Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Jesus Said, "Be Careful"

"And Jesus answered and said to them, "See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name, saying, "I am the Christ, and will mislead many" (Matt. 24:4-5).

Hey Gang,  Did you know there are three great blasphemies that are gaining strength each day in our world?  The first is Replacement Theology, which means the Jews and Jerusalem and Israel is no longer the “apple of God’s eye”, but they have been replaced by the Church. 

The second: ‘there are many roads to God and it really does not matter which one you choose.’ And the third is, ‘As long as you believe, it really does not matter what kind of life you live.’

To believe in Replacement Theology one has to ignore the many verses in the Bible that clearly state that Israel has, and will continue to be God’s chosen land and chosen people.  Micah puts it this way, “In that day, declare the Lord, I will assemble the lame, and gather the outcasts, even those whom I have afflicted.  I will make the lame a remnant and the outcast a strong nation, and the Lord will reign over them in Mount Zion from now on and forever.” (2:6-7).

To believe there are many roads to the Father you must ignore Jesus’ words, “I am the way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except by Me” (John 14:6).

Perhaps the third blasphemy that is being taught is the most dangerous- to believe, without understanding that we will be judged by the fruits of our life, is indeed dangerous grounds.  When we stand before The Father He will ask us one very simple question, “What did you do with my Son Jesus?  In one of the many polls that ask the question ‘Are you a born again believer in Jesus Christ as Lord?’ The ‘yes’ votes usually fall within the sixty to seventy percent  range. 

Susan was walking down the street with her daddy when she asked, ”‘Daddy, didn't you pray for rain?"  "Yes, my darling daughter, I did indeed pray for rain".  Then she asked, “Where is your umbrella and raincoat?”    Pastor Wilkerson once made the comment: “Many people pray, not believing".    The reporter asked the Pastor, “How can you believe when your child was killed? The Pastor responded, “By going back before the accident and remembering all that God has done for me.”

Soooo, Our Youth pastor challenged his flock to zero in on the little things the God is doing in your life, as they were beginning their yearly mission project.  They were amazed!  You, too, can be amazed today by being aware of all the things the God is doing all around you. Just look!



Monday, July 29, 2013

An Ache Too Deep For Words

"Jesus said to them, "Let the children come to me, for the Kingdom of God belongs to such as they.  Don't send them away!  I tell you as seriously as I know how that anyone who refuses to come to God as a little child will never be allowed into his Kingdom." (Mark 10:14-15 Living Bible)

Hey Gang,   His name was Tony and he was a spit-fire that could turn a peaceful and tranquil day into a roaring fire in a matter of minutes.  How he packed so much hatred into an eight-year-old body was beyond our comprehension but then we learned what "the bottom of the barrel really meant". 

At the time we received a request to consider taking Tony into our very young and inexperienced program, we had visions of grandeur and believed there were no troubled young folks that we could not love and provide a "shirt tail for them to hand onto".   But, as we gained scar tissue, we also gained understanding that some children were beyond our experience level to deal with.

Tony was one of those children.  I might add here the younger the referred the more damaged the child.  On arrival, we found a zombiezed child.  His mom kept Tony locked in a closet and fed him the equivalent for a month’s supply of control drugs in a matter of days.  As the drugs wore off the temperature began to rise.  There was no way that we were going to place this child in one of the houses so, we did as we often did, we accepted the challenge and moved Tony into our home.    

I could give you a running log of the time we had Tony in our home but it would fill many blogs and that is not the important point I want to make here.  Within several months my kids, who were the real treatment people in Tony's life, began to make huge inroads into his heart.  Tony became an integral part of our family and was soon functioning as an eight year old should.

But,,,,,Toni provided his mom with a welfare check and found that if she moved to an adjoining county the judge of that county would return Tony to her.  This she did successfully.  Toni was taken from our family and returned to the same environment that had nearly destroyed him before.   She was very adept at keeping the legal beagles at arm’s length, moving frequently. 

We lost contact with Toni for two years; then one day we received an application for a summer camper by the name of Tony.  Could it be our Tony? Miracle of all miracles it was.  

The cabin he was assigned to went on a two day camping trip several miles from the Village.  On pick up day, I notified the transportation person I would go and pick up the campers.  On the return trip home, I  noticed that Tony's eyes were glued to the back of my head.  I invited him to come and stand beside me.  After several minutes he asked me a question that continues to hurt deep inside my heart.   He said, “Dad, why did they take me from you who loved me and sent me to a place that hated me?   I will not try and explain the pain that cut deep into my soul at that moment.

Sooooo,  As I relived this tragic experience in my life, the Lord directed me to a passage of Scripture that I believe that every believer needs to place on their bathroom mirror, refrigerator door and the rear view mirror of their vehicles,  shortly before the Lord ascended to the Father he ask Peter three questions,  “Do you love me, do you love Me, and do you love Me?" Peter's answer was the same, “Yes, I love You.”  Notice Jesus answers to those three responses: Tend My sheep, shepherd My sheep and thirdly Tend my sheep.  (John 21:15-17).

Now tie- bar that passage with Matthew's words, "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy mill stone hung around his neck, and be drowned in the depth of the sea" (Matt. 18:6).   Has a Tony crosses your path lately?



Friday, July 26, 2013

Ready Or Not, Here I Go! BUT, Where To?

"In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you.  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am.  You know the way to the place where I am going." (John 14:20)

Hey Gang:  I have been doing some research on heaven.  It has always been amazing to me how little attention heaven gets from the pulpits of our land.  I suspect it is also neglected by a great majority of the folks who are looking forward to seeing it firsthand some day. 

I must admit I, too, did not have much interest in heaven as a growing young un and even in the working years of my life but when loved ones when there and the hair grays and my body began to send messages that it is losing its zip, your focus tends to take on a different direction.  

I find it interesting that folks, while residing on earth, may seek just the right home for months and even years before they make the investment where they may spend twenty to sixty years. However, but do not have a clue what God has prepared for His children in the hereafter where they will spend eternity.  How about you this morning, what do you know about what God has prepared for His children as their future residence for ?????????? eons?

Years ago, while working in a detention facility a young lad came up to me and said, "Mr. H.  how long is eternity?”  My response,  “If you take the toothbrush that is in your pocket and scrubbed the of six lanes of freeway between here and Sacramento (one hundred and ten miles)  ten times, that would be a drop in bucket as to how long eternity is.

I have learned in my studies of heaven that one has to see heaven through the eyes of faith.  Our poor finite minds just do not have the ability to process what God has given us in His Word.  And we tend to get caught up with the streets of gold and the gates of pearl.  God's opinion of gold is to walk on it.   

The Bible provides the symbols, but it is faith that makes the hieroglyphics of heaven come alive and heaven must come alive.  We, as believers are citizen's of the Kingdom of Heaven and, according to Philippians 3:20, "For our citizenship is in heaven, from which also we eagerly wait for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ"  His children should be eagerly awaiting their names to be called home.

I recall the story of the woman who was seriously ill and in the hospital on life support.  The doctors informed the family that her systems were shutting down and it was time to call the family together. This they did.  The pastor was also present and prayed over the woman and she immediately made a turn for the good.    Several weeks later she regressed and was back in the hospital on life support. Once again the family was called and, once again the pastor prayed and, once again she made a turn for the good.

 Again, several weeks later, the same process was repeated but this time she informed the family that she would rather they did not invite the Pastor to come and pray over her.  She was ready to go and meet her Savior and did not want anyone to tamper with that desire.

Soooo,  I have learned to think much differently about heaven than I did as a younger person.  Some would think I am being morbid when I talk about one day leaving this earth and going to be with the Lord but, I would rather think that heaven is the dot at the end of my life.  I love that song "What a day that will be when my Jesus I shall see.  And I look upon His face, the one who save me by His grace; When He takes me by the hand, And leads me through the Promised Land, What a day, glorious day that will be!



Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Satan's Most Effective Weapon!

"The experienced mountain climber is not intimidated by a mountain - he is inspired by it. The persistent winner is not discouraged by a problem - he is challenged by it. Mountains are created to be conquered; adversities are designed to be defeated; problems are sent to be solved. It is better to master one mountain than a thousand foothills." William Arthur Ward

Hey Gang, Did you know that Satan's greatest tool in his toolbox that he uses against  God's people is discouragement?  Within moments of enjoying a spiritual victory, every believer becomes a target for the powers of hell.  The devil attacks us with lies about our marriage, our friendships, and our calling;  He replays, in our minds, every sin, failure and foolish thing we've ever done.  By the time he's finished we're crying, "Lord, I'll never make it!"

David was brought so low by a demonic spirit that he was dumbfounded in God's presence.  "I, as a deaf man, heard not; and I was a dumb man that opened not his mouth.  Thus I was as a whose mouth are not reproofs" (Ps. 38:13-14.  The last phrase means "a man who has no arguments left".  David was saying, "Lord, I'm too discouraged to even lift my hand.  I can't pray because I'm too confused to speak.  My spirit is drained and empty.  I have nothing to say." Have you ever been there?

Was his trial unique? Not in your sweet bippy.  I have read many biographies of devout men and women whom the Lord used mightily, and every one of these people struggled through the same kind of crippling discouragement.  David voiced the universal cry of the righteous soul that endures an attack of discouragement:  "I am ready to fall and my sorrow is continually before me" (38:17).  David was saying, "Lord, I'm not going to make it.  I'm at my absolute end, about to fall."

If you're enduring an attack from a demonic spirit of discouragement, I suggest you do three things: (1) Do not try to maneuver your way out of your trial;  the battle is far beyond your human skill or power to overcome.  (2;) When the attacks come don't think it is unusual:  God allows this kind of fiery testing for all  his saints.  (3) Pray, give the Holy Spirit time to do His work.  When you're under discouragement you won't feel like praying, but you still must go to your secret place and be in Jesus’ presence.  It is the Spirit's joy to lift you out of your pit.

When, it seems like you are residing in ‘alligator alley’, keep in mind, "The battle is not yours, but God's" (2 Chron. 20:15) and "you need not fight in this battle; station yourselves, stand and see the salvation of the Lord on your behalf" (2 Chron. 20:17a).    It doesn't matter how downcast you get - God will never forsake you!

In such low times the Lord is very patient with us.  He knows our condition and he sympathized with us.  If you don't have the strength to speak, reach out to him in your spirit, and trust the Spirit to do his work in you.  Say in your heart, ‘Lord, I know your Spirit abides in me.  I know you have sent him to comfort me, strengthen me and reveal the mind of Christ to me.  Holy Spirit, I turn to you now in simple faith.  Speak to my heart your words of comfort.  I have no strength left; you have to lift me up and lead me.’ 

Soooo, dare to believe He will speak to you!  You're not going to faint.  Indeed, you'll come out of your trial more victorious because your faith will have been tested and tested as gold.  Watch and see the Lord fulfill every promise He has made to you.



Monday, July 22, 2013

God Uses Ordinary People Who Have Gone Through the Wilderness

“And He saw a poor widow putting in two small copper coins. And He said, “Truly I say to you this poor widow put in more that all of them.” (Luke 21:2

Hey Gang, The fourth and final common denominator: God uses normal every day people who have gone through the wilderness! He uses people who have been tested by fire and have not wavered in their faith and trust in God. 

Remember after the feeding of the 5000 God immediately sent the disciples onto the sea where they encountered raging storms?  Why?   They had failed the test in the feeding of the 5000 when Jesus said, “You feed them!”  Was it idle talk?  Does not the Bible say,” Jesus had already developed a plan to feed the troops? John 6:1-6.

 But, there was a far greater lesson to be learned that day, in the training of the disciples!  Do you think there was any doubt in the disciples’ minds that they were in danger of visiting Davey’s Locker?   Some were fisherman and knew the violence of the Sea of Galilee and, I suspect, they were resolved that their life on earth was over.

