Friday, June 23, 2017

There Is No Such Thing As "I Can't!"


 “All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness” (2 Tim. 3:16); “I can do all things through Christ who Strengthens me” (Phil. 4:23); “My God will supply all your needs according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus” (Phil. 4:19).

Hey Gang:  Gramps version, “There’s nothing like the written Word of God” for showing us truth, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way”  or “Words, what you say isn’t very important - but what God says has eternal significance.” 

You say, “It’s impossible!”  God says, “With me all things are possible” (Lu. 18:27).  You say, “I’m exhausted,” God says, “Wait on Me, I’ll renew your strength” (Isa. 40:31).  You say, “Nobody loves me,” He says, “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jn. 31:3).  You say, “I can’t go on.”  He says, “My grace is sufficient for you” (2 Co. 12:9).  You say, “I don’t know what to do,” God says, “I’ll direct you” (Pro. 3:5). 

You say, I can’t do it.” God says, “You can do all things through Me” (Phil 3:13).  You say, “It’s not worth it.:  He says, “It will be – just keep going” (Gal 6:9).  You say, “I can’t forgive myself”,  ”God says, “You can – because I have” (Eph. 4:32).  You say, “I can’t make ends meet, “He says, “I’ll supply all your needs” (phil. 4:19). 

You say, “I’m afraid.”  He says, “I didn’t give you a spirit of fear, but of…power” (2 Tim. 1:7).  You say, “I can’t handle this.” “God says, ”Give it to me; I’ll carry it for you,” (Psa. 55:22).  You say, “I don’t have enough faith,” He says, “I’ll give you faith” (Ro. 12:3). 

You say, “I’m not smart enough.”  God says, “I’ll give you wisdom” (I Cor. 1:30).  You say, “I’m all alone.”  He says, “I will never leave you or forsake you,” (Heb. 13:5).

So, friends, God honors our choices.  He does not tamper with your free will.  There is an adage that I have pinned on the inside of my dome of intellect that says, “My values determine my choices, which in turn determines my destiny.”  You will make choices today – will they feed the white dog or the black dog?

Blessings,

Gramps  

Wednesday, June 21, 2017

-DO You? Yes, But!


“But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; My heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.  I will sing to the Lord, Because He has dealt bountifully with me” (Psalm 13:5-6).

Hey Gang:  Depending on your age, you have heard the Easter Message many, many times.  I have heard it for 83 years- heard it, sung it and even participated in plays that put told the message of the price Jesus was willing to pay for releasing us from the bondage of sin. 

As a growing lad, I looked forward, with great anticipation, to the beginning of rehearsals for the coming Easter play.  It was a special time of fellowship, being part of the rehearsals and looked forward with great anticipation to the night when the church would fill and we would present the finished product- it was a neat time. 

But the reason!  What was the reason we were celebrating the death of this man called Jesus?   Oh, I had heard the story many times and even mouthed the words “Yes, I believe” but,’ as the parable of seeds warns, some words fell on stony places, some by the road where there was no good earth and some amongst the thorns and were soon overcome by the glitter of the world.   As I recollect, I really was not interested in the ‘Reason for the Season’ at that time in my life.

When asked, “Do you? My quick answer was, “Yes, I do”; but I was quick to escape before the follow up questions came. 

It was not until God sent a wonderfully-grounded lady into my life that I began to see how very ugly I was inside.  You see she did not buy into my ungodly ways, often trucking off to church without me.  Through her consistent witness my conscience began to prick my heart and soul.  Did it happen immediately?  No, it took a few years of her consistency.  It certainly didn’t hurt that I had parents and In-laws who were faithful in taking me to the throne room. 

I have heard many people avow that when they gave their hearts to Jesus it was like when the disciples received the Holy Spirit.  That would have been wonderful but not my experience.  I just kind of grew into seeing the need to put all my eggs into His basket.    

I have gained deep respect for Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, since reading his first book The Harbinger.   I believe he could be a prophet for our day.  We, my bride and I, begin our day with a daily read from his latest The Book of Mysteries, a yearly devotional. we end the day with a reading from the Sapphires, a monthly devotion that he sends out to all who help him with his ministry. 

Last night, his entry was titled The Yeshua Entrance.  As I read it, I sensed I had to send it out to you, unabridged.  Read it carefully and slowly.   Read it to each other and your children.  Remember to go or hear an Easter message is only so many words unless you understand that, “God so loved you, He sent His only begotten Son…  to die on a hideous, cruel-beyond-description cross to set you free from the bondage of your sins and open the way for eternal life in the presence of Yeshua Hamashiah”. (John 3:16).

Jerusalem has seen many armies and generals enter through its gates – Nebuchadnezzar, Titus with the Romans, the Muslims and Crusaders in the Middle Ages, General Appleby in WWI, Moshe Dayan in the Six Day War – but the most famous entrance of all wasn’t made with great armies, but by a lone rabbi riding on a donkey on Palm Sunday.  More significant, pivotal, and powerful than all the rest was the life and effect of this one Jewish man – Yeshua/ Jesus.  So, the greatest thing that can happen in our life is not money, power, successes, or accomplishments – it’s the entrance of Messiah into your heart, not just once -but every day of your life.  The most important thing you can ever do is learn to receive Him.  Get your eyes off the things that will mean nothing in the end and set your eyes and heart on doing something far more important. Learn to truly receive your Messiah – His love, His joy, and His indwelling presence!  Of all the things that will ever happen in your life, this will by far be the greatest”.  A message from Rabbi Jonathon Cahn.

Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, June 19, 2017

A Contrast of Spirits - Vastly Different Outcomes!


“But Saul and His people spared Agag and the best of the sheep the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless that they utterly destroyed” (2 Sam. 15:9).

Hey Gang:  Many years ago, when we were going through rapid expansion at the Village and a period when the alligators were doing more than nipping at our heals and were up to our armpits, I was priviledged to attend The Shepherd’s Conference in Kansas City.  The Kansas City news published a head line announcing that three-thousand shepherds were in town attending the conference: they added that they did not know there were 3000 shepherds left in the country.

I would dearly love to give you a blow by blow account of the three-day event, but will suffice to say, it was a life-changing experience - at a time when I was going through very deep waters.  I was so very blessed to sit under several outstanding teachers but the one that rally got inside my heart, soul and mind was Ern Baxter, then known throughout the world as being a ‘preacher’s- preacher’. 
 
He titled his series: “The King and His Army” and presented three, hour and half electrifying messages from the writings of Samuel.  At that time cassettes were the way to immortalize special messages.  I purchased the tapes and in the next several years literally wore them out.  There were very few days when I did to invite Ern Baxter’s teaching into my heart and mind.

I talked with an old-salt several days ago and mentioned that I had been reviewing notes that I have compiled over the years from the Old Covenant and he said, “Oh, that’s all past, I only read the New Testament.”  I kind of felt like he was basking on the whip cream and cherry and was neglecting the ice cream and chocolate syrup.  You see, I believe, if Jesus and His intimate twelve quoted from the Old Covenant, that is reason enough that I should find about what is in it. 

I would dearly love to go down that track this morning but I feel a tug saying, “Get back on the subject, Hainley.” In his three sessions, Baxter laid out a clear picture of how America is following the same track that Israel followed when the people grumbled to Samuel and demanded a king to rule them and not a prophet,”JUST LIKE EVERYBODY ELSE”. 

Well, God answered, “Listen to the voice of the people in regard to all that they say to you, for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me from being king over them” (1 Sam. 8:7).   “But”.  Hey careful of the in’s, and’s and but’s, they tend to sometimes come back to haunt you.   Samuel warned: 

He (king) will take and he will take and he will take and then he will take some more” (I. Sam. 8:10-17).  Does that sound familiar?  

Saul had it all – he was chosen by God to be His king but became increasingly rebellious toward he Lord.  If I were to make a listing of Saul’s rebellious acts toward God, I would place his refusal to do as Lord instructed him to do. In 1 Sam 15:7 Saul received this instruction from Samuel: “Now go and strike Amalek and utterly destroy all that he has, and do not spare him; but put to death both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey”.  

We read in verse 9 Saul’s response to his marching orders from god through Samuel, “But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were not willing to destroy them utterly; but everything despised and worthless they utterly destroyed!”

 He made a bad decision to go his own way.  “Why then do you ask me, since the Lord has departed from you and has become your adversary?  The Lord has done accordingly as He spoke through me; for the Lord has torn the kingdom cute His fierce wrath on Amalek, so the Lord had done this things to you this day”  (1Sam 28:16-18). 

But Saul chose not to do it God’s way.  Note the result of this rebellious act on Saul’s part- Saul was killed by the hand of an Amalekite  (2 Sam 1:8).



In this story of Saul and David’s kingship, is there a story tucked away for us and for this day?  Yes, I believe there is.  Note these words in I Sam 15:26: “The Lord has ejected you from being king over Israel”.  In I Samuel 16:12 we read of David’s anointing as king. 

Question?  Do we have two kings in your life, today?  If so, which one are you serving?

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, June 16, 2017

Are You A Seed Planter? Have You Reached Out and Touched Somebody Today?

“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” (I Cor. 12:13).   In other words, “We…were made to share.”

Hey Gang:  Time for another lesson from this old man who is older than dirt.  I have learned along the way that It is easy to fall by the wayside and get run over without anybody ever noticing.  

But, getting run over is not the real problem – it is being fearful to seek out a brother or sister to tell that you have been run over because you fear they will think you are on some sort of pity party. Or just plain weak in faith.

Paul says, get over it! Refuse to live in bondage to that kind of stinking – thinking.  Paul says that we were made to share and carry each other in times of wilderness experiences.  In verse thirteen he wrote, “For by one spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jew or Greeks, either slave or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.“

 God said, “It is not good for man to be alone.” We are wired to be communal in nature and crave to be connected.  We need people to laugh with, talk with, interact with and, yes, even to cry with.  When that does not happen, we are not strengthened by receiving, and others are not blessed by giving. 

Did you ever stop to think that God’s blessings are two- way?   When I give, you are blessed to receive and, in return, I am blessed when I give.  Luke put it this way: “Give, and it will be given to you…”  Notice the last part of that verse: ”…for by your standard of measure it will be measured out to you in return”  (Lu. 6:38).

So, when you see someone in need and you do not reach out and make a deposit in their love bank by coming alongside them, you miss one of God’s blessings.  And, if you, when in need say, “Oh, no, I can handle this alone” when a brother or sister says, “Let me carry your load for a while”, you are robbing them of God’s blessing. 

But a word of caution:  Do not hold a person to such high esteem that they lead you down the wrong pathways; nor worship at the altar of their public opinions in- order to stay in their good graces;  nor be intimidated into being anyone other than the person God made you to be!  

With that thought, watch for opportunities to be a blessing to someone who is in need and get a blessing from the heavenlies in return – in the same measure. And help someone to receive a blessing by saying “Yes, I need someone to walk with me through this valley”.  

