Monday, May 30, 2016

Without God....

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God’s Power Principle For Today: He who dwells in the shelter of the most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.  I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress, My God, in whom I trust!”.   For it is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence.  He will cover you with His pinons, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. (Psalm 91:1-4).

Hey Gang:  On the wall of my office are pictures: one, Col D. C. Hainley who served his country as a Marine in China in the second world war and as a combat pilot in the United States Air Force for more than thirty years.  Next to him is a picture of Seaman Norman F. Hainley who served his country on the USS Midway and Coral Sea Flattops. Next to him, Airman Kermit R. Hainley who served his country as an air traffic controller and next to him Seaman Vaughn D. Hainley, who served as the head tech rep on one of our nation’s atomic subs.  Together, they served more than fifty years of their lives to protect our nation from those who would harm it.

None were drafted. All responded to a danger that faced our nation and, as Nehemiah said, ”I will not sit down until the job is finished.”  But that legacy did not begin with this generation. As I traced the linage of my family I find no less than 12 of my immediate aunts and uncles served in World War II: An uncle who served in the Battle of Bulge, an aunt who was the first nurse to arrive in Hiroshima, after the truce was signed, to care for the people who had experienced the horror of the atomic bomb.  
When our nation was attacked they did not wait for their draft letter to arrive, they were in line with mega multitudes of other young people who saw the need and the danger that our nation faced.  They stepped up to the line, not only to protect our nation but a willing to give their lives if necessary.

It has saddened my heart to see our President traveling to Hiroshima to apologize for the devastation of death caused by the atomic bomb.  No words of thanksgiving were uttered for the million or more GI’s that were spared by that decision.   It has saddened my heart to see the greatest military force of history be rapidly decimated and no longer the protectors of the down and outers of the world.  I pray, O Lord, if America becomes weak, who will step into the gap and become the protectors of the hurting and oppressed peoples of the world?

in August 1984, Ronald Reagan spoke to an ecumenical prayer breakfast in Dallas, Texas, and stated delivered the following: “We Will establish no religion in this country, nor will we ever.  We command no worship. We mandate no belief.  But we poison our society when we remove its theological underpinnings.  We court corruption when we leave it bereft of belief.  All are free to believe ort not believe; all are free to practice a faith or not.  But those who believe must be free to speak of and act on their belief, to apply moral teaching to public questions.

I submit to you that the tolerant society is open to and encouraging of all religions.  And this does not weaken us; it strengthens us…

Without God, there is no virtue, because there’s no prompting of the conscience.  Without God, we’re mired in the material, that flat world that tells us only what the senses perceive.  Without God, there is a coarsening of the society.  And without God, democracy will not and cannot long endure.  If we ever forget that we’re ‘One Nation Under God’, then we will be a ‘Nation gone under’.”

I recently heard one of our Nation’s renowned religious leaders make this statement: “…To late, we have gone beyond the point of no return, our Nation is going to follow all the other great nations that have turned their back on God”.  But it that not putting God, who is all powerful and nothing is impossible for Him, in a box?

 I think not!   Did He not give us the key to restoration in 2 Chronicles 7:14 when He said, “…If My people, who are called by My name humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, will forgive their sin and will heal their land”.  Notice, young people, “My people”.  When My people humble themselves and pray and put away all those things that offend Abba Father, He will then heal our land.

Ae you part of “My People” and if so are you humble before the Lord, are you praying from the depth of your soul, have you put away all those things that are idols in your life?
One more thing:  Give glory, worship and praise to the One who gave us our ultimate sacrifice of freedom.

Blessings,


Gramps 

Friday, May 27, 2016

If You Could Speak to the Israeli People, What Would You Say?


“Listen to Me, O house of Jacob, And all the remnant of the house of Israel,  You who have been borne by Me from birth and have been carried from the womb; Even to your old age I will be the same; And even to your graying years I will bear you!  I have done it, and I will carry you;  And I will bear you and I will deliver you” (Isaiah 46:3-4).

Hey Gang, If could stand on the top of the Mount of Olives and shout, so as to be heard across the land of Israel, that is what I would shout: Zechariah tells us precisely what is going to happen in the last days, just prior to the end of the age when he wrote, “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the people around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will be against Judah” (1:2).

 He goes on and paints a panoramic picture of 2016 when God has fulfilled His word to”…make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples; all who lift it will be severely injured.  And all the nations of the earth will be gathered against it.   (vs, 3).

I would shout, “Listen up people of ‘the apple of God’s eye”, “For in the Day of the Lord I will defend the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the one who is feeble among them in that day will be like David, and the house of David will be like God, like the angel of the Lord before them” (vs. 8).

Listen up, readers of Gramps Morning Thoughts, the Lord decreed: “Then it will happen on that Day that the Lord will again recover, the second time with His hand, the remnant of His people who will remain, from Assyria, Egypt, Pathros, Cush, Elam, Shinar, Hamath, and from the islands of the sea.  And He will lift up a standard for the nations, and will assemble the banished one of Israel, and will gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth” (Isa.11:11-12).

