Thursday, July 31, 2014

If Only?

This is a rare link for my blog but it is so very interesting that I feel compelled to share it. So here it is:

Click here: Bill Clinton's Moment

I cannot help but place a spiritual grid over this story. How many souls might perish eternally if we do not tell them about Hope in Jesus?

How will they know? You tell them.

Lord, help us to minimize future regrets.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014


Notice to Jesus-Believers: The enemy comes to kill, steal and destroy. Especially if you are being light in the world, the enemy wants to take your lights out.


Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Please Pray for My New Young Friend

This morning at the Pittsburgh District Campmeeting I had an opportunity to pray with a high school student. It was a God-appointment. After I left the tabernacle and was driving the short distance across the campground to my room, I saw the teen standing by the duck pond. I rolled my window down to give a greeting and immediately realized a look of despair in the facial countenance of this young Jesus-believer.

In a few minutes the teen was at my window and after a few moments of compassionate diagnosis I began to intercede aloud in spontaneous prayer. The Lord was so faithful to join us as I cried out for new mercy on behalf of this one Jesus died for.

When the "Amen" was spoken there was new hope in the atmosphere. Jesus promised that when two or three of us gather in His Name, He is very present. Well, this morning at the duck pond near Pittsburgh, He proved Himself trustworthy to His Word once again. Surely, His mercy renews every day.

Please pray for my new, young friend, that God will be the One Who lifts this precious soul from overwhelming despair to a new place of amazing grace.


Monday, July 28, 2014

"It's Individuals That He Sees..."

Last night after preaching a message about how Jesus loves us one-on-one as individuals, one of the listeners -- Charlotte is her name -- came up slipped a piece of paper in my hand. It was a hand-written poem she had composed based on the words I shared from God's Word. I will share her poem now:

Jesus came
For you and me
It's individuals
That He sees
He sees and knows
What I need

He tells me what
I need to hear
For to His heart
I am dear
And He longs
To draw me near

When I fall
At His feet
From sin's power
He delivers me
And my soul
Is truly free

Grateful (and Humbled...)

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Live as People Who Belong to God

So get rid of every kind of evil, every kind of deception, hypocrisy, jealousy, and every kind of slander. Desire God’s pure word as newborn babies desire milk. Then you will grow in your salvation. Certainly you have tasted that the Lord is good!
You are coming to Christ, the living stone who was rejected by humans but was chosen as precious by God.You come to him as living stones, a spiritual house that is being built into a holy priesthood. So offer spiritual sacrifices that God accepts through Jesus Christ. That is why Scripture says,
“I am laying a chosen and precious cornerstone in Zion,
    and the person who believes in him
        will never be ashamed.”
This honor belongs to those who believe. But to those who don’t believe:
“The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone,
        a stone that people trip over,
            a large rock that people find offensive.”
The people tripped over the word because they refused to believe it. Therefore, this is how they ended up.
However, you are chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, people who belong to God. You were chosen to tell about the excellent qualities of God, who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light. 10 Once you were not God’s people, but now you are. Once you were not shown mercy, but now you have been shown mercy.
11 Dear friends, since you are foreigners and temporary residents in the world, I’m encouraging you to keep away from the desires of your corrupt nature. These desires constantly attack you. 12 Live decent lives among unbelievers. Then, although they ridicule you as if you were doing wrong while they are watching you do good things, they will praise God on the day he comes to help you. 
-- 1 Peter 2 GOD’S WORD Translation (GW)

Friday, July 25, 2014

Amazing Grace -- "Beautiful"

Are there any two words spoken together any more "beautiful" than "Amazing Grace?"

Enjoy this YouTube that my friend, Lisa, forwarded to me today. "Amazing" and "beautiful", indeed!

 Click here: Tim Power- Amazing Grace - YouTube


Thursday, July 24, 2014

"In 50 Years..."

Yesterday, I shared these words with a friend a little younger than me:

We need Jesus and each other. We must complete the faith journey. In 50 years, nothing else in our life will have mattered in comparison to winning souls and winding up in Heaven.


Wednesday, July 23, 2014

"'Through' the Valley..."

This beloved Psalm of David, the Shepherd-King, is speaking nonstop to my mind this week:

"The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever." (Psalms 23:1-6 KJV)

I love all the promises of The 23rd Psalm, but the promise that we will come "through" the valley of the shadow of death is the most hope-filled phrase for my soul today. In other words, death cannot keep us. We will enter the shadows but we will come "through", come out, into the Light of Heaven for forever. 


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

In The Valley?

If you sense you are in the valley, this old song of the faith will give you perspective.


Sunday, July 20, 2014

For Those Of Us Who Haven't Seen Jesus, Yet Believe

You know in the Gospels, after Jesus had Resurrected from the dead, He spoke powerful words about "us" to the disciple named Thomas: "You believe because you've seen me. Blessed are those who haven't seen me but believe." (John 20:29 GWT)

This YouTube link below will lead you to a song that reminds me of how blessed those of us really are, yes "those of us who choose to believe in Jesus though we have not seen Him."

Click here: BROWN HYMN BOOK - I wasn't there - YouTube


Saturday, July 19, 2014

The Exchange -- "The Sinless Christ..."

One of the most cherished verses in all of God's Holy Word to me is recorded in 2 Corinthians 5:21. My most favorite rendering of the verse is found in the 1971 edition of The Living Bible Paraphrased. Here it is:

"For God took the sinless Christ and poured into Him our sins. Then, in exchange, He poured God's goodness into us." 2 Corinthians 5:21 TLB


Friday, July 18, 2014

Trusting God The Father To Father Our Grown Children

I was recently sharing via text with a friend, who like me is also a father to two grown children. He requested a specific prayer for one of his loved ones and along with agreeing to pray with him, I also shared these words from my heart:

"Trusting God the Father to Father the children He gave us to father is one of the greatest challenges for us as fathers and I have no idea why? But it is."

Psalm 37:8b has been speaking strongly to me about how essential taking Father God at His Word really is.

"... do not fret (do not be preoccupied with worrying) —it leads only to evil (distrust of Father God)." -- Paraphrase of Psalm 37:8b


Thursday, July 17, 2014

Got Holiness?

In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood. And have you completely forgotten this word of encouragement that addresses you as a father addresses his son? It says, “My son, do not make light of the Lord’s discipline, and do not lose heart when he rebukes you, because the Lord disciplines the one he loves, and he chastens everyone he accepts as his son.” Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as his children. For what children are not disciplined by their father? If you are not disciplined—and everyone undergoes discipline—then you are not legitimate, not true sons and daughters at all. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of spirits and live! They disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, in order that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it. Therefore, strengthen your feeble arms and weak knees. “Make level paths for your feet,” so that the lame may not be disabled, but rather healed. Make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord. (Hebrews 12:4-14 NIV)

Got holiness? 


Wednesday, July 16, 2014

"Wonder-Working Power"

After the question on my blog yesterday: "Are you an overcomer?", a friend in Christ shared these inspiring, personal, reflections with me:

Satan tries to stop us from fulfilling God's purpose for our lives, "nevertheless", Jesus is our Advocate!

* There is wonder-working power in the Blood of the Lamb! Victory!

*  I do believe there is something strengthening about giving a testimony. The place to give my testimony is out in the world (serving wherever He leads).  Letting people know that I belong to Christ and that His abiding presence is manifested in me daily.  Being a witness, He is my First Love - loving Him above everything else!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Are You An Overcomer?

An overcomer is "one who remains steadfast through trials." Or "one who holds fast to faith in The Lord until the end." An overcomer is marked by "endurance/internal fortitude". 

Did you know that the athletic shoe name, "Nike", even comes from the root meaning of an "overcomer" -- "to carry on or off to victory."

"They won the victory over him -- yes, they "overcame him" -- (him = their enemy, the ancient serpent, the deceitful devil), yes, they overcame 'him' by of the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony." 
-- Revelation 12:11 paraphrased

Are you an overcomer?

Monday, July 14, 2014

My Spontaneous Words of Praise

Saturday night as I was getting ready to get some much desired sleep, I began to pray. Two hours later I was still awake. The presence of The Lord was so evident and so comforting.

As I talked aloud to my God, these words came out of my mouth -- my spontaneous words of praise, yes, my personal declaration of love for God. :

I agree with the Holy Spirit
Who reminds me what Jesus says.

I believe in God the Father
Who killed death to give me breath. 

He abides deep within my soul and presides over all.

Yes, He is mine. I am His.
He forgives and makes me whole.

I am a debtor to my King of Kings.
I truly owe Him everything.

He's coming back to take me far away. But for now, He comes to me. I'm His Home until Eternity.

I no longer have a life of my own. I'm His possession and He possesses me.


Sunday, July 13, 2014

I Will Ease, Relieve, and Refresh Your Souls

28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.] 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn of Me, for I am gentle (meek) and humble (lowly) in heart, and you will find rest relief and ease and refreshment and recreation and blessed quiet for your souls. 30 For My yoke is wholesome (useful, good—not harsh, hard, sharp, or pressing, but comfortable, gracious, and pleasant), and My burden is light and easy to be borne.

