Friday, February 27, 2015

Seeking the Red Meat!

God’s Power Principle For Today:  My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in Weakness. “Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weakness, so that Christ’s power is made perfect in weakness.”  2 Cor. 12:9-10

Hey Gang:  I keep looking for someone who will sit down with me and put some red meat around some of those big biblical terms such as sanctification, justification and glorification.  I have read definitions of each but, for some reason, when I come across these words it is like entering a "fog bank."  In my hillbilly bringing-up years I do not recall many words that were more than five or six letters and must admit that I am intimidated when I run into big words that other people seem to understand. 

As a little squeezer I frequently heard the word grace.   I really did not comprehend the true meaning of the word until I ran across the good news that it meant "God's unmerited favor".  Let me give you an example of grace.   While exulted ruler of Eagle Village, the staff felt they needed some sort of point system to help keep the kids in line and on track.  In my tenure of forty plus years in the child care treatment industry I never found a point system that was positive and, therefore, beneficial over the long haul.   One might say I had a great distain for such systems. 

Each week I would walk through the houses, when no one was there, to 
check the graphs that determined where the youngster was in the program. When I found a youngster floundering with an abundance of negative points, I would draw a line through the total and write “forgiven”. 

It certainly did not make the staff happy.  My question to them was two-fold: if the youngsters realized that grace had been applied to his case and he put his life together, would that not be the purpose of the program?  I also asked, if he does not change, how long would it be until he could pile more points? Most agreed that a happy contented child was much easier to deal with and our job was to encourage not to discourage. 

I must admit, I developed the Head, Hands and Heart Program so that I could bury the point programs once and for all.  I felt that it was a program that recognizes the strengths of the child and builds on a change from within.  God’s grace is indeed sufficient.

Sooo, my young friends, what is the reading on your Grace meter?  Where are you in God's program of Head, Hands and Heart? How much Grace do you offer others?  Jesus said in the same measure you apply grace to those around you, I will apply to you.  Whoopie


P.S.  An old Dutchman said "The higher a man gets in divine grace, the lower he will be in his own esteem.

Monday, February 23, 2015

Be Not Deceived

"Jesus said to him, "I am the way, and the truth, and the life: no one comes to the Father but through Me" (John 14:6).

Hey Gang, while waiting for my car to be serviced,  I read an interesting, but tragic, article about the rapid decline in the Church in America.  I have heard bits and pieces, about the material presented in the article, but never before had seen a more comprehensive piece laying out the rapid decline in the Church.

It began with the tragic news that mankind had once again moved God aside and determined we had far more wisdom than that of the King of kings and Lord of lords.  It seems the leadership in a Historic Evangelical Church had recently presented a new doctrinal statement that virtually abandons the foundational truths that are laid out so clearly in the Word. 

This Church determined, in their infinite wisdom, that such unimportant (in their view) principles as sinfulness, Jesus atoning death, and God's primary requisite of Holy Living should be set aside in the interest of political correctness.  This rational falls in line with an ever-growing belief, ‘if we cannot change them we should join them’.   As one pastor said, “Homosexual and gay rights have become prominent and will continue to grow in our society, therefore, the church is going to have to accept it in order to stay alive.”  What he was really saying in his rational for life of the Church; but it is really the sentence of death for the Church.

In a recent study by the Pew Foundation it was determined that more that seventy (70) percent of those interviewed believed that there are many religions that can lead to eternal life.    Our president recently made a profound statement that cut to the chase of why the American Church is in rapid free fall and one can find a church that believes anything they want to believe.

He said, “We the United States of America  are now a country of Christians, Muslims, Hindu's, Buddhist and ‘sommas’-  some of this and some of that, whatever fits your fancy.”   Ronald Reagan once made the statement,  "We take far too many things for granted in our country".   Moses sent us a stern warning when he wrote, "He will by no means leave the guilty unpunished, visiting the iniquity of fathers on the children and on the grandchildren to the third and fourth generations."  (Exodus 34:7b). 

Tragically, we are living in the harvest stage of that promise.   

