Tuesday, June 21, 2011

"Away...For A While"

This is it for a few weeks. Today is my last posting until July 11. Resa and I are taking some time away and headed to Alaska! The Lord has blessed us with this opportunity for which we are very thankful.
In the meantime I would encourage each of you, look at the Christ. Read the Scriptures with trusting faith and let the Lord speak. Read with discernment, looking for direction and proper attitudes. Pray. Be prayerful daily. Grow in the grace of our Lord. Until then...God's grace and peace be with all of you.

Monday, June 20, 2011

"Wisdom Wanted"

Wisdom is seen in one's behavior (or the lack thereof)! Self-seeking and jealousy reveal the lack of wisdom (Jam. 3:13-16). I was reading in an article that in America we spent over 35 billion dollars on products to stay young this last year. 35 billion dollars! Advertisements bombard our airwaves about youth, staying fit and trim, reducing wrinkles and pills you can take to help. Money making schemes, books about self-esteem and pills for every problem. Surgery to look younger, to become more enhanced is taking our children and parents completely captive. Our society instructs that our lives will become better with all this yet lives continue to deteriorate and this nation is becoming worse. Oh, and let's not forget, throw a little God in there and you have a complete life!!! What's wrong with all this? It is all focused on self and self-image. When was the last time you heard someone speak about the wisdom from God?
Seldom do parents speak or even think in terms of wisdom from God. Our children aren't being trained in wisdom. Parenting, godly parenting must be based on wisdom from God, not the world. Our children need wisdom, not follow their senses! The wisdom from above (Jam. 3:17-18) is the answers needed for our lives to live properly and train our children. God's holy word is wisdom from God to man, yet it is being basically ignored. People accept God's word as long as it doesn't interfere with their own thoughts and beliefs!
The church at Colossae was instructed to conduct themselves with wisdom toward outsiders (Col. 4:5). Paul prayed for the church at Ephesus to be given wisdom from God to gain understanding (Eph. 1:17). Paul warned the Corinthians about fleshly wisdom from the world (II Cor. 1:12).
Wisdom from God affects  your behavior, your thinking and gives one clear direction in difficult situations. Marriages fail because of the lack of God's wisdom. Children are being trained to follow their selfish desires without any thought to the destructive patterns. Parents cannot distinguish the difference between godly wisdom and wisdom of the world.
It's time we start speaking of God's wisdom, seeking God's wisdom and understanding. We need to be raising our children in His wisdom. "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Prov. 9:10)

Thursday, June 16, 2011

"Learning To Love"

The 45 yr. old  man approached me to discuss some difficulties he was having. His opening statements was, "I am having a mid-life crisis!" He and his wife had been married for 23 yrs. and he began relating how their relationship had changed and felt very unfulfilled. In his final statement he said, "I really don't love her anymore! Am I free to move on with my life and be happy? I'm not happy." I realized what he wanted to know from his last question and statement. I replied, "Is she in Christ?" He responded quietly, "Yes." I stated, "She is also your sister in Christ. Would you love her as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her?" (Eph. 5:25) He winched. I could tell he didn't want to hear that. "That's so hard! I'm not sure you understand." I asked, "Would you love her as a sister in Christ?" He looked down. "Why are you making things so difficult for me?" I spoke again, "If you don't love her as your wife or won't love her as your sister, would you love her as your enemy and pray for her?" (Matt. 5:44-45) Silence now ruled. His unhappiness was tied to his love for the Lord and commitment to His love not his wife.
So often married couples say they have "fallen out of love for one another." A Christian in the true sense concerns themselves with the will of God. God's will is to love on every level! The world speaks loudly, "Leave your mate, find another so you can be happy and get on with your life!" Many accept this teaching. God speaks for the Christian husband to love his wife just as Christ loves the church. We, the church, aren't the loveliest of people sometimes are we? What if Christ said, "I just don't love you anymore!"? Jesus speaks to the Christian wife to love and respect her husband (Titus 2:4). These aren't suggestions by God, they are commands. Love is a choice. It's a sacrificial love that seeks the highest good of another more than itself. It's the love that He loved us with. (Eph. 5:2)
Why do people fall "out of" love with one another? Because they refuse to practice the love of God. The one that does not love does not know God which places them in death (I John 3:14). Dead people cannot love. When a husband or wife finds themselves struggling with one another, if they would look to Christ, put on Christ Jesus and start walking in His love, they will find the very love they were missing and desiring all those years. True happiness will be the result. If one refuses to practice the love of God for their mate, their lives will head down a path of more and more frustrations with one another, more defeats and struggles and eventually death will consume them and bury their lives. God's ways are always the best and righteous. Which way are you headed?

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


We've seen that light come on "Service Engine Soon." It flashes reminding us something is wrong with your vehicle and if it is ignored long enough you will do some damage. We see the signs that flash alerting us to a sharpe curve or steep grade. Signs alert us that something isn't right or there is danger ahead.
What about the signs that alert us about our souls? Our spiritual well being? They don't seem to startle us in the same way. Flashing red lights and warnings are going off all around us by manifesting themselves in various ways: guilt, shame and excuses. We are alarmed at first but the longer we ignore, closing our eyes we hope the pain will subside and we won't feel as badly.
We see it in husbands and wives that drift apart when they should be helping one another. Sharp, uncaring words are spoken. WARNING! Someone is ignoring the Lord how husbands and wives should be treating one another.
People go about speaking evil of another behind their back. God speaks, "Let love be without hypocrisy." (Rom. 12:9) WARNING! That is hypocrisy to gossip or speak evil of another.
Profane words fly from the mouth. WARNING! The mouth speaks what fills the heart (Matt. 12:34). 
We fly out of control with an outburst of anger and vent on another because they upset us. WARNING! That is sowing to the flesh and if we continue that practice we will not inherit the kingdom of God (Gal. 5:21).
If we have warnings sounding off around us, we need to heed and respond with a right heart of humility. If we don't, it will be a matter of time before something tragic will happen and the consequences are eternal.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011


It sometimes is sickening the hypocrisy of our society. But what should we expect? Even God speaks to those that have no part of Christ: "For when you were slaves to sin, you were free in regard to righteousness." (Rom. 6:20) Righteousness is not a part of the lives of those outside of Christ. We shouldn't expect right behavior, right thoughts and right examples because they are completely under the power of devil (I John 5:19). With this knowledge, it still works on the sensitive about the deceiving hypocrisy.
We live in such a hypocrisy filled media that it takes our children without their knowledge. That's why we need strong and godly fathers and mothers being a greater influence over them. Our television programs are filled, I mean filled with sexual overtones and permissiveness! They put ratings up on programs to tell us what is adult and what is family yet any of the children have free access to watch anything that bears a strong warning tag. Let's face it, we live in a sex-obsessed culture! Our movies flow with it. Our sitcoms speak openly about it. Our society condones it! Sex has become a natural part of lives just like the intake of food. The Lord didn't intend it to be that way.
We look at the drug world around us. For years the slogan was "say no to drugs." Yet posted all over for us to see is drugs available for every ill, for every situation and for every good feeling. Then the lawyer ads storm in that "if you have ever taken the drug such and such you might be entitled to compensation." Say no! Say yes! Say money! Illegal drugs aren't seen as...illegal! Our children are trusting and innocent and they are so easily caught up into all the hypocrisy not realizing what is happening in their own lives.
While the parents never take thought of the evil that lurks, what chance does the child have? Sin is coming to take away their innocence and take them into the lap of the devil to which they will need the redeeming power of the blood of Christ. And what are parents doing to prepare them? Are parents really looking out for the eternal well being of their children or just letting "nature" takes it's course?
Come Lord Jesus because this hypocrisy just makes me want to throw up sometime!!

Monday, June 13, 2011

"God Is"

It is amazing how people claim they are free but yet are controlled by their surroundings. Let's think about this. One of the most talked about topics in our day and time is the weather. No matter where people are or the time of year, the weather seems to always come up in conversation. The weather determines many of our outings and daily attire. 
When we are traveling, the terrain determines our travel. There are a lot of things that control our lives that we aren't even aware of. People speak of their freedom yet we aren't as free as we believe. Take for instance you will reap what you sow (Gal. 6:7-8). Heaven rules the lives of people even when people refuse to take note of their actions. We are governed by something or Someone.
When we look at the Lord of heaven and earth, He isn't governed by anything or anyone. The Great I AM doesn't check the weather before acting. He makes the weather! He doesn't reap what He sows. He gives generously to everyone who chooses their direction and sets that spiritual law into place.
There is a reason David called God His Shepherd. There is a reason Moses told the people that the "I AM" sent him. The Shepherd, the I AM, Yaweh is who He is. He controls all things and eventually will have the last say in your eternal destiny. The Almighty is unchanged, ungoverned and uncaused. That's why Jesus taught His disciples that the Father knows our needs before we ask (Matt. 6:8). We are governed. God simply IS!

Thursday, June 9, 2011

"The Gardens"

God created this world of our to perfection. No flaws, no deterioration and no corruption. In God's own words: "God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good." (Gen. 1:31) Something marred what God created and it was called sin. Sin entered God's creation and the effect was devastating. "Therefore, just as through one man sin entered into the world, and death through sin, and so death spread to all men, because all sinned."  (Rom. 5:12) With sin came death and that sin and death has touched every single one of us.
In the beginning there was a garden called Eden. A place where God and man walked hand and hand. In this garden man fell to the cunning art of the devil.
Jesus enters the picture and walked hand and hand with God. Jesus brought into focus another garden called Gethsemane. In this garden Jesus humbled Himself and took a stand against the powers of hell.
In the garden of Eden, God desired a relationship with His creation. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus solidified His relationship with His Father seeking His will.
In the garden of Eden, man hid from the presence of God because of shame and guilt. In the garden of Gethsemane, Jesus sought the face of God, exposing all His humanness.
In the garden of Eden, the devil led Eve to looking upon and desiring a tree that led to man's death. In the garden of Gethsemane, God led Jesus to a cross that led to man's life.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

"That's Not Love"

We were watching a "news program" about the decline of family values. In one segment they were interviewing a man on death row for killing his wife. He spoke the words, "I loved her so much that if I couldn't have her, no one could!" Love? Call it jealousy, a fit of rage, out of control thinking but don't call it love!
In another segment of the show they were speaking with a mother who was trying to turn her son against his father. She spoke about the uselessness of the man and couldn't stand the sight of him. (Rather amazing she chose him for her mate!) Then the words came from her mouth, "I love my son so much that I don't want to see any harm come to him from his father." In talking with the son, he was hurt, confused and struggling because he could not understand how his parents could be so hateful to one another. The mother calls it love. Call it hate, bitterness, selfishness or revenge but don't call it love! Love would never put a child in a position to choose between his father and mother.
Have you ever heard a parent say, "I love my children too much to discipline them." You love them too much? Call it lazy, not wanting to bother, not caring for the spiritual well being of your children but don't call it love!
Have you ever heard someone in the church tell you they love you only to speak evil about you behind your back? Love? Let's call it hypocrisy, slander or gossip but don't call it love!
Our view of love is sometimes distorted. Many have little understanding what love really is. "We know love by this, the He laid down His life for us; and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren." (I John 3:16) Love is sacrifice, doing the best for another despite how we feel. Isn't that what Jesus did? How 'loveable' were those who nailed Him to the cross, taking His life? How 'loveable' are we? This is love! Harming others, not taking serious the soul of another doing the best for their spiritual well being is not love.
I Cor. 13 gives us a detailed description of how love responds and acts. Looking out for the well being of our children (that means discipline and stop their ungodly attitudes), giving up of ourselves for the sake of another or just telling someone 'no' for their betterment, that is love in practice. Love speaks what is true and always sides with what is true. It doesn't coddle sin and sinful behavior. Love never thinks of self but only what is best for another and love doesn't keep a record of wrongs but reaches to needs no matter how someone has treated them. That's love! If someone is ungodly in their attitudes and behavior let's not call it love by siding with their actions. Let's be honest and sincere and love them by helping them out of that ungodly behavior or action because it will cost them their soul. Stop worrying if they get mad at you or how they react. Let's stop hiding things under the canopy of love that are loveless! "The one who does not love does not know God, for God is love." (I John 4:8)

