|Posted on March 27, 2020 at 1:05 PM||comments (148)|
A word for Believers—-“while the world around us rages, the world within us can know a strange stillness and an unexpected calm....”
Read John 16:31-33 and reflect on the important thoughts in that passage.
For me one of the most important thoughts is this---God the Father was with Jesus. And, in the same way, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, is with us. He will never leave us. He will never forsake us.
Joseph in Genesis 39 could be successful, even as a slave, because the Lord was with him. Joshua, in Joshua 1, could have courage because the Lord was with Him. And David could live life without fear, as recorded in Psalm 23, because the Lord was with him.
No matter the storm today or next year or whenever, we also can live life without fear because the Lord is with us and lives in us....He will never leave us nor forsake us. He is with us always, even to the end of the age.
Today, meditate on that thought..."the Lord is with me..."
Blessings. Have a great day and a wonderful weekend.
|Posted on March 17, 2020 at 11:35 AM||comments (57)|
THE LOVE OF GOD
CASTS OUT ALL FEAR
OF THE CORONA VIRUS
Perfect love casts out all fear of the Corona Virus (I John 4:18). It may take a few weeks, but I believe that evil virus is being overcome by our words of faith. We are more than conquerors through Christ. Also it is important for us to meditate on what God’s Word says about God’s Love, as we did in the last blog I wrote. Perfect love casts out fear. Today let’s continue to meditate upon and receive more of God’s love:
Love and faith are divinely connected,
for love believes all the things God has said. (v. 7, Galatians 5:6)
One walking in the old nature is suspicious and critical,
but one filled with love believes the best of others. (v. 5, 7)
Some harbor thoughts of resentment about suffered wrongs.
But one who walks in love and forgiveness
walks in the light and rejoices in God’s Word.
(v. 13:5-6, II Cor. 10:5, Phil. 4:8, John 17:17, Psalm 119:14, 162)
Childish-minded Christians are self-centered
and often follow their flesh.
But those who are mature consistently walk in love.
(v. 11, 14:20)
One filled with God’s love doesn’t take account of evil
done to him, but a self-centered person takes revenge. (v. 5)
The spiritually immature are selfish and self-centered
and one who loves the world always pursues
his own happiness.
But those who are full of God’s love show commitment
and understanding, and share unselfishly with others. (v. 5)
One with God’s love endures whatever comes,
but one who lives in the flesh is quick to snap at others. (v. 7, 5)
One who is always exposing others’ mistakes lacks love,
but God’s love protects, shields, and supports.
(v. 7, I Peter 4:8, Proverbs 10:12)
Love is merciful; so merciful that it remains patient and kind,
even after it has suffered long. (v. 4)
Love meets the standards of justice, for it shuns iniquity
and rejoices in the truth. (v. 6)
Foolishness is pure joy to a fool,
but those with God’s love rejoice in the truth. (v. 3:6, Proverbs 15:21)
The scoffer is envious and proud,
but God's love is patient, long¬suffering, meek and kind.
(v. 4, Proverbs 21:24)
A self-focused person always talks about himself,
but one filled with God’s love seeks to make
others feel valuable, secure, and needed.
(v. 4, Philippians 2:4)
One moving outside of love seeks his own glory,
but a love-filled Christian seeks the glory of Jesus
and our Heavenly Father.
(v. 5, John 17:8)
Beloved, don’t be resentful and focused
on past wrongs committed against you.
But walk in love and forgive unconditionally. (v. 5)
A wicked man plans how he can hurt others.
And a fool laughs when evil and injustice happen to others.
But wise people walk in the love God
and rejoice when right and truth prevail.
