Tuesday, December 31, 2013


It's been quite some time since I posted a blog post.  I was hoping to have a year end post made before the year ended.  While I am writing this mid-day on December 31st, I'm not sure if I will have it posted before the year ends.  We'll see.
I would like to take a moment to look at some of the highlights of 2013, if I may.
As 2013 began I felt the Lord telling me that I would be retiring from pastoral ministry sometime in the coming months.  In my own heart I knew it was time.  Knowing it was time, however, did not mean it was easy.  Having been part of the lives of my church family for five years upon retiring it was hard to break the news to them.
The church building was literally moved from one location to another location.  It as about a three block move.  That was both interesting as well as challenging.  Due to several variables involved in that  community I do beleive this move was in the best interest of the church.  As you can imagine when you look at a task of this proportion not everyone will be in agreement with it.  The church survived the move.
What started out as a 2-3 week endeavor turned out being a 3 month endeavor.  We had our church meetings in the parsonage for about a month or so until it got to muddy.  We then met in the basement of a local bank  until we were back into our building  in late May.  
In June we marked five years of pastoral ministry at this local assembly.  This was five years of being intertwined in the lives of our church family - people we have grown to love.  I have never served a local church for this long of time as pastor.
The end of June, through tears I announced my retirement from pastoral ministry with Cindy standing by my side.  This was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  These are people we have rejoiced with, laughed with and cryed with.  We were part of their families as they were a part of our family.  Though diffifult, I know this was the right thing to do and the time to do it.
July 30, 2013 was my last day as pastor.  Since retiring from the pastorate I have felt such a freedom and liberty that only comes when one is in the center of God's perfect will.  I praise God for it!  
Since leaving the pastorate, God has been faithful and has opened so many doors for our gospel group, New Jerusalem Singers (www.newjerusalemsingers.org).  We have traveled places we have never been to and sang in venues we have never sang in sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We realeased a new cd, REDEEMED! in the fall of this year.  It has been well received.  We give praise to Jesus for this.  Bob Moore, our lead guitar player, released his first cd, PICKIN' FOR THE LORD in November, as well.  We have been busy.
From November 9th - December 25th Cindy and I had the priviledge of continuing our Santa & Mrs. Claus work.  This was the best season yet for us.  We also had numerous requests for Santa to share the real Christmas story.  I had the opportunity to share the real Christmas story in a church, business and home.  It is such an honor to be part of so many families Chirstmas traditions.  Again, I say PRAISE GOD for His goodness.
While we normally don't sing in December, Janurary or February, we have sang once  earlier this month, we sing tonight and already have two scheduled in January.  We must give God praise for this, as well.
Tonight we sing at a church just outside of Grafton, IL for their Watch Night Service.  It promises to be a good time in the Lord.  
As you can see, 2013 had it's share of challenges, but through it all God was faithful.  Through it all God's hand and leading was evident.  Through it all we give God praise for His goodness.
We are approaching 2014 with great anticipation of what God has in store.  We believe it will be the best year we have ever had in regards to ministry.  We are not going to limit God by any means.  We know He has a plan and we are excited to see His plan unfold.  
From Cindy and I, we want to wish you a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Until next time...enjoy the journey!

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Wednesday, November 20, 2013


NOTE:  My blog posts may become infrequent (as they have in the past month) as we enter in to a very busy time of year for us.  I will, however, make a blog post when I have opportunity.  I plan to resume blogging on a regular basis at the start of the new years.  Thanks!

Scripture Reading - Luke 8:43-48

"The hem of His garment". This is a phrase that has caught the attention of the world. Songs, poems and numerous sermons have been written and shared about touching the hem of His garment. This is the story behind those words. This is the story of a woman in great trouble – a woman in great need. Let's take a look at her desperation, her determination, her deliverance and her declaration. Let's look at how her experience relates to us today and what we can learn from this woman to better our own spiritual journey.

This woman was a desperate woman (Vs 43). Her problem was revealed in a single verse. She had an incurable blood disease (sickness). She had spent all her money on physicians. She was ceremonially unclean. According to Jewish law, a man who touched a menstruating woman became ceremonially defiled (Leviticus 15:19-28). This was true whether her bleeding was normal or, as in this woman's case, the result of an abnormal condition. Therefore, she was physically desperate – her health was gone. She was financially desperate – her money was gone. She was spiritually desperate – she couldn't enter the temple.

She is a type, or representation, of all people apart from Jesus. Physically – we are ever moving toward death. Financially – money can't buy what we need. Spiritually – our sin separates us from God.

This woman was determined. (Vs 44) She came behind Him, and touched the border (hem) of His garment. Now there were a number conditions to discourage her from coming to Jesus. The great crowd surrounding Him – it was going to be tough to get to Him. The attitude of the disciples - Lord the crowd was pressing and shoving.  Considering the importance of His mission she may have thought, “He's too busy to be concerned about me”.  Her own appearance – she was pale, poor and pitiful. Still she pressed through to Jesus! She was persistent – she was determined. If I may touch but His clothes, I shall be whole (Mark 5:28). Let's look at that word “whole”. It is the Greek word “soto” which means to save; to deliver or protect; heal preserve, save, do well.

Now let's take a look at this woman's deliverance ( Vs 45-46). Her deliverance came from contact with Jesus! That touch of His garment was a touch of faith. She exercised greater faith than healthy people around her. She exercised far greater faith than perhaps she thought she could.

Jesus responded to her faith. He asked, “Who touched Me?” - He was sensitive to her touch. “Virtue is gone out of Me” - This was a touch that made a difference. Today, many surround Jesus but never touch Him. What a difference between the crowds that are curious about Jesus and the few that actually reach out and touch Him. It is only faith in Jesus that releases God's supernatural healing power.

The woman declared that she was healed (Vs 47). We see her trembling...then her testimony. She shared her testimony. She told Him why she had touched Him. She declared to the crowd what had happened. Her words have endured. She was the only one in that crowd whose words are known today. In touching Jesus, she was able to touch others. Her testimony is still heard today.

I encourage you today to press through to Jesus. Don't try to make yourself perfect before doing so. Come as you are with all your needs. Don't pay any attention to the doubters or critics in the crowd. There will always be those who will doubt and criticize.

What if this woman had not pressed through? This woman received more than she anticipated – she got more than she came for. She was healed from her illness. She became a child of God: Jesus called her daughter (Vs 48). Jesus gives more than we ask or think (Ephesians 3:20)! Are you just curious about Jesus, or do you reach out to touch Him in faith, knowing that His mercy will bring healing to your body, soul and spirit? Some things to ponder.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, November 6, 2013


NOTE:  My blog posts may become infrequent (as they have in the past month) as we enter in to a very busy time of year for us.  I will, however, make a blog post when I have opportunity.  I plan to resume blogging on a regular basis at the start of the new years.  Thanks!

In 1 Samuel chapter one there was a lady named Hannah .  She was barren and had not given birth.  Hannah wanted a baby in the worst way.  So much so that she prayed to the Lord and told God if He would give her a baby - her heart's desire - she will in turn give him back to the Lord all the days of his life.  Wow!  Can you imagine making that type of a promise to God?  Sure enough, God granted her petition and a baby boy was born.  This baby boy was named Samuel.

Now as Samuel grew, Hannah did not forget her promise to God.   Once Samuel was weaned, Hannah took items for a sacrifice along with Samuel to Eli, the prophet of the day.  She made her sacrifice and then presented to Eli her baby, Samuel.  Samuel was very young at this time.

Now fast-forward to chapter three of 1 Samuel.  Samuel had grown some.  One night, as Samuel laid down to go to sleep for the night he heard a voice calling his name.  He got up and went to where Eli was laying down, thinking it was Eli who had called for him.  Eli, not having called for Samuel, sent him back to bed.  This happened a second and a third time.   The third time it dawned on Eli that it was the Lord who was calling Samuel.  He instructed Samuel to return to his bed and the next time he hears that voice to respond, "Speak Lord, for your servant hears!"  And that's exactly what Samuel did.

Reading Scripture we see God used Samuel in a great way.  When God called him He had a plan.  Samuel yielded to God's call and God's will and followed the plan God laid out for him.

I often wonder how many of us miss the calling of God because we do not recognize the voice of God?  How many miss the blessings of God because we do not recognize the voice of God?  Perhaps we are so wrapped up in the things of God that we miss the voice of God and thereby miss out on His leading, His calling and His blessings.   We get so wrapped up in doing that we neglect to listen, much like Mary and Martha when Jesus visited them.  We get wrapped up in the social club, that passes for today's church, and miss out on genuine fellowship, encouragement and a real walk with the Savior.

