Monday, December 21, 2009

Freedom in Christ and how we meet!

The other day I was with a group of believers and the question was asked, "does anyone have a song they'd like to sing?"
Of which the first thing in my mind is they don't want me to sing, because I would scare everyone off! Yet, as I sat there and thought some more the Lord reminded me that for those who are not gifted at singing can recite the Psalms. After all they are all about bringing glory to God in worship.
I feel that for so long in the I.C. we have been brought up to think we must have someone lead our worship time and that we must sing songs.
In the bible there are freedoms to an extent of what you can do when you meet. I won't elaborate on them in this post, but I do know that just reading the word outloud and just praising God with our voices is allowed. We don't always have to have a song to be sung in order to glorify our God and Father in heaven.
The way everything is structured in the Institutional Church it makes it out as if you are not "having church" unless you do.
I am not hammering the I.C. no, only using what I have experienced to bring about what the Lord is showing me.
In our house church meetings we don't have people in our little fellowship who sing well or have the gift per se. Yet the Lord still blesses us with His presence by putting things in our hearts to say.
So much seems to be questioning on what to do when you meet in a home church or how to start it etc.. I know for one in our little fellowship we have not had a boring meeting just because no one leads a worship song or has a big teaching.
What works in our group may not work in others. Because of who is present and who the Lord may have gifted to do certain things. Again we may just recite a few Psalms as the Lord lays them on our heart. Or someone may have a scripture they read. There are also times of just being quiet and waiting.
Yet, in all of our meetings the Lord gets glorified and we come out edified.
My conclusion is don't worry about how a meeting is supposed to be held. Don't worry if you don't have the "right" songs to sing. Don't worry if only one person is doing all of the talking if the Lord so wills.
We have made so much out of so little. We have tried to move away from tradition and in doing so we still try to bring a little of it in out of desperation.
Our little group consist for the most part of 1 young man, two older single men, my wife, kids and myself.
Yet so much wisdom comes out of our meetings, because there is a freedom for anyone to speak what the Lord has put on their hearts.
We love to pray together, we love to visit and we definately love to eat! Especially when you 3 single men who don't get to many home cooked meals. Our feast consist of a fellowship meal celebrating the Lord's Supper as a meal.
Right now as we are small we don't have a certain leader. The Holy Spirit has been our guide using the word to edify.
Usually what one has to say out of the word coincides with the atmosphere of the meeting.
Plus we don't always meet every week. Work schedules cause some not to be here and sometimes we do go and meet at a big box church just for the extra fellowship.
So just remember that there is freedom to how we meet and we don't have to be rigid.
More later.....

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

What are you defined by? And who defines you?

I was going to title this post..."I am a heretic and have been for 15 years."
You see the original defintion of heretic was someone who used to be a Roman Catholic and leaves, then no longer believes what that group teaches. Of which I did leave it in 1995 after being in it for 25 years. Later on that same year I wrote to the Ft. Worth diocese and told them to take my name off the list as I no longer consider myself a Roman Catholic.
I took serious what I felt and know the Lord told me. When I knew I had to leave that church.
I loved and still love the people of that group. I have lots of friends and family who still belong to that church group.
At the time I had questions of why! Why did the church do such and such? Why? And no one not even the priest couldn't answer these questions I had. Then the great defining moment came when I was at a parish meeting along with other older parishners trying to find a way to get more people involved. My wife and I were youth group ministers at the time.
The big scratching of the chaulk board moment came when an older gentleman said, "We need to have more devotions to Mary." From that moment on I knew that I had to leave. I knew that something wasn't quite right with that statement.
Needless to say my wife and I gradually moved away from the Catholic church. For about a month or more we were searching what to do next. Then I had the opportunity to meet with my neighbor at the time who happened to be a pastor of a non-denominational charismatic type church group.
We ended up going there and stayed with them for 10 years until we moved.
As we were at our new state and home we became involved in another church of which had reformed baptist ties and were bordering on the gifts and waiting on the Lord for such.
We stayed there for 4 years. And now are meeting in our home. As we feel the Lord called us to.
I learned a lot from each place I have been apart of and am continuing to learn.
So now to why I titled the post what I did.
I could have continued on allowing my Catholic roots to define me, but I left most of that behind.
I could have allowed the charismatic church define me, and also the reformed baptist also.
Meaning people could have defined me by where I was meeting at the time.

Right now people may try to define me as a heretic in another way. Why? Because I am going against the grain of religion that defines most of America. I meet with other believers in a house.
Not a church! No, a house. I also meet with other believers outside at times. Or in McDonald's etc.
You see I don't want a building to define me. I could be following a Martin Luther, Calvin or Armenius.
I could consider myself a backslidden Calvinist! And an Armenian who keeps losing his salvation! I could consider myself modern day heretic because I don't meet in a building with a cross on top of it with at least 50 people meeting every Sunday morning, night and Wednesday nights.

You see how rediculous all of this can be and where it leads?
I am not a heretic! I am not defined by everything Luther, Calvin or Armenius taught.
I can take bits of each and see what they saw in the scripture and say AMEN!
I will not allow someone define me by a mere man! No, I will allow someone define me by what the word of God says and Who that word talks about. Jesus Christ and Him crucified!
I am not Roman Catholic, Baptist, Pentecostal, Church of Christ, Church of God in Christ, Luthern, Methodist, Presbyterian, Freewill Baptist, Reformed Baptist, Southern Baptist, Missionary Baptist, Disciples of Christ.
I could continue on, but I hope you get the idea. I am not railing against these groups. I pray for them. I don't walk against them. I pray for them.
I don't want to be defined by a man, a movement or a way that is not recorded in the word of God.
I want to be defined by my walk, my love for the Lord and my love for His people!
Love that is what I want to be defined by. Love the Lord with all your heart......
I want to be defined by the greatest commandment.
You see what I am finding out is all the men who people follow as noted on the fronts of buildings were not perfect.
Calvin had his issues, Armenius had his, and as I recently found out Luther wasn't all that great of a man.
There is danger in continuing to say I am of Apollos ie. Luther, Wesley, Calvin, Armenius, and in todays time Piper, Dever, Swaggert, Copeland etc.
I am not saying don't read what they wrote and are writing. As they did leave and are leaving us some great things from the word of God. What I am saying is let's not let everything these men did and are doing define you.
Paul didn't let any man define what he taught or believed except the man Christ Jesus!

Also don't let a building define you. Whether it is a house or a big structure with lots of seats.
I personally believe that we are in a defining moment in the history of church. Where the Lord is making it known what He wants!
We are in a time where the Lord is showing men what really counts and what is important to Him. And guess what?
It isn't man!
What is important to God is that He gets all the glory through His only begotten Son! JESUS CHRIST!

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Cross of Christ was bloody and violent!

The cross that Jesus died on was Bloody and Stained!
Jesus took the wrath of God upon Himself for those who believe in HIM!
That same wrath is still held upon the lost!
And quite frankly what we have done to cheapen the gospel to one of only love is what has lead us into the dispair we now have that we call Christianity.
Jonathon Edwards saw the hypocrisy that beladened his congregation and knew that unless God did something they would all perish!
In turn having gotten on his knees and crying out for his lost congregation the Lord gave him this sermon that had the power and backing of the Holy Spirit!
In turn people were cut to the heart convicted and seen their need for a Saviour.
I have been reading lots of history on the revivals.
In those revivals many people were truly saved until one of the great fallacy's of Finney!

Who brought in the alter call.

I will say that Finney did contribute a lot of good in his time, but I feel the whole alter call could possibly overshadow some of those other things.

In today's time we have alter calls being substituted for the "Call". Call on the name of the Lord and you will be saved. And we also have easy believism that is a heresy!

Which in turn brought in a whole new generations of unbelieving people into the congregations.
Now what we have is people who don't want to be offended, and pastors who don't want to lose anyone by offending them with the truth.

Jesus first words on the scene were REPENT for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!
John the baptist called the religious of his day a Brood of vipers!

We are to be using the whole bible as the word says it is good for reproof, rebuke etc......

To leave out some very very important parts of the bible in an attempt to not offend people is doing an injustice to the Lords work.