-- Jesus' Words in Matthew 11:28-30 AMP


Saturday, July 12, 2014

"Live as Strangers Here on Earth"

Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how God will treat you with undeserved grace when Jesus Christ appears. Behave like obedient children. Don't let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be. Always live as God's holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy. That's why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.” You say that God is your Father, but God doesn't have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth. You were rescued from the useless way of life you learned from your ancestors. But you know you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don't last forever. You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb. Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days. And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. This is why you have put your faith and hope in God. You obeyed the truth, and your souls were made pure. Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. Do this because God has given you new birth by his message that lives on forever. The Scriptures say, “Humans wither like grass, and their glory fades like wild flowers. Grass dries up, and flowers fall to the ground. But what the Lord has said will stand forever.” Our good news to you is what the Lord has said. (1 Peter 1:13-25 CEV)


Friday, July 11, 2014

Tips If Think You Want To Get Rid Of Your Pastor?

A few weeks back, I shared a popular post that my friend, Keith -- who loves pastors -- had sent me titled: "Want To Hurt You Pastor?" Well, he also sent me Part 2 to that theme. Here's my title for these thoughts: "Tips If You Think You Want To Get Rid of Your Pastor?" Read all the way to the end:

If you ever want to get rid of your pastor, instead of looking for votes or choosing up sides, try one of these five Tips.

TIP No. 1: During the Sunday morning message, listen closely and take notes. Look your pastor straight in the eye, and occasionally nod your head and say, "Amen!" Begin to make serious efforts to apply the life lessons you learn from the sermons. In six months, he'll preach himself to death.

TIP No. 2: Pat your pastor on the back and compliment his good points two or three times a month. Make a bunch of phone calls to your friends and neighbors and tell them all the good things about your pastor. In a little while, so many more people will start coming to your church, you'll have to hire many associate pastors, and your senior pastor will be free to leave.

TIP No. 3: Next Sunday, in response to the sermon, go forward to the altar and rededicate your life to Christ. Then contact the pastor asking him to give you some job you could do for the church, preferably some lost people you could go visit with a view to winning them to Christ. He'll likely die of heart failure on the spot.

TIP No. 4: Ask to help in a ministry to call on the shut-ins and elderly members of the church, and encourage the pastor, as the early church did (see Acts 6:1-7), to devote more of his time to prayer, the study of God's Word and sermon preparation. Tell him you'll see to it that the lay people take care of the widows and orphans if he'll take care of the preaching. He'll think the whole congregation has gone completely crazy and start looking for another church immediately.

TIP No. 5: Get a whole bunch of the church members to unite in earnest intercessory prayer for the pastor, his ministry and his family. Organize prayer meetings in which you pray for the growth of the church and the blessing of the pastor. The pastor may become so effective in ministry that some larger church will gladly take him off your hands.

One note of caution, however: if you try one of these Tips, you may find that you don't want to get rid of your pastor after all. :-)


Thursday, July 10, 2014

"Agreeing Nonstop With The Holy Spirit"

A few days ago, some of my thoughts on prayer inspired my deepest soul. I originally posted the words on my Twitter feed, but now share them with my blog friends, too. So, here goes:

"My favorite definition of praying is: 
agreeing nonstop with The Holy Spirit, Who lives within me always reminding me of Everything Jesus says."


Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"I Need Internal Peace"

Recently, I was having meaningful spiritual dialogue via text message with a dear friend. Our discussion ended like this:

My Friend: "I have been praying for God's thoughts to replace my thoughts. I need internal peace."

My Response: "I Pray this prayer, friend: 'Lord I don't want a life of my own anymore. I want to be totally Yours -- heart, mind, soul and strength. Then, in times of trouble or times of peace, Your life will be my Everything and I can rest in knowing You are alive within me, being glorified regardless of my fluctuating feelings or changing circumstances. I just want to be, by faith, Your Holy Place. I want to be, by faith, where You are and not only in Your presence but You fully breathing within me. Help me to know You cherish me, even when I doubt that I am valuable. Invade my insecurities and increase my intimacy with You. In Jesus' Name. Amen.'"

My Friend: "AMEN!"

My Response: "May the God who gives peace make you holy in every way. May he keep your whole being—spirit, soul, and body—blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do this." (‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5‬:‭23-24‬ GWT)


Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Ocracoke Island -- Molasses Creek Music

One of my favorite places on the planet is a little quaint fishing village along the coastal Outer Banks of North Carolina called Ocracoke Island. This was the birthplace and childhood home of my Dad's (yes, Captain Billy's) Mom, named Margery.

Everything about my Granny's Ocracoke home was and still is wondrously unique. Not only is it the home of ancient mariners, the Ocracoke Lighthouse, and the location that Blackbeard The Pirate was decapitated,  but the delightful accent of the island people is absolutely breath-taking.

Today, I am taking a personal opportunity on my blog to share a link to a song sung by Ocracokers. The name of the homegrown group is "Molasses Creek". Their song is titled "The Waterman". If you love folk music sit back and enjoy. If you don't, well, I suppose you're in for an invitation to reconsider your preferences?

Click here: Music in the Lobby: Molasses Creek, "The Waterman" - YouTube


Monday, July 7, 2014

Atoned & Adopted -- The Inheritance Line

1 John 4:13 is one of many verses in God's Word that calls me to always live at or above (but never below) the inheritance line, that is, surely available to me as an atoned and adopted child of the Living Father God.

Here's the verse: "We know that we live in Him and He lives in us because He has given us His Spirit." (1 John 4:13 GWT)

So glad I'm a part of the family of God!

Sunday, July 6, 2014

"Silence in Heaven" -- The Revelation

The final book of The Christian Bible is, of course, titled "The Revelation of Jesus Christ." Too often it seems believers have been full of worry while reading its mysterious, but marvelous pages. 

I know without a shadow of a doubt the "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" is first and foremost a book of worship for Jesus-believers, not a book of worry.

These two verses below -- the final verse of Revelation 7, and the first verse of Revelation 8 -- are at this moment filling my being with wonder, love, and praise. Yes,these awe-inspiring words from "The Revelation of Jesus Christ" are leading me to worship Jesus. Read them for yourself and worship Him with me, if you will:

"The Lamb in the center near the Throne will be their Shepherd. He will lead them to springs filled with the water of life, and God will wipe every tear from their eyes.” (Revelation 7:17 GW)

When He (The Lamb of God -- Jesus) opened the seventh seal, there was silence in Heaven for about half an hour. (Revelation 8:1 GW)

What a Day that will be for Jesus-believers. Let us worship today with that day in mind. 


Saturday, July 5, 2014

My Prayer Today: "Draw Me Nearer"

This song sacredly sung by Neville Peter will touch your heart profoundly. It is my prayer today:

Click here: Neville Peter-Draw Me Nearer - YouTube


Friday, July 4, 2014

Don't Over Do It Trying to Help Others Understand Your Intentions

Recently, I shared some counsel with a dear friend who has heard God's voice to make some changes in his life. Here is some of what I told him:

Don't over do it trying to help other people totally understand your intentions. Obeying God, yes pleasing Him, matters more than anything else. Besides, Brother Oswald Chambers cautioned us with these words of wisdom:  "Whoever totally understands you becomes your God."

So, let's exhale, weep, and anticipate how God will work through us and work us through the intimate and intricate transitions that involve the opinions of people we love in our lives.

Finally, as Brother Earl Clarke taught me: "Let's, let God be our God all by Himself." The Throne of The Soul is not a two-seater, my friends. God will not share His Kingship over our lives with anyone or anything else.

Remember that no one else can ever understand us like The One Who created us. And, surely, no one ever cared for us like Jesus. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Free To Us..."

As "freedom" is celebrated in the United States of America over this 4th of July Independence Day Weekend, let us reverently remember these undeniable spiritual overtones: 

While "God's Amazing Grace" and "Freedom From Sin" are "Free to us!" Both really did "Cost Jesus Everything!"

In temptation, let's yield to Him and not to Sin. Let us cherish "Freedom From Sin" and not cheapen "God's Amazing Grace."


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

"I Will Come Again..." -- Jesus

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me. (Words of Jesus, John 14:1-6 KJV)


Tuesday, July 1, 2014

The Sweet Sixteen Words of Jesus

There may be no more powerful words recorded in the Bible than the sweet sixteen words Jesus spoke to Pilate during his trial before the people. Pilate thought he was the one in power, the one with the most authority in the outcome of Christ's case. However, Jesus informed Pilate how very limited his earthly power really was. 

Read the exchange between Pilate and Jesus with careful attention to the sweet sixteen words Jesus gave in response:

10 So Pilate said to Jesus, “Aren’t you going to answer me? Don’t you know that I have the authority to free you or to crucify you?”
11 Jesus answered Pilate, “You wouldn’t have any authority over me if it hadn’t been given to you from above." (John 19:10-11a GWT)  
When the devil taunts us, acting as if he's the one with the power and authority over our lives, let's rebuke our adversary by echoing to him the same sweet sixteen words that Jesus spoke to Pilate -- sweet words for us, but bitter words for satan.