The help you need is just around the corner. Paul wrote, “For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.” (2 Cor. 12:12). 

Blessings,


Gramps

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Are You A Vacillator?


“How long will you hesitate between two opinions?  If the Lord is God follow Him, but if Baal, follow him.  But the people did don’t answer him a word.” (I Kings 18:21).

Hey Gang:  I wonder what would happen, if Elijah the Tishbite showed up before President Trump and said, “As the Lord, the God of Israel lives, before whom I stand, surely there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word” (vs. 1b).   Do you think it would make the front page of the Wall Street Journal?    

How many out there believe that we need an Elijah the Tishbite to visit the halls of Congress and ask the question, “How long will you hesitate between two opinions?

As I watched the on-going rhetoric between the gangs of donkeys and elephants over whether or not we should bite the bullet and begin to get our nations finances under control,   I think of Elijah’s conflict with the prophets of Baal. 

His challenge, “I alone am left a prophet of the Lord, but Baal’s prophets are 450 men”.  I am sure the prophets of Baal thought this was going to be a piece of cake - much like the Arab nations felt in their four wars with Israel.  I sense, today, prophets of the Lord are no longer an endangered species -in the belt Way but rather extinct.   

We know the results of this so-called ‘tug of war.” God cleaned the prophets of Baal’s clock -but notice what happened next, Elijah was not satisfied to win the day but also, to prevent a renewal of the problem tomorrow,: “They seized the prophets of Baal and slew them, all 450 down by the brook Kishon.”    No, I am not advocating we kill those who oppose God’s ways.  
   
Is there a solution to the mess we have made of our Nation?  Elijah would say yes, “Answer me, O Lord, answer me, that this people may know that You, O Lord are God, and that You have turned their heart back again” (vs. 38).  The solution is not in the halls of Congress, or in the Oval Office but in the people who are called by His name. 

Franklin Graham 2016 Decision America Lansing MI

He gave us the solution in 2 Chronicles 7:14: “…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 win heal their land.” 

I am concerned about our country.  As I compare our nation today with past civilizations I see a very familiar pattern and that frightens me, not for my sake, but for the mess my generation is leaving my grandkids and great grands.  When I see the constant gridlock in our nation, I often feel like I am seated on a deck chair on the Titanic.  But I also know My God knows how to handle the impossible.

Does that mean I am, ready to throw in the towel?  In no way!  For I know that God’s dynamic power is available to us through the Holy Spirit, the name of Jesus, the blood of Jesus Christ, and the Word of God.  These sources of power enable us to face any situation with courage and confidence.  They are the sources of unlimited power, and we appropriate them through faith in God’s Word.

So, make sure your armor is in place with Helmet of Salvation securely fastened and that your lamp is filled with the power of the Holy Spirit and you have your sword in hand, which is the Word of God, and report for duty as a warrior ready for battle. 

Blessings,

Gramps






Blessings,

Gramps 

Monday, June 12, 2017

Just Plain Caring!

“Bear one another’s burdens, and thereby fulfill the law of Christ.”  (Gal. 6:2).

Hey Gang: When you are going through a time of agony and pain, it is good to have a guardian angel with the gift of discernment near at hand.   

In the very early days of Eagle Village each day was a tremendous challenge with alligators continually nipping at my heels.  There was never enough money to meet the needs of the day, the staff consisted of young and very inexperienced - but dedicated people that had no clue how to talk a kid down from a tree because he was ticked off at what he was served for lunch.

Today, as I look back at those very difficult days, I have concluded that Satan knew that God had anointed this program to be something very super special and he,  Satan, did not like it one bit, so he set out to nip it in the bud by destroying the confidence and enthusiasm of its founder – “ME”.

My office at that time was a very run down small cabin that we used for everything from cooking to sleeping- simply because that was the only building available that had such necessities as water, power and heat.   My secretary, at that time, was a tremendously caring and compassionate person who could read me like a book.  He knew when the cares of the world were weighing on me.  Oh, by the way, that caring person was my seventy-plus year-old father-in-law.

One day when it seemed the roof was falling and the Peter principle was operating in full force, “If it can go wrong it will!”  After breaking up several fights and gluing staff back together, I retreated to my desk, in the corner of the all-purpose room, to pay some bills.  As per usual, the bottom line did not come out in the black. 

It was at the peak of my depression, when throwing in the towel was a serious consideration, that Father–in-Law came in, set a cup of coffee before me, ran his hand threw my hair and left as quietly as he had come in.  Now, I never looked at my father-in-law as being an angel, but I certainly believe he had all of God’s qualifications to be an angel at that moment.  It did not clear up the bottom line but there was no question in my mind that when Grampa quietly left the building he was on his way to his favorite tree where he would seek patience, wisdom and a barn full of stamina for me.

So, my friends, what I am saying?  I do not recall a day in my life when God does not allow a shot across my bough-but that He also has someone out there that needs ‘an angel’ to run their fingers through their hair and pray. You could be that 'angel', if you care and listen to God's leading.

Grampa Beery, as he became known by the kids, was always there when the rubber-hit-the road.  I firmly believe it was his prayers and the prayers of six grandmothers who were there when I needed them the most, that kept my sanity and on track to do what God commissioned me to do.  My prayer for you this morning is that you, too, have a praying Grampa or Grandma in your life.   If not, let me know and we, my bride and me, will add you to or growing list. 

Blessings,

Gramps 

P.S.  My dear sainted grandma once said to me, “Some are called to pray, and some are called for action.  That is the family of God ‘ 

Friday, June 9, 2017

Where Is Your Mind?

