Sunday, June 30, 2013


Jesus said, “Whoever does what God wants is a brother, sister, or mother to me” - Mark 3:35

So glad to be family with Jesus...

Saturday, June 29, 2013

"Come... Help Us!"

"Lord, give us the eyes of Your Spirit, 
Your heart of compassion to know.
Wherever You may need us,
Lord of the Harvest, we'll go."
--Song by the Imperials

This New Testament passage has been especially essential to my life as a pastor:

Acts 16:9-10 (GWT) "During the night Paul had a vision of a man from Macedonia. The man urged Paul, “Come to Macedonia to help us.” As soon as Paul had seen the vision, we immediately looked for a way to go to Macedonia. We concluded that God had called us to tell the people of Macedonia about the Good News."


Friday, June 28, 2013

Good News for All Nations

"However, the Lord stood by me and gave me strength so that I could finish spreading the Good News for all the nations to hear."
-- 2 Timothy 4:17a (GWT)


Thursday, June 27, 2013

A Poor Guatemalan Boy Who Was an Abortion Candidate

Late last night on the 53rd ballot, my friend, Gustavo Crocker, was elected to be the 41st General Superintendent of the International Church of the Nazarene. He will fill the final vacant slot in the six-seat structure in the top tier of our church's general leadership. You will love his story below reported by Nazarene News:

Wednesday, June 26, 2013          
Indianapolis, Indiana
Gustavo A. Crocker, Eurasia regional director, was elected the 41st general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene.Crocker addressed the assembly.
Your vote is a demonstration that grace exists. I could give you a list of reasons why I am the most unlikely person to fill the office of general superintendency for the Church of the Nazarene. I could give you a list. In fact, that list could become part of my resume one day of the reasons why not.
A boy, from the small town of San Jeronimo in Guatemala was a candidate to be aborted because of poverty, but his mother chose to keep the eighth child. And because this woman believed, thanks to the teachings of the Church of the Nazarene, and the sanctity of life, I was carried through.
I'm very delighted because my journey has not been the most fine path that any person could have in the journey to leadership in the church.
As I was meditating with the Lord, I gave the Lord my list of reasons and he said to me that I was right.

And I said to Him like Gideon once, what can the youngest of this poor family of the weakest clan of Guatemala do for the Kingdom? And he said, "You can do nothing – unless I am with you."
And all I can do is ask you to pray that the Lord who called me as I was threshing wheat in the winepress to keep it from the Mideonites, that that God is going to protect me, anoint me, and give me the wisdom to serve Him and all I can say to you is that I have made mine the mission statement of our Lord. For the Spirit of the Lord is upon me because he has anointed me to preach the good news to the poor; to proclaim Jesus, our Jubilee.
A week ago there were rumors about a potential election and knowing that I had bought my tickets twice for a roller coaster season called General Assembly, I did not know and I did not prepare a speech.
I was wondering what my answer was going to be. It was not until tonight as we went on our knees that both my wife and I – sitting in different sides of this auditorium – received the very same message from the Lord: "Give it all and serve all for me."
I don't want to ask you to go through the night with the agony of what I'm going to say tomorrow, for I promised the Lord on my knees that whatever the church was going to say, I would say "yes," for I am a churchman.

Nazarene by choice, Guatemalan by birth, global by ministry.
May the Lord be with you.

Grateful... and humbled to belong Exclusively to God and His Church

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bobby's Boy And a Son of the Church

Yesterday, a friend of mine, David Busic, was elected on the 21st ballot to be the 40th General Superintendent of The International Church of the Nazarene. Here's the report from Nazarene News. You will love the story.

David Busic acceptance speech
Indianapolis, Indiana
Tuesday, June 25, 2013
David Busic, president of Nazarene Theological Seminary, was elected the 40th general superintendent of the Church of the Nazarene.

