Friday, October 27, 2017

The Devil Went Down to Eden

Since the devil's holiday is in a few days, I will give him his due in this blog. 

We have recorded on 3 possessions by Satan himself.
1. The Serpent in the Garden of Eden
2. The Betrayer in the Garden of Gethsemane
3. The Anti-Christ in the Garden of Babylon

We talk about being harassed by the devil. But he is much too busy with the big fish to mess with you and me, so he dispatches his minions, emissaries, demons to our front door.

It is generally a misnomer to witness a demon possession and say of that person that they are possessed by the devil. A devil, maybe, but the devil, probably not.

He is going to and fro on the earth, seeking whom he may devour. He does wear out the saints. He is busy targeting nations, ministries, homes and individuals for destruction. He is the father of liars, who has come to steal, kill and destroy.

But he personally has much bigger fish to fry than you and me, so his sends his little uglies, his flying monkeys, his fallen angels to do his bidding to hassle us. I doubt he even knows my name. One, because he’s too stupid, two, because I am of little consequence to him.  So he employs his helpers for the like of me.

And he has plenty of them! For every two angels, there is one fallen angel. And just as God sends forth his angels as ministering spirits, Satan sends his brats to wreak havoc. 

He desired to have Peter, and no doubt, sift Perter as wheat and major damage will have been done the Kingdom of God.

Even Paul was assailed by a messenger of Satan to afflict him with a thorn in his flesh to distract him from his gospel mission. Praise God for the grace that was given to overcome.

But there were and are at least three times when the job was/is so important that he had to do it himself. These incidents portended the fall of the human race, the assassination of the Lord of glory and the future subjugation of the planet to himself.

However, what Satan means for evil, the Lord turns to good. Joseph said something similar to his brothers when he assured them that the evil they meant for him resulted in the preservation of the planet.

The Three Actual Possessions by the Devil Himself:

1. The Possession of the Serpent. Satan, through the creepy-crawly, convinced Eve that God was holding out on her and her husband, so she ate the tutti-fruty of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and plunged mankind into sin. But God had a plan in place. In Genesis 3:15, he promised the devil, "And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

This spoke of the victory Christ would have over Satan at Calvary. Which brings us to the next incident of satanic possession.

2. The Possession of Judas. Judas was an extremely flawed man. Though rising to the rank of Disciple, he was still dabbling in thievery, greed and sedition. He was an apt candidate to help bring about the end of the Messiah. He was physically close to Jesus, but his heart was a million miles away. But he was on the fence, all he needed was a nudge, a little filling of the prince of darkness himself and the deed was done. Judas betrayed the Lord, resulting in His death. Luke 22:3, "Then entered Satan into Judas..."

What God saw in advance and what we see in retrospect, neither the devil (due to pride) nor Judas (because of spite) were able to grasp at the time. Jesus is about to crush Satan's head in death...and resurrection.

3) The Possession of Anti-Christ. Satan, 2000 years down the road, give or take a few years, will give it another try when he enters into the Beast, squats on the ark in the temple, setting himself up as God and demanding universal worship and subsequently pursuing the Jews into the wilderness to destroy them.

Again, God will show up to guard and guide His own and destroy the works of Satan once and for all.

May I ask you even now, whose side are you on in this age old battle between God and Satan, good and evil, life and death? Choose today who you will serve.

Personally, I've read the back of the Book and WE WIN!!!

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

If I Were a Rich Man

The tale of three very rich men in the book of Luke

1) The Rich Old Miser. 16:19-31
2) The Rich Young Ruler. 18:18-23
3) The Rich Little Publican. 19:1-10

One was carried away to hell, suffering because of his stinginess.
One went away sorrowing, because of his covetousness.
One came down joyfully, because of his resourcefulness.

One was brought up with a silver spoon because he was privileged, but he went
away condemned for his hedonism.
One was brought up righteous but went away a sinner condemned for his idolatry.
One was brought up a sinner, but that day, salvation came to his house because of
His obedience .

Riches, they are what you make of them. Or, you are what they make of you! 

There are two other rich men depicted in this gospel:

*Joseph, the rich man of Arimathaea, who cared for the body of Jesus and placed
him in his own tomb (Lk 23:50-53) Joseph represents all believers who use their
resources for the propagation of the Gospel. (The Gospel is the death, burial and
resurrection of Jesus.)

*The rich man who called his steward to accountability (Lk 16:1-8) and
commended the steward for his wise use of his master’s riches. This rich man
represents He Who owns the cattle on a thousand hills and commissions His 
stewards to invest wisely in the Kingdom. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Are You Ready?

"Death toll rising from one of biggest earthquakes ever to hit Mexico." (Tsunami warning issued) AP

"Worst Storm of Any Century; Unprecedented" Newsmax

Mt 24:6 And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet. 7 For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. 8 All these are the beginning of sorrows.
9 Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake.

Luke 21:25 And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring;

Are you ready? Jesus' prophecies are being broadcast daily on the news. He is the ark of safety. Enter in before the door is shut.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Remember September

The High Holy Days of Rosh Hashana & Yom Kippur
Leaves Turning and Days Shortening
Sapphire - State Fair - Bow Season
Cooler Temps - Grandparent’s Day
Football - Back to School
Switching out Wardrobes
Garden Harvest - Labor Day - Hot Drinks
Forget-Me-Nots, Morning Glories, Asters
Birth Month
(More born on an average day in Sept than any other month)
Rapture Month?

