazz.  Below this, Herthel unleashes these troubling sentences:  "I have a girl brain, but a boy body.  This is called transgender.  I was born this way."

Herthel records Jazz's transition saga as a two year old boy starting with Jazz's mom saying he was a good boy, and him correcting her as he retorted, "No Mama.  Good GIRL!"  Herthel also writes, "At first my family was confused.  They'd always thought of me as a boy."   

The next pages show Jazz's brothers and sister.  His brothers comment that his dress up antics are "girls stuff;" while his sister comments that his girl thoughts, dreams, and ambitions made him "a funny kid."

Whenever, he went out, the text continues, his parents had him wear his "boy clothes" which made him mad!  One then hears this startling thought, "Pretending I was a boy felt like telling a lie."  Talk about confusion.  Just imagine a child's puzzlement to this thought.

Then came "an amazing day" when all was changed for his parents took him to a doctor who asked many questions.  There, says the text, he heard the word "transgender" for the first time.*  Listeners, at this point, have heard the term "transgender twice," and are now told this revelation was part of "an amazing day."

*  His parents heard the words: "Gender Dysphoria."

That night, relates Jazz, for the first time his parents told him to "Be who you are." This caused
him to smile and smile as he went to bed dressed in a girl's nightgown.  Do what you want, and whatever makes you happy is the sense one gets here, making one think of Judges 17:6 that reads, "... every man did that which was right in his own eyes." 

The book fast forwards to Jazz at school.  Here, like Jazz's family, his friends and teachers were "confused."  Upset with his teacher, Jazz found it hard to have to use the boy's bathroom, and be on the boy's teams.  Jazz longs to be with Casey and Samantha. Finally, the teachers change their minds allowing Jazz to use the girl's rest room and to play sports with the girls.

At this point Jazz shares how mean some of the children are.  "This," says Jazz, "makes me feel crummy."  Here of course, the teacher would stop and talk about not bullying, or making fun of someone who is different.  The listeners are made to take sides with Jazz for "being different like this is special!" To end, a beaming Jazz declares, "I am having fun.  I am proud.  I am Jazz."
https://www.amazon.com/I-Am-Jazz-Jessica-Herthel/dp/0803741073/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1508285502&sr=8-1&keywords=i+am+jazz+book

I Am Jazz--The Celebrity

What has been the result of reading, and sharing this innocent looking, but oh so influential picture book?  Well, Jazz has been promoted as one super star--one courageous reality star (TLC TV)--one influential teen (Time Magazine)-- one true to myself person (I Am Jazz)--one amazing LGBTQ activist (Human Rights Campaign)--one honorary co-founder (TransKids Purple Rainbow Foundation)--a trans kid poster child.  And I must add--one exploited young person!

How sad one feels for a child such as Jazz, whose parents, believing they were doing this in love,
allowed him to become a trans kid following the world's upside down transgender ideology guidelines, and how much more should the reading of this story make us mindful of the children suffering because of it, and make us want to do all we can to stop others from following in Jazz's footsteps.  A wonderful verse to memorize and share with children is found in Psalm 139:14 which reads, "I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvelous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well."
   
I Am Jazz--The Consequences

This picture story was meant to tug at one's heart.  Its story leads its readers to believe the lie that children can be born with gender confusion, and that if such behaviors are sanctioned by a doctor, as in Jazz's case, even young children can identify as a trans kid . But, this book is but part of the story.  For as a transgender child gets ready for puberty harmful hormones must be taken, after which comes invasive surgery.  To understand these procedures please read quotes from the article referenced below.

Dr. Michelle Cretella, President of the Amercian College of Pediatricians, in the July 3, 2017 Daily Signal article: "I'm a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large Scale Child Abuse" lays out some facts.  Cretella begins by commenting that transgender ideology not only has infected our laws ( e.g. bathroom) but "has intruded into the lives of the most innocent among us--our children."

Cretella says, there's a "New Normal" where doctors in gender clinics are "affirming children who are distressed by their biological sex."  This condition, Cretella writes, once dubbed gender identity disorder, was renamed "gender dysphoria" in 2013.  Now these doctors, as did Jazz's doctor, "tell parents to treat their children as the gender they desire, and to place them on puberty blockers around 11 or 12 if they are gender dysphoric."  And if by16, they insist they're trapped in the wrong body, cross-sex hormones are then given.  After, teens as young as sixteen may have "bottom surgeries" or "sex reassignment surgeries."*

*As of a recent piece that I read, Jazz is now at this frightening point.

In her article Cretella lists eight basic facts about transgenderism including: twin studies that show no one is born "trapped in the body of the wrong sex;" puberty blockers have not proven safe; cross-sex hormones are associated with dangerous health risks; neuroscience shows youth lack adult ability for risk assessment; and transition-affirming procedures haven't solved transgender suicide.  She sums up her article by asserting the transition-affirming movement, said to help children, is inflicting a grave injustice on them. 

Cretella wrote, "These professionals are using the myth that people are born transgender to justify engaging in massive, uncontrolled, and unconsented experimentation on children who have a psychological condition that would otherwise resolve after puberty in the vast majority of cases."

Cretella finishes with these sobering words: "These harms constitute nothing less than institutional child abuse.  Sound ethics demand an immediate end to the use of pubertal suppression, cross-sex hormones, and sex reassignment surgeries in children and adolescents, as well as an end to promoting gender ideology via school curricula and legislative policies.  It is time for our nation's leaders and the silent majority of health professionals* to learn exactly what is happening to our children, and unite to take action."
http://dailysignal.com/2017/07/03/im-pediatrician-transgender-ideology-infiltrated-field-produced-large-scale-child-abuse/

*  How about the silent majority of Christians?  What are we doing?

I Am Jazz- Parent's Response 

In the case of the Rocklin reading of I Am Jazz, parents banded together to confront the board.  When the board declared they would not necessarily notify parents prior to using such materials, nor could parents legally opt out of these presentations, many parents pulled out their students from Rocklin.  Parents must work toward having the right to opt out their students should gender related materials be presented, just as they now can opt out when sexual materials are used.
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/sep/19/school-defends-transgender-lessons-kindergartners/

Fearing harsh reaction to their stories, two Rocklin parents anonymously went to Fox News's Martha MacCallum to tell of their children's reactions to the academy incident.  The first parent told how her daughter, after being present at that kindergarten reading, while bathing caught a reflection of herself with her hair slicked back, and tearfully cried she had changed into a boy.  The other parent told how her daughter, now a first grader, on the play ground greeted the "trans girl" that had been presented in the kindergarten that June day, by his male name and was promptly reprimanded by the principal for "misgendering his new name."
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3DPTqzb8dLE

In sum, Christian parents must be active at their schools, be informed of transgender issues, be able to talk with your own children, be into the Word so as to be able to stand for truth, and be into prayer for your children, family, and schools.  

I Am Jazz--Teacher's Response

Christian teachers too must prepare themselves for the time that they will be required to read such a book as I Am Jazz.  Do your research now.  Prayerfully prepare for a coming day when one must either comply with the godless demands of the public schools or leave one's job.  As Daniel of old, in whom was found "an excellent spirit," one must stand up, and as the old song "Dare to Be a Daniel" challenged: "Dare to be a Daniel, Dare to stand alone!, Dare to have a purpose firm! and Dare to make it known!"

