Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Your Way or God's Way, That is the Question...Con't Again


“Let no one deceive you with empty words, for because of these things the wrath of God comes upon the sons of disobedience” (Eph. 5:6).  “See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deception, according to the tradition of men, according to elementary principles of the world rather than according to Christ” (Col. 2:8).

Hey Gang:  When the disciples asked Jesus, “Tell us, when will these things happen and what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the Age?” (Matt. 24:3). Jesus laid out a scenario that reads much like the New York Times.  Notice His first warning, a warning that He continuously reminds us throughout our reading of the red, “See to it that no one misleads you.  For many will come in My name saying, “I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many”.  (vs. 4-5).

Last night I put my mind in neutral and ask the Lord to put His words into my heart and mind and His words show up on the page and not my words.  I thought I had a pretty clear picture of what I should send along to you but this morning my mind is kind of filled with that hillbilly mush (YUK) that my mamma prepared every morning to give us the sustenance needed to keep our ships afloat for the day.
 
So, if it appears I am doing some RAMBLING THIS MORNING PLEASE BE ADVISED THAT I AM.  But stay with me. I do have a clear picture that my days of writing these morning epistles is rapidly coming to an end, whether it be by my choice or God’s choice by taking me home. 
 
When I began this series on ‘Your Way or God’s Way’ it was to share a burden that has been banging around in my head for more than a year.   It was a burden that surfaced as I watched how they prepared SWAT Teams for action.   It was a very enlightening piece which I had full intention of filing it in the “Never to be used file” but…..

Now for the burden.  God’s church that I attend is a blessing.  The word is clear, the singing and praise wonderful.  On Easter Sunday there were 1300 people who attended one of the three services.  Uplifting, yes, indeed, but, In the weeks that followed I attend two Bible/prayer meeting evenings. Roughly a dozen attended one and perhaps as many as twenty in the other.  The bride-of-my-youth was much more optimistic stating that more than a hundred attend the Woman’s monthly gathering.

Several Sunday’s ago the Lord impressed upon me to do a time study of the service, which I obediently did.  I discovered that roughly one half of the hour service consisted of praise and worship, announcements, and offertory and the remainder on the sharing and teaching of the word.

 So what is the point?   If you were restricted to feed your physical body on one twenty- minute input of food once a week, how long would your body survive?  I don’t think I need to purse this further, so let’s ramble on.

I happened to tune in to one of those million or so discussion programs and happened to hear one of the pastor presenters make the argument that America was down the chute and could never recover.  That sounded kind of blasphemous to me, because my Word tells me that God created everything we survey and, if He created it, he certainly can fix it.  My Bible also says that “God is all powerful and nothing is impossible for Him.”

But let’s take that a step or two farther.  To live in America, now I understand the longer our country exists under the “Let’s kick God out of everything and exalt the evil one’ chances of people coming to the full knowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord is becoming less than a dominate force.

There is much more I would like to say here but let’s skip to the bottom line.  In the first blog of this series I mentioned that after the 9/11 tragedy, the churches were full but within months they were back to business as normal.  

Well, let’s stop rambling and hit the main button.  Me, myself, and I believe that to grow up in America is to come in contact with God, or something pertaining to God; a seed is planted in your inner most being whether you like or not.  I believe it would be hard pressed for you not to have seeds lurking in your heart waiting for you to open the door and let God in.    

I also believe that, if another 9/11, or something far worse should happen in our country, the same thing would happen that a happened in New York – the churches will be filled.  I also know that the people who came seeking did not find, therefore, they did not continue to seek.

Conclusion for you to chew on: is it time for every church in America to develop SWAT Teams in their churches in preparation for that day.  In other words, is it time to build teams of folks who love the Lord, and are grounded in the Word to come together in Spiritual Warfare Advanced Training teams that are prepared and ready to hit the doors- when the seeds that are lurking in the hearts of many become alive and seeking the Light to make them grow?

From my heart to yours.

Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, June 27, 2016

Your Way or God's Way, That is the Question- Continued


“But when a person turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.  Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.  But to all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as from the Lord, the Spirit” (2 Cor. 3:16-18).

Hear Gang, In the last Morning Message, I gave an overview of the process that I was subjected to in moving me from near illiteracy in the duties of an air traffic controller to a fully checked out radar controller.  Perhaps it was a wee bit lengthy but I was trying to lay a foundation for what is to come – I think! 

Those of you who have been faithful readers of the past five years and the nearly nine hundred messages know I sometimes tend to do a lot of rambling. The bride-of-my-youth, nearing our fifty ninth year together, often describes our team- teaching as her giving the facts and I add the color commentary.   To that I plead guilty.

This morning as I write this epistle I am half writing and half listening.  They are discussing the recent mass murder in Orlando and the jist of the conversation is the need to ban guns from our country. If there would have one person with skills to handle a shooter, (Rooster Cogburn language) perhaps there would be 50 people alive and 53 others not confined to hospital beds.

It has been proven that where there a many who have skills with weapons the crime rates, including use of fire arms, has gone done. 

Now I ain’t to smart folks but, if we take guns firm the law bidding citizens who would have the guns?  Are folks so na├»ve as to believe the evil element would walk into the police station and turn over their weapons of war? As I saw one politician said.   And, if I recall correctly, was it not nineteen misguided souls with box cutters who brought down four aircraft and killed over two thousand people? 

The point, if you have evilness in your heart, Satan will accommodate you and provide all the tools you will need to complete your heinous acts. The point I was trying to make with the ATC training program was that it was a total training program with sufficient foundation skills to safely and proficiently do the job.

Now let’s take a peek at anther ‘Rabbit Track’ that I believe sets the stage for something that God has banging on me for more than a year.  Several years ago I came across an article written by someone whose name I do not recall.  That happens when you get to be old as dirt.

It was an article based on research done after 9/11 and what happened in the local churches the following Sunday after the catastrophe.  The research proved that nearly every church showed a significant increases in the numbers of pew-fillers that next Sunday, some even to over flowing capacities.

The study also proved that, as the Sundays passed and there were no additional attacks, the numbers began to dwindle until it was back to the averages 9/11 within several months.  When a follow-up study was done of those who came a couple times but did not continue, the answers were amazing in their similarity and their content.  Simply stated, the answer:” I went seeking, and did not find!”

Well Folks, I did it again, I ran out of space. Soooo, I will close this epistle and pick it up in the next blog.  I pray you will stay with me through these messages for I believe they are super important for what is coming down the road for America. 

Something to think about in preparation for the next morning message: if a hundred people who were filled with fear and anxiety came to your church next Sunday, are there Believers there ready to take them under their wings and walk with them through the shadow and valley of what is terrifying them?

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Your Way or God's Way, That IS the Question!


 Do you know what God’s desire is for you today? “That the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what  the hope of His calling is, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe.” (Eph. 1:18-19a). 

And how do we make this happen?  We don’t. “It comes through the working of the strength of His (God’s) might.”  (vs. 19b).  Did you know that God is a compulsive decorator?  He is not satisfied to put a coat of paint over the dingy house, He would far rather replace the rotten parts and do a major overhaul.   You know, like the television program ‘Home Make Over’; they  completely destroy the old, decrepit house and begin with a new foundation.

I believe many folks, who hear the word and respond to the Pastor’s call to give their hearts and soul to the Lord, become a casualty of the Seed Parable that tells me the many fell by the wayside. I believe they are lost because they have no ‘!knobs on the head’ to hang the things of God on.   In simple language, they have no foundation or hooks in their brains to hang this new information on, so it withers on the vine.

Let me put some meat on that statement.  My niece purchased a newly built house several years ago. Suddenly it began to sink on one corner.   She called the contractor and he immediately repaired the outward appearance of the problem, but did not address the real problem, a sink hole under the foundation.  Within weeks the problem worsened due to the added weight. 

