Saturday, April 30, 2011

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.
-- 2 Timothy 1:7 (NKJV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Psalm 88

Some believe that Psalm 88 is a prophecy psalm of our Messiah, to be read imagining our Savior suffering in a dark dungeon beneath the house of the high preist following His mock trial by the religious leaders in the early morning hours just prior to His appearance before Governor Pilate.

Psalm 88 (NLT) -- A song. A psalm of the Sons of Korah. For the director of music. According to mahalath leannoth.[b] A maskil[c] of Heman the Ezrahite.

1 LORD, you are the God who saves me;
day and night I cry out to you.
2 May my prayer come before you;
turn your ear to my cry.
3 I am overwhelmed with troubles
and my life draws near to death.
4 I am counted among those who go down to the pit;
I am like one without strength.
5 I am set apart with the dead,
like the slain who lie in the grave,
whom you remember no more,
who are cut off from your care.
6 You have put me in the lowest pit,
in the darkest depths.
7 Your wrath lies heavily on me;
you have overwhelmed me with all your waves.
8 You have taken from me my closest friends
and have made me repulsive to them.
I am confined and cannot escape;
9 my eyes are dim with grief.
I call to you, LORD, every day;
I spread out my hands to you.
10 Do you show your wonders to the dead?
Do their spirits rise up and praise you?
11 Is your love declared in the grave,
your faithfulness in Destruction?
12 Are your wonders known in the place of darkness,
or your righteous deeds in the land of oblivion?
13 But I cry to you for help, LORD;
in the morning my prayer comes before you.
14 Why, LORD, do you reject me
and hide your face from me?
15 From my youth I have suffered and been close to death;
I have borne your terrors and am in despair.
16 Your wrath has swept over me;
your terrors have destroyed me.
17 All day long they surround me like a flood;
they have completely engulfed me.
18 You have taken from me friend and neighbor—
darkness is my closest friend.

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Amazing Grace

Have you read the words of John Newton's classic hymn lately?

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

T'was Grace that taught my heart to fear.
And Grace, my fears relieved.
How precious did that Grace appear
The hour I first believed.

Through many dangers, toils and snares
I have already come;
'Tis Grace that brought me safe thus far
and Grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me.
His word my hope secures.
He will my shield and portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

When we've been here ten thousand years
Bright shining as the sun.
We've no less days to sing God's praise
Than when we've first begun.

Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound,
That saved a wretch like me.
I once was lost but now am found,
Was blind, but now I see.

Amazingly Graced.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Sent on a Seek and Save Mission

God the Father Sent God the Son on a Seek and Save Mission:

For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.
-- Luke 19:10 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The Midnight Cry -- Matthew 25:6

Easter Sunday night when I went to bed, I awoke in the night remembering very clearly what I had been dreaming. I had been dreaming about a Bible reference, yes a book, chapter, and verse from the New Nestament was on mind as strong and as clear as anything I have ever dreamed and remembered in my whole life.

Indeed, I awoke from my sleep with Matthew 25:6 still strongly echoing in my mind. While I knew the basic context of Matthew 25, I wasn't sure at all what the exact verbage of verse 6 was. I got my wife's Bible and turned to to Matthew 25:6 to read it. I wasn't at all alarmed, but without doubt I was in awe and amazed:

At midnight the cry rang out: "Here’s the Bridegroom! Come out to meet Him!"
-- Matthew 25:6 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Monday, April 25, 2011

A Fisherman's Testimony & More Inspiration

My fisherman dad, Billy, was recently interviewed by his Pastor, Clint, and the broadcast link is pasted below. There's also some inspiring music from the local church my parents attend and then you can view and listen to my dad's testimony. I hope you are encouraged.

Click here: A Fisherman's Testimony - Capt. Billy Willis on Neltalk

They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters; 24These see the works of the LORD, and His wonders in the deep. 25For He commandeth, and raiseth the stormy wind, which lifteth up the waves thereof. 26They mount up to the heaven, they go down again to the depths: their soul is melted because of trouble. 27They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wit's end. 28Then they cry unto the LORD in their trouble, and He bringeth them out of their distresses. 29He maketh the storm a calm, so that the waves thereof are still. 30Then are they glad because they be quiet; so He bringeth them unto their desired haven. 31Oh that men would praise the LORD for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men!
-- Psalm 107:23-31 (KJV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!
Grateful... to be the son of a fisherman,
and a fisherman/shepherd for the Son.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

"Good Morning!" & My Easter Benediction

(1-4) After the Sabbath, as the first light of the new week dawned, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to keep vigil at the tomb. Suddenly the earth reeled and rocked under their feet as God's angel came down from heaven, came right up to where they were standing. He rolled back the stone and then sat on it. Shafts of lightning blazed from him. His garments shimmered snow-white. The guards at the tomb were scared to death. They were so frightened, they couldn't move. (5-6) The angel spoke to the women: "There is nothing to fear here. I know you're looking for Jesus, the One they nailed to the cross. He is not here. He was raised, just as he said. Come and look at the place where he was placed. (7) "Now, get on your way quickly and tell his disciples, 'He is risen from the dead. He is going on ahead of you to Galilee. You will see him there.' That's the message." *8-10) The women, deep in wonder and full of joy, lost no time in leaving the tomb. They ran to tell the disciples. Then Jesus met them, stopping them in their tracks. "Good morning!" he said. They fell to their knees, embraced his feet, and worshiped him. Jesus said, "You're holding on to me for dear life! Don't be frightened like that. Go tell my brothers that they are to go to Galilee, and that I'll meet them there."
-- Matthew 28:1-10 (The Message)

My Easter Benediction:
Let us go out as passionate witnesses of our Alive-forevermore Lord.

Let us testify that Jesus Christ has indeed been raised and that we too are gloriously Alive-forevermore in Him.

Yes, let us tell the world -- one-seemingly-hopeless-soul-at-a-time -- that they too can find themselves coming home to Hope, yes, gloriously Alive-forevermore in Christ.

May Almighty God lift you, by His Resurrection Power, above everything that would even dare to fantasize about threatening your glorious Alive-forevermore reality.

Let us fasten our eyes on King Jesus, the Object of, the Author of, and the Finisher of our Faith.

By the Power of the Holy Spirit within us, let us not yield to fear or temptation, knowing that Greater is the One Who lives in us, than the one that is in the world.

And finally, may the once-dead-and-now-Alive-forevermore Lord, be more than a part of your life and more than #1 in your life, may He gloriously be YOUR LIFE now and until He comes back to take You to His Home on High.

In the name of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit... receive these blessings by saying:
“Amen & Amen”.


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Good Friday. "Sadder Day". Sunday's Coming.

On this "Sadder Day" between Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, Brother S.M. Lockridge's proclamation seems perfect:

Click here: YouTube - Sunday's Coming

Weeping May Endure for a Night, But Joy Comes in the Morning!

Friday, April 22, 2011

John Wesley's Good Friday Message In 1790

John Wesley wrote this in his journal about the place he preached and the passage he preached on Good Friday in 1790:

"I preached in a new House that would in nowise (couldn't possibly) contain the congregation; but I preached to as many as it would contain on 1 Corinthians 6:19."

Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, Who is in you, Whom you have received from God? You are not your own... (NIV)

Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, Who lives in you and was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself... (NLT)

Lord, on this day, we remember that You surely surrendered Your all for all of us. Yes, You gave up everything for everyone who would look to You and live forever. Lord, I am not my own. I belong to You, Christ. Let The Holy Spirit indwell my body, Your temple, today and tomorrow, and for forever. Amen.

Click here: YouTube - Thank You for the Cross

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Buried He Carried My Sins Far Away

The Casting Crowns song, "Glorious Day", touches my soul to the very depths every time I hear it (or whenever I just think of the lyrics). Lines like "Buried He Carried My Sins Far Away" serve to enlarge and to enhance "Prevailing Hope" in my heart of hearts. Listen to the song and see if you agree:

He has removed our sins as far from us as the east is from the west. -- Psalm 103:12 (NLT)

God's Love Never Fails and His Hope Always Prevails!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Who Does God Bless?

(3) God blesses those people who depend only on Him. They belong to the kingdom of heaven!
(4) God blesses those people who grieve. They will find comfort!
(5) God blesses those people who are humble. The earth will belong to them!
(6) God blesses those people who want to obey Him more than to eat or drink. They will be given what they want!
(7) God blesses those people who are merciful. They will be treated with mercy!
(8) God blesses those people whose hearts are pure. They will see Him!
(9) God blesses those people who make peace. They will be called His children!
(10) God blesses those people who are treated badly for doing right. They belong to the kingdom of heaven.
(11) God will bless you when people insult you, mistreat you, and tell all kinds of evil lies about you because of Me.
(12) Be happy and excited! You will have a great reward in heaven. People did these same things to the prophets who lived long ago.

-- Matthew 5:3-12 (CEV)

Let's live underneath the holy spout where God's blessings come out.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

When I Am Overwhelmed...

When I am overwhelmed,
You alone know the way I should turn.

-- Psalm 142:3a (NLT)

My personal edit of a powerful prayer adapted from John and Charles Wesley's Covenant Service:

Lord Jesus, here we are, lost creatures apart from You, and enemies to God, under His wrath and curse. Lord, undertake for us, reconcile us to God, and save our souls. You have promised not to refuse us, for we have nowhere else to go. If we had come in our own righteousness, you would with good reason have sent us away; but since we come at the command of the Father, and because of Your great love, we know You will not reject us. We come, Lord. We believe, Lord. We throw ourselves upon Your grace and mercy. We cast ourselves upon Your blood. Do not refuse us. We have nowhere else to go. We need nowhere else to go. Here in Your presence is where we belong. Here in Your presence is where we will remain. On You we will trust, and rest. On You we lay our hope for pardon, for purity, for life, and for salvation. If we perish, we perish on Your shoulders. If we sink, we sink in Your ship. If we die, we die on Your doorstep. Do not ask us to leave, for we will not leave. We will abandon ourselves to You, not from You. You alone are our Life, our Lord, our Everything.

God, I (We) Need You!

Monday, April 18, 2011

All I Really Want in Life!

The Psalmist gives perfect words to my own life's prayer:

Then I pray to You, O Lord.
I say, “You are my place of refuge.
You are all I really want in life."

-- Psalm 142:5 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

A Palm Sunday Proclamation: "I Will Go!"

Today is Palm Sunday 2011. Some 2,000 years ago, King Jesus rode a donkey into Jerusalem to announce in His own humble way that His Holy Kingdom was underway. On that day, He was also declaring A Palm Sunday Proclamation that all of Heaven understood totally. Yes, as Jesus humbled Himself on Palm Sunday, He was proclaiming that "He would go to the Cross on Good Friday."

Now, it's our turn. Will you say, will I say, "I Will Go?" This Crystal Lewis song will help make such a proclamation more understandable:

Count it all joy.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

"And May The Lord Be With You!"

As David volunteered to take down the Philistine Giant, Goliath, in the Valley of Elah, King Saul said seven encouraging words to the already inspired shepherd boy from Bethlehem as he departed to decapitate Israel's intimidator:

“And may the Lord be with you!”
-- 1 Samuel 17:37b (NLT)

I pray that as you face giants today and tomorrow, you will hear that seven-word sentence of encouragement deep within your own soul, too:

“And may the Lord be with you!”

And The battle belongs to the Lord!

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Brook Dried Up. Go at Once to Zarephath. Look, Your Son is Alive!

Today is my son, Grayson's, twenty-fourth birthday. This story from 1 Kings 17 about Elijah has so much to do with his (our) life, that I just have to share it with you. May the Lord inspire you as you read it. My son already knows the spiritual significance:

Elijah Announces a Great Drought
(1) Now Elijah the Tishbite, from Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, “As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, whom I serve, there will be neither dew nor rain in the next few years except at my word.”

Elijah Fed by Ravens
(2) Then the word of the LORD came to Elijah: (3) “Leave here, turn eastward and hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. (4) You will drink from the brook, and I have directed the ravens to supply you with food there.”(5) So he did what the LORD had told him. He went to the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan, and stayed there. (6) The ravens brought him bread and meat in the morning and bread and meat in the evening, and he drank from the brook.