Make this the best September ever:
Win a soul to Christ,
Be faithful to every church service,
Read your Bible every day,
Deepen your prayer life,

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Leaving the Scene of an Accident

Sometimes I speed. I've also been known to text while I drive. I know, I know. It's wrong, it's illegal, it's dangerous, it's a horrible example and it's hypocritical. I'm not proud of it. I am addicted to both like Whitney  was to crack and Honey Boo Boo is to chocolate. I'm joining TA (Texters Anonymous) soon.

And I hate lectures. People get on their high horse and preach at you like a fundamentalist on the eve of the Apocalypse. And that's why I've kept my mouth shut about what I'm about to disclose now. I'm just letting you know and I don't need to hear "I told you so!" But you're gonna hear it eventually, so I might as well tell the world now.

I biffed it bad on my bike in Colorado last week. I hit a hairpin turn way too fast and had to bail. I should be dead, or crippled. My bike should be on a trash heap. But, God is still in the miracle working business and His guardian angels are still working overtime.

First, the bike. One leather saddlebag took the biggest share of the beating. The engine guard and slip on exhaust got scraped up a bit. Easy replacements. I just couldn't believe me and the good Lord got it upright and running with no problem.

Then there's me. Thank God for adrenaline! Oh, and good helmets and jackets. Without which, I'd have been life-flighted to some west slope hospital for TBI and skin grafts. How I don't have cracked ribs, a broken neck and severed appendages, I don't understand.

However, I've just got some bruised ribs, a few scrapes and a bunged up knee. So, other than not being able to breathe or walk, I'm fine.

Did I mention adrenaline? It's amazing how things go in slow motion and a million thoughts go through your head during an accident. Like, as I heard my helmet being sanded down by the pavement, thinking, "just stay on my head, I need you for a few more seconds." Or, "glad I didn't wear the Fossil watch they got me for Father's day, I lost the last one on the Sturgis trip." And, "Glad I gave the safe combo to my wife before this excursion."

So, after sliding along the pavement for a while, I took a few tumbles and then just lay there on the road under the beautifully blue Colorado sky. All was so serene as I lay here a dying. I turned over on my back and spread eagle to take inventory of my body. "I can't breathe, but I don't see a lot of blood, wish I'd had some gloves on. Arms and legs all work. Neck turns. Oh, there's the helmet sun visor laying on the center line, how bout I roll over there and get it? Okay, that worked. Still can't breathe though. Better roll off the road in case someone comes along."

So I lay there reassembling my helmet, wondering what internal injuries we're going to change my life. And why and how I'm still alive?

When I could get enough breath in my lungs to make the attempt, I got up to see if I was ambulatory and go check on the bike.

After assessing the situation, I grabbed the handlebars and hefted the 1200 ccs along with the stuffed saddlebags and 50lb suitcase upright. You're not supposed to lift the bike like that. Bikers would show you the proper method. But did I mention adrenaline?

So, it started right up, I got on and left the scene of the accident without reporting it. It would have taken law enforcement an hour and a half to reach me anyhow.

I couldn't believe it! How can this be? I should be waiting on a ride to the hospital or should have gone over the rim of the canyon I'd been riding for the past half hour. But I'm alive and riding! This, I told myself, has to be God, there's no other explanation.

My riding companions were at the next Canyon overlook. As I approached, Dan's jaw dropped and asked what happened. I explained the best I could then excused myself to go to the little boy's room. Halfway across the road, the adrenaline wore off. I about dropped to the pavement. My knee didn't work, my ribs felt like Mike Tyson just worked me over. All the scapes began screaming at me.

We remounted our bikes and rode another 6 miserable hours over passes made for mules in the mining days, through pouring rain (cold, cold rain) and drizzle and hail and maybe even a tornado, hurricane and tsunami for added measure.

By nightfall, I felt my body was going into shock. But, the others were convulsing as bad as I was, we we're all that cold. For me, the cold was just insult added to my injuries. Ouch, that cliche' hurts.

The next day, I had to ride another 3 hours, load the bike into a pick up, just me and the angels, and drive from Ft. Morgan to Lincoln. Easy-peasy.

Well, there you have it. I've delivered my soul. Now everybody knows. Now the church will know why I was walking like a 115 year old man this morning. Some will wonder how and why I carried the big ladder into the sanctuary and changed that lightbulb. I guess a guy's just gotta do what a guy's gotta do.

God is good...all the time...

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Why I go to Church

Top 13 reasons in random order:
1. I love Jesus. He said, if you love me, keep my commandments. Since He says not to forsake the assembly, I strive to obey. God tells me to not miss church.
2. If I am not there, I can't contribute to the offering
3. Jesus promised to show up. And when He shows up, I don't want to miss what He is doing
4. There are people there who need what I have to contribute
5. There are people there I need to draw from
6. A meal has been prepared for me. It would be rude not to be in my place at the table
7. What better things could possibly be happening elsewhere?
8. When I joined, I made a commitment to be there to support the church
9. Nowhere else do I pray or preach or sing like I do there
10. Because the family gathers there and I am part of the family
11. Because I have a ministry job there and if I am missing, someone else has to fill in
12. God has given me a spiritual gift to bless the church. My absence robs the church of that gift
13. When I am not there, others, especially the pastor, get discouraged.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Your Idols are Losers

Isa 46:1  Bel boweth down, Nebo stoopeth, their idols were upon the beasts, and upon the cattle: your carriages were heavy loaden; they are a burden to the weary beast. 2  They stoop, they bow down together; they could not deliver the burden, but themselves are gone into captivity.

Bel is bowed down
Nebo is stooped over

Idolatry is rampant even in our day. Entertainment, sports, money, stuff, ego - these and many other popular idols are completely inept.

They cannot be moved 6-7
They cannot answer your cries 7
They cannot save you from your troubles 7

The Lord, on the other hand, is moved with the feeling of our infirmities (Heb 4:15), He hears and answers our desperate prayers (Ps 49:1), and His hand is not shortened that He cannot save out of all troubles. (Isa 59:1)

If you are looking for One Who will bear you, carry you and deliver you (see Isa 46:3-4), seek the Lord.

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Sometimes the most spiritual thing one can do is...

*Be filled with the Holy Spirit (do this and the rest are pretty much inconsequential)
*Keep one's tongue
*Buy someone a cup of coffee
*Take a nap
*Search the Scriptures
*Take a nap
*Eat ice cream
*Ask forgiveness
*Grant forgiveness
*Do something kind for somebody 
*Take a nap
*Spend some time at a lake, in the woods, by the sea, or in the mountains, combining any three of these would be preferable
*Visit the City Mission, or the NICU, or the VA. 

Tuesday, June 20, 2017

BOLO - Mr & Mrs Remmus Pmuls

(REQUIRED reading by ALL members)

     We have had some very unwelcome visitors sneak into our church for the past several weeks, and I understand they plan to be around for the next couple of months. Now mind you, I cannot stand this couple! I know, we should welcome all visitors with open arms, but these fuddy-duddies really get under my skin. When they show up, I get so discouraged. They really NEED the Lord!

     All gospel preaching churches hate to see them visit. They kill the spirit of the services and thwart the efforts of the church to be effective. They generally start doing their damage around Memorial Day, and usually don’t go away until after Labor Day.

     If you see this couple around, don’t give them the time of day! Shoo them away as soon as they start working on you and inviting you to their outings. They will KILL your church! In fact, they already have your pastor with one foot in the Loony Bin and the other in a counsellor’s office.

   Here’s how to spot the Pmuls. You have seen the picture, but they disguise themselves in so many ways. They will be ones inviting you to several other excursions just about every Lord’s Day. Sometimes they will encourage you to skip that one measly hour out of the week which is set aside for God, and just hang out with family, or at the Lake, or even stay in bed or in the easy chair. And once you give in to Remmus, you’re toast. Next thing you know, you’ll take entire vacations away from church and your Bible reading and prayers.

     Oh dear friend and church member, please watch out for these sinister servants of the evil one and forcefully turn down their invitations to join them in their “fun.”

BOLO means Be on the Lookout

Mr. & Mrs. Remmus Pmuls – just read in reverse!

Friday, June 16, 2017

The Believer's Bubble

Psalm 73:23 Nevertheless I am continually with thee: thou hast holden me by my right hand. 24 Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, and afterward receive me to glory. 25 Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire beside thee. 26 My flesh and my heart faileth: but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.

Criticize us if you will, unbeliever, but we are happy to admit our dependence upon God. Within His will, anywhere we go, whatever we do, we are in a safe zone, a blessed bubble, if you will.

Here, Asaph reminds us of these reassuring truths:

*God is with us always. He will never leave us nor forsake us. Imagine the bewilderment when Jesus told His disciples, "It is good for you if I go away." But hindsight and experience assure us that His departure from the earth preceded the baptism of the Holy Spirit. And by that same Spirit, we are filled and encompassed by God's presence.

*He's got a tight grip on our right hand. My Lord knows the way through the wilderness, and leads me by the hand, even through the valley of the shadow of death. Sometimes He nudges, sometimes He drags, sometimes I try to wriggle free, but He never let's go of my hand.

*He guides us through life by His counsel. This entails the leadership of the Spirit, the counsel of the Word of God, the encouragement and wisdom of mature believers, the opening and closing of doors and the illumination of faith's path. The steps of a good man are ordered of the Lord.

*Our destiny is heaven's glory! Trust me, no, trust Him, God is intent on getting you to the other side and is fully capable, despite our wayward tendencies, to deliver us to His home.

*Upon our realization of these truths, in our less obtuse moments, when our gaze is not clouded by the dark veils of trouble and woe, we realize that Jesus is our all in all and there is none else, or nothing else worthy to hold our highest devotion and admiration.

*Yes, our hearts break, our health fails, our relationships disintegrate. But always, there is God to strengthen and revive, to give hope, promise and Assurance.

*And in the end, when all else fails, we win, because He is our portion.

I received a check for $12,000 the other day. I didn't refuse it, nor did I grieve that I was handed this large amount. But I really wasn't thrilled about it. It didn't make my day. My spirit immediately recognized that my real rewards aren't deposited into an earthly bank account. What turns my crank is that Jesus is my Savior, the Spirit is my Guide, the Father holds my hand, and Heaven is my home. I am safely in the blessed bubble in which He has encased me.

Saturday, May 27, 2017

What the Devil Knows.

Job 1:9-22

The devil May be a dummy, but he's a pretty smart dumb dumb. He knows more than he lets on or that we will give him credit for. He knows how to do maximum damage. And so, we are warned to not be ignorant of his devices.

1. He knows infinitely more than we know, even about ourselves. He is experienced, well-placed, observant, wickedly wise, practiced.

2. He knows that the way to get to God is through His kids. If God had a chunk in His armor, it is you! You know, the whole "weak link" thing.

3. He knows that God is awfully good to us. (9) He knows that most of us would buckle if God removed His hand from us. He knows that if we lost it all, we may be inclined to not realize that we still have Him, and that's all we really need.

4. He knows that God protects us. (10) That we are hedged in on every side and protected by God. He is our shield, our fortress, our refuge, our high tower. He has given His angels charge over us.

5. He knows how blessed we are because we are special to Him. (10b)

6. He knows that he has to have God's express permission to work on us. (12). All testing is okayed and filtered by heaven.

7. He knows how to hit is hard, right where it hurts, and to hit us often. 13-20

8. He knows that some of God's kids can survive His onslaughts still praising God and staying true. 21-22.

Now that you know some of what the devil knows, perhaps you'll be sober and vigilant, because your adversary, the devil, as a roaring lion, is walking about today, just as in Job's day, seeking whom he may devour.

Friday, May 26, 2017

Job's Perfection

Job 1:8 And the LORD said unto Satan, Hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect and an upright man, one that feareth God, and escheweth evil?

Job was called, the greatest man in all the east. Satan recognized him as blessed by and special to the Lord

But following is God's appraisal and summary of Job:
(And obviously, this is most important)

*He was worthy of testing - "have you considered my servant Job?"

*He has no equal in all the earth - "There is none like him in all the earth." Notice that we are individually appraised by God in matters of faith and righteousness.

*He was perfect and upright. Now we know that technically, no man is perfect. Here is the take of one commentator:  "perfect--not absolute or faultless perfection (compare Job 9:20 Ecc 7:20 ), but (in) integrity, sincerity, and consistency on the whole, in all relations of life (JFB).

*He reverences God! - "One the feareth God." As we know, this character trait is the beginning of wisdom. Proverbs and Ecclesiastes extols wisdom's value above all else.

*He hates evil. "One that escheweth evil." Job had the ability to agree with God about sin. He saw its ugliness, its power, its destruction, and therefore, hated it.

Look, every one of us has at least partially related to the sufferings of Job, few to the extent of that righteous man's woes, so why not attempt to relate to his greatness?

Here's a man esteemed by man, extolled by God and revered by Hell. Rich in every way, righteous in Heaven's eyes, and unRivalled in the earth. We may not clear the high bar set by Job, but we surely ought to attempt it.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Esther in a sentence

Thanks to Hadassah from the Harem,
Her Holiness, and a Hangover of the
Hasty Hierarchy, Haughty, Hateful,
Hard-Hearted Haman of Hammedatha
Hung High in the Heat. It's a roll of the

dice and the Hand of Heaven. 

Friday, April 28, 2017

David's Sin in numbering Israel

I Chronicles 21:1 And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 2 And David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel from Beersheba even to Dan; and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it. 3 And Joab answered, The LORD make his people an hundred times so many more as they be: but, my lord the king, are they not all my lord's servants? why then doth my lord require this thing? why will he be a cause of trespass to Israel?

I have heard sufficient discussion of this subject over the years. Obviously, Israel had been numbered many times before. That is the purpose of the book Numbers. But, what is different this time? Was pride or vanity the reason for this census? Self aggrandizement?

The answer is very simple: This poll was satanically inspired! Look again at verse one..."And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel."

As New Testament Christians, we are afforded great leeway and grace in making decisions. But we must discern the inspiration behind and end goal of our activities.

Our prime concern is that God be glorified. You can be assured that anything satanically inspired is not designed to the end of glorifying God. The evil one's goals are to thwart God's work, short circuit His will, keep the sinner lost and stymie the Christian's walk.

Here is just one example that has bred many discussions: I have had two brothers try to convince me lately that moderate consumption of alcoholic beverages is not only allowable, but even encouraged in the Bible.

I understand their arguments but remain a tee-totaling despiser of all drinking because of Satan's design for the fall of the culture and the decimation of the family. God receives no glory when moderate drinking morphs into broken homes. Perhaps you've heard about the guy who was addicted to drinking brake fluid saying, "I can stop anytime I want."

We all understand, or we should, about gateway habits. Every junkie started out with one harmless joint. Every boozer started with just "a cold one." Every porn addict began with one "innocent peek" at a girlie magazine.

But there are those who would argue that such a line of reasoning extrapolated could include the glutton and his first drink of mother's milk. Good point!

I know, I know! There are those who are still drinking just that one glass of wine, having that single cigar after dinner, or taking the occasional pain med to take the edge off.

But what I am asking is, what is the source of the provocation?

Please don't discount that the devil and his imps are present at every turn and are actively engaging on a mission to rob God of His glory, to reverse His agenda, to keep the lost lost and to hinder your Christian progress.

Discern the motives and possible results for all of today's undertakings. Do God's bidding rather than your own, or worse, the devil's.

Addendum: verse 7, And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Qisma is the Arabic Word

Truly, you just can't make this stuff up! ISIS was setting up an ambush against local tribesmen who opposed them in Iraq. ISIS had executed 25 of those rebelling against them. As the jihadists were setting up an ambush among the reeds, they were attacked by a herd of wild swine. 3 were sent on to the next world, which would be hell according their theology, because their last contact was with pigs. 5 others were injured. 

ISIS claims that they had revenge on the swine (???). 

You may call this cosmic alignment, kismet, qisma, or karma, I call it Gal. 6:9 - you reap what you sow. (You may pronounce that sew or sow, as in a female pig). Yes, what goes around comes around. Righteous retribution. And God does seem to have a sense of ironic humor.

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

The After-Effects of the Resurrection

Ever thought much about the days and weeks after a major event?

The Resurrection of the Lord Jesus is the most significant event in history. But there was no post-Easter letdown. Our official celebration of the occasion is over, but, what next? Do we take it easy until the next big day on the church calendar? You may have celebrated Easter with a SONrise service, church attendance, a day spent with family. Some used the occasion to don new clothing, hunt eggs, watch religious programming on tv, etc. Have you suffered a bit of a letdown?

Do we now just move on with other things? I contend that we use the Resurrection as a springboard for great things, as happened in the Gospels and the book of Acts.

In the Bible, the glorious Resurrection was followed by the metamorphosis of the Disciples, the exponential explosion of the church, the emboldening of believers and the spreading of the Gospel, the preponderance of miracles. It was called, the Acts of the Apostles, or more correctly, the Acts of the Holy Spirit.

We could well use the tremendous afterglow afforded by the Resurrection. Let’s use the victory of that great event to encourage and propel us to transformation, holy boldness, godly, victorious living, soul-winning, church growth and mission endeavor.

We serve a risen Saviour!

Wednesday, April 12, 2017

Indications of the Empty Tomb

The Empty Tomb Indicates:
Sins Forgiven
Hearts Full
Tears Dried
Satan Obliterated
Holy Spirit Imbued
Prophecy Fulfilled
God Vindicated
Hope Secured
Blood Presented
Paradise Emptied
Heaven Opened
Christ Victorious
Life Worth Living
Church Empowered
Gospel Completed

Gary Fuller 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Obededom's blessings

II Samuel 6:11 And the ark of the LORD continued in the house of Obededom the Gittite three months: and the LORD blessed Obededom, and all his household.

12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obededom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obededom into the city of David with gladness.

By virtue of the presence of the Ark of God in this man's house, his home was blessed by God.

I contend that we may all secure these same blessings by housing the presence of God in our homes.

The Ark of the Covenant contained three items:
1. The tables of the ten commandments, or, the law of God,
2. Aaron's rod that miraculously budded almond flowers. Representative of the miraculous works of God.
3. The Golden pot of manna, which speaks to the miraculous provision of God.

In short, when our house becomes a place where God can feel at home amongst a family under His rule, His mighty work and His abundant provision, our abodes will be blessed beyond measure.

Can God make Himself at home dwelling in your house and blessing your family? Is He welcome in your home? Do you desire His blessing at your house?

Friday, March 3, 2017

Achin' because of Achan

I gotta tell you, I am so glad we live under the economy of grace and not under the law! Had I lived in Old Testament times, by now I would have been stoned, ran through with a sword, hanged on a tree until evening and had my eyes poked out. And that's all before dinner. The standards were exacting, no room for error.
Thank God for grace!

So here's the end of the trail for Achan...

Joshua 7:18 And he brought his household man by man; and Achan, the son of Carmi, the son of Zabdi, the son of Zerah, of the tribe of Judah, was taken. 19 And Joshua said unto Achan, My son, give, I pray thee, glory to the LORD God of Israel, and make confession unto him; and tell me now what thou hast done; hide it not from me. 20 And Achan answered Joshua, and said, Indeed I have sinned against the LORD God of Israel, and thus and thus have I done: 21 When I saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment, and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight, then I coveted them, and took them; and, behold, they are hid in the earth in the midst of my tent, and the silver under it. 22 So Joshua sent messengers, and they ran unto the tent; and, behold, it was hid in his tent, and the silver under it. 23 And they took them out of the midst of the tent, and brought them unto Joshua, and unto all the children of Israel, and laid them out before the LORD. 24 And Joshua, and all Israel with him, took Achan the son of Zerah, and the silver, and the garment, and the wedge of gold, and his sons, and his daughters, and his oxen, and his asses, and his sheep, and his tent, and all that he had: and they brought them unto the valley of Achor. 25 And Joshua said, Why hast thou troubled us? the LORD shall trouble thee this day. And all Israel stoned him with stones, and burned them with fire, after they had stoned them with stones. 26 And they raised over him a great heap of stones unto this day. So the LORD turned from the fierceness of his anger.

We are pretty hard on Achan, and rightfully so. His selfishness and disobedience put millions of lives at risk. Indeed, several innocent men died because of his actions. Israel had lost God's favor because of this one heinous act.

Before we are too hard on him, let's think about his mindset. He had been in the wilderness for decades. He had only known one set of clothing, one pair of sandals. The goodly Babylonish garment was quite the temptation. Imagine having to wear one tattered outfit everyday and then getting the chance to snag an Armani suit!

And then he laid eyes on the gold and silver, multiplied thousand of dollars worth of it. Everyone was about to get a new start in the promised land. He must have considered how he could set up shop with a nice home, a good business and some influence being this flush with cash. After all, the wilderness was nothing but deprivation for him and his family.

And so, he saw, he was tempted, he took, he sinned, and he died.

We gotta confess, most have justified a lot of bad behavior in their lives. We have felt cheated, denied, deprived. We've been tempted to bend truth, enrich our coffers in less than ethical ways, cover up sin, get ahead by harming others, and lust after loot.

For these selfish sins, Christ gave Himself. He paid a debt He did not owe because we owed a debt we could not pay.

Because of our guilt, we deserve to be dragged to Achor's valley, stoned with stones and have a heap of rocks piled upon us. But Jesus' life was forfeited so we could go free to enjoy the Promised Land by the righteousness of our Savior.

Sin destroys. Jesus heals.

Thursday, March 2, 2017

When I see the blood

When the children of Israel were about to exit Egypt, it was the blood placed on the doorpost and the lintel of believers that's saved that household from destruction.

 And when the Jews entered into the Promised Land, it was a red cord hanging from the window of Rahab the Harlot that kept her household from being destroyed.

Both of these instances signify to us the importance of the blood of Christ covering the believer. When the Judgment of God Falls, it is the blood of which delivers us from destruction.

It is as the song writer said, Christ Our Redeemer died on the cross, died for the sinner, paid all his due. Sprinkle your soul with the blood of the Lamb, and I will pass, will pass over you. When I see the blood, when I see the blood, when I see the blood, I will pass, I will pass over you.

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Moses, A life Amazing.

Born and raised in Egypt, Moses lived 80 years in the desert and the wilderness, and ultimately died on a mountain in Moab.
He is considered the greatest Jewish prophet, but not technically a prophet.
He is the only person ever who spoke to God face to face.
Was Moses perfect? No! He had an anger control problem, yet he was as meek as can be. He had a speech impediment, he was a stutterer, yet he was a spokesman to millions.
It is also obvious he possessed feelings of inadequacy.
At the end of his 120 very unique years, he claimed he could no longer go out and come in, but God said his natural force was not abated.
And then there is Deut 34, the account of his passing. Did Moses write his own epitaph?

Following is what his life teaches us, or, Moses's other top ten:
1. God is sovereign. (Seen in his birth, his mother as his wet nurse, his life in the palace.)
2. God can use us in spite of our inadequacy. (Anger, speech impediment)
3. God can make leaders out of introverts.
4. Mistakes CAN be fatal, but God still wants to use us. (Striking the rock, rather than speaking to it).
5. Intercessory prayer is extremely effective. (If not for Moses repeatedly falling on his face on behalf of Israel, there would be no Israel).
6. God's promises are sure, even if it takes 40 years, or 1500 years. (Moses appeared with Elijah and Jesus on a mountain IN the Promised Land).
7. Being alone in a desert place might not be a bad thing. It's easier for God to get our attention in obscurity. (The burning bush).
8. People will miserably fail you, but you have to keep on serving the God Who will never fail you.
9. God wants to use that which you have even though it may seem inconsequential (Moses's rod, Samson's jawbone of a donkey, etc).
10. You and God are a majority.

PS. God always recompenses His servant.

Moses...Great man, great example, great servant of a great God.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

The Blessings of Delayed Gratification - Or, God Isn't Done Yet.

We are prone to be pretty demanding of God. I'm like many people, when I have decided what I want or perceived what I need, I want it sooner, rather than later. Today would be okay, thank you!

Of the many things I lack, three are stark: 1. Judgment. 2. Timing. 3. Patience.

I am not always afforded a survey of the big picture. Life comes to me in pieces rather than the whole lump. And so I try to assemble my life's puzzle without ever looking at the finished picture on the puzzle box.

That's where trust comes in. Though I might attempt to imagine how my finished project ought to look, God, no doubt, has a much better end for me in mind. To bring me to that end, I will experience a myriad of agenda adjustments.

Though this brings me a tremendous amount of frustration, especially when my truster is not functioning properly, God's eyes are not on my comfort, but on the completed me.

Look, what's a roller coaster with out peaks and valleys and loop-de-loops? Nothing more than a kiddie ride.

And what is a good novel or a movie without hopes and dreams and plans, then hopes dashed, dreams crushed and plans averted, then "they lived happily ever after?"

And what is life without crashing and crushing and dashing, followed by unspeakable glory?

So, look what happens to the great Moses. He is called to lead a few million whining, petulant adolescents out of Egypt and toward the land flowing with milk and honey.

Along the way there are dozens of setbacks. The desert never seems to cooperate with an easy passage to the Promised land. Then there are the uncooperative land owners, the murmurings of the mixed multitude, the rebellion of siblings and others, the idolatry of the calf-worshipers, and oh, the list goes on.

"Why can't we just take Highway 40 north out of Cairo straight to Jericho with the wind at our backs and set up shop in Canaan next week?"

That's how a 21st century American would expect things to transpire. Expect? No, demand!

I believe the children of Israel had similar expectations. They thought it would be easy. No doubt, Moses hadn't expected a hundred and fifty mile journey to take a third of his life.

And then we read Deuteronomy 4:22 "But I must die in this land, I must not go over Jordan: but ye shall go over, and possess that good land."

What a punch to the gut!

You mean he had to face down the most powerful despot on earth, 10 times, pick up a cobra by the tail, cross through the ocean, dragging millions with him - plus cattle, water everybody from a rock, feed them all with angel food flakes, cure them from serpent bites, act as their judge and/or psychologist from sunup til past dark everyday, train them in warfare, plead with God not to fry the entire lot to a crisp, lead them to the very brink of the Promised Land... finally, he gets to view the panorama of the land from Mt. Pisgah, and then this!!! "Moses, thanks for all your hard work, but you ain't going in because you threw that one hissy fit."

It just seems all so...unfair.

