Monday, March 29, 2010


God’s Word tells us in I Timothy 1:7, ‘God doesn’t give us the spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and a sound mind.”  Why do we get this spirit of anxiety from time to time?? Is it our life style, our diet, guilt, etc., There are times when I’m not sure we can really put a finger on the cause, but it seems to be a mindset that happens frequently to many people. Today, in 2010, it seems to me we have a lot to be anxious about…the state of our state, our country and world, the financial situation here in the USA. All of these situations and many more contribute to a sense of uneasiness, don’t they. Nothing seems stable anymore, and we are not sure what tomorrow will bring.

I’ve often wondered what those without Christ do to cope with this “fear.” Without God to hold onto, to lean into and be supportive…what does one do? The Scripture is full of reassuring chapters and verses that very forcibly tell us that God is in control and will never forsake us, never. Almost the entire book of
Psalms states problems, then when the author turns to God, what His solution is, to relieve our minds and hearts. When I am distraught I frequently read through the Psalms, and maybe a few of the Proverbs. John 13,14, 15, 16, and 17 are always comforting. Plus, the concept of “abiding” fascinates me, making chapter 15 my favorite. I like to memorize the Word, and carry a small notebook with me where I have recorded various verses that are meaningful when I am in a poor state of mind.

What are some of the root causes of these nasty “feelings”…my son Bill likes to remind me that I should not go by feelings but by what I know to be true, and truth only comes from Jesus…remember the Scripture where He says, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. “ He is saying that there is no truth without a relationship with Him…pure and simple. So, the Word puts out truth and that’s that. Think about it and I think you will agree. One of the feelings that mess us up is feeling inadequate, not measuring up…do we sometimes have unrealistic standards for ourselves and others that we cannot possibly live up to? Perhaps. And then, we “feel” inadequate. Guilt can do a number on us too…real and/or perceived. True guilt can be given over to God, forgiven and put away by memorizing Scripture that tells us just that, such as I John 1:9, “if we confess our sin, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. It doesn’t get much more explicit than that.   However, we have to believe it.  False guilt is more difficult because we don’t have the same sense of forgiveness…we are not sure God is forgiving us, so the perceiv4d guilt lingers. Many of us grew up without a sense of security, which we are supposed to get from our family. It doesn’t always happen that way, especially today, it is every man for himself these days. Mom and Dad do not convey a sense of unconditional love, so we grow up feeling we MUST measure up to what we perceive Mom and Dad expect of us, to be loved. Complicated isn’t it???? The human mind is such a sophisticated piece of us, and also happens to be the control tower of our thinking processes.


Saturday, March 27, 2010


I have been a believer for 36 years, came back to the Lord in 1974 after reading a book called, “Late, Great, Planet Earth,” by Hal Lindsey. The book vividly described end time events, and I was completely turned around spiritually. I had a fair knowledge of these events from my childhood, I had been brought up in a nominal Christian home in a small town here in South Jersey. Most of our lives revolved around events in our local Methodist Church. I had a very good knowledge of the Scripture and the book brought it all back. Since then I have read and studied, the Bible as well as paying close attention to current events. The two or three Bible teachers I consider well versed in prophecy agree we are most likely in the generation that will be “caught up” into the clouds in what is referred to as the Rapture of the church. I believe as they do that current events, beginning with the re-birth of Israel in 1948, point to the soon to happen,Tribulation, a seven year period of God’s final dealing with His people Israel, to bring them to Himself. It is also the time when His wrath will be poured out on unbelieving mankind. It will be horrible beyond imagining, but well deserved. If you have never read Revelation and Daniel, you should because you are living it. I must admit, even knowing as I do, that God is completely in control and nothing happens without His knowledge and approval…from a Christian perspective, all is well.

Even with all I know and believe to be true, I am still taken aback with what is going on right now…it fits very well into the overall picture but I have a hard time processing it all. Jesus said in Matthew 24 that the generation that sees Israel become a nation once again, will live to see Him return in power and glory, to rule and reign on earth for 1,000 years, called the Millennium. The Bible states a generation is “three score years and ten.” Close? You bet. Then we have nation alliances, Russia aligning with the Arab nations, China very big militarily, and a huge population. The EU getting bigger and bigger, controlling more and more of it’s member nation resources, borders, money and foreign policy. Daniel speaks of a great increase in knowledge, travel, gadgets and technology, world wide communication and TV. Then there is the matter of a nation such as Iran openly declaring their intention to push Israel into the Mediterranean Sea and be rid of her, and…to that end they are developing nuclear weapons. Christians are beginning to be put down and shut up, accused of hate speech and such. Jesus spoke of wars and rumors of wars, ethnic groups versus ethnic groups, religious deception, and how about weather changes, earthquakes, bigger and multiples, tsunamis, hotter summers and colder winters. We have food shortages in many places on earth and diseases that are becoming more difficult to cure. Jesus also speaks of anguish of heart and spirit, perplexity , peoples hearts failing them from stress. And now we have Obama. I have paid attention to Presidents since John Kennedy…he was the first president I voted for, fifty years ago.  I would ask anyone that reads this blog to read the Scripture I gave, Daniel, Revelation, and Matthew 24, and read them in varying translations to get the full flavor of the teaching…and then sit down and ponder where our progressive president is taking us…NOW!

