Sunday, February 28, 2010

Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

I recently heard a Nazarene minister from Haiti sharing an amazing testimony that was heard in the wake of the devastating earthquake of 2010. As a team from Nazarene Compassionate Ministries arrived to deliver food, shelter, and medical supplies in a certain village known for Voodoo, an amazing testimony came from the lips of none other than the village medicine man. Yes, with great passion, he turned his back on his own teachings by exclaiming for all to hear, "Only the Gospel of Jesus Christ could accomplish this!"

Isn't it amazing when medicine men are amazed by the Great Physician? For sure!

Mark 1:15 (NLT) -- Jesus announced, "The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!"

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Saturday, February 27, 2010

Seasons of Great Struggle

You have seen me suffer for Him in the past, and you know that I am still in the midst of this great struggle.
-- The Apostle Paul's Testimony in Philippians 1:30 (NLT)

Without doubt, God allows those who wear His name to be fastened to seasons of great struggle in their lives. But let us never forget that the same mysterious God who brings forth the beauty of the butterfly (only because of its season of great struggle from the cocoon) surely knows that seasons of great struggle will likewise bring out the most marvelous of colors in our lives.

Lord, have mercy on us especially during seasons of great struggle. Give us grace to pray, trust, and wait on You for release from whatever seasons of great struggle you have ordered in our lives. Give us confidence in knowing that You, our Greatest God, will be our Greater Strength in Seasons of Great Struggle. Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Ready For Revival!

Wake up, you sleepyhead people!
King-Glory is ready to enter.

Psalm 24:7 (The Message Paraphrase)

Oh, King-Glory, You are ready to enter our lives. Oh, Lord of Lords, please awaken us so we might "anticipate Your arrival." Help us to "Ready For Revival!" Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE ... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Pure Light

1 John 1:5 from the Message Paraphrase of the Holy Bible contains these eternally bright words:

God is light, pure light; there’s not a trace of darkness in Him.

Lord, let Your pure light come and shine in and through me. Yes, that I might BE LIGHT! GO SHINE! ... Your pure light to Your world. Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Our Everyday Lives? An Eternal Offering!

One of the most soul-searching invitations in the New Testament to me personally is Romans 12:1 from The Message Paraphrase:

So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Sent... Went!

May prayer today is: Lord, let it be said of those You sent... "They (we/i) went!"

(Read Romans 10:15 for the Biblical basis for my prayer.)

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Only Over My Dead Body

But God put His love on the line for us by offering His Son in sacrificial death... Romans 5:8a

Supporting Scripture Readings: Isaiah 53; 2 Corinthians 5:11-21

It was early-spring 1992. My photography schedule led me to an elementary school along the Carolina coastline to photograph the basketball team and cheerleaders. After the photo-shoot ended, I left out the front doors of the old field house. In my mind, I was focusing on a message I would be preaching in my first revival meeting as a bi-vocational evangelist that night. I whispered under my breath to God: "How can a loving God send people to Hell?" As soon as the thought slipped through my mind, a passionate whisper within my heart cried out: “I am a loving God. I don’t send people to Hell. Set your camera cases down. I’m about to give you a visual illustration of My love.” I sat my cases down immediately and buttoned my coat to shield my neck from the bone-chilling breezes.

God’s breathtaking-visual-illustration was already underway.A kindergarten teacher had her class outside for recess. As she stood with her back against the school house, her students were in the midst of a simple but profound running exercise. The children were told to run away from their teacher about 50 yards, touch a chain-link fence, and then return back to be reunited and congratulated by their teacher.I noticed that a few boys were exercising rebellion. They were not touching the chain-link fence and returning. They were instead trying hard to climb over the chain-link fence. On the other side of the chain-link fence was the community cemetery. The graveyard was their goal.As I picked up my camera cases and continued my trek to my vehicle, I passed close by the teacher. Most of the kids were returning to her applause and affirmation. She lovingly said to each returning student: "You’re a winner!" Yes, everyone who finished won the race. In between affirming those who were obeying the rules of the exercise, she continued to call out to the boys who were scaling the cemetery fence.

