Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sing Praise! Lift the Rafters!

Psa 100:1 A Psalm of praise. Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all ye lands.
Psa 100:2 Serve the LORD with gladness: come before his presence with singing.
Psa 100:3 Know ye that the LORD he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we ourselves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
Psa 100:5 For the LORD is good; his mercy is everlasting; and his truth endureth to all generations.

When was the last time you heard a congregation lose all its inhibitions and just rare back and sing to the very best of its ability?

Do you remember the old time song leaders telling the crowd, "Let's raise the roof on this verse!"?

There hasn't been a lot of roof-raising in these last days. I am not sure if it is because of the advent of praise music and the demise of the classic hymns or just lethargy when it comes to music in the church.

I have observed that most people are pretty much disengaged during the song service, thinking about everything but what they ought to be concentrating on, the music.

Also, more people are getting away with not singing at all. Some men are too macho, they feel singing's not for them. It always puts me in mind of verse 2 of "We're Marching to Zion" which says, "Let those refuse to sing, who never knew our God, but children of the heavenly King, but children of the heavenly King, may speak their joys abroad, may speak their joys abroad."

A church that loses its ability and desire to worship whole-heartedly has lost one of its greatest treasures, for the Lord inhabits the praises of His children. Seldom do we sense the presence of the Lord as when the music is all-consuming in our worship.

Let's get back to coming before His presence with singing, making a joyful noise unto Him. Lift the rafters on that next verse!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Planted in God's House

Psa 92:13 Those that be planted in the house of the LORD shall flourish in the courts of our God.

Some ground is just better than other ground for growing things. Rich, black, moist soil laden with all the right nutrients is going to be more productive than clay.

For years, middle America was known as the great American desert. It wasn't until brave, tough pioneers were willing to plant themselves on that desert and their seed in that dubious ground that we learned it would be the most productive farmland in the world!

I know that planting oneself in front of the TV or on a barstool or in the gym during church time is unproductive for the soul. This verse tells us that those who are planted in God's house are the ones that shall flourish.

Conversely, planting yourself anywhere else will cause your soul to whither.

Hebrews 10:25 Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Church, that is, a Spirit-filled, Bible-centered house of the Lord, is good ground for a flourishing life.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

So, What's Your Story?

Psa 90:9 For all our days are passed away in thy wrath: we spend our years as a tale that is told. 10 The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.

Have you ever had someone say to you, "Man, you should write a book!"?

Our years are like a story that is told. Paul said of his converts, "You are our epistle, written in our hearts, known and read of all men."

I think it is true that virtually every life is interesting enough to be a tremendous biographical novel if the author is just good enough!

But what if the Author was God? Hint, it is!

What would be a good title for your tale? Adventures in Faith? Up From Slavery? Rags-to-Riches? God's been faithful? Ah, so many possibilities.

Novels tend to have a plot, a story line, key players, unexpected twists and turns, a climax, an overall message.

Would your story be a page-turner, a can't-put-it-down, spell-binder that flies off the shelves?

And really, is your book mainly about you, or is it about God?

Know this friend, when you climbed out of bed today, a new chapter began to be written. Make it an exciting chapter where the gospel is shared, Joy is experienced, tragedies are avoided, victories are won and a wonderful resolution ensues.

I look forward to a good read from you!

Monday, December 27, 2010

Abide in Christ

Psa 90:1 A Prayer of Moses the man of God. Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place in all generations.

You gotta love Moses! He who dwelt in the palace the first trimester of his life, on the backside of the desert the 2nd, and in the Sinai wilderness the last, knew how to make God his dwelling place throughout. Good man, Moses!

We have here no permanent dwelling. Life on earth is transitional at best. We have no lease on life, no promise of tomorrow. We don't know about tomorrow, we just know WHO holds tomorrow!

To make God our dwelling place is the wisest of the wise decisions. It means contentment when all around us is uncertainty.

And so Christ, Who spoke so highly of Moses, adds to Moses' declaration by declaring no less than 9 times in John 15, "Abibe in me."

That is, Christ invites us to make our residence in Him, to dwell in Him, to continue with Him. By doing so, our prayers are answered, our joy is full and our fruit remains (see John 15:1-16).

A foot in the world and a foot in the Lord will never do, it needs to be full-throttle, head-first, all-in for Jesus and we will never be disappointed.

Are you making your dwelling place in the Lord or is your residence built on the slippery-slope of this world, awaiting the avalanche that will do you in? Abide in Christ, make Him your all in all, your life, your hope, your main-stay, your shield and defender. He will support you come what may.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Christmas Gift of Heaven

Isa 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the
government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called
Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The
Prince of Peace.
Isa 9:7 Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

I suppose verse 6 has always been my favorite Christmas verse. It summarizes all that our gracious Saviour is to me and all His redeemed. He is the King to Whom we bow. A greater adjective could not be turned into a name for Jesus than “Wonderful.”

The hem of the garment is barely touched when we call Him Counsellor. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and that same wisdom is always liberally available to those who ask of this Wonderful Counsellor.

The Mighty God, Everlasting Father! Those religions which deny the deity of Christ wiggle and cringe at this emphatic declaration. That babe in the manger is almighty God, the Ancient of Days! Mark Lowry and Buddy Green’s song says it well…

Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day walk on water?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will save our sons and daughters?
Did you know that your baby boy has come to make you new?
This child that you've delivered, will soon deliver you.

Mary did you know that your baby boy will give sight to a blind man?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will calm a storm with his hand?
Did you know that your baby boy has walked where angels trod?
And when you kiss your little baby, you have kissed the face of God.

The blind will see, the deaf will hear and the dead will live again.
The lame will leap, the dumb will speak, the praises of the lamb.

Mary did you know that your baby boy is Lord of all creation?
Mary did you know that your baby boy will one day rule the nations?
Did you know that your baby boy is heaven's perfect Lamb?
This sleeping child you're holding is the great I am.

And finally, He is known as the Prince of Peace. Longfellow lamented,

And in despair, I bowed my head
There is no peace on earth, I said
For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men!

The thing is, the Saviour did bring peace with God to all those whose sins would be forgiven and the peace of God for all who trust in Him.

Tis a merry Christmas for those who claim Jesus as Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mistletoe, Holly, Santa Claus Jolly, Don’t Miss the Point!

Luk 2:8 And there were in the same country shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And, lo, the angel of the Lord came upon them, and the glory of the Lord shone round about them: and they were sore afraid. 10 And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people. 11 For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord. 12 And this shall be a sign unto you; Ye shall find the babe wrapped in swaddling clothes, lying in a manger. 13 And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, 14 Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. 15 And it came to pass, as the angels were gone away from them into heaven, the shepherds said one to another, Let us now go even unto Bethlehem, and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us. 16 And they came with haste, and found Mary, and Joseph, and the babe lying in a manger.

I hate to upset anybody’s notions, but you need to know that the nativity of Christ is not about family, gifts or giving, a tree, decorations, Santa or even eggnog. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish the opportunity to spend time with family and I will take joy in seeing the munchkins rip and tear into their presents. I love the lights! I DON’T care for the shopping!!! Praise the Lord for!

But we cannot miss the point… Look, if I were to have a target to the south and let an arrow fly toward the north, I am going to miss the bulls eye by a good distance. There is no joy in missing the target.

If the birth of Christ is supposed to bring peace on earth and good will toward men, then why is there so much misery and friction during the holidays? Why are so many so sad at this time?

