I have been a member of ChristianBlog.Com for 9 years, 11 months and 5 days.

  I have published 2,287 blogs and 1,779 comments.

 My most recent blog was published: Apr 17 2016 07:32:33am

 I currently live in: United States.
  Blog Archive
A few thoughts about the world, the church and christians
published . 2 min read
Somewhere buried in the depths of the deepest sea is what is left of sanity, both politically as well as spiritually. What I have witnessed over the past few weeks and months are things I never expected to see in my lifetime. It is as if a huge tide came ashore and took every last bit of rational and considerate thinking out to sea. With each passing day, fewer and fewer people are in a “good mood” . With each passing day, the pressures being applied to people in the financial and social realms are crushing. Although most keep valiantly try to hang on, it is as if they are fighting a losing battle against forces unseen yet far more powerful than them. I fully understand and am thankful to know that the Bible clearly states that in the last days before Christ's return, the......
Don't be afraid to say "i love you"
published . 1 min read
Growing up, there were three words or phrases rarely (if ever) spoken in our house. The first one was “please” . I cannot remember a single time when this word was used except in the same sense as “give me a break” . Logically, if there is no please there will be no “thank you” . When presents were exchanged there would be a few “thank you” , but very few. The third missing word was “love” . I cannot remember a time, other than when they were old and sick, where the words “I love you” were ever uttered. My dad was from a generation where it was considered a sign of weakness to talk about love. Thus, I never remember my dad telling me he loved me. He wanted to, but he just couldn't do it. My mom rarely ever talked about love,......
The chapters of our lives
published . 2 min read
Yesterday marked ten years since my mother passed away. She had lived with us the last year and half of her life and I had been her care-giver for many years. She was just shy of her 88th birthday when she passed. I helped do her funeral and once it was finished, an eight year “mom chapter” of my life finished with it. It is interesting how our lives are divided into chapters isn't it? Unfortunately the “good chapters” don't last forever, nor do the bad ones. I believe the different chapters are a reflection of where God has called us and what He has called us to do. I believe many times people do not want to let go of the chapters when God did mighty things and we walked on water daily. I also believe that many times people do not have the patience to endure......
The grace of god, and its enemies
published . 2 min read
There are two main things that trip up a believer in Christ and cause him to stumble and fall out of the grace wherein we stand. Those two things are legalism and abuse of grace. The First Epistle of Corinthians shows the depravity of thought and action that comes when God's grace is used as a cloak (an excuse for) sin. Galatians shows how legalism strangles the life out of a believer, caught in the never ending battle of trying to subdue the flesh by way of laws and rules. Perhaps near the top of the devil's chain of command are “religious spirits” who present themselves as the Pharisees of Jesus time and so many of the “I'm perfect, you're not” people occupying pulpits all around the world. Religious spirits have a way of making you feel inferior,......
The higher ground of sound doctrine
published . 1 min read
Oh, give me a home where the Buffalo roam Where the Deer and the Antelope play; Where seldom is heard a discouraging word, And the sky is not cloudy all day. This song, “Home on the range” , is the official state song of Kansas where I grew up. Never once did I ever question the things said in this song, for I believed it to be true since it was the official state song. How many times have we believed something to be true just because it has the stamp of someone's approval or someone in authority says so? I have never seen an Antelope let alone see one play with a deer. I do know that long ago, buffalo did indeed roam, stampede and otherwise tear up the pastures all through the Great Plains. I find it hard to believe there ever was a time in the “West” , where......
Open arms and open hearts
published . 2 min read
Crying out from the very depths of the soul, the pain associated with the loss has no equal. When I was about 12 years old, my dad took me and my little dog “Blackie” out to the VFW to fish and play. About the time we left, Blackie started running in circles and foaming at the mouth. I am sure my dad did not know he had distemper, but he knew we better leave. I remember screaming and crying as we drove off leaving the poor dog alone and soon to die. I languished in a state of emptiness, pain and loss for days. An image forever etched in my mind is when Beth's dog “Peggy” finally lost her long battle with kidney disease and passed away in late October of 2008. For what seemed like hours, Beth cradled the lifeless body of Peggy in her lap, weeping with a pain no one......
Sharing my heart regarding my heart
published . 2 min read
Since I do know how long my arm/hand will cooperate, I thought I should try and compose a blog. The difficult part is that I could compose twenty blogs filled with thoughts and research I have done recently. But, alas, I have to work within the confines of my body and what it is going through on a given day. Yesterday was a horrible day and today appears to be better; let's hope so. It appears that most of my physical problems stem from my congestive heart failure. When it goes into failure mode, I get short of breath, feel very tired, have increased swelling in my legs and abdomen, develop a dry hacking cough, decreased appetitive, am unable to lie flat and above all, show weight gain of 2-3 pounds overnight or 5 pounds in a week. Obviously the heart's ability to pump blood not......
A message to my friends here at christian blog
published .
I usually try and write a blog on Sunday, even when I can't on other days. All I can say is there is a conspiracy of some sort afflicting my body that makes writing a blog challenging. I have developed a pronounced shiver or shake in my left arm. This makes it very difficult to write without constantly needing to replace errors. I would appreciate your prayers as always and I will write a normal length blog as soon as I can. I see the doctor on Tuesday about this problem. Thank you for your patience and prayers. Kirk...
It took a miracle
published . 2 min read
In the middle of my computer screen sits a two inch blue, white and brown circle, surrounded by blackness. This is what the planet earth looked like when an astronaut took the picture while on the moon many years ago. I guess I like this picture so much because it puts earth, and all of its problems, into the right perspective. It also reminds me that earth is the only planet that has water and therefore inhabited. Job 26:7 New English Translation (NET) He spreads out the northern skies over empty space; he suspends the earth on nothing. NET Bible® copyright ©1996-2006 by Biblical Studies Press, L.L.C. All rights reserved. God dropped the planet earth in orbit of the sun. He did not attach secret God strings to keep it from fluttering or suddenly zooming into an orbit that is too......
The brokenness of god
published . 3 min read
We talk a lot about brokenness as believers. The idea of being broken carries many different meanings and in some ways is unique to each person because we are all different. When looking up the definition of brokenness, I was amazed by how man definitions there are of this word. The Encarta Dictionary lists 11 different meanings for brokenness. When one word has so many possible meanings, context determines which one best used. The first definition listed is “to be no longer whole” -in two or more pieces as in being dropped or struck with something hard. In 1983-84 I was struck by something very hard, resulting in my being broken into many pieces. In the television show “NCIS” , when Denozzo does or says something very stupid or wrong, Gibbs will slap him on the back......
The anthem of a believer's heart
published . 2 min read
Here I stand before you Lord, without a stitch of self-righteousness. Here I stand before you Lord, fully clothed in your glory and adorned with your grace. I have nothing to give you save the life you gave me, I can do nothing for you outside of your strength. I am nothing according to the world, but in you I have everything and am everything good and right. Lord, I stand here today knowing full well what you have made me in Christ; yet I cannot seem to climb above the debris of this life to grab your hand. I have studied your Word and know what it says; yet when trouble comes, that knowledge vanishes as dust in the wind. I have tasted and known your love and goodness; yet in times of great hurt, I feel so alone. I cry out before you to save me and fix me; yet at times there is no help......
The heaviness upon my heart
published . 2 min read
My heart is filled with sadness as I sit here this morning thinking about the past week. So many things have happened here at CB and in our individual lives, and many of them have not been positive. I feel so helpless in that there is very little I can do except pray and manifest faith toward the various situations. I remember a time in 2009 when many things were going wrong here at CB. At the time, I still had my green van and despite a dire lack of funds, I took off to visit some members and try to help them with their situations. I did not see much success but at least I tried. For many years I was in a ministry position where I would fly out the door to drive however many miles it took to help someone being crushed by life. Between my various health issues and utter lack of money; I......
Standing, eduring and making it through the battle
published . 2 min read
I will be the first to admit that due to my physical battles, I am not the same person I was a few years ago, or even last year. Things that used to come easily to me now are a struggle. There are days when my mind is clicking on all cylinders and there are days it misfires most of the day (yesterday for instance). I have taken this situation before the Lord and His Word to me is one of patience and longsuffering. In other words, I cannot force the issue with the Lord. I must trust His Word and do as He says. Many, if not most of us here at CB have been fighting intense battles recently. I pray that we can circle the wagons and stand with each other in prayer and faith until these battles subside. If you are one the fortunate ones who is in between battles, your mission is to pray and......
Subduing tension with peace
published . 2 min read
One of the definitions of “tension” is; a state of wariness, mistrust, controlled hostility, or fear of hostility felt by countries, groups, or people in their dealings with one another. I remember back in the summer of 1981 when my parents brought my aunt along with them to visit me in Philadelphia. From the moment they arrived, the tension was so thick you could cut it with a knife. To this day, I don't know what was causing the problem (other than my aunt being a very cantankerous person). I remember sitting the three of them down and telling them that if they could not come and be a blessing than to leave. I urged them to go watch a movie together with Alan Alda in it which dealt with conflict within a group. By golly they actually listened to me and came back from the......
The simplicity of one
published . 3 min read
Why do we have to make things so difficult? My wife was telling us about two women at work, one was 37 and still was taught math the way I know it. The other is in college right now. The problem was a simple addition of two numbers. The older person came up with the answer right away but the younger said it was all wrong. After doing all sorts of crazy things, she arrived at the answer which as it turned out; was wrong. 2 + 2 = 4 has served us well for generations, but kids today are being taught a whole new way of adding and subtracting which is time consuming and inaccurate. Why bother doing it? We have two nieces who are in their twenties now. Neither of these girls was taught cursive in all their years of school. To this day, when they write a letter it has to be in print, for that is......
The luckiest men and women on earth
published . 3 min read
Lou Gehrig, the great New York Yankees first baseman, gave a short but powerful speech as he bid farewell to his fans on July 4, 1939. The speech was necessary due to his diagnosis of ALS (which has come to be called Lou Gehrig disease). This gruesome neurological disease is always fatal and over a period of time renders even the strongest man or woman less able to care for himself than a new born baby. Of all the players in baseball history, none possessed as much talent and humility as Lou Gehrig. His accomplishments on the field made him an authentic American hero, and his tragic early death made him a legend. Few would argue that no man less deserved to be struck down with ALS than Lou Gehrig. That is why when his diagnosis and subsequent retirement from baseball hit this country so......
Rejection draws us closer to god
published . 2 min read
There are times, when for no apparent reason, I find myself transported back to June of 1984. It was at that time that I received the most personally devastating news I ever got in my life. I was told, after faithfully serving in the ministry for nearly 15 years, that there was no place for me and that I was unwanted by anyone in the country. Even now, as I think about the events of August 1983 through June of 1984, chills go down my spine. Lies, disinformation, personal vendettas and the quick willingness to sell a good man down the river conspired together to, for all practical purposes, end my public ministry. Why would I still be thinking about things that took place more than 30 years ago? Why, knowing what I was spared from that took place later in that ministry, would I still feel......
Longing for a simpler time
published . 2 min read
Yesterday, for reasons unknown to me, first the DISH went out (meaning no television) and then the internet went out. It was snowing outside but I cannot believe our meager 3-4 inches of snow would cause the end of life as we know it. Seriously, have we ever really considered how much of our life is tied up watching things on television, a computer screen or a portable electronic device? If men wearing combat boots showed up at our door and demanded all our televisions, laptops, PC's, cell phones, I Phones etc; how on earth could we survive? Beth's mom has been staying with us since late July. She has more energy at 84 years old than many people have 20 years her junior. Other than some short term memory issues, she is in pretty good working condition for her age. She loves to......
Salting their oats and shining as lights
published . 2 min read
Jesus said that those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, shall be filled. This statement implies that there are some who DO NOT hunger and thirst for righteousness. Those with no hunger or thirst have no desire to know the truth. They can have the truth shoved down their throats, but they will refuse it because of a lack of desire for it. As the saying goes; you can lead a horse to water, but you cannot make him drink. But, may I add, you CAN salt his oats. Jesus said that we are salt of the earth. Is it not a bit interesting that salt stimulates thirst? As we present the truth of God's Word to others, our saltiness can and will bring others to a point of wanting what we have to offer. Jesus did not have to say a word to arouse a sincere curiosity in Pontius Pilate as to what......
The curse of arrogance and narcissism
published . 2 min read
I once knew a man who thought he knew it all. As is the case with most people like this, the man in due time found out he actually knew very little. What brings a man from the pinnacle of self confidence to the depths of humbleness? The answer lies in the intricacies of life and how life tends to beat most people down and in the process and drive them off the mountain top into the valley of realism and humility. Arrogance, narcissism and the belief that one is better and smarter than everyone else form a package that produces people who are looked upon as leaders in their particular field of endeavor. Politicians must project an aura of superiority or no one will listen to them. Lawyers, doctors, CEOs and other “professionals” are usually overflowing with this pseudo self......
Dealing with a crisis of faith
published . 2 min read
If you live long enough and stay faithful to God's Word enough years; sooner or later you will find yourself in a “crisis of faith” . This crisis is usually brought on by a series of life-changing events that rock a person's world, many times turning it upside down in the process. A crisis of faith is somewhat akin to enduring a 8.0 earthquake in one's life, or a direct hit by a lightning bolt. Either way, the outcome is dramatic and results in major changes in a person's lifestyle. When a truly dramatic event jolts one's life, either one's faith will rise up and carry the person through or they will find out their faith is not as strong as they believed and they will crumble. There should be no shame in undergoing a crisis of faith but rather viewing it......
Establishing the will of god in our lives
published . 2 min read
For fairly obvious reasons, I am genuinely happy to see 2015 come to a close. This year, even more than 2014, has tested my patience and faith more than any year in quite awhile. The seemingly endless parade of physical woes I have encountered this year have left me gasping for the clean air of a new year. I have grown exceedingly weary of not feeling well, thinking I must go to the hospital again etc. If I am weary of this routine, I cannot imagine how weary my poor wife is of it! I genuinely wish it were God's will in my life to be healed of all my physical problems and return to a degree of normalcy. But, unless God's will changed and I missed it, such is not the case. There is indeed a fine line between “physician heal thyself” and humbly accepting God's will in......
The heart of the shepherds
published . 2 min read
Sometimes the road that stretches before us is a glorious highway and other times it is but a rocky path. Regardless of the state of life's road, we must always remember that we never walk this path alone. We are surrounded by the glory of God and held tightly in the bosom of His protection and care. Even when the night is heavy upon us and we feel all alone with no one who cares about us; God cares and if need be, He will carry us through the snares and traps littering the road. On that cold and dark night 2,000 years ago, Joseph and Mary stumbled to the inn looking for a room. None was available so they had to spend the night in the stable. Mary went into labor and soon a child was born in the presence of cattle and sheep. Instead of fretting about being all alone, Joseph and Mary......
All bad things run their course in due time
published . 1 min read
Little did I think a month ago that it would take me this long to write another blog after my heart ablation. What was supposed to entail a night in the hospital and a few days of rest ended up being 14 days in hospitals and feeling absolutely horrible the past two weeks. But, just as all good things must come to an end; so all bad things must run their course and end also. It goes without saying that I have been locked in a “bad stretch” for quite some time now. In many respects I feel (and look) as Rocky Balboa did after going 15 rounds with Apollo Creed in Rocky 1 and 2. I have been pounded upon, beaten to a pulp and smacked around the ring for the past 15 months now, yet I am still standing. Beaten and battered I may be, but defeated I am not. I finally turned the corner......
Remembering the goodness and wonder of our god
published . 3 min read
As many people dwell upon everything wrong with their lives, I have thought often recently about all the good, cool, amazing and wonderful things I have enjoyed in my 62 years upon this earth. We certainly feel better and live longer if we dwell on the good verses concentrating on the bad. In 1985 I flew from Wichita, Kansas to Denver, Colorado on the evening of July 4th. What makes this special is that I was able to witness fireworks displays from the top looking down all along the way. It was certainly an evening I will never forget because fireworks have a distinctly different look when seeing them from 34,000 feet instead of from the ground. In 1978 I had the opportunity to fly to Anchorage, Alaska to minister to the saints there and in Fairbanks. In the Anchorage airport (at least......
Why was i spared?
published . 3 min read
I read yesterday about a recently retired 29 year old professional baseball pitcher who had a hard time breathing Sunday evening and was taken to an Atlanta hospital. By Monday evening he had died of “massive internal organ failure” , otherwise known as septic shock. No definitive diagnosis has yet to be given for what this person died from. Last winter a mother and her adult son were rushed to two different local hospitals because they could not breathe. In both cases, the victims complained of not being able to breathe. In both cases, in two different hospitals, they were put on a respirator and given antibiotics. In both cases the patients passed away within a few days. No definitive diagnosis was given for either case. Last spring the middle aged daughter of two of......
We will understand this life in due time
published . 2 min read
For everything we know in this life, there are ten things we do not have a clue as to their meaning or consequence. We think we know so much about the Word of God and are so strong in the faith, but then something terrible happens (sickness, separation or death) and we fall to pieces. This is because we are human and we cannot understand everything right now. Thank God for the promise that there will be a day coming very soon when we will understand fully everything that has happened in this life and everything that will happen for eternity. Many believers know the first verse and chorus of the old Christian song “Farther Along” , but very few know all the verses. Although no one knows for sure who wrote this song, it is attributed to W. B. Stevens and is at least 100 years old......
A note to my friends here at christian blog
published . 1 min read
To my friends at Christian Blog; The level of frustration I feel in regards to my physical situations is growing greater every day. It seems as though that if I am not disabled by the crushing pain of TN (as I was yesterday, or the disabling effects of my 38% heart function, my heart is constantly going in and out of rhythm. Even today I started out feeling quite well, only to have my heart go into A-Fib which threw me into bed. This upsets me because I cannot write blogs or do much of anything else when one or more of these maladies strikes me. Yesterday was the worst day ever as far as TN goes. I found out yesterday why they call it the “suicide disease” . Don't worry, I would never actually do that but the relentless pain drives one to think about the relief that it would......
A royal celebration
published . 2 min read
I love baseball, just as many others love soccer and even rugby. The recently completed World Series showed how perseverance and grit determination can take a team to victory. The final game of the series bore this out. Kansas City was down by two runs in the top of the ninth inning against a dominant pitcher. Suddenly the game was tied as the Royals struck with amazing speed to score two runs in their final at bat. Then in the top of the 12th inning they erupt for five runs and put the game out of reach and secured their first World Series championship in 30 years. This team refused to give up no matter how dire the circumstances looked. They believed in themselves that they could and would pull the game out in the end. The other team got complacent due to their lead and suddenly it was......
The forgiving father of luke 15
published . 3 min read
All of my life, I have heard the parable of the “prodigal son” found in Luke 15. One can read that whole chapter and never find the word “prodigal” . The word prodigal means to be extravagantly wasteful. Let me ask you this question; is the emphasis in the parable about the prodigal son and his spending habits? I think not. A more appropriate title for that parable should be the forgiving father or the repentant son. Luke 15 presents three parables all of which deal with the same basic topic, which is the loss of something and then the joy when it is found. The first parable is about the man who loses one of his 100 sheep. He looks diligently through the wilderness until he finally finds the lost sheep and when he finds it he lays it on his shoulders and rejoices. Luke......
Walking a mile in his/her shoes
published . 2 min read
Where did the expression “walk a mile in my/his shoes” come from? Perhaps the earliest and most enlightening part of the proverb date back to the Cherokee tribe of Native Americans, who said “Don't judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes” . Nelle Harper Lee, an American authoress, was seemingly inspired by the saying of the Amerindians in her book “To Kill a Mockingbird” , where she wrote “You never really know a man until you understand things from his point of view, until you climb into his skin and walk around in it.” Lee, Harper To Kill a Mockingbird. J.B. Lippincott & Co., 1960 It is so very easy to judge someone just by looking at who they are instead of trying to understand what got them there. We should all strive to......
Looking back on 2009 personally and at cb
published . 2 min read
Looking back, the year 2009 was quite a year here at Christian Blog and for some of us “old timers” . In early February of 2009 I had to have a super delicate heart procedure that had a high risk of many things going wrong. The CB site rallied in prayer and not only was the procedure a success; the unified prayers of so many brought the site closer to together. In early April we had the first and only on line communion service here at CB. More than 20 people crammed into the CB chat room for a beautiful service. There was singing, prayer and the administering of the elements of the Lord's Supper. It was challenge to pull it off, but we did it and everyone was mightily blessed who was there. A few weeks later, over Easter weekend, I had a heart attack and on the day after......
Our high calling in christ jesus
published . 2 min read
If one were to take a survey among Christians, asking them what their purpose in living is; the answers would be all over the map. Some would say that our purpose is to worship God, others would say it is to speak God's Word, others would say that it is to make tons of money to show what God can do, others would say it is to promote healing, others would say it is to pray, others would say it is to glorify God by good works and others would say it is to love God and love each other. I do not believe there is any one reason that defines our purpose in living. I would agree that according to Ephesians chapter one, we are to be to the praise of God's glory, but even that statement is wrought with differences of opinion as to its meaning. I believe God gives us great leeway in our......
One year later
published . 2 min read
On this day one year ago, I finally got to go home after 52 days in three different hospitals. Even now, the whole ordeal which started on September 1, 2014 seems like a bad dream. So many things changed as a result of those 52 days, yet one thing remained the same; God is faithful. Somehow, and only God knows how, He managed to not only whisk me from death unto life; He took care of Beth also. I remain thankful for the grace and mercy of God and the faithful prayers so many of you offered during those long days and nights. Thank you seems so very small a thing to say, but it is all I have. Although tired and very unstable on my feet, I was overwhelmed with joy to see our three animals. The cat acted like I had only been gone a day or two, Meshach the Newfoundland was happy to see me but......
Welcome to my world
published . 2 min read
I find myself asking why I share so many details about my physical life with you. Good grief, even my own brother and sister share NO details with me. Why do I think you even want to know about my physical struggles and battles? What makes me believe that anyone cares what I am going through because they are going through even tougher situations? From the time I joined Christian Blog more than eight years ago, I made the conscious decision to be transparent and pretty much hide nothing concerning my life; good, bad or otherwise. Over the years, I have shared incidents that make my wife Beth cringe. I have revealed secrets that only a few people on earth know about. I have been willing to allow myself to be an open book, known and read of all men and women. The problem with being......
We cannot make people believe the word of god
published . 2 min read
It is terribly difficult to refrain from judging others when they fall upon hard times, especially when you are enjoying a stretch of good times. The tendency is to point our self-righteous finger at the person who is down while saying “look at me” . It is so easy to grow impatient with those who fall behind and start preaching at them instead of encouraging them to do better. Life as a Christian is not equivalent to some kind of boot camp but rather a spiritual family seeking to edify, encourage and comfort one another. Many years ago I was called aside by a leader in the ministry who I trusted and told that if I did not stop preaching and teaching AT people, I would never be effective in my ministry. Very few people enjoy getting yelled at, and fewer still respond positively......
The five crowns available to us as believers
published . 2 min read
When all is said and done and we are left with nothing except what we have accomplished in this life; will be as the Apostle Paul and say “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith” or will be as Judas and rue the very moment of our birth? When the day comes when we stand before our Lord Jesus Christ to receive our wages for what we have done in this life; will we look forward to receiving the praise for what we did in this life or... ? What awaits us at the end of our life is determined by what we think, say and do in this life. If we live for this life only we may reap the temporal rewards this life has to offer, but at what price? Is it worth jeopardizing our eternal rewards to enjoy the world's rewards for a season? If we allow the world and the empty promises......
Report on my latest medical safari
published . 4 min read
I was lying in bed around noon on Sunday when I began feeling like an elephant was sitting on my chest. For those who have never experienced such a phenomenon, it is a surreal feeling that produces both immediate anxiety and a feeling of dread. This feeling produced a 911 call and the resulting meeting of emergency personnel in my bedroom. At one point there were two ambulances and six EMS people standing around my bed trying to determine if I needed to go to the hospital. If it were not so serious, I would say this reminds me of the joke; how many EMS people does it take... The “party” quickly changed when for the second time in two months I suddenly had stroke symptoms. My face drooped, I got a sudden and intense headache and I could not open my left eye. When the paramedic......
Life goes on with the help of prayer
published . 2 min read
As you may know, I just endured yet another medical emergency the past few days. Thankfully I am home now, but I am having to deal with new news that is both sobering as well as enlightening. Although it appears that I have not had any strokes (major ones anyway), the news that my heart is only beating at 38% is disturbing and quite honestly, a bit scary. Equally scary is the casual approach taken by the cardioglogists to the news. For whatever reason, there appears to be little urgency in the matter on their parts. I am left to wonder if this means they are just busy or do not believe there is much they can do for me. In early 2000, while at Mayo Clinic, I was given a diagnosis of restrictive cardio myopathy and told I had six months to live without a heart transplant. Through gigantic......
A quick word about my situtaion
published . 1 min read
Being held captive by my balky body; I find myself trying to understand what it is all about and for what reason I have been selected to be so tortured. I do get that the problems I am suffering through now are directly related to the bout with sepsis and septic shock I had a year ago; but still, I crave to find a quick fix where there is none and deeper answers where there are not any. As I sit here today attempting to write this blog, I am utterly worn out and so tired I could fall asleep at the computer. This is after taking a three hour nap. I am SO not used to this. I am attuned to get up when I want and do what I feel like or need to be doing. This whole idea of my body dictating my life is difficult to say the least. The good thing is that I am forced into writing much shorter......
Grace, mercy and love
published . 2 min read
One of the most tossed around words in Christian music and literature is “grace” . Don't get me wrong; I am a big fan of grace. But, there seems to be a misconception that grace is riding shotgun with us to zap any guilt arising from doing something bad. I have no idea where this type of thinking has come from, but it is simply not true. Grace “from” deals exclusively with the Devine favor manifested toward sinners in allowing them to be saved no matter what horrible things they had done before. Grace “from” allows sinners to be saved; in other words, it is strictly associated with salvation. There is another aspect of grace that very few Christians know about (because they do not read the Word of God) and that is grace “unto” . This type of......
The glory that lies ahead
published . 2 min read
There are many on this site much older and in far better shape than I. There are many on this site who have been spared the ravages of disease and physical calamity to the point that they can continue doing at an advanced age what they did twenty years ago. I rejoice for those who have been granted this gift and I am thankful they are able to do pretty much as they please. Praise God! There are many on this site much younger and in far worse shape than I. There are many on this site who are having to endure the effects of disease and physical maladies to the point of being shut down and shut out of life as others their age live it. My heart reaches out to those who have been burdened with pain and face the daily struggle to stay positive in the face of adversity. There are many on this......
Resting in the fullness of god
published . 2 min read
Could it be that God knew what was lurking in my physical body and protected all involved by steering my life as it turned out? Could it be that because God knew that starting when I was 44 years old, I would end up dealing with serious health issues for the next 18 years, He took care of us through means other than the traditional male being the breadwinner? May I dare say that because God knew the extent of not so good genes within my body, He prevented me from having children in this life? I don't know the answer to the above questions and I never will until I see my Lord Jesus Christ face to face. But, I would not be surprised to find out that one or more of these questions turn out to be true. God knows every fiber of my body, soul and spirit. He knows every part of my DNA. God......
Never underestimate the power of a smile
published . 3 min read
Yesterday I stopped to fill the car up with gas. As I got out of the car, a younger looking woman saw me and smiled at me. As best I could, with my missing teeth, I smiled back and went about my business of pumping gas. Being honest, I have to admit that seeing a total stranger smile at me brought a taste of happiness to an otherwise blas© day. How much did that smile cost the person who gave it? Absolutely nothing. I have told my wife Beth for years that her “ministry” is her smile. She has one of the most beautiful smiles on earth. When she smiles at you, you know you have been smiled at. Her smile immediately brightens a day, brings a hint of happiness to a weary heart and makes the recipient feel like someone really does care about them. Never underestimate the power of......
Removing the images we have of jesus
published . 2 min read
I think that because we are humans, we tend to humanize God and the things of God. By doing this, we end up lowering God to our standards and to our images. Instead of God being who He is (Almighty, Everlasting, all powerful, all knowing, ever present etc), God ends up being conformed to our thinking and ability to visualize Him. Perhaps this is why all the attempts to portray Jesus (black, white, big, slender, long hair, short hair etc) are dangerous and are borderline idolatry. I have known believers who have so many images of Jesus around, their home looks like a pagan temple. There is no human being alive today that knows what Jesus looked like. Any attempt to come up with an image of Him is pure speculation that is usually motivated by movies and art. For this reason, we try to avoid......
Wait on the lord, be patient and endure
published . 3 min read
I feel it best to let you know what is up with me. It seems that each day a situation arises where Beth and I find ourselves trying to decide if I need to go to the emergency room or not. Just last evening a new and troublesome problem arose that we had no experience with. Not knowing what to do, Beth called our good friend Kathy in Minnesota who along with her husband Dave prayed for me. Obviously I must have gotten better for I am at home and writing this blog. Thank you Kathy and Dave for your prayers. At times I feel like I am standing in the middle of a lake on an ice flow that is melting quickly around me. At other times I feel like the ball in an old pinball machine, being bounced hither and thither relentlessly. Most of the time, I just feel sad that I am such a mess physically......
Taking that first step
published . 3 min read
Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of a very significant event in my life. One year ago, I did what 95% of all people who endured viral pneumonia, sepsis and septic shock NEVER do; I got out of bed. I remember the physical therapist standing next to the bed urging me to sit up and stand up. In no way did I believe I could do such a monumental task. After being unconscious for 24 days and semi-conscious for another two, my body had degenerated into a state of something akin to jello. Every movement was a chore, including lifting my arms. Now they wanted me to get out of bed; no way I said. James was the male therapist. He was a slight man with bitten off earlobes and a cast on his wrist. I looked at him and said NO. The other therapist was a very petite woman who maybe weighed 90......
Was it just a coincidence or were angels involved?
published . 2 min read
This past Monday, I was scheduled to have a procedure done where I needed to be a t a hospital at 1:30. This did work at all with Beth's scheduled time off so she decided that this past Monday would be the first time in years that she would drive to work. I consented but only if she drove on the service road, took our van (instead of the car) and that I lead the way to a gas station about half way to her work. While she was getting ready, I pulled the van out of the garage and parked it so all she would have to do is put it in drive and go. I would get in the car and lead her to the gas station. All she had to do was follow me and then drive the 10 or so miles on the service road to work. She came out and got in the van (I had already started it). I was walking over to start the car......
From my heart to yours this fine september day
published . 3 min read
I wish I could tell you that I do all sorts of great things for God each day, but I can't. For the most part, each day presents a new set of battles that take much of my time and energy to resolve. Many of these battles are in the physical realm and I have shared most of them with you. I still have residue left over from the war that went on inside of me a year ago. Since I am no super hero, I have not been able to bounce back from some of the things that nearly killed me last year. Some would say that one year is plenty of time to rebound from a physically and mentally devastating experience, but in my case it has not quite worked out that way. Just two evenings ago, I was struck with the worst A-Fib attack yet. My heart was all out of rhythm and my blood pressure was all over the......
Concluding what happened a year ago
published . 2 min read
Prescript: Please disregard the statements in this blog about not writing anymore about what took place a year ago. I was not feeling well and was up most of the night when I wrote this blog early this morning. Contrary to what I say in this blog, I do have more to say about the single most important time of my life and what God has taught me from it. Thank you for your patience with me and standing with me as I continue to fight battles associated with what took place a year ago. Kirk Awhile back, I asked this esteemed body if I could share some things that traced back to a year ago, with the expressed purpose of getting them off my chest and to facilitate God's healing. Well, the previous two blogs certainly went a long way in accomplishing that purpose. As you could tell by......
What i remember about a year ago-part two
published . 4 min read
I was admitted to Progress West Hospital in O'Fallon, Missouri on September 1, 2014 with viral pneumonia. My oxygen levels were dangerously low and I was put in ICU on a ventilator with heavy doses of Propofol (the drug that killed Michael Jackson). This is standard operating procedure. I was also put on heavy doses of pain killers, antibiotics and various psychotic drugs. It would be literally impossible to remember anything while on all these drugs. Thus, it is impossible for me to have any memories of my time at Progress West (September 1-24, 2014). I was moved to another hospital on September 24 where they would slowly wean me off both the ventilator and the Propofol. This was successfully done, but they forgot to wean me off the psychotic drugs. During the first week I was at......
This is what i remember about last september-part one
published . 4 min read
This is my story, and I am sticking to it. The following is what I remember of the time from September 1-30, 2014. I went to an alternative clinic because the hospital was too expensive. The clinic evaluated me and decided to send me by ambulance to a house they operated in Madison, Kansas (which coincidentally was a house we lived in for a short time in 1988). This house was like a half way house that emphasized positive thinking combined with a new age form of Christianity. They believed over time a person would be healed by basically just lying in bed and thinking positive thoughts. I spent two months at this house doing as they wanted, lying in bed. The only two significant things I remember of those two months were that a young nurse showed up daily to make sure everything was going......
Living under the sovereignty of god's will
published . 4 min read
There is no problem with God's ability, for He is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we could ask or think. The problem (if there is one) comes with God's willingness to do what we ask of Him. For instance; God has cattle on a thousand hills, so if we need a cow, He certainly has one He could spare, doesn't He? The answer is yes, but whether He gives us one depends on many things that only God knows. The frustration level among believers grows to monumental levels at times because they do not understand WHY their supplications are not answered. In reality, the problem is not that they are not answered but rather that they are not answered the way we want them answered. Unless we yield to God's sovereign (having supreme authority) will, it is impossible for us to......
The devil's web of deceit
published . 3 min read
It is very difficult to not get sucked into the vortex of secularism that seems to loom everywhere we go, is embedded in everything we hear and sits right below the surface of all we see. The subtlety of the adversary's “end game” is both profound and devious. Instead of scaring everyone into running to him, the devil has woven his “almost truth” into the fabric of everything we encounter on a daily basis. This is why it is imperative that we put on the whole armor of God so that we are strong enough and sharp enough to distinguish truth from error and what is “almost right” from what is right. The devil has mastered the ability to disguise his moves so that it takes incredible spiritual insight along with mental acuity and an intense awareness of what is......
Two ways to look at peter walking on the water
published . 2 min read
24But the boat was now in the midst of the sea, distressed by the waves; for the wind was contrary. 25And in the fourth watch of the night he came unto them, walking upon the sea. 26And when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were troubled, saying, It is a ghost; and they cried out for fear. 27But straightway Jesus spake unto them, saying Be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. 28And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto the upon the waters. 29And he said, Come. And Peter went down from the boat, and walked upon the waters to come to Jesus. 30But when he saw the wind, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, Lord, save me. 31And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and took hold of him, and saith unto him, O thou of......
Just say no when the lion roars
published . 2 min read
As I was scrounging around the house looking for one quarter to finish a roll this morning, I realized just how desperate the times are here at the B2Y ranch. When the ability to pay the mortgage comes down to finding one quarter; that defines “living on the edge” . Times are tough here, just as they are for many of you; but, if there is a God (and we know there is), there has to be a way out. The challenge is to stay calm, not to panic and allow God the time to supply the need per His promise in Philippians 4. By nature, we tend to jump off the deep end at the first appearance of danger. We tend to want to run away and hide from the mighty lion seeking to devour us. But, if we are to allow God the time and space to take care of us, we must muster the courage to act on what 1......
Applying the word of god must be in light of the context
published . 3 min read
Don't we all love to quote this verse in Philippians 4? I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13 King James Version Is this verse giving believers a blank check to do anything they want in this life? Does this verse have anything to do with raising the dead, walking on water or casting out demons? The answer to both questions is NO. As in all cases when studying God's Word, we must understand the context of a verse and be careful not to pull a verse out of context to prove a point or justify doing something. What is the context of Philippians 4:13? 10But I rejoice in the Lord greatly, that now at length ye have revived your thought for me; wherein ye did indeed take thought, but ye lacked opportunity. 11Not that I speak in respect of want: for I......
In what do we rejoice?
published . 2 min read
There is a prestigious lake in mid Missouri (Lake of the Ozarks) at which many people in both St. Louis and Kansas City have weekend homes and cottages. These people make the three hour trek every weekend from Memorial Day to Labor Day in order to relax, party and get away from the city. Every Friday afternoon, in the summer, there are thousands of SUV's and expensive cars clogging the Interstate as stressed out people make their journey from the awful city to their piece of heaven in the country for the weekend. Every Sunday afternoon, these same people clog the Interstate as they rush home, tired of their venture into the uncivilized lake environment. I have been caught in the Friday exodus and Sunday mad rush for more than 20 years now. I am fascinated by how these people do this......
Do we need this wolrd to be happy?
published . 3 min read
I was thinking recently about how ALL of the things I thought I could not live without; I did indeed live without last year. Granted, I was unconscious much of the time, but even after I started to come to, I had no desire to know how the baseball Cardinals were doing, what the latest news in the world was or what weather front was coming through next. In pure survival mode, there is no interest in or need to know anything about all the superfluous matters that most people feel driven to know about daily. When I think back to my state a year ago, it becomes obvious that contrary to what we think and believe; we CAN survive and be blessed without any outside information, communication, amusement or knowledge. This should not surprise me since the two most glorious times of my life were......
What fools believe and will receive
published . 3 min read
Only a fool would dare believe that things are only going to get better and better in the days ahead. Only a fool would dare to believe there will be no long term societal problems coming as a result of the trash being promoted by the entertainment industry. Only a fool dismisses the warnings found throughout the Bible. Only a fool believes there is no God, and without God there is no standard (His Word) to judge the state of this world by. What is the conclusion of the matter? This world is full of fools. Most children will test their parents, teachers and others in authority as to how far they can go before being yelled at or punished in some manner. It strikes me that this is what is happening in the world today. Individuals, groups, governments and religious institutions appear intent......
Taking a look at oppression
published . 2 min read
I feel today as if I just emerged from a cave. The past few days have been dark and full of bouts of intense pain. So far today I have no pain issues, which is like a breath of fresh air. Severe attacks of pain, whether physical or emotional, define and describe oppression. Although oppression is generally used in reference to worldly rulers dominating over their subjects; the aspects of domination involved with oppression can (and do) also apply to the spiritual battle we are involved in. Oppression means to “press down” . Interestingly, although the words sound similar, oppression and depression have little to do with each other. Whereas depression can refer to everything from a psychiatric disorder to an economic slump to a low pressure area in meteorology; oppression only......
A plea for prayer and understanding
published . 2 min read
For those of you unfamiliar with the effects of trying to live with chronic or relentless pain; please allow me to fill you in. For the past week or so, I have been dealing with daily non-stop headaches with off and on intense bouts of trigeminal neuralgia flare ups. Needless to say, it has been a battle. One thing about relentless pain is that it draws the energy out of your body and mind that otherwise would be used for constructive things. Relentless pain leads to long stretches of unproductive time with the appearance to others of laziness or apathy. Let me assure you, those of us suffering from chronic pain are not lazy, it just looks that way. My wife Beth gets migraines many times per month. She has prescription pills that most of the time knock down the pain, although many times......
My life is not my own
published . 3 min read
Recently I have been struggling with my body again. Between the pains of the TN I have and the side effects of various medications I take, I have spent an inordinate amount of time sitting on the bench, so to speak, and not in the game. God knows I hate this, but I trust in His plan and in His goodness, grace and mercy. I am not going to spend my time complaining about my lot in this life or wondering what could have been if only, etc. No matter how awful I feel, I can still pray. No matter how terrible the pain gets, I can still thank God for the life He has given me. No matter how strong the desire to just give up gets, I can still trust in God that all will be well and to the praise of His glory. Many years ago I made the conscious decision to live my life as a bonded and branded slave......
Weakness and brokenness allow us to be strong in the lord
published . 3 min read
Once in awhile, like a flash in the pan, I find myself thinking I will wake up one day and all my physical woes will be gone and I will feel great. As wonderful as that would be, I know from the Lord it is not going to happen. I have been given a cross and I must bear this cross with joy and humility instead of grumbling about it and cursing it. My cross is the multitude of things wrong with me, for through those things, God is able to inspire and help others through their travails and personal crisis's. I believe we all have a cross to bear in this life. This cross is of the Lord's choosing and is custom made for each one of us. To the extent we recognize and accept this cross, we are able to maximize our service to the Lord. This is all very similar to the personal ministry we......
Looking back, one year later
published . 3 min read
As we drove down the road leading to the Interstate around 5 am, the last thing I remember was my wife Beth yelling “I don't want to die” . She was yelling these words one year ago today because I was driving on the wrong side of the road and weaving all over the place. A police officer would have immediately booked me for driving under the influence even though I wasn't. Thankfully, and by the grace and mercy of God, I had neither an accident nor was I thrown in jail for reckless driving. I vaguely remember driving to a friend's house and dropping off Beth. That is where all memory stops, not to be resumed for around 26 days. If ever there was proof that angels do exist, I believe the events of September 1, 2014 bear it out. There is absolutely no reasonable......
The ministries at work within the body of christ
published . 3 min read
I must admit that as I sit here this morning, I am tired. We had three people over for supper last Saturday evening, 10 people over for brunch on Thursday and four people over last evening. Although each occasion was a wonderful blessing to all involved, the amount of preparation, cleaning and energy needed to do each of these times tends to drain a person. How Beth does it I will never know. She did all the cooking, which was a major accomplishment. Why would we do what we did the past week? In part it is because Beth's mom is here and she knows most of the people involved. In part it is because everyone who was here the past week was a part of Beth's “angel army” that kept her afloat last September and October. But, the predominant reason is that we have a ministry of......
How addicted are we?
published . 2 min read
Anyone in their 80's has at least some memories of World War II. Anyone in their mid to late 80's or beyond, has vivid memories of the sacrifices everyone made between 1941 and 1945. We all know of the sacrifices made by all the men and women who served in the Armed Forces; but many times I think we forget the sacrifices made by those “back home” that had to learn how live without sugar, gasoline and rubber. Any of us who have listened to the stories of those who lived through those bleak years of the war have heard of rationing. Try as I may, I cannot envision today's generations living without cell phones, smart phones, computers or computer games. Good grief, I cannot envision many who live today even doing without sugar! What would happen if today's normal......
Are all medications wrong to take as a believer?
published . 2 min read
In November of last year I had a heart episode that landed me in the hospital for five days. It was determined that I had A-Fib which was a direct result of the sepsis and septic shock I endured in September. I was told then that I HAD to take blood thinners the rest of my life. I was on warfarin at the time but they had problems keeping me at the level the doctor's wanted. In late November I was switched to one of the new blood thinners, Xerolto which eliminated the need to have my blood checked like on warfarin. In July I was switched to Eliquis, which is another of the newer and better blood thinners (also more expensive). As I found out Tuesday, on Sunday August 16 I had what the neurologist called a “TIA” stroke. Thankfully it was small and only lasted 15 minutes or so......
The impact the 1960's had on culture and christianity
published . 3 min read
I graduated from high school in 1971. The world then bears little resemblance to the world today. In fact, other than structures and traditions; the world is completely different today than it was just 44 years ago. Starting in the 1950's, waves of change flooded our culture and with each decade they brought bigger and more powerful change than the one before. Before the last two decades, the decade of greatest change was the 1960's. It was during that turbulent decade that society permanently lost its way and has never returned home. As late as the early 1960's, most Christians worshipped in a church affiliated with a denomination. Most of Christianity was fairly conservative in nature even when their theology was liberal. Churches gave youth a moral compass by which they......
God is faithful
published . 3 min read
Any of you who have been following my blogs for any amount of time know the battles I have faced in the physical realm. Not only did I spend 52 days in hospitals last year about this time with viral pneumonia, I also had to deal with the long term repercussions of sepsis and septic shock. Among those repercussions were the heart problems I had last November and I believe, the incident I had a week ago, which probably was a TIA stroke. In football, there is a penalty called “piling on” where after the play is dead, players continue to pile on the poor fellow who had the ball. This is dangerous and that is why it is a penalty. Many of us feel as though things in life “pile on” us all the time. Physical problems, financial problems, relationship problems, emotional......
It takes meekness and trust to be bold and confident
published . 3 min read
Many, but not all, of Jesus disciples were common men with little or no education. Acts 4:13 tells us that Peter and John were “unlearned and ignorant men” . The truth is that since Peter and John were untrained and ordinary men. They were not trained in the rabbinic schools and they did not hold any official positions in the recognized religious circles. These men were fishermen; selected and trained by Jesus to go forth and proclaim the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul was anything but a common man. According to Philippians 3, Paul was born a Jew and was not a proselyte. He was of the tribe of Benjamin and his Jewish roots were deep. In his attitudes and lifestyle he was a “Hebrew of Hebrews” . In Acts 22 we learn that Paul was brought up under Gamaliel......
Running away is not the way to deal with reality
published . 2 min read
There is not a day that goes by when I do not think about how fragile this life is and how at any given moment, God could say; “It is time to come home” . I remember as a kid playing with other kids in the neighborhood until it was close to suppertime. Somewhere are 6:00 pm, the sounds of mother's voices yelling for their child to come home, rang through the neighborhood. Some of us did not want to go home so the next time we heard our mother's voice, it was louder and our name was MUCH more pronounced. In other words, when it was time to go home, it meant NOW. My many physical battles are well documented on this site. I have tried to be totally honest with those who care about me and about what I am going through. I do not believe in sugar coating what is going on but......
My little adventure the past three days
published . 3 min read
The last thing I expected when I went to bed Saturday night was to end up in the hospital Sunday morning. But, due to severe chest pains Saturday night, coupled with a sense that something just was not right, I had no choice but to head off to the hospital. I made it about 3 miles down the road from our house when I called 911. An ambulance met me at a truck stop a few miles away and off we went to the hospital I had chosen. I was not in pain so much as just feeling like something was very wrong with me. Upon getting to the ER, I noticed the left side of my face and my left shoulder and arm did not feel right. Suddenly the ER personnel swung into action as they kept talking about my “droopy face” . A Physician assistant rushed in to administer a stroke test, which I passed......
We must be careful who we call "christians"
published . 2 min read
We must be very careful not to toss around the term “Christians” like it is a wet fish. By putting quotations marks around Christians, it is implying that the person or people involved are not really Christians. My question to this is simply; who are we to judge such a high and lofty matter? I know that I have done this very thing, but NEVER in relation to a fellow member of this site. Shame on anyone who doubts who calls into question the faith of a faithful member of this site. For as long as we are on this earth, there will times when we disagree on spiritual, scriptural and theological matters. That is just the way it is. We must “grow up” and stop calling each other names when such a disagreement takes place. The mature attitude is to “agree to disagree”......
Are disasters god's way of punishing people?
published . 4 min read
I was reading about the super El Nino building in the Pacific Ocean and how it could bring much needed rain to California this upcoming winter. I remember arriving for my assignment in California in August of 1976. The state was locked in a terrible drought and the experts said it would take so much rain to fill up the reservoirs and lakes (especially Lake Shasta in the northern part of the state) that it was basically impossible. Whether the drought of 1976-77 was worse than the current drought I do not know. What I do know is that in the winter of 1977-78, the state received so much rain that it filled all the lakes and reservoirs to overflowing. Contrary to what all the experts said, the state was blessed with abundant rain and snow during a very weak El Nino season. A huge percentage......
Humility and pride do not mix
published . 2 min read
Humility and humbleness are more or less the same in that they both display attitudes of respect, modesty and being low in rank without pretentions. The most humble people I have ever had the joy of knowing were, without question, unpretentious (not putting on a false or “showy” display of importance, wealth or knowledge). I vividly recall one man I knew many years ago who despite having a net worth in the millions of dollars; more or less lived like a homeless person. This man did not live this way to save money or mock the state of the disadvantaged, but rather because he was humble. He lived in a modest home and drove a normal car. In every way, this man consciously made an effort to NOT display how God had blessed him financially. Oh, and one more thing; this man gave away......
Blogging during the "dog days of august"
published . 3 min read
I asked myself recently: self, why do you keep writing blogs even though they obviously do not resonate with too many people? The answer was, as it has been for nearly eight years; because I write blogs for the greater Christian community as well as the Christian Blog community. For the thousandth time, this seemed to calm down the concern arising within myself. A very good baseball player only gets a hit, one out of every three times he comes up to bat. A very good basketball player only scores 50% of the time. A very good soccer player only scores once a game. I know of no one who hits a home run, scores a touchdown or makes a goal EVERY TIME they touch the ball. Sometimes it takes repeated attempts to get everything just right so as to successfully do what it takes to succeed in any......
The great faith needed to forgive
published . 3 min read
We, as mere mortals, do not have the right or power to tell God what He should or should not do. Whenever I hear people speak of the authority we have in Christ to demand God do something or take care of a need I get nervous. It is not that I do not believe God can move the mountain, it is just that there are no assurances God will move every mountain whenever we want it moved. Let me repeat; there is absolutely no problem with God's ability, the problem comes with His willingness and/or our ability to believe and trust Him. Please look at Mark 11:20-26: 20And as they passed by in the morning, they saw the fig tree withered away from the roots. 21And Peter calling to remembrance saith unto him, Rabbi, behold, the fig tree which thou cursedst is withered away. 22And Jesus answering......
The great mystery revealed by the apostle paul
published . 2 min read
There is indeed a Great Mystery that the Apostle Paul reveals in his epistles. God chose Paul to write about this mystery because Paul's ministry was to the Gentiles but his background was Jewish. Being aware of both cultures enabled Paul to grasp what God told him to write. Most others could not handle the material and would have fought against it or even rejected it as profane. Because of Paul's meekness, he was able to receive the things that God had kept secret since the beginning of time. 25Now to him that is able to establish you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery which hath been kept in silence through times eternal, 26but now is manifested, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment......
