Tuesday, April 28, 2015

God Said To Habakkuk, "Look Around and See What I Am Doing."

"Yet once more I will shake not only shake the earth, but also the heavens.  This expression, "Yet once more", denotes the removing of those things which can be shaken, as of created things, so that those things which cannot be shaken may remain.  Therefore, since we receive a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us show gratitude by which we may offer to God an acceptable service with reverence and awe: For our God is a fire" (Hebrew 12:26-29).  Is your God a consuming fire?

Hey Gang:  I came across this 'Quote of the month’ that rang my bell.  "With hurricanes, record snow falls and freezing temperatures, fires out of control, mud slides, flooding, severe thunderstorms  tearing up the country from one end to the other, and with the threat of bird flu, Ebola, and terrorist attacks, are we sure this is a good time to take God out of the Pledge of Allegiance".   Now ain't that the truth?

As I was seeking a word from the Lord this morning on what He would have me share, He whispered in my ear, "Lighten Up"; many of your friends and neighbors, including you, are wound to tight.   Now ain't that the truth?

We spend far too much of our lives tied in huge knots worrying about things that we cannot control.  As one elderly pastor declared, "There are two days I do not worry about, yesterday, because it is too late to do anything about the creeping alligators, and tomorrow, who has not yet shown its colors - so confine your concerns to today.  There are certainly enough things to get our dander up within any twenty-four hour period.

As exulted ruler of Eagle Village I never, never, never completed a day as dictated by my daily planner.  With a barn full of highly-wired teen-agers that were under my care, because they had demonstrated their need for someone to teach them what boundaries were, I did not have  a clue what challenges I would face, even before the day had a good start.

If I did not get up early, before the troops were getting out of the rack and beginning their day, and refill my batteries by spending time alone with the Lord and filling my batteries with the Word - I soon found  that I was firing from the hip with an underpowered  gun.  

I learned very early, in my tenure of working with young people that God sent across my path, that they had hurting chest-cavities just the size of God.  I needed to out-gun the powers of Satan that had a grasp on many of the kid’s lives.  I learned that, if I beat him to the punch by finding that one positive thing that I could build a relationship on, , I could cut him (Satan) off at the pass, when the alligators began nipping at their heels.

When a new youngster came into my life, I did not look at the case file to find out what he or she did wrong.  As a matter of fact I did not break the seal on the case file until I had found that one thing on which I could build a relationship. Why? Because I also learned early ,that we spend far too much time dealing with the clinkers in our lives and not enough smelling the posies that God provides for us each day.

Soooo, my young friends if the rubber-hits-the-road today, which, in all probability it will, take a minute or two and do as God told Habakkuk to do, “Look around you and see what I am doing” (1:2-5).  If you are fortunate to have a clinker-free day, thank Him, the one who made that possible, and share the good news with someone who is going through deep waters.


If you are interested in how things happening in the world today is related to Scripture, check out the new prophecy blog:  grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com

Friday, April 24, 2015

God's Tool Box

"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control, against such things there is not law.  Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.  (Notice the next word is one of those tiny trigger words 'IF'.  These are part of God's fringe package for His kids: "if" live by the Spirit and walk by the Spirit” (Gal. 5:22-23/5).

Hey Gang:  This morning I stuck the front of the tractor in ten inches of pure mud.  Yak, what a mess.  So, I decided to wait until Summer and it dried up and then I will call a wrecker to come an pull me out!  So I made my first change in direction for the day and decided I would cut some wood.  After twenty pulls on the starter cable, my arms declared a second change of venue was needed.    So I decided to take the truck to the car wash and give it a bath - you got it, the battery, after sitting for several months, did not have enough power to turn the diesel engine over.  Strike three and you’re out, right? 

It was a day of learning, I learned that I had more discipline and patience, than I did years ago.  I did not throw the chain saw down the steps, I did not kick the tractor and I did not have cruel words for my truck.  AS a matter of fact I retired to my office and spent some time working on the new blogs that will begin this week. 

I have learned in my more mature years that Paul's formula, found in I Thessalonians 5, does not cause acid in your gut and depression in your mind and soul.  When he was released from prison after being beaten half to death, he rejoiced.  In Colossians 1:24 he said, "Now, I rejoice in my sufferings for your sake, and in my flesh I do my share on behalf of His body, which is the church, in filling up what is lacking in Christ afflictions."   We find his motivation for “rejoicing always and I say again rejoice,” (Philippians 4:4) where he wrote, "and if children, heirs also, heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him so that we may also be glorified with Him" (Romans 8:17.)

I especially like James’ attitude when it comes to trials and tribulations - I think if I had a choice I would be like James.  Not that I would not like to be like Jesus first, Paul and Peter and the others, but I believe I kind of think like James.  His comments related to growth through tribulation makes sense to me.   When I hit a clinker in my life that leads to battles with alligators, I tend to shy clear of those clinkers in the future.

I wish I could say always, but that would say I am perfect and anyone who knows me know that that ain't so!  I believe all would agree our world is being shaken and, if you have not equipped your armor with God's power through His Word, you are going to be in big trouble.  Paul says, "Rejoice always", keep our head in the right mode, "pray without ceasing", gives us power and strength," in everything give thanks; for this is God's will for You in Christ Jesus" He is our refuge and strength.” (I Thess 5:16-18.)
Soooo, my friends and neighbors, Paul goes on and gives us the same warning that Jesus gave us in the Olivet Discourse, "be not deceived".   He phrased it a little different, "…examine everything carefully; and hold fast to that which if good; abstain from evil" (2 Thess. 16-22).   My prayer for each of you, "May the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ" (vs. 24).  Amen!

If you want to joint the prophecy blog: www.grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com


Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Owe No Man Nothing!

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this,  says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it overflows" (Mal. 3:10).

Hey Gang:  I went down to visit with a friend who works in a furniture store and while there a young couple with four little tikes came in looking for a washing machine.   After several minutes of looking at the payment plans that were available, the salesman said the best he could do was $75.00 per month.  The young mother remarked with a rather scorn look in her face to her husband, “if you just did not have to have a huge television!”   

I have mentioned many times, in these morning messages, that I was born and spent the first years of my life in the Appalachian Mountains, the son of a coal miner.   It was during the depression years and earning enough to just squeeze by was an ongoing battle for my parents and all the folks in the mining town.  I developed a fear that we would always be poor as church messes, and developed into a compulsive 'penny pincher'.    
I have always tended to pinch pennies, some would even call me Scrooge.   In the early years of my marriage, as an airman in the Air Force and money was sparse, I learned a basic lesson about God's provision.  

If I bring it all into the storehouse, He will meet my every NEED.  Notice the word "NEED".  Now I admit that I was fortunate that God sent a Cadillac into my life; she came from a family of itinerant preachers who God blessed with enough, but just enough. They had learned that it is not bangles and beads that brings peace and joy into one’s life. 

Now I could turn this into a ten page dissertation, but that is not my point, so let me cut to the chase.     The point I would like you all to hear is bringing it all into God's storehouse is to remove the anxiety that is centered on money.   God taught me several lessons that provided the foundation for security.  Lesson number one was to tithe, and when the need came into view to give gifts to hurting folks, GIVE.  And the second was to pay myself as I paid the bills.  We made our monthly deposits into the Hainley retirement and emergency fund account very faithfully.

We also adopted a principle that was given to us by Solomon when he wrote, "Owe no man nothing".  It is always amazing to the caller on the anonymous hot line that wants to sell me a program that will resolve my financial problems and get me out of debt, and I tell them I have no debt.  That just does compute with most young folks today.     Does that mean you cannot borrow money to purchase a necessity such as a house or car? Not at all! 

I believe those items are budget items that are basic needs and should be included in the budget.  BUT I also believe you can be happy in a used Blue Moon 45 by 8 foot mobile home that came fully furnished and was paid off within one year.    BUT I am not into putting the bangles and beads of this world on the cuff.    There is no worse bondage than the bondage of being in debt constantly and paying high interest to that piece of plastic in your wallet. 

Soooo,  my young friends, hear this from an old man that has found this principle to work:  give God His first, and pay yourself by saving, every time.  I have heard people say, I can't afford to tithe.  My answer to that is "You cannot afford not to tithe".

Don't forget if you want to view the prophecy blog: www.grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com


Friday, April 17, 2015

God You Are So Neat!

"Then God said, "Let there be lights in the expanse of the heavens to separate the days from the night, and let them be for signs and for seasons and for days and years; and let them be for light in the expanse of the heaven to give light on the earth; and it was so.....God saw that is was good" (Gen. 1:14-15).

Hey Gang:  I sometimes think I am a wee bit strange.  No, make that a lot of times I think I am strange, and each day, as the world continues to do weird things, I feel even more strange.  You see, I am a literalist when it comes to God's word.  I believe every word in it and believe God has been very zealous in protecting His word.  You see, I believe our world is becoming devoid of excitement.  I certainly cannot find any in the glitz of the world, nor in the every- day activities of the world.  One might think they can find it in the church but, if it is there, I am missing the boat.