Busic greeted the assembly. (video)
My brothers and sisters, I find myself experiencing two different emotions at once – incredible gratitude to the church and to God,” he said. ‘Without the grace of God I have nothing and am nothing, and apart from the church I am given nothing. The other emotion I have is amazing humility that the church would extend this honor to me. I’ve never felt adequate for the call that God has placed on my life, but I have always known His power to help me to do what He has called me to do.
And it is providential that an article on Scripture would be given prior to this election because I have submitted myself to the authority of God’s Word for all of my adult life. I have served the church and I love this church.
I want to tell you a story to help you know why I love the church so much.
My friend Bobby was 10 years old when his father was tragically killed, leaving he and his four brothers and sisters homeless. Bobby was 10 when social services found Bobby and his four little brothers and sisters; they were living in a farmer’s haystack in Weston, Nebraska. They put those five children in foster care across the state of Nebraska and from the age of 10 to the age of 18 Bobby lived in nine different foster care homes.
On top of that, Bobby was also affected by polio as a child so he had trouble walking. And he walked with a limp and he talked with a speech impediment and he therefore didn’t do well in school. He wasn’t in the same school for more than a year. He didn’t graduate from high school, so Bobby felt insecure and inadequate and friendless.
But when he was 17 years old there was a Nazarene family in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, that took him in. And for the very first time Bobby heard the good news of the gospel of Jesus Christ. And he said if this is true, this is the best thing I’ve ever heard and I’ll say ‘yes.’
Bobby gave his life to Christ and at 18 when he was out of the foster care system he came back to that little Nazarene church in Scottsbluff, Nebraska, and he met a young girl and they fell in love and they married.
Bobby felt called to the ministry. He felt called to preach, but because of his physical limitations he wasn’t able to pursue that call. Instead, he gave his life to the church. He moved him and his young wife to Bethany, Oklahoma, where for the next 25 years he gave his life in service to Bethany Nazarene College and Southern Nazarene University, and hundreds of people were impacted by the life of Bobby.
When he died at the age of 50 so many people packed the church that there was an overflow crowd up in the foyers, and one by one people came by to Bobby’s family and told them one story after another about how Bobby’s life had impacted them for Christ.
The reason that story means so much to me is that Bobby was my dad.
And now you know why I love this church so much.
This church has given me everything I have. I am committed to this church. I have submitted to the will of the church and I trust the Lord and the church. And with great humility I accept your affirmation.

I commit to be the kind of leader who continues to lead us into our best days as a Christian church, as a holiness church and as a missional church.
Thank you for your prayers. We love you, and we are servants to you.
Thank you.
David Busic is "A Prince of a Man"...
Grateful... humbled...


Tuesday, June 25, 2013

"Your One Life"

"I beg you, don't waste 'your one life' on earth. 

You have to decide:

(1) Will you magnify Christ or promote yourself? 

(2) Will you be His servant or a celebrity?"

-- Jim Diehl, General Supt. Emeritus
     International Church of the Nazarene


Monday, June 24, 2013

Able to Discern What is Best

Let us pray God's Word together today:

Philippians 1:9-11 (NIV) -- "And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God."


Sunday, June 23, 2013

Beautifully Mind-Blowing

As I write this blog post, I am sitting in a gathering of Middle Eastern believers in Indianapolis, Indiana, USA. A dear, young pastor friend of mine from Amman, Jordan is talking about how God has been and still is working mighty miracles in his homeland through his local church. The specific stories are beautifully mind-blowing. My heart is wondrously warmed.

As the pastor wrapped up his words of inspiration to us, he said "all we need is prayer." He also added, "We don't need what humans can accomplish, only what God can make happen."

And finally, a precious child was told to give a gift to someone in the gathering. Would you believe it? She just walked over to my chair and handed the gift to me -- a shrink-wrapped CD of Christian praise music in the Arabic language.

Yes, beautifully mind-blowing, indeed!

Blessed... And...


Saturday, June 22, 2013

Early Morning Prayers

My phone rang before daylight this morning. Yes, I was sleeping. It was a young husband and father calling to desperately ask for my prayers for his family.

For three weeks or so, he's been calling me off and on with the same request. His wife wants a divorce. He does not. It's so very sad and painful.

His specific prayers are that his family will come to church with him on Sundays and that somehow God will change his wife's heart so their marriage can be saved. He also asked me to pray that his anger will not get the best of him.

So, in your early morning prayers would you join me in praying for the miracle of a restoration in the life of this precious family? 

His final words to me were: "I'm going to keep begging God to help me!" His broken cries of humility for hope, deeply stir my own soul. 

I thank you for praying with me for my friend. He doesn't attend the church I pastor, but I met him when he was a young boy and when his adult world began to fall apart he said he felt like I would care and join him in prayer. He was right and I am humbled to enter the fight with him on my knees.

As we pray together, our Good God can surely make their lives delightfully different. So, let us pray in the Name of Jesus. Amen.


Friday, June 21, 2013

The Lord's Mercy

I can't get this passage out of my mind today and I really don't want to, but I do want to share it with you:

Lamentations 3:21-26 (GWT) “The reason I can still find hope is that I keep this one thing in mind: the Lord’s mercy. We were not completely wiped out. His compassion is never limited. It is new every morning. His faithfulness is great. My soul can say, ‘The Lord is my lot in life. That is why I find hope in him.’ The Lord is good to those who wait for him,to anyone who seeks help from him. “It is good to continue to hope and wait silently for the Lord to save us."


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Ten Powerful Words

John 14:30a records Ten Powerful Words spoken by our King, Jesus:

"The ruler of this world has no power over Me."


P.S. Thanks to Amanda Montanez for sharing these wonderful words with me yesterday.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Thou Shalt Not Panic

"You will hear of wars and rumors of wars. Don't be alarmed."
-- Words of Jesus in Matthew 24:6 (GWT)

The basis of panic is always cowardice. It is the most natural thing in the world to be scared and the clearest evidence that God's grace is at work in our hearts is when we do not get into panics.
-- Oswald Chambers

Thou shalt not panic. Trust God. Fear Not. You are amazingly graced.

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Lust is the Unholy Heartbeat of Sin

As a pastor, but mostly as a believer, I can say with all of my heart that I hate Sin and the devil. It pains me to see Sin and the devil destroying holy marriages, precious families, and individual lives.

Lust is especially an ugly thing. Lust is self-centeredness clearly exposed. I have heard it said that "Lust is the rawest form of selfishness." It's true. Lust is the Unholy Heartbeat of Sin. Lust allows the devil to take over the controls of our lives and to lead our eternal souls to Sin's destination -- eternal devastation. Lust will leave us lifeless.

My Dad has told me many times this truth about sin:

Sin will take you further than you ever wanted to go.
Make you pay more than you ever wanted to pay.
Keep you longer than you ever wanted to stay.

I plead with everyone reading this blog today: Please choose love over lust, life over death, Heaven over Hell and The Life-giving LORD over the life-stealing devil. I plead with you to minimize future regrets later on in your life by allowing The Blood of Jesus to cleanse you of all sin, now. Please.

John 10:10 (GWT) -- "A thief comes to steal, kill, and destroy, But I came so that my sheep will have life and so they will have everything they need." -- Jesus


Monday, June 17, 2013

Monday Morning Encouragement

It's Monday morning. I have a busy few weeks staring me in the face and eyes. A friend texted me to say "The Lord reminded me to lift you up in prayer this morning". What an encouragement. My reply back to him was vulnerable and true:

"And I am grateful that the Lord reminded you to lift me up in prayer this morning. Monday mornings I always need Resurrection power." (Emphasis on always intended.)

In my devotional moments, I read these words posted by World Mission Broadcast and attributed to Paul Washer:

"Our God delights in creating out of nothing, raising the dead, and strengthening the weak. Be encouraged!"

So my prayer now is, "Lord, help me to be encouraged especially on Monday mornings, beginning today. In Jesus' name. Amen."


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Abba's Day!

Galatians 4:6 says, "Our hearts cry out, 'Abba Father'".

Why do you suppose our hearts cry out "Abba Father?"