“Set your minds on things above, not on the things that are on earth.  For you have died and your life is hidden with Christ in God” (Col 3:2). “Jesus turned to Peter and said, “Get behind Me Satan!  You are a stumbling block to Me; for you are not setting your mind on God’s interests, but man’s” (Matt. 16:23).

Hey Gang: I might have mentioned this before, but it is worthy of mentioning again and again: I love the little words of the Bible.  I tend to think of them as trigger words -when one appears we need to take heed that a very important truth will follow.  An old country preacher by the name of Pastor Mumford often said, “When you come to a therefore in the Word, you need to stop until you understand - what it is ‘there for’.

Let’s look at an example of the very small word “if” being a gigantic trigger word in a very important truth.  In Colossians three we find Paul’s formula on how to change from the old to the new:
He gives us a four step process, first, we must die to self, the old man in us (vs. 3); second, we must “put off” those things that are offensive to God and grieve the Holy Spirit (vs. 5b-8); third, we must fill the vacuum that is created when we dump the old by “putting on” those things that bring honor to our Father and to our neighbor (vs. 12);  and lastly, we are to “Let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts” (vs. 15-16).

But notice: in verse one there are two trigger words that are foundational for implementing this process with success. “Therefore” and “if”.  In Colossians three Paul begins the change process with a prerequisite, “Therefore, if , you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God”.  And how does one do that? By “setting your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth”.  (vs. 2).

My young friends, it is my humble opinion that in this chapter of Colossians, Paul gives us the formula for living a life of victory.  He closes by saying ,“Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (v.17).


I have always wondered if Paul did this teaching on “Putting on the New Self” (verses 1-17) to set the table for the teaching on “Family Relationships” that follows.  He gives some very specific rules for living together in a compatible way in verse eighteen through the end of the chapter. 

Do you think that during the exchanging of the marriage vows each would commit to dying to self and placing their mate first, putting off all those things that are offensive to their mate and putting on forgiveness, compassion, love and even at times mercy and letting the Holy Spirit have control of their marriage that we would have fewer marriage failures?   

As I grow nearer to celebrating my sixtieth year of wedlock with the mate that the Lord gave to me, I have a sadness in my heart for all those who will never experience the ‘out of sight joy’ of standing at the altar and seeing their bride coming down the aisle to be united in oneness with each other and Oneness with Christ.  Nor will they enjoy the wondrous gift of ‘anticipation’ that comes-as you grow together.

Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

WHere Is Your Power Source?

“The Lord said to him, “What is that in your hand?”  “A staff,” he replied” (Ex. 4:2).  Does God’s rod and staff bring comfort to you even in these dark days?

Hey Gang, how many out there believe Moses was a very tough and a stubborn sort of hombre?  I believe God equipped him that way, for he had an impossible task ahead and God was preparing him.  Not only was Moses going to take on the power of Pharaoh, but would also deal with the nearly impossible elements of forty years in the wilderness with a million or so people that even God described as “Stiff -necked.”

Moses spent forty years as second in command of the greatest power on earth at that time, Egypt, and forty years of dealing with the impossible elements of the wilderness caring for a bunch of sheep had made him
one tough dude.   But something was fixen’ to happen that would change his life forever; he had an encounter with a “burning bush” that did not burn.

Did you ever have a life changing experience?  Moses was about to have one.  He decided he needed to take a closer look at this burning bush that did not burn.  The burning bush was a phenomenal sight to
See, but he was about to come face to face with a “blow your mind” event!

 A voice came out of the bush (God’s voice) and said, “Moses, “Do not come near here; remove your sandals from your feet, for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.  I am the God of your
father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob.”   Then Moses hid his face, for he was afraid to look at God” (Ex. 3:4-5).

The story of Moses’ encounter with God is indeed a wonderful story.  If you are not up to speed on the whole story -and nothing but the Biblical story - I strongly suggest you take your Bible and get alone with God and read the whole story.   It is worth the investment of time.

But, let’s skip down to the life-changing experience that applies to every believer who encounters difficulties in their walk with the Lord.  After Moses gave five reasons why God had chosen the wrong person for this assignment, God lost patience with Moses and said,  Moses what is that in your hand”, to which Moses responded “a staff”. 
God said, “Throw it on the ground”, and it turned into a serpent and Moses fled from it.”  After 40 years in the wilderness Moses knew the perils of getting to close to a serpent.  Then God said, “Pick it up by the tail”.    I don’t know what Moses said but I think I would have said- “You have got to be kidding!”  But when God is giving the orders, it pays to be obedient.

Hence, from that point on the “rod” became the rod of spiritual authority, called the “rod of God”. 
We know, from the Bible, that God wants his children to have the best- but He also knows that many of those best things have serpents in them that can be harmful in our walk with the Lord. 

So, My young friends, be sure and throw all of the neat bangles and beads – even the good things on the ground and let God take the serpent out of them.  I promise, if they are going to make you a better disciple for Him, He will give them back to you – serpent-less.

Blessings,
Gramps


Monday, June 5, 2017

"Come Fly WIth Me!" Signed Jesus


“Bless the Lord, O my soul!  O Lord my God, You are very great; You are clothed with splendor and majesty, Covering Yourself with light as with a cloak, Stretching out heaven like a tent curtain.  He lays the beams of His upper chambers in the waters; He makes the clouds His chariot; He walks upon the wings of the wind” (Psalm 104:1-3).    Wow! Is that not awesome?