The sermon Jonathon Edwards presented was to his church! People who thought they were saved. There comes a time for us to be gentle with people. And then there comes a time that we need to stir them out of their seats of complacency.
We are in that time of stirring them out.
How many churches do we have in the U.S. ? And yet this nation is failing and full of lost souls.
Just like there were back in the day of Whitfield and the like.
Those men saw the desperation of what was needed to bring the people back to God.
They didn't need a seeker sensitive message of Jesus loves you and has a wonderful plan for your life.
They needed to hear the truth about God's wrath that was on them.
Read Revelation where the words says "I will vomit you out of my mouth."
That is not gentle, that is a loving God who warned the people to Repent, but they didn't. He is speaking to people held up in Churches!
Lost hypocrites! People pretending to be one thing and yet are totally another.
As a parent I love my children and give them hugs and praise them when they are doing good.
I also have to discipline them and show some harshness when they are going astray.
God chastises those whom He loves.
So to just be one who only preaches the love part of the bible and nothing else is wrong.
The wrath is upon the lost, that is biblical. And unless we are out there warning the people what is impending upon them, there will be no need to tell them of the love.
I also know there is the time for grace. And in Gods wrath there is grace!
Because He so loved the world that He gave!
The cross was not a pleasant non violent issue! It was a wrathful, harsh, bloody and violent death Jesus suffered for us.
That must be told also!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Sinner Beware! An exerpt from Sinners of an Angry God by: Jonathon Edwards

"Now, what significance does this have to do with our daily lives?
Perhaps this awful subject may awaken those who remain unconverted in the church, for what you have read is the case of everyone is out of Christ.
If you are not a child of God, that world of misery, that lake of burning brimstone, is extended abroad under you.
Below you is the dreadful pit of the glowing flames of the wrath of God; hell's mouth is gaping wide open; and you have nothing to stand upon, nor anything to take hold of.
There is nothing between you and hell except the air; it is the only power and mere pleasure of God that holds you up.
You probably are not aware of this, for although you find you are kept out of hell, you do not see the hand of God in it.
Instead, you attribute your current state to other things, such as the health of your body, your care of your own life, and the means you use for your own perservation.
But, indeed, these things are nothing; if God should withdraw His hand, they would avail no more to keep you from falling than the thin air can hold up a person who is suspended in it.
Your wickedness makes you heavy as lead; it drives you down, with great weight and pressure, toward hell.
And if God were to let you go, you would immediately sink and swiftly descend and plunge into the bottomless gulf.
At that moment, you will see that your health, your own care and prudence, your best contrivance, and all your righteousness, have no more influence to uphold you and keep you out of hell, than a spider's web has to stop a falling rock.
Were it not for the sovereign pleasure of God, the earth would not bear you for one moment, for you are a burden to it.
The creation groans with you, 'for we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together' (Romans 8:22); creation is unwilling made subject to the bondage of your corruption."

This sermon continues on, but I am not going to put the rest down.
Go and buy the book "Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God" by; Jonothan Edwards.
You see this sermon was for those who were in the church that Jonathan Edwards pastored.

He saw the desperation of the time.
When men and women grew cold in their walk with Christ.
He knew in his heart that not all of those in his congregation that claimed to be Christian were saved.
That same scenario goes on every Sunday in our churches.
There are countless lost people sitting in pews every Sunday thinking they are on their way to heaven.
They are decieved!
Unless you repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ you cannot be saved!
All the serving and helping is not going to get you into heaven.
If you were told after holding a pastors hand, praying a prayer or doing the every eye closed thing that you were saved.
And yet have no change in your life and have no desire to go out and proclaim the name of Jesus, you better seek God!
Unless you call on the name of Jesus and repent of your ways you may very well be decieved into thinking you are going to heaven.
Please check your heart, ask God to show you if you meant what you said, or if you just did what you were told and believed a man instead of God!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Do not labor for the food that perishes....The work of God!

"Truly truly, I say to you, you are seeking me not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." John 6: 26-27

My heart breaks! My heart is breaking for all of those who are looking for food from those who have fed them. Yet they don't realize what they really need is the Lord Jesus Christ!
So much is done for the poor like feeding them and clothing them and such. Yet many times they never hear the good news.
Jesus had good news! He was and is the good news!
Yet the people he had just fed the previous day came looking for him the next day, not to hear the word, but to get more food.
I hear a lot of people using the scripture of Jesus feeding the 5000 and the other story where he fed the people as a reason to go and feed the lost.
Which is good in and of itself, but if that is all you are doing then you just lost the whole scope of the message of the cross!
Jesus was trying to feed them a spiritual word. In the meantime he gave them physical food to help sustain them.
When they came back the next day seeking Jesus they weren't looking for the spiritual food, but the physical food. Jesus knew their hearts!

You see the bread of God is Jesus and it is only through him that we have eternal life!
We must be preaching Christ and Him crucified! We must be willing to tell the people that they need to repent! We must be willing to give the people the real food! The Bread of Life!

Monday, October 19, 2009

A word from W. Carl Ketcherside

Greed for money is at the bottom of much of our sad plight.

Men make a profession of dispensing the water of life which God has freely given to all.

They then inaugurate a special caste to minister in this profession and demand support from the rest of God's children.

Others see an opportunity to make gain and seize power by instituting organizations to produce and train the professional clergymen.

Theological seminaries under the guise of Bible colleges are begun and again a tax is levied
against the "clergy of God" to produce a special clergy which will steal the very privileges of
those who pay tribute to this earthly hand-maiden to produce them.

Eventually the simplicity of God's original plan of priesthood becomes so obscure, that those who plead for a return to the old paths are derided, maligned and laughed to scorn.
-W. Carl Ketcherside

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Just a word and thought!

In my journey walking with Christ I have never been the "normal" sit in your pew kind of Christian. I have always been the type of Christian that was hungry for the word and wanting to know more. My heart has always been striving for that goal that Paul mentions in the scripture. I have not and will not waiver!
That is not to say that I haven't sinned or will not continue to sin in the future.
The difference is that I am forgiven. As no one is perfect in their walk with Christ.

Every since I was five years old I have been on a journey God has called me too.
I wasn't walking in His ways all the years, but I can look back now and see at different instances where He was involved in my life. All the while trying to get my attention.
I thank God for all He has and is doing in my life and the life of my family. I praise Him for my wife of 19 years +. I praise Him for my 4 beautiful children.
My home is at peace and my life is great.

My walk with the Lord has been and is a great journey that I would not change for anything.
He has spoken to me in different ways throughout my life and though I didn't always listen I always knew it was Him and He had a plan for me.
I am not an arrogant man. No, my confidence is in Christ who called me to this wonderful walk.
I have my convictions and beliefs. And again I won't waiver from them.
I don't need to explain myself in order for people to know that I believe in the only Son of God.
There is nothing that can change a mans heart except the Lord who uses His Holy Word and His Holy Spirit.

Most all of my life the Lord has kept me questioning why! Why, do we do this in the church? Where is that in the bible? Who says this is correct?
And now I have been coming into more of the truth and the light of what God has been showing me. I have found people on the internet through blogs, facebook etc. that are on the very same journey asking the same questions.
I have met people in person and still fellowship with some who had the same question. Why?

This word is for all of you!

Continue to move forward in what God is showing you! Don't get discouraged in being let down by others. Don't allow the enemy to put thoughts into your mind that you are crazy for not staying with the status quo! And don't allow money or the love of money to stop your journey the Lord has you on.
Don't be like the Israelites who were set free from Pharoh and the system of Eygpt and were promised a land of milk and honey. Yet they waivered and made what was supposed to be a short journey into a 40 year journey.
Don't allow the machine we call "church" in America to bring you down.
Don't allow the attacks upon the truth to make you want to stop moving forward.

This is not some issue that will just go away with enough opposition. No, because what God starts He finishes.

Martin Luther didn't waiver when his life was being threatened! He didn't cower to the powers to be in the system.
He continued the race until his death.
This reformation God has us on is going to continue. It is not a new thing as some would have us believe. This move God has us in has been going on since the beginning.
So continue the race and continue to encourage one another.
Pray for one another and continue to show the love of Christ to all!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

2 Timothy 3....What a word for today!

"But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty." 2 Timothy 3:1

Paul wrote this to Timothy so he could be prepared.
Here we are in the 21st century and how true this word is for Christians today.
There is difficult times going on right now for thousands of believers everyday. Around the world there are believers being beaten, in prisoned, and killed for what they believe. I would call that difficult! We here in America are only for the most part experiencing verbal difficulties at most, yet while we call that suffering people are being persecuted around the world.

"For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power." 2 Timothy 3:2-5

Now this describes the United States doesn't it? It also probably describes other parts of the world. Yet for the sake of where I live I will use the United States as an example.
Lovers of self! How many times do we hear the statement? Just believe in yourself, love yourself. And then we are told not to be hard on yourself.
Self is our new god! As it was in the beginning. It is all about me and me alone. But not so in the kingdom of God. We are to crucify ourself! We are to deny ourself and not be a lover of self.
The world is full of selfishness. The kingdom of God is full of selflessness!