I'd say, it's the cry of our hearts because we know that "ABBA IS ABLE" to help us, regardless of the challenges we might face.

Happy Abba's Day! Happy Father's Day, indeed!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

"Joy for My Spirit"

A precious soul who read my blog post yesterday responded with these tender and touching words:

Your blog this morning was perfect for me.  I have had a "tear-stained" week but He definitely gave me the "strength to endure," "joy through my sorrow," and my tears have turned "sweet." 

My problem has not fled, but He has been with me all week.  Through the tears, He has shown me how lonely this journey can be, but I will always have one faithful friend - Jesus. 

Thank you for posting & thank Gene for sending.  It was joy for my spirit. If I may, I would like to copy this into my prayer journal as a "conclusion" for this week? 


(Permission was granted for me to post this response anonymously. And of course permission was granted for the post to be copied into the responder's prayer journal. :-)  


Friday, June 14, 2013

Bitter Tears Turn Sweet

After reading my post yesterday, my friend Gene wrote this reply. I asked if I could use it? He kindly agreed:

"Lay your tear-stained cheeks
at Christ blood-stained feet.
He may not dry your eyes
or make your problems flee.
He will, however,
give you strength to endure,
and joy through your sorrow
as the bitterness of your tears
...turn sweet."
-- Gene Stainback


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Note to Self

Dearest Most Precious Child of Almighty Abba Father:

Do not be afraid. Do not be dismayed.

Never forget that your Abba Father always hears your cries, and He cares for you. He comes running towards you even now with complete compassion to really rescue you from all your fears.

He has established His dwelling place within your existence. His Love is finding perfection in your never-dying soul.

The Holy Spirit of the Living God, yes the same Holy Spirit of Truth promised by Jesus is here now to Live in You as you live also in Him.

Fear not. Be Glad. Your Hope is in The Lord.

And always be...
... Grateful

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Prayer Over a Friend

I prayed this prayer over a friend this morning. Please allow me now to pray it over you, too:

"Lord, help my friend to remain focused on You as his/her Helper and Comforter in the struggles he/she is straining at. Give him/her permission to pull the oars in the boat and trust the whispering winds of Your trustworthy Holy Spirit to direct his/her journey totally. Most of all remind him/her often of Your Love, Yes Your amazing Love towards him/her. God be in his/her head. Keep the enemy far away from him/her and his/her family. In Jesus' name. Amen and Amen."


Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Many Other Wonderful Things

The words of The Apostle John recorded in John 21:24-25 bless my soul tremendously:

(24) "This disciple was an eyewitness of these things and wrote them down. We know that what he says is true.
(25) Jesus also did many other things. If every one of them were written down, I suppose the world wouldn’t have enough room for the books that would be written." (GWT)

Lord, one day in Eternity, I look forward to hearing about the many other things You accomplished while on earth, the many other wonderful things that were not written down.
In Your Name I hope and I pray. Amen.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The Secret of How to Live

"The keen enthusiasm of letting the Son of God manifest Himself in us is the only thing that will keep us in joy in disagreeable circumstances," -- Oswald Chambers

The Apostle Paul's words in Philippians 4:12-13 (GWT) -- "I know how to live in poverty or prosperity. No matter what the situation, I’ve learned the secret of how to live when I’m full or when I’m hungry, when I have too much or when I have too little. I can do everything through Christ who strengthens me."


Sunday, June 9, 2013

Beautiful to My Ears...

"I sought the LORD, and HE answered ME. HE delivered ME from 'ALL' MY fears." Psalm 34:4 

How BEAUTIFUL is that!!!
Good-bye all my fears!!!


Saturday, June 8, 2013

We All Live in the Storm

My prayer friend, Billy Hooke, shared these words from our pulpit on a Sunday morning. Pray with me through these powerful words again:

Let us pray: Father we all live in the storm. We all are tossed about, but I for one am thankful that no matter how stormy my seas get, no matter how bleak and hopeless things seem, You are always here with me.  I am thankful that no matter how stormy the sea of my life gets, that I am merely a traveler passing through. Heaven is my home. No matter how stormy, no matter how bleak things seem, You are with me. May Your grace, mercy, and peace fill all those in the storm. In Jesus' name. Amen.  