God’s whisper within my heart now seemed more passionate: "The chain-link fence is Calvary. Life, like this kindergarten recess exercise, is a race intended to be a run to the chain-link fence and back to Me. On the other side of the chain-link fence is death (Hell). When my Son died on the Cross, My Love drew a line in the sands of time, erected a fence, so that anyone who goes to Hell will have to climb over the fence of my Son’s crucifixion. Even while some are climbing the fence, I continue to call them back to Me. In other words, in His sacrificial death, my only Son, Jesus, was crying out, 'Only over my dead body will people go to Hell. I don’t send people there, but they can choose to scale the fence.'”

With the lesson on God's Love learned, I smiled at the teacher and said: "I think all the kids are coming back to you now. They look really tired running in these cold breezes." With a smile she said: "Yes, I’ll take them inside now, give them milk and cookies, and let them get some rest." WOW! I thought. The teacher's words were the exact reverse of Hell -- Heaven.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

The 23rd Psalm -- Breathe Again

This morning my devotional reading beautifully led me to The 23rd Psalm from the Message Paraphrase of the Holy Bible. How awesome and compassionate our Good Shepherd is to those who know His voice and call Him Lord. In His Holy Presence our eternal souls can breathe again... and again... and again... yes, for forever.

God, my Shepherd!
I don’t need a thing.
You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
You find me quiet pools to drink from.
True to Your word,
you let me catch my breath
and send me in the right direction.
Even when the way goes through
Death Valley,
I’m not afraid
when You walk at my side.
Your trusty shepherd’s crook
makes me feel secure.
You serve me a six-course dinner
right in front of my enemies.
You revive my drooping head;
my cup brims with blessing.
Your beauty and love chase after me
every day of my life.
I’m back home in the house of God
for the rest of my life.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Our God Untangles the Knots

The plain paraphrase of Isaiah 45:2 from the Free Translation of the Holy Bible gives us reason to be encouraged as we hear this powerful promise from our Holy God:

I will go before Thee and unwind the snarls (untangle the knots)...

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Focus Forward

Never let the sense of past failure defeat your next step.
-- Oswald Chambers

Let your eyes look straight ahead, fix your gaze directly before you.
-- Proverbs 4:25 (NIV)


IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Turn & Believe

As the Lenten Season commences, there is one verse in particular that should be remembered over-and-over:

Mark 1:15 (NLT) -- "At last the time has come!" Jesus announced. "The Kingdom of God is near! Turn from your sins and believe this Good News!"

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

That's My King! You Can Trust Him!

On this Ash Wednesday as we enter the season of remembering our Lord's passion, I sensed I should share Bishop S.M. Lockridge's encouraging exaltation of Christ:

You can click this Youtube link with Bishop Lockridge declaring the glory of our Lord:
...and a somewhat edited written version of the oral presentation is posted below:

"That's My King! You Can Trust Him!"

My King was born King. The Bible says He’s a Seven Way King. He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King. He’s the King of Israel – that’s a National King. He’s the King of righteousness. He’s the King of the ages. He’s the King of Heaven. He’s the King of glory. He’s the King of kings and He is the Lord of lords. Now that’s my King.

Well I wonder if you know Him. Do you know Him? Don’t try to mislead me. Do you know my King? David said the Heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament show His handiwork. My King is the only one whom there are no means of measure can define His limitless love. No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline of His shore of supplies. No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing. Well, well, He’s enduringly strong. He’s entirely sincere. He’s eternally steadfast. He’s immortally graceful. He’s imperially powerful. He’s impartially merciful. That’s my King.

He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s saviour. He’s the centrepiece of civilization. He stands alone in Himself. He’s august. He’s unique. He’s unparalleled. He’s unprecedented. He’s supreme. He’s preeminent. Well, He’s the loftiest idea in literature. He’s the highest personality in philosophy. He’s the supreme problem in high criticism. He’s the fundamental doctrine of proved theology. He’s the carnal necessity of spiritual religion. That’s my King.

He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of everything good that you choose to call Him. Well, He’s the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously. He supplies strength for the weak. He’s available for the tempted and the tried. He sympathizes and He saves. He’s strong God and He guides. He heals the sick. He cleanses the lepers. He forgives sinners. He discharged debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble. He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged. He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek. Do you know Him?

Well, my King is the key of knowledge. He’s the wellspring of wisdom. He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory. He’s the master of the mighty. He’s the captain of the conquerors. He’s the head of the heroes. He’s the leader of the legislatures. He’s the overseer of the overcomers. He’s the governor of governors. He’s the prince of princes. He’s the King of kings and He’s the Lord of lords. That’s my King. Yeah. Yeah. That’s my King. My King, yeah.

His office is manifold. His promise is sure. His light is matchless. His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting. His love never changes. His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous. His yoke is easy and His burden is light. Well. I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable. He’s indescribable. Yes. He’s incomprehensible. He’s invincible. He’s irresistible. I’m coming to tell you, the heavens of heavens cannot contain Him, let alone a man explaining Him. You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands. You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.

Well, Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him. Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their testimonies to agree. Herod couldn’t kill Him. Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him. That’s my King. Yeah. He always has been and He always will be. I’m talking about He had no predecessor and He’ll have no successor. There was nobody before Him and there’ll be nobody after Him. You can't impeach Him and He’s not going to resign. That’s my King! That’s my King!

Thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory. Well, all the power belongs to my King. We’re around here talking about black power and white power and green power, but it’s God’s power. Thine is the power. Yeah. And the glory. We try to get prestige and honour and glory for ourselves, but the glory is all His. Yes. Thine is the Kingdom and the power and glory, forever and ever and ever and ever. How long is that? And ever and ever and ever and ever. And when you get through with all of the evers, then, Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

The Overseer of the Overcomers

Years ago, I was given an audio recording of Bishop S.M. Lockridge reciting his original proclamation titled "He's My King! You Can Trust Him!" It is probably the most awesome exaltations of Christ I have ever heard. It was in that exaltation that I first heard the Lord referred to as "The Overseer of the Overcomers!"

A few weeks ago when my mentor, James Spruill, was praying about whether he should lead his medical missions team to Haiti with all of the uncertainties following the island nation's devastating earthquake, the Lord comforted James' heart and confirmed that the trip should indeed happen with the words of Psalm 121:8: The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

James and the medical team made the lives of those they encountered in Haiti delightfully different just by showing up in the hour of Haiti's greatest need. They have now returned safely back to the States. Surely, our our Lord loves proving that We can trust Him, because without a doubt He is "The Overseer of the Overcomers!"

The words of our Lord in John 16:33 are surely sweet to the souls of His saints: I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Help's Coming!

In reading the Psalms this morning, these twelve words really encouraged my heart, mind, soul, and strength. I *must share these twelve words of Good News with you. (*It's a Romans-Ten-Fifteen thing :-).

Help’s coming,
an answer’s on the way,
everything’s going to work out.

-- Psalm 20:6 (The Message Paraphrase)

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

God Loved Us First + God Loves Us Most

2 Corinthians 5:21 gives us a deep look into God's love for us: God made Him (His Son) who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.

Jesus was made sin for us, taking on our penalty -- eternal death. Will we now be made Holy in Him, taking on His righteousness -- Eternal Life?

Let us never forget that:
(1) God Loved Us First + (2) God Loves Us Most!


IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Your earthly success can put your eternal soul in serious danger!

(31)"Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ (32) For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your Heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. (33) But seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Matthew 6:31-33 (NKJV)

Lord, I don't want my worrying to cancel out worshipping You in my life. Knowing You is success to me. Because you are my King, I want to seek Your Kingdom first and last... yes, for forever and today. Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Angel of the Lord in Psalm 34:7

Psalm 34:7 (TLB) -- The Angel of the Lord guards and rescues all who reverence Him.

