Monday, November 30, 2015

Confession Time: Is Change Needed (plus note)

Paul said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want” (Rom. 7:18-19). 

Hey Gang:  Did you know that the Bible is filled with very effective road maps to living truly effective lives.  For instance look at Colossians three and note that Paul gives us a formula for change.

But, before giving us the formula, he sets the prerequisites for implementation and success of this formula in verse one: “Therefore, IF you have been raised with Christ”.  The principles in the Word are many but keep in mind there are prerequisites to receiving God’s blessings.  I have been an avid teacher of the one of Paul’s irrevocable laws of God, “we will reap what we sow”….every time! (Gal. 6:7).  But Dr. Luke gives us the prerequisite that riggers that principle “You must give first” (Luke 6:38).   

Now, notice in that verse there is a very important trigger principle that many tend to neglect -it is centered on the word measure.  It reads “For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return”.  (Luke 6:38).  I read that verse many times before it finally got my attention and sank into my dome of intellect.  Is Paul telling us that we have something to say about the harvest? 
Whether deeds and actions will bring honor and glory to God or be fodder for the dung heap? 

I believe Paul clarifies this question in 2 Corinthians 9:6-9; Paul wrote, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will reap bountifully”.  I read that to say- I have much to say about the harvest of my seed planting program.   Now notice also verse 8- giving provides sufficiency in everything- that you may have an abundance… for every good deed.

Paul goes on to give us another principle that is tied to successful seed planting:  “Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth” (Col. 3:1).

He then gives us step one to the change process:  “For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God.” (Col. 3:3-4). What a joy there is in knowing, that when we have surrendered our lives to Christ, we are literally “hidden with Him and when He is revealed, then we also will be revealed with Him in glory.”  Wow! Just plain wow!

So, Paul begins by saying we must die to the old self and that requires a decision, an act of our will- but it does not end there. In verse eight he goes on to tell us that we must take a deep look inside and put aside such things as anger, wrath, malice, slander, lying and abusive speech and replace (put on) them with a “new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him” (vs. 10). 

Step four of Paul’s change process is by far the most difficult step in the process –“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which you were called in one body and be thankful and let the words of Christ richly dwell with you” (15-16a).  I might add that this is a forever process that continues until you take your last breath.

Sooo young folks, remember the hillbilly adage: “Your gunna get what ya always got, if ya do what ya always did’.  You will make choices today – to “put off” those things that offend God- or to “put on” those things that bring honor and glory to Abba Father and, then, ‘let God” have full control of your day.

Blessings,     (New post- Tues Dec 1 on

PS:   Hey Gang:  The past months have been very difficult for the Hainley family and, as a pastor once said, “Tough times do not last but tough people do.” He could have added to that saying “People last, if they have the will to do so and put their trust in the right place. However, after many months of being the object of the evil one’s dart board, ones energy begin to show signs of taking a hike.

As I began to turn my attention to the coming Christmas Season, I prayed that “I would not lean unto my own understandingthat His will would be my will and His words would be my words.  It has always been my prayer and intent to develop thoughts that made the reader excited to read them and, at the same time, expand reader’s faith in the Word. 
That will not change, as long as the Lord gives me the wisdom to draft Gramps Morning Thoughts but, in going back through the blogs of previous Christmas Seasons, I have been a wee bit amazed with some of the things God wrote through me.  All of that to say, I am going bring some of the best, out of the archives, and put Gramps out to pasture for the next month. This will also be a time for seeking where He would have me go next.
Will gramps go off the airways – No, I do not feel that is what God would have me do, but I do believe there are only a few, if any, folks out there who have been readers of Gramps messages for the past five years and have them all memorized.  I am pleased to share that there are new folks picking up the messages each year, so I feel comfortable in resting my computer-brain for a season.
There is an exception to this announcement, I believe with all my heart that we are nearing something profound to happen in our nation and in our world. I will certainly keep you up to speed on some of those things I feel you need to know and will put a note on the bottom the appropriate Christmas post.

Sooooo, I pray you had a superb Thanksgiving and have developed the right focus for the coming celebration of the salvation story.  Keep in mind He is no longer a Babe in a manger, but preparing to come again, as King of Kings…. soooooon.

Friday, November 27, 2015

They wIll Know That I Am the Lord!

“Therefore, I urge you brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship” (Romans 12:1).

Hey Gang:  There is no question that our nation is a mess and getting messier each and every day and it appears, at this moment that, if God does not intervene in a mighty way, soon the days will continue to get darker. But!  Neat word “but” God’s Word is very clear and filled with words of encouragement and reasons to be thankful.  I would guess that each of you had a good meal, in fellowship with loved ones, and in a warm house;  something that many brothers and sisters in Christ did not have this Thanksgiving Day.

The days are growing darker but there are somethings the world cannot take away.  Jesus Christ is same today as He was yesterday and He continues to stand at the door of our hearts asking permission to come in and sup with us.  The gift of Jesus Christ, His death on the cross and His resurrection to redeem you and me has not changed one iota.  Is that not awesome?

In Ezekiel thirty six, verses twenty one through the end of the chapter, we read that our God is a sovereign God.  I have a hard time with that word, sovereign, because we have no role models in our lives that qualify as sovereign. My dictionary tells me that sovereign means “having supreme rank, power, authority, greatest is degree, utmost and extreme.”   Isaiah eleven, one through nine, give us the description of such a person;  and, we read in Luke 1:30-31, who this person is: “Do not be afraid, Mary; for you have found favor with God.  And behold you will conceive in your womb and bear a son, and you shall name Him Jesus”.