The curse of the red herring
published . 3 min read
So, as you may know, I have been dealing with intense pain in my face and jaw for some time now. The preliminary diagnosis was trigeminal neuralgia (TN). Last month I saw a neurologist (who I did not like at all) who made up his mind during the appointment that I did not have TN bur rather migraine headaches. He ordered a MRI of my head, not to see if I had TN, but rather to prove I did not have it. Sure enough, yesterday I got a call from his office saying the MRI showed, as the person said, I do not have TN. One test cannot determine whether a person has TN. Any doctor who really cares about his patient would know that. In writing, there is a tactic that is used at times called a “red herring” . Red herring is a kind of fallacy that is an irrelevant topic introduced in an......
The twofold meaning of the phrase; the return of christ?
published . 3 min read
There is a wildly popular song presently playing on Christian radio stations called “Even so come” , which is all about Jesus coming again. The problem with the song is that it is not talking about the event recorded in 1 Thessalonians 4 and 1 Corinthians 15. The song assumes there is no “rapture” or gathering together event but rather that Jesus will come and immediately set up His kingdom upon earth. That day is indeed coming, but before it happens, Christ will appear in the clouds (never setting a foot on earth) to gather together unto Him those who are born again in this current age of grace. That which the Old Testament prophets refer to, along with what John writes about in Revelation is the fulfillment of what the angels told Christ's disciples in Acts 1 as......
Passive christianity vs. the life changing reality of faith
published . 2 min read
When it comes to understanding the Great Mystery, the age of grace and the significance of “in Christ Jesus” , the question always arises as to what difference does it make? The vast majority of Christians do not want to work hard enough to grasp the great realities of God's Word, especially those relating to the present age in which we live. It is far easier to passively sit on a pew once a week and then never think about God for six days than to work the Word of God in order to understand the things important to Him and therefore us. The sad truth is that the overwhelming majority of Christians view their faith as something to round out their life instead of that which is their life. God and the things of God are something to talk about once in awhile but that is it.......
The great mystery; the age of grace
published . 4 min read
The first thing Jesus said after being tempted by the devil in the wilderness is recorded in Luke 4:16-21: 16And he came to Nazareth, where he had been brought up: and he entered, as his custom was, into the synagogue on the sabbath day, and stood up to read. 17And there was delivered unto him the book of the prophet Isaiah. And he opened the book, and found the place where it was written, 18The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, Because he anointed me to preach good tidings to the poor: He hath sent me to proclaim release to the captives, And recovering of sight to the blind, To set at liberty them that are bruised, 19To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord. 20And he closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant, and sat down: and the eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on......
They great mystery; the foundation of the pauline epistles
published . 4 min read
I know that I have started many series on many subjects, only to get distracted and never finish them. Well, at long last I am going to try and tie all those unfinished series together into one grand series that will take MANY blogs to accomplish. My grand plan is to try and lay out what I know of Paul's epistles by way of a few key phrases used in them. Two of the biggest ones are "In Christ Jesus" and "the great mystery". If you are interested in understanding what Paul wrote and why he wrote it, I urge you to keep up with this series as it progresses. We know from various accounts in the Pauline Epistles, that the Apostle Paul received “special” revelation concerning various subjects that had to do with his ministry to the Gentiles. In many instances,......
Never underestimate the power of nature
published . 2 min read
On the right are two pictures showing before and after Hurricane Katrina along a beach in southern Mississippi. This area was nearly wiped off the map by a 25 foot tital surge, which is the hurricane equivalent to the tidal wave produced by a tsunami. The first time I went to southern Mississippi in May of 2006, I was awestruck by the incredible power of water. I already knew the power of wind (growing up in Kansas I saw plenty of tornado damage), but until 2006 I had never seen what a wall of water coupled with 135 mph winds could do to a location. Many things struck my mind nine years ago when I first saw this damage and continue unto this day. First and foremost is the fact that despite all of man's advances in science and technology, he is incapable of stopping the great forces of......
It is good to finish what we start
published . 2 min read
One of Beth's aunts told me a few years ago about how she had totally dismantled a computer and put it back together again. She did the same thing with an automobile engine. When I asked how she was able to do such things, her answer was that she keeps things simple and forces herself to remember the order in which things came out so as to put them back in correctly. I was amazed that anyone could do these things and of course I had to ask why she did them. She shrugged and answered, she was curious and she wanted to prove that she could do it. I do not have the kind of mind that could dismantle my computer and put it together (so it worked properly) again. I most certainly could not tear apart the engine of my car and expect that car to ever run again. I have neither the curiosity......
It is a matter of trust
published . 2 min read
Who do you trust with your life? If it is your government; you will be sorely disappointed. If it is your employer; you will be sorely disappointed. If it is your pension, bank accounts or stock holdings; you will be sorely disappointed. If it is your doctor, lawyer or any person in this life; you will be sorely disappointed. Although any of the above people and things may facilitate the affairs of your life; none of them is wise or strong enough to guarantee you success. We can trust our God because He is Almighty, everlasting, always faithful and incapable of failure. God is the rock of our salvation, the rock of all ages, the rock upon which all things rest and rock in which we can place our trust. God cannot go back on His Word. God cannot lie. God cannot renege on His promises, and......
Leaning on, trusting in and being confident in the lord
published . 2 min read
In order to faithfully stand for God our whole lives, we must allow Christ to be our strength instead of leaning upon our natural abilities alone. This is actually one of the most difficult things demanded of us by the Lord. Certainly the Word of God as spoken to us in Proverbs 3:4, 5 is timeless and can never be reflected upon too much or taught too many times: 5Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. 6In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths. Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright ©1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation Proverbs instructs us to lean on, trust in and be confident IN THE LORD with all of our......
Listening, believing and acting on what god tells us to do
published . 3 min read
When thinking of the most profound events in my Christian life, there is one common denominator that runs through them. Starting with my experience on the mountaintop in New Mexico in 1969 and continuing through my amazing journey around the country in 2006; anytime something dramatically positive has happened in my life, there is always one particular thing I did that precipitated God doing what He did. What is that one thing? Absolute and humble obedience to what God said to do, no matter how absurd or impossible it may have sounded. If the prophet Elisha would have stopped and thought about how crazy the instructions from the Lord were regarding the child of the Shunammite woman who had died; he would have not done as commanded. But, Elisha did exactly what God told him to do as......
Charitable giving and the broken church
published . 3 min read
In reading a very lengthy article in the New York Times about the plight of Christians in the Middle East, I found myself both angry and extremely saddened. In an age when billions and billions of dollars are spent to promote “political correctness” and other rubbish; nary a dollar has been spent to rescue and help Christians who been forced from their cities and homelands due to ISIS and others. My eyes were certainly opened regarding this situation in reading this article and it may be worth your time to look at it. Please note that this is a very lengthy article. While the prosperity and “feel good” gospel thrives in the Western world, many who are attempting to live the gospel in Africa, Asia and the Middle East are persecuted, enslaved, raped or killed. We who......
Take heed and beware of covetousness
published . 3 min read
We live in a temporal and materialistic world. We are surrounded by people motivated by greed and willing to do anything to get what they want. So called “good people” become so enamored by their “need” to become wealthy, that they resort to fraud and extortion to get rich. God does not think highly of this type of behavior and He has made this perfectly clear in His Word. At the root of this materialistic and greedy thinking is the word “covetousness” . The Greek word for covetousness is pleonexia, and it is my intent to try and show you how important it is to know what this word means and where it comes up in the New Testament. Pleonexia includes philarguria which for all practical purposes in the love of money. I means to hoard away and avarice. Pleonexia......
The soliloquies of kirk
published . 2 min read
I am having dinner with an old friend and his wife today. John and I served together in upper Wisconsin as domestic missionaries back in 1971-72. It is so very difficult for me to believe that amazing year (that I wrote a blog about recently) took place nearly 45 years ago. Whenever something comes up that takes me back in time to the “early days” , I realize just how long I have been doing this “God thing” , and I am blessed. It humbles me to know that no matter what happened along the way, I have hung in there and remained faithful to the God who saved my life on a mountaintop in New Mexico in August of 1969. I know that I had a life before that fateful day 46 years ago, but I remember little of it. As far as I am concerned, my life started August 24, 1969. So, from......
The power and reason for the apostle paul's epistles
published . 4 min read
In my lifetime, I have met countless Christians, who do not like, do not see the reason for, have problems with and therefore dismiss the writings of the Apostle Paul. It always astounds me how people who claim to be loving and intelligent when it comes to spiritual matters find all sorts of reasons to not read or seek to understand the epistles of Paul. Many simply do not like Paul while others consider his writings to be too complicated or at odds with the words of Christ. Most Christians gravitate to the four Gospels and specifically what is marked in red in their Bibles. To these people, the most important words in the entire Bible are those Jesus spoke while on earth. These people rarely read the Old Testament and NEVER read anything after the Gospel of John. Their......
The believer's greatest enemy is fear
published . 2 min read
We are surrounded on all sides by an enemy who is strong, mighty and sly. This enemy uses intimidation and scare tactics the same way a lion's roar freezes its prey into inaction through fear and dread. Throughout the Bible there is a constant clarion call from angels and God's leaders alike, which is to FEAR NOT. The challenge we have as believers is to not be afraid but rather to trust in the promises and strength of our God. Fear is insidious, for it snakes its way into our lives and thinking without us even knowing many times. Fear is subtle, for slithers its way into the fabric of our minds without the slightest trace of being there. Fear is sinister, for it is constantly threatening or suggesting malevolence, menace or harm. Fear is ominous, for it incessantly suggests that......
Reflecting on my week off from blogging
published . 3 min read
Well, at long last I am back to doing what I love doing the most; writing blogs. We had a very enjoyable visit with Beth's dad and although it was physically tiring; it was worth it for the blessings derived. Thank all of you who were praying for this past week. Many things have crossed my mind recently and worked their way into my heart. Here are just a few of them. Last Tuesday we visited the history museum in St. Louis. I love history so I was much more “into” this museum than the art museum we also visited. The main exhibit they had at the history museum dealt with the 1904 World's Fair held in St. Louis. It is absolutely incredible the changes that have taken place in every conceivable realm in just 111 years. I honestly do not believe there were nearly as many......
Something is in the air--part two
published . 2 min read
Just as the Bible is full of names and attributes for both God and Jesus Christ, so there are many names and attributes for the devil. Here is just a partial list of those names and attributes: Accuser Adversary Angel of light Antichrist Beelzebub Chief of demons Deceiver Destroyer Devil Dragon Enemy Evil one Father of lies God of this world Lucifer Prince of darkness Prince of devils Prince of the power of the air Prince of this world Ruler of the darkness of this world Satan Serpent Slanderer Son of perdition Wicked one There are many more things that could make this list, but I think you get the basic idea here that when it comes to defining and describing who the enemy is and what he has done, is doing and will do; there are no simple answers. We have names and......
Something is in the air--part one
published . 2 min read
And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3 King James Version (KJV) A number of things within these verses have captured my interest and attention since I first read them nearly 45 years ago. Over the years, I have gained answers to most of my questions, but I am still intrigued by the use of various words and phrases; especially in verse 2. The greatest question I have pondered......
My personal plea for patience and prayer
published . 2 min read
I specifically address this blog to those who read my blogs on a regular basis. No words in my feeble vocabulary could begin to express how thankful I am for you. I know that I have been all over the map recently with my blogs and that is due to how I feel physically and the constant changes being made in my medications. For the most part I feel yucky. The combination of fighting TN along with lingering problems associated with my illnesses last fall together with some of the medication I am now one makes it a challenge some days to write, and write the way I am used to writing. The drug they have me on to calm down the TN tends make me weak and tired mentally. As in so many of these cases, I must determine if the medication used to treat a disorder is worth the side effects of using that......
My dreams and hallucinations from last september
published . 4 min read
Unlike television shows where someone who has been unconscious suddenly wakes up and everything is wonderful; my adventure from the land of the unconsciousness was not so easy. I was put on powerful drugs that made me, for all intensive purposes, in a coma for nearly 4 weeks last September. Although Beth says that I appeared at times to listen and respond; I remember absolutely nothing during this time except one incident. Despite many people coming to visit me and pray over and for me, I remember none of it. The drug I was on (Propofol), combined with all the various psychotic and relaxing drugs made it impossible to remember anything that took place the 24 days I was at the first hospital. I have no recollection of going to that hospital, being there all those days or leaving it. That......
When we are weak, then are we strong
published . 3 min read
One would think that the Apostle Pau would have never had any needs. After all, he was (in a way) our father of faith for us living in the current administration of grace. Paul's writings have taught us about all that we have in Christ Jesus. Paul's epistles have instructed us regarding the faith of Jesus Christ, the mystery of the one body of Christ and a zillion times more things. The Apostle Paul lived what he taught as he traveled, taught and ministered to God's people. If anyone should have been blessed with health and prosperity it should have been Paul. Paul spent his Christian life in and out of prison, constantly harassed by the Jews, looked down upon by the Romans and pretty much ignored by those in high places. Throughout Acts, we can see how Paul was hunted down as......
When a good system goes bad
published . 3 min read
As many of you know, I spent some time in the hospital Thursday and Friday. I saw my primary doctor Thursday morning and he insisted I go to the Emergency Room and get some of the fluid pulled off of me. For nearly 20 years, I had been told by doctors that when I saw sudden and dramatic weight gain, something was wrong with my heart. The past ten days, these gains have certainly been in that category, to the tune of as much as 12-14 pounds in one day. These episodes coupled with a few instances when I would have an irregular heartbeat, certainly indicated that the two symptoms were related. The Emergency Room doctor verified my suspicions and I thought I was being admitted me to have tests run and get relief from the symptoms. I thought wrong. In the 2015 medical system, a person......
Nothing is impossible if we have patience and faith in god's promises
published . 4 min read
In May of 1999 I had what was supposed to be a simple outpatient procedure to remove my gall bladder. I ended up spending 10 days in the hospital because my gall bladder was so inflamed it burst and they had to do surgery to get it out and get my potassium level up to a safe number. Thankfully I was in a local hospital that had only private rooms. Even after the surgery I did not feel well and had many complications that coupled with the complications I was still having from the heart bypass surgery from the year before made me very weak. Due to all the medications I was on and what was happening in my body, I had gained a lot of weight and felt like a beached whale most of the time. After my dad passed away in August of 1998, my mom attempted to live alone in the house she and my dad......
Outward appearances do not matter; it is what is on the inside that counts
published . 4 min read
In 1994 we had a huge moving sale and packed up what we had left in life and moved to what for most people would have been purgatory (or worse). Voluntarily, we took on the challenge of living in a very old and unattractive house that in its inglorious past had housed drug lords and who knows what other illegal and unethical things. The upstairs was uninhabitable, there was no working furnace and no a/c at all, the screened porch that wrapped around part of the house was full of broken down appliances and there were scores of old rusted out lawn mowers out in the “yard” . Most would ask, “What were you thinking” moving into such a place? In early 1994 it was painfully obvious that we had to move from the ranch home with 12 acres of pasture that we had called home since......
The favorite year of my lilfe
published . 3 min read
We called our niece last evening to wish her a happy 20th birthday. I got to thinking afterward where I was and what I was doing with my life when I was 20 years old. When I was 18, I volunteered for a one year missionary program and was sent to upper Wisconsin with two other people. We were only allowed to work four hours per day and were to spend eight hours per day “doing the work of the ministry” , which consisted of witnessing to people and holding fellowships in our home. The program started in September of 1971 and concluded in August of 1972 and I can say that year was one of, if not THE greatest year of my life. The world was much different 44 years ago than it is today. Life was much simpler with fewer distractions. But, people were still hurting back then just as they......
The lord's message to his church in 2008 and today
published . 6 min read
I first published a version of this blog on April 2, 2008. Nothing has changed in the past seven years except that the content is more applicable and pertinent now than even then. This blog represents the boldest and strongest message I have ever written on Christian Blog and the Lord put it on my heart to post it again today; June 28, 2015. This message is long, but so is the Bible. I pray we take heed to what the Lord has to say and do as He has commanded us. Kirk Listen carefully brothers and sisters. The words you are about to read are the words of your Lord and Master written 2,000 years ago for you to read today. These are not just mere words on a page of a blog. These are The Words of our Lord, as given to the apostle John in reference to those believers who would be living the......
How god took care of my dad, my mom and me in 1998
published . 4 min read
I remember visiting my dad a few days before I ended up having my emergency bypass. He knew I was hurting and I told him that I thought I was about to have a heart attack. I remember tears flooding his eyes for he loved me and thought he was going to lose me. He was not able to talk coherently, so he had a difficult time communicating how concerned he was and how he would be praying for me. Isn't it interesting that a stroke can hinder the ability to talk out loud in a logical and coherent manner, but does not hinder the ability for us to pray? If there is one thing I know; my dad prayed for me. After the bypass I was forbidden to drive or fly home so I was marooned in Wichita at my mom's house. I was in intense pain but I remember going with her to visit my dad a few times. The......
The less than perfect medical system in the usa
published . 4 min read
In January of 1998, my 83 year old dad had a stroke in Wichita, Kansas. He spent about 2 or 3 weeks in the hospital and then was told Medicare dictated he be moved to a rehabilitation hospital. He had been there a few days when I was finally able to make the drive over to see him. At the time, I was fighting my own battles with my heart. When I walked up to his bed, my dad grabbed my arm and said; “you have to get me out of here” . When he had been in the hospital, he was in good spirits and getting better. When he was transferred to the rehab hospital he immediately went downhill and only wanted to get out. For Medicare to cover a stay in a rehab hospital or a nursing home after a stroke, the patient must do the program laid out to him by the therapists and show improvement......
Still recovering from ptsd arising from last fall's ordeal
published . 4 min read
Being perfectly honest; I am pretty sure that I should have sought professional help last winter to deal with an obvious case of PTSD (post traumatic stress disorder) arising from the two weeks I spent in the second hospital last fall. Looking back; I suppose that I should have presented my case to a lawyer to see if there were any laws broken. Since I did neither of those things, I guess I am left to work things out on my own and with God's and your help, get the worst two weeks of my life. As you know, I got sick with what turned out to be viral pneumonia which led to sepsis and septic shock last September. I spent 24 days on a ventilator in a drug induced coma. This all took place at one hospital and from what Beth tells me (I have no memory of this time), the staff was......
Being a caregiver is not an easy task
published . 3 min read
The cry of family, friends and acquaintances to those who suffer physical, mental or emotional problems is; “get better and get on with life” . Whether due to exasperation, exhaustion, anger or impatience; those who have no ability to experientially understand what another person is going through will always in due time play the “get better” card. Let me tell you, as one who suffers many different physical woes, that card is painful and at times hurts more than the actual pain. Any of us who has been dealt that card want to scream; “do you think we WANT to be like this?” The Bible is full of exhortations to be patient, kind, compassionate, gentle, longsuffering and loving with each other. These exhortations are certainly amplified when relating to a person......
April 12 and 13, 1979; two days in which i saw the power of god personally-part 2
published . 4 min read
Every year from 1977 through 1986 I taught a weekend seminar called “Sonship Convention” usually on Easter weekend. This seminar concentrated on understanding what Jesus Christ did for us and what we have in and through His finished redemptive work. The highlight of each year for me was when I could present this material I had studied so much and loved to teach. The convention in 1979 had added significance due to the state of mind I was in spiritually and the general level of faith among the believers in the state. On April 13th, 1979 I packed up and said my goodbyes to the gentleman I had spent the night with in Meridian and took off for Columbus, Mississippi to pick up some women who attended a woman's college there who wanted desperately to attend that year's......
April 12 and 13, 1979; two days in which i saw the power of god personally
published . 3 min read
In April of 1979, while I was the state coordinator of Mississippi for the ministry I served in, I went to visit a solitary military man in Meridian who was facing some difficult choices in life. It had always been my belief that I would go anywhere at any time to help one person in need. As I pulled into his driveway, with ominous clouds signaling an approaching storm, I felt pleased that I had dropped everything to go minister to one man. On Thursday, April 12th, I drove to Meridian to minister to this man. We talked for quite awhile until the ferocious storm going on outside forced us to get up and look out the windows to see what was happening. This was no ordinary thunderstorm. Being a weather buff and growing up in tornado alley in Kansas, I knew what a storm capable of producing a......
Research or private interpretation?
published . 3 min read
But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Daniel 12:4 American Standard Version (ASV) This verse provides a perfect example of a verse that has been examined and expounded upon by countless Bible expositors and teachers. There are many who believe the increase of knowledge is referring to the scientific breakthroughs and advances in medicine, travel, computers etc. Others believe that the running to and fro and increase in knowledge is referring to a frantic attempt in the last days by people trying to understand what is happening from God's Word. Still others believe that the running to and fro is apostatize, as in turning aside to lies. Interestingly, those who believe the......
Seven things god does not want us to be ignorant of
published . 4 min read
The Greek word agnoeo takes the common word noeo (to know) and places an a before it meaning "not". Simply put, this word means “not to know, understand or comprehend” . Although the word agnoeo is used numerous times in the New Testament, there are seven times when it is used in conjunction with the Greek word ou (not) making the meaning in English to be "not ignorant of” . These seven things God does not want us to be ignorant of present wonderful and simple references to some of the most important elements of our Christian walk. All but one of these particular usages of agnoeo come in Romans, 1 Corinthians and 2 Corinthians. For the sake of simplicity, let us look at these seven usages as they come up chronologically in the New Testament. The first usage......
Let's look at the elephant in the room
published . 4 min read
I was thinking this morning, as a follow up to yesterday's blog on the battle of the bulge, how hard it is for someone who is not overweight to understand what someone who has fought weight their whole life goes through. From the time of my first memories I have always been overweight. I was a fat kid and all the other kids let me know about it. There is no doubt that the constant catcalls and taunts by bullies and non-bullies alike in 7th grade led to me becoming a total introvert. In the mid 1960's, fat kids were considered fair game for all the skinny kids to ridicule and make to feel like their weight was all their fault. Fat kids were more ridiculed than “special” kids I believe. My mom was a HUGE woman and being a kid, I ate what was set before me at home and at......
The ongoing and never ending battle of the bulge
published . 3 min read
I read a story earlier today in which it was stated that the average woman in the United States now weighs what the average man did in 1960. The article went on to say that the average weight of a man in the USA is now 195 pounds and the average weight of a woman is 166 pounds. The USA now ranks as the third fattest country in the world behind only Tonga and Micronesia. My initial reaction to this news is one of “what do you expect” . A normal trip through the aisles of a Wal Mart or similar store is like an all expense paid journey to “fatville” . Most of the time, a customer is greeted by bakery products, followed by canned goods, boxed goods, candy, more bakery stuff and ending with the dreaded aisle that houses chips, crackers and cookies. It takes a lot of will......
Does one's man-cave define one's manhood?
published . 3 min read
Some things people do in this life simply amaze. One of those things is the so called need for men to have their “man cave” . Most of these caves are equipped with a 400 inch high def television, a sound system that will broadcast the sporting event they are watching to the next country, a fully stocked wet bar, enough Doritos and M and M's to feed a football team, and chairs that literally swallow the sitter up. Some of these caves have pool tables, ping pong tables, pin ball machines, a putting green and a bowling alley. A few of the top of the line models have a basketball court, a full size hockey rink and a 100 yard football field. What is so amazing is how somehow this all fits in a room no bigger than a large bedroom. I am currently sitting here looking at the barren......
Compassionate care for those hurting in this life
published . 3 min read
Any of you keeping up with my blogs recently know that I am facing a lot of physical issues in my life. I have old issues such as my heart problems and new issues such as my current battle with trigeminal neuralgia. I also have some issues that originated with my two month battle last fall with viral pneumonia and sepsis. Added into this mix are various longstanding issues I have dealt with for years. I am not ashamed to let everyone know that my physical body is a mess. No one can know the extent of pain I am in on a daily basis. No one can know the degree of discomfort I face from my various ailments each day. Thankfully, God does not expect you to know these things, but rather to accept them and pray diligently for me to handle them. God does not expect the Body of Christ to turn into......
My personal experience with trigeminal neuralgia
published . 4 min read
I believe the time has come for me to let you know what I am facing, so you can pray for me and understand when I do not post a blog or write one with lower standards than I usually write. With each passing day, and night, the assumed diagnosis of trigeminal neuralgia that I have appears to be real. This is a condition that is not pleasant and for which there is no known cure. When the pain strikes, I am rendered pretty much useless. Although I have a neurologist appointment scheduled for July 9th, I am pretty much on my own until then. Monday was a horrible day. Tuesday was an even more horrible day. Yesterday was a good day. Last night around 1:30 am, the pain returned and at present, it is lingering around a 5 on the universal scale used to define pain. The inability to know when this......
An interesting choice to write luke and acts; luke
published . 3 min read
Although not very scientific, documenting how many chapters in the New Testament were written by each person is very interesting. Here is the breakdown. Please note that the authorship of the epistle of Hebrews has been hotly debated for centuries. Up until the Reformation the epistle was believed to be written by Paul, but since the Reformation most scholars believe that either Barnabas (who was Paul's companion in Acts) or Apollos (as Martin Luther believed) wrote Hebrews. Paul - 87 chapters Luke - 52 chapters John - 50 chapters Matthew - 28 chapters Mark - 16 chapters Hebrews -13 chapters Peter - 8 chapters James - 5 chapters Jude - 1 chapter It is not at all surprising that the Apostle Paul wrote the most chapters in the New Testament, but what is surprising is that Luke is in......
Living in the world but the world not living in us
published . 3 min read
The bubble will soon be bursting and the masses who have become accustomed to the “good life” will have to learn how to live as our ancestors lived before the onslaught of technology and extreme “it's all about me” attitudes that run rampant through the societies of the world. All around us, there are multitudes of people who are incapable of thinking for themselves. Their world consists of pre-programmed entertainment, amusement and social gatherings. Just when robots are about to take over millions of jobs, millions of people have been turned into robots because of their laziness and selfishness. For the most part, there is little I have to say that anyone in the world is remotely interested in. Since the way I think is totally opposite from the way most people......
Whatever the lord wants, that is what i want
published . 4 min read
As I sit here this morning, I have no idea where this day or blog is heading. We, here at the “B2Y ranch” , are under siege just as many of you are also. Our problems are a combination of unbearable financial stress along with my never ending struggle with pain. Certainly the two go hand in hand. I awoke today to the worst pain I have had in I don't know how long. Obviously removing a tooth did not solve all my problems. I am praying that it did not make them worse. I took a hefty amount of pain medication and at least the pain associated with the extraction has eased, but as usual, those medications did nothing for the TN pain. All I know to do is place this whole situation at the feet of my Savior and do as He commands, whatever that may be. Next to unknown and unseen......
We ought to please god rather than man
published . 3 min read
In September of 2006 I attended a meeting where a bunch of intellectuals gathered in Gulfport Mississippi to argue about how to spend the millions they had been given for Hurricane Katrina relief. Not one of these people ever spent one hour with the people whose lives were devastated by that storm. They sat in beautiful offices and somehow became “experts” on what people devastated by a major hurricane needed. It was both humorous as well as sad to see grown people arguing over money like kids over candy. I, along with one other person with me, shot holes in these people's programs and ideas right and left. Ultimately we were asked to leave because we were not “team” players. It is interesting to note that the leaders of that group are currently all in prison,......
The past can be an ugly animal
published . 3 min read
God has allowed me one special gift in this life and that is the ability to communicate, especially via writing. I really do not know what else I am good for other than taking care of my Beth. I am a simple man with simple tastes and enjoy a simple life. I abhor parties, social gatherings and “meetings” (because I ran so many of them for many years). My greatest joy comes from talking to a person or maybe two. My naturally quiet personality explodes in these situations and I become almost outgoing. I was reading some notes Beth had jotted down regarding the first week at the second hospital last September/October. I was semi-conscious and have only broken memories of that week. Unfortunately, I spent most of my time hallucinating due to the cocktail of psychotic drugs they had......
A few thoughts about the ministry of christian blog over the years
published . 4 min read
In 2008, 2010 and 2012 someone left Christian Blog in a blaze of glory and ended up dragging along people with them. This sad and ugly fact is neither opinion nor is it speculation; it is just the way things have gone around here. I will never forget the first of these people, for he almost drove me away from this site in 2008. We all should have known that when someone takes the name “wormwood” , they were probably going to be trouble. For a season back in 2008 the tension on CB was so thick you could cut it with a knife. Members were aligning themselves in various “camps” and many of the blogs were directed at other members instead of being a blessing to everyone. This “wormwood” character was smooth and came across as someone to be trusted; and many did......
Remembering 2009; november and december
published . 4 min read
I had purchased my little green van back in 2006 when I was doing charity work. I loved that van and had many “God” moments in it. But, by November of 2009, as I spent two nights in that van parked outside Memphis, TN, I knew the end had come. Due to a yet undiagnosed physical condition, I was uncomfortable and did not sleep well at all. Most of all, I had to come to grips with the fact that I had driven that van to Oklahoma, Kansas, Tennessee, Ohio, Mississippi, Alabama and finally to Arkansas with very little tangible success to show for the many miles driven and money spent. It was a sad moment to realize that I could not save Christian Blog members, even if I spent time with them. I could bless them but I could not get them to stay at CB. Just a note; I had to sell that van......
Remembering 2009; may through october
published . 4 min read
From the time I joined Christian Blog in October of 2007 unto the present, there have been ebbs and flows as far as both membership as well as site activity. Without question, the high point in the years I have been here was 2009. Many things contributed to make this particular year great. Among them was the introduction of groups. The “Survivor's Group” and “women's group” were two of the most active groups and both were overseen by @kreynolds. There were a wide array of groups fueling the interest of those who loved cooking, running, technical stuff and other categories. For a season, these groups helped the site grow and stabilize. One of those groups was the one I oversaw and that was the “men's group” . When the group started in May of 2009......
Remembering 2009; january through april
published . 4 min read
For some reason I have found myself thinking back to 2009 recently. I can think of few years in my life that had more ups and downs than 2009. Some of the most awesome and wonderful memories in my life were from that year, but there was also some extremely dangerous and heart wrenching moments also. Some of you who were around here in 2009 will appreciate this trip down memory lane. For the rest of you, perhaps this history lesson can help you understand what Christian Blog was, what happened to it and what it can be again. I had noticed in late 2008 that I was having trouble climbing stairs and generally speaking did not feel well. My primary doctor had discovered many things amiss through blood tests earlier in 2008, but what I felt in December of that year was different. I got in to......
My heart to you this sunday morning
published . 3 min read
For everything we know about God, there are a million things we cannot know in this life. For everything we know about life, there are a million things beyond our reach because we cannot handle them or understand them. Each one of us encounters times in our walk with the Lord when we feel lost, alone or even frightened. No one is immune and no one can honestly claim they are so perfect that they never stumble, struggle or stray from that which is right and good. Life can be difficult at times and the pain associated with various things that come up in life can either make us better or break us into pieces. Life can be glorious at times and for those times we should constantly rejoice and be glad in them. People can let us down and situations can drag us through the mud, stomp on us and......
A word of reproof for all of us
published . 3 min read
Since everyone loved Phil's reproof blog, I figure it is time for me to write for the first time since 2008 (for which I got kicked off the site for a week). I do not like writing these blogs but it is obvious in God's Word that there are times when God's people need more than doctrine. Many of us love to write doctrinal blogs because they are “safe” . Except for differences of opinion in doctrine, these blogs rarely step on anyone's toes (except for my ill advised blog on the so-called Gap Theory). The hardest thing for any of us to accept in life is reproof. Most of us follow the same path Saul did in 1 Samuel 15 when he was reproved by Samuel. Denial, shifting of blame, self-justification and rejection of the Word of God are just some of the classic ways that......
A few words about our addictions
published . 2 min read
I have a longstanding addiction to diet soda. For many years I had to have MANY of these cans each day or I would go into withdrawal. At some point a few years ago I said enough is enough and quit all carbonated beverages “cold turkey” . It was hard for a few days but I succeeded and stayed “soda free” until October of last year. On the second weekend at the second hospital I heard an old familiar sound outside the door of my room. It was the sound of a nurse opening a can of soda. The sound immediately made me crave a soda of any kind. I called for the nurse and she gladly brought me a can of Diet Pepsi, and the rest is history. The next hospital had a room with a refrigerator that always had plenty of small cans of Diet Pepsi in it for the patients. Many times each......
Why am i such a huge fan of christian blog?
published . 3 min read
What I have to say is not speculation nor is it opinion; it is the truth. If not for Christian Blog, I would be dead. It is that plain and simple. Both in 2009 and then again in 2014, the unbelievable and spiritually strong prayers of Christian Blog members picked my broken body up and placed it in the tender arms of our Savior. Against all odds, my physical life was spared last fall because of the fervent and faithful prayers of God's prayer warriors on this site. There may not be many, but it does not take many to get the job done! If I lived a thousand years (I hope not), I could never say thank you enough to those who “hung in there” and prayed for me, even when the prognosis was horrible and there appeared to be no good way out; God's spiritual minutemen and......
God is so very good
published . 4 min read
Before saying anything more about my experiences many years ago, I wanted to thank God for allowing me to write about these things and thank YOU for caring enough to read about them and in some cases to be blessed by them. Certainly what I have been sharing is not the most positive stuff I have ever written, but sometimes that is just the way life is. We all want every day to be a springtime picnic in the park with beautiful flowers everywhere and children laughing etc. But, as we know, that is certainly not the case. Until we learn to stand faithfully for God in the bad times as well as the good; we will never remain faithful to Him for a lifetime. In Matthew 13, Jesus told the people the “parable of the sower” . In this parable, Jesus talked about the farmer who went out to......
The pain of brokenness yields joy in the morning
published . 4 min read
As I sat at my desk withering in pain last night (my back and not my TN), I had ample time to reflect on some things as I waited for the pills I took to kick in (which ended up being nearly an hour). About the only good thing I know that comes from intense pain is the incredible relief that comes when the pain subsides. I see my wife go through this every time she has a migraine. When the pain is there, she is rendered useless with the sincere prayer that she can just sleep. Once the pain breaks up and goes away she is filled with relief, gratitude and at times joy. Make no mistake, what happened to me in 1983 produced pain that I had never known in my life. This was not physical pain, for it had been relieved the night of the incident. This was emotional and spiritual pain on a level and......
For the sake of unity...
published . 2 min read
For the sake of not wanting to cause division or distract from my mission of documenting and describing what happened in my life 32 years ago and how it ties into the spiritual arena; I have decided for only the 2nd time in all my years at Christian Blog to delete a blog. Yesterday's blog on the so-called “Gap Theory” has been relegated to the trash heap. This action was done not because I am ashamed of what I believe but rather that I do not want an issue that is such a lightning rod for controversy to take away from what I am trying to present. To me, the different opinions regarding the interpretation of Genesis chapter one are very similar to the mass confusion regarding the timing of the so-called “Rapture” . There are extremely divergent views on the timing......
The days after and consequences of what happened in 1983
published . 4 min read
Perhaps the most difficult thing for a person to handle in this life is finding out that those you entrusted with your life, were taught by, and who said they loved you never really cared one iota about you and that what they said was for the most part lies or half-truths. This was the position I was thrown into after that night in November of 1983. With the exception of my little band of angels (my staff) and few people scattered across the state, I had no friends and no one I could talk to about what had happened to me. I did not trust ANY ONE in the ministry chain of command for in my eyes they had all conspired to destroy my life and ministry. Worst of all; the man who I had once considered my “father in the Word of God” and a great man of God, was nothing more than a......
These were the worst of times in november 1983
published . 4 min read
In the weeks leading up to the fateful night in November of 1983, the pressure upon me was unbearable. I felt like my very life was being squeezed out of me. I constantly felt as though I was the worst person who ever lived and that God would exterminate me any minute. Although these things were not true, the oppression generated from these feelings was very true. Never in my life, before or since, have I ever been under such pressure. It was as if a 500 ton blanket was piled on top of me. I could not breathe spiritually while dark and depressing thoughts danced their way through my mind. It did not surprise me in the least when I received the phone call that something really bad was about to happen. In late 1981 a woman serving her interim year in the ministry leadership training program......
These were the best of times and the worst of times--1983
published . 4 min read
As I attempt to lay out the events that took place in November of 1983 and thereafter; let me first establish that I was no angel by any means. Although my heart was pure, I did and said things that were not in accordance with God's Word. I got into the ministry as a teenager in 1970 and worked full-time for it after my graduation from its three year leadership training/Bible school in 1976. All I ever wanted to do was help people know that God is love. That was and continues to be my heart's greatest desire. Bear with me as I tell you a tragic story that God (in His due time) turned into one of blessings to me and honor and glory to Him. Please note that this story is incredibly difficult for me to remember and relate due to the deep wounds it produced at the time. But, as we all......
A word of warning to those "in charge" from isaiah 10
published . 5 min read
In addition to the six woes of Isaiah chapter 5, there are other very pertinent woes brought up in the book of Isaiah. Some things to keep in mind when looking at Isaiah are that the first part of Isaiah deals with the “last days” apostasy of the northern kingdom, Israel. In 722 BC, Samaria (Israel) was overrun by the Assyrians and ceased to be a kingdom. Many of the prophecies in Isaiah represent a “last call” for the people to repent. The people did not listen nor did they have a change of heart. Living at the same time as Isaiah and proclaiming the same message was the prophet Hosea. In fact, Hosea lived longer and prophesied longer than any other prophet in the Old Testament. Preceding Hosea by about five years, another prophet lived who gave the first warning to......
Death is to be respected but never feared, just like god
published . 2 min read
We are surrounded by a world of “what ifs” . It will drive a person crazy to dwell on either the “what ifs” from the past or the “what ifs” of the future. What if my parents would have never met? What if I would have made that left turn instead of going straight? What if a meteor falls on me today? What if the sun doesn't come up tomorrow? Dwelling on “what ifs” is both fruitless as well as a lesson in futility. There is never a good or correct answer and there is never any good thing that comes from belaboring the uncertainties of the future. Yes, I am aware that “what if” I had hit that tree differently the other day and the big trunk fell on my head; I would be dead: end of story. Last November I got up one morning to make coffee......
The six woes mentioned in isaiah chapter five
published . 7 min read
I first published this blog in December of 2007 and it is just as applicable this morning as it was back then. Nothing much has changed in the past 7+ years except things have gotten worse and worse. This blog is very long so sit back, get a hot beverage and feed your thoughts. Kirk In Isaiah 5:8-23, a series of six woes are pronounced followed by three judgment sections. Jesus had read Isaiah innumerable times in his life. He knew this record better than anyone who ever lived. Although he did not quote it in Matthew 23, it helped form the foundation upon which its "woes" are built. These six woes from Isaiah also provide a scathing commentary of current attitudes toward God and His Word. Starting in verse 8 of Isaiah we read from theNew International Version (NIV):"Woe to......
The risks and rewards of living life on the edge
published . 4 min read
I am going to attempt telling a story that is incredibly personal and extremely difficult for me to tell. This story involves the various times I should have been died, but by the grace and mercy of God and fervent prayers of God's people - I continue to live on. Starting in November of 1983 and continuing through September/October of 2014, I have teetered on the edge of oblivion many times. In all of these cases, the desire of my enemies for my demise was not answered but the fervent prayers of the few friends I have in this life “saved my life” . Some might say this subject has no place on a Christian blogging site. I say that it does because we have an enemy and his expressed aim is to steal, kill and destroy God's people. The only reason most people do not have very......
The high calling to be a "believing believer"
published . 3 min read
Most Christians are perfectly content to attend a service once in awhile and hear a few things about Jesus. They have no desire whatsoever to take the next step which is understand who Christ was, what He did for us and most importantly; what He wants from us.The question we all must ask ourselves is whether we desire for Christ to literally be our life or are we happy with Him being a part of our life. Whatever our answer is to this question determines whether we are a marginal Christian who may or may not actually be saved, or a committed believer who is absolutely guaranteed an eternal life full of rewards and crowns. In my lifetime, I have known many “good people” who wanted nothing to do with Jesus Christ. I have also known many “creeps” that let everyone know......
Sharing what is on and in my heart with you--my family
published . 3 min read
A small part of me wishes I would have gone to college back in 1971, became a veterinarian or meteorologist or whatever, get married, have a few kids and live an otherwise “normal” life. As appealing as this sounds in the physical realm, the thought of it sends chills down my spiritual spine. In my heart of hearts, I know that I have done what God wanted me to do with this life He gave me, no matter how disjointed, confusing and weird it looks to others. There is a certain peace that floods the heart when one knows he has done what God wanted done with the gift of life He has given us. From as far back as I can remember I have fought the notion that I was to follow the herd down whatever road they ended up on. Some used to call me a revolutionary or a fool because of my......
Paul's heart for believers recorded in philippians 4
published . 3 min read
One of the most daunting tasks we have as believers is to learn by experience what the Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:11: Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. King James Version (KJV) Paul was not speaking with regard to want, but with regard to what he had learned. The word “learned” means to understand something. It is equivalent to the Greek word “epiginosko” which means to know fully. This learning is far more than just knowing about something but draws into play personal experience and the corresponding full understanding of a matter. What Paul shares in Philippians 4:11-13 represents the full understanding he has learned from years of serving God. From this perspective, it is vitally......
The difference between a christian and a believer
published . 3 min read
It dawned me this morning that I use two different words to define and describe those who are born again, and maybe it would be a good idea to explain why I use a particular word at a particular time. The universal word for people who believe in Christ is “Christian” . A Christian is somebody whose religion is Christianity, which in some places is the same as being a Protestant. Christianity is supposedly a religion that follows the teachings of Jesus Christ. To keep things simple, a Christian is someone who is an adherent of and attached to Jesus Christ. Acts 11:26 states that the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. The term was probably used by the Gentiles as they mocked what was being taught by Barnabas and Paul. Jews would not have given the disciples this......
Confessions of a physically broken man
published . 3 min read
As I was sitting here agonizing in pain (the yet undiagnosed pain in my jaw/face), I thought again of conversations I have had with various people over the past 30 years regarding my propensity for health problems. The vast majority of these people blamed me for my conditions and used Deuteronomy for their basis of condemnation. It is very true that Deuteronomy 28 lays out the blessings for obedience and the curses for disobedience. It is very true that many of the curses deal with physical ailments. These things are true, but I have a problem with using this chapter to condemn a Christian who is suffering from physical, mental, emotional or financial woes; Deuteronomy is in the Old Testament, it is addressed to the Children of Israel and the pretense for these blessings and curses is The......
How much are we willing to give up to "win christ"?
published . 4 min read
How important should our relationship with Jesus Christ be? How much are we willing to give up to gain a full understanding of who Christ is and what He has done for us? What strings are we willing to cut so as to become one with He who is our Savior and Lord? These are the questions the Apostle Paul confronts in Philippians 3 by using his own life as an example of what he has done to “press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus” . Paul presents his credentials in Philippians 3:4-6. These credentials by man's reckoning should make him righteous. The things Paul was and did in his life before he came to know Christ are impressive by anyone's standards, but especially anyone who was a Jew as Paul was. 4Though I might also have confidence......
What is "the prize of the high calling of god in christ jesus"?
published . 3 min read
Approximately 20 years after his conversion, the Apostle Paul wrote of his travails in 2 Corinthians 11:23-28. Most of the beatings, stripes, imprisonments, shipwrecks, perils, pain and suffering mentioned in these verses took place in the first 10 years of his actual ministry. It is hard to believe one man could endure as many hardships as Paul did in such a short amount of time. I cannot think of too many people who would not have just given up rather than face another “beat down” or flogging. In 2 Corinthians 11:24, Paul says that (as of that time, which was approximately 57 A.D.), five times he had received 40 save one stripes. Why did Paul only receive 39 lashes instead of 40? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 25:1-3: If there be a controversy between men, and they come......
I refuse to let anything separate me from the promises of god in my life
published . 3 min read
At one point in my life, and for many years, I honestly believed that the absolute and non-wavering will of God was for every person to enjoy prosperity and perfect health every day of their life. This propaganda of course sounds good because it implies that a believer never has to endure anything bad or suffer any kind of physical, mental, emotional or financial setbacks in life. The overwhelming problem with this theology is that if this life was supposed to be so perfect, why not take things to the next level which would be to say we should never die? Would that not be the next logical step? In the Garden of Eden, after a long process of softening Eve up, the serpent finally told her a flat out lie which was 'you shall not die'. This lie stood in direct opposition to what God......
What did paul believe and teach regarding the return of christ
published . 4 min read
Before we can begin to understand a phrase such as “being made conformable unto His death” , we must establish a few truths based on the Apostle Paul's writings. We must also glean an understanding of a couple of Greek words, without which it is impossible to fully grasp what Paul was writing in Philippians 3:10 and 11. This material will take a number of blogs to present so I am praying that anyone interested will understand that it is impossible to present this in one or two blogs. To begin with, I think it is important to establish Paul's position on what is commonly referred to as the “rapture” . This subject is discussed at length in 1 Corinthians 15 and to a lesser degree in 1 Thessalonians 4. Of course different aspects of our hope are mentioned numerous......
Philippians 3:10--living vicariously through christ and he through us
published . 3 min read
There are two predominant words in the Greek translated “know” . One word is oida, which means to know (intuitively-by instinctively) without effort. Perhaps the best way to think of this word is when we say that we “know” who the president or prime minister is of our country. We certainly do not actually know this person, but rather know of them. The second Greek word is ginosko, which means to know (by experience or effort); to acquire knowledge, become acquainted with; hence, to come or get to know. This word carries with it the connotation of action in personally and experientially knowing something or someone instead of simply knowing about them. The problem most Christians have is that they are content to simply know about (oida) Christ and have no desire to......
Philippians 3:7-14--our goal as believers
published . 3 min read
7Howbeit what things were gain to me, these have I counted loss for Christ. 8Yea verily, and I count all things to be loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but refuse, that I may gain Christ, 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of mine own, even that which is of the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith: 10that I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, becoming conformed unto his death; 11if by any means I may attain unto the resurrection from the dead. 12Not that I have already obtained, or am already made perfect: but I press on, if so be that I may lay hold on that for which also I......
Dealing with someone in pain
published . 2 min read
What is pain? Officially, pain is defined as an unpleasant physical sensation, a feeling of discomfort or emotional distress. Pain can be an ache or an expression of grief. The word “pain” rarely conveys what is REALLY going on and that is hurt, sting, throbbing, sorrow, anguish and the ultimate description; agony. Agony is a GREAT physical pain or mental anguish (extreme anxiety or emotional torment). Yesterday I was in such physical pain that I actually and literally screamed. A yet undiagnosed problem somewhere in my jaw has really brought me low on occasion for quite some time now. When it flares up, it has all the intensity of “TN” but no one believes that is what it is (and that is a very good thing). The problem is that when it flares up, the pain literally......
Faith and grace go hand in hand
published . 3 min read
In my humble opinion, one of the most controversial misunderstood and difficult things to understand is faith. I was awakened from a nap the other day by a phone call from a very dear friend. After she asked me about a situation, I was asked how I was doing. We have been asking each other this question for nearly 10 years now and many times “compare notes” regarding our various maladies. I was honest about some of the struggles I was encountering with my teeth/jaw/sinus etc. I was then “preached to” for nearly 20 minutes about how I needed more faith to get healed. I know my friend was only trying to encourage me, but it reminded me of a principle I have known for 45 years which is that you don't badger someone about faith when they are down. The time to instruct......
Breaking free from the rut of routine
published . 3 min read
The older we get, the less we like change. When we are young and impetuous, we enjoy new and exciting things and the challenges associated with them. But, as we grow older we become set in our ways, we tend to settle into routines that demand less and less work or mental agility. Sometimes it is a good thing to break free from routine and either by choice or necessity do things that are new, different or even wild. Yes, the idea of trying or doing something radically different from what we are used to is scary at times and a nuisance at other times; but it can be fun, exciting and break us out of ruts we have settled into. With all the changes going on here at CB, it is easy to be intimidated, upset or bewildered. In the big scope of things though, these changes are minor and in some ways......
The ever greater need for compassion
published . 3 min read
My heart is both heavy and burdened today by many things going on. The earthquake in Nepal is truly a tragedy and anytime something like this happens, it generates heaviness due to the numbers of people impacted. I know many Christians who refuse to even pray for situations such as this because it took place in a non-Christian nation. I know many other Christians whose attitude is one of “they had it coming” because they were not Christian. This same attitude manifested itself in the USA after Katrina when many Christians refused to help because of a mistaken belief that every person impacted by the storm was a horrible sinner and the storm was God punishing them. The callousness and hardheartedness manifested by so many Christians is a reflection of a lack of compassion. Two of......
The most important key to spiritual victory is...
published . 4 min read
The Greek word “nike” means victory, but this word is not used in the Bible. From “nike” comes the word “nikao” , which is used a number of times in the New Testament. The word “nikeo” means to be victorious, to prevail, overcome, conquer or subdue. Outside of the Apostle John's writings, this word is only used four times. John used this word 20 times (14 of which are in Revelation). John uses “nikeo” five times in 1 John. If we look at these five usages, I believe we gain a huge understanding and appreciation for this beautiful Greek word. Before we see the places in 1 John where this word is used, we should look at the one place John uses it in his Gospel, which is John 16:33: These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might......
Understanding the enemy and how he works
published . 4 min read
I am going to attempt writing the most difficult and complex, yet vitally important blogs I have ever tried to write. Please bear with me and at least try to keep up as we look into the very heart of the adversary. Obviously the devil does not want people to know this stuff so he will fight me tooth and nail trying to keep me from presenting it and doing it in such a way that can be understood. I have no idea how many blogs that it will take to present this material, but I am determined to do the best I can to make known “the mystery of satan's will” and exposing him for who he is - the deceiver of God's people. Let us begin our journey by looking again at 2 Corinthians 2:11 (All scripture references will be from the King James Version (KJV) unless otherwise noted): Lest......
