Monday, October 24, 2016

Prayer Request from the World Travelers

I couldn't find one on Web Mt Hermon to Eliat

"Pray for us that the word of the Lord will spread rapidly and be glorified." II Thess 3:1

Hey Gang, When folks learn that we are returning to Israel for our eleventh visit to the land where Jesus walked, many ask, “Are you not nervous about going over to that hot bed of danger?”  Our response is always the same, “Yes, we have to go through Chicago and New York (this time Newark) to get there.”  No, we are not nervous about going to Israel and even spending two weeks of our sojourn only four miles from Jordan - which appears to be high on ISIS list of places to conquer next. 

The stories of folks, who have been to Israel, all say the same thing: “When the wheels of the aircraft touch down at Ben Gurion Airport, there is a peace that settles over you that is beyond human understanding.”

But, it is also four miles from the fulfillment of a very special prophecy found in Isaiah 63:1: “Who is this who comes from Edom, with garments of glowing colors from Bozrah, The One who is majestic in His apparel, Marching in the greatness of His strength?” (Isaiah 63:1)

Warren Wiersbe in his commentary of the Old Testament wrote the following about Bozrah, which is why I would like to be standing on the Tel (Hill covering a previous civilization) at Tel Tamar when it is fulfilled: “The prophet looks ahead and sees Jesus Christ returning from the Battle of Armageddon that climaxes the day of the Lord (Rev. 19:11-21).  Edom, place of Bozrah, represents the nations that have oppressed Israel”.  Would it not be ‘out of sight’ to be there as Jesus returns from battle on His way to set His throne on Zion’s Mountain?        

Oh, I am itching to share some of the life changing experiences we enjoyed while in our previous trips, but I do believe, in the pit of my heart, He has a very special trip scheduled for us as we celebrate – a bit early -our sixtieth year of marital bliss in the ‘Land of the Lord’.  We celebrated our twentieth and fortieth in the same place here as well.

Pray that we have opportunity to be a witness of God’s tremendous salvation and love to all with whom we come in contact.  We will depart from Grand Rapids at 3:09 on Tuesday, October 25 arriving in Chicago at 310 to leave Chicago for Newark, arriving at 8:37 PM.  WE will then depart from Newark at 10:45 for Tel Aviv to arrive at Ben Gurion Airport, Tel Aviv at 4:20 October 26.

We will then check through customs, which is much less of a hassle than in the US, and be on our way to Tel Tamar, where we will be involved in various work details and do some local sightseeing in the Arabah and Negev.  You will find Tamar South of the Dead Sea on maps on your Bible Maps. (It is called Oboth in the time of Moses when the children of Israel did heir forty-year sojourn Num 21:1; Tamar in Kings 9; 1-17; It was Ir Ovot when we started in 1984 and today a large Archeological site, Tamar Biblical Park, the Jewel of the Desert. Seven layers of Culture, check it out on the web.)

We will be there until Wednesday, the ninth of November, when we will go to Ben Gurion Airport and connect with the rest of the tour group arriving on that day.  We will be transported to Jerusalem- about a half-hour, chow down and hit the sac in the Hyatt Regency.  Keep in mind the new arrivals will be dealing with “jet lag” for a day or so.

Travel with us and read in Scripture about these places where we will visit.

On day three of the tour (day one and two are travel days) we will visit the Mount of Olives, the Western Wall and The Old City.  While at the at the Western Wall, which is next to the Temple Mount, we will be at the most dangerous spot in the world today.  It would not take a very large match to light a major war.  We will also visit the Garden of Gethsemane, visit the archeological digs around the Temple Mount and Vad Vashem Museum, better known as the Holocaust Museum.

Day four, Friday the 11th We will visit the Israel Museum where artifacts from Tamar Biblical Park are kept, David’s City, and have some free-time for some sightseeing on our own, as well as some shopping.  