Hey Gang, did you ever wonder what heaven is going to be like?  I am sometimes accused, probably rightfully so, of asking questions that seem weird to most.  For instance, I was sitting at a stop light last week and a semi-truck went by- followed by an ambulance and then a motor cycle- ‘I wonder what the transportation system will look like in heaven?’ Was the question that popped into my head.

We are told in Revelation 21:16 that the New Jerusalem “…will be laid out square, and its length and its width and its height will be fifteen hundred miles”. Now, in the hillbilly vernacular, “That is a ‘fer piece”. This might lead one to believe you would need some sort of transportation to get around.

But, then again, I have read some  prophecy gurus who believe we will have glorified bodies and,, when we think of being someplace else, we immediately go to that place.  You know like Philip, who, after baptizing the eunuch, came up out of the water and was snatched away by the Spirit of the Lord.” (Acts 8:20-40).

In 2 Corinthians 12:2-4 Paul related the story of a man who was caught up to the third heaven, “…whether in the body or out of the body, he did not know, only God knew”.  He further related. “The man was caught up into Paradise and heard inexpressible words, which a man is not permitted to speak”  
.        
In doing a quick trip through the Bible we see that God used a variety of modes of transportation.  In Genesis, we have the ark- which I would suggest is probably not a vehicle that would be of much use in city such as the New Jerusalem.  Then, we have Elijah making his get away from earth in a flaming chariot.  There, again, I feel flaming chariots would not be practical in an urban setting.  With the driving habits of many today, I surely would not want to come face to face with a flaming chariot!

We do not find Jesus or the disciples using any people- moving modes of transportation except Shank’s Mare (for you city folks – feet); the exception was Jesus’ Triumphal Entry on the back of a donkey.   And, of course, we all remember the three magi arriving by camel at the place where they found Jesus at his inaugural appearance on earth. 

As I sat there thinking about that question, a wrecker went by- followed by a fire truck.  Then the thought surfaced in my dome-of-intellect that there would be no need for any of these vehicle in heaven!  There will be no need for medical facilities, prisons, electrical systems, or any of the other trappings that we find essential in our daily lives.  And the big issue- the blow your mind issue is- = we don’t have to go anywhere to sit at the feet of Christ, He is right there inside and around us.  We will be forever, yes, eternally, in His presence!.

So, gang, not sure I answered the question, but then again, one of the fabulous things that God put into our hearts is the joy of anticipation!  Each day, as my body sends messages that it is breaking down, I focus on the wondrous thought that one day, soon, I will break out of this earthly body and head for God’s paradise!  Make sure Your name is in the Lamb’s Book of Life and your invitation to the Marriage Feast of the Lamb, secure.

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, June 2, 2017

to Believe Is Not Enough!


“You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.”  You believe that God is one.  You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.  But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless?” (James 2:18-20).

Hey Gang:  There are many blasphemies surfacing in our world today, even within the church.  If you an Opry Winfrey fan, you get a steady diet of ‘to believe there is only one way to Father God is very narrow and selfish.’  As I read John’s words, “Jesus said, (which should be reason enough to believe), I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me (John 14:6).  Now a brain surgeon or rocket scientist I am not, but that seems pretty clear. ‘One road, only one road, to God the Father through His only begotten Son.’ 

One glorious day fifty-nine years and nine months ago, I met the Cadillac of my life at an altar; we made vows to each other to love, cherish, care for, be faithful to, until death do us part.  On that day I felt in my heart that I could not love her or cherish her more than I did at that moment - but how wrong I was.   I believe and love her for her integrity, her faith, her commitment to her Lord and to me.  She supports me in most things I do, and is a constant source of encouragement.  But is that enough?

I appreciate her, honor her, esteem her but is that enough?  All-of-these things are essential in a husband-wife relationship but, if I do not show the faith that I have in her without works, “I have become a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal” in the relationship.  Are not fixing the leaky pipes, taking out the garbage, laying in enough wood to keep her warm in the winter months and tending to the “Honey Do List” evidence that am I not a clanging cymbal? 

The same is true of our relationship with Jesus.  We may believe in Jesus with all-of-our being but, if we don’t talk to Him, listen for His voice, spend time with Him, and do the things that show that our love for Him requires is more than a few words on Sunday Morning; our relationship with Him will soon become like the hot coal that fell from the furnace to the floor and soon became cold.

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to Me” (Matt. 25:45).  As chaplain, I would ask the boys what is the most important word in the English language?  I would receive a multitude of words but not the one that impacts on eternity, the word NOT.  I can think of no more frightening, agonizing word than to hear Jesus say, “I know you NOT”.

Sooo, my young friends, how is your relationship with Jesus this morning?  Have you talked with Him this morning?  Have you opened your heart to His leading this morning?  Have you said to Him. “Here am I Lord, use me!”  If this was the day that you were called home, how would you answer the question- “What did you do with my Son Jesus?

Blessings,
  

Gramps

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Down But Not Out!


“Do not rejoice over me, O my enemy.  Though I fall I will rise; Though I dwell in darkness, 
the Lord is a light for me.  I will bear the indignation of the Lord because I have sinned against Him,  Until He pleads my case and executes justice for me.  He will bring me out of the light, and I will see His righteousness” (Micah 7 8-8).

Hey Gang:  Her name was Sheila and she had just gone through a very tough wilderness experience where the alligators had nearly won and she wrote the following when she was at the bottom, trying frantically to get up:

“I did not understand that God’s most precious gifts come in boxes that make your hands bleed when you open them.  Inside is what you have been looking for all of your life. Only God can do that.  Only His love is as fierce and relentless as our deepest pain and unspoken fears….I longed for rescue, He gave me relationship.  I wanted deliverance, He gave me companionship in the ruins.

