Friday, February 28, 2014

Ever Been Misunderstood?

It's Friday. Time for a light-hearted lesson.

Sometimes we can learn essential truths through humorous presentations. If you have ever been misunderstood by others, this 40-second commercial will resonate with your heart and probably make you laugh a little, as well. Okay, you will likely laugh a lot.

Click here: German Coastguard Sinking - Learn English Commercial - YouTube

So much of our communication on planet earth seems to be lost in translation. I often say, Jesus will be my favorite part of Heaven and my second favorite part will be the fact that there will be no misunderstanding there.


Thursday, February 27, 2014

"Unashamed" -- Bold & Beautiful Testimony

One of my friends who is a part of my Tuesday morning Pastor's Prayer Patrol e-mailed me this bold and beautiful testimony this morning: 

"Hey Pastor Kerry;


This is what I posted on my facebook page today. I want everyone to know I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ.


I want to do (be) more every day for Hm.


God in Heaven, thank You for sending Your Son, Jesus, so that I may be saved. Today, I surrender every area of my life to You. Have Your way in me; let Your will be done in my life. Thank You for making me new in Jesus’ name. Amen.

... Full of Jesus,



Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Everyone Worship

Last evening my wife and I were blessed to be present for the opening evening of our District Pastors and Leaders Retreat. 

Our dear friend, Brian Arner, came to be with us as worship leader. After our fellowship supper, he led us beautifully before the Throne of God. Everyone in the hotel-ballroon-turned-cathedral was lost in wonder, love, and praise. And I do mean everyone. Even the hotel wait staff had their hands lifted towards Heaven in adoration for our Almighty God.

It was a beautiful sight from my perspective. How much more Beautiful must it have been from God's vantage point!!!

Let us worship Holy God in Spirit and in Truth!!! Let's everyone worship!!!


Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Join Me in My Morning Prayer

Pray with me today:

Oh, our Ever-Loving Father God:
Holy, Holy, Holy is Your Dear Name.
How desperate we are for Your purity.
We can't go on without Your power.
Apart from Your Presence we perish.
Without Your peace our lives cease.

You will not abandon Your own.
We are not forgotten orphans.
We belong exclusively to You.
Protect us from the enemy forever.
Project Your Good News through us.

In Jesus' Name. Amen.


Monday, February 24, 2014

The Thirty Holiness Texts of John Wesley

From "Arminian Today" I share thses inspiring thoughts on John Wesley's Thirty Texts.

John Wesley believed in entire sanctification meaning that he believed it was possible, in this life, to obtain perfection which Wesley called “perfection in love”.  One has to note that the Bible calls some people “blameless” such as Noah in Genesis 6:9.  God told Abram in Genesis 17:1 to walk before Him and be blameless.  Paul prayed for the Corinthians to be “made complete” (NASB) or “perfect” (NIV) in 2 Corinthians 13:9.  Many today hold, based on Romans 7, that no person can ever overcome sin.  As one woman told me once, “I sin everyday” or the guy who use to always end his prayers with “and God forgive us our many sins that we committed this day”.  If that is your experience of the Christian life, how sad your life must be.  Does not 1 Corinthians 10:13 offer us the promise that God will provide a way of escape from sin if we look to Him?  Yes I am thankful for 1 John 1:9 but let us bear in mind that John’s exhortation to the believers in 1 John 2:1 was that they may not sin.

I fully believe that we will only be (absolutely) perfect in heaven. Hebrews 12:23 speaks of the spirit of the righteous now made perfect.  The deceased righteous are now perfect because they are now in the presence of God where there is no sin.  However, I do believe that we should seek to be holy (1 Peter 1:15-16; Hebrews 12:14) and I believe that our passion should be to be like Jesus in all that we say or do (Colossians 3:17).  Furthermore, I often pray 1 Thessalonians 5:23-24 and I pray that God would not just sanctify me but others as well (John 17:17-20).
Below are the thirty texts that John Wesley used to exhort people toward holiness and perfection.
Ezekiel 36:25-26, 29
Matthew 5:8, 48; 6:10; 22:37
John 8:34-36; 17:17, 20-23
Romans 2:29; 12:1-2
2 Corinthians 7:1
Galatians 2:20
Ephesians 3:14-19; 5:27
Philippians 3:15
1 Thessalonians 5:23
Titus 2:11-14
Hebrews 6:1; 7:25; 10:14; 12:14
James 1:4
1 John 1:5-9; 3:3, 8-10; 5:13

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Video Messages Online Now

Recently, our local church began posting video sermons under the media tab on our website. Here's the link if you're interested. This specific link is our message portion of the February 16, 2014 service. The message topic is part one of a series entitled "Relationships in 3D" -- Part 1: Devotion to God and Loving the World."