Day five, Saturday, the 12th we will visit the Garden Tomb for communion and celebrate Jesus resurrection.  I believe, having visited several other places that folks believe is the place, this one fits the  Bible description the closest.  We will then depart Jerusalem, visit Jericho, have lunch in Qumran, visit the Dead Sea and Ein Gedi  before returning to Tel Tamar.  We will have a Shabbat dinner -beginning f the Biblical Sabbath, a time of fellowship around a fire and be ready to shut the , down after very busy days. Remember, Biblical day begins and ends at sunset (Genesis 1:5).

Day Six, Sunday 13th is another busy day beginning with a return to En Gedi, a visit to Masada, the Mountain Fortress built by Herod, sometime at the Dead Sea and a tour of Tel Tamar.  We will be part of a traveling church on this day.

Day Seven, Monday 14th is ‘choice day’. The bus will go to Eilat, southern most point of Israel with options to visit the famous aquarium, do some snorkeling, shopping and just sit in the sun on the beach; the other choice is to remain for a leisure, restful and quiet day at Tamar Biblical Park, maybe even climb Prayer Mountain.

Day Eight, Tuesday 15th is a day packed full of travel and visiting.  Beersheva is first of the list, where Abraham sunk his well, then on to S’harot, from there to Caesarea and Mt. Carmel and last, on the days agenda a visit to Tiberias. (Remember Israel is about the size of New Jersey!)

Day Nine, Wednesday, 16th  A hearty breakfast and off to the Jordan River where those who wish can be baptized.  Then around the Sea of Galilee to the Mount of Beatitudes and Capernaum.  From there to the Golan Heights and a short visit to Kazrine. Then on to the place Jesus loved, Caesarea on the Galilee.  And a favorite of the tour groups- a trip across the Sea of Galilee in a Galilee boat. The final stop for this day is the Leonard Club Hotel in Tiberius for the night.

Day ten, Thursday, 17th Our final day in Israel will begin with an early breakfast and on to Beit Shean, one of the most important cities in the central part of Israel.  As we work our way south and towards Ben Gurion Airport, the route will take us through some of the most beautiful parts of Israel.  The area where Jesus spent most of His ministry years, And- around the Galilee -one ofs my favorite area.  I have always felt a special peace when in this area.

Day eleven, Friday 18th is the sad day of the tour, we head for the airport and process to leave.  We will leave Ben Gurion at 11:10 PM,  which is great.  Eleven hours is a long time in an aircraft,t but leaving at eleven gives us opportunity to sleep - at least part of the way- and cut the trip time mentally. Twelve hours later we will arrive in Grand Rapids.  

Well, my friends, I pray you will be faithful that these eighty-plus year old frames will treat us well as we sojourn where Jesus walked.  Our heart’s desire is to have a time, after returning, when we can share our experiences with all of you.  Call and come visit!

Blessings, Psalm 90:17 
PS we put an important message on this blog on Saturday, as well as on
grampswhatshappeningman. blogspot.com

Gramps and Grandma  

Saturday, October 22, 2016

The Answer to a Mystery


“For I do not want you, brethren, to be uninformed of this mystery – so that you will not be wise in your own estimation – that a partial hardening has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in; and so, all Israel will be saved: just as it is written (Rom. 11:25-26a).

Hey Gang:  I thought I had completed my blog-writing, prior to leaving for Israel, but there is a rapidly developing miracle coming together; I felt I should alert you so you can do some research on your own - to put meat on the skeleton. 

In the past year or so there has been tidbits showing up that indicate many Jews are beginning to recognize the emptiness in their chest cavity, just the size of Yeshua Hamashiah; they are asking very serious questions.  This is a relatively new phenomenon yet, in some ways, it is not.  We have witnessed the rise in numbers of Messianic Communities in Israel and America, and other places in the world, for more than twenty years. 

Although the number of born-again Jews is relatively small, the seed-planting program that Jesus is their long awaited for Messiah, seems to be growing at a steady and rapid pace. 

Several weeks ago, a story surfaced that the leadership of the Orthodox communities of Israel did all in their power to squelch this growing interest.  That said, the young, especially woman of Orthodox community, have been growing very cold towards the emptiness of the Orthodox teachings.   What began with a small prayer- group type, sharing this feeling with each other, began to rapidly expand throughout the communities?  It is now suggested that more than 30,000 Orthodox Jews are in serious study to find out who Jesus is, and, is He the One as John the Baptist asked?