Does that not sound reminiscent of the apostle Paul when he wrote, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings”.  (Phil. 3:10).

Oswald Chambers prayed “O Father, pierce a hole in the darkness so that I can behold the face of God.”

A girl on the Oregon trail, after many hardships, as they trucked to the West wrote, “I have known what it was to believe in God, but now He came so near that I no longer simply believed in Him but knew His presence there…that calm strength, that certainty of One near and all sufficient, hushed, and cheered.”

“He came so near”.  Words that are echoed in our heart and soul by many of us who have walked the path of pain. 

We cry out, “Lord, why do you allow bad things to happen to good people?”  And he quietly speaks to the deep recesses of our heart: “So that you can experience my nearness to you and understand how much I love you.  Just some encouragement as you begin this new day in the mission field.  Moses penned these words of assurance for those who love the Lord their God with heart and soul: “Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the One who goes with you.  He will not fail you or forsake you” (Deut. 31:6).
  
David wrote the following when he was fleeing for his life from Absalom his son: “O Lord, how my adversaries have increased!  Many are rising up against me.  Many are saying of my soul, there is no deliverance for him in God.”  But You, O Lord, are a shield about me, My glory, and the One who lifts my head.  I was crying to the Lord with my voice, and He answered me from His Holy Mountain, Selah.

“You O Lord, are a shield about me!”  Hallelujah!!!  “Come before the Lord with joyful singing.” 

Blessings,

Gramps

Monday, May 29, 2017

Whose Fault?

                                                           Who ME??????

“The person who sins will die.  The son will not bear the punishment for the father’s iniquity, nor will the father bear the punishment for the son‘s iniquity; the righteousness of the righteous will be upon himself, and the wickedness of the wicked will be upon himself” (Ezek.18:20)

Hey Gang:  The Japanese have a unique law in their canon of laws, ‘If you are sitting at a stop light and someone plows into your rear, the plower is only liable for ninety percent of the guilt.’  Their rationale for this law is- if you were not there or had been one minute later in getting there, the accident would not have occurred.

That brought to mind another story that I have compiled in my archives from my air traffic control,  involving a pilot. While in the process of landing His aircraft he encountered a sheer cross-wind that drove his aircraft into the ground. As he was exiting the crashed plane, the emergency crew arrived and asked the pilot what happened.  His response, “I don’t know I just got here myself!” 

God said to Adam, have you eaten from the forbidden fruit?  His response, “The woman WHOM YOU HAVE GIVEN ME, she gave me from the tree, and I ate”.   God said to Eve, what have you done and she responded “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” (Gen. 3:9-13). 

The blaming mentality became a weakness in all of mankind ever since.   Adam blamed Eve for taking of the forbidden fruit, Eve blamed the serpent.  Saul blamed the people for sparing the best of the animals instead of utterly destroying them, according to God’s commands (I Samuel 15:8-15).  In Ezekiel 18 the children of Judah blamed their ancestors for the sins they themselves committed.  
Today, some even blame God for circumstances that they have brought upon themselves.

Because of our sinful tendencies, we do not want to take responsibility for our own actions.  We feel justified in pushing our accountability on someone or something else.  In our pride we do not like to admit fault   Do we not want people to think we are sinless, even perfect? To that I plead guilty, 

Lord!  How often have we justify ourselves by saying, “It’s not my fault”?  Or what is the first thing we tend to do when we commit a grievous error? – look for something or someone to blame it on. 
The Bible is clear that when we stand before God, we will not be able to blame any other person or thing for our actions: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad” (2 Cor. 5:10).  We are accountable for all the choices we make or have made.

Paul put it this way: “For we know that the Law is spiritual, but I am, of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.  For what I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very things I hate” (Rom. 7:14-15).  Again, I plead guilty! 

Paul goes on and gives us the good news: “Wretched man that I am!  Who will set me free from the body of this death? Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom. 7:24-25a).  The point: Let us humbly take responsibility for the wrongs that we have done, instead of playing the blame game.  Keep in mind to err is human; to blame it on somebody else is even more human. Choose to ask forgiveness from God and others and be set free!

Blessings,

Gramps

Friday, May 26, 2017

Oh, Yes, God Has Prepared A Better Tomorrow!

  

In a recent blog the Scripture for the day was Luke 6:38  “Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together, and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will, be measured to you in return.”
Hey gang, I shared a message centered on one Mr. Diggs recently.  As I mentioned, from world standards he was a total flop.  I mean he did not rise to the top of the corporate ladder; In all probability, he did not even move beyond the kinder-garden level on the corporate ladder.  He had no great academic credentials, had not gained great piles of bangles and beads, no stock portfolio.  By world standards he was a ‘nothing burger’.  

But what he did have was many stars in his crown for the kick ball crowd who sat under his counsel and teaching; many days he shared that Abba Daddy loved them with an unconditional love.

I was sitting on the patio several days ago and happened to look up- the sky was fabulous!  There were multitudes of beautifully formed clouds, each one unique in size and color and Paul’s words popped into my mind: “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago – whether in the body I do not know, or out of the body I did not know, God knows – such a man was caught up to the third heaven” (2 Cor. 12:2).

Is that not a fabulous verse?  As I laid there with my head back looking into the heavens, I wondered -if God suddenly rolled back the sky what would I saw?  John says, “One day we will see a new heaven and a new earth, and a holy Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a bride adorned for his husband, having the glory of God, her brilliance was like a very costly stone, as a stone of crystal-clear and jasper”. (Rev. 21:2). 

I wonder how I would feel. if I would see that city awaiting for Father God to hit the down-button and see the eternal city coming out of the clouds.  But then again there will be no clouds for there will be no sky.  I wonder what is going on up there today.

So, my young warriors, when the rubber-hits-the-road today, and it probably will, if you are walking with Jesus as your Lord, - for Satan is traveling the earth in record speeds seeking whom he can devour, for he knows his time is short- Look up beyond the clouds and see His Glory.

Blessings,


Gramps

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Try his Today- 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: Legendary UCLA coach John Wooden was a winner.  In a recent article that centered on his life, he gave credit for his success in. -not only how we treat each other on the basketball court- but in every facet of life.  

Simply stated it was to acknowledge and give credit to the one who helped them score the bucket.  When one of the younger players said, “But coach, there is no time to run over and pat the guy on the back”.  Coach Wooden’s response was, “A Nod, a Smile, a Word of Encouragement – A Seed” a meeting of the eyes 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, family, or in the corporate world.  He also made it clear that when you give up yourself to help another you are as equally important to the victory as the one who, in most cases, are the focus of the headlines.

Coach Wooden’s rule and the above Scripture are rooted in the principle of seeing our need for one another.   In Matthew 20:26-28 we read Jesus formula for success: “Whoever wishes to be great among you shall be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you shall be your slave, just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.” 

If someone were to ask me what is my favorite verse in all the Bible, I would be extremely hard pressed to answer; there are many verses that are very special to me, each designed to meet a specific need at a specific time in my life.  If the question was, “What is the verse that you used most throughout your ministry years, there is no question it is Luke 6:38, Give, and it will be given to you.  They will pour into your lap a good measure – pressed down, shaken together and running over.  For by your standard of measure it will be measured to you in return.”

Wait, stop, reread that last line again “…by your standard of measure”.  By whose standard?  God’s? No!   Your standard.  Paul was a great teacher of this principle.  In 2 Corinthians 9:7, he wrote, “Those who give bountifully will reap bountifully” not under compulsion or grudgingly for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Don’t stop there! Notice there is a fringe benefit from the throne room of heaven for those who give with a loving heart: “God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed” (verse 8).  Can you say “whoopee” to that promise?

My good friends, put this in 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 to someone who really needs encouragement today.

Blessings,


Gramps

Monday, May 22, 2017

A New Season - But:


 “For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God, you may receive what was promised. For yet a little while, He who is coming will come, and will not delay.  But My righteous one shall live by faith; and if he shrink’s back, My soul has no pleasure in himBut we are not of those who shrink back to destruction, but of those who have faith to the preserving of the soul” (Heb. 10:36-39). 

Hey Gang:  I have mentioned my D14 Allis Chalmers Tractor in several morning messages, usually using it as an object of frustration, but I want you to know, I am not sure what I would do if I did not have it.  I also have a semi-worn out garden tractor that long since gave up its ability to cut grass but has been a wonderful run about that saves hours on the mower and D14.  Just when it was committed to the “junk heap” it gained new life.

But,  it tends to be a wee-bit cranky and I am never sure if today it will feel like running. I keep a battery charger on it continually to keep its energy at peak levels and know, if the temperature is below forty, I can forget using it that day. In other words I am never quite sure Old Charlie will get up and go.

So what is the message here?  I am 83 years of age and, like the D14 that is more than sixty years old, there are more and more days when I feel like my “get up - got up and went”.  To complete tasks that I used to enjoy doing have now entered the “act of the will” category. I have also learned that many things I used to do automatically now require thinking and planning. 

When I was speaking two and three times a week, I used to tell those who asked, if I would come and speak to their group, “Have mouth with travel”.  In other words speaking was a piece of cake because my mind was continually being filed with the message I felt God wanted to deliver.  But that is not the case anymore. Now preparing and speaking are much more difficult and require much more time.

Now, why in the world am I telling you this – this morning?  To set the table for this comment that I pray will dig deep into your soul.  Ready?  Every day you waste now, when you are young and your brain is vibrant and ready to receive what God wants to put in for future usage, when the rubber-hits-the-road times, might be gone forever.  When we hit a clinker, we cannot say, “just a minute, I need to go look up and see what the Lord has to say about this crisis in my life. Be ready always to share the Word God gives.

So, my young friends, take a word or two of advice from an older than dirt hombre, if you do not put God’s Word into your heart and mind now, when your mind is best equipped to receive it,  He will have nothing to pull out when you find your back-against-the-wall.

Blessings,   

Gramps

Friday, May 19, 2017

Food for Some Very Serious Thought


“And the word of the Lord came to me saying, Son of Man, set your face toward Gog of the land of Magog, the Prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him and say, Thus says the Lord God, “Behold I am against you O Gog, prince of Rosh, Meshech and Tubal. 

I will turn you about and put hooks into your jaws, and I will bring you out, and all your army, horses, and horsemen, all of them splendidly attired, a great company with buckler and shield, all of them wielding swords.” (Ezek. 38:1-4).

Hey Gang:  Have you taken an hour or two lately and taken a hard look at what is happening in our nation and our world today.  Have you taken Jesus’ words to heart when He said, “When all of these things… – what things? All the prophetic signs and wonders I have given you in the Word so that you will not be confused when these things come into view – don’t get all panicky but “Look Up for your redemption draws near” (Luke 21:28).