Soooo, my young friends, Jesus made it very clear throughout His earthly ministry that He was the only door to the Father.  The only way to the "Way, Truth and Life” was through a hill in Jerusalem, called Calvary".  It is so sad that many, who claim that they are born-again believers and committed to Yeshua, do not have a clue that there are prerequisites to hearing Jesus say, "Well down true and faithful servant."  Churches would grow if they taught these Biblical principles!

P.S.  Be advised, Gramps will be going to a two-a-week format (Tuesday and Friday) after today.  Either the clock is moving faster or I am slowing down.  Perhaps it is both.    



Friday, February 20, 2015

THe Lord Is My Shepherd

God’s Power Principle For Today:  “Know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.”  (Psalm 100:3)

Hey Gang:  Isaiah presents an appealing image of our Heavenly Shepherd.  He is not only strong, but also tender.  He is able to defend us against any kind of danger or difficulty. Gathering the lambs in His arms, He gently leads the ewes.  He is aware of our weakness and vulnerabilities and knows exactly who we are.  The Eastern Shepherd differs from the shepherds in western countries, they ‘lead the sheep’ but the westerners 'drive the sheep’.

Is it not ‘out of sight’ to know that we have a Heavenly Shepherd watching over us, but I admit it’s hardly flattering to be compared to sheep.  Although my knowledge base on the idiosyncrasies of sheep is very limited,  I have heard they are stubborn and abundantly stupid animals.

A.B.”Banjo” Paterson, a famous Australian writer who wrote “The Man From Snowy River” wrote a description of the Australian native Merino sheep that should give us pause when we think of shepherding, especially from God’s perspective.  When Merino sheep were introduced into America, it took a heap of learning for shepherds, who thought that this critter was a dangerous monomaniac and had but one goal in life –to make life as miserable as possible for the shepherd.

If there was fire, a sheep would walk around the fire until the fire consumed it.  If they were in a river bed and a roaring flood would approach, sheep would stubbornly refuse to cross three inches of water to save their necks.  If the leader happened to come to the edge of a cliff and jump off, the entire flock would follow suit. 

Sound familiar? Even a tiny bit?  As a youngster I was much like that Merino ram.  I had a tendency to do the wrong thing at the right time and right thing at the wrong time;  I found myself in hot water more than I like to admit.  Do you sometimes have a talent for getting into trouble, being stubborn, and capable of great stupidity? I am very sorry to say that fits perfectly someone I know fairly well,  Baaa!.  I am looking in the mirror as I share this morning message.

Sooo, take a moment and laugh at yourself and thank your Heavenly Shepherd for being patient with you and many times taking the dumb things and make them "work for good for those who love the Lord" (Rom 8:28).  And say a special prayer for an old ram that acts much like a merino sheep, namely one 'old gramps!'



Wednesday, February 18, 2015

DO You HAve A God Approved Standard of Measure?

God's Power Principle For Today:   “Give, and it will given to you, They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed on, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.” (Luke 6:38).   

Hey Gang:  Have you ever asked yourself the question, “What does God want of me when I grow up?’  As I have searched the Scriptures, I believe I have found the answer to that question – He wants only for us to be obedient to His word, trust and obey, and be a Bond Servant for Christ.  I determined it was good enough for Paul and Peter and John and should be good enough me. 

Paul wrote, “Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewing of your mind”.  In other words “be different”, be “peculiar”.  Stick out like a sore thumb.   Now they tell me that there are no two snow-flakes that are identical.  I haven’t a clue how they know.  I tried once to compare two and they melted as quickly as I touched them. But if the Word tells me so,  I have no problem believing! 

This I know, I moved a heap of snow-flakes last winter and admit I did not take the time to do a scientific study of comparisons.  But as I moved the tons of snow (thankfully with a snow blower)  I thought is that not what God wants out of his children – each to be uniquely equipped to do a specific job for him.  

One of my favorite stories about God's miraculous pottery wheel transformations is a criminal by the name of Frank who, after an experience with God in the solitary confinement cell in a Georgia Prison, made such a change that he was paroled many years before  his due date was to be considered. 

One night in prison he was awakened by a bright supernatural light; out of that light came the voice of God informing him that He (God) had brought him into the world for a specific purpose and He (Frank) was not fulfilling that purpose.  After being paroled, Frank developed a ministry to those who were in similar straights from which he had been freed and wrote a book titled Holes in Time.  His challenge in the book was to all those who have chosen 'to go their own way' and are not fulfilling the mission God designed for them.

Paul said we all have special gifts from God that we are to use for His glory.  If that is so, when we fail to use that gift for His glory, we do leave a ‘hole’ in His ministry that may affect the life of another.   Perhaps your ministry today is to simply say "Shalom" (peace) to all you meet or as profound as leading a lost soul to Christ as Savior. 

SOOO be alert to the leading of the Holy Spirit. 



Monday, February 16, 2015

Israel, THe CenterFold of Prophecy

God’s Power Principle For Today:  “The light shines in the darkness and the darkness does not comprehend it”  “Then Jesus again spoke to them “saying, “I am the Light of the world, he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.”  (John 1:5; 8:12).

Hey Gang:  Several years ago we were blessed to find a DVD's Series titled 'Against All Odds".  I don't know how many times you can watch a DVD before it begins to go caput.  I pray it has a longer life than yours truly.  "Against All Odds” is centered on some of the many military miracles that have transpired in Israel since their becoming a State on May 15, 1948.

In the book of Zechariah, which I believe is a book for today, we find one particular verse that gives us a precise picture of where we are pertaining to the latter days of the Age of Gentiles.  In verse two of the twelfth chapter we read these words, "Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah".     It was recently reported that more than seventy-five percent of all the business that transpires at the UN pertains to Israel in some way.

I would say that fits into the category of "a cup that causes reeling".  But Zechariah had much more to say about this in the following verse: "It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured.  And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it." 

One of my favorite verses in the Word is the eighth verse of this chapter: "In that day the Lord will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them"    I believe that includes me!

When the twin towers were hit I wanted to volunteer to reenter the Air Force. Oh, I knew I was older than dirt and could not reenter the Air Traffic Control Squadron but I could wash dishes and sweep floors or even answer the phone and make coffee for the active troops.  I have prayed many times that I would be part of God's army and be there when the evil one and his cohorts are put away for a thousand years.

 On one of our trips to Israel, we visited Masada which is a mountain where King Herod build one of his summer homes.  We were blessed to be able to watch a ceremony that every pilot in the Israeli military goes through.  They are given a challenge by their commanding office that the greatest gift they have to offer is the willingness to lay down their lives for their brothers and sisters.  

The ninety-first Psalm is the creed of the Israeli Air Force; hearing the fifty cadets shout the words, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High, Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty”.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God in whom I trust, for it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence” was indeed a mighty experience!

Soooo, Do you have a creed that is your covenant with Your heavenly Father this morning?  Do you have a special section of Scripture that you know in your heart will provide you with the strength and courage to stand fast no matter what the circumstances?  We are privileged, while working at VOM,  to hear many stories of people around the world who face persecution and death daily, whose creed is not survival but witnessing to their enemies!

Can there be any doubt we are in the winding down stages nearing the end of the Gentile age?   Jesus said we are to be a light unto this dark world.  As you prepare to face another day?  Do you have your armor in place and ready to be used by Abba Father to be a witness of His great love?



Friday, February 13, 2015

Tribute to a Very Special Person

"Call unto me and I will answer you and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know".  (Jer. 33:3  God's telephone number and never busy!)

Hey Gang:  Did you ever notice how many times Jesus went off by Himself to pray?  The Bible makes it clear that God wants His people to pray.  In I Thessalonians 5:16-18 Paul tells those who trust and love God to "Rejoice evermore and pray without ceasing in everything, giving thanks, for this is God's will" for each of us.  Praying Scripture and His promises unleashes the power prayer in our lives.   But there is a prerequisite to praying God's promises, you must know what they are. 

Through the Prophet Isaiah God promises, "It will come to pass that before they call, I will answer, and while they are still speaking, I will hear" (Isa. 65:24).  Isaiah followed this power verse with another that we need to program into our hearts and souls: "But to this one I will look, To him who is humble and contrite of spirit, and who trembles at My word" (Isa. 66:2B).  And where does this humbling and contrite of spirit and trembling come from?  His Word and relationship with Jesus.