I believe that is a good analogy of what happens to many folks who respond to the word for the right reason, and try to build a house on the rock without understanding the dynamics or mechanics of what that means.  They hear a salvation message that sears their heart and they respond and, the next Sunday the Pastor presents a message that they have no foundation on which to hang his unrelated message. 

I believe I was saved in my adolescent years but, confess I was one disappointed cookie when none of the so called ‘pillars of the church’ took me under their wing and taught me what it means to be a follower of Jesus.  When I received the letter telling me I had been accepted as a future air traffic controller, they didn’t give me a date when I was to report to the Pittsburgh Air Traffic Control Center and be ready to handle a full shift of control duties. - even though I had been a radar controller in the USAF.

I did receive a letter that gave me the date I was to report to the Air Traffic Control Training Center in Norman, Oklahoma, for ten weeks of intense training. And if, at the end of that time, I was not proficient at handling minimum traffic, note minimum, I would become a member of the unemployed. 

When I went to Pittsburgh and worked my first shift, it was not as a fully checked-out radar controller handling a hundred or more aircraft every hour, but rather I worked for several months under the direct eye-ball supervision of an old salt that had many years of scar tissue on the scopes and boards.   Note: he was responsible for everything I did and said.  I was a trainee that had no status. 

Now, my friends, there are some similarities in this process that I feel are very lacking in most churches. I probably have no business giving you my opinion of these shortcomings but I will share them anyway.  Shortcoming number one, a major related to the seed planting parable – no one took me under their wing.

Why? When I began my tenure as an active controller, they gave me a manual and said memorize every jot and title of it.  Kind of like when Isaiah was told to literally eat the Word.  I had to memorize every airway, every distance, air speeds and climbing capacities of every type of aircraft, every radio aid frequency, and minimum altitudes for five states

What does that have to do with becoming and becoming an effective Christian?  In other words the salvation message gives an instant high and a feeling of utopia, but as Jesus warned, some seeds fell beside the road beside the road and the birds ate them up.  Others fell on rocky places and the hot sun scorched them to death, while others feel among thorns, and the thorns squeezed the life out of them.  (Matt. 13:3-7). 

Well, this has exceeded my expectations for today so will close it for now, but I believe there is more the Lord would have me share, so please turn in and, as Paul Harvey would say, tomorrow, the rest of the story.

Blessings,

Gramps 

Friday, June 17, 2016

Jesus Said: "Ask, But There is a Prerequisite!

“So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks, receives; and he who seeks, finds; and to him who knocks, it will be opened”  (Luke 11:9-10).
Hey Gang:  Many years ago, we had the opportunity to hear a converted alcoholic who went= from a chief executive of a corporation that developed the hardware for the space program - to a skid row bum.  One day when he was at the apex of his rebellion against God, God tapped him on the shoulder and said, “I have something I want you to do for Me”. He repented and was instantly cleansed of his unrighteous behavior.

He was asked, if he prayed for healing for someone and that person died, what would he do?  His response, “Go to the next person who needs healing and pray for them.”   He then gave a principle of ministry that is the preventer of burn out – “I am not responsible for the harvest only for the seed planting”.   

Did you ever ask God why bad things happen to good people?  Or ever wonder why, when you do as God said, “Ask, seek and knock," but the fruits of your prayer fail to materialize?  “Why, Lord, did you not hear my prayer? Or why, Lord, did you not do as you said, "Ask and I will deliver?”

As I have looked and asked these very questions throughout my 82 years of walking through many valleys and shadows, I believe there has come a degree of understanding.  I have begun to understand that below the surface of these words is the humility of fervent prayer, the vigorous activity of seeking after God, and the persistence to overcome any obstacle that is placed between us and God.

I have also learned that God’s ways are always far and above better than my ways. The Bible tells us God's ways are not our ways, neither His thoughts our thoughts.  “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts” (Is. 55:9). 

Does this not sound a lot different than the self-serving first impression we often associate with this passage?   Careful, young friends,  that you not accept a shallow, worldly interpretation of Jesus' words but the blessed, deep, and rich meaning that Jesus intended. 

Soooo, as you take your petitions before the Lord this morning, keep in mind Jesus made a promise in this teaching. Good things, very good things will come to those who actively participate in the asking, seeking, and knocking of faithful living (see Matthew 7:9-11). And that my good compatriots is the truth!

Blessings,  
Gramps


P.S.  One last point:  When Jesus implored His disciples to ask, seek, and knock, He taught them (and us) the basics of what it means to live a life of faith.   

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

FLAG DAY JUNE 14


Hey Gang:  I had a wonderful friend who I respected for many years with all my heart.  I was honored when the family asked if I would do his eulogy.  When asked who were the people in my life that impacted on my life, Bill Porteous was always among the top of my list. 

Bill was drafted into the Army during the Second World War and spend his time preparing in boot camp and when the day arrived for him to debark, as he was waiting for his turn to go up the gang plank, he became seriously ill.  After a series of test in the hospital it was determined that he had polio and spent the next year or more in an iron lung fighting his own personal war. 

He eventually won the battle but it left its scars on his body.  As I sit here at this moment, I can still see Captain William Porteous at dusk lowering the flag that he faithfully raised in the morning before going to work.   I always thought he never stood taller than when he religiously, and with great loyalty, to his country lowered the colors.

My bride found the following story in a 2005 Guidepost of another person who loved the stars and stripes and originated a day that our nations should honor our flag.  I do not believe all honor or love our flag or nation as the warriors who laid down their lives to protect this once great nation. 
That saddens my heart.  I am proud to have served the United States of America.

Take a moment and put all things out of your mind and honor stars and stripes that represent the multitudes of men and women that have laid down their lives to protect its shores even though it is the day after designated Flag Day.

Tuesday, June 14,  Daily Guidepost

Scripture: And, behold, God Himself is with us…. ---II Chronicles 13:12

I doubt the Wisconsin school teacher who originated the idea of Flag Day in 1885 could have ever imagined the places he could see the Flag displayed today. (2005).  Today I saw a flag flying on a car antenna, stuck on a store window, pinned to a man’s lapel and even painted on a rock.  No doubt, early Flag Day supporters would never have imagined the flag on the surface of the moon, or held aloft by six proud men, 5 Marines and a Navy corpsman, on the Pacific Island of Iwo Jima during a world war, or raised by three New York City firefighters amid the rubble of a place of unspeakable tragedy know as Ground Zero.

Such images remind me of the song “Ragged old Flag” by the late country-music legend Johnny Cash.  A visitor to a small town notices the disheveled courthouse flag, and he is told that the wear and tear has come from a lifetime of experience – from the hole id got when George Washington crossing the Delaware River to the beating taken through several wars.  Yet it still flies, and folks remain proud and thankful for all it represents.

When I look at the flag, I see threads --- freedom, tragedy, joy, triumph, sorrow, independence, faith--- an intricate history woven together over the course of years since Old Glory’s birth.  Today, as that flag flies outside my own front door.  I pray that God will bless our Nation with strength and endurance.

Lord, on this Flag Day, wherever in the world our flag is flying, please bless that place----Gina Bridgman

PS Gramps and I were blessed to be one who sewed stitches as part of repairing this flag from Ground Zero.

What Happens When the Rubber Hits-the-Road

“For what credit is there if, when you sin (hit your thumb with a hammer) and are harshly treated, you endure it with patience?  But if when you do what is right and suffer for it you patiently endure it, this finds favor with God” (I Peter 2:20).  “Be angry, and yet do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil an opportunity.” (Eph. 2:26-27).

Hey gang, I have learned, in the past two months, that these two verses go together.  I have also learned what the person who coined the saying, “if it works, do not fix it”, meant.   I have also learned that I do not have the slightest clue what to do, when one of the weird screens that I have never seen before, comes up on the computer; one that has no connection with what I am trying to do! 

If it does not disappear when I reboot, I am dead in the water until I can call my friendly computer guru or find a six or seven year old lad or lassie who knows far more about such things than I will ever know.