My friends, this is no small issue.  Up until recently the Orthodox Leadership were literally willing to go to very drastic extremes to prevent the “Yeshua as Messiah” belief from penetrating their very closed world.
Joel Rosenberg shared an amazing story this week: “Have you heard that Israeli leaders are urging Jews to read through the entire Bible, verse by verse, chapter by chapter?”  Amazing, but true.    
Can you imagine President Obama, in one of his overly-frequent appearances in the media, 

announcing, “Now folks, this is what I believe will fix our nation. I want you to join with me and the Senators and Representatives, and all the underlings in the Belt Way- to read through the Bible.”  Every medical facility in America world receive mega calls from people who had heart attacks just hearing him say something like that.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu kicked off the new school year by encouraging children to rediscover the Word of God and Biblical roots of their Jewish heritage.  Netanyahu, known by the name of Bibi to his friends, with his bride, hosted another in a series of Bible study groups in their official residence.   They are studying, “What is the connection Jews have to the Temple Mount?”  

So much for separation of church and state.    (The recent ruling by the U.N that the Temple Mount has no Jewish roots and is Palestinian and has always been shows the bias of that Organization.)

Meanwhile, Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, and several government officials have launched something they call the “929” Chapters.  Purpose – to encourage all Israelis – even the most secular and non-religious among the people- to continue reading verse by verse, chapter by chapter through the full Hebrew Bible or “Tanakh”, until everyone finished together in the summer of 2018 for the 70th anniversary of the prophetic rebirth of the Jewish State.  

Well, I would like to go on and give you the rest of the story, but need to take care of some last-minute details before hitting the airways so will close with this challenge!  Read the Bible through -verse by verse, chapter by chapter.  

There has been two-billion dollars’ worth of rhetoric (actual) that as filled the airways in this presidential fiasco.  It was interesting that right after that piece of information was shared, an add from a ministry came on telling us, “For one dollar a day you can feed and provide care for a starving child”.    Let’s see now, that would be two billion starving and uncared for children around the world, wouldn’t it?

Well, I best leave that lay for now and pray you will seek the Lord’s counsel and vote accordingly. Take note   of our itinerary and be diligent in your prayer covering for us.

Blessings,
P.S.  Forgot – read the morning Scripture again.  Keep in mind that huge numbers of Jews are not making that final decree to accept the Lord as Messiah and Savior but rapidly growing numbers are seeking to learn about Him.  It is my sincere opinion that the day all Jews will be saved is when Jesus comes and every eye will see Him. (Rev. 1:7). This and two bucks will get you cup of java in most hash houses.,  

Gramps

Friday, October 21, 2016

I Wonder If It Is FInished?

Hey Gang:

We have entered the countdown stage in preparation for our return to Israel as real live breathing homo sapiens.  I expect to return there – New Jerusalem -  and live in the presence of my Lord for all eternity after God stops my thumper from thumping.  I pray all of you will join me there.

 I wonder, as Gramps moves beyond his 83rd years, if it is time to put Gramps to bed.  When God tapped me on the shoulder and suggested, I was more concerned with passing down the material gifts that He had provided for me and my bride, than I was in passing down my ‘spiritual legacy; to my children, grands and great grands.  I had no thought of a ‘Blog”, or that it would last this long.  In the six years, since I sent out that first message to our Grands, more than a messages have gone out; the first blog was published on September 1, 2011.

There is no way this Pennsylvania Hillbilly kid could have done that without God feeding me and putting His words into my heart and mind.  In the first year, I simply wrote what I believed God was saying through me but, near the end of the first year, a very good friend suggested I send out the messages as a blog.  Without his leading and support, I am sure the blog would have been put on the web or lasted very long. 

So, you can see, that the blog has not been a solo endeavor but a team effort.  The bride-of-my-youth labored over each one, correcting my bad grammar and spelling and fighting with the computer.  In a sense, my part was the easiest, God dictated and I typed, and then I turned the rest of the process over to my bride.