Jesus confirms this in our hearts in His Sermon on the Mount:  "Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find, knock, and it will be opened to you .  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened" (Matt. 7:7-8).

I have spent the past several weeks reading in Jeremiah.  I have read Jeremiah many times before but this time it has captured my whole attention.  Why, because as I read each page I could see the United States of America in each page.  And, as I read, I focused my study on two phrases that Jeremiah used:  God said, "Is not my word like fire and like a hammer which shatters a rock? (Jer. 23:29); the second  phrase, which is found throughout the book, "They did not listen"(Jer.23:29).

I was blessed with a sainted Grandma; however, at the time, I did not realize what a pure and true saint she was.  As I think back I see her on her knees in the local Post Office scrubbing the floors.    Having lost two husbands, six mouths to feed, and limited education she was restricted to menial tasks.  By the time I came on the scene she had retired and was living on the third floor of our tiny house.  It meant climbing two flights of stairs several times a day and the years on her knees on concrete had taken its toll.   
We had a swing on our front porch and Grandma spent much of her awake hours on the swing.  She was a very avid embroidery addict and made many beautiful things.  She would take the floss that was left after clipping the end, put it in her mouth and then throw them up to the roof of the porch.  We had a very colorful porch. But her attention was not on the sewing, for that was automatic to her.  These were the prayers she sent heavenward from the prayer list that she had with her at all times.  Grandma was not known as a "prayer warrior", but a very special saint who knew how to reach the heavenlies with her prayers.

As I think of her this morning, I would not call her a pastor, or even a teacher, even though she taught Sunday School for years, but rather a ‘beamer of light’.  She would share her faith in a way that was understandable and filled with the love of her Lord, but that was not what I remember about her.  She radiated Jesus every moment of her day, not by what she said or even her actions, but when you were around her you could feel the love of Jesus coming through her very being.  When I sing "This little light of mine, I am going to let it shine" which I do often,  I think of my Grandma sitting on that swing with needle in hand, her lips praising her Lord and taking those who had heavy hearts to the Throne Room of Heaven.

Sooooo, I have asked myself many times, how does one become a ‘radiator’ of God's love without saying a word?  Grandma would say, “Become a doer of the Word and a imitator of Jesus.”   When the little children (other than family) come to a person, you know that person is filled with the love of God - and the little children came to Jesus.  I look forward to the day I can give my Grandma a big hug.



Wednesday, February 11, 2015

Truth In Living Color # 2

"Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends" (and family). (John 15:13); based on "But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Rom. 5:8); and "I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep" (John 10:11).

Hey Gang:  I have a confession to make before sharing the second story that made a great impact on my life.  These messages about youth I met working in California have been banging around in my head for months, perhaps even years.  As you know, my bride and I and now my family, three children, one spouse, and two grandchildren  work for the program my bride and I were privileged, allowed by God and with His leading,  developed.
In the past forty-six years, since we greeted our first child and family, Eagle Village has become a very effective program.  It has been a lifeline and a "shirt tail to hand onto" for many thousands children and families.  In a sense, I believe the Lord has directed these morning messages to those of you who have your quivers full.  

In our many years of reaching out to hurting children and parents we have found nothing, except Jesus' love, can replace the love and attention of parents for their children.  In my tenure as a counselor and senior counselor in a detention facility, I interviewed thousands of young men who had penetrated the judicial system, many of whom had committed serious crimes. 

Most of the questions had quick responses, until I came to the last one: "If you could change anything in the world, what would it be?"  Wow, what a response, everything from crying to no answer at all, just a sadness in their eyes that is beyond description.  We used to have a saying in the facility, "We can tell how tough a kid is by how many hours he cries himself to sleep at night."

The second story I want to share, that I believe has wide spread meaning for many readers, involves a fourteen year-old youngster that had given up hope.  A teacher in his class had developed a program where she gave each child three ribbons and told them the first one was for them, because she cared and even loved each one of them.  She then challenged them to go to the person who most impacted their life, and give them the second ribbon, with the challenge that they would do likewise.

