November 4, 2016
Pro 16:31 The hoary head is a crown of glory, if it be found in the way of righteousness.
I have often wondered why Christians, male and female, dye their hair when they have this blessing in Scripture. Which crown of glory to you want God’s, the World’s, or your Ego’s? As I am somewhat bald, I have more of an laurel wreath gray crown, but still some hoary hair. My hoary goatee may make up for some of the hair missing from my head.
Youth does have its advantages, but so does aging and since it is a part of life we may as well roll with it and partake of the advantages. In some cultures, as it was once in this one, older people are somewhat revered and at least respected. Not so much in this country anymore as one person suggested that there should be a van going around picking up old people and euthanizing them. They forget one day they will be old.
I never paid much attention to old people when I was growing up. I did love my maternal grandparents, but other than that I was a child of the 60’s or the start of the ME age, so all that mattered was me and all that mattered to me was free love and rock and roll. Fortunately, I had no real desire for drugs outside of alcohol.
When I became a Christian in ’75, I started noticing old people more and looked forward to their stories and was sad about some. I remember a dear old lady who whispered to me that tomorrow they were going to take her out and shoot here. I told her no that tomorrow is Christmas. You will get a present and maybe a kiss, but no one is going to shoot you. She was a child when the Nazis had occupied the Ukraine. Obviously, there was a time when people had been shot on Christmas day. That day never left her memory and now haunted her whenever she heard Christmas was tomorrow. Very, very sad!!
On the other hand, an old preacher spoke of the revivals in his day and old servicemen recounted to me their war stories, some of valor and some of horror. Couples spoke of their romance and wedding still making eyes at each other as they spoke. Wisdom often flowed from them as they told how they kept their romance alive and their marriage strong or how they survived rough times. It was awesome.
It is great when anyone with gray hair is found in the way of righteousness prays, but somehow when blue haired holy ladies pray things happen. It may because there are so many of them as we lads tend to die much earlier than the ladies and often our prayer lives are not as good as theirs. It may be also that they represent the Church in marriage and the Church is commanded to pray without ceasing and the Church is to be submissive to God. I don’t know exactly why, but holy gray haired women know how to reach the throne of grace.
Because of a small thing we did for her before we left for bible college, Mrs. Edith Henderson became a holy grayed haired lady who prayed for us and always seemed to know when to send a six dollar check when we needed it. Usually, three days before payday when we needed basic things so the kids could have a lunch for school. When she passed away, I knew I lost a prayer warrior. I have been beseeching blue haired ladies ever since then to pray for me and some may have added me to the list. If so, I may never know until I get to glory how much those prayers have benefited me, my family and my ministry.
Sadly, prayers warriors like that move on to Glory so I have to keep requesting new ones. I fear however, that there are fewer of them left to recruit. I used to hear stories of men who had forgotten their Christian upbringing and lived rough lives. They came back to Jesus because of a grayed hair mother or grandmother that would not give up on them and laid them before the throne daily and sometimes many times during the day. One man said that if your grandmother is praying for you then you may as well give because she is not going to shut up. I say that is good advice.
I have said it many times and will repeat it. When men in a country go astray there is hope because godly women praying can bring them back to God. When the women go astray, there is no hope left. Our families and our country is in sad shape because either we have very few holy women left or they don’t believe their prayers matter. They matter more than you know.
So, please blue haired ladies, PRAY! Men should be the example and lead in this, but sometimes it takes the ladies to grab the horns of the altar and bring down the fire of revival. Indeed, most of the successful evangelistic and revival movements may be more the result of the prayers of holy women then the anointing of the speakers for that anointing may be the result of those prayers. Moody and Spurgeon are credited for each winning a million souls. Yet, it may be that they had a great prayer team(s) of ladies that would not shut up until sinners and the countries were woke up by the Holy Spirit.
While you are praying for souls and revivals, please pray for an old man wanting more of God and to serve Him better. Indeed, you may bring an anointing on my life like I have never known before and the increased fruit will be as much to your credit, even more so, then to mine. Maranatha!!!
November 2, 2016
1Cor 2:14 But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
People who know me and have read my books say that they “sound” exactly like me. It is like talking to me in person. My wife and kids would understand them best since they have lived with me. The best books you could ever read are those that are written by people you know really well or have had least met.