Tuesday, June 7, 2011


People are selfish! That's just a fact. I am selfish! I don't want to be and I try to move away from that but I still find myself being selfish and it bothers me. Jesus wasn't selfish. He was 'self-less'.
A while back Resa and I were watching the movie, "What About Bob?" It is a funny look at how a self-consumed person makes a complete nervous wreck out of another who is also self-consumed. It just becomes magnified when the two get together. There is one scene when Bob stands outside his psychiatrists house and calls out, "I need, I need, I need!" That's what self-centered people are about.
Jesus was walking through a multitude and felt power leave His body when someone touched Him. It wasn't the ordinary that touched Him (Luke 8). People surrounded Him, pushing on Him and wanting to be close yet one instance power was pulled from Him and He knew it. It makes you wonder if this power drained Jesus? When He healed or helped with His miraculous touches did it drain Him at the end of the day? I must admit that when you are around people that are burdened, struggling and dealing with major issues in their lives, it drains one at the end of the day. I feel it. It is always good to be able to help others and you want to help but working with people daily can drain you!
There seems to be those that are constantly taking! They always speak of "me" and "I want" or "I need, I need, I need!" Rarely do those who take show any response to help others. Others are called to their attention and side. When things go bad, they become so self-consumed they want to take from another. When things start smoothing out, they give no thought as to what can I do to help or encourage those they constantly take from. Sometimes in the church there are those who are desperate for friendship, not a spiritual relationship. They want to be friends and will push themselves on others until they accomplish their selfish goal. They take! They speak of themselves, their lives, their thinking, their work, their family, their troubles, their weaknesses, their daily activities and it never seems to let up. You feel the "power", not in the same way as Jesus, but the "power" is taken from you and you find yourself wearied, worn and wanting to just get away. You can't do so to the hurt of the taker as that would create bigger problems but at the end of the day, you want to escape and refuel because tomorrow, there will be takers to deal with again. And you sit and find yourself wondering if you too are a taker! Then you realize how takers offer little of themselves.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

"Let's Save Our Breath"

I'm not sure if it because where I have grown in my life or if it is just an age thing but I find myself drawing away more and more from controversial issues. I guess the many years have made me a little battle weary in regard to hot topic issues some seem to want to endlessly debate. I've seen it where someone takes a side on a subject, throws out a few verses and the other side chimes in. It isn't long and veins are bulging in the face and neck and God is thrown around like a hot potato. I guess that is a sight to behold but behold, I don't like the sight!
There are too many people (and some are my own brethren) in serious, spiritual decline that will loose their soul. There is too much time spent on things that simply don't matter and we need to learn to let go of our grip on them and let them alone. We need to stop the debating and throwing around things that simply hurt relationships. I take seriously when the apostle Paul speaks to the evangelist Timothy: "But refuse foolish and ignorant speculations, knowing they produce quarrels." (II Tim. 2:23) Quarrels, I am afraid, is what is driving too many in Christ Jesus creating such an image for those lost in their sins that the salvation of God simply isn't attractive! No love, no unity but a lot of debating with hurting someones feelings. We are not surrounding ourselves with the gospel of salvation and peace. I am not against good sound Biblical discussions about issues that aren't real clear but to get upset or create division that makes one another look suspicious, that's just not God. Let's rally around the gospel and let the gospel be our salvation and strength. Let's save our breath for cooling our meals!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


How our attitudes prevent so much of our growth and understanding. In fact, our attitudes can deteriorate us spiritually and most aren't even aware. Our arrogance, pride, boastful stance along with a sharp and cutting tongue reveal so much about where we stand in our spiritual nature.
Jesus calls a child to Himself, not a little baby. A child. He sets this child before His disciples and spoke a major truth: "Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven. Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven." (Matt. 18:2-3) Converted as child. Converted! It carries the idea of turning. One must turn to the Lord. Without "turning" you will follow your same mind set. Children turn to listen and respond.
I was watching my granddaughter play her first softball game the other night (she is 7). She is a rather good athlete for her age. As I watched, I noticed something. There she was playing 3rd base, ready for anything hit her way. She had been instructed to stay down and prepared. She took the stance the whole inning. The next inning they put her in left center field. I realized there were no balls coming out that far to her but there she was, staying down prepared for anything coming her way. A ball was hit to the short stop and she ran over to back up her teammate never touching the ball but ready. Nothing was hit to her but the whole time ready with a delightful attitude. The final out was recorded and off the field she ran, jumping with delight, never part of any play. Pure delight and enjoyment.
My mind shifted to a member in Christ Jesus a few years back. The lady had worked hard at her high degree from college and I am always aware of the work someone puts in for such a degree. While working a job after retirement she told me, "I've never had to work such a low job before. This just isn't me!" People see things as beneath them. People with pride and arrogance stumble over themselves. The real danger, God isn't part of that and as a result, no spiritual growth. There is no conversion, no dependence on the Lord, no listening to His voice, no awareness of what you need to do for the sake of another. Just pure pride which elevates yourself, robs you of the Lord while the whole time you think you're doing well spiritually. God gives His grace to the humble and the humble serve with a good attitude, thrilled for the progress of the whole just knowing that being part of the whole is a blessing.