The lad was at a loss.  Who would he give his second ribbon to; He decided he would give it to his dad.  He did not believe his dad had any feelings for him; the youth felt totally ignored by him.  When he gave the ribbon to his Dad, Dad was visibly shaken and did not respond;  but later that night he went into the lad’s room and said,  "I have tried to think of someone that truly impacted on my life and the only one I could think of was you".  

As they talked the young lad said to his Dad, “I brought all my things home from school today.  I was going to commit suicide tonight because I did not think you loved me.”   Folks, I want you to hear this old Gramps, the world is a very sadistic place and children who do not have the love and relationship with God and their parents are floundering in deep water! 

Sooo, what can you do to never have to fear that your child might be this story?  God laid it out very clearly in Deuteronomy 6:6-7: "You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.  These words shall be on your hearts.  You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.  You shall bind them as a sign on your hand and they shall be as frontals on your fore head.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates".   Praying for them and with them helps, too.



Monday, February 9, 2015

Truth In Living Color

"Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, The fruit of the womb is a reward.  Like arrows in the hand of a warrior, so are the children of one's youth.  How blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them" (Psa, 127:3-5).

Hey Gang:  As a senior counselor in a detention facility, one of my duties was to notify the parents that their son or daughter was an uninvited guest in our ‘house of concrete and bars’.  The response could usually be placed in one of three categories:  “Oh, how sad, he or she was not raised that way”, or “I just knew I was going to receive a call like this someday!”, or “Don't call me, let him stew in his own vomit,” or some other neat verb. And there was also the three categories of responses on the part of parents: they came immediately; they came tomorrow at the hearing, where they were required to attend; or they did not come at all.

I wish I could tell you the latter response was an absolute minority, but such was not the case.  Many asked, and even begged us, to keep their child locked up for a while- say two or three months. Their homes were much more peaceful places when youth were not there.   

I want to share two cases, one that I personally knew and the second, one that I believe is an excellent story of the truth - "It is never too late to recoup a prodigal back into the good graces of the family.”

The first is a fourteen year-old who arrived at the facility, one a wet cold night, in the custody of one of our local police.  He was not what one would term a ‘run of the mill’ delinquent.  He stuck out like the proverbial 'sore thumb'.  He was well dressed, well- manicured, very articulate and even polite, which was a sign he did not belong in our facility. 

A call was made to the parents and, within the hour, the father and mother arrived.   A short interview determined that the young man had never been involved in anything like this before and Fad would certainly have words with the lad.    Due to the backlog of other intakes that were awaiting my attention, I released him to his parents and suggested that he not show up here again.

A few days later we had a repeat performance with same young man; however, this time he arrived at my door in cuffs and a more belligerent attitude.   The afore mentioned procedures were followed and due to an overloaded ‘house’ and, many more violent and more sophisticated trouble makers demanding attention, I sent him home, again.

The next night, when the young man arrived at Juvy, the ‘house’, it was a slow night and I had time to sit and talk with Dad.  I learned Dad was an executive in a major industry and did not have time for his family.  One did not have to be a rocket scientist to see that the boy was doing all in his power to get his Dad's attention, and he would continue to do so, whatever it took.  

Dad was adamant he would do anything to reconnect with the lad and become a good father to him.  I suggested he take out a business card, write on the back of it that he would be available to his son any time he called, and give it to his son.  I also told Dad we had a bed available, so we would give the son a good look at what it was like to even have to ask permission to go the bathroom!

On Monday mid-afternoon, the son asked if he could make a phone call, he wanted to call his Dad.  His Dad happened to be a very important meeting with his executive team.  He had given strict orders not to be disturbed.  But, knowing the situation, his secretary slipped a note to him, ‘your son is on the line’.  He immediately ordered a coffee break and took the call.  The message was simple, “Dad, if you love me, come and get me now!”  Dad, cancelled the meeting, drove to Juvy and picked up his son.  They spent the remainder of the day together.  I never saw the boy again.