In today's world "a conservative upstander" will be bullied.  Bullied by whom? --by the school systems, and by pressure group organizations such as the Human Rights Campaign.  How is this done? --by taking away your rights to stand up for your beliefs, and by labeling you with all kinds of names.  And as some do "shouting you down!"  One such eminent doctor, Dr. Paul McHugh, now
85, has been maligned and mocked and called a "transphobe."  Why is this?  Of  "transgender" children Dr. McHugh dared to write such things as this: "Misguided doctors at medical centers ... have begun to treat this behavior by administrating puberty-delaying hormones to rend later sex surgeries less onerous--even though the drugs stunt the children's grown and risk causing sterility."  Read the whole article here:    
https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lgbt-activists-slam-the-most-important-psychiatrist-of-the-last-half-centur

I Am Jazz--Your Responsibility--Be An Upstander, Not A Bystander!

Whether or not you have children or grandchildren in the public school, you as a Christian must stand firm in your convictions.  Whether or not the transgender agenda has yet to come to your school or your school system, you as a Christian must not be a bystander!  Get busy, become familiar with the  transgender movement, and be an upstander*--that is one who is not afraid to stand up for a cause--the cause of little children of whom our Lord Jesus said in Matthew 18:6:  "For whosoever shall offend one of these little ones which believe in me, it were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depths of the sea."

*  Upstander:  (Wordnik)  A person who stands up for something, as contrasted to a bystander who remains inactive.  (Urban Dictionary)  A person who stands up for his or her beliefs.

As someone said, "Why aren't pastors speaking out on these issues? Why?  Because so many are asleep.  Because so many are bystanders.  Some have called Jessica Herthel, the co-author of I Am Jazz and champion of LGBTQ causes, an upstander or one who is unafraid to go it alone to stand for a cause--the cause of transgenderism. Christian, are you an upstander for the Lord Jesus Christ? 

So today determine you'll be ready with answers no matter what you are told to do. Wake up!  The transgender agenda is already being practiced in some schools, and is soon coming to schools nation wide.  Set aside your apathy, and stand up for truth.  Remember Paul's admonition in Ephesians 6:10, 11: "Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil."

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Isaiah 5:20

"Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil; that put darkness for light and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter."

For More Information:

Excellent Recent Panel:  "Doctors Describe Dangers of Puberty Blockers Used on Children That
LGBT Activists Don't Tell" at the Heritage Foundation (October 11, 2017)  Note: Dr. Cretella mentions Rocklin's transgender incident on the panel's You Tube video.
http://www.christianpost.com/news/doctors-describe-dangers-puberty-blockers-used-children-lgbt-activists-dont-tell-202572/
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GOniPhuyXeY   Note reference to Rocklin Academy 15:32-17:15.

Related Article: "The Gender Bender War on Children Rebutted by Science" posted by Marsha West from Berean Research (August 10, 2016)
https://bereanresearch.org/gender-bender-war-children-rebutted-science/

Berean Call Article:  "TBC Today"--"Opposing the Transgender Craze: How to Become a Scientific Heretic" from "ChristianHeadlines Online." (June 6, 2017)  Article names Dr. Paul McHugh.
https://www.thebereancall.org/print/46599





















Thursday, September 21, 2017

A Church Journey: Looking for Sound, Gospel-Preaching Churches

A Church Journey:  Looking for Churches in Florida and Tennessee       


Almost retired, we sold our Carolina home to buy a mobile home in Florida, and build a little house in Tennessee.  Now fourteen years later we've attended ten churches, encountered numerous issues, met countless people, and driven many miles. And this is the story of our journey:

The Transitions Church

It was 2003 that we attended a church, which I am naming "The Transitions Church," in central Florida.  This store front church was small, friendly, a church plant, and led by a youngish pastor in his forties.  We were new and desired a nearby Evangelical church, so we joined.

Immediately, we were paired up with a senior couple, Ted and Dee, who happily introduced us to the church, and invited us into their home.  Later, the store front church became a new church build, and because of some generous donors it was quickly constructed--in record time!

And just as quickly we too were immersed in its ministry:  I with the children's work, and my husband with the choir.  Oh yes, I joined a women's fellowship too, and we did the usual ladies study.  For awhile, all seemed well with this new shiny church.

But after a year or so, we noted things were changing.  Sermons were not being delivered from the pulpit any more, but now they were sort of like plays with props, and the sermons had captivating titles.  Folks were reading Rick Warren's The Purpose Driven Church, and going to movies such as "The Passion of the Christ."

The Masonic Church

Meantime, we being snowbirds, while in Tennessee attended a church that was big, old, and conservative--the place to belong in our Tennessee community.  As in Florida we found folks to be friendly, and the Sunday School teacher welcoming, so soon we became part of an active Sunday School class attending its potlucks, picnics and such.  And we liked the pastors too.

Now, of course there was a women's group with its study book, and video all scripted.  And in Sunday school there was the denominational quarterly, another scripted book, used by many.  Settling in, we had yet to discover exactly what this class and our teacher was all about.

The Transitions Church

Come November, back in Florida, we noticed they had had a big transition.  That is, they had a visit from one--Dan Southerland who had written a book called Transitioning: Leading Your Church Through Change. (c.2002)  Southerland's book, endorsed by Rick Warren, provided step by step methods to transition one's church into a purpose driven entity.

That summer, Southerland had presented a seminar convincing the pastor and others that the way to grow a church was to get the leadership together and present them with some growth strategies. The folks were either to get on board or told to leave. Ted, and Dee, our mentors, were appalled.  Right away they saw what was coming down the pike and as leaders refused to get on board.  Soon after, just as Transitioning suggested, Ted and Dee were out--thrown out.

We arrived back. Things seemed on edge. Soon a big split occurred, all orchestrated exactly like the book outlined.  There wasn't any meeting or vote.  Members who couldn't get with the growth plan were asked to leave right away.

Dee and Ted wrote us a letter explaining what had happened.  Praise the Lord for faithful folk, like Ted and Dee, who stood their ground no matter what.  Now we knew "the real story" behind the transitioning.

The Masonic Church

Back in Tennessee, remembering how dull and uninteresting our Sunday School class had been, we decided we would try a new church just to see what it was like.

After a bit, our Sunday School teacher called to see if we were back in town.  Could he come and visit?  Of course we said  yes.  He was cordial and we talked.  As we discussed various issues, my husband mentioned back in North Carolina our church was run by Masons and the Eastern Star.

After, as we stood to pray, the teacher openly declared himself to be a Master Mason!  Why, he stated there was nothing wrong with the fine organization of the Masons.  What!  We vowed we would research everything we could find.  This then became a turning point in our quest to become true discerners.

Very soon, we began to see exactly what Freemasonry involved.  Then, armed with our findings, we made an appointment with the affable assistant pastor at church.  He was so kind, and took our papers even printing copies. 

Yes, he confided he'd once been to a Masonic funeral with the deceased wearing a white apron while some Masons performed a ceremony.  However, he reported he hadn't been aware of any Masons at this church.

We listened, and accepted his promise of finding out answers.  Upon leaving we noticed a pile of papers on a table giving the credentials of deacon candidates, and whom should we see on one paper but a photo of our Sunday School teacher.

It wasn't too long afterward that we received a letter from the senior pastor of the church to the effect that iron sharpens iron.  And well, nothing was going to be done about Masons at this church for they were part, and parcel of the community.  A good friend also informed us that our teacher wasn't the only Mason, for there were other Masonic teachers.  In addition, we were told by a retired pastor, it was the Masons who were the best contributors.  And now we knew that the off-feeling in our Sunday School class surely stemmed from having a teacher who belonged to an occult organization that could not mention the word Jesus in the lodge, but rather gave allegiance to the "Architect of the Universe."

