Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Streams of Tears Flow from My Eyes Because...

Pray with me today, these words recorded in Psalm 119:

(129) Your written instructions are miraculous.
That is why I obey them.
(130) Your word is a doorway that lets in light,
and it helps gullible people understand.
(131) I open my mouth and pant
because I long for Your commandments.
(132) Turn toward me, and have pity on me
as You have pledged to do for those who love Your name.
(133) Make my steps secure through Your promise,
and do not let any sin control me.
(134) Save me from human oppression
so that I may obey Your guiding principles.
(135) Smile on me,
and teach me Your laws.
(136) Streams of tears flow from my eyes
because others do not follow Your teachings.

-- Psalm 119:129-136 (God's Word Translation)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Monday, May 30, 2011

A Day to Remember Promises of Love

On this day set aside to remember those who promised and made good on their promises to lay their lives down for us, I had the honor of officating a wedding ceremony for a couple. Yes, dear friends of mine, Randy and Tiffany, made promises of love for life to one another. Here are the promises that Randy and Tiffany made (repeated after me) to one another as husband and wife together. And, yes there were tears, good tears at about line nine, as I recall.

I promise to love and treasure you always.
In good times and in times of trouble.
In wealth or in poverty.
I promise to care for you and to cherish you.
Until we are separated by death.
According to God’s design for marriage.
I promise you respect and humility;
I promise you forgiveness and charity;
I promise you integrity and loyalty;
I promise to believe in you and to dream with you;
I promise you my intense devotion;
Always and forever.

Let us remember that God's love never fails and His hope always prevails.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Remember Your Creator Before The Storm!

(1) Remember your Creator when you are young, before the days of trouble come and the years catch up with you. They will make you say, “I have found no pleasure in them.” (2) Remember your Creator before the sun, the light, the moon, and the stars turn dark, and the clouds come back with rain.
-- Ecclesiasties 12:1-12 (God's Word Translation)

Holiness unto The LORD!

Saturday, May 28, 2011

"The Love of God" Is Really Real!

Today, I shared some precious moments with my dear mom, Melba. We talked about the joy of knowing that God is really real. She quoted this song to me:


If you could own all the world and it's money,
Build castles tall enough to reach the sky above;
If you could know everything there was to know about life's game,
Yet you've known nothing until you've known God and His love.

Until you've known the loving hand that reaches down to a fallen man
And lifts him up from out of sin where he has trod;
Until you've known just how it feels to know that God is really real;
Then you've known nothing until you've known the love of God.

If in your lifetime you could meet everybody
And you could call every name from here to yon;
But if you've not come face to face with Jesus and His saving grace,
Then you've known nothing until you've known God and His love.

Chorus X 2

Also, in 1917 Frederick Lehman penned the words of another beloved hymn of The Church. The lyrics are still beloved and wondrously relevant in 2011:


The love of God is greater far
Than tongue or pen can ever tell;
It goes beyond the highest star,
And reaches to the lowest hell;
The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
God gave His Son to win;
His erring child He reconciled,
And pardoned from his sin.

O love of God, how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure
The saints’ and angels’ song.

When years of time shall pass away,
And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall,
When men, who here refuse to pray,
On rocks and hills and mountains call,
God’s love so sure, shall still endure,
All measureless and strong;
Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
The saints’ and angels’ song.

Repeat Refrain

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

Repeat Refrain

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

Friday, May 27, 2011

Don't Worry About Anything. Instead Pray About Everything.

Yesterday, as my son and I were talking about prayer, he kept quoting this unforgettable verse to me:

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.
-- Philippians 4:6 (NLT)

Lord, help us to turn from all human worry and to focus instead on holy worship. In Jesus' name. Amen.

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Through Suffering We Gain A Friendship.

Suffering is grand when the heart is right with God. Through suffering we gain a friendship with God. Oh, unspeakably blessed is the suffering of the sanctified.
-- Oswald Chambers

I want to know Christ and the power of His Resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His sufferings...
-- The Apostle Paul, Philippians 3:10 (NIV)

Count it all joy! (James 1:2-4)

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

I Miss My Time With You

Larnelle Harris sings a soul-searching song titled "I Miss My Time With You". The song is written as if God is speaking to you and to me directly.

Here's the song:
Click here: YouTube - Larnell Harris I Miss My Time With You

Let us beware the empty barreness and the eventual brokenness produced by living a too-busy-to-take-time-with-God life. If we don't take time today with God, time will take us away from God. Remember, if the enemy cannot get us to commit outright sin, he will just keep us downright busy. The end results will be the same -- eternal separation from God.

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Do We Pray In Our Praying?

My dear Mom, Melba, has taught me so much about prayer, but nothing more valuable than to give God time when You approach Him in prayer. It is her practice to stay, yes to remain, to abide in the secret prayer chamber until the Lord makes His presence known.

Never leave the place of prayer without a conscious season of communion with the Lord.
-- Samuel Chadwick

Three words in James 5:17 speak strongly to my soul: Elijah prayed earnestly... Samuel Chadwick defined these three words like this: Elijah prayed in his praying.

Lord, when I approach You in prayer, I want to pray earnestly. Yes, I want to pray in my praying. And Lord, please help my desire to be never to leave the place of prayer without a conscious season of communion with You. I want to give You time to reveal Your sweet presence to me. In Jesus' name. Amen.

It's a rude thing to rush The Eternal God.
-- Henry Blackaby

Lord, Teach Me To Pray (Luke 11:1)

Monday, May 23, 2011

I Can Be Glad Today. I Can Be Thankful.

(24) This day belongs to the LORD! Let's celebrate and be glad today. (28) The LORD is my God! I will praise Him and tell Him how thankful I am. (29) Tell the LORD how thankful you are, because He is kind and always merciful.
-- Psalm 118:24, 28, 29 (CEV)

Count it all joy! (James 1:2-4)

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Now Come Back To Life...

"This son of mine was dead, but has now come back to life. He was lost and has now been found." And they began to celebrate.
-- Luke 15:24 (CEV)

Count it all Joy. (James 1:2-4)

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Counsel -- A Timely Word

(22) Plans fail when there is no counsel,
but with many advisers they succeed.
(23) A man takes joy in giving an answer;
and a timely word — how good that is!

-- Proverbs 15:22-23 (Holman Christian Standard)

Speak My Lord. I Have My Ears-Wide-Open.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Let's Pray With Our Eyes On God!

We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.
-- Oswald Chambers

(1) Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, (2) fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before Him He endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. (3) Consider Him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
-- Hebrews 12:1-3 (NIV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Remain in Me.

Remain in Me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
-- Words of Jesus in John 15:4 (NIV)

Lord, I thank You for the promise that if I live in You, You will live in me. If I abide in You, You will abide in me. If I remain in You, You will remain in me. I give thanks in the name of Jesus. Amen.

Christ in you, the Hope of glory.
-- Colossians 1:27b (NIV)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

"Do Not Sin Anymore..."

(1) After this, a Jewish festival took place, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. (2) By the Sheep Gate in Jerusalem there is a pool, called Bethesda in Hebrew, which has five colonnades. (3) Within these lay a multitude of the sick —- blind, lame, and paralyzed —- waiting for the moving of the water, (4) because an angel would go down into the pool from time to time and stir up the water. Then the first one who got in after the water was stirred up recovered from whatever ailment he had. (5) One man was there who had been sick for 38 years. (6) When Jesus saw him lying there and knew he had already been there a long time, He said to him, "Do you want to get well?" (7) "Sir," the sick man answered, "I don't have a man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up, but while I'm coming, someone goes down ahead of me." (8) "Get up," Jesus told him, "pick up your bedroll and walk!" (9) Instantly the man got well, picked up his bedroll, and started to walk. Now that day was the Sabbath, (10) so the Jews said to the man who had been healed, "This is the Sabbath! It's illegal for you to pick up your bedroll." (11) He replied, "The man who made me well told me, 'Pick up your bedroll and walk.'" (12) "Who is this man who told you, 'Pick up your bedroll and walk?'" they asked. (13) But the man who was cured did not know who it was, because Jesus had slipped away into the crowd that was there. (14) After this, Jesus found him in the temple complex and said to him, "See, you are well. Do not sin any more, so that something worse doesn't happen to you." (15) The man went and reported to the Jews that it was Jesus who had made him well.
-- John 5:1-15 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Temporary Residents and Foreigners

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls.
-- 1 Peter 2:11 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Monday, May 16, 2011

What a Holy & Awe-Inspiring Name!

He has paid a full ransom for His people.
He has guaranteed His covenant with them forever.
What a holy, awe-inspiring name He has!

-- Psalm 111:9 (NLT)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Isaiah 58 -- True and False Worship

1 “Shout with the voice of a trumpet blast.
Shout aloud! Don’t be timid.
Tell my people Israel of their sins!
2 Yet they act so pious!
They come to the Temple every day
and seem delighted to learn all about me.
They act like a righteous nation
that would never abandon the laws of its God.
They ask me to take action on their behalf,
pretending they want to be near me.
3 ‘We have fasted before you!’ they say.
‘Why aren’t you impressed?
We have been very hard on ourselves,
and you don’t even notice it!’
“I will tell you why!” I respond.
“It’s because you are fasting to please yourselves.
Even while you fast,
you keep oppressing your workers.
4 What good is fasting
when you keep on fighting and quarreling?
This kind of fasting
will never get you anywhere with me.
5 You humble yourselves
by going through the motions of penance,
bowing your heads
like reeds bending in the wind.
You dress in burlap
and cover yourselves with ashes.
Is this what you call fasting?
Do you really think this will please the Lord?
6 “No, this is the kind of fasting I want:
Free those who are wrongly imprisoned;
lighten the burden of those who work for you.
Let the oppressed go free,
and remove the chains that bind people.
7 Share your food with the hungry,
and give shelter to the homeless.
Give clothes to those who need them,
and do not hide from relatives who need your help.
8 “Then your salvation will come like the dawn,
and your wounds will quickly heal.
Your godliness will lead you forward,
and the glory of the Lord will protect you from behind.
9 Then when you call, the Lord will answer.
‘Yes, I am here,’ he will quickly reply.
“Remove the heavy yoke of oppression.
Stop pointing your finger and spreading vicious rumors!
10 Feed the hungry,
and help those in trouble.
Then your light will shine out from the darkness,
and the darkness around you will be as bright as noon.
11 The Lord will guide you continually,
giving you water when you are dry
and restoring your strength.
You will be like a well-watered garden,
like an ever-flowing spring.
12 Some of you will rebuild the deserted ruins of your cities.
Then you will be known as a rebuilder of walls
and a restorer of homes.
13 “Keep the Sabbath day holy.
Don’t pursue your own interests on that day,
but enjoy the Sabbath
and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day.
Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day,
and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.
14 Then the Lord will be your delight.
I will give you great honor
and satisfy you with the inheritance I promised to your ancestor Jacob. I, the Lord, have spoken!”

-- Isaiah 58 (NLT)

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

What One Thing Do I Desire?

One thing I have desired of the LORD,
That will I seek:
That I may dwell in the house of the LORD
All the days of my life,
To behold the beauty of the LORD,
And to inquire in His temple.

-- Psalm 27:4 (NKJV)

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Lord, Make Your Way Plain For Me.

Lead me in the right path, O Lord,
or my enemies will conquer me.
Make Your way plain for me to follow.

-- Psalm 5:8 (NLT)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Our Father God is Great and Good!

The heavens cannot contain God our Father, yet He dwells in the inner chamber of the soul. -- Samuel Chadwick

Our Father God, You are Great and You are Good. Indeed, You are indescribable when it comes to Your power to create, yet You desire to live intimately within those of us You created. We stand in Your loving presence completely humbled and totally amazed. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Be Careful What You Think...

Recently, I had the privilege of attending our local Fellowship of Christian Athletes' Banquet. The speaker was Coach London, Head Football Coach at the University of Virginia. What a testimony he shared! One portion of his talk especially spoke to me. Here's my paraphrase of what he said:

Be careful what you think, your thoughts become your words.
Be careful what you say, your words will influence your actions.
Be careful how you act, your actions become your habits.
Be careful about your habits, your habits impact your character.
Be careful about your character, your character chooses your destiny.

Finally, my friends, keep your minds on whatever is true, pure, right, holy, friendly, and proper. Don't ever stop thinking about what is truly worthwhile and worthy of praise.
-- Philippians 4:8 (CEV)

At all times and for all-time, I desire The Mind of Christ!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

This Do Often, Not Seldom.

(23) For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which He was betrayed took bread: (24) And when He had given thanks, He brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is My body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of Me. (25) After the same manner also He took the cup, when He had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in My blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of Me. (26) For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till He come. (27) Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (28) But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. (29) For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord's body.
-- 1 Corinthians 11:23-29 (KJV)

Lord, help us to remember Your broken body and shed blood often, not seldom. Amen.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Grace, Mercy, Help.

(14) Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our profession. (15) For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. (16) Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.
- Hebrews 4:14-16 (KJV)

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Song for "MOTHER" on Mother's Day

Rumor has it that this touching simple song titled "MOTHER" was written in 1915. In the church I was raised in during the 1960s and 1970s, Mrs. Reva Pearl played piano and sang these lyrics every Mother's Day in honor of her mother, Mrs. Sue. Enjoy!

M ... Is for the Many things she gave me,
O ... Means only that she's growing Old.
T ... Is for the Tears she shed to save me,
H ... Is for her Heart of purest gold.
E ... Is for her Eyes with love light shining,
R ... Means Right and Right she'll always be.