Lovers of money! Need I say more? What caused the financial collapse in the U.S.? For the most part love of money.
I am probably one of the last generations to grow up learning to be respectful to your elders, to be courteous and thankful. Yet today when you go out people are for the most part rude, ungrateful and slanderous. You hold the door open for someone and they give you the look of cursing! Or they walk on through without acknowledging you at all. It is like we owe them.
Now it is not for us as believers to return that kind of behaviour to them.
In the news today there is the subject of the street gang who killed the young man who was trying to help another person from being attacked. Brutality, recklessness and treacherous.
They took pleasure in what they did.
Where do you get your pleasure?
We are to be all for the Lord or nothing at all.

In todays society even in the church people are denying the power of God. They don't believe in miracles, they don't believe the gifts are for today etc.
So in turn we turn and self in order to accomplish what God has called us to do. Becuase again we deny His power.

So what does the word say we are to do with people like this?

"Avoid such people." 2 Timothy 3:5

We are to avoid those described above, because they are not of God.
That doesn't mean we are not to pray for them and continue to love them. Just don't get involved with what they are doing, because we can fall back into those trappings if we are not careful.

We are living in this day and age! We need to be ready in season and out! We must be willing to do what God has called us to do and be ready for the difficult time that is already promised.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

How desperate and hungry are you for God to move again?

"In Massachusetts Village of Northampton, a black gowned Congregational minister of God knelt in prayer. He was burdened for the 1100 souls of the little town who, he was convinced, were afllicted with the deadly spiritual disease of the day." Excerpt from the book America's Great Revivals The story of Spiritual Revival in the United States. 1734-1899

That man was Jonothan Edwards. The man who preached "Sinners in the Hands of an angry God."
Whatever your thought is on whether we should use the law or not in our preaching and presenting the gospel is not what I am concerned with.

The point that I am trying to convey is first and foremost he was so desperate for God to move upon the lost souls that he knelt down and prayed.

Here is a description of the condition of the day in 1734.

"The conditons that pressed Jonothan Edwards to his knees that Sunday seemed black indeed. Gone was the God-fearing generation that had settled the land.
The new generation had forgotten God. Immorality, debauchery, self-interest ruled.
Few worried about the next world. Even those who held to the externals of religion had lost the heart of it."
Pg. 6 of same book.
Does that describe what is happening now in our nation and world?
A resounding YES!
They adopted what was called the "Halfway Covenant".

Meaning as long the people would assent to the doctrine of faith and weren't scandalous in life they would be allowed to continue fellowship etc.

Later George Whitfield came onto the field. He preached in meetinghouses, barns, fields and from wagons. Every place he preached people were convicted of sin and driven to the foot of the cross.
He didn't use gimmicks!
He first prayed and then was led by the Holy Spirit.

Ministers were being converted in the Whitfield meetings.
Ministers who were never converted!
We have that today. We have men in the churches preaching the gospel of which they themselves haven't been converted by yet.
"Whitfield spoke so vigorously against the practice of sending unconverted persons in the ministry."
Another issue of that day was the influence of the colleges among the children.
Which was not a good influence.
Something we are experiencing today.
Our children go to college thinking they are Christian and come out indoctrinated by the non believing professors.
"Eastern colleges were rife with the skepticism of the age. Lawlessness ruled on the Western frontier."Pg. 26"
There were few churches, few praying people.

The established churches, most of whom had sided with England in the struggle for independence, had lost their influence."

"The ministers were agreed on one thing---a revival was desperately needed. What shall we do about it?they asked themselves.
The only answer: PRAY!

They issued a "circular letter"calling all of the people to pray for revival.

That started in January 1795. In November of that year the prayers were being answered!

We need God and we need to be on our knees crying out for revival.
I am not talking about these so called revival meetings where once a year a church brings in a special speaker and they meet for a week and nothing changes.
No, I am talking about a fullfledged truth revival that only God can send using His Holy Spirit!

It doesn't have to be an orchestrated effort as the Lord will do what He wants!

He doesn't need men to jump in and take over.

No, He wants us to humble ourselves and if necessary fast, but for sure PRAY without ceasing!

My question is this: Who's with me?

Who is willing to take time out of each day and truly cry out for the Lord to move amongst His people in this world?

Who is hungry and desperate enough to wait on the Lord?

I am going to be bringing this issue up as often as I feel led.

This is something I feel the Lord has put on my heart to push and press into!Tarry, Tarry, Tarry!
Until the Lord comes!Come Holy Spirit rain down on us!

This is something the Lord has been burdening me about and we need to get serious again!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Men we need to be praying!

"I desire then that in every place the men should pray, lifting holy hands without anger or quarreling." 1 Timothy 2:8

Gentlemen, it is time to pray! It is time to take up the mantle that God has put upon us as leaders of our families! It is time to stop the quarreling and bickering! It is time for us to stop cowering down and start rising! We need to be less prideful and more humble!
We need to be about our Fathers business!

For years I have been a strong advocate of praying. I have longed to see God move among His people and take us to that next level of His glory.
Yet in most of my Christian life it has been the women who have been the delegated prayer warriors. While the men did other things.
Why is it that few men want to get together and pray? Why is it easier to get men to a golf outing or a barbque than it is to get them to a prayer meeting?
Why is it that the men have left their first love to chase after other things?

We want revival without sacrifice. We want to see people saved without first plowing with prayer.
We want the gifts without doing the work.
Adam wasn't there when Eve needed him! Where are we when our ladies need us?
Where are we when the women come together to pray?
Our role is to be head of our families! The head and not the tail.
I am hungry for more of God and I know it is going to take more than just talk. It is going to take more than just going and handing out tracts. It is going to take more than feeding the hungry, clothing the poor and preaching the gospel.
It is going to take all of us to come together and pray to the Lord.

In the book of Acts the disciples were in the upper room until they were indued with power.
Were they just hanging out planning their next move? No, they were praying and fasting.
Another area where we are weak is in fasting.
Prayer and fasting go hand in hand.
We need to be willing and hungry enough to do it as led by the Lord.

Most all of the revivals in the United States were led by men who were hungry!

Those revivals were birthed out of prayer.

I am not saying the women don't have a role in any of this. I am saying that it is usually the women who have taken up the mantle that God delegated to the men.
Great women of God have travailed through prayer and many other things throughout the years.
Yet in this day and age there seems to be very few men who are willing to sacrifice!
We make excuses on why we can't come together and pray. We may say well that worked for the culture back then, but we are in a different culture.
Then change, REPENT!
It is going to take a sacrifice of our time to get together and watch God move!
Are you willing to do what it takes to come together with others and pray for the move of God that we so desperately need?
Are you willing to sacrifice the time it will take to get together with your family and lead them in prayer?
For those who are single are you willing to sacrifice your extra pleasures in order to see God move?
Please hear me in this and know that I just want to see revival in our time.
I want to see the Spirit move and people being saved.
I want to see men on their knees crying out for more of God!
Our wives and children need to see us men on our knees being real!
Again for the single men out there, you want to impress your lady? Then be a man and get on your knees and cry out to God in prayer.
Go to the back of your bibles and look at the concordance under pray, prayer and prayers.
See how many references there are to be praying for one another.
Be all you can be in God's army!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

God, The Government and Our Role as Christians

I would like to start this off by saying there has been a lot of things being brought up concerning the issues stemming from our government from Christians.

I was one of those people. I got carried away as I always do in the political situation going on.

I had a brother in Christ call me out on this in a gentle way. Of which I truly accepted as correction in love.

So that said, I would like to present something for us all to think about. Some of what I will say may not go well with many. But I am not here to patronize anyone. I am here to give glory to my Creator and Saviour. I am here to present somethings that I feel the Lord has put on my heart.

I hope to point out the Christians role in government, and explain why I feel the United States is not and never was a Christian nation. I will try and present the Sovereignty of God in all that is going on in our lives and what we are told to do about it.

First the soveriegnty of God in government.

"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and of peace there will be no end, on the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from this time forth and forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will do this." Isaiah 9:6-7

So there you see the sovereignty of God! The government shall be upon His shoulder! And of the increase of His government (the body) and of peace there will be no end....In the end we shall overcome because He already has.

What is our role in our government? Now I am not saying a Christian shouldn't run for office or vote! Hear me on this, if you are living in the United States then that was ordained of God also. So take advantage of our freedoms to vote and run for public offices.

Yet what I am about to go with this is, we are not to slander anyone not even our enemies.

"But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you." Luke 6:27-28

We are also to be subject to the governing authorities granted to an extent of them not telling us to stop preaching and proclaiming. Yet Paul in the book of Romans explains what our role is concerning the governing authorities.

"Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. (more sovereignty of God) Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, (God's sovreignty) and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will recieve his approval, for he is God's servant for your good." Romans 13:1-4

"Be subject for the Lord's sake to every human institution, whether it be to the emperor as supreme, or to governors as sent by him to punish those who do evil and to praise those who do good. For this if the will of God, that by doing good you should put to silence the ignorance of foolish people." 1 Peter 2:13-15

So if we are doing good then we should not fear the government as God is in total control. Yet He uses the authority to pass earthly judgment to those who are doing bad. The governing authority carries out God's wrath on the earthly realm on the wrongdoer.

I am not advocating that we not continue to assemble with each other or stop evangelizing if the government makes that illegal. Because that is a mandate from God.

There are many men and women who are in jails across the world for evangelizing and meeting while it is illegal in their nations. Yet God is blessing them and they are enduring through to the end, because of who their real Father is. So if we get jailed for doing what God has told us then we are in His will. We are to be peaceful about it and not war with the governing authorities if they come for you.

"But Peter and the apostles answered, 'We must obey God rather than men." Acts 5:29

We as Christians need to be careful of what we say to each other and about others. We are not given authority to slander others.
"Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person." Colossians 4:5-6
What I wrote above is just a small amount of scripture discribing our role and the government.
Now to tackle the issue of whether the United States is a Christian nation or has it ever been.
I would like to say what the founding fathers did was to use the bible to establish the rule of law for our nation. Does that make it Christian? No! Because this nation is made of wretched people who need a Saviour. Not every person in the nation at any given time was or is a Christian.
To be a Christian nation shouldn't it be nothing, but Christians ruled by Christians? Look at the Islamic nations. There is no doubt those nations are Muslim. They are ruled by the Koran and by Muslim leaders.
Our leaders are not all Christian. Christians are not even of this world, so why would God want to put His stamp on a nation that is not of His world? Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world."
We have mistakenly been led to think that this nation is a Christian nation and in turn we have weakened the church. In doing so we don't evangelize or preach the truth like we should be doing. A lot of people assume just because they are born to Christian parents that they are automatically Christian. Or just because they are born in the United States that they are Christian.
We should never label ourselves a Christian nation. We who are Christian know who we are and where we live. I could move to another country and yet that doesn't make it a Christian nation.
Yes the forefathers used the bible to make rules, law and government. But they also used the bible to justify slavery. They also took a people group and forced them onto reservations. Our forefathers weren't here first. This country was a pagan country.
God has blessed us who live here, but we can't justify the blessings and curses put on Israel as our own if we don't follow Him as a nation.
Those of us who are the Saints of God are individuals who dwell in a country and are ambassadors of the world.
We must be kingdom minded and not earthly minded.
I love the United States and am not being "unpatriotic" for what I am saying. I am just trying to be honest about an issue that stems from pulpits of which can't be justified by the scritptures.
Now we are called to evangelize, pray and disciple. If this was a Christian nation then that should have already been finished, but it's not and we still have work to do.
So pray for the government, don't be divisive and reach the lost.

Friday, August 14, 2009

A timely quote from a A.W. Tozer.....

"To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men."
A. W. Tozer

This is something we who are hungering for the truth must face everyday. Even to the point of death. We must be willing to always please God and not worry about what man thinks.
As we embark on what the Lord is showing us even if it is not the "norm".
We as Christian men and women are not the norm. We who hear from above will always be looked down upon from those in this world.
Be of good cheer as the Lord has stated.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

1 Corinthians 2:1-9 Not with lofty speech or wisdom.

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come to proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing except Christ and Him crucified. And I was with you in weakness and in fear and much trembling, and my speech and my message were not in plausible words of wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power, that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men ....but in the power of God." 1 Corinthians 2:1-9

We who are believers should be relying on the Holy Spirit for wisdom and not what men have to say. If we are truly studying for the message then we need to know for sure what we are hearing and writing down is of God. By His Spirit we are saved, not by man. So it goes to say our using big lofty words is not what brings about conviction! It is the Holy Spirit. If Paul didn't use lofty speech then what makes us think we should too?

Paul completely and utterly depended on the Holy Spirit to feed him words. He didn't have all of the written complitations of previous men's work to teach. He prayed heavily. The proof of that is in his epistles. He is constantly saying how he is praying for the saints, and telling us to pray without ceasing.
I am not against using others to bring about a point. What seems to be the norm though is more of men's words seem to be used then that of God's.
People need a word for now that will change their lives. We need to be prepared to hear God on the spot for whatever need arises. Something that is spontaneous at times yet also pre planned.

Paul lays it out when he says "in fear and demonstration of power and the Holy Spirit."
Two things verily lacking in today's modern church.
Humility is key to being able to hear the Lord for others. If we are not humbling ourselves during our prayer times then we are cheating others.
We are making a mockery of God.
You know it is good to have the internet and all of the info. at our finger tips. Yet it is also something of an hinderance. Because now we don' nesscessarily have to depend on the Holy Spirit to get a word or messge. Or to understand a passage.
We can just go and research it without ever seeking God.
That is dangerous. We must be able to discern what is and is not of the Lord.
Again I want to explain I am not against using the tools set before us.
I am just saying if that is all we are using without ever seeking God then we are doing a great injustice to the body of believers.
So what am I trying to say is, seek God while He may be found. Hear from Him on what He wants His people to do. Be prepared to make changes if the Holy Spirit really does show up during a time of teaching. Be willing to have your service disrupted by the King when He enters the room.
Everything doesnt't have to be flowing in order.
Many times the Holy Spirit shows up and we say oh don't worry we have it under control thanks anyway.
Then we miss the blessing!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

This was from an email I was sent from a friend...good word..

I wanted to share a valuable insight I got into the heart of the Lord Jesus:
25At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes.
26Even so, Father: for so it seemed good in thy sight.
27All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him.
28Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
29Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
30For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:25-28 KJV
I listened to this passage read on CD recently and was extremely impressed. "no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him."(NKJV) This is very powerful. Jesus has authority and power to choose to whom He reveals the Father! This implies to me that Jesus is no mere man. He is God's Son with authority to introduce us to His Father. He is the way to the Father. He is the bridge to God!
Secondly, I'm impressed with the knowledge that since Jesus can reveal His Father to whom He wishes, what kind of heart does He have? To whom does He will to reveal the Father? Could He be obtuse or hard to reach, hard to please so that He only reveals the Father to people of status or worldly fame or talent? The answer is in the passage.
Just following verse 27 is verse 28-30 "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls." (NKJV) WOW! What a heart of compassion! Jesus desires for men to come to Him. He is open and receptive to weary and burdened souls. And although there may be much more to say in terms of systematic theology regarding to whom Jesus reveals the Father*, Jesus' receptiveness and openness to receive burdened and weary souls is great joy to my heart! Whoever believes in Him has eternal life! (John 3:16) Jesus isn't stale, impassionate, harsh, difficult, impersonal, disinterested, unsympathetic, but rather is compassionate, wanting to give rest to weary, burdened souls! He is gentle and humble (meek and lowly) in heart! Praise the Lord that we have an advocate like Him! He invites people to come to Him! Oh to rest in Jesus, to know the lightness of His burden, to learn of Him, why would we not want to come to Him. Indeed, as John wrote in one of his letters, we love, because He loved us. What Love! What pity! What compassion! And He backed it up with His actions, healing people, feeding the hungry multitudes, casting out demons.
*I believe that Jesus doesn't shut the door to our relationship with God by His initial will but only shuts the door to those whose hearts are not pure and undivided before Him. Not that any of us always and consistently show a pure, undivided heart.# Jesus showed harshness to the hypocritical Pharasees, and in another place couldn't do many miracles there because of unbelief. Jesus told the woman at the well (John 4:23-24) that "the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for such people the Father seeks to be His worshipers. "God is spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth." Jesus knows immediately the heart of man and man's response to Him, whether it be fake or sincere, adversarial or receptive, truly seeking to please God or rebellious.
May we learn to love like Jesus loved, to have compassion like He has compassion. And may we rejoice in His openness to us and His drawing us to Himself. Praise the LORD!
# I do NOT wish to imply that we can earn God's favor or salvation by our efforts at being pure and undivided before Him. Certainly salvation is by grace through faith and not of ourselves, lest any man should boast (Eph. 2:8-10). God's grace and Christ's redemptive work saves us. What I mean is that as I have been listening to the book of Matthew, Jesus showed compassion to those who were weary and burdened, yet could be forthright to those who harbored hypocrisy. I think the key to understanding man's response to Jesus and Jesus' response to individuals is relationship.
Tim Trawick

Saturday, July 4, 2009 - Home of Raven Ministries International Restoring A Vision & Evangelizing Nations - About Us - Home of Raven Ministries International Restoring A Vision & Evangelizing Nations - About Us

I met this gentleman on Facebook. He is on fire for the work of the Lord Jesus Christ. I just want to let people see there are men and women who still go out and preach the truth in love.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

"How will they hear with no one preaching?"