1) People don’t feel they can measure up to the country living Magazine Christmas cover.
2) People are feeling sorry for themselves because Bing Crosby’s songs are not a reality for them.
3) Many are broken hearted because home for the holidays is not happening for them.
4) Others will be disappointed. Because their life is not a Christmas card, not a Norman Rockwell painting. Their halls are not decked with boughs of holly. They experience little ho ho ho and a lot of bah humbug!

You see, life has happened to them ...divorce, death, financial setback, disease, tragedy.

If your goal is a classic Christmas, snow on the ground, a pile of presents under the tree, a sleigh parked outside pulled by Clydesdale horses, etc. You will more oft than not be disappointed.

That's not why God became a man, to bring you a merry Christmas and happy holidays and feliz navidad.
But if you are looking for peace of/with God, goodwill to men, if you are looking for light of the world and eternal life...then that's why he came and that's what he offers.

If the babe in the manger points you toward Santa riding a Norelco razor through the snow, then all your Christmases will not be merry and bright.

But if the star over the manger draws your attention to the cross of forgiveness and an empty tomb of victory, then unto you is born this day, in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

From Strength to Strength

Psa 84:5 Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee; in whose heart are the ways of them.
Psa 84:6 Who passing through the valley of Baca make it a well; the rain also filleth the pools.
Psa 84:7 They go from strength to strength, every one of them in Zion appeareth before God.

God's strength is made perfect in our weakness. Paul's thorn in the flesh allowed him to discover that He giveth more grace. Joseph's prison experience was needful to bring him to power. Moses' 40 years on the back side of the desert prepped him for leadership of Israel.

The life stories of almost every major character in the Bible follow the same pattern, man's weakness proves God's strength. Valleys give way to mountain tops.

It is said that no great servant of the Lord has not, at some time, been through great trials of affliction, in order to temper him/her for service for Christ.

Perhaps you have personal knowledge of this process taking place in your own experience.

In the 84th Psalm, we are given this picture of a man going from one mountain top to another. However, in between he had to travel through the valley of weeping.

I have found that in between strengths, during those valley experiences, we learn to appreciate the good times. We find ourselves depending on the Lord, developing our prayer lives, learning valuable life lessons, relating more readily to the hurts of others and acquiring patience.

We loathe to experience the valley as we equally long for the mountaintop. But to get from one strength to the next, we generally have to travel through Baca.

Make the most out of your valleys on the way to your next strength.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Ah, For Crying Out Loud!

Psa 77:1 I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me.
Psa 77:2 In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted.
Psa 77:3 I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah.

Here, Asaph, one of the tabernacle ministers of music, is overwhelmed with health issues, among other things. He is in dire need of God's attention.

So he cries out, not only with his heart, but with his voice. He emphasizes twice that it was with his voice that he cried out.

I can relate, possibly you can also. Usually, my prayers proceed quietly from my spirit. But there are those times when the necessity of my need cannot be kept silent and I have to cry out loud to the Savior in the depth of my need.

In the 130th Psalm we find the writer exclaiming on his way to worship, "Out of the depths have I cried unto thee, O LORD."

God hears and answers silent, spoken or cried out prayers. But He doesn't answer unprayed prayers. So cry out to Him, He wants to hear from you, for crying out loud!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

A World without America as a Super Power?

Dan 5:25 And this is the writing that was written, MENE, MENE, TEKEL, UPHARSIN.

Does America have the resiliency needed for the next sucker punch? (Scandal, terror attack, financial collapse, etc.)

America is a relatively young nation that has outlived its shelf life as a world power. 200 years is about the longest any leading nation has been able to survive atop the heap of world greatness.

We Yanks are so ameri-centric that we can’t see past the end of our Statue of Liberty’s own nose. We think our society is as near Utopian as any and therefore, indestructible.

I think of the writing on the king’s wall in Babylon by God’s own hand, “Thou art weighed in the balances and art found wanting. This night, thy kingdom shall be taken from thee.”

Subsequently, there was the Persian Empire, then the Greeks.

I think of the Roman Empire crumbling from within, entertaining itself to death.

It was said that the sun never set on the British Empire. Now, that setting sun casts long shadows on its former greatness.

Who are we to think we deserve better? Wickedness abounds in America. The things that once made us resilient have decayed into oblivion.

We used to be so resilient because of the core values of honor, decency, compassion, patriotism, mutual respect, grace, morality…shall we say, the Judeo-Christian ethic.
Our ship would stay afloat in war, depression, attack or come-what-may. But now, we have too much water in the boat.

Multiculturalism, that uninhibited tolerance and acceptance of any and every strange cultural more’, run-away spending, porous borders, godless policies, heavy taxation, legalized abortion, ridiculous entitlements, even for illegals, allowance of pornography, the drug culture, indecency at every turn… our society is ripe for a fall.

A short 9 years ago, America rallied following 9/11. Right or wrong, we came together to go after an enemy. Our president warned that it would take patience over the long haul. Alas, our nation really did not have the stomach, nor the resources for what needed to be done.

I am overly concerned that next financial debacle or attack or scandal will not be cause for rally among the people of the US, but rather division. And, as our Lord was quoted by President Lincoln in the face of civil war, “a house divided against itself cannot stand.”

We have become so polarized politically, so pitted against one another in class warfare, so divided among racial lines that we may never be able to come together against a common enemy.

I am afraid that the river has been diverted and the gates are about to be breached. I fear that we value our entertainment way too highly, even at the expense of our integrity. I hope and pray that the tides of our destruction may be stayed, but we must have a revival.

Christmastime is upon us and the Islamo-terrorists are scheming attacks during our times of celebration. According to two senior officials, Iraqi authorities have obtained confessions from captured insurgents who claim al Qaeda is planning suicide attacks in the United States and Europe during the Christmas season.

Would you, dear reader; European, Asian, Australian, South or North American or even African, would you petition Heaven that God would foil these devilish schemes and that revival would take place here in the States and around the globe? It is to all our mutual benefits that God would thwart Satan’s plans for death and destruction.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Another One Bites the Dust

Psa 72:9 They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust.

When Julian the Apostate met his end, he gathered handfuls of dust, tossed them into the air proclaiming, "Thou hast conquered, thou Galilean!"

Celebrated atheist Voltaire exclaimed with his last words, "I am abandoned by God and man, I shall go to hell! I will give you half of what I am worth if you will give me six month's life."

Mirabeau proclaimed, "My sufferings are intolerable: I have in me a hundred years of life, but not a moment’s courage. Give me more laudanum, that I may not think of eternity? Oh Christ, Oh Jesus Christ!"

As Severus passed, the emperor responsible for the deaths of thousands of believers, his words still echo, "I have been everything; and everything is nothing!"

Skeptic Thomas Hobbes, "If I had the whole world, I would give anything to live one day. I shall be glad to find a hole to creep out of the world at. I am about to take a fearful leap in the dark!"

Caesar Borgia, "I have provided, in the course of my life, for everything except death, and now, alas! I am to die, although entirely unprepared!"

Chancellor of England Sir Thomas Scott, "Until this moment, I thought there was neither God nor hell; now I know and feel that there are both, and I am doomed to perdition by the just judgment of the Almighty!"

Infidel club leader, Sir Francis Newport, "You need not tell me there is no God for I know there is one, and that I am in His presence! You need not tell me there is no hell. I feel myself already slipping. Wretches, cease your idle talk about there being hope for me! I know I am lost forever! Oh, that fire! Oh, the insufferable pangs of hell!"

M.F. Rich, "Terrible horrors hang over my soul! I have given my immortality for gold; and its weight sinks me into a hopeless, helpless hell!"