The Seeker Sensitive Church

Well, that was it; we couldn't return.  Having no other place to go at the time, we chose to continue to visit the new church.  Not far into this, we found this church, unlike the previous church, had a praise team, a hip young pastor, and technicolor lights on its platform.  Now, the pastor had a brash tone-- a kind of in your face tone. Later, we found he was imitating the controversial pastors Steven Furtick, and Perry Noble.  In fact, he had grand visions of enlarging this church into several campuses.

Now this church didn't have a Sunday School, so we decided the fastest route to knowing the folks was to join a small group.  Yes, that seemed like the best plan.

However, it wasn't long into the small group before we had bumped into more Masons starting with the leader's dad who been a Freemason for many years  We shared all we'd learned.  Come to find out another group member had a pastor father who confessed to her, after she told him about our findings, that he'd hidden the truth about the Masons from her.  She called to tell us.

As we grew in our knowledge of seeker sensitive, contemplative teaching, we became very unhappy with this church and its flamboyant pastor.  But, for the sake of our mission to our small group, we stayed longer: long enough to learn that Emergent rituals and teachers were coming into the youth group, long enough to talk with an African American pastor who had been in the Prince Hall branch of Masonry, and long enough to talk to several other pastors about what we were learning.  Yes, and long enough to discern this pastor spoke "great swelling words" as described in the book of Jude. 

The In Between Church

Arriving back in Florida we found The Transition Church had fully transitioned, and sending one group to form a new church, while the others just stayed with the Transitioners and the Emergent-leaning pastor.  Right away, we knew we couldn't return ever.  Where would we go next?

Our decision was to visit several churches, before settling on one that seemed to have lots of ex-Transition folks in it.  That was fine for a bit, but in the end would not prove a good fit.  But, it was long enough to meet a little lady, Jean Stern, from whom I would learn much. It was Jean who prayed with me when my husband was suffering with painful neuralgia.  It was Jean who inspired me to memorize Jude, as she was memorizing Psalm 119!   Just as we met Jean, throughout our journey, we often encountered folks who lifted us up, and encouraged us along the way.

The Seeker Sensitive Church

Back in the Volunteer State we continued to share about "The Emergent Church Movement" that was happening in so many places across the nation.  Even a nearby theme park stocked books from such well-known Emergents as Rob Bell, Shane Claiborne, Dick Pagett, Brian McLaren, Tony Jones, and Leonard Sweet.  

In the small group it became apparent how totally purpose driven, and seeker-sensitive this church was.  Few, if  any, had an idea of what was happening elsewhere, nor were most even interested.
Sadly, these folks were wrapped up in their cult-like pastor with his ever expanding visions.  Having talked with many, we knew that once again we must find another church.

Another In Between Church

Back in Florida the ex-Transition folks had found a more permanent location, and so we met with them as our old friend Dee, now a widow, was part of the group.  Very soon in Sunday School
we met another Mason.  My husband talked with him, and gave him materials to read.  Besides, Emergent type things surfaced through Henry Blackaby materials.  So, we talked with the leaders, and gave materials out.  By that point,  we were getting a good handle on the Contemplative Prayer Movement.  We warned these folks, but they could not grasp that anything could ever be happening in churches like centering prayer, or mystical rituals.  As to Masons, that should really be kept, well--hushed up!

The Replacement Theology Church

Returning to Tennessee, we began our church search anew.  Soon thereafter, we received a PCA* church flyer in the mail. Now, at that juncture, we had assumed that all churches supported Israel, and we had no idea that this church taught "Replacement Theology."   So unaware of this  teaching, we went to check it out.
*Presbyterian Church of America

Now, this church impressed us.  Folks were super nice, caring, ready to accept you into their fold, and of course, the inevitable small group was offered.  Desiring fellowship, we accepted.

In Sunday School we asked if they had an "Apologetics Class."  When the response was positive we
signed up.  It was the pastor's class. However, the pastor's idea of apologetics was an unending lesson about well known atheists.

As to the small group, well it became a supper club of sorts with intensive planning around what the next meal ought to be, while the Bible Study really never got too far with so much chatter, and prayer request lists.  But, the group offered tremendous opportunities for talking, and sharing.

What a perfect opportunity to share books, and booklets!  To a former Roman Catholic I gave
Caryl Matrisciana's amazing book Out of India.  To another lady, who had a family member who was into Wicca and the New Age, I gave Ray Yungen's A Time of Departing which told of Baptist Sunday School teacher Sue Monk Kidd's descent into Wiccan goddess worship.

In Sunday School and church we began to realize this pastor didn't believe the Jews were God's chosen people. Instead he thought the church had replaced Israel, and that the church would receive its blessings. This, as you may know, is called "Replacement Theology."  To be prepared to talk others in the church, my husband put together an indexed Bible with marked verses to use to explain why we supported Israel.  He also made an appointment, and talked with the pastor.  Needless to say, this pastor was not at all receptive to our position.  Later, this same pastor had to leave the church, and the church moved elsewhere as did we.

The Compromised Church

In Florida, wanting a fresh start from the shallowness of the previous church, we came across a tiny Christian and Missionary Alliance church tucked under some humongous live oaks.  Could this be the church we'd finally call home?  After all, when we were first married, we had had some wonderful experiences in several CMA churches.

So into this small church we went.  Shortly thereafter, they had an apologetic film that involved some we had heard of who had engaged in Christian politics.  Perhaps, these folks would understand the Emergent Church.  Maybe!

As we got to know the people, we got involved in various activities.  We enjoyed the missions programs.  In fact, over all we began to fit in.  But just one problem was creeping in at the denominational level, that is at the headquarters, seminary, and college levels Emergent teaching such as spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, Catholic rituals, and silent retreats were seeping in.  And the little congregation did not have a clue, nor were they really ready to listen save one or two.

Tennessee House Group

Even though we'd left The Replacement Church, friends began to come to fellowship over supper, and to listen to various podcasts, DVDs, and conferences.  We heard "The Concerned Nazarene's Video," The Caryl Matrisciana "Wide Is the Gate Series," Ray Yungen or Warren Smith at conferences, The Berean Call conferences, and many more.  Books were given away, and booklets passed out.  Prayer was said round the big coffee table.

Our first lady had been an admirer of the Trappist monk Thomas Merton, and had even visited his grave at Abbey of Gethsemani in Kentucky where he lived.  When she found out Merton's involvement with the Zen Buddhists and contemplative prayer, she crumpled on the floor in tears such was her admiration for him.  She had also been into Reiki and Sufism, so we looked into these practices as well.

We were also joined by a friend saved out of Catholicism who loved all things Israel, and whose Catholic sister personally had known Henri Nouwen.  Soon, she would bring a man who turned out to be a Seventh Day Adventist.  Yes, we had to research that too!

A neighbor from up the road came too.  Recently widowed, her husband had been Dutch, and had hidden Jews in his home during World War II.  In addition, he'd worked with Brother Andrew smuggling Bibles into Russia.  Knowing her love for the Jewish people we gave her a copy of  the DVD: "The Story of Anita Dittman."

This same lady told us she had received two Jesus Calling devotionals from friends who were trying to comfort her after her husband's death.  We then gave her Warren Smith's Another Jesus Calling, which explained that the Jesus Calling author, Sarah Young, had based her book on the channeled book God Calling.  What a revelation that was to this dear lady.

How we marveled that the Lord would bring right to us these special ones who had been into many of the things we were researching.  And they in turn shared, what they had learned, with many others.  We can truly say with the hymn writer, "To God Be the Glory Great Things He Hath Done!"