Put them all together, They spell MOTHER.
A word that means the world to me.


Saturday, May 7, 2011

Seasons -- A Time For Everything

Today, our daughter graduates from her university studies. For our family, today is a season to laugh and to dance. Yes, I awoke with Ecclesiasties 3 on my mind.

(1) For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. (2) A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. (3) A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. (4) A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. (5) A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. (6) A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. (7) A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. (8) A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.
(9) What do people really get for all their hard work? (10) I have seen the burden God has placed on us all. (11) Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end. (12) So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. (13) And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. (14) And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him. (15) What is happening now has happened before, and what will happen in the future has happened before, because God makes the same things happen over and over again.

-- Ecclesiastes 3 (NLT 2007 Edition)

Lord, We Are...

Friday, May 6, 2011

Pray, "Our Father!"

Jesus said: “This, then, is how you should pray: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be Your name...'" -- Matthew 6:9 (KJV)

If we pray as a child to his/her Father, we should remember two comforting truths:
(1) As children it is our right to ask help of our Father, and...
(2) As a Father it is His responsibility to hear and answer His children.

By Faith! In Faith! (Hebrews 11)

Thursday, May 5, 2011

"Front Porch Talks" Broadcast Orientation

Yesterday afternoon, yes, Wednesday, May 4, 2011, at approximately 4 p.m. EST, vision became reality for my son, Grayson, and his Dad, Kerry, as we launched the Orientation Edition of our Front Porch Talks Broadcast. Yes, the link is now active for our father and son faith conversations. The live link can be found here on my blog by clicking the "Front Porch Talks" image to the right of the page or by visiting our local church website at www.ABeaconOfHope.org and clicking on the Broadcast flag. We hope to upload programs, etc. at least weekly for now and more frequently in the days ahead.

We invite you to journey with us and pray that you will be encouraged as we embark towards the future. We hope to bring interviews, conversations, original music, audio books, and personal testimonies, as well as, conduct prayer laboratories along the way.

Please pray for us as we partner together as father and son for the glory of God. We hope you will come sit with us for a while and as often as possible on our virtual front porch.

Here's the link to the Broadcast page:
Click here: Front Porch Talks Broadcast Audio Link

Count it all joy.

P.S. Thanks Pastor Victor for helping us to get "Front Porch Talks" up and running. We are humbled by your kindness and partnership.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

How Great Thou Art - How Great You Are

Let all that I am praise the Lord.
O Lord my God, how great You are!

-- Psalm 104:1a (NLT)

Twice yesterday I was reminded of my Granddaddy Lloyd's favorite hymn, How Great Thou Art. Once I was reminded in an e-mail from the worship pastor at our local church, Joseph, who said he's had the hymn on his mind. Again it came through loud and clear in my Bible reading last evening, yes, Psalm 104:1.

Here's the Hymn:

How Great Thou Art, The Hymn:

Verse 1:
O Lord my God! When I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy hands have made.
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee;
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!
Then sings my soul, My Saviour God, to Thee:
How great Thou art, how great Thou art!

Verse 2:
When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees;
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:
(Repeat Refrain.)

Verse 3:
And when I think that God, His Son not sparing,
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin:

(Repeat Refrain.)

Verse 4:
When Christ shall come with shouts of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, my God, how great Thou art!

(Repeat Refrain.)

And I love this less familiar verse from the original nine verses of the beloved hymn...

When crushed by guilt of sin before thee kneeling,
I plead for mercy and for grace and peace,
I feel thy balm and, all my bruises healing,
My soul is filled, my heart is set at ease.

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

I Need Your Presence, Your Holy Spirit!

Do not cast me away from Your presence,
And do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

-- Psalm 51:11

Holiness Unto the LORD!

Monday, May 2, 2011

More Than We Dare Ask or Imagine.

Let's be encouraged today by God's Word:

(19) I want you to know all about Christ's love, although it is too wonderful to be measured. Then your lives will be filled with all that God is. (20-21) I pray that Christ Jesus and the church will forever bring praise to God. His power at work in us can do far more than we dare ask or imagine. Amen.
-- Ephesians 3:19-21 (CEV)

Love Never Fails and Hope Always Prevails!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

If I Go... I Will Come Back!

I awoke with seven words running refreshingly through my mind today:

If I go... I will come back!

Yes, these seven words were spoken by Jesus in John's Good News record:

(1) “Do not let your hearts be troubled. You believe in God; believe also in Me.(2) My Father’s house has many rooms; if that were not so, would I have told you that I am going there to prepare a place for you? (3) And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am."
-- John 14:1-3 (NIV)

Amen. Come, Lord Jesus.