Know your weaknesses--the enemy does
published . 4 min read
The adversary attacks us where he thinks he has the greatest possible chance of success. He is no fool and rarely challenges us at those places we are strongest. He patiently waits as his demons become familiar with us. These “familiar spirits” study us on a daily basis. They know how we do things, how we think, the areas where we habitually let down our guard, the parts of our lives in which we are sloppy or pay little heed to and most of all; the things that get us mad, make us sad, distract us, scramble our thinking, fill us with pride etc. In other words, these spirits become intimately familiar with us so as provide to the enemy the blueprint for where we are most vulnerable to attack. I do not write these things to arouse fear or apprehension but rather to alert us as to......
Closet christian or bold and faithful believer?
published . 3 min read
When a believer takes a stand for God in their personal life, is devoted to teaching and ministering to God's people and passionately reaches out with the love of God; they become a threat to the adversary and make it on his “hit list” . The idea of being a “marked” believer scares most Christians into inaction, compromise or apostasy. When the mere threat of attack intimidates God's people; it is a sad day in the Kingdom of God. The overwhelming majority of Christians are pacifists when it comes to spiritual matters. They do not want to become religious zealots nor do they want to gain the distinction of being a “Jesus person” or a fanatic for Christ. Most Christians do not want to do anything that either disrupts their perfect little life or......
The power and simplicity of one
published . 2 min read
At times, the most profound things in the Word of God are actually quite simple. Take for instance what is recorded in 1 Timothy 2:4-6: 4Who [God our Savior] will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. 5For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; 6Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. King James Version (KJV) The will of God is that ALL MEN be saved and no one perish. It is not the primary will of God to watch with glee as people are tossed into the lake of fire to burn for eternity. It breaks the Father's heart when people reject Him and refuse to receive the salvation made available to them in Christ Jesus. The will of God is that people not only get saved, but that they come unto the......
I am not too proud to say that i need you
published . 3 min read
I remember reading a blog a few months ago, written by someone no longer on this site, which denounced the concept of “circling the wagons” or “closing ranks” when the pressure is on. I adamantly disagreed with that idea then and continue to oppose it now as the flaming arrows are flying and the bombs are dropping. When the enemy attacks, that is when we must band together in mutual faith and prayer and present a united front against the wiles of the devil. It has been a very difficult few days around here what with my wife Beth being under the weather and financial pressures growing daily. If I cannot ask for prayerful support during times of crisis, then what am I supposed to do? The notion that it is wrong, a sign of weakness or a disgrace to ask for help reckons......
The inner workings of the "serpent"
published . 4 min read
I do not believe Genesis 3:1-7 took a matter of minutes to happen. I do not believe the “serpent” in these verses was a slithering snake. I do not believe the issue at stake was an apple. All of these misconceptions have entered our minds through paintings and storybooks. The reality of what took place thousands of years ago in God's perfect Garden must be understood lest we all fall prey to the same tactics Adam and Eve fell for and end up in the same state of shame that they did. I am of the opinion, based on what the Word of God says and not famous paintings, that the serpent was the most glorious and beautiful creature in all the Garden of Eden. This “serpent” was not some Godzilla looking reptile that scared Eve into eating an apple. The word serpent is the......
The incredible responsibility any group or ministry has to be godly
published . 4 min read
Betrayed, abandoned, forsaken, neglected, castigated, lied to, falsely accused, cast away, despised and shunned; these are not only words that describe what happened to our Lord Jesus Christ, they are words that describe (to a lesser degree of course) what happened to not only me but thousands of other men and women in the mid/late 1980's. As our ministry reeled from the death of its founder and ugly facts arose concerning the sordid behavior of many of its top leaders; the ultimatum was made that everyone had to love the ministry or leave it. As a reflection of the collective conscience of its clergy and other leaders, a very large number chose to leave and never look back. The consequences to those who chose to walk away from the corruption, deception and blatant disregard for the......
The awesome privlige and responsibility of being a leader of god's people
published . 4 min read
But the Spirit saith expressly, that in later times some shall fall away from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of demons, 2through the hypocrisy of men that speak lies, branded in their own conscience as with a hot iron; 1 Timothy 4:1, 2 American Standard Version (ASV) These two verses pretty much sum up what happened to me because of what happened to the ministry I served. I freely, yet with great Godly sorrow, admit that I fell away from the faith because I finally broke down and gave heed to seducing and deceiving devil spirits and doctrines originating from the devil himself. Of all the statements I could ever make in this life, the above statement saddens and humiliates me the most. How could a young man full of the spirit of God and whose mind was filled with......
Sometimes the truth can be brutal
published . 4 min read
Warning: This blog is brutally honest From the time I was touched by God on a mountaintop in New Mexico in 1969 until about 1980, I strove with every ounce of my being to remain pure in my walk with God and avoid the pitfalls I saw so many of my friends and leaders falling into. Unlike most of my peers, I took my relationship with God VERY SERIOUSLY. I cherished it and refused to allow either pressures or pleasures to distract or disturb the fellowship I enjoyed with my God. I diligently studied God's Word, prayed faithfully and strived to be blameless in my walk before God and men. At some point in 1980 I started allowing myself small liberties per the relentless suggestions from my superiors to “loosen up” . I was dragged to drinking establishments and drank too much. I......
The perspective of samuel/kings and chronicles
published . 4 min read
What takes four books (1 and 2 Samuel and 1 and 2 Kings) is summarized in 1 and 2 Chronicles. Why is this so? Why write four books and then turn around and recap the same material in two more? Scholars and critics of the Bible have debated this conundrum for centuries. Furthermore, when one reads Chronicles, most of the shortcomings and failures of David and Solomon are omitted. This has led many to believe that Ezra (or whoever wrote Chronicles) was a charter member of the David and Solomon fan club or actually idolized them. To me, this type of foolishness is the very reason so many people doubt the integrity of the Word of God. I believe there must be a Godly reason for why Samuel/Kings were written the way they were and why Chronicles was written the way they were. In the first......
Oh to be a man after god's own heart
published . 3 min read
My prayer in this life has always been to be “a man after God's own heart” . Of course this is what God said about His servant David in the Book of Acts. I have studied David both from the historical point of view found in Samuel and Chronicles as well as the personal point of view as found in Psalms. David was a man, and as such he fell prey to the passions that drown men as well as the pride that destroys men. David was a complex blend of “macho man” and “tender servant” . He manifested more boldness and confidence than any man who lived, but he also manifested a deep and genuine care for others and their needs. We all know how God told Samuel to find a new king from the sons of Jesse because King Saul was incorrigible. Saul could not and would not do......
Taking the leap of faith
published . 4 min read
From Genesis to Revelation, there are accounts of people whose lives did not turn out the way they thought they would. Starting with Adam and Eve and continuing through the Apostle John, men and women who thought they knew what life held for them and their families ended up in situations totally different than what they expected. In many respects, the ability of these people to change their thinking and accept radical changes in their plans determined how many of God's blessings they enjoyed. Adam and Eve looked forward to an eternity in the Garden of Eden. Nothing could be more perfect than that situation. But, a certain serpent threw a monkey wrench into their utopian plans and the results were not pleasant. Instead of the daily bliss God initially promised; hard work, pain,......
There but for the grace of god was i
published . 2 min read
Last week the 54 year old daughter of one of Beth's customers passed away in the very same ICU I was in for 24 days in September. She had slipped into a coma and they could not get her to wake up. All of this sounds eerily similar to me based on what happened (and did not happen) to me in September. It sends chills down my spine to think back to hearing about the patient across the hall from where I was at that hospital who passed away from a rampant infection running amuck inside them. The sepsis I had would have and should have killed me except for the effectual fervent prayers of so many of God's people. I did not know the woman whose viewing we attended yesterday. Beth knew only the parents and had never met the daughter. Evidently we were the only people in the state of......
Breaking news: jesus has been raised from among the dead!
published . 3 min read
The extreme test of our faith as Christians is found in our ironclad belief that God raised Jesus from the dead with eternal life spirit. We do this without seeing the resurrected Christ, without touching his hands or feet and without being eyewitnesses of the empty tomb. We accept the resurrection purely because God says it happened in His Word. Faith is accepting what God says is truth and believing in the integrity of God's Word with no reservations, apprehension or doubts. Some, who lived with, were taught by and were disciples of Jesus believed Him when He promised after three days and three nights in the grave, He would rise from the dead. Most who heard these words could not rise above their doubts which resulted in them barricading themselves behind closed and locked doors......
What is so "good" about good friday?
published . 3 min read
I have never really understood what is so “good” about Good Friday. Knowing what I do about what Jesus endured in order to be our Savior, there is nothing “good” about His suffering, humiliation, rejection and death upon the cross. Whatever day it was that Jesus was crucified, it was the most horrific day in the history of the world. By the time evil men were finished beating, whipping, mocking and doing everything humanly possible to hurt Jesus, no one could even recognize who He was. As Jesus hung on the cross, His appearance was disfigured beyond that of any man and His form marred beyond human likeness. The treatment Jesus received was literally inhuman. Thousands of years of hatred on the part of the devil were unleashed upon Jesus through the torture and......
Are we ready to see the lord jesus christ face to face?
published . 2 min read
A sobering thought is to think about is WHAT IF the amazing events in the heavens happening Saturday morning really do mean something. At 2:58 am Saturday morning (which falls during the Jewish celebration of Passover and in the middle of Easter weekend), there will be lunar eclipse of a full moon. This is called a “blood moon” because the moon turns a rusty shade of red, and is the third such occurrence since last April. Some within the Christian community feel this is the fulfillment of Peter's prophecy in Acts 2:19, 20: 19And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: King James Version (KJV) I......
To give or not to give, that is the question
published . 4 min read
Some things never cease to amaze me. Christians talk about a lot of good and righteous things, but when confronted with having to DO them or follow the crowd; most of the time the crowd wins. It takes a special kind of person to break away from the safety of numbers and take a stand for what is right, even if everyone thinks you are wrong. As Christians, we are faced with the conundrum of trying please others but at the same time trying to stand on principle. I have been a member here at Christian Blog a long time. I have seen policies and people come and go many times since I joined this site in October of 2007. Without question, the issue that has caused the greatest number of problems over the years (outside of theological arguments) is money. Is this really so surprising? Aren't......
Onward and upward christian soldiers
published . 3 min read
Some days we rise up and “more than conquer” whatever comes our way. Other days, for whatever the reason, we are more than conquered by various physical maladies, mental pressures, the inability to subdue anger or a whole array of fiery darts flung in our direction. On the days we succumb to the flurry of fiery arrows thrown our direction; do we fall into condemnation (the biggest arrow of them all) or do we “forget those things which are behind” and move on? I would pray our response is to move on, the same as it should be when we have a good day. Sometimes the attacks that buffet us take awhile to build up while at other times they seem to come out of nowhere. This should not be surprising since in warfare, there are times of huge buildups of troops and other times......
Let your light so shine oh children of god
published . 4 min read
15That ye may be blameless and harmless, the sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world; 16Holding forth the word of life; that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not run in vain, neither laboured in vain. Philippians 2:15, 16 King James Version (KJV) God exhorts us to be things that were difficult 2,000 years ago and are nigh unto impossible in today's world. All three of the words used in the Greek for the English words; blameless, harmless, and without rebuke are words with negative connotations with the Greek letter a prefixed. That little letter means “without” or simply “to not have” . What are the three things we are to be “without” ? The first word is......
Dusting off and using our "truth detectors"
published . 3 min read
I spent many years locked in the dark night of my soul. I felt worthless, unloved, unappreciated and that I was a burden to everyone. The worst of this time was when I was forced to spend six weeks all alone cooped up in a rundown motel in Rochester, Minnesota in early 2000. I was sent to Rochester by my doctor to have Mayo Clinic diagnose and treat a condition I was suffering from. It was all supposed to be done in a week, but one thing led to another and one week turned into six weeks. At the end of my time there, I was given a dire diagnosis regarding my ongoing heart problems. I was told I had advanced restrictive cardio myopathy and unless I lost 100 pounds in six months and got a heart transplant, I would die. I remember vividly receiving this warning from a doctor on a Friday......
Trusting in the will of god
published . 3 min read
I can think of innumerable times in my life when things didn't work out and my plans suddenly changed or I was delayed and could not get somewhere when I thought or said I would. These times are frustrating and inconvenient for all involved, but when looking back we see many times WHY what took place happened. Every time I see a gruesome accident on the highway on my side of the road, I think that if I had left home 30 minutes earlier, that might have been me in that accident. If we genuinely trust God the way we say we do, we must accept that “Father knows best” in all matters. I do not believe God dictates our every move and I do not care to engage in a fruitless discussion of the subject; but I do believe that since God is Omniscient (all-knowing), He can guide and direct......
The counterfeit of hypocrisy
published . 2 min read
Hypocrisy is ugly, condescending, demeaning, damaging, conniving, fraudulent, dishonest, and superficial and should be illegal. Hypocrisy lures people in, only to steal them blind, leave them with nothing but pain and/or anger while driving them away from the genuine. Hypocrisy sets a trap from which there is little chance of escape. Hypocrisy succeeds in making its prey feel horrible and helpless so it can ride in on the white horse and save it. Hypocrisy is in every sense of the word, the perfect counterfeit as it looks genuine and real but underneath the glowing exterior lies evil intent and wickedness. Hypocrisy rushes to show support but only to promote itself. It flashes its fake smile when in reality it hates, despises and curses. It takes great measures to look good but under the......
The shield of faith
published . 3 min read
In doing some research into the meaning of each piece of the armor mentioned in Ephesians 6, I have stumbled across something very interesting relating to the “shield of faith” that I would like to share with you. Most people and most expositors of the Bible say this shield strictly describes the large Roman shield covered with leather and soaked with water to put out the fire tipped arrows of the enemy in battle. This is literally what is being referred to in Ephesians 6:16, but there is another aspect to this shield I think is exciting. The actual Greek word for shield is thureou which comes from the word thura which means a door or a gate. Please allow me to quote what Spiros Zodhiates Th.D says about this word in “The Complete Word Study Dictionary” of the New......
Willing to give of ourselves--no matter what
published . 3 min read
In many respects, Christianity today has become “all about me” at the expense of reaching out to you. We go to church to meet our needs, we spend hours worrying about all of our woes and we constantly add to the catalog of excuses for not being able to give, serve or reach out in love to others in need. In other words, we are so consumed with ourselves that we have no time, energy or resources for anyone else. This, unfortunately, describes selfishness to a T. How truly sad it is that the Christian faith which is built on love for God and others has descended into a state of fretting and worrying about ourselves. My heart breaks for those who have invested all of their life, their life's savings and their personal freedom to serve Christ; only to suffer unspeakable poverty......
An important message for all of us facing intense tribulation
published . 3 min read
Why are we so surprised when a convoy of trucks shows up at our front door to dump all their garbage on us? Why are shocked when “out of the blue” the fabric of our lives comes unraveled and suddenly we are left with only rags? Why do we gasp in horror when people we love prove conclusively that they are human and are not perfect? Why do we fall apart when crisis hits? Why do we insist on dwelling on the worst of situations that arise, the worst things people say and do and the worst things about ourselves? Are we masochists or something? These things have I spoken unto you, that in me ye may have peace. In the world ye have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world. John 16:33 American Standard Version (ASV) Jesus Himself warned us that in the world we will......
Keys to spiritual victory--the name of jesus christ
published . 3 min read
There is only one name which God has made to be above all others and that is Jesus whom God made both Lord and Christ. There is only one name that sends shivers down the spine of every demon in hell and that is the name of Jesus Christ. There is no spiritual situation, possessing devil spirit, principality, power or dominion that can withstand or stand against the name of Jesus Christ. All one has to do is read the Book of Acts to see all the signs, miracles and wonders done by the apostles in the name of Jesus Christ. When Jesus commanded a demon to leave, it immediately departed. Every demon within the adversary's kingdom was subject to Jesus. When Jesus was crucified, the adversary thought he had gotten rid of this Jesus once and forever. He had the audacity to believe he had......
Prepare, protect, patience, power and prevail
published . 3 min read
Our adversary is a stalker. There are few things in life more unnerving than being stalked night and day by someone you cannot see. The enemy is smart enough to dispatch his agents to study us, document how we handle situations, learn our lifestyle and verify what buttons that when pushed cause us to crash and burn. There is a term in the Bible called “familiar spirits” and that is in reference to demons whose sole mission is to stalk God's people, probing for weaknesses and relaying this information up the chain of command to the adversary himself. If at times you feel as though you are being watched, YOU ARE! The greater your responsibility to the Body of Christ may be, the closer you will be watched so as to breed familiarity with you. The things the enemy learns he then......
Claiming our spiritual victory in christ jesus
published . 2 min read
In the Old Testament, when the Children of Israel reached the Promised Land, God did not just hand it to them on a silver platter. Much of the Book of Joshua describes the many physical battles that were necessary for God's people to claim what God had promised to them. In other words, they had to FIGHT for what was legally theirs. Although there were many battles that entailed literal warfare, Jericho was a prime example of God doing the actual fighting while His people marched around the city making a racket. We do not live in the Old Testament anymore and it is plainly clear in the New Testament that our warfare is spiritual and not physical. Nevertheless, the basic principles of what it took for God's people to overcome the enemy so they could dwell in the Promised Land of......
Praying with faith
published . 4 min read
Please allow me to share a great secret that simplifies life and keeps things in the right perspective. Very simply put, this great secret is: Things do not always go as planned! We have been programmed to believe that if we plan, stick to our plans and focus our mental energy on our plans; they will always come to pass. Napoleon Hill was the man who originally formulated and promoted the idea that one can “Think and Grow Rich” ; in fact that is the title of his most famous book. In that book, Mr. Hill had this to say about the power of the mind and belief: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” Millions upon millions of people have bought into the idea that all it takes to be successful and prosperous in this life is envisioning what you......
Keys to spiritual victory--knowing who our enemy is
published . 2 min read
For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Ephesians 6:12 Amplified Bible (AMP) Copyright © 1954, 1958, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1987 by The Lockman Foundation In 1993 as I desperately sought to regain the passion in my heart for God and His people, I first read the book, “This_Present_Darkness” by Christian author Frank Peretti. Rarely, if ever, have I been so enthralled by a book that I read it cover to cover in a matter of a few days (and it is a long book); but that is what I did with that book and shortly thereafter with......
Keys to spiritual victory--rejecting the enemy's endless suggestions
published . 3 min read
One of the most vital keys to being victorious in spiritual conflict is to have an effective strategy when bombarded by the endless suggestions the adversary and his agents throw at us. The adversary is persistent if nothing else; if he feels he has a chance to successfully deceive, entrap or destroy a believer, he will relentlessly attack the perceived weak point so as to get that believer to doubt the integrity of God's Word. Much of the spiritual conflict we are involved in is actually between our ears, in the confines of our minds where the battle rages whether to believe God's Word or not. Each day we are confronted with a multitude of situations which test our faith, challenge our ability to trust God and attempt to get us to question the integrity of God's Word. The......
Keys to spiritual victory--the realm of warfare is spiritual
published . 3 min read
Perhaps the most important principle to remember regarding spiritual conflict is that the warfare is SPIRITUAL and not physical. Time and time again believers are tricked into fighting each other, their employers, their neighbors etc instead of fighting he who is behind all that is bad - the devil. The oldest, and most effective, trick in the enemy's book is to switch the emphasis away from him to those who are influenced by or are simply the messengers of his plans. Always remember that it does NO GOOD to fight people. We must always keep in mind that the battle is spiritual and our warfare is in the spiritual realm and not the physical. Please look at the following two passages, for they underscore and define the boundaries of our warfare: 38Ye have heard that it was said, An eye......
Keys to spiritual victory--mental toughness
published . 3 min read
Please, if you have not read any of my blogs, would you consider reading this one and the ones to come? In these blogs, I am going to be brutally honest as I share the biggest struggle I have faced in this life and how it has forced me into submission at times and how I have beaten it at other times. I am willing to open the doors of my heart and allow any and all to see what is inside with the prayer it will help others with similar struggles in their lives. But first, let me lay out some basic information regarding the spiritual conflict we must endure daily. We all have one area in our lives that constitutes the “weakest link” in our defense against the enemy's attacks. This could be things we do or things we do not do. Either way, these things trip us up and become our......
Confessions of an old revolutionary
published . 3 min read
There were many bad things happening in society in the late 1960's and early 1970's. With the introduction of a new kind of music coupled with protest movements of every ilk imaginable: the culture at the time was ripe for something profound to happen in one realm or another. Incredibly, something spiritually profound took root at the time and exploded. It was around 1970 that the “Jesus people” movement started along with numerous independent ministries unshackled by denominational rules or demands. God stepped in and radically changed my life in August of 1969 and I spent the next year living off the experience that took place in New Mexico. By the autumn of 1970 I was stagnating and starting to fade spiritually because a person cannot survive for any length of time on......
Learning humility through sacrifice
published . 3 min read
Why is humility is so hard? Is it our culture which engrains in us the notion that we must be brash in order to be bold? Is it the idea that only the fittest survive? Whatever the cause, there is a severe dearth of humility both in the world as well as in Christianity. If, upon meeting you, my first and predominant response is to stretch you out on the spiritual exam table, strap you down and find whatever your deep hidden problems are; am I really manifesting love in humility or feeding my inner desire to show you how great I am? If all I am interested in is “fixing you” , it doesn't take long for you grow weary of me and run to someone else. Just as Jesus said it would be nearly impossible for a rich person to be saved, so it is with those who devote years upon years to......
Looking full in the face of our savior
published . 3 min read
We are, whether we like it or not, all mortals. To be mortal implies that we are human and that our body is subject to death. Mortality is the condition of being certain to die eventually. Every human being is mortal and every human being will certainly die (if the Lord does not return first). Our mortality is not morbid, gloomy, gruesome or a subject to make us morose, miserable or uptight The fact that our human body, in its current state, is NOT eternal should not make us sad, but rather should make us ever the more thankful for the hope we have in Christ Jesus. The only way we can make it through this life, handle the passing of loved ones and face the inevitable moment when we take our final breath is by grabbing hold of and steadfastly hanging on to the hope we have been given in......
The sands of life
published . 2 min read
Both Beth's uncle and my aunt passed away this past Saturday. Both were quite elderly and had been fighting major physical battles for quite some time. I barely knew Beth's uncle but I did know my aunt Dorothy better than any of my aunts and uncles. As I have reflected on her life, I see a time capsule of my own as I look back 10, 20, 30, 40 and even 50 years, I am astounded at how the sands in the hourglass of life have quickly passed. It is hard for me to believe things that took place 45 years ago were that far back; in my mind they happened 15 years ago. My aunt Dorothy was a cantankerous woman who could at times be just plain mean. She and my mom alternated between being best friends and bitter enemies. They fought all the time yet they loved each other deeply. My aunt used......
Remembering six months ago today
published . 4 min read
Six months ago was September first. Why is this date important to me? Because it was on that day I was admitted to the hospital for what turned out to be a 52 day ordeal. Many things have changed in my life during that past six months, but some things will never change such as my love and devotion to God, my undying affection for my wife and my overwhelming gratitude to all who stuck with me in prayer, not just initially, but throughout and after the situation. The magnitude of the gravity of what happened to me struck home yet again this morning when I read an article about a local mother and her adult son who contracted a mysterious disease and both died within a short amount of time. For anyone interested, here is the link to the article: As I read this article, I could not help but......
Please indulge me while i vent about a "secular" problem
published . 2 min read
If there is one thing I know a few things about, it is driving. Over my 45+ years behind the wheels of cars, trucks, vans and RVs I have driven at least 5,000,000 miles. I have driven through all types of weather and every kind of dangerous situation imaginable. I have pulled trailers through rush hour traffic and “willed” tiny or old vehicles up steep hills and mountains. Obviously I love driving or I would have never driven so many miles. As much as I love driving, I am facing a serious issue. Ever since my ordeal of this past September and October, I have struggled with the early morning commutes getting my wife Beth to work (she must be there by 5:30 am). The problem is that evidently something happened to my eyes/vision in the course of the sepsis I endured. Also, ever......
United in christ jesus
published . 2 min read
Conflicts among believers are nothing new. In fact, the apostle Paul wrote numerous times in his epistles about the need for unity and how to accomplish it. Unity of purpose and walking together with one mind are noble aspirations but are far easier said than done. In the heat of the moment, people say things they deeply regret later. Every single one of us has said and done things that we knew were wrong but did them anyway to prove a point or make ourselves feel better. If Christians thought of themselves more as a team and less as a debating society, we would at least stand a chance at seeing the fruits of unity be manifested. Athletic history is littered with teams who assembled a roster of superstars but because they could and would not work together as a team, failed miserably.......
June 10, 2006; my one and only sermon since 1986
published . 4 min read
I was like a cat on a hot tin roof. I couldn't sleep and found myself pacing in the small motel room. I could not believe how uptight I was as I prepared for the church service in which I was to give the sermon. There were countless times in my life when I stood before groups of God's people to teach His Word. What on earth was the big deal this time? It was not like there was going to be a thousand people in that church. The time was early June in 2006, a full 20 years since I had last taught the Word of God publically. I was not the same man I was in 1986. I was much older and wiser, but I was also acutely aware of why 20 years had gone by since the last time I was allowed to present the Word of God in public. I had messed things up royally and the ministry which had provided......
Love thy neighbor as thyself
published . 2 min read
For the past 21 years, we have lived in two houses out in the country. We have had a total of three neighbors. The first one was actually a good neighbor who was friendly and helpful. The second was a young family who despite all of our efforts had no desire to be “neighborly” . For the past 11 years we have had the same neighbor who has been slowly moving out for the past month. Today Dan is leaving for good and moving to Texas. Years ago it was established that since we do not enjoy parties or “adult beverages” , there was not going to be much of a relationship with our neighbors. In fact, except for a few situations with horses and the road we share, we had very little contact with Dan or his family. In light of this, it is not surprising that instead of feeling sad......
Worshipping god in spirit and in truth
published . 2 min read
Christianity is full of stereotyped images that are usually extremely unflattering. Religious leaders portrayed on television and in movies are usually a holier than thou priest who is out of touch with reality and horribly boring to look at and listen to. Is it any wonder that most traditional churches have so many empty pews? The only time media portrays a religious leader to be vibrant or charismatic is when he/she is a crook, a scam artist or a child molester. Those who started and have built the mega churches around the world have done so by being themselves and allowing God to give the increase. Tossing aside doctrinal issues, the huge non-denominational churches and ministries have succeeded because those attending feel welcomed, at ease and comfortable. May I add that many times......
Giving everything to the lord
published . 2 min read
There is rarely a day that goes by where I do not think about my life. I think about the past, present and future. I think about the good, the bad and the ugly. I think about the people I have known, the people I have loved deeply and the people who have hurt me greatly. I do not think about these things for any other reason than to search my heart to make sure there is no evil within me, no hidden resentment, no speck of arrogance and no anxiety or regret for what was and what may come. I am firm believer in being utterly and completely honest with yourself at all times. There is no profit whatsoever in living a lie, dwelling in a fantasy world that does not exist or in reliving the past over and over again. Somehow we must cleanse ourselves of the tendency to either make ourselves......
Pride is ugly
published . 2 min read
Pride is an ugly animal that rears its head at the least opportune times in our lives. Pride keeps us locked in the murk and mire of self destruction because it cannot, by its very nature, admit weakness or failure. Pride gets us in more trouble than just about anything else in this life, and it needs to be understood and more than conquered through renewing our minds to God's Word. Pride prevents us from admitting we are in over our heads, completely lost or on the brink of disaster. Built into our very nature is the reluctance to admit we need help. Personal honesty dictates that we swallow our pride and reach out for assistance, guidance or direction when it is needed and not “suck it up” and be a man. Pride is not to be confused with arrogance or ego. Pride is not so......
The evil of religous bigotry
published . 2 min read
When I was in 9th grade, one of my very few friends in life invited me to his church one Sunday evening. My parents reluctantly agreed to let me go for reasons that took me decades to understand. I was raised in a quiet Presbyterian church with no controversial beliefs and which took pride in being the epitome of the social gospel church. The church my friend took me to was totally opposite from what I was used to and exposed me to the “dark side” of religious bigotry. I was accustomed to a church service that featured singing, prayer, scripture reading and a simple sermon dealing with some aspect of living. The service I went to had perhaps one song, a long prayer and a longwinded “hellfire and brimstone” sermon that made me want to crawl under the pew and hide. This......
Sister sylvia of silver creek--part two
published . 4 min read
After talking to Sylvia, the pastor of the church found me and invited me to spend the evening with his family in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. I was happy to go and we spent many hours fellowshipping, talking about ministry and what could be done for his church. The evening ended with him inviting me to give the sermon in two weeks and me rounding up some volunteers to help repair his church which had suffered some damage from Katrina. The next day I drove home full of joy unspeakable and more spiritual energy than I could remember having for decades. My mind was going a hundred miles a minute as I thought about the logistics needed to fulfill my promise to Sylvia to find supplies for her “flock” . Somewhere between Mississippi and home I came up with the name “Heart 2......
A rude wake up call
published . 2 min read
I just watched the video of 21 Christians beheaded by ISIS on a beach in Libya. The video was nauseating to watch, but like a bucket of cold water on my complacent mind, I was forced to wake up and realize just how real the Christian faith was to those 21 men who were brutally murdered simply because they believed Jesus Christ is the Savior. I am not advocating watching the video, but I am advocating taking off our rose colored glasses and shaking ourselves out of the apathy that runs rampant in Western Christianity. We who live in “civilized” nations take for granted the freedom and security to worship as we like. But, all one has to do is look at what is happening in Europe to see that those freedoms are quickly turning into seething hatred and violence directed at first the......
We are one body
published . 2 min read
When someone who is near and dear to your heart is sick, gets injured or is going through a really rough stretch in life, the impact on you is profound to say the least. Even today, as my wife lays curled up in bed feeling absolutely horrible; I am finding it difficult to focus on what I should be doing in addition to praying for her. It is beyond my comprehension how she managed to work etc when I was sick and in hospitals for 52 straight days last fall. And whether one member suffereth, all the members suffer with it; or one member is honored, all the members rejoice with it. 1 Corinthians 12:26 I suppose this verse could be talking about the entire Body of Christ, but it is my belief that it is speaking of the particular body of believers we are a part of within the Body of Christ. I......
Guarding one's heart
published . 4 min read
King Solomon was the wisest man on earth, as evidenced in Proverbs. God blessed him with this wisdom and also blessed him with exceptional material wealth and political power. Solomon did many great and wonderful things but he also failed miserably due to his many wives and concubines being from ungodly nations and introducing their gods into Solomon's house. God was not at all pleased with this behavior and the results were not pleasant. Please look at 1 Kings 11:1-6 and 9-13 from the NIV: 11King Solomon, however, loved many foreign women besides Pharaoh's daughter - Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians and Hittites. 2They were from nations about which the Lord had told the Israelites, “You must not intermarry with them, because they will surely turn your hearts after......
Sister sylvia of silver creek--part one
published . 4 min read
Armed with only a phone number, I left Camp Coastal to return home on a Friday in May of 2006. I kept trying to call Sylvia's number but to no avail. Between sketchy cell phone service and heavy traffic, I concentrated on driving and figured I would track Sylvia down the next time I made a trip to Mississippi. As I drove through northern Mississippi I tried one more time to reach this wonderful woman who was struggling to keep her relief effort going. This time the phone was answered and it was Sylvia. We talked as best we could with me losing the signal constantly until it was determined that we needed to speak in person. She asked me if I could meet her at her church on Sunday. Without a moment's hesitation I said “yes” and turned around at the next exit. I drove many......
Don't allow anger to ruin your walk with god
published . 3 min read
Most arguments, disagreements and fights result from someone feeling their integrity, character or beliefs are being challenged. It is very difficult to suppress the burst of anger that arises within our hearts when someone blatantly or subtly trashes us, our family or what we believe to be right or true. However justifiable we think it is to lash out against someone who drags our good name through the gutter or defames us, we must learn to calm down and suppress the explosion of wrath for it is nothing more than a violent emotional reaction. We have all known people and have perhaps been guilty ourselves of falling into the trap of reacting instead of making sure we are giving a Godly response when provoked. Throughout His public ministry, Jesus was constantly provoked by wicked people......
How heart 2 heart came to be
published . 3 min read
In early September of 2005, Hurricane Katrina tore into the far southeastern corner of Mississippi and southwestern corner of Louisiana with a vengeance. These areas felt the brunt of the winds Katrina brought. Those same winds wrapped around Katrina and caused massive flooding in New Orleans. Those same winds built up a wall of water in the Gulf of Mexico which produced a storm surge 27 feet high which inundated the entire Mississippi coastline and even impacted the coast of Alabama. The winds of Katrina caused damage far from the coast. Truly Katrina was a storm that changed the lives of millions of people for many years. I could not get down to the destruction area until May of 2006 due to my mom's failing health and passing away in April of that year. I was in no way prepared for......
Death is not "the end" but rather "the beginning"
published . 3 min read
Having just lost a faithful member of our community here at Christian Blog and having almost lost yours truly many times last September, I thought it wise to spend some time reflecting upon what death is and how to cope with it as a Christian. The Bible mentions death many times, but nowhere near as many times as life, and particularly eternal life. Death is both the end as well as the beginning of life. Death is the greatest enemy in this earthly life but the catapult to stepping into the eternal life promised to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. Death is not something to be feared as a believer for it was overcome by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. If Jesus were still in the tomb, death would be our greatest and most dreaded enemy in life. But, since Jesus rose and conquered......
So much to be thankful for
published . 1 min read
We watched a television show last night we had recorded earlier. In the show, one of the bad guys got shot and ended up in the hospital. While there he developed sepsis which could not be cured and obviously the person was going to die. Watching this show (Blue Bloods), was like receiving a bucket of cold water on my head due to what I went through last September. All I could think was “there but for the grace of God go I” . Only by and through God's grace and mercy was I spared the nearly certain death associated with sepsis turning into septic shock. I do not spend as much time I used to dwelling on the events of last September and October, but when I do, the overwhelming emotion I feel is thankfulness. I am thankful to God that He spared me. I am thankful to my wife Beth......
I want to know what love is
published . 3 min read
As I drove through the barren wasteland of western Utah and eastern Nevada, I had the tape player (this was long before CDs) in my car set to keep replaying a song which I listened to over and over again. Although the song was secular, it expressed the cry of my heart then and to some degree even now. The song, by the group Foreigner, was called “I want to know what love is” which was very popular back in 1984-85. As I drove aimlessly with no destination in mind, the cry of my heart to God was that I wanted to know, feel, experience and be able to give love. I had gone to Salt Lake City, Utah to talk to someone and ran smack dab into my personal insecurities, my utter lack of maturity regarding interpersonal relationships and the dire state I was in. I had hoped this person......
Slow to wrath
published . 2 min read
One of the biggest questions we should ask ourselves is what makes us angry. Whatever the answer is represents the point we must be on guard the most in our lives. For many of us, that which makes us the angriest is stupidity or selfishness in others. For others, a challenge to their integrity or someone questioning their ability, intelligence, leadership etc sets them off. For just about everyone, when things do not go as planned, do not work, make us late etc, we get angry. No matter how justifiable it seems to us, we must be extremely careful to not allow these triggers to spring the trap that breaks our fellowship with God or others. Managing our anger is a HUGE key to maintaining our ability to walk in the light as God is light. Those people who cannot (or will not) harness their......
Putting out the fire of anger with patience
published . 2 min read
Yesterday I waited nearly an hour to see my doctor, waited an hour for blood tests and waited an hour for two prescriptions to be filled. Add in slower than usual traffic due to some freezing rain and nearly six hours of my day was spent waiting, driving and wandering around Wal Mart. Was I bothered that I “wasted” a day? Not at all; for I learned long ago the value of patience. Patience is a huge key to both staying sane in this insane world as well as remaining calm and at peace within ourselves when others are uptight, obnoxious and angry. Patience, and its companion longsuffering, is not just a nice ornament on the Christmas tree of the believer's walk in Christ. It is an absolute necessity if we expect to maintain our fellowship with God, remain faithful to Him and be......
Emotional reaction or godly response determine if anger is justifiable
published . 3 min read
By and large, the Bible is very clear that anger is NOT a good thing. Please look at a few verses from the American Standard Version dealing with anger: Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: Fret not thyself, it tendeth only to evil-doing. Psalms 37:8 An angry man stirreth up strife, And a wrathful man aboundeth in transgression. Proverbs 29:22 He that is soon angry will deal foolishly; And a man of wicked devices is hated. Proverbs 14:17 Ye know this, my beloved brethren. But let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath [anger] of man worketh not the righteousness of God. James 1:19, 20 But now do ye also put them all away: anger, wrath, malice, railing, shameful speaking out of your mouth: Colossians 3:8 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamor,......
An open appeal for unity
published . 2 min read
I have been here at Christian Blog a long time. In the course of the seven plus years I have been here, I have seen incredible rises and heartbreaking falls as far as numbers of bloggers, quality of blogs and strength of the CB family. Almost without exception, the one thing that has time and time again ripped this site apart is division. People start arguing about theology or doctrine and before long there erupts a feud that puts the Hatfield's and McCoy's to shame. Instead of blogs being about s subject that is edifying, comforting and educational to the reader, blogs become a forum to carry on a public debate with another person or group of people. Does this sound familiar? It should, for this is the very reason Christianity has been splintered into a hundred thousand......
Heart 2 heart share--my first day "on the job"
published . 3 min read
In May of 2006 I set out on an adventure that even now, as I look back, I cannot believe God allowed me to do and that I was able to carry out (for a season). Everything I did for many months was totally unscripted and built upon my personal relationship with God as far as Him giving me instructions and guidance on where to go and who to work with. I still stand in awe today that God would give me the opportunity to experience and see what I did and saw. My first real day “on the job” , was spent driving around southern Mississippi observing the destruction and occasionally stopping to talk to people about what had happened and what was needed. I was trying to avoid getting sucked into the various government programs for it was my desire to stay independent and thus free to do......
Controlling anger lest it control you
published . 2 min read
We are surrounded by anger. It seems that just about everyone is seething about something. Sometimes this anger erupts suddenly out of nowhere and other times it takes a long time before it boils over. Anger in and of itself is not automatically wrong, for there are occasions when Jesus Himself would get angry. But, when anger becomes a way of life, habit or chronic problem; it is time to get it under control lest it become a major stumbling block for our walk or for those around us. We have all encountered “hot heads” . They are like a keg of dynamite just waiting for a spark to blow up. This kind of sudden and destructive anger is rarely right and almost always harmful to someone. Anger that manifests itself as being abusive or hurtful MUST be brought under control or it will......
Leaders are to be servants not treated as royalty
published . 3 min read
30 years ago I was in the midst of learning the most valuable lesson I will ever learn in this life. In the course of 15 years starting in 1971 and continuing until 1986 I allowed myself to fall into bad habits and mental patterns that were the result of my training and ministry position. I expected, and at times demanded, respect and became angry when I felt my integrity was being challenged or my opinions questioned. During the course of many years I built up a stockpile of excuses and justifications for my aberrant behavior and blatant disregard for the Word of God I taught and claimed to love. Like many others in leadership positions at the time, I considered myself worthy of special treatment, special privileges and special favors. This ridiculous attitude was passed down to us by......
Do we really need "things" to be happy?
published . 2 min read
The skills I learned 40+ years ago are pretty useless in today's world. There were no computers, cell phones, tablets or cable television back in the Stone Age of the 1960-70's. I understand that many men and women jumped on the technological advances that came in rapid fire succession starting in the late 1980's, but I was not one of them. We did not get a computer until 1998 or a cell phone until 2000. Call it denial, stubbornness or just plain disdain for technology; some of us older folks are slow to change. Change is not always good. Sometimes change for the sake of change breeds more problems than it solves. Sometimes change opens doors to new horizons and great advances in production and productivity. Sometimes change does away with the need for humans altogether. I......
We are not alone
published . 2 min read
There are times of great joy and jubilation in this life, but there are also times of great sorrow and tribulation; such is the nature of life. No one can expect to have everything go right every day of their lives; that is not realistic nor is it true. Each one of us rides a roller coaster of ups and downs throughout the years we draw breath. There are moments when we stand on the mountaintop and cannot believe things could be any better. But, there are moments when we feel stranded and alone on a July day in Death Valley, sure that we are going to die and be eaten by vultures. Much of our ability to serve God faithfully for the duration of our lives rests in our ability to handle those times when afflictions, pressures, tribulations, pain and suffering seek to demolish our faith and......
From my heart 2 yours
published . 3 min read
Being totally honest, I must admit that much of the time since my ordeal last September/October has been a struggle. I have struggled physically with side effects of the sepsis and septic shock I endured. I have struggled mentally as my mind tries desperately to put behind what happened and as the mental sharpness and alertness I took for granted for many years slowly returns. Most of all I have struggled within myself as I have attempted to understand what my purpose is and why God spared me from death's door in September. I am human and as such, the past three months have been a battle at times. The past week has been especially difficult for me due to extraordinary fatigue and having to deal with severe pain arising from a very long and difficult dental procedure. I hate being......
The valley of the shadow of death
published . 4 min read
In Psalm 23, the phrase “valley of the shadow of death” arises. Preachers, writers and students of the Word of God have struggled over the years trying to understand what this phrase means. Although I do not have all the answers, back in 2009 I did some research on this phrase and posted a blog. I have decided to re-post that blog for the benefit of those who were not around here six years ago. I pray you enjoy this blog and it brings you some insight into this phrase. "Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for you are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me."Psalms 23:4The question was submitted as a topic for my 500th blog regarding the "valley of the shadow of death" as found in Psalms 23. I must say......
The joy in living is found in the heart of giving
published . 2 min read
The cry of a believer's pure heart is “what can I do “. The cry of someone whose heart has turned away from the Lord is “what is in it for me” . When the emphasis in life switches from helping others to promoting, pampering and worrying about oneself, the inevitable result will always be rejection of the truth coupled with an apathetic response to God's calling in one's life. God does not call a person to do nothing in life. No matter how dire the circumstances anyone faces, there is ALWAYS something they can do for someone else. When people sink into the “me first” mentality (whether through greed or need), there is no time or room for reaching out to someone else who very well could be dangling at the end of their rope. Those who continue to......
Fully devoted to jesus christ
published . 2 min read
Certainly there must be more to life than the pursuit of material wealth and the supposed happiness it brings. Certainly there must be a greater purpose in living than to accumulate things and then worrying about losing them. Certainly there must be something to warrant our existence in this life more compelling than pleasing ourselves even at the expense of others. Certainly there must be something missing when the sum and total of living is reflected in bank accounts, degrees on the wall, number of children and grandchildren and how many “friends” one accumulates through social media. The shallow existence most people call life is nothing more than a pretty flower in the field that is here today and gone tomorrow. People come into this world with nothing and they leave this......
The overwhelming kindness and patience of our lord jesus christ
published . 2 min read
I think that many times we get so caught up in finding some new nugget of truth or thinking we must find some new angle on a passage in the Bible that we lose sight of the simple truths that form the foundation of our Christian faith and set us free. It is always an extreme blessing to me when I hear a song on the radio that is new to me and makes me cry while I am driving. Yesterday I heard one of those songs and it helped melt away the stress and strain of a long and difficult day. I had three different doctor's appointments yesterday starting at 9:45 in the morning and ending at 5:15 in the afternoon. Between sitting forever in waiting rooms at doctor's offices and putting up with rude and obnoxious drivers, by the time I finally was on my way home, I was definitely ready for a......
Coping with death through the hope we have in christ
published . 2 min read
One of the things I love most about the Body of Christ is our ability to share in the joy and suffering of fellow members, even if we never meet them or even talk to them. It is truly amazing how when one member rejoices, the whole body rejoices and when one member suffers, the whole body suffers. A few years ago I started listening to the only Christian radio music in St. Louis that plays music. One of the first people I heard on that station was a woman named Kelly. If ever there was someone God blessed with the perfect radio voice I think it is her. She has a very soothing and gentle manner about her that draws the audience in and makes them feel at ease and at home. More than three years ago I heard her talking about her husband who despite never being a smoker, had just been......
Overcoming fear with faith and trust in god
published . 2 min read
As mere mortals, we like to think we have everything all figured out when it comes to life. We spend hours making schedules, budgets and plans only to see many of them blow up in an instant when a major crisis strikes. All the planning in the world cannot prepare us for the sudden loss of our job, a critical health crisis, a terrible accident or innumerable other catastrophes of life. At best, many times all we can do is hang on for dear life during a crisis while not allowing what we see, hear or feel to damage our faith in God and His Word. The act of hanging on to God's promises defines the Biblical words “patience” and “perseverance” . A quick study of these words makes in plainly apparent that they are not only important to a believer but absolutely vital for......
A heartfelt thank you to our family here at christian blog
published . 2 min read
I just wanted to express my heartfelt gratitude for all of you who prayed for my latest medical ordeal yesterday. At times I feel as though the main reason I am here is to keep everyone's prayer skills sharp. I am sorry that my situation has become one that needs a lot of extra prayer, but it goes without saying that I am deeply thankful that so many of you take the time and put forth the effort to pray for me. The past five months have been an extreme test of both my wife Beth's and my own faith. Dealing with one medical situation after another for so long has a way of wearing down even the strongest of believers. The drain on time, energy and money these medical emergencies bring gets tiring and produces stress which in turn opens the door for more stress. It is indeed a vicious......
Heart 2 heart share
published . 3 min read
Back in 2006 I needed a name for the new charity/ministry God suddenly called me to. On my first trip back to Missouri from Mississippi I decided that the proper name of what I was attempting to do was “Heart 2 Heart” . So “Heart2Heart” was formed and soon thereafter the word “Share” was added on the end to separate it from a multitude of others who were also using Heart 2 Heart. I look back with fondness and thankfulness at the first few months of this new ministry as it was pure, young and driven by the overwhelming desire to share God's love through helping people devastated by Hurricane Katrina. Granted, this was a narrow mission statement but that is where and how the mission started. For a season, before “disaster relief politics” , a few......
The present woes are not worthy to be compared to what lies ahead
published . 2 min read
I have been trying for the past three hours to get a nose bleed under control without having to make a very expensive trip to the ER. I figured I would attempt to write a blog instead of staring at a blank computer screen. If you see a red spot on this blog you will know what happened. It is no fun to live with the awareness that at any moment one's nose may gush out disgusting body fluid, yet I have had to endure this torture for a number of years now. I am thankful for the protection the blood thinners give me but the side effects can be brutal. Whenever I have a time such as today, I must force myself to remember why I am taking these thinners which is to prevent having a stroke. When I think in terms of the greater good, I can endure the temporary hassles of the present. Days such......
My thoughts on theology and theologians
published . 3 min read
I feel compelled to write a few things about theology/theologians. I have said countless times in my many years on this site and throughout my many blogs that I am NOT a theologian. The reason I say that is not because I do not study the Word of God or have research books (I have bookcases full of them - do any of you want any of them?), but because I never received any formal training in theology or earned anything beyond an Asociate of Theology degree. In my mind, there is a huge difference between those who devote their lives to researching and studying God's Word so as to present their findings to the benefit of others vs. those whose only desire is to write another book, get a few more accolades from their peers or prove to everyone else how great they are. If I come across as......
The family of god
published . 3 min read
What is a family? Literally, a family is a group of relatives, people living together or the lineage of a common ancestor. But, family can also mean a group of people with something in common, and are related in origin, characteristics or occupation. Simply put, a family consists of people related in some way, whether by blood, interest or spirit. Most people would say that the most important people in their lives are their family. The bond of blood runs deep and strong for most people. In fact, the vast majority of people would stand with their family even if it meant forsaking or stabbing their friends in the back. However understandable this is from a blood point of view, my question is whether there is any true spiritual basis for such a belief. The Old Testament clearly places all......
The choices we make
published . 4 min read
I often think about how decisions I made as a young man totally changed the direction of my life. In August of 1971, I was all set to go to Wichita State University and begin my pursuit of either being a meteorologist or a veterinarian. Although I was very active in the ministry I had joined the preceding December, there was no doubt in my mind this ministry would play a secondary role in my life after education, marriage and having children. Well, as it turned out, I was wrong on all counts. Before classes began in August of 1971, I decided to go with a number of people to the headquarters of the ministry in rural western Ohio for what I thought was a music festival. About 35 of us chartered a bus to make the trip to the weekend festival. From the time we got there it was obvious that......
Dreams--where do they come from and what do they mean?
published . 2 min read
You are the closest thing to a family I have in this life, so guess what? I am going to share something intensely personal with you. I do this because I am troubled. When I do not know the reason for things happening, as a human being I get troubled. Thank God, that as a spiritual being, when troubling things happen, they draw me closer to my Lord Jesus Christ and to my Father's heart. Twice in the past two days, once during an afternoon nap and today during the final hour of a night's sleep, I had troubling dreams that took me back to a time in my life I do not care to revisit. In both cases I was in situations (the details of which escape me) that made me feel inferior, despised and rejected. Some of the people in these dreams I recognized but most I did not. It was the places I......