 But Jesus loved them and came to them at the exact right time.  And after Jesus had arrived on the scene and calmed the seas, note Matthews words, “And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, You are certainly God’s Son!”  Lesson learned!  (Matt 14:22-33).

 In my traverse through God's Holy Writ, I have noticed that God uses folks who would qualify for a "Ground Zero Rating".  He tends to take broken vessels, and smashes them and then places them on the potter’s wheel and then, and only then, He begins to cut and gouge until He works them into the image of His Son, Yeshua.
Finally my dear family and friends, God has a desire to use you.

  You might feel you have nothing to offer, that I am nothing – but, let me emphasize, that is precisely the kind of person God wants. “Poor in spirit (Matt  5:3) means empty of self. He takes broken vessels and molds them into the image of His Son Jesus.

 Soooo, one last time, say it with me, I AM NORMAL; GOD LIKES ME; GOD IS FOR ME AND GOD CAN USE ME!  Like the good Jewish mom looking out for her chicks, she came to Jesus and asked if her sons, John and James,  might sit on His right and His left.  His response, “You do not have a clue what you are asking.”  "Are you able to drink that cup that I am about to drink?"  And then He put meat on what was in the cup,  "Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave" (Matt. 20:21-27).

 O, yes, one last requirement - you must have faith – the common denominator in Hebrews eleven !.  Faith is the anchor to our walk with the Lord.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.  It was not the marching or yelling that brought the walls of Jericho down, it was faith!



Friday, July 19, 2013

God Was FOR Them

"Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell" (Matt. 10:28). "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Rom. 8:31).

Hey Gang:  Time for common denominator number three – “God was for them”.  Wow, does that light your fire?  We know the verse, “If God is for us who can be against us”,  but do we not tend to forget that when the screws are turned down and we find ourselves up against the wall?

 I suspect Joshua might have felt that way when he came to the walls of Jericho, the impenetrable city.  Do you think he might have been a wee bit apprehensive and even discouraged when God told him to march around the city for six days and on the seventh to walk around seven times and blow the trumpets and yell?

 I once heard a neat little story that fits very nicely here.  A hiker had ventured to close to the cliff and had fallen off.  He was blessed to have a tree root in such proximity that he could grab and  stop his fall, but the problem was far from over.  He was now suspended a hundred feet up with no way to pull himself to safety.
 He screamed at the top of his vocal capacity, "Help, is there anyone up there?"  No response!  So he upped his vocal capacity and screamed again, "Help, is there anyone up there?"  Again no response and his arms were getting very tired.  When it reached the critical point and his strength was failing,  he once again  screamed "Hey; is anyone up there?”  A booming voice came out of the Heavenlies, "Yes, let go of the root".   To this he responded, "Help, is there anyone else up there"?

 The Children of Israel yelled and the walls came tumbling down.  Did you know God likes yelling as a weapon?  There have been times when I went into the woods by myself and screamed at the top of my lungs. 
 It does not say what they yelled, they just yelled and the walls came tumbling down.  Why? Because the people obeyed and God was for them!   Keep in mind your picture is on God’s refrigerator and in the listing in His cell phone.   He is for you and it does not matter who is against you. 

 So my young friends, keep in mind that that the members of the Hall of Faith were just like you and me, and God liked them and God was for them. Can you say a great ‘Amen” to that!  “Greater is He that is in me, than he that is in the World.”  I John 4:4!



Wednesday, July 17, 2013

God Liked Them

 "We have come to know and have believed the love which God has for us.  God is love and the one who abides in love abides in God, and God abides in him." (I John 4:16). "We love because He first loved us" (vs. 19).

 Hey Gang:  Common denominator number two of the people in Hebrew’s Hall of Faith – God liked them!  Say that with me “God likes me!.  O, come, say it out loud for all to hear!  Now before we move  into the subject at hand, let me ask you a question - Is it easier to love? or to like someone?

A College Professor asked his class to define love. Many answers included such things are devotion, commitment, sacrifice were common words used by the class, but one student defined it as "a decision, an act of the will.  The more I thought about that the more I was convinced she was right.  So I ask you again, is it easier to like someone? or to love someone?  My experience has taught me the later is much easier, for it is an act of my will.

Let me put that in action, the bride of my youth had a problem with one of the young ladies that was on our staff:  a young lass that she had known most of her years on earth.  She struggled with these feelings, not wanted to harbor in her heart any ill feelings about this young lady but I must admit she (the young lass) did know how to be a thorn in one’s side.

After many months of agonizing with these feelings, God tapped her on the shoulder and said "When you feel animosity towards her, pray for her.  Ask me to bless her sox off.”   Within a day or two, the young lass gave her (my bride) an opportunity to feel animosity once again but she beat Satan to the punch by immediately praying for her (the young lass) and asking God to bless her.  And God honored her faith fullness and a lasting friendship developed.

 Now, getting back to God Like Them, He liked Abraham in-spite of his lack of faith in trying to protect his own hide by passing his wife off as his sister, (twice) and promised to make a great nation out of his faithfulness. . 
 He liked David in spite of his being a murderer, adulterer and very poor parent.  Why?  Because he was a man after God’s own heart”.   
God liked Noah who was obedient and spent 120 years building an ark, but when the ark finally rested on the mountain top, the next thing we read is Noah got roaring drunk and lay naked in the grass.  But he had a passion for the Lord and God likes that.

 God liked Rahab, a hooker because she repented and got saved.  She later married Salmon who begat Boaz who married Ruth who begat Obed who begat Jesse who begat David and from the line of David we know the Son of God came into the world.  I want you to know that in spite of her background and errors of her ways, God like Rahab and He likes you in spite of your shortcomings and failures.   .

 Soooo, my young ones,, keep this firmly entrenched in your heart and minds as you traverse this day and week and year,  God likes you and He likes me, in spite of our imperfections.   Say it again - God likes me – does that fill the cockles of your heart?  



Monday, July 15, 2013

Four Principles from the Throne Room

 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.  By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (vs. 1-3).      

Hey Gang:  I have come up with a great revelation, although I have really known it for many years, namely, that the teacher is the greatest benefactor of what they are teaching.  Preparation is indeed a blessing that keeps my focus on the Word.  If you really want to grow in the Lord, find someone to mentor.  It keeps your mind alert seeking new revelations you can share with the one you are mentoring.

The next few mornings I would like to share with you four Godly principles someone, along the line, shared with me.  Each message is very easy to understand, but also very deep when you dig in and let the Holy Spirit do the driving.   

Folks who have spent much time in the Word know the eleventh Chapter of Hebrews is often referred to as the ‘faith chapter’.  Note the writer begins the chapter by commending the people and ends in like manner. 
 He lays the foundation for what he is going to say about each one with, “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the things not seen.  For by it the men of old gained approval.  By faith we understand that the worlds were prepared by the word of God, so what is seen was not made out of things which are visible. (vs. 1-3).      

Paul also gave us the prerequisites to faith when he wrote, “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.  For with the heart a person believes, resulting in salvation. (Rom. 10:9-10).  Now, drop down a couple verses and note Paul’s words, “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the word of Christ”. (v.17)

 Principle number one: These Faith Giants Were Just Like You and Me!  Really?  ‘Ya bet ur sweet bippy they were!’
 The first Godly principle that stands out in this the Faith Hall of Fame is that all were normal people, just like you and me.  I once heard a pastor say that when God has something He wants done, He looks for a broken vessel and smashes it and molds it into the image He wants.   

 Each of those mentioned here had doubts, fears, and I suspect were discouraged at times.  Gideon had them.  When God came to Gideon and said, “Gideon, thou mighty man of valor, I want you to take an army out and beat the tar out of the Mideonites, Gideon’s response was “You want me to do what?”  Who am I, Lord?   I come from the least and am the smallest, etc, etc.  Sound familiar? 

Gideon had a whole barn full of excuses as to why the angel needed to go down the road to Jake's house and recruit him for this task.  I mean, like King Saul was a head and shoulder man and better equipped for great things for the Lord....but!.  Surely Moses did not follow Gideon's example when God laid the task of going to Egypt and taking on the power structure of Egypt.  