We are on a dangerous course, our Constitution and Bill of Rights are being shredded and ignored completely. Congress is by and large, sold out to special interest groups, which makes them unable to do anything ethically and morally correct. We will fall to our debt, collapse from within and be part of what is happening in Europe, or worse. Mr Obama is a pied piper, and we are the mice. His disgusting behavior this past week with Benjamin Netanyahou, Prime Minister of Israel, speaks volumes to any one that knows the Scripture. Of, just has a sense of decency. Wake up America, wake up, be sure of your position in Christ and when it’s time to vote, VOTE! You may not have another opportunity.

Friday, March 26, 2010


We live in a whirlwind society…busy, busy, busy! We are never still. I am as guilty of it as anybody and God has had to deal with me harshly more than once, I am ashamed to say. I am a classic “type A” which means I picture a goal straight ahead, and heaven help you if you get in my way. It’s not a malicious thing, but a focus thing. God has taught me many interesting lessons in my 37 years as a Christian…quite a few in the category of my work.  Working as a teacher/counselor to inmates inside a state prison isn’t too high on the priority list of missionaries, but it’s where God called and placed me. Let me tell you right off, had I known then what I know now…well, I probably would have gone on and done the same. Prison ministry, especially hands-on, direct contact is difficult and challenging. I had one thing “up” on a lot of folks that put their hand to that plow…I was middle aged when I started, thus a “mother figure” and it served me well. I have since graduated to a “grandmother figure”…29 years later will do that…and being older granted me respect, and a hearing. My classes are always well attended, and I never had a discipline problem. The men knew that I had lived through many experiences, and I was willing to share them to get a point across from Scripture. They also knew I was a volunteer…no paycheck for being there. But the drawback for me was I saw the need…it was overwhelming…and unmet. It still is. Very few people have any desire to go into that setting and attempt to convert addicts, alcoholics, womanizers and thieves. But, that’s where I ended up and I wouldn’t change anything. But I would say the need made me work longer hours, more days, be more intense than I should have been…I forgot that God is NOT a hard taskmaster, HE remembers we are dust and doesn’t expect as much out of us as we think He does.We strive for goals He never gave us. Jesus said “My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” It won’t destroy your health or your peace of mind. I’ve learned that the hard way. We tend to lose perspective and our priorities get out of line. And, a very important thing I learned, if I feel guilty about taking a break, time to change my way of thinking. I’m nor lazy because I’m tired. God never intends for us to take on more than we can safely handle and does intend us to know when enough is enough…the what, when, and how of our commitment. Rest, can be a state of mind. But it can also have to do with the physical, spiritual and emotional part of our lives. Listening to inmates stories, most of which I have absolutely no control over or ability to change…can and did do me in. I recovered, but it left me with a weakness emotionally that I have to watch all the time. I am good at what I do but I must be very careful about how long, intensely, and actively I do it before taking a break. Occasionally, I have to sit down with the Lord and re-prioritize my days…getting older puts limits on how much of anything I can do and I have to respect that or pay a price I won’t like! Now I said all this to try to emphasize to any who may read this blog that God doesn’t drive us…we drive ourselves…He said in Genesis 2:2 “God ended His work…and he rested” It doesn’t say it was permanent rest, but it was regular rest, according to Exodus 20. There He instituted a weekly physical rest but as you think about the physical, you must realize it also includes emotional and mainly spiritual. Humans need time out…too bad in our “modern” society we don’t realize it and honor the God that instituted it…we could and should spend the Sabbath rest with Him, and REALLY get some rest.