"How then will they call on him whom they have not believed? And how are they to believe in him whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear with no one preaching? And how are they to preach unless they are sent?" Romans 10:14-15

This is one of my favorite scripture verses.

We ALL are called to preach!

...."The word of God says how are they to hear if no one preaches?"

"It doesn't say how will they follow if no one holds their hand and leads them in a prayer?"

This was a quote from Tommy Gault from last nights fellowship time.

We are called to preach the gospel and not to lead the people to the Lord.

We preach, proclaim and the Lord ADDS!

That should make it simple and not intimidating for us.

Just give the people the gospel and then the Lord will give the increase!


Friday, June 26, 2009


"Then I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that know one knows but himself. He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called it 'THE WORD OF GOD'." Revelation 19: 11-13

Jesus is the Faithful and True WORD OF GOD!

He is the one who spoke and all things were created.

He is the one who will judge the living and the dead.

He is the one who is the KING of KINGS and LORD of LORDS!

We all wiil be accountable to Him no matter what you believe.

He is the one who judges and makes war.

He is the one who dips His robe into the blood.

HE is the PERFECT!

He is I AM!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Willing to suffer for Christ....

To be a Christian you must be willing to suffer for the things of Christ.

You must be willing to be used of God to proclaim, minister, serve and die for Jesus.

This is not a social club religion.

It is a life! And it is not your own life.

It is the life of Jesus Christ who lives inside of you.

Go out and make disciples of all nations baptizing them in the name of Jesus.

"You might even be opposing God!"

"So in the present case: I tell you, keep away from these men and let them alone, for if this plan or this undertaking is of man, it will fail, but if it is of God, you will not be able to overthrow them. You might even be found opposing God!" Acts 5:38-39

This man did not realize how right he was.

The new move that was taking over Jerusalem was of God and it has not failed. It will not fail, because God cannot fail!
There is another issue that seems to be of God right now also. That is the move toward a more simpler fellowship. Moving away from the traditional setting to a more relational type gathering.
So much is pointing to the fact that God is moving us back to the way it was considering how we meet.
So much has been influenced by the world that you can't even recognize what is of God and what is not in the church. We have become to much like the world.
Now it seems again that God is moving on His people to go forward and continue to follow Him wherever you are. Assembling not just on Sundays in a big building with a name on the front.
But meeting on the street in the offices or other places not labeled as traditional.
I would just like to say that this is something some seem to be opposing, and I would like to point out to the scripture above again.

"If this plan is the undertaking of man, it will fail, but if it is of God you can't overthrow them. You might even find yourself opposing God!"

So before you go off and start critizing something that is not the traditional way be careful. As you may be opposing God.
Test the spirits and see if they are of God.
If this whole move toward a simpler way of Godly meeting is not of God then it will fail.
If it is of God you will not be able to stop it, you may be finding yourself joining.

We are the temple of God......

"Do you not know that you, are God's temple and that God's Spirit dwells in you? If anyone destroy's God's temple, God will destroy him. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." 1 Cor. 3:16-17

If you are a Christian then "you" are the "temple" of God! Take care of that temple as we are who God dwells in not buildings.

Consecrate yourself to be holy and not a building.

I am not advocating house vs. building!

I am advocating the fact that we the people are the ones who the Lord dwells in.
So we are the one's who need to be careful of how we conduct ourselves.
Sinners should be getting convicted of their sin when we are around, because of WHO lives in us.If that is not happening then we need to be repenting and praying for more of HIM!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Myths dispelled.....

The following comes from Keith Giles who had posted this on another site.
I just found it interesting as we need to be understanding the truth about the Truth of the Word.

The Myth of the Pastoral Epistles by; Keith Giles

"Search it up on and you'll find a brief entry about how 1 and 2 Timothy and the book of Titus (and sometimes Philemon) are referred to as the Pastoral Epistles of Paul the Apostle.

Nevermind that these are not written to Pastors.

Nevermind that Timothy is, like Paul a travelling missionary and church-planting evangelist.

Nevermind that Titus is also not a pastor but has been 'left behind in Crete' to help establish
a church community there before he moves on to plant other churches elsewhere.

Nevermind that Philemon isn't anything other than a slave-owner who needs encouragement from Paul regarding treatment of said slave.

Nevermind that both of the epistles to Timothy and the one to Titus deal primarily with the charactor of elders (plural) within the church community.

Nevermind that the word 'Pastor' does not appear in any of these so-called 'Pastoral Epistles'.

Nevermind that the word 'Pastor' only appears once in the entire New Testament.

As long as you can overlook all of these minor details, you should have no problem referring to these as the Pastoral Epistles of Paul."
K. G.

Now here is some information from another gentleman Alan Knox to coincide with the above statement.

"Second, as to the name 'Pastoral Epistles'. I agree. The nomendature is incorrect/ imprecise, which leads people to believe that the teaching is for 'pastors' or 'elders'. As you (KG) said, neither Timothy nor Titus nor Philemon are called pastor, elders, bishops, etc. in Scritpture. Timothy is called apostle and possibly a deacon(servant).

The idea that Timothy and Titus were bishops comes from a couple of hundred years later (Eusebius) when it was normanl for cities to have a single bishop. I think this has caused much confusion in our understanding of these letters and our understanding of the church." Alan Knox

One more thing Alan Knox pointed out was the terminology of which I find highly interesting and I will explain later.

1) pastor = "poimen" = "shepherd"
2) elder = "presbuteros" = "an older person"
3) bishop = " episkopos" = "an overseer/caretaker"
4) deacon = "diakonos" = "a servant"
5) minister = "diakonos" = "a servant" -yes, the same term

"In the scriptural teaching specifically related to elders/bishops (1 Tim. 3, Titus 1, Acts 20, 1 Peter 5), the two terms elder and bishop/overseer seem to be interchangeable. The term 'pastor' is not used in these passages."
Alan Knox

I appreciate the way all of this was presented by Keith and then how Alan put his imput into it. Granted on the original post more people commented also, yet what Alan said really stood out in terms of well terminology.

I have been struggling with the whole "elder" issue for a while. Meaning that when we use it in everyday terms we mean those who are older than us. Like say our parents, grandparents etc.
Yet in the church we don't usually mean it that way. Looking down through history and also in modern days look at other cultures. The elders truly are the oldest, most wise of the group. Men who by very nature have lived their lives and have experiences to relate with those who are younger.
So why does it have a different meaning in the church? Or better yet why do we interchange it with pastor?
You have a young man who is fresh out of seminary who gets his "license" to preach. Then gets "hired" at a local body, does that automatically qualify him as an "elder".
I don't see that to be the case, and yet many churches place young men in the elder position.
Most of the discriptions in the bible about elders talks about them being the husband of one wife, or keeping their children in order. So to me that describes someone who knows something about marriages and kids. Someone who has "life"experience. Along with deacons also.
I may be wrong and stand corrected. So please don't crucify me for these thoughts.
I having grown up in the Catholic church in my past had a problem with getting counseling from a man about marriage when they themselves aren't nor ever were married. Or yet being told how to raise kids when in fact they have never had children.
There is a great significance to all of this. Granted the Lord does give wisdom to those who ask.
But the issue still stands with who could be an elder according to the word of God?

People may say that I am just chasing rabbits and need to focus on proclaiming the gospel only.
Yet this is very important. We need to get our history and definitions straight so we can have a clear understanding of the word of God. So when we go out and make disciples we will be able to teach them the full counsel of God according to the truth.
This is very important to the function of the body of Christ. It has great implications.
We have become a group of Christians who allow a few to do all of the work because of wrong teaching and misunderstanding of the word.
So while we go and proclaim we should also be examing what we believe and see the word in the light of truth.

Again I deeply appreciate the wisdom of Keith Giles and Alan Knox.
These two gentlemen truly love the Lord and truly want to do right unto HIM.
Thank you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Let us consider how to stir....or another..

Hebrews 10:24b gets a lot of attention in the body of Christ on Sundays. Most of my days during the assembling of the saints the pastor would always mention "Forsake not the assembling of yourselves." All in the name of getting people to continue to meet.
Which there is nothing wrong with that, except they usually skip verse 24a.
"And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works..."
This has been an issue on my heart for a while. Then the other day one of those God thoughts came to me. In my mind the thought came to me that the word stir was an aggressive word and not a passive one. Meaning that we should almost be provoking each other to the point of anger in order to be on fire for the gospel.
Now realize I say to the point of anger and not to become angry. Yet if we do have that feeling it shouldn't be toward one another, but toward the direction of wanting to do something for God and not be slack.
I then got up and looked in my wife's collegiate dictionary for the definition of stir.
This is what I found; disturb, rouse, foment, arouse, provoke, stimulate, goad, spur.
To be emotionally moved. To rouse from inactivity.
So with these definitions lets look at the scripture.
Let us consider how to "provoke or rouse one another from inactivity" to love and good works.
You see how powerful that word stir is?
We as Christians come together in order to stir, rouse, provoke each other. It is not a passive word. It is a situation where we should be agitating each other as we assemble in order to be willing to go and praise the Lord and proclaim His word.
So then you can say forsake not the assembling of one another because we are to stir each other up. Our gathering together is not just for us to come and hear a good word from a pulpit. It is in order for us to get fired up, built up and stirred up to go out and reach the lost with the good news.
Timothy was told by Paul to stir up the gifts that were given him by the laying on of hands.
He is to stimulate, provoke and be disturbed in order to function in the gifts God laid upon him.
So it is with us that when we come together that our spirits are being fired up by each other.
We as Christians are not to be passive in our meetings nor are we to be passive in our going out.
It is something we must be passionate enough about that we want to do the zealous works of God without fail.
Granted in our walk we don't want to come off as aggressive either, yet we must have that good and perfect message of Jesus Christ and Him crucified as our guide to tell others of the word that became flesh.
So next time you gather with the saints be ready to provoke, rouse, stimulate, goad and spur on each other to good works.
Don't just sit and be a spectator or be passive.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Each according to the measure of faith...Romans 12:3-8

"For by the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think with sober judgment, each according to the measure of faith that God has assigned.: Romans 12:3

How many of us do the opposite of this word? How many of us think of ourselves more highly than we should think?
We are to think with sober judgment, according to the measure of faith that God has assigned. He assigns the measure of faith. He gives us all things including our faith and that is according to a measure.
We use things to measure the amount of ingredients we need in recipes. Too much and it doesn't come out right or we have more than we need and it gets thrown out. Too little and then we must add more. We must follow the recipe to the t in order for our dish to come out right. So could that be with this measure of faith. Too much and we get the big head and become puffed up. Too little and we don't truly accomplish all God has for us to do. So the work isn't finished.
You see He gives us a measure that is perfect for whatever situation it is we will be doing.
So at times you may have more than other days. So could that explain why at times we feel we can climb mountains one day and the next, feel as if we were hit by a mountain?
Could it be because God is using us for His purpose and reminding us who is in control, so that we will continue to give Him glory?

"For as in one body we have many members, and the members do not all have the same function, so we though many, aree one body in Christ, and individually members of another." Romans 12:4
We are many and yet one. Many different parts of the body, yet all members of the same.
Paul is using a description of our physical body to describe Jesus' body. We should all have two hands and 10 fingers. Yet if we only have two fingers with no thumb then you can't very well pick things up. We need our thumb in order to help the rest of the hand to fullfill its complete function. We need our feet to walk. We must know that in church we are not all thumbs, hands, feet, or eyes etc.. We each have a different purpose. And we must all be utilized in the church. Not just one person, but all!

"Having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, in proportion to our faith; if service, in our serving; the one who teaches, in his teaching; the one who exhorts, in his exhortation; the one who contributes, in generosity; the one who leads, with zeal; the one who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness." Romans 12:6-8

I want to really talk about this word. Paul says "having gifts that differ according to the grace given to us." You see there are different gifts that operate in the body, and they function according to the grace given to us. Paul then says, "let us use them." According to that, it seems the gifts are still for today. These are grace gifts. Charismata.

If your faith is built up then prophecy as the Lord leads- Some may have this gift functioning and yet not be operating in the others.
Such as service- I am experiencing a lot being talked about serving. I know a lot of people who truly operate in this gift to the point that they give almost all of their free time to serving others.
Not everyone has that ability. So we shouldn't look down at others who don't.
I don't always have this gift, but when I do....look out. It becomes a joy for me. I am not saying we shouldn't be out helping others. I am just saying for some it is not hard because God has given them the grace to do it.
As well as with the other gifts spoken above-I know a gentleman who is an excellent teacher.
He can take a verse of scripture and just pull so much out of it. Yet others can look at the same scripture and just see word. It is a gift from God. This young man functions well in that area. Yet I know also that he doesn't function well in others. Nothing wrong with that, it is just the grace of God has been given to him for teaching.
The one who exhorts- I have been operating in this gift for a long time on and off. I love to give exhortations, especially when people are feeling down. Yet this gift often times gets shut down, because some people see a person operating in this as overbearing. So they uses ways of shutting the person down, sometimes to the point of quenching the fire. I know others who operate in this gift with great fervor.
The one who contributes- Again this could be right there with service. Whether contributing time, monetarily, or exhortations etc.. This gift is needed. I know those who contribute a lot in time during their service of others. Again not everyone has this gift.
The one who leads with zeal-There are a lot of people who are what we call natural born leaders.
That is a gift from God. He gifts leaders to get out in the front of the pack and help show the way.
They are good at delegating and directing. And they must do this with zeal according to the word.
The ones who does acts of mercy, with cheerfulness-Again I can mention someone who I know operates in this really well. This lady has so much mercy and energy for those who she helps.
And she does it with cheerfulness. People like this are likely to have a gift of serving. As they usually love being around people.

I want to make it very clear that I am not trying to put a label on each of these or use this as a litmus test as to whether you have these gifts or not. Our personalities usually work in with these gifts as well. All I am trying to point out is don't feel bad if you see or hear about people going out and serving, leading, teaching or doing one of the other gifts while you don't feel the way they do. You see it is all according to the measure of faith and grace that these function the way they do. We are all one body though many members. So if you have a heart for the homeless you shouldn't look down at someone who doesn't, because they may not be operating in that gift. They may be the one who is supposed to lead or teach etc.. I have been wondering aobut this for a while and the other night the Lord put Romans 12 on my heart. That is when I noticed this as if it were for the very first time. We are all given a gift. Not everyone will be doing the same thing. Yet we shouldn't be quenching one another' gifts either. We should be able to all function together using all the grace gifts.
Please when you recognize any of these gifts operating don't try to snuff it out, because not everyone who is a teacher is a leader. And not everyone who serves is an exhorter. Yet when you have different ones with the different gifts there should be LOVE and harmony in the body.
Your fingers don't fight against the arm. They need the arm to help. The arms need the torso. The torso needs the legs. The legs need the feet. Not to mention the internal members. Those you can't see.
Yet they all need the head....which is Christ.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A spiritual break....

I have been getting the urge to take a break from the blogsphere. I have gone from one end of the Christian spectrum to the other. All along the way leaving casualties. My heart is to edify and glorify the Lord. That hasn't always been the case the last few months.
Yesterday another brother in the Lord told me to listen to God and take a break. He also has done this and I felt it was a timely word. As I have been sensing this for a few days.
I told my wife that I was going to do just that. I have been so involved in this computer that I have neglected the very things I stand for in Christianity.
Prayer, evangelism, discipleship and loving one another.
Please continue to check in every now and again. As I am not completely leaving the blog.
I am just taking a much needed break until I feel the Lord's leading.
He has me in a place where I feel I need to be seeking Him more than I have been.
The Lord is faithful to those who are His and He will put things in our path that let's us know it is time to take a break.
I love the things of Christ and hope to come back refreshed with a better outlook on the ways of the Lord.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Jesus Christ and Him crucified......

"For Christ did not send me to baptize but to preach the gospel, and not with words of eloquent wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power." 1 Corinthians 1:17

"For the word of the cross is folly to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God." 1 Corinthians 1:18

"For it is written, 'I will destroy the wisdom of the wise and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.' " 1 Corinthians 1:19

"Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age?
Has not God made foolish the things of this world?" 1 Corinthians 1:20

"we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jew and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men."
1 Corinthians 1:23-24

"And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom.
For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified." 1 Corinthians 2:1-2

"So also no one comprehends the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God.
Now we have recieved not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might understand the things freely given us by God." 1 Corinthians 2: 11b-12

"And we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom but taught by the Spirit, interpreting spiritual truths to those who are spiritual." 1 Corinthians 2: 13

"The natural person does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are folly to him, and he is not able to understand them because they are spiritually discerned." 1 Corinthians 2:14

"For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ." 1 Corinthians 2: 16

There is so much meat in those words above. Just as I was reading and typing I was being filled with joy from the Lord. So much of our little bickerings could just be relinquished by reading and understanding the word of God.