Click here: Harrisonburg First Church of the Nazarene / Media / Audio/video Sermons


Saturday, February 22, 2014

A Quandary for Us Equals Duck Soup for Our God

I had a friend tell me this week "I am facing a few quandaries in my life." I decided to look up the word, so I could understand more clearly what my friend is facing. I think my simplistic research below may be of profound help to my friend and to all of us.

A "Quan-da-ry" is a noun and is a situation in which you are confused about what to do. Catch-22. Double bind. Deadlock. Impasse. Jam. Predicament. 

The opposite of a quandary is a breeze, a snap, or "duck soup". Duck soup is something that is very easy to do.

Based on my research, I bring you Good News if you are a God-believer. When we are in a quandary, let us remember, even rejoice, knowing that our confusing predicament from our Almighty God's perspective is simply duck soup. For, nothing is too hard for Him.


Friday, February 21, 2014

Children of the World

Jesus Loves the Little Children

Words by C. Herbert Woolston, music by George F. Root

Jesus loves the little children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus loves the little children

Of the world.

Jesus died for all the children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus died for all the children

Of the world.

Jesus rose for all the children

All the children of the world

Red, brown, yellow

Black and white

They are precious in His sight.

Jesus rose for all the children

Of the world.


Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Journey... Knowing Life Forever is the Destination.

It amazes me how much life is akin to a journey. I love the slogan that says, "The journey is the destination." Often, when I hear this slogan I immediately think: "Life is the destination."

I have had many opportunities to be a man on a journey. As a matter of fact, as I write this post I am on a short journey. While there are many facets to being on a journey, I must say the most fascinating part has to do with people, yes, the many kinds of people the Lord of my life's journey brings across my pathway.

What if each encounter we have with every person on our journey is in some way an encounter with Jesus? Could it be that all the people we meet are eternal souls God has somehow entrusted to our presence?

When Jesus journeyed through his lifetime, surely every encounter He had was an eternal rendezvous with a soul He came to rescue. With Jesus now gone to Heaven physically, could it be possible that His Spirit lives today in us to continue the rescue of every single soul we meet along our specific journeys?

I am coming to believe it's all true. As believers, if we only draw near to other believers, how will the nonbelievers ever come to know God for themselves? How will others ever know the Savior unless those of us who know both the Savior and others make it our mission to connect them together?

There are many names and titles attributed to Jesus, but what name or title challenges you most? For me, there is one title associated with our Lord (while journeying through His lifetime on planet earth) that moves me beyond definition. It's a three-word description -- "FRIEND OF SINNERS!"

Can I be honest? In my immediate life's journey, the Lord of my life and journey, has brought some unique souls across my pathway that sometimes cause me to be uncomfortable. However, I am humbly encouraged in it all, even beginning to embrace what's uncomfortable to me, because I am coming to realize that the Lord is entrusting me as His sanctuary so His Presence within me can love and influence these unique and beloved individuals to escape an uncomfortable eternity. 

I honestly know He is reaching through me to call all kinds of people, that He treasures dearly, to escape forever death and to enter Forever Life. Yes, my Lord wants people -- everywhere-I-happen-to-be -- to encounter the reality of His deep desire for them, through the likes of my existence. 

Indeed, Jesus is Life Forever and Knowing Life Forever is the Destination. (And, knowing Life Forever is not just for me, but also for others, and not just for later, but also for today.) 

Let us journey on, friends of Jesus, as friends of sinners as well.

Grateful. Humbled. Speechless.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Anticipating Easter

Ash Wednesday and the Season of Lent is drawing closer and closer on the 2014 Christian calendar. No matter if you ignore or cherish Ash Wednesday, I have Good News. It's already okay for us to to begin Anticipating Easter. This new song by Kari Jobe will help:

Click here: Brian Johnson and Kari Jobe - Forever - YouTube

For The Passion of, Crucifixion of, and Resurrection of Jesus Christ...
I am so very, very, very...

...Grateful........ for FOREVER! (And forever includes TODAY!)

Monday, February 17, 2014

Thrilled to Be ALIVE on a Monday!

This morning I received such an encouraging e-mail from one of my Pastor's Prayer Patrol brothers. It particuarly lifted my spirit, because it was sent on a Monday morning.

Here's a portion of the Good News, Brother Scott sent me:

I am so excited, thrilled actually, in the simplicity of just being ALIVE -- Truly alive, among the truly living, alive in Christ Jesus. ALIVE, I am Free to truly LOVE.

ALIVE in Christ as Christ LIVES is us, should surely thrill us!

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Once Again

This vintage Steve Green prayer song has been inspiring my heart, mind, soul, and strength the past 24 hours or so:

In Jesus' Name.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

You Say, "I Love God!" Really?

1 John 4:20-21 (GWT) -- “20 Whoever says, “I love God,” but hates another believer is a liar. People who don’t love other believers, whom they have seen, can’t love God, whom they have not seen. 21  Christ has given us this commandment: The person who loves God must also love other believers.”

If we love God we will love others.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Love Language from God's Word

It's Happy Valentine's Day in the USA!

So, here's some of the language of the Bible when it comes to Love -- an appetizer of sorts for our hearts, I suppose:

John 3:16  For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life."

Romans 5:8 "...but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Galatians 2:20 "I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

1 John 3:1 "See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him."


Thursday, February 13, 2014

A Personal Prayer for Power

My friend, Keith, sent up a personal prayer for power for me today and I have copied it and pasted it below as a prayer that can go even beyond me to be for anyone who wants to pray it and claim it as their own. I am appreciative that many readers of my blog are also people who prayer for all believers everywhere.

Lord God, I come before you today knowing that all power is in Your hand. I know that you are the Lord and that you care for your people. Right now, my friend is struggling with a difficult trial. I can see his strength is faltering, Lord, and know that you have all of the strength that he needs. I pray that you will reach down and touch him right now wherever he is at this moment. Let your presence fill the room where he is and let him feel an extra portion of your strength that can help him to get through this day. He needs you now, Lord, and I thank you in advance for meeting him where he is and shoring up his strength during this difficult time. In Jesus' name. Amen.


Wednesday, February 12, 2014

"Should You Go First and I Remain..."

A few weeks ago as I was staying with my dad and mom and providing care for them while they both were off-their-feet, so to speak, they were telling me about a poem they both like. I believe it is also a song. Anyway, my parents were telling me how deeply the words touch their lives as a married couple.

So, I found the full piece online and read it aloud to them on a snowy Wednesday morning, January 29, 2014. All three of us were weeping at the end. So, here's where you surrender to tears that are tender:  

Should you go first and I remain
To walk the road alone,
I'll live in memory's garden, dear,
With happy days we've known.
In spring I'll wait for roses red,
When fades the lilac blue,
In early fall, when brown leaves call
I'll catch a glimpse of you.

Should you go first and I remain
For battles to be fought,
Each thing you've touched along the way
Will be a hallowed spot.
I'll hear your voice, I'll see you smile,
Though blindly I may grope,
The memory of your helping hand
Will buoy me on with hope.

Should you go first and I remain
To finish with the scroll,
No length'ning shadows shall creep in
To make this life seem droll.
We've known so much of happiness,
We've had our cup of joy,
And memory is one gift of God
That death can not destroy.

Should you go first and I remain,
One thing I'd have you to do:
Walk slowly down that long, lone path,
For soon I'll follow you.
I'll want to know each step you take,
That I may walk the same,
For someday down that lonely road
You'll hear me call your name.

By A.K. Rowswell


Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Update: Capt. Billy, Round #3 Chemo

Today, my Dad, Captain Billy, will endure his third round of chemotherapy as his sacred cancer journey continues. Recently, Dad told me: "Let your people know not to slack up praying for me." 