The reality is that church can happen anywhere!  It's not confined to a building or even a home.  We recently met with a couple at a restaurant for six hours.  Yes, that's right - six hours.  We ate, we fellowshipped, and we talked about God and His Word.  We shared what the Lord has been doing in our lives and what God is showing us.  We left there feeling like we were just in a New Testament Church gathering.  No one lead, there was no singing...church just happened!  We loved it!

I want to encourage you, in your walk with the Lord, to just let God be God!  Be real and genuine in your journey with Jesus.  Be attentive to the voice of God speaking to your spirit.  It may well be God has blessings to pour out on you.  He may be desiring to reveal His plan for your life to you.  Be real in your worship - wherever it may take place.  Let church happen anywhere!

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, October 31, 2013


NOTE:  My blog posts may become infrequent (as they have in the past month) as we enter in to a very busy time of year for us.  I will, however, make a blog post when I have opportunity.  I plan to resume blogging on a regular basis at the start of the new years.  Thanks!

The United States recently come out of a government shut down. While not unprecedented, it has been a while since the U.S. government had shut down.  This was the result of a budget dispute between both major parties.  While this government shut down did not literally shut down the entire government  it did shut down nearly 20% percent of it.  This shut down had a ripple affect on an already weak economy.  Many social services were affected resulting in government offices being closed.  Many employees deemed "non-essential" were sent home until the government budget dispute was resolved. Because of this, phone calls went unanswered, meetings were cancelled and programs were halted.

The resolution came around two weeks later and was a temporary resolution, at that.  There is no guarantee this won't happen again early next year when the agreed upon temporary budget runs out. 

I was thinking while all this was going on just how grateful I am that there is never a government shut down in heaven!  There never has been and there never will be!  Praise God!  As believers, we can rest assured when we pray, God hears!  Jesus remains at the Father's right hand making intercession for us - pleading our case!  There was no disruption of service.  Heaven's economy still thrives!   

It's exciting to think about what awaits us when we pass from this life.  I like how the Salvation Army looks at it when a believer passes from this life.  They believe (as do I) that person has been promoted to heaven!  Wow!  You talk about a promotion!  That's enough to get you excited!  And to think there has never been an interruption in heaven's economy.  Like the old song says, "Heaven's sounding sweeter all the time."

Until next time....enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013


Scripture Reading - James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.

We, as believers, are called upon not only to contend with an evil heart and an evil world, but also with evil spirits. Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places”. These adversaries are banded together under one head – Satan. In speaking of the devil, we must include all his emissaries.

It's important to acknowledge right from the beginning we must be fully submitted to God if we are going to be empowered to make the devil flee from us. It all starts there. Without that, Satan can run all over us. We must fight him in our own power, but rather in God's power.

It's important to know your enemy. It's a mistake to underrate the importance of an enemy
Therefore, let's form a right assessment of our foe. Look at his power – Satan can inflame the mind and the evil desire of the soul. The reality is that while his power is enormous it is limited by the totality of the power of our God! Satan is diligent – Satan is described as continually “walking about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8). Satan is nobody's dummy. He's extremely diligent If he fails a hundred times, he only tries again. He is filled with malice. Satan envies every human happiness and seeks to undermine it. He can't stand for you to be happy. He's miserable and wants to spread his misery. He is sneaky. Satan is crafty and subtle. He is a hidden assassin rather than an open foe
He rarely attacks head on in the open. He has lots of experience at what he does. Satan has long studied human nature so he is very adept at deceiving mankind

We are called upon to resist rather than fight the devil. We are not to talk with him as a friend or compromise with him, but rather we are to resist him at every turn. We are not to give him a foothold in any way General Orders. Reading 1 Peter 5:8 we can get some instruction on dealing with this enemy. Be sober (sharp, alert) both physically and mentally. Be vigilant (keep awake; never off your guard). Be united – stand shoulder to shoulder with your allies. Weapons have been provide for us to face this enemy. These weapons are tried and true weapons. Of course the first weapon we have is the Word of God. It's important to know God's Word. Even Jesus, when He was tempted of the devil, quoted Scripture to satan. Past experience is a good weapon, as well. When Satan tries to tell you how little God will do for you, remind him how much God has already done for you. Earnest prayer is a very important weapon. I'm talking about the getting on your face and getting serious with God type of praying. Not this mamby pamby stuff that we see today. Allow God to become engaged in the conflict with you. 1 Samuel 17:47 “For the battle is the LORD'S” We also have impenetrable Armor (Ephesians 6:10-18). The belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, shoes of readiness to spread the Good News, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation and the Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God. Put these things in place in your life. We are equipped!

The Word says once we resist him “he will flee from you”. This may not happen at first for there must be real resistance to his power. Keep in mind in this life, the flight is temporary. Satan leaves only to return. Each time we engage Satan and resist him equips us more to stand fast the next time. In the future there will be a final flight. Satan will flee never to return

The Christian life is a life of conflict with Satan. We must endure hardness if we are to be victorious 2 Timothy 2:3 “Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ”. A Christian's life is a blessed one for even in the midst of the conflicts we face there is a rest in God,

Armour up...submit to God...be prepared...stand fast...resist the devil...and he will flee from you!

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, October 8, 2013


Have you ever had a song on your mind or in your heart going over and over for a prolonged period of time?  I can see some of you now shaking your head in an affirmative way.  Well, for the last two weeks I have had a song in my heart.  It's not a song our gospel group sings.  It's an old song I used to hear growing up.  The old gospel song titled "He Took My Sins Away" has been reververating in my spirit for the last two weeks.  It's a song that excites me!  I find myself humming it and even singing the chorus at home, at work even in the car. 

As I look at the words I get even more excited.  Check out the words to this old song:
I came to Jesus, weary, worn, and sad,
He took my sins , He took my sins away
And now His love has made my heart so glad, 
He took my sins away . .

He took my sins away , He took my sins away away,
And keeps me singing every day!
I’m so glad He took my sins away,
He took my sins He took my sins away...

The load of sin was more than I could bear.
He took my sins away, He took my sins away . . .
And now on Him I roll my ev’ry care, 
He took my sins away ...

No condemnation have I in my heart, 
He took my sins away, He took my sins away. . .
His perfect peace He did to me impart,
He took my sins away ...

If you will come to Jesus Christ today,
He’ll take your sins away , He’ll take your sins away ,
And keep you happy in His love each day
He’ll take your sins away ...

Now  if that song doesn't make you want to shout your wood must be wet!  You need a touch from God.  You talk about a praise and worship song!  Wow!  This one has it all - the testimony of the believer and hope for the unsaved.
I pray this song, and most importantly, the reality of this song will be your testimony until we see Jesus.

I thought I would put on link on here to this song from You Tube.  If you would like to hear it it just click on this link:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7iP7cEXDyXE 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Monday, September 30, 2013


Scripture Reading - Philippians 4:10-14 But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly, that now at the last your care of me hath flourished again; wherein ye were also careful, but ye lacked opportunity. Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content. I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Notwithstanding ye have well done, that ye did communicate with my afflictions.

I’ve got a secret." There is something fascinating about those words. Ears perk up, and people lean in as they whisper, “What is it? I won’t tell anyone.”

Religiously speaking, there are many who claim to have the “secrets” spiritual life – but they are frauds. In sharp contrast to these frauds, notice Philippians 4:12. Here Paul speaks of a genuine and important “secret”. One has called this “the only secret that we need”. Let’s look at the secret of contentment.

Paul found himself in a satisfying situation (Vs 10). What caused Paul to rejoice “greatly”? It was the Philippians’ expression of love toward him. We see, though, that Paul's happiness was not so much for the gift, but for the fact that it showed concern. Perhaps you've been taught that it's not the gift but the thought that counts. The emphasis in this section is not on things, but rather on people – not on the gift, but on the giver. The phrase your care of (for) me” [thought, concern] in the Greek indicates continuous action in the past. They had concern for Paul, the problem was they lacked opportunity to express their concern. Paul had not been out of their thoughts, but he was out of their reach. We're not sure why the Philippians lacked opportunity to help Paul, but what ever it was it was a circumstance beyond their control. They finally overcame the problem (what ever it was), and their concern for Paul “flourished again” (revived) – coming from a Greek word meaning to again flourish and blossom. Their concern was like a barren tree in winter reviving in the spring. Their concern appeared dead – but it wasn't

Paul now makes a startling statement (Va 11, 12, 14). Paul having just said that he rejoiced in the gift of the Philippians, you might expect him to say, “after all, I really needed what you sent!” Actually, there is little doubt that he needed help. He spoke of his “affliction” in verse 14. However Paul wanted his readers to know that his rejoicing was not so much for the gift as it was for the concern it expressed. Therefore, he quickly added, “Not that I speak in respect of want” - In other words, “I am not saying this as a hint to send another gift”. It is kind of like the gifts you get from your children when they are young – they are special, not because of the gift, but because of who they came from and the love behind them.