I love to read what Paul wrote to the Corinthians. He was not sent to baptize. He was sent to preach the gospel!
And that not with eloquence of words.
In this day we feel we must be so studied and prepared to preach and teach the gospel. We feel that if we don't present it with the exact points and certain poignant words it won't come across to those we are speaking to.
Yet Paul wasn't worried about all of that. He knew who the one that would open mens hearts.
He knew that no matter how many eloquent words he used it would just fall on deaf ears if the Spirit wasn't in it.
The cross would be emptied of it's power.
How many times are we preaching a gospel that is emptied of it's power because we are speaking with our own wisdom?
We must remember that the cross is folly to those who are perishing. So why do we strain so much in trying to do the best we can with no avail?
For those who are being saved it is the power of God and the Lord will reveal the living word to those who are being saved. Without needing a special presentation of the word.
We don't need to use the techniques of the world in order to reach the lost. The wisdom of the world is foolish according to the word.
Just preaching Christ and him crucified is a stumbling block for most, because unless God is calling them it means nothing.
Were you wise when you were called? Did you have a lot of training and teaching that increased your spiritual knowledge? You see unless we are wholly dependant upon God to do the work when we evangelize then we are just spinning our wheels.
Yet the word does get planted. We may not see the fruit. Also though we don't need a special proclamation to do it. We just need to be able to speak.
No matter how good a sermon is prepared and sounds, it won't have any effect on those hearers it God isn't in it.
The natural person doesn't accept the things of the Spirit. That speaks volumes!
When we are out proclaiming the gospel it should be no surprise on how hard it is to reach the lost. If they are not spiritually discerning then it goes in one ear and out of the other. In some cases it may make them mad.
Paul said, "we impart this in words not taught by human wisdom, but taught by the Spirit.
If someone in your meetings or out in the world are spiritually awakened they won't need flattering words to convince them of the truth.
They will be taught by the Spirit as we impart the word in them.
Be ready to change the way you preach, the way you evangelize or teach because what the world says is the way may not be how God wants it done.
What I like may not be what the Lord wants to use in order to reach others.
Our wisdom is not Gods.
If you have the mind of Christ be ready to hear what He wants.
Don't get into useless debates with the lost either. Again you will be wasting your time. As only the Lord can open their eyes also.
If the Lord is showing you something it may not be for others.
We must be willing to be like Paul in how we interact with others. We must be like Paul when it comes to teaching and evangelizing. I mean it this way.
Understand what God wants and how He will use us.
Paul wasn't doing things his way. He came out of the synagogues well trained. "Seminary trained." Yet he didn't use his oratory ways to convince people about Jesus. He used what God showed him. He didn't follow what men thought was the way to preach. He used God's way of doing things.
So if you are preaching,do it unto the Lord. If you are discipling, do it unto the Lord. If you are teaching, do it unto the Lord. And if you are serving, do it unto the Lord. Not unto man.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

David,Goliath, the church and Jesus....

Last week my wife told me about an article in the New Yorker. It was about a gentleman from India who took over his 12 year old daughters basketball team. He didn't know anything about basketball and the kids were new to it also. He watched how the other teams would play. He noticed that all the teams would play just one side of the court. Meaning their goal was to get to the other side of the court with the ball as fast as you can and try to score. All the while the defense would be there waiting to defend the basket. He then decided to play full court offense and defense. Meaning that the team would use the whole court and not do as the other teams play. When the ball was being thrown inbounds, instead of having his whole team on the otherside of the court, he would have them blocking the ball from being inbounded etc. .

This allowed his team to take advantage of the time restraint which allowed his team to get the ball and then score. You see his team of girls didn't have the talent to charge the goal. So they played within the rules and did it the unconventional way.

They ended up going all the way to the championship. Which they lost because the home team got to pick the referees and they didn't like the play. So they would call fouls on every little thing.
To check out the full story here is the title and link:
"Annals of Innovation
How David Beats Goliath
When underdogs break the rules."
by Malcolm Gladwell
Anyway as I had read this article it got me to thinking. That Christianity is an unconventional way of doing things as well it should be. We are after all not of this world anymore.
You see as the story brings out; When David arose to the occasion and went to fight the giant, he was given a sword and armor. Which in turn didn't fit his way of fighting. He didn't use manly weapons of warfare. He used a humble lowly little sling. It worked though. It did what was needed. Knock the giant out until David could then use the sword of the giant to take off his head.
Jesus did that also. He came down to this earth and went against Goliath. The religious system. And without anyone seeing it took down this system of sin and death. The giant in the Old Testament being slain and the giant in the New Testament got slain. Both by lowly little nobody's. Men who were looked at as helpless. Shepherds!
David was opposed, yet he won the battle because God was with him. In turn allowing his future people to live freely.
Jesus was opposed and yet he won the victory by his death. He killed the giant of sin and death.
Again in turn setting those who were and and are in bondage to sin free.
God uses the foolish things of the world to shame the wise.
In this day the church seems to have become wise in it's own eyes. Or should I say what we call the church?
We have become rich and in need of nothing. Now comes along a giant slayer again. Which also is being opposed by the "norm".
Jesus wasn't the norm, and David didn't do things in the norm.
Unconventional wisdom is what God seems to use in order to bring in a new beginning.
Using people who won't compromise their beliefs in order to walk in the ways of God.
I have come to the point where I am not going to allow myself to be described by labels.
I have been a strong advocate of taking the name off the churches for a long time.
In saying all of this conventional ways says you must go to seminary, preach at a church, and fall into the norm.
Unconventional wisdom says you don't need to have a title to be a minister, you don't need be in a church to preach. You don't need a label to describe what you believe.
You see I am no longer calling myself Reformed, Charismatic or anything else that seperates what I believe from what others believe. I am not of Luther, Calvin, Arminius or any other historical man whose movements have been labeled.
No I am of Christ. If that doesn't help people then I can't help that. Because in the kingdom there is only One and He is Jesus.
It is not about IC vs. HC. It is about the New Testament being brought to life through the New Covenant. Jesus came to abolish not to restore traditions of men from the old.
We have become so tied up in our thoughts and in turn left our first love.
People return to the first love! Jesus!
Play the full court and stop trying to make a goal then runnig to the otherside to defend what you just did. We need to be concentrating on the kingdom and what Jesus has told us.
Our walk should reflect what we believe.
Not a name on a building or a label we put on ourselves.
This has gotten us nowhere. Except into useless arguements.
Don't think that I am strange just because I don't call myself one name or another. I personally have not been walking the conventional way for along time. As God has ordained it that way for my life.
The life I am living reflects that of what the Lord has put on my heart. I read the scriptures. I pray daily. I believe the gifts are for today. I believe in divine healing. I believe Jesus is the only begotten Son of God. I believe He is sitting at the right hand of God right now.
I believe He is coming back!
I try to live by faith. My walk has reflected that also.
I am a stay at home dad. That is unconventional. And I believe God told me to do that.
If I want to have a beer, then that is ok. If I want to dance. That is ok.
You see how far we have come? We don't need extra rules in order to be more holy or sanctified.
If you are doing something wrong and are a believer you will be told. By the Holy Spirit.
Granted now I don't drink beer anymore. I don't like to dance.
Yet if you don't feel convicted by it, then do it. Unless it causes your brother to stumble etc. as the scripture also says.
We must break free from the mold that was formed years ago.
Open your eyes to the heavens and realize what is the truth. Read the word of God and seek Him daily on your own and with others.
Goliath is being taken down.
The conventional ways are being destroyed. No more laws made by man. God is the rule maker and He also gives grace. Those who are His will know.
Let My people go! No more going back to Egypt and no more fighting the Goliaths.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Don't be like the little squirrel..Trust God!

Yesterday morning while I was taking my daughter to school there was a little squirrel out in the middle of the road. I was coming on it and slowed down. Another car was coming from the other direction. That little guy tried to go forward. And at the last minute turned back. He ended up getting killed when my back tire caught him. There was nothing I could do. It was in his paws to make the right decision.
The Lord used that to show me something. Sometimes when we are hard pressed on both sides we need to continue to move forward even when it looks worse and we feel safer going back. Because returning to where we were can mean death. Spiritually speaking.
I felt the Lord showed me, that is what would have happened to the Israelites if they would have went back to Egypt. They would have died thinking they were making the right decison.
How many of us in our walk with Christ come upon a situation where we have to make that crucial decision of continuing on or going back?
The lesson I feel is we must trust God even when the going looks rougher than the coming.
Don't turn back to what feels or was familiar. That could mean destruction.
If God has called you to do something or go somewhere then go. He will provide protection and provision.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

There is only one God and one Jesus.....