Wisdom is a very good thing to get
published . 2 min read
In my younger days, I would think nothing of getting into verbal fights with people on just about any subject in the Bible. I know that I alienated many people, some within my own family, by my zeal and stubborn reluctance to even hear any side of the argument besides my own. I remember taking great pride in being a “spiritual renegade” and I honestly thought at the time that I was following in the footsteps of Jesus and the early apostles. Looking back, I realize that I was immature, stubborn and overflowing with unbridled boldness. As I have grown older, I have learned to pick my fights wisely. I have learned that it is impossible to fight every battle without getting worn out or worn down. Over time, as I have matured in wisdom, I have put away the childish attitudes that......
Hope gives us the strength to endure
published . 2 min read
Once Jesus took His final breath, He died. If He did not actually and literally die, our redemption would have been a fraud and we would still be dead in our sins. That Jesus loved us enough to give His life for us was and always will be the greatest testimony of His devotion to His Father and love for all of us. Jesus did nothing worthy of death. He was not a criminal. He willingly allowed Himself to be apprehended, tried, convicted, tortured, beaten, humiliated and crucified on our behalf. Jesus could have called tens of thousands of angels down to help Him, but He did not. He knew His purpose and His devotion to God and love for us allowed Him to fulfill it. Therefore let us also, seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, lay aside every weight, and the sin......
Oh how he loved us
published . 2 min read
Tired and alone, he trudges along, hoping against hope for a miracle. No one remembers him and no one cares what has become of him. He lives in solitude and cries out silently in pain and sorrow. Once when the flower of his message bloomed fresh and new, he rose to the heights of fame. He stood before the multitudes and taught them God's Word. Oh how that seems so long ago now. Instead of a flock of fanatical friends, he lives in solitude with his broken heart. Where have all those people gone who once listened to his every word he said and were amazed by every deed he did? Oh how these times seem so long ago, buried beneath the rubble of a time gone horribly wrong. What became of those adoring throngs who followed him everywhere and sat at his feet both day and night? Instead of the......
God made the humiliated jesus both lord and christ
published . 3 min read
When a Christian allows him or herself to be seduced by the world's lies, the inevitable result will be deception, distraction and ultimately the destruction of their faith. Jesus told us that no man can serve two masters. In Eastern culture, the servant was to constantly watch the eyes of his master so as to know what was needed and what to do next. In light of this, it is impossible to honestly serve more than one master without compromising one's loyalty and devotion. I find it utterly despicable and absolutely contemptible that countless people, who claim to have made Jesus Christ the Lord of their lives, continue to be slaves to this world or their own lust for fame and fortune. The word “Lord” simply means master. It is crystal clear throughout the New Testament......
Devotion to our father no matter what
published . 2 min read
Today marks the start of a new day and a new year. For obvious reasons I am putting into place a personal policy of “forgetting those things which are behind and pressing toward the mark of the high calling in Christ Jesus” . I cannot erase what took place in 2014, but I do not have to live (and re-live) the events that totally changed my life. What will 2015 bring? Will this be a calm and peaceful year full of great happiness, health and prosperity, or will this be another year of turmoil, physical emergencies and financial woes? Only God knows what is coming and how to get through whatever 2015 will bring. With childlike confidence and simple faith, we should trust in the Lord to guide and direct us into the center of His will for our lives. You know, I have no greater desire......
Reflecting on the year ending today
published . 2 min read
It goes without saying that 2014 has been the roughest year of my life. I remember having an ominous feeling about this year last January. Perhaps it was God forewarning me of what was coming or the fact that years ending in 4 have been some of the most significant in my life; either way, somewhere deep within my soul I knew something was going to take place in 2014 that would greatly impact my life. For those of us who have gone through intense physical or emotional trauma in our lives, we have learned to cherish each new day and each New Year. We have learned that in order to survive, we must be extremely careful, extremely cognizant of what our bodies and minds are telling us and to never let our guard down, even for one minute. As seasoned veterans of wars within ourselves, we have......
Condemnation or compassion
published . 3 min read
I was reading this morning about the flu outbreak in the United States being on the threshold of being a full blown epidemic. I don't think it took the media to verify this piece of news as I know many of you have been suffering terribly recently with one type of flu or another. This leads to the inevitable question of why God's people do not have immunity from everything from the common cold to the flu to pneumonia and septic shock. I once served in a ministry that made a point of publically condemning anyone who suffered from any kind of sickness, disease or injury. This condemnation actually made people sicker for it drove them into a state of feeling like an utter failure or second class Christian. The ministry's justification for this truly awful policy was the belief......
Faith in the hope of christ's return
published . 2 min read
Authors have made fortunes “proving” that Christ will return at a certain time in a certain year. They arrive at their conclusions through intense study of the Bible so they appear to be legitimate. When personal experience and God supposedly telling certain people what is coming and when; the end result is a compelling argument for their case. The Bible clearly states that NO MAN knows when Christ is coming back. We can look for signs until we are blue in the face, but all these signs prove is that Christ is coming back soon. Defining the word “SOON” is the tricky part and what leads many Christians to a state of dejection and disappointment. It is my belief that no one can accurately define “soon” in relation to Christ's return. Any of us who have fully......
Yea though i walk through the valley of death...
published . 3 min read
We live in a very imperfect world full of dangers, perils, disease, wars and confusion. Each day we must trust in God's protection just to survive. Each day we must steel our minds against the wiles of the enemy who relentlessly attacks us both visibly as well as invisibly. My life is an open book. I have tried to allow people to see what is happening within me, both good as well as bad. As time has gone by since my ordeal a few months ago, I have realized many things and God has shown me many more. Not a day goes by where I don't ask the Father for wisdom and understanding as to WHY what happened to me took place. I realize that I can only know in part right now but I trust that in God's due time He will reveal unto me the details of what took place physically as well as......
What is a true friend?
published . 3 min read
What is a true friend? A true friend drops everything and runs to your aid when trouble strikes. A true friend remembers every good thing about you and somehow manages to forget all your shortcomings. A true friend rejects the notion that anything in this life is more important than your safety, support and blessing. A true friend refuses to leave until you are better and faithfully prays for God to take care of you. Is it any wonder that in this life we are indeed very fortunate to have just a handful of true friends? Long ago I thought I had many friends but found out they were friends in name only and when things got tough, they distanced themselves far away from me. “Fair weather friends” are a dime a dozen and are better defined as acquaintances than friends. These people......
Seeking peace and unity within the body of christ
published . 3 min read
In 1989 we bred our Great Pyrenees “Tiny” with another Pyrenees in the neighborhood. A couple of months later Tiny had five puppies that survived. We sold three of these puppies and kept two for ourselves. These two brothers, Doo and Chill, were with us until 2001 and 2004 respectively. In 1996 Tiny lost her battle with cancer and passed away in July of that year. What happened after her passing shocked us and resulted in months of intense moments and many dollars in Vet bills. Doo and Chill never played with each other but they never fought with each other either. They enjoyed each other's company, loved to have barking contests (to see who could bark longest) and provided key elements to our happy family. These two dogs, although brothers, had totally different......
Jesus christ; our prince of peace
published . 3 min read
For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (ASV) This verse shows us that Jesus Christ was a royal son, a son of David. As a royal son, Jesus was the “Prince of Peace” , meaning that His rule will bring wholeness and well-being to individuals and society. 15having abolished in the flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; that he might create in himself of the two one new man, so making peace; 16and might reconcile them both in one body unto God through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17and he came and preached peace to you that were far off, and peace to them that were......
Oh to have been a shepherd the night christ was born
published . 2 min read
8And there were shepherds in the same country abiding in the field, and keeping watch by night over their flock. 9And an angel of the Lord stood by them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10And the angel said unto them, Be not afraid; for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which shall be to all the people: 11for there is born to you this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. 12And this is the sign unto you: Ye shall find a babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, and lying in a manger. 13And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace among men in whom he is well pleased. Luke 2:8-14 At this time of year I often think......
The true meaning of the season
published . 6 min read
I first wrote and posted this blog in December of 2007 soon after joining Christian Blog. I offer it again to you because in my mind, it is timeless. Blessings 2 You! It has been said that Jesus died of a broken heart. Whether this can be proven medically or not, I don't know; but I do know that the pain from a broken heart far exceeds that of a damaged physical heart. I cannot begin to imagine what our Lord felt physically as he was beaten and mangled beyond human recognition. Yet, as awful as the physical pain endured by Jesus was, the emotional pain was worse. When Jesus was initially led to the Religious leaders and was given his first “trial” , outside in the courtyard his best disciple was denying he even knew Jesus over and over again. Only a few hours earlier Jesus......
Be not weary in well doing
published . 3 min read
I have thought often recently about various words that appear to be more or less the same but in reality they express different aspects of the same general subject. That subject is feeling tired or worn down, which I have indeed felt ever since I woke up in late September. Please look at the following words and their brief definition: Tiredness - in need of rest or sleep or weakened and made less active by exertion Fatigued - mental or physical exhaustion resulting from physical or mental activity Weariness - tired, especially in having run out of strength, patience or endurance Worn-out - so damaged or affected by prolonged use as to be no longer usable Every person on earth experiences tiredness, fatigue and even weariness. Very few people ever reach the point of truly being worn-out.......
Walking honestly before god
published . 2 min read
It is indeed human nature to err and as humans we should not be surprised when we either do something we knew we should not have done or not done something we knew we should have done. These simple errors in judgment are forgiven by God when we honestly confess them to Him and manifest the Godly sorrow that works repentance. God is faithful and just to forgive us when we are honest enough to admit we have missed the mark. When error is practiced to the point it becomes habitual or becomes the truth, huge problems arise in a believer's heart. Christians, who are deceived into believing it perfectly acceptable to steal, lie, etc, have in reality established a new doctrine that is based upon error instead of the truth God has revealed in His Word. When people no longer care about the......
Wisdom--the gift that growing older gives us
published . 3 min read
When we are young, there is very little thought given to things such as safety, the future etc. Young people are notorious for being impetuous and at times reckless. Young people have boundless energy, bodies that can do just about anything and a “can do attitude” . Is it any wonder that men have climbed mountains, sailed the seas and turned over every stone in search of the fountain of youth? When we were young, we did not (for the most part) have to deal with balky bodies, burdened down minds, financial pressure or any of the other things that seem to grow as we grow older. When we were young, our bodies were strong and our minds were agile. We dreamed great dreams where anything was possible and we saw no reason why there could not be “heaven on earth” . When we......
A most interesting time of the year
published . 2 min read
It saddens me at this time of year to see the transformation of a purely religious holiday into pretty much a secular time to celebrate winter. Frivolous lawsuits by a handful of people who hate God have succeeded in eliminating much of the true beauty of what Christmas really celebrates. Gone are many of the decorations that emphasized Christ's birth and have been replaced with fictional characters, reindeer and every form of advertising to lure people to spend money they do not have on things others do not need. It saddens me that people have used any abundance they have on themselves, at the expense of church, charity and even family. There are truly awful stories arising daily of churches, ministries, charities and other organizations trying to do good, having to scale back or......
We may bend but never break
published . 2 min read
Three times in September my wife was told by hospital staff that they “almost lost me” . Once in October (at a different hospital) I was told by the day nurse that they “almost lost me” the night before. The vast majority of people spend their whole lives never being “almost lost” , yet four times in a little over a month I teetered on the edge between life and death. Thankfully, by God's grace, I am still here. Being confronted with one's own mortality can be both unsettling as well as humbling. None of us know what tomorrow may bring. Thankfully we have the assurance that the day will come when the struggles of this life will end and we will stand before Jesus Christ to receive our rewards and crowns. Honestly, without this hope I do not know how we......
Because he lives...
published . 2 min read
No matter how difficult life gets, we have the assurance it is just for little while. While those without Christ have nothing to live for but this life only, we who have been saved have the promise of eternal life. Having this promise, we do not have to be totally destroyed or devastated by the storms that come in the course of living. Even if our earthly tabernacle of this body were eaten by cancer, struck down with a horrible disease or destroyed in an accident; we who belong to Christ know that we have a hope that is undefiled and undisturbed by what happens in this life. The key that unlocks the mystery of meaning in this life has little to do with this life but rests in the understanding that compared to eternity; this life is no more than a nanosecond (1/1,000,000,000 of a second).......
In honor of my wife's birthday...
published . 3 min read
As I lay on the hospital bed for 24 days, unconscious and oblivious to what was happening inside my body; some very profound things were going on. First of all, there was a great outpouring of prayer for me by both people I knew and many I don't. Second of all, many people took the time to take my wife Beth to and from work and to and from the hospital. Third of all, Beth faithfully came and sat by me every day for many weeks on end. I often ask myself why I should be so blessed as to have such a wonderful, caring and supportive wife. Beth has stood with me when just about everyone on earth wrote me off or rejected me. Beth has accepted the reality of my situation and has never once complained about me not working for wages since 1995. Beth has granted me the freedom travel many hours......
Reaching out to a dying world
published . 2 min read
My heart aches as I think of and pray for numerous people firmly in the grasp of oppressive powers intent on making and keeping them slaves. Those who have sold their bodies or minds to others for the sake of financial security are in reality slaves to whom they sold out to. Once caught, very few people ever escape from the imprisonment of their choices and corresponding obligations. Never in the history of this world have things appeared so goodl on the outside but so rotten on the inside. At first glance, the world seems to be buzzing along doing better than ever. At first glance, people seem to be content, happy, satisfied and well taken care of. But are they really what they project? Under the surface of the pretty facade so many put up are unhappy, dissatisfied and restless people......
Our love of and for god brings profit to our service
published . 2 min read
Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 2And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing. 3And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 These three verses are God's check and balance to make sure those who manifest the gifts mentioned in chapter 12 do not become arrogant or puffed up with pride. No matter how great a person's ministry becomes, if the love of God is not prevailing, there is no profit to the people. Gifts such as speaking in......
What is love?
published . 3 min read
Poets, songs and movies speak of love being a many splendored thing. Many of the hit songs played on the radio speak of love, as do countless romance novels, movies etc. The words “I love you” are bantered about so much that very few people understand what they really mean. Certainly the Bible is not silent when it comes to love, and in fact, within the New Testament it is one of the pillars of the Christian faith. To ever understand “charity” , as it is translated in 1 Corinthians 13, we must wipe away all of our preconceived ideas of what both charity as well as love means. People today associate charity with giving things to others going through a hard time. Not for profit agencies that distribute goods and services are known as “charities” . Money given......
The love of god in manifestation
published . 2 min read
By nature, mankind yearns to please itself. Built into the old nature every person has is the desire to have personal glory, personal riches and the power that comes with them. By nature, people do not like being told what to do and rebel against anyone or anything that demands obedience to a law; whether it is legal or ethical. Until and unless a person breaks the stranglehold of selfishness and yields to the demand of righteousness to do what is right, they will always seek to skirt laws and guidelines. In order for society to function there must be laws. Where there are no laws, anarchy reigns and people and things get hurt and destroyed. People must have a framework in which to live or they fall into believing they are free to do whatever they want, whenever they want and with no......
Thoughts, musings and misc. ramblings from my heart to yours
published . 3 min read
Every once in awhile I hear a song on the Christian radio station that immediately tears down the walls in my heart and reaches into the depths of my soul and challenges, encourages, comforts or describes what is going on within me. Yesterday while driving to one of my never ending doctor's appointments I heard a song that immediately brought me to tears and forced me to pull over into a parking lot to listen to. Here is that song: I do not know if the reason this song so touched me was it's release date (in September when I was clinging to life by a thread), that it perfectly describes the state of my heart a number of years ago or just because I am blessed that Christian performers are doing songs that describe what people go through instead of only seeking to get air time.......
There is a purpose for everything under heaven
published . 2 min read
There is so much we do not understand in this life. Since we are not God, we do not have the ability to know everything going on everywhere at every moment. Even in this age of lightning fast internet connections much of takes place in distant lands or next door to us goes unnoticed. On top of this, we have no clue what is going on in the minds and hearts of even those closest to us. God has a purpose for everything under heaven Ecclesiastes states, but that does not mean everything that goes on in our lives was orchestrated by God. The perfect example of this was Job. God did not kill his family or make him sick, God did allow the devil to do those things because God knew that in the end, Job would choose to stand for God and pray for those who tormented him. I wrestle daily with serious......
How to deal with stress
published . 3 min read
Physical ailments, financial woes and emotional experiences all produce stress. Stress is one of the most dangerous things to us humans. Stress puts incredible pressure on the body and mind. Stress can produce, aggravate or mimic everything from heart attacks and panic attacks to mental and emotional breakdowns. The stress of ongoing situations in any realm of life inevitably will produce fractures in our bodies and/or minds. As humans, we can only take so much physical pain, mental anguish, nonstop spiritual warfare etc. without cracking. This cracking would be like a “stress fracture” to a bone. When it happens, the fracture must be treated and then given time to heal. We all encounter things that when they relentlessly attack us, drive us to the breaking point. Far too many......
Why is the resurrection of christ important?
published . 3 min read
12Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead, how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? 13But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: 14And if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain. 15Yea, and we are found false witnesses of God; because we have testified of God that he raised up Christ: whom he raised not up, if so be that the dead rise not. 16For if the dead rise not, then is not Christ raised: 17And if Christ be not raised, your faith is vain; ye are yet in your sins. 18Then they also which are fallen asleep in Christ are perished. 19If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable. 1 Corinthians 15:12-19 Contrary to what many within Christianity believe,......
God is faithful to always make a way out
published . 3 min read
Each one of us should know enough about ourselves to not only know what blesses us but to know our boundaries so as to avoid making huge mistakes. I absolutely love ice cream, candy bars and donuts but these things do not love me back. They only put on pounds that lower my opinion of myself. I know myself all too well in regard to food. I know that if I let down my guard and start eating “junk food” , I will go on a spree and wake up one day after gaining 20 pounds. To avoid this from happening, I must “just say no” , which is a very hard thing to do. I am not proud of the fact that I was a heavy smoker for more than 20 years. My dad smoked, my brother smoked and most of the people in the ministry I was in smoked. Peer pressure drove me to smoking (which is no excuse)......
Only love can cover a multitude of sins
published . 2 min read
This week “Armageddon” is expected in and around St. Louis, Missouri. This dire forecast is based on the impending Grand Jury report as to whether the policeman who shot the teenager in Ferguson back in August should be tried in a court of law for murder. Since few expect the man to be indicted, cities all across America are bracing for civil unrest (i.e. riots, destruction of property etc). I only bring this story up because it represents the illogic of those whose motivation is hate and whose purpose centers around “payback” for an apparent miscarriage of justice. There are four major motivators in life; hate, greed, fear and love. Isn't it interesting that three of these are contrary to what God wants and commands His people to do? Hate and greed have motivated......
We are never alone
published . 2 min read
We are never alone in this life for our Lord Jesus Christ has promised to always be with us and never forsake us. No matter where we are, He is there. No matter how separated from others we become, He is with us. No matter how scary the night may get, He is there to comfort and hold us in His arms. While people in this world freak out at the idea of being home alone or stranded somewhere with no transportation or cell phone; we can have the confidence as Christians that our Lord is walking with us wherever we go and carrying us when we get tired or unable to walk on our own. Time after time throughout the Bible, God has promised to never leave us or forsake us. God and His company of angels stand before us, beside us and behind us. God not only “has our back” , He has our front......
The goodness and grace of god
published . 2 min read
Psalm 41:1-3 Blessed are those who have regard for the weak;the Lord delivers them in times of trouble.2The Lord protects and preserves them - they are counted among the blessed in the land - he does not give them over to the desire of their foes.3The Lord sustains them on their sickbed and restores them from their bed of illness. New International Version In May of 2006, shortly after my mother passed away, I felt led by God to embark on a journey of faith that started in New Orleans and ended outside of Mobile, Alabama two years later. For nearly a year and a half, I did everything I could to help find provisions for God's people who had seen their lives, their homes and their churches destroyed by Hurricane Katrina. God had blessed me with a season of excellent health and the funds......
Never under estimate the power of intercessory prayer
published . 3 min read
Yesterday my good wife (much “gooder” than the television show) provided me with the prayer chain from when I was unconscious back in September. To say that I was humbled would be a gross understatement. To say that I was thrilled to see so many of you were praying for me would go without saying. To say that I feel honored to be your friend and brother brings me great peace and joy. Thank you for devoting all the time and energy you did to lift me up in prayer and faith. Back in 1973-4 when I was in my first year of ministry leadership training, we used to have a “24 hours of prayer” on a fairly regular basis. People would sign up for an hour and go to the basement of the ministry's president where a warm fire and comfortable furniture made for a perfect place to......
I am a survivor
published . 3 min read
Well, I am back home after a five day foray to the hospital for yet another medical emergency. At least this time it was dealing with something I am acquainted with - my heart. Contrary to some of the awful things I encountered at hospitals in late September and early October; this five days was a pleasant change because it was at a hospital where the employees genuinely cared about the patients (for the most part) and went out of their way to help me be comfortable etc. I now have “A Fib” to add to my resume of medical conditions. I went the ER on Thursday night because I had passed out twice on Thursday and upon standing up my heart rate jumped to around 150 beats per minute or more. As it turned out the top chamber of my heart was going into a quiver and being pretty much......
Tribulation, suffering and the glory which is to come
published . 3 min read
3Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation. 2 Corinthians 1:3-7 The word for comfort (parakaleo) is used 16 times in 2......
Never fall into self pity for it leads to quiting the race
published . 2 min read
Many of us have experienced traumatic events that have rocked our body and soul. Many of us have endured days, weeks, months and even years of excruciating pain and/or devastating circumstances that turn our lives upside down. Far too many Christians fall into the traps of self pity or condemnation because of what they are going through. Feeling sorry for oneself or wallowing in condemnation serves no good purpose. Both are a waste of time and energy. Although at times I get a bit “down” because of the past 2 months, it is usually quickly replaced by the realization of the miracles that took place during those two months and how much I have improved since coming home almost two weeks ago. Sure, I have a long way to go to fully get back to the way I was. Of course we are dealing......
What god can do if we just let him be god (instead of us)
published . 4 min read
My dad took great pride in staying fit. He would get up at 5 am to do 100 sit ups and other exercises and then walk 5-8 miles. In 1975 a brand new gym opened in Wichita and of course my dad was one of the first to pay for a membership. Every day off, and many days after work, he would go there to work out and enjoy the wet and dry saunas they had also. I remember going with him to the spa one time in when my travels took me through Wichita, it was nice. In January of 1976 I got a frantic call from my mom who informed me that something really bad had happened to my dad while at the spa. Later she called back and told me that he had a brain aneurism and needed to have “open brain surgery” ASAP. Back in 1976 the only way to deal with an aneurism was actual surgery. Do to the......
Loving others no matter what state they are in
published . 2 min read
Having gone through all I did the past two months, I am deeply pained in knowing that there are millions of Christians who would (if they knew of what happened) immediately condemn me and say that God has been punishing me for some kind of sin. I am honestly baffled by how this way of thinking entered our beloved faith. I know that the disciples questioned Jesus about the man born blind as to who sinned, him or his parents. I know that deep within many people's hearts lies a suspicion that sickness, accidents etc are somehow the person's fault, even if they are not. Unless I am totally blind, I am unaware of anything I did in August to bring upon our household the living hell of September/October. I did not kill anyone, steal from anyone or break any of the 10 commandments. In......
Reality is based on god's word, not drugs etc.
published . 2 min read
The way the human body works in conjunction with the mind truly amazes me. We take for granted things such as seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling things as they really are. But, due to age, disease or injury, sometimes our five senses let us down or even deceive us. When powerful psychotic drugs are put into the mix, what our senses tell us cannot be trusted to be true. I began to come out of my drug induced coma around September 25. For the next four or five days as I was weaned off the ventilator and the powerful drugs were discontinued, I experienced some truly bazaar hallucinations. These “dreams” were as vivid and realistic as any experiences in my life. As I slowly got better, it was nearly impossible for me to separate reality from these dreams. It took a long......
Making it through the darkest night of the soul
published . 2 min read
In late September and early October I had to endure a number of nights which will forever define the phrase “dark night of the soul” for me. In a hospital, there are deep cuts in staffing from 11 pm until 6:30 am. Where a nurse may have 3 or 4 patients during the day, overnight they may have 10 or more patients to look after. This is based on the assumption that patients sleep all night. Because of my wild hallucinations and dreams, I was confused the first week I spent at the second hospital. I had no idea what I had been through (coma etc) at the first hospital and I thought I was at home in a hospital bed. As a result of this, I constantly tried to get out of bed to go to the refrigerator for a soft drink. More than once I fell out of bed onto the thick mat beside the bed.......
The wildest two months of my life
published . 2 min read
All I knew on September 1 was that I felt horrible and just wanted to sleep. I was running a temperature of 103 degrees but I thought I was just in the midst of a summer cold. Never in my wildest imaginations did I think that the next memories I would have would be around September 29th. It is incredibly difficult for me to come to grips with the fact that for the most part, September did not happen. have no memories of the 3+ weeks I was in a drug induced coma and strapped to a ventilator. I have plenty of wild hallucinations but no actual memories. Perhaps that is a good thing since I almost died at least 3 different times What started as a really bad case of pneumonia turned into sepsis which led to septic shock. In septic shock the major organs in the body start failing as they......
The word of god is the truth
published . 3 min read
This was the last blog I wrote before I got sick last summer/fall. I thought it would be good to see what was on my heart then and what would have been my final blog if God had not delivered me from the jaws of death four times in September and October. God bless you and thank you for all your prayers! Please allow me to just say what I have to say and if you don't agree with it, please stop reading. But, if you, like so many of us, are baffled or enraged by situations developing around us; by all means please read this blog and share your thoughts afterward. I have been a student of the Bible for nearly 45 years. I have read it many times, been taught it by many Godly teachers and have taught it myself orally or in print since I was a teenager. From the time I first understood the......
Songs and hymns in the bible
published . 2 min read
Did you know that there are four hymns in chapters 1 and 2 of Luke? The four hymns, or songs, are: Mary - Luke 1:46-55 Zechariah - Luke 1:68-79 The Heavenly Host - Luke 2:14 Simeon - Luke 2:29-32 These four hymns are all related to the birth of Jesus Christ. It is significant that they are found only in Luke's Gospel account. One has to wonder if these songs were simply spontaneous expressions of joy and thanksgiving or hymns preserved by God to be sung by anyone and everyone as they praise God for His Son, Jesus Christ. There are many songs in the Bible. One of the most beautiful songs in found in 1 Samuel 2:1-10. The record of Hannah's prayer/song is both stirring as well as heartwarming. Hannah went from being barren and ridiculed to being blessed beyond measure as the Lord......
I stand in awe...
published . 2 min read
I stand in awe of many things in this life; some good and some bad. Every night when there is a new moon and no clouds; I stand in awe of the carpet of stars spread out across the sky. Knowing that the light I see took millions of years to get here brings me to my knees in humble adoration of God's power and majesty. How could anyone not believe in Eloheim just by looking at the night sky? The arrogance of men who honestly believe they have no need for God causes me to stand in awe of how foolish the creation is, to think it is greater than the creator. I have never understood how a person can honestly (and adamantly) believe there is no God. I can understand having no relationship with God or even being mad at God for perceived injustices; but to boldly proclaim God does not exist......
Celebrating 45 years of spiritual life, hope and love
published . 7 min read
On this date, 45 years ago, my entire life changed because Almighty God graciously and lovingly sat me down beside a creek and had a little chat with me. What God did for me in 1969 was nothing short of a miracle. As much as I would love to tell others that they could have the same phenomenal experience I did; it just is not true. There are no guarantees of experience in the Bible, only assurances that God will carry out what He has said He will do for anyone who trusts Him. I am no better than anyone else because of what God did for me 45 years ago, anymore than Paul was better than the other apostles because he had an “experience” on the road to Damascus. In Paul's case, the Lord had no other way to change him due to his stubbornness than to personally intervene. In my......
God's wrath; past, present and future
published . 3 min read
5And Jehovah saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6And it repented Jehovah that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7And Jehovah said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the ground; both man, and beast, and creeping things, and birds of the heavens; for it repenteth me that I have made them. 8But Noah found favor in the eyes of Jehovah. Genesis 6:5-8 American Standard Version Why was God grieved in His heart: Because EVERY imagination of the thoughts of men's hearts was only evil continually. Men are fools and what a fool believes about God is recorded in Psalms 14:1-3: The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt,......
Who can you trust?
published . 2 min read
What is trust? Trust can mean anything from a financial holding apparatus to responsibility to hope for the future. But, in its simplest form, trust is the confidence and reliance on the good qualities, fairness, truth, honor or ability of someone or something. This confidence leads to the willingness to place something valuable to us into somebody else's care. This relinquishing process is fragile and based upon the belief the one being trusted in indeed, trustworthy. Faithfulness, integrity, honor and truthfulness are all things that make someone trustworthy. When looking for a place to deposit your hard earned money, would you not try to find a place with a good name and reputation? This same thing holds true for anyone who will be entrusted with your body, mind, money, reputation,......
My two day journey into the dark night of the soul
published . 3 min read
Over the course of the past two days, the enemy has relentlessly attacked me over and over again; first emotionally, then physically and finally spiritually. I feel as a rag doll must feel, especially after being used as a pull toy by a pack of wild dogs. On Sunday I wrote my 2000th blog here at Christian Blog. To me it was sort of a big deal in that it represented a huge step in faithfulness to God's calling and perseverance in the face of physical and other problems I had over the years. For some reason I got it in my head that it was a really big deal to hit 2000 blogs, but obviously for most people it was not anything that special. All right, I admit it, I allowed myself to get hurt by the lack of some people commenting on that blog at the expense of rejoicing in some truly......
Pray for the peacemakers everywhere
published . 2 min read
As I see images from the ongoing and out of control rioting in Ferguson, Missouri; I am struck by the pure and unbridled hatred being manifested by people toward the police. These people are willing to sacrifice their very lives to prove their point that all cops are bad and deserve to die. I am left with the overwhelming question in my mind; where does all this hate come from? Next to the restaurant where my wife works is a new hotel just built last year. Yesterday morning and then again this morning we noticed about 20-25 Missouri State Police cars parked in the lot. We found out that this is where the beleaguered men and women on the front lines of the street warfare in Ferguson come to catch a few hours of sleep in between shifts. This morning I saw one of those men as he got out of......
My 2000th blog
published . 5 min read
What does a man say after writing 2000 blogs ranging in length from a few hundred words to a few thousand? What is left to say that has not already been said a hundred times? What words could possibly be written that could mean anything special to anyone who happens to read them? All these questions would be good and legitimate if they involved worldly topics and secular discussions, but of course they do not because the first name of this site is “Christian” . I have prayed about this blog for weeks and tried desperately to stall it for another week to coincide with the single most important date in my life which is August 24, which is when God totally touched and changed my life in 1969. But, unless I either go back and delete some blogs or write none for another week, I guess......
We must know our strengths and weaknesses-the enemy does
published . 3 min read
Between May and November of 2006, I lived a dream I had prayed about for years. I traveled all over the United States trying first to solicit resources for Hurricane Katrina victims and then on a bigger scale, to get charities to work together so as to pool resources instead of hoarding what they had or trying to steal from others. In those six months eight years ago, I drove nearly 50,000 miles, flew another 8,000 miles, spent 50 nights in various motel rooms and another 50 nights in my small conversion van/camper I had purchased in July of 2006. As I crisscrossed this country, I felt at the time I was doing the Lord's work and firmly within His will. Looking back, I see that initially I was right on both counts, but as time went by and I got tired and distracted, I drifted further......
Choosing our battles wisely
published . 3 min read
Over the course of my life, there are many things which I regret and even more things that cause me deep inner pain. But, I can honestly say that in my 61+ years, I have never consciously or deliberately tried to hurt or harm anyone. In fact, I have never punched, slapped or hit anyone. I have never consciously derided or demeaned someone for the purpose of making them feel inferior or like the worst person on earth. It is not in my DNA to be an aggressor or in any way take pleasure from someone else's pain or suffering. Of all the “sports” out there, the one I understand the least is boxing and specifically the newer versions which includes all forms of fighting. Although I enjoyed the Rocky movies, I knew they were just movies. I stand in utter amazement that so many......
There is absolutely no justification for a riot
published . 3 min read
A few blocks from where I once worked selling cars in Ferguson, Missouri, a young man was shot and killed by a policeman which in turn has triggered ongoing and increasingly violent riots in the whole St. Louis area. Demonstrations are perfectly legal and entirely understandable but rioting, stealing, looting and destroying property is NOT. It is interesting that the things going on in my area are the very things brought up and prohibited in the New Testament. Obviously the idea of people using a situation to justify rioting is not a modern phenomenon for it has been a part of cultures for thousands of years. We need look no further than the mob action relating to the apprehension, “trial” and sentencing of Jesus to see that when leaders (especially religious leaders) stir up......
What does it mean to be "more than a conqueror"?
published . 3 min read
As I raced into town yesterday to get to the bank before it closed, I remembered just how invigorating it is to not only live week by week or day by day, but at times-hour by hour. To say money is tight right now would be the understatement of the century. But, God knows this and I am persuaded that no matter what may happen, God still loves me and I love Him. 31What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us? 32He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things? 33Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect? It is God that justifieth. 34Who is he that condemneth? It is Christ that died, yea rather, that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh......
"losers" according to the world but not to god
published . 2 min read
My whole life I have rooted and fought for underdogs. While many flock to those who are most popular, have the biggest following and usually have the biggest bank account; I have migrated toward those who have been rejected by the “have's” of society and relegated to the position of “have not's” (many times through no fault of their own). The unwritten “caste” system of society is insidious as well as grossly unfair. Officially, an underdog is somebody who is expected to lose a fight or contest, but an underdog is also defined as anybody who is unsuccessful. Underdogs are considered losers by a society obsessed with success and with no time for anyone unwilling or unable to rise to the top in their particular field. Without question, the whole concept......
My heart is heavy
published . 3 min read
My heart is heavy as I write this blog. Many things are contributing to this heaviness, but the greatest of them is the tightening of the financial noose around the necks of God's faithful. I see two things happening: God's people are being afflicted, persecuted and beaten down by financial pressure God's people are distracted, being selfish or greedy and have quit being generous Without question, the problem that has developed from the above two things is an “every man for himself” mentality which goes against everything God lays out in His Word. When personal needs, personal goals and personal desires usurp the need of others; the result will be a gross imbalance within the Body of Christ and lack of equality. 16Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he laid......
Awake, arise, walk and redeem
published . 2 min read
I stand in utter shock at the way most Christians have chosen to live their lives. The passion to give of themselves to others died out long ago and has been replaced with the comfortable lie the world passes off as truth. Instead of living to bless and help others, the vast majority of Christians live for themselves and their families, taking the attitude of “every man for himself” instead of reaching out to help those struggling to survive. Unless we change our priorities to understand how urgent the times are right now, we will be left in the dust once the excitement of what is coming starts in earnest. What is coming, as laid out in God's Word, is NOT something to be downplayed, dismissed or scoffed at. The warnings God has given and continues to give are real and must......
Each one of us has a function as a member of the body of christ
published . 2 min read
Yesterday we invited eight people over for brunch. Most of these people were Beth's customers at the restaurant she has worked at for almost 25 years. In a way, it was almost like a “customer appreciation day” . Although the event took a massive amount of work to prepare for and make happen and the food costs were very high; it was well worth to time and expense to honestly bless people, especially some who have faced incredible tragedy and pain in their lives. 4For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office: 5So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another. 6Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith; 7Or......
How much of the world's business does god expect us to know?
published . 2 min read
I had been too busy recently to really look at the headlines of what is going on in this world until this morning. Now I wish I had just stayed ignorant. I can honestly say that while perusing the Drudge Report, I felt physically nauseated, full of unbridled anger and deeply concerned all at the same time. Needless to say, there are many BIG TIME things going on right now in the United States, Israel, Africa, Ukraine and many other places. How is a Christian supposed to deal with the news of what is happening in the world? Are they to totally ignore worldly things under the guise of being “spiritual” ? Are they to be politically and even militarily active? Are they to sacrifice their jobs, reputation, family and even their own life to be an activist for one cause or another?......
The mighty river of comprehending god's word
published . 2 min read
Despite the immensity of what “walking with God” entails, the simplicity is overwhelming. Far too many Christians have made everything that is associated with a Godly life way too complicated and thus nearly impossible to figure out or do. Despite the immensity of all things Godly, I stand in awe at how simple it is to walk hand in hand with the Creator of the universe, blessed beyond measure and able to be a blessing to God and His people. Comprehension refers to the streams of understanding coming together and forming one huge river. It takes far more than simply knowing God's Word to understand His will and comprehend the immensity and simplicity of walking with God. Time and diligence along with study and application of the principles God sets forth in His Word yield......
How does a child learn how to be "good"?
published . 2 min read
Why is it so difficult to say please, thank you, excuse me and other things that are in the category of manners? With each passing year, there are fewer and fewer people willing to take the time and put forth the effort to be courteous, friendly or helpful. People are so caught up in their own little world that they have no time or are oblivious to what is going on around them. Engrained in me are things such as opening the door for someone (male or female, young or old etc), respecting the feelings of someone else so as to not trample them because I am in a hurry or uninterested in what they are saying and other traits associated with being respectful of another person. Many days I must carry a tub with packages to the post office to mail. The number of people willing to open and hold......
The misery of being introverted and the joy of being freed from it
published . 3 min read
Make no mistake about it; every day of our lives we are scrutinized, judged and either condemned or given a nod of approval by countless people who base their opinion of us on nothing more than our appearance, our clothing, our hairstyle, our smile, our tennis shoes, the symmetry of our face etc. In other words, each day we are put under the microscope of people who act as the judge and jury regarding our fitness to share space in this life with others. Many people cannot live with the idea that they would be considered inferior or unfit to breathe, let alone do anything important in life by others. They determine to do whatever it takes to present the perfect outward appearance so as to be popular, accepted and invited to be with the cool people doing cool things. This pressure to......
The principle of equality
published . 2 min read
But by an equality, that now at this time your abundance may be a supply for their want, that their abundance also may be a supply for your want: that there may be equality: 2 Corinthians 8:14 The Greek word for “equality” in this verse is isotetos which means having an equal state or proportion. In geometry, an isosceles triangle is a triangle that has two sides of equal length. The equality spoken of here in 2 Corinthians 8 communicates the idea of equal sides and angles on a triangle. Interestingly, a triangle that has 3 equal sides (Equilateral Triangle) is not used by Paul to communicate the principle of equality. The word isotetos is only used one other place in the New Testament and that is Colossians 4:1 where it says: Masters, give unto your servants that which is just......
Keeping the floodgates open
published . 2 min read
When someone says that they “cannot afford to give” , what they are really saying is that they do not want to give. When people claim they have nothing to share, they are really saying they are too lazy to dig through the multitude of things they own to find things they could part with. The reality of the situation is that for whatever reason, when people claim poverty as the reason they cannot give, they are usually manifesting spiritual apathy which has overtaken them and made them its slave. In the early chapters of Acts, the believers (many of whom were very poor) wanted to give. Since they did not have tons of money stashed in cookie jars or under their mattresses, they did the only thing they could do which was to sell what they had so they could share with each other. The......
What to do about the bombs exploding all over the world
published . 2 min read
It is 3:00 am and you are awakened from your sleep by the blare of a loudspeaker telling you that you have 24 hours to convert to Islam and pay a tax or be killed. Does this scenario sound farfetched or made up? It is not. This is exactly what is happening in areas of northern Iraq recently captured by the ISIS army and annexed by them into their new country. Initially these people were told all would be fine and they would not be harmed or hurt. Then, suddenly and without warning, instead of peace and safety there was the ominous warning from the loudspeaker. So are the empty and deceitful promises of men who only know how to lie. Almost without exception, the Christian community in city after city has been forced to immediately evacuate, leaving their possessions and businesses behind.......
The seasons of our lives
published . 2 min read
Solomon speaks of the seasons of life in Ecclesiastes 3:1-8: To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven: 2A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted; 3A time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 4A time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 5A time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 6A time to get, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 7A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 8A time to love, and a time to hate; a time of war, and a time of peace. There is indeed a season for everything in......
The utter depravity of man vs. the hope and love in christ jesus
published . 3 min read
Wouldn't it be nice to wake up one day to a world where everyone loved each other, that had no poverty, pain or pride, a world with no anger, bitterness or spite that had no fear, anxiety or panic driven hysteria? This utopian world has captured the fancy of poets and philosophers for centuries. It represents the “nirvana” of man's existence and the ultimate aim of man being his own savior and god. Phrases such as “peace on earth” and “can't we all just get along” sound good but are utterly impossible in this world. There are nearly seven billion human beings on this planet and a huge percentage of them have no desire whatsoever to see peace or harmony with anyone, let alone everyone. Politics, religion and personal ambition act as atomic bombs......
What do we do with all the orphans?
published . 2 min read
Back in 2006 and 2007 I made numerous trips to a small Christian mission located on the United States side of the Rio Grande River in far southern Texas. Twice I rented a truck to take food, clothing and anything else I could find down to their warehouse to be distributed to pastors from Mexico who would come weekly to get spiritually helped and pick up supplies for the children they took care of. No one knew how many orphans there were in the area, but the number was staggering. I was deeply moved by the commitment of both the Christian missionaries on the Texas side of the river as well as the Christian pastors on the Mexican side as they together sought to fulfill the instructions found throughout the Bible regarding care for orphans, widows and “aliens” (people without a......
The quiet and peaceful life god desires for us
published . 3 min read
We saw yesterday that God's will is for His people to PRAY for all men, especially for those who sit in positions of authority and who make the decisions that directly affect our lives, our livelihood and our peace of mind. There is nothing that calms us down, corrals our wandering thoughts, dispels the swarm of doubts and brings us God's answers of peace more than prayer in general and prayer for those whose decisions directly affect us. I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour; 1 Timothy 2:1-3 Our prayers, especially......
Paul's intriguing exhortation for prayers in 1 timothy 2:1,2
published . 3 min read
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; 2For kings, and for all that are in authority; that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty. 3For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior; 1 Timothy 2:1-3 Paul exhorted Timothy to instruct the believers that first of all, no matter what they heard was happening to him and regardless of how dark the world was getting due to the Roman Empire, that four distinct elements of prayer are advocated. These four things are: Supplications Prayers Intercessions Giving of thanks These prayers are to be for three distinct groups of people: All men Kings All that are in authority Paul never advocated any type of political......
Learning to live with and still serve god with our limitations
published . 3 min read
Back in May, my riding lawn mower (which I must have due to living on 13 acres, of which about 3 or 4 must be mowed) developed some major issues and ended up in the shop for over a month. Since no one told the grass to quit growing, out of desperation I took to using my little push mower to at least keep the grass mowed near the house. The weather was cool at the time and I felt comfortable with the idea. I noticed the first time I mowed the grass that after about an hour, I started getting intense pain in the upper middle part of my back. Of course I quit mowing the grass and went inside. Each time I mowed, the same thing would happen at about the same time. My regular doctor said it was muscle spasms but I was a little leery of that diagnosis, so I asked my cardiologist about it......
Our trust must be in the lord and no one else
published . 3 min read
We live in perilous times. The current situation in the Middle East is terribly disconcerting. Not only are there rockets being fired back and forth between Gaza and Israel, further north there is the incredible rise of a group hell bent on establishing a new nation carved out from existing nations that would be THE one and only true nation of Islam. What the outcome of these two events will be, no one knows. But, it does underscore the atmosphere of violence and how volatile that part of the world is. Six years ago I remember events very similar to those happening now being in the daily news. Six years ago I was fully persuaded that the Lord was going to return any minute. As we all know, He did not return then and still has not come back. Many frustrated Christians ask God “what......
The mercy of god is not just for the unsaved
published . 3 min read
For those of you who never lose their way, fall short of walking perfectly and never sin; this blog is NOT for you and I urge you to move on to another one. But, if you have ever wondered off the narrow way, gotten lost in the fog of indecision or dealt with the pain and anguish of making a horrible decision; this blog is for you and I urge you to take a few moments and read it. When Ephesians 2 says that God is rich in mercy and has great love, these attributes are not limited only to a person getting saved. God is rich in His mercy for all of us from the time we are saved until the day we die or the Lord returns. God's great love is never ending and always holds us in His arms. Lest we forget, we are all still imperfect humans dwelling in a body of flesh and blood. As much as we......
The love of god expressed in his grace, mercy and kindness
published . 2 min read
Grace, mercy, kindness and love are all intertwined and interrelated. These four qualities of God's nature allow us to receive forgiveness, salvation and righteousness in God's sight. Together with peace, these things represent the very heart of God and define the phrase “God is love” . God's love is manifested in and through His grace, mercy, kindness, peace etc. Taking it a step further, things such as patience, longsuffering, gentleness etc define God's grace, mercy, kindness, peace and love in manifestation. It is very important to understand that the grace, mercy, kindness, peace and love of God form a package that when put together allow God to totally forgive us, justify us (acquit us from our sins) and declare us righteous in His sight. It took more than......
God's great love and kindess is in christ jesus
published . 2 min read
How did Jesus Christ prove His love toward us? He gave His life on our behalf as a payment for sin. How did God prove His love toward us? The proof of His love (as recorded in John 3:16) was found in His willingness to give His only begotten Son so that we might live. These things have already been done and are accomplished realities. There is no question that God loved us enough to give His Son. There is no question that Jesus loved us enough to give His sinless life as a sacrifice for sin. The only questions that remains are ones of understanding how God continues to display His love toward us and how He will manifest that love in the ages to come. The answers to these questions are provided in Ephesians 2:4-7. Within these few short verses is found the treasure chest of spiritual......
The magnificent greatness of ephesians 2:4-7
published . 2 min read
4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7That in the ages to come he might show the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. Ephesians 2:4-7 Our God's wealth is not measured in how much gold He owns or how many cattle He has but rather in His mercy and love. God is indeed RICH in mercy and His love is GREAT toward us. All discussions regarding the fiery judgment of God and the vengeance He will soon take upon this world must be tempered with the reality that our God is RICH in mercy and His love is truly GREAT. How rich is......
The way of the swallows
published . 2 min read
About a month ago, two swallows decided to build a nest on top of the hummingbird feeder on the back porch. I tried to dissuade them but they won, meaning I had to get another feeder for the hummingbirds I so love to watch. Since this swallow nest was right outside our sliding glass doors, I have been able to watch the progression of things since the nest was started. As has happened many times over the years, I am amazed at what these birds do. For ten years we lived in an old house far out in the country which had a huge porch that at one time was screened and even had doors. The swallows loved to come make their nests high on that porch. I remember the first pair we named Torval and Dean (ice skaters from years ago) and over the years more and more swallows built their nests on that......
What is boldness?
published . 2 min read
In my younger (and wilder) days, I took pride in being a revolutionary, especially when it came to spiritual matters. It mattered little to me what people in this world thought of me because I was 100% devoted to proclaiming the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Although this sounds like a good thing, I tended to be abrasive at times and that abrasiveness turned off far more people than it ever helped. Since I did not care what others thought, I failed to see I needed to change in order to be more of a blessing to others. As I grew older (and wiser), I discovered that sometimes it is far better to live what you believe rather than blow a trumpet to announce what one is supposed to believe and how one is supposed to live. In honestly reflecting upon my life, I saw that I was guilty of the very thing......
The conclusion of our discussion concerning covetousness
published . 3 min read
We all are allowed to make choices in life, for that is the freedom of will God gave to every human being. God is not a dictator. He lays out what He wants and desires and leaves it up to us to choose to do it. For those who love God, knowing and doing God's will becomes the passion of their lives and in turn, the choices they make in this life are in alignment with God's will. For those who allow their love for God to run cold and their passion to please Him to run dry, the choices they make in this life are for themselves only and are not in alignment with God's will. Money, material possessions, “things” and “stuff” are not evil in and of themselves. They are inanimate objects that are neither good nor bad. They are not the problem. The problem lies in......
What could possibly be worth more than gold?
published . 2 min read
We have seen in our study of 1 Timothy 6 that the will to become rich and the love of money lead to terrible, harmful and even lethal consequences. The passion to accumulate gold, silver, money and things drives people to work ridiculous hours, fall for insidious schemes and scams, trample gullible people underfoot, twist and turn the scriptures to suit them and ultimately to reject God and His instruction within His Word. There is no good that comes from making the conscious decision to serve the god of materialism (mammon). Please join me in looking at a few very simple verses in the Old Testament that keep the whole topic of material wealth and worldly riches in the right perspective. For ease of reading, I have chosen to use the American Standard Version as the text for these verses.......
The root of all kinds of evil
published . 3 min read
For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:10 To say that the love of money is the root OF ALL EVIL would be wrong, for it is not. As most people know, the much better translation should be that money is the root of “all kinds of evil” . Without question, MUCH of the evil in the world today is indeed rooted in the love of money that runs rampant in almost every society and culture in the world, but it is not the root of ALL evil. Evil must stem from something. It must be rooted in something for it to grow. Ultimately, that which evil must be rooted in to spring forth, grow and become the monster that makes it the ultimate weapon of the devil is LUST......
The seduction of the lie
published . 3 min read
As we approach the end of this study on the dangers and perils found in making a conscious decision to pursue wealth at the expense of one's spiritual relationship with God; I thought it good to look at a few verses that explain what and why this is so dangerous and lethal. Perhaps there is no place which shows the depravity of man when he departs from God better than Romans chapter one. 18For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hinder the truth in unrighteousness; 19because that which is known of God is manifest in them; for God manifested it unto them. 20For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and......
Drowing in destruction and perdition
published . 2 min read
What could be so wrong with desiring to be wealthy? Wouldn't all that money allow you to better take care of your family and help others in need? Go ahead and think this way, but before you commit your life to fulfilling your dream, you might want to take a quick peek at what awaits you, especially if you are a Christian and specifically if you are a Christian leader. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1 Timothy 6:9 Let's look at what is in store for anyone who “sells out” to being rich. First up is falling into temptation and a snare (trap), and falling into many foolish and hurtful (toxic and potentially lethal) lusts which drown men in destruction and......
What are foolish and hurtful lusts?
published . 3 min read
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1 Timothy 6:9 One of the keys to understanding this verse lays in the phrase “many foolish and hurtful lusts” . Foolish is simply referring to someone who does not use their mind and thus cannot comprehend. A foolish lust is one fallen into because it was not rationally thought through and/or the risks involved were not taken into account or heeded. “Hurtful” means “hurtful or noxious (harmful, poisonous, toxic, lethal, venomous etc)” . On one hand we have lusts that are foolish and on the other hand we have lusts that are genuinely harmful, toxic and lethal. Obviously, to ever understand this verse, we must......
The insidious nature of the love of money
published . 3 min read
I used to somewhat appreciate having a cup of coffee and scanning the daily headlines to see what is up in the world. I simply cannot do this anymore without either getting angry or borderline depressed. There are just far too many things happening in all corners of this planet that are obnoxious, repugnant, stupid, evil, self-serving, ugly, worthless and downright scary for me to waste my time trying to understand them. This world, as it always has been, is not a pleasant place because it is controlled by people, corporations and agendas which have one goal in mind; to obtain the wealth and the power that goes with it. It has been said that if you want to find the source of a problem, follow the money. Studies have been done that reveal the unbelievable things people are willing to do......
Are you willing to do with less in order to give more?
published . 2 min read
I once knew a man who had made a fortune in the furniture business but lived in a small home with absolutely nothing in it to indicate he had made millions of dollars. He drove a “normal” car, wore “normal” clothes and lived a very “normal” life, except for one thing; he was the Secretary/Treasurer of the ministry I served in for 15 years. This man could have demanded, and received, a large salary for his work with the ministry, but instead insisted that his salary be $1 per year. This man, who could have lived a life of luxury, insisted upon living more or less like the people he served instead of trying to prove he was better than they were or deserved more than them because of his position. This man was a shrewd businessman, which is why he had made......
The road that leads to falling, drowning, error and torment
published . 4 min read
Some may question what could possibly be so important in 1 Timothy 6:9 and 10 that it is worthy of being written about over and over again. Some may wonder why, with all the beautiful and “nice” things in the Bible, I have chosen to zero in on a few verses that are not pretty and actually make most if us a little uncomfortable. Perhaps that is why my Lord has required that I spend so much time on the subject of material wealth and the pursuit of the gods of greed and money. I have seen countless people (including myself) lose their way and pay dearly for foolishly chasing after materialism instead of a spiritual relationship with God. I wrote last week about my personal foray into what I thought would be a lush land of prosperity, only to end up in a desert of debt and despair.......
Is jesus our lord or is mammon?
published . 3 min read
In all aspects of life, there is a very fine line between truth and error. The vast majority of believers fail miserably in establishing let alone walking that fine line. They flounder like a fish out of water trying to figure out what it is they are supposed to do and what is not allowed. In few matters is there more confusion among God's people than in those dealing with finances. Different denominations and ministries teach everything from it being God's will that every believer be filthy rich (so they can make the church rich) to money being evil and shunned in this life. Money is nothing more than a medium of exchange. You have what I want but for me to give it to you, I must receive something in return. There are only three basic ways this can be done; exchanging labor for......
Are you content?
published . 2 min read
Verse 9 of 1 Timothy 6 begins with the word “but” . But always sets in contrast what is being said with what was said before. What came before verse 9? And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 1 Timothy 6:8 How many people in the western world are grateful and content to just have food and clothing? In the western world, anyone who only has these two things is considered a vagabond, homeless, a bum or just plain crazy. We have been programmed into believing that contentment is dependent upon how many things we have, what kind of house we live in, the car we drive and innumerable other things that demand money to get. Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake......
The web of deceit spun by the gods of materialsm and greed
published . 2 min read
One of the reasons I believe the Lord has led me to spend so much time in 1 Timothy 6 is the stark reality regarding greed and materialism it presents. Because of this, many of the things we are studying hit home with us and cause us to sincerely take a look at ourselves and see if we have fallen prey to the insidious ploys of the gods of materialism, greed and money. In the opening of one of our two garage doors (where our small car lives), a spider has spun a gigantic web that unfortunately we have run into a few times. Caught in this web are small and large flying insects. The other day we were dismayed to see a small but beautiful blue dragonfly hopeless caught in the web it didn't see in time to avoid. We felt sorry for him, but there was nothing we could do to help him. When we......
My personal experience with 1 timothy 6:9, 10
published . 3 min read
In June of 1985, directly tied into the demise of the ministry I had served in for many years and being thrust into the position of needing to make a living, I ended up experiencing firsthand what we are seeing in 1 Timothy 6:9. In a matter of a few months, I managed to dig a pit and fall into it, being tempted by the allure of making a bunch of money if I would just compromise my principles and trust a man who was neither born again or even a decent human being. By the time I awoke to what I had allowed to happen to me, it was too late to save me from being body slammed by the enemy while watching my prayers to God bounce off a wall of silence. I know exactly what 1 Timothy 6:9 is talking about for I experienced it between June 1985 and April of 1986. Because of what took place nearly 30......
At the end of the rainbow is a trap, not a pot of gold
published . 2 min read
But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 1 Timothy 6:9 Those who deliberately make up their minds to become rich, “fall into” some very dangerous and harmful things that constitute the “pit of greed” . This pit of greed ends up drowning men in destruction and perdition. The allure of riches is strong and incredibly inviting. It acts as a siren coaxing its victim to come closer and enjoy its spoils. The temptation to forsake all that is right and Godly to pursue a means to buy happiness and power is overwhelming. The first pit of greed is the temptation to forsake God's simple life and actively pursue this world's wealth. The second pit of greed is the......
How much should a servant of god's people be paid?
published . 3 min read
I worked “full time” for the ministry I served in for about 10 years. What this meant was that I was on call 24 hours per day, 7 days per week to handle emergencies that came up with God's people. What this meant was driving about 40,000 miles each year to visit God's people, attend meetings etc. What this meant was being at some type of ministry function just about every evening and almost every weekend. What this meant was working 80-90 hours per week, every week for ten years. What did I receive for all this work? The ministry paid the rent and utilities for the house in which I lived. The ministry gave me a car to drive and paid for all of its gas and upkeep. The ministry paid my wife and I a salary of approximately $500 per month. That was it. That was the extent of......
What could be wrong with wanting to be wealthy?
published . 2 min read
We saw in 1 Timothy 6:6-8 the simplicity of life reflected in the willingness to be content in having food and clothing provided for us by God. But what happens when people are NOT content with just “getting by” or strictly having their basic needs met? What happens when a person deliberately does whatever it takes to obtain all the wealth and riches this world has to offer? 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. 10For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. 1 Timothy 6:9, 10 These verses are dealing with someone who “wills” to be rich according......
What are the needs god has promised to supply?
published . 4 min read
We saw yesterday that contentment basically means sufficiency which is having one's needs met. The question that appears to baffle many is what constitutes “need” . A multiplicity of factors comes together when establishing what “need” is for each person. Genetics, upbringing, environment, location, culture etc all play a part in determining what a person genuinely feels is a need and therefore what sufficiency means to them. And my God shall supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 American Standard Version A person born into a wealthy family that quickly grows accustomed to living in the lap of luxury would argue that he or she “needs” certain things to survive. However moving such an argument may......
Godliness with contentment is truly great gain
published . 3 min read
We have seen many ugly things recently while studying 1 Timothy 6. I wish at times the Bible was a pretty garden full of nothing but roses but that is not the way it is. God tells things the way they are and the way things were when 1 Timothy 6 was written were not pleasant, just as they are not pleasant now. Rampant materialism, unbridled greed and utter apostasy were prevalent in the later First Century Church just as they were in their culture due to the influence of the Roman Empire. We too live in a culture which has spread its poison to Christianity. Just as Israel and Judah were seduced into believing Egypt with its chariots and armies would defend them from their enemies, so people today have been deceived into believing that their money, retirement accounts, stocks and bonds and......
Driving the moneychangers out of god's temple today
published . 3 min read
We saw in a previous blog in 1 Timothy 6:4, 5 the downward progression of what happens to a person when they reject the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and stray from the doctrine which is founded upon and based on godliness as opposed to hypocritical pseudo religious piety. The final thing mentioned in verse 5 was the phrase “supposing that gain is godliness” . Here is a sampling of the way this is translated in some other versions: supposing that godliness is a way of gain - American Standard Version who imagine that godliness or righteousness is a source of profit [a moneymaking business, a means of livelihood] - Amplified Bible imagining that godliness is a means of gain - English Standard Version who imagine that godliness is a way to material gain - Holman......
Does god really want us all to be wealthy?
published . 2 min read
Of all the horrific and devilish doctrines that have crept into modern Christianity, the idea that God wants His people to be wealthy so that they can enjoy the good life has to be near the top of the list. The apostle Paul did not forbid believers from being rich, but he did give very specific instructions in 1 Timothy 6:17-19 regarding the responsibilities of anyone who is considered “wealthy” : 17Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not highminded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but in the living God, who giveth us richly all things to enjoy; 18That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; 19Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.......
Praying for our friend and sister poodle lady (pooh)
published . 3 min read
Later today I will be making Blest a new prayer closet (in a literal closet) so she can pray for the 6-8 hours Pooh will be in surgery tomorrow. Many of you do not know Pooh (poodle lady, Sandy), but she has been a faithful supporter of Christian Blog for many years. She has been dealing with cancer for the past couple of years and last September had major surgery on her throat. I do not have the discipline to pray for as long as Blest does. She did this exact same thing last year when Pooh had her other surgery. How many people do you know who would take a day off from work to lie on the floor for as many hours as needed, doing nothing but praying for someone who is under heavy anesthesia and thus not able to exercise faith on their own? I respect and admire many things about Blest, but......
The spiritual death spiral of 1 timothy 6:4 and 5
published . 3 min read
When a person turns his or her back on and walks away from the wholesome words of our Lord Jesus Christ and the sound doctrine built on godliness instead of the hypocrisy of pseudo-piety, such a person ventures into a land wrought with spiritual landmines and an ever downward spiral of degenerative behavior. 1 Timothy 6:4, 5 tell us what happens to a believer (and especially a leader in the church) when they depart from the sound doctrine built upon the wholesome words of Jesus Christ: 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. There are three distinct things that......
The wholesome words of our lord jesus christ
published . 3 min read
2... These things teach and exhort. 3If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. 6But godliness with contentment is great gain. 7For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. 8And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. 9But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and......
Background to paul's pastoral epistles
published . 3 min read
We know that the Book of Acts concludes with the Apostle Paul under house arrest in Rome. This arrest was the end result of his capture in Jerusalem in Acts 21. Paul was bounced around from one magistrate to another for well over two years. Finally Paul exercised his right as a Roman citizen to plead his case before Caesar and was granted passage to Rome where the ship he was on was caught in a storm and sank but with no loss of life. In the two years Paul was under house arrest he wrote the epistles of Philippians, Colossians, Philemon and Ephesians. It is very significant to note that three of the greatest epistles Paul ever wrote were written under house arrest for charges that were false and had no merit. Instead of wallowing in self pity, Paul took advantage of this “down......
Consumed by greed and deceit
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13No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. 14And the Pharisees also, who were covetous, heard all these things: and they derided him. Luke 16:13, 14 We saw earlier in this study that mammon refers to wealth or riches. Mammon is indeed the false god which sets in direct opposition to the one true God. Jesus did not say it was wrong to earn some money or even be wealthy, but He simply made the statement that it is impossible to SERVE God and riches at the same time. A person must decide which he wants to be a servant to and then live with the consequences. What Jesus said really irked the Pharisees who were listening because they were covetous. In other......
Which god will you serve?
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Wherever these final few blogs on the topic of covetousness take us, I am absolutely sure they will not be well received and probably ignored. Why do I say this? Because people, including God's people, do not like hearing the truth about “the lie” we have all been fed regarding finances, materialism and the “good life” . We have all worked long and hard to come up with lists full of our justifications and rationalizations that allow us to feel we are the exception to the rule. It is truly unbelievable how over the course of a few hundred years, the entire fabric of how people, and especially Christians, look at the things of this world. What was once anathema is now perfectly normal and what was once repulsive is now tolerated and even embraced. God does not demand......
No other gods before yahweh
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There is an extreme danger of falling into some very bad things whenever we focus our thinking too long on anything unrelated or contrary to God. Idolatry is a heavy duty topic within the Word of God and one that cannot be ignored, belittled, made light of or rationalized away. Ultimately, there is one thing that God cannot tolerate and that is something or someone else usurping His position as GOD in a person's heart and life. In ancient times, idolatry was much easier to spot for it involved making physical idols out of wood, stone or metal. These physical idols were then put in a prominent place in a person's home where they would be seen, worshipped and given the honor and respect a god should receive. Throughout the Old Testament, there are records of people and nations......
Learning to accept god's forgiveness and mercy
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Every one of us has made huge mistakes in our lives that we deeply regret and in some cases really knocked us for a loop or inadvertently ended up hurting those we love. Each one of us has done and said things that ended up being out in left field instead of being in the center of God's will. Just because we mess up doesn't mean we must spend the rest of our life in some kind of self imposed exile or imprisonment. I know all too well how this all works. When I finally woke up in 1985 and realized how far I had drifted away from the truth, I immediately retreated into a prison I built with my own hands. I dwelt in that prison for many years. I assumed it was just and proper that I deprive myself of any and all attempts to teach or help others. I was the judge and jury of my own......
Serving mammon keeps christian leaders from serving god
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One of the major contributing factors in the decline and ultimate destruction of the First Century Church was the attitude toward money within the Church and especially the leadership of the Church. When the simple joy of service was replaced with greed, avarice, materialism and covetousness; the Church began the death spiral that led to its undoing. I have personally known, worked with and worked for many Christian leaders who had or were about to cross the line into being motivated by greed vs. love. When a leader starts viewing his position as an overseer as a way to make a good living, a stepping stone to becoming wealthy via writing books and giving speeches or a convenient way to divert money given by God's people to line his own pockets; that leader no longer is serving God but......
Living without covetousness ruining our lives
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5Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have: for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee. 6So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. Hebrews 13:5,6 These verses provide for us the platform to fully explore the topic of covetousness. Verse 5 tells us to let our “conversation” be... Normally we think of conversation as two people speaking to each other, but that is not case here. Conversation means a manner of life, conduct and specifically a disposition, manner and mode of thinking or feeling. Simply put, this word refers to our way of life or the way we live life. This is important because covetousness is not referring to a fleeting one time fling but rather......
26 years ago today god proved how much he loves me
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26 years ago today, God made His deliverance of my wasted and destroyed life official. Only through His amazing grace and fathomless mercy did He pluck this sorry excuse for a man off the trash heap of destruction and rejection and give him a second chance. I neither was worthy of such mercy nor did I expect it to be given. This was all God's doing and I will eternally be thankful that He did it. 30 years ago this month, the ministry I had served since I was 18 years old decided I was washed up, a liability and no longer any good to them. For many days at their yearly meeting to decide where to assign its leaders, no one in this country wanted anything to do with me. I was “damaged goods” and my ship had sailed. Finally someone said they would sort of watch over me and I......
Sorry, but money cannot buy you happiness
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In my grandparent's generation, every penny was looked upon as gold and each one was saved religiously and never wasted. My grandmother grew up in a small “house” in an even smaller “town” in the middle of the Flint Hills in Kansas. She had more brothers and sisters than I could ever remember with many of them dying in infancy or childhood. That was just the way it was back then. My grandmother never enjoyed a day of the “good life” in all her 88 years on this planet. She scraped and scrounged for just enough to get by her whole life. Her sisters were the same way. They were born into poverty and lived in poverty their whole lives. Despite being poor, my grandmother (who was not a pleasant person) never complained about her lot in life financially. She......
Are we willing to honestly look at covetousness in our lives and our church?
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No one who loves God wants to be found guilty of covetousness. No one who deeply cares about serving God and His people wants to be rejected due to being a covetous person. No one who genuinely prays to maintain a pure heart free from the pollution of this world wants to end up with a defiled heart because covetousness snuck in and stole their heart away. Covetousness is subtle, sly, cunning and crafty because it originates from the devil and is one of the biggest ways he seduces otherwise good and faithful servants of the Lord away from the God who saved them. The desire to have bigger, better and more drives people away from God into the waiting arms of the enemy who is more than happy to accommodate them. I have made the decision to spend as much time as it takes to fully cover the......
Run away, run far away from these four things
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It is critical that we understand the battle we are engaged in when it comes to doing the right thing and attempting to stand faithfully upon God's Word. We are constantly bombarded by people and situations that seek to separate us from God and His people. The Word of God gives specific instructions as to what we are to do in these cases. Now I beseech you, brethren, mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned; and avoid them. Romans 16:17 The instructions here are pretty clear. We are to mark and avoid those who cause divisions and generate factions within the body of believers. The word “mark” is the Greek word skopeo (4648) from which we get the English word “scope” . We are to scope out and pay attention to these......
Caution: this blog may "rock your boat"
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No servant can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. Luke 16:13 Jesus makes it abundantly clear in this verse that no servant can serve two masters. Anyone attempting to do this will end up loving one and hating the other or holding to the one and despising the other. Remember, Jesus prefaced this bold statement by referring to a SERVANT. In Jesus' culture, a servant had one job to do and that was to keep his eyes focused on the eyes of his master. The master communicated instructions to the servant through eye movement. If the servant got distracted and looked away, he would miss the instructions and become a worthless servant. For a servant to be faithful to his......
Is covetousness a "bad thing" or something to be avoided at all costs?
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This whole study started with the word “covetousness” in Luke 12:15. The Greek word used in that verse is pleonexia. This word comes from the Greek word pleonektees (which is the combining of two Greek words meaning “more” and “to have” ). Thus, very simply put, the concept of covetousness refers to the desire to “have more” . Of course there is more involved, but sometimes it helps to keep things simple. One of the associated Greek words in this family is pleonekteo which means to covet, take advantage of someone or defraud them. This word is used five times of which four are in 2 Corinthians. Please look at a few of these usages: Receive us; we have wronged no man, we have corrupted no man, we have defrauded no man. 2 Corinthians 7:2 Lest Satan......
Warning: a beast is on the loose
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Covetousness equals unbridled and unrestrained greed for more. Unrestrained greed inevitably results in opening the door to a whole host of reprehensible acts that have at their core, the passion to get more at any cost. Greed when relating to power causes people to step on and get rid of those they feel are hindering their rise to the top. Greed when relating to money causes people to lose every restraint which allows fraud, extortion and abuse of every kind to take place. Greed is an ugly beast that transforms itself into a beautiful “window of opportunity” for those seduced by its charms. It is impossible to ever be satisfied and content when influenced by greed. No matter how much a person has, it will never be enough. From this desire for more comes the willingness to do......
An overview of greed
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Long before man appeared on this earth, the archangel Lucifer was given the designation as “star of the morning” or simply, the angel of light. Lucifer was not content with this because he coveted God's position as Head God. Lucifer allowed pride to replace humility and greed to replace thankfulness. The end result was a war in heaven with one third of the angels cast out along with Lucifer. When God created Adam and Eve and placed them in The Garden, He told them they could have anything and everything they desired EXCEPT one thing - the fruit from the tree of knowledge. Left up to their own devices, it is highly doubtful Adam and Eve would have ever gone near that tree because they loved their God and everything He had given them. But, lurking in the shadows was the fallen......
An introduction to covetousness
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As I have been diligently re-studying all the information on “covetousness, covet, etc” , I found myself asking God why I was doing this since I thought I was supposed to be blogging about Ephesians. Very gently, I believe the Lord reminded me that there were three basic reasons why the First Century Church failed and one of them was covetousness (the others were legalism and Gnosticism). Since Ephesus was the so called “center of the universe” as far as the Church (see Acts 19 et all), it is plainly apparent WHY we need to understand something such as covetousness because it played a huge role in first dividing and then destroying the church at Ephesus. At first glance, covetousness appears to be just another word in long lists of abhorrent behavior such as we saw in......
Above all else; guard your heart
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Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life (for it determines the course of your life-NLT). Proverbs 4:23 If indeed the course of our life is determined by what is in our heart, it makes perfect sense to keep (or GUARD) our heart with all diligence. Random thoughts may fly through our minds which are worthless or even bad, but unless these thoughts make it into our hearts, we have little to be concerned about. Many people over the years have fallen into intense condemnation because of misunderstanding what Jesus taught in Matthew 5:28: But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. The key to understanding this verse and hundreds of others which deal with similar situations lies in......
Do we trust in god or in greed do we trust?
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In Luke 12, a man came to Jesus and requested that he would speak to his brother about dividing an inheritance. Jesus immediately told that man that no one had made Him a judge or divider. Jesus then said a very profound statement which is recorded in Luke 12:15: And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man's life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. After speaking this verse, Jesus immediately told a parable unto the company of people with him as recorded in Luke 12:16-21: 16And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: 17And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? 18And he said, This will I do: I will pull down......
No more fig leafs
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If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. The honesty necessary to see this promise come to pass in one's life escapes most people. They want to “sort of” confess their sins or confess them along with their own justification for doing them. The absolute and total honesty referred to in 1 John goes far beyond mumbling to God “I'm sorry” . God looks upon the heart and knows if Godly repentance is involved or merely an attempt to find the nearest fig leaf. Since the Garden, man's response to being confronted by his sin has been to deny, belittle, justify or rationalize that sin away. Time and again in the Old Testament there are records of a prophet going to a king (or other person)......
What does it mean to beware?
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We saw earlier that the first word of Colossians 2:8 was BEWARE. We saw yesterday in a specific message to God's people that we should BEWARE. Any time we see the words BEWARE or TAKE HEED in the Bible we need to sit up straight and take notice because there is something being said that could really hurt us if we do not listen, watch and do something about the situation. Interestingly, the Greek word for BEWARE is blepo which is the common word meaning “to look at” . There are times when this word takes one a deeper meaning, and when it does, it is translated beware, take heed etc. At these places, the word means to direct the mind upon, consider or to take heed. The English word BEWARE is used to warn someone of danger or difficulty. Its synonyms mean to be careful, to be......
An urgent exhortation and warning for god's people
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My heart has been burdened this weekend by things going on in the world, things going on within the Christian faith, things going on locally and things going on within our extended family. There is really not much I can do about any of these things except pray for those involved and pray to stay immune from the twisted and perverted things being said and done, many times in the name of God. Perhaps nowhere in the Paul's writings is he more blunt about certain things going on than in the first chapter of Romans. I do not believe it was merely a coincidence that the things written in this brutally honest chapter were written to the believers living in the most powerful yet most corrupt city in the world. I believe the same verses could, and should, be addressed to those of us living not......
Rest in peace on this mother's day mom
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It has been more than eight years since I officially became an orphan when my mom passed away. It is kind of funny how even now I occasionally find myself thinking “I need to tell mom about this” . I guess that shows the influence she had on my life for the 53 years I knew her. My mom was not an easy person to get along with nor was she one who let anyone know what was going on in her heart. She was not a complicated person but she was terribly insecure and was born into a family that had at its roots an “entitlement” mentality. She felt entitled to certain things and when she did not get them she pouted. Her whole family did the same. My mom was 11 years old when the Great Depression hit this country. Her entire teenage years were spent in a level of poverty I cannot......
An overview of colossians 2:8-15
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Before returning to our study of Ephesians, we need to wrap up our look into our identification with Christ. There is no better place to do this than in Colossians. Just as Romans set the stage in this study and Galatians zeroed in on the various aspects of being crucified with Christ; Colossians ties it all together and lays out before us a simple yet spectacular overview of this topic. We begin by looking at some VERY difficult verses to understand in Colossians 2:8-15 where the Word of God tells us: 8Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. 10And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:......
The world crucified to us and us to the world
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But far be it from me to glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world hath been crucified unto me, and I unto the world. Galatians 6:14 Throughout Galatians, Paul confronts two basic things that had disrupted and destroyed the Galatia churches. First and foremost was the circumcision issue that arose due to Jewish believers being zealous for the law. In time, this issue ripped apart the churches and opened the door to moving past legalism into fulfilling the passions of the flesh. Yesterday we looked at the term “lust of the flesh” and how it basically relates to the lust of the flesh to be self-righteous. This lust fuels legalism and negates all that was accomplished in the crucifixion of Christ. Colossians 2:14 tells us: having blotted out the......
The battle rages on between the lust of the flesh and the spirit
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And they that are of Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with the passions and the lusts thereof. Galatians 5:24 This verse is the culmination of quite a discussion regarding walking by and in the Spirit vs the lust and works of the flesh. To understand what verse 24 is talking about, we must look back at the context wherein this verse sits. 16But I say, walk by the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh. 17For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; for these are contrary the one to the other; that ye may not do the things that ye would. 18But if ye are led by the Spirit, ye are not under the law. Galatians 5:16-19 As long as we walk by the Spirit, it is impossible to fulfil the lust of the flesh. There is a perfectly good word used most......
I have been crucified with christ
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I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 If ever there was a verse in Paul's epistles which clarifies and boldly presents the truth of our identification with Jesus Christ, it is this amazing verse. Let's break this verse down into bite sized chunks so we don't get lost in it: I have been crucified with Christ It is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me The life I now live in the flesh I live in faith The faith which is in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself up for me The “flesh” is somewhat equivalent to what we know to be “the old......
Is jesus christ your lord?
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While reflecting upon the blog I wrote yesterday, I was struck by the fact that NEVER in my nearly 45 years of being a Christian have I ever prayed to or addressed my Savior as Jesus. Throughout every day I call upon Jesus Christ numerous times, but I ALWAYS address Him as LORD. When I did Romans 10:9 long ago, I took it literally then and still do. I confessed Jesus as Lord when I got saved and I address Jesus as MY LORD unto this day. I listen to a lot of Christian music mainly because I drive so much and it sure beats talk radio, sports radio or secular music. But, I will turn to one of those stations when a Christian song comes on that I cannot stand. Sometimes it is the music I cannot away with but usually it is either the theology being promoted or the diminishing of Jesus to......
God made jesus both lord and christ
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Jesus was the name given to the baby born in Bethlehem. God gave Him this name for He was the Savior. Jesus means Savior just as Joshua means savior. During His ministry, people addressed him as Jesus, Rabbi and Master. There is no doubt that it was JESUS who was crucified and died for our sins because that was what it took for Him to be our Savior. Jesus is the name given the MAN who was born in a stable and lived his life without sin. Jesus emphasizes the humility and humanity of the Son of God. There were certainly other people named Jesus, just as there are many today who are named Jesus (especially in Spanish speaking countries). To place undue emphasis on Jesus is to say that what the MAN Jesus did by giving His life for us is all there is involved with our salvation and redemption.......
Our justification and righteousness in christ jesus
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As we saw in Romans 6:1-11, there is a spiritual as well as a mental aspect to our identification with Christ. This principle applies not only to this topic but everything God has done for us and given to us “in Christ Jesus” . In so many respects, this is like having a million dollars put into your bank account. That would be great, but if you did not know it was there (or even knew you HAD a bank account), it is useless. God has deposited the riches of His love, mercy, grace, power and peace in Christ Jesus who is in us. But, if a Christian has no knowledge of this abundance within them, it is impossible for them to enjoy or use it. Ignorance regarding what God has done in Christ Jesus and what we have available to us because of Christ in us has led to a broken Christian faith......
Striving for the newness of life in christ jesus
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What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin, that grace may abound? 2God forbid. We who died to sin, how shall we any longer live therein? 3Or are ye ignorant that all we who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? 4We were buried therefore with him through baptism unto death: that like as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we also might walk in newness of life. 5For if we have become united with him in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection; 6knowing this, that our old man was crucified with him, that the body of sin might be done away, that so we should no longer be in bondage to sin; 7for he that hath died is justified from sin. 8But if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also......
Why are identification, "in christ jesus" etc important to learn about?
published . 2 min read
Perhaps it would be good to refresh our memory as to why we are embarking on a study of our identification with Christ and the term “in Christ Jesus” . This has come up due to where we are in our study of Ephesians 2, because in verses 5 and 6 it states: Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: Needless to say, it would help us greatly in our understanding of these verses if we could grasp what is involved here. Without at least a basic understanding of our identification with Christ and what “in Christ Jesus” means, it is very easy to get lost in the apostle Paul's writings and end up as the apostle Peter mentions in......
The cross is the beginning of redemption not the end
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I believe we all know that Jesus was crucified and died for our sins. That is Christianity 101. Unfortunately, most Christians never make it past this truth to the greater reality of what took place AFTER the crucifixion. To this day, billions of Christians wear crosses around their necks and have crosses adorn the walls of their homes. Many of these crosses have an image of a dead Jesus upon them. Unfortunately, this reflects the belief many Christians have of Jesus: That He is still dead. A cross is used to memorialize death. Alongside the roads of this country are small crosses memorializing where people lost their lives in an accident. Cemeteries use crosses to mark the final resting place of loved ones, soldiers etc. There is no mistaking the meaning of a cross for it signifies......
Abiding in christ=identification with christ="in christ jesus"
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The foundation for understanding our identification with Christ is found in Jesus' dissertation regarding the vine and branches found in John 15 and especially verses 4 and 5 where it says: Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing. Our identification with Christ is twofold. First there is the spiritual reality of what took place when we did Romans 10:9, 10 which allowed us to be saved. Everything God did for us and everything Christ accomplished for us is found in Christ who now abides in us. This incorruptible seed is what allows us to be saved......
An introduction to understanding our spiritual dna
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When Jesus Christ was taken down from the cross, He was DEAD. All life had been given as a sacrifice for sin. When Jesus Christ was buried, he was DEAD. His body was prepared for burial with only a slight hope that what He had said about a resurrection would really happen. For three days Jesus remained in the tomb, and He was DEAD. There are some within Christianity who promote the idea that Jesus was not really dead, for if He was, then God died. There are some within Christianity who adamantly hold to the opinion that Jesus raised Himself from the dead. I vehemently disagree with both of these positions and place them in the category of either gross ignorance or flat out blasphemy. In order for our redemption to be both compete and legal, Jesus Christ as our Passover, had to give His......
The overwhelming mercy, love and grace of our god
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As gruesome, discouraging, horrific, ugly and just plain bad Ephesians 2:1-3 is, thank God the Word of God doesn't stop there. It is painfully obvious that our condition “in times past” was absolutely NOT a reflection of anything Godly. We lived for ourselves, did all to the praise of the glory of ourselves and devoted our time and effort to fulfilling the ungodly passions that drove us to satisfy our inner desires and cravings. In stark contrast to our condition, which was DEAD in our sins, Paul sets about describing the awesome reality and mind boggling grace, mercy and love of God in Ephesians 2:4-10: 4But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;)......
The old nature as described in ephesians 2:3
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Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others Ephesians 2:3 This verse tells us in graphic detail the essence of the old nature each of us had. The key to understanding is found in the phrase “were by nature the children of wrath... ” Thank God the verse says we WERE children of God's wrath and not ARE. The verse states that our conversation in times past reflected a nature despised by God and worthy of His wrath. As long as we live this life, we will wrestle with our old nature (the old man). As unpleasant as this is at times, it is still better than succumbing to that old nature and returning to the lifestyle we had before......
Life without god; ephesians 2:3
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2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:2, 3 There are many verses throughout Paul's epistles dealing with what we used to be and how we used to live, but in my mind, there are few as poignant as these two verses in Ephesians 2. Verse 2 informed us that in our past, we habitually walked according to the standard set, which is the course of this world. In other words, we lived under the influence of the world which functions according to the......
Our journey from death unto life--ephesians 2
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And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. Ephesians 2:1-3 Yesterday we celebrated the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. God quickened (made alive) Jesus with eternal life spirit and forever relegated the devil to eternal failure in the process. Ephesians 2 starts with telling us that God has quickened (made alive) us who were dead in trespasses and sins. Just as Jesus, who was dead......
Jesus christ the lord is risen today!
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HE IS RISEN! No three words should mean more to a Christian than these. If it were not for the power exhibited by God when He raised Christ from the dead, all the good that came from Jesus offering Himself as the perfect sacrifice for sin would be for naught. At the very moment God awakened Jesus with eternal life spirit (quickened Him) from the dead, He gave Him THE name which is above all names; Jesus Christ our Lord. Jesus died for our sins. Christ is He whom God raised from the dead and Lord is the position God has placed Jesus Christ to be in reference to His Church. That which we celebrate on this day is the moment in time when God once and forever beat His archenemy the devil by raising His Son with eternal life spirit. The devil has absolutely no authority over Jesus Christ......
Paul's gorious prayer in ephesians 1:17-23
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17That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to......
Sealed with the earnest of our spiritual inheritance
published . 3 min read
13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. When we heard the Word of truth (the Gospel of our salvation) and believed it (Romans 10:9,10), we were sealed by God with the Holy Spirit of promise. Please look at Thayer's definition of the word seal (sphrag­zō): to set a seal upon, mark with a seal, to seal for security: from Satan since things sealed up are concealed (as the contents of a letter), to hide, keep in silence, keep secret in order to mark a person or a thing to set a mark upon by the impress of a seal or......
The future inheritance for both israel and the church
published . 3 min read
It is my belief that sometimes we must just say what they have to say, brace for the backlash and then move on. When it comes to topics such as our inheritance, battle lines have been drawn among Christians that offer very little chance for reconciliation of beliefs. As in many other areas of belief, this one can be a flashpoint of contention or it can be an opportunity for wholesome discussion, which is my prayer. In Ephesians 1:11 and 14 we see reference made to OUR inheritance. In verse 18 the reference is to God's inheritance in the saints. Is there a difference between our inheritance and God's inheritance in the saints? I believe there is, but in attempting to explain it, we must take the cover off the elephant in the middle of the room and honestly look at it instead of......
Heirs of god and joint-heirs with christ
published . 2 min read
And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. Romans 8:17 Wrapped up in this verse (plus many more) is the truths needed for understanding the full reality of what we have now and forever in Christ Jesus. Perhaps few subjects in the New Testament are less understood or taught than our inheritance in Christ. It pains my heart that so few Christians have any clue of what lies ahead for all eternity, and many times have no desire to know these truths. In the years that I was an active Bible teacher, I vividly remember many times when I would attempt to share things from both Romans and Ephesians and was met with blank stares and/or sleepy eyes. More than once I was confronted by someone after......
An introduction to our inheritance in christ
published . 3 min read
11In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will: 12That we should be to the praise of his glory, who first trusted in Christ. 13In whom ye also trusted, after that ye heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation: in whom also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that holy Spirit of promise, 14Which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory. Ephesians 1:11-14 In Christ, we have obtained an inheritance in order that we should be to the praise of His glory, who first trusted in Christ. Verse 13 gives the order of what takes place that enables God to guarantee us the promise of eternal life with......
The mystery of god's will
published . 3 min read
There are so many things that escape the casual reader in Ephesians. Unless a person thinks through what has been written and allows the Holy Spirit to guide them into an understanding of what has been said, there is little chance Ephesians will be more than just another book in the Bible. This is truly a tragedy because God has chosen to lay out so many great truths in this one epistle, that it is like a chest filled with invaluable treasures. Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: Ephesians 1:9 At first glance, this verse appears to not really say anything profound. But, if we stop and think about what is said here, it becomes a verse full of incredible excitement and thrilling importance. Is it not a REALLY......
What is "the foundation of the world" in ephesians 1:4?
published . 2 min read
The single greatest battle that has raged since Lucifer rebelled and was cast from heaven is based upon a very simple premise. Either created beings need God to survive or they don't. Lucifer determined that it was not necessary to obey the God who created him and garnered one third of the angles to side with him and attempt to usurp God's authority and overthrow His position as Almighty God. The Bible says there was a war in heaven, and it is beyond our mortal comprehension to grasp what kind of war this was. There were no tanks, fighter jets, bombs or guns. There were no spears, bow and arrows or sling shots. Whatever the weapons were, the result was a cataclysmic altercation that disrupted the cosmos when God cast Lucifer and the angels who fought with him out of heaven. I am......
One of the greatest chapters in the bible; ephesians one
published . 3 min read
Ephesians 1 is one of the deepest and most glorious chapters in the Bible. Each verse is full of incredible promises and truths regarding what God has done for us and given to us in Christ. Unfortunately, unless a person is “faithful in Christ Jesus” , these promises and truths merely “tickle one's ears” as opposed to really making a difference in their relationship with God and how they live their life. Please look at the beautiful and glorious things God has done for us and given to us in verses 3 through 9 of Ephesians chapter one: Blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ (verse 3) Made us holy and without blame before Him in love (verse 4) Made us His children by Jesus Christ to Himself (verse 5) Made us accepted in the Beloved (verse 6) Given us......
In his love, god chose us to be in him
published . 2 min read
According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love. Ephesians 1:4 Long before time began, God chose us to be in Him. God picked us out for Himself. He selected us that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love. This idea of “choosing” as well as “predestinated” in verse 5 have caused contention, anger and splits within Christianity. Like many other things in God's Word, this is not as complicated as people make it out to be. Please look at some other places in the New Testament where the word eklego, to pick out or select for one's self (when used in the middle voice) is used: And when it was day, he called unto him his disciples: and of them he chose twelve, whom......
Blessed in christ
published . 2 min read
3Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: Ephesians 1:3 Simply put, God has already blessed us with every spiritual blessing available in Christ. Because of what Jesus Christ did for us and because of what God did for us through and in Christ, we are BLESSED. We do not have to work for these blessings because God has already blessed us with them. 3May blessing (praise, laudation, and eulogy) be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) Who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual (given by the Holy Spirit) blessing in the heavenly realm! Ephesians 1:3 (Amplified Bible copyright The Lockman Foundation) It is incredible to me how a wonderful verse can explode with meaning......
Staying calm in the storm by preparing for it
published . 2 min read
Tribulations, afflictions and woes of all kinds and type seem to roll in as the waves of the ocean. The hardest thing any of us has to do when problems pile up is to do whatever is necessary to keep our little boat afloat. When to jettison ballast, when to drop the anchor and when to pull it up are all critical decisions that must be made. They make the difference between our boat sinking, capsizing or riding the waves until the storm is done. When trouble starts brewing, the single greatest thing we must do is to NOT PANIC. Once panic sets in, the end result will not be pleasant. Remaining calm in the face of adversity is one of the greatest attributes a believer can learn and master in their life. There is a profound difference between an adrenalin rush and allowing panic to rule......
The heart of god as revealed in ephesians
published . 2 min read
For anyone who believes that we are living in the age of grace and have within us all the power, glory, beauty, hope and love of the finished work of Jesus Christ; there is no greater place to find what God has done for us, has given us and will do for us than the book of Ephesians. Sure, the whole Bible is the Word of God, but within that Word are sections addressed to specific people (i.e. Timothy, Titus, and Philemon among others) and specific generations. The book of Ephesians is addressed to “the faithful in Christ Jesus” , which should be our passion and ambition in this life. Ephesians paints the whole picture of the heart of God for those who have chosen to not only accept Jesus Christ as their Savior but who have dedicated their lives to growing in Him, walking with Him......
Almighty god is too big to dwell in anything man makes
published . 2 min read
NEWSFLASH: Almighty God, the creator of the heavens and earth does NOT dwell in any cathedral, temple or church. This information can, and will, cause great consternation among some Christians who believe that God has a secret room somewhere in their church where He rests, studies and answers prayer requests. This information is nothing new; God did not dwell in the Tabernacle or the Temple in the Old Testament. In both cases God's PRESENCE was there and not God Himself. King Solomon had the incredible privilege of overseeing the building of the most lavish temple ever built. Surely, many would argue, God must have dwelled in that magnificent structure. But, as we see in 1 Kings 8:27,that is not the case: But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens......
A few thoughts on the rash of disasters happening around us
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As I sit here typing it is 9:00 am but it looks like it is 6:00 am due to a severe thunderstorm moving over us. It always amazes me how clouds can block so much of the sun's rays that the street lights are fooled into believing it is dusk. Certain things in nature long ago earned my respect due to their awesomeness. I was reading this morning about the sudden exodus of wild animals from Yellowstone National Park. Last week the area had a 5.1 earthquake and ever since, there have been people sounding the alarm that the next “big one” (volcano) is about to hit that area. Long ago, the last time that volcano erupted, it spewed ash as far away as southern California and Texas and even western Missouri. There have been two earthquakes in the Los Angeles area recently. This too......
God's temple and our tabernacle
published . 3 min read
For we know that if the earthly house of our tabernacle be dissolved, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal, in the heavens. 2For verily in this we groan, longing to be clothed upon with our habitation which is from heaven: 3if so be that being clothed we shall not be found naked. 4For indeed we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened; not for that we would be unclothed, but that we would be clothed upon, that what is mortal may be swallowed up of life. 2 Corinthians 5:1-4 (ASV) 13And I think it right, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; 14knowing that the putting off of my tabernacle cometh swiftly, even as our Lord Jesus Christ signified unto me. 2 Peter 1:13-15 (ASV) This body we have is called our......
What has broken god's heart?
published . 2 min read
If what I believe is the truth regarding the heart of God was known and believed by Christians today, the result would be an infinitely smaller Christian faith but one that is real, genuine, energized, strong, compassionate and a reflection of Christ. What Christianity has become is a melting pot of competing theologies and a religion rife with lies and misrepresentations of the truth. These are strong words, but you can't say that I didn't warn you of what was coming. If you placed ten Christians in a room and locked the door, odds are that within an hour or so there would be a room full of yelling and more hostility than if ten unbelievers had been put in there. The sad reality is that Christians are so opinionated, hung up on theology and adamant that their way of interpreting......
Learning to know the heart of god
published . 2 min read
As I mentioned in a blog last week, the one overwhelming desire of my heart is to know God's heart and be a man “after God's own heart” . Of course God said this about His servant David. It is interesting that of all the people who ever lived and walked with God, only David has the distinction of being called a man after God's own heart. I am no David, far from it, but I rejoice that over the past 45 years God has allowed me to see and understand His heart and not just His deeds. It is sort of like when the Word of God says that God made known His acts unto the Children of Israel but His ways unto Moses. Of course Moses was a “friend of God” and was the only man to ever see even the hind quarters of God when He passed by him. Men such as Noah, Abraham,......
In times of crushing grief, prayer is all we can do
published . 2 min read
Yesterday we made the long trip to the funeral home for the visitation of Harry's son who passed away suddenly last weekend. As much as we had tried to prepare ourselves for the occasion, both my wife and I were deeply moved by the impact this event has had on Harry. I can think of very few times in my life where I have been in the presence of someone literally consumed with grief. I cannot fathom the intense feelings of loss associated with losing first your wife of nearly 50 years and then two years later to lose one of your two children. It is beyond my ability to comprehend the overwhelming grief and sadness this man is going through. To be honest, I have only met Harry a few times and barely know him, but he has been a regular customer of my wife for many years and they have a......
God does indeed grant us the desire of our heart
published . 2 min read
I have often wondered what I would say if God appeared to me one night as He did to King Solomon and asked me what one thing He could grant me. During periods when I was enduring the dark night of the soul I am sure I would have asked for deliverance. During times of seemingly endless physical issues I am sure I would have asked for healing. During times of unbelievable financial stress I am sure I would have asked for financial freedom. Interestingly, in all of my years of knowing the Lord, He has never once appeared to me and asked me what one thing He could do for me. But, I know in my heart that He has granted me the overwhelming and single greatest desire I have ever had, and that is to be found a man after His own heart. Without fanfare or pomp, God has taught and allowed me to grow......
The love of god covers the multitude of our sins
published . 2 min read
Contrary to what many people think, God is not concerned with dictating every thought and action we take. God has given us the comforter (the Holy Spirit) to guide and direct us into what is true and in alignment with God's Word. God has not given us a script that once memorized allows us to be an Academy Award winning actor in the production of life. God is more like the Great Director than He is the tyrant who demands heartless perfection. God desires that we trust Him and allow Him to help us become the very best we can be for Him. God grants us great freedom which allows our individual personality to shine and our strengths to be emphasized and exercised. We are not computers programmed by God to do things in a pre-set manner with no ability or freedom to do things outside of our......
Loyalty vs integrity
published . 2 min read
The line between loyalty and integrity is very fine indeed. In one sense close friends and/or relative are bound by the oath of loyalty to “stick closer than a brother” , but in another sense the clarion call to “do the right thing” usually will undo even the strongest bonds of loyalty. No one likes a “tattletale” or someone who “rats out” another person for things they did or said. But, in many cases a “whistle blower” is considered a hero for their willingness to sacrifice their job or reputation to stop waste or illegal activity. It has been said that a chain is only as strong as its weakest link. The same can be said about the web of deceit built by unscrupulous people whose very success is based upon everyone involved being absolutely......
Life is a gift
published . 2 min read
In July of 2011 a customer of my wife watched in horror as his wife turned into the path of a truck and was killed instantly. Perhaps because he witnessed the scene or because they had been married for many years, Harry was absolutely devastated by the accident. Even now, two and one half years later, he struggles with the pain and loss of his “soul-mate” . Due to the depth of despair in which Harry lived daily, his son moved from Kansas City to live with his dad. This degree of commitment by a son to his father is unique and basically unheard of in today's culture. Because many women outlive their husbands, usually it is the elderly mother who ends up living with one of their children instead of a 50 year old son living with his father. Yesterday we found out that......
How to make the right choices in life
published . 3 min read
We all, if we are honest, have areas in our lives where if we are not careful, we end up miserable or condemning ourselves. How much is enough? How much is too much? These are questions that plague people daily in regards to eating, drinking, relaxing, working, spending etc. There are no set answers to these questions and when people say there are, the result is always legalism. Romans 14 is a chapter that deals with the intensely personal matters of eating meat, drinking wine and other things that some claim are universally allowable and others judge to be universally a sin. This subject is of particular interest to Paul since he was once a Pharisee and as such he spent much of his life judging others and pinpointing everything that was a “sin” in their lives. As Paul grew in......
Resisting the temptation to do nothing
published . 3 min read
A few days ago, as I was stewing about our extremely difficult financial situation at the moment, I heard my Lord reprove me as only He can do. As clear as if He were standing next to me, I heard Him say; “go to the ant thou sluggard... ” Needless to say this stern reproof woke me up in a hurry and spurred me to evaluate what has happened that caused my Lord to be so sharp with me. Very quickly I realized that for many reasons, we had really slacked off as far as the work that is needed to properly run a profitable business. Time that should have been spent listing items on line to be sold was spent sleeping more and watching more and more television. It is so very easy to fall into a sedentary way of living if we allow ourselves to do it. Even when we know better, it is far......
Safe under the shadow of god's wings
published . 3 min read
Psalm 91 American Standard Version (ASV) - Copyright © 1901 by Public Domain 1He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High Shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 2I will say of Jehovah, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in whom I trust. 3For he will deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, And from the deadly pestilence. 4He will cover thee with his pinions, And under his wings shalt thou take refuge: His truth is a shield and a buckler. 5Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night, Nor for the arrow that flieth by day; 6For the pestilence that walketh in darkness, Nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday. 7A thousand shall fall at thy side, And ten thousand at thy right hand; But it shall not come nigh thee. 8Only with thine eyes shalt thou......
Refusing to yield to fear
published . 2 min read
6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: 7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you. 8Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: 9Whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world. 10But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. 11To him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen. 1 Peter 5:6-11 How do we humble ourselves before the mighty hand of God? Very simply put, we do this by being willing to cast our cares upon Him, because we believe He......
Fear is an enemy which must be identified and eliminated
published . 2 min read
Lest we forget, fear is the enemy and must be treated as such. We are not talking here about fear in the sense of reverence, but rather fear in the sense of dread. Fear defeats the promises of God in our lives. Fear hinders, entangles and otherwise destroys our ability to walk with God. Fear pushes us under the table, into the closet and out of The Way. Fear is like a snarling dog which causes us to freeze in our tracks and/or run for our lives. Fear holds us back, holds us in and holds us down. Fear captivates and enslaves. Fear, along with its companions doubt and worry, is like the local bully who makes our lives miserable as he uses us for a punching bag or a toy for his enjoyment. Fear is indeed a great motivator. Fear of losing one's job motivates a person to show up for work......
Thankfully and humbly bowing to and confessing that jesus christ is lord
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5Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-12 Who has God given the name which is above every name? JESUS. At the name of Jesus, EVERY knee should......
The simplicity of living life to please god
published . 2 min read
My heart weeps as I see so many people lost and oblivious to what is happening to them and their families. My heart weeps as I see the fog most Christians live in; unable and unwilling to see that the road they are on leads to disaster. My heart weeps for friends and acquaintances that have fallen away from God and given their hearts over to the god of materialism. My heart weeps for the hardness of heart and lack of compassion manifested by men and women called by God to lead and love His people. There is so little genuine hunger for righteousness in the Western “developed” world. Instead of a deep yearning for the truth there is emptiness in the hearts and souls of people whose lives revolve around the need and greed for more and more. Instead of crying for a deeper and......
God does not dwell in the box made of our fears and doubts
published . 3 min read
For many years of my life, I have known and understood that I was “different” . I have looked at how others think and do things as totally foreign to me. The result of this has been that I have a reputation of being a lone ranger. In time this turned into being a renegade and finally ended up with me being labeled a troublemaker or marked a heretic. Is it any wonder that at times I present things that are a little bit “out there” ? That's what I do. Good, bad or otherwise; I am who I am and do what I do because I believe with every fiber of my being I believe that God called me to live a particular way and present the things of God in a particular way. I do not say these things implying that I am any better than anyone else, for I am NOT. I only bring this up......
Thoughts of a spiritual renegade--compassion
published . 2 min read
In a time fraught with political bickering, saber rattling, unsettledness in just about everything and spiritual apathy, it is a good thing to stop and remember who we love and who we serve. It makes little difference what this world does or does not do for we are only IN this world but not OF it. People who care not about the things of God can squabble, argue, fight and even kill each other, but we who do care about and love God cannot be fazed by what goes on around us. I grow equally tired of both those who want to cram their political agendas down my throat and those who continue to insist that Christianity is limited to only preaching or pounding away on social issues (i.e. legislating morality). I suppose that politically I am a Libertarian and spiritually I am a renegade impossible......
Subduing the passion to be "top dog"
published . 3 min read
In September of 1989 our dog Tiny had five puppies. We kept two of the boys and for the next seven years these two rarely, if ever, fought about anything. In July of 1996 Tiny passed away leaving the two boys “orphans” . Within a couple of weeks the two dogs started having horrific dog fights resulting in injury and the need to separate them. After a couple of months (and many trips to the vet), we got the two boys neutered and shortly thereafter they became best of friends again. We were told that the reason for the sudden change in their attitude which manifested itself in their fighting was due to the void created when their mother was no longer there. They were attempting to establish who would be the new “top dog” and it made no difference to them that they were......
Just do something--anything--for the lord
published . 2 min read
As I sit here getting ready for yet another procedure this morning to fix a problem arising from a procedure I had in January dealing with a tooth extraction, I am painfully aware of how much of my life is spent dealing with medical/dental issues. At times I weep openly to my Lord because I feel so worthless due to my ongoing problems. If not for all the medical/dental stuff, I would have the funds to bless people, travel and other things. If not for the time spent in pain, having procedures done and recovery from said procedures, I could be out helping others. The question in my heart that has haunted me for years is WHY? Not why me, but rather a simple WHY? Along the way people have confronted me and wagged their righteous finger at me as they told me I must be a terrible sinner to have......
God knows what lies behind the mask
published . 2 min read
Long ago I spent a year serving under a leader who by every outward indication was the perfect physical specimen. This man had played college football. He had a lean and perfectly toned physical body. He could run 10 miles, do 100 pushups or play basketball for 3 hours effortlessly. He was also very handsome. By every outward standard of perfection, he was “the man” . Underneath the “perfect” external fa§ade of this man was a morally weak man with his conscience seared with a hot iron. He did not feel it wrong to get drunk in public, frequent prostitutes or use ministry money for wild parties complete with drugs and other reprehensible things. He held onto his ministry position because he looked perfect when people were watching but lived like the devil when they......
Living in a less than perfect body and mind
published . 3 min read
I am the first to admit that the seemingly incessant onslaught of physical situations I have faced for years have taken a toll on my vitality, discipline and vision. Long ago the adversary discovered my weakest link and he has pounded away at it relentlessly. I have always been of the opinion that each one of us has a weak spot in our body, mind, attitude or habit patterns that trips us up or slows us down in life. Since we will not be perfect until we receive our new body and mind at Christ's return, only a person living in a state of denial would say they have no weakness or point where the enemy can ruthlessly attack at will. I discovered long ago that most of the people who say they are your friends run for the hills once you are attacked and/or stumble. People for some reason......
Things are not always as they appear
published . 2 min read
“Things are not always as they appear” : We have all heard this said often and probably said it ourselves on many occasions. I fear that this important concept is going the way of “God bless you” or “how are you” ; phrases that have been repeated so often they have lost their meaning and/or sincerity. We must never allow ourselves to become so ignorant, overconfident or apathetic that we no longer care whether things are as they appear; for if we do, we open the door to disaster, deception or at the very least danger. Magicians make a fortune convincing an audience that something that appears impossible is real. They pull rabbits out of hat, cut people in half and a million other “tricks” . People love this form of entertainment because it is......
Jesus christ, who was, is and always will be our savior
published . 3 min read
None of us is perfect. All of us, without exception, have flaws in our thinking, our bodies, our habits of living and even our spiritual understanding. The only one who ever lived who was 100% perfect was Jesus Christ. Not only was He perfect when born, He lived His life without sin. This perfect man was completely entitled to live forever since he knew no sin and thus would know no death. God did not force Jesus to endure the torture leading up to the cross. God did not tie Jesus' hands and put the whip in the hands of the guards who beat Him without mercy. Jesus willingly gave His perfect body as a sacrifice for the sin that placed upon every man and woman who entered this world the curse of death. Jesus was the only man who could be our Savior because He was the only man who was......
Paul's testimony to god's grace and mercy
published . 2 min read
Long before the apostle Paul wrote his first epistle, he was not the man we know about from reading the New Testament. Saul, as his name was then, was a mean spirited and cantankerous man who took it upon himself to rid the world of the new Christian sect. Saul considered it his godly service to round up, torture and kill those who believed that Jesus Christ was indeed the promised Messiah. One day as Saul was traveling to Damascus; his entire life was changed as Jesus Christ Himself appeared to Saul and confronted him as to why he was persecuting Him. Blinded by the light of Jesus Christ, he was instructed to go to Damascus and see a certain disciple named Ananias. Ananias ministered to Saul and as soon as Saul was filled with the Holy Spirit his blindness was gone and he was baptized.......
The call of grace in our lives
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Jesus went unto the mount of Olives. 2And early in the morning he came again into the temple, and all the people came unto him; and he sat down, and taught them. 3And the scribes and Pharisees brought unto him a woman taken in adultery; and when they had set her in the midst, 4They say unto him, Master, this woman was taken in adultery, in the very act. 5Now Moses in the law commanded us, that such should be stoned: but what sayest thou? 6This they said, tempting him, that they might have to accuse him. But Jesus stooped down, and with his finger wrote on the ground, as though he heard them not. 7So when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her. 8And again he stooped down, and wrote on the......
By the grace of god i am what i am
published . 2 min read
Each one of us, whether we are young or old, beautiful or homely, skinny or fat, rich or poor, powerful or unknown, have one thing in common; without God's grace we are DEAD. The only thing that gives anyone life is the grace of God in our lives. Without the grace, mercy and love of God we are truly “dead men and women walking” . But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. 1 Corinthians 15:10 If there is one statement we all need to repeat over and over again in our hearts for the duration of our earthly lives it is “BY THE GRACE OF GOD I AM WHAT I AM” . Whatever we are and whatever we do in this life that is good,......
God's great grace
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Perhaps the biggest problem people have with understanding grace is that they look at it as a onetime event when they got saved. Certainly this is a part of grace but by no means the full extent of it. Grace is as eternal as God for God is gracious and pours out His grace continually upon us. Grace has been defined, in its least common denominator, as simply receiving something you did not deserve. Mercy, on the other hand, is NOT receiving something (judgment/punishment) you did deserve. Of course there is much more to these words than this simple definition, but it would serve us well to use this during this study: Grace is receiving good you do not deserve and mercy is not receiving bad you did deserve. There are numerous references to grace in the Bible, especially in the epistles......
A basic understanding of god's grace, love and mercy
published . 3 min read
There are few subjects that I am more passionate about than God's grace, love and mercy. I am living proof that God's love, mercy and grace are far greater than sin and that God looks upon the heart and not on the outward appearance of a man. Without God's grace, mercy and love I would have died long ago. Because of God's mercy manifested through His love and grace, I am not only alive but at peace with God. As a 16 year old kid in 1969, God stepped in and through His grace delivered me from a life of misery. I did not ask that He do this, but I did accept His invitation to have a little chat down by the stream in New Mexico. In the days and months after that phenomenal event, the only thing I knew was that God loved me. Every detail of my life revolved around the love of......
In honor of what would have been my dad's 100th birthday
published . 2 min read
My dad, if he were still alive, would have been 100 years old today. Even though it is has been 16 years since he passed away, I still miss his simple outlook on life, his encouragement and his love. My dad was born and raised in southern Minnesota in a family that did not suffer from financial need (even during the Great Depression). My dad, along with his brothers, loved to party, drink and play. After he met my mom and immediately got married in 1939 my dad calmed down and with the birth of my sister in 1940 he quickly matured and gave up many of his wild ways. In 1941 my dad enlisted in the army and was sent to Kodiak, Alaska. Their job was to trick the Japanese into believing the southern coast of Alaska was defended by huge anti-aircraft guns. I say trick because there were no guns......
Does god care if we watch the olympics?
published . 2 min read
Every four years in the summer and every four years in the winter we greatly enjoy spending a lot of extra time watching television. That which captures our fancy is the summer and winter Olympics. For two weeks every two years we watch as the best athletes in the world compete in their respective specialties to “bring home the gold” for their country. Our justification for spending so much time watching the Olympics is found in the book of Corinthians where Paul makes reference to the early Olympics that everyone in Corinth knew about. Honestly speaking, we do not have to justify watching the Olympics to anyone. We choose to watch people ski, skate, run, jump tumble etc. That is the wonderful thing about God's grace. See, it is our opinion that God does not care if we watch......
Coping with the changes surrounding us daily
published . 2 min read
What would be recorded in the Bible if electricity had been invented 5,000 years ago instead of a few hundred years ago? What would be recorded in the Bible if automobiles, trains and airplanes were able to transport people all over the world? What would be recorded in the Bible if God had given Adam and Eve computers and instead of tablets of stone, Moses had entered the Ten Commandments on his tablet? One of the biggest problems we have today lies in understanding and applying the Bible in light of the unbelievable changes that have taken place in the course of the last few hundred years. Very little changed in the way people lived their lives from the time of Adam and Eve all the way until the time George Washington was President of the United States. Since that time, just about......
Replacing pride with humility and fear with boldness
published . 2 min read
As long as we are human, we will occasionally make mistakes. In my lifetime I have known people who adamantly reject the idea they could ever be wrong or be mistaken. We all have worked for or been subject to the incredible abuse people who believe they are always right heap upon everyone else (because they are always wrong). I have also known people in my life who are so afraid of making a mistake that they never do anything unless it is 100% safe 100% of the time. These people creep around inside a little cage where they feel safe from the gnawing fear of messing everything up for themselves or others. The fine blend of humility and boldness has eluded many a person as they swing hopeless between the extremes of pride and fear. We must understand that it is not only possible but......
Making it through the storms that afflict us
published . 2 min read
For those of you who are perfect and never have storms buffet your life, I guess this blog is not one you should read. But, for the rest of us who must endure everything from short storms to hurricanes, this is a blog I pray will help you endure, persevere and hang on until the storm is over. I wish I could say that God promises there will never be any storms once we get saved, but such is not the case. Throughout the Bible are records of God's people suffering through droughts, floods, persecution, affliction and even death. Unless we learn to not fear the storms but rather look at them as a part of life, we will end up as so many Christians with their faith shipwrecked and their heart permanently hardened and scarred. Let me assure you that countless men and women who loved God with......
Getting ready for when god says go
published . 3 min read
Without warning, God appeared on my doorstep in February of 2005 letting me know that He had one last mission for me and that I should get ready. This totally unexpected call both terrified and thrilled me. I was terrified because I had been in “retirement” for many years and thrilled because God thought enough of me to send me on one more mission for Him. Like a prize fighter who had not fought in 15 years, I was horribly out of shape physically, mentally and spiritually. Due to all my physical battles I was weak. Due to the pressure of caring for my elderly mother I was mentally dull. Due to many things sapping me of strength and spiritual energy I was on life support spiritually. Throughout the ensuing months, I went back to my roots and started from scratch as I rebuilt......
The silence of god
published . 3 min read
When I was 15, I snuck out at 1:00 am and together with a delinquent buddy I had at the time, went to the golf course about a mile away and using flashlights took all the golf balls we could find in the creek that meandered through the course. All was going well until it was time to leave and waiting for us at the entrance to the course was a police car with lights flashing. To my knowledge this is the first and only time I ever really did something illegal in my life. I was so scared as I envisioned being hauled to jail and put in a juvenile detention facility. My buddy was not upset at all since he was in trouble all the time. I, on the other hand, was literally shaking with dread. The policeman told us we were stealing and trespassing but he would not charge us with any crime but......
The beautiful sounds of god's silence
published . 2 min read
I have been admiring this beautiful ice formation for days. Each day it grows a little bit more as the snow on the roof melts and drips down to the bottom. I guess I better enjoy it for our temperatures will really be climbing over the next week. In fact, we are to be in 60's by next Wednesday! Yesterday, as I waiting for the water to fill the horse tank, I was struck by the utter silence around me. Our snow had been on the ground for a week, yet in many places it looked pristine. Snow has a way of insulating sound I guess, for as I stood there looking and listening, there was no sound except the water running. I turned off the water and soaked in a few minutes of utter silence while basking in the sunshine. Whether ice slowly growing as snow melts or the silence found only in the......
Translation errors can radically change what was said
published . 2 min read
There are many sections in God's Word that present few problems in translation or understanding. These sections (or verses) stand on their own and communicate the heart of what is being said with no need for commentary or intense scrutiny. Many of the Psalms fit into this category as do most of the Proverbs. There are many sections in God's Word that present massive problems due to translation errors or difficulty understanding what is said. It is these sections (or verses) that many times present a stumbling block to believers and generate huge splits among groups of believers intellectually and in practice. The vast majority of God's glorious Word can be understood by simply reading what is written. Those who faithfully read and re-read the Bible usually have a very good......
Is the gospel we preach the lord's or ours?
published . 2 min read
Peter was a good Jewish man who followed the law and would never dream of doing something against the law. Although he was the leader of the emerging church in Jerusalem, his Jewish roots ran deep. It is truly a fascinating study to look at how God worked with Peter in Acts 10 to get him to believe he was supposed to personally help and minister a Gentile household. Acts 10 is important for it documents in no uncertain terms what changed because of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit on Pentecost. The lines that separated Jews from Gentiles, men from women, bond from free etc were erased and replaced with grace, mercy and love for all who call on the name of the Lord. Two of the most important verses in Acts 10 are verse 15 when the voice tells Peter a second time: “What God hath......
The great heart surgeon at work
published . 4 min read
In 1966 I was diagnosed with a heart murmur which prevented me from playing football, going to the Colorado Boy Scout ranch and other “cool” things. Although I did not notice this condition, it greatly disturbed my mom who was a RN. In fact, when the heart doctor told her I had to lose a lot of weight between 7th and 8th grade, she found a diet promoted by the Air Force which in fact was almost identical to the current Atkins diet. In four months I lost 60 pounds and the doctor, my mom and I were very happy. In 1997 I suffered my first heart attack which led to many trips to hospital emergency rooms, stays in hospitals, heart catheterizations and placement of stents between June and December of that year. Doctors, nurses and staff were all amazed that a 44 year old could have so......
Rejoicing that christ is preached
published . 2 min read
There are many things in the Bible which are very difficult to digest and apply in our lives. One of those things is found in Philippians 1:15-18: Some indeed preach Christ even of envy and strife; and some also of good will: 16The one preach Christ of contention, not sincerely, supposing to add affliction to my bonds 17But the other of love, knowing that I am set for the defence of the gospel. 18What then? notwithstanding, every way, whether in pretence, or in truth, Christ is preached; and I therein do rejoice, yea, and will rejoice. The only way to rejoice in the Gospel being preached even when done out of envy, strife and contention is to manifest tolerance. Are envy, strife and contention wrong? Of course they are; but if Christ is being preached, we must learn to see past the wrong......
Tolerance + humility = unity
published . 2 min read
The more we can keep the things of God simple, the greater our understanding of spiritual matters will grow. Over the years I have seen countless people (including myself) get so hung up on the minute details of God's Word that they lose sight of the bigger picture of who God is and what He has done for us. There is of course a time to probe into the intricate details of the Word of God, but most of the time (and for most Christians) the greater need is to have a general knowledge concerning who God is, what God has done and what God wants from us. The main reason there are between 50,000 and 100,000 (no knows for sure) denominations within Christianity is the incessant splitting of hairs regarding doctrinal issues. Rather than striving for a consensus, people get angry and form a......
Living one's life as an open book
published . 3 min read
Many years ago I made the conscious decision to allow my life to be an open book. A person cannot open the book in some areas but not in others. That is not an open book. As difficult as it is to share what goes on in my life (both good and bad), it continues to be my commitment to allow God to teach through the pages of my open book. There are many people who feel it is a sign of weakness to talk openly about one's problems. I have been told many times that my insistence on sharing what is taking place in my life is neither wanted or right to talk about. It seems to that these people only want me to talk about the Bible while projecting an aura of physical, mental and spiritual perfection. For anyone who has been on this site longer than a few weeks, you know that I have lived......
My exciting day this past saturday
published . 3 min read
Early Saturday morning as I was looking at the weather on the computer, I blew my nose. Much to my surprise the tissue suddenly turned bright red. Oh no, I thought, another nose bleed. I have had many of these nasty animals over the years and they are amplified by the blood thinners I take daily. Rushing upstairs to the kitchen, I was appalled at the amount of blood gushing out of my nose. I grabbed every towel and a roll of paper towels I could reach, and each one was fully saturated within a minute. After about five minutes I realized I had a real problem and called my wife at work to pray for me. As the minutes ticked by and I watched more and more of my life gushing into the sink, I knew I had to call 9-1-1. After a few minutes of convincing them I had a true emergency (they were......
Contented in christ
published . 2 min read
Our contentment is absolutely not dependent upon the abundance we enjoy in this life. Our contentment has very little to do with how much money we have or our place in society. Our contentment is spiritual and not physical or material. Our contentment is built upon and works together with godliness to bring us great gain in this life. As simple as the above paragraph is, it represents one of the most difficult challenges for a Christian to believe and live. We are so conditioned by the world to believe that our financial and social status are the ingredients needed to be happy that the concept of contentment regardless of (or in spite of) of our status is puzzling, foreign and repulsive to our thinking. 2 Corinthians 9:8 tells us: And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that......
The contentment that godliness brings
published . 2 min read
In direct contrast to those who believe it pays off financially to act and look religious (as we saw in 1 Timothy 6:5), there sits one of the most remarkable verses in the New Testament in 1 Timothy 6:6: But godliness with contentment is great gain. A real, true, vibrant and living relationship with God (godliness) in company with contentment is GREAT GAIN. Obviously the key to understanding this verse lies in grasping the essence of the word contentment. In its least common denominator, contentment simply means to be satisfied. When we are satisfied we are contented. When we are not satisfied we are restless and looking to get more and better things so as to satisfy our inner yearnings. There are three key verses in the New Testament where the same basic Greek word as translated......
Practical application of the word of god
published . 2 min read
Perhaps the biggest question that haunts Christians and hinders their ability to walk faithfully in fellowship with Christ is WHY God does not answer their prayers or WHY He allows bad things to happen to them. Rare indeed is the case when a young child dies where the parents do end up either blaming God for their loss or losing their ability to believe God loves or cares for them. We can debate doctrine till we are blue in the face, but that which we must understand to genuinely help people are answers to the questions that afflict, distract and tear down the faith of God's people. There is an enormous disconnect in Christian circles between “real life” and the utopian life some promote God not only wants but demands for His people. There are millions upon millions of......
Reaching the state of perfect peace promised to us in god's word
published . 3 min read
In an interview, Mark Hall (lead singer and songwriter for Casting Crowns) had this profound thing to say about what I have been describing as godliness; Hall's fundamental message remains: "I want to shake people up and help them see that Jesus is not a religion, and God is not a book," Hall says. "You can't pray to a book and you can't draw strength from an idea or standard. If there's no relationship with Jesus AS A PERSON to you, you're in trouble. It's about life, not religion. It's about relationships, not books." I believe what Mr. Hall stated is in fact the very essence of what Christianity is all about. Christianity is all about the relationship we have with Jesus as a PERSON, as our SAVIOR, as our BROTHER and as our LORD. The more......
The two ways of achieving "great gain"
published . 3 min read
I would like to try and tackle a very difficult, yet extremely important section of God's Word dealing with godliness. Although the verses we will look at were written long ago, they could have been written this morning. What Paul wrote to Timothy in 1 Timothy chapter 6 is challenging but at the same time rewarding if the truth can be ferreted out and understood. Please look at 1 Timothy 6:3-10 and ponder the depth of the words Paul wrote in light of the condition of Christianity today: If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; 4He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, 5Perverse......
Godliness allows us to show others the greatness of god
published . 3 min read
In July of 1972 while conducting a two week class, the level of faith among the group grew with each passing day as they learned about how wonderful, faithful and true the Word of God is. Most of these people were under 25 years of age and many were considered social outcasts and rejected by organized religion. There was no class the middle Saturday of the class so I held a special meeting at the huge old house where the class was being held. About 50 people showed up to this open meeting and after a few songs and some prayer, I began to just share from the Bible as I felt led by the Holy Spirit. My sharing led me to the subject of healing and miracles. I shared what I knew on the subject and asked if anyone would like to be prayed for. I was totally overwhelmed by the rush of people who......
Jesus chist is the mystery of godliness revealed
published . 2 min read
According to 1 Timothy 3:16, the mystery of godliness was manifested in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world and received up into glory. Who or what accurately and completely meets all of these criteria? Jesus Christ of course. Jesus Christ IS the mystery of godliness. Jesus Christ, and all He did, now makes available to us the ability to have a real, true, vital and spiritual relationship with God. This relationship is in and through the faith of Jesus Christ and nothing else. This relationship cannot be obtained through the outward acts of religious observance or ceremonies performed in the flesh. Godliness can only be found in Christ Jesus. To me, one of the most exciting and invigorating truths taught in the New......
Gaining a basic understanding of godliness
published . 2 min read
Quoting from “A Critical Lexicon and Concordance to the English and Greek New Testament” by E. W. Bullinger; here is what Mr. Bullinger had to say about the English word “godliness” : Godliness (eusebeia) relates to real, true, vital and spiritual relation with God; while threskeia relates to the outward acts of religious observances or ceremonies which can be performed in the flesh. The English word “religion” was never used in the sense of true Godliness; it always meant the outward forms of worship. The foundational verse for understanding “godliness” is found in 1 Timothy 3:16 where it says: And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God (which) was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the......
True christianity compared to religiosity
published . 2 min read
The ability to apply what the Word of God teaches to daily life is a challenge that has led many a Christian down the road to either religiosity or abuse of grace. It seems that the vast majority of Christians either want to put on a robe and live life as a monk or desire only the tag “Christian” attached to them but having no desire to live like a Christian. Godliness is defined as having a real, true, vital and living spiritual relationship with God that is totally opposite to religion. It is my belief that if we can understand Godliness, we can then grasp what it takes to apply the truth of God's Word in our lives without becoming Pharisees or so frustrated with the whole concept of being a Christian we just walk away from the faith. Being and acting religious in no way......
Pride destroys unity and humility destroys pride
published . 3 min read
We all have our opinions, interpretations, doctrines and beliefs. These things have been formed over time by the teaching we have received, study we have done and experiences we have lived. Due to these things, there are great differences that arise within the Body of Christ regarding various aspects of Biblical understanding and righteous living. The only way to continue manifesting the love of God toward each other in spite of our differences is to sign on to become members of the MRS. The MRS (mutual respect society) is grounded in the instructions within the Word of God to squelch division and strive for unity, submit to each other in the love of God and endeavor with all of our hearts to work things out rather than blowing things up. The biggest enemy to unity is pride. Pride demands......
Two days later, the reality hits home
published . 2 min read
Rumor has it that I was born on this date in 1853 (or so it seems based on how I feel today). Having lived for so long, I feel a special ability to impart wisdom regarding the art of living. I learned long ago that most of things we think are so important at the moment, within a few days become absolutely irrelevant. The earthshaking crisis of today barely is remembered a week or month from now. I have come to understand, the hard way, that foolishness is defined by throwing the constraints of our conscience to the wind and pursuing whatever whim strikes our fancy without thought of consequences. Impetuousness may be a good thing for some people but for people like me it is near the top of enemies I must be on the lookout for all the time. Of all the great lessons to be gleaned from the......
Ambassadors for christ (not his police)
published . 2 min read
Is boldness to be equated with being obnoxious? Is the willingness to speak the Word of God fearlessly to be equated with being calloused or uncaring? Is being a witness to your faith the same as publically denouncing the faith of everyone else? When I checked my e-mail this morning I saw that I had about 25 new comments on my blogs. Immediately I knew what that meant and after going to the first one, my suspicions proved to be correct. Overnight, someone had bombarded as many blogs as they could find with the same message which sought to cause Christians to question their faith and correspondingly - their God. Thankfully the mechanisms in place here at Christian Blog caught what was going on and eliminated the comments and the person from the site. Among the things I thought about......
Staying close to the fire of god
published . 2 min read
Last Monday morning the temperature outside was minus 10 degrees with a wind chill of minus 30. Inside, we were comfortably enjoying 68 degree heat.. Suddenly the electricity went out and during the 3 hours it was out, the temperature in the house dropped 15 degrees to 53. 24 hours later, with the furnace running nonstop, the temperature in the house had finally climbed back up to 66 degrees. What happened last week reaffirmed a principle that constitutes one of the most important lessons we should know in this life. It takes a very long time to build something, but it can be torn apart in no time at all. It was indeed shocking to see how quickly a house cools down when it is bitterly cold outside. I don't know which was more impressive, that the house chilled so rapidly or that it......
The prayer of those lost in the night
published . 2 min read
Wandering, searching, lost and alone; wondering if they will ever make it home. This is the mantra of many a lost soul, held captive by pain and a prisoner of rage. No one to help them and no one who cares; these are the woes of those lost in the night. I know what it means to be broken and alone. I have suffered the inglorious and depreciating throes of disgrace and rejection. There is nothing as tragic, horrible or wretched as to be lost and alone, hated and despised, forgotten and unknown. We are surrounded by countless people, who have nothing to live for but are afraid of dying. Locked in the jaws of a meaningless existence, they trudge through life in fetters and chains. Oh for only one day of freedom, oh for only one person to love them. As the multitudes merrily go on their way,......
God does not want us ignorant or bewildered
published . 2 min read
God does not require that we know everything in His Word, but He does lay out five specific things He does not want us to be ignorant of. Ignorance is defined as having a lack of knowledge or understanding in a matter. Please join me as we look at five specific things mentioned in the New Testament that God wants us to have knowledge and understanding concerning. #1 The saints which sleep and our gathering together unto the Lord - 1 Thessalonians 4:13-17: But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain......
Trusting god enough to allow him to direct our paths
published . 3 min read
I was 19 years old, working for the ministry and engaged to the only woman I had ever truly loved. What more could a young man want? I was living a fairy tale and enjoying every minute of it. My fairy tale was shattered into a million pieces in early October of 1972 when I received word that my fianc©e (who was doing mission work for one year in Michigan) had left her team and eloped with a man she had met two weeks earlier. I was too young and na¯ve to understand how or why the love of my life suddenly rejected me. It was as if someone cut off one of my arms or legs. My world collapsed around me and I was thrown into a state of depression that lasted several months. Nothing messes up a young person's life quicker and more dramatically than the dissolving of a love......
Understanding why people do bad things
published . 3 min read
Why do people do the bad, evil, injurious and horrible things they do? Why do people steal from each other, defraud one another, kill another etc? Is there any logical explanation for the obnoxious behavior we see demonstrated around us daily? Some would say that people influenced by drugs and alcohol commit most crimes. Some would say it is poverty that causes people to steal etc. Some would say that mental illness is the culprit EVERY TIME. Some would say the problem is just bad human nature. There is no denying that all of the above things influence people to do bad things. But, just because a person drinks too much, lives in poverty, battles mental illness or is a “bad seed” , does not mean they will turn out to be a serial killer. Why is it that the majority of people who......
An introduction to deceiving spirits
published . 3 min read
For many years I studied, taught and practiced things relating to deceiving spirits. I was constantly reproved and rebuked by ministry leadership for “scaring people” about devil spirits. Ultimately I was more or less prohibited from doing much in what I feel is a vital field in regards to a Christian's ability to walk in the victory we have in Christ. I realize it is very easy to fall into the snare of thinking our battle is against specific spirits and thus we see devil spirits everywhere and in everyone. I understand that it is very difficult to not become apprehensive or even afraid of the agents of the evil one as they go about their dastardly business each day. I am very aware of the misconceptions and wrong teachings that abound within Christianity regarding the......
Sometimes winter is not for the faint of heart
published . 2 min read
At 5:00 am this morning, on the coldest night in 30 years, the electricity went out at our all electric house. After calling in the problem to the electric company all we could do was crawl under the many blankets and wait. I was not about to drag the generator out into the negative 10 degree cold and try to get it to start. The temperature in the house before the outage was a balmy 68 degrees. When the electricity came back on at 8:30 this morning the temperature in the house was 53 degrees. I guess that proves it is really cold here, although not nearly as cold as up where Kreynolds and poodlelady live. The disconcerting part about this morning's situation is that we are snowed in and could not leave if we wanted to. We are surrounded by drifts of snow up to 4' tall. The mile......
Logic is a gift from god therefore we should use it
published . 2 min read
We are having a rare Missouri blizzard at the moment which is both beautiful and at the same time scary. Reason ruled this morning at 4 am and my wife was prohibited from trying to go to work due to the expected problems in rural areas. I am so thankful for this because I would have been the one trying to drive through snow drifts and fighting to stay on the road. There is a crucial element needed in order to survive this life and stay out of trouble while doing so. This element is LOGIC. People get into trouble everyday because they overstep what is logical and go with what is emotionally desirous. I am sure there are countless people stranded in ditches in our area because instead of delaying a trip or driving slowly, they tried to show off their superhuman powers and once they......
Discerning spirits is not for the immature
published . 3 min read
In December of 1971 I met a woman who changed my life forever. I was an 18 year old kid spending a year doing outreach for the ministry in northern Wisconsin. I had recently attended a class which emphasized discerning of spirits. I was, of course, chomping at the bit awaiting a chance to exercise my new knowledge, and the opportunity quickly presented itself. Doris (long ago I forgot her real name) attended a fellowship and appeared to be a normal woman in her mid twenty's with no husband or children. I remember vividly her bright red hair which made her stand out in any crowd. She continued to attend our Sunday and Wednesday night fellowships and appeared to be interested in what we were doing and stated she wanted to know more. One snowy evening, when she was one of only three......
Finding the cause and influence of our distress and affliction
published . 3 min read
For many years of my life I believed (because of what I was taught) that any and all sickness, disease, distress, trouble, woe etc. was subject to Christ and therefore could be commanded to be fixed immediately in Jesus name. Starting 30 years ago and continuing unto the present, I believe God has slowly been instructing regarding this topic for my own good as well as the good of others. I must first lay out a few things that I believe. I believe that there are devil spirits (demons) which operate under the command of their commander and chief the devil. The purpose of these spirits is to deceive, disrupt, distract, divide and destroy. I believe that devil spirits possess people who allow them into their lives via ungodly habits, lazy or wrongly taught minds and even DNA. I believe Jesus......
Learning from a less than pleasant experience
published . 2 min read
What had been a fairly mundane year for me veered to the downside in December. It is interesting how one member of the body really hurting impacts the rest of the body. I don't know what one tooth represents, percentage wise, of the body, but it cannot be much. Yet, so many times over the past month, that one member's intense pain brought the whole body to a standstill or slowed it down tremendously. This ordeal has allowed me to reflect upon many things as they relate to pain, patience, prayer and how the body works together. It is not that I haven't experienced pain before, for I have; but for whatever God's reasons, He is using this pain as a teaching platform more than other times. Twenty years ago my wife had an operation that necessitated her being under anesthesia......
A gentle remindef from god
published . 2 min read
As I wrote about recently, I have had quite a battle going on physically the past few weeks. Even with new medication elements of the problem continue to rear their ugly heads. After beseeching the Lord numerous times as to WHY all the prayers which have been offered have not seemed to work, I was given some verses from His Word which settles the issue as far as I am concerned. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. Romans 5:3-5 And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the......
A few words about my conspicuous absence recently
published . 2 min read
What starts as an innocuous and harmless incident quickly escalates into an explosion that unleashes the very essence of hell itself. In a matter of a few minutes, a well controlled situation turns into one that is absolutely out of control as the agents of affliction break through the defenses and overrun everything in sight. Burning and looting as they go, they leave devastation and oppression in their wake. I am not describing a military action but rather what I have been facing on a regular basis the past few weeks. In a very short time, I can go from feeling pretty good to being laid out by pain more intense and overwhelming than I have ever experienced in this life. At best I curl up in a fetal position and whimper. At its worst, I grab myself wanting only to rip the pain out of my......
Manifesting self control instead of seeking revenge
published . 2 min read
Yesterday as I was leaving the Wal Mart store, a man came charging in through the exit doors and pushing me aside told me to get out of his way. Instead of getting mad I simply moved and prayed for a person so angry on the inside that his idea of Christmas cheer was to manifest utter disrespect for others “in his way” . Earlier, as I made my daily trip to the post office carrying a large tub of packages, I was appalled as a woman just about knocked me over to make sure she got ahead of me in line. If that wasn't bad enough, she would not even hold the door open for me to get in. Again, instead of getting mad (or seeking to get even), I remained calm and prayed for this person I had never seen before. When we are challenged, treated rudely or disrespected, the tendency is to......
Come lord jesus, come quickly
published . 2 min read
There is not a day that goes by where my heart does cry out; “Come Lord Jesus; come quickly” . Surrounded by hypocrisy, selfishness and moral depravity, there is not day that goes by where I do not cry; “How long?” The truth of the Word of God has been watered down, adulterated, twisted to suit individual desires, chopped to shreds and condensed into a simple manual for obtaining personal goals or how to be a “good person” . Where has the passion gone that manifested itself in the desire to follow our Lord, no matter what the cost? Has the truth of God's most Holy Word lost all of its meaning? Do the words of the Almighty not mean more than those spoken by a politician, corporate executive, newscaster or sports celebrity? Somebody can “tweet”......
A few thoughts on the grace of god
published . 2 min read
A 16th century Englishman by the name of John Bradford spoke the words, “There, but for the grace of God go I” as he watched his fellow prisoners being led to their executions. Bradford was imprisoned in the Tower of London for his Protestant faith. John Bradford later burned at the stake for his Protestant beliefs. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. We are who we are, have what we have and can do what we do because of the grace of God. The more we believe this, the less we judge others for their apparent lack of faith or failures in the flesh. The less we believe this the more we frown upon those who don't measure up......
The love of god vs the love of money
published . 2 min read
The need to be “top dog” , the one in charge, “head honcho” etc has led many a person down the road to ruin. The quest for power is like an addictive drug that produces a craving for more and more. The craving to “have it all” , be better than everyone else and be the ultimate lord over others is nothing more than the lust for worship. This is what ruined Lucifer and countless men and women ever since. The reason people strive to accumulate more and more money is that money buys influence and power. The phrase “rich and powerful” describes those who have achieved a level of stature that enables them to be subservient to no one and in control of everyone. Money buys prestige, honor and stature. Money opens doors to advancement, oversight and control.......
Save the sword for the enemy
published . 2 min read
Within Christianity there appears to be some, who have designated themselves as snipers. Waging some kind of holy war, these spiritual guerillas fire deadly shots straight into the hearts of unsuspecting believers who try to keep their faith simple. I understand the need to speak the truth in love. I understand the need to “warn every man” . I understand the need to seek perfection in one's individual walk with God. It is not that I do not understand these things, for I do. It is that I don't agree with the way they are done by some. When Ephesians 6 lays out the whole armor of God, there is only ONE offensive weapon, and that is the “sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God” . Everything else that is listed is defensive in nature with the purpose of......
The fruit of god's garden within us
published . 2 min read
For many years my wife and I had a garden each summer. These gardens ranged from small to gigantic. Every spring I had to till the ground and go through the backbreaking chore of planting the seeds. Once the seeds were in the ground, all I could do was pray that plants would germinate and not get eaten by rabbits or birds as soon as they appeared. There is no way to drop a seed in the ground and the next day have an ear of corn or a succulent tomato. There are no short cuts when it comes to the time needed for a seed to become a plant and the plant to produce fruit. Gardening is NOT something an impatient person should try unless they are interested in learning what patience, persistence and endurance really mean. So many things enter into the equation as to whether a garden planted in......
Walking by faith
published . 2 min read
Whoever said, or wrote, that walking with God is easy, probably never walked with God for more than one day in their life. Walking by faith and not by sight is probably the most difficult and demanding endeavor we will ever be asked to do during our time here on earth. Not only is it extremely difficult to block out the negative and distracting influences of the world, we must deal with our broken bodies and very imperfect minds. For many years I have read about and prayed to be a man like George Mueller. How that man managed to keep food on the table for the orphans he oversaw is a testimony to the rock solid faith in his heart. I am sure he wavered in his faith for he was human, but in the end, his absolute faith in the promises of God won out over the fears of the flesh and the......
What god taught me in the sunflower patch 44 years ago
published . 3 min read
On August 24, 1969 God changed my life while on a church work trip outside Albuquerque, New Mexico. In less than 24 hours, God totally transformed me. He healed me of deeply rooted emotional issues and completely changed my personality from an introvert to an extrovert. God did all of these things strictly through His grace, mercy and love. I neither asked Him to do them nor had any expectation He would. What God did for me cannot be expected by everyone. Why God did such a total makeover on me is known only to Him but I am certainly humbled and eternally thankful He did! Much of what went on those 24 hours is intensely personal but there are many things that took place that God expected me to share both then and now. After sitting by the stream for hours, as I wrote about last week, I......
Who ordains a man or woman?
published . 2 min read
I was ordained in February of 1978. I was “unordained” (without even knowing it) in 1988. When I accepted the invitation to be ordained, it was with the understanding that ordination was the external manifestation of the internal commitment in my heart to God and His ministry. It was my understanding that ordination was the expression of absolute commitment to God as opposed to man. At some time after 1978 the ministry I was involved in and who had ordained me decided that ordination was to the Ministry and not to God. Many of us rebelled against this ungodly change of policy and expressed our views, only to be called cowards, infidels and traitors to the Ministry and the man who founded it. What happened to me has happened to countless others as they have been confronted with......
What god taught me sitting by the stream 44 years ago
published . 2 min read
When I look back at the first 24 hours of my new life which started in August of 1969, it humbles me to see how God personally taught me the most important things I needed to know in order to live for Him. Other than a few hours of sleep, God helped me understand right off the bat what it means to be loved by Him, to love Him, walk with Him and do His will. I have written many times about the actual events that took place August 24, 1969. What God did for me was intensely personal and entirely unwarranted or asked for. All I did was listen and obey and God did the rest. Having no Bible, God had to teach me using a creek, squirrels, rain and sunflowers. It was not until later that He showed me in His Word what He had taught me. The first and greatest thing God did was to prove that He is......
Thank you god
published . 2 min read
These are the best of times for many while being the worst of times for many more. As most people scurry about making final preparations for Thanksgiving (in the United States), there are countless millions who have little to even be thankful for. As is the case with the Christmas holiday, there are plenty of people who “fall through the cracks” resulting in pain, depression and loneliness. There is not a Thanksgiving that goes by where I don't remember the fateful Thursday 29 years ago when, finding nothing worth living for; I gave serious thought to ending this life. As dire as my situation was at the time, God turned it all around and not only spared me but set me on a path that led to redemption. If I ever needed a reminder of the definition of mercy, all I must do is......
All god ever wanted was our heart
published . 2 min read
I am most certainly NOT a “type A” personality. I am not an overly competitive person who manifests open hostility and does whatever it takes to reach the top. I have had the unfortunate misfortune of knowing and working with these kinds of people, and every time I did, I ended up being left in the dust as they shoved me out of the way to reach their goals. I have always been a laid back kind of guy who prefers the joy of solitude over the thrill of the spotlight. Although I did have opportunities many years ago to teach thousands of people, I have always preferred the joy of ministering to one person's heart. In and of myself I am absolutely nobody. I am a speck of dust blowing in the wind. The only reason I have anything to offer anyone is what God has planted within me......
Are you ready to see jesus face to face?
published . 2 min read
1 Corinthians 13:9-12 tells us: For we know in part, and we prophesy in part. 10But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. 11When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things. 12For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. Right now we only know a little bit about God, Jesus, eternity etc. As wonderful and awe inspiring as this “part” is, it only scratches the surface of what really has gone on, is going on and will go on forever. What we see of Jesus Christ now is like the reflection one sees in the bathroom mirror after taking a shower. But, when Jesus comes......
Pulling back the curtain on the wizard of oz
published . 2 min read
Cornered with no escape, like a rat caught in a never ending maze; there is nothing in life more exasperating than to come face to face with one's insecurities or failures. People can put on a pretty fa§ade and play the part of a dynamic superhero for a season, but in due time their true colors will come out and when confronted with the reality of who they really are, their fa§ade crumbles and falls apart. I see people every day whose lives are spent in a vain attempt to make themselves something they are not. Every time I go in certain huge department stores, I am repulsed by the gigantic section that peddles makeup and other products to make a woman feel beautiful. I feel sorry for all the people who believe that by dressing up the outside theywill fix all their problems......
Are we willing to trust god
published . 2 min read
The question is not if we CAN, but rather if we WILL. Whether we are talking about believing God's Word, doing God's will, living God's way or giving of all God has given us; the issue is not if we CAN but rather if we WILL do these things. Philippians 4 tells us that we CAN do all things through Christ who strengthens us. God says we CAN but the question is if we WILL. Are we willing to believe what God says or will we fall back on our own strength and abilities. We CAN do what God says we CAN do if we are willing to let go of our doubts and pride and just do it. There is no question that God desires to bless us, provide for us and fulfill His promises for us. The problem is not found in God's ability but rather in our willingness to trust Him. In many respects our......
Helpless but not worthless
published . 2 min read
There are few feelings in life more destructive than feeling worthless. There is a difference between “helpless” and “worthless” and a great gem of truth is found in that difference. Whereas helpless implies the inability to function without help, worthless implies having no value attractiveness or admirable qualities at all. God desires that we live in a state of helplessness in order to receive His help. The more we realize that we unable to figure things out on our own, the more we are willing to allow God to help us through this life. The Bible says that the Lord is our “helper” . He helps us manage the affairs of this life so as to bring glory to Him and blessings to us. Feelings of worthlessness are straight from the pit of hell. One of the favorite......
Should christians have insurance and take medication?
published . 2 min read
Recently, as we rushed to submit our 2014 choices for medical insurance etc, we were confronted once again with the conundrum of the insurance. Insurance is nothing more than financial protection against loss or harm. Insurance is demanded for automobiles (liability) and real estate when there is a mortgage involved. Soon, medical insurance will no longer be optional in the USA. There are some Christians who absolutely freak out when told they “must” have insurance. To them, it is a confession of unbelief to carry insurance on themselves, their bodies, cars or homes. However understandable this is, in our day and time it is very unrealistic. Since all it would take is one lapse in judgment while driving resulting in a crash that could severely injure or even kill another person;......
The curse of spiritual complacency
published . 2 min read
One of the greatest lessons everyone needs to learn is to NEVER take things for granted. NEVER take your health, marriage, family, job or ministry for granted. NEVER become so complacent that very subtly one's guard is let down and a false sense of security usurps the instructions from God's Word to be vigilant, awake and sober. The things of this world have a way of lulling us into a hypnotic state. Over time, we lose “the edge” that allows us to be more than conquerors. Over time, we become comfortable in our faith and lose the passion necessary to reach out to others. Over time, we end up in the same state as afflicts many after eating a huge Thanksgiving meal. More than once in my lifetime I painfully must admit that I have been guilty of driving while being so......
Forgiveness changes you from the inside out
published . 2 min read
I read a book last year “We Wish to Inform You That Tomorrow We Will Be Killed With Our Families” , Stories from Rwanda by Philip Gourevitch. This book documented the horrible atrocities committed in Rwanda in 1994. I was especially struck by the savagery and merciless slaughter of Christians. I was also struck by the hypocrisy of some Christian organizations who sold out their brothers and sisters to protect themselves and their assets. What took place in Rwanda was a long time ago and has been forgotten by most people. Even when it was happening, it was on par with the holocaust during World War II as far as lack of media coverage and attempts to stop the carnage. Yet, what took place in that small country in the middle of Africa nearly 20 years ago continues to be the gold......
Walking with and trusting god
published . 2 min read
Anyone who says that walking with God is not at times an adventure has never walked with God. Anyone who says that trusting God is not at times tedious has never totally put their trust in God. Anyone who says that listening to God is not at times nearly impossible has never heard His voice. Walking, trusting and listening to God form the foundation upon which we build a living, true and vital relationship with God. Despite being an adventure, frustrating and at times seemingly impossible to do; with persistence and perseverance stemming from the love in our hearts for God, we can know God. Noah walked with God and because he did, he listened to the Word of God and trusted it to be true. Thankfully Noah knew God and did as He commanded by building the ark. None of us would be here......
The art of communicating, especially in a blog
published . 2 min read
It takes concentration, attention to detail and mental alacrity to consistently produce a blog worth spending the time writing and reading. Unlike many things in life, blogging is not something that can be rushed into or done without ample prayer and making sure what is written is correct and a blessing. In other words, writing a blog is extremely difficult to do when one is weary or distracted. I usually know when I have written a good blog vs. words on a page. There have been many times when I have compromised quality just to get a blog out. Those blogs are usually not well received and don't really bless anyone, including me. That is why, being honest with our situation, I have decided to replace quantity with quality the next 6 weeks. There were 272 words in President Abraham......
Emotions and the word of god
published . 2 min read
Emotions are a fickle friend at best. One day emotions take us to the moon and the next day they drop us in the valley of death. Emotions pull us in many different directions, many times at the same time. Emotional roller coasters are a way of life for many people, which in turn make life quite a challenge for those around them. I have been quite close to various people over the years who had one thing in common and that was they were emotionally unstable. An emotionally unstable person is vulnerable to whatever is happening on a given day within and outside of them. An emotionally unstable person is like an autumn leaf blowing in the wind. Many times this instability can be traced back to hormonal or chemical imbalances within the person's body. These situations are easily corrected......
The greatest law there is
published . 2 min read
As a rule, people clamor for law and order only to complain about it once they have it. People clamor for a strong leader but hate it when he/she actually leads. People crave freedom only to abuse it after being granted it. All of these statements define not only “people” but specifically “God's people” . The people wanted a law so God gave them the law through Moses. The people didn't like what they heard and started whining to go back to Egypt. The people wanted a king like all the other nations so God gave them Saul. After Saul failed, God gave the people the king of His choosing which of course David was. Through Jesus Christ we have been set free from the legal obligations found in the law needed to be righteous. Our righteousness is in Christ Jesus who......
The law given to adam and eve
published . 2 min read
When God spoke specific things to the serpent, Eve and Adam in Genesis 3, for all practical purposes He was “laying down the law” . We saw that God took away all that was beautiful in the serpent (which he used to trick Eve into thinking he was an angel of God). Instead of a glorious creature the serpent became a slithering snake in the grass. What God said to Eve was short but not sweet. In Genesis 3:16 we read: Unto the woman he said, I will greatly multiply thy sorrow and thy conception; in sorrow thou shalt bring forth children; and thy desire shall be to thy husband, and he shall rule over thee. Because Eve allowed herself to be deceived by the words of the serpent, the act of childbirth became one full of pain instead of pure bliss. Instead of being on equal footing with......
Go and sin no more part one
published . 2 min read
The spirit of the law can be summed up in one statement: Go and sin no more. From the time God drove Adam and Eve out of the Garden of Eden until “The End” , the Word of God has been and continues to be; go and sin no more. Even today, in this age of amazing grace, the clarion call of God's Word is; go and sin no more. Sin is separation from God. Sin prohibits and prevents a person from enjoying the benefits of fellowship with Him who created the heavens and the earth. Sin is a cancer that infiltrates and demolishes all that is good between God and man. Sin promotes evil and evil is the earmark and trademark of the devil. God hates that which go against who He is and what He desires for His own. Ever since Adam broke the commandment of God and ate of the tree of knowledge of......
God is almighty (not man)
published . 2 min read
So much of what I see happening in different countries reminds me of events recorded in the Old Testament. Whether Pharaohs, kings or emperors; the Bible tells us of men whose only desire in life was to control as many people as possible. The thirst for power drove them to massacre, enslave and eliminate people, cities and even nations. Men and women whose only reason for living is to control as many people as possible will stop at nothing to accomplish their goals. People who are so in love with themselves that they honestly think they are better than God will stop at nothing to disgrace and deny this God so many weak people worship. There is no way to for an extreme God to co-exist with a supreme earthly ruler. Supreme earthly rulers exert their domination through intimidation and......
God's way out
published . 2 min read
It is truly amazing that with everything we know about life and Godliness, so many of us still fall prey to things that should have been learned long ago. The truth is, just because we once knew something to be true is no guarantee we still believe it to be so. Time has a way of healing old wounds, giving us experiential knowledge and other good things. But, time also has a way of providing a means for us to fall into bad habits while growing ever the duller, spiritually sleepy and at times belligerent. Periodically we all should take some time to evaluate how we think, how we live, what we say and how much of God's Word we really manifest in our daily walk. Bad habits sneak in and then slowly take hold if we do not spot and correct them. Prolonged periods of intense pressure or......
If the shoe fits...
published . 2 min read
The last time I checked, we are all still 100% human. As humans, we are prone to making mistakes, doing senseless and dumb things, allowing pride to rear its ugly head and swinging between being too up or too down in life. Situations arise daily which will either make us a better person or add another nail in our self constructed coffin. Nothing breeds confidence more than doing something right. Nothing inspires condemnation and the destruction of self-confidence more than yielding to the weakness of the flesh or making a huge mistake that adversely impacts other's lives. We are all fragile creatures whose feelings get hurt easily and are prone to taking things personally that were never about us. Long ago I heard the phrase “if the shoe fits, wear it” as it relates to being......
Is personal integrity important?
published . 2 min read
There once was a time when personal integrity was something people were proud of and strove to practice. There once was a time when a person's reputation was protected and kept spotless, for it provided food on the table and cherished friendships. There once was a time when people took pride in perfect attendance, strove to be the best in what they did and shared the excitement when a companion achieved greatness. We live in a dog eat dog society where people think only of themselves and will do whatever it takes to win, become rich or reach pinnacles of power and influence. We also live in a culture that breeds laziness, slothfulness, apathy as well as “something for nothing” and “entitlement” mentalities. Of course there are still plenty of people who are......
Keeping stress under control
published . 2 min read
In physics (which I know very little about), there is a principle relating to the stress resulting from a force of tension. I believe this principle is quite profound and explains many things that take place in the physical, emotional and spiritual realms. One of the biggest enemies we all must deal with is stress. Stress is the mental, emotional or physical strain caused by things such as anxiety or relentless dealing with a taxing situation. Stress causes elevated blood pressure, depression, “lashing out” and a whole host of other unpleasant things. In many respects, stress is the single biggest enemy that breaks our bodies down, wears us down mentally and causes cracks in our emotional and spiritual armor. A million things can cause stress, but the single greatest one is......
Look for the open door
published . 2 min read
I have always believed in and tried to practice the “open door” principle in life. This principle is simply to believe that God opens doors to do His will while closing ones that He knows will either hurt us or waste our time and energy. There could be 50 closed doors in a row, but if we are patient, the 51st one could very well be wide open. When I loaded my minivan with supplies and headed off to help people in Mississippi in May of 2006, I had no agenda or itinerary. For many months I followed the open door and stood in awe at where God led me and the incredible people I met and ministered to. At times I would try to barge through a closed door (usually with unpleasant results), but for the most part I stayed on God's track for a number of months. Throughout that summer,......
Commitment to the cause
published . 2 min read
I was just old enough to share in the excitement when John Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth on February 20, 1962. The whole idea of space exploration captured the imagination and passion of people bound to this earth. The space program became a vital part of the 1960's culture, both good and bad. On January 27, 1967 a cabin fire killed three of our very best astronauts as they were testing the new Apollo module that would fly man to the moon. I vividly recall the intense sorrow I felt upon hearing of that fire and resulting deaths. I, like many others in this country, felt as though close friends had perished. Such was the power of the space program in the 1960's. Of course the pinnacle of the space program came on July 20, 1969 when Neil Armstrong became the......
Guarding our relatiionship with god
published . 2 min read
Faith is an intensely personal matter. In many respects it is no one else's business. Faith is a matter between each one of us and God. What we believe, how much we believe and when we believe are all earmarks of our personal relationship with God and not things we hang out on a clothesline for everyone to scrutinize, judge, admire or criticize. What happens between our heart and God is incredibly confidential. It has to be or else what takes place in our heart becomes a spectacle and for show. How we manifest our faith is on display for all to see but the details of what goes on in our heart and mind is between us and God. We all struggle at times with setbacks, problems and situations that arise in our lives. We all have times when we get distracted or tricked into believing we can......
Thank god yesterday i was six
published . 2 min read
Yesterday marked my 6th year here at Christian Blog. There were no parades or parties to mark this monumental occasion nor was there even a mention of it in my blog yesterday. To be honest, I didn't realize until today that yesterday was my “anniversary”. I am not the same man that stumbled into this site in October of 2007. No, I have not had a personality transplant or changed bodies, but I have changed in many ways over the past six years. If I had to isolate what has changed and describe it in one word it would be PEACE. I am infinitely more at peace with God, myself and my brothers and sisters than I was six years ago. I embarked on a journey in May of 2006 that took me all over the United States in a vain attempt to hook up various Christian ministries and charities......
Who is god and what does he want
published . 2 min read
God is all powerful but He will never overstep the freedom of will He has given to us. God is all knowing but that doesn't mean He is under obligation to share all He knows to anyone. God is everywhere present but that does not guarantee He will step in and immediately do something about a situation we have gotten ourselves into. Throughout the course of our lives we get ourselves into jams constantly. Sometimes these situations are of our own making and sometimes they are not. Either way, only an arrogant fool would believe there is nothing in life too big for them to handle using their own mind, intellect or resources. In many respects, God waits on us to finally realize we cannot fix things on our own and cry out to Him. Just as pride prevents us from allowing people to help us at......
The legacy of two women whose deaths in 1997 jolted the world
published . 3 min read
Perhaps not since the sudden assassination of John Kennedy did the western world receive a jolt such as upon hearing that their beloved Princess Diana had died in a car crash in Paris on August 31, 1997. This date soon became etched in the collective memories of millions of people as they vividly recalled where they were and what they were doing when they heard the news. For days after her tragic death, millions upon millions of people were in a state of shock and mourning. On September 5, 1997 in a hospital in Calcutta, India Mother Teresa died of heart failure. Her health had been in decline for years and she had recently given up her position as head of the charities she founded. Despite being 87 years old, those who knew her and especially those who received help from her were......
The difference between a good blog and a blog well written
published . 2 min read
I found out yesterday that a very good friend of mine, one I have known for many years and had a very close relationship with, is in fact a fraud. This “friend” was not a person but rather a word that I have used in writing and talking for more years than I can remember. Now that I know the truth about this word, I must make a deliberate effort to cut off my relationship with it and no matter how upset the word gets, I must quit using it. This horrible word is the English word “snuck”, as in the past tense of “sneak”. Somehow I missed the lesson 45 years ago in school that explained that the past tense of “sneak” is “sneaked”. My whole life I have used “snuck” and never thought twice about it. I feel deceived and violated that......
A critical situation demands a godly response
published . 3 min read
I was reminded last evening of two very important truths which in my case made the difference between me being here this morning writing this blog vs. being locked up in a hospital. I am still sorting out the whys and the wherefores, but one thing is for certain; God does not want us to be ignorant of what the enemy is doing and expects us to take situations to Him immediately and if needed call in others to exercise prayer. Yesterday was very busy for we had many things to package and ship that had been sold on our online store. It was nearly six pm by the time I got home from the Post Office and the local grocery store. As I stood in front of the dryer sorting through things in a grocery bag, our two dogs (which were standing there happy with tails wagging) suddenly and without warning......
Living with but not being overcome by pain
published . 2 min read
Many of us fight a daily battle with pain. Unless a person has experienced real pain, there is no way to understand what a person in pain is going through. I along with some of my closest friends here at Christian Blog endure episodes of pain far more intense and crushing than can be imagined, and that is a lot of pain! Three of the worst types of pain are surgical pain, neurological pain and arthritis/lupus etc pain. Although each of these represent a different type of pain, each one is horrible in its own way. I am intimately acquainted with each of these pains and know by experience how they test one's patience and very faith in God. Relentless and excruciating pain wears even the strongest believer down and renders us at times incapable of doing anything besides “hanging......
B2y's notes and asides
published . 2 min read
Here are some pretty worthless things I have been thinking about. Perhaps I should keep them to myself, but what fun is that? I share these things with the prayer that they either somehow bring a smile to your face or produce a response that says “yea, I thought of that too”. At any rate here it goes. The picture on this blog is of the kind of ergonomic keyboard I use. I was thinking this morning how most people would HATE this keyboard but how much I LOVE it. To each their own I guess. We are already one week into my favorite month of the year. Yes, I love October and always have. Some of the most life altering events in my life have taken place in October-both good and bad. Perhaps I love October so much due to the abrupt change in the weather. Summer's heat is finally......
Rising up to lowliness
published . 2 min read
As God's creation, there is much we do not understand (and at times agree with) when it comes to God's ways. As in everything else in life, we want what we want when we want it. When anything comes up that delays or diverts us from our desires, all but the strongest and meekest of us all throw a tantrum and stomp away from God angry and confused. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8, 9 God's thoughts and ways are far higher than ours. God sees everything from the perspective of eternity while we see everything from the perspective of the end of our nose. God is all powerful, all knowing......
I know who holds tomorrow
published . 2 min read
There is much we do not understand about life and living. Things take place daily which test our patience, try our faith and bend our trust in God as far as it can go. We feel many times that there is no hope or there is no way out of a situation. We feel many times that we do not have the strength to carry on. We feel many times that the well has gone dry and we will perish in the wilderness. Life is full of difficult times. There is no getting around it. When Christ returns, who is perfect, then and only then will we be perfect also. Finally, when are with our Lord, far removed from the hassles of this world, will we enjoy the perfect peace that only is found in the Lord our God. Much of our life is wasted worrying about tomorrow. We spend countless hours working ourselves up into a......
How does a believer end up in a "bad place"?
published . 2 min read
Most of us drift, stumble or fall into a state of confusion, despair or even depression at one time or another in this life. It is not that we want to end up in these states, but rather through circumstances and situations that arise in the course of living we just sort of end up there. It makes little difference how we get there, what is important to know is how to get out. I have heard people say they are “in a bad place”. I often wondered what kind of place this was until I found myself there 30 years ago. This “bad place” (also known as the “dark night of the soul”) is a dry and desolate place in a person's life where there are no answers, there is nothing that satisfies or comforts the soul and usually there is no one able or willing to offer any......
Breaking bad (habits that is)
published . 2 min read
As much as we don't like the idea, we are all creatures of habit. We do naturally do things because that is the way we always have done them. When something comes along that is outside the norm, we have a difficult time adjusting and end up complaining, making mistakes and running back to the old accustomed way. New believers run into this all the time. The emotion of the new birth carries people along for a season, but in due time people are confronted with the stark reality that just because one is saved does not mean there will no longer be problems, difficulties and BAD HABITS. Getting saved does not automatically cleanse us from bad habits, bad thinking and bad attitudes. For 25 years I had a very bad habit which I was ashamed of, sick of and hated. I was a smoker. I don't......
Does god take away?
published . 2 min read
There is a line in the Casting Crowns song “I will praise you in the storm” that says I will praise the God who gives and takes away. I love that song and it has pulled me through some very difficult times, but I am still trying to figure out if I believe that God takes away. In one sense I believe this is true, especially since God says so much in the Old Testament. But, there is another part of me that fights the idea of God taking anything He has given us. There can be no question, especially because of what is recorded in the early chapters of the Book of Job, that God can and does occasionally remove His hand of blessing and protection from a person's life and allows the devil to wreck his havoc. In that sense, I suppose it is right to say that God takes away even......
God is faithful and god will provide
published . 2 min read
Some would say “when it rains it pours” regarding our present situation down here at the B2Y ranch. In rapid fire succession our car was placed on hospice, we HAD to replace our flooring due to odor and stains from sick dogs, our huge window in the living room was discovered to be just about ready to fall off the house and now just yesterday our hot water heater died. Of course some would say we deserve all this because we are wicked people who lead believers astray with our devilish doctrines. But, I offer a much better opinion. Our car has nearly 210,000 miles on it. It has been on “hospice” for about 30,000 of those miles. As long as I am willing to pour the one to two quarts of oil in weekly, I believe the car might go another 30,000 miles. Although it is a 12 year......
Fighting the good fight and running the race to the end
published . 2 min read
The battle all of us face at one time or another in our lives is whether to keep going or quit. This is why the Apostle Paul's pronouncement near the end of life in 2 Timothy 4:6-8 is so important to understand. “For I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. 7I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith: 8henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his appearing.” Most of Paul's life (after getting born again) was spent fighting the Jews who sought to kill him for what he was teaching. Everywhere Paul went, there were people in attendance whose only desire was the destruction of......
How to rise above the objection of giving our time and/or money
published . 2 min read
For many years in my life, I was involved with sales. I sold everything from automobiles to dog food. I sold things where customers came to see what I had and other things where I had to take what I had to the customer. Most of these jobs were commission only with the exception of one place where I sold cars. In my years involved with sales, there were certain things that always came up during the various trainings I attended, and that was spotting and overcoming objections, especially the big two; time and money. As long as a person falls back on the lack of time or money as a reason for not doing or buying something, the seller knows they have not sold their product sufficiently to produce a sale. As Christians, the two biggest objections we have to pulling all the stops and going all......
The whole word of god
published . 2 min read
There are some who will ONLY look to the Old Testament for instructions in living a Godly life. There are some who will ONLY look to the four Gospels for guidelines in living a Godly life. There are some who will ONLY look to the Epistles written after the Day of Pentecost for guidelines and instructions for living a Godly life. There are some who look ONLY to the Book of Revelation for guidelines in living a Godly life now. I believe that unless a person has the discipline and humility to look at the WHOLE Word of God there is no way to understand what is necessary for living a life that brings glory to God and is a blessing to Him, ourselves and others. Only when we look at the whole Word of God and put it together instead of breaking it apart can we comprehend God's will for His......
The fiery darts of doubt
published . 2 min read
The enemy whispered in my ear recently. He suggested that writing blogs was a waste of time and effort. He reminded me of my failures in this life, my lack of higher education and my seemingly constant parade of physical woes. He made some good arguments, especially if there was no God or if God had written me off as a liability or worthless child. A kazillion times it seems the enemy has whispered words similar to these in my ear. A kazillion times he has sought to rub my nose in the past, convince me that I am inadequate or try and convince me that God no longer loves or cares about me. A kazillion times I have had to stand upon the Word of God and claim God's hedge of protection around me. The enemy is persistent and will never give up. In his warped mind, he honestly believes that......
What is god's name?
published . 2 min read
I want to pose a question. Is God's name really “I am”? I know what the Bible says in Exodus and in the King James version God tells Moses to tell the people that the “Great I AM” ordained him to lead them out of Egypt. My question is very simple; do we take one verse and build a growing theology on it? In the every changing scope of Christian music and literature, the current fad is to replace words such as “God”, “Lord”, “Jesus” and “Christ” with “I am”. I know why this is happening and it bothers me no end. It is the same thing that happened when the word “Him” started popping up instead of who this “Him” really is. By using vague terms such as “I am”, the message being promoted is......
The shocking truth about what it takes to be faithful to god for a lifetime
published . 2 min read
When we are battling everything from a common cold to cancer, we are diverting energy that otherwise would be used to worship God, bless others and be productive in this life. This is why next to death; the greatest weapon the enemy uses to trip up God's people is sickness, disease and injury. Amazingly, I have come to understand in recent years that God at times allows getting and staying sick for many different reasons. I used to condemn those who got sick and didn't get healed. I looked down on them as being weak in faith. This ridiculous attitude changed abruptly when I got sick many years ago and no amount of prayer got me better. When I had to have an operation in July of 1988 or die, it was the most humbling experience of my life. It was only after I finally got better that......
What do gunsmoke, the fugitive and the moose have in common?
published . 2 min read
Some of the most powerful memories I have growing up are also some of the most meaningless. My mom worked the night shift at the local Veterans Hospital as a nurse. My dad worked the swing shift for the Postal Service. About once per month both my mom and dad had a weekend off. On those weekends two things always took place; my parents went to the local Moose club on Saturday night to go dancing or Sunday night to play bingo. Usually I was forced to go with my folks for there was no one around to babysit me. I have many memories of sitting at a big table bored beyond comprehension as my parents spun around the dance floor for hours. Having a membership at the Moose club was one of the few things my parents did that was extravagant. Honestly speaking, I think the Moose kept my parents from......
Are we an asset or a liability to god?
published . 2 min read
Is the purpose in working to make so much money to be able to get every single toy the heart desires? Is the purpose in going to college to be trained in making more and more money in order to buy more and more things? Is the purpose in living simply to accumulate as many houses, vehicles, boats, RVs, technical gadgets, clothes, sporting goods and jewelry as is humanly possible? The wealthiest man who ever lived with King Solomon. God blessed him with more riches than a man could possibly spend in a thousand lifetimes. He had everything money could buy in his time. Amazingly, after Almighty God had blessed this man with not only the wisdom he desired but the riches and wealth he did not; he ended up turning his heart away from the one true God unto the various and sundry gods his many......
Personal sacrifice defines the love of god in manifestation
published . 2 min read
I was reading a story recently about a team of climbers only hours from reaching their goal of reaching the summit of Mount Everest when they spotted a climber who had been left for dead by his team about to fall off a 8,000 foot cliff. Faced with the decision to either continue on to the summit and experience the thrill of victory or helping another climber who could very well be nearly dead and not reaching the summit was excruciating. Unlike other climbers who were so focused on personal victory that they refused to help the climber, this group unanimously agreed they had to try and help the poor man for it was the right thing to do. Sacrificing their own goals (which had cost them $20,000 each), they willingly put their dreams and lives on the line to help save the life of a stranger.......
Godliness vs religion
published . 2 min read
Religion is not a good thing, but spirituality is a wonderful thing. Religion and its first cousin religiosity serve no Godly purpose but are in fact feeble attempts by man to fulfill the inner longing to acknowledge the existence of God and thereby gain a measure of self righteousness from Him. The Bible says that Godliness with contentment is great gain in the book of Timothy. Godliness is the proper term that should be used when defining and describing the desired relationship between man and God. Godliness is the complete opposite of religion and produces Godly fruit as opposed to the temporal and self-serving fruit of being religious. Christianity is not a religion but rather the faith that is common to all who have been saved. Christianity is not a set of rules or intricate rituals......
The most humble person i have ever met
published . 3 min read
Over my 60 years of life, I have had the honor of meeting some truly remarkable people. Most of these people have long ago vanished off the radar of my memory, but a few remain firmly encased in my heart. I thank God for everyone I met and served with, even if only for a day. The people I most deeply appreciate are almost entirely simple individuals who labored in obscurity and sought no glory for what they were doing. To this day, I remain deeply thankful for the opportunity to have spent time with people I know were walking with God and doing His work. Many years ago I was invited to meet a woman who in my mind epitomized the purity and humility Jesus taught about on the Sermon on the Mount. Long ago I forgot this woman's name or exactly where she lived. But, I will never forget who......
Is almighty god our personal santa claus?
published . 2 min read
When the mighty hand of God moves, we many times do not appreciate or recognize it. We spend time praying for God to intercede, protect, guide and bless someone or some situation and then when things don't work out the way we intended we think God didn't answer our prayers. In many respects, our attitude toward God is eerily similar to a child's opinion of Santa Claus. Almighty God is not our rich uncle. Almighty God is not our personal concierge, our own private 8 ball, our go to guy or personal assistant. God is not our servant but rather our GOD. Until and unless we get this order right, we will forever be outside of God's will living in a state of mutiny and disrespect. I don't know when the idea entered man's mind that God was his own personal genie in a......
God is not for sale
published . 2 min read
In Acts chapter 8, we learn that Phillip went down to the city of Samaria to preach Christ unto them. The people gave heed to what Phillip taught because they saw the miracles which he did. It was a glorious time where the power of God trumped the forces of the evil one time and time again. Before Phillip, the person who controlled Samaria was Simon. He used sorcery and bewitched the people by saying he was some great one. Because Simon had been controlling the people for a long time, with one accord they adored him and worshipped him as a messenger from God. Amazingly, Simon himself believed the Gospel of Jesus Christ and was baptized. He hung out with Phillip and stood in awe of the mighty things he did and the miracles he was able to perform. Peter and John were sent to Samaria because......
The natural law and godly order of the cosmos
published . 2 min read
There is an order to the things of God. God did not create the universe in some helter skelter manner based on how He felt on a given day. God systematically put things in place that completed a big picture of natural law and Godly order. God designed natural laws such as gravity knowing that without it, we could never function as a society of animals and humans on this earth. God designed the law of sowing and reaping to allow man to have food to eat. God instituted the law of giving and receiving so man could fulfill His command to do unto others as you want done unto you. God had a purpose and plan for everything He did when He put this cosmos together and that is why we must operate within His plan to be in alignment with His will and enjoy His benefits. When man arrogantly denies......
What does it mean to love one another?
published . 2 min read
There are no three greater words any of us can say to another person than I love you . Yet, there are no three words which are more confusing and less meaningful many times than I love you . Love is not a response to what the eyes see, the ears hear, the nose smells, the mouth tastes or the body feels. The five senses are sensitive to external stimuli and if they like what they are receiving they love it . We can love a juicy cheeseburger because it looks, smells and tastes good. But, do really LOVE that piece of meat? We can love to go fishing, hunting or shopping, but do really LOVE doing those things or simply enjoy them? We can tell people that we love them but unless those words are backed up with action they don't mean much. Yesterday I witnessed what I perceive to be the full......
A few thoughts about 2 million views of my blogs
published . 2 min read
Last evening I reached the milestone of 2 million views of the 1,750+ blogs I have posted on Christian Blog. I cannot fathom what this means for I cannot wrap my arms around the number 2,000,000. It both excites and humbles me to know that at different times in the nearly 6 years I have been on this site, what I have written has been looked at that many times. When I first joined Christian Blog in October of 2007, my motivation in immediately becoming a paying member was the desire and hope that I found a place to permanently store everything I would write about God, Jesus Christ, the things of God and life as a child of God. I had experimented with other sites but was very disappointed in their secular nature and/or confusing platform for writing and posting. Among the very few things I......
Cheer up, we will understand it all by and by
published . 2 min read
In my younger years I used to love strumming the guitar and sing simple songs (I wasn't very good at all). One of the first songs I learned how to play became one my favorite songs due to its message. Over the years when I led a fellowship or meeting I many times had everyone sing this song because it was simple, short and encouraging. Recently I was amazed to find out there are MANY verses to this song instead of the first verse and refrain I had heard all my life. Once I saw the complete song, I knew I would have to blog about it because some of the verses are truly awesome. Without further ado, may I present to you, the complete song Farther Along . Tempted and tried, we're oft made to wonder Why it should be thus all the day long; While there are others living about us,......
Spiritual 9-1-1 emergency at hand
published . 3 min read
In October of 2009 after a wonderful and uplifting lunch with fellow CB member @billybeard, I drove up to Nashville, TN to a huge outlet mall to pick up some stuff for our online store. After walking a considerable distance I began to having chest pain and grew extremely tired and weak. Within a few minutes I was unable to walk anymore and found a bench so I could sit down. I had recently had a heart catheterization which had shown that although the many stents in the artery leading to my heart had failed, my body had grown natural by-passes around the blockage. Confused by what I was feeling I thought about calling 9-1-1 but did not want to end up in a hospital in a city where I knew no one and no one knew me. As I sat on that bench I became progressively weaker to the point I thought......
We must be extra vigilant and spiritually circumspect the next week
published . 2 min read
We are entering the time of the year where it seems that every year we face a major crisis in the Middle East. I have always believed that this is because of the major Jewish holidays that fall during this time (Rosh Hashanah started yesterday evening and Yom Kippur on the 13th) I have always felt that what happens near Jerusalem is the most important news going on in the world. I usually am pretty astute when it comes to understanding events taking place in the world, but I must admit that what is happening in Syria baffles me and leads me to believe something very dire and terrible is, or will be taking place. The rhetoric flying around regarding the consequences of a United States military action against Syria is downright scary. Both Iran and Russia have threatened to attack Israel if......
God knows how to keep a secret (until it is time to tell the world)
published . 2 min read
For the second year in a row, we have descended into quite a drought here in eastern Missouri. Thankfully this year's drought is not as bad as the one last summer which decimated crops, dried up lakes and caused damage to thousands of homes due to the dry soil shifting. But, it is disconcerting to look out on what should be green grass and instead see grass more brown than it is in winter. Weather runs in cycles and has done so ever since Noah. Until the Great Flood in Noah's time, instead of rain there was a mist which came up from the ground and watered the plants; sort of like a Godly sprinkler system. This is why no one believed Noah when he warned of a flood. It was beyond their understanding to think of rain coming down from above. It had never happened before. There are......
Climbing out of our comfort zone
published . 2 min read
Everyone one of us has a comfort zone wherein we can function without too many doubts or fears. If all of life operated within this zone we would rarely have any tribulation or anxiety about much of anything. Unfortunately life doesn't always stay in our zone and when it doesn't, that is when we find out just how much or how little we really trust God. It bothers me no end when I read or hear things that imply there is no reason that life should ever stray out of our comfort zones. Those who advocate this idea of pulling verses out of context to weave a theology that sets an impossible bar to reach actually breed condemnation, guilt and shame when we fall short of this imagined standard of perfection in this life. I am well aware of verses that teach us that we are more than......
Living the love of god and not just talking about it
published . 2 min read
As I watched the Secret Millionaire show last evening, which featured Tri Coastal Community Outreach which I have worked closely with for seven years, I was struck again by how ignorant many Christian denominations are when it comes to charity. For reasons that escape me, there is a belief among some branches of our faith that it is a bad thing to help people in any way except preaching the Bible to them. I believe this is not only shortsighted but also in direct opposition to what Jesus said in the parable recorded in Matthew 25:34-46. When someone has been beaten down by life's storms, the last thing they need (usually) is someone to slam a Bible over their head and tell them to believe. When someone has seen their home washed away, their job dissolved, their family split apart or......
Tri coastal community outreach on television tonight
published . 2 min read
I first met Carolyn in June of 2006 at her outreach center near Mobile, Alabama. At the time, she was taking care of displaced Hurricane Katrina victims out of her father's unfinished church. Unlike many of the people I had met doing the same basic thing; I knew from the outset that there was something special about the way Carolyn did things. Carolyn had been a wedding planner before the hurricane with no thought of coordinating a sprawling charity. But, when the devastation became apparent soon after the storm passed, her ironclad Christian faith and abounding love manifested in mercy prompted her to act instead of reacting. Instead of sitting around in a daze waiting for someone to help her and her family, Carolyn immediately started finding food and other supplies to help others.......
Oh death, where is your sting
published . 2 min read
Yet another situation took place last evening where someone s life ended abruptly and without warning.  This was not some rank unbeliever but a Godly man who lived the way men of God should live.  The question that haunts unbeliever and believer alike is WHY this sort of thing happens.  Over and over again we hear people ask why a loving God would allow someone to die or be killed.  Nothing contributes to people walking away from God more than the unexplained pain and sorrow that comes when they lose a child, parent, sibling or friend suddenly to injury or disease.  Nothing tests the faith of a person more than the loss of someone extremely close to their heart.  God does not kill people.  God does not make people sick or throw them into harm s way to destroy them.  God does not......
Christ and materialism; a lethal mixture
published . 2 min read
Anyone so na¯ve to believe that bad things never happen to good people is in for a rude awakening as life with Christ moves ever onward and upward.  In fact, it can be argued that the deeper one s relationship with Christ, the more tribulation, affliction and persecution there will be in this life. The more abundant life Jesus promised is not to be measured by the lack of negative things happening to and around us, but rather the promises that God will always make a way out and that He will always be with us and never forsake us.  The more abundant life is not a blanket promise of immunity from turmoil but rather the promise that no matter what happens to us in this life, we will spend eternity with the Lord our God. No single subject has caused more confusion and tripped more......
Harden not your heart
published . 2 min read
Time and again Moses had to deal with the hardness of heart manifested by the Children of Israel.  The term stiffnecked as used in the Old Testament would be roughly equal to the idea of hardening one s heart, especially toward God.  Nothing God did working through Moses softened those people s hearts and that is why they wandered for 40 years in the wilderness and ultimately died. Over and over again we see in the Old Testament where a king or a group of God s people would reject the Word of the Lord and harden their heart against the prophet who spoke it.  The results of this hardening were always gruesome and ugly.  Nothing positive can ever come from hardening one s heart toward God, His Word or His people who speak it. We are exhorted in Hebrews to NOT harden hearts as in the......
Change can be hard but many times it is a very good thing
published . 2 min read
Sunday afternoon at 4:00 pm we took off for Cincinnati, Ohio to pick up the newest member of household; Meshach the Newfoundland.  Last night we returned home around 3:00 am with 140 pounds of black dog to go with the 140 pounds of white dog (Shadrach) we already had.  Of course Jehosacat is here to watch over things. Many would ask, and rightfully so, why we need nearly 300 pounds of dog to be happy.  The only answer was and continues to be that since God never blessed us with children, our dogs have always been His way of meeting and supplying our need for what children bring to parents hearts. As I sit here so tired I can barely think straight with two big dogs upstairs separated by blockades, I have to wonder if we did the right thing.  Although I know in my heart we did, the......
44 years and god still loves me no matter what
published . 2 min read
Yesterday marked the 44th year since my experience in New Mexico where I came to know God and made the decision to serve Him and Him alone in this life.  In many respects, I look upon August 24th as my real birthday and it does indeed hold a greater significance in my life than my real birthday in January. When I see people who are 20 years old proclaiming how strong and mature in the Lord they are, I can t help but wonder how many of them will even be an active Christian 10 years from now.  I count it by life s greatest accomplishment that I have stuck with God for 44 years and counting.   44 years is a long time and in those 44 years I have experienced just about everything available in this life, both good and bad.  I have spent many years actively serving in the ministry and......
Spiritual guerrilla warfare
published . 2 min read
When was the last time a war was fought with huge armies marching into countries etc?  What was common in World Wars I and II is now a distant memory.  Wars today (and since the Korean conflict) revolve around the activities of guerrillas and the tactics used to stop them.  The tactics used in Viet Nam has been repeated in Iraq and Afghanistan among many places. Guerrilla warfare is when armed civilians use military tactics such as ambushes, sabotage, raids, the element of surprise and amazing mobility to dominate a slower and larger traditional army.  Many times this is done by striking a target and then withdrawing immediately.  This method of waging war is incredibly effective and efficient.  I recently read about the Confederate guerrillas who lived in western Missouri who would......
How do we make it through the storms in this life?
published . 2 min read
For many different reasons, I believe it is both experientially true as well as documented in the Scriptures that when it rains, it pours .  It seems as though the good times and the tough times run in cycles, and just like the weather they slip into patterns that appear to never end (but they always do). We all have experienced seasons of intense joy as well as overwhelming grief in our lives.  We all have endured tragedy and sorrow as well as the thrill of victory.  Of course Ecclesiastes speaks of this extensively in the sense of for everything there is a season .  There can be no denying that contrary to what some want us to believe, there are going to be seasons of good and seasons of bad, seasons of peace and seasons of war, seasons of good health and seasons of sickness,......
Is taking care of our physical bodies really important?
published . 2 min read
When I entered what I thought was Bible School/ministry leadership training in 1973 I had absolutely no idea what I had gotten myself into.  Before there were any intense Bible teachings and long before there was any instruction in leadership, the 65 of us in the program were taught the importance of taking care of our physical bodies. Every morning we met at 5:55 am for our daily run.  This morning run was at times grueling but the benefits were outstanding.  As much as we all hated doing it, most of us understood why we had to get up so early and trot a couple of miles. Within the first week we were told that we would all participate in a three week cleansing program that would flush out of our bodies all the junk we had deposited in them during our lives.  Most of us just groaned......
Prayer is a big deal!
published . 2 min read
  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;   Ephesians 6:18 How often are we to pray?  ALWAYS How are we to pray?  With all prayer and supplication in the spirit How much to we pray?  With all perseverance Who do we pray for?  ALL SAINTS Prayer is not rocket science.  It is so simple a child need not err therein.  In and of itself, prayer is simply speaking out to God.  Prayer is something we can do at anytime, anywhere and for anyone.  Prayer can be praise for God and all He has done, a specific request for a believer s need or beseeching God s intervention through intercession. Please look and ponder upon some of the verses in the New Testament that relate to prayer: I exhort......
A few thoughts about "pills" and god's alternative
published . 2 min read
We are fragile beings.  Even the strongest person can have his body broken into pieces in a moment of time.  Every day in laboratories and medical facilities around the world, attempts are being made and perfected that allow people to live longer, stay physically active later in life and repel the forces of disease that seek to destroy the human body and mind. It is remarkable that people live as long as they do now days.  But, being brutally honest, the extended life many people enjoy is somewhat fabricated in that it is through the introduction of various drugs and the performance of various procedures.  The advances in medicine may allow people to live longer but there is no drug that enables a person to live forever. I am acutely and personally acquainted with this topic due to......
Manifesting the love of god through prayer
published . 2 min read
When I heard one side of the phone conversation between my wife and @poodlelady yesterday, my immediate response was anger.  All I could think of was how unfair it was that someone who is one of the strongest believers I have ever known keeps getting knocked around and down by circumstances far more dire than any I have known in my life.  I was not angry at God so much as angry at the devil and everything introduced into this world through the transgression of Adam and Eve.  I was angry at the particulars of the situation and the helplessness I felt at not being able to personally help beyond prayer.  I was angry that a very good friend was being relentlessly attacked by the enemy. I was not born again yesterday.  I have been involved with the work of God s ministry in one capacity......
Where is home?
published . 2 min read
This past Sunday I had to move everything out of the living and dining rooms of our home due to new flooring being put in.  Chairs, couches and tables were all carefully stored in the garage, bedroom and even the porch.  All that remained were barren rooms.  Our dog and cat immediately caught on that there was something amiss and they started acting strange Sunday evening.  Yesterday the guys doing the work pulled up the old carpet, took down and repainted the baseboards and painted the rooms.  The dog was depressed and the cat absolutely freaked out and headed for the hills until the sun went down. Last night I got very little sleep due to the paint smell and one very upset cat.  All night long the cat sat outside the bedroom door letting it be known that he was NOT HAPPY.  His......
Has your faith burned out?
published . 3 min read
How much do you think something like love, joy or peace would cost if it had to be purchased?  How many good works would it take to have enough to get some righteousness?  Humans look at the things of God through the materialistic eyes they use for everything else in life.  They want to make images depicting God so they can gaze upon them.  They want to make statues of God so they can bow down before them.  They want to make all the qualities of God as items on store shelves that can be purchased if the price is right. The Apostle Paul spends quite a bit of time in various epistles confronting the battle that rages between the carnal mind and the spiritual.  He does this because this battle rages daily throughout our lives as our minds attempt to bring God down to our level while......
A few words for those who "want it all"
published . 2 min read
For those people intent on storing up for themselves earthy riches, there is little or no evidence in the Word of God to substantiate their desire.  To the contrary, there are numerous verses that make it crystal clear that selling out to become wealthy is dangerous, unethical, contrary to a successful walk with God and self-serving. Last week, here in the United State, there was another huge lottery jackpot.  As usual when this happens, people went crazy not only buying tickets but wasting time dreaming of everything they would get and do with 400+million dollars.  As it turned out, 16 co-workers in New Jersey purchased a block of numbers and won.  Every day in this country there are hundreds of thousands of people, many of them elderly folks living on fixed incomes, who make their......
What pleases god?
published . 3 min read
The cry from Almighty God since the Garden of Eden until His Son returns is found in one word FAITH.  All God has ever demanded and required of his crowned creation is that they have FAITH in Him, His Word and His Son.  That which unites all the administrations and covenants of God is the need for FAITH. If Adam had manifested faith in God s Word instead of yielding to the lies propounded by the serpent; then the original administration and covenant would never have ended.   But, Adam allowed his faith in God s Word to be diluted to the point he transgressed the commandment to not eat of the fruit ¦  Adam and Eve had two sons.  One manifested the faith God required while the other trusted in his own abilities and demanded his own ego be fed.  When it wasn t, he allowed envy......
Now we see through a glass darkly
published . 2 min read
For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.                                1 Corinthians 13:12 Every Friday through Monday I take my wife to and from work some 30 miles each way.  Most days the commute is uneventful but once in awhile, like this morning, nature has some tricks up her sleeve.  There was no mention in the forecast, even at 4:00am when I looked of anything out of the ordinary.  I guess in the weather forecasting realm, nearly zero visibility is not unusual.  For much of the commute in this morning, I had to drive through fog that reduced the visibility to mere feet.  Of all the acts of nature (other than ice) I hate driving through fog the most due to not......
God is, was and will always be...
published . 2 min read
From the very depths of the universe Almighty God proclaims to all who want to see and know Him that He is the creator of the heavens and the earth.  In every aspect of creation we see His handiwork, His power and majesty.  In every living thing we see the very essence of what God is, and that is LIFE. Almighty God is not the god of death or hate.  He is, as He always has been, the God of Life and Love.  Why did God bother to create this world in which we live?  Why did He not be content to fellowship with angels?  That Almighty God would see fit to create this earth and fill it with plants and animals in preparation for us being here is an act of super abounding love and grace. Almighty God is not the god of despair or disgrace.  He is, as He always will be, the God of Hope and......
Genetics, the elephant in the middle of the room
published . 3 min read
How is it that my dad had not one, but two major aneurysms during his life?  First he had a brain aneurysm in 1976 and then one in the huge artery carrying blood to the legs in 1989.  Amazingly he survived the operations both times and lived a happy life until his death at age 84 in 1998.  How is it that my mom battled being overweight her whole life?  She fluctuated between being fheavy and morbidly obese her whole adult life.  She was always on a diet and always extremely self conscience about her size.  Her weight issues coupled with the arthritis that ravaged her body made her a very unhappy person who in time was not able to care for herself. How is it that in 1997 I suffered a series of heart attacks that resulted in heart bypass surgery in 1998 at the age of 45?  How is it......
The truth vs. what is projected
published . 2 min read
My heart aches as I think of and pray for numerous people in various stages of cancer diagnosis, treatment or follow-up.  It is incredible how many people are directly or indirectly impacted by this horrible disease.  Added together, the amount of time, effort and money spent to monitor and treat various cancers is staggering.  My heart aches as I think of and pray for numerous people facing battles that are testing and trying their faith.  So many people are afflicted with pressure in their lives due to financial andother issues.  So many people are firmly entangled in the various elements of oppression and depression.  Situations that arise and will not quit leave a person tired, worn out and vulnerable. My heart aches as I think of and pray for numerous people firmly in the grasp......
Are we passive, pathetic or passionate christians?
published . 2 min read
How many hurt people does it take before we care enough to help?   How many devastated lives does it take before we reach out a helping hand?  How many confused and conflicted people that they seek to end their lives does it take before we get are moved to get involved? Living the Christian faith is not rocket science.  The living Christian faith is not so difficult to understand that it takes a million hours studying ancient texts to figure out.  Becoming all God called us to be and doing all God exhorts us to do simply takes the willingness to get up, get moving and get involved with other people s lives. The difference between passion and passive is two letters.  Whereas passion denotes intense or overpowering emotion or enthusiasm, passive means to NOT participate and not be......
The more things change the more god is the same
published . 2 min read
For most of us, once upon a time life was fairly simple.  We had jobs to go to, functions to attend, families to take care of etc.  Over time, what was once simple became routine and what was routine became a rut.  Just a car cannot move forward if stuck in a rut, so we cannot move ahead with the things of God if we are stuck in a rut. Over the past few years it seems as if God has been going out of His way to disrupt, change and redirect many of us.  Jobs have been lost, health issues have arisen, family members have had problems and a whole array of situations have come up that have challenged us to say the least.  For many of us now, every day is an adventure in believing God with few guarantees other than what God has given in His Word. Is this really so bad?  Is it really such......
Resting in the perfect peace of god in christ in us
published . 2 min read
“Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. ” John 14:1 NKJV “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. ” John 14:27 NKJV “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. ” John 16:33 NKJV As Jesus was instructing his disciples regarding what was coming at the end of His earthly ministry; He said the above mentioned three things. First He exhorted them to believe in Him just as they believed in God. This belief would in turn allow them to remain peaceful and their heart not troubled. Jesus repeated this same......
A few thoughts about those who believe they are never wrong
published . 2 min read
Perhaps the most difficult thing to do in this life is to admit we are wrong. Due to pride and arrogance, we all fight having to confess something we say or do was incorrect, unloving, insensitive or downright hurtful. Claiming “perfection is in the Lord”, we tend to shrug off mistakes in judgment or words spoken in a fit of rage as “being human”. In order to protect our pride, we do all that we can to cover, hide, deny or justify our mistakes. When people set themselves up to be infallible they are in reality setting themselves up to fail. When a person refuses to consider the possibility what they say, write or do could be wrong, they allow pride to rear its ugly head which is neither pleasant nor edifying. Many leaders tend to project the image of always being......
The heart of christianity is sacrifice
published . 3 min read
When the things we accumulate in this life become OURS that is when our love for God grows cold. When the things God has blessed us with become a way to bless others, our love for God becomes passionate and white hot. If there is one common denominator found in all the men and women mentioned in the FAITH HALL OF FAME in Hebrews 11 it is their willingness to sacrifice something that meant more to them than life itself. Whether money, offerings, pride, friends, family or their physical life; those who are the real believers literally live as though their life is not their own. Doing what God wants done is rarely easy and always demands sacrifice. This is the lesson Jesus communicated time and again during His earthly ministry. I think we have become so laid back in our faith that we have......
My personal declaration of spiritual independence
published . 3 min read
I am fully comfortable with the prospect that as I continue to share my heart regarding subjects that mean the most to me; many of those who read them will either reject them or have no clue why I think they are so profound. I spent years of my life worrying about what people thought of me, but I can honestly say that I really don’t care anymore. I honestly don’t care if a person wants to be a Catholic, a Lutheran, a Baptist or a Pentecostal. I really don’t care if a person wants to go to church every single Sunday or never goes to church. We all must make up our minds to do and practice our faith as we believe is right. What I do have a problem with is when someone says I MUST be a Catholic, Lutheran, Baptist or Pentecostal to be saved. What I do have major issues with......
Rise up and fight
published . 3 min read
One of the attributes of the devil is that he is the great accuser of God’s people. We must never forget that the enemy is not above slander, defamation of character and flat out lies when it comes to anyone he perceives as a threat to him. Far too often God’s people dwell only upon the enemy’s temptations in regard to pleasure and forget that through his lies and oppressive tactics, he also tempts people into believing they are less than what God says they are. At one time in my life I was actively teaching and helping God’s people on a daily basis. For a season I did a fairly good job at motivating, comforting and instructing those God had blessed me with the oversight of. In fact, there was a time 30+ years ago that I was being considered for a major ministry......
Having the courage to be brave, valiant and bold
published . 3 min read
Do we have the courageous audacity to be brave, valiant and bold? Please take a moment to look at the simple definitions to these five important words: 1. Courageous—the ability to face danger, difficulty, uncertainty, or pain without being overcome by fear of being deflected from a chosen course of action. 2. Audacity—daring or willingness to challenge assumptions or conventions or tackle something difficult or dangerous. 3. Brave—having or showing courage, especially when facing danger, difficulty or pain 4. Valiant—brave and steadfast. Characterized by or performed with bravery but often ending in failure 5. Boldness—courage combined with a willingness to take risks or attempt difficult or unconventional things. In different ways we need to strive for......
The living word of god
published . 2 min read
I am and remain absolutely committed to the integrity of the Word of God. What God has said in His Word is the truth as far as I am concerned. All things must be measured according to the standard set in God’s Word. Anything that contradicts, belittles or compromises the integrity of what God has said in His Word is nothing more than personal opinions, myths and flat out lies. I believe there are many things not recorded in God’s Word, for as Jesus said, if they were there would not be enough books on earth to hold it all. But, what IS written in the Word of God is in fact the will of God revealed for all to see and live by. In other words, I believe that it is possible for God to speak His Word outside of what is written, but that which is written is absolutely the Word of......
Beware of chameleons, charlatons and counterfeits
published . 3 min read
If I went to the salvage yard and towed a beat up car to the body shop where the outward appearance was made to look good, then clean all the burnt oil off the engine, give it a quick tune up, put new tires on it and finally roll back the odometer; I would have what APPEARS to be a good clean used car. Every day there are thousands of unsuspecting people who pay a fortune for what APPEARS to be good vehicle only to find out later it was a fraud. When people put on a facade and become someone they are not, they are no different than the unscrupulous car dealer who deliberately deceives the customer through saying something is what it is not. God hates fraud, hypocrisy and lies. The devil is the father of lies and he is the expert at turning pure trash into an APPARENT treasure. I could......
The ugly and dangerous monster called pride
published . 2 min read
What started as a difference of opinion soon escalated into a war of words and once alcohol as introduced; became a dangerous crisis moments away from disaster. This scenario was played out in a previous life over and over again between someone I was “married to” and me. There never was a clear winner to the argument, for the other party refused to ever once consider she was wrong. This type of attitude defines pride. Pride refuses to lose an argument. Pride insists on always being right on everything, first in everything and better in all things. There is no room for compromise when pride enters a situation. That is why Proverbs has many things to say about pride, the proud look and other associated terms. Certainly the entire subject could be wrapped up in the verse which......
The algae of compromise
published . 2 min read
We used to have a nice little pond here at the B2Y ranch. It made up for its lack of size with its water that although it was cloudy, was free of algae and other weeds. I say “used to” because a horrible thing has happened to that little pond. Starting a few years ago, clumps of algae started forming on the bottom of the pond in the spring and would reach the surface by the end of the summer. Last year, due to no rain for nearly 3 months, the water level dropped and the algae went crazy. Pretty much everyone’s pond had the same thing happen. Something about the lack of rain coupled with unrelenting heat caused the algae to explode. This year I invested in some chemicals and started applying them as soon as the water warmed. For awhile I thought I had fixed the problem.......
The power of repetition
published . 2 min read
Have you ever heard a song that with each time you hear it, the tune and words become etched in your mind to the point you are playing it over and over again all day long? Of course you have, for every one of us has to deal with this “problem” at least a few times in life. I say “problem” because it can be both aggravating as well as embarrassing at times to be playing the drums on your leg or whispering the words when you are supposed to be listening or concentrating. Well, I heard a song about a month ago that was nice but it went in one ear and out the other. Over the past month I have heard this song numerous times and now because the tune is catchy, the words communicate a nice simple message and the performer has a unique and wonderful voice—I......
My night at the muny
published . 2 min read
Last night, as a belated birthday present for my mother-in-law, we ventured into the city of St. Louis to the opening night of “Les Miserables” at The Muny (a world famous outdoor theater). The weather was perfect and the performance was flawless. There were close to 10,000 people attending opening night and we were privileged to have received free tickets to be a part of the event. My mother-in-law lived in France for a few years back in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s so she was thrilled to see the production. My wife spent time in France three different times and loves the country and culture. I never have been to France, do not know the language but respect the heritage because of what I have learned from the two most important women in my life. I have been to......
Negating the spirit of conflict with the peace and love of god
published . 2 min read
I have never understood why people believe rioting solves anything. The current wave of violence spreading over America’s cities is crazy, unwarranted and obviously sparked by something other than a verdict in one court case. What is happening now is totally disproportionate in relation to the cause. In other words, the court case involved was NOT important enough to justify the rage, hatred and violence taking place. Among the many things God frowns upon, rioting (or wantonness in the New Testament) ranks near the top of the list. There is absolutely no justification, from God’s point of view, for a crowd to run wild, throwing rocks through windows, setting vehicles on fire and physically injuring bystanders. God never told His people to riot against Pharaoh or against the......
The carnal mind of death vs the spiritual mind of life and peace
published . 2 min read
The introduction of the world along with its unbelief, fear, self-sufficiency, selfishness, greed and everything else that is contrary to God is subtle and insidious. Even the strongest believers will fall prey to the cunning craftiness of the evil one many times as he patiently lures our hearts and minds away from God and into the traps he meticulously sets. That which is not truth is a lie. That which is not of God is of the wicked one. God’s Word provides us with the way and means to know God walk with God while staying immune from the viruses the world seeks to plant in our thinking. The world’s thinking is contrary to what God says in His Word yet time and time again God’s people forsake Him and turn to the world. How can this be? The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans......
God was at work even when i thought he had forsaken me
published . 2 min read
The picture I have been painting has been bleak and troublesome because that is the way I was back in 1965-69. It does no good to sugarcoat the way things were, for in doing so it diminishes what God did for me on August 24, 1969. As the saying goes; the darker the night, the brighter the light shines. On January 16, 1969 I turned 16 years old. As usual the day was as all others with nary a mention made of my “special day”. The only significant thing about the day was that I could drive without supervision and I was allowed to drive myself to the church league basketball game I had that night. On my way home after the game, I stopped in a park near our house to think about” life”. I was old enough to know that I had some serious problems. I was depressed enough to......
Children who are loved usually end up being loving adults
published . 2 min read
When I look back on my life, there is a line of demarcation that sits squarely at the beginning of 7th grade. Simply put, I could not handle the transition from elementary to junior high, I could not handle the bullies who saw me as fresh meat to devour and I could not overcome the lack of communication and love with my parents. I do not blame my father or mother for what took place many years ago but I am honest enough to know that they played a huge role in why I struggled so mightily between 7th and 10th grade. Due to my parents work schedules, personal and relationship problems they were going through along and my sister and brother both being married and living far away; it is not surprising that I had some “issues”. What time my dad spent with me was at the golf course,......
Never underestimate what words can do to and for a child
published . 2 min read
My only accomplishment of note while I was in 10th grade was that I squeaked onto the high school golf team as the 25th person on the 25 man team. Although I never played any competitive golf while on the team, I did get to play a round of golf every day after school for a few months. In the process of doing this I got fairly good at the game, but not great by any means. A few weeks after the school year ended I entered the annual youth golf tournament in Wichita. The only reason I entered was to appease my dad who urged me to do it. Grudgingly I paid the few dollars entry fee and showed up early on the Saturday morning along with every other kid in town who thought they were about to be a pro golfer. Perhaps because I had been practicing so much or because I knew the course well, I......
The role memories play in shaping and molding us
published . 2 min read
I was almost 11 years old when President Kennedy was assassinated in November of 1963. I remember hearing the announcement in school and upon getting home watching the drama as it unfolded on television. Because I was not old enough to have any political beliefs the event was nothing more than a tragic situation in my little mind. One year earlier, when I was not even 10 years old, I vividly remember many things associated with Cuban missile crisis. I believe the reason I have so many memories of that time is because it represented the first time in my young life that I was genuinely afraid. For various reasons, Wichita Kansas (where I grew up) was supposedly one of the locations targeted by the missiles in Cuba. I vividly remember watching television and hearing that unless something......