In the world in which we are living, in the insanity by which we find ourselves encompassed, we must remind ourselves that our sovereign God is above and beyond all the craziness.  Again I emphasize that our God does not change! He remains a steady anchor! He is our refuge and strength!  Under His wings we have protection.

It was recently reported that the number one mental health issue today is anxiety and fear.   Being the nervous type, if I did not believe God was sovereign, I would be “fit to be tied and locked away.” I would be going to bed each night unable to fall asleep. I would be going crazier by the day, with no end in sight to my despair. Instead, I go to bed each night and wake the next morning with a song of thanksgiving on my lips.

Why? Because God is sovereign! It is our sovereign God who puts men and women in power and removes them from power.  I peeked- history is going to end exactly as God has determined it will end.  Look again at Ezekiel 36:22 “Thus says the Lord God, It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went”.  Do you think that applies to America as well?  I suspect that it does.

Deterioration and decay is not new; it has been with each since Eve took a bite out of the apple. American culture has been decaying for more than a half-century and has reached the point of moral bankruptcy. Our value system has run amok. Isaiah 5:20 says:

“Woe to those who call evil good, and good evil; Who substitute darkness for light and light for darkness; Who substitute bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” Is this not where America is today? Morals once cherished have been placed in the trash heaps.  Faith in the God of the Bible is ridiculed. And yet, I still have hope!   Why? I have read the final chapter.  “That God loved me so much He sent His Son, Jesus, to die on a hideous cross that I might be freed from the bondage of sin and at that moment when I said, “Lord I commit my heart and soul to you”, my name was recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life and I will one day be included in the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.  (read Titus 2:11-15) 

  I believe one day, very soon, Abba Father will say to Son ,Yeshua, “Go for it”.  Go and bring Your Bride home.  Wow, come Lord Jesus!  Oh, keep in mind when He does come, the door closes.  Make sure your witness is strong today.



Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Are You Sacrificially Thankful?

“We know that the Lord Himself is God; it is He who has made us and not us ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture.  Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him, bless His name, For the Lord is good; His loving kindness is everlasting and His faithfulness to all generations” (Psa. 100:3-5).

Hey Gang:  Did you know on October 3, 1789, George Washington, our first President, issued a proclamation naming Thursday, November 26, 1789 as an official holiday of “sincere and humble thanks. “  The nation then celebrated its first Thanksgiving under its new Constitution.  In the declaration, 

Washington wrote:  “Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor…”  “…to the People of the United States a day of public thanks-giving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God…”

He went on to declare “I assign Thursday, the 26th of November next, to be devoted by the People of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being, who is the beneficent Author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.   That we may then all united in rendering unto him our sincere and humble thanks, for his kind care and protection of the People of this country…”And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions….”

And did you know that on October 3, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln made the traditional Thanksgiving celebration a nationwide holiday to be commemorated each year on the fourth Thursday of November.  In the midst of a bloody Civil War, President Lincoln issued a Presidential Proclamation in which he enumerated the blessings of the American people and called upon his countrymen to “…set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of “Thanksgiving”.

In the most recent flyer from a Messianic Rabbi, he opened a whole new avenue of thought for this Pennsylvania Hillbilly.  He added the word “sacrifice” to “Thanksgiving”.  I thought it was just a day when you brought the family together and served them a huge meal of turkey and all the trimmings and the closest thing to sacrifice was watching the Lion’s sacrifice themselves to whomever they were playing.. 
Admittedly, the word sacrifice is not looked upon with great esteem in this day “when everything that can be shaken is being shaken so that those things that cannot be shaken will remain”  (Heb. 12:27).  But sacrifice is a good word and a necessary word for all, especially for those who have committed their lives to following Yeshua as Lord and Savior.   

We have just celebrated Veteran’s Day and it seemed there was a special remembrance of those who “sacrificed” their lives so that we who live in this great Nation can be free.  Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13).    Do you think that Jesus as saying, “Hey Gang, you need to go out the throw yourself in front of a bus for your neighbor?

There are many in war time that have done just that but I sense Jesus is painting with a much wider brush in this challenge.  I really wanted to buy that new______ but my neighbor is in need, or I wanted to go to that football game but I needed to take my family to church. 

Moses tells us in Leviticus 22:29 that “When you offer a sacrifice of thanksgiving to the Lord, offer it of your own free will”.   In other words, thanksgiving in the Bible is an act of the will, gratitude feely given, but not necessarily connected with joyous feelings, emotions or outward circumstances.  It is a sacrifice of Thanksgiving, springing from faith and trust in our  God “who works all things together for good to those who love Him and are called according to His Purpose” (Romans 8:28).

So my friends, before you dig into the turkey, and all the trimmings, let me challenge you to take a minute or two and give thanks to Abba Father for the tremendous gift that He made available to each and every soul who walks this earth – the gift of salvation through the death of His Son on  hideous cross.  His greatest desire - that none should perish but that every living soul would come to Christ as Lord.



Monday, November 23, 2015

Time to Take a Deep Breath - Part Three

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ, Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:57-58).

Hey Gang:  Yesterday, when I completed part two and placed the period at the end, I thought it was time to move on to one of the other subjects lying in the stack of paper on my desk; but how many know the best laid plans of mice and men have a tendency to go by the boards.

I know all of the folks who are receiving the blog on Gmail, but I do not have a clue about many who read the blog, except those who are signed in  I would like to know who you are so as to place you in my prayer journal by name rather than a group.  I tend to think that maybe some are younger-type folks who are raising families; and, having been in the child and family business for four plus decades, my ears tend to perk up when I run into something that you, with children or grandchildren, need to know.  
Such is the case this morning.  Once again I turn to the real pro in the field of protecting the religious rights of all, no matter what you believe and how you worship your god.  In his most recent communique with his prayer warriors Jay Sekulov, of ACLJ, told of two of their most recent victories.