I use the illustration that if we were stationed overseas, you might let me read your letter from home. I would recognize people’s names, street or town names, but there would be many things I might not understand because you and that person experienced things I have not or there is an allusion to an event or joke that I do not get at all because I had to be there to understand.
I read the Bible very infrequently before I was saved in ’75 and really did not get it. I attended church now and then. I could quote creeds and such, but they had no real impact on my life because I just didn’t get it. It was like reading a biography of some one that I was forced to read in school. It was just words and a few stories that I knew.
In ’75, I went to church to get a guy off my back and ended up with Jesus in my heart. Then the light turned on. The Bible literally became alive. I could sense God’s presence guiding me through it and even telling me to back up and park on a passage or two that I apparently really needed to understand.
What made the difference? I was now related to the author and it was meaningful to me because it was like being at a book signing where the author explains the background and answers questions of people who have read the book.
My spirit was now alive and the Holy Spirit could now teach me because I was able to learn. He was building my spiritual discernment so I understood things that were just vague concepts and nice stories. I was now a child of the author and could understand Abba/Daddy when He spoke.
Do you find the Bible difficult to understand? It may be that it is because it is not a letter from home like it is now for me. You get names and some stories but the rest is like reading an unknown language. It may well be that you are not related to the author and need to be adopted into the family. You may also be new in the family and just need to be patient and allow Him to teach you.
A man may read my mail and not be interested in the topics or because he has not experienced what the writer and I have experienced he may not believe them. That does not invalidate or change my mail in any way. It is his issue. The same is true with God’s letters. They were written for His people. Others will not understand. They do not have His Spirit to teach them,
Be saved today, by putting your faith/trust in Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. When you are born again and the Holy Spirit moves in He will teach you.
Be careful not to get so wrapped up in the teachings of a denomination that your ears cannot hear the Spirit. After all, He was highly involved with writing the letters so He can best explain or interpret them.
Men sometimes get their spiritual ears full of wax made up of sin or pride so that they no longer hear the still, small voice of the Spirit thus making mistakes and their own doctrines that divide the family. If your earthly teachers are not lining up with the Master Teacher then you need to find new earthly teachers. Listen closely to Abba and you will hear the truth. Maranatha!
October 22, 2016
October 20, 2016
18 Yet I have left me seven thousand in Israel, all the knees which have not bowed unto Baal, and every mouth which hath not kissed him.
October 17, 2016
“A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still.” – Unknown
Something to be remembered when evangelizing. Just because they say a prayer on the doorstep does not mean they are saved. They may be just trying to get you off their doorstep or saying the prayer to hedge their bets while still maintaining their core beliefs. I am positive that many souls that have been reported as won will be in Hell unless they were truly won later than the time they were reported.
Matt 23:15 Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one proselyte, and when he is made, ye make him twofold more the child of hell than yourselves
If there is no lasting fruit, albeit small, you have inoculated the person thinking they are saved and made them sealed to Hell, nor Heaven or at best made the next soul winner’s work harder as they have to lead them out of a false conversion into a true one.
I saw much of this in the soul winning while an IFB. Folks would come back from an door-to-door evangelism time saying how many were saved yet the people never came to church, were never baptized and often would not even open the door on a follow up visit or if they did, they made excuses and shut the door as quickly as possible.
I have had many people say the prayer in my ministry, especially in jail, but I cannot say with any certainty that any of them were truly saved. On God knows how many He won through me and how many I sealed to Hell by inoculation. My only hope is where I erred, He sent someone else to clean up my mess and truly win them.
So be careful and be sure you are going in the Spirit and He gives you discern on how to deal with each person and discern when to press on to the prayer or wait until another day. Maranatha!
September 17, 2016
I wrote this back in October of 2003, but nothing changed except names and places have been added to the list. My premise is still the same. I would say much of my last sentence has come to pass.
I am as appalled at the murders at Jonesboro as anybody, but I am not ready to accept the judgment of the Media/Liberal Left as to the cause of this tragedy. I listened as the gun toting Southern culture was named the reason for this and that a child is the product of his environment. I am very accustomed to Southern bashing by the media. It is as common as the cold. The West is catching the flack also. After all, they are just as terrible as the South. They only trail us by 10% in the number of gun owners while the righteous North only has 23% of their population that are crazy.