Paul now makes a Declaration I have learned, in whatsoever state [situation, circumstance ] I am”. These circumstances that Paul mentioned might be considered as the ups and downs of life – the good times and the bad times. There were times when Paul was in need, and times when he lived in plenty. Now here are the problems we have with the ups and downs of life: When we are down, the danger is despair – and when we are up the danger is pride. Paul didn't let the downs degrade him or the ups exalt him
Paul understood, as we should, that the circumstances of life change in a moment and that none of those circumstances define who we are. He believed that the Lord could handle anything that happened to him.

Exactly what did Paul mean when he spoke of being “content”? “Contentment” is sometimes misunderstood – it is not complacency or a false peace based on ignorance, and it is not pretending that a bad situation is a good one. To truly understand “contentment” we need to look at the Greek word. The word translated “content” in Philippians 4:11 could be more literally translated “self-sufficient”. The word was used to describe the person who, through discipline, had become independent of external circumstances, and who discovered within himself resources that were more than adequate for any situation that might arise. Paul’s satisfaction was not based on outward situations, but on inward sufficiency. This sufficiency was not based on personal resources but rather on divine resources. Notice, too, that Paul “learned” to be content. Paul is telling us that the Christian life is a learning experience. Contentment is not something that we are born with - its something we learn. How do we learn this? To start with we learn through painful experience (2 Cor 12:7-10) and earnest prayer (Philippians 4:6-7). If Paul could learn to be content, so can we.

This secret is a strengthening secret (Vs 12-13). Let's look at the “Secret”. The phrase “I learned the secret” is translated from a single Greek word meaning: “being initiated into the mysteries”. Paul’s entire life was an initiation process by which he learned the marvelous secret. What was the secret? No matter what happened, the Lord would stand by him. How awesome is that to know and have the assurance that no matter what we face, God is there? Philippians 4:13 is perhaps the most well know verse in the Bible. It's one of the first verses I learned when I got saved back in the 70's. Let's look at it more closely. I can do” comes from the Greek word meaning strong – thus, the idea is: “I have strength for every situation” “Strengtheneth” is from a compound word in the Greek – the heart of that word is dunamis (dynamite). This passage is also in the present tense (indicating continuous action) so the passage might better read I can continue to have strength in all things through Him who constantly gives me power

I can do all things” must be considered in light of its context. Not – leap tall buildings in a single bound. But, in good as well as bad situations. Our Source of strength and contentment is Jesus! Paul’s secret was Jesus! The world has not learned this. they think contentment comes from education, money, material goods. Nothing could be further from the truth. It has been my observation that the more you have, the more you want.

Are you content? If not, get into Jesus. Jesus, and He only, is our true Source of contentment.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Friday, September 27, 2013


Scripture Reading - Psalm 94:17-19 Unless the Lord had been my help, my soul had almost dwelt in silence. When I said, My foot slippeth; they mercy, O Lord, held me up. In the multitude of my thoughts within me thy comforts delight my soul.

THE MESSAGE “If God hadn't been there for me, I never would have made it. The minute I said, 'I'm slipping, I'm falling,' Your love, God, took hold and held me fast. When I was upset and beside myself, You calmed me down and cheered me up.”

The psalmist found himself in deep trouble. Evil people rose up against him (Vs 16). He felt like he was on the edge of his very existence. He longed for help while living on the edge.

Do you ever find yourself feeling like you are living on the edge? Friends and even family turn against you? You feel like you are coming to the end of your rope. You are living on the edge. This man of God felt this way. He felt his life was even in danger. “...My soul had almost dwelt in silence” (Vs 17). “...My foot slippeth...” (Vs 18). Do you ever feel like you're slipping away? Let's look at how God rescued this slipping servant.

We must realize first and foremost that God did, indeed, help him. “Unless the Lord had been my help...” (Vs 17). Many troubled believers have found the Lord to be their help in difficult times. God's Word speaks of this numerous times. We can see this in Scriptures such as “God is...a very present help in trouble” (Psalm 46:1); “My help cometh from the Lord...” (Psalm 121:1:2); “Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16).

How many of us have found ourselves in need of help from the Lord from time to time in our lives? I know I certainly have. How many find ourselves in need of His help today?
Charles Spurgeon said, “Without the Lord's help the psalmist declares he would have died and gone into the silent land where no more testimonies for the living God can be given”
You've, no doubt, heard the expression “God helps those who help themselves.” The reality is God helps those who cannot help themselves.

The psalmist said God held him up. “...Thy mercy, O Lord, held me up” (Vs 18). “Mercy” is God not giving us what we do deserve. Mercy arrived when his foot was slipping! He was rescued by the everlasting arms of God! And those arms still rescue today! It has been said, “God is never in a hurry, but He's always right on time.” I've found this to be true in my life. God meets us where we are. He meets us when we're tempted (1 Corinthians 10:13). He meets us when we're being tested. He meets us when we're in the valley. He meets us when we feel like giving up. How long will God's mercy last? How long will God's mercy hold us up? God's mercy follows “...us all the days of our lives” (Psalm 23:6). Praise God His mercy endures forever! “Praise ye the Lord, O give thanks unto the Lord; for He is good: for His mercy endureth forever” (Psalm 106:1)

Note also that that God comforted the psalmist. “...Thy comforts delight my soul” (Vs 19).
The comfort of the Lord delighted his soul. His fears fled as comfort relieved his anxiety. The Holy Spirit is our Comforter in times of need (John 14:16-18). Jesus comforts every troubled heart. He gives assurance of salvation to those who trust Him (John 6:37). He gives peace to troubled hearts (John 14:27). Bring your cares and anxieties to Jesus and find peace. Jesus said in John 16:33 “These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world”

Jesus extends a compassionate call to those living on the edge. “Whosoever will may come.” Jesus stands ready to help, comfort and keep you. He waits on you to invite Him to help. Whatever your need, Jesus is here to meet it. Won't you let Him?

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Tuesday, September 17, 2013


I'm constantly amazed that people who are not living in relationship with God have expectations that God will answer their prayers.  It would seem to me that those who walked in realtionship with Jesus in the past would want to get back to that intimate relationship once again.  Look around at our society and you will see this is certainly a time you want to make certain your relationship with Jesus is intact.

In most cases, these individuals freely admit they are not living a life pleasing to God, yet they expect God to meet their needs and even their wants.  Does anyone else see the folly in this?  Our relationship with God should be of paramount importance to us.  If that relationship suffers, that has a domino affect in every area of our lives.

You see, God responds to our prayers according to biblical criteria.  We must ask according to His will for Him to hear us.  It's about a right relationship with Him.  Once that relationship is right His desires become our desires.  When we are out of fellowship with God, do our prayers go any higher than the ceiling of the room we are in?  Our direct line to God is severed in regards to our partitions. 

When we pray for other Christians we are making intercession for them.  We are agreeing and standing with them in prayer.  When we pray for those who are out of relationship with God we are making supplication for them.  We are going to God on their behalf because they are not in relationship with Him to do so themselves.  It is far better to be in right relationship with God and go to Him directly with your needs.

Too often we think the only answer to prayer is the answer we want.  We fail to recognize that God sees the whole picture while we only see the here and now.  We see one piece of the puzzle while God sees the puzzle in it's entirety.

If you find yourself out of relationship or out of fellowship with Jesus, I want to encourage you to take time to pray and make things right.  If there is sin in your life, confess it and turn your back on it.  If there are hard feelings toward your brothers and sisters, go to them and make it right.  Whatever might be hindering you from being in right relationship with Jesus needs to go.  Do it today. 

Jesus is going to return for His church.  We don't know when, but He has promised to return.  It's not time to get in right relationship with Jesus, it's time to be in right relationship with Jesus. 

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Thursday, September 12, 2013


As you have, no doubt, noticed, I end all my blog posts with "enjoy the journey".  This is important to me as a believer and I believe it should be important to other believers, as well. 

Once we receive Jesus as our Savior, heaven is our eternal destination.  It's the place Jesus has prepared for us (John 14:1-3).  It's the place where the streets are made of gold, the gates of peril.  It's a place where there will be no sin, sorrow or death.  It's a place where there will be no more pain.  It's a place where God, Himself, will wipe every tear from our eyes!  Read Revelation chapter 21 in the Bible to see what heaven will be like.  We truly have something to look forward to.

While our eye is on our eternal destination, there's the journey we must make in order to reach our destination.  Too often we find ourselves enduring the journey instead of enjoying it.  I can't help but believe with all that awaits us at our destination, God would have us enjoy the journey along the way.  Enjoy the blessings along the way.  Christians ought to be the happiest, most joyful people in the world!  Too often we walk around like we've been sucking on lemons all day.  We have a sour look on our face and even a sour disposition, at times. 

It's easy to spot those who are enduring the journey.  They are the ones who, in addition to having the sour look and disposition, whine and complain about nearly everything along the way.  They will complain about their lives, what they don't have, the things they are missing out on, other believers, etc.  They will whine about the sacrifices they make in following Jesus, about how others are far more blessed then they are, among other things.

Jesus stated in John 10:10, ",,,I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."  Doesn't this indicate that it is His intent that we not only have life, but that the life we have is an abundant life - a blessed life?  This would be a joyful life. 

So while we are on our journey to our eternal destination let's enjoy the journey along the way.  Let's look for the blessings and cultivate the blessings God gives us.  Does this mean there will be no bumps on the road?  Not at all.  Rest assured, there will be difficult times we will encounter.  But Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to endwell us.  He will lead, guide, comfort and empower us for the journey!  What more could we possibly need?

Be encouraged!  Be joyful!  Cultivate the blessings God has for you.  And enjoy the journey!  It's a great one.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Monday, September 9, 2013


Scripture Reading Genesis 28:10-22, 31:13

Jacob had a varied career to say the least. His character was checkered by deceit through much of his life. This is shown by his relationship to Bethel, the house of God. He had been to Bethel and had seen the Lord in a way that had changed his life. When we have a genuine encounter with Jesus it will change our lives! However, in Jacob's case time and distance had taken its toll and there came a time when God ordered him back to Bethel.  We’ve all had Bethel experiences in our lives and then seen them lost through the pressures of life and the passing of time. Sometimes the journey is rough. I believe, today, God is calling us back to Bethel.

What was Bethel? It was a geographical location near Luz where Jacob had a night of unusual blessing. Beyond this, it was a place of great spiritual blessing. It had been a place of great victory. God had spoken to Jacob. Jacob had made a vow to God. God had confirmed His promises to Jacob.

How did Jacob leave Bethel? Jacob made two mistakes while in Bethel: first, he centered on the place rather than on God. I wonder just how often we do that today? We have become fixated on the “church building” instead of God. Secondly, He made vows in the strength of the flesh. Jacob then failed to cultivate the blessing God had for him. This was shown by his trickery with Laban. When they went their separate ways, Jacob saw to it that he got the best land for his herds. Jacob entered into a time of “coming and going” rather than a time of cultivation of the blessings of God. We sometimes get so busy with the coming and going of life that we fail to cultivate the blessings God has given to us. How can we cultivate them? We’re too busy!! If we are too busy to cultivate the blessings God has given us then we are simply too busy.

Jacob then hit the downward skid. This came following a great blessing (Gen 32:24-30). The downward spiral included several things. It involved a failure to keep the faith (Gen 33:12-17), a tendency to lean on the world (Gen 33:18-20) and a failure to reprove sin – he had a tolerance for sin. That’s precisely the way it works – a downward spiral leads us to accept things we would formerly have flatly rejected. We see this going on in the institutional church, today. Many pastors no longer preach against sin or they blur the lines so much that sin is no longer an issue. They do this to grow their churches. They are all wrapped up in numbers these days. If they call sin what it is – sin, they risk losing people from their kingdoms and, in many cases risk offending Bro. Big Bucks. My, my...we mustn't do that!

How do we get back to Bethel? First, we must see where we are and recognize how far we’ve drifted from the will of God. Secondly, we need to deal with the problems in our lives both in confession and forsaking. Thirdly, we must come back both to the place of blessing and the God of blessing.

If we have gotten away from our Bethel, God desires that we return. We must recognize where we are, deal with the state in which we are and then renew our dedication as at our previous Bethel experience.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Friday, September 6, 2013


I read a blog recently written by Alan Knox.  In this blog he made the following statement, "Today the church focuses so much on doing church stuff at church times in church places with church people...but there's so much more to following Jesus Christ."