Elijah and the Widow at Zarephath
(7) Some time later the brook dried up because there had been no rain in the land.(8) Then the word of the LORD came to him: (9) “Go at once to Zarephath in the region of Sidon and stay there. I have directed a widow there to supply you with food.” (10) So he went to Zarephath. When he came to the town gate, a widow was there gathering sticks. He called to her and asked, “Would you bring me a little water in a jar so I may have a drink?” (11) As she was going to get it, he called, “And bring me, please, a piece of bread.” (12) “As surely as the LORD your God lives,” she replied, “I don’t have any bread—only a handful of flour in a jar and a little olive oil in a jug. I am gathering a few sticks to take home and make a meal for myself and my son, that we may eat it—and die.” (13) Elijah said to her, “Don’t be afraid. Go home and do as you have said. But first make a small loaf of bread for me from what you have and bring it to me, and then make something for yourself and your son. (14) For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says: ‘The jar of flour will not be used up and the jug of oil will not run dry until the day the LORD sends rain on the land.’” (15) She went away and did as Elijah had told her. So there was food every day for Elijah and for the woman and her family. (16) For the jar of flour was not used up and the jug of oil did not run dry, in keeping with the word of the LORD spoken by Elijah. (17) Some time later the son of the woman who owned the house became ill. He grew worse and worse, and finally stopped breathing. 18 She said to Elijah, “What do you have against me, man of God? Did you come to remind me of my sin and kill my son?” (19) “Give me your son,” Elijah replied. He took him from her arms, carried him to the upper room where he was staying, and laid him on his bed. (20) Then he cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, have you brought tragedy even on this widow I am staying with, by causing her son to die?” (21) Then he stretched himself out on the boy three times and cried out to the LORD, “LORD my God, let this boy’s life return to him!” (22) The LORD heard Elijah’s cry, and the boy’s life returned to him, and he lived. (23) Elijah picked up the child and carried him down from the room into the house. He gave him to his mother and said, “Look, your son is alive!” (24) Then the woman said to Elijah, “Now I know that you are a man of God and that the word of the LORD from your mouth is the truth.”

1 Kings 17 (NIV)

Faith Must Be Committed, Tested, & Rewarded!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

If God Is For Us...

...for nothing can hinder the Lord. He can win a battle whether he has many warriors or only a few!
-- Words of Jonathan to his armor bearer in 1 Samuel 14:6 (NLT)

If God is for us, who can ever be against us?
-- Romans 8:31 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Lord...You Keep Your Promises.

Seems like this week I need to know and to trust that God keeps His promises more than ever. This verse solidifies my soul like an anchor in the Solid Rock:

LORD God of Heaven, You are great and fearsome. And You faithfully keep Your promises to everyone who loves You and obeys Your commands. -- Nehemiah 1:5 (CEV)

My Lord, You Are Faithful and I am...

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Feeling Weak and Helpless? REMIX

Not too long ago, I shared thoughts similar to the ones below, but this morning the same thoughts were very strong on my mind. So, enjoy the REMIX:

"As long as you feel your own weakness and helplessness, you will find help from above."
-- John Wesley

That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
-- The Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:10 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Monday, April 11, 2011

"Up to This Point the Lord Has Helped Us!"

Samuel then took a large stone and placed it between the towns of Mizpah and Jeshanah. He named it Ebenezer (which means “the stone of help”), for he said, “Up to this point the Lord has helped us!” -- 1 Samuel 7:12 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD -- OUR HELPER!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Let the Beloved of the Lord Rest...

“Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in Him,
for He shields Him all day long,
and the one the LORD loves rests between His shoulders.”
-- Deuteronomy 33:12 (NIV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Be Faithful to Pray for One Another

A special friend e-mailed me a copy of a prayer he was asking of God on my behalf. I am humbled to know that those who follow my blog are also faithful to pray for me. Here's the prayer:

Father God this morning I ask for protection for Pastor Kerry. Thank You that no weapons formed against Pastor Kerry will prosper. As he dwells in the shadow of the Most High, deliver him from terror, darts of doubt, and diseases. Set Your angels around Pastor Kerry, and let no power of the enemy harm him. Turn aside rumors, gossip, criticism, abuse, and ungratefulness. May inordinate expectations, stress, and fatigue be cast into the sea, and may every need and vision of his be fulfilled. Amen. (Read also Psalm 91.)

Thanks "K" for the prayer. Someone is praying for "me". Humbled.

Click: Someone Is Praying For You - Sam Ocampo, piano

Let's All be Faithful to Pray for One Another as the Lord Reminds Us.

God, I Need You!

Friday, April 8, 2011

Today I Must Sing A Blessing Over Your Life!

On my way to the airport in route to preach at a season of revival services in Wisconsin, an original benediction came to my mind so clearly that I just had to write the words down on a note pad. It was almost like a song, so much so, that I sang it loudly over and over in the cab of my Ford as I traveled west on Interstate 66 towards Washingtoin, D.C. It was so refreshing to my own soul, that today I just must sing it as a blessing over your life:

Grace, Peace and Godspeed to you!
May your life be totally full...
of His Spirit and His Love,
and All Joy from above.
Grace, Peace and Godspeed to you!