He title the first One Nation Under Allah?  
He began by alerting his readers about a nationwide epidemic that has moved from creeper gear to passing gear and is sweeping across our nation: namely, Islamic indoctrination. This has penetrated text books and many public schools across America. 

Students in Tennessee were made to recite the Five Pillars of Islam – the Islamic conversion creed – while not allowed any learning about Christianity or Judaism.  At least one school, where Islam was covered for several weeks and the lesson on Christianity was skipped, students were required to write, “Allah is the only God and Mohammed is his prophet”. 

Jay wrote, it is our goal to put a stop to any unconstitutional Islamic indoctrination by public school districts.

The ACLJ sent “open records” request to every school district in Tennessee to uncover the truth about what students are learning.  School district attorneys tried to stall compliance, based on the “citizenship” of the ACLJ.  The State of Tennessee Office of Open Records Counsel addressed the matter and ordered that the requested documents be made accessible to our attorney.

This is a victory!  This decision underscores what we’ve known all along- our open records request are valid.  But this is far from over. 

Incredibly, Islam continues to be taught in schools while students are being denied the right to bring their Bibles to school and speak about Christianity.  Simply put, schools may not promote Islam while silencing Christianity.

The Second is titled ‘High School Student Prevails’ 
Religious liberty students come in all shapes and sizes;  at the ACLJ, we celebrate each and every one of them, as we should. 

A 10th grade student in Bowie, Maryland, turn in a form to satisfy her school’s community service requirement.  She had performed her community service hours at a local nursing home, helping with church services and picnics for the residents there. She was surprised when a school employee returned her form, informing her that the school would not accept these hours; they were classified as “missionary work” and not done for the benefit of the general community.

The student and her mother contacted the ACLJ.  We advised the school that civic services, even if performed through a church, are considered community service.  Students may not be discriminated against simply because the services were provided through a church.

We recommended the student describe in detail the kind of services she provided at the nursing home.  Reinforced by this advice, the student resubmitted her form to the school.  The school accepted the hours as fulfillment of the community service requirements.

Now listen up my friends, especially those of you who have young folks in school, know what they are teaching in your schools and be prepared to challenge them, if they are trying to brain wash your child into doctrines, belief’s  and other teaching that are contrary to your beliefs.  Do not allow one blade of grass to grow under your feet.



Put this in your planner; you, too, may need their help

Jay Sekulov,  American Center for Law & Justice (ACLJ)
P.O. Box 90555

Washington, D.D.  20090-0555

Friday, November 20, 2015

Time to Take a deep Breath - part 2

“But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ; Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your toil is not in vain in the Lord” (I Cor. 15:57-58).

Hey Gang:  I have to make a confession to you as I begin this epistle.  When I read the story about the Christian people of Houston kicking sand in Satan’s face, I got so excited it took me twenty minutes to type the story for the blog and another ten minutes to correct all the errors.  I have a second confession to make, I, like so many other Christians in our nation, had begun to show signs of discouragement and had begun to wonder if God was going to do some kicking of sand of His own.   
He (God) responded to my concern with a report from Jay Sekulov, the Director of the American Center for Law and Justice, with a report on some of his recent victories over the evil one:

Victory One – Supreme Court Victory for Free Speech.  In a very major victory pertaining to free speech, the Supreme Court agreed that a temporary sign at a Church, alerting the community to the date and times of their services was, and must not be taken down; while at the same time signs bearing political or ideological messages were permitted to remain.  Examples of discrimination.

Note:  Each victory sets a precedents for future law suits.  Precedents carry much weight with judges in the legal system; very important cases have been decided on such precedents.  The point of the lawsuit “Speech remains a fundamental right” – whether the government agrees or disagrees.  Which is a very important point under the present administration in the White House.

Victory number two – Freedom of Conscience.  Dr. Doris Fernandes was fired for her religious beliefs.  For 35 years, her employer honored her religious objections to dispensing contraceptives – including the morning after pill – to her patients or provide referrals for such services.   With the advent of Obama care such objections were null and void and she was fired when she did not buckle down to their demands. 

Jay Sekulov filed a law suit with the city of Philadelphia which was settle when the city established a new policy respecting the conscience and religious rights of medical providers.  Again a very important precedent has been set that will have far reaching future implications.

Victory Three -  Mosque at Ground Zero.  It is finally official:  The mosque at Ground Zero is no more!  For those of you not up to speed, it was the intention of the Muslims to build a mosque, financed by the Muslim Brotherhood, a radical Islamic group promoting acts of terrorism across the globe.  The irony of it as that it took a Greek Orthodox Church 15 years to gain approval to replace the church that was destroyed and only weeks to get approval for the mosque.    

The people said no way and The Ground Zero Mosque is no more.  Can you say hallelujah to that??
Victory Four:  - An Armed Forces Victory.  A VERY SPECIAL VICTORY TO THIS AIR FORCE SALT (Gramps).  The anti-Christian Freedom Foundation and its founder, “Mikey” Weinstein, called for Major General Craig Olson to be court martialed because his shared that he was a Christian and gave God the credit for his successes, at a prayer event. 

In response the ACLJ immediately sprung into action with a letter to General Mark A Welsh III Air Force Chief of Staff pointing out how very shaky was the ground they were standing on. The Air Force, and all the military services, are filled with warriors of different faiths.  Happily, we report, The Office of the Judge Advocate General responded to the ACLJ’s letter, stating that Major General Olson did not violate Air Force policy.  The spiritual rights of our Armed Forces spiritual have been continually under attack.

Sekulow mentioned when the law is honored it tends to stop the outlandish accusations. Another precedent has been set that protects the religious rights of our service warriors.