(v. 5-6, Proverbs 6:12-18, 14:9)
No matter what opposition or contrary circumstances come,
love continues to endure, continues to stand,
and continues to believe God’s Word. (v. 7)
Love is full of hope, and gives endurance,
and believes all things that God has spoken. (v. 7)
|Posted on March 12, 2020 at 10:30 AM||comments (44)|
I grew up hanging around my Mom’s Beauty Shop in Atlanta, Texas. I would sometimes go there on early release days from school, and just hang out. I would go next door to Walker’s Drug Store for an Ice Cream Float or Soda. I would sweep her floors, load her coke machine, take out her trash or whatever she needed as a way of earning my allowance. Her shop was always a busy place. Usually people waiting, one in the chair, and a couple sitting under the dryers. She had a couple of other sweet ladies working there, so it was pretty busy. I spent a few days there every summer.
I remember that everyone got treated the same. Mom had several wealthy ladies that were loyal weekly customers. She had several little ole ladies that lived on fixed incomes that came in once a month because they could only afford it on payday. Everyone was treated the same, Like Royalty. My Mom always took her time with every customer, and they got the Full Treatment . No matter if they could pay or not. Everyone got the best shampoos, color if they needed it, a cut, and style . My Mom loves to bless people still to this day. I can remember little ole ladies coming in and saying they just needed to get their hair washed, and Mom would give them the works for the same price, if she charged them at all.
My parents have always stressed to my Brother and I to treat everyone the same. No matter the Social Status, Financial Status, Race, Creed, or Religion. Everyone is valuable in God’s eyes and he gave The Very Best He Had for them as well as you and I. This lifestyle was branded into my mind at an early age, and it is how I have raised my Children. That is the Heart of Our Heavenly Father. He looks at us all the same. He sees us as one of two groups of people, The Group that HAS accepted Jesus, and the Group that NEEDS to accept Jesus.
God does not look down on you for anything, and if you have accepted Christ, The Bible says He is not counting your sins against you anymore. We are all Kings and Priests. We are a Royal Priesthood, A Holy Nation, these are just some of the things The Lord Calls Us. He Calls us Friend……..wow…..Just like at my Mom’s Shop, if you came there you were getting the full Salon Treatment. Well that’s the way The Lord treats us. We are Blessed, regardless! If we just spend a little time with him. Those little ladies didn’t get that Blessing if they didn’t show up.
Lord help me to always see and receive your Blessings…….Thank You Lord for not showing favoritism. Thank You for loving us all the same. And paying the same great price for us all.
|Posted on March 10, 2020 at 10:50 AM||comments (41)|
Now my Brother and I were something else when we were growing up. If it crossed our mind, we usually did it……..Not so smart I might add. We never thought too much about if someone would get hurt, our philosophy was, ” if it makes someone laugh….well it was all worth it”. I think my a Brother was the more mean of the two of us, but that’s just my opinion of coarse. There have been several times in my adult life since the birth of my own three kids, that I just have to go apologize to my parents.
Back in the day when we were just teenagers, my Brother would go to spend time with his girlfriend. When he came in that night at 11:00 pm ( that was his curfew time ) he would always go to the phone in the hall of our house and call his girlfriend to say he was home safe and good night. Way before the day of cell phones and even before the cordless phone. Our phone was a wall mounted thing with a rotary dial, and a 1/2 mile of cord on the receiver so you could talk anywhere in the house. Now if you had one of these long cords, well you were up town. This phone hung on the wall in our hallway between the kitchen and my bedroom door. During the Fall we always had a 40 lb box of Grapefruit as well as Oranges in the kitchen that my Parents bought from the High School FFA. After my Brothers goodbyes that mean joker would grab a Grapefruit and walk to my doorway, and throw that Grapefruit as hard as he could towards my bed. We are talking Nolan Ryan here………!!! Now you have not been woke up properly in the middle of the night, until you have had your nose and lips splattered by a 100 MPH Wild Flying Grapefruit. Not to mention all the sticky juice and pulp all over your bed and room……everyone should experience it just once. But this was an every weekend occurrence . I knew I would get my revenge soon.