This morning I reread Genesis one and once again asked God to forgive his creation for making such a mess of it.   But as I read it again I got kind of a different thought.  As I read the first twenty-four verses, I had a strong image of God's might and power.   "In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth."  Wow, is that not awesome?  Now, I know that are ‘big bang theories’ and a dozen or so others, but I believe one day God took nothing and made the heavens and earth.

Now why do I believe that? Because everything else that follows in God's Word has come true; therefore, I believe that is how it came together is also true.  Can you get a picture of God, Almighty, All-powerful taking the waters in His hands and forming them into oceans, seas and lakes and ponds and even mud puddles?  I believe it was one of the happiest days of His creative genius.  A star here, a moon over there, the sun right there, all in perfection!

And then one of the greatest miracles of all?  Sound and color!    Wow, would this not be a boring place, if there was no color and no music?   Would it not be boring if there was not four seasons to enjoy?  Oh, I realize there are those who would rather not have the cold winter but that is part of the life cycle that makes his perfection tick.

I believe He had a ball as he formed the thousands of species of fish, birds, and insects.  I wonder why he made wasps and mosquitoes.  I would ask Him when I meet Him face to face, but I suspect I will be in such awe, I will be speechless.  When He made the great fish, did He say, "This one is for Jonah?"  And, when He created Balaam's donkey, did He put a voice in him to be used in that special time when Balaam was on his way to curse the Children of Israel?

I wonder if one of His favorite days was the day He created the animals of the world?  Do you think He might have leaned back and laughed from deep in his soul when He saw the camel, and the ant eater, or the Tasmanian Devil, for the first time?  There is the question that has been bantered around forever, “Will there be animals in heaven?”  To those skeptics I say - shame, how could God not have His unique menagerie of perfect creatures in the New Jerusalem?  The Word does say the lion with lie down with the lamb, doesn't it?

Well, I would like to go on.  I so enjoy the creation story. Why?  Because I believe it is picture of what we will see when we are called home to be with Father God in glory.    It will be perfect in every way - because that is the only way God is capable of creating.



Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Kick the Tar Out of Satan: Be An OverComer!

 “So faith comes from hearing and hearing by the Word of Christ”   (Romans 10:17).   

Hey gang:  Have you ever had a bull’s eye on your back that the local macho club members of the community accepted as a challenge?  There were no signs that said, “Let’s beat the tar out of Kermit, but one did not have to be a rocket scientist to know it was there.

As I think back to those days at Fairview Elementary School, I can see why I was singled out to be the target of this particular group of bullies.  I had just moved into the city from the mountains, I had buck teeth and wore brogans and knickers, I talked like a hillbilly and my name was Kermit.  Now, I realize most of you do not know what brogans and knickers are and it would take too long to describe them, so let’s just say they did made me stick out like the proverbial ‘sore thumb’. 

But I want you to know I believe I was in training for what God was going to do through me.  I believe every one of those challenges were preparation for the day I would run into a youngster that was going through that same kind of experience.  I learned that the greatest gift I could give to a person, who was really hurting, was to share that I too, had been down that road and God’s promise, that He would supply for all of my needs, was right there waiting for them to trust Him.

Now, I want to share a secret with you folks who try to hide those experiences that do not rate high on the positive chart; the kids taught me, in my forty-five plus years of hand to hand combat with kids who did not have it together, that they would far rather hear someone share the good news - that you can be an overcomer from the experiences with the alligators.  My favorite saying to those who were really struggling was, and remains today, "Been there and done that – you, too, can be an overcomer!”

I loved to see the change in their faces, many with question, “Really, Mr. H.?”  There is something very special about finding someone who has survived that same "back against the wall" experience that I am going through. 

I have been having a terrible time with my tractor.  I believe God gave it to me to teach me patience.  Last spring the tractor would run for ten minutes and stop, run five minutes and stop.  I cleaned the lines; blew them out.  The tractor continued to punch thorns into my flesh.  I talked with every mechanic I could find - nothing worked.  One day I ended up at an automotive supply to purchase a cleaning fluid for the gas tank and there was a old gent, who heard my story and said, "It takes two washes to wash the rust out”; he also said that sitting through the winter could be the best cure.  And it was!

Soooo, you see folks, you each have unique experiences- victories and failures - in your lives that others are going through and need to hear people have lived through them and even been successful in overcoming. That is God's way - put your arms around the hurting person and  pound home the point, "My God will provide for all your needs" (Phil. 4:19) and You can be an overcomer through Him who strengthens us, (Phil. 4:13). 

Don't forget to check out grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com



Sunday, April 12, 2015

News Flash! Choices

On January 19 the following message came across our gmail: "The nations of the world are turning against Israel.  But that's in accordance with ancient biblical prophecy, according to documentary filmmaker and New Your Times best-selling author Joel Richardson.”    I believe Joel was referring to Zechariah 12:3 ". 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."

Hey Gang:  We have made a decision!  We are going to set up a second blog titled "What's Happening- Man?"(grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com).This will give, those who choose, the option of being informed about what is happening prophetically in our nation and the world.  We have learned that there are more than a few folks who receive “Gramps Morning Thoughts” who do not want to know what is happening.  Silence seems bliss.  We will continue Gramps Morning Thoughts on Tuesday and Fridays.

NOTE: We will publish the new blog two times per week, Monday's and Thursday.  The way things are popping in our world today there may be times when we need to send an additional blog. 

Our prayer:  That you will seek the Holy Spirit's guidance as you avail yourself of these blogs and take me to task, if you find something that does not jive with the Bible.  God warns that we take no one’s word without confirming it with two or three witnesses.  Jesus said, “Be Not Deceived!’ One of the first signs of the end times is that there will be great deception, and even many of the very saints of God will be lead down the prim-rose path.

I would appreciate any feedback that you would like to make.




Friday, April 10, 2015

Not My Will!!

"For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and cable to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart" (Heb. 4:12). 

Hey Gang:  I want to share a warning with you this morning.  A warning that I have had to guard against all my Christian life, 'Repetition leads to apathy'.  God challenged my heart several years ago to make sure I was passing my Christian legacy down to the ‘bone of my bone’ family.  Many take great pains to pass their material wealth on to their children but fail to share what God has done in their lives and with their loved ones.

Gramps Morning Thoughts grew out of that challenge.  The first messages were sent to my family and a few adopted family members, but through the years the number grew.  My prayer has been that they not become a repetitious exercise that had no lasting meaning to the reader, and that God would put His thoughts into my head.  I have also prayed daily that when they no longer challenge the hearts of the readers He would alert me that it was time to shut them down. I confess there have been several times when I felt God was saying just that.  

But each time I set a number, which was not really my place to do, there would be a splurge in the number of readers.  Now I want to share what I believe is an emphatic miracle from God --  perhaps even a reprimand!  Because there were very low numbers for a period of time, I decided that, if the number of hits on the blog stayed at these digits for period of time, I would put ‘Gramps’ to bed, (not my place to do so – and the numbers do not count those on email).

Then something phenomenal happened!  Within a day or two, there were 502 hits on the blog and a week later 576!   But the following days, after these humongous numbers, the hits reduced to single digits again.   

I prayed that God would show me clearly when it was time to stop the blogs because repetition had set in and they had lost their purpose.  I can think of no reason why suddenly, when I was seriously considering stopping the morning messages, these humongous numbers  appeared  -except God was sending me a message to get my eyes off the numbers.

Now for confession time:  I had let numbers be the control factor in whether the morning messages had become repetitious and lost their meaning.  I also confess that when I tended to get on a pity party because the numbers were low, He would lay it on the heart of one of the readers to send a special message of encouragement.  But what really touched my heart was Luke 15 where we find the story of the one lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son.  

It would be wonderful to know if one lost soul was found through the morning messages but that is not for me to know.  You see l am merely a seed planter, the harvesting is in the hands of Abba Father.    I have learned that there are times when we need a poke from Father God to” spur us into action” (Hebrews 10:24 –Ryan’s verse) and leave the driving up to Him.  We need to learn the "Trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on our own understanding." (Pro. 3:5). 
Soooo, friends and neighbors, our world is spinning out of control so very rapidly but, in the midst of the tragic events that are part of the daily news, God is doing a might work in preparation for His coming.  We need to be up to speed on what those miraculous things are.  We will try to keep you advised of some of these major happenings


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Where Are You? Who Put You There?

"But if (notice the if) the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His spirit who dwells in you" (Rom. 8:11).

Hey Gang:   Right this minute...where are you?  Who put you there?  Do you think God had anything to do with where you are and what you are doing? Do you think that God had a plan for you even before you were a gleam in your father's eye? What say ye?  Are you something special in God's eye?

