Friday, April 29, 2016

Return To A Very Important Principle #5

“Then The King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world’ (Matt. 25:34).   “The King will answer to them, ‘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 unto Me.’ (Matt. 25:40).  (read verses 34-46).

Hey Gang:  When God called me and my family to leave our home, jobs, California friends and move to Michigan and become an unemployed director of a not-yet- started Boys Home, I think I learned how Abraham must have felt when God said, pack it and follow My leading.  God sold our house, brought our income tax return back in two weeks (which was unheard of in that day) and removed any excuse I might have had for not following His lead.  So we packed all of our worldly possessions in a van and pickup truck and headed East.  A trip I will share with you in the coming days.

For those of you who have availed yourselves of the Whatshappeningman Blog I refer to the ‘When All of These Things Happen, Look Up!’ series. I believe most would suggest that it was not a heart uplifting series- unless you disciplined yourself to keep it plugged into the right context – the King is rapidly preparing the way for His coming again!  

So when I dotted the last “I” I asked the Lord to put His words into my heart and mind that lead us to follow Paul’s advice of 2 Thessalonians when he wrote, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus and by no means quench the Spirit and do not despise prophetic utterances.” And most of all ‘Examine all things carefully and hold fast to that which is good and abstain from every form of evil’ (2 Thess. 5:16-22). (Gramps rendition)

I love Paul’s words in Philippians when he said, “For I am confident of this very thing that He who began a good work in you will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus” (Phil.1:6).  Is that your prayer this morning?  It certainly is mine.  In chapter 3:12 Paul gives me hope for all the stupid things I have done and continue to do in my life when he wrote, “Not that I have already obtained it or have already became perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus”.

But this morning the verse that is ringing in my heart and mind is “Rejoice in the Lord always; again I say rejoice.  Let your gentle spirit be known to all men.  The Lord is near!”.  Praise the Lord that even in these dark days when everything that can be shaken is being shaken “the Lord is near!”  “And we can have the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil 4:7).  And I believe that the seeds of that peace comes to life when we “rejoice in the Lord always”. 

Kermit is not a name that will reach the top ten on the list of popular names that moms and dads will name their newborns; but, it has served me well in the occupation into which God led me.  If my name was one of the more common names, like John or Matthew, the kids I worked with would soon forget it.  Years ago, after retiring from the Village I was walking through the Chicago Airport when I heard my name called out.  It was a young man who has passed through my life years before.

And, if you would ask that young man who Kermit was in his life, he would say he was a “seed planter”.  Are you a seed planter?  When I would ask the boys if they were seed planters, most would say “no”, but when I explained that their attitude the morning and their attitude at the dinner table were times when they were in a constant seed planting mode – positive or negative. 

This epistle could turn into a book, so let me cut to the chase of what I believe God laid on my heart for you this morning. When we stand before God and give an account of what we did with His Son, Jesus, we will be judged by our fruits. (Matt. 7:16).     Read again the Scripture of the morning and note who Jesus said would inherit the Kingdom.  Who was Jesus referring to? The hungry. The thirsty. The stranger. The naked. The one in prison.  I do not believe the list is all conclusive but includes all who are down and out and in need of a helping hand.   Perhaps it is your next door neighbor. 

I close this epistle with what I adopted as my creed many years ago. It contains a challenge and a blessing, if we accept the challenge.  It is found in Luke 6:38 “Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure, It will be measured to you in return”.   In Malachi, Jesus/God said, “Now test Me in this!  (Mal.3:10).



Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Seed Planting Principle - part 4

“The King will answer and say to them, “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” (Matt. 25:40).

Hey Gang:    As exulted leader of the Village, I was invited to speak many times and share the successes we were seeing at the Village.  Each time that I was in route to where I would speak I prayed, “Lord, give me something fresh that I can share to this group that will hit their hot button.”

 On one such trip I stopped at a Burger King to get my usual burger and fries and noticed a poster on the wall.  It was in the early days of the Star Wars craze and the poster announced in very bold print “Your choices determine your destiny.”  I said, “Thank you Lord” and dug into the burger and fries.
But, shortly after hitting the road, I received a tap on the shoulder from the Throne Room saying that there was a prerequisite to that saying.  It should read, Your values, determine your choices which in turn determine your destiny.” 

Getting back to the Scripture of the morning, the question arises, “Did What?  When hungry you fed me, thirsty, you gave me water, a stranger you befriended me, naked you clothed me, when sick you came to me and in prison you visited.  But Lord when Did I do those things to you?  What a fabulous answer He gave, “When you did it to the least…” – you did it to the Most -the Lord of Glory!”

I was forced to go to Walmart the other day and, as per usual, I was thirty fifth (just joking) in line and it seemed every person in front of me had some sort of problem.  One had to be blind to not realize the cashier, probably a grandmother, was feeling very defeated and down. 

When my turn finally came I smiled and said, ”Good morning.  How are you this morning?”  And then a saw a miracle – she looked up and began to smile.  Now, if I were to guess, I believe that dear lady had a much better morning after that.   

I love the little words of the Bible, the ifs, ands, thens, the therefores , and most of all the “I will’s.  They tend to be the trigger words of the Bible that precede a truth that God wants His kids to pay special attention to.  Now, you take the challenge to invest the time to look at every one of these words in the Bible and you will be into every book and nearly every chapter and verse.

The Book of Revelation has become a much taught, discussed and read book, especially as the alligators continue to rise in our culture and all that can be shaken is being shaken. Jesus began His dictation of the Book of Revelation with a fabulous promise: “Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of the prophecy, and heed the things which are written in it, for the time is near” (Rev. 1:3).   Does that light a fire in the depths of your heart to dig into the meat and potatoes of Revelation?

I believe there are many special and very wonderful blessings hidden in the Book of Revelation.  For me, personally, I believe one of the blessings is, if you study each verse and follow the road maps that lead to other verses that add to and clarify what Jesus is saying, you will find at the end of the story you have been in every book in the Bible.

I want to share one other word in the Scriptures that has become very special to me.  That word is “measure”.   Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, taught this: “Do not judged,…for in the way you judge, you will be judged, and by your standard of MEASURE, it will be MESASURED to You” (Matt. 7:1-2).

Now turn with me to Luke 6:38 and notice the good doctors challenge: “Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over. For by your standard of MEASURE it will be MEASURED to you in return”.

Now I ask you, when Jesus said, “You did it to the least of these my brethren” does that connect with Paul’s words in his second letter to the Corinthians when he said, “He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully, each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart, not grudgingly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver”.  (2 Cor. 9:6-11).

If God judges you on “What you have done with Jesus in your life” using the “MEASURE” criteria, will you pass muster on the “You did it to the least of these” MEASURE? 



Monday, April 25, 2016

A Return To An Old But Super Important Theme Part 3

“Now this I say, he who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must do just as he has purposed in his heart”.  (2 Cor. 9:6-7a)  “For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38c).

Hey Gang:  Wait, stop, read the Scriptures again.  One more time.  Did they penetrate or just slide off like a greased pig on a slippery slope?  I confess that when I am going to get into the Word, if I do not take a few moments to connect my power supply to God’s power supply, I become like that greased pig.  Think about that for a moment, when was the last time you got off by yourself, alone with God in your private prayer closet and put your mind, heart and soul into the hands of the One who stills the waters?

Well, I could go on down this road a piece but that is not where God seems to be taking me this morning.  We recently retreated from snow and ice-ville and sought out the sun and warmth of Florida.   Our intent was two-fold – thawing out and visiting with some dear folks that we have had the privilege of working with in an organization called SOWER’s, which stands for Servants on Wheels Ever Ready.

The ministry of the SOWER’s was as it says, to be Servants where ever we were needed.  We built buildings; we repaired buildings; we ministered to people who were unable to care for themselves.  The denominators that united us into one accord included:  all were Christians, most older than dirt all had a love for the Lord and did not know what the word “retirement” really meant; and the third very important criteria that united our hearts and efforts- the teaching of Yeshua and the writers of the Scriptures that God’s children are to be Seed Planters wherever they go, as long as they are drawing breath.

There has always been a controversy in the church as to whether one can be saved by works alone. The “cant’s” set in their ways and the “Yeas” are equally sure their way is right.    Again a subject that I do not want to deal with this morning, only to say that Malachi makes it pretty clear in 3:10-11.  James, also one of my favorite Books, says “But someone will say, ”You have faith and I have works.  Show me your faith apart from your works, and I will show you my faith by my works”  (James 2:18.)

In my many years of rubbing elbows with folks who are willing to give of their time and talent rather than joining the shuffle board crowd, I have yet to find one that did not have a love for the Lord.
In past morning messages I have included bits and pieces of the Seed Planter Principles that I have shared with many.  I will do my very best to remain on task and not go down to many rabbit tracks, but make no guarantees.   Mentioned in an earlier ‘morningthoughts, the Seed Planting Principles begin with a
n irrevocable law of God that works every time: “You are going to reap what you sow”  (Gal 6:7). 
Teaching this principle to the young folks, that found their way to our door, was a piece of cake because they were reaping the fruits of bad seed planting programs in their lives and in the lives of their families.  A counselor friend, that I have been privileged to work with in ministry said he always conducted his last session with the kids sitting on tombstones in the cemetery.  He said, At that place he always had the total interest of the kids. 

If you have a problem accepting this principle as God’s irrevocable law, take a trip down through skid row or to the local jail or prison or to the hospitals that are filled with the fruits of bad seed planting.  And, at the conclusion of your trip, take heed to this promise: “For the eyes of Lord moves to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.  (2 Chron. 16:9).  Also keep in mind Peter’s warning, “Be of sober spirit, be on the alert.  Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. (1 Pet. 5:8)

And now by friends and neighbors, tune in to the next Morning Message and get the rest of the truths to being an effective Seed Planter.



Friday, April 22, 2016

Will We Repeat the Tragedies of the Past?

For you newcomers - Seed Planter Series will return on Monday and Wednesday.  We usually post a prophecy related topic on Friday.

“Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne and the living creatures and the elders; and the number of them was myriads of myriads, and thousands of thousands, saying in a loud voice “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and might and honor and glory and blessing.” And every created thing which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and on the sea, and all things in them, I heard saying “To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be blessing and honor and glory and dominion forever and ever.”  (Rev. 5:11-13).

Hey Gang:  After two days of hard labor my 82 year old frame began to send me very clear messages: it was time to allow my body to rest and recuperate for a day and do some running and say hello to several special people in our lives.  At one stop, while standing on the porch, two ewe’s begging for a morsel or two came up to the fence.  Jenny mentioned that were both with “lamb” and were nearing their delivery date. 

When I got home I turned on the computer and the first thing that caught my attention was a message from Jonathan Bernis, a Messianic Rabbi, about three lambs of the past that made significant contributions to the lives of those at that time of their tenure on earth but, also, have impacted on our world ever since.

He began by laying a foundation for us to receive what was to follow when he wrote: “Nearly every day, events unfold that are directly aligned with the Bible’s prophecies concerning the End Times.  Even so, as the Jewish observance of Passover rapidly approaches, I’m reminded that this is not the first time our world has gone through a volatile period with prophetic implications.”

He continued the foundation for what was to follow by telling us that in the past there have been three pivotal moments in the timeline of God’s unfolding plan of redemption through the ages; these all have a common denominator – Lambs!     

The first centered on the Israelite exodus from Egypt.  Since I am preaching to the choir I will not go into detail on what happened that night when God told His kids to slay a lamb, paint the doorway of their homes, and remain inside until the death angel passed.  The sacrifice of that Passover lamb did more than protect God’s people.  It pointed to the coming of God’s ultimate remedy for death, in the middle of another period of global upheaval on His prophetic timeline.

The second lamb that impacted on our world, then and our world now, was Yeshua (Jesus), who is our Passover Lamb.  Paul, in his first letter to the Corinthians wrote, “Clean out the old leaven so that you may be a new lump, just as you are in fact unleavened.  For Christ our Passover also has been sacrificed. (1 Cor. 5:7).

The time of Jesus first coming was a time of brutality, man’s inhumanity to man, and the brunt of much of that sadism was aimed directly at God’s chosen people.   There was a fervor in the hearts of the people for their Messiah to come and bail them out from the oppressions of the Romans.  Does that ring your bell?  Are we not in that time when everything that can be shaken is being shaken so that only those things that cannot be shaken will remain.  As I look around at our world today, I ask, “Lord, are we not at another pivotal point in Your eternal plan for Your creation.”

We find the third lamb in the Book of Revelation; this depicts Yeshua as the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world.  John tells us in the fifth chapter of Revelation that there is only one who has a power and majesty to break the seven seals of the great prophetic scroll.  The question is when will He lose patience with this sinful world and break the seal?

And now for the good new!  He is worthy and I believe He is coming………very soon!  What that means is there is not a second to waste.   We are admonished to do all in our power to introduce our neighbor to Jesus, love our neighbor, and be a strong witness to our neighbor that Jesus is the only “Way and Truth and Life and it is only through Jesus, God’s Son that we have access to the Father”. (John 14:6). 

Jesus also made it clear, in His Sermon on the Mount, that we do likewise with our enemies.  If you are a believer in Christ, one only has to read the words “Lake of eternal Fire” to build a fire in our hearts to reach out- even to our enemies to prevent their following Satan and his minions into that final place for all eternity.   

Father I pray you will build a fire in the hearts of all who read this epistle and be a light to all they come in contact this day.



Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Another Return to an Old But Super Important Theme

Part 2-Seed Planting begins with teaching by example

“You shall teach them (The Law) 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 forehead.  You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates” (Deut.  6:5-9).

Hey Gang:  I used John’s Juvvy experience in the last blog because it was one of those times when the message became clear to all the members of the family - even though they had everything that the world had to offer, there was no joy, no happiness, and certainly no peace within the walls of their castle. 

Dad, dug around in search for the Bible that he carried to Sunday School each Sunday, wiped the dust off and began to search out some of those verses he had been taught as a growing lad.    

Since his interest at that moment was ‘peace’ he turned to the words of Jesus penned by John, “My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you.  Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful” (John 14:27).   His brain began to search his past and he questioned, “Was there ever a time when I was at peace?”

He remembered a time in high school when he buddied with a guy who was a born-again believer, who truly lived his faith.  He remembered that the Knob Hill gang shied away from Happy Harry like he had the plague, until one day when one of their charter members, in a drunken stupor, fell into the swimming pool and drowned.  On the following day, the entire Knob Hillers were around Happy Harry  seeking Harry’s prayers and counsel.

Dad also remembered the day he reconnected with Happy Harry over a cup of coffee. In the course of conversation, Harry mentioned how successful his old school-mate (Dad) was.  After a long period of silence, Dad finally said, “Harry, you have no idea how many days I would trade all that I have, to be like you and have the peace that surpasses all human understanding.”

One of those verses that I have underlined in several colors is Isaiah 26:3 “The steadfast mind You will keep in perfect peace, because he trusts in You” 

I believe one of the most peaceful thoughts in the entire world was written by the Apostle Paul:  “And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” (Rom. 8:28).   The Psalmist said, “The Lord will bless his people with peace” (Psa. 29:11).

There is a common denominator that appears on my computer each morning from many sources – these are perilous times.  But Jesus said, “Don’t sweat it, stay in the Word, on your knees and rejoice in the Lord always for I go to prepare a place for you and if I go to prepare a place for you I will return to collect my children and take them to that place that I have prepared for them.” (Gramps rendition)



Monday, April 18, 2016

A Return To An Old But Super Important Theme

“Give, and it will be given to you.  He will pour into your lap- a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return” (Luke 6:38).

Hey Gang: “I just don’t understand why my teen-ager is rebelling against going to church or becoming involved in anything spiritual,” A statement I heard many times when parents arrived at the Juvenile Hall to pick up their wayward teenager.  Unfortunately, this is an oft-asked question of parents who are going through times of rebellion with their teen-ager.

One would think this might be a malady of those who were in the down and outer class but that certainly was not always the case.  I would also add, in many cases the more affluent and higher up the social ladder the family was, the more difficult it was to reach inside the youngster and find that thing that controls their feelings – called a heart.

One night, while working in the Juvenile Hall, the police brought in a very well dressed young man who certainly did not purchase his clothes at the local Goodwill Outlet.  His shoes probably cost more than my whole wardrobe, at that time. John had been booked into our elite establishment on two previous Saturday nights, but due to our overload, his offenses were not serious enough to hold him, so his mother came and took him home.

But tonight was different, I detected that the offender was on a mission and, if not dealt with quickly, I was going to have a young lad, who did not need to be there and was going to take up one of my much needed beds.  After a brief question and ‘no’ answer session, I learned that his dad was a top executive who loved his company far more that he loved his bride, kids and home, or at least this was the opinion of the young rebel.

So I placed a hold on him until the father came to Juvvy and checked his rebellious son out; but there was a prerequisite to gaining freedom for his son, he had to be honest with his son for perhaps the first time in his life.  Dad said to son, “I love you.”  Son said, “That does not compute.”  I intervened. Time for a covenant.  Dad said, “ I will come to you anytime you call.”  Point:  One did not have to be a rocket scientist to see that there had been some serious praying by several prayer warriors and some serious thinking had transpired in the minds and hearts of dad and son.

I felt we needed a couple days to drive home several points that the young lad had not taken in to consideration.  On the third day, John decided that it was the time to test the covenant.  John said he wanted to talk to his dad at that very moment.  He knew that Tuesday was a super busy day for his dad-  a barn full of execs in wall to wall meetings. 

In the midst of a very important meeting Dad was informed his son was on the phone. He informed the execs that he had a very important emergency he had to attend immediately, and left for the Juvenile Hall.  Son was impressed and we did not book John into Juvvy again.

In the next blog, I want to walk through what we (the bride of my youth and I) refer to, and have taught to literally thousands of people, as the key to raising your children and being successful.  The basis of that teaching is Galatian 6:7 “You are going to reap what you sow”.   Be sure and tune in.



Saturday, April 16, 2016

Come Soar With ME!

FOr some reason this did not go out last week as planned - enjoy!

“He gives strength to the weary, And to him who lacks might He increases power.  Though youths grow weary and tired, and vigorous young men stumble badly, Yet those who wait for the Lord will gain new strength; They will mount up with wings like eagles, They will run and not get tired, They will walk and not become weary” (Isa. 40:29-30).

Hey Gang:  My big brother was my idol.  He was intelligent, knew where he wanted to go with his life, and had the will to make sure that he achieved the goals that he wanted to accomplish in his life.  As a young lad growing in the mountains of Pennsylvania he looked up one day and saw an airplane and vowed that day he would be a pilot; and from day on he began to prepare to join the birds in the skies.

So, since he was my idol, I wanted to follow his lead and also become a pilot.  After flunking out of college for the third time and the dean telling me at the rate I was going it would take me seventeen years to graduate, he encouraged me to consider taking some time off and growing up a bit.  I did fool him, it only took me twelve years to get my degree, but he was right, I did a heap of growing up in that time away from college.  

At that time we were in the mist of the Korean Police Action and I received one of those letters that began “Your friends and neighbors have chosen you to be a warrior for Uncle Sam.”  As long as I did not open the letter my options were to join one of the other services.  I had nothing against being a member of the United States Army but down inside I wanted to follow my brother’s footsteps.

So, I went down to Andrews Air Force Base where my brother was stationed and enlisted in the Air Force -with the intent of entering pilot training.  But I had a problem, the weigh minimum was 139 pounds and I was a mere 135 pounds.  So for two weeks I ate everything that was supposed to put weight on one’s bones, but with negative results; at the end of the two weeks I had reached the magical number of 138 pounds.