Thursday, March 25, 2010


Have you given much thought to the concept of Godly intimacy??? Probably not, because it is not something preached or talked about, no Bible studies on the subject…but it is what God wants from each of us. the whole of John 15 is about abiding, another word for intimacy. To abide conveys the idea of “settling down and making yourself at home with another.” Marriage is supposed to create the atmosphere of abiding, leading or culminating in intimacy. How does this transfer to our relationship with God Himself??? As far as I can tell, and this is from my own experience and application, Romans 12:1-2 is the starting point…”I beseech you therefore brethren, by the mercies of God, to present yourselves, A LIVING SACRIFICE, holy, acceptable unto God…it is your reasonable service (spiritual act of worship, NIV). And, be not conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your MINDS, that you may test and approve what God’s will is… His good, perfect and acceptable will of God.” In marriage, we give ourselves to another, one we love and desire to spend the rest of our lives with. It means giving in many different ways…deferring to the others likes and dislikes in a variety of ways, changing habits that interfere with getting along well, it means respecting the others family ties and arranging your lives together in time with family plans…it means many changes because of your love for the other person. And of course the ultimate intimacy is physical, as the two become one. In Genesis the word “cleave” is used. I remember reading years ago that cleave is from the same root word as glued…imagine being glued to your partner, but it does paint a picture doesn’t it!!!! Now transfer in your mind that idea…glued to God. Can’t think of a more safe place to live, being so close to God, I’m glued. And of course that works both ways…He is glued to me! Now if that is so, and I have come to love Him so much that I don’t want any separation between us…I will WANT to be conformed to His likeness. In Romans 8:29 we are told “those whom God foreknew, he predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son…whom He predestined He called, justified and glorified.” In Ephesians 4:22-24 we are told to “put off the old self, which is corrupted by our deceitful human desires, and be made new in the attitude of your minds and put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.” This is indeed a beautiful picture of two becoming one, but who could ever imagine that God would want to that intimate with the likes of us. But, the whole of His Word and His very character says yea, and amen. It obviously is why He created us in the first place and then had to send His Son to redeem us because of sin, in the second place. We must have great value to Him…from His point of view.

I don’t know about you, but I am very happy I have all eternity to show my gratitude, love and praise for Him…and frequently wonder if even eternity is long enough to praise our God and Father.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


In Luke 11:1, the disciples asked Jesus to teach them how to pray. Farther on in the New Testament, the Apostle Paul followed His lead in his own prayer life, giving us some extraordinary examples of just how we could pray for our families and friends. Along with the example, we need to remember when we pray the Word back to it’s Author, He cannot deny Himself and will answer. In John 15 Jesus tells His followers “ask ANYTHING according to My will, and it’s yours…” did you get that? According to His will???? Constant contact with Christ changes our point of view and our asking changes, because we see things from His point of view. Additio9nally, praying His own Word back to Him keeps us in His will because it’s promised in His Word! He is indeed an amazing God1

Back to Jesus and Paul’s patterns in prayer…

1. ADDRESSING GOD…Always be mindful of Who you are addressing, I have never been one to be overly familiar to the point of “Daddy”…but that’s me. I had a very dear father, one I was completely comfortable with…I carried that over into my relationship with my Heavenly Father. Not everyone is that fortunate and their relationship with God suffers for it.

2 BE BRIEF…all of Jesus and Paul’s prayers are brief and to the point. Wordy praying is usually windy praying.

3. BE DEFINITE…don’t ramble, keep focused on WHOM you are talking to…I believe strongly that our Father LOVES to give and do for us, and when we are specific, all the better. If He knows it’s not good for us, He’ll overrule…would you have it any other way????  Notice that most of Paul’s prayers were spiritual in content, sharply defined. He knew what he saw either in people’s lives or missing in their lives. He then prayed for those things. Oswald Chambers said God gives us insight into people’s lives not to criticize but to pray for God to change them…excellent to remember.

4. BE CONFIDENT…if you know you are where you should be spiritually, you can ask with confidence, especially when you are praying God’s Word back to Him…God will never deny His Word! When praying for physical issues or financial, I try not to dictate…I realize god frequently uses these very issues to “grow us up”… and won’t always answer in the manner we think He should, but it’s always answered in the BEST WAY possible for the circumstance. I have experienced both problems many times in my walk with the Lord, and must say He is faithful, but He also works to “stretch” us. I have been in the habit of deferring to God’s Omnipotence and love for me. I will use this phrase after my petition, “if it pleases You.” I’ve learned I don’t always know the best answer, but He does and I want His best more than my answer my way.  He is trustworthy!!!

Notice in the Apostolic prayers, he doesn’t petition for temporal things, rather spiritual and gracious things. Here are some of his  requests for his followers…

Ephesians 1:17-19

1. understanding

2. revelation of Himself

3. opened eyes

4. to know His calling, riches of His glory in His inheritance with us.

