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Showing posts from 2011

Entertaining God - 2012

I know the title sounds a little inauspicious for how can we, sinners that we are, possibly entertain the Lord of Lords and King of Kings? But that is just the question that seems to be relevant when we consider Abrahams encounter with the Lord in the field of Machpelah near a certain grove of terebinth trees at Mamre. The Scripture states:
Then the Lord appeared to him by the terebinth trees of Mamre, as he was sitting in the tent door in the heat of the day. So he lifted his eyes and looked, and behold, three men were standing by him; and when he saw  them,  he ran from the tent door to meet them, and bowed himself to the ground, and said, My Lord, if I have now found favor in Your sight, do not pass on by Your servant. Please let a little water be brought, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree. And I will bring a morsel of bread, that you may refresh your hearts. After that you may pass by, inasmuch as you have come to your servant. They said, Do as you have said, …

Christmas Reminds Us of Hope!

Christmas is a wonderful time of the year. It’s a time of giving, sharing, receiving, and love. All over America and in many places around the world people are doing just that. Children are ecstatic wondering what is they will receive in the brightly packaged gifts and colorful stockings, while Mom and Dad, or Mom or Dad, Grandma or Grandpa, or a caretaker, or someone in authority (whew!)—joyfully watch as they tear the paper to shreds revealing the gift, or hopefully, the hope of their heart. In this is a valid scriptural truth and not to be sneered at that parents know how to give good gifts to their children.

Jesus is well aware of this. In fact, he was quick to reference it in relation to the Father in Heaven being even more gracious than we! He stated, “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him!”Matthew 7:11 (ESV) God our Father created us to have emotion. The gre…

The Bethlehem Star Still Shines!!

The image of the Three Wisemen following the star of Bethlehem is one of the images that the Lord permanently placed in my heart many years ago. As a child I used to find an overwhelming peace in trying to draw and color different renditions of this image. Today a popular slogan is, "Wisemen Still Follow Him!" Maybe it is one of the reasons I titled my book "Those Who Are Wise Will Shine!" Because in the heart of true believers the light of Christ still shines! It is my prayer for all believers everywhere that they would seriously consider what a relationship to Christ really means. We have been given a gift that is so great--so far beyond human imagination, that when it is manifested through us to the world men are either drawn to it--like the wisemen--or they run from it--like Cain running from the Lord, (Jude 1:11).

Why are so many turned away from the light of Christ? At the root of every excuse,it could be that we as Christians, are not truly allowing Christ t…

Christmas Candles!

Being a Christmas Elf myself, every year at Christmas time I always admire the families who display candles in their windows. They are so beautiful and the soft glow is reminiscent of warmth and peace. Even Alabama, that great country band also wrote of this in their song, "Just a Candle in the Window."  In their words, "It's like God's perfect light!"  But I must admit, Christmas Candles have become to onerous for me to deal with. I love their look, I love their light, and I love the mood they can cast. But, I can never keep up with them! If they are real wax candles I forget to light them or I forget to blow them out. I also worry about them burning down the house. Then there are the battery types. Oh boy, just another item I have to put batteries in or shall I say, forget to put batteries in. Then there are the corded types. Place them in the window and often the cord is so heavy it pulls the candle out onto the floor! So as you can see, I am not a fan o…

Where is God this Thanksgiving Season?

The Thanksgiving season is a blessed time for family gatherings, the carving of the turkey, and many other fun life building events. It is truly a time for us to pause and reflect upon the things that we are most thankful for. But, as is always the case, there are those who refuse to be thankful as they continue to live in cynicism toward the day and the blessings of others. Like the Christmas “Scrooge” they have become the thanksgiving “deluge” doing their best to rain on the parade of others! Well, I too can think of a multitude of things that I am not thankful for, but only if I wish to look at them as not having any reason or purpose.
For instance: How can I be thankful for the cancer that takes a young mother from her adoring children? How can I be thankful for the children left behind who suffer a pain beyond all understanding as they spill forth rivers of tears? How can I be thankful for the orphans who wonder if there really is love in life? What about the homeless who roam th…

The Peace God Desires we Have!

November should always be an exciting month. In America, we celebrate a day of Thanksgiving on the 4th Thursday of the month. Wikipedia states the following:

Thanksgiving or Thanksgiving Day, celebrated on the fourth Thursday in November, has officially been an annual tradition in the United States since 1863, when during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed a national day of thanksgiving to be celebrated on Thursday, November 26. ...The event that Americans commonly call the "First Thanksgiving" was celebrated to give thanks to God for guiding them safely to the New World. The first Thanksgiving feast lasted three days, providing enough food for 13 Pilgrims and 90 Native Americans. The feast consisted of fish (cod, eels, and bass) and shellfish (clams, lobster, and mussels), wild fowl (ducks, geese, swans, and turkey), venison, berries and fruit, vegetables (peas, pumpkin, beetroot and possibly, wild or cultivated onion), harvest grains (barley and wheat), an…

Christmas/Thanksgiving Prayer Chain

Although the idea is not new, why not do something inventive during these upcoming holidays? Why not take some time to create a "Prayer Chain" while at the same time teaching your children about prayer? My wife and I were speaking of this just last week after she made mention of it. It is a great way to count down the Advent season or just list those people and things you are thankful for during the Thanksgiving holiday!

I am unaware of any, at least in America, who have never seen or even made a Christmas chain before. But in case that is you, here is how:

1) Gather some colored construction paper. For Christmas, Red and Green are popular colors. For Thanksgiving, Yellow, Orange, and Brown seem to be popular.

2) Cut the construction paper in to 3/4 to 1 " strips of equal length.

3) On each strip write down a prayer request. This could be a person, family, place, thing, or situation. Alternatively you could write what you are thankful for.

4) Taking some glue, place a …

Following Jesus!

I have spent a lot of time lately reviewing the teachings of Jesus concerning following Him and what it really means. I have always taught that to follow Christ meant to listen, wait, use discernment, and then always say Yes when called - no matter the purpose.

57 Now it happened as they journeyed on the road, that someone said to Him, "Lord, I will follow You wherever You go."
58 And Jesus said to him, "Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head."
59 Then He said to another, "Follow Me." But he said, "Lord, let me first go and bury my father."
60 Jesus said to him, "Let the dead bury their own dead, but you go and preach the kingdom of God."
61 And another also said, "Lord, I will follow You, but let me first go and bid them farewell who are at my house."
62 But Jesus said to him, "No one, having put his hand to the plow, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of G…

Guarding Our Hearts – Keeping the Devil Aloof

Proverbs 4:23 reminds us to, "Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life." (NKJV)
I love the castle illustration that Charles Spurgeon used in his sermon, "As Thy Days, So Shall Thy Strength Be." At one point in the sermon he speaks of the crafty devil and how he knows the backdoor to a man’s heart. In pointing out how some say they are able to walk a pure life without sin, he clearly warns to be careful with that statement. He wrote: 
"'Satan is very crafty; he knows the ins and outs of manhood. There is many an old castle that has stood against every attack, but at last some traitor from within has gone without, and said "I know an old deserted passage, a subterranean back way, that has not been used for many a-day. In such and such a field you will see an opening; clear away a heap of stones there, and I will lead you down the passage: you will then come to an old door, of which I have the key and I can let you in; …

To Live is Christ!!

We would be hard pressed to find a stronger confession of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ than that the Apostle Paul declares in Galations 2:20:

"I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me."

Jesus Christ is our life, not only now but also in the eternity to come! Because of this, we can proclaim boldly (Col. 3:4, Heb. 4:16) that our life, as believers is really His "risen from the dead" empowered life within us!! Because He lives --we to live!! Praise God!!

Daily hallelujah's ring loudly round the world because of His life glorifying praise within us! Jesus stated so thoughtfully, that when He departed to heaven He would not leave His disciples as orphans but that He would send a helper and comforter to indwell within us; One who would guide us into all truth bringing back to our rememberance the awesome w…

Addicted to Joy!!

The hymn, Joy to the world, the Lord has come, is a seasonal favorite in churches and homes during the Christmas season. It was written by Isaac Watts' and published as a hymn in his famous hymnal, Psalms of David Imitated in the Language of the New Testament.1 In my estimation it is meant to declare the “Joy" one is to experience when they consider the Biblical nativity (1st Advent) and eternal rule (2nd Advent), where the Lord twice steps out of eternity and into the bounds of time. What I would like for us to consider is the question, "Can real joy be found every day of our lives?"
Certainly from the world’s point of view this is impossible when we consider how worldly joy is attained. The closest thing the world can emulate to the true joy declared as available in Scripture is "eventful joy;" that is to say, a joy that is based upon certain events that occur in life; a new job, a goal reached, a new child, a new car, a new promotion, a new home, leavi…

I Will Trust You, Oh Lord!! Faith in Trials.

The toughest thing Christians struggle with is by far, “faith.” Faith to believe there is a God. Faith to trust that He knows who we are (He is personal). Faith to believe He is sovereignly in control of our lives. Faith to trust that He will follow through on His promises (that is, his promises are true and trustworthy). Faith to trust that he will do what we ask in accordance with His will. Faith to continuously trust Him even if the answer we received was not included in our request.  Faith to believe and accept that He knows what is best for us.
Faith is part of the Christian’s growing process. If we are to be conformed to the image of Christ, Rom. 8:29, then the very word “conformed” must by proxy include process of transformation. The process God uses is the same at its root level for all, but the experience differs. I believe the difference in experience is directly related to the call that God places on each life. After speaking about being transformed from this present world…

Heaven Awaits!

“…that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” (Romans 10:9-10)
This simple passage of Scripture has probably been responsible for bring more hope into the heart of Christians than any other in the Bible. It is beautifully written and speaks to the heart of the doctrine of Salvation. All people, young and old, at one time or another in their lives consider the question of salvation. They may not know or understand the term, but when they consider eternity, the afterlife, and what the future holds for them, often that term or its sister, Redemption, comes to mind. In our heart of hearts we know that there are times when we sin and often hurt others in the process. It is a given for all of humanity and unfortunately, there is no escaping it. The shame, the contempt we exert toward what others…

The Crack in Washington National Cathedral Exposed

As you know a couple of weeks back, the Washington National Cathedral suffered earthquake damage. This weekend the world will be able to view what the “Quakes Cracks” have exposed—an audience that perfectly pictures and illustrates the religions of the world left behind after Christ raptures His true church. In an article on Fox News titled, Evangelicals Left Off National Cathedral 9/11 Program the true church, “Evangelicals” are not invited. Interesting! The event will feature the dean of the Cathedral, the Bishop of Washington, a rabbi, Buddhist nun and incarnate lama, a Hindu priest, the president of the Islamic Society of North America and a Muslim musician. This is actually good news in that true Christianity is not being invited to mix with false religion! It is also just exactly what the Scriptures indicate will happen in the last days.
For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit…