Today, I post two Larnelle Harris song links -- "Were it not for Grace" and "He Loved Me with the Cross". May the lyrics of these true love songs change you as they have changed me and are still changing me.
Today, my mom, Lady Melba, and I had our sacred devotional time talking on the phone. There is no greater form of inspiration than to witness to another believer and have another believer witness to you. Surely, as iron sharpens iron so one soul sharpens another.
I am so very grateful for my mom. This past week I attended a funeral in Pennsylvania. It was the home-going celebration of a 75-year-old godly mother, Sarah Stoner. I couldn't help but think of my own godly mother during the service, because my mom is the same age as this precious lady who went on to be with the Lord, 75.
Daily, I purpose to call my mother and to be encouraged by her and to encourage her. Today, when I called, I was keenly aware in my spirit that there will come a day when I cannot call her. (Only God knows if she will go to be with Him in Heaven before I do.) Nevertheless, I seek to redeem the time I have left with her by calling her often and listening to her share from a genuine love-relationship with Jesus.
While on the phone, we shared many wonderful thoughts about being believers in Christ, yet one thing she said seemed to crown our holy conversation. Mom said:
"Remember, if we pray in private, the Lord will reward us openly."
(Click below to see the verse that Jesus spoke. These are the words she was referencing in her wise counsel to me.)
Do you pray for your pastor? I pray you do. Today, Brother David Gilbert, a dear praying brother in our local church who calls me "pastor" prayed this prayer over me and let me eavesdrop by sending it also to me by email.
I so depend on the faithful and fervent prayers of God's people on my behalf and am so very grateful to be remembered in such a sacred way before The Throne of Holy God.
Here's the prayer:
"Father, bless our pastor with rest on every side. Guard his heart and mind and cloak him in Your peace. Clear the way today for him to carry out Your plans for our faith community with no prevailing interference from the enemy. I ask in Jesus’ name that the forces of darkness that come against him would be pushed back.
Let him take hold of the harvest that your Spirit is bringing forth for the Kingdom of heaven through our faith community. Thank you, Lord, that each time the enemy comes in like a flood, Your Spirit will lift up a standard against him and put him to flight! I thank you for TOTAL victory for our pastor and for our church and I ask You Lord Jesus to meet his every need. Thank you that You are mighty to save and able to overcome and defeat every attempt of the enemy that might tempt him to lose heart! Hallelujah!
Give our Pastor endurance and encouragement and clear guidance by your Spirit for every decision required of him. May the anointing of the Holy Spirit be upon him. Revive his heart with Your Word Father. May his love for You increase and compassion and love for his flock flourish and grow. Strengthen him with Your joy this day and may he be encouraged by the Holy Spirit and be reminded of the spiritual sons and daughters that are his.
Give him wisdom that is from heaven I pray. Wisdom that is pure, peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Protect him from the evil one and from being entrapped by the fear of man. Pour out Your blessing on him Father and may Jesus be seen in him more and more, and the work of his hands firmly established. I ask these things in the lovely name of Him who is head of the Church, and I give You sincere thanks Lord Jesus for your dear servant and under-shepherd. Amen."
(Click below to see an image of the Shenandoah Valley sunset I captured last evening. I call it "Wildfire" after the old song about a horse by the same name. :)
For the second day in a row, I am posting a link to a Michael Card song. The Old Testament book of Job is very deep water for genuine seekers of God's heart. This classic suffering song surely can touch us in places other songs might not.
A moving moment at the Virginia Nazarene Mission Convention today as R.K. -- who serves as a sanctuary of or Lord's presence in Southeast Asia -- shares the verse the Lord gave him and his wife, Deb, as they said "yes" to His call for His glory upon their lives:
On July 19, 1940, Billy Cameron Willis was born to Margery O'Neal Willis and Milton Gray Willis in the front bedroom of their humble home on Harkers Island, North Carolina.
Their baby boy, Billy, would become my dear Dad. Today, would've been his 76th birthday, except on November 17, 2014, he went Home to Heaven to be with His Lord Jesus and to be reunited with his precious parents who loved him so deeply.
My heart still mourns the passing of this Jesus-like man, nevertheless, I will see him again. I anticipate a glad reunion day.
So, a Holy and Happy Birthday to you, Dad. To commemorate your life, I have taken a quiet day off to reflect and give thanks. Well, it will be quiet except for when I will go to a friend's country-side property to fire 7 shells from the 12-gauge, pump shotgun I inherited after your passing. 7 shells? Yes, to salute the truth that you were as perfect an earthly father as a son could have and your life on earth pointed me to the Absolutely Perfect Heavenly Father. I am grateful, indeed!
(Click link below to view full-frame image of my dad, Capt. Billy, and my son, Grayson, surely the two most beloved and influential men in my life.)
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, my wife, our son, and I drove to Washington, D.C. to join a half-million Jesus-believers in seeking the face of Holy God for the spiritual healing of our land. It was indeed a deep and moving experience.
I was not sure we would go to the prayer gathering, but a sentence my mother spoke to me the day before seemed to point me in that direction. I share now the sentence with you that my mom read in her quiet time with the Lord and then passed on to me:
"If only one believer with total faith rises up, the history of the world will be changed!"
My faith was so convinced that I can be one of the ones that God would use to rise up in total faith, believing Him at such a deep level as to know the history of the world can be changed because of it. So be it, in the Name of Jesus!
As the three of us prayed together near the Lincoln Memorial, our son asked God to heal our land by drawing us to His goodness. What a wonderful thought. Bad tragedy can never change us in a way that only God's good presence can.
Let us seek Him with all of our hearts while He May be found. And let's anticipate together an awakening in our land and even across God's whole world.
My wife and I enjoy frequenting antique shops. It's truly a wonderful way to spend time together and it only cost money if we find something we "must" purchase, which seems to be under control. :)
Anyway, one deep lesson I've learned visiting antique shops is the sobering reality of the brevity of earthly life. To see and even to hold old items, realizing that just a few years ago people were cherishing these things and now they have entered Eternity? Well, it is an overwhelming idea to think about. Good for the soul.
Recently, as we were antiquing on my day off, an old Chevrolet automobile sat at the entrance of the antique store. It drew me in for a photograph or two.After viewing the photographs a Scripture passage/promise that Jesus spoke in Revelation 21, dealing with His promise to "make everything new" again, came suddenly and gloriously into my mind.
(Click below first on the image for a full-frame view of the old car and then click again on the type below the image for a full-frame rendering of the verse.)
Lord, I know Holy Vision matters. Give me renewed focus on the eternal things of worth rather than the earthly things of waste. Be Thou my Vision, my Lord. Revive my sight to look always for Your Ways of Life. In Jesus' Name. Amen.
Listen below to a powerful old hymn of the church, the cry of my whole heart and my blurry eyes, "Be Thou My Vision" as sung by Ginny Owens, a blind musical artist and worshipper of Holy God.
One of the first hymns I remember hearing from my childhood church-going is "The Solid Rock". My musical artist friend, Jim Cole, recorded this inspiring rendition of it on his Hymns Project. Take a listen and be reminded of our Unshakable Foundation, Jesus Christ.
Just to continue the riverbank and summertime theme from my blog post yesterday, someone sent me this YouTube link of Andy Griffith singing the Mayberry TV theme song from the 1960s. It will be a light moment in your day. All joy.
Yesterday, I was invited to a riverbank in the western part of our county to baptize a precious, young lady who wanted to make a testimony of her salvation. As our group of six prepared for the celebration, a family of four casually walked close by and observed the event and listened to me share the glorious gospel.
As we walked out of the water, the family walked by and said "Congratulations" to which I replied: "Anyone else want to be baptized today?" The father immediately said "Yes" and walked straight into the river to be baptized. Then his wife. Then their teenage daughter. Then their young son. My. My.
I'm still amazed by it all. All I can say is we experienced spontaneous revival on the riverbank. Hallelujah!!!!!
Personal success in life for me is to be loved, respected, and appreciated most by the one who calls me husband and the two who call me daddy. I am honored to be the son of a fisherman and humbled to be a fisherman (and a shepherd) for the Son. To help others minimize future regrets is my joy-description. Ultimately, I only exist so that Christ can manifest Himself in/through me. In fact, for me, the Secret of Life is found in these 7 words from The New Testament in Colossians 1:27 -- "Christ in you, the hope of glory." I do not consider myself to be "religious" but I wholeheartedly believe that "when relationship RULES, there's little need for rules!" My first published book was released by Beacon Hill Press, Kansas City, on August 6, 2009. It is titled "Relational Leadership -- What I learned from a Fisherman about Leading a Church." My second book from Beacon Hill Press was released in 2013. Co-written with Dr. Brian Charette it is titled "The Stress Factor -- Finding Rest in an Uneasy World." Finally, not to forget, I was master to a 13-year-old Beagle who passed in 2016 -- The Oreo Pup. I miss him. "...and i wait." Psalm 5:3 GW
My "Relational Leadership" Book. Click Image to review book and/or to order from Beacon Hill Press, NPH, Kansas City. Grateful!
We don't have to. We get to.
Spirit of the Living God, fall fresh on me...
My late, dear, artist friend, David A. Lawrence, painted this dove in the 1970s. It hangs majestically today in my Granny and Granddaddy's old homeplace. Click on Dove Above for David A. Lawrence's tribute page.
From Cradle to the Cross
From His first cry in the manger to His final cry on the Cross, Jesus lived and lives again with His arms-opened-wide saying, "Come to Me!"
i am grateful. kerry i am.
I pray the time you invest saturating on my RomansTenFifteen blog will inspire your life by radically increasing real intimacy with the Wonderful One, Jesus the Nazarene.
LOVE A GOOD NEIGHBOR!
My neighbor, Philip blessing me.
Lil' Boy, Big Sea. I Stand in Awe of YOU, my GOD!
Click Image to visit America's Best Beach, Ocracoke Island, N.C.
His Beautiful Feet
I want to know Christ... in the fellowship of His sufferings...
Spontaneous Baptism: Click Image for Article
Sunday, May 31, 2009, was Pentecost Sunday and a highlight in my life and ministry as 191 in our local church were spontaneously baptized -- some emmersed, some poured, all humbled! Hallelujah!
Human Feet, Holy Water
i am grateful. kerry i am.
Christ in you, the hope of glory. -- Colossians 1:27b