The Compromised Church

In Florida at the small CMA church we continued reading Lighthouse Trail books, and booklets; and listening to DVDs and podcasts; and by then, I was also writing my little blog: "Learn to Discern Granny."

It was during this time I noted that Ray Yungen, in his classic A Time of Departing, referenced the late CMA President Dr. Paul Bubna.  The CMA part caught my attention, as did the unusual name "Bubna."  This was no mere coincidence, as the Lord was directing.  And what this would eventually culminate in would surprise us all!

As Ray had referred to the CMA, I wondered if he attended a CMA church.  And because Ray was from Salem, Oregon I researched CMA churches there.  Right away, I found the Salem Oregon CMA was pastored by Don Bubna!  Bubna!  His name rang a bell.  Later, I found that Don was brother to Paul named in Ray's book.  Just how Ray fit into the Salem Oregon CMA picture was to be found out later!

Researching further, I found Don Bubna had read a book by Thomas Merton --a well known Catholic mystic, contemplative prayer advocate.  I then wondered:   "Was Bubna associated with the CMA's Nyack College?"  Typing in Don Bubna, and Nyack brought me to the "Nyack News" informing me that Pastor Bubna had recently died.  But, one other news item caught my attention--big time.  What was it?  It was an announcement that a Nyack Professor Dr. James Danaher had just written a book on contemplative prayer.

Now, I knew that Nyack was into the Emergent Movement. As I further researched, to my great sadness, I found that the CMA denomination was deep into the teachings of spiritual formation, and spiritual disciplines.   And soon, I was to find out more right from its president!

The Parkway Church

Finally in Tennessee, we found a church that was doctrinally sound, and was passionate about spreading the gospel.  This church had a pastor who wasn't afraid to teach the Word; it had a piano player who wrote amazing praise and worship songs; it had a children's pastor who had a special place in his heart for Israel; it had a Campus Outreach group of students who each summer came to share the gospel; it had an International Student Ministry to which volunteers ministered daily; and it had members who extended a warm welcome to tourists who happened by. 

If ever there was a church that fit the bill this was it.  And we learned through talking to a long time member, that a former pastor had explained what Masonry involved, and no one could serve the church who was connected to that organization. 

The Compromised Church

It was about this time, still at the CMA church in Florida, I reviewed Pathways to the King by Dr. Rob Reimer, both a pastor and an adjunct professor at the Alliance Seminary.  As I reviewed the book I found Reimer regularly frequented a monastery, promoted Emergent books, leaned toward NAR teaching, joined Randy Clark on a South American trip, employed a lady assistant pastor that taught meditation at a Wellness Center, and the list went on.  Read the review here:
http://whputnam00.blogspot.com/2014/04/reimer-loses-his-way-in-pathways-to.html

And at the Alliance Seminary I found Dean Walborn taking students to a monastery to experience the silence; instructing campers at Delta Lakes Camp in centering prayer by clearing their chattering minds to repeat a mantra; recommending Pastor Bill Johnson of the NAR Bethel Church, Redding, California to podcast listeners; allowing students to team up with NAR missionaries; and so much more as documented in LTDG blog.
http://whputnam00.blogspot.com/2015/01/ats-dean-ron-walborn-recommends-bill.html

Noticing the CMA's continued descent into using contemplative methods, I wrote to CMA President Dr. John Stumbo describing the situation.  I asked questions, and I hoped for a reply.  And the reply we got was not what we expected.
http://whputnam00.blogspot.com/2014/04/a-president-john-stumbo-visit-exposure.html

So, how surprised we were when we heard Dr. Stumbo would be speaking in a nearby town, and would meet with us in our home.  As we talked with President Stumbo we quickly understood that he fully supported the CMA's move toward joining with Catholicism, contemplative prayer, spiritual disciplines, lectio divina, and more.  As to our church's response to the meeting there was only "wasn't he so nice to come to see you" sort of sentiment. As for us, we could clearly see from the top down the USA CMA was infiltrated with contemplative, and spiritual formation teaching with no plan of turning back.

Incidentally, Ray Yungen whose citing of Dr. Paul Bubna had led to my research in the CMA Salem Oregon Church, had gone to a conference at the same church where he heard contemplative Richard Foster who wrote the Celebration of Discipline.  There Ray had confronted, and questioned Foster.
Had the Lord led in my noting that quote, and of its unlocking of so much more?  The answer is yes, and yes.  Oh, and one other little detail I also found out that Dr. Stumbo had also pastored at that very same Salem church after Pastor Don Bubna died, and before he was president.

The Parkway Church

In Tennessee we enjoyed this church with its love for the gospel.  But, just like others its use of various ladies studies surfaced: Priscilla Shirer, Beth Moore, and Lysa TerKeurst to name a few.  And with the departure of its godly pianist, in came music such as Jesus Culture, and Hillsong, and others.  Again, we realized how wide spread is the last day deception.

The Family Church

In Florida, leaving the CMA church, we searched for a  church that stood on the Word, taught it, and practiced it.  Praise the Lord we found a larger church with children, and a pastor who loved the Word.  He is the walking-Bible-type continually repeating verse after verse.  His pleasant son is the youth, and music director.  The missionary vision of this church is amazing.  Plus, the church offers some wonderful groups.

Is it a perfect church?  No, of course not.  For, much like the Parkway Church all seemed well with the chapter by chapter preaching each week, but all was not well when it came to the Ladies Ministries.  So when we noticed Priscilla Shirer, and Jennifer Kennedy Dean studies being done, we cringed.

And although this church has a variety of programs, and much good teaching, its sheep need to be aware that many wolves have entered the flock.  For in its congregation are good number of sincere folk who have absolutely no idea about the contemplative practices that have entered the church, nor of such books as Jesus Calling that are filled with deception. 

How we pray that they'd make use of the documented articles, booklets, and books written by Light House Trails, and others that research deeply looking into the various ministries, and materials to help in our discernment as to whether books, studies, movies, videos etc. stand up to scripture.

The Parkway Church P.S.

We discerned that something was wrong at the Parkway Church.  The pastor wasn't as vibrant, or as on target as he'd once been.  While we discerned there were problems, it wasn't until several months later during a Sunday service the truth was given.

That day things seemed unusual.  Singing was minimal. Children were rushed off to Kids' Church.  Even visitors were asked to leave.  It was then this gifted pastor told the congregation of his personal troubles. Needless, to say this was a sad revelation for this pastor was especially well liked, and had such a pastor's heart.  But, now he was struggling.  Folks were openly crying.  The deacons gathered.  People prayed, and talked.

A spirit of love was there.  While it is very difficult for this close knit church, what the elders exhibited was Christlike, and kind.  And what the pastor did was heart wrenching, but right.  Surely our prayers are with this church.

Note:  I renamed all the churches, and kept anonymous all key players except authors, leaders, and some who have gone to be with the Lord.

In Conclusion

Did we find the perfect church?  No, for there are none, as we well know.  But what we did find, as we searched for solid gospel preaching churches, was that much deception has enveloped churches of all stripes.  Sadly, as you've read we had to leave these churches.

Perhaps, John Peterson's song: "It's Not an Easy Road," bests epitomizes our sentiments, when he writes: "It's not an easy road as we are trav'ling to Heaven, For many are the thorns on the way; It's not an easy road but the Savior is with us, His presence gives us joy ev'ry day."

Most assuredly, we have learned that while earthly denominations, churches, and pastors may disappoint us, and fail us, and allow in deceptive teaching, there is one who never fails-- our Lord Jesus Christ!  For as Hebrew 13:8 says: "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever."
He alone is the one we must follow!

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:   Proverbs 3:5,6 

"Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding.  In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths."

For More Information:

A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen  (Lighthouse Trails)  Wonderful "Glossary of Terms" for such practices as centering prayer, contemplative prayer, Lectio Divina, occult, Reiki, and many more.

The Good Shepherd Calls by Roger Oakland (Lighthouse Trails)

Five Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse Trails)

Goddess Worship in America and How it's Affecting the Church by Maria Kneas and John Lanagan (Lighthouse Trails)

Beth Moore and Priscilla Shirer; Their History of Contemplative Prayer by John Lanagan and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails (Lighthouse Trails)

Find at www.lighthousetrails.com.


 

 

    




  



  

Monday, August 7, 2017

A Review of Lysa TerKeurst's Book: Uninvited

A Review of Lysa TerKeurst's Book: Uninvited


Recently, I picked up our church bulletin to find a Lysa TerKeurst leaflet announcing a Ladies Bible Study-- Uninvited.  Upon looking at the leaflet my questions were:  "Is this a study one should attend?  Why, or why not?"  Then, it was on to read, and to research each part of Uninvited: its author, its release celebration, its quote promotion, its Bible content, its Bible versions, its words and whispers, its references, its study guide, its publisher, and its declaration which led me to write this review.

The Book:  Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely (Thomas Nelson, 2016)

Its Author:  Lysa TerKeurst, President of Proverbs 31 Ministries
 
Its Elevation Celebration:

On August 9, 2016 hundreds of ladies were jammed into Elevation Church" for a "Release Day Celebration" of Lysa's latest book: Uninvited: Living Loved When You Feel Less Than, Left Out, and Lonely.  Lights flashed as a young Elevation Worship singer cavorted about singing: "Grace Like a Wave."  After an introduction by an assistant, a spotlight was turned on the podium where in--rock-star fashion--TerKeurst was introduced.

Lysa then read from her book, gave a scripture study, and spoke "A Declaration" over the adoring crowd.  In the end, while Lysa was gracious, and charismatic, the hoopla and hype made her seem guru-like, and her book seem sacred.
http://uninvitedbook.com/webcast

Roger Oakland, in The Good Shepherd Calls, talks about such books, and their authors when he writes,  "The Bible has been set aside, and people are reading and studying books by human beings who have ideas and motives that often contradict the Scripture.  Large Christian publishing companies in order to be financially successful, are looking for sure sellers from authors who are able to tickle the ears of their readers."  (p.206)
http://www.lighthousetrails.com/home/1397-the-good-shepherd-calls-an-urgent-message-for-the-last-days-church-9781942423126.html

Its Quote Promotion:

Uninvited has sixteen chapters, the declaration, a bonus chapter, appendices, and notes.  In it are seventy-seven personal quotes: eighteen full page, and fifty-nine smaller ones.  All are repeated   three times each: within the text, in larger script, and in an appendix: "Things I Don't Want You to Forget!" 

Now, verses, from The Message,  The Voice, and other Bible versions are written in tinier script.  At the end they are grouped under "Scriptures," but never are they especially highlighted as are her personal slogans.

Of these tweetable quotables Lysa says, "Sometimes a phrase lands in your soul with such a dead weight it leaves the deepest impression.  I collect these phrases like other people collect stamps and Beanie Babies.  I fill unlined pages of notebooks with ... these phrases.  These words that move me are treasures. (p.6)  But, Psalm 119:162, says this: "I rejoice at thy word, as one that fineth great spoil (treasure)."

A reviewer of The Best Yes (another Lysa book) noted her absorption with her own slogans.  She wrote, "These slogans are ... repeated in large ... lettering, interrupting the text through out the book.  ... there is a section at the end of the book contains all of these ....  No, she does not ... suggest you tweet these lines, but they are lying there ... practically begging like a puppy in the window."
http://www.booksataglance.com/book-reviews/the-best-yes-making-wise-decisions-in-the-midst-of-endless-demands-by-lysa-terkeurst/

Good Reads also catalogs TerKeurst's many quotes--all 780+ of them.  There one may sign on as "her follower," and find quotes listed in categories to use.
https://www.goodreads.com/author/quotes/61792.Lysa_TerKeurst

In summary, Lysa's adulation of her "treasured phrases" is troublesome, for it often seems to make them comparable to scripture.  But however clever, and however quotable these slogans are Psalm 139:17 reminds us: "How precious are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them!"

Its Bible Stories:

Certainly, the book has scripture in it, but a Bible study it is not for it skips about from book to book, and verse to verse in random order that invariably centers on Lysa's issues. And while expounding on specific Bible passages, she often embellishes these stories adding to the text. 

In II Samuel 16, e.g., where Jessie tells Samuel David was out in the sheepfold, Lysa says, " ... I think* this one of the lamest excuses ....  If David's father had any regard for his ... son at all, he could have found someone else to ... tend the sheep.  I suspect* that behind that statement were ... thoughts like: Well, yes.  I have one more son--the youngest ... But he doesn't look like a king,  ... doesn't smell like a king.  So I didn't invite him.  Uninvited by his own father.  Can you imagine* how David felt ... red-hot rejection.  David's father inflicted a mark on his heart that read, 'You don't belong.'"  Lysa adds, "I can't find any where Jesse ever tended to his son's heart."  (p.97)  How Lysa has twisted this story to fit her rejection agenda.

* My emphasis.

Its "Bible" Versions:

Lysa prominently features The Message in chapter four while endorsing its author Eugene Peterson.   Lysa says, "I really appreciate Eugene's Peterson's take* on Galatians 5:22-25 ...."  (pp.50-51)  And again, in chapter nine Lysa quotes from The Voice, as well as The Message once more naming Peterson. (p.110)

*  My emphasis.
Information on The Message "Bible": A Breach of Truth from: http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16449
Information on The Voicehttp://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=9306   

Its Words and Whispers:

Lysa has words and whispers pop into her head, or drop into her heart. Lysa writes, "God drops a word in my heart.  Like a swig of orange juice just after brushing my teeth, I recoil at the unexpected taste.  Of grace."  (p.80)

And in "Friendship Breakups," Lysa mentions a notion that popped into her mind.  Lysa says, "But one day this terrible, wonderful notion popped into my head: Fight for her. ... I asked the notion, 'Are you Jesus?'  And did you in fact just say 'fight for her?'" (p.70) 

Now, Lysa also confesses she hears whispers from God.  She relates, "I've got to spend time getting quiet so I can be prepared to hear new things from the Lord.  Isn't it a lovely thought that God might be waiting for silence ... in order to share some of His best secrets with you? ... in the silence, He whispered to my soul, You are not set aside, you are set apart ...." (p.112)  Much like Sarah Young's messages in Jesus Calling, Lysa, too, is saying she gets new revelations from the Lord.

Its References:

Of Lysa's few footnoted references two in chapter ten stand out: one attributed to Stephen R. Covey, and another to Dr. Walter Brueggemann.  Lysa asserts she liked Covey's terms: "Scarcity Mentality,"  and "Abundance Mentality" taken from: The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People.  And Lysa maintains the Bible teaches these ideas too. (pp.121-122) However, Timothy Oliver from Watchman Fellowship, Inc. shares ideas in Covey's book are filled with "the false gospel and paradigm of Mormonism."  And in "Religion in American History: Stephen R. Covey: Business Savant, Self-Help Guru, Mormon Theologian" Matthew Bowman informs us that The 7 Habits borrows extensively from a prior Covey Mormon theology book: The Spiritual Roots of Human Relations published by the LDS Church-owned Deseret Book.
http://www.watchman.org/articles/mormonism/coveys-paradigm-for-success/
http://usreligion.blogspot.com/2012/08/stephen-r-covey-business-savant-self.html

From Covey, Lysa jumps over to positively quoting "The Liturgy of Abundance, The Myth of Scarcity" from progressive, Emergent, anti-Israel, Renovare Bible contributor, and social justice advocate Dr. Walter Brueggemann now retired from the Presbyterian Church USA's Columbia Theological Seminary. (pp.122-123)  Exactly who Brueggemann is can be heard in a 2015 video "Keynote Lecture with Walter Brueggemann" done at a "Faith and Social Justice" conference at the radical Pullen Memorial Baptist Church in Raleigh, NC.
http://www.pullen.org/finlator/

What a travesty TerKeurst references Brueggemann whose viewpoints are something we must run from, rather than embrace!

Its Study Guide:

Uninvited, like most studies, comes with a six-session workbook-like guide: the Uninvited Study Guide and video.  As I paged through it I noted that the guide was written by Lysa, and a former Nav Press editor Karen Lee-Thorp.  Researching Lee-Thorp led me to discover that she had also co-authored five other study guides (Jesus Calling Bible Study Series) with Sarah Young.
https://www.amazon.com/Uninvited-Living-Loved-Lonely-Study/dp/1400206006
https://www.christianbook.com/experiencing-presence-calling-studies-volume-1/sarah-young/9780718035860/pd/035868#CBD-PD-Description

I also found that Lee-Thorp was married to Greg Herr* who is a Roman Catholic Benedictine Oblate in California.  Herr tells of their conversions to Catholicism, he from being a Baptist and she (Lee-Thorp) from being an Anglican.  Such a sad scenario Lee-Thorp, now a Catholic, has co-authored a study guide for Evangelicals.
* Gregory Martha Herr, Obl.S.B.
http://www.catholicstand.com/first-principle-Christian-unity/
     
Its Publisher:

Uninvited, and its study guide are both published by Thomas Nelson;  Lee-Thorp's and Sarah Young's Jesus Calling series is also from Thomas Nelson.  Coming in December 2017, Thomas Nelson promises a new TerKeurst devotional Embraced.
http://www.thomasnelson.com/embraced

When naming Thomas Nelson it must be noted that the publishers, when called out by Warren Smith on specific issues in Jesus Calling as e.g. God Calling, channeling, visualization etc., removed them from later editions.  Read more about Thomas Nelson's deceptive tactics in: Changing Jesus Calling by Warren B. Smith (2014).
http://www.lighthousetrails.com/2046-jesus-calling

Its Declaration:

TerKeurst ends the book with "The Declaration" where she writes, "As you finish this book this is what I want to declare over you: ...."  One slogan-like-line with its rhyming words says, "I declare that the Lord will give you relief from your unbelief. ... It will happen."  Lysa goes on to state if an attack comes from the enemy she prays God will lift you up with truth, and draw you close with His loving tenderness.  Then Lysa adds this: "And shame Satan back to hell with His resurrecting power."

Lastly, she scripted a Lysa slogan, and more alliterative lines with rhyme declaring you are destined for love, for you have a story that you must tell to His glory.  One thing Lysa did not declare was a single word of Scripture!  (pp.211-212)

Which Is it?  Lysa's Words, or Thy Words?

Lysa loves words.  She even keeps a "Words I Love" notebook. (p.30)  Certainly, Lysa is talented, and so very likeable, but so very liable to sweep the reader along with her so as to become focused on, and fascinated with her stories and words.  Maybe you are one of Lysa's ladies.  Maybe you've posted her treasured phrases.  Maybe you've placed Lysa on a pedestal.  But after all, Lysa is just a fallible lady like you and I.  We must not worship at her feet!  We must not put her books above the Book of Books!  We must not follow Lysa, but follow the Lord alone!     

And ladies, rather than being in love with Lysa's words, may we say with the Psalmist, "Oh how I love thy law! it is my meditation all the day."  May we also say, " ... I love thy commandments above gold; yea, above fine gold."  And may we pray, "Open thou mine eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law!"  For then we can surely testify, "How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!"

Learn to Discern Granny Verse:  Psalm 119:11

"Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee."









Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Yet Another One --An Undiscerning Believer-- Is Being Deceived!

Yet Another One-An Undiscerning Believer- Is Being Deceived!


Not long ago a dear friend wrote me an e-mail that she titled: "Yet Another One."  In her note she wrote that a former pastor's wife had just messaged many on Facebook touting "Jesus Calling."    Now this seasoned pastor's wife seemed to have absolutely no clue, or discernment, that there were any problems with Sarah Young's devotional Jesus Calling.  Sadly, she had never read Warren Smith's classic critique: Another Jesus Calling.

Some Are Unaware

This made me think of many other ladies, often seniors, I had already encountered that thought Jesus Calling the very best devotional ever.  There was the friend of my friend, a Bible study leader loved by many, who promoted Jesus Calling.  There was the senior lady to whom we mentioned Jesus Calling as problematic who immediately asserted it was wonderful.  There was the lady at an apologetics meeting who confessed to the attendees she'd been in a group who used it as a Bible Study. And there was the lady at a luncheon who couldn't get over the fact it could be dangerous.  Now, mind you, all these women were sincere, and assumed to be mature Christians.  Yet, all were hooked on Jesus Calling having no idea it was birthed out of the channeled book: God Calling.

Some Are Not Discerning

Why are these ladies so easily led astray?  I believe one of the biggest reasons is their intense fascination with something more, and something new rather than as Peter admonished, "As newborn babes desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby."  (I Peter 2:2)

And is often the case, few, if any, have warned these believers that they themselves should research, and ask questions about these daily devotionals, and so-called "Bible Studies."  In most instances, not even their pastors have looked into the studies either, much less warned about them.  Pastors too, like many others, have bought into the notion we should not be critical of any one especially those who declare themselves Christians.  Maybe, it is like one church where it's assumed that they are all so solidly biblical, that few false teachings will ever seep into their pews.  Oh, how they are mistaken!

When one realizes there is deception within these studies and says something, those offended turn away angrily, or give huffy reasons why these books just have to be good.  And if one goes to her pastor to question a particular study often the answer is: "I trust Mrs. ..... she is such an astounding prayer warrior, and just an amazing Bible teacher."  Meantime, the studies go on and on and there is always "Yet Another One" to fall victim to their teachings.

Yet Many More Will Be Deceived

Now, it was just a week ago in our Sunday bulletin, that I noticed an announcement of another tantalizing Ladies Bible Study "Uninvited" by New York Times best-selling author Lysa TerKeurst from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  Having recently been asked about Lysa by two of my discerning friends I knew I must do more research.  Who is Lysa?  Is Lysa's ministry a good one to buy into?  What church is Lysa associated with?  What conferences does Lysa speak at?  Is Lysa's color book quote in Waterbrook's popular color book Whatever Is Lovely a good thing?  What is concerning about all Lysa's personal quotes?  These are just a few of the questions I set about to uncover.*

*  For answers please read my upcoming blog.

Roger Oakland, in The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Message for the Last Days Church, so graphically describes what I have encountered when he writes, "One of the most effective ways for contemplative mysticism, ... to creep in is through recommended books for the women of the church in the 'Ladies Ministry.'  Millions of women are reading books like Jesus Calling by Sarah Young, and books by Beth Moore are read and studied more than the Bible."