The LORD your God wins victory after victory and is always with you. He celebrates and sings because of you, and He will refresh your life with His love. -- Zephaniah 3:17 (CEV)

God is Love and You Are Loved!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

If I Go, I Will Send Him To You

However, I am telling you nothing but the truth when I say it is profitable (good, expedient, advantageous) for you that I go away. Because if I do not go away, the Comforter (Counselor, Helper, Advocate, Intercessor, Strengthener, Standby, Paraclete) will not come to you [into close fellowship with you]; but if I go away, I will send Him to you [to be in close fellowship with you].
-- Words of Jesus in John 16:7 (Amplified Bible)

But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you.
-- John 16:7 (NIV)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

"I Will Praise Him" -- A Praise Hymn

Psalm 22:3 indicates to us that our God inhabits the praises of His people or is enthroned in the praises of His people.

I awoke this morning singing loudly an old praise hymn titled "I Will Praise Him". It was written by Margaret J. Harris in 1898.

    When I saw the cleansing fountain
    Open wide for all my sin,
    I obeyed the Spirit’s wooing,
    When He said, "Wilt thou be clean?"

      I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
      Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
      Give Him glory, all ye people,
      For His blood can wash away each stain.

    Though the way seems straight and narrow,
    All I claimed was swept away;
    My ambitions, plans and wishes,
    At my feet in ashes lay.

      I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
      Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
      Give Him glory, all ye people,
      For His blood can wash away each stain.

    Then God’s fire upon the altar
    Of my heart was set aflame;
    I shall never cease to praise Him
    Glory, glory to His Name!

      I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
      Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
      Give Him glory, all ye people,
      For His blood can wash away each stain.

    Blessed be the Name of Jesus!
    I’m so glad He took me in;
    He’s forgiven my transgressions,
    He has cleansed my heart from sin.

      I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
      Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
      Give Him glory, all ye people,
      For His blood can wash away each stain.

    Glory, glory to the Father!
    Glory, glory to the Son!
    Glory, glory to the Spirit!
    Glory to the Three in One!

      I will praise Him! I will praise Him!
      Praise the Lamb for sinners slain;
      Give Him glory, all ye people,
      For His blood can wash away each stain.
Raise His Praise,

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Make Us One

If you rebel against the Lord today, He will be angry with all of us tomorrow.-- Joshua 22:18b (NLT)

God you demand and deserve a holy people. Help us as a whole community to totally turn from rebellion against you to true relationship with you. Lead us one-by-one from sinning to worshipping and make us one in Your Spirit, yes, one in You Lord. In Jesus' name. Amen.

I pray that they will all be one, just as You and I are one—as you are in Me, Father, and I am in You. And may they be in Us so that the world will believe You sent Me.
-- Prayer of Jesus in John 17:21 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Remember The Brevity of Your Life

(13) Look here, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we are going to a certain town and will stay there a year. We will do business there and make a profit.” (14) How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. -- James 4:13-14 (NLT)

(13) You should know better than to say, "Today or tomorrow we will go to the city. We will do business there for a year and make a lot of money!" (14) What do you know about tomorrow? How can you be so sure about your life? It is nothing more than mist that appears for only a little while before it disappears.
-- James 4:13-14 (CEV)


Holiness Unto the LORD!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

My Heart's Prayer As Easter Draws Near

Lord, during this season leading up to the celebration of Your Resurrection, You invite me to enter more totally into the mystery of Your suffering. I believe You are inviting me into a deeper desire that I might continue to know You with ever-increasing intimacy. As I journey on the way that You have charted for me, help me to embrace the burdens that I am to bear for my own good and more especially for Your glory. If I know my heart, I have died to the desire to choose my own way and to want what I want. The goal is not to be a hero but a servant like You, who Loves You. In Your marvelous and matchless Name I pray. Amen.

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. -- Galatians 2:20 (NIV)

Count it all joy.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Way To Have Eternal Life

And this is the way to have eternal life—to know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ, the One You sent to earth.
-- John 17:3 (NLT)

Lord, I want to know You more!

Friday, April 1, 2011

My Life's Testimony in Psalm 71?

As I was reading through the Psalms, I came upon Psalm 71:17-22 in The Message Paraphrase of The Holy Bible. Talk about finding myself in the midst of God's Word! The Psalmist surely wrote out my own life's testimony. Here it is:

You got me when I was an unformed youth, God, and taught me everything I know. Now I'm telling the world Your wonders; I'll keep at it until I'm old and gray. God, don't walk off and leave me until I get out the news of Your strong right arm to this world, news of Your power to the world yet to come, Your famous and righteous ways, O God. God, You've done it all! Who is quite like you?

Holiness Unto the LORD!