But not every piece of the puzzle is in place yet. Remember, people like me and Moses have difficulty with judgment, timing and patience. But God sees the whole roller coaster. He authors, produces and directs the entire flick.

Let's fast forward 1500 years to another mountain, this one inside the Promised Land that is now Israel. This is one of the peaks Moses had seen on the distant horizon as he surveyed the land from Pisgah. He had longed to step foot on this mountain. In his mind, he should have victoriously led Israel to the foot of a mount like this and declared victorious completion of a finished task. Here, the puzzle would be complete. But God had a dramatic twist to the plot that culminated in unimaginable glory, so fantastic that the disciples of Jesus fell to their faces, unable to even fathom the glory.

We read about the completion of the puzzle, the end of the movie, the pulling in of the roller coaster to the station, and the perfection of God's judgment, timing and patience in Matthew 17.

1 And after six days Jesus taketh Peter, James, and John his brother, and bringeth them up into an high mountain apart, 2 And was transfigured before them: and his face did shine as the sun, and his raiment was white as the light. 3 And, behold, there appeared unto them Moses and Elias talking with him.

Well, look who finally made it I to the Promised land! And with what glory?

1. Moses is not 120 years old, but in a glorified, youthful body.

2. His seemingly dashed hopes and dreams and agendas are now met in a way that 1000 times exceed any expectations he could have ever had.

3. He's not savoring the fulfilled promise with whiny ingrates, but beside Elijah, venerated by apostles and in the very physical presence of the transfigured Messiah.

How's that for an unexpected ending that leaves you going home more than satisfied? 

Can I clue you in on something pretty special? Often, we are exasperated that our expectations are frustrated. Our gratification is simply being delayed for a much better ending that we never could have expected. 

Following is a promise in which God assures us He isn't through yet.

Jeremiah 29:11 "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end."

Trust, my friend. Have faith in He who has already written your life's story, designed your roller coaster and prepared your Promised Land.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

I am for the wall - posted 11/2015

I AM For the WALL!!! 

Originally posted 11/2015

Trump is right. There needs to be a wall.

It needs to be high and solid and impenetrable. Only citizens should be allowed in. In fact, I would go as far as to say, only Christians should be allowed. If your name isn’t on the registry, you don’t get in. Don’t get me wrong, if you are willing to get your name in the books, speak the language, leave your lies and wickedness outside the gates, you can enter. But again, let me be clear, if you are a terrorist, a druggie, a player, you don’t get in! If you are flashing the horns at the rock concerts or don’t know how to tell the truth, forget about it, you will be left outside the wall.

Additionally, when you get in through the gates, you need to be honoring God and giving praise to Him, or you are not welcome.

By the way, Mexico is off the hook. They can’t afford to build this wall. There’s not enough tacos in Tijuana or tortillas in Torreon to pay for this border fence.

Rev 21:10  And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God, 11  Having the glory of God: and her lightwas like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal; 12  And had a wall great and high, andhad twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13  On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14  And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15  And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16  And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth: and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17  And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and fortyand four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18  And the building of the wall of it was of jasper: and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19  And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald; 20  The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21  And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city waspure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23  And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24  And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neitherwhatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.

Rev 22:14  Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. 15  For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. 

Friday, February 3, 2017

Sorry Carcasses

Read Numbers 14;27-29

What is the saddest fate for any believer? There are many sad fates:
*No real relationship with Christ
*Life of disobedience
*No fruit produced
*Turning away from the Lord

But the saddest is most tragic, because of all that the Lord had intended for the believer - the promised land which flows with abundance, will never be reached in this life. 

It happened to Moses, to Miriam, to Aaron, Nadab, Abihu, Korah, to a couple of million others. They didn't make the promised land.

Num 14:29 "your carcasses shall fall in this wilderness"

The Promised Land is the life of Victory, rather that vagabond, abundance, rather than manna, rest rather than deprivation, roots rather than tents. 

The Promised Land is not just heaven, but heaven here. 

It includes the life of the Spirit, of the fruitful vine and branches, and living under grace rather than the shadow of Sinai's law. 

Why didn't they make it? 

They concerned themselves with Egypt. They looked in the rearview, rather than the windshield. They longed for leeks, when God had grapes. They opted for onions, when God had milk and honey. They glorified their slavery of the past rather than their mastery of the future. 

In the face of difficulty, they murmured. When were made to wait, they got impatient. When their leader tarried on the mountain, they crafted an idol. At the times they should have worshiped, they danced like heathen. 

God was evident to them in the cloud and fire, yet they said, "what has He done for us lately?" (Besides give us air to breathe, food to eat, long lasting shoes and clothes, miracle after miracle, a meek and humble capable, caring and sacrificing leader)

And finally, when on the cusp of the Promised Land, when evidence of God's promise was brought to them, they believed an evil report and refused God's best! 

So their carcasses all dropped in the wilderness over the next three and a half decades where their corpses were eaten by jackals and buzzards and bugs. They could rather have chosen to obey God and praise Him when the temptation was to blame Him. 

Indeed, the saddest fate of any believer is to get to Kadesh Barnea, within shouting distance of Beulah Land, and opt to wander the rest of your days and die in the desert, rather than crossing into Canaan. 

Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Exodus 18:14 And when Moses' father in law saw all that he did to the people, he said, What is this thing that thou doest to the people? why sittest thou thyself alone, and all the people stand by thee from morning unto even?

Notice the phrasing. "What he did to the people." And "what are you doing to the people?"
In other words, your being a workaholic and taking everything on your shoulders isn't doing these people any favors! You are doing more harm than good to these people.

*You are diminishing your own abilities to minister to them. You are wearing yourself out.
*Many of them are capable of doing some of this work, but you are robbing them of the blessing of serving.
*You are training them to just let you do it.

In short, delegate dude!

Monday, January 16, 2017

What is that in your hand?

Ex 4:2 And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod.

So, I ask you my friend, what is that in your hand?

It's a phone, isn't it? Aren't I the Mensa candidate?

You know, Moses would have had a smart phone in his hand back in the day if they were available? I mean, the other hand, the one not holding his walking stick/cattle prod/weapon. The phone would have complicated things in his life, as it does yours, but it sure would have made his time in the desert more interesting. That is, if he would have had at least a 3G network and a nearby tower. He might have streamed "The Ten Commandments." That would have given him some ideas on how to get across the Red Sea with a bunch of whiners in tow.

But what he had was a rod, and God used that. When God calls, He often wants us to use that which we have handy. For Samson it was a jawbone of a donkey. For David, a sling, and later, a harp. For Paul, it was a pen. For Patrick, it was a clover.

But you have a phone. Can God use that? Good night! For what you pay per month for that thing, it better be used for something productive!

Now, Moses's staff could become a serpent, or it could open the Red Sea, or send forth a stream from a rock. Once Moses recognized that he had something in His hand God wanted to use, it became quite the useful tool.

Back to your phone. Instead of it being an escape, why not allow God to use it in some marvellous ways?

1. Encourage others on social media.
2. Write a blog! Hey, If I can do it...
3. Study your Bible.
4. Keep a journal.
5. Check in on FB when you are at church.
6. Use a soul-winning App to lead someone to Christ.
7. Play some encouraging gospel music to lift your spirit.
8. Set your alarm to remind you it is time to head to church.
9. Tweet out your victories.
10. Phone a godly friend when you are down and ask for prayer and words of wisdom.
11. Call up a positive podcast.
12. Keep a prayer list.

Think of what Paul could have accomplished with a cell phone!

What is that in your hand? God can use that thing in mighty ways when you realize it is His anyway.

Hashtag: PutThatThingToSomeGoodUse

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Holy Ground

Please read the 3rd chapter of Exodus before proceeding. 

Moses's life seemed to be on hold at this season, but God was working behind the scenes. Now He will do something unlike anything that had ever happened. The burning bush experience. 

Moses was doing what he could, where he could, when he could and hoe he could. I am sure he was just missing the "why." He wasn't idle in exile. He was producing while God was preparing. 

God had Moses in a place where He could have his full attention. 

In the palace, things would have been complicated.
Among the throngs of Jews he would be distracted. 
But here! This is a place where God's sovereignty is put on glorious display. 

No doubt, between the ages of 40-80, Moses thought he was a washed up, has been. He was a prince, he was a power, he was an influence. But now, in his lonely place, he is unable to be a leader, except for sheep. Unable to effect change, except the next bleak pasture. But look what God had in store! 

This area was as forbidding as you can imagine. It wasn't the desert, it was the BACK SIDE of the desert. Whoa!

God shows up in the most unexpected of places and in the most unusual ways. 

Moses sees a bush burning. No big deal. It's the desert. Plants are dry, bushes burn. 

But, 1: the bush isn't consumed. 2: it speaks to him! 

"Moses, take off your shoes, you are on holy ground." Holy ground? The desert near Horeb? This is the last place a person might expect God to show up, and an unlikely place to be called holy.

God's presence makes a place holy. 

I led my son to the Lord in Sam's Town Casino, Laughlin, NV. Boom! A gambling Mecca is sanctified. 

I led five wanna be gang-bangers to the Lord on a curb next to a dumpster in Posada del Sol, gangland, El Centro, CA. Yes! The barrio is made holy. 

In the hood, where folks of my color are not welcome after dark, and not welcome much before dark, with catfish hanging in a tree ready for skinning, and an ancient black gentleman rocking on his porch, my pastor and I were asked to sing an old spiritual. The Spirit of the Lord sanctified that porch as we sang, "When I'm growing old and feeble, stand by me, When my life becomes a burden, And I'm nearing chilly Jordan, Oh, Thou lily of the valley, stand by me.  I was ready to take my shoes off. 

So yeah, God's presence in Horeb's desert, or, in your desert makes that place holy ground. 

Moses did something that we might miss if we are not careful. He turned aside to see this interesting phenomenon. He might have just turned up his Pandora and moved the sheep down the trail, but he paused.

We miss so much because we really aren't paying attention. The TV is on, the radio is playing, people are chattering, activity is ongoing. The din of society can be maddening to the senses and muffling to the soul. 

But God has something to say to each of us, though we are either on sensory overload or we are out like a light bulb. How Important that you allow yourself a regular "God time" away from the cacophony of this culture. If we continue to ignore the still small voice of the Lord when winds and fires and storms are competing for our attention, we may be a candidate for our own visit to a desert place for a personal tete-a-tete with a fiery bush. 

This desert encounter Moses experienced changed the world. Without overstating, could I say that each and every encounter with God is possibly, probably a world changer also? It could and should change your world. It may change the world of others also: that person you reach with the gospel, that friend you touch with God's love, your spouse you impress by your changed attitude. 

So, sometime soon, take off your shoes, encounter holiness,  hear God's instruction and spend the rest of your years becoming all that God wants you to be.