Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Take a Stand

Come join me and sign this!!!!! As a Christian, as an American, is there any choice but to add our signatures and support for this?


The Manhattan Declaration

A Call of Christian Conscience
Christians, when they have lived up to the highest ideals of their faith, have defended the weak and vulnerable and worked tirelessly to protect and strengthen vital institutions of civil society, beginning with the family.We are Orthodox, Catholic, and evangelical Christians who have united at this hour to reaffirm fundamental truths about justice and the common good, and to call upon our fellow citizens, believers and non-believers alike, to join us in defending them. These truths are:
1. the sanctity of human life
2. the dignity of marriage as the conjugal union of husband and wife
3. the rights of conscience and religious liberty.
Inasmuch as these truths are foundational to human dignity and the well-being of society, they are inviolable and non-negotiable. Because they are increasingly under assault from powerful forces in our culture, we are compelled today to speak out forcefully in their defense, and to commit ourselves to honoring them fully no matter what pressures are brought upon us and our institutions to abandon or compromise them. We make this commitment not as partisans of any political group but as followers of Jesus Christ, the crucified and risen Lord, who is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Recently I heard a message message/question of why we don’t, more often, see the same instant power, the signs and wonders we read about in the Bible.
This is a question that has been on my heart as well for some time so I was doubly interested when I heard the question as a sermon topic. In my mind the question morphed beyond signs and wonders into why some churches are flourishing and growing while others seem to just limp along, then there are those that grow then shrink away. The answer became clear about 10 last night and more so around 4 this AM. It’s the focus. What is the focus of the church or the prayer.

“Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them: "Rulers and elders of the people! If we are being called to account today for an act of kindness shown to a cripple and are asked how he was healed, then know this, you and all the people of Israel: It is by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified but whom God raised from the dead, that this man stands before you healed. 11He is " 'the stone you builders rejected, which has become the capstone. Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." (NIV Acts 4:8-12)

Peter didn’t heal the cripple for any reason other then that he was moved to by the Holy Spirit to do so. I am assuming the Holy Spirit moved him to glorify Christ in God (before men) as a testimony to the message the believers were speaking.The book of James stated you “have not because you ask not and when you ask you ask for the wrong reasons” (BC Translation) I cant prove it with chapter and verse but I’m pretty sure there is a nugget of truth here. Preaching Jesus and Jesus only is what brings life to churches and ministries. Great signs and wonders happen not just because He loves us but more so to validate HIS message. Taking HIS message, HIM, outside of the confines of the church building gives the Holy Spirit the opportunity to “prove” the message.That IS the message! “there is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved." Through Jesus we can be united with the Father!

Focus on Him and everting else will come into view.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Catch the Vision

We were blessed to share some time over the past few weeks with my dear friend and brother Andrew McMillan. Andrew, his wife Kathy and their two sons, Andrew and Christian serve as missionaries in Colombia. Andrew had agreed, with God, to go to Colombia for two years, that was 23 years ago.

Just before he arrived he send me a copy of the attached letter he had written to someone in Texas. The power and vision of this letter humbles me.

My prayer is that the Lord will light in me such a fire as burns in Andrew. Better still would be that He lights this fire in all of us.

Dear Paul

I like talking about Abraham in Gen. 13:14 where God told him to climb up a mountain and look, and everything he could see, God would give it to him. God only said this after he separated himself from Lot (in the Hebrew : veil). So once we separate ourselves from fear, sin, self-pity or old securities, the veil is removed and we can see clearly the future full of revival. So, this morning, I feel like I am going up a mountain. Here is our vision for the next 10 years

*We launched 3 new churches this month. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to plant each new church with sound equipment, chairs, and a video projector (about $7,000 per church).

*Our children center now takes care of 157 kids(children of prostitutes and drug addicts). Our church is giving about $8,500 per month. It has been hard for us to keep it up, but how do you say no to kids? We also have two other ladies in the church with smaller centers for kids. We have a couple who are housing 12 street men. We have a small medical clinic for the poor. We could easily administer an extra $10,000 a month now. This does not include the dream to transform the day centers into orphanages. We are dreaming about building a home for the elderly next to the kids home, and have a place for pets, noise, joy, living confusion.

*For 3 years I have dreamed of a Bank of opportunities to give short term loans for starting small businesses. It would have a loan officer who would also teach classes on how to start and manage businesses. We would not loan to individuals but to groups of 2-3 people. This raises the payback rate up to 95%. For example, someone who wants to start a bakery would have to find two other people who also want to start their business, maybe a wedding dress rental store, or a beauty parlour.

*We just had 3 meetings on a Sunday in the city’s convention center. The Mayor and the president of the city council came…and some other big shots. We saw over 1,400 people saved. It cost $15,000. I would love to be there every month, maybe every 2 weeks, or even every Sunday when it is not rented out. If we had $120,000 to buy our own sound, we could make a deal with the city and be there at least every month for $4,500. The city would be changed. Jesus would be the talk of the town. (We need much better sound in the warehouse where we meet now. For $50,000 we could have sound that would bless 2,500 people in each meeting.) Many new people dont return because they cannot hear well.

*We are renting now,but we dream daily of a lot across the street that God has kept empty. The price is very high: 20,000 meters(215,000 sq. Feet) for 7 millon dollars. We dream of a place for 14,000 worshippers, a children’s church for 2,000 and 1,000, offices and schools and a university.

We are starting South American Christ for the Nations this coming August. I graduated from Yale Divinity School and for some time, did not have much faith is advanced education. But Yale was originally founded to train men to proprogate the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. We need higher Holy Spirit education here….like an extention of Regent University. The buildings would have to have 2-3 levels of underground parking. So, we are talking millions. We are dreaming.

*Our boys, Andrew 18 and Christian 17, want to go to Regent Unversity and study Cinema & Television. They run our weekly TV program that aires on local secular stations. They have an anointing for it. I want this year to have a 3 minute program that gives a zinger to the heart. When we get the program on the daily news show, it would touch the city of 3 million people. We do not want to have a Christian TV channel. We think it is better to produce quality programs on the major secular channels on prime time. That is our dream. Christian TV channels seem to reduce the impact of the Gospel to a sub-culture, instead of being salt and light throughout the culture. So, my boys are dreaming of a huge studio for Christian soap operas, movies, reality shows, etc. For example, imagine a reality show where a group of Christians pick a poor house with problems and give them a soul lift, fixing up their house, helping them start a business, bring them to Jesus, heal their marriage and relationship with their kids, and bring them the Father’s love. Wow.

*Our marriage pastor, Lucho, dreams about a retreat center in town to have retreats ever weekend (We presently have retreats every weekend for the new believers outsider of the city). Pastor Lucho said to me, “Pastor, just think how it would be to have a building where everyone in the city would know where to go to recieve healing for their home. Imagine, 24 hour counselling, a room to show films like Fire Proof, etc.”

*Our evangelism pastor, Juan David, dreams of having a truck with sound, light and projection. My son, Andrew, dreamed about this when he was a little boy. We could have up to 5 cruzades every weekend.

*Our children pastor, Rafa, dreams of bringing the fire of revival to children churches. He and his wife have already touched about 800 church through conferences.

*Kathy and I will host the annual conference for pastors who are forgotten, struggling and tired. We bring them to Medellin and pay for their food, put them up in homes and in our retreat center. Last year we had 300. This year we hope to have over 500. We do all this for about $6,000. Imagine if we could put them up in nice hotels and send them homes like kings. Id like to do it twice a year.

*Our praise pastor, Manual, could take a few hours talking about instruments and lighting.

*Our pastor, Adolfo, over the new converts, dreams of having a call center with 200 volunteers.

So these are just some of our burning dreams. They keep us up at night. Sometimes they make us feel wonderful and alive and sometimes they make us feel foolish and idiotic. But we are fools for Christ.

Thank you for the opportunity to write my dreams.
Bless you brother.
Long live Paul for the Glory of Jesus.

See see our latest video the boys produced and narrated, go on line:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsRkKjdqMX8or just search Miracle in Medellin in youtube

Pastor Andrew & Kathy McMillan
Comunidad Cristiana de FeA A 58000Medellin, Colombia

Sowing Seed into Revival
Andrew & Kathy
Mission South America
P.O. Box 12523 Norfolk, VA 23541

Monday, July 20, 2009

Its not the Knot

Way back in the day, what seems to have been another life, I used to really enjoy fishing. I was never a true fishing addict but I did carry a fishing pole in my truck. If I passed an interesting looking pond or lake during the day and time permitted I would find a way to make a few casts at lunch time or before heading home at the end of the day.

Back in “those days” I did my best to keep abreast of the latest cool fishing knot. For the nonfisher-persons reading this….. There seems to be a never ending stream of the latest “best” knot to use to tie your lore or hook to your state of the art fishing line. After a hard day of fishing, freshwater anglers will disagree and debate over the best knot. However, when subject of best knots comes up among saltwater anglers you would do well to back out of the bar, quickly. Their passion for the knot runs a bit deeper.

I was reminded of this just a couple weeks ago while taking my dear friend Andrew McMillan for an evening sail and troll across the bay,
www.fepaisa.com. Andrew and his family were back in the USA for a bit of R&R (for a missionary a vacation = preaching and raising support). Andrew noticed, after catching a nice little blue fish, that the spinning rod I had quickly thrown together did not have a swivel on the line and therefore the line was twisting. This is inexcusable for a real fisherman. Andrew is a real fisherman. I quickly cut off the silver spoon and tied in a snap swivel using a Double-Figure-Eight- Loop knot. **This is not a very elegant knot. However, it is very quick to tie and it makes adding or removing tackle a snap. **

Andrew, seeing the knot I used, commented, in a very knw way, that he had never seen anyone tie fishing line like that before. Remember Andrew is a real fisherman. I explained to him that I was shown this very simple and quick knot by the deck hand on a fishing charter I had been on a few years back. The deck hand knew all the “proper” knots but chose this knot because it was fast and easy and “more then strong enough”, in his words, for anything we might catch. Plus it allowed him to rig and un-rig a dozen or so fishing rigs at the start or completion of a day in a fraction of the time it would take using the “real fishing knots”.

This past Saturday I had promised our grandson, Christian who was spending the weekend with us that we would go fishing. More pressing needs had to be attended to and the fishing did not happen as planned. A promise is a promise, the scheduled work was postponed and we went today. Late this morning we shoved off and in about three hours we caught 9 flounder and 3 sharks. Christian had a ball.

Today as I sat on the dock straightening out the fishing gear I noticed a very fancy knot on a flounder rig that was in my Dad’s tackle box. I assumed it must have been tied by my father, Dad is also a “real fisherman”. Tangled up next to the real fishing knot was my trusty, but unassuming, double-figure-eight-loop knot. The knot my Dad had tied really looked sharp. It had a commending presence that said “HAY! I AM A REAL FISHERMAN”. My knot was,, well, just a knot.
While comparing the knots it occurred to me that the two flounder I had just filleted didn’t have a clue what kind of knot was used to drag them to my dinner table. The same applies to my grandson and wife. They neither knew nor cared what kind of knot I had used to tie their hook to the fishing line. All they knew was that there was a fish on the hook and when they reeled the line in the fish came along.

Then, as you might expect, the Holy Spirit used these simple knots to make His point.

Like fisherman, we (those professing to be Christians), all too often become caught up in what kind of knot we use. Obviously, I am no longer talking about knots. What I am referring to, and what the Lord was pointing out to me, is that I (we) get caught up in the way we were taught it should be done or how we think it should be done.

For reasons I don’t care to go into now I have had the privilege to attend many different churches, with many different forms of worship. It’s easy for me to find “things” to point out that “they” are doing wrong. The choir sings too much or not enough, the songs the congregation sings are too fast or too slow. The preacher reads his notes too much or he is too much off the cuff, he is too emotional, or there isn’t enough emotion. “I” think they should do an alter call,,,, too much emphasis on this or that. Bla- Bla- Bla- Bla-----------.

Its all just knots. What makes a fisherman, a fisherman, is that he fishes, Its not what kind of knot he uses. When the day is over……………………………, How many fish did you catch?

Thursday, July 9, 2009

How powerful is your God? vs. How powerful is God?

I sent an internet link http://tinyurl.com/nc6qff to a friend other day about a ministry in Mozambique Africa. God is moving in a mighty way through that ministry and some of the claims made by the ministry, and those reporting on it, are admittedly a bit hard to fathom.

The friend responded with an almost expected bit of skepticism. They underlying, but unstated, question in his response was. “How can this be true?”

My response to his skepticism is printed below with a couple small changes to de-personalize it.

….” A month ago I would have been saying much the same.

Fantastic things are happening elsewhere in the world but in safe - secure- well fed- healthy USA, we sift what we hear to a consistency we have come to expect here. We have dined on well fed lamb so long we can no longer tolerate to eat an old goat.

Why is it that ( here in this time in the USA) we don’t see blind healed in our churches? We were commanded to heal the sick, ( Matt 10:7) we were told we would be given power (Acts 1:8). You and I have both seen this, have been part of this, we know it to be true. But here we go to church and “hear about” IT. We read about it, we talk about it, we sing about it,,,, BUT we don’t DO it. Why do demons cry out in the presence of Godly men in poor uneducated countries and not here? Surly we don’t believe they (the demons) are not among us. So if the unclean spirits are here, and they do not cry out--- then something is missing here that is present where they do cry out.

I know how to sail and I own a sail boat. Unless I get on it and cast off the lines and SAIL IT, it will just sit floating at the dock. I can read and talk all I want to about sailing but never go anywhere unless I go DO IT.

Now if I read some fantastic story about sailing in the Southern Ocean in 50+ knot winds and 50+’ seas I may choose to qualify (sift) the story because, after all, I have never done or seen such a thing, therefore it is highly unlikely that it is true (?)

Because you haven’t heard about Heidi Baker ( the person in the interview) http://www.irismin.org/ and the work there does that make it not true or not done? We, as a nation, people time, have a problem, we spend more time learning about sport stars then we do about God Stars. We spend more time promoting the natural world then we do the Spiritual world. We have become so wise and knowing that we discount or ignore what does not fit in our box.

If we believe we are living in the end times, and we must be because the writers of the NT thought so, therefore the end times must still be going on. Then we must believe that great works are still going on and will continue to grow. Nothing else can be true or we, in the words of Paul, are to be pitied above all men because our faith is a sham. (BC paraphrase)"

Here is another link with more interview ans vids about Heidi Baker and Iris Ministries http://www.fathersglory.com/insp/Roland_&_Heidi_Baker.htm

Monday, May 11, 2009

worth watching

My son posted this to facebook today. Its wwll worth sharing.


Monday, May 4, 2009

The Swine Flu, or if you prefer H1N1

First of all, DONT DO THIS!!!! It may not give you the flu but it is just WRONG.
My daughter, who lives in Los Angeles, California has been fighting a case of the Swine Flu for the past two weeks. In light of all the media hype and hysteria she took the time to share her insights on the experience.

"It would be nice to do something positive for others out of this experience. "

In regards to the H1N1 virus, I agree that it's important that the world know the precautions that have been so thoroughly explained by the media. However, it is also important for those "unconfirmed" cases who are sick at home diligently taking their Tamiflu® to know how to care for themselves now that they are already sick. These poor individuals have nothing better to do than stay at home alone watching scary television reports, as they lay in bed terrified. The media has failed them as far as letting them know what they should do NOW.

I am not a doctor, but this would be my personal advice for those of you already ill:
You NEED to take care of yourself!Keep taking your Tamiflu®.
If you have a bad cough and/or bad congestion, here are some things to remember:
Do not lie down flat to sleep. Try to keep up at least a 45degree angle. You can do this by simply propping pillows up behind you in bed.
Take a cough suppressant/expectorant such as Robitussin.
Take a hot bath (if your temperature seems normal) or take a steamy shower to loosen congestion.
Vapor rubs for the chest are helpful.
Call your doctor for advice if any symptoms worsen, change, or your breathing becomes labored.
This flu attacks the respiratory system, putting you at high risk for pneumonia if you are not taking proper care. If you are coughing up yellow or green flem, you may need an antibiotic as well to help you recover as you may have developed an infection as a result of the flu.
If you have a high fever you can rub alcohol all over your body with a wash cloth (start at the top of your head and work down to your toes) to reduce fever quickly. If you don't have rubbing alcohol in the house, vodka also works. ;-)Tylenol will help with the headache and is also a fever reducer.Drink lots of water and also OJ and chicken broth, which has natural antibodies to help you get well.
Drink hot water or hot mint tea with lemon and honey for that sore throat. Throat sprays such as Vicks Sore Throat formula 44 offer fast pain relief for your throat.
Eat mild foods like toast that are gentle on your sensitive stomach. Plain crackers will help with nausea.
Theraflu Flu & Chest congestion offers pain relief, and aids in chest congestion, sore throat, headache, body ache and fever which are almost all the symptoms one experiences with the H1N1 virus.
Tissues with lotion will help so your nose doesn't become more sore than it already is. Kleenex makes an anti-viral tissue that helps cut down on the amount of germs floating around.
Keep washing your hands and washing away germs!
Sleep! It's the best medicine.
If you've been in bed for a few days and it's not too cold outside, then open a window to let some fresh healing air in.
If you are in bed- watch funny movies on TV when you are not sleeping because laughter actually IS good medicine!
I thought this might be helpful to those ill with H1N1 flu/virus.
If you are sick at home with H1N1 or any other flu, send a loved one or friend with the following shopping list of items that will help to ease your discomfort as you fight & recover from flu.H1N1
Shopping List:

PHARMACY/DRUGSTORE-Tamiflu® (as prescribed by your doctor)
-Inhaler or nebulizer treatment (if prescribed by your doctor)
-Antibiotic such as Zithromax/Azithromycin (if prescribed by your doctor to fight infection caused by flu aggravation)
-Airborne formula
-Robitussin DM (cough suppressant/expectorant)
-Tylenol (for headache and fever reduction)
-Triaminic Runny Nose/?Congestion Chewable Tablets
-Vick Vapor rub
-Theraflu Flu & Chest congestion
-Vicks Sore Throat formula 44
-3 boxes Kleenex anti-viral tissues-Rubbing alcohol (rub on entire body to reduce fever)
-Hand sanitizer*Please make sure to read and follow all instructions for any medication!GROCERY (4-5 day supply)
-1 gallon orange juice-2 quarts chicken soup
-1 loaf bread (for toast)
-Saltine crackers
-Mint tea
-Any movies that will make you feel happy!

I also found the following link somewhat helpful. http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/sick.htm

I hope that this has been helpful and wish all who are ill a speedy recovery!
Editor’s note;
Peter 2:4 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.

James 5:14 Is any one of you sick? He should call the elders of the church to pray over him and anoint him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Monday, April 20, 2009

the eyes of babes

If you’re a Christian, have read the Gospels, or spent any amount of time in Church it’s a good bet that you have heard, in some form or another, that you must enter or receive the Kingdom of God as a child.

The actual references quote the Lord Jesus as saying.
And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Matt. 18:3
Jesus said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." Matt 19:14
When Jesus saw this, he was indignant. He said to them, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Mark 10:14
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Mark 10:15
Then he said to them, "Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me welcomes the one who sent me. For he who is least among you all—he is the greatest." Luke 9:48
But Jesus called the children to him and said, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Luke 18:16
I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it." Luke 18:17

Seven quotes of Jesus in three of the Gospels. It must be important but I never really got it till last week when I received this picture of my youngest grandson.

Look at the wonder and excitement in his young eyes. There are no preconceived ideas. No fear of embarrassment or worry about “what if” All he sees is wonder and joy. He wants to touch, feel, taste, see hear everything. Nothing is common.

For the first time I truly begin to understand the words of our Living Lord in Luke 10:21, now it makes perfect sense.
“At that time Jesus, full of joy through the Holy Spirit, said, "I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because you have hidden these things from the wise and learned, and revealed them to little children. Yes, Father, for this was your good pleasure.”

My new prayer, “Lord help me to see your creation with the wonder of a child”

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Real Ministry

I received a note in response to “What the World Sees?” yesterday. The very basic truth of this note cut me to the bone.

When I wrote “What the World Sees?” I was attempting to make the point. In my attempt to not be critical and offend, that point, may not have been clear.

With the author’s permission I have posted the note in the hope that it clarifies the point I was trying to make. I also pray that it speaks to you as strongly as it did me.

I don't get online often enough to keep up with blogs and comments; so I don't bother to comment when I read... usually. Now and again I can be provoked to share my opinion ~ ha ha~ but I am a firm believer in sharing my religious beliefs through my actions. In this crazy world we live in, most people are not listening either because they don't have time or they will read and misinterpret my thoughts or ideas. God is Love and to share the Love of Christ is the greatest gift whether this Gift be from God or from one another. Too often I get the impression that religion is becoming more business and money than human bonding and social kindness.
One can get turned off by the thought of church when 4 different churches come knocking at the door on the same Sunday afternoon. My neighbors feel the same and refuse to even answer the door! Bad enough I can not eat dinner with my family or bathe in peace on Sunday afternoons, but this is a perfect example of how the church can push people away from God. When I was in need, there was no church knocking at my door to help me keep my sanity, no fellowship, no concerned Christians that cared to help when my daughter and I were without home, food, or money. It is not that no one knew about our situation; everyone smiled and said if you need anything let me know. I got so sick of hearing that saying, just words; no one really meant them. The Churches all had locked doors and the telephone numbers went to voice mail. No one could call me back as the phone we had to use was a payphone. Perhaps I am bitter; but I believe God wants us to love one another, care about one another as we would our brother. I would never permit my brother to have to go to the street, If asked I would share all I have; that, is what I believe God intended, that is what I believe being a true Christian is about. It is unfortunate that churches need money... Christ held church under the shade of a tree and he never refused help that I am aware of to anyone that was ill, without money or hope.
I sat alone in a room watching my 13 year old daughter sleep and prayed that God either show me a path or take me tonight. I was as low as a human being can get. Seven years later, I can sit here and tell you God answered. I finished homeschooling my daughter, got her accepted at FSU, had surgery on my back, got Social Security to finally approve benefits through disability and God was carrying me most of the time. When God was not carrying me, he was listening to my prayers for strength. God showed me that many self professed Christian people talk the talk, but very few walk the walk. It was with this knowledge that I desire 'less talk and more "to walk as a Christian".

Today is a good day. I am here, and I have much to do.

James, the brother of the Loed wrote:
James 2:16 If one of you says to him, "Go, I wish you well; keep warm and well fed," but does nothing about his physical needs, what good is it?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

What the world sees?

I know a man, most people would consider him a good man. For now lets call him Del, I don’t think I know anyone named Del so no one I know “should” take offence thinking I am talking about them. To be extra safe lets just assume that when I mention Del that I am talking about someone you know but I really don’t.

Ok so Del is a good man in the eyes of most people. Del graduated from some good schools and college, like you might suspect of most well educated people. He speaks clearly and uses good English. Because he is well educated, self confident and recognizes the impact of words Del is seldom prone to profanity. In fact in the years I have known him I would be hard pressed to recall hearing him use a slightly profane word let alone the stronger versions.

Del has a strong social conscience, he cares about his fellow man. He gives substantial sums of money to good causes and also volunteers his time for social causes. When called he happily submits to jury duty and he votes in all elections.

Del is married and has raised a couple seemingly well adjusted kids who both graduated from college before starting their own Ozzie and Harriet families.

Del and his wife own a nice home and two late model cars, both hybrids, keeps the lawn cut and remembers to put out the recycling.

Del was raised in the church and never misses an Easter Sunday or Christmas service.

Now let me introduce George, I actually know a couple Georges so this will be a composite person.

George is married with four kids. He didn’t have the privilege of a “good” education but he has worked hard at learning all he could. George works in the construction business. Its hard honest work, it’s also an environment well seasoned with colorful speech. George has worked hard to not sink to the level of speech that surrounds him but the force of gravity has had its effect. Consequently, every now and then less then pure words have flowed in George’s conversation.

George cares about his fellow man but lives on a tight budget. He gives what he can when he can but he does so anomalously. He faithfully contributes to support his Church. Because of his demanding work schedule George doesn’t have much time to give and honestly isn’t aware that he could be of use in any social programs. He does however teach Sunday school and freely gives of his time to church functions.

George would be hard pressed to pay his monthly bills if he had to spend a week in Jury duty. He thinks most people who run for office are on the take or just looking out for themselves so he isn’t politically active but he does vote in major elections.

George, his wife and four kids live in a small home with a small yard. George drives a pickup, because that’s what construction guys do and his wife’s car is in need of replacement.

George and his family are devoted members of a full gospel nondenominational church. Because they are committed to the church they seldom get involved in community events preferring to spend their free time with their church family.

On the one hand we have Del, a well respected well spoken successful, community involved, prosperous man.

On the other hand we have George, a not too well known, sometimes misspoken, just getting buy, seemingly anti social man.

Both love their families, both try to be good men. One knows and loves the Lord, one works hard at being a pillar of the community.

Jesus cautioned us,

"You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men.
"You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. Matthew 5: 13-16 NIV
At the end of the day does the “world” see a difference between the church and the “good people” ? If they do see a difference is it a positive one?
More importantly, when people see me, and you, do they see Jesus? Or do they merely see “religious” people?

Friday, February 20, 2009

Gods preferred nation?

A couple weeks ago I sent out a brief e-mail invitation to a bunch of people to come visit http://his-living-word.blogspot.com/

I do this from time to time and thought that for a change I would say “something” in the invitation. Apparently one of the folks who received the invitation took exception to some of my wording. His question cause me to give a lot of thought to a sound response. Because his question and the response speak so directly to not only the world we live in but to the foundation of our Fait I decided to share both.
Below is his email to me, my response follows.

Just a quick note to say Hi and invite you to stop by http://his-living-word.blogspot.com/
Many people, business and the economy are going through some tough times. The Middle East is in turmoil, Madmen are developing new weapons, and our enemies plot our destruction daily.
Thank God Almighty that our safety and provision are not based on this world but on Him.
May God richly bless you today and in all of your tomorrows.

Hey Bill,

Well you certainly are correct about the times that we are living in. And the Bible foretold that these things would be taking place. For instance Jesus mentioned to is disciples while on the Mount of Olives about the "sign" of his (Jesus) presence and the conclusion of the present system of things in (Matt 24:1-14). Also in the book of (2 Timothy 3:1-5) the apostle Paul talks about "critical times hard to deal with" being upon us. And he goes onto describe how men would be during the time of the end. However in your email you state and I quote "Thank God Almighty that our safety and provision are not based on this world but on him." You also say "our" enemies plot "our" destruction. Who is the "our" you are refering too? Remember that in (Gen 1:26) When Jehovah was speaking to his son Jesus he said "let us make man in our image". So all men were created in the image of God and of his son Jesus wouldn't you agree? So to say that God Almighty at this tumultuous time in human history would only have "our (Americans) interests at heart and not the rest of the world is not really a proper view. Remember to other people around the world the US may be their enemies. Is it reasonable to believe that Jehovah God puts a greater importance on Americans and less importance on everybody else?