Unless you have memorized each morning message since its inception, there are more than 950 blogs in the Gramps blog you can re-read for future resources.  In preparing for our coming trip to Israel, we sought the Lord’s counsel on what He would have us do about the Gramps Morning Messages and have concluded that since part of our tenure there will be in getting our hands dirty in work projects, and the remainder of the remaining time traveling and touring, we would not try and squeeze developing and sending out the blogs while there, so the last blog will be sent will be Monday the twenty-fourth of October.  It will be an outline of our month in Israel; This will enable you to pray for us as we volunteer, minister and tour. 

In closing, I thank you who sent words of encouragement over the years.  It would have been nice to hear from all who availed themselves of the blogs, so that we could have actively prayed for each.   There were many times when I considered putting Gramps to bed, but a word would come from one of you that spurred me on.  There were also times when God put a fresh word in my heart and mind that I felt must go out.

Oh, by the way, it is not my intention to dry up; I will continue to seek what God is saying and might even send out an occasional blog.  If interested, a check once in a while might be suggested.

We, my bride and I, wish you God’s richest blessings.  I pray He has rung your bell through what He has said through us.  We will return from Israel on November 19. 

Blessings,  

Gramps and Gma

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

A Lesson In Persistance


"And Jesus said to him, "The foxes have holes and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head"  (Luke 9:58).

Hey gang:  I was never much of a bird watcher in my growing-up years.  Birds were something that flew over your newly washed car and deposited some excess baggage that made a mess on your shiny chariot. But in recent years I have gained a new interest in these little critters.  One thing I appreciate in the animal and bird world is they are persistent.

Several weeks ago the Lord lead me to write a morning message on persistence but since writing that message, God has been driving home the true meaning of persistence with a very fascinating object lesson. 

Over the entrance to my garage is a light that protrudes from the top of the door.  One day I noticed that it appeared that there was a heap of dirt and twigs that have somehow accumulated on the light.  So I got out my trusty hose and washed what I thought was debris from the light, thinking another job completed.

But, the next day, as I was sitting on the deck, I noticed there was another accumulation of dirt and debris on the light and a bird working diligently to place the twig, she had just returned with, in the right spot. 

Now, with shame I tell you this, I and that little bird had a knock down drag out battle for more than a week.  She would build and I would hose, only to see her begin the process all over again within minutes of my destructive nature.  And then I learned, if you set a can on the light, the bird would give up the ghost and seek asylum someplace else.

That was up until this year.  Once again, I know not if it is the same two birds that have built their tenement house on my light, as in previous years, but once again there appeared on my light- dirt and twigs molded neatly into a nest, and in the nest three tiny eggs.  Now, as Paul Harvey would say, here is the rest of the story. 

After the young hatchlings learned to use their God given talents and flew the coup (nest), I cleaned the debris from the light thinking the birth process was finished for the year and once again washed the light off, but guess what? I came home after two days away and low and behold there was another clog of dirt and twigs on the light, so I got out the hose and removed it.  I then placed a can on the light to end this process.

End of story, right?  Not in your sweet bippy.  Claribelle, as we have fondly named her, returned and began to build her nest once again and this time she neatly built it around the can and today we are blessed with three little eggs waiting for the arrival of three creations of God.

Soooo, my young friends, take a word from Claribelle this morning – “if it ain't worth fighting for, it ain't worth having.  Jesus said, Go, and as you go, make disciples” and be persistent in following His command.

Blessings,


Gramps

Monday, October 17, 2016

The Warmth of God's Light

‘Do all things without grumbling or disputing; so that you will prove yourselves to be blameless and innocent, children of God above reproach in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you appear as light in the world” (Phil. 2:14-15).

Hey Gang:  My brother was a warrior.  On the last day of World War II he was in China, preparing to go into combat with his marine division to clean out the final Chinese stronghold held by the Japanese. Upon being discharged from the Marines he reentered high school, to gain his diploma, so he would qualify to join the Air Force and become a combat pilot.  This he accomplished two years later.

In his tenure as a fighter pilot he served in several venues and eventually became a flight commander in Viet Nam where he served two tours.  He had the option to return a third time and, if he accepted, would be promoted to General.  He turned it down because he felt he had been spared on two trips into the war zone and feared pushing his luck three times was not in the best interest of his family. 

I asked him if this was his toughest tour of duty and he said, “no”.  He said his toughest was the year he was assigned to the blue line in Point Barrow, Alaska, during the cold war.  He said it was not a physical fear that military men in a war zone experience but a mental fear that eats at the hearts of those assigned to this place of duty. 

He said he could not describe what it is like to live underground for a year and not see the sun for nearly six months.  He said, “I do not know what it feels like to be a vegetable but, after six months of darkness, you begin to feel like one.

I am blessed because my office window points to the East and I see the sun come up most mornings.  O, there are overcast days that are common in Michigan, but we are blessed with far more sunny days than grungy days when the sun is hidden from our view. 

Can you imagine a day when God sent a message to the sun and said, “Take a hike for a week or so.”  Think about that. No sun, no warmth, no nourishment for plants, animals and humans on which to flourish.  We invited a neighbor to dinner the other night and he brought my bride the biggest Poinsettia I have ever seen.  It was beautiful for several weeks as it sat on the table by the open window.

 Each mooring the sun rays hit it and gave it new life but the book said when the season for Poinsettia is over, they must be kept in complete darkness so they will go into a kind of hibernation.  It did not take it long to get the droppies and become like the eagle that cannot fly.  Did you know when something happens to that majestic bird that prevents it from getting off the ground it become a very dirty bird?  The same for poinsettias, when out of the sun they become very dirty plants.

Hey gang, the sun just came out.  Thank you Lord.  The colonel said for one year, 365 days he did not see one iota of life outside the confines of their underground prison.   

As the sun shines on the earth, so the Son of God wants to shine in our hearts. We are living in a cold and dark world.  God is looking for people who are willing to receive spiritual light from Him.  A true child of God will reflect God’s light, thus touching others and spreading the warmth of God’s love to them.  We do this when we encourage our brethren and sisters to be faithful and when we “…do good unto all men” as we have opportunity (Gal. 6:10).

Jesus said,You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hid.  Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel, but on a candlestick; and it gives light unto all that in the house.  Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven” (Matt.5:14-15).


Keep in mind, my friend, that when you leave your abode in the morning you enter the mission field.  But also remember your abode and family are also your mission field.

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, October 14, 2016

Water That Gives us Life


Jesus answered her and said, ”If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”  (John 4:10).

Hey Gang:  The excitement is beginning to grow.  In less than two weeks my bride and I will board an airliner and be carried to the “land of milk and honey”.  Once again we will have the opportunity to get our hands dirty, as we help prepared the land for the influx of God’s chosen people. 

I cannot say that I am a sojourner in the land identified by God as the “land of milk and honey,” but I have spent enough time in the Arabah, the desert of Southern Israel, to gain a great respect for the desert.   I learned from some of the older salts, who have traversed the desert lands, that the desert does not take prisoners but rather kills one who do not respect its lethal ways and take adequate steps to protect himself.

On those times when we were working in the crops, remodeling buildings and erecting stone walls, we always picked the biggest dude and made him the water boy.  His job was to rotate among the troops, every half hour, and not ask if they would like to have a cup of water but rather demand that they drink a cup of water while he stands over you for, you see, one does not get thirsty or feel the need for water in the desert. 

Everyone who travels in the desert knows that water, not food, is the source of life.  Without it you are not going to survive for long.  Water is a matter of an ‘act of the will’ for thirst is not an issue nor is sweating.  Sweat evaporates as it appears on the skin and you really don’t feel thirsty.  In essence dehydration in the desert is a silent killer.

Do we not have similar problems when we move through our spiritual wilderness?  Spiritual thirst, the need for living water, is the dominating factor in the lives of all human beings.  It begins with a deep longing for something to fill that vacuum that is just the size of God- in our chest cavities.  Jesus promised that the hunger for righteousness will be filled- when we seek Him with all our heart. BUT, we also know our natural man likes to kick up his heels and park God’s armor in the closet for a season or two. 