Peter said, "As each one has received a special gift, employ it in serving one another as good stewards of the manifold grace of God" (I Peter 4:10).  Luke also had something to say about the subject in Acts 1:8:  "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth".

Paul gives us a warning about thinking too lowly of ourselves.  After all we are a creation of God or did you come from the amoeba from a mud puddle?  In 2 Timothy 3:5 Paul tells us to turn away from the toxic- you may catch the disease.  "He wrote, "…holding a form of godliness, although they have denied its power.  Avoid such as these".  Down two verses, he continued with his warning, "They will always be in a learning mode but never come to the knowledge of the truth"
I just completed re-reading Jeremiah. God had a heap to say about false prophets and teachers, but if you are not into the word, you do not have a clue when you come face to face with a "slicky-boy", as we called them in Korea.   Keep in mind you may have been victorious in sending Satan a kiting yesterday, but he is a pro at sticking around and watching your every move, waiting for a more opportune time, so he can move in with his seven cousins.

And how can I be so smart and make such a statement?  "All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work" (11 Tim 3:16) In very simple language that even a hillbilly kid can understand, "If you do not put Scripture in your heart and mind, The Holy Spirit cannot pull it out when the alligators are snapping at our heels.

"Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, so that there may be food in My house, and test Me now in this," says the Lord of hosts,  "if I will not open for you the windows of heaven and pour out for you a blessing until it over flows".   I have found the power phrase in that verse is "test me".   (Mal 3:10).

Soooo, really, test God! Are you kidding?  When you dig a little deeper you find why He said that.  In Leviticus 27:30 Moses wrote this clarifying statement, "Thus all the tithe of the land, of the seed of the land, or the fruit of the tree, is the Lord's. It is holy to the Lord".  You mean what I have and give to Him is holy to the Lord?   So what am I giving?  Only what He has blessed me with?  He does own all the cattle on a thousand hills.  (Psalm 50:10).

Wait!  Before you put your Bible away and start the day, you must read the promise that is attached to Malachi 3:10 "Then I will rebuke he devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of the ground; nor will your vine in the field cast its grapes,"  says the Lord of hosts".    When I read those two verses I have a mental image of me in a standoff gun fight at the Old Woodward Avenue Corral with Satan; the enemy with his bag of tricks, his holster ready to draw, and me with Malachi 3:10-11 strapped to my hip ready for action.   There is NO contest!


Friday, April 3, 2015

Have You Been To The Cross Lately?

"Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside  every encumbrance and the sin which so easily enables us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, setting our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Heb. 12:1-2).

Hey Gang:  I sense I need to rephrase that question and ask, "Have you been to the Cross in the last thirty seconds?"  I have always had the feeling that repetition is effective for about a week, and then I tend to be negligent in follow through.  I am plagued with several ailments that require medication every day and if I do not take the correct dosage prescribed, I pay the piper; but yet I still tend to forget. 

Now, I realize we might have five people in a circle and ask them to define repetitious, and we would get six to eight definitions.  My simple mind tends to define it as ‘disciplining oneself to do a certain thing in an on-going basis for my own good.’ 

We have been commanded by the Lord to go to the cross daily.  Why?  We each may have our own reason why this trip is suggested by the Lord.  I suspect He knows our attention span may be only day-long, but after that even the most focused tend to lose focus.  I tend to feel the Muslim’s and Jews are more disciplined in their prayers then we Christians.  Note, I said disciplined to pray, I did not include who they pray to, or for what. 

The Jews pray three times a day and point their prayers towards Jerusalem; the Muslims pray five times a day and point their prayers toward Mecca.  But as has been pointed out by many writers, the prayers are repetitious and have lost their meaning.

I would be remiss if I did not tell you that repetition can also be good, if you are a disciplined person and stay the course.  It is very obvious that, if we are diligent in our repetitio, if our repetition is anchored on the Word and a personal relationship with Yeshua, it is then that we can grow in the Lord and in the Word. 

Soooo, as you ponder this question, you might ask yourself, “Is my relationship with the Father is based on vain repetitions or is there salad, and soup, and meat and potatoes and even desert in your prayer life?”   There are many, even believers, who say, look around you, prayer does not do any good; but ask yourself what this world would look like if there were no prayers sent to the heavenlies by God's people.   The world is going to find out, when Christ comes and takes His children home to be with him throughout Eternity.  Make sure you are firmly implanted in Lord's hands and your name is recorded in the Lamb's Book of Life.  You do not want to be here after Jesus comes and collects His sheep and takes them to His exceedingly greener pastures.