 Soooo, be advised that the story of the seed planter where it clearly states, "You will reap what you sow" (Gal. 6:7).  This works every time, negative or positive, with every child.  Each of us must chose: am I willing to place my spouse and children immediately after my love for my Heavenly Daddy, and give sacrificial love to each.  Next message life story number two. 



Friday, February 6, 2015

No Greater Miracle!

God’s Power Principle For Today: “Do not fear for I am with you: do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand” (Isa. 41:10). 

Hey Gang, as I reread this verse, for the umpteenth time, it brought to memory a story told by an old-salt evangelist many years ago at the Christian Retreat Center in Florida.  He had been a very successful business executive, even an important cog in the early development of NASA.  However, he allowed alcohol to totally destroy his marriage and nearly his life.  But, when at the lowest point in his life, having lost his bride, his family and his business, God reached down, as He did with Saul on the Damascus Road, and said, “I’ll take that one”.
He told the story of a time when he was invited to visit and preach at the worst of the worst prisons in Georgia.  An invitation that he readily accepted.  When he arrived he was ushered into the cell block that held the least dangerous prisoners and from there worked his way in to the most restricted areas.
As he was preparing to leave he asked if there were any prisoner that he had missed.  The warden warned, "Yes, one area, but you do not want to go there".  We cannot insure your protection, but he would not take no for an answer. After signing a waiver saying he would not hold the prison responsible, if anything should happen to him, they opened the cell block door and let him enter.  

While ministering to a group of prisoners, one, who had a reputation for being the worst of the worse, came up behind him with a sheave, and threatened to kill him.  Hill’s response, “You can’t.  You can only kill this shell that houses me.  If you push that thing into me, I am immediately leaving to go and be with my heavenly Father, so go for it.”

To make the longer story short, not only did the con drop the sheave but also dropped to his knees and asked God to forgive him.   The con later related, “As the evangelist talked, the words planted by a saintly grandmother many years before began to surface in his mind and heart.  He not only went through a miraculous transformation but became a strong witness in the cell block until he was released. 

Soooo, friends and neighbors, it is not likely you will run into the worst con in the cell block today, but I suspect you can take it to the bank that you will cross paths with someone that is hurting deep inside’ someone who needs a friend to let them know there is a Savior, Christ the Lord, who stands at the door of their heart seeking entry.   There is no greater joy in the world than to witness the transformation of a person, who has no hope, to a Kings Kid.



Wednesday, February 4, 2015

A Warning To Ponder!

"It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish" (Deut. 8:19).  Moses went on to say "Like the nations that the Lord makes to perish before you, so you  shall perish;  because you would not listen to the voice of the Lord your God" (Vs. 20).

Hey Gang:  Do you remember when a million dollars was key to be admitted into the "Knob Hill Gang"?  Today millionaires are listed as the upper level of the middle class and, in most cases, it is because my generation was very insurance conscience and purchased large insurance policies.  Perhaps that is where we get the saying, "I am worth more dead than alive".

Today, entry into the elite, wealthy domain, requires billions and each year that number increases substantially.   I recently read that a sheik from the Middle East may be the richest man in the world.  It is further said that he really has no comprehension of how much he is really worth, but has but is estimated to be well over twenty-five billion dollars.  The drift of the article was that this gentlemen literally spends millions of dollars for hit men that surround him, even when while he sleeps, because of his deep fear that someone is going to snuff him out and take his loot.

I wonder if any of these financial guru's ever think of the number of babies that died today because of lack of food?  Or how many were infected with disease because of lack of clean water?   I wonder how many babies can be fed with one ton of wheat or corn, or how many wells can be put down for a million dollars?  That would be like the crumbs in the story of the woman who asked Jesus if she could just sweep up the crumbs that had fallen from the table.

I wonder, what would happen if all of the world leaders would suddenly wake up and realize what Jesus really meant when He said, "To those who are given much, much is expected".  I wonder, if the following words were to appear on the walls of the Houses of Congress, "God has numbered your kingdom and put an end to it, you have been weighed on the scales and found deficit" (Dan. 5:25-27), would it make the Wall Street Journal.   Perhaps on the nineteenth page in very small print.

Recently, our Pastor began his sermon by trying to wake up the pew sitters;  His first words were "prosperity can be dangerous".  That certainly is not the American way.  We once measured success by ‘how many toys’ we had but, in recent years, that has changed to ‘how many people we can buy in the Belt Way’ and protect our turf.  I heard recently success in politics is not how popular you are among the voters but how successful  they are in their campaign to destroy the reputation of their opponent. 

I have debated as to whether I should send this to the "Hey Gang" folks, and admit I sat on it for a couple weeks.  Not that I mind waking up folks, God said to Isaiah "Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?"  Then I (Isaiah) said, here am I, Send me! (Isa. 6:8).  I would be saddened, indeed, if I did not share something with you that I felt God was impressing on my heart.   

Soooo, my friends, I close with Moses words:  "Beware that you do not forget the Lord your God by not keeping His commandments and His ordinances and His statutes which I am commanding you today" (Deut. 8:11).    "It shall come about if you ever forget the Lord your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I testify against you today that you will surely perish" (Deut. 8:19). 



Monday, February 2, 2015

What If? Part Two

"And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast, and the door was shut" (Matthew 25:10).

Hey Gang:   Notice the next verses. "Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open the door for us.’  But He answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you’” (vs. 11-12). 

 I am in the process of reading through the Bible once again, and have enjoyed every minute of it.  You see, my mother was a very nervous type and suffered from anxiety most of her life.  Unfortunately I inherited some of her anxiety and, for some reason, I choose occupations that tended to be filled with opportunities for anxiety. 

Let me share a secret with you this morning. One day I discovered that the greatest therapy in the world for anxiety is to break out with song.   As a matter of fact, I have prescribed learning and singing such songs as "Jesus Loves Me This I know”, “This Little Light of Mine”’ and “Lord Make Me a Sanctuary” far more than anything I could conger up in my mind.  The Bible tells me, at the name of Jesus, Satan must cut and run. 

One of the wonderful fringe benefits of writing Gramps Morning Thoughts is that it disciplines me to be faithful in programming my mind and heart to seek what the Lord would say through me.  Let me also share another tidbit that I learned when I began to write the blogs, three years ago. Writing encouraging words changed my attitude from seeing the down side of life to seeking those promises that God has given us in His Word.  

In other words there was a constant supply of oil going into my lamp.  Now, take a minute and look across the page to what I call ‘Jesus prerequisites for keeping your lamp filled and prepared for the coming of the bridegroom’.   In verses 31 to 40 Jesus gives us expectations of what He requires out of His children.   We might say, each is based on His words that the greatest gift we can give to our brothers and sisters is the willingness to lay down our life for them (John 15:13). 

Notice, none of these prerequisites require a doctor’s degree or very special talents:  "For I was hungry and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you took Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me" (35-36). 

And the power verse attached to these prerequisites, "Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me." (vs. 40).    There is so much more that I would like to share with you but, as per usual, I am running out of space. So let me close with a challenge.

We are a month into the New Year and one does not have to be a brain surgeon to realize that our world is being shaken as never before.  If you cannot see that the End of this Age is rapidly approaching, you are like the bird that stuck its head in the sand.  I believe, based on the "Days of Noah', ‘Sodom and Gomorrah’ and the other times listed in the Word where God's patience ran out with His creation that, one of these days the Sky will open! 

I have a question for you to chew on for a day or two: When the twin towers came tumbling down, the following Sunday nearly every church in the area had standing room crowds but, three months later only a small remnant remained.  When questioned why the majority had faded into the Sunset, most answered, “We did not find anything to help us through that crisis.” 

What would happen, if one day another crisis hits our nation and the following Sunday morning the your church was filled to the brim, are you and your church prepared to meet those who are seeking something to fill that vacuum deep in their hearts that is just the size of God.   Does your church have a ‘Swat Team’ that will meet them at the point of their need and ride the storm with them?

Keep in mind when we stand before the Lord He will ask, “What did you do with My Son?”  Are you a seed planter? or just a harvester?  God has blessed me with over 40,000 hits on the morning blogs.  I wonder how many of those hits represent people who have shared the messages contained in them with others?  More important – the message of Jesus Christ Savior and Lord and soon coming Bridegroom.?