I didn’t intend for that to seem as though America is the chosen nation, Far from it. I was merely speaking in “human terms” as to the fears that many Americans, most of my readers are Americans, face. Absent the knowledge of Gods Love and Grace many if not most “Americans” set their trust in Americas might, which is quickly eroding. However, the Bible is VERY clear, There is ONLY one way to God the Father and that is through His Son Jesus Christ. (the son being equal to the Father and thereby God) That being said, America aside, all mankind absent the redemptive work of the Christ are separated from God and forever doomed. “ There is NO other name by which we are saved.” You are correct that God loves all mankind, In fact the Loves All mankind so much that He sent his ONLY begotten Son that whoever believes on Him would be saved. I am deeply sorry that most of the world is lost, following false gods and wrong paths that can only lead to destruction. God, both through His Prophets and through His only Son Jesus (totally human and totally God) instructed mankind to come to him through HIS way. That way is Jesus.

Consider this. Man is lost due to Sin. Original Sin and our own. The Bible clearly stated that the price to be paid to remove sin is Death and only the death of an equal or greater can pay that price. The blood of sheep, goats and cattle can not come close to paying the ransom required. We can not pay the price ourselves as we are already corrupted by that which we wish to be cleansed from. Therefore, another of equal or greater stature who is sinless must pay to cleanse us. Putting this in human terms, if I am deeply in dept, financially, and going broke (like so many around us) who can “bail me out”? Only one of greater wealth then me, my equals are also broke, those of less financial standing don’t have the means. Only a person of GREATER financial standing has the ability to free me from MY financial chains. So it is with the bondage of sin. Only someone, or “something” greater can meet my sin payment obligation. The Bible states that Man was made in the likeness of God. Who then can free a being who is like God from sin. There is none Greater then Man BUT God Himself. THAT is why God sent is Son (His equal) to suffer, die and be risen again to free us from our sins. No other path or religion provides the way for man to be cleansed. There is nothing we as mankind can do to cleanse ourselves. We can try to do good works but they don’t remove the stench, they only mask it.

So in answer to your question. God is no respecter of persons OR nationalities. He loves us all Arabs North Koreans, the Presidents of Argentina, the drug lords of Columbia, even the madmen who were behind 9/11. He loves them all so much that he wants them to join him forever. But as Creator, He has the right to only allow that fellowship on His terms.

Gods Blessings on you


Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Road from Perdition

About two weeks ago I was listening to a Christian radio broadcast while on the road. The broadcast was of a Billy Graham crusade from years gone by. Rev. Graham, un-dubitably one of the greatest evangelists of modern times, passionately explained that the only way to not spend eternity in hell was to receive the forgiveness of sins provided through Jesus Christ and spend eternity in Heaven.

As I listened to the obvious conviction in his words and voice I began to wonder about the source and drive of his passion for the lost. I began to weigh my passion for the lost against what I perceived was his.

Both Brother Graham and I were saved by the same redemptive work.

We both received salvation through faith and Gods Grace.
We had both been convicted of our need for salvation through the same Holy Spirit.
We share all of the same rights, benefits and blessings of that redemptive work.
Why then was Billy Graham compelled to totally commit his life to reaching out to the lost. More importantly, to me, why am I not so compelled? Clearly, something is amiss. God is no respecter of persons. His gifts, although varied, are offered by the same measure to all. Therefore the difference is between Brother Graham and I and not in what God wills for us.

Many, if not most people I have met who claim to be “saved” only know Jesus as a sort of “get out of jail free card” or a “holy fire escape”. (I would like to think that that does not apply to me but I am probably closer to that then I can admit, even to me.) I have no doubt that if they believed and placed their trust in the Salvation of Christ that they are in fact saved. Unfortunately, some don’t go past that and many don’t go much further.

Jesus came to not only to proclaim “The Good News” but to also institute it. I simply can’t get my head around the idea that “The Good News” is only that we can avoid hell and that someday in the future, when we die, we will begin our eternal existence in Heaven. If God’s great eternal plan only involved the afterlife, then why bother with earth at all? For that matter, why not just whisk us off to the end of our mortal lives as soon as we accept salvation so as to prevent mankind from doing the damage it has to the message? Webster defines eternal as having infinite duration. That means no beginning as well as no end.

The answer is obvious, the Good News isn’t that He saves us from going to hell. The Good News is that He came to bring us into the Kingdom of God and to save us from hell, hear and now!

Mark 1:14 Later on, after John was arrested, Jesus went into Galilee, where he preached God’s Good News. “The time promised by God has come at last!” he announced. “The Kingdom of God is near! Repent of your sins and believe the Good News!”

Matthew 12:28 But if I drive out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God has come upon you.

Mark 4:11 He told them, "The secret of the kingdom of God has been given to you. But to those on the outside everything is said in parables.

Luke 11:20 But if I drive out demons by the finger of God, then the kingdom of God has come to you

Luke 17:21 nor will people say, 'Here it is,' or 'There it is,' because the kingdom of God is within you."

All of these scriptures speak of a now, a closeness, or and indwelling. I can find nothing in the scriptures to suggest that the True Fellowship of God extended to us is reserved till our deaths.

Ephesians 4:8 states “This is why it says: "When he ascended on high, he led captives in his train and gave gifts to men."

Jesus Christ has already ascended, this verse, when used in Ephesians, does not speak of some future event or promise. It SHOUTS that the work is finished! We have been freed from our captivity!

Although I don’t personally know Billy Graham and I can’t actually ask him I am forced to believe that he understands, much clearer then most of us, that Salvation is much, much more then a pre-paid ticket to heaven. Salvation frees us from the shackles of hell on earth and is the gateway into the Kingdom of God. A gateway we are not only invited but encouraged to enter through.

If you don’t know that you are a member of Gods family then please, take a moment and allow God to speak to your heart through His Holy Spirit. You were made in His image, for His purpose. A boat floats on the water, because that is what it was made for. A truck was made for another purpose, it will horribly fail if it is used as a boat. Likewise, the boat us useless on the highway. All of mankind was created to be the vessel of God’s pure Love. Reconcile yourself to the fact that absent God’s Love and Grace we are doomed to a hollow shadow of existence. I can think of no other name for that life but hell. Acknowledge your failure, your sin and accept Gods forgiveness through the redemptive work of Jesus Christ. Then invite the risen Jesus to be your Lord. Surrender to him and He will free you. He will return to you your true hearts desire. To be one with your creator.

If you already are saved, regardless of how long you have been a Christian or how deep your relationship is. I challenge you today to join me and pray that the Holy Spirit expose to you more of the Love and Joy that our Creator wants us to share.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Beating the Recession

I had the great pleasure of talking to my friend Andrew late yesterday afternoon. Just in case you haven't heard about Andrew I’ll do a quick recap.

Andrew McMillan and his, then new, wife Kathy left for the mission fields in Columbia 21 years ago. Andrew knew God was calling him to a better work but the idea of leaving the comfort of a well established church in NJ was not on his “A” list. Nevertheless, Andrew recognized God’s prompting and “agreed” to go to Columbia for two years. God obviously had other plans.

Starting from some very humble beginnings this ministry has literally brought thousands to the Lord and planted dozens if not hundreds of Churches.

I am in the process of building a web site/blog to keep the world informed of the wonders God keeps on doing in Columbia. When it’s ready I’ll let you know and post links and updates to it here.

In the meantime Andrew and his fellow workers have posted a new video to YouTube.

You can view it here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dsRkKjdqMX8 Please take a few minutes and check it out. Here is another worth watching http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yux5uJcdWtw&feature=related

There are few opportunities to receive as great a blessing as we can from supporting missions. The real estate market is in the toilet, the stock market continues to drain retirement accounts, and the banks- well maybe I shouldn’t talk about the banks. The fact is you just cant out-give God.

Jesus admonished us to invest in eternity “…..store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal.” (Mat 6:20 NIV) Please take a moment and give it some prayerful thought. Then, if you’re your heart leads you so, go to https://www.paypal.com/us/
and select “send money” enter the email address yodude777@gmail.com where it says “send to” and invest a few dollars in bringing thousands to the saving knowledge of Jesus Christ. And please, don’t think you need to send a lot (although big donations are joyfully received) You’ll be surprised at how much your contribution of 5, 10, or $20 will accomplish.

Not only will you be supporting a great work but God has promised to bless us by the measure we bless others. “Give, and it will be given to you. A good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, will be poured into your lap. For with the measure you use, it will be measured to you." (Luke 6:38 NIV)
You can also send them a check to
MSA / Pastor Andrew & Kathy McMillan
P.O. Box 12523
Norfolk. VA 23541
To speak to them directly, call 561 427 7466 (Vonage) or write: revival@une.net.co

Friday, January 23, 2009

No, Well take the other Guy

It was about 10 PM last night that the idea for this came back to mind. I had thought of writing this before but it never got past the beginnings of an idea. This isn’t an easy piece to write, it shines a spotlight at a human flaw. A flaw I must admit I share. Last night, as the TV show House was going off, the idea came racing back. It banged around in my head most of the night and bothered me today until I sat down to begin.

We watch reruns of House. (I also watch reruns of Law and Order, but who doesn’t? I mean isn’t there a clause in my cable contract that requires this?) Honestly I can’t tell you what station or time the new episodes air on. For that matter I can’t tell you the exact time the reruns show, or what station. It just seems to be airing on some station during the hour before we get ready for bed, regardless of what time we are going to bed.

If you haven’t seen House I should give you a thumbnail of the show's plot. House is the name of a brilliant, unkempt and normally unshaved, Doctor who practices/teaches diagnostic medicine at Princeton-Plainsboro Hospital here in NJ. He has three assistants who are younger but supposedly also brilliant doctors.

(I am now resisting my overwhelming desire to point out the vast gulf that exists between the brilliance, skills and devotion of these TV doctors, along with their rendition of a hospital, vs. virtually every real life doctor and health care facility I have ever encountered. OOPS, it seems I may have already voiced and opinion here.)

Back to House. Dr House, is also addicted to Vicodin otherwise known as narcotic pain killers. House pops Vicodin like tic taks. In any given show he must pop a half dozen of the little wonder pills, a great roll model. Along with his drug habit House is also incredibly insulting to patients and co-workers, arrogant and totally uncaring. His most tiring and troubling trait is his relentless refusal to accept even the possibility of the existence of God. Completely narcissistic, the world revolves around him and his needs. He has actually gone so far on occasion to vocally proclaim himself as God. If you get the feeling I don’t like Dr. House, your entirely correct. It is likely because I in some, hopefully small ways , I am like him.

Why then, you might ask, do I watch it? Well, for reasons I don’t exactly understand I like it. I like Law and Order as well. I also like a good shoot um-up so long as the “good guys” come out on top. Picking just who the good guys are is another matter.

After House went off last night I began thinking about all the ….. junk we spend so much time watching. I took up my scepter of digital cable, the remote, and began to surf. For the next hour I slowly clicked my way through the lower 400 cable stations I receive. I did this not once but two times. Why? No, It wasn’t that I couldn’t find “something to watch. I was making a mental list of the kinds of programming there was to choose from. Of those 400 channels, not counting the stations or shows that repeated there were less then 10% that were actually uplifting. Roughly 90% of them were based on violence of some sort, (war, martial arts, shoot um-ups, ect.) Sex or alternate lifestyles (most of these would have been or are rated R) Witchcraft- sorcery- vampires-or the undead, Failed relationships, Cops and robbers or a mix of a bit of each of the above. There is even a new show about Vampires that covers all of the bases.

If this is what we call entertainment what does it say about what brings us pleasure, our appetites? We can’t blame it on the people who make the shows, they only produce what the public wants to watch, or keeps watching. Why, Why, WHY are we so drawn to “The Dark Side” Now please do understand, I’m not suggesting we all burn our flat screen plasma HD TVs, (although that may not be such a bad idea) and I am not pointing my finger in judgment at anyone about watching some TV. You and you alone will need to determine “if you can eat meat”. I’m just using TV programming to make my point.

If God created mankind to know him, and he implanted in mankind the longing that I know I and you have felt to find him, and he made a way for us to know him. ( Through Jesus , the Messiah). Why then do we run as fast as we can to know everything BUT Him?

One of the few times that all four Gospels mentions the same conversation is in regard to this most human of afflictions.

Mat 27:21 "Which of the two do you want me to release to you?" asked the governor. "Barabbas," they answered.
Mark 15:11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.
Luke 23:18 With one voice they cried out, "Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!"
John 18:40 They shouted back, "No, not him! Give us Barabbas!" Now Barabbas had taken part in a rebellion. (NIV)

Why would or could people, having seen the blind and lame healed , eaten the loaves and fishes and known of Jesus restoring life to some dead, do this? How could those educated in the Law, know of His works, and then ignore the prophecies they had devoted their lives to studying? Simple, they listened to their natural nature, their flesh, rather then to the Spirit of God.

It’s been 2000 years since mankind has been set free by Christ and yet the crowd still calls out , …, NO, not him! Give us Barabbas!"

Although Fox and Friends touts on morning TV that 80% of Americans claim to be Christians the actions and appetites of our population say something different. I sense a stirring, call it revival, that is building momentum. Along with it I recognize a polarization in moral…. beliefs? No more then beliefs, many in the crowd saw His miracles and “believed” I see a polarization of convictions.

Paul never having seen TV gives us the answer to why?

Romans 7: 21-25 21 I have discovered this principle of life—that when I want to do what is right, I inevitably do what is wrong. I love God’s law with all my heart. But there is another power within me that is at war with my mind. This power makes me a slave to the sin that is still within me. Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death? Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord. So you see how it is: In my mind I really want to obey God’s law, but because of my sinful nature I am a slave to sin. (New Living Translation)


Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sometimes He answers, and sometimes He ANSWERS.

I’m not sure if I mentioned it before or not, but my wife and I have been “church shopping” for about a year now. The need to find a new church home is due to our moving from our home for over to 20 years to where we belong, on the water. That, is another story unto itself.

Over the past year we have both prayed for God’s guidance on where we should become involved. I won’t trouble you with our “perception” of the dozen or more churches we visited and considered in our search. Suffice to say that none of them, or we, were a good fit. The search was very frustrating but we knew that God would guide us. Last Sunday we had decided it was time to re-visit them all, if necessary. Surely there must be a church within a half hour drive of us that we “belonged” in.

If this was a movie script we would now do a flash back. It’s now 1977, my wife, raised a Catholic, has spent most of her life wanting to know God. I on the other hand, knew Him and was doing my best to avoid Him. (This too is another story) Because she married a doomed to hell protestant the Catholic Church, through two priests, had showed her the door proclaiming her damnation. (No critism of the Catholic Church is intended or implied, today we thank God for his use of those Priests and the Catholic Church in this process) Regardless, she was still determined to know God. Today she tells the story:
“I knew God was there and I wanted to know Him, I was walking to a 3rd Catholic Church as I did I prayed, ““God two Catholic Churches have thrown me out, if you are really there you need to show me””. Very shortly after that, while selling Avon; I met a women named Carol. Carol never bought any Avon that I can remember but I kept going back to her house because she talked about knowing God. I had never met anyone before that actually seemed to know Him. In my life, up to then, no one had ever told me that there was and is a living Christ. Through Carol’s testimony I began attending First Baptist Church in Mt Holly, NJ. There I met Jesus, surrendered my life to him and became a Christian.”

One thing led to another and shortly after my wife got saved I also surrendered my life to Jesus and was born again. For a good portion of 1977 and 1978 Carol and her husband John were involved in our lives on an almost daily basis. In the summer of 1978 we moved to Dallas Texas to attend Christ For the Nations Institute. After we returned to NJ in 1981 we saw John and Carol from time to time but nothing like those first two years. Our new home in NJ was a good distance from where John and Carol lived and we attended different churches. Eventually we lost touch with them. Not for any real reason, just because life/ time/work/families took us in different directions. As best as I can recall, I haven’t seen or talked to John since around 1990.

OK, so we jump back into the time machine and we are back in 2009. I own a home construction, remodeling and plumbing business. I dislike answering machines so I pay for a phone service to receive my incoming calls. Whenever someone calls my office number the answering service answers and then they email me about the call.

On Saturday 1/17/09 at about 3:30 I received an email that a pipe had burst in a home in Little Egg Harbor, the town we live in, and the homeowner needed a plumber. I called Tim who is the real plumber in the company, gave him the contact information and asked if he could respond. Which he did. (For the record, Tim, everyone involved really appreciates your willingness to drop what you were doing and respond to this need.) At about 7:30 PM Tim called to let me know he was finished and told me that the brother-in- law of the homeowner was at the home where he had been working. He went on to say that the brother-in-law knew me and had worked for me sometime in the past. While on the phone he didn’t remember the brother-in-law’s name but he had his card and would be at my house/office in a couple minutes. Although I didn’t say so at the time I already knew in my heart who the brother-in-law was.

As soon as Tim walked through the door the first words out of is mouth were “God works in mysterious ways”. Then he gave me the business card bearing the name of John. The same John I knew from years before. As soon as I could I called the house where the pipe had burst to see if John was still there, he was. We chatted for a couple minute then the subject of Church came up. I told John about our frustrating search for a new Church home to which he responded “have you tried Calvary Chapel on Rt. 9?” I then recounted that we had stopped by there one Sunday morning about 6 months ago. That was on a day we had attended two Sunday morning services at two different churches and had driven to a half dozen other churches as well to see what their service times were. When we had stopped by Calvary Chapel we couldn’t find any sign or indication of when their services were and the place seemed vacant. John told me that Calvary Chapel was an off shoot (for lack of a better term) of the Calvary Chapel led by Chuck Smith and that he and Carol had attended there some years ago. He suggested we should check it out. (Chuck Smith is another familiar name from my past, he taught for a week while I was attending Christ for The Nations Institute.)

We did attend Calvary Chapel this morning and I have no doubt that this and the way we found ourselves there is an answer to prayer. I am not the least bit surprised that God answered our prayer. I am surprised-pleased-amazed at the extent He went, to make sure I knew, beyond all doubt, that the advice to attend Calvary Chapel was from Him. Over the past year God could have used any sort of device or messenger to cause us to attend a service at Calvary Chapel. He could have used an internet search engine, the yellow pages, a radio broad cast or sent someone to knock on our door, but he didn’t. Instead he used the bitter cold of this winter, a broken pipe, Tim the plumber and a friend I hadn’t seen in 20 years. He wasn’t satisfied to just point us in the right direction, he chose to send us through the testimony of a person he used 30 years ago to introduce us to the Living Christ and to change our lives.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Two before one ?

There was a time when a 8086 PC with a 10 Meg. Hard drive, 5” floppy disk and a monochrome display were state of the art. In those days I seemed to know my way around computers. Back then I could sign onto “Prodigy” through my dial up modem, which by the way I had skillfully set to temporarily disable the call waiting feature on my phone. After sitting through a cacophony of the strange noises, that I didn’t understand but knew were good. My PC mystically connected, I could open a book and relax for half an hour or so waiting for the sign on screen to appear.

Back then I was considered somewhat of a wiz, in fact I played a big part of bringing an entire school system on line and constructing the hardware backbone for that system. Technology gained speed and it did so exponentially. I was focused elsewhere and quickly fell behind.

Turn me loose at an AARP meeting and to some I still seem to know a thing or two. Sit me down with those who really know the world of computers and I am just slightly better then computer illiterate.

Relationships are like that. In the beginning we are eager to work on them and continue to learn. For some the interest grows, the learning continues and the relationship deepens. Then there are others who are content with just knowing the basics. They loose interest, stop trying and coast along. The relationship still exists, it just has no depth.

Basically, because I didn’t stay interested and learn all that is needed to master today’s PCs and internet languages. I am now internet/blog “challenged”. You might notice the title below is listed as Part Two. Please scroll down, Part One is posted just below Part Two.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

It's who you know, Part 2

“It’s good to be seen”. That was Bobby G’s usual response to me saying, “Bobby, good to see you” as he walked into my office trailer. Bobby G was and still is one of the most well known personalities in the new home construction business in NJ. There was hardly a new home development company or project anywhere in NJ, and many outside NJ as well, where he needed to be introduced.

Bobby is retired now and the new home construction business is in the pits. From sometime around 1960 up to 2005 Bobby, among other things sold lumber, being that well known was great for him. Bobby could walk into offices unannounced that other salesmen could never get through. Everyone also knew that Bobby could open doors for those he liked and trusted. In an industry where, if you’re successful, you work yourself out of a job having a friend like Bobby can be priceless. Everyone knew Bobby but when your project was finishing up and it was time to find a new job, it was more important to be known by Bobby.

The scriptures teach us that God knows us each as individuals. Jesus said in Luke 12:6-7 “Are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? Yet not one of them is forgotten by God. Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows.” (NIV.)

Among the masses God sees each of us individually and loves us each infinitely. He knows our needs, wants, weaknesses, strengths, victories and defeats. He knew us before we breathed our first breath and he has invited us all to know him.


Monday, January 12, 2009

Its not what you know, its who you know, Part 1

“Do you know me?” There used to be an American Express commercial that started with that question. Some celebrity would pop onto your TV screen and ask if you knew who they were and hold up their American Express card.

Mel would never have been selected to star in those old Amex commercials, his face is just to well known. It’s safe to say that Mel never needs to pull out his Amex card to get special attention, wherever he goes people would know him.

The truth is I don’t know Mel. As a matter of fact if he came and knocked on my door the polite thing to do would be to address him as Mr. Gibson because we have never been introduced. Odds are you don’t actually know Mel any more then I do. We just think we do because we recognize his face.

So the question isn’t do you recognize Mel or know some things about him, the question is “do you actually know him?”.

Over this past week I interacted with an assortment of people who, if asked, would say they know God. I could be mistaken, they may know Him, it’s not my place to judge or be critical but I expect many of them know God in much the same way people will say they know Mel.

So today I’ll ask you. Do you know God?

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Drink up!

Not to very long ago I was having a conversation with my friend Andrew. Andrew his wife Kathy and their two sons serve the LORD as a Missionaries in Columbia. http://tinyurl.com/7spacu Ask Andrew about how he ended up in Columbia and he will chuckle and tell you the story of how he “agreed” with God to go to Columbia for two years, that was over 21 years ago. He was the Pastor of a small Baptist Church in Allentown NJ back then, recently married and on fire for God……….

As I was saying, I was having a conversation with Andrew. He had called from Columbia on his Vonage phone service. Vonage is phone provider that allows its users to make and receive unlimited phone calls from all over the world for one small monthly fee. (or so I have been told). I have another friend, Dr. Mark Wilson who teaches in Turkey. http://sevenchurches.org/mark/ He and his wife Dindy spend about 10 months a year in Turkey and two in the US. Mark also has Vonage. I met Mark back in 1978 while we were both attending……………………….

Sooo back to where I started, Andrew called and as you might expect our conversation revolved around the work the LORD is doing in Columbia. The city Andrew is serving in is Medellin. Medellin is a city of around 3 Million people and is considered the most dangerous city in the world. Each year over 3000 people are kidnapped there. I took some time and did a little research about the city and found that about 5,000 people per year are murdered there. That works out to almost two murders for every thousand peo…………...

I’m sorry I got off track again. Andrew was telling me about the GREAT works the LORD is doing in Columbia. He says that they hold a crusade in the Bull Ring, I think they do this monthly. I wasn’t aware there was bull fighting in South America. I somehow thought they only did that in Spain. Apparently, bull fighting is very popular there and the people there enjoy it a great deal.

AHHH! I did it again! I sat down to write an article about the Great work the LORD is doing in Columbia. To tell you about the Great hunger that exists there. To tell you, as Andrew tells me, about a thirst for GOD that the people have, a thirst that I can hardly comprehend. I wanted to explore why the people in Columbia have such a real hunger for GOD while in America many, if not most of us, say we believe, yet live lives testifying to our true complacent attitude. Why?

Perhaps the first four paragraphs above serve to illustrate what may be part of the answer. In America, the USA, we just plain have too much going on to distract us from what is really important. Perhaps I, and I think others as well, have been overly de-sensitized by a constant bombardment of TV shows, the latest cars on the market, who won last night game, the seasons newest fashions, the new iphone, gaming platform or latest software. The morning coffee is enjoyed with the backdrop of the morning news telling me way more then I need to know about last nights televised sports event, some celebrities substance abuse problem and opinions of why President Elect Obama would go to the beach “shirtless”. The list of voices that compete to hold my attention and consume my life is endless, their march - relentless.

I, like most of those who will read this, am an American. My grocery stores are overflowing with row after row of ready made foods. I have credit cards enough to meet my every whim. I complain to no end about the price of gasoline but think nothing of spending $1.35 on a cup of coffee, a bottle of Coke or even a bottle of water. In a moments notice I can buy a ticket and jump on a plane to just about anywhere. If I have a headache- Tylenol is on the shelf. If I’m feeling blue - I should tell my doctor about the pill I saw on TV last night. If I slip on my neighbor’s front porch – I have a lawyer ready to start the civil proceedings. For every desire, need and appetite, real or contrived there is a product packaged and ready.

In short I have it all! I don’t need God, well not today. I’ll attend to religion some other time. After all, the playoffs are on TV tonight.

Two thousand years ago Jesus, speaking of all humanity addressed our cavalier attitude towards God. The “problem” was important enough to have been recorded in three of the four Gospels.
Matthew 19:24, Luke 18:25 and Mark 10:25 “It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God."

Jesus, talking with the Governor of Judea, just hours before his crucifixion, said "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."
Pontius Pilate’s response, "What is truth?" could be paraphrased as “I have more important things to think about, so what?” John 18:37- 38.

In no other place and at no other time in history have so many had so much. Conversely, no other people at any time have wanted, no needed, so much.

The answer isn’t new, there are no commercials advertising it, and regardless of the how many credit cards you have you can’t buy it. The answer isn’t free but it is offered to us pre-paid. The answer is called the Gospel, it is The Kingdom of God.

Luke 9:2-6
and he sent them out to preach the kingdom of God……….. So they set out and went from village to village, preaching the gospel and healing people everywhere.
You decide which is best, a kingdom (government, country, world) of men ------ or a kingdom of God ?

Jesus, speaking of what he will freely give to us said. "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life." John 4:13-14

Drink up! It’s not an acquired taste. It is what you were created for.