Paul said, “Hey gang, “I sometimes do the very thing I hate”.  I wish I did not have to admit it, but I sometimes, like Paul, do the very things I hate.  But God knew that Satan would have his victories and we would choose ‘to go our own way’ (sin) periodically (Isa. 53). But He loved you and me so much, He made provision for prodigals who strayed.  And we know, that we know, that we know, that is what the cross is all about; and “there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 8:1).        
 

 So, my young lads and lassies, keep in mind, when you have thirst-that water cannot quench-Jesus will meet you at your well and give you “living water”.  When the desert sneaks up on you and threatens to bite you, keep in mind Jesus words that He offered to the Samaritan woman: “Whoever drinks of the water that I give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life(John 4:10).

PS new blog on grampswhatshappeningman.blogspot.com Sat Oct 15. Check it out!

Blessings, Psalm 90:17

 Gramps



Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Why Are You Here?


What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God,  And You crown him with glory and majesty! (Psa. 8:4-5).

Hey Gang:  If I were to ask that question to a hundred, perhaps even a thousand people, I would get a hundred, or perhaps ever a thousand, different answers.  You would certainly get totally different answers between Believers and non-believers, or at least you should.

 As I was thinking of this question, I asked myself how I would have answered that question as a teen ager? a young adult? an old married man? or one from the older than dirt brigade? As you might guess, the comparisons were vastly different, especially in the before and after conversion years. 

Our Pastor asked that question in his message this week and then expounded on the question.  It is a question we should all seriously take the time to answer.  It could make a difference on where you will spend eternity.  His question was focused on ‘Why are you here in church?’  Did you come to enjoy the music and, or the worship?  Keep in mind that Lucifer was the head of the worship team in the heavenlies before he decided he was more qualified to be God than God.  He was into deep worship before his heart turned black.

But? do we enter the God’s sanctuary for more than worship and praise.  A question that we must examine our hearts to answer. His message was preceded by communion.  As I stood watching the people come to the altar and take the bread and grape juice, the words of Abraham rang so clearly in my heart and mind, “Lord, would you spare this once great nation for ten righteous people?” 

Why are you in church this morning? King David answered that question for himself when he said, “What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?  Yet You have made him a little lower than God,  And You crown him with glory and majesty! (Psa. 8:4-5).   Scientists have been asking that same question for generations and was interesting to learn, from a recent study among the scientific world, that more than one-third no longer believe in evolution- that we evolved from an amoeba that crawled out of the pond one day and here we are.

We need to remember that God did not need us, nor does He need us now.  I often wonder why He opened the door to what would be future ‘great frustration’ to Him, when He knew precisely that man was going to rebel against Him from the very beginning.  
 Luke wrote, “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things” (Acts 17:24-25)..
The answer to the question, “why are we here?’ simply stated - because someone needs us.  It is God’s desire that every living soul has a deep desire in their heart to want Him as Lord and Savior of their life.  It is also the desire of God that all come to the true knowledge that is He is Lord and Savior who offered His life that we might live.  His deepest love for us is seen in His words, “I want no one, not a single soul to perish.”

So, why did He create us? So that we can come to the full knowledge of the deep love He has for His creation.  I believe He created us for fellowship with Him. (there are many verses throughout the Bible that God desires fellowship with His creation and one day will dwell In the midst of His people. 

  What good would a perfect earth be, if here was no one to enjoy it.  After rereading this epistle I am not sure I have answered the question, ‘Why are you here?” for there is not enough space to answer such a question. 

It is an individual thing that comes from the depth of each and every person’s heart.  But this I know, God loves his creation!  How do I know this?  Because He would not send His only begotten Son to earth to be savagely killed on a hideous cross to provide a way for me to be freed from the bondage of my sins and open the way for me to one day be with Jesus in eternity.  Something for each to think about continually!  

Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, October 10, 2016

Do You Do the Very Things You Hate?


Paul said, “For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is, in my flesh; for the willing is present in me, but the doing of the good is not.  For the good that I want, I do not do, but I practice the very evil that I do not want. But I am doing the very thing I do not want, I am no longer the one doing it, but sin which dwells in me” (Rom. 7:18-20). 

Hey Gang: Notice Paul does not leave it there.  Keep in mind that when Paul wrote these words there were no paragraphs in his letter to the Romans. He, went on to say, ”Yes, I do the very things I hate, BUT.  “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus for the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has set you free from the law, of sin and death” (Rom. 8:1-2).

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

 But - before giving us the formula- he sets the prerequisites for implementation and success of this formula in verse one: “Therefore, if,” notice the ‘if’ if you have been raised with Christ” (Col. 3:1).  The principles in the Word are many, but keep in mind there are prerequisites to receiving God’s blessings. Obviously, first to gain the blessings of God, we must first plug our plug into God’s power supply. 

 Paul goes on with the key to success: “Keep seeking” and follows this chunk of advice by giving us the “rest of the story -“Keep seeking the things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.  Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”. (vs. 1b-2).

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

Now Paul goes on with the prerequisites to being hidden with Him: “Consider your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry” (v.5).
Is Paul saying “God would like you to die to these things?”.  I believe it goes a lot deeper.   Notice Paul’s next words, “For it is because of these things the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience” (v.6). 

So, young folks, remember the hillbilly adage “Your gonna get what ya always got,! if ya do what ya always did!’  Paul put it this way: “Be not deceived, you are going to reap what you sow” (Gal. 6:7). You will make choices today – to “put off” those things that offend God, or to “put on” those things that bring honor and glory to Abba Father.  The toughest part of the change process then kicks in -“We must let God have total control of your all.

If you we asked how much have you committed to your Saviour and Lord, what would your meter read?


Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, October 7, 2016

Where Has All the Wisdom Gone?


“To know wisdom and instruction, to discern the sayings of understanding, to receive instruction in wise behavior, righteousness, justice and equity, to give prudence to the naive, to the youth knowledge and discretion,  a wise man will hear and increase in learning and man of understanding will acquire wise counsel” (Pro. 1:2-5).

Hey Gang:  As a young whipper snapper, I did not have much interest in Proverbs.  As a matter of fact I tended to detour around the book.  When you are not walking with the Lord, you tend to detour around a lot of the books.  But this morning, the rains are falling and my indoor chores are completed so have spent a couple hours in Proverbs.  Wow, what a great book.

Ya know, I believe Proverbs was designed for all ages with a focus on the younger folks, but it is in the later years that we begin to truly understand the power in each verse.  Now, to put a little meat on that statement, let me give you an example:  Proverbs 1:22-23 gives us a truth that is certainly true in this day. There have been increasing numbers of days lately when I wonder if people truly have their heads screwed on and their brains in working order.  (Written Jan 2016).

Notice Solomon’s words: keep in mind God called him the second wisest person to walk the earth! “How long, O na├»ve ones, will you love being simple minded?  And scoffers delight themselves in scoffing and fools hate knowledge?”  Is that not a question that fits today’s leaders?

I recently read the following quip that made sense to me; “We elect people that we believe can repair the damage that has been growing in our nation and return the country back to the days when it was successful and a great power and a great missionary nation to the world but, the moment that new person steps over the Belt Line Border, they leave their common sense behind.” 

We are presently in the midst of the agony and pain process of choosing who will be the person to occupy the oval office for the next four years.  I have a great fear that God will give us what we deserve and not a Moses, or Joseph to lead us out of the wilderness.

It blew my mind and broke my heart when I learned, after our current president was elected for his second term, that more than twenty million- who called themselves Christian did not vote.  And Baruch Hussein Obama was elected by a small majority.   That was before our nation choose to honor gay everything and before we reaffirmed that we should put no restrictions on the rights of woman to kill the life that is developing in them.

So let me close this epistle with some verses that the Lord has been bringing to my recollection lately:  The first is from the pen of Paul when he wrote, “For I consider the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed to us.  For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God” (Rom. 8:18-19).  Is there a longing in your heart to see the King of kings and Lord of lords take back what is rightfully His?