After retiring as President or Eagle Village we placed all of earthly possessions in a storage unit and moved into our fifth wheel, with the intention of traveling and volunteering in ministries as long as our health allowed. After several trips in the middle parts of the states we were heading for the south to spend the winter months and decided to visit friends enroute, but God had another plan in mind for us.

It was to be a two or three-day visit and then off to the sunny south but God had a different idea. we were asked to remain in the Otter Banks of North Carolina and pray for our host couple as they sojourned to Jerusalem for a meeting for an organization called The Ebenezer Emergency Fund, a ministry that sent out fishermen to find Jews who wanted to make aliyah (return to Israel) and help them travel to Kiev, Russia, where they were put on their ship to travel to Haifi, the port of embarkation for the Olim (returning Jews).

Our heart’s desire was to be a fisherman and go to Kiev and be part of the crews that ministered to the Olim who were brought to Kiev.  Many were in very poor physical condition.  Although the fisherman on land and on the ships were not allowed to share Jesus to the Olim, many of them came up to the staff and said, “We know why you are here and want you to know we believe in your Lord.”

One story that was very special involved a very elderly lady who was bedfast.  They found her in a very isolated village more than a thousand miles from Kiev.  Her heart’s desire was to go to the land she had always loved- Israel.  The story of getting her to Kiev was a story of God’s loving and powerful story of one miracle after another until the day she was carried aboard the ship bound for the land of her dreams.

Five days later she arrived in Haifi and was taken from the ship to the embarkation center, where shortly after her arrival her heart gave out and she passed away.   The question is often asked, “Why did you invest so much in an old lady who you knew may not survive the rigors of a trip of this magnitude?”  

The simple answer which is not understood by many folks today – “Because Jesus said, “Go into all the world and save my people”.  There was as many hallelujahs heard in the heavenlies when this dear saint passed through the gate of heaven as when Peter and Paul and the great saints of the ages.

Soooo, my friends, there is so much that wants to get out my heart and brain to you but will have to restrain myself until another time.  But, let me add one last comment before closing, the wonderful thing about Israel becoming a nation and seeing Jerusalem come under Jewish control is that it is fulfilled prophecy that you can touch.  

We were blessed to be able to go to Israel, not to do the tourist things but to get our hands dirty in the soil of the land.  Did you know you can be blessed filling sand bags when you know those sand bags may one day protect one of God’s chosen people?   

The Word says- Israel will once again become a home for God’s chosen people, the Jews, and the olim who will come from the four corners of the earth.  That is not ‘pie in the sky’ but pure reality and   something that can be shared with anyone who is not so sure the Bible is the Word of God.

Blessings,


Gramps
PS we are returning in November.  If you are interested in going along, send us a message:

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Measure of Healing


God’s Power Principle For Today:  “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God”  (2 Cor. 1:3-4).

Hey Gang:   Years ago I had the opportunity to visit Carlsbad Caverns, a seven-tier cave that is fabulously beautiful.  When we reached the bottom of the caverns, the guide said, “Take hold of the rope and I will show you what true blackness is.”  He then pulled the lever and the lights went out.  He was partially right.  It was the blackest I had ever experienced.

But I have since learned there is an emotional and spiritual blackness that far exceeds the blackness I experienced that day.   One cannot put adequate words to the description one feels when you lose a child.  It is one of the experiences when you can only cry out to God and ask, “Why, Lord.’  You see it is not as God designed that our children should precede us in death.

I have been asked many times by other parents who have walked that very tragic road, “How long does it take to get over the pain?”  My answer, “I do not know” for there are days when I feel he will drive up the driveway in his red sports car, and then reality sets in and the pain and agony once again fills my heart with pain.

There is an experience in life that even exceeds this experience and that is to lose a second child, and that is compounded by the death of a grandson, and the loss of two nieces to cancer.   It seems that I have spent a good portion of my life asking’ “Why Lord?”  “Why would You take these beautiful children in their prime who loved You with all their heart.”

There are those who have said, “They are better off where they are, you surely could not wish them back”.  My response has always been the same, “You have never lost a child have you?”  A friend once said, “God needed them more than you”.    Again they had never stood by the casket of their child.

Agony and pain, yes, but there is a beautiful part of going through the process of burying the body of a child- it is just the body that is being buried- the soul and spirit have long since departed to be with the Lord for all eternity. 

Are there days when the agony and pain are lessened?  Yes, and on those days when it is not I turn to the last chapters of Revelation and read what God has prepared for those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

 I look for that moment when my Jesus will appear in the clouds and call His children to be with Him- for I believe it is at that moment that I will be able to put my arms around my David, my Michael, my Ryan, my Cindy and my Sam/Sharon and all who have gone before that loved You, Jesus, as their Lord and Savior.  What a reunion that will be when our Lord we will see and celebrate His victories at the Marriage Feast of the Lamb.