5. the exceeding greatness of His power toward us

Ephesians 3:16-19

1. grant us to be strengthened internally

2. to have Christ dwell in us richly, by faith

3. to know the love of Christ

4. to be filled with all of God’s fullness

Philippians 1:9=11

1. to walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing

Colossians 1:10

1. to be filled with the knowledge of His will in all spiritual wisdom

2. to walk in a manner worthy of Him

3. to please Him in all respects

4. bearing fruit in every good work

5. increasing in the knowledge of Him

6. strengthened with all power, according to His gracious might

7. attain all steadfastness and Patience, joyously


Paul’s petitions usually ended with this: “giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified us to share in the inheritance of the saints in light. For He delivered us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.”

In praying we need to remember the concerns and interests of God come first. Whatever He is working out in your life will be for His glory first, secondly for your good. That’s what Romans 8:28 is all about. Additionally, remember worship is no substitute for service and service is no substitute for worship…true worship will inevitably find it’s expression in loving, sacrificial service.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Most of the New Testament prayers were Paul’s, for and about the Gentiles that came out of heathenism. Being their spiritual father it is natural that he also be their devotional example. His prayers are so natural, and contain so much emotion, we can safely assume he spent ALOT of time talking with the Lord about the converts and many other subjects of concern. As a contrast, statistics tell us that the average pastor spends 4 minutes a day in prayer for his people…which explains why the church today is so weak and powerless…God does not use prayerless ministers and missionaries!

Paul was concerned for his converts well being and growth, which urged him to appeal to the Father on their behalf, and to offer thanks for the opportunity to minister to them. His concerns were justified, as this was an age of superficiality, and ignorance of the True and Living God, since most of the Roman world worshipped Caesar or other Baal-type gods.

Prayer in it’s highest and fullest sense rises from a heart full of thanksgiving, from a heart filled with the wonder  of God and His working among men. Such “thinking” bears the heart and mind before God in worship and adoration. As we learn to understand  “who we are” before Him…sinful, unworthy beings, …”and “who He is”…One before whom even the Seraphim veil their faces, Isaiah 6:2. We can become aware He has us made His sons, by His grace and mercy…sons, and everything that entails including heirship, Romans 8:16-17, but creatures still. Our present age shouts  that we are all “somebody”…with a spark within us that is good, we just need education and opportunity to bring it out.
it’s the opposite of what the Bible teaches, and what God Himself declares, that we are all totally depraved because of the fall in Genesis 3, Romans 3:23. We need to be born again, John 3, with a new start, and then and only then can we begin to have value to God  because the new us. We are new because of what Christ did Colossians 2:13, not something we did on our own. If left to ourselves, none of us would come to God or even desire to do so , John 6:44. And…we would be totally and eternally lost.

Bearing in mind our standing before God, as we begin prayer we should keep three things in mind:

1. CONFESSION of sin, and recognition of who we are

2. PETITION of needs and requests

3. HOMAGE of our hearts to our Father

Blended together, these attitudes of our hearts to His become as the fragrance of incense, pleasing to Him.

The Apostle Paul gave us this example: “we will devote ourselves continually to prayer and the ministry of the Word,” Acts 6:4. We New Testament believers have a responsibility to lay hold of God and write His Word on the hearts of those listening to us. We must prevent the enemy from snatching away the seed…the only means to this end is prayer, continual, fervent prayer for those we share with and teach…and God will bless our efforts that they may bear fruit to His eternal praise.

Prayer is the appointed means of receiving spiritual communion from God…along with time in His Word in order to learn what He needs us to teach and witness to. Time spent with Him, quietly, to fit ourselves to go and tell…this is a heavy responsibility! We must learn about blessings,spiritual gifts and graces, They are recorded over and over in His Word, we must read, meditate, memorize…spend time alone with Him in order to receive our orders from Him. Romans 8:26-27 tells us that the Spirit reveals to us in quiet times, the will of the Father…and then gives directions…in quiet times! In our present day, how much quiet do we surround ourselves with…we are always on the go. God wants to communicate but He speaks in a still, small voice…we need to be quiet to hear Him! ! John 5:14-15 os one of those precious verses that give us assurance that when we “right” and quiet before Him…He WILL reveal His desires for us and will grant them. Praise His Name, He is  always THERE for us!