Atheist Thomas Paine, American colonialist writer, "I would give worlds if I had them, that 'the Age of Reason' had never been published. O Lord, help me! Christ, help me!... No, don't leave, stay with me! Send even a child to stay with me; for I am on the edge of Hell here alone. If ever the Devil had an agent, I have been that one."

Assassin John Wilkes Booth, "Useless! Useless! The terrors before me!"

Charles IX, murderous king responsible for the massacre of 15000 Huguenots said in his last hours, "Asleep or awake, I see the mangled forms of the Huguenots passing before me. They drop with blood. They point at their open wounds. Oh! That I had spared at least the little infants at the breast! What blood! I know not where I am. How will all this end? What shall I do? I am lost forever! I know it. Oh, I have done wrong. "

Though the God-haters shoot out the lip in mockery of our Lord, it is the Lord Who will have the last say.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

The God Who Cares

Psa 68:4 Sing unto God, sing praises to his name: extol him that rideth upon the heavens by his name JAH, and rejoice before him.
Psa 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in his holy habitation.
Psa 68:6 God setteth the solitary in families: he bringeth out those which are bound with chains: but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.

One slam against Christianity and our God by the atheists; "Why would a loving God allow so much suffering?"

I think it is a fair question considering the close-mindedness of those who claim to be so open-minded. I suppose you really don't have to be a skeptic to have had the same thought pass through your mind on occasion.

The easy answer is sin. God is not willing that hell be populated with people, that innocents suffer, that natural disasters ravage the landscapes. But these are all due to cause and effect. Creation groans because sin is rampant. Civilizations suffer because they have forgotten God. Innocents are in hardship because guilty people have behaved badly.

But God does not ignore the cries of the fatherless, the widows, the lonely and the incarcerated. He sits high on the throne, cognizant of the trouble occurring down here below.

He is sure to reward and recompense all the righteous of their sorrow. A special place exists in the heart of the Holy for the orphans, the abandoned, the left-behind, the captive and those left with nowhere to turn but Heaven.

You see, He knows all about it, He's been there. On a cold Bethlehem night, God was born into this world to a peasant couple, the comforts of a home exchanged for an animal stall. Agonizing In the garden, He prayed alone while his friends slept. When He was arrested, His disciples scattered, except for Peter, who denied Him. He spent the night in kangaroo court and in jail…alone. When He hung on the cross, His followers were nowhere to be found, save John and a few women. As He looked toward heaven and called upon His Father, He was forsaken, because God could not countenance our sin that He bore.

Therefore, because He knows the pain of rejection, because He was a man of sorrows and well acquainted with grief, He sees to it that His children will never be forsaken and left all alone.

He is a God who sees and hears and knows and cares and acts on the behalf of all who call upon Him. In fact, that’s why He came to the manger. To be Immanuel, God with us. So that He would experience the human condition, to relate to your loneliness, your poverty, your sickness, your temptation, your emotions.

Are your hurting? His phone number begins... "Our Father which art in heaven" and ends... "In Jesus' name I pray, Amen!"

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sin is a Prayer Killer

Psa 66:18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:

To regard iniquity in one's heart is to acknowledge its presence and to do nothing about it, rather, to encourage it. It means to have favorable thoughts about our sin.

It is akin to taking a bite of forbidden fruit and rolling it around in the mouth enjoying the texture and the flavor. If we have fond thoughts of our sin, if we wish to continue in it and are reluctant to part with it, then our prayers are hindered.

We cannot afford to have our prayers unanswered. Sin has its pleasures for a season, but in the end, it is rottenness to the gut. Favor with God, conversely, is the Christian's cherished treasure.

I often wonder how a person can "regard" the pleasure and consequences of sin verses the favor and fellowship of God and consistently choose the former over the latter. And yet, regarding sin in the heart is the natural course of the unregenerate, as well as the carnal individual.

I think of some that I know that I have counseled in the following way. I show them one hand that represents their family, church, job and a good life. My other hand represents their sin and its consequences (drugs, illicit sex, anger and wrath, laziness, etc.) I challenge them to choose one or the other. Often they waiver a while before making the no-brainer option. Then they go leave the office only to go back to the sin they have been regarding in their hearts.

So be it. That poor choice results in unanswered prayer.

The forbidden fruit that is dangled before you today is a prayer-killer, don't eat it!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Old School Song Writing

Psa 59:1 To the chief Musician, Altaschith, Michtam of David; when Saul sent, and they watched the house to kill him. Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me.
Psa 59:2 Deliver me from the workers of iniquity, and save me from bloody men.
Psa 59:3 For, lo, they lie in wait for my soul: the mighty are gathered against me; not for my transgression, nor for my sin, O LORD.

You know that the Psalms, the Tehellim, are the song book of the Old Testament. Written by David, Solomon, Moses, Heman, Asaph, Jeduthan and Chenneniah, and some unascribed authors, they are a collection of songs written primarily from real life situations.

We find David, for instance, penning his poems upon the occasions of his repentance, his exiles, his fleeing for his life, contemplating the grandeur of creation, etc.

Here, David is once again in danger of his life as Saul's men have him holed up in his house and ready to end his life. Instead of wishing for the destruction of his aggressors, he prays rather that they get confused and wander off, seeing that God is on the throne. Nice sentiment!

I am intrigued that David is in his house, not on the phone with the 911 operator, not preparing his weapons in case they break in, not observing them on his security cameras, but singing praises to God and writing music!

Now, I know that some of the songs being written these days are legitimate and blessed tunes born from real life situations. But let's face it, most songs are written to make someone some money. They are cheap, classless attempts combining empty words, tired out themes, monotonous chord progressions producing uninspired results. But hey, the songwriter's gotta make a buck, right?

Unfortunately, I am not just referring to rock, hip-hop and country. I am talking about some of the music that will be crooned on Christian radio, produced by praise teams and presented by soloists behind the pulpit.

How many songs does the church have? How many ways can you manipulate the 12 chromatic notes of the scale into a new song? There are only 26 letters of the alphabet, only so many time signatures, key signatures. Millions of songs have been produced. Thousands have become useful. Hundreds are blessings.

It all comes down to a few things for this music aficionado, does the song make sense? Is it a blessing? Is it real, born from truth or circumstance? And will it stand the test of time?

I guess David has to rank among the top singer/songwriters of all time. He is also known as the sweet singer of Israel. Old school!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Lay Down that Heavy Load

Psa 55:22 Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.
1Pe 5:7 Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Though we may be called upon to take up our cross and follow Jesus, we are not designed to carry unnecessary burdens and cares.

Our Lord intends for us to rest in Him by allowing Him to shoulder our burdens side by side with us, Him carrying the lion's share of the Load.

He makes us this offer in Matthew 11:28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

The following illustrates the average mindset of the overburdened individual:

The "Coronary and Ulcer Club" lists the following rules for members...
(update note: substitute laptop for briefcase)
1. Your job comes first. Forget everything else.
2. Saturdays, Sundays, and holidays are fine times to be working at the office. There will be nobody else there to bother you.
3. Always have your briefcase with you when not at your desk. This provides an opportunity to review completely all the troubles and worries of the day.
4. Never say "no" to a request. Always say "yes."
5. Accept all invitations to meetings, banquets, committees, etc.
6. All forms of recreation are a waste of time.
7. Never delegate responsibility to others; carry the entire load yourself.
8. If your work calls for traveling, work all day and travel at night to keep that appointment you made for eight the next morning.
9. No matter how many jobs you already are doing, remember you always can take on more.

10 minutes after posting this blog, my friend sent me the following, notice the verse...