I was advised- just before going in for the weigh in- I should fill my stomach with water.  Miracle of all miracles, I tipped the scales at a 140 pounds.  Wow, awesome!  But my joy was short-lived. At the next station the doctor said, “sorry Charlie you have a heart murmur” and red lined me.  So, I returned home and hid in a corner of the garage, right?  No, the Colonel said the second greatest job in the Air Force is to become an Air traffic Controller.  That is the closest you will get to flying.  So I went into the next door and signed the papers to invest four years of my life for my country.  Some called me stupid, because the Army hitch would have been only two years out of my life. 

But there was another problem.  I was lousy at algebra and calculus and thought analytic skills had to do with building a submarine or something.   On the day I took the battery of test that would determine what I did for the next four years, I knew that, if I blew the Air Traffic Control Tech School, I could very well end up driving a truck or becoming a cook, neither rated very high on my vocational desire’s list.

I could turn this epistle in a short story but that is not my intent.  I was not walking with the Lord at that time but I had something really neat and powerful going for me, I had several grandmothers, two mothers, a wife to be, and a number of other prayer warriors who spent time in their War Closets.
When called in to review the test results I am not sure who was more surprised, the interviewer or the interviewee- for I had nearly aced the battery of nine tests. 

Now for why I felt the need to share this message with you.  As I said, I was a lousy student but God didn’t give a hoot about that.  The women’s prayer brigade prayed me though thirteen weeks of intense training and three years in the field and when my tenure ended as an Airman, I continued on as a member of the Air Traffic Control Industry at the Great Pittsburgh Airport for several years. 

So what did I learn at the point in my life?  God knows how to overcome weight problems, or poor grades in school.  I also learned that as a ‘child of the King’ one should not dig their roots to deep but prepare to accept His call to move to higher ground.  Jesus said, “Come soar with Me! (Hillbilly rendition).


PS Check out  posted Apr 16 - Russia and Iran

Friday, April 15, 2016

The Abrahamic Covenant -Does It Apply to Our Day?

“Now the Lord had said to Abram: ‘Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father’s house, to a land which I will show you. I will make you a great nation; and I will bless you and make your name great; and so you shall be a blessing; and I will bless those who bless you, and the one who curses you I will curse.  And in you all the families of the earth will be blessed.” (Genesis 12:1-3).

Hey Gang:  The Word of God is filled with irrevocable laws that, if we choose to tamper with, we will reap a harvest.  In my years of serving as Chaplain at the Village, the focus of my ministry was based on the Seed Planting Parable, an irrevocable law of God.  Paul taught: You tamper with God's laws at your own peril when he wrote, "Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap." in Galatians 6:7    
I can attest to the fact that in all the times I ask youngsters, “if I planted a seed of corn, what would I get in return?”  The answer was consistent throughout the years – “You would get corn!”   I wish I could say, when I used this analogy with kids, I wished they would see themselves as the seed and im-mediately change their seed planting program, but seldom was that the case. 
Do you know what the Abrahamic Covenant is? Do you think it is in still God's plan for today?  I pray all who that are reading this epistle know, and apply it to their lives; but let me share a point or two on this irrevocable law.  The Abrahamic Covenant is a God-given promise based on the seed planting principle that you will reap what you sow, and can influence every decision you make in this life time - every time! – every time!.
Paul, in writing to the Galatians, was very clear; this is an irrevocable law that can never be annulled (Gal. 3:17). 
Now, I am sure most of you are very aware of what I have said so far, but let me go a step further and put some meat on this principal.  For the past several months I have had a growing feeling, in my gizzard, that I am in a cage with two ravenous beast - a hungry bear on one side and an angry lion on the other; and I hear the door opening and see they are about to slip a Tasmanian Devil into the fray.  I wonder which one will win the day and have the joy of ripping me to shreds. 
I believe we can change the characters in that analogy and put the United States of America, the "Land of the free and the home of Brave" in the cage, and replace the hungry bear with the Supreme Court’s decision on same sex marriage.   Is it not interesting that the court's decision was announced during "Gay Pride Month" as set by President O.  There was never any doubt by the court watchers that the Court would make same-sex marriage the law of the land by a six to three vote. On that issue they were off by one vote, and another nail was added to the coffin of this once proud nation.
In a recent follow up article pertaining to this decision, I learned two very significant things: First gay-  right marriages have been adopted as national law only once before in recorded world history.  I thought it might be Sodom, but not so, it was in the days of Noah!  I also learned that Nepal, the country with total recognition of gay rights recently adopted gay marriage as the law of their land. Here is a tidbit that might get your attention: shortly after Nepal passed their gay-right laws they were hit with a major earthquake where 8500 people were killed.
I close this epistle with Paul’s word “Be not deceived, we will reap what we sow” (Gal 6:7). 

Gramps - for some reason  a post did not go out last week and will be posted Sat April 16
PS Check out  posted Sat April 16 - Russia and Iran 

Wednesday, April 13, 2016

Let Us Give Thanks Always

“Speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody with your heart to the Lord.  Always giving thanks for all things in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ to God, even the Father” (Ephesians 5:20).

Hey Gang:  Giving thanks was as much a part of Paul as breathing.  Note: in the morning Scripture he covers all the bases; first, speaking, “Speaking to your friends and neighbors in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs”; and by singing, “…singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord”; and, finally, but not least, “… Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Ephesians 5:19-20).

Let’s face it troops, there are times when we just do not feel like giving thanks.  Our country is besieged with tornadoes, wild fires, tremendous storms that raises the rivers over their banks and many have seen their houses float down those swollen rivers.  Paul knew there would be times when we did not feel like giving thanks.

His key to being an overcomer: “Do this unto the Father!”  Dire circumstances shatter our spirits.  There are times when my heart’s cry has been “Lord, do you really expect me to sing and make melody when I hurt so badly.  Do you really expect me to sing and make melody when I have buried my second son?” 

Throughout our life we experience sorrows for which there is no human explanation.  Some are catastrophic, some are personal and dig deep into your soul; some private that change the direction of our lives.    Our human nature is to cry out, “Why, Lord?” But we seem to find more questions than answers.  Yet, even as we struggle with “Why”, God extends His unfailing love to us.

But even in those times when we ask “Why, Lord?”, God does not turn His back on us – we are still His children, the sheep of His pasture.  Paul’s words were penned for such times - when our heart is so focused on our difficulties that our faith begins to waiver. It is at that time when Paul says, “GIVE THANKS ALWAYS’, rejoice in the Lord always”, even when you do not feel like it.  It is part of the Seed Planting Principle – Give so that you can receive in the same measure that you rejoice.

Sooooo, my young friends, when it seems the sky is failing and you feel the weight of the world on your shoulders, stop, take a deep breath, look around at the beauty that surrounds you and Give Thanks to the Lord.    Oswald Chambers said, “There will come, one day, a personal and direct touch from God- when every tear and perplexity, every oppression and distress, every suffering and pain, and every wrong and injustice will have a complete and ample and overwhelming explanation.”



Monday, April 11, 2016

I Walked Today Where Jesus Walked!!

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

Hey gang:  As I have become more mature (older to you city folks) many things that used to be important are no longer important.  And most things that are important to me seem to have lost their importance in many folks lives.   Joy has taken on a different meaning.   I love to see my grands and great grands exceeding in things in their young lives, but my real joy is just being with them and watching them grow.

I had the privilege of returning to the U.S Air Force Museum in Dayton, Ohio with part of my family.  I wish we lived closer and that I could volunteer there a couple days a month.  As I was walking among all the relics of the past and reading of the many battles that were won to protect our nation, I sensed in my heart that I was in a sanctuary. 

For me there is a reverence to walking among the hundreds of retired aircraft that served their country well.  Out in the garden that surrounds the museum is very a special place; several years ago it became even more special, even sacred to me, when a memorial bench was placed in the garden commemorating, but now in memorial, my brother’s graduating class from pilot training.  He is gone now, as is most of his class, many having given their lives in combat.

I have felt this same “awe” at another place that I have been privileged to visit.  In my several trips to Israel there are those places that bring the hair up on my neck.  I remember the first time I looked at the mountain where I could see a perfect picture of a skull, the place where many feel our Lord was crucified, and my first trip to what many believe was the tomb where Jesus was placed on that fateful night.

 It really does not matter whether either site is correct, what is important: “For God so loved you and me that He gave His Son to come and take our sins to the cross and prepare way for salvation.   And equally important is the truth that the tomb was and is empty!!!

I was excited to return to the Air Force Museum.  It was like revisiting some old friends.  There was the F-51 fighter, the one that helped win the war in Europe and the P38 that was the key to success in the war against Japan.  There was the Boeing 707, the first airliner jet that I worked as a radar controller. 

But there is also a greater excitement in growing in my heart and soul today; we have made our reservations to return to Israel and celebrate early our sixtieth wedding anniversary.  Wow, does that warm the cockles of my heart.  We will return to Ir Ovot, now known as Biblical Tamar Park;  we will get our hands dirty  in Israeli soil, once again.  We will revisit the Garden, where the battle of the cross was won, and walk the shores of the Sea of Galilee. 

Some feel we are foolish to go to a place where violence is a way of life and I agree, for we have to go through Chicago and New York.  But when the air craft landing gear touches the ground a peace that surpasses human understanding fills our hearts, we are home.  And from that moment on there is a deeper understanding of the Scriptures that comes alive in the depths of your heart.

We have been to Israel with many people and there is a common agreement among them all, it changes and deepens your relationship with Jesus.  There is still room, come along and see for yourself.  If interested, let me know and I will send you a trip description.



Friday, April 8, 2016

Is God About to Resurrect Elijah?

Elijah came near to the people and said, ‘How Long will you hesitate between two opinions?  If the Lord is God, follow Him, but if Baal, follow him’”.  (II Kings 18:20)

Hey Gang:  Did you happen to catch that Satan and his minions are planning on erecting a model temple to honor their god Baal in New York and London?  I heard this issue being discussed by two very unaware people who had just enough knowledge to be very dangerous.  One said to the other, “Do you think they will start children sacrifices to Moloch?”  To which the other responded, “They have been doing that for years.  They are just building a monument to acknowledge their sadistic ways.   Now they will have a god that they can bow down to when they visit the local abortion clinic.”

When I read this harrowing article two Scriptures came to mind:  The first in Second Kings where Ezekiel came in direct conflict with Ahab, a very evil king of Israel.  After reading the account of Ahab, I have come to the conclusion that there was only one who was more wicked at that time, Jezebel, his wife. 

 If asked, I would have a hard time choosing a ruling leader and spouse that could equal them in cruelty and rebellion against God, for there are a whole barn full of them today, including a couple in our own nation. 

Charles Dickens would say, “It was the worst of times”.   But then again he did not live in this age when everything that can be shaken is being shaken.  The King and his sadistic wife had steered the nation of Israel down a road leading away from the Lord and then stepped on the accelerator – and woe to anyone who caused a traffic jam!   Now, I ask you, does that sound familiar? 

As I read the account of her life, that ended very abruptly, when she fell or was pushed from a window,  broke her neck and was consumed by dogs,  everything about this woman dripped with iniquity and emanated evil. 

Understand. they worshiped a molten image, made from a piece of metal.   It has always amazed me that a so-called carver of images would go out to the forest, find just the right piece of wood and then carve it into an image (usually a very hideous looking image) and the remainder of the limb from which it was carved would be thrown into the fire for heat and warmth. 

Now, I often wonder how a sane person -I mean one that is endowed with a brain- could take a piece of wood or metal, set it on the mantel and pay homage and even worship it.   But, do we not do the same?  Perhaps not objects of wood, metal and even precious metals, but when we choose to honor or respect a person (star) or things (job, leisure, home, etc) above our respect for Abba Father, does that not qualify as an idol?

I once invited a young man to come along to church with me. He responded, “No, I don’t want to give up my Sundays.”  I tuned into the final college basketball game of the season last night and the announcer made this comment: “Harry, there are thousands of people in the upper balconies that cannot even see the floor; they have to use binoculars to see the players.”  Some drove for days, spent mega bucks on airline tickets, motels and all the trimmings of the celebration.  Millions of dollars wasted on wagers. 

A recent article that came across my computer announced that the billion-dollar plateau had been broken in our attempt to choose the right person to sit in the Oval Office for the next four years.
The second verse that popped up in my mind when I read the article pertaining the building of a temple to Baal is found in one of my favorite books, Malachi.  It reads like this, “Behold, I am going to send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of the great and terrible day of the Lord”. (4:5).   

I wonder if God is not saying, “One day the silly, rather stupid people of earth will once again resurrect Baal and will need the great prophet Elijah, the slayer of Baal to say, “if Baal is god, worship him but if he is not and you choose to worship him….!   Be prepared to give an account as to why you choose to reject the Way, the Truth and the Life, the only way to the Father.”

Moses asked the Lord, “Who shall I say sent me?” God’s response at the burning bush, “Tell them I AM sent you.”  My friends, how would you answer that question, today?


P.S.  My young friends I want to say so much more on this subject, but that would be preaching and that is not the intent of these morning messages.  My prayer for you this day- and every day- is that you awake each morning with a hunger and thirst in your heart and soul to be filled with His Spirit and Truth.

Monday, April 4, 2016

God Is.... Availble

Scripture: “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1).

There are many wonderful and reassuring verse in the Bible that tell me God wants to be my refuge and strength.  I especially like the ones that talk about His wings and our ability to crawl up under His wings, when the alligators are on the move.  By far my favorite is the very well-known Psalm of David “The Shepherd Psalm.
When most talk about refuge they refer to Psalm 46 or 91 but David’s words, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil, for You are with me.  Your rod and Your staff they comfort me; You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies” (verse. 4-5) are also neat promises for us.   I think because I tend to be a rod and staff person that I am comfortable knowing His rod and staff, they comfort me.

Hey Gang:  the Lord has promised that when the alligators begin to come out of the swamp and nip at your heels, when you face persistent, ever present evil – God Himself will be your ‘ever present help”.   David wrote, “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble”.   Ever present, meaning He is always there, always available, with unlimited access.  And that you can take to the bank!

And, if He is ever present, He wants ever present conversation with His children.  One of the blasphemies that is gaining momentum in our day and age is, ‘There is no God’, therefore He is not talking to His creation.  David felt that way when he cried out, “Why do You stands afar off O Lord?   Why do You hide Yourself in times of trouble? But later he declared, “The Lord is King forever and ever….You have heard the desire of the humble and you will; strengthen their heart”  (Psa. 10:1).

The enemy wants us to think that God has allowed Satan to grow in power and influences, but that He hasn’t equipped His own people with greater authority.   Truth:  “When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him” (Isaiah 59:19).  John, the beloved, wrote these powerful words, “Greater is He that is in you than he who is in the world” (1 John 4:4).  But we are often like a lamp that is not plugged in. If we do not appropriate that power we become like tingling brass.

It is neat to know this verse from Isaiah actually refers to the flag-bearer who rode ahead of Israel’s army.  The Lord always led His people into battle behind His own mighty standard.  It is the same today.  God has a glorious army of heavenly hosts who ride forth under His banner, ready to execute His battle plans on our behalf.  Does that get your thumper thumping? 