Speaking of praying, this morning our Dawn Patrol Men's Prayer Team met as usual at 6:10 a.m. However, God unusually moved in on our hearts. It all began as I read aloud these words penned by Andrew Murray: "If we are to be people who pray, we must be people who love."

One of the men stood and presented me with a gift for my Dad -- an art piece of an anchor created in wood produced by chip carving. The prayermen each personally signed the back of the art piece. My heart was wondrously warmed. Why? I know these men pray for my Dad because they love him. Humbling.

Let us all be inspired by 1 Peter 4:8 (NIV) -- "Above all, love each other deeply."

The strong prayer song on my heart through the night and still this morning is:

"More love, more power,
More of You in my life!"

Love Never Fails!

"If you're gonna hang your head, hang it upward so you can see the face of God." -- Capt. Billy 

Monday, February 10, 2014

A Prayer: What's On My Heart In A Few Words...

Please pray with me today:

Precious Father God...
I am so glad I can call on Your Name and know that You hear.
I know You hear because You care.
I know You care because You Love.
I know You Love because You are Holy.

I have no worthy vocabulary to voice my praise to You appropriately.
Your Faithfulness is beyond human comprehension and expression.

Still Lord, here's the best way for me to say what's on my heart in a few words:
"I love You so much because You first Loved me TOO MUCH!
You alone are my LIFE, my HOPE, my EVERYTHING!"

In Jesus' Name! Amen!


Sunday, February 9, 2014

"Everything... Old Has To Go!"

From Ephesians 4, The Message Paraphrase...

"..everything—and I do mean everything—connected with that old way of life has to go. It's rotten through and through. Get rid of it! And then take on an entirely new way of life—a God-fashioned life, a life renewed from the inside and working itself into your conduct as God accurately reproduces his character in you. What this adds up to, then, is this: no more lies, no more pretense. Tell your neighbor the truth. In Christ's body we're all connected to each other, after all. When you lie to others, you end up lying to yourself. Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life."


Saturday, February 8, 2014

Blindsided by Bitterness at the Trash Dump

I have an old, early-1990's, Ford Ranger pick-up truck that I lovingly refer to as "my trash truck". My dog, Oreo, thinks it's his truck, so I affectionately refer to it as "Oreo's Truck", too.

Usually, once a week, I load up the household trash, my faithful dog, and together we make the four mile round trip to and from the local dump. It's almost always a simple time of inexpensive dog and master bonding and a short season of real release for my often weary brain. It really seems that the trip there and back restores a healthy sense of normalcy to my life. For my dog, too, I would say.

Well, today my trash trip was a little different. I mean everything pretty much started the same, but as I was unloading the trash bags in the dumpster a lady passed me and said: "Hello Pastor Kerry. I know you are a Christian, but the reason I quit going to your church is you all give money to people in our community who don't deserve it." She went on and on about how someone that we blessed financially at Christmastime is a drinker, drug user, lays out of work, and even hangs out in bars.

In a few words, all I can say is, "I was blindsided by bitterness at the trash dump." I responded slowly and sweetly to her accusations, and as I was about to pull away she passed by my window carrying an old lamp, of all things, to the dumpster. I leaned out the window of my old Ford to get more light on the subject and tenderly asked her: "So, you are upset with us as a local church because we help people who don't deserve it?" "Yes, indeed", she said."The church shouldn't help people who won't help themselves."

I just arrived back home from my interesting, trash-dump journey and my mind is still spinning, somewhat. Here is the way I see it. I'm glad that God didn't wait until I could deserve His grace to offer it to me. And, surely I am grateful that I didn't have to be willing to help myself before Jesus would offer His life as a sacrifice for my sins. I love Romans 5:8 (ESV) -- "...but God shows His love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us."

Let us not forget dear friends, that "Grace is the undeserved favor of Holy God -- showing goodness towards bad people who don't deserve it."

Yes, I do confess that the last place on earth I ever expected such an encounter was at the trash dump. However, as I think about it, maybe it was the perfect place for such an encounter, because what I heard there was some really sad trash-talking, fueled by what appeared to be stinking thinking.