*Psalm 55:22 --- you really need to read this 'Friends are Father's way of taking care of us.' *

*This was written by a Metro Denver Hospice Physician: *

I was driving home from a meeting this evening about 5, stuck in traffic on Colorado Blvd., and the car started to choke and splutter and die - I barely managed to coast into a gas station, glad only that I would not be blocking traffic and would have a somewhat warm spot to wait for the tow truck. It wouldn't even turn over. Before I could make the call, I saw a woman walking out of the quickie mart building, and it looked like she slipped on some ice and fell into a gas pump, so I got out to see if she was okay. When I got there, it looked more like she had been overcome by sobs than that she had fallen; she was a young woman who looked really haggard with dark circles under her eyes. She dropped something as I helped her up, and I picked it up to give it to her. It was a nickel.

At that moment, everything came into focus for me: the crying woman, the ancient Suburban crammed full of stuff with 3 kids in the back (1 in a car seat), and the gas pump reading $4.95.
I asked her if she was okay and if she needed help, and she just kept saying 'I don't want my kids to see me crying! So we stood on the other side of the pump from her car. She said she was driving to California and that things were very hard for her right now. So I asked, 'And you were praying?' That made her back away from me a little, but I assured her I was not a crazy person and said, 'He heard you, and He sent me.'

I took out my card and swiped it through the card reader on the pump so she could fill up her car completely, and while it was fueling, walked to the next door McDonald's and bought 2 big bags of food, some gift certificates for more, and a big cup of coffee. She gave the food to the kids in the car, who attacked it like wolves, and we stood by the pump eating fries and talking a little.

She told me her name, and that she lived in Kansas City. Her boyfriend left 2 months ago and she had not been able to make ends meet. She knew she wouldn't have money to pay rent Jan. 1, and finally, in desperation, had called her parents, with whom she had not spoken in about 5 years. They lived in California and said she could come live with them and try to get on
her feet there.

So she packed up everything she owned in the car. She told the kids they were going to California for Christmas, but not that they were going to live there. I gave her my gloves, a little hug and said a quick prayer with her for safety on the road. As I was walking over to my car, she said, 'So, are you like an angel or something?'

This definitely made me cry. I said, 'Sweetie, at this time of year angels are really busy, so sometimes God uses regular people.'

It was so incredible to be a part of someone else's miracle. And of course, you guessed it, when I got in my car it started right away and got me home with no problem. I'll put it in the shop tomorrow to check, but I suspect the mechanic won't find anything wrong.

Sometimes the angels fly close enough to you that you can hear the flutter of their wings...

Psalms 55:22 'Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and He shall sustain thee. He shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.'

Saturday, December 11, 2010

A Gushing Heart

Psa 45:1 My heart is inditing a good matter: I speak of the things which I have made touching the king: my tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
Psa 45:2 Thou art fairer than the children of men: grace is poured into thy lips: therefore God hath blessed thee for ever.

Very interesting! The word inditing here means to gush. In other words, the writers heart is gushing. He is overflowing with emotion concerning the majesty and glory of his king.

Can we relate? Does our heart gush with feeling concerning our meditations of our great God and King? How wonderful His works toward the undeserving! How marvelous His mercies! How glorious His goodness!

Indeed my tongue is the pen of a ready writer. I cannot but speak of the glories of my wonderful Lord and King.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Leonard Ravenhill Quotes

I have always been a fan of the late British author and evangelist Leonard Ravenhill. His book, "Why Revival Tarries" is a poignant treatise of the poor quality of modern Christianity. His prophet-like delivery of God's truth is refreshing in a day where pussy-footing is standard fare. Following are some of his quotes which ought to be assimilated into the life of every disciple of Christ.

"Today’s church wants to be raptured from responsibility."

"If weak in prayer, we are weak everywhere."

"Men give advice; God gives guidance."

"Are the things you are living for worth Christ dying for?"

"A sinning man stops praying, a praying man stops sinning"

"The only reason we don't have revival is because we are willing to live without it!"

"God pity us that after years of writing, using mountains of paper and rivers of ink, exhausting flashy terminology about the biggest revival meetings in history, we are still faced with gross corruption in every nation, as well as with the most prayerless church age since Pentecost."

"The Church used to be a lifeboat rescuing the perishing. Now she is a cruise ship recruiting the promising."

"The opportunity of a lifetime must be seized within the lifetime of the opportunity."

"My main ambition in life is to be on the devil's most wanted list."

"If Jesus had preached the same message that ministers preach today, He would never have been crucified."

"Entertainment is the devil's substitute for joy"

Thursday, December 9, 2010

If you have your health...

Psa 42:11 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope thou in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

Psa 43:5 Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted within me? hope in God: for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my countenance, and my God.

you can finish that old adage, can't you? If you have your health, you have everything. Well, it is a bit of an overstatement, I think. But it is a good point. When you are in poor health, nothing else seems in sync. Finances are out the window, relationships are strained, especially with those who cannot relate to your sufferings. Your job cannot have your full attention. So many things hit the back burner when your health is in poor shape.

A good relationship with the Lord generally produces a healthful glow in the believer. Good humor begets a good look. A confident soul, unified with the Spirit of God, begets a healthy demeanor.

We are put on notice by the Word that a merry heart doeth good like a medicine. Merry hearts are the result of a right relationship with the Lord.

If you are feeling a little puny today, spend some time in the presence of the Almighty and come away recharged, you will feel better.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Post Thanksgiving Thanks

Psa 40:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. I waited patiently for the LORD; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
Psa 40:2 He brought me up also out of an horrible pit, out of the miry clay, and set my feet upon a rock, and established my goings.
Psa 40:3 And he hath put a new song in my mouth, even praise unto our God: many shall see it, and fear, and shall trust in the LORD.

Psa 40:5 Many, O LORD my God, are thy wonderful works which thou hast done, and thy thoughts which are to us-ward: they cannot be reckoned up in order unto thee: if I would declare and speak of them, they are more than can be numbered.

We dare not confine our heartfelt gratefulness to the end of November. I hope we are continuing in our gratitude to the Lord for His wonderful works. Truly they are so many that we couldn't begin to reckon the whole of them.

In the previous verses, we see some wonderful blessings from God for which the Psalmist is grateful.

Having waited for the Lord to do His work, sure enough, the Lord bowed down His ear from heaven and heard him. Oh, friend, know this, we have a prayer hearing, prayer answering God Who delights in meeting the needs of His dear children. It is a shame we don't call on Him more often.

And then, the Lord delivers his servant from a distressing situation. He likened it to a horrible pit. How many of us could call the fix we are in a horrible pit, or a rut, or a hole? I am sure you can relate. But time and again, He snatches us out of the miry clay and sets us in a place of sure safety.

Finally, He fills the mouth with singing and praise. When others see where God has taken us from and where He has brought us to, they will take note and become believers also.

Now that, my friend, is a wonderful second helping of thanksgiving.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Immolation of the Imams and the Mauling of the Mahdi.

Much speculation is taking place among the Shias of Islam concerning the coming of the last Imam, their Muslim messiah, also called the Mahdi.

The president of Iran is a firm believer that he must prepare the way for this antichrist by destroying the great satan, America, and the little satan, Israel. And so he is working on his nuclear ability at breakneck speed.

Radical Islam is bent on the annihilation of Christianity and Judaism. For them, the sooner, the better. This Jihad against the west has changed the landscape of the world. (think 9/11, et al). There really is no hope for peace as long as their perverted mindset remains in place.

Daily we hear of successful bomb attacks, foiled terrorist attempts, threats to security, martyrdom of non-radicalized Muslims, beheading of those not loyal to the Regime, ad nausea.

Frankly, I fear for this world. I am saddened that our children will grow up in a world where peace and security can never be attained as long as these crazies in the army of Allah have sworn to kill "infidels" at every turn.

I have to wonder which cargo container in which port contains a nuke. I fear that every dirty bomb or suitcase bomb or car cannot possibly be foiled by Homeland Security, the NSA, FBI or CIA. Our intelligence community cannot possibly short circuit every Islamic attack on American or European (add African and Asian) soil.

But today, I read the 37th Psalm and have found great comfort. The following verses have ministered to me in allaying my discomfort:

Psa 37:1 Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.
Psa 37:2 For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.
Psa 37:3 Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed.
Psa 37:9 For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.
Psa 37:10 For yet a little while, and the wicked shall not be: yea, thou shalt diligently consider his place, and it shall not be.
Psa 37:11 But the meek shall inherit the earth; and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.
Psa 37:12 The wicked plotteth against the just, and gnasheth upon him with his teeth.
Psa 37:13 The Lord shall laugh at him: for he seeth that his day is coming.
Psa 37:14 The wicked have drawn out the sword, and have bent their bow, to cast down the poor and needy, and to slay such as be of upright conversation.
Psa 37:15 Their sword shall enter into their own heart, and their bows shall be broken.
Psa 37:17 For the arms of the wicked shall be broken: but the LORD upholdeth the righteous.
Psa 37:18 The LORD knoweth the days of the upright: and their inheritance shall be for ever.
Psa 37:19 They shall not be ashamed in the evil time: and in the days of famine they shall be satisfied.
Psa 37:20 But the wicked shall perish, and the enemies of the LORD shall be as the fat of lambs: they shall consume; into smoke shall they consume away.
Psa 37:28 For the LORD loveth judgment, and forsaketh not his saints; they are preserved for ever: but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:29 The righteous shall inherit the land, and dwell therein for ever.
Psa 37:32 The wicked watcheth the righteous, and seeketh to slay him.
Psa 37:33 The LORD will not leave him in his hand, nor condemn him when he is judged.
Psa 37:34 Wait on the LORD, and keep his way, and he shall exalt thee to inherit the land: when the wicked are cut off, thou shalt see it.
Psa 37:35 I have seen the wicked in great power, and spreading himself like a green bay tree.
Psa 37:36 Yet he passed away, and, lo, he was not: yea, I sought him, but he could not be found.
Psa 37:37 Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace.
Psa 37:38 But the transgressors shall be destroyed together: the end of the wicked shall be cut off.
Psa 37:39 But the salvation of the righteous is of the LORD: he is their strength in the time of trouble.
Psa 37:40 And the LORD shall help them, and deliver them: he shall deliver them from the wicked, and save them, because they trust in him.

I hope and pray that these inspired promises of Holy Writ will calm your fear and give you comfort for today and hope for tomorrow. Though the CIA cannot have sufficient intelligence on every sleeper cell, our omniscient Creator and Sustainer knows where the WMDs are hidden. And though the terrorists will one day anoint their messiah, The Lord will cut him off in his wickedness and preserve His saints.

Monday, December 6, 2010

You Look Good Praising the Lord!

Psa 33:1 Rejoice in the LORD, O ye righteous: for praise is comely for the upright.
Psa 33:2 Praise the LORD with harp: sing unto him with the psaltery and an instrument of ten strings.
Psa 33:3 Sing unto him a new song; play skilfully with a loud noise.
Psa 33:4 For the word of the LORD is right; and all his works are done in truth.

Hey, we all want to look our best, right? I mean, who really doesn't care what they look like?

Come on, you looked in the mirror this morning, didn't you? What were your thoughts? "Not much hope for this kid today?" "Not bad, not bad at all?" etc.

Can I give you a little hint? No Christian is as beautiful or handsome, none as radiant as when they are praising the Lord!

The song writer said, "Give the world smile each day."

Indeed, learn to praise God, no matter the circumstances, and you will be looking pretty in praise.

Now, go comb your hair, cover the blemishes, brush your pearly whites (or yellows), anoint your self with a bit of smell good, but especially, don't forget to apply a liberal amount of praise!

Looking good, man!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

How Happy are We!

Psa 32:1 Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Psa 32:2 Blessed is the man unto whom the LORD imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile.

The word blessed comes from the Hebrew word "esher" and it simply means happy.

Abe Lincoln declared that our forefathers brought forth a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal and that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights. Among these rights are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

Many go about that pursuit in varied ways. Their pursuit of happiness may be on the order of financial gain, health, entertainment, comfort, recreation or even sinful pleasures.

However, many rightly pursue God, knowing that He is the true fount of happiness.

In these verses we find that a person's happiness can be realized by having our having sins forgiven and living a clean life with a clear conscience.

Unfortunately, many are blessed by the fact of these events, but have not met up with the feeling of that fact. That is, their sins are washed away and they are living a godly life, but they still are overcome by the enemy's darts of doubt, distress and defeat. They have a hard time coming to grips with who they are in Christ, Whose they are, and what has happened to them.

I imagine that if the average believer were to get hold of the fact that they are completely forgiven, under absolutely no condemnation, that the Holy Spirit has taken up residence within them, never to leave again. If they were to know that every need will be met, that all things will work together for good, that they already are seated in the heavenlies with Jesus, that they have the power of God within them to overcome any and all circumstances, that the enemy is already condemned to defeat, then they would be able to live above the circumstances and find great joy and happiness in the fact of their forgiveness.
Oh, that our knowledge and our emotions would catch up to the facts of our faith. Then could we all be doubly blessed and made happy in our walk with the King.

Psa 32:11 Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, ye righteous: and shout for joy, all ye that are upright in heart.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Girded with Gladness

Psa 30:5 For his anger endureth but a moment; in his favour is life: weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.
Psa 30:11 Thou hast turned for me my mourning into dancing: thou hast put off my sackcloth, and girded me with gladness;

When we became children of the Most High God, we were never promised all sunshine and roses. The path that the Christian is called to tread is sometimes strewn with darkness and difficulty.

However, He is always with us along the way and being found in His favor is to experience life more abundantly. In His favor is life!

Yes, we mourn. Sure, we are found grieving from time to time. But it always gives way to joy and rejoicing.

Believing friend, you have been girded with gladness. Trust and hope in Him for the joy that is coming your way. The weeping may endure for a night, but joy is coming in the morning.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Every Need Supplied

Psa 23:1 The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.

The LORD - the Sovereign
is - the Surety
my - the Serenity
shepherd; - the Safety
I - the Security
shall not - the Strength
want - the Surplus

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Fine, Medium, Course or Extra Course?

Psa 18:25 With the merciful thou wilt shew thyself merciful; with an upright man thou wilt shew thyself upright;
Psa 18:26 With the pure thou wilt shew thyself pure; and with the froward thou wilt shew thyself froward.

We serve a righteous, holy God. Yet He is so very loving, merciful and forgiving.

A piece of sand paper is just a smooth piece of paper on one side, but the other side can really remove some hide, if you know what I mean. The Lord is kind of like that. If we are merciful, upright and pure, He will show Himself likewise to us. But if we become froward, that is, torturous, then the sandpaper is turned to the rough side and guess what? We will see the rough side of the Lord!

It is like what Jesus said of Himself in Luke 20:18 Whosoever shall fall upon that stone shall be broken; but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder.

Depending on how you respond to God and how you treat others is how you will be rewarded from heaven.

So, which side of the sandpaper will we choose today?

Monday, November 29, 2010

When I Wake Up

Psa 17:15 As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness: I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness.

Soon, all believers will awake to sleep no more. Oh, how our senses shall operate in full capacity when we awake in the likeness of our Savior.

The sights and sounds, the smells and textures that await us on heaven's bright shore are unattainable to our present dull abilities to experience.

But greatest of all will be to behold the face of our wonderful God in righteousness. At present, it is impossible for us to see the face of God and live. But there, we shall never die and will never have enough of seeing the face of the Lord.

Lord, hasten that glad day when we wake up to sleep no more.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Blessings Here and Pleasure Hereafter

The Path and the Pleasure

Psa 16:11
Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.

Down here there is a path, upon which I am led
It runs beside still waters, in green pastures I am fed.

And all the while I know, in Him I can confide
The joy of His sweet Spirit dwells deep down inside.

In His presence there is such fullness of happiness
But yonder in the heavens pleasures always tend to bless.

So I serve my gracious Lord and Savior each and every day
Looking on His love and favor He will keep me in the way.

Til one day I reach that land where sorrows never come
No tears, no death, no danger, neither Satan's sibilant hum.

I will safe there be with God, the Father, Spirit, Son
Finished with the vale of sorrows, hearing Him say, "Child, well done!"

Thursday, November 25, 2010

No Holiday for Fools

Happy Thanksgiving to all!!!

Psa 14:1 The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God. They are corrupt, they have done abominable works, there is none that doeth good.

Poor foolish infidels! They have no One to praise for their blessings on Thanksgiving. At Advent, their manger lies empty, devoid of divinity. Their calls to "Dial-a-Prayer" go unanswered. Presidents Day is a misery due to the strong faith of Washington and Lincoln. Martin Luther King day honors a preacher. St. Patrick's the same. Why, even New Year's is tied to the year of our Lord. Yom Kippur, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, etc. are way too overtly religious. Even Halloween holds no charm for them, for they know nothing of the supernatural.

Alas, only one holiday holds any promise for them whatsoever, the first day of April. 'Tis their special un-holiday.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

I have a favor to ask!!!

Would you please click on "follow" on the right of the page so that I might pray for you?

I know I have friends who are viewing our post in Russia, Sierra Leon, China, Australia, the Netherlands and in several other countries. You honor me greatly by reading my blog!


Pastor Gary Fuller
Hello to all my dear friends in Russia!!!

The Full Bounty

Psa 13:5 But I have trusted in thy mercy; my heart shall rejoice in thy salvation.
Psa 13:6 I will sing unto the LORD, because he hath dealt bountifully with me.

Let's imagine that you feel the Lord has forgotten you, that He has hidden His face from you. Pretend that your heart is laden daily with sorrow, that you have enemies on every hand, they knock you down and stand over you, taunting you. Your eyes are so weary from crying that you think they are going to close in death. Now that, my friend is some serious sorrow and depression! Yet, that is how David was dealing with life at this particular time.

But that is not the end of the story. David makes a key choice in the midst of his depression. He chose to trust in the mercy of God and rejoice in the fact that he is saved.

Trusting and rejoicing cause David to do something wonderful, he begins singing praises to God. And the theme of his song? The fullness of God's bounty to him. That is Thanksgiving at its finest. Praise amidst depression.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

America, in Danger of Hell Fire

Psa 9:17 The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.

Even with a godly heritage, our once great nation is in imminent danger of damnation.

On the positive side of the ledger, I see the following:

A foundation that was rich in Christian values. will supply any inquiring mind all the information required to ascertain whether the founders of our country were Christians, deists, agnostics or atheists. Fact: America was established as a Christian nation.

A heart for the less fortunate. What other nation, with the ability to annihilate its foes, instead rebuilds their nations and supports them after the battles are done? What other nation pours tens of billions of dollars into struggling nations, even those that hate their benefactor? Which nation always leads the way in outpouring of relief dollars and resources for areas stricken by disaster? America has been, and still is to some extent, a big-hearted nation made up of good-hearted people.

A church-going nation. On any given Sunday, the largest proportion of church attendees anywhere in the world is right here in the good old US of A. There may not be enough gospel in some of those churches to fill a thimble, but those folks are trying to find a way to connect with their Creator.

A missions-hearted, missionary-sending country. From the Mayflower Pact, drawn up, ratified and signed while still in the bay before its unlading, to the missions boards of today, there is no greater missions-minded, missions-supporting people in the world than the Americans. We sacrifice to ensure that the gospel reaches the farthest corner of the globe.

But, there is also the negative side of the ledger.

Abortion, our legalized genocide of 1.5 million innocents per annum, no doubt, continues to draw the ire and wrath of Heaven.

Sodomy. The strutting sissies have bashed the nation over its head with their purses until our brains have gone soft. Now, "gay" marriage, civil unions, special rights for homos, anti-hate ordinances, ad nausea, are the rule of the times.

Allow me to quickly enumerate the some of the others: greed, crime, corruption, deceit, gang-banging, hatred, hypocrisy, heresy, satanism, epicureanism, back-biting, libel, hatred, blasphemy, sexual deviance of all kinds... well the list goes on.

We have Satan and his emissaries to thank for their propagation and proliferation of these dark vices which will eventually drag our nation to hell. We have, in large part, forgotten God.

We stand in need of revival and renewal and it will not start with the guy down the street. It starts with you, dear reader, right here and right now. Humbly come before God, turning from your wickedness to embrace holiness. Fall back on your knees for regular and prolonged sessions with the Lord. Consume ample amounts of the Bible and appropriate and assimilate God's message into your life and actions. Seek the Lord's face with all your heart, soul, mind and body.

If your nation goes to hell, so be it. But don't allow it to happen because you haven't been revived and haven’t done your dead level best to win those in your sphere of influence, that they would not forget God and be turned into hell.

Monday, November 22, 2010

How Excellent is Thy Name! (and how inefficient our ability to express praise)

Psa 8:1 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth! who hast set thy glory above the heavens.
Psa 8:2 Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings hast thou ordained strength because of thine enemies, that thou mightest still the enemy and the avenger.
Psa 8:3 When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained;
Psa 8:4 What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?
Psa 8:5 For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.
Psa 8:6 Thou madest him to have dominion over the works of thy hands; thou hast put all things under his feet:
Psa 8:7 All sheep and oxen, yea, and the beasts of the field;
Psa 8:8 The fowl of the air, and the fish of the sea, and whatsoever passeth through the paths of the seas.
Psa 8:9 O LORD our Lord, how excellent is thy name in all the earth!

I love this psalm. It comes as near as words can possibly express the glory that is due our great Creator.

And if man, with earthly tongue and quill can express this heartfelt praise of the Holy One, how much more shall our new tongues glorify the Lord in His very presence!

Oh, for a thousand tongues to sing a for a thousand hands to raise in honor to the King.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Four Fingers Pointing Back at Me.

Psa 6:6 I am weary with my groaning; all the night make I my bed to swim; I water my couch with my tears.
Psa 6:7 Mine eye is consumed because of grief; it waxeth old because of all mine enemies.
Psa 6:8 Depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity; for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.

Far be it from me to say of the king, "poor David", for he sure had his faults and brought a lot of this groaning and crying upon himself. The Lord promised him that the sword would not pass from his house. Sure enough, there was plenty of infighting and other misbehavior on the part of his kids.

Also, we find David doing a lot of complaining about his enemies. So would I if people were constantly harassing me, trying to depose me from my God-given throne, and even making attempts on my life.

But you gotta realize that his enemies made themselves so not just because David touted the things of the Lord, but because of the hypocrisy involved.

Imagine if your pastor or your president had committed adultery with the neighbor's wife and then had the husband jackpotted in battle, resulting in his death. Imagine him saying, for the next several weeks, "I never had sex with that woman!" When the truth was about to be known by way of a pregnant Bathsheba. And then, witness him being extremely harsh, even demanding the life of a made up tyrant a la Rev. Nathan, not realizing that "he was the man."

Honestly, we would have little grace toward a leader like that. We would want them run out of town on a rail after being tarred and feathered.

And yet, we read, Psa 6:8b ...for the LORD hath heard the voice of my weeping.
Psa 6:9 The LORD hath heard my supplication; the LORD will receive my prayer.
Psa 6:10 Let all mine enemies be ashamed and sore vexed: let them return and be ashamed suddenly.

Did you catch that? When everyone else gives up on a person, God doesn't. When we disqualify an individual, God re-qualifies them. He is the God of the second (and third and fourth and five hundredth) chance!

I can relate. There is no reason I should still be sucking air. I wonder why I don't have as many enemies as David, considering all my faults and foibles. But David was a better repenter than he was a sinner. God is a good and merciful God, pardoning iniquity when forgiveness is undeserved.

To boot, God goes on to call this king, "a man after God's own heart." The press must have had a heyday at David's expense. His enemies must have been livid that their efforts against him were foiled. But God delighted in granting him mercy and heavenly favor.

Ditto for me. Thank you, Lord!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Reason to Rejoice

Psa 5:11 But let all those that put their trust in thee rejoice: let them ever shout for joy, because thou defendest them: let them also that love thy name be joyful in thee.
Psa 5:12 For thou, LORD, wilt bless the righteous; with favour wilt thou compass him as with a shield.

Don't you remember the old days of sci-fi when every space ship and many super heroes had a force field? That invisible shield that popped into place at the push of a button or at the whim of a voice command? Now that was really keen!

Praise God for the reality of the force field of the believer, the shield of favor that surrounds each of those made righteous by the blood of Christ.

Ah yes, we are safe in the hand of Jesus, Who is held in the hand of the Father, then wrapped and sealed in the Holy Spirit and then guarded by angels too boot!

And because we are defended by our Sovereign we need to ever shout for joy. AND, one day soon, the transporter will be activated and we will be made immortal in the blink of an eye.

The Sci-Fi Channel can only dream of such stuff!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The God Who Deserves Our Thanks

Psa 26:7 That I may publish with the voice of thanksgiving, and tell of all thy wondrous works.

Starting the first of January, and until yesterday, I have blogged through the Bible. A hundred and seventy five posts later and I have made it all the way from Gen 1:1 to Rev 22:21. It has been a tremendous blessing to me to focus on a verse or a passage almost daily and mine a nugget or two from the depths of the Word. Just know that, as thankful as I am that someone might happen upon my thoughts in these blogs, and I hope you are blessed, but they are primarily for my benefit. I am journaling what God has given me day by day.

I am not sure where I am headed now in my studies of Scripture, I am still praying about that. However, Thanksgiving is almost upon us and I am in a real "giving thanks" mode. So I am looking through the Psalms at the references to the word "thanksgiving."

These psalms of gratefulness come from the heart of David and Asaph, and the rest are unascribed.

Enjoy the following verses and be sure to give God thanks...

Psa 50:14 Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:

Psa 69:30 I will praise the name of God with a song, and will magnify him with thanksgiving.

Psa 95:2 Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms.

Psa 100:4 Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

Psa 107:22 And let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, and declare his works with rejoicing.

Psa 116:17 I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving, and will call upon the name of the LORD.

Psa 147:7 Sing unto the LORD with thanksgiving; sing praise upon the harp unto our God:

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Little Devil Go Nighty-Night

Rev 20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Ahhhh, don't you feel sorry for the poor little tempter? He has to go and be tormented for a little while, say, a few hundred million years. Then, they will stoke the fires to keep him warm for a billion more years. He's going to be so toasty in his sackcloth snuggy.

No one deserves this eternal pampering more than Li'l Red, the inspirer of murders, father of lies, tempter of souls, author of confusion and purveyor of pride.

No one will be happier for lucky little Lucifer than me. I may even throw a hallelujah party in honor of his good fortune. He's going to have a hot time in the old town!

Well, until he gets to his new home, here's hoping his every plan is confused and every device is thwarted.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

"...but now thou art tormented and he is comforted."

In reading the events of the tribulation period, I am struck by the discomfort, yea, the torment of the unbeliever. Imagine, there is no relief, no comfort, no refuge for the one who has rejected Christ.

Then, I think of the poor, suffering Christians on earth at this time who are suffering unimaginable persecution. One day soon, heaven will be theirs, with all of its comfort and consolation.

Soon, all will be changed. Trust Christ while you may!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Demon Locusts

Rev 9:1 And the fifth angel sounded, and I saw a star fall from heaven unto the earth: and to him was given the key of the bottomless pit.
Rev 9:2 And he opened the bottomless pit; and there arose a smoke out of the pit, as the smoke of a great furnace; and the sun and the air were darkened by reason of the smoke of the pit.
Rev 9:3 And there came out of the smoke locusts upon the earth: and unto them was given power, as the scorpions of the earth have power.
Rev 9:4 And it was commanded them that they should not hurt the grass of the earth, neither any green thing, neither any tree; but only those men which have not the seal of God in their foreheads.
Rev 9:5 And to them it was given that they should not kill them, but that they should be tormented five months: and their torment was as the torment of a scorpion, when he striketh a man.
Rev 9:6 And in those days shall men seek death, and shall not find it; and shall desire to die, and death shall flee from them.
Rev 9:7 And the shapes of the locusts were like unto horses prepared unto battle; and on their heads were as it were crowns like gold, and their faces were as the faces of men.
Rev 9:8 And they had hair as the hair of women, and their teeth were as the teeth of lions.
Rev 9:9 And they had breastplates, as it were breastplates of iron; and the sound of their wings was as the sound of chariots of many horses running to battle.
Rev 9:10 And they had tails like unto scorpions, and there were stings in their tails: and their power was to hurt men five months.
Rev 9:11 And they had a king over them, which is the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in the Hebrew tongue is Abaddon, but in the Greek tongue hath his name Apollyon.

A little something in store for the God-haters.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Pardon the interruption!

Rev 8:13 And I beheld, and heard an angel flying through the midst of heaven, saying with a loud voice, Woe, woe, woe, to the inhabiters of the earth by reason of the other voices of the trumpet of the three angels, which are yet to sound!

Greetings, Earth dwellers. Sorry to interrupt your meaningless existence. You need to know that Heaven is offended by your impudence. You have ignored Heaven's laws and spurned its love. You have blindly gone about your lives of nothingness, ignorant of truth, content to feed on wicked frivolity.

The Son of Righteousness visited your planet to save you from the penalty of breaking God's laws, but you rejected Him. He has offered you forgiveness, extended His patience and granted you much mercy. But you go on in your worship of self and pleasure.

Heretofore, Heaven has winked at your ignorance.

But the offer was for a limited time, only a few days remain. Soon you will hear an angelic voice from the skies proclaiming Woe, woe, woe! Much discomfort is headed your way. The conveniences of your life will soon be only a memory. There will not be a place you can hide from the wrath you have bought with your indifference to Heaven's grace. Soon, flipping a light switch will produce no illumination. Opening a faucet will bring forth blood red putrification. Your means of conveyance will be worthless without gasoline. The sun will scorch you when you are outside and the darkness inside will cause you to gnash your teeth. Great hailstones will crush your crops. Fierce bugs will inflict you with great pain. You will bow to the devil’s spawn for a mere morsel of sustenance. A day’s work will yield one measly loaf of bread.

Meanwhile, those who received the glorious Gospel of Christ will dwell in comfort and safety honoring the blessed Three-in-One.

We now return you to your regularly scheduled secular lives. Eat, drink and be merry, for tomorrow….

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Speak to Me, Trump of God!

Rev 4:1 After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

It has been 1920 years since Gabriel has talked to anybody with his trumpet. I am sure he has been practicing a plenty, but the anticipation of the announcing archangel must be piqued.

He was quite busy making announcements there for a while, proclamation to Zacharias, message to Mary, pronouncement to Joseph, herald to the shepherds and vision to John. But for past 700,800 days he has reported to the throne for duty, trumpet in hand, ready to speak to me with his trumpet. But the response has gone from, "Be patient" to "One of these years" to "Soon, Gabe!" to "Better get your embouchure in shape" to "Shine up the trumpet and empty the spit valve!"

Hold on......

Sorry, thought I heard a brassy sound up in the clouds there for a moment. Guess it was just wishful thinking this time.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Our Church in Heaven

Rev 1:20 The mystery of the seven stars which thou sawest in my right hand, and the seven golden candlesticks. The seven stars are the angels of the seven churches: and the seven candlesticks which thou sawest are the seven churches.

Sometimes we feel our little local church small and insignificant. This is not at all the case. In heaven, our church is signified by a candlestick, used to light our area. It is granted a star, which is the angel of that church, or its messenger. This is probably the pastor.

Furthermore, I see in verse 4 that there is an assigned spirit for each church before the throne representing each church. And, best of all, Jesus is walking in the midst of the churches.

We dare not make ourselves of the number which compare ourselves among ourselves, measuring ourselves against other churches. II Cor 10:12 In the case of churches, size is not a real factor, but the brightness of the light, the measure of love for Christ and souls and faithfulness to God is.

True, gospel-preaching, soul-saving, Jesus loving churches are a treasure of heaven, attended by the Jesus, gifted with angels and empowered by the Spirit.

We must not sell ourselves short.

Monday, November 8, 2010

I'll Meet You in the Rapture!

Rev 1:1 The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:

The words "shortly come to pass" can be taken two different ways. It can mean that the events will unfold in a quick manner or that they will happen soon.

Seeing as how this revelation was penned a couple of millennia ago, the first rendering seems to carry more weight. However, due to chronology, we know that never have we been so close to the time of the revelation.

Chapters two and three give us an overview of the church age. Actually, there is a 3-fold interpretation of the letters written to the 7 churches of Asia. A direct, literal sense, a prophetic sense and a general sense.

The secondary interpretation puts us on the very cusp of what happens in chapter 4, verse 1. After this I looked, and, behold, a door was opened in heaven: and the first voice which I heard was as it were of a trumpet talking with me; which said, Come up hither, and I will shew thee things which must be hereafter.

The Laodecean age of the church, in which the overall health of churches is summed up by Luke warmness, is in full operation. The whole "rich, increased with goods, need of nothing, but wretched, miserable, poor, blind and naked" description is more apt than ever among the churches of God.

As bad as that is, it does portend that we will soon be hearing a trumpet talking with us saying, "Come up hither."

Therefore, these things may very well shortly come to pass. Even so, come Lord Jesus!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Should I Weep?

Zec 7:3 And to speak unto the priests which were in the house of the LORD of hosts, and to the prophets, saying, Should I weep in the fifth month, separating myself, as I have done these so many years? 4 Then came the word of the LORD of hosts unto me, saying, 5 Speak unto all the people of the land, and to the priests, saying, When ye fasted and mourned in the fifth and seventh month, even those seventy years, did ye at all fast unto me, even to me?

Wow! A scheduled time of weeping. And most believers can't even do it impromptu.

Why should we weep? Our sins have offended heaven. Our nation is on the verge of judgment. Souls are dying without the Savior.

Perhaps we should plan a time of weeping and fasting.

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Is the Seed Yet in the Barn?

Hag 2:19 Is the seed yet in the barn? yea, as yet the vine, and the fig tree, and the pomegranate, and the olive tree, hath not brought forth: from this day will I bless you.

Because the remnant of Judah, left in the land during the captivity in Babylon, dwelt on their own interests, rather than on the things of the Lord, The land had experienced drought.

Now, God is preparing to do a great thing for His people. He is readying them for revival if they will rebuild the house of the Lord.

But they were holding back from sowing seed. They would reap even fewer grapes, figs, pomegranates and olive than before because their recent drought experience taught them to be miserly in their planting. Why waste seed if it will result in little or nothing?

But when the curse of sin is removed and God heals the land, the seed will be multiplied and fruitfulness abounds.

So, the advice of the Lord though His prophet Haggai was to take the seed out of the barn and sow bountifully. You reap what you sow! Paul tells us in II Cor 9:6, "But this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully."

Have you been keeping the seed in the barn? Have you felt it a waste of time and resources to get the Word of the Lord into the field? Isn't it about time get our eyes off ourselves and onto the fields? Shouldn't we trust the Lord to bless our sowing and reaping efforts?

Seed in the barn does absolutely no good, so tell someone today about the gospel. In fact, tell several someones! God can only bless our acts of faith. He will do nothing if we don't sow. Is your seed yet in the barn?

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Pure Eyes of God

Hab 1:13 Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look on iniquity: wherefore lookest thou upon them that deal treacherously, and holdest thy tongue when the wicked devoureth the man that is more righteous than he?

Why should One as holy and just as He,
Look upon one so sinful as me?

Thou art of purer eyes than to behold sin,
Yet, thou watchest over failing men.

Though thou searchest our hearts and holdest our reigns,
Our wretchedness requireth the purity of thy blood stains.

Thank thee, oh Holy Father for thy lovingkindness,
Undeserving we are, in all our worldliness.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

And in the End, God!

Mic 7:18 Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. 19 He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

We begin the Bible with these words, "In the beginning, God..."

The minor prophet Micah lays before us a dark scenario owed to the evil works of God's chosen people. Each chapter exposes Israel and Judah for their treacherous deeds. All seems hopeless and lost.

Sin is like that, the end of it is always death. But then God Almighty steps in and grants a glimmer of hope. In chapter 5, verse 2, the Remedy for sin is introduced; "But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting."

God's answer for sin is Jesus. Only through His Son can we find pardon for our iniquity. Only by Him can our transgression be passed by. The anger of our holy, just God is assuaged because He delighteth in mercy through His beloved Son.

We too stand in need of compassion, of having our iniquities subdued and our sins cast into the depths of the sea.

Our sins are every bit as dark as those we witness in the book of Micah, but the same Remedy is available to us. What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus!

Thank God for the wonderful ending to a sad book. In the end, God!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

God said Go Up and Jonah Went Down.

Jonah 1:1 Now the word of the LORD came unto Jonah the son of Amittai, saying,
2 Arise, go to Nineveh, that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me.
3 But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD, and went down to Joppa; and he found a ship going to Tarshish: so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tarshish from the presence of the LORD.

You know the story don't you? A whale became a fisher of men, swallowed up all the prophet and proved, you just can't keep a good man down.

Long story short, don't run from God. He's got your number and knows how to get your attention. Like you tell your kids, do what you're told as soon as you are told to do it. This eliminates having to go the long way around.

Why shouldn't we listen to our own advice and just obey God right away? We tell our own kids, “obey, right away, it could save your life.” Do they listen? Often not! But the drawbacks to disobedience are always negative.

What is the Lord asking of you today? Do it right away and be blessed.