As we go on in our life in the United States it is becoming more and more obvious ,all of the different belief systems. I say systems because that is just what they are. They are systems created by fallen man to justify why they live the way they do. We have different sects and movements in this country.
This used to be a taboo subject and nothing was said. Meaning you couldn't tell who was a New Age or other.
Yet as we become more and more "politcally correct" and "diverse" people are embracing the next new thing. Even people who claim the name of Jesus end up in these trappings of the world.
There is one way that is constant and that is there is only one God of heaven and earth and He has one son in Jesus Christ.
And the word of Gods says there is only one way to heaven and that is through Jesus.
All these other so called religions and movements are nothing more than remakes of old systems from ancient days. The Lord said, "There is nothing new under the sun."
Everything in life gets recycled and reused. Especially false religions.
What makes them false? They deny the diety of the Lord Jesus Christ. They deny that He is the Son of God. They deny in some cases His very existence.
As for those of us who know the truth and worship the TRUTH we need to be ready to speak out to those who deny the Lord. We should be ready in season and out to give the word on why we believe the way we do.
The United States is slowly falling down into a non stop spiral toward the bottom.
We have become a socialist secular embrace anything nation. We no longer live in a "Christian" nation. In reality there has never been a "Christian" nation. Jesus never came to take over an earthly kingdom. If that were so we wouldn't be having a problem getting the word out and seeing people saved.
Our life as Christians is going to get harder. We weren't promised prosperity, good health, and long life without trouble. Those are lies from the pit of hell.
Jesus said, we would have tribulation. He said the world would hate us. Our families would kill and turn us over to authorities.
What are we to be doing then?
Praying, preaching, serving, and discipling.
How are you doing on any of these? Have you been praying for the saints, or the government?
Are you out preaching the word to your city?
What about serving? When is the last time you helped another in need.
Who are you discipling? Anyone?
If we truly believe there is only one God and one Lord Jesus Christ, shouldn't we be out in full force telling people the truth?
It is time to get out from behind our hiding places and go forth proclaiming the truth.
Go and make disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ, baptizing them in the name of Jesus.
Stop bickering and fighting among yourselves about what teaching or doctrine you follow.
Don't put labels on yourselves just so you can be distinguished from one another.
If you are a baptized believer and true follower then the only name we need to be known as is saints.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Global Warming, Abortion, Government the Christians role.

I just want to touch on some contriversial issues for a moment. Because I feel the truth needs to be proclaimed. There is too much false doctrine and deception being brought up in Christian circles. Most of our children are getting in doctrinated with New Age religious issues and other areas we are not called to get involved in.

You may already be thinking that this guy is crazy. Yes, I suppose I am crazy. I am crazy for the gospel truth. We Christian believers should be sold out to Jesus and not chasing rabbits.

I personally feel the enemy has done a great job of distracting Christians using abortion, global warming and other side step issues.

Now before you go off and try to crucify me or call me a name, let me use some scripture to explain where I am coming from. You see the Word of God has answers to all of our problems.

"I charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by his appearing and his kingdom preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke , and exhort, with complete patience and teaching." 2 Timothy 4:1-2

We need to be proclaiming the good news of Jesus Christ to the nation. Jesus never went out and said we need to save the earth. The earth is going to be destroyed by our creator in the end.

Jesus didn't go around saving trees. He cursed a fig tree and was hung on another. The Cross.

He did this so that we woud have eternal life. And in turn we who are called can go out and tell others the good news of the gospel.

I am not advocating polluting or irresponsible living. I recycle and pick up trash, plant trees etc..

I just want people to know that the battle belongs to the Lord. Our purpose on this earth is to preach the word in and out of season. We are to be giving glory to God.

You see the whole global warming farce is a religion in and of itself. It has an old religion with a new name. Nothing we do will save the earth. Because since the fall of man it has been in disrepair and continuing down that road. Just like us. Every living thing has been affected by the curse. The Lord is in control! We must back away from the distractions of the world and become the ones who influence our neighbors with the gospel.

Jesus was concerned with lives! He didn't go and protest the government. He didn't go out and hug trees. He didn't say we need to end abortion. No!

Why didn't He preach on these issues? Again the same religious movements were there in His time. Yet He did not put much thought or concern in them. Because His purpose was to tell people to repent and be baptized. His purpose was to live, die and then live again! Forever.

Read the book of Isaiah as it has a lot about what God is going to do with the earth.

The true global warming will be coming in the end. When He destroys the earth with fire and brimstone.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

What does discipling look like?

Lately there has been a lot of talk about discipling and what it should look like.
I am here to tell you that if you're looking for answers from me then your on the wrong blog.
You see discipling can look different and be different between each believer. God doesn't have a one size fits all way of discipling another. That is something unique. Given to each believer as he or she has need. Each of us has been given certain gifts in order to serve the body. We are all different parts of the body.
In how the Lord has worked through me all I can say is I don't see all the people I had the chance to minister to that often anymore. If not at all.
I want to present how the Lord used me in my walk.
Back in 1997 when I owned a Fitness Center in Texas the Lord brought in a new believer. He was just starting college and wanting to exercise. So he joined me in exercising everyday. We worked out for bodybuilding and strength training sessions. During those times I just kept encouraging him to lift more weight and showed him the right way to workout.
We both helped each other as he spotted for me when I was lifting and I would do the same. We shared the burden of helping one another. Also during the many months I worked out with him I
would share with him what I was learning about the Lord. We both went to different churches. I didn't try to talk him into coming to where I was going. I just talked with him about Jesus and His work.
After about 6 months or so this young man just stopped coming in the gym. He never came to let me know he was going to quit. Then one day I saw his truck at my competitions place. Anyway I just learned to let it go as I knew there was nothing I did.
In 2000 I sold the gym. When I did that I stopped working out. Then in 2001 I went back to the gym and started working out with a young man I was working with. One morning around 5 A.M. when we walked into the gym, there was the young man who years earlier I helped out. I didn't say anything and just went to workout. Then the young man came to me and spoke.
The words that he said was, " Steve how is going?, I just want to let you know how much I appreciated you taking the time to talk with me about the Lord. I've been wanting to tell you that I remember everything you told me and that I never forgot it. It helped grow so much. Thank you!"
Man that floored me. In a good way. I haven't seen this young man in years and always wondered what had happened and then the Lord brought him back into my life long enough to let me know that all was well.
What did I do during those times spent with him? Discipleship 101! No, books, no curriculim just talking about Christ.
Now another story will continue with the other young man I was working with and going to the gym with. He was not a believer. Yet he still listened to every word I spoke to him about Jesus.
I told him about the Lord inside and out. Yet he never became a convert. Because God wasn't ready for him. Years later after I had quit my job I seen him at where I used to live. He had since divorced his wife and was living with an ex-coworker of ours. So what happened during the time I worked with him? Discipleship by planting a word. Though I may never know if that word took, I still had the opportunity to present the gospel to him everyday we worked out together. He listened and never got mad.
There were countless other believers and non believers who lived in our neighborhood who would just come by our house for prayer and to talk. Because they knew about our walk with Christ. I have since found some of whom are now believers.
What happened during those times? Discipleship 101.
As recently as last year I had the opportunity to minister to a family at the local mobile home park. We would meet at their home every Thursday. Sometimes they would be drunk. They would be smoking cigarettes and cussing. Yet I didn't let that deter me. We held bible studies in the home. In November they moved. They moved over two hours away. Yet they still call me and when they are in town they come by my house to visit. What happened during my time of being with them? Discipleship 101.
Also in August of last year there was a gentleman who came to the mobile home park. He was trying to get away from the drug scene. In time he found an apartment. I and some others were able to help get him furnishings for his home. I and one other would go to his place on Thursdays and present the word. A few months ago he went back into the life he left and we have lost contact with him. But again what happened during the time we did spend with him? Discipleship 101.
Where I am going with this is though we may never see the fruit, in the end God will get the glory. You may have someone in your life for along time or it may be for a short time.
So discipling may be long term or it may be short term. It may be by serving, praying or teaching.
It takes on different forms for each task. The point is as long as Jesus is being proclaimed while you are with whomever it may be you are discipling.
My friend over at has a wonderful ministry continuing at the mobile home park I mentioned above. He is discipling while evangelizing.
Checkout his wife's blog to see some of the things going on.
Again in that type of atmosphere you may only have as little as one day to make an impact in someones life.
The idea is to take advantage of what the Lord is giving. He may have you ministering for along time to many or one. Or He may take them out of your life quickly.
The fruit will produce if the seed is planted.
You may never see the produce of your discipling. Then again the Lord may give you an opportunity to see the fruit later. The key is to not lose heart and do not get stuck thinking there is only one way to disciple people.
They will know if you show the love of the Father to them!