So my friends and neighbors, is God truly your refuge and strength?  This you can count on, the closer you walk with God the angrier Satan gets, and you can count on his using you as a dart board.  As I have gained in maturity, I have learned that we need to put on God’s armor (Ephesians 6) and have a constant input of the promises that God has given to His children -that He will never leave us or forsake us and will be ever present when the rubber-hits-the-road.   

King David is one of my favorite characters in the Bible.  Partly because he was a man after God’s own heart.  I have always prayed that I would be a man after God’s heart.  But also because David made mistakes along the path.  Hey gang, his Bathsheba and Uriah escapade rated off God’s ‘Richter Scale’,  but after being confronted by Nathan for his sin, he cried out “I have sinned against the Lord” (2 Sam. 12:13). 

When you read the whole story of David, you can see clearly that God was David’s refuge and strength.  In 2 Samuel 22 we find David’s Psalm of Deliverance.  I would like to copy it all here- because I fear some of you will not take the time to get alone and read it.  So I will pick and choose several of what I would call the most powerful words of his song.

he wrote: “Words of this song to the Lord in the day that the Lord delivered him from the hand of all his enemies and from the hand of Saul” (Verse 1).  “The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer’; the shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold and my refuge;  My Savior, You save me from violence.” (vs. 2-3).  “In my distress I called upon he Lord, Yes, I cried to my God” (v. 7). 

Later in the same chapter David listed some of the fringe package that God provided because of his repentant heart and obedience:  First it let it be known “…that God rewarded him because of his righteousness according to the cleanness of his hands, For he had kept the ways of the Lord, and had not acted wickedly against my God” (vs. 21-22).

He gave hope to all when he said, “He, God, is a refuge to all who take refuge in Him” (v. 31). 
This I have learned in my sojourn, we have two choices when the alligators escape the swamp and come after us – we can do as David did and trust in the Lord with all our heart and soul and crawl up under His wings, or we can do as most and try and tough it out in our own strength.   David said, “You have given me a shield of Your salvation and Your help makes me great” (v. 36).

Soo the ball is in your hands; your choice.  Try David’s way.



Friday, April 1, 2016

God IS Still Working in Hearts!

Hey Gang:  “The weather outside is frightful”.  Seems to me I heard that someplace before.  I have just competed going through the seven weather forecasters prognostications on the computer and the news, all are in agreement – it is going to be ‘frightful’.    So, I will go to the shed and lay in some gasoline, just in case the power lines decide they cannot handle the snow, ice and wind and end up on the ground.  Laid wood in a while ago and the freezer is full of goodies, so as someone once said “let it snow, let it snow, let it snow!  Wow, it sure is pretty! 

I have taken to watching the news on Monday morning between the hours of eight and eight thirty and then turn on music.  I have learned that unless there is something really significant that happens, the news will be basically the same as last week and my blood pressure tends to give me grief when I allow much of what is happening and what is not happened to fill my brain.

But today I made an exception.  It was my ‘tinker day’ when I do the things on the ‘Honey Do’ List, so spent a good portion of the day in Gramps Toy Repair shop.  So I flipped the switch to the four sided monster.  I can handle it when I am running power tools, vacuums and the things that make noise and block out the noise coming from the mouth on the wall.

Today was especially harsh and degrading to most civilized folks.  I have asked the Lord for guidance on many occasions, what could fill a nation of people with such hatred that they feel their only recourse to having eternal life is to kill, kill and then kill some more?  It is kind of hard to find out why, when the ultimate to killing is to be killed.  Makes it tough to try and learn why they are so angry when all you have, when the dastardly deed is done, is a basket of body parts.  But this has been programed into many minds at  a very early age.

The media also gave about equal time to those folks who want to be the President of this here United States.  Now, I must admit that I do not understand these folks at all.  One would think that if they are interested in being the head honcho in the Oval Office that they would spend their time trying to convince folks that they have solutions to the many problems facing our nation.

It saddens my heart to see the mega millions being spent for so called grown people, thought to have a degree of intelligence, spend their air time trying to convince the voters of the nation how rotten and misguided their opposition is.  The mudslinging turned especially ugly today- when the mud turned to bricks.  

Well, that is enough mudslinging on my part.  What I really want to share with you is that there are good things happening in our world but, as the media tells us, ‘good news do not sell papers.’  I received a wonderful letter from the folks who develop and distribute the Jesus Film.  I have heard good things about the impact this film is making in the Muslim world before, but this one really touched the cockles of my heart.

 It is a bit lengthy so will not copy it verbatim but want you to see why God does not say ‘enough is enough’ and send His warring angels to put Satan in the pit and cleanse the earth – yet!  He did say, “It is my deep desire that no one, not a single soul should perish.”  He is waiting for that last soul that He knows is the last one who will turn their life over to Him.

Now, this is a bit lengthy and there may be some out there that are not interested in Muslim woman coming to Christ, so we decided we would alert you that we are not putting the letter on Gramps Morning Thoughts, but putting the letter on   You can decide to read or not to read!