Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A TINY BABY, A LITTLE CITY AND ANSWERS TO PRAYER

How often is it, when you ask a request of God, that you expect it to be answered according to the way that you think it should be answered? In other words, you only see one way that your request can be answered and if it were to be answered in any other way, you probably would not recognize your answer? Now be honest in your answer to yourself. I am sure that we are told to let our requests be made known unto God and I am also sure that we are to ask, seek, knock and find. But I would like this post to help you expand your vision about how God may answer prayer.

Israel sought a deliverer to free them from the rule of the Romans just as they had all throughout their existence though the oppressor often changed. The Romans were a mighty and iron footed people. Crush the enemy that will not honor Caesar was more than likely the thought of many of the leaders and the military. And when you have an enemy as powerful as the Romans, surely many in Israel were hoping for another Sampson. The desire for an extremely powerful deliverer who had strength and cunning no doubt was the request in prayer of many to God. And when the time was right, God answered that prayer. But the way He went about it would puzzle any of us who would be seeking a deliverer of great strength. In our minds, we would expect Atlas to show up and defeat our enemy immediately before our eyes.

But God's ways are not hindered by our limited vision. And I am thankful for God who can do exceedingly and abundantly above all that I could think or ask. Sometimes, I am puzzled by the way that God does answer prayer and might even miss the answer to prayer should I ignore the way that He responds.

Consider the incarnation of His Son, Jesus Christ. Jesus, the Messiah of Israel, was and is their promised deliverer. But God sent their answer as a "fragile" baby. And the fact is, with the exception of a few, a baby was not what was being sought but a deliverer of great strength and might. Little did they recognize the strength and might clothed within the flesh of that little baby. Little did they recognize the answer to their prayers and the royalty from which this baby was ushered. No. They did not recognize their answer because kings are born in palaces, NOT in stables. No. They did not recognize their answer because a warrior is strong and able to take care of himself and NOT need the constant care of a mother. They missed their answer because they only thought they could be delivered as they understood deliverance.

Again, I am aware that not all missed the significance of this humble birth. I am sure that there were those who began to praise God for answering their prayers and watched with expectant eyes, the plan of God unfold. The joy that filled their hearts was overwhelming I am sure. Ah, but those who missed the manner in which God was working are to be pitied. The worry that consumed them, the anger that harassed them and the disappointment that defeated them was their food and drink while those who recognized God's answer enjoyed the food of confidence, peace and hope.

Sometimes, God's answer looks small and feeble and is even able to be missed by human eyesight if one is not careful in his presumptions. My encouragement to you this Christmas Eve and from here forward is that you will notice the humility of the manger and the quietness of Bethlehem and realize that sometimes, God's answer starts small but under the power of His almighty hand, it grows until it accomplishes that for which it was sent. That for which you have been praying may already be before you. Stop at the "manger" in the small city of "Bethlehem" and ponder the working of God. You will be totally amazed at what God can and will do with humble means.

Merry Christmas and a Blessed and Happy New Year!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

THE LORD'S PRAYER

Luke 22:32a "...but I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not..."

I have grown quite accustomed to hearing from people that during their Bible reading, they came across a passage that they just had not realized was there prior to that moment. Oh, it was there alright but for whatever reason, there was a failure to notice those choice words. The quote I opened with is one of those passages of "choice" words pregnant with application.

These words were spoken by our Lord to Peter the night before the crucifixion during what we sometimes call, the Upper Room Discourse. I am ever awed that our Lord spent so much of that time focusing on the 12 Disciples as opposed to his own personal suffering. I know that in my flesh, I would have been more worried/concerned about the suffering to be endured than the failures of others. And also in my flesh, I would have been just a tad angry over the fact that the one I was about to die for was about to deny me. Hallelujah! What a wonderful Savior!

Now to my specific point in addressing this issue. Jesus had already prayed for Peter. Such words in the context of distress would usually bring comfort but Peter in his arrogance/pride did not see the need for such, though I am quite sure that these words came back to him as great comfort. But Jesus had not just prayed a general prayer(Lord bless him) for Peter. He was specific in his prayer for Peter, that Peter's faith would not fail. Not Thomas' faith, not Matthew's faith, not John's faith but Peter's faith. Why had he prayed such for Peter? Because Satan was looking for one to devour and he had desired that Peter would be that very one.

Allow me just a line or two for speculative thinking. What would have been the outcome had Jesus not prayed for Peter? Would Satan have been successful in crushing the wheat into powder during the sifting process? Would Peter have been dealt such a blow that he would have never recovered? But the Lord HAD prayed for Peter and though the time of sifting would come, it would be just the chaff of Peter that fell by the wayside not the wheat germ itself. Our Lord's prayer had been answered.

Simple question and the point of this post. For whom have you prayed to defend them against the enemy?

Monday, November 17, 2008

WHOSE PRAISE DO YOU SEEK?

John 12:42-43 Nevertheless among the chief rulers also many believed on him; but because of the Pharisees they did not confess, lest they should be put out of the synagogue: for they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God.

The question was once raised, "what does a man profit if he gain the whole world but lose his soul?" The implied answer is, nothing. We often trade the permanent for the temporary as seen in Esau's trading of the prize(birthright) for pottage. We all love to be praised. Children and grandchildren bring their colorings to their parents and grandparents for the simple reason they want to be praised for their effort. As adults, we should not be seeking the praise of our peers. There are times when we should take comfort in simply knowing that we did what was right and beneficial though no one seems to have noticed. Why? God did notice and has noticed in the past and will notice in the future. His praise is genuine and His praise is perfect. And as the child that seeks the praise of his parents or grandparents, we should be seeking the praise of our spiritual parent, our Heavenly Father.

Secondly, it can be expected that if the world is praising you, God probably is not and the opposite would be true as well. If God is praising you, the world probably wants nothing to do with you. We see that in the life of Jesus. His Father was full of praise for Him but the religious leaders were full of nothing but envy and hatred.

It is true that we cannot please everyone. So the question is, who will you please; God or men? If God, open your mouth and confess Him and His Son Jesus to those around you. If men, the next question would be, why are you willing to trade the prize for mere pottage?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Conversation, Communication: Why Such a Challenge?

Having been silent for some time now, due to time restraints, it is my intention to reenter the electronic environment of the blog. My re-entrance will focus on a subject that I have been interested in as I wander through blogdom. Primarily, the ability on blogs to hold conversation, communication and why it is such a challenge.

Conversation can be as difficult face to face as it is when using the printed word on a blog. Time passes between entries and although it does not happen on my blog, on others, that passage of time may mean the entry of 20 more thoughts all challenging, agreeing or disagreeing with what was said. At least when face to face, the idea that there can only be one speaker at a time usually rules the field. It is quite difficult to hear two speakers at once and understand their points of view. But on the blogs, this oftentimes happens. Multiple views are espoused and it may end up that many threads are being chased either in respect to the main idea or not. To approach blogs with the idea that conversation will be the same as when face to face or on the telephone reveals the naivety of the one who would do such. This mode of interaction, though not here on this blog, usually involves many sub-conversations all taking place at once and even consists of a few persons who attempt to be engaged in all the conversations at once. Surely, this calls for skill and some manage to do so and do it well. But for many of us, it would be wise to stay on topic or at least on a single thread before entangling ourselves in the conversations of others. Also, wisdom would dictate that one read the prior conversation before jumping in with both feet.

But just because conversation is taking place, is it right to assume communication is taking place. Communication does not imply agreement with what is spoken but is the writer actually writing what is meant AND are the listeners hearing without rose colored glasses, the true meaning and wording. Our biases sometimes…often??? shade what is said. But we have no excuse for letting our biases distort what was written. Words on a page are what they are. If such words are vague, we would be wise in either inquiring further into their meaning or just remaining silent. Personally, I like to ask lots of questions even if I use them as a tool to expose a weakness in another’s statements. AND when words are simply heard, for example an online sermon, one would be wise to separate their assumptions about meaning from what was actually said. The hearer does have the option of inquiring of the original speaker as to what was actually intended if there is room for disputation.

Blogdom can be a very useful tool of conversation and communication provided we interact with undivided attention AND a true desire to understand and be understood. After all, God spoke to and through men and prophets, who wrote that Word in preparation for the Incarnate Word and then once again, spoke to apostles who wrote the Word about the Incarnate Word because He desires to be understood.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

GUSTAV

As of the present, we are going nowhere. Planning to hunker down and take whatever Gustav dishes out. But, I reserve all rights to bail out at the last moment and head north to fairer land. Lake Charles should be on the west side of the storm according to the weather prognosticators. See ya'll on the other side of Gustav.

Friday, June 27, 2008

THIS...IS SCIENCE???

I have watched with great interest the Phoenix mission to the planet Mars. Is it not amazing that we can send that much knowledge to a planet and cannot reduce our dependency on oil here on our own planet? But that is another thought for another time. I would like to draw your attention to a particular goal of this mission.

The Phoenix was equipped with special equipment which would allow it to take a few soil sample and check them to see if water was found in the soil. A few pictures back from the planet even showed what some scientists believe may have been ice in the dirt and that is particularly what they were looking for. Their reasoning is that if water is found there, then there is the possibility that life may exist or might have existed on Mars. But here is the catch in all of this scientific endeavor. NASA sent water to Mars. Yes, you heard me correctly. NASA sent water to Mars. You can find that article HERE. The following is the paragraph I am referencing.

"The Phoenix mission is not directly looking for life on Mars, but rather whether conditions for habitability ever existed. In the wet chemistry experiment, water was mixed into the soil to produce Martian mud. Then the apparatus performed the same sorts of tests that gardeners use to test the condition of their soil.

Did you catch that? They sent water to the planet to conduct experiments. The specimen upon which they are conducting their experiments has been compromised. Ah but some will argue that NASA has implemented all kinds of safe-guards to ensure that the soil experiments are not compromised. Oh, you mean the safe-guards that caused one landing craft to enter at a wrong angle and speed because one group of programmers used the Metric system while the others used the English standard system? Oh, do you mean the safe-guards that prevented one shuttle from exploding during take-off taking the lives of the seven astronauts with it? Oh, do you mean the safe-guards that prevented one shuttle from exploding upon reentry when heat and gases were able to mingle in a compromised heat shield?

Should the Lord tarry, a hundred years from now, water will be found on Mars. And it may or may not be because it already existed there but one thing is for sure, it will be found because NASA put it there.

Think about it.

COINCIDENCE OR THE HAND OF GOD?

Sometimes, things happen around us and we are oblivious to the "cause and effect" of those happenings. Here is what I would like you to consider.

On May 15, 2008, California's Supreme Court declared gay marriage to be legal for their state. The ruling would take effect 30 days later. Gay couples began to marry on Monday, June 16th and West Hollywood celebrated a wedding marathon for homosexuals on Saturday, June 21. All that participated in this event are hoping that the people of California do not get this on the ballot and see their marriages voided. References can be found HERE and HERE.

On June 21, 2008, a lightening storm of unnatural proportions was unleashed across portions of California. After more than 8000 strikes, over 800 fires had been started in the rain starved bush of that state. The intensity of the storm and the origin of the storm have caused scientists to shake their heads in disbelief. References can be found HERE and HERE.

Coincidence? I think not. When sin is celebrated so openly and enthusiastically, we can be assured that heaven will respond. Why are people not connecting the dots? Drought and fire over a protracted length of time. Oh yeah, I forgot. This is because of Global Warming. Since there is no God in California, it must be the result of man.

Romans 1:21 Because that when they knew God, they glorified Him not as God...

Think about it!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

AN ATTEMPT TO NEUTER GOD

The article I am referencing is available HERE.

The referenced article has some interesting statistics. But the header and the eye catcher in the article is the fact that a new prayer book is being written that wants to render God gender neutral. This attempt of man to modernize God's Word is a feeble attempt which in the end undermines their own prayers even. When Jesus prayed in the garden, he referred to God as His Father. If God is not the Father, then the son-ship of Jesus is a farce. You cannot remove the gender of God without destroying the revelation of God to man. Undermine the relationship of Jesus to His Father and you undermine Christianity. Undermine Christianity, why even pray?

Paul wrote well of such in Romans 1.
Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools,...

Monday, April 28, 2008

AN ANSWER LONG SOUGHT FOR

There are many who ask the question, "Why does trouble come my way?" or at least some version of that question. Usually, it is asked when the "heat" is on so to speak. To use a different illustration, the thought does not usually cross one's mind until a storm is upon them and then the question arises, "Why this trouble?". The Bible has the answer to your question. You may not like the answer but it is definitely the answer to the question.

Why do troubles come? According to Paul in II Corinthians 1:9, trouble comes "that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God...". Now, in Paul's particular situation, the trouble was death and Paul's hope in this particular situation was that God raises the dead. But the core principle of this verse is that Paul says he was learning to trust in God, not in himself.

Isn't that really were we all run amok. We like to think that we have things all under control. We like to think that we have things all planned out. We have our calendars and our day planners and our computer programs and everything is timed to the "T" to work out just right. Therein lies our problem. We are trusting in ourselves rather than God. Troubles come, therefore, to teach us NOT to trust ourselves but rather to have faith in God.

There is NO SITUATION you can find yourself in where God cannot sustain you. And maybe, just maybe, that trouble that is upon you now or coming your way is to reveal that you have been trusting yourself more than trusting God. Certainly it is not something we love to experience, trouble, but the experience will certainly teach us to love our God more than we love ourselves.

May God's grace super-abound in your life today.

Friday, April 18, 2008

IT TAKES RAIN!

Even as I am typing this, rain is falling outside. I am quite sure that there are some home builders who are not happy with the liquid sunshine. I am also sure that there are others who had plans and this rain is washing away at those plans. But I LOVE the rain.

I am a gardener of two sorts. I have a vegetable garden and the beginnings of a rose garden as well as other plants and flowers. These veggies and flowers depend upon this rain for their growth. I can use city water but it does not have the same effect as rain water. After a rain, the grass grows much darker and fuller and the garden veggies as well. The city water does not have as good an effect as the rain water. I placed a 55 gallon plastic drum under one of my gutters to catch the rain water and I use it to water my plants and veggies until it runs dry. Then I hope for rain to fill it up again. Rain water is so much better than man's "purified" water.

The Word of God is likened to water. It washes and regenerates. Sure, you can use "man-made" water for your soul, but it does not produce, it cannot produce what only the pure Word of God can do. Have you had your water today? Do you long for the rain of the Word of God to quench your soul's thirst? Do you long for the real rain and not some man-made, second rate HOH with additives? Read your Bible. Meditate on either a Scripture you are memorizing or one that you have already memorized. Let God, through His Word, quench the thirst of a pilgrim traveling through a dry and thirsty land. Remember, it takes rain!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

BLOG RECOMMENDATION

If you would take the time, I would encourage you to stop over at BYRON'S place and read his latest article, "Be Skeptical of the Skeptics". It is informative and I believe it will bless you to read the truth that is uncovered in this article.

Friday, April 11, 2008

A CALL TO PRAYER

Please pray for the family of Debbie Kaufman. She is a blogger herself and a frequent commenter on sites that I visit. Her 20 year old daughter has lost her husband in an motor vehicle accident. We pray that the grace of God may super-abound during this time of trial.

Friday, April 4, 2008

ARE YOU SOWING?

Well, it is that time of year and Spring is in the air. The temperature stays in the upper 70's during the day and is even venturing into the lower 80's. The azaleas have bloomed and now need trimming. The roses are beginning to yield their blooms and the wisteria is beginning to wind down. The grass is green, hummingbirds have returned and the lawn mower shops are bustling with sales and activities. It is also time, actually about 2 weeks past, to plant the old garden. It can be a lot of work getting a garden together. There are weeds to pull, rows to make, decisions to be made about what to plant and where to plant it. But one thing is sure, if you do not plant, you cannot reap. If you do not put seeds into the garden, your garden will not bear fruit. And, besides weeds, you only reap what you plant. You cannot plant corn and expect to get green beans or vice-versa. You plant knowing that it is about 2 months away before you can begin to expect fruit but you plant anyway. The payoff is tremendous. The hard work is fruitful and can be very rewarding. There is nothing like a pot of fresh green beans, seasoned with smoked bacon or sausage.

Our spiritual lives need the same amount of attention and care. We cannot reap where we have not sown. AND, we reap what we sow. Sow weeds and you profit weeds. Sow fruit and you will profit with fruit. How can we sow as Christians? First, I would say you need to sow the Word of God in your minds. Memorize Scripture. Read Scripture. Study Scripture. Meditate on Scripture. Secondly, I would say you need to sow by sharing the Word of God. Whether words given to encourage, heal, challenge or evangelize, share with the hope of seeing God bless the work with returns. Third, I would say you need to sow by supporting those who are sowing the Word of God. That usually means finances but more importantly, your prayers and your involvement in helping them are what are most desired.

So, what are you sowing?

Galatians 6:7-10 Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Check Out My New Blog

I have started another blog that will allow me to keep the sanctity of this blog and yet still venture into the world of the Southern Baptist Convention, its politics and its problems. It is found at:

All Things SBC

Stop in and visit.

Monday, March 31, 2008

PLANS FOR TOMORROW?

Did you check with God about those plans? This is just a friendly reminder that God is not on our timetable but rather we are on His. We may be able to change the outside color of hair, but God can permanently change the DNA of your hair. When you can change the actual color of your hair, then I suppose God may take your plans a little more seriously.

We all make plans, yes we do. It is Scriptural to make plans.(last post) But it is not Scriptural to presume that you can carry out those plans without considering what God is doing. God's will is going to be done no matter how much we may strive against Him. The American "Can Do" Attitude attempts to influence us into thinking that we are in control of our destiny. However, the Word teaches us that God is the ultimate One in control of destiny.

Hear these words from James 4:15.

For that ye ought to say, If the Lord will, we shall live, and do this or that.


So, what have you planned for tomorrow???

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Count the Cost.... BEFORE....Not After

Sure you want a puppy. After all, it is so soft and cuddly and cute. It is fun to watch it chase balls across the floor. And who does not laugh when it chases it tail around and around until it gets dizzy?! But wait. What…what is that the puppy is doing now? NOOOOOooooo, not squatting on the floor. Aw mannn. Human reaction is not fast enough to thwart the bodily functions of this puppy. Now, a damp spot in the carpet and a little pile of pooh of which needs disposing await human reaction. Finally, it is bed time and so the little pup is placed in its bed. It peers from the blanket with huge eyes of wonderment as to what is going to happen now. The human body longs for its own bed and its feet turn from the puppy to head to the bedroom, but the tickety-tick of little puppy nails on the floor indicate that the puppy has learned how to follow. Placing it back in its bed followed by sharp admonitions to stay should do the trick. Ahhh but the puppy has a few tricks up its fur. What is it now? Yelp yelp yelp yelp. Whimper. Whine. It is lonely. This is its first night away from its own family. The night is a sleepless night for all in the house. Eyes blurred by the lack of sleep miss the nights gift of a wet spot in the hallway floor. The kitchen has its own gift awaiting as the puppy rounds the corner. It really was cute when it was picked out of the litter. In fact, it was the cutest of all the little pups. Having a puppy does not seem to be the brightest of choices now. What happened?

Somebody forgot to ponder, for even a moment, the care and upkeep associated with the puppy. Counting the cost was exchanged for consideration of cuteness. Temporary desire overruled life-long devotion. Commitment to a person, project or pet is just that. A commitment. Rather than failing to live up to those commitments, a person should avoid them altogether. If you cannot be faithful, do not marry. If you cannot finish the project, do not start it. If you cannot take care of the pet, do not take it home.

Many things seem like a good idea at the time. In fact, when I fail at something now and somebody asks why I did what I did, I try to make it a habit to say that, “it seemed like a good idea at the moment.” But what I do not like is when something turns out one way other than what was expected and the reason that it was not expected is that the cost was not counted and then you begin to hear complaining. In fact, you will even hear, “I did not count on this happening.” Well, simply put, you should have put more counting into your plans. Hear the words of Jesus.

Luke 14:28-32

For which of you, intending to build a tower, sitteth not down first, and counteth the cost, whether he have to finish? Lest haply, after he hath laid the foundation, and is not able to finish, all that behold begin to mock him, saying, This man began to build, and was not able to finish.

Or what king, going to make war against another king, sitteth not down first, and consulteth whether he be able with ten thousand to meet him that cometh against him with twenty thousand? Or else, while the other is ye a great way off, he sendeth an ambassage, and desireth conditions of peace.

While the application Jesus makes is specifically to the cost of discipleship, the truth that Jesus puts forth is applicable to all of life.

Count the cost BEFORE you begin so that you may finish well.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

JEREMIAH WRIGHT: Eisegesis and Historical Revisionism

Occasionally, we read on blogs the accusation towards another of eisegesis rather than exegesis being the foundation of an argument. Occasionally, we may find ourselves listening to a recorded message on the radio by some pastor or some televised message that we label as eisegetical in nature rather than exegetical, but the message by Barak Obama's former pastor yet current mentor is rather obvious. In one of his sermons, which are readily available on YouTube, he makes the statement that "Jesus was a poor black man". As blinded as the Pharisees were before Jesus, this preacher stands before his own congregation. Wright's characterization of Jesus as black is as bad as those painters who give Jesus blue eyes and blonde hair. You can point to the Bible all you want and say that it tells you Jesus was a poor black man under the rule of rich white people but the fact that you are a pastor does not make it right. Point blank, Wright is WRONG! Jesus, incarnate, was a Jew come to save His people, the Jews who are not black(African) and who are not white(European) but Jews AND who also came to save the black, white, red and any other color fella you want to list. The attempt to make Jesus more/less than what He is/was is idolatry. And no one, regardless of color gets a free pass when it comes to rightly dividing the Word of truth.

Occasionally, we read modern books that attempt what is called historical revisionism. This is a reference to the attempt to rewrite history not to record what actually happened but rather history with a slant from the writers point of view. This slant is supposed to help a modern agenda. Again, Wright is wrong. He seeks to make a correlation between the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki and 9-11. He would repaint the pre-WWII history and make the United States the aggressor rather than Japan. He would repaint the modern history of 9-11 to make the United States the aggressor rather than Al Qaida/Taliban. Wright wrongly states that this is the reason for America's troubles, that "America's chickens are coming home to roost".

America has troubles to be sure but America's troubles stem from it rejection of the Biblical principles upon which it was founded and the God that blessed America rather than aggression towards Middle Easterners. America has troubles to be sure but America's troubles stem from pastor's who do not rightly proclaim the truths of God's Word but instead tell their congregants what they want to hear rather than what God wants them to hear.

We have traded the Gospel of spiritual deliverance from sin and death for a social gospel of handouts without accountability. We have traded the truth that 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 for the lie that the white man is the black man's enemy and the black man is the white man's enemy. We have an enemy and he is the same enemy that is behind racism, Nazism, Islam and a host of other 'isms. He is the same enemy that thought that by killing Jesus, he could usurp the throne for himself.

God help us to tell history as it was and the Gospel as it is.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

IN DEFENSE OF LARGE FAMILIES

I was both saddened and happy when I read a recent letter. A couple wrote their friends and families to tell of the fact that they were expecting another baby. Daddy, mommy and 5 children were excited about the new addition to their family though they would be waiting another 8 months for it to arrive. In this letter, the lady was compelled to write that she desired that everyone would be happy for them. I was overjoyed to hear they were expecting again and the fact that this child would make the sixth time the Lord had blessed them was in no way a hindrance to my joy at all. But to live in a world where she felt that there would be some reading who would think that she was just going way to far shows just how much of the Word of God we have forgotten. To think that there are people who would question, chastise or belittle the next blessing this family was about to receive is beyond my understanding. So to those who think large families are a burden and to those parents who have been questioned about their reason for adding to their number, let me offer to you the Word of the Lord.

Psalm 127:3-5
Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.

It is time that especially we as Christians see children for what they truly are. They are a gift, a treasure given to us by the Almighty God. Neither global warming nor global cooling nor taxes nor personal goals should be allowed to influence us otherwise. Families are the KEY to a functional society and you cannot have families without children. Thank God that those who can have large families do and may God bless them so that their children will continue to bring a heavenly influence over the world as a whole. May God truly bless the wombs of His children and may they indeed celebrate the blessings of the LORD.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

TOP NEWS HEADLINES THAT ASTOUND

With hopes of slapping Christianity and Judaism, it is now reported that Moses had a little help on Sinai:
LINK

And yet Islam followers are given a free pass:
LINK

Can you imagine the outcry if the first story was that Mohamed had been smoking camel dung and that Christian women were asking for their own time to exercise at Harvard?

It is so comforting to me, in the midst of such duplicity, that this world is NOT our home but that we have an eternal home, not made with human hands, awaiting us. Blessed thought this is!

Monday, March 3, 2008

WORD FOR THE WEEK

THANKFULNESS

The attitude of the heart of a father to the heavenly Father for His grace and mercy upon his son.
The attitude of the heart of a father, to the Father, when he contemplates what could have been apart from Divine Intervention.


Wednesday, February 20, 2008

UPDATE ON BUBBA

Bubba is doing well all things considered. In fact, considering the grace of God, Bubba has a new lease on life. We are praying that infection will not set in and we are doing all within our ability to ensure that it does not but our dependence is upon the Lord. Below is a link to 2 pics of his leg. WARNING: They may be graphic to some.

Thank you all for your prayers and Praise God for His goodness.

To Pics.

Monday, February 18, 2008

PRAY FOR BUBBA

I and my family are asking that you pray with us for our son Bubba. He was cleaning his gun yesterday and shot himself in the leg. The bullet entered and exited his leg twice running along a downward angle. The Lord was gracious to us in that no arteries were severed and the bone was not hit. This alone is a miracle but the bullet is another miracle. It did not do as it was designed to do. It was a 40 calilber hollow point that failed to mushroom. The bullet actually landed in his boot. We are thanking and praising God that all is well but we are also asking that no infection results. We will be visiting the surgeon later today to double check the work of the ER doctor. He has at least a month of recovery ahead of him but praise God we still have him. I'll be out more so this week than normal but I appreciate your prayers.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

CHARLES BARKLEY: HYPOCRIT

Check out this LINK where sir dunks-a-lot spewed garbage from the dumpster. Uh Charles, you have done what you declare that the conservative Christians have done. But, it is all well and good when the Left does it for after all, the rules only apply to the Right, at least that is the way the Left would have it.

I also guess that by Charles' logic, liberals are the real Christians. Charles, a real Christian is one who follows JESUS CHRIST. And in case you have not heard, Jesus did tell people to go and sin no more, which means that they were sinning. But He did not come to condemn sinners to hell, He came to save sinners from hell and part of that saving surely means that the Christian now follows Jesus as master and not sinful lifestyles. This means, Charles, that abortion is a sin that can be forgiven but it is sin none-the-less. This means, Charles, that homosexuality is a sin that can be forgiven but it is sin none-the-less. Making sin legal or illegal, Charles, does not make it any less or any more sinful.

Stick to giving basketball tips, Charles. It is obvious you know nothing of the Word of God.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING IT TOO!

Check out this link:

Adoption of Islamic Sharia law in Britain is 'unavoidable', says Archbishop of Canterbury


How well do you think the reverse would be received in the Muslim countries? I say it would be about as well received as screen doors on submarines by the Navy. Just wouldn't happen would it?!

WHERE'S MARY?

Revelation 5:2-5 And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of th elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold the Lion of the tribe of Juda, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof.

For all those who would contend that Mary, the mother of Jesus, was sinless, these verses prove to be a devastating blow. In fact, for all who would espouse any other savior than Jesus have a very difficult time in getting past these verses. The search for any person worthy to open the scroll eliminated not only those in heaven but those on earth as well. Amongst this crowd, even Mary was not found worthy. To espouse to others that she is to be sought through prayer for favors is patently blasphemous. There is only One who is worthy of worship, honor and glory. There is only One worthy to open the scroll and it was not Mary. While she was blessed among women, the title Blessed One is only reserved for the Christ.(Romans 9:5)

For that matter, we can also ask where Mohamed, Krishna, L. Ron Hubbard, Confucius, Paul, John and others were when this question is asked. Truth be known, NONE are worthy. There is only one worthy and it is the Lamb of God who was slain for our transgressions. Salvation is not by accident but it is by the purpose of God and only through His Son.

Reader, do not trust the inventions of men for salvation when the plan of God is so perfect yet restricted. Man's works do not achieve the righteousness of God. Righteousness is imputed to us through Christ and Christ alone by faith and faith alone. When this passage in Revelation makes it so clear that Christ is the only Holy One, why would you seek after another? Turn to Christ while it is still day. Turn from idols before the night falls. Mary cannot save you, but her Son can. Mary cannot change your heart. Jesus can and will if you will but call upon Him for salvation.

There are no other options for there is none in heaven, none in earth and none under the earth worthy to save you than Jesus Alone.

Monday, February 4, 2008

MARDI GRAS MADNESS

I live in the Gulf Coast region of the state of Louisiana. With the exception of Contraband Days, this is one of the biggest events in our area. Fat Tuesday, as it is celebrated down here, is a time of excess. It is a time of excess limited only by legislation and imagination. In fact, some laws are "overlooked" during this time so as not to spoil the fun and revelry. Fat Tuesday is a time to throw moderation to the wind and indulge one's self with the complete knowledge that the day after, known as Ash Wednesday, everything will be made right. In other words, sin does not account for much on Tuesday because it will be absolved on Wednesday. Or, we can sin today because grace will abound tomorrow.

The names of such Krewes as Bacchus, Endymion and Zeus, among others, ought to be a hint of what one could and should expect during this event. Gods and goddesses are venerated and celebrated with such enthusiasm as to convince one that they really exist. Oh c'mon Luke. These are not being worshiped. This is just a lot of people having fun. And my retort is this, "What fellowship does Jesus have with Baal?" As the people of God, we are to be separate from the base elements of this world. In the world, yes, but not of it! And what can be said of sinning today knowing we can have grace tomorrow? Romans chapter 6 is Paul's answer to such. GOD FORBID! To sin under the presumption of grace speaks at best of carnal Christianity and at worst, sin darkened hearts with no real knowledge of or relationship with the Light.

Do not envy the ways of southern Louisiana and Mardi Gras. Rather, pray that the true children of God would come out from this practice and recognize what a shame this is to the Only True God and Savior, Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

WASP NESTS AND WATER

Proverbs 17:14 The beginning of strife is as when one letteth out water: therefore leave off contention before it be meddled with.


What did you really hope to accomplish by throwing that rock at the wasp's nest? It would have been better had that question been asked BEFORE the rock left your hand. There is always a motive. But every motive does not always have as its end the goal of honoring Christ.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

WORRY, and THOSE WHO DO

A person who worries about things that have not happened would make a very poor banker. Instead of waiting until a savings account was opened to begin attributing interest earned where due, the banker would add interest to an unopened account because of what the depositor might invest. In no time at all, the banker would be broke and destitute.

Worry is like that. Worry is interest paid on an account not yet invested. And to compound the problem, the amount may never even be invested or it might only be a fraction of what was thought that would be. And yet, so many people live their lives on what might be instead of what is and will be.

Worry in its self accomplishes nothing. Well, that is if you do not consider a stomach ulcer, heart problems, increased cholesterol, sleepless nights, headaches and fatigue as anything. Worry does not change events. Worry neither increases nor decreases the likelihood that an event will or will not occur. Maybe we can then define worry as payment on a bill not received.

What then is the cure for worry? Very simple. Get so enamored with seeking God and His righteousness that you do not have time to contemplate what tomorrow holds. Put another way, stare so long into the sun(Son, Jesus, the True Light) that the things of this earth around you grow fainter and fainter.

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.(KJV)

Monday, January 14, 2008

ARE YOU READY TO BE OFFENDED?

I can remember when I was younger watching the Duracell commercial on the television which featured the then prominent actor, Robert Conrad. In the commercial, he was to be exhibit the tough guy image by placing a battery on his shoulder and daring you to knock it off. I still remember my wish that somebody would. I would love to have seen his reaction.

Today, we live in a highly charged, antennae saturated, overly sensitive society. Political correctness has run so far amok and reached such a volume that some are reluctant to speak because someone else may be offended by something said in spite of the fact that no offense is intended to be communicated. However this post is not being written to address those that offend when they speak but rather to address those who are offended by everything they hear.

Let me start this then by saying that if profanity offends you, in addition to calling/writing the advertisers of movies that contain such, you need to only turn your TV off. It is that simple. Do not watch the movie/program. Now I do not like profanity. I learned quite a while back that profanity is the attempt of a feeble mind trying to express itself forcefully. When I hear profanity being used, I acknowledge to myself that the person speaking the profanity lacks the moral integrity and virtue that the Spirit of Christ would seek to instill in such a person. While not restricted to only profanity, when the Scripture says that we should not let any corrupt words proceed from our mouths, profanity is included. Other people are offended by suspected racists comments. Others still are offended by what we would call sexists comments. This list could get extremely long but we dare not forget the socio-economic comments that some would find offensive and extreme.


In each of these situations, the hearer is wearing their particular ideology like a battery on their shoulder just daring and waiting for anyone to knock it off. Have we, as Christians, forgotten what Jesus came for? He came not to condemn the world but that the world through him might be saved. As his ambassadors, we have the same calling. We are to be a people that seek reconciliation rather than the condemnation of another. Rather than be offended by a person's speech, what I hear is a soul that needs the work of the Holy Spirit. And might it just be that through me and a humble spirit on my part, that God might reach said offender. When I am easily offended, I lift myself up rather than Christ. Rather than seeing a sin darkened heart when I am offended, I see the red of my pride that I believe is so worthy of respect. If a person respects not Jesus Christ, how in the world can I expect that they would respect me? And if their life is lived in such a way that it can be said of them they respect and follow Christ, perhaps, just perhaps that the words they uttered that you found so offensive were in no way intended or meant to be offensive but were interpreted that way through the battery that was being displayed on your shoulder.

Passing laws in our country have done nothing to change the heart of man. Laws may restrain the actions of man but they do no have the ability to do what only the Gospel of Jesus Christ can do, change the heart. As an ambassador of Christ then, I am to ultimately be concerned about the hearts of man. Just because their actions have been restrained does not mean the issue has been settled. In fact, it is extreme naivety to think that restraint has changed the heart. Sometimes, restraint actually enrages the heart and the opposite of what is best happens. As Christians, we should be ready to dialogue about our Savior and the power afforded by him to make the changes that we so desire. Can we forget about ourselves long enough to see that at least on our part, Christ is lifted up? Is there enough integrity within our own hearts to make sure that Jesus Christ is offended before we are? Need we be reminded that all sin is actually against Christ though it may be aimed at man?

Why would what I have said offend anybody? It is precisely because it would seem that I am giving the offender a free ride. It would seem that I am placing the responsibility on the offended rather than the offender. Absolutely not. Rather, I am bringing back into the equation that which is so often neglected or disregarded. Is my display of being offended bringing dishonor to the cross and work of Jesus Christ? It does become necessary to confront such a one who would bring forth corrupt speech but that is the subject of another post. Rather, this one is to deal with the hearts of those who cry foul so easy when they are offended.

Genesis 21:25-30 has an interesting correlation for this subject. Abraham was wronged/offended by the actions of another and instead of pitching a fit, Abraham gave the offender gifts as a sign that he, Abraham, had been wronged. Boy, would this turn our court system for civil suits on its head or what? But, that can be the subject of some other post as well. My point, what does the behavior of crying foul so swiftly and easily say about the condition of the heart of the one who is crying foul?


While this may not float so well in the world's eyes, it ought to sail rather smoothly on the ocean of Christianity. Shouldn't it?

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

A FACET OF THE ATONEMENT

I'm preaching through the Gospel according to John and a particular passage jumped out at me like at no other time before. Here it is:

John 8:24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am, ye shall die in your sins.

This one verse can turn one's entire view of the atonement on its end. I, as well as many of you, have been taught, listened to many sermons, read many books and studied about the atonement and its extent. What does this verse say about the atonement.

At the cross, where Jesus laid down his life, a price was paid. A debt was paid. A punishment was endured. A transaction was made. However, the legal effects of this sacrifice, as pertaining to a sinners guilt before God, only become real or transacted at the moment that the sinner/guilty believes in Jesus, the great I Am. Unbelief, the refusal to accept Jesus as God in the flesh(and thus his teachings), results in one being judged guilty and sent to eternal punishment for their own sins. Mark 16:16 (for those of you who have not cut it from your texts) reinforces this concept that, "the wrath of God remains upon them that believe not."(Henry, vol5, pg 989)

What happens at salvation then is this. Jesus does not die again every time someone believes for the Scriptures plainly teach that Jesus died once. But, at the moment someone believes, the price that Jesus paid is applied to the debt, sin, of the believing. Not before, not some second blessing later but at the moment of belief.

Jesus did not universally pay a debt that rendered all men sinless. At the cross, Jesus paid the debt for those who had died in belief. Hebrews 11 has a list of many, though it is not exclusive to them alone as being the only ones who died in belief. But the forward application of the cross only takes place when a person "believes" in Jesus as the great I Am. At the cross then, the payment was "actual" for those before the Christ, and is "potential" for those coming after the Christ. It is kind of like the miracle of II Kings 4:1-6. As long as there are vessels to be filled, the oil will keep pouring and will not stay until there are no more vessels to fill. The blood of Jesus shed at the cross, like such, will keep paying the sin debts of those who believe until there remains no more to believe. The cross, like the pot of oil, has great potential to fill many. But its application stops once there are no more who believe.

Who then can be saved? Whosoever will, let him come. For Jesus' payment will be applied to your debt at the moment salvation is graced upon you. But know this, refusal to have faith in Jesus, the great I Am, and you will die in your sins and YOU will eternally pay your debt of sin. It is not enough to know his teachings. It is not enough to believe he is a prophet. It is not enough to believe he was a good man. He must be received, by faith, as the Christ, the Messiah, the Lamb of God. If there is an empty vessel, there is oil to fill it.

Monday, January 7, 2008

BROTHERS AND SISTERS IN CHRIST

These things ought not be so!

If you have no frame of reference to which I allude, you are more blessed than you realize.

Lord,
Have mercy on us and flood us with you peace. Grace us with wisdom, patience and forgiveness toward others. Help us to decrease that you might increase.

SELAH

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

ANGLICAN ANYALYSIS AWRY

HERE is an article of just recent that ought to get your eyes a rolling. With Christmas being past and only a few hundred days until it returns, there is much time to consider what the Archbishop has to say. Now I realize that there is much about the birth of Jesus that we do not know. What time of night, how many shepherds there were, seems to have been anything but silent for the shepherds, how many wise men there were and exactly when, date and time, they showed up are a few questions that are batted around to which we do not have an absolute biblical answer. But when one begins to cast doubt upon what the Word actually records, now it is time to scrap. Two points wherein the Archbishop showed his true reasoning behind bringing any of this up anyway are:

1. He actually denies the account of Matthew 2:9 by saying that "stars just don’t behave like that". Well, Matthew records that this one did. Perhaps the Archbishop thinks that Matthew was just recording legend, folklore, myth? In his feeble attempt to set the record straight about the Christmas celebration, he ends up with all four wheels in the ditch. To deny the very truth recorded by Matthew based upon his understanding of earth science rather than faith in God and the truth of His word is bound to eventually resurface in the doubting of other portions of the Word of God.

2. He actually calls the virgin birth of Jesus a "hurdle" over which new Christians did not need to concern themselves with in order to be "signed up". I can only assume that by being "signed up" he is referring to salvation. If that be the case, he believes it but it isn't necessary for others to believe in the virgin birth in order to be saved. If Jesus was not virgin born then he was simply the offspring of Joseph and Mary, which would make Jesus a mere mortal and not Immanuel. If Jesus was not virgin born then his death secured nothing for the salvation of others much less his own. If Jesus was not virgin born, the the idea of the resurrection is absolutely ludicrous unless we deny other Scriptures about death and the afterlife. If Jesus was not virgin born, then what exactly is the calling of the Archbishop? Is it a call to a man-made organization? For there truly is no church if Jesus was not born of a virgin. Deny the virgin birth and you invalidate the entire New Testament.

May God have mercy upon this man and may the Holy Spirit show him the error of his way.

HUCAKBEE ON MEET THE PRESS

If you did not get the opportunity to watch Sunday's show with Tim Russert(Most SB preachers/church goers are at church I think), you can still watch the interview with Huckabee HERE. That link also gives you the opportunity to read the entire transcript which I have done. I prefer the transcript because then I can pause and ponder the statements that are made without missing what comes next. Here is my take on one issue from that interview.

ORDAINED MINISTER OR POLITICIAN?

I am not sure what time during the interview this was but it is on page 6 of the transcript. Huckabee was asked about a statement that was penned in his 1998 book, "Kids Who Kill". In that statement, homosexuality was listed as an "institutionally supported aberration" along with pedophilia, sadomasochism and necrophilia. Huckabee, when pressed by Russert, demonstrated what it truly means to be a politician. Rather than AFFIRMING or even denying his previous statement from his book, Huckabee AVOIDS addressing the quote. Can we expect more of the same from Huckabee if he were elected to the White House? Strangely, Huckabee expects that BECAUSE he is a "Southern Baptist Evangelical" that he will automatically secure the support of other "Southern Baptist Evangelicals". HERE, in response to the action of Land to support Thompson, Huckabee said, "They make 'electability' their criterion." Let me point out the obvious. Huckabee, I contend, must have sensed that affirming the quote from his book on homosexuality would affect HIS OWN ELECTABILITY and so he avoided, if not abandoned, his belief that homosexuality is an "institutionally supported aberration". Huckabee appears to have abandoned his ordination at that moment for electability, or more commonly called, politically expedient behavior. HERE, Huckabee, in an appeal for "Southern Baptist Evangelical" votes also stated, "But I am a true soldier for the cause. If my own abandon me on the battlefield, it will have a chilling effect."

An ordained minister abandoning his beliefs and morals for electability have a chilling effect on me.


Tuesday, January 1, 2008

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

May the year 2008 be a blessed year for you and may your faith and love for the Lord Jesus Christ grow abundantly.