Psalm 46 -- The Message (MSG)

A Song of the Sons of Korah

46 1-3 God is a safe place to hide,
    ready to help when we need him.
We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.
Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.
8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of God!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”
11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    God-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

Friday, June 7, 2013

In All Seasons of Life...

In Happy Seasons of Life, Praise God.
In Dark Seasons of Life, Seek God. 
In Silent Seasons of Life, Worship God.
In Confusing Seasons of Life, Trust God.
In All Seasons of Life, Lean Into God.


Jeremiah's Grief

Here are some of the saddest words in all the Bible. The question is, does our present society fit into the maddening mold observed and penned by the Weeping Prophet? 

18 Sorrow has overwhelmed me.
    I am sick at heart!
19 The cry from my dear people comes from a distant land:
    “Isn’t the Lord in Zion?
    Isn’t Zion’s king still there?”
    They make me furious with their idols, with their foreign gods.
20 The harvest is past,
    the summer has ended,
        and we haven’t been saved.
21 I am crushed because my dear people have been crushed.
    I mourn; terror grips me.
22 Isn’t there medicine in Gilead?
    Aren’t there doctors there?
        Then why hasn’t the health of my dear people been restored?
-- Jeremiah 8:18-22 (GWT)

Thursday, June 6, 2013

My Prayer for Midnight or Midday

In midnight or midday,
We need You, Dear Lord.
To surely watch o'er us,
But, so very much more.

Our lives without You,
Are empty at best.
We run here and there,
Without breath, without rest.

So, come to us, Jesus,
We call on Your Name.
Don't leave us as orphans,
On You, we must lean.

Unless You're beside us,
We'll fade towards death.
How we need You inside us,
Please reign in our depths.

We pray for clear vision,
Lest we would become blind.
We long for Forever,
Yet, we're stuck here in time.

When you surely come for us,
Find faith in our souls.
We long for Your Presence,
While Eternity rolls.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

"Do You Love Me?" -- Jesus

God has loved us with a demonstrated love from the very beginning. This verse is a most powerful proof of His love for us:

Romans 5:8 (GWT) Christ died for us while we were still sinners. This demonstrates God’s love for us.

So, God surely loves us. The only question remaining now is the question the Lord Jesus asked Peter in John 21 alongside the Sea of Galilee: "Do you love Me?" Do you love Jesus? Do I?

Let us love Him, because He first loved us!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Isaiah 53 Expressed in Music and Art

I love this video. It is Isaiah 53:1-5 put to music and expressed through the worship of an artist.

Click here: JesusPainter "By His Wounds" Glory Revealed - YouTube


Sunday, June 2, 2013

Hold Onto & Lean Into "The Throne of Mercy"

Are we Holding onto and Leaning into "The Throne of  Mercy"?

Romans 3:25 (GWT) says: "God showed that 'Christ is the Throne of  Mercy' where God’s approval is given through faith in Christ’s blood. In his patience God waited to deal with sins committed in the past."


Saturday, June 1, 2013

The China Cup Lesson

Years ago, a pastor friend of mine, Reuggy, taught me these lessons about how ladies should choose a husband and how men should treat ladies. I taught this to my own son and daughter.

Ladies, there are 3 ways a man can treat you:

(1) Awful -- like a paper cup, use you up and throw you out.

(2) Average -- like a coffee cup in the floor board of the car that is washed every once and a while. You can be treated like nothing special. 

(3) Awesome -- You should be cherished and treasured like a fine china tea cup. Every occasion of your life is sacred.  A china cup is gently hand-washed and always kept securely in a clean and safe location (e.g. a china cabinet). 

Daughters, please CHOOSE to be BELOVED, not broken. 

Sons, always treat ladies like daughters of The Living God -- Awesome.

- - Written down by a father of a daughter and a son