One might say that the above victories are not much when compared to what appears to be a constant trail of defeats of our rights, but Jay would disagree with that kind of thinking. With each victory there is a new precedent set that will prepare the Christian legal establishments to go into court with the weapons of the law in their hands.  

My friends, I hope by now each of you who avails themselves of these epistles are very aware that we are in the fight of our life for the freedom given to us by our Founding Fathers: that government does not have the right to tamper with your religious beliefs and actions but ,also keep in mind, that every judge is like a sheik who believes he/she has ultimate power.  But. As I pointed out in first “Time to Take a Deep Breath”, there is no power greater than God’s praying people.  If you are not praying for our Country and Jay and company, please put them on your prayer list and if you have a buck or two laying around, send it to them.  What they are doing is protecting you and you and you and your family! And it does cost big bucks!


Check   Saturday 21 for the last of this series.


Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Time to Take a Deep Breath

“It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, (America), that I am about to act, but for My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations where you went” (Ezek. 36:22).

Hey Gang:  The media outlets of the world are not going to bring you up to speed on the positive and victories that are occurring each and every day.  I believe Habakkuk felt much like most Christians today when he cried out, “How long., O Lord, will I call for help and You will not hear?”  God’s response, “Look among the nations! Observe!  Be astonished!  Wonder! Because I am doing something in your days you would not believe if you were told” (Hab. 1:2 & 5). 

The victories are there and increasing in number daily, but the social media does not have a clue -for they have no comprehension of who God is and what He is doing.   When the gay-rights folks and liberal left joined forced to lobby the Supreme Court to make gay marriage legal in all fifty states, they believed it was but the beginning of an all out assault on the Christian foundation of this nation. We see ever growing attacks on God’s children and many would say we are losing the war.   If there was ever a time when the good news that “Greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4) must be shouted from every pulpit in the land, it is now!

The message of “Hope” was the theme of the Sunday message.  If there is anything the true and pure church of Yeshua must proclaim, it is “Yes, things are tough and getting tougher”; but read Paul’s words, “Christ in you, the hope of glory”. We, as children of God, need by word and deed -“to proclaim Him, admonishing every man and teach every man with all wisdom, so that we may present every man complete in Christ” (Col. 1:27c-28).

In my weekly Koenig report the following headline was in very bold print - Pastors celebrate win in gender-bender fight.  I pray you will read this account very carefully and even cut it out and pin it on your bulletin board.

Voters in the nation’s fourth largest city overwhelmingly rejected a pro-LGBT rights ordinance Nov. 3, putting the skids on a well-funded campaign that drew support from the White House and Hollywood. But the momentum driving Proposition 1 met an immovable force in a group of local pastors standing on their convictions, while representing Houston’s racial and cultural diversity.
*****“I think we can thank the Lord for what appears to be a victory not just for Houston—this is a victory-setting precedence in our nation for the next time they try this Dave Welch, executive director of the Houston Area Pastors Council (HAPC), told a crowd of supporters gathered to watch election returns.   Once county officials released the early voting totals, the count varied only by 1 percentage point after all votes were tallied. Prop 1 went down decisively, 61 percent to 39 percent!
The victory was no small feat for the coalition of evangelical pastors and conservative business leaders and elected officials who—outspent 10 to 1—faced a national campaign to advance LGBT rights in Houston.
But not even $3.4 million in contributions and logistical support from the Human Rights Campaign could save, what critics called a fatally flawed ordinance that gave special rights to a select few while criminalizing those who would refuse to abide by it under certain circumstances. The Council was very grateful for the overwhelming voter response, Prop 1
It’s indescribable to see the hand of God work and to see His grace fall on a city because His people rose up and showed the love of God by standing for His truth and His righteousness for His sake,” Welch said. “And that’s what this was all about.” 
“I will vindicate the holiness of my great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst.  The nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Lord, when I[prove Myself holy among you in their sight” (Ezek. 36:23).

I recently wrote a blog entitled “Can it Happen Here”.  What say you folks from Michigan? If such a proposition were to appear on the ballot of our state would you join a coalition of pastors and give sacrificially of all of your talents and means to make sure it ended in the same trash heap at the Houston Proposition 1?  I pray it would be so.



What Is Your Security?

“God is our refuge and strength, (Can you yell at the top of your lungs in this day of woe, AMEN TO THAT!) A very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear”   (Psalm 46:1-2).

Hey Gang:    The question was posed to the woman who had just won the lottery: “What had changed in her life.”  She responded, “I used to worry about where I was going to get my next meal, now I worry that someone will come and steal my next meal!”  It is a known fact there are more nervous breakdowns and suicides directly tied to financial issues than any other. 

According to the financial gurus of our world today, the news is gloomier than being “up the creek without a paddle”.   But I have also discovered there are two schools of thought when it comes to what folks in this world put their faith in.  There are the John Paul Getty’s who, all though they are among the richest in the world, when asked, “How much more do you need?“  Answer, ”Just a little more”.

It is said of one that on the day of his burial, as his hearse was passing by spectators on his way to the final resting place, two old coggers were sitting on a bench; one turned to the other and said, “I wonder how much he left behind?”  The other answered “All of it!" 
In our world today we have mega ways to place our security in the inventions of man.   There are bank accounts, precious metals, insurance policies, health care plans, retirement funds, financial investments – these are things in which many people place their trust.

Some may invest in high fences, aggressive watchdogs, or elaborate alarm systems to protect their properties.  Still others may stash away a stockpile of survival items or build a bomb shelter.   The Psalmist gave us a better way that also provides peace of mind: “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).

But regardless of all human precautions, the world can offer nothing that is absolutely secure:  the economy may collapse, causing money, banks, and businesses to fail; insurance plans may be inadequate; company may go bankrupt; earthly assets are vulnerable to theft, deterioration, earthquake, flood or fire;  we can be robbed or swindled;  Identify thief is a major industry.

 Jeremiah addressed this very issue when he wrote, “True security is found in looking upward to Someone in whom we can safely place our confidence.  That Someone is our unchanging God, who is our solid rock and Refuge, our ever present help in time of need.   Our confidence should not be in ‘uncertain riches, but in the living God’”.  (I Tim.  6:17).

We don’t have a clue what the bankers of the world have up their sleeves, or what the future holds, but as children of God we trust  the One who holds the future in His hand.  We do not need to live in the grip of fear, worry, or anxiety.  With the assurance of God’s loving care, we can have calm serenity and deep, settled peace as we face what lies ahead.  With our trust in our great Protector, we have all we need to be truly secure in life and in death.    He has promised to never leave us or forsake us.

And know this my young friends, “Treasure in Heaven” is the only investment that is safe and sound, sure and secure”.

Blessings,  Psalm 90:17


Monday, November 16, 2015

Have You Taken A Spiritual Inventory Lately?

God’s Power Principle For Today:  “The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want, He makes me lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside still waters, He restores my soul.  He guides me in the paths of righteousness for His namesake” (Psalm 23:1-4).

Hey Gang:  I recently completed my bi-annual physical ad came through with flying colors.  Flying, but not near the night altitudes I once flew at.  As I get older I tend to be more careful to make sure all the parts are still working as they should.  I must admit that I am more aware of many of those parts due the messages they send to my brain.

God seemed to be saying to me, this morning, when was the last time you took a hard look at your spiritual physical and examined some very basics of a strong Christian walk with the Lord?  Inventory questions that one should ask themselves objectively on a monthly basis.

Question number one:  “Kermit do you still believe?”   “Do you still believe that I love you unconditionally?  That, if you were the only person on earth, I would have died for you?

Kermit, “Do you still believe all things work together for good for them who love me?”  “Do you believe I love you – that I forgave all your past sins, present sins and even all future sins, if you will trust in me?”

Kermit, ”Do you still believe you are in the palm of my hand?  That you are more precious than gold to your Savior?” 

Several years ago I was completing a financial audit for the end of the year and felt a tap on the shoulder and the question, “You are more concerned about your finances and what and how you will pass those worldly assets down to your children.  How about your spiritual legacy? Have you passed it down to your children, your grandchildren and your great grands and to all of those you call friend?  After doing an assessment of my seed planting program to those I love, I confess I developed a guilt complex for negligence. 

Gramps Morning Thoughts grew out of that guilt complex, first to my family and to a few close friends, but in the three plus years we have sent out morning messages, the numbers have grown and we are nearing number eight hundred and have received over 50,000 hits on the blogs.  I tell you this for two reasons.  First, if you would question all of the teachers of my youth, especially those with the task of trying to teach me English and writing, all would give a resounding “no way” if asked if Kermit, the hillbilly kid with buck teeth could achieve such a plateau.

Secondly, I am the one most blessed- for I have been from Genesis to Revelation many times since beginning the writings.  I confess, I have been spoon fed by Abba Father; many times I have sat down at my computer without a clue as to what God would have me write about, when suddenly the light came on, often from a recent Scripture reading.

One last point I would like to leave with you, a challenge.  I have asked God a zillion times or more why He chose me to develop the Village, when I had absolutely no tools to work with.  His reply has alsways been the same, “Because you were available!”

So my young lads and lassies, what say ye?  Is it time for a spiritual physical?  It could be as the Balm of Gilead that turns your joy into dancing!  Oh, while you are investigating, don’t for get to ask the question of yourself, “Am I available?” 


FYI:   New post on on Sat Nov 14, part 2 on Tues Nov 17

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Do You Still Have the Towel In Your Hand?

God’s Power Principle For Today: ”For yet in a very  little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.  But My righteous one shall live by faith: And if he shrinks back, My soul has no pleasure in him.  (Heb. 10:37-39). 

Hey Gang:  Yes, our country has some very deep problems, but when I survey what is happening around our world, I say, ”Thank God, I am an American”.   Note, there are two fabulous promises in the Power Principle of the day:   First there is the promise that one day soon the horrors and agony of this world will pass away, and Christ will return to Zion’s Mountain and set up His Kingdom. 

But there is a meantime and, I suspect, the powers of darkness are not going to let up on their harassing ways.  The writer of Hebrews tell us, “My righteous one will live by faith” (V 38).  David Wilkerson made an excellent point when he wrote, “Faith is indeed a command.  It is written the just shall live by faith” (V 38; Habakkak 2:4), not the just might or could live by faith, but WILL live by faith. But it does not end there, continue in Hebrews 10:38 “But My righteous one shall live by faith and if he shrinks back My soul has no pleasure in him”

In today’s world our governments run by polling data.  We elect our leaders by who is popular and their political affiliations, not by who has the best qualification and seeks wisdom from the Wisdom Giver.  Proverbs tells us that “wisdom comes from the fear of the Lord” (Prov. 1:7 &9:10).  There are times when I wonder if there are Believers in the Belt Way.

In a recent poll it was reported that the number one malady in our nation today is discouragement.  When asked if they believe American has gone beyond the point of no return, a growing majority believe we are well beyond that line.

I believe that places restrictions and limits on God.   We say God is all powerful out of one side of our mouth and that He does not have the power to turn this nation around to its former Christian foundations out of the other.    In the year 2000 (given on November 26) we attended the First Assembly of God in Grand Rapids.  During a revival when the Spirit of God was moving in a powerful way, the following prophecy was given:

      “Yea, I will indeed bring this nation to their knees but, it will be the knees of my people, and they will push back the forces of darkness and yea, I will still crush the hand of the enemy.   Yea, Your forefather’s prayers were not in vain   and those things they fought for I will restore.  Yea, I am a God who is in control.  Yea, I will make the nations of the earth laugh at America but their laughter will be turned back upon them for I am the Lord Thy God and I am in control and yea, I will bring forth the banner as My people pray.  Yea, I will bring forth Holy righteousness into this nation again.  Yes, I will pour out my Spirit and I will put my arms around this nation as I have never done before and yea my people shall see a great revival.  Yea, Ye shall receive the renewing of the Spirit, and yea, it shall be powerful, and all the nations shall look upon the earth and upon this nation as a Holy Nation once again.”

Soooo,  “I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed: “O Lord, You are the great and awesome  God, who keeps His covenant of love with all who love Him and obey His commands” (Daniel 9:4).   Your Word is very clear, it is not the world that is going to fix our nation and get it back on the right track, but those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life and it is by our fruits that He will know us!”



Wednesday, November 11, 2015

I Have Been Blessed - Have You?

We have been blessed this week to attend programs for Veterans. I spent four years in the service of our country and would gladly help today in any way I can. Join me daily as I pray for military men and women and their families, those in the field, those returning with wounds of various kinds and those who care for them and the families who have lost loved ones.

“Give and it shall be given to you…For by your standard of measure it will be given to you in return.” (Luke 6:38).

Hey Gang, Have you ever kind of looked down the road and wondered what your next great plateau will be?  As I have become more mature, (that is a subtle way of saying I am as old as dirt) I have dug down in my memory banks to some of the milestones that God allowed me to enjoy.  I have noticed that as I have grown older my thoughts have turned more and more to that day when I will shed this body and stand before my Lord.  Wow, ‘what a day that will be when my Savior I shall see’.

One of those revisited milestones was the day that God laid it on my heart that I needed to pass my Christian legacy down to my children, grands and great grands. We do have a tendency to be more concerned to make sure our kids reap the dividends of the bangles and beads that we have accumulated in our lifetime; but those things will soon pass away and only those things done for God will last.

When I wrote the first Gramps Morning Message, my intentions were not God’s intentions.  I thought a month or two would suffice to share my Christian legacy with my family and a few loved ones.  But I had also learned in the development of the Village that my intentions were seldom God’s intentions.  

It has been my prayer, since message number one went out, that the morning messages would be an encouragement and build a little fire in the hearts of the readers as they get ready to face the battle of the day. I would also suggest that I am the one who gains the most from the morning messages; I am the one who does the research in the Word and many sources that come across my desk as I seek help and guidance from Abba Father. 

I have always tried to remain outside of the repetition loop because I know folks tend to tire of the “same old thing” and I seek new venues to perk readers’ appetites.  I have a confession to make, I have wondered, on many occasions, if it is time for me to retire Gramps and seek other venues of service to my Lord, but each time I begin to consider ending the morning messages, it seems God says “not just yet!”

When a good friend and Christian brother suggested that I should consider developing a blog for the messages, I did not have a clue what a ‘blog’ was.  When he offered to set it up and help with the maintenance and adding the graphics to the ‘blog’, I readily agreed.  I have learned that the real value of the ‘blog’ is the encouragement received because I know there are people reading.

We have gone through some very tough times recently in our family and there have been times when writing the morning messages has been very difficult, but how faithful God has been to send very special warriors across my path to remind me that He is still speaking to those through the morning messages. 

That is my challenge to you this morning – you will cross paths with someone who needs a touch from the Lord – you can be that toucher.  Jesus said “Be obedient and “go” and let the rest up to Me.” (Hillbilly rendition)



Monday, November 9, 2015

Are You A Fanner?

“You are the salt of the earth….you are the light of the world.”  (Matt. 5:13, 14).

Hey Gang: The baptism service was over; the people were in a praise mode for what had just transpired. BUT one of the parishioners asked the question, “Would it not have been better if the Lord had chosen to take those who were baptized immediately into the heavenlies to be with Him?”   I mean, wow, all they would have to do is hold you under the water and send you directly to be with the Lord!

But He didn’t.  Baptism is but a beginning of the process of what the Lord wants to do with His children.  His purpose was to leave us on earth to be an influence for holiness in the midst of a morally- corrupt and polluted society.   Jesus used the metaphors of being “salt and light” to describe the ‘preserving and enlightening’ effects we should have in our world.

I read the verses of “salt and light” many times before I really did know what Jesus was saying.  Yes, I knew that my witness was my light but can salt really lose its taste?  And then one day, I heard an old salt preacher teach on this verse and my eyes were opened to what Jesus was saying.  To understand this you must look at the culture of Jesus’ day.  Notice, Jesus said, “When the salt loses its taste it is not good for anything except to throw it out into the road and replace it.”

In Jesus’ day the houses were usually one room with perhaps one window.  Ventilation was a problem.  Having an oven in the house was out of the question so they built their ovens outside between the house and pathway.  A layer of salt is placed at the bottom of the oven as a reflector of heat.  But, after prolonged usage, the salt lost its reflective power and had to be replaced, resulting in the old salt being thrown into the pathway.

Again, we see Jesus using using illustrations and language that the average Joe on the street would understand, if they wanted to understand.   One of the great maladies of the Church today is their salt has become tasteless and no longer causes thirst.  John referred to that in Revelation as “…they have lost their first love”. 

I collected a neat illustration of this years ago and filed it in my endorphin file for later use.   The story goes: One evening a Christian entered a bee garden to observe the habits of those fascinating little insects.    As he neared the hives he heard a growing hissing sound that seemed to come from the hives.  The bee keeper whispered, “They are fanner bees.  They keep the hive sweet and fresh”.  If you could see them, you’d notice that they stay near the center of the colony and their wings are moving so rapidly that they appear almost like a gray mist.” 

The keeper went on to say, “They’re forcing the bad air out while the pure air is being drawn in.  You can actually feel the gentle breeze –produced by those numerous tiny bee wings”.  The bee keeper then added this challenging comment: “Fanners – pushing out bad air and bringing in fresh – isn’t that the way people, who call themselves Christians, ought to act?”

Oh, but you say, I really don’t have much chance to be a ‘fanner bee’.  I really don’t have much opportunity to be salt and light to the world around me.  That my friend, is a cop out!  When we say to the Lord, “Here am I send me”, be advised He will send you - but you have to be aware of the mission field.   I am married to a compulsive example of salt and light that has her antennas ever tuned into the world around her and the needs of those she comes in contact with. 

Recently I included the example of the Church that does not count numbers of bodies but rather numbers of touches that each member makes each week.  So my young warriors, get out you notebook and keep track of the touches you make this day.  I guarantee you, you will be amazed and even feel good about what God is doing through youYou might be chosen to be a ‘fanner-bee’.


Gramps      New posting on Tues Nov10

Thursday, November 5, 2015

O Lord, Can It Happen Here?

How God Is Moving With Dreams and Visions in the Muslim World

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).  “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believers in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life” (John 3:16).  “Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).  “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves, it is a gift of God; not as a result of works, so that no one may boast” (Eph. 2:8-9).

Hey Gang:  How sad that God provided us with the story of His great sacrifice so that we can be secure in His hands for all eternity and so many are missing it.  Do you find it disheartening to read or hear that the Gospel of Christ is producing great numbers of souls for Christ in China, the Muslim world and even in Russia, but huge numbers in our country have chosen to “go their own way”?

On December 18, 2014 I received an article titled “Why Muslims Are Converting To Christ in The Face of ISIS Atrocities”. I stuck it in my ever growing file for future, use which I estimate has grown to fifteen pounds and continues to grow with each passing day.  And then last week I received an article titled, “Iraq, Despite Thousands Fleeing ISIS, churches Are Full Of New Believers.”

 As I read these articles it struck me how very stupid Satan really is.  Throughout the years he has attempted to annihilate all of those whose names are recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life and,with each attempt, the number of names grew steadily and rapidly.  You would think by now he would realize he is fighting a losing battle.

The atrocities by the Islamic State (ISIS) are softening the hearts of Muslims to Christianity, and evangelistic techniques and technologies are proving effective, but locally based missionaries say the main reason for the spike in conversions in the Middle East is simply that former Muslims are finding God is real.  

In war-torn areas of Syria and Iraq, where ISIS is fighting to establish a caliphate, Muslims refugees to neighboring countries, as well as those choosing to remain at home, are learning about Christ from native aid-workers, podcasts and broadcasts. (Modern technology can be wonderfully used.)  The Mullahs of Iran have declared the most dangerous device to Islam is the television dish.  Nearly every home in Iran has a dish and multitudes are coming to Christ through the Christian programming that is available to every home.

Tent churches among refugees are sprouting like mushrooms.  For people who have suffered such deep loss, seeing that they can pray to a person, God, whom they can call Father, has been the critical factor.  The Christians in the refugee camps are referred to as “the Bible People”. 

“You can see the tears in their eyes when we pray and that God would care” said the director of one ministry working in the region. “It’s the connection that makes the difference.”  Workers say that things have changed; many refugees now seem to have a peaceful attitude towards those who have done this to their kids, wife, or husband knowing – “I can pray about it and give it to God.”

Former Muslims, who once prayed five times a day as a duty, say they don’t quite know how to describe the difference.  The Christian Church in Iran, which is estimated in the millions, pray that the prophecies of Jeremiah 49:34-39 will be fulfilled and that will set them free to take the Gospel to all the world. 

The soul-crushing loss of loved ones, home and country, that people have suffered at the hands of ISIS, has helped open Muslims to the gospel.  Another ministry director said Syrian and Iraqi refugees are more open to the Gospel than at any time in history, because of the atrocities of ISIS.
The deity of Jesus and the Trinity, by contrast, are the most problematic issues for Muslims. Having been taught there is only One God – understanding the Trinity takes time, and, although the director and his teams teach the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, he said, “…earthly teachers have little success.”

Then how do you convince them?  We were never able to convince them.  Only when they read the Bible does it come, and then suddenly they say, “Now I understand, I get it”.

There have been multitudes of Muslims who have had personal visitations from Jesus and then sought out teachers to be taught about Jesus.  They are quick to say, “You do not have to convince me, I talked with Jesus personally but I need to learn about Him so that I can be an ambassador for Him.”
Wow, is that not awesome.  Does it give you hope that God can do the same here in America? It is more difficult when people believe ‘born in American’ makes you Christian.   I pray it would not take the suffering that these people had to go through to open eyes to Jesus saving grace; but as Christians we need to be prepared to go through the wildernesses to see our Nation’s return to God.

Checkout for Saturday's post


Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Jesus, the Greatest Gift of All TIme- But What is the Second Greatest Gift?

“So he drove the man out; and at the east of the Garden of Eden He stationed the cherubim and the flaming sword which turned every direction to guard the way o the tree of life” (Gen. 3:24).

Hey Gang:   There is no question the great gift of all time given to us by our Lord is “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).   But, as I was standing by the bed of my brother who had suffered with Alzheimer’s for many years and now had wasted away to a 79 pound piece of flesh, I realized what a tremendous gift God gave to us when He placed cherubim with flaming swords at the gate to the Garden of Eden to prevent our having access to the ‘tree of life’.   

When I received the phone call from my daughter that my father had had a series of strokes and was no expected to live the night, I was in Illinois doing a workshop.  I gave her an impossible task: keep him alive until I get home so that I can say goodbye.   This she did, he was there in bodily form only, and as I took his hands and said my goodbyes to him I closed my goodbye by giving him my blessings to leave earthly body and go and be with the Lord. 

My father was 90; my brother was 86 years of age, both had lived beyond the words of the Psalmist, “As for the days of our life, they contain seventy years, or, if due to strength, eighty years” (Psa. 90: 10).  For more than a year my prayer for my brother was “Lord. I pray Your Kingdom come, Your will be done, and I pray that Your will is to take him home.” What a blessing that he did not have to lay in that condition until Jesus returns! 

As a lad growing up I had a great fear of death.  I lost three of my grandparents within a short period of time and aunt to a fire.  It was during that time when our nation was locked into a world war, where death was ever present. Many families changed the color of the stars that hung in their windows which depicted whether their son or daughter was alive and well, or had paid the ultimate price.

I grew up with the feeling that death and funerals were very sad events and one should do us the Jewish traditions called for- bringing in the mourners who wailed and cried out for days in memory of one who passed away.   I remember when my grandfather passed away, the elderly ladies of the church, all dressed in black came and just sat in the house for the three days until the funeral.  As a little boy, death was a terrifying event.

But then one day the father of one of my employees passed away and I went to the funeral home to pay my respect to the family and was absolutely amazed when I walked in. The air was filled with praise music, people were singing and the building was filed with joy.  It was at that moment that it finally struck home - all of those verses that give us descriptions and promises that await for God’s people who have completed their tenure here on earth and have been invited to come and be with Him eternally.

Soooo,  my young friends if you have a fear of death, reread the fringe package that God has prepared for those who love Him and called according to His purposes.  There is a lot of running and leaping and praising God going on in the heavenlies.  I also understand it is a noisy place, the air is filed with praise and worship to our Lord.



Monday, November 2, 2015

How Come You Are Hanging Onto That?

“For, if you forgive others for their transgressions, your heavenly Father will also forgive you.  But if you do not forgive others, then your Father will not forgive your transgressions” (Matt. 6:14-15).

Hey Gang:  The older I get the more I think man has lost his noodles.  It seems, if it is in the Bible, it is fair game for those who really do not have a clue what is in the Bible.  In a workshop some years back, a very angry man showed up at one of the sessions. He announced that he was there by court order and had no intention to listen.

We went over the ground rules for the sessions and informed the group that we taught Biblical principles; he said he did not believe in that Bible stuff.  When asked what Bible stuff he did not believe in, he could not give any examples - which was a common denominator of most of the folks in that class.

He choose to sit in the last seat, in the last row, with jaw set, and arms crossed.  We received some basic information, prior to the sessions, and he was described as arrogant, belligerent and a few other adjectives that I did not understand.  (Frustration from the court worker that was assigned his case).
This man lived up to his billing, for the first three sessions, last in first out, jaw set, arms crossed and nary a word from his mouth.  But, in session four, the session was based on sanity and boundaries.  Homes with boundaries are homes that parents are in the driver’s seat and there are specific rules that one does not tamper with.

Well, it so happened when he got home that day, his house was a mixture of a war zone and an out of control zoo.  All of a sudden the things that were suggested that day began to surface in what had been a closed brain.  He remembered that homes without enforced boundaries fulfill the adage that insanity is not hereditary it is caused by your kids!  For the first time in many moons his voice got louder than the mayhem that filled the airways.

To make the long story short, at the next class he looked like the dog that ate the steak that was thawing on the heater.  He was smiling, and that concerned us.  Anger we can handle but arrogance on the smiling face of an angry and arrogant man was something not covered in the manual.  After all were settled into their seats I asked him, “What in the world happened to you?”  He explained his arrival home the last time, the mayhem, and for the first time in many moons he asserted his kingship in his own home. 

In the weeks that followed, he became our most committed student.  This brought up the question, “Why did you put up with the mayhem all of those years? Did you ever hear that boundaries not only bring peace to the stronghold of the home but it removes the need to tranquilizers and anti-acids?” His answer was a very common one – “That is the way I was raised and did not know any better.”

In my more than fifty years of working with parents of children that were termed “out of control”, I was always amazed that when we presented the one thing, the Bible and its training principles as the only thing that truly worked, parents were closed-minded and hesitant to try these proven methods that had a lasting impact on children. (Maybe Satan had a hand in helping to destroy the fear and respect of the Lord and parents through sp-called learned professors and the media.

 True, by the time we got involved, the child and family had traversed down the road a piece and getting them from the wrong road to the right one was, in most cases like building a light house on the sand.   When we explained that you do not begin with the principles, but with the Source of the principles, sometimes we would see a glimmer of light.  In other words Deuteronomy 6:4-9 contains the principles of how to raise your children in a sane and peaceful way; but it begins by introducing you to the Source of those principles – Creator God who has a great deal of knowledge of what makes His creations work best. 

Here are three principles that stick out like the proverbial thumb: “The Lord is our God.” You will love him and model him in your house; and you must understand that every moment you have your children under your care you are to be in a teaching and witnessing mode.  (Gramps Hillbilly rendition)

Soooo, friends and neighbors, are God’s ways written on your hands and frontals of your forehead and on the doorposts of your house and on your gates? Today Gramps would say, “write them on your refrigerator, bathroom mirror, TV, computer, rear view mirror of your vehicle.”   Keep in mind your kids are watching you 24/7.