Who am i and what has god done for me - the background
published . 2 min read
When I was in the 6th grade, I was the teacher’s pet, one of the most popular guys around and very outgoing. All that changed when I had to go from the friendly confines of my elementary school to Junior High. Without question, the worst 4 years of my life were 7th through 10th grade. I turned into a timid and demented kid with no friends and so introverted I could not even give a book report without stuttering and breaking into tears. What happened that so radically changed me? Of course the change of going to a big school was part of it. Of course watching many of my friends be bussed off to other Junior High schools was part of it. Of course the fact that my best friend who lived next door was a year behind me in school was part of it. But, deep in my heart I know what happened......
Breaking news from the b2y ranch
published . 1 min read
Breaking News: In a stunning development, the notorious BY2 has decided to take a 4th of July break from blogging. Citing lack of interest in blogs at the moment along with everything people are doing the next few days, Mr. B2Y stated that it seemed like a good time to let the blogging apparatus take a well deserved break. B2Y has been pumping out blogs at least 5 times per week since October of 2007. He has over 1700 blogs in his archive at Christian Blog. When asked if he was afraid his only competitor for the top blogging rights crown "kreynolds" might use this time to catch up; B2Y responded by saying I hope she does, for she deserves it . Mr. B2Y plans to spend the next few days catching up on rest, his internet business, reading and doing various jobs at the B2Y Ranch. He......
Choose your battles wisely
published . 2 min read
Wisdom dictates that we choose our battles wisely. Only a fool tries to get involved with every situation that arises. We only have 24 hours in a day and a limited amount of strength, energy and resources. Because of this, we must resist the temptation to confront, join in or fight every issue that arises or every situation we hear about. Jesus taught that a wise person weighs the cost of something and determines if there are enough resources available to get or do it. If this is not done, a half-finished edifice will be the result. There are few things as foolish looking in this life than a house, building, sub-division or city that never is completed due to running out of money to build it. Many years ago I attended a meeting at a man’s house in an exclusive part of St. Louis. He......
If it is worth doing, it is worth doing right
published . 2 min read
By no means am I a perfectionist, but I admit that I can’t stand sloppiness. I was raised to believe that if something is worth doing, it is worth doing right. When I look around at the way people do their job I cringe because most people do just enough to keep their job instead of doing their job the very best it can be done. No one wants a sloppy surgeon operating on them, a sloppy dentist messing with their teeth or a sloppy mechanic fixing their car. When it comes to these matters we want a professional who knows what they are doing and who will do it correctly because they are dealing with things that are very important to us (our body, teeth, car etc). When I was growing up, my dad took me to the barber college for my haircuts. Whereas he had the more advanced students give......
Whatever happened to rewarding loyalty?
published . 2 min read
There once was a time when loyalty in the workplace was rewarded. Unfortunately the opposite is true today. It seems that the longer one has worked for a company, the greater the chance of getting laid off or having one’s hours and benefits reduced. Years ago my brother was terminated from his job as Vice President of a major company. What horrible thing had he done? The only reason he was let go was because he had been with the company for 24 years, 11 months and 25 days. They terminated his employment 5 days before his 25th anniversary so as to not be obligated to pay huge benefits to him for the rest of his life. Due to changes in the health care system due to start January 1st of next year, many smaller employers are being forced to cut the hours of their employees so that they......
Are we really ready for what is coming?
published . 2 min read
Every day, everywhere and in every way, everyone who dares to profess what the Bible says is truth is considered more and more of a freak or a dangerous renegade. It seems as though our culture drifts farther away from God’s commands daily. Every day it is getting harder to remain faithful and not give in or give up. Most days, I find myself feeling like Lot as I look around at what is happening in our “civilized” society. My soul is vexed because of the evil surrounding us. Laws are passed and upheld that condone or promote behavior contrary to what God’s Word advocates. Things appear on television and movies that glorify the most sordid and contemptible behavior man is capable of producing. We know that in due time Sodom and Gomorrah were destroyed by God because......
Learning to appreciate and love reading again
published . 2 min read
After incessant prodding from my wife and her mother, I have been doing something the past month or so that I have rarely ever done. No, I have not started doing household chores, for I do them all the time. No, I have not started bathing and looking presentable for I usually do such. No, I have not started or stopped any of the things usually associated with things a man does because of the prodding of his wife and her mother. What then have I done? I was never taught to appreciate reading when I was young because neither of my parents were avid readers and they NEVER read to me or with me. Because of this, I struggled with reading in school and was almost held back one year because my reading skills were so poor. Of all the subjects in school, the ones I detested the most were any......
Beware, charlatans are everywhere
published . 2 min read
During my time working with victims of Hurricane Katrina, I talked to many people who had first suffered great loss to their homes during the storm and then even greater financial loss due to swindlers who claimed they could repair their homes but in reality took the money and ran. For many, losing their life’s savings was worse than losing their home. Every day senior citizens fall for schemes and scams promoted by imposters who capture the trust of unsuspecting and gullible people regarding their money. Using promises of safe returns on their investments and/or putting their money in a safe place for their children; people willingly turn over all they spent a lifetime accumulating to con artists who are experts in deceiving people. In every realm of life, there are people who make......
Breathe on me oh refreshing breath of god
published . 2 min read
When something is refreshing, it restores energy and vitality. It is stimulating, uplifting and invigorating. Haven’t we all enjoyed the refreshment that comes after a thunderstorm has rinsed the air of all the dirt and grime? Haven’t we all been invigorated by the cool breeze that follows a summer storm? When storms move through, they are refreshing not only to the weather but also to every living thing. Yesterday was one of the lovely days we enjoy in the summer here in the St. Louis region. The actual temperature was in the mid 90’s with a heat index was over 100 degrees. It was the kind of day both man and beast has a difficult time being motivated to do much of anything except to try and stay cool. Late in the afternoon a line of strong storms pushed their......
If god says it, that settles it--now just believe it
published . 3 min read
Standing in front of the mirror on a Sunday morning 7 years in a motel room in Mississippi; I had to convince myself that what I was about to do was right and that I could do it. For nearly an hour I had to systematically confront the fear in my heart that I was going to make a fool of myself and disgrace God. For nearly an hour, I had to work with my mind to confront the lies it was being told that I was incapable and unqualified to do what I had to do. A few weeks earlier, I had wandered into the pastor’s office of a small black church in Silver Creek Mississippi on a Sunday morning and talked with the pastor before the service about the work one of his members in the church was doing to help Hurricane Katrina victims. By the time the service started he had invited me to sit on......
We all get lost sometimes
published . 2 min read
A dead end does not have to be THE END. All a dead end means is that there is a better way to your destination. A dead end forces us to seek out the best or right way. Unfortunately, most people look at a dead end as the end of their dream, their hope or their life. Many years ago I delivered pizzas for awhile to help make ends meet. Time and again I would follow the directions given to me only to find myself lost or at a dead end. Of course now days with GPS this may not happen, but 25 years ago it happened all the time. Was it the end of the world? Of course not, it was only frustrating. My dad, as was the case with most men of his generation, absolutely would NEVER stop and ask for directions. It was deemed “unmanly” to admit one was lost. I remember many times we would end......
The five eternal crowns mentioned in the new testament
published . 2 min read
When all is said and done and we are left with nothing except what we have accomplished in this life; will be as the Apostle Paul and say “I have fought the good fight, I have kept the faith” or will be as Judas and rue the very moment of our birth? When the day comes when we stand before our Lord Jesus Christ to receive our wages for what we have done in this life; will we look forward to receiving the praise for what we did in this life or...? What awaits us at the end of our life is determined by what we think, say and do in this life. If we live for this life only we may reap the temporal rewards this life has to offer, but at what price? Is it worth jeopardizing our eternal rewards to enjoy the world’s rewards for a season? If we allow the world and the empty......
Take the ball and run with it
published . 2 min read
In 1971 I served on the drug abuse counsel in Wichita, Kansas. I was 18 years old at the time, never been near a drug in my life and knew nothing about the subject. Why was I there? Because my youth minister had recommended me and made sure I got the post. I recall sitting through a few very boring meetings and wondering how anything being talked about could possibly help anyone with a drug problem. Basically it was some older psychologists, ministers and other “clean” adults talking about fixing a problem running rampant among teenagers. Nothing ever came out of those meetings and the counsel shut down after a few months. The one good thing that came from being on that counsel was that I got to go on a field trip to Hollywood, California to look into a new phenomenon just......
The blessings of blogging
published . 2 min read
I wrack my brains at times trying to figure out what to write in these blogs. I have written so many that I forget what I have written or how many times I have blogged about the same topic. I have always used three criteria for determining if a blog is worth publishing and they are: 1. Is the blog a blessing to God 2. Is the blog a blessing to you 3. Is the blog a blessing to me Whenever I have written things that only bless me, they usually fail miserably. Whenever I have written blogs only to please others, they may succeed in that, but never are quite right. Occasionally I have written a blog that was a blessing to write and to read but disappointed God. Those are the ones that bother me the most for in all things I want to be a son in whom God is well pleased. When I first start......
Is jesus a superhero?
published . 2 min read
I recently heard that Superman is being compared to Jesus. At first glance the idea seemed kind of cool but upon further reflection the whole thing to me is absurd. Jesus Christ is NOT a superhero. He is not to be compared to Spider man, Superman, the Green Hornet or any other figment of over-active imaginations. For some people, Jesus is the boyfriend they never find in this life. He is the sweetheart that makes them gush and brings a spring to their step. Jesus Christ is NOT a boyfriend. He is not to be compared to the local quarterback in high school that every girl wants to go steady with. Over the years, I have heard people say Jesus is their “good buddy”, their “homeboy”, their “sidekick” and other terms that indicate casual friendship. Jesus......
Some foggy thoughts on anesthesia
published . 2 min read
This morning I had to go under anesthesia for the second time in 3 weeks to fix a problem resulting from the first surgery. Although neither the surgery 3 weeks ago (inside the nose) nor the follow up today were serious, I stand in awe of all things relating to anesthesia. Each time I have anesthesia of any kind I think about how strange it is to literally turn your life over to someone else. In normal anesthesia the anesthesiologist controls your breathing which is a scary thought indeed. What if he was up too late the preceding night or has a touch of the flu? Anytime we turn a bodily function necessary for life over to a person, it is both scary as well as thought provoking. In the little room next to me this morning was a young lady who appeared to be about 25 years old who was having......
Having food and clothing let us be content
published . 2 min read
I heard countless times about the extreme poverty my mother grew up in. Most of the time I rolled my eyes and smiled, not believing what she said could actually be true. After my dad was buried in August of 1998, my mom took me for the first time to see the house where she grew up. None of my siblings or cousins had seen that house until about the same time. My mom and her sisters and brother had made a pact to never let their children see the shack they had to call home during the Great Depression. The house had a roof and walls. Beyond that, other than a few windows and a door, there was nothing. No floor, no indoor plumbing and until about 1934, no electricity. The house had one room where her mom and dad stayed. The two girls stayed in the “living room” and their brother......
Confronting monsters, bogey men and other fears with the truth
published . 2 min read
Are there really monsters out there? Are there really bogey men that hide in the closets and come out at night? Are there really goblins that live under the bed? Are there really any of these things? Of course any of us who are adults have learned by experience that all of these things are figments of children’s imaginations and not at all real. Or are they? I know adults who absolutely believe in monsters. I know adults who live in fear of evil beings residing in their closets, basements, under their beds etc. How can this be? If a fear is never proven to be baseless, it will never be dispelled. Unless and until a fear is once and for all destroyed by the truth, it will always be there to jump out of the closet or from under the bed at the least opportune moment. Fear is irrational......
Shutting down our self-serving pity parties
published . 2 min read
God is not a big fan of pity parties because they serve no useful purpose. Granted, they at times appear to make us feel better; but in reality they keep us down, make it impossible to help others and make a mockery of our supposed faith in God. My mother was the world champion at throwing pity parties. She had mastered the art of looking and sounding like the most pathetic person on earth who in turn enticed everyone around her into feeling guilty if they did not flood her with pity. For some reason she loved this warped counterfeit of true support and encouragement. She actually manipulated circumstances to get more of it at times. There is a profound difference between sympathy and pity. Sympathy deals with the ability to understand and share in someone’s feelings, pain or loss.......
Confronting the three-headed monster of envy, lust and jealousy
published . 2 min read
I was reading this morning about the uptick in brutal killings in Papua New Guinea. This backwards country that is heavily influenced by black magic and other primitive forms of evil has seen a rise in attacks on people who have broken free from generational bondage and taken on normal lives with jobs and permanent housing. Evidently those who do not have such “luxuries” are offended by this and take it upon themselves to destroy those who have what they want but don’t have. Once again I am struck by the reality that the vast majority of people in this world have no clue what prosperity, stability and civilized behavior mean. Locked in cultures rife with anger and feeding upon every vile and barbaric tendency in man, these people have nothing to live for outside of self......
Peace in the midst of the storm
published . 2 min read
Even though we love God, worship God, trust God and believe in God; these things do not guarantee that we will not still have problems, afflictions, distresses and a whole laundry list of physical, financial and other issues. Trusting and loving God does not guarantee a perfect life free of pain, sickness, sorrow or setbacks, it just brings us peace that we are doing God’s will. For the most part, when life’s storms arise, we must “gut them out” and wait for God’s promise of a rainbow at the end of the storm. At times, God may give us specific information instructing us to do something but many times the instruction is simply to WAIT, TRUST and HANG IN THERE. We have exceeding great and precious promises to stand upon and grab onto. But, sometimes it takes......
Why bother reading and studying the church epistles?
published . 2 min read
Whereas the four Gospels tell us who Jesus Christ was and what He did, the Church epistles show us who we are in Christ Jesus and what we can do through His power in us. An understanding of both the Gospels as well as the epistles is needed if we want to be rooted and grounded in the truth. Instead of looking at the Church epistles as an enemy to the Gospel, they need to be viewed as the fulfillment of what Jesus promised would come after He departed. In many respects, the Church epistles allow us to look back on what God did in Christ through His birth, life, suffering, death, burial, resurrection and ascension. Many people believe the Church epistles are too complicated to be understood. Many people believe the Church epistles are only for scholars, ministers and priests. Many people......
A challenge to be transformed in christ jesus
published . 2 min read
The epistle of Ephesians tells us pretty much everything there is know about what Christ did, what God did for us through Jesus Christ and what is available to us in Christ Jesus. I believe a Christian could get lost in Ephesians and spend a lifetime studying what is laid out in those six chapters and still barely scratch the surface of what is written therein. Ephesians is like dropping a big rock into a pond and seeing the ripples seemingly keep going forever. Ephesians represents the pinnacle of truth regarding what was, what is and what is to come for the Church. Within Ephesians, we find the eternal purpose of God fulfilled in the finished work of Christ. We see the great mystery revealed which was kept secret since the world began. We see the full dimension of Christ’s love......
God was, is and always will be faithful
published . 3 min read
As any of you who read my blogs on a regular basis know, I am a great believer in the grace, mercy and love of God because these attributes of God are mentioned time and again in the New Testament. None of us would be alive if it were not for God’s grace. None of us would have an eternity to look forward to with God if not for God’s mercy. None of us would even be here except for the love of God. Having said these things, there is another aspect of God that is just as important to understand as His grace, mercy and love. As great as these things are, and they are GREAT, they would be meaningless except for the faithfulness of God. The term “God is faithful” (or some variation of it) is used many times in the Bible, especially in the Psalms and Paul’s......
Manifesting the fruit of our true character in christ
published . 2 min read
I posed the question recently in a blog whether Christian musicians should produce secular music. I believe it is a wonderful thing as long as the person’s heart stays committed to God and the mission is to bless, reach out and help others. Instead of condemning people for looking, sounding and singing just like artists in the world; I believe we should back these people and pray God uses their talents to bring people to Him. The greatest witness any of us have is our life. How we live, what we think, why we do things and who we believe ourselves to be provides the true witness of our character in Christ. If we are good on Sundays but live like the devil the rest of the week we are a lousy witness of Christ. If we say one thing but do another, we are a poor example of the One we say......
Is it time to pull the plug on this world?
published . 2 min read
What if, contrary to what the “experts” are telling us, there is NOT a gigantic economic recovery just around the corner but instead another recession? What if, contrary to the wishes of most, terrible conflicts break out in distant lands and unfathomable acts of terrorism impact our home countries? What if, contrary to what our heart cries out for, instead of entering a time of peace and safety we embark on a period of conflict, crime and chaos? You and I do not make the decisions that influence our daily lives. We do not sit in positions of power and make the hard choices that directly or indirectly impact billions of people. We are not privy to super classified intelligence, up to the second data or access to every piece of information available on everything and everyone......
Hanging on through the hurricane
published . 2 min read
In football, there is (or at least used to be) a penalty for “piling on” which is when players keep falling on the player with the ball after he is already down. Unfortunately in this game of life, the enemy will seek to “pile on” whenever and wherever he can. In fact, this is one of his favorite tactics to frustrate, bring down, cripple and defeat a believer. Most of us can tolerate a hit once in awhile. Many of us can handle repeated hits occasionally. Few of us can handle one hit after another for days on end and none of us can handle all of the above for a lifetime. Sometimes it seems that life just doesn’t want to let up, that the pressures and afflictions are like drenching rains that fall every day causing the rivers to rise and the roof to leak. Few......
Should christian musicians produce secular material?
published . 2 min read
Last week I was in an outlet store which sells clothing that teenagers like. The store was packed with both teens and parents. There is always loud secular music playing in the store and I usually don’t pay any attention to it. This time my ears perked up for the song being played was one I hear all the time on the Christian radio station. Sure enough, Britt Nicole’s “Gold” was being played along with all the secular junk. There are two ways to look at this. First would be to condemn the Christian artist for “watering down” the truth, scrubbing all references to God or Jesus out of the song and mimicking the music so popular today. The second would be to hope and pray that the motive on the part of the artist and record company was to get the listener......
Why have atheists been allowed to win the battle of public opinion?
published . 2 min read
Why do people reject the notion there is a God? Why do people take pride in being an atheist? I was looking at one of the endless slide shows on some website recently that listed some of the prominent atheists and the reasons they give for refusing to believe in a god of any kind. Some were very selfish and some were very stupid but they all were very wrong. Even some of the most primitive societies on earth have believed in some form of Almighty being. Even ancient mythology believed in various gods. Even most agnostics don’t rule out that there could be a God. Why is it, in light of this, that there are so many people who not only do not believe in a god but will make life miserable for those who do? A handful of very vocal and persistent atheists have succeeded in pretty much......
A dream come true, celebrating our 25th anniversary
published . 2 min read
25 years ago today, with only my parents present, my wife Blest and I were married by a judge in his office. From this unceremonious start, a relationship has blossomed over the years that is as solid as the Rock of Gibraltar. Considering what we have endured, lived through, enjoyed and survived the past 25 years, there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that this union was and continues to be “ordained by God”. In 1976 I was married (along with 14 other couples) in a mass ceremony after my stint at Bible school. That “marriage” officially lasted 10 years but 95% of that time was difficult at best and devastating at its worst. There is nothing worse than being married to someone who refuses to love you, yet that is what happened to me. Without love, it did not take......
Responding to "bow or burn" pressure
published . 2 min read
When the three men were threatened with being thrown into the furnace if they refused to worship the image of the king in Daniel chapter 3, their response demonstrates what should be the way believers in all generations handle the pressure to compromise. There is much that can be learned from what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego said to King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 3:16-18: “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego answered and said to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not fear to answer thee in this matter . 17 If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and He will deliver us out of thine hand, O king . 18 But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up......
God is not a riddle nor is he an enigma
published . 2 min read
God’s power is limitless. God’s mercy is endless. God’s grace is boundless. God’s love is limitless, endless and boundless. God is great and His greatness is beyond our ability to figure out. God is awesome and worthy of our awe, praise and devotion. In order to fully understand the huge scope of what God has done for us, we must never lose sight of how huge God is. Our finite minds cannot grasp an infinite God who was and is and is to come. We are all guilty of making God too small and therein placing restrictions on His ability to help us, save us, forgive us, take care of etc. In a 1939 radio broadcast, Winston Churchill said this regarding the plans of Russia: “I cannot forecast to you the action of Russia. It is a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an......
The curse of stubbornness
published . 2 min read
There are a few things I can consider myself very good at. Some of these things are good and some not so good. A few of these things are excellent and a few are horrible. I am the first to admit that I have faced a lifelong struggle regarding stubbornness. For many years I took great pride in being willing to stand fast on what I believed. That is all well and good if what you believe is right, but what happens when it is not? When I look back on my life I see how at times when I was on the right track, my stubbornness was a good thing. Most of the time I see how that stubbornness was nothing more than pride and/or living some kind of fantasy where I thought I was a modern day Elijah or something akin to that. In matters of personal faith and when dealing with the enemy, stubbornness is a......
The spirit of unity found in the bond of peace
published . 2 min read
I have stated innumerable times in various blogs over the years how dismayed I am by the incessant bickering and flat out warfare that goes on among Christianity and between Christians. Unyielding positions and uncompromising attitudes make a highly combustible mixture that given a match will explode with such a force it not only demolishes those involved but those around them. My heart has been torn for quite some time as I have watched friends of mine relentlessly attack each other. I have been drug into the fray and forced to “choose sides” which breaks my heart. I hate being thrust into the middle of an unnecessary battle. Perhaps it is due to my childhood or my time working in the ministry, but I detest fights between people who claim they love each other. Let’s......
What god can do (if we only ask)
published . 2 min read
In April of 1979 I was spending the night in Meridian Mississippi at the home of a man who wanted to hear more about our ministry and the Word of God. We talked about the things of God for hours until a very violent storm moved in which caused the power to go out. We both heard the classic roar of an approaching tornado. The guy panicked and hid under the table weeping as he assumed his life was about to end. I chose a different path. I was only 25 years old and still full of the passion and faith young believers are notorious for displaying. Instead of hiding under the table I went outside and through the lightning I could see the approaching tornado. I stood my ground and rebuked the storm in the name of Jesus Christ. Amazingly the tornado lifted just as it was about to blow up the......
Love is a commitment not a feeling
published . 2 min read
The very first thing I learned from God about God is that God is love. God is many things but the two which define Him in the greatest way are that He is love and He is light. Without love and light, there is no life. Every day, countless couples decide to split up because they have “fallen out of love” with each other. I have often wondered what exactly this means and if the same thing happens to people in their relationship with God. To fall out of love implies one first fell in love. To fall in love is mainly an infatuation prompted by the emotional response to physical attraction. As long as it remains, there will be love there, but once the fire dies the love grows cold. People wake up one day and realize they no longer love the person they are married to. If a person......
What does it take to stand for god?
published . 2 min read
Why do we have available to us the armor of God? Why are all elements of this armor DEFENSIVE in nature except the sword of the spirit? These are very good questions anyone seeking the truth needs to ask and find answers to within the Word of God. Most of us know the verses in Ephesians 6:10-18 where the armor is outlined. What many people fail to notice in this section are the repeated exhortations to “stand”, “withstand”, “be strong in” and “stand against”. In each of these cases, the whole reason for putting on the armor of God is to not be moved, pushed around, beaten down or ambushed by the enemy. The enemy is plainly identified in verse 12 where it says: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities,......
Never letting our guard down
published . 2 min read
When something or someone who is called by God turns away from Him unto error, selfishness or anything contrary to the truth; very bad things start to happen. Life alienated from the truth leads to deception, delusion, misconceptions, illusions, fantasies and ultimately apostasy. Most of the time this horrible road to spiritual oblivion starts with a misstep here and a misinterpretation there; over time these mistakes build up and error usurps the truth. Anyone who ministers to God’s people, whether one at a time or in a congregation, must do everything within their power to make sure their words are seasoned with salt and the focus of their heart remains fixed on God and His Word. If lies are allowed to enter, deceit will surely follow. If distractions are allowed to fester, defeat......
The truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth
published . 2 min read
“You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.” Abraham Lincoln, (attributed) “I’m not upset that you lied to me, I'm upset that from now on I can't believe you” Friedrich Nietzsche Anyone who makes a living through illusion, fabrications or twisting of the truth into lies is doomed to failure for at some point in their life; their lie will unravel and fall apart. From Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden to the present, men and women have mistakenly thought their cleverly devised lies would cover their transgressions in the sight of God and man. Anyone who is a notorious liar cannot be trusted to ever tell the truth. Anyone who cannot be trusted to tell......
Hanging on through the storm
published . 2 min read
Do we only trust God in the good times or every time? Do we only give praise to God when things are going great or all the time? Do we only love God when He blesses us or every day regardless of whether we are blessed or not? These are tough questions that we must ask of ourselves daily. It is so easy to get into ruts where we operate on spiritual cruise control and forget that all elements of our fellowship with God take effort and at times GREAT effort. The true test of where any of us are at spiritually is how we handle the unexpected or undesired. How we deal with these situations shows how strong or weak we are in the faith. Most of us have gone through seasons of intense pressure in our lives. Whether physical, financial, marital, mental or spiritual; pressure shows where the cracks......
Are you for sale?
published . 2 min read
I recently read a story about a famous NFL player who is now my age. He has had 14 operations on his right knee. His right leg is 3 inches shorter than his left leg. To make matters worse, he is uninsured and his former team who he played with for 12 years refuses to help pay his bills. He has paid $500,000 in medical bills out of his own pocket. I mention this secular story only because it serves to illustrate the futility of earthly fame and the fleeting nature of worldly wealth. When a person sells his body, heart or mind to anyone or anything other than God, they may reap the temporal benefits promised to them but in the end, they will languish in pain, anger and regret when they finally realize it was all for naught. Anyone who plays professional sports has sold their body to the......
What was and is and is to come on this earth
published . 2 min read
I have a map on my computer that never ceases to fascinate me. This map shows all the earthquakes around the world since 1898 by magnitude. What captures my attention is the incredible arc that circles the Pacific Ocean from south of New Zealand all the way to the tip of Chile. From a volcanic standpoint, this is known as the “ring of fire”. Obviously it is also the ring of shaking. I have always been a firm believer that when God created the earth, there was land and there was water. There was one continent and there was one ocean. I believe that when God created all the plants, animals and man; everyone and everything lived on one land mass. Of course so called science says this might have been the case umpteen billion years ago, but I believe with all my heart that it was......
Does a stiff neck mean i am "stiffnecked"?
published . 2 min read
Yesterday morning as I was drying my hair, I felt something “pop” in neck and ever since I have had one of those notorious “cricks” in my neck. For anyone unfamiliar with that funny word “crick” (which is NOT short for “cricket”), it simply means a painful stiffness or muscle spasm in the neck or back. I have not had one of these in many years and forgot what a hassle they are. I am not sure what the Biblical meaning of the term “stiff necked” as used by Moses to describe the Children of Israel is, but if is anything like having a “crick”, I can understand why it was a very graphic description of their disobedience. I have a feeling the word has a different meaning in the Bible, but it is interesting nonetheless. Does......
Two great role models for us all; aquila and pricilla
published . 2 min read
Each one of us has a life to live, a calling to fulfill, a reason for living and a gift to share. These things vary from person to person and from one time in a person’s life to another. One of the things I have noticed over the years is how some branches of Christianity try to negate the individuality within the Body of Christ by preaching a “one size fits all” message, or as I call it; “cookie cutter Christianity”. We are all different because God made us that way. Some of us are outgoing, enthusiastic, friendly and driven in life. Others of us are laid back, relaxed, reserved and content to live what many would call a mundane existence. All of these are just fine with God and no one should feel inferior, out of place or worthless because they are......
Only god can mend broken hearts and relationships
published . 2 min read
I was an “only child” from the time my brother left home in 1963 and I graduated from high school in 1971. During those years, I witnessed the two people I loved and utterly depended on literally fall apart. My mom and dad came to the brink of divorce (or worse) over and over again during those 8 years. Usually their fighting was either about money or my dad’s addiction to alcohol. I remember countless suppers where my dad was drunk and my mom was so exasperated that she burned the meal up. Of course that set my dad off and they would yell and scream the whole meal. Time and again my mom would storm off to her room in tears and my dad would storm down to the basement to drown his sorrows in more alcohol. Neither of my parents ever thought of what their ongoing war was......
Slamming the door on unwanted visitors
published . 2 min read
Persistent, obnoxious, troubling and aggravating; these are just a few of the words which describe one of the biggest enemies we face as Christians. They seemingly come out of nowhere and flash through our thoughts as a meteorite. Many times we are only vaguely aware of their presence while other times we know full well what they are up to. At times we want to swat them as we would a fly and at other times we shriek when they appear as if a mouse ran through the house. Of all the things that cross our minds, one of the most dangerous is doubts. Doubt is what caused Peter to cease walking on the water. Doubt is what gave Thomas quite a dubious reputation among the disciples. Doubt caused Saul and his army to quiver in the sight of Goliath. Doubt plagued Moses as he tried to live up to......
The fine blend of youth and maturity
published . 2 min read
I was thrust into a full-time ministry leadership position when I was only 23 years old. I was full of vim and vigor for I had just completed three years of Bible school/leadership training. I had unbridled enthusiasm, great zeal and tremendous passion for outreach etc. Yes, I had all these things but I was missing something only time could give me—experience/wisdom. When we are young, we see no reason why we cannot do whatever we please whenever we want to do it. Such is the nature of youth. When we are young, we have energy to spare and dreams as big as the sky. Such is the potential of youth. When we are young, we are impatient, impetuous and in a hurry. Such is the “curse” of youth. Young people filled with the spirit of God and the passion to share God’s Word......
The whole and complete word of god
published . 3 min read
In early 2004 I was snapped out of the lethargy that I had sunk into due to never ending physical problems I endured between 1997 and 2003. I did something I had never done, and then did it again, and again and again and again. That “something” was to read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation with no preconceived ideas. It was very difficult to not read into sections of the Bible what I had been taught or believed for many years. But, I knew I had to let the Word of God speak and have the open heart to receive what it said and believe it. Each time I read a different version so I could glean more from what I was reading. Without a doubt, the most difficult time was when I used the Tanakh, the most enlightening was the Septuagint, the most educational were the Amplified Bible......
Context is king
published . 2 min read
One aspect of Biblical research that causes lots of trouble is context. Time and again over the years I have seen people grab a verse or passage out of the Bible and use it to promote or justify one thing or another (usually for selfish reasons). Not only is this dishonest, it is deceiving and self serving. I have given a few interviews in my lifetime to local newspapers and other media outlets. I can think of no time when the finished product did not take something I said out of context to make it look like I was a fool, a bad person or just plain crazy. There are few things in life more frustrating than to have someone take something you said out of context and worse yet, use it against you. Context in the Bible is not limited to just the immediate context of the verse or even the......
Resolving apparant contradictions in the word of god
published . 3 min read
I have so many Biblical research books in my possession it astounds me. I have highly technical Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek books (which ironic since I don’t know any of those languages beyond a casual acquaintance). I have numerous concordances, lexicons and more translations of the Bible than I can remember. I have commentaries, dictionaries and books that deal with grammar and syntax. Why do I have all these books? Because at different times in my life the hunger to fully understand the Word of God was so strong it surpassed the financial logic which would normally deter a person from spending the amount of money these books cost to purchase. Why do I have all these books? Because of my dogged determination to locate and eradicate any and all apparent contradictions in the Bible as......
Can the word of god be trusted?
published . 2 min read
Many years ago I was talking to a man about God and I quoted a Bible verse to him. He abruptly cut off the conversation and told me he could never trust the Bible for it was full of contradictions. He then rattled off 10 straight places where the Bible appears to contradict itself. Before I could say anything he walked away shouting for any and all to hear; “Don’t believe the Bible for it is a book of lies”. I was only 17 years old when this incident took place and it lead me on a search to find out if the Bible was indeed laden with contradictions and lies or could it be trusted as the standard for truth. The youth minister in my church told me that the Bible was a good book God uses to teach people. Another minister told me that despite the contradictions it was still......
Confessions of a "heretic"; why i believe we are living in the age of grace
published . 3 min read
Let me begin by saying that I am dismayed and deeply disturbed by the ongoing and ever growing ugliness creeping into this site as people condemn those who don't believe as they do. We all have a right to believe what we think to be the truth but none of us have the right to condemn what one believes. In the spirit of love, I lay out to anyone who cares to know, what I believe and why I believe we are living in the Age of Grace which ends when Christ returns. For nearly 45 years I have heard people tell me that I am deceived, “off balance” and not to be trusted because I dare to believe that the keys to understanding God’s will for us living in this day and time are found predominantly in the epistles written AFTER the Day of Pentecost. For reasons that still both......
There is no greater name
published . 2 min read
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, 7 but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in the fashion of a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient unto death—even the death of the cross. 9 Therefore God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a name which is above every name, 10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in Heaven and things on earth and things under the earth, 11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” Philippians 2:5-11 There are perhaps no greater verses in the Bible which explain who Jesus......
The ongoing battle between legalism and grace
published . 2 min read
The battle between legalism and grace has raged in the Church since the First Century. The Jewish Christians wanted to retain elements of The Law while the Gentile Christians desired none of The Law. The apostle Paul pulled his hair out trying to preserve the unity of faith in the bond of peace, but the legalistic influence was so strong it prevailed in most areas in the end. Paul spends an entire epistle (Galatians) trying to reason with and persuade the Galatians to wake up and understand what Jesus Christ did and accomplished through His death and resurrection. At the counsel in Acts 15 the men involved almost came to blows over the wording of an official proclamation regarding this subject. The arguments were passionate on both sides of the aisle. Each of the original 12 apostles were......
Are we really willing to surrender all?
published . 2 min read
If you added together all of your assets and subtracted all of your liabilities, you could determine your net worth. Your net worth represents the sum and total of all you own in this world. If you have a lot, you are considered wealthy. If you have very little, you are considered poor. If you have nothing, you are considered destitute. If you added together all of your friends and subtracted all of your enemies, you could determine your popularity. Your popularity represents the sum and total of how many people think you are “cool” and like you. If you have scores of friends, you are considered popular. If you have a fair number of friends you are considered “normal”. If you have few or no friends, you are considered a social outcast. If you added together how......
The church is waiting for men (and women) to rise up
published . 2 min read
I know it is not politically incorrect to use the word “man” or “men” vs. “people” etc, but I am thinking this morning about the significance of men in the Bible. This is not to say women are not significant, for that is crazy thinking, but there is no doubt men play a huge part in the both the Old and New Testaments. There obviously is something uniquely special about men from God’s point of view, just as there is about women. There used to be a great old hymn, “Rise Up Oh Men of God” that reflected the need for men to rise up and assume their God given responsibilities within the church. That hymn is not sung much anymore due to it being viewed as “sexist” or demeaning to women. Oh dear, why must we be so hung up on such......
Before the throne of god
published . 3 min read
What do you see when you gaze at the sky on a clear night? Are the stars laid out as a canopy simply white specks or do they give witness to the vastness of our God and the majesty of all He has created? With God there is no beginning and no end, and that is what I see when I look upward. The vastness of God’s creation surpasses our feeble mind’s ability to comprehend. The skeptics decry God’s creation and seek to diminish its greatness. Somehow to them, the universe just sort of happened without the help of a creator. The natural man cannot grasp or understand the things of God, including the most foundational aspect of them all which is that God created the heavens and the earth. That this awesome God would see fit to call us by name and reach into our hearts and touch......
Blowing up that 500 pound chip on your shoulder
published . 2 min read
We have all known them. Many of us have worked under or with them. Some of us have lived with or are related to them. Some of us ARE them. Some of the most difficult people to get along with are those who for one reason or another live their lives with a 500 pound chip on their shoulder. The person who refuses to let go of injustice, unfairness, unrighteousness or any wrong done to them by anyone will find that huge chip weighing them down. The only way not to become one of those unpleasant people who are always negative, constantly complaining or just plain unpleasant to be around is to FORGIVE. Forgiveness opens the doors to manifesting the love of God and closes the doors to all the ugly aspects of being wronged. Until and unless we are willing to forgive others of things they did to......
Personal compromise vs. judging others
published . 2 min read
Perhaps one of the most frustrating battles we face in life as Christians involves “compromise”. I used to think that any and every compromise was wrong and must never be allowed in any category of life. However noble this sounds, in reality it is very shortsighted and rarely serves any purpose other than to feed a person’s egotistical belief that they are “special”. I thank God that I learned many years ago the difference between compromise and judging. I believe that one of the great lessons Jesus taught was that unyielding compromise is not automatically right. The Pharisees were a group which did not tolerate compromise of their beliefs. They demanded others believe as they did and offered no mercy when someone failed to live up their high standards. One......
We shall behold him
published . 2 min read
For 30 years there has been a song which has brought me through the darkest night, given me strength to keep going and reinforced the hope in my heart that Christ is coming back. Written by Dottie Rambo and performed by many artists, the song “We Shall Behold Him” is a classic for those of us who were around when Christian music first got started. After being beaten down by countless disabling and disheartening experiences, there began to stir within my heart the beginnings of a desire to rise up again for God in 1993. At the time, I had a large collection of cassette recordings by various Christian performers. Slowly, I started weaving songs together into musical story of Jesus Christ for those too stubborn to listen to sermons or those simply needing music to heal and touch......
We were crucified with christ--yet we live!
published . 2 min read
One of the more difficult aspects of our Christian faith to grasp is the identification process we go through spiritually when we are saved. In a moment of time, when we get born again, we are crucified, die, buried, raised and ascended with Christ our Lord and Savior. It is this process which allows us to go from death unto life. At the heart of this incredible subject is Galatians 2:20 where it says: “I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me .” In the instant it takes to get born again, our old sinful nature is slain so that spiritually we can be raised from the dead with Christ and be seated with Him in heavenly......
What it means to be "held"
published . 2 min read
There are many heart wrenching events in life that devastate people’s faith and lead them to the darkness of depression and/or bitterness. Certainly near the top of this awful list would be for a mother to lose a child to sickness or injury. There is a special Godly bond between a mother and her child that is unique and produces a bond that is one of the strongest on earth. Any time this bond is broken there is pain, but when it is permanently broken through premature death it is devastating. Also on this list would be for either a husband to lose his wife or a wife to lose their husband abruptly or far too early in life. The bond between a Christian husband and wife is stronger than steel for the love and devotion to Christ is the bond. When that bond is broken, for whatever reason......
How much are you willing to put on the line for your faith?
published . 2 min read
Is the Word of God really the truth? This is the question we must ask ourselves every time a situation arises that challenges our professed faith in God and commitment to obey and follow His Son Jesus Christ. It is not enough to mouth the words “I believe”, for anyone (including demons) can do that. The only way to prove our faith and loyalty is to put our faith on the line through taking God at His Word. For lucky Christians who walk around with a big smile plastered on their face and nary a care in the world to bother them; it is easy to forget how difficult it is to stay faithful in the face of adversity. For those Christians who only know how to preach, hellfire and damnation to anyone who disagrees with them; it is easy to lose touch with the reality of life in the real......
Scientific "truth" vs the word of god
published . 2 min read
It is mind boggling how the most simple and fundamental truths can get so twisted and turned around that they become nothing but a complicated and worthless mess. It is truly incredible how over time, an outright affront to the truth can become the accepted truth. It is amazing how something that starts as either heresy or fantasy over time becomes the truth and the real truth becomes heresy or fantasy. For thousands of years there was little dispute regarding what is recorded in the first few chapters of Genesis as being the truth. No one thought anything other than what was written by Moses to be true. People did disagree about matters of the law etc but no one had any problem with the idea that God created everything we see and know in 6 days because He is GOD. Starting with Sir Isaac......
Godliness with contentment is great gain
published . 2 min read
I did not purchase my first cell phone until 1999. I did not get a computer until 2000. I have never owned a tablet, I Phone, X Box, fancy television or nice sound system. We have the basic satellite television package (which gives us about 25 channels). We have two vehicles; one is a 2002 car with nearly 200,000 miles on it and the other is a 2002 mini-van with nearly 175,000 miles on it. I tell you all these things to make a point, which is that a person does not need everything the world produces in order to be content. Commercials tell us that we must have a hot new car or truck to be happy. Commercials tell us that we must have 97 movie channels and 8760 total channels on our televisions to be happy. Commercials tell us that we must rush to the store to get every new technological......
Pouring out your heart to god
published . 2 min read
We watched a sweet movie last night about a young boy battling cancer and the difference his faith made in many people. Although the movie “Letters to God” was not perfect, the message in the movie was; open your heart and talk to God. It is truly profound how something so simple has been lost in our culture. Whether because of ignorance, fear, anger, pride or laziness; most people have a real problem opening up to God. I believe this is why so many Christians hide behind formal prayers, because there is nothing personal in them. I can guarantee you that simply reciting a “canned” prayer is not God’s idea of communication and fellowship. The Psalms encourage us to pour out our heart before God. Certainly part of the reason the Psalms are in the Bible is to......
Our life is hidden in christ alone
published . 2 min read
In the real world, everyday is not a walk in the park with flowers blooming and birds singing. In the real world there are days when clouds and storms hide the sun and pelt us with wind and hail. In the real world, every situation is not quickly and painlessly resolved. In the real world there are struggles, setbacks and even defeat. The older I get the more I see the bad things that happen to Christians when they are taught that a life in Christ equals a life without any problems. When people are led to believe that it is available to see “heaven on earth”, they open themselves up to heartaches, heart breaks and loss of heart. If heaven on earth were available, why then would God promise us eternal life? There are, without question, plenty of times when we are walking on......
God has no hands but our hands
published . 2 min read
When we say that we believe God will “take care of us”, what are we saying? Are we implying that God will personally step out of heaven to feed us grapes and massage our feet? Are we saying that Almighty God will reach into His wallet and drop a few hundred dollar bills hoping they land in our yard instead of our neighbor’s? There is an old saying that speaks of “God helping those who help themselves”. What on earth is this implying? Does God only help those who are physically and mentally able to work 70 hours per week? Does God turn His back on anyone, who for any reason cannot take care of themselves? Seven years ago I visited the destruction in Mississippi, Louisiana and Alabama from Hurricane Katrina. After being moved to tears by both the destruction of......
Keeping our minds sharp and our hearts free of fear
published . 2 min read
I learned long ago that the one of the enemy’s favorite ploys when it comes to God’s people is to lull them into a false sense of security which leads to letting one’s guard down. Whether a person, family, church or nation; letting one’s guard down is an open invitation for bad things to happen. In both the Old and New Testaments are incidents resulting from becoming lax or exhortations to not become that way. God’s Word specifically brings this topic up many times in the epistles of Paul and Peter. The whole idea of being “sober” implies the mind is not under the influence of any agent which would make it dull, sleepy or delusional. The only thing which keeps our minds sharp and alert is the Word of God living in us for the Word of God is sharper......
How living and real is your relationship with god?
published . 2 min read
A person’s relationship with God is extremely personal. In fact, it is the most personal relationship we will ever have in this life. The true measure of a person’s faith is directly related to their relationship with God. It can be said that the deeper one’s relationship is with God, the more fulfilling and greater their life will be. Every day, people all over the world pray to their god. Many of these prayers are ritualistic in nature and reflect nothing of the person’s heart who is praying them. These prayers make a person look religious but lack the personal aspect that separates religion from true Christianity. In fact, the word “godliness” takes this into account. Despite what secular dictionaries may say, godliness should be viewed as a real,......
Is god calling you?
published . 2 min read
I used to wish I could change the world, be the cool dude riding in on his white horse to save the day and be the one everyone adored and looked up to. Then I realized that Jesus Christ is He who is all of these things and not me. Once I understood His place, my place was quickly established and the peace which comes with humility engulfed my life. I am content to do what I can do for my Lord. I no longer care to be someone I am not or condemn myself for not doing what I am incapable of doing. I have come to grips with who God has made me and what He wants me to do for Him in this life. With this contentment comes peace and with this peace comes joy. It is so easy to get caught up in thinking we are supposed to do everything everyone else does for Christ. It is so easy to belittle and......
A church willing to change is a church able to grow
published . 2 min read
Yesterday morning I was going to take my mother-in-law to a traditional Easter service but she ran a bit late and we had to opt for a contemporary service at a non-denominational church. There she was in her ultra conservative two piece gray wool dress and jacket and me in my good slacks and nice shirt surrounded by people in blue jeans (including the pastor) and almost everyone half our age. It was a nice service and the worship leader did a great job singing many of the current Contemporary Christian hits on the radio. Unfortunately none of them had much to do with Easter. Also, things were a bit loud for the 50 or so people there. Personally, I am thankful we attended the church for I felt far more comfortable there than I would have at a traditional service surrounded by older people......
Why is the resurrection of christ so important?
published . 7 min read
As is my annual tradition, here is an updated version of a blog I first posted in 2008. It expresses why this day is special, and why it is indeed the most important day in our Christian faith and after all these years I cannot say it any better than I did back “in the day” There is one thing that strikes fear in the heart of our enemy. There is one thing that makes him shake in his boots. There is one thing he will do everything in his power to prevent a believer from learning, or worse yet-understanding. There is one thing that keeps him up at night. There is one thing that he knows spells doom to his devilish plans for us individually and collectively as the church. As hard as it is to believe, there is one thing available to us as God's children that will enable us to......
What makes this friday so "good"?
published . 2 min read
On or about this time long ago, the only perfect man who ever lived willingly laid down His life for you and me. Although there were many legal aspects to what transpired at Calvary, the greatest thing that should always be remembered is the love which was manifested by God in so giving His Son for people who did not deserve Him, and in fact rejected Him. As Jesus was dying, He beseeched the Father to forgive those who had crucified Him for they did not know what they had done. On the surface, this is an odd request since it certainly appears the people knew good and well what they had done. Jesus was a heretic, a blasphemer and a liar. There was no alternative in the people’s minds other than to crucify the one who had dared tell them the truth. But, God does not look on the......
By his stripes we are healed
published . 2 min read
Jesus Christ knew the scriptures so He knew what was coming in during the final hours of His life on earth. Jesus not only knew of His impending crucifixion but also His betrayal, mock trials, beatings and humiliation. After Jesus prayed earnestly in the Garden and accepted the will of God, he was immediately apprehended by the Jewish guards and led on the most gruesome journey known to man. Everything Jesus endured was necessary for our redemption to be complete. As the perfect Lamb of God, Jesus’ sacrifice was far more than just His death; it involved receiving the full measure of retribution for Adam’s sin and the consequences of that sin. The road to our redemption was indeed the most difficult of any in all of history. It is beyond our mind’s ability to comprehend......
Proving our love and devotion to god
published . 2 min read
Grace greater than all my sin. Mercy stronger than all my guilt. Love deeper than all my doubts. When I consider all my Savior did when dying on that tree, I know that He did pay the price and from my sin set me free. But beyond those simple truths we know, there was something bigger that God did show. For through giving His Son for all of us, God proved for all eternity He really is the God of love. When Jesus cried out “Why has Thou forsaken me”, the Father’s heart broke for He never left His Son’s side. With everything in Him, God wanted to reach down and pull His Son off that cross, bind up His wounds and hold Him tight. But, as deeply as God desired to do this, both He and His Son knew that if He did, it would keep man unredeemed and eternally separated from......
Not my will but thine be done
published . 2 min read
Jesus Christ was not only a “good” man but the one and only “perfect” man who ever lived. If there ever was a man who deserved to never die because of his sin, it was Jesus Christ. He always did His Father’s will yet He willingly humbled Himself to the point of giving His life for us. Even Jesus (because He was a man) had to deal with the emotions which welled up inside of Him the night before He was apprehended. As Jesus prayed at the Mount of Olives, He was facing the same battle many of us face daily. He knew what the will of God was, but He was having a difficult time accepting it for it was not pleasant. Jesus knew what was coming for it was written in the Old Testament. He knew that He would be so abused, beaten, humiliated and scourged that He would......
Our redemption, justification, righteousness and sanctification in christ
published . 2 min read
Simply put, we believe that Jesus Christ was the expression of the love of God as He became the perfect sacrifice for our sins and our eternal redeemer. We believe that God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that we might live through Him. Justice demanded the transgression of Adam be paid for and the penalty for that sin was death. God, being the righteous yet just judge that He is, allowed Jesus (who was perfect in every way) to be the legal substitute for sin and thus pay the price for it. This definition of REDEMPTION is crucial to our understanding and appreciation of what Jesus Christ did and why it is so awesome. The only way God could legally overturn His judgment of “guilty” and acquit us of all crimes against Him was for Jesus Christ to willingly......
Keeping this week "holy"
published . 2 min read
This is officially “Holy Week”, although there is little “holy” going on in this world. There used to be a time when Easter meant something special to at least some Christians but not so much anymore. Since Easter has been replaced with Spring Break, the significance of what is commemorated at this time of the year has been pushed into the back pew. It appears that most Christians are content to accept that Jesus died for their sins and that’s about it as far as Easter goes. Hmmm, I think Easter was originally designed to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. It used to be that Good Friday was a day to meditate upon the sufferings and death of Jesus and Easter Sunday was a time to rejoice in His resurrection. Now Good Friday is just another......
Fifteen years ago today i died
published . 3 min read
Fifteen years ago today I died. I know of no other way to say it than to simply say I died. I did not see any bright light or my Savior standing there with open arms. I saw nothing. I tasted physical death fifteen years ago yet I am still alive. How can this be? On March 21, 1998 I had consented to have a double heart by-pass operation. I knew the risks with this major surgery and I tried not to think about them. Although the whole thing seemed surre