Well it got kinda stormy one Friday night and my Grandma spent the night at our house because she was as scared of a storm as a Possum is an axe handle. I thought this was my big chance. Now I never saw in my mind the results concerning my Grandma, I only saw the shock on my Brothers face as these things played out in my mind. My Grandma said, ” I will sleep on the sofa”. “No way”‘ I said. You sleep in my bed. And so it was settled. So I hid myself in my Brothers room awaiting his big arrival. I saw the lights of his ole Ford pickup pull In the driveway. My heart was racing with excitement, still never thinking past it to the final results. He came in the door and headed to the phone and made his call as usual. After the call was over I saw him reach in the box of Grapefruit. The outside security light was shining through the kitchen window just enough to see. He proceeded to my bedroom door and with everything he had, he flung that huge Grapefruit at my bed. By the time that thing connected with grandmas head, he was already in his room with door closed behind him.
Now as all hell was breaking loose in my room, he was searching for the light switch in his room. The look on his face was worth it all when the light came on and I was sitting in his bed. His words sounded something like, “God Bless America, who is in your bed”? I looked him right in the eyes and said, “Grandma! Enjoy your night”!! Needless to say the night was not too peaceful at the Wall establishment.
We as people tend to take or let things go too far. Never thinking ahead to the consequences of our choices. We get so wrapped up in the getting even thoughts in our head, that it consumes us. And if we keep on giving thoughts to revenge, we usually end up doing something stupid and causing other unsuspecting people harm. Lord help me to always consider the consequences to my actions………..
Now I just can’t quit here. Several weeks past with no fruit entering my room. Just when I got comfortable again, one Friday night while in a deep sleep, my bedroom light popped on. I sat straight up in bed only to have my forehead meet a Huge Grapefruit mid air……..and in my mind I thought……” I wonder if the Pastor has ever wanted to spend the night with us”.
|Posted on March 5, 2020 at 3:10 PM||comments (42)|
” TIED UP “
When I was young we had a Bulldog, named Buddy. He was a good squirrel dog as well as watch dog. He was actually part Hound and part Bulldog. You could not keep him in a pen. He would either climb out or dig out. But anyone he didn’t know, he would bite, so we had to put him on a chain a lot of times. He loved to go riding in the truck. He would stand and look over the dash out the window. Once while driving down a dirt road when a squirrel crossed the road in front of us. Man……he shot out the window like a bullet and actually tree’d the squirrel.
He was a good dog and lived to be a ripe ole age before he finally checked out. When we first put him on this chain, he fought it for a little while, but finally got used to it. After a couple of days he didn’t even tug on it anymore. He knew just how far he could go, and if it got twisted around something he learned how to wiggle around and get himself un-twisted. But this chain became a part of his life.
It is the same way in life. People have been hurt by different things in their lives, different relationships, church hurts, things people have said about us, and the list could go on. And because of these hurts we find ourselves bound by offenses and the enemy just keeps piling on any and everything he can to keep us oppressed. We get so used to these chains and being bound that we, just like the dog, quit fighting for freedom. We learn to adapt our life to accommodate the chain instead of striving for freedom.
If the yoke you are carrying is hard, you are carrying the wrong yoke. Jesus said “My yoke is easy, my burden is light “. Jesus came to give us Life and that more Abundantly. He does not place things on us or allow bad things to happen to us. He is our protector and liberator . He came to set us free, not tie us down. The Gospel…..The Good News……God loves us as much as he does Jesus. We can be free , healed, whole, and be in our right mind with Jesus.
Lord help me to always strive to be free from the hurts and struggles of this world. Help me to not grow accustomed to The Chain………
|Posted on February 25, 2020 at 11:55 AM||comments (31)|
” JESUS LOVES ME, THIS I KNOW “
When I was a kid my Mom always sang to us when she tucked us in bed or when she held us when we were sick. The song that seemed to just come out of her was, “Jesus Loves Me”. You don’t really hear the song too much today. I wonder if it is even still taught in our children’s churches, nurseries, or if Mom’s today still sing it to their kids.
I have been in Church Services and this song was just spontaneously sang, and it really brought forth a move of The Holy Spirit. I used to go in and out of prisons, with Mike Barber Ministries doing prison ministry. This one guy would travel around playing his Harmonica at these meetings. I’ve been under a big tent with a thousand or more inmates, some of them ole hard men, tough and bitter, and this song would be played and immediately you would hear sobbing and crying of these hardened men. You didn’t even have to voice the words, just the music would break even the hardest of men.
Some would say it has this effect because it is tied to most folks childhood, and that is a small part of it. However I am convinced that it is such a Powerful song, because it is the GOSPEL MESSAGE. It is this very Gospel that changes the hearts of the world. “Jesus loves me this I know, for The Bible tells me so. Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong “. Notice the song doesn’t go, Jesus loves me if I do good…………..it just states the facts…….Jesus loves me PERIOD!!!!!!
It is on this Gospel that everything else is built. Because God loved all mankind so much, he let His only Son Jesus, be beaten, spit on, mistreated, and hung on a cross where His Blood was spilled out for all the sins of mankind, past, present, and future. (John 3:16) quoted in my grammar. This song often gets looked on as childish, but it is that childlike faith that Jesus says we must possess. Even if you never acknowledge Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life , He still loves you. Even if you were the only one, God would have still sent Jesus. Gods love is not based on your performance but based only on The Finished Work Of Jesus On The Cross.
Lord help me to always remember that Your love for me never changes, You stay the same. And my Abundant Life depends only on my Faith and Belief in that Finished Work of Jesus……..
|Posted on February 24, 2020 at 3:20 PM||comments (3465)|
THE LOVE OF GOD
(from I Corinthians 13)
One reason we need the love of God is that it can enable us to cease from strife. A Greek word which is often translated “strife” in the New Testament is “eritheia”. It means, “strife, selfish ambition, contention, discord, quarreling, and party spirit”. Before the New Testament was written, it was used by Aristotle to describe “a self-seeking pursuit of a political office by unfair means”. Have we been seeing any of that lately? As we use our faith to push back the spirit of error, let’s not get into strife. Rather, let us speak the truth in love and in faith. Here are some Scriptures on love paraphrased into proverbs. Let’s allow these to minister to our hearts today:
The highest and most excellent way to live
is to be motivated by God’s love and empowered by His Spirit.
Like one making loud, annoying racket,
so is he who practices religion without love. (12:31-13:8)
As the sound of the repeated clashing of a cymbal is one
who speaks in various tongues of men and angels,
but has no love. (v. 1)
One who understands deep truth,
but has no love, is nothing. (v. 2)
He who has enough faith to move large obstacles,
but has no love, amounts to nothing. (v. 3)
Whoever sacrifices all - even his own life - but is not motivated
by love for God and others, will receive no reward. (v. 3)
One moving outside the love of God
becomes irritated and resentful
and remembers all wrongs committed against him.
But one with God’s love forgives and forgets. (v. 5)
Some are rude and discourteous,
and an insensitive person is tactless and thoughtless.
But one with God’s love is caring, courteous,
sensitive and considerate. (v. 5)
A scoffer brags and seeks vain glory;
he is rude, ill-mannered, angry, and self-centered.
But followers of wisdom choose God's love, which
keeps them from falling, is full of courage, and never fails.
(v. 5, 7-8, Proverbs 22:10, 28:25, 29:8)
The love of God is longsuffering, patient, meek and kind,
and enduring through troubles. (v. 4, Romans 12:12)
He who follows his flesh is quick to criticize and retaliate,
but the love of God overlooks suffered wrongs
and focuses on higher things. (v. 5)
One with a quick temper fights and shoves others.
But one walking in love endures much for a long time
and is still patient and kind. (v. 4, Ephesians 4:2)
Through difficult circumstances, one filled with God’s love
endures whatever comes.
He will emerge victorious! (v. 4, 7-8a)
|Posted on February 20, 2020 at 10:40 AM||comments (40)|
” A LATE NIGHT FLIGHT “
My Brother and I were definitely All Boy……We were into something all the time. My parents kept a close tight reign on us and we got our rear ends tore up all the time. But we were some hard headed jokers.
Back in the 70’s my Dad was building his parents a house on our property in Bivins, Texas. PawPaw and Granny sold their house pretty soon, so they lived with us while Dad was finishing their new house. Momma moved my Brother and I in one room and PawPaw and Granny slept in the other. We had twin beds and they were positioned with about a 5′ walkway between them. We would beg PawPaw to sleep In our room and we would bunk together. We loved it when he slept In there. We would act like some wild Indians and he always took up for us, laughed at us, and never told on us.
On this particular night we talked him into camping out with us in our room. Now PawPaw had been sick for a few days with the flu. He was getting better but really didn’t feel good. About 2:30-3:00 am we decided it would be fun to jump on the bed. We were jumping so high and touching the ceiling. Then we started jumping from bed to bed across the 5′ span between them. Now I am about 6 yr and my Brother 8 yr at the time. Poor ole PawPaw would cough and cough and say with a weak sick voice, ” y’all better quit! you are gonna wake your Daddy up “. But by this time we had turned into professional flying trapeze folks……..it escalated to some real wild flights.
All at once we both hit the mattress a millisecond apart, and the force sling shot my Brother head first through the window. Thank God this took place in the early 70’s when the style was these drapes that were thick as a Buffalo hide, or my Brother would have probably been cut to death. I’m looking out the broken window at him squirming around trying to get out of the tangled screen and military grade tarp like drapes, while laying in St Augustine Grass in the middle of the night. PawPaw moaning ” I told y’all “….
When he finally got out of the wreckage, without a scratch, he said “how am I gonna get back in “? I said like every other American Good Brother would say, “you are on your own Jack ” , and I got back into bed. PawPaw was so sick he couldn’t get up, but was trying. Now how my Parents slept through the sound, I really don’t know. But all of a sudden you hear,”DingDong”…….. This idiot done rang the front doorbell. Now Daddy is awake. I see him going down the hall with a pistol. The doorbell ringing like crazy, my Dad finally makes it to the door and looks through the peek hole. Now my brother is so short he can’t see him but the bell is still going off. Daddy jerks open the door to see my Brother standing there in his underwear. Daddy said, “What are you doing outside in the middle of the night” ? And my Brother gave the greatest excuse I have ever heard…………..”I fell out the window”………..and it was on……
It is amazing to me how we as people, even grown people make up every kind of excuse to our failures, and try to paint a better picture of our circumstances. Instead of admitting , I was doing what I shouldn’t be doing, something stupid, and I caused all this mess. Knowing that the truth was going to come out. Because how, if you are doing what you should be doing at the wee hours of the night, like every other 8 yr old in America. Which is laying horizontal in your bed……..how could you possibly “fall” out the window with such a momentum to take the Drapes, Sheers, screen, and your body 15 feet out in the front yard……….
Lord help me to always be quick to admit my short comings, receive the forgiveness that you have already paid for and provided for me, and move on. …….if you meet my Parents today, and they seem a little rattled……well…..you know why!!!!!!!
|Posted on February 18, 2020 at 11:30 AM||comments (49)|
” ARE WE LOST “
We spent countless hours in the woods when I was a kid. We would go to McLeod , Texas and spend the night with some relatives there. The ladies would sit around the table and visit while the men all sat around and listened to Jerry Clower or Justin Wilson on record. We would laugh and plan out the big Squirrel hunt at daybreak. We all had squirrel dogs.
The next morning after a big breakfast, we would head out to some of the biggest hardwood bottoms you’ve ever seen. I don’t know exactly how big, but it was probably in the thousands of acres. We would pull off the road and turn those dogs loose and wait. It wouldn’t be long before you would hear ole Sissy, Boots, Brummy, or Buddy barking on a tree. And off we would go. We would go pretty quick so the squirrel didn’t tap the tree, meaning he would run out on a limb, jump to another tree and so on until he came down way out there away from where the dogs last smelled his scent. It was a blast and we would cover some ground.
You would get carried away listening for the dogs and when they tree’d you would hurry that direction and usually not pay too much attention to where you were. So many times I would ask Daddy, ” Are we lost “? We never were. Dad, and his cousin Hershel always knew where we were and the exact way to walk towards the Jeep.
It is the same way in life. Your Heavenly Father always knows where you are. Nothing is a surprise to him, and He always has a way of escape. Even in Genesis when Adam and Eve hid themselves from God, and He called to the man…….”Adam, where are you ” he was not asking Adam for his location, He is God, He knows all things. I think he just wanted Adam to hear himself say where he was and why.
Sometimes in our prayer life as Christians , we spend most of the time telling God what is going on, as if he needs the information…. ” Lord, so and so is sick……he has a bad cold ” as if The Lord would say, ” oh I didn’t know that ” . Come on! He is Almighty God. He created us all and The whole world and holds the universe in his hands…….He wants us to see him as The Loving Father He is and have a Relationship with him. Talk to him as Our Daddy and not like he is some disconnected person that doesn’t know what’s going on or where we are. Just like my Earthly Daddy always knew our location and the way out, so The Lord knows about us too….
Lord help me to never forget that You hold me in the palm of Your Hand…….
|Posted on February 13, 2020 at 1:40 PM||comments (42)|
“A ROCKIN’ HOG”
Now when I was a teenager, My Brother, A couple of our friends, and I were always pulling some kind of practical joke or something. It didn’t matter who, we just pulled our pranks on anyone that gave us opportunity. I remember one night my Parents were watching TV and my Brother and I and two friends that were always at our house (or we were at theirs) was just sitting around watching a little TV as well and visiting. It was about 7:30pm and our telephone rang. It was one of my Mom’s friends telling her that a Missionary from Scotland was in town, and they were going around to some local Christian homes just introducing the Missionaries to different families.
Now when my Mom announced that they were coming over and would be there in half hour……well we shot out the door like a bucking bull out of a squeeze chute. We lived so far off of the main road that you couldn’t see our house from the road. It was sitting up in the middle of a Pine Thicket. Our driveway wound around through those dark dense pine trees.
We had recently gotten a couple of pigs butchered that my Brother had raised for FFA. Now when we picked up the meat from the packing house, they gave us the head in a large trash bag. Now Dad put the head in the freezer so he could give it to someone that was going to make “Hog Head Cheese”. We got that head out of the freezer, stuffed Daddy’s chest waders with pine straw and an old coat. We took that thing down the driveway and sat it up in a rocking chair. We put that frozen hog head on top of the man like figure. We placed an old straw hat on the head and drove a corn cob pipe in its mouth. This joker was sitting right in the middle of the driveway that came through the darkest of the woods. We were moving so fast……everyone had an idea and just did their part without any discussion. Now our prop was ready for the missionary.
We just sat there waiting to hear a car slow down to turn in the drive. When we finally heard this, we ran out and kicked the rocker and jumped back in the brush. Now when this car came around the curve in the driveway,……..there it was…..a man-like figure, with a hogs head, rocking back and forth. They had to slow way down, because we barely left enough room for the car to pass along side. Those poor Missionaries from Scotland…….they were so scared. I really didn’t think they were going to get out of the vehicle.
When she finally got out of the car, she was terrified speaking in her native language with a few tears……it sounded like a charismatic prayer meeting. We got in so much trouble…….now looking back at this time in my life, I remember how well we all worked together. We accomplished so much in so little time.we didn’t even have a plan when we walked out the door. All we knew was there was some foreigners coming over and it was dark………Nuff said. We could really take a lesson from this as people of God. The working together part……..everyone just added to the plan however he saw he could. We didn’t waste a lot of time with discussions, or arguing over who was to do what. We just got busy and moved forward……..
Lord help me to always be useful and do what you have called me to do, and when combined with all the other believers or workers, may we accomplish much…………