The second comes from the pen of Daniel and is a wee bit lengthy but I fear if I do not type it out you may not take the time to turn to it, sooo read it very slowly; “Then the mystery was revealed to Daniel in a night vision.  Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.  Daniel said, “Let the name of God be blessed forever and ever, For wisdom and power belong to Him.  It is He who changes the times and the epochs, He removes kings and establishes kings; He gives wisdom to wise men and Knowledge to men of understanding” (Dan 2:19-21). 

But, my friends, there is a prerequisite to Him sharing His blessings: they come when, “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 lands” (11 Chron. 7:14).

Franklin Graham who has taken His Decision America crusade to more than half of the states and will complete his crusade before the year ends threw out this challenge: “Hold your nose, and go out and vote.  Remember God used ungodly people to do His work.” My challenge to you is to memorize or place on a three by five card and carry with you 2 Chronicles 7:14 and pray it many times each day.

Blessings,


Gramps

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

I Have Been Blessed -Have You? If Not, WHy Not?



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

Hey Gang, Have you ever looked down the road and wondered what your next great plateau will be?  As I have become more mature (that is a subtle way of saying when you become as old as dirt) I have dug down in my memory banks to some of the milestones that God allowed me to enjoy. 

I have noticed that, as I have grown older, my thoughts have turned more and more to that day when I will shed this body and stand before my Lord.  Wow, ‘what a day that will be when my Savior I shall see’.

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

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

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

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

When a good friend and Christian brother suggested that I should consider developing a blog for the messages, I did not have a clue as to what a ‘blog’ was.  When he offered to set it up and help with the maintenance and adding the graphics to the ‘blog’ I readily agreed.  I have learned that the real value of the ‘blog’ is the encouragement received because I know there are people that are opening the ‘blog’(more than 61,000 such hits).

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

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

So, will this be be last morning message from the pen of Gramps? I will wait and see what the true Author of the blogs has to say about it.  In the mean time we, my editor ‘Grandma’ and me wish you God’s protection, a deeper love fo r Jesus, and that each places your hands in the hands of the One who stills the waters.

Blessings,

Gramps  



Monday, October 3, 2016

Have You Taken a Spiritual Inventory Lately?

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

Hey Gang:  I am scheduled to do my semi-annual physical in the near future soon.  As I get older I tend to be more careful to make sure all the parts are still working as they should.  I must admit that I am more aware of many of those parts, due the messages they send to my brain. But, up until now, I have been able to not allow my body dictate what I will do in a day.

I am truly blessed.  Although I have an ailment or two, my body allows me to do manual labor just not at the same intensity or level as yesteryear.  Last year, at 81 years of age I cut, split and stacked 25 cord of wood.  I admit it pleases me to look out back at the wood pile and know I only have to do about 10 or 12 cord this year.

But recently, God seems to be tapping me on the shoulder saying to me, “When was the last time you took a hard look at your spiritual health and examined some very basics of a strong Christian walk with  ME?”

Question number one:  “Kermit do you still believe?”   “Do you still believe that I love you unconditionally”. 

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

Kermit, ”Do you still believe you are in the palm of my hand – that you are more precious than gold to your Savior?”  Do you believe that I am the only way, truth and life the only path to Abba Father?

Kermit, “There is no great love than to be willing to lay down your life for the brethren.  Are you prepared to lay down your life for Me and for your Christian brothers and sisters?

To quote an Amish scribe who shared with all who would listen, “Do all the good you can, by all he means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as you can.” 

John put it this way “Beloved let us love one another, for love is from God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God” (I John 4:7).

So my young lads and lassies, what say ye?  Is it time for a spiritual physical?  It could be as the balm of Gilead and turns your joy into dancing! 

Blessings,

PS Tomorrow Oct 4 Franklin Graham and the Decision America Team will be holding a Prayer Rally at noon on the Steps of the MI Capitol in Lansing.  Join us if you can – or at least pray with us during part of that hour.

Gramps