I find this statement to be very true. Too often, we have an "us four and no more" attitude.  We want to close ourselves within the four walls of a building and do "religious things".  We tend to focus so much on doing that we actually neglect the Savior.  We even neglect one another.  We spend too much time emphasizing the need to go to church as opposed to being the church.  We get wrapped up in the religious snack instead of the Lord's Supper as a genuine meal.  People leave their morning church services unchanged and still with a hunger for God - that is, if they actually had a hunger for Him to begin with.

Again, we do all these religious things while neglecting the One it should be all about - Jesus!  What would happen if we quit doing all the things God never told us to do?  Our Christian lives are so full of these types of things.  I think sometimes we feel better if we are busy doing religious things.  But if that is the case, we are doing these things for us instead of for God.  What's wrong with this picture?

Perhaps we think it's a necessity to be busy doing religious things because that is what we have been taught over the years.  After all, that is what the typical institutional church tells us.  It's not what God tells us in His Word, but it is what man has taught.  I know of a so-called pastor who, several years ago, called a work day for the men in the church to move a fence that was around the building. They moved it out four or five feet.  They spent an entire Saturday doing this.  A short time later he called another work day to move the fence back to where it was.  Why did he do that?  He stated he wanted to keep his men busy.  How utterly ridiculous is that?  The attitude was this man was their pastor and they would do what he said.  Was God in this? 

Here's a thought, how about we focus on our relationship with Jesus?  How about we focus on our relationship with one another.  (I would encourage you to look up the "one another" Scriptures in the Bible).  How about we reach out to someone who doesn't know Jesus?  How about we reach out and touch someone who is struggling on their journey?  These things seem more in line with what we should be doing as Christians.  This should be a way of life for the Christian.

Let's be the church God desires us to be.  Let's show it by fleshing it out - by living it one day at a time.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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Wednesday, September 4, 2013


Scripture reading - Phil 2:12-13

MESSAGE “What I’m getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you’ve done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I’m separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God’s energy, an energy deep within you, God Himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure”

Is it a good thing to ask, “What is God doing in your life?” Is this a proper question or is it based on some subjective idea? Does God really work in our lives? If He does, what does He do there?

Paul issued quite the challenge in the aforementioned verse, “Work out your own salvation…” What did Paul mean by that? This does not refer to salvation from sin
The meaning is keep working out – developing to the fullest your own salvation – the implications of your salvation. We must be careful about how we believe and live. Our focus must be on Jesus

What attitude should accompany this challenge? “…with fear and trembling…” This means with awe and humility. Why should we have this attitude? The very fact that God has saved us should produce awe! The very fact that it is God who saved us should produce humility. The enormous implications of salvation should produce both awe and humility in us.

We have quite a reassuring reason to do this: “It is God that worketh in you…” Think about it...God does work in us! We are not required to “go it alone”. God wants to come along side us and be within us to help us. God works in us through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. God uses various means in His work in us. For example He will use the Bible, our brothers and sisters even circumstances.

God doesn’t act instead of us – rather He works in us. God doesn’t compel or force us against our will. Our resistance slows or even suspends His work in us. Our resistance always costs us something

There's a powerful purpose involved: “…both to will and to do of His own good pleasure”. God always has a purpose for what He does in us. That purpose is to conform us to the image of His Son. To be more like Jesus we must condition ourselves to think Like Jesus.

What does God do in us? He brings conviction of sin. He helps us see our need of repentance. He enables us to overcome sin. He strengthens us to break with evil influences. He challenges us to give up our evil thoughts. He motivates us to live different lives. He enlightens our minds with truth. He builds our character. He strengthens our relationship with Him. He makes us like He would have us to be. God’s working in us is always in support of His purposes and in accord with His will as revealed in His Word. God’s purposes for us are always good. God takes a long-range view of good – He sees the big picture!

It is a valid question to ask What is God doing in your life? What’s God doing in your life right now? God is continually working in us so that the implications of salvation can be fully developed in us. Are you allowing Him to do His work in you or are you resisting His work in your life? The more you cooperate the less time it will take. We aught to approach God’s working in us with awe and humility.

Until next time...enjoy the journey!


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