 When the angel told Sarah she would have a bambino, Sarah laughed -  perhaps hysterically for she was far beyond the child bearing time in her life.  Isaac lied to the king, Jacob was called a deceiver.  David murdered and committed adultery.  

 Soooo, as you read this Faith Chapter, remember they had doubts just like you and me.  The common denominator shared by all of the people in the Hall of Faith is- they were normal every day people –just like you and me.  Keep that in mind when you make a wrong move and say the wrong thing today, or if you sense the sky falling – they were normal and so are you.  So sing a verse of the ‘Joy of the Lord is my strength’ and be a blessing to someone who really needs your encouragement.



Friday, July 12, 2013

Do You Have a Hole In Your Heart?

God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart" (1 Sam. 16:7).  "You are our letter, written in our hearts, known and read by all men; being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts"(2 Cor. 3:3).

"There is a God shaped vacuum in the heart of every man which cannot be filled by any created thing, but only by God..."  Blaise Pascal

Hey Gang:  It is always a surprise and great boast to ones ego when they find something that they have used for years quoted by someone who is much smarter.  I have used the ‘vacuum’ illustration for many years with the boys under my care, for it is something they can  clearly understand.

If we had unlimited space, I could list fifty or so references on the importance of the heart being connected to God.  In Psalm 51 we feel the agony of David, a contrite sinner who was seeking God's pardon.  He cried out, "Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from Your presence and do not take your Holy Spirit from me:" (vs. 10-11). 

The following description of the vacuum-sized hole in the heart showed up on Face book.  It stated this vacuum does not get filled with the promise of heaven;  It does not get filled by assenting to creeds about God;  It is not filled with a moral life, nor political rightness, superiority, a climb up the corporate ladder or the gaining of reputation or wealth;  It is not filled with promises or self denial. 

Nor by straining to get more of anything, nor sufficient discipline or cynical hipness, it has nothing to do with being right or what you like or dislike or what you stand against;  it is not filled with self-actualized, self-adored, self-entitlement.  There are no formulas, techniques, steps or patterns that will give you the peace that surpasses human understanding.

Filling this vacuum comes only by enjoying the Christ  It is accepting and trusting Christ with every molecule of my being.  It is filled with the astonishing apprehension that I am righteous, holy, beloved, worthy enough, adored, forgiven, favored, and loved beyond human measure - on my worst day.  It is the realization that God loved me so much he sent His only Son to die on a hideous cross that I might be set free from the bondage of my sins.

Sooooo, perhaps most important, my vacuum is filled when I grow weary of try and do it my way and force him to comply to my wishes.  And when I surrender to His will and ways and follow Paul's advice and die to self, put off all those things that offend our Abba Father, and fill the vacuum with the things that bring honor and Glory to Him ( Col 3) and, most important, let Him by the pilot (not co-pilot) of my lives.



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Give Me This Mountain

"And Jesus answered and said to them, "Truly I say to you, if you have faith and do not doubt, you will not only do what was done to the fig tree, but even if you say to the mountain 'be taken up and cast into the sea,' it will happen". (Matt. 21:21).

Hey Gang:  Did you ever read something and then have it rattle around in your head?  I have often read the Scripture verse for today and wondered if Jesus was talking in the literal sense.  One of my very favorite places on this earth is the Teton Mountains.  There are no words that can describe the awesomeness of the Grand Teton Mountain.  And, as I think of standing at the foot of that awesome sight, there is no way I can visualize my having enough faith to say, "mountain be gone into the sea!"   

So I began to do some research to find a profound story that would certainly qualify as a ‘moving a mountain experience’.  I believed the parting of the sea, Jonah's ride in the whale, Elijah's confrontation and victory over the prophets of Baal could be classified as "mountain moving experiences".  But the one that kind of caught my eye was a story of Caleb, found in Joshua 14:12.   Perhaps because Caleb was 85 years old when he requested that Joshua award him a mountain, and I am starting up that eighty decade.

He was probably the oldest of the surviving wondering nomads of the Wilderness of Zin,  yet his faith and courage in a great God was vibrant and alive.  In fact, so great was his faith, that he asked Joshua to give him the cities of the mountains - the great and fenced (walled cities) where the enemies lived. He was willing to lay down his life for his fellow travelers - to be the first one to step out into the unknown future to face the enemy head on.  Truly, it was a mountain moving experience when he said, "If so the Lord be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said." (14:12c).

As I read this verse, and then reread it again and again, the Lord seemed to be saying to me "Hey, hillbilly, when will the people who have been called by My name step forward and say, "If so the Lord be with me, then  I shall be able to drive them out, as the Lord said".  There is no question that the most depressing part of my day is listening to the evening news (which I do less and less frequently).  My question is, "Where is the church? Where are God's warriors who cry out, "If so the Lord be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out"?

 Is there any doubt in your mind that Satan is in his al-out-attack mode and making inroads into the church by convincing us the practice of self-denial and submission is outdated and no  longer needed?  To that I ask, "Is our Lord God still not greater in His children than he that is in the world? We need to say, "be gone evil one!."

Soooo, my young friends ,yes, the dark clouds are gathering but, we serve a mighty-awesome God who developed His plan for His creation even before time began.  And this we know, He will never leave His children or forsake them.  Are you excited this morning?  If not, let me share a fabulous piece of news - one of these days, and I believe soon, "Heaven is going to open and a white horse will appear and He who sits on it will be called Faithful and True:...And on His robe and on His thigh He has a name written, "KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS".



Monday, July 8, 2013

Just Suppose....

"He gives strength to the weary,  And to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, And vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary"  (Isaiah 40:29-31).

Hey Gang,  My nervous system allows me to watch the news once every two weeks.  I have also learned that, if I do watch the news every two to three weeks, I really have not missed anything.  I read an article while waiting my turn in the room of pain at the dentist that gave some very startling statistics.

Did you know that the anxiety level in our country is higher today that it has ever been?   And how did the author come up with that very concerning statement?  He based it on the suicide rate which is frighteningly high and growing each day; there is also a dramatic increase in the number of people who are dependent on depressive drugs and this is growing each day at a frightening rate as is the number of people who are classified as in the "nervous breakdown" category of illnesses.

Note that in the morning Scripture, Isaiah gives a formula for dealing with anxiety.  He says those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength.  The light in my office just went out and the room suddenly became dark.  After checking, I discovered the plug was not securely attached to the power supply.  Isn't God neat.  A message to all who read this epistle - without being plugged into God's power supply there is no strength and no power.

I did watch the news last night and for one hour it was packed full of the scandals that our government is trying to justify.  (Careful!  Your sins will find you out) And the question that surfaced in my mind was "where is the church"?  How come there was no voice from the clergy of our nation?   I mean, if God is all powerful and is the creator of all we survey, can He not fix the mess we have made out of His perfection?

As I read the article and had time, while the young dental technician cleaned my teeth, I thought of a "Just Suppose" scenario that just might work - I mean, if all of God's people, who believe that our only recourse is to follow 2 Chronicles 7:14, were to get serious about their relationship with Abba Father, we just might be able to take back our country.

Just suppose that at every ball game, graduation, prom, etc., someone got up and began to recite the Lord's Prayer and every one present  joined in what would happen?  And just suppose this spread all over our land until this became standard practice- what would happen?  What would local school boards do? 

Soooo, warriors for Christ, just suppose every God fearing Christian participated - peacefully, non violently, but firmly and continually, where would they get enough jails to hold us all?  How would they prosecute hundreds of thousands?  Just suppose every church go-er became a lighthouse to their neighbor.  Once upon a time the Church was the moral conscience and spiritual lighthouse of the nation and the center of our communities.  Now most congregations are impotent, minor-league social welfare agencies or mutual comfort societies with no impact on the world around their little enclave

The article closes with this question: "What do you think you should do?  There are mega things that I could write in this epistle but so could any born-again Christian who loves the Lord with all their heart and loves their country with that same love.