My prayer for each who read this morning message, is that Your Name is listed in the Lamb’s Book of Life and you will receive a special invitation to be a part of the Bride at the marriage  and Wedding Feast of the Lamb.

Blessings,

Gramps




Monday, May 23, 2016

A Hedge Against Temptation


“I will ask the Father and He will give you another helper that He may be with you forever” (John 14:16) 

 Hey Gang:  I don’t know about you but in this day when everything that can be shaken is being shaken, I take great joy and confidence that God has made a way through the wilderness for me through the power of the Holy Spirit.

Bruce Wilkerson included the following comment in his book Spiritual Breakthrough that rang my bell: “I made a dramatic breakthrough when I discovered that right before every temptation, my emotions were distressed (inwardly agitated) and that I was actually seeking for comfort.  That’s when I remembered the promise, ‘I will pray the Father and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you forever’” (John 14:14-17).
Wow, is that not neat.

Is it not incredible that Jesus gave us the Holy Spirit to be our ever present source of comfort? Have you ever really checked Him out? I mean put Him to the test?  I decided to try. I prayed, “Holy Spirit, I am in desperate need of you, I don’t want to sin, please comfort me now”.  Now, I must admit that in the initial stage I felt nothing.  I really felt bummed out! 

But then I slowly became aware that the anxiety level had subsided and I felt a degree of comfort.  I also learned that this, like all learning experiences, had to be honed on the wheel of experience.  The more I made my mind aware of putting trust in the Holy Spirit the more I felt the comfort that is provided only by the Holy Spirit. 

The neat part of this experience is that God has made me more aware of those times when temptation is knocking at my door; as I put my trust in the Holy Spirit to protect me from that temptation, I find that it slithers back into the pit from which it came. 

Keep in mind we have an irrevocable promise that protects us from falling off the wagon: “No temptation is overtaken you, but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it.” (I Cor. 10:13).

Bruce Wilkerson said “I’ve prayed to my Comforter many times since, and I’ve discovered two immutable truths: first, The Holy Spirit always completes His responsibility in my heart, and second, He does it without delay.”

Soooo, buckaroos, Tuck that away in your heart and mind for you can count on Satan and his minions testing to see if you are able! 

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Sun Came Up This Morning - Whoopee!!


“And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:3-5).

Hey Gang, as a dear friend once said, “I sit down with my first cup of coffee for the day and read the obits and, if my name is not there, I get my day started.”  I have learned, in my aging years, that one nice thing about getting old is that I no longer panic when I hear dire prophecies of the future.  I’ve seen too many stories of the’ sky is falling’ or the ‘Country is about to go over the precipice’ come and go.

Books on “The coming economic crash” have come out in every decade of my life.  But the only folks that can do anything to prevent it do not seem concerned, they continue to spend money they do not have, so why should I worry.  “Gloom and Doom prophets” have predicted we would run out of food by the turn of the millennium; one only has to visit any one of the many smorgasbords in our nation and see the number one health problem in America is obesity.

Hollywood has become wealthy by feeding the anxieties of the masses with such things as George Orwell’s Totalitarian world of 1984 and the “Juniper Effect” of 1976, when planets were supposed to align, creating high tides and earthquakes.  BUT the sun has continued to come up very faithfully every day since!

And the new craze of the day, one that has made a barn full of millionaires, including the great Noble Peace awardee by the name of Alvin Gore, who rides around the world in his private jet that is spewing out the contaminates that, in his view are causing the earth to heat up.   Now we are told that the earth has a fever, that asteroids are missing us by millimeters, and that genetic engineering will give our grandkids two heads.

The editor of a large Metro Newspaper was once asked, “Why do you never print anything that is good?”  His response was, “Good does not sell newspapers”. We know people would far rather read of a gory killing than a skid row bum who surrendered his life to Jesus and became an evangelist or business leader.

Is the world more vile than it was when our Lord Yeshua walked the earth?  I think not.  It was a totalitarian world filled with mass slavery and sickness, and the life expectancy was less than forty years.  On this ocean of woe, Jesus launched the Church.

Prophecies that leave God out of the picture are always suspect with me.  In every generation God has provided saviors; a Joseph, a Moses, an Esther.  Perhaps someone reading these words will be the one to solve the killing in the Middle East or rekindle the economy. 

I often wonder if God designed a person to be the founder of a cure for cancer, or diabetes or Alzheimer’s or perhaps would have been a leader such as David, or Joseph but whose life was ended before they were allowed to draw their first breath.    

Well, l as I mentioned before, the sun DID come up again this morning and I did check to see if my name was in the obit ‘s, and it was not- so I will close this and put on my armor of God, fill my lamp with the ols of the Holy Spirit and allow God to use me in some way - to make life a wee bit better today than it was yesterday for someone who is hurting.

Blessings.  

Blessings


Wednesday, May 18, 2016

WHo Said Life Would Be Fair?


“To know wisdom and instruction, To discern the sayings of understanding.  To receive instruction in wise behavior, Righteousness, justice and equity” (Proverbs 1:2-3).