Notice the words prior to this awesome promise: They will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory”.  And Luke goes on and gives us a profound statement for those who are alive in this generation, thatTruly I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all things take place” (verse 32). Wow, is that not awesome?

Do you hear what He is saying?  “Be on guard, don’t let your heart be bogged down with the worries of this life, But keep on the alert at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are about to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.” (Luke 21:34/36).

And just what signs and wonders are given to us as wake up calls by Jesus?  The apostles and the prophets of oldThey all agree that Israel would become a place of milk and honey for God’s chosen people.  This is the most profound thing that has happened and continues to unfold in my life time.  It was foretold by Jesus, in the prophecy of the “fig tree”, that was recorded in Mathew 24:32-35;  and it has happened!

Psalm 83:2-8 tells us of the coming conflict with the Sons of Ishmael and Esau, and one has to be in a coma not to realize that the Middle East is a tinder-box waiting for someone to lite the fuse. 

Add to this the miraculous restoration of the Hebrew language, as God predicted through Zephaniah (3:10),  the blooming of the desert, their victories in three wars -each one against overwhelming odds. 
 One has to have their head deep in the sand to not see that God has His hands on this tiny nation.
Isaiah 27:6 states that, not only will the Jews recover their homeland, restore their lost language, but  they will also restore the land.  It has been my privilege, in more than ten trips to Israel, to see the desert begin to “Blossom like a rose.” (Isaiah 32:1) What a wondrous joy it has been for my bride and I to get our hands dirty in the Arabah, helping with that restoration project. 


One of the more volatile prophecies of the day is the growing fervor of the Israeli people, religious and non-religious, to take back the Temple Mount and rebuild the Temple (Isa. 2:2).   We know from the Word that it is going to happen – the only question is when.  I hope to write a blog on his subject in the near future, for I believe it is the hot button item of the day.  There is no question the Temple Mount is the most volatile place in the universe.

This could turn into a very long dissertation, for the Word is filled with prophecies that are coming into focus daily.  If you have not checked out the latest What’s Happening Man blog, I suggest you do so.  My good friends, there has never been a more exciting time to be on earth - “IF” you are locked into the Word and a praying-; member of the body of Christ but it can also be a very scary time ”IF” you are not.

I pray you are excited!


Blessings,

Gramps

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

What Lurks In the Hearts of Man?

“Then it happened in the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and besieged Rabbath” (2 Sam. 11:1).. 

Hey Gang:  We were privileged to have most of the family home to celebrate that moment when Father God breathed life into His Son, Yeshua, and defeated death for all times for those with contrite hearts.  Among the families that were represented, each had their own unique style of how they would conduct their homes and raise their young ones. 

It can be a very eye opening study on how children who are raised under the same roof, with the same parents, with the same rules, etc, choose to raise their children in vastly different ways.  I probably should depart that train of thought before I let my key board get me into trouble.

But I did do some research on why men fight wars, in the course of their interactions.  We are pretty well equipped in our home with toys and such sundry items to keep little people busy and happy.  And, in the midst, are two semi- trucks that I built years ago; these seem to gain the attention of most who grace our domain.  Soon after the arrival of the families, one of the little ones spied the two semi-trailer trucks and brought them out of their hiding place.

We will refer to him as the combatant from the North.  Combatant number two, whom we will refer to as the Combatant from the East, soon spied the trucks and tried to penetrate the defense lines that the Combatant from the North had set up.  The Combatant from the East probed the defense lines from several points but the Combatant from the North was to strong.

But then news came from the Supreme Headquarters that a truce should be declared.  The truce lasted as-long-as the Supreme Commanders where hovering over the battle field; but, like most truces in all wars, it soon passed away and the Combatant from the East penetrated the defense lines of the Combatant from the North and captured one of the semi’s.

Now, the interesting part of this war was, as soon as the Eastern Combatant penetrated the line of the Northern Combatant and accomplished his goal, he soon thereafter left his booty and headed for another conquest!   The Combatant from the North soon followed and the trucks were left stranded in the middle of the living room battle grounds and had to be returned to their hiding place by the host. Now, there is a principle here folks, if it is not something that someone else wants, it ain’t worth having.  

So, what is the one thing in this world that is worth fighting for?  What is the one thing that ‘what you see is what you got?’  When God created the heavens and the earth He created all there would ever be.  True, the Chinese have created several Islands, in the midst of the sea, but, if God so desires, one quick hurricane and the Islands would be history. 

Is there a point to this epistle?  Yes. As I watched the combatants move and shake, each determined warrior was vying for victory; but, when they won their victory, the war lost interest and he moved on to find other challenges to conquer.  When Alexander the Great had defeated the armies of the world and was now king of the then-known world,  he cried that there were no more armies to conquer.

As I watched these little guys vying for power, I was not concerned about their determination to win- because I have seen the determination in the hearts of their Supreme Commanders that are directing that power and molding them into something that is beautiful and useful.  But with my years of working with kids who have lost their way, I feel so sad that they too did not have the luxury of having Supreme Commanders in their lives who loved them enough to say “No” and mean it.

Would this not be a wonderful world to live in, if all accepted God’s gifts and blessings?  In Galatians 6:22-23 we read of His fringe package that is available to all who come to Him with a contrite heart.  Can you even imagine what a world where God’s ‘fruits of the Spirit’ prevailed?  Tragically, the world has chosen another agency, with a far more cynical fringe package- found in Galatians 6:19-21.  Is it not wonderful to have peace in your heart and soul knowing you are not of this earth but are just passing through?   

Blessings,

Gramps