Roger adds, "In fact, in many churches their books replace the Bible altogether.  Rather than teach verse-by-verse ... the leader of the women's study teaches page-by-page through a book that is very appealing to the flesh and provides additional revelation to the Bible.  When a discerning woman in the study goes to the pastor and expresses her concerns, she is often chided for being divisive, or her concerns are totally overlooked." 

Roger is spot on when he observes, "One of the problems is this: often the pastor's wife is the leader of the women's study.  He may or not recognize that his wife is off track." (p.212)  And I would write, "How very true!" 

A Few Are Discerning

Awhile ago I heard a former New Ager discussing a book she'd written with a well-known apologist.  Later, I realized that this lady had used The Message in her book. I wrote to her suggesting she read some of Warren Smith's findings on The Message and its author Eugene Peterson.  This lady did, and recently let me know her book had been republished minus words from The Message.

Another special friend is not too proud to seek advice when she comes across the latest devotional or Bible study phenomena, and will often ask questions regarding a particular study.  Then, this lady, with documented info in hand, shares with others as to why, or why not a popular devotional or book is worthy of our attention.

Rather than running after the latest rock star study, or placing a popular personality on a pedestal Psalm 119:105 ought to be the verse we ruminate on.  It reads: "Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path."

Your Duty:  Decide to Become a Dedicated Discerner

Make it your mission to learn to discern.  Ask questions; realize you do not, nor does your denomination, nor does your pastor, have all the answers.  Go to the Word; read it, search it.  Prayerfully, carefully check over the publisher, the author, the contents, the endorsers, the quotes, the notes, and the reviews already written about a particular book, or study.  Do not glorify and elevate the author's teachings and quotes above Scripture.  Seek out sound apologetic sites.  Then, pray the Lord leads you to those who need to be warned.  Share lovingly, and faithfully.  Recall Luke 12:48 that reads: "... For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall much be required: ..."

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  Philippians 1:9, 10

"And this I pray, that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and all judgment; That you may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offense till the day of Christ."

For More Information:

"Another Jesus" Calling by Warren B. Smith (Lighthouse Trails):  Especially note Part I: God Calling--Chapter 1 "Channeled Book From Jesus?"  Pay special attention to quote (p.25)  "In the Encyclopedia of New Age Beliefs, God Calling is cited as an example of a channeled New Book 'replete with denials of biblical teaching.'"
http://www.lighthousetrails.com/blog/?tag=another-jesus-calling

The Good Shepherd Calls: An Urgent Message to the Last-Days Church by Roger Oakland (Lighthouse Trails) 
https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=21850

Thursday, April 20, 2017

A Warning: Why One Should Not Glean From Jennifer Kennedy Dean's Prayer Books!

A Warning:  Why One Should Not Glean from Jennifer Kennedy Dean's Prayer Books!


On a recent Sunday morning a vivacious older lady stood in front of a congregation, of what can only be termed a solid gospel preaching, mission minded church, and announced to the women that all should sign up for its newest Bible study program that would begin shortly.  Touting both Set Apart, and Living a Praying Life she stated that the author --Jennifer Kennedy Dean--was also part of the National Day of Prayer. 

At my seat --I was writing down the information--for I knew my immediate assignment as a discerning Christian was, as Acts 17:11 instructs, to look into Dean to see if all she's taught and written stands up to scripture.  In short, "Should one glean or be learning from this writer Jennifer Kennedy Dean?"

So that very afternoon I began my investigation.  And it wasn't long into my research that I found "red flags flying!"   So what was it that made me know that Dean, and her numerous books were  something that I should not be buying into, nor following?  Let me explain!

Dean's "The Praying Life Foundation" Web Page 

I.  Dean's All About "Listening Prayer" Article

Checking out Dean's web page: "The Praying Life Foundation"--her bio, blog, articles, store, and more-- soon gave me pause.  For under Dean's store was a section titled "Free."  Clicking onto that I found many Dean articles.  Immediately, my eye caught the title: "Listening Prayer."  Knowing that this was a meditative practice that uses a mantra or repetitive phrase to clear one's mind so one can "hear God's voice" as one sits in silence I read the five pages carefully.
http://www.prayinglife.org/free/  Scroll down to find article.

Did Dean support this unscriptural prayer method?  Indeed, Dean did! For Dean began her article by saying, "Spoken prayer will not reach its potential unless it is grounded in listening prayer.  In listening prayer spoken prayer is born."  And Dean champions going into "the silence"* when she says of the Lord, "He wants us to know his secrets, but his secrets come wrapped in silence." (p.1)
*  The Silence:  "Absence of normal thought."  (A Time of Departing: Glossary-p.205) 

Under "Wordless Prayer" Dean writes, "All noise all the time. ... Yet, it is in silence and solitude that we learn to synchronize our hearts with His."  Dean continues, "Richard Foster says, 'Contemplative
Prayer* immerses us into the silence of God.   How desperately we in the modern world need this
wordless baptism.'"  (Prayer: Finding the Heart's True Home)    Red flag again!  For Dean admires Foster, and quoted from his book--a book filled with contemplative mysticism! (p.2)
* Contemplative Prayer is: "Going beyond thought by the use of repeated words or phrases."
(A Time of Departing by Ray Yungen: Glossary-p. 203)

II. Dean's "How to Do Listening Prayer Practices"

Jennifer Dean lists five "suggestions" as a "How To" primer to "wordless prayer."  These practices include: "Picturing Prayer," "Conversation," "The Word," "A Focused Heart," and "Worship with Abandon."

In the section "Picturing Prayer" (This is not New Age "visualizing" insists Dean.) she introduces the reader to mystic panentheist* Quaker Thomas E. Kelley** and the phrase: "In the inner sanctuary of your own soul." (p.4)
* Panentheism is: "God is in all things. ... The assumption all is one, therefore all is deity."
(A Time of Departing: Glossary-p. 205)

**  Notice Dean names "Thomas E. Kelley"; however, this middle initial and last name are spelled incorrectly as easily seen on Amazon.com where one can view the book: A Testament of Devotion by Thomas R. (Raymond) Kelly with cover endorsement by Richard J. Foster.  It is interesting to note also that the phrase she attributes to Kelly can be traced to "Meister Eckhart."  For  "The Light Within" (Chapter 1) of A Testament of Devotion reads, "Meister Eckhart"* wrote, "Deep within us all is an amazing inner sanctuary of the soul, a holy place, a Divine Center,** a speaking voice, to which we may return."
https://www.amazon.com/Testament-Devotion-Thomas-R-Kelly/dp/0060643617  Click on "Look Inside."

* "A Christian Mystic of the Past" (1260-1327) (A Time of Departing: Mystics List-p.207)
**  Higher Self, True Self, Divine Self ...:  "Supposed God-self within each human being."
(D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity by Kevin Reeves): ABC Word List p.10

In  "A Focused Heart" Dean tells one how to achieve a meditative state--no different than any other Eastern meditative practice it must be noted!  "... settle on a phrase* that calls your heart and mind back when other thoughts intrude," instructs Dean.  Dean adds, "When you find your mind wandering, as you will in the beginning especially, don't waste time condemning yourself.  Just speak the phrase that says a heart full and you'll soon see that it immediately centers your thoughts on Him."  Then Dean goes even further!  Jennifer Dean reveals her own phrase.  She says, "My phrase is 'Only You.'"  And some days, adds Dean, she repeats if over and over many times, while other days she may not use it at all.  (p.5)  However, Matthew 6:7 states, "When you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do."

* A mantra is: "Word or words repeated either silently or out loud in order to induce an altered state of consciousness.  A way to turn off thoughts and enter the 'silence'"
(D is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity): Word List p.10   

James Bean--Just Like Dean-- Writes Article Quoting Thomas Kelly

It is troubling when one finds a secular article "Contemplative Silence--The Art of Tapping Into Our Source of Inner Wisdom and Guidance" by a James Bean that begins with the very same Thomas Kelly Quaker mystic quote used by Jennifer Dean. (Site: Sant Mat Meditation and Spirituality/Surat Shabd Yoga: Meditation on Inner Light and Sound of God.)  James Bean says, "... there is also an inner voice of the Silence we can tap into.  Then who should Bean quote next -- why Meister Eckhart, the German Mystic quoted by Kelly!  In addition to Kelly, Eckhart, Bean also cited The Sakhi Granth, Paramahansa Yogananda, Mother Teresa, and many more.       

Bean relates, "The art of listening in the silence of meditation provides us with ... opportunities to see clearly without the usual day-to-day distractions, perceiving the events of our life from a higher vantage-point."  Bean attests, "It also makes it possible for the authentic self to rise to the surface, introducing a new divine power or grace into this dimension of reality."
https://medium.com/sant-mat-meditation-and-spirituality/contemplative-silence-the-art-of-tapping-into-our-source-of-inner-wisdom-and-guidance-exploring-3f8b792a59b8

Dean's Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence

In 2014 Dean updated her 1996 Secret Place of the Most High renaming it Conversations with the Most High: 365 Days in God's Presence.  In it Dean quotes from Eugene Peterson's compromised The Message "Bible"--with its occult phrase in the Lord's Prayer "as above so below!" and other New Age insertions.  In its "Introduction" Dean inscribes, "It (book) grows out of a lifelong pursuit to hear the Eternal Word speak His eternal words in my present moment."  (The term "present moment" reminds one of mindfulness meditation!)

In the intro Dean once again alludes to Thomas Kelly when she pens this statement: "Over the years I ran across certain authors and thinkers who seemed to have that same wonder for the invitation to the secret place.  Thomas Kelley (Should be Kelly. See prior note.) first introduced me to the idea I could live in a state of prayer and from that idea came the phrase that has defined my ministry for over 40 years: 'Live a Praying Life.'"  (Copyrighted by Dean.)    

January 1 begins: "Child, Walk in newness, I have called...." Here, Dean contends she was not taking dictation.  However, the way these devotionals are written are certainly reminiscent of Sarah Young's "Jesus Calling."  Some also begin, "Father, ...."  Usually, the devotionals have two parts:  Child, Father, etc. plus a Bible verse, a Jennifer K. Dean quote, or a quote from some other famous pray-er.
https://www.amazon.com/Conversations-Most-High-Days-Presence-ebook/dp/B00NQGS1FG

Dean's He Restores My Soul: A Forty-Day Journey Toward Personal Renewal

In her 1999 book in "Section I-Beginnings"  Dean also speaks of listening prayer using the same quote listed in her 2012 "Listening Prayer" article:  " ... In listening prayer, spoken prayer is born."   Dean also issues an invitation to "join me on a journey of the soul." (p.3)  Dean follows this asking, "What is a retreat?"  She answers that a retreat is: "to intentionally withdraw for a time ... with the aim of listening to God's now speaking voice."  She continues that this is a time of "intentional planned solitude and silence." in which "...we focus on listening prayer.  Learning how to be open to God's present voice ...."  (pp. 4-5)  The next page talks of "centering" and "centering prayer." 

Once more Foster, Kelly, and others are quoted!  On her back cover "listening prayer" is mentioned.  And the problem with "listening prayer" is that the listener receives a subjective message. Forgotten is the scriptural warning from Proverbs 30:6 that reads:  "Add thou not unto his words, lest he reprove thee, and thou be found a liar."
https://www.christianbook.com/restores-forty-journey-toward-personal-renewal/jennifer-dean/9780805420272/pd/20274  Click on sample pages.

Dean's Praying Life Facebook Page Prominently Promotes JKD Quotes

Dean's Facebook Page gives one a window into Dean's world with its endless posts of various Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes.   Her latest book-- Live a Praying Life Without Fear-- also is heavily promoted with free signed book giveaways thrown in.

Live a Praying Life Without Fear, as in a number of other Dean works, uses Eugene Peterson's The Message "Bible."  Its list of endorsees includes emergent type contemplatives such as Lucinda Secrest McDowell (author of Dwelling Places) who quotes St. Ignatius, Henri Nouwen, Ruth Haley Barton, and others; and Jane Rubietta (author of Resting Place) who touts Lectio Divina, Brennan Manning, St. John of the Cross and more.
https://www.amazon.com/Live-Praying-Life%C2%AE-Without-Fear/dp/1625915098  Click on
"Look Inside."

The bottom line on this Facebook page is --instead of scripture being lifted up endless Jennifer Kennedy Dean quotes are everywhere.  In this "Selfie Age" with "Repeating Tweeters," authors, by no means just Dean, lift self up and soon it is their names, their quotes, and their teachings that are put on a pedestal for all to read while scripture takes a back seat!  The Psalmist, however, was awed by--not his own words--, but with "thy word!"  Psalm 119:161-162 says, "...but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.  I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil."

The Lesson for Us All Is: "Study to Show Yourself Approved Unto God!" 

In summary, each and every time a Bible study is announced do not surmise that just because the word Bible is in it, a church stalwart endorses it, a pastor allows it, a friend loves it, or a prominent writer teaches it that you --just like an ant rushing madly to obtain sweet bait-- should sign on.  Before you do, prayerfully and carefully research the book, the course, and the author.  See what sound research apologists have to say, and learn to discern whether what a particular author or book is touting sticks to scripture, or whether there's hidden "poison" therein.

Learn to spot "red flag" words, phrases, practices, and teachers who add or subtract from the Word.  And if you see a contemplative thread in their teachings--spiritual formation, contemplative prayer, listening prayer, centering prayer, mantras, meditative phrases, mystics, experiences, men like Richard Foster, and so on-- run the other way!

It is up to each of us to become, as II Timothy 2:15 states, "a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth."  We must forgo the work books containing contemplative teachings, such as those taught by Dean and a host of others, and return to the Word book!

Learn to Discern Granny Verses:  II Peter 3:17,18

"Ye therefore beloved, seeing ye know these things before, beware lest ye being led away with the error of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness.  But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. ..."

For More Information:

*****5 Things You Should Know About Contemplative Prayer (2013) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse
Trails Research)  https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=10780  If you can not purchase any other booklet this one is a winner!

"National Day of Prayer Featured Author Promotes Contemplative" (May 15, 2007) by  Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*  http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=3149

"General Baptist Ministries Going Toward Contemplative?" (July 11, 2008) by Lighthouse Trails Editors (Lighthouse Trails Research)*  https://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=1617

*Articles on Jennifer Kennedy Dean

A Time of Departing (2006) by Ray Yungen (Lighthouse Trails Research)  Especially read chapter two: "Yoga of the West" (explains contemplative prayer)  and chapter four: "Evangelical Hybrids" ( all about Richard Foster and Brennan Manning).  Also check out the "Glossary of Terms," and the "Christian Mystic List." http://www.lighthousetrails.com/home/684-a-time-of-departing.html

A Serious Look at Richard Foster's "School" of Contemplative Prayer (2015) by Ray Yungen
(Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)  http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=17941

D Is for Deception: The Language of the "New" Christianity (2016) by Kevin Reeves and the Editors at Lighthouse Trails (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet)
http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=18753

The Message "Bible": A Breach of Truth (2014) by John Lanagan (Lighthouse Trails Research Booklet) http://www.lighthousetrailsresearch.com/blog/?p=16449