Monday, March 8, 2010


“Wholly committed, fully dedicated…” I read in a devotional book, along with the translation from the Old Testament, telling us that commitment and living up to it gives us a heart of peace. I like that, Peace and/or contentment mean everything to me. I have learned over the years that I can do without a lot of “stuff” but not my sense of contentment. I dearly love the “feeling” (I dislike using that word) of contentment, kind of like the warm fuzzies. That feeling tells me all is well, I am in sync with my Father and I can enjoy the settledness. As I understand it, peace is a result, not a cause. It means the war has stopped, I am no longer trying to run my life but have let go of it after giving it to the Lord. He does such a superior job of running me, I cannot tell you why I even bother to try and run it myself. I think it is mainly a matter of breaking an old habit. We do so many things because it’s how we’ve always done it…we don’t think. If we grow up as unbelievers, we have taken a lot of garbage into our thinking processes. The current generation has it even rougher…they are actually being taught to stand up for themselves, be proud, do your own thing, think for yourself, etc., etc. All of these concepts go directly against Scripture and the character of God. I am not young, have lived a diverse life and had many, many experiences…good and bad. But nothing has compared to the sense of contentment I have had when I am totally in sync with my Father and following His leading. I guess a lot has to do with trust. Charles Stanley once said, you will not obey one you do not trust…my experience has taught me that trust takes time and probably experience. I have been a Christian for 36 years, in so-called full time ministry for 29. I could relate dozens of times when God has been actively teaching me about Himself. Out of those times, I have learned to trust Him and obedience has come easier and easier. Then, I realized that sense of contentment…and it was/is wonderful. I believe Jesus has total possession of me, and I am very glad about that. When you exhibit singleness of heart, you become part of the answer to the world’s problems, because the grace and mercy of the Lord flow through you. Colossians 1:9 tells us that we can “see things from God’s point of view…” that is an awesome thought…elsewhere we are told we can have the mind and attitude of Christ. Another verse tells us to let the attitude of Christ be in us. I don’t know about you but to me, those are awesome promises and what God promises, He delivers. He cannot deny Himself. We are His sons and daughters, He wants the best for us and He will allow things in our lives to get us to the place of full blessing and walking with Him. He is so very awesome, and yet so very personal, doing in our lives those “little things”…the things that tell us clearly that He loves us very much. He proves it. Not because He must but because He wants to! How can you not trust a Father such as this??????  We are told to “be still, and know that I am God…”  We could easily think to ourselves, “be still and know I am your Daddy…” Wonderful idea, try it!

Thursday, March 4, 2010


Thinking about the “old timers” of the faith,the Matthew Henry’s , Adam Clark, Dr Barnes of Barnes Notes fame…all record in their journals that they started their day in their study, alone with God at 4 or 5am??????  There are others from that time period that say the same thing, they began their day early, one-on-one with the Lord. I must confess, I am not in that circle…I spend quality and quantity time with the Lord, but not at 4 am. I think the object is the “alone” thing…it is very difficult today to be alone, even people like me that live alone, with TV, stereo, radio, computer, etc I am rarely alone and totally quiet in my home. I recognize I make the choice about the quiet, so I will make no judgment since I am guilty as much as the next guy.

The Holy Spirit is one of the most precious and special gifts god has given to us. He takes up residence within us the moment we come to Christ in repentance and are born again. This is what Jesus meant when He told the disciples, “I will ask the Father and He will give you another Comforter, that He may remain with you forever>” In the Amplified the adjectives used after comforter are, counselor, helper, intercessor, advocate, strengthener and standby. Quite a list, right? The Holy Spirit becomes our every thing, connecting us to god and urging us to do the things we should, and not do the things we shouldn’t. One of HIs biggest jobs is to urge us to spend time with the Lord…He is also very good at convicting us of “wrongs.” Sometimes too good, lol.

I have always had difficulty thinking of God in less than three persons. I don’t really understand the concept of three/one. But…it doesn’t matter that I don’t understand, it is still a fact. I trust God enough to wait to understand but still believe Him. An old Sunday School song said, “God said it, I believe it, that settles it for me…” understanding is not essential, believing and obeying are. In fact, it is impossible to obey without Him, it’s just not in us. God,the Creator shared with us everything we need to know in His Word. If we don’t understand, later on we might…but we need to accept the fact that we don’t NEED to know it all. Jesus said to His disciples, “I have still many things to say to you, but you are not able to understand them now,” John 16:12.

Nevertheless, we are urged to spend quality time alone with God. As I have aged in the Lord, I have found I honestly and truly cannot get along without that time…it has become so much a part of who I am and how I function that I cannot really “get myself together”…when I have not been with the Lord. And…living alone, I have found myself taking with Him, even laughing with Him and singing to Him…I guess He has become my Treasured Life Companion. And…I wouldn’t have it any other way!