Lord, I pray that You would be our Guide. Go before us.
Lord, I pray that You would be our Gate. Surround us on all sides.
Lord, I pray that You would be our Guarantee. Reign in our souls.
Lord, I pray that you would be our Rear Guard. Have our backs.
In the name of the One Who promised: "Surely I am with you always." Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Lord's Angel in Luke 22:43

Luke 22:43 (NLT) -- Then an angel from Heaven appeared and strengthened Him (Jesus).

I've been wondering lately if the same angel that appeared in Gethsemane to comfort and strengthen our Lord Jesus in His darkest hour, is still dispatched from Heaven to be with us in our darkest hours?

Psalm 91:11a (NKJV) -- For He shall give His angels charge over you...

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

"Jesus Loves Me"

Here's the beloved Christian Hymn, Jesus Loves Me, written by Anna B. Warner in the 1800's. You might be surprised that there are many more verses than the familiar ones.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
For the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong;
They are weak, but He is strong.

Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so.

Jesus loves me! This I know,
As He loved so long ago,
Taking children on His knee,
Saying, “Let them come to Me.”

Jesus loves me when I'm good,
When I do the things I should,
Jesus loves me when I'm bad,
Though it makes Him very sad.

Jesus loves me still today,
Walking with me on my way,
Wanting as a friend to give
Light and love to all who live.

Jesus loves me! He who died
Heaven’s gate to open wide;
He will wash away my sin,
Let His little child come in.

Jesus loves me! Loves me still
Tho' I'm very weak and ill;
That I might from sin be free
Bled and died upon the tree.

Jesus loves me! He will stay
Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me,
I will henceforth live for Thee.

Jesus loves me! See His grace!
On the cross He took my place.
There He suffered and He died,
That I might be glorified.

Jesus loves me! God's own Son
Over sin the vict'ry won.
When I die, saved by His grace,
I shall see Him face to face.

Jesus loves me! He is near.
He is with His Church so dear.
And the Spirit He has sent
By His Word and Sacrament.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

God's Love... In My Life And In Yours

This quote from the life of Henri Nouwen is a prayer I pray for my life and for yours. In part, this quote helps explain why I am a beautiful-feet-blogger:

My hope is that the description of God’s love in my life will give you the freedom and the courage to discover . . . God’s love in yours.

Lord, make Yourself known to me and through me, I pray. In Jesus' name. Amen. --kw

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Monday, February 8, 2010

"Help My Unbelief!"

It was just before midnight. Because of snowy roads, I was driving my 22-year-old son to his night shift at the local radio station in my four-wheel-drive. We had a sacred and soul-searching talk about the Lord as we rode. Just before I dropped him off, and in light of our conversation about faith, my son asked: Dad, why do we tend to struggle trusting God concerning the future when He's always been so faithful in the past?

Mark 9:24 (NKJV) -- Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, "Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!"

This is my prayer and desire for me and my family, Lord:

For Your present and future favor, we ask!
In Your past and present faithfulness, we bask!

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

"Let Us!"

Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching. Hebrews 10:25 (NIV)

If you don't understand my unique love for gathering with the people of God (* regardless of the weather), you just have no idea how contagious my Granny Margery's love for the Lord and the local church impressed and still inspires her grandson. Often, I remember her coming across the yard between her home and ours early on Sunday mornings to catch a ride with us to church. She had a heartwarming glow on her face, her Holy Bible in her hand, God's tithe and her offerings in her purse and always Psalm 122:1 on her lips:

I was glad when they said to me, "Let us go into the house of the Lord." (NKJV)

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.
Grateful (for God, Granny, and God's House)

* Because of inclement weather, of course sometimes we cannot meet together as the local church. I understand that reality, but it makes me sad when it happens. Gathering together makes me glad.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Like & Love a Good Neighbor

There is a familiar insurance company slogan that includes these four words: Like a Good Neighbor. However, this morning when I was beginning my seemingly non-stop, winter wonderland, snow shoveling, I suddenly heard the sound of a loud engine and then when I saw the sneaky, boyish grin of my across-the-street neighbor, Philip, coming my way with his brand-new, heavy-duty snow blower, my soul sang out these four words: Love a Good Neighbor! What a blizzard-day blessing Philip was to my blurry, ice-lined eyeballs! :-)

While Philip was in the midst of his blizzard-day blessing to me, I opened the back door and called for Kim to bring me my pocket-knife collection. I selected one of my prized pieces (still in the box) and walked across my soon-to-be-snow-removed, asphalt driveway and handed it to Philip. He smiled as I said: Philip, whenever you see this "pocket knife", remember that "Pastor Kerry" appreciates you! (Of course, "P.K." = "pocket knife" and/or "Pastor Kerry".) My good neighbor smiled and told me: Get in the house, Pastor Kerry. I'll knock the rest of this out in no time at all.

I went in the house, took off my wet clothes, and through a frost-covered window snapped a photo of Philip and his big, snow-blowing machine. As I focused the camera, tears came into my eyes. I prayed for Philip and his precious family. Later, while on the phone with my dad, I retold the story and said, Funny how God can use a heavy snowfall to help us Love a Good Neighbor!

Proverbs 3:28 (NLT) -- If you can help your neighbor now, don’t say, "Come back tomorrow, and then I’ll help you."

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Every Moment of Your Life is Sacred

These precious thoughts came to my mind yesterday during a quiet time -- true gifts of inspiration from God's Holy perspective to my human thinking. I bless you with the same precious thoughts today:

Your life is a sacrament -- a sacred moment before your Eternal God. Yes, every moment of your entire life is sacred to Him! Every breath you breathe is beautiful before your Holy God.

Don't compartmentalize your life between what's sacred and what you might consider to be something other than sacred -- your whole life is sacred. -- a James Spruill paraphrase

Psalm 139:3, 16-18 (NLT) -- (3) You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. (16) You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book. Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. (17) How precious are your thoughts about me, O God! They are innumerable! (18) I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up in the morning, you are still with me!

Nehemiah 8:10b (NLT) -- This is a sacred day before our LORD. Don’t be dejected and sad, for the joy of the LORD is your strength!

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

A Private Audience With God

A hostile world! I call to God,
I cry to God to help me.
From His palace He hears my call;
my cry brings me right into His presence—
a private audience!

Psalm 18:6 -- The Message

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Essence of God's Call to Go

From the story of Abraham, we hear God speaking the essence of His call to go for Him. Then the LORD told Abram, "Leave your country, your relatives, and your father’s house, and go to the land that I will show you." (Genesis 12:1 NLT)

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Standing a'Trembling

1 Kings 19:11 is an overwhelming command from Almighty God and an overpowering image for my mind: "Go out and stand before me on the mountain," the LORD told Elijah. (NLT)

What makes this command so overwhelming and this image so overpowering is my belief that to stand before Holy God, especially just before He reveals His unrivaled omnipotence (His unmatched "Almightyness"), is surely a guaranteed prescription for human fear and trembling. Which brings me to my personal prayer, in light of this heart a'pounding and knees a'knocking reality:

My Holy Almighty God, when I am found guilty of human trembling, let me be found standing a'trembling in Your Holy Presence as "a God-fearing, surrendered saint" -- yes, "as one who is undeniably overwhelmed while also being without doubt Exclusively Yours!" In Jesus Holy Name. Amen.

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.

Monday, February 1, 2010

In Debt!

Jesus paid it all.
All to Him we owe.
Sin had left a crimson stain.
He washed it white as snow!

Lord, we are so glad we're in debt to You and for Your glory!

IF MY PEOPLE... WILL? I WILL! God's Promise in 2 Chron. 7:14.