When our computer internet and phone provider, who we loved dearly and never had a lick of problems, well maybe a teeny weeny one, recently merged with another company, we were advised that we must upgrade our equipment to gain all the wondrous advantages the new company was offering and the carrot was it would cost less money per month and make it sooooooo much more convenient. 

My question to the upgrade advocate – how much pain and agony is attached to getting all the bugs worked out and until my level of understanding is acclimated to using the new system?  Oh, no worry!  This is a tested and proven, bug- free mechanism that even an older than dirt duffer, that does not understand the “For Dummy’s books’, can become proficient within minutes.

After several weeks and more than twenty hours of listening to a multitude of so called technicians, my bride packed up the entire system and went back to place it was purchased and announced I do not leave here until this thing is doing what you said it would do or we go back to the old system. 

Okay, what does that have to do with the Scripture of the day?  First, I thought I had my anger totally under control and could handle about any circumstance.  Wrong!  I wanted to throw the computer down the basement stairs.  I also learned that my patience was not as secure as I thought it was.  Perhaps that is what this whole trip through the wilderness was all about.  I must confess, I did indeed go to bed very angry some nights and I must admit that my patience was at best – tarnished!

Soooo, my young friends, keep in mind that the devil waits for his chance to set your  control mechanism on tilt and to really tick you off – if you are willing to let him.  But I also learned that, if I take a moment or two and say, “Okay God, If you can’t handle this we are both in trouble”, and admit that it helps.  He has never failed. 

The computer is working fine at the moment and my anger has gone underground again waiting for another opportunity to destroy my patience.  But, keep in mind, when Jesus was going through His indoctrination period in the desert, Satan tested Him until he got the message;  he was waiting his time and threw in the towel.  Right!  Wrong!  It tells me Satan left but only to await a more opportune time to return and continue his devious methods. 

That, my friends, is the reason we should make sure our armor is in place and our lamp is full of oil and we have sword (the Word of God) engrained in our heart and head- for today, in his sight is “an opportune time”.   (Luke 4:13 Read it and heed it!)

Blessings,

Gramps  

Monday, June 13, 2016

Casting Our Burdens

Cast our burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved” (Psalm 55:22).

Hey Gang:  Of the 863 Morning Messages that I have sent in the past five years, I believe I can count on my fingers, (or may have to take off a shoe or two) but most of the messages have included something about me.  If you have been a faithful reader you know a great deal about me.  This morning I have been struggling with a nagging problem that I have fought with for more than year and have reminded God of the “ask and you will receive” verses in the Bible.

I did not receive a God-O-Gram or response to Jeremiah 31:3 where we are told “Call to Me and I will answer you, and I will tell you great and mighty things, which you do not know”.    But I do believe I received my answer.  I had the distinct feeling that He was telling me ‘I pray seeking, but not with a faith that moves even a tiny mole hill’.

It reminded me of the story of the little girl who was walking hand in hand with her daddy and ask him the question, “Do you believe that the weather forecaster was right and that it is going to rain?”  His response was, “Yes.” And then she asked, “Where is your raincoat and umbrella”.  I wonder, if in the drought areas of our country everyone wore raincoats and carried ‘bumbershoots’, umbrella’s to you city folks,  if God would send the rains? 

We say prayer is a wonderful thing.  After a quick examination I pleaded guilty to the Lord and ask His forgiveness, for I believed in the first words of the above Scripture: “Cast your burdens upon he Lord” but  in action my faith has often waivered.

Now just suppose you are intensely burdened about some need.  There is no burden so worthy of our own concentration that we should not take it to the Lord.  But when we pray, do we actually commit the burden to the Lord, or do we simply inform Him about it?  There is a difference.

Prayer is not only telling the Lord about our problem; it is also believing that He will do something about it. What must the Lord think when we bring our burden to His throne of grace - as if we were casting all our care upon Him, only to go on carrying the very same heaviness. And as the burden continues, cast it on the Lord again and again.

It is only when we commit our burden to God, when we plead His grace to help, and ask Him to take control that we can have faith that He will take care of it and thank him for the answer.  The more we trust Him, the lighter our load will be and the quicker our answer will come.  Always the answer we seek, “not necessarily so!” 

God wants to bear our burdens.  The question is, do we truly want to commit them to Him?  If so, then let’s say with the Psalmist, “When my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I” (Psalm 61:2).  Therefore we can, “Cast our burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain (us).”  And we can claim the promise that “all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive” (Matt. 21:22).  This is real casting of our burdens upon the Lord

Soooo,  good buddies do not wait until you are over 82 to do as the Psalmist suggest: Learn today to “Cast all your burdens on the Lord”, no matter how small or how big.  And then get about what God lays out as your assignment for the day.   It is giving to God a bad situation and sitting back and waiting for Him to turn it for His good, and if it for His good it most certainly will be for our good also!

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, June 10, 2016

Have You Been on a Roller Coaster Lately?

“I have seen that nothing is better than that man should be happy in his activities, for that his lot.  For who will bring him to see what will occur after him?” (Ecc. 3:22).

Hey Gang:  Do you know what I am talking about when I mention the phrase, “Ups and Downs”? I believe most would agree that life is filled with its ups and downs.  Wise King Solomon certainly did (Ecc. 3:1-4).
Solomon’s daddy, David, was called a man after God’s own heart (I Sam 13:4, Acts 13:22).  Yet, David’s life was a perfect example of one whose life was filled with ups and downs, all of his own making. 

Would you say he was a man of mixed emotions?  He wept over the loss of his and Bathsheba’s first born (Sam. 12:22), which was conceived in sin.   Yet we read that he also wrote songs of praise and “….his mouth was filled with laughter and his tongue with joyful shouting” (Ps. 126:1-3). 
All the time?  No!  When Absalom rebelled against his daddy, with the intent of becoming king in his place, David “agonized in deep mourning” (2 Sam.  18:33). 
 But when the Ark was brought to Jerusalem, “David was dancing before the Lord with all of his might, and was wearing a linen ephod” (2 Sam. 6:14), much to the chagrin of his wife.  (2 Sam 6:12-15).

Confession time:  If I were able to see my life charted on a graph with highs and lows, I would find that when I trusted in the Lord and placed Him first in all that I said and did, I would find myself on the top of the graph but in those times when I said, "Okay Lord, I’ll take it from here” I would find myself on the bottom of the graph.

We do a dis-service to ourselves, and others, when we portray the Christian life as peaceful and happy all the time.  Instead, the Bible portrays the believer's life as one being filled with ups and downs, but the ‘joy of the Lord’ always available.

Soooo, in what season are you?  No matter where you are in your life graph, the way out of the doldrums is to seek the Lord with all your heart and place your trust Him.  But keep in mind, that it is in the ups and downs that we see God come along side and  “smooth’ the road.  After 82 years of ups and down, I strongly recommend you take the “high road”.
Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, June 8, 2016

Do you Believe There Is only One Way to Father God?i


God’s Power Principle For Today:  “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who come to God must believe that He is and that He is a rewarder of those who seek Him”  (Heb. 1:6).

Hey Gang, One of the truly amazing things that has surfaced about the younger generation is their nearly total geographical illiteracy.   According to a 2006 survey of 18 to 24 year olds, 63% did not have a clue where Iraq was.  Even worse, half could not find New York State and a third could not find Louisiana.

Understanding geography is helpful, if you plan on going more than ten miles from home, but “God-ography” is infinitely more crucial for now and for eternity!  Failing to understand God-ography can cause you a world of hurt in a very warm environment with some very raunchy  people for all eternity. 

The writer of Hebrews tells us that to find God and please Him, we first have to believe that He exists.    Note again the Scripture of the morning, “And without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who come s to God must believe that He is”.   And how do we prove that God exists?  The writer of Hebrews and the Apostle John agree that ultimately the way to find the Lord and please Him is by believing in His Son Jesus.

Jesus said “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me”.  (John 14:6).   Careful, young folks, the world would have us believe there are more than one road to the Father.  In a recent morning message I addressed the Replacement Theology blasphemy, the belief that the church has replaced Israel as the apple of God’s eye.  Don’t you believe it for one tiny moment. 

But Jesus warned that there would be many false teachers, false prophets and false beliefs that would lead many down the Prime Rose Path.  Remember Satan’s response to Eve, ‘You got to be kidding.  You surely will not die!”  Today he has changed his tune to “Hey gang, you got to be kidding. You mean there is only one path to God?”   

Anna Graham Lotz, daughter of Billy graham wrote this neat ditty that I have placed in my Bible and on my desk:  “I don’t want to just hear that God loves me.  I don’t just want to agree that God loves me.  I don’t want to just think about His love.  I want to experience the love of God in a fresh way every day of my life."


Soooo, young friends, keep in mind, finding God is solely a work of God.  Those who seek Him will find Him because God will give them a heart to recognize Him as Lord. 

 Blessings, 

Gramps

Monday, June 6, 2016

Breaking the Spin Cycle

God’s Power Principle For Today(Satan) was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him…He is a liar and the father of it.” (John 8:44).

Hey Gang:    It is important for God’s people to be aware of the practices of the evil one and keep their armor oiled and polished.  It is also important for each of us to remember that Satan does not have the power to read our minds but he is a real pro at reading our actions.  It is also important to remember that he is a “never giver upper”.  Satan saw he was not making progress in gaining control of Jesus in the wilderness, so he departed until a more opportune time. He will surely use the same tactic on each of us. 

But: What a wondrous promise we have from the very mouth of Jesus in John 10:27: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me, and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand.  I and the Father are one”.  

God’s word is filed with power verses of protection for His children.  In this day of growing evilness, when Satan has unleashed all of his powers for he knows his time is short, it is so very important that we keep our heart and mind filled with those promises and use them as weapons against the evil one and his minions.

Is it not fabulous that we can say as the Psalmist, “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 pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark”? (Psa. 91:2-4).

Do you have a hard time understanding that the God of all creation literally holds all of His sheep, all those whose name is written in the Lamb’s Book of Life in His hands?  When I think about His words and compare them to my past life, I wonder why He was not only willing to come to earth and walk in my shoes, but also to lay down His life on a hideous cross so that I can gain the wonders of eternal life with Him.

So my young chicks, if the way seems a little rocky, and I can guarantee you there will be times when the road will be very rocky, keep in mind that your refuge and strength never slumbers or sleeps, that our security rests only in the Lord.  He is truly your “way, truth and life” and His joy can be yours this day.  So, pray the prayer of Eliezer: “Lord Give Me Success” (Gen 24:12) and get about being a sower of God’s seeds


Blessings,  

Gramps

Friday, June 3, 2016

Do You Get the Picture?


“And again I say, “The things which you are doing are not good; should you not walk in the fear of our God because of the reproach of the nations, our enemies?” (Neh. 5:9).  “So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith” (Gal. 6:10).
Hey Gang:  We have no king who has in his hands all power, but we do have a President who, one might say, acts like a despot who has all power.  On the day he was inaugurated as “Commander in Chief, he made a profound statement that has become so very true, “I am going to change the direction of America”. 
We are rapidly nearing that day when we will have the option to endorse the dangerous and destructive policies of the past eight years or to choose to revert back to the years when our Nation was “One Nation, under God, with liberty and justice and freedom for all.”
Anna Graham Lotz, daughter of world renowned evangelist Billy Graham, recently sent out a message calling on Christians to evangelize, warning that America is experiencing the last stages of God’s judgment before the end of human history.  
To the question, ‘Is America getting better or worse?” she answered, “It’s getting worse.  I am not calling for the country for repent, although I would love for that to happen, but I am calling on “God’s people who are called by God’s name.’  I am calling on Christians and Believers. I am calling on them to return to God with all of their hearts and cry out for His mercy, because it is getting worse.
“What should people be praying for?”  Her answer was clear and concise: “Pray that God’s will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven.  Pray that Jesus comes quickly; that the Gospel will be preached around the world before the sky falls.
On November 26, 2000, during a high point of a yearlong revival at the First Assembly of God Church in Grand Rapids, the following prophecy was given:
 “Yea, I will indeed bring this nation to their knees but, it will be the knees of my people, and they will push back the forces of darkness and yea, I will still crush the hand of the enemy.  Yea, your forefather’s prayers were not in vain and those things that fought for I will restore.  Yea, I am a God who is in control.  Yea, I will make the nations of the earth laugh at America but their laughter will be turned back upon them for I am the Lord Thy God and I am in control and yea, I will bring forth the banner as My people pray. Yea, I will bring forth Holy righteousness into this nation again.  Yea, I will pour out My Spirit and I will put My arms around this nation as I have never done before and yea, it shall be powerful, and all the nations shall look upon he earth and upon this nation as a holy nation once again”.
“I prayed to the Lord my God and confessed” “O Lord, the great and awesome God who keeps his covenant of love with all who love him and obey his commands” (Daniel 9:4). 

So my friends, what should we be praying very diligently for?  Note: 2 Chronicles 7:7 begins with the little word most would say is insignificant, “IF”.  When I come to one of those little trigger words of the Bible I tend to stop and pay special attention to them, for, in most cases, a principle follows that can have a great impact on my/your life.

 Here the writer warns: when the alligators are active and nipping at your heels, you need to pay attention to verse fourteen, ”…and 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”. 

Do have a clear understanding of the picture?

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, June 1, 2016

A Nod, A Smile, A Word of Encouragement, A Seed......

“For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.  For the body is not one member, but many” (I Cor. 12:13-14).

Hey Gang: I believe God really approves of that title!  For you middle-agers or older, the name John Wooden should ring a bell.  Perhaps not so much for his accomplishments on the hardwoods of the basketball courts, although they were astounding, but what made Coach Wooden a true hero in the sight of his players and fans.  
UCLA Coach Wooden was a winner!  In a recent article that centered on the life of coach Wooden I found he gave credit for his success to a very interesting practice that he pounded into his athletes heads and hearts.

Simply stated: Acknowledge and give credit to the one who helped you score the bucket.  When one of younger players said, “But Coach there is no time to run over and pat the guy on the back”.   Coach Wooden said, “A smile, or a meeting of the eyes, or a nod of favor sends the message that you recognize the opportunity he made possible for you.
  
He continually drove home the point that victory was dependent on being willing to sacrifice yourself to help one of your team mates excel whether on the hardwoods, gridiron, or in the corporate world.  He also made it clear that when you give up yourself to help another you are equally important to the victory as the one who in most cases are the focus of the headlines.

Coach Wooden’s Rule and I Cor. 12 are both rooted in the principle of seeing our need for one another.  This lets me use my talents to help build, strengthen, and help to carry out God’s purpose. There are no unimportant people to carry out God’s purpose (vs. 1-11).

Admiral Nimitz was being interviewed by a reporter while standing on the upper deck of an air craft carrier during World War II.  The reporter asked, “Who is the most important person on this ship”.  His response tended to set the reporter back.  He said, “See that seaman down there dumping garbage over board? Right now, he is the most important man on board for, if he does not scatter the garbage  properly, fish will begin to follow our ship and the enemy will follow the fish to our doorstep”
A young lad had made the decision that life was just too tough to go on living and this day he would end it all.  He had cleaned out his school locker and, as he walked home’ he slipped and books flew in all directions.  As he was frantically trying to get re-organized, another young man came alongside him and said,” Here let me help you”.  The young man happened to be a High School star and very popular athlete.  

To make a long story very short, the two became very good friends and both eventually ended up as successful business leaders.  Point: You just never know how a smile, a word of encouragement or a gesture of concern for another will impact another.   

So my good friends, put this into your think-tank and mull it over as you go through the chores of the day.  I suspect if you are looking around there will be opportunities to give a nod, a smile or a few words of encouragement and plant a seed into someone who really needs encouragement today. 
Blessings,
Gramps