Maybe you would advise me to wear a ski mask to the trash dump from now on? Then, perhaps I wouldn't be such an easy target for another disheartening encounter. But having processed the experience for a while now, I can say that for the most part I really don't mind being the target. 

You see, I am finally fondly recalling her opening words to me at the dump and I am kind of feeling even encouragement coming on. She began her complaint with an under-handed compliment, saying, "Hello Pastor Kerry. I know you are a Christian!"

Well, I say, "Hallelujah!!! Yes, I really am! And, I guess that makes me a friend of sinners, too."

All joy.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Praying for God's World

Join me in praying for God's World. Today, I am praying for displaced Syrian refugees, and as often, all of The Middle East as well. This video story will help you to place a face in your mind as you pray:

 Click here: The Life of a Syrian Refugee on Vimeo

"For God so loved the World..."

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Does Jesus Love Us? Illustrated Answer!

Does Jesus love us? Take a look at this imagery link.
Warning: This clip is not for cowards.

Please Love Jesus Passionately!

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

A Benediction of Praise

This past Sunday, I asked a dear beloved, older, gentleman in our local church family, Brother Earl Clark, to come forward and to spontaneously pray a Benediction over our people. Here is his prayer. It will bless you:
Most Gracious God, Abba Father...
We shout Your praise from the mountain-tops this morning...
We even shout Your praise from the depths of the valley.
We do that because You're Worthy to be praised!
And you've taught us that if we want a miracle?
If we want a miracle in our lives?
We must praise you!
For when praises go up?
Blessings come down!
We're just so grateful this morning...
That You have given a blessing to us.
And we ask that You would strengthen us
and give us the courage to take this blessing
from this place to the community in which we live
And to share with our brothers and sisters that you Live.
And the reason we know You live is because You live in us.
Bless us and keep us, right where we are.
Whether we are feeling good this morning?
Whether we are feeling not so good this morning?
Whether we're feeling just bad this morning?
We still belong to You!
We ask You to visit with us and to touch us in a special way.
Now, Lord, as we leave this place.
We ask You to go with us.
Stand by us. And give us the courage to spread Your Name...
Throughout! In Jesus' Name.
Let us all say: "AMEN! AMEN! AND AMEN!"
-- Brother Earl Clark
Holiness Unto The LORD!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

"The Vision Will Happen..."

“The vision will still happen at the appointed time.
It hurries toward its goal.
It won’t be a lie.
If it’s delayed, wait for it.
It will certainly happen.
It won’t be late.”
-- Habbakuk 2:3 (GWT)


Monday, February 3, 2014

Temptation -- Don't Cave In!

A friend sent me this message recently: "I've been struggling with some things I once was delivered from. I don't want to overwhelm you. What do you say?"

This was my response: "Sorry you are being tempted. That's life though. We all, of course, struggle with things we have been delivered from. They are constantly being dangled in front of us by the enemy, HOWEVER, here's THE HOPE: I have come to know that a passionate Love for The Deliverer is all that's needed to keep saving us from caving in. I pray your Love for the One Who died to give you a Life worth living will grow passionate enough to keep you above the sinking waves of worthless living. I've decided that nothing in this life is worthy of coming between my soul and my Savior. In Jesus' Name. Amen."

My friend's reply: "Thanks Pastor!"

Holiness Unto The LORD!

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Endure Suffering

“21 God called you to endure suffering because Christ suffered for you. He left you an example so that you could follow in his footsteps. 22 Christ never committed any sin. He never spoke deceitfully. 23 Christ never verbally abused those who verbally abused him. When he suffered, he didn’t make any threats but left everything to the one who judges fairly. 24 Christ carried our sins in his body on the cross so that freed from our sins, we could live a life that has God’s approval. His wounds have healed you. 25 You were like lost sheep. Now you have come back to the shepherd and bishop of of your lives."
-- 1 Peter 2:21-25 GWT 


Saturday, February 1, 2014

Pray Now

I'd like to ask a favor of you. Instead of posting a regular writing for you to spend your time reading, I am inviting you to bow your head, even kneel if possible, and spend the time you would've spent reading my blog, to PRAY NOW.

Join me in asking God to show up in a BIG WAY in our families, churches, communities, countries, even the whole world.


The devil trembles when the saint kneels.