Hey gang:  In my 82 plus years on this earth I have been a die-hard sports fan and have especially enjoyed seeing the near perfection of some of the athlete’s efforts.  But, at the same time, there is nothing that irritates me more than for an ump or ref to blow a call that takes away from that perfection.

Example: In the past 135 years of major league baseball only 20 pitchers have thrown a perfect game.    On June 2, 2010, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers would have been number 21, but a blown call on the part of the umpire took the perfect game away from him on the final out of the game.  The replay clearly showed the runner was out not by one step but two steps, but rules are rules and the call could not be changed.  That, too, is pretty stupid.

Galarraga remained calm, expressed sympathy for the ump, and never bad mouthed him for his error.  His refusal to retaliate and rant and rave astounded fans, players and sports writers.

I wonder how I would have reacted if I had pitched that perfect game, that day, and had it taken away from me.   I certainly admire Galarraga for not taking the ump to task, but I suspect there was something more important at work in this travesty of justice.  I don’t know if he is a Christian.  If not, we Christians need to take heed of his testimony through this affair, for he demonstrated Christian wisdom by being more concerned for the welfare of the errant ump than having his name in the record book as number 21! 

Oswald Chambers said about our personal dealings with others, “Never look for justice, but never cease to give it; and never allow anything you meet
with to sour your relationship to men through Jesus Christ”.

Soooo, keep in mind, when we experience unfairness it is our responsibility- and I might add “privilege”, as followers of Christ, to respond with honesty and integrity, doing what is right, just and fair.   Jesus put it this way, “When slapped in cheek, turn the other one” (Luke 6:29). But, my friends, that is not the world’s way!
Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, May 16, 2016

Ready Or Not, That is the Question!

“Jesus said, “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.  Behold I have told you in advance” (Matt. 24:24-25).  If there was ever a time when we must be up to speed on what Jesus said, it is now! Notice what Jesus said - not what man thinks He said!

Hey Gang:  I was reviewing some of the old blogs and in one, in very bold print, I had mentioned that there were two great blasphemies that were leading many down the prime rose path.   The first: “Replacement Theology” believes that Israel is no longer the “Apple of God’s Eye”. I discussed this in Friday’s blog and didn’t get to number two.

The second, “There are many roads to God” is equally dangerous.  These folks believe that it does not matter what guru or religion you might believe in, will lead to the promise land.  Jesus blew this out of water when He said, “I am and way, the truth and the life, no one comes to the Father except through Me (John 14:6). 

It is Oprah Winfrey’s opinion, and she has millions of ladies who follow her every move and word, to believe that only Jesus is the way, the truth and the life and the only way to the Father is selfish and very narrow minded.

Perhaps the third blasphemy, that has grown with great gusto in the last decade, is the most dangerous and damaging blasphemy among the young people of our nation.  We have titled this “Believe is enough”, and it is poison.  The root of this is based on the fallacy that, if you believe that there was person named Jesus -who loves them, then they can do anything and Jesus will forgive and forget.  In essence it does not matter how you live your life.

The great tragedy within the “Believe is enough” group is, there is no foundation in their spiritual life and when the alligators rise and begin nipping at their heels they come unglued like a straw scarecrow in a wind storm.   

As a lad in high school I played in a dance band that consisted of six lads who faithfully went to their church for confession each week so they could go out in the next week and do as they did the previous week. 

A recent article came across my computer by Jack Minor titled, ‘The Great Falling Away – Evangelists Shying Away From Preaching Repentance’. This triggered a memory, from the recesses of my dome of intellect, a similar article but pertaining to the on-line warriors, the pastors of the land who are responsible to God for leading their flocks into the Word and the paths of God’s righteousness. 

I believe, if we could ask God why this is happening in our nation today, He would say -because we have taken the blood of the cross, the blood of redemption out of our churches.  And where there is no blood, there is no redemption.  In this feel good world of today, we do not want to hear that there is a price, a very severe price, for those who turn from God and go their own way.

The Apostle Paul said’… the preaching of the cross was foolishness to the world’ and he was often attacked and even stoned once for preaching the Gospel.  This has been a common thread through out church history, man has had a compulsion to interpret what God said in a way that is easy for them to do as they pleased.  

Well folks, I wonder, if I asked each of you that are faithful readers of what I pray God is saying through me, if I should be like the evangelist mentioned above and restrict my writing to a feel good message?  As one old hell-fired evangelist said, “If I do not see the people in the pews scotching around, I know they are only hearing words and praying that I say ‘amen’ so they can escape.

Blessings,


Gramps

Saturday, May 14, 2016

A Challenging Thought from Anne Graham Lotz

Hey Gang:

The news is filled with the question, ‘Is there a better horse in the presidential election stable? It is estimated that it will take two billion dollars to find out.  Now let’s see, how many hungry folks could be fed for two billion dollars.

I have a better idea, Why don’t we purchase a full day of television and radio and give each candidate three hours to state clearly what they would recommend to Congress and the Nation. And then the lines would be open for folks to call in for clarification of those things that were not covered clearly or they just did not understand what they were saying

I have heard a lot of rhetoric, since this process began the day Obama was sworn in for his second term. I must admit I do not have a clue what either or all of the candidates had up their sleeves that would cure the ills of the country.  I have heard much rhetoric that has made me wonder if any of the candidates have enough foundation and plain old common sense to know that no human being has the knowledge or no- how to lead this country back to the roots on which it was founded. 

The Word makes it very clear that without God as our shield and guide there is no wisdom.  Proverbs, written by the second wisest man to walk the earth, wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge; Fools despise wisdom and instruction” (Pro. 1:7) and, in Proverbs 9:10,  He wrote, “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding”.   

I have not been to Washington, DC, better known as the Belt Way, for many years but have wondered if there is a fence around it with one entry gate where those who enter are required hanging common sense and wisdom on a hook, to be picked up when they leave the city.   Well, I could go on for an hour or two but I would rather share a neat Email that came across my computer screen this morning.  It is from one of my favorite people, for she is filled with hope and I need a whole basket full of that in this day and age.

Anne Graham Lotz, the daughter of the Rev. Billy Graham, has said that she is ready to vote for Donald Trump in the November election because God can use Trump to accomplish His purposes.

According to The Christian Post, Lotz said that Trump may be like Nebuchadnezzer in the Bible--a man who started off as antagonistic toward God’s people, but who ultimately ended up believing in the Lord.

"My faith is not in a person, my faith is in God,” said Lotz in an interview with Fox News. “If God can use Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel's day — Daniel served under Nebuchadnezzar- and at the end, Nebuchadnezzar professed faith in the God of Daniel" — then He can use Trump, too.”

Lotz added that she will vote for whoever the Republican nominee is: "The Democratic Party has so come against God in some of their major issues, that I'm not sure I can vote for the Democratic platform. But whoever is on the Republican side, I will vote for and pray for whoever that is.”

Lotz recently released a book titled The Daniel Prayer: Prayer That Moves Heaven and Changes Nations. She has spoken about the need for a revival, beginning with prayer: "I think legally, educationally, institutionally, governmentally — in so many ways, we are abandoning our faith in God, and we are abandoning God. When you do, the Bible says, God will back away from you and abandon you,"

"The hope is, when we choose to render our hearts and repent from our sins, and tell God 'we're sorry, we want you back in, that He would return to us, and once again bless us and have favor on us.,” Can Mr. Donald Trump lead us out of the wilderness?  No, he needs each and every one of God’s children to humbled themselves before Him, pray diligently, seek Him until we find Him, and put away the trash and idols that litter our lives.  Then, and only then, will He heal our land (2 Chron. 7:14).

Blessings,

Gramps


Friday, May 13, 2016

Do You Know What You Believe?


“But you, O mountains of Israel, you will put forth your branches and bear your fruit for My people Israel; for they will soon come…For I will take you from the nations, father you from all the lands, and bring you into your own land.  Then I will sprinkle water on you, and you will be clean…I will put a new heart and put a new spirit with you and remove your heart of stone….And you will live in the land that I gave to your forefathers; so you will be My people, and I will be your God”  (Ezek. 36:8…24-28).

Hey Gang:  I think I mentioned, in one of the morning messages, there are two great blasphemies growing around the world that will lead to hearing God say “I know you not” on that day we all stand before Him.  If I did NOT, let me mention them again. One is “Replacement Theology” which believes that Israel is no longer the “Apple of God’s Eye”.  If I had time, I would give you a hundred or so verses that dispute this misconception.

I have heard many folks tell of fears that lurk in their heart about what is happening in our country, ie. the coming election, the falling away of our Nation from God, and a multitude of other fears that continue to gain momentum daily.   I, too, have my concerns over these issues, but I believe the Replacement Theology blasphemy is the most dangerous for it is a direct attack on God.

Notice the warning given to us by Joel: “I will gather all the nations’ (He has nearly completed this task).  I have a poster on my wall that was published by the Wall Street Journal that shows How the UN Divides the World. On one side it lists all the nations of the world but one, and on  the other - one nation in very bold print “Israel”!

 Joel goes on and says, “I (God) will bring them (the Nations) down to the valley of Jehoshaphat.  Then I will enter into judgment with them there,  on behalf of My people and My inheritance, Israel”.  Now, pay special attention to the rest of Joel’s words in this verse: “ Whom they have scattered among the nations; and they have divided up My land” (Joel 3:2).

Now turn with me to Zechariah 12:2-3. In these verses we have a perfect description of what is truly happening in the ‘Apple of God’s eye, Jerusalem: “Behold, I am going to make Jerusalem a cup that causes reeling to all the peoples around; and when the siege is against Jerusalem, it will also be against Judah.  It will come about in that day that I will make Jerusalem a heavy stone for all the peoples” (Zech. 12:2-3a).  Hey, gang; truer words where never recorded.

 In this day when “…everything that can be shaken is being shaken so that only what cannot be shaken will remain (Heb. 12:26-29), it is more than important that we keep our noses in the Word and see what God is doing. 

Habakkuk, in a similar time- when it appeared that God was not as active as he would like -cried out, “How long Oh Lord, will I call for help and You will not hear?  I cry out to You, violence!” Yet you do not save. Why do You make me see iniquity, and cause me to look on wickedness?

God’s response was clear and to the point: “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. 1:1-3/5).  I believe that is so.  We have lost two sons, David and Michel and a grandson, Ryan, all avid horseman – maybe helping to get horses ready.

Revelation 19 verse 11 tells me “The heavens will open and we will behold a white horse and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in His righteousness He judges and wages war”.  In verse 14 we read, “The armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses”.   My good friends, I expect to be part of that army!  I believe, if your name is recorded in the Lamb’s Book of Life, you, too, will be a warrior in God’s army.

Blessings,

Gramps
PPS  Check this post on Saturday for a thoughtful note from Anne Graham Lotz

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Is There A More Important Question?


“In the scroll of the book it is written of me. To do your will, O my God, is my desire; Your law is within my heart,” (Psalms 40:8).

I sense, as I read Psalm 40, that David had come to the realization that only God sustains His servants.  Can you visualize David without stretched arms in worship and praise before the Lord with these words: “He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clayHe set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm foundation.”  James said, “Consider it all joy when you are going through the valley”.  It is at those times when we learn that God’s is our sustainer.

Notice, in verse one of Chapter 40 Isaiah gives us the key to a relationship with the Lord: “I waited patiently for the Lord.”  We want what we want when we want it; but often God’s timing is not our forte.  As I look back on my more productive days, I remember times when I ask God for things that I later understood would have been detrimental to me. 

Peter referred to those who were committed to be ‘living sacrifices’ for the Lord as ‘living Stones’.  “You, also, as living stones, are being built up as a spiritual house for a holy priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ” (I Pet. 2:5). 

It means we must die to self and put God first in all we do and say.  John wrote, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies it remains by itself alone, but if it dies, it bears much fruit.  He who loves his life loses it; and he who hates his life in this world shall keep it to eternal life” (John 12:24-25).

Most recognize the familiar words of Paul in his letter to the Corinthians: “Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things are passed away; behold, new things have come” (2 Cor. 5:17).

So, dear people, keep in mind, a ‘living sacrifice’ is to have the Isaiah commitment found in Isaiah 6:8 “Here am I Lord, send me.”  That is a scary commitment to those who lack the faith to trust that all things will be better under God’s control.  As I closed this Epistle, the memory of the young courageous teens who, when they faced the mad man with the gun, answered his question “Are You a Christians?” With an emphatic “Yes” knowing they were going to die at that very moment.  Have you ever asked yourself that question? 

Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, May 9, 2016

Overwhelming, Just Plain Over Whelming!


“Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made know to God.  And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and or minds in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:6-7).

Hey Gang:  My dad was a coal miner. We lived in the back country of Pennsylvania.  Some say we lived so far back in the sticks that even the hoot-owls wore knapsacs and they had to pump sunshine to us.  We were as poor as church messes so a trip to store to purchase new threads was an annual event.   But this year’s trip was to result in nearly tragic overtones.

The mine owner had recently installed a large auger machine that took the pick and shovels out of the hands of the miners and placed it in this wonderful new device.   A brand spanking new machine that made life oh-so-much easier for the miners. Add to this our yearly trip to town-store for a new pair of overalls all in the same week.  Wow, life seemed so much brighter! 

And then it happened.  As Dad was standing near the machine, the machine hit a rock that kicked the machine back several feet and Dad’s brand new coveralls get caught in the cogs of the machine - which began to pull him towards the digger part of the machine.  If the machine would have continued unabated, he would have been crushed.

A that moment a God-thing happened! One of the supervisors, who wanted to see the machine in operation decided that was the moment he would visit the work-site.  When he saw what was happening, he immediately recognized that within minutes Dad would have been crushed. There happened to be an iron bar leaning on the cave wall. He picked up and shoved it into the cogs, immediately shutting the machine down.

Shutting the engine down would not have saved my dad’s life; it took several minutes after cutting power for the machine to totally shut down.  The iron pick stopped the cogs immediately!  I remember them bringing Dad into the house on a litter and then the months of rehab that followed.  I also remember that my life changed, for even though my Dad recovered physically, he never recovered mentally from that terrifying experience, and we soon left the mountains and moved into the city.  ( The material of the old coveralls would have torn away.)

Mining has always been a very dangerous occupation and there is always a constant element of fear in the air.  Mining accidents are not rare and, in most cases, there are injuries and death.  For several years after Dad’s accident I would have dreams that a gigantic ball was always rolling after me and trying to crush me.

 I never told anyone about these nightmares because I did not want to add additional burdens to my Mom and Dad, who were in the recovery mode from dad’s accident.

So why am I telling you all of this?  Because fear is like a cancer and eats the very heart out of your soul.   In my growing up years, fear was a driving force in my life.  And it remained that way until one day when I read these words from Mark 4:40: “Why are you so fearful?  How is it that you have no faith?”    For the first time in my life I realized that I was the cause of my fear, and that fear was a faith issue.

Now hear this old duffer:  I have received literally hundreds of messages over the airways and not a single one is telling me we are going to have a wonderful year filed with victories over the evil one.  I have also received many messages that the anxiety level of many folks is very close to the red zone.   Jesus said, “Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has chosen gladly to give you the Kingdom (Luke 12:32).  God gave us this piece of assurance through His prophet Isaiah when He said, “For I am the Lord your God, who holds your right hand.  Who says to you, “DO NOT FEAR, I WILL HELP YOU.”  


Keep in mind my young friends, the victory is already ours because of the cross of Calvary!  On the cross, Jesus cried out, “It is finished”.     Sooooo. Put your hands in the hands of the one who stilled the waters.  

Blessings,

Gramps

Thursday, May 5, 2016

Did You Know Satan Is Out to Destroy Your Faith?


“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail:” 

Hey Gang, do you think Satan would like to sift you like wheat?  Do we sometimes, or even often, place a bull’s eye on our back as a target for Satan’s fiery darts? But I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers”  Luke 31-32).

If there was ever a time when we need to heed the writer of Hebrews words it is now: “Therefore do not throw away your confidence, which has a great reward” (Heb. 10:35).  If you are a child of God, you are in a fierce war.  In fact, you might even go so far as to say you are in a life-and-death war.  Satan has but one goal, to destroy the faith of all of God’s elect. And the stronger your faith, the more determined he is to sic his alligators on you.  

If there is anything that gets his dander up it is unshakable faith.  I wish I could attest to the fact that when you kick his can and stay firm on the Rock that is Jesus Christ, Satan sees he has wasted his time and moves on – but he just turns up the heat.

Why? Because he knows when God’s people, who are called by His name unite their hearts and humble themselves before Him, pray from the depth of their hearts, seek a every growing deeper relationship with Him and put away all of the bangles and beads that become idols that separate us from Jesus, he(Satan) is in big trouble. ”Throughout the Word we find that when we stand on the promises of God we gain strength.  We learn what Jesus truly meant when He said, ”Greater is He who is in you than he who is the world(I John 4:4c).

Hey Gang, yes, the times are tough.  Everything that can be shaken is being shaken so that only those things that cannot be shaken will remain (Hebrews 12:27-29), but we are also challenged by Paul in his letter to Timothy, his adopted spiritual son, “Fight a determined warfare, holding faith, and a good conscience”(1 Tim. 1:19).

The apostle Peter came under a ferocious attack against his faith.  His trust in Jesus so enraged hell that Satan asked permission to ‘sift him’ to see if he would stand.  Is not Jesus’ words of tremendous encouragement in this day of woe? “But I have prayed for you”.  I have prayed that your faith will stand the test and when you are converted, my mission for you is to strengthen your brethren.”

Maybe right at this moment you are going through a terrible storm in your life.  And the harder you try the deeper is the woe in your life.  I can say, ‘been there and done that’ many times throughout my lifetime.  There have been many times when that storm has raged within my heart and soul and many times when I have cried out, ”Why? Lord”?

In closing this Epistle I want to share that God has given us a powerful weapon to use against Satan’s attacks on our faith.  The weapon?  We are not to try and figure everything out.  We are to set our eyes on “the great cloud of witnesses” already in glory who have made it through with their faith intact”.  “Wherefore seeing we also are encompassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight. And the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us” ((Heb. 12:1).  What joy filled my heart when this verse finally sank into my understanding.

It is these times when we need to have Luke’s words tucked away in our computer hard drive: Now will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them?  I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly.  However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth” (Luke 18:7-8). We need to we make sure our armor is in place, our lamps are filled with the oil of the Holy Spirit and we have the Sword, the word of God in sharpened and secure in our hands.

Notice Jesus’ question here:  Will he find faith in his people as they endure days of darkness and oppression?   I wonder how many would endure, if He would ask such a question today- in our nation that has chosen to ‘go its own way’.  I believe Jesus is asking, “Will the faith of the elect hold fast when the shaking storms come?”  The question each believer needs to ask, in this day of shaking is “Will my anchor hold fast?”  Or better, “Will I hold fast to My anchor Jesus?”

 I pray Father, in Jesus name, all who receive these morning gramps’ messages are solid on the Rock who is Jesus.

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

What Does Your Patience Meter Record This Morning?

“Now may the God who gives perseverance and encouragement grant you to be of the same mind with one another according to Christ Jesus” (Rom. 15:5).

Hey Gang:  The Bible says, “I waited patiently for the Lord; And He inclined to me and heard my cry.  He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay, And He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm.  He put a new song in my mouth a song of praise to our God; Many will see and fear and trust in the Lord” (Ps. 40:1-3)

If I were to sub title this this epistle, I would title it, “Do you have an itch you can’t scratch?”  Those of you who have been with me, these many years, will recall that I have had a thorn in the flesh that I wish I could say has taught me patience. The thorn - a D 14 Allis Chalmers tractor.  Now, for those of you that know nothing about D 14 Allis Chalmers tractors, you need to know, first of all, that they have lived beyond the normal working life and has earned the right to be recycled into a new bright and shiny new tractor.

You see it has a congenital problem, called rust in the gas tank. So after a short period of time, the feed lines to the carburetor get clogged and it ceases to run!  And, as you might guess, it always happens at the most in-opportune times.  So the work stops, while I get out the air compressor, blow out the lines and give it new breath -a kind of line by-pass surgery to allow air/ (blood) to flow more freely.

Wow, it sounded so good when the job was completed!  Perhaps I was a wee bit optimistic, for after each time I blew it out before, it also sounded great - until one of those little chunks of rust hit the carburetor. 

The snow is gone and the ground is drying, so it is about time to get the D 14 out and get about getting the wood in for the coming winter; but this year I decided to bite the bullet and beat the clogging problem to the punch. However, I noticed something very different as I got out the tool box, and dug into the problem, I was at ease! Something I never had before, when dealing with this problem, No anxiety, just a calmness that filled my spirit. 

Oh, I forgot to mention, when I bought the tractor, more than fifteen years ago, I barely knew where to check the oil and put the gas into it. Now I tackle all kinds of jobs without apprehension.  The trials have taught me many things about the old faithful beast and the greatest of all is “patience”.

So I ask you this morning, “When was the last time you were satisfied?”  I mean rally satisfied.  Paul wrote in his first letter to Timothy: “We brought nothing into the world, so we can take nothing out.  But, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that.”  (6:7-8). 

Satisfied?  I believe most would agree, that is something we are not.  We take a vacation of a lifetime, we satiate ourselves with sun, fun, and good food.  But we are not even on the way home before we dread the end of the trip and begin planning another.  We are just not satisfied.

As a child we wish we were teenager; as teen we wish we were adults; if we are in middle management, we wish we were in the ivory tower brigade; if we are blessed with a good job, we wish we were at the top of the ladder!  We are just not satisfied.

Contentment is a difficult virtue.  Why?  Because there is nothing on earth that can satisfy our deepest longing.  We long to see God.  The leaves of life are rustling with the rumor that we will see Him one day, face to face – and we won’t be satisfied until we do. 

But this I can attest to….as I have advanced in the Golden Years (golden for the medical profession) I have become a wee-bit more satisfied.  The best part of my day is the early morning hours when I lock myself away with the Lord and His Word.  Now that, my young friends is pure satisfaction.  Try it, even for five minutes each morning before you start the busy time of the day.  You will be amazed at how it adds a different look to your day.

Blessings,


Gramps

Monday, May 2, 2016

A Promise of Hope

“But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently” (Romans 8:25).

We, as believers in Jesus Christ as Lord, are expecting that one day soon a chariot and horse of fire will stop at our door and the Lord’s promise If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto Myself that where I am there you may be also” (John 14:3) will be fulfilled. 

To a true believer in Jesus, the thought of leaving this world and going to be “forever with the Lord” does not have severe sadness attached to that glorious event.  Heaven is our home, we are just passing through.

I recently heard a neat story about an elderly Christian saint whose life had deteriorated to a life of tests, pills, doctor appointments and all those things that make this the Golden Years for the medical profession.  One day she began to have breathing problems- so severe that she pressed that little button on her chest; you know the one that alerts someone that you are having deep problems.  The ambulance arrived and rushed her to the hospital.

After a quick examination by the emergency room doctor he announced they had best call the family, her chance of survival was not very good.  The family was called, as well as the minister.  The minister laid hands on the dear sister, prayed that the Lord’s will be done, and low and behold, within minutes she began to feel better.  Within hours she was dismissed and walked out of the hospital.

Several weeks later she had a recurrence and the same procedure was followed: tests, and once again the suggestion by the physician to call the family, and, of course, her minister.  He once again laid hands on the dear sister, she recovered and walked out of the hospital. 

When a third incident happened, the procedure was repeated; the same warning given by the physician, but this time she made a request to the family – do not call the minster!

We are longing for that moment when He comes for His children and takes them to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb - never to be separate again throughout all eternity.  I do not have a clue what it will be like when He introduces us to the principalities and powers in heavenly places and He, Yeshua, invites us to sit with Him.  Surely then the holy angels, who have never sinned, will unite in exclaiming, “Behold how He loved them!”

It is not an awesome thought, that in the twinkling of an eye, we may find ourselves freed from the bondage of this earth and in the presence of Jesus, the incarnate Son of God who gave His life that we might live eternally with Him.  If that does not get your thumper thumping you had best get your thumper checked, not in the emergency room but in your prayer closet.

Blessings,


Gramps