They mentioned that ever since the War of Northern Aggression (not their phraseology, but more accurate), the South has revered the soldier. In this society, it is refreshing that anyone has respect for the soldier. Yes, there is a long legacy of exercising our constitutional right to keep and bear arms in this country. This fact established I find it interesting that untold numbers of Southern (as well as Northern and Western) fathers have trained their sons to hunt. Those sons grew up to fight our country’s wars and in turned have trained their sons to do the same. They held down jobs, raised families and used their weapons for their proper purpose. In the old days, men like this would have been considered fine citizens and patriots. Now, they are just part of the vast right wing conspiracy and the cause for all the woes of the nation.
I was in boot camp with a lad from Alaska. Alaska is not Southern or Western. He had been hunting since he was able to hold a rifle. Our first time at the firing range, he placed sixty out of sixty shots in the head of the target. He had never shot anyone in his school. Why not? Murder was not in his heart. Hence my premise that it is the son, not the gun.
A pistol or a rifle is a weapon of self-defense, a tool to teach responsibility to hearth and country, a tool to teach discipline and a means of self-defense. The police do a fine and often unappreciated job, but they cannot be everywhere. As much as ever, today’s citizen needs to be armed.
Murder stops when you remove it from the heart. Take away one weapon and a murderous heart will find another. A toothbrush with a whittled handle is a weapon. The six-inch pair of scissors in my office is a weapon. Well, not exactly. It is a tool, but I can misuse the tool and make it a weapon if murderous thoughts enter my heart and I enact those thoughts.
What do we do about a razor? We recently had an area youth use a razor as a weapon of self-harm and when others sought to stop him; he turned it into a weapon to harm them. I guess we need to ban razors, scissors, knives, and tooth brushes. A surgeon’s scalpel or one of their other tools kills more children than any other means and we have legalized those weapons of death because they save lives in the right hands when use for the right purposes. Guns are the same.
The boys in Jonesboro had murder in their hearts. Had there been no guns, they might have stolen some dynamite that farmers keep around for stump removal. In that case, the loss of life could have been much greater. I am sure that there were other methods, but I am not one to figure out ways to kill people. I am amazed at the things that Hollywood comes up with in movies that would have never crossed my mind.
While we are on that subject, let’s deal with the issue that children are a product of their environment. If we were all sheltered like the days before television and movies, maybe we would not have copy cat crimes so close together. News did not travel as fast and we did not have extremely detailed coverage of every gory murder broadcast and rebroadcast so that troubled people could get the facts down well so that they can imitate the crime. Yes, the press must remain free, but I think it could be handled in a much more discrete way than it is now.
I said that I am not one to sit around and figure out ways to maim and murder people. Hollywood has plenty of script writers for that. I can remember when the Lone Ranger, Zorro, Roy Rogers, and John Wayne never killed anyone. At worst, they winged them, but normally shot the gun out of the bad guy’s hand and then boxed/wrestled them into submission and jail.
Now good and bad guys alike blow off heads, arms, etc with flows of blood and parts in digitized full gore color. In many movies, it is getting hard to tell the good guys from the bad guys. Both have the same habits, attitudes and ability to kill and then go out for a drink or a woman as if they had just squashed a mosquito. There are no morals to any of the stories anymore. It is just senseless killing and sex. I just can’t imagine why a child might not be as sensitive or hold a proper sense of the value of life. Hollywood and the music industry spend millions on vivid visual and verbal imagery to earn millions glorifying gangsters and their lifestyles. Yep, the child is a product of his environment.
Oh yes, is it not interesting that since the coming of Dr. Spock, the removal of God from the classrooms and the teaching of evolution as fact instead of a poorly formulated and unsubstantiated theory that kids have gone ape? After all, that is what we teach them. They are high tech apes that make their own ethics as they go to suit their personal situations which means that God is dead or you are a god. Gods have the power of life and death. If a god decides that it is right for you to die then you die. Video role games abound where the player is a demon or god with vast powers to torture or destroy their enemy. Studies have shown that men exposed to pornography become desensitized to rape. Any wonder why our children are desensitized to violence? We have given our children such a great environment since 1965.
Parents, I do not leave you off the hook. With all the trash out there your job is much harder, but you must still do your job. You must resist the temptation to consider raising your children properly equating to providing more material things for them. What they need more than ever is your time and attention. When you spend sixty to seventy hours a week to provide them the toys and gadgets of this age you are telling them that the toys are the priorities of life. He who dies with the most toys loses most often his soul. The soul is priceless. Your children are priceless and will survive not having all the toys, but they cannot survive losing your love and time.
Having said that, we must pass the ultimate responsibility back to the individual, whether child or adult. I am a strong believer in a free will. Families, Church, and Society has failed many children over the years, but those children exercised their free will and found faith and strength to overcome those deficits and become men and women of character and brought values to the ones who have failed them. I may be forced to grow up in a cesspool of ignorance and walk through the sewer of an immoral society, but no one can stop me from showering if I really want to be clean. The choice to remain dirty is mine.
These children chose to murder other children and the heroic teacher. They must then be tried as adults. In Hebraic culture and some Christian sects, the age of adulthood is twelve. In other sects, there is the age of accountability that means whenever you know right from wrong and you choose to do wrong then you are held accountable before God. I cannot believe that these children did not know right from wrong. I find it hard to believe that they would think that it was OK or just a game to shoot people down in cold blood. My heart grieves with the parents and loved ones of the victims and of the boys. I cannot imagine the grief of the boys’ family. I can imagine that of the victims’ families.
These children had murder in their heart and it matured them beyond their years and they have committed an adult crime. I do not know who may have failed them, if anyone. They may have had all the love of their family and the Church. Their society may have been trying to help them all that it could. Nevertheless, they chose to kill. It was premeditated. It was not children playing with a weapon and by happenstance discharged a round into a crowd. The victims were picked off like squirrels or quail. The boys went to kill and they killed. That is an adult choice. It requires an adult sentence. I would vote for the death penalty. These boys and the ones in Kentucky and Mississippi should be executed. I do not say that lightly. I have children and grandchildren and the thought of a child on the electric chair is anathema to me emotionally. I have no desire for anyone to die uselessly or needlessly, but these murders cannot be dismissed without justice.
I believe that our society is a breeding ground for this type of thing. While we must reap what we have sown, we must still seek to prevent the spread of the disease. I pray that we would someday return to the truth that will prevent the disease and use it to heal those that are infected before they become rabid and must be destroyed. No, it is not the gun. It is the son. Unless we return our country to the Son we will all one day lose everything to much worse than a gun. God help us!!
September 17, 2016
September 4, 2016
A. W. Tozer Sermon: I Choose To Worship
Explains why there are so many churches started when there are already sound churches in a town. Someone has a new gimmick or new “twist” on a passage or a man can’t find a church to call him as pastor so he starts one. It is church based on the consumer as well. If you disagree with something, keep looking, you will find a church to agree with you or condone something you know is wrong, but you wanted your pastor to agree it was OK. You can truly find the church of your choice even if it is not the church of His choice.
I was often asked why I did not start a church. I replied that I don’t want a church of Shultzites. There are more buildings then are necessary now so I see no reason to start a new one as some need to be closed. It is better to seek God’s renewal of what is in place than to start a new church started by man and not God.
If Paul were writing Scripture today a book might start “To the Church at Cleburne/or your town, not to the churches. Rarely is a church split of God. It is normally a flesh thing. Yes, a denomination can be taken over by heretics and that is when the righteous need to pull out and establish a fellowship based on the Word, but if there is a sound fellowship in the area then they need to join that one. O, that Baptists would take this to heart, but there are many others as well.
We are to be one so there should be more church mergers than splits especially as we see the day of His returning nearing and the forces of evil intensifying their activity. There is strength in unity as long as that unity is based upon truth and not unity in spite of the absence of truth. Imagine the power we might see if we returned to seeking His will and His kingdom’s purpose rather than our petty human whims and wishes.
If we merged, it might be possible to have services for all shifts, seven days a week with the extra manpower, not to mention to have more funds for missions and the masses since we are not supporting nearly empty buildings. All those services would make it harder for someone to say they are working on the days we have worship or coming off third shift. In fact, since Paul did say we should be meeting more as the day approaches, that would be a fitting response to his exhortation/commandment. Just sayin’.
August 30, 2016
August 28, 2016
11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: