Ask What Now Not What If

March 26, 2019


There must come a time when we quit thinking about what if and ask God what now or we will never be fulfilled or fruitful.

The what ifs from the past will never happen. Forget about them. Most of the what ifs we worry about in the future will not happen, but they will cripple you with fear and doubt so kick them to the side. The future is in His hands and He has a fruitful one for you if you will seek Him and pray for the what now.

Father, my what ifs have only brought me sorrow, guilt, regret and fruitless days. Redeem and restore them in the what nows. Show me what you have for me now and as I walk in that allow my faith to grow and squelch the what ifs.

Allow me to anticipate with joy and faith that what You have for me in the next what now will bring glory to You and reveal more of You and our relationship to me. That will mean at the end of my days the walking in the what nows will wash away the what ifs that were hurtful with the glory of the what nows that were wonderful. Amen and Amen!

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Number 23:19 God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?

If you know that God had promised you something you can count on it. If God gave you a vision/mission/calling it will come about if you trust Him for the timing and how it ultimately looks. if you rush it and mold it according your image and not His you cannot blame Him if it fails or is not as joyous and fruitful as you hoped.

If you know He gave it and you are to let Him shape the promise or vision then hold on to it even though it seems to be not soon coming. Don’t lose the hope/trust you had when He gave it. Hold on to it through Hell and high water for He has conquered Hell and He controls the waves. No devil in Hell can keep it from coming to pass. All it requires is your trust in the God that cannot lie. Shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?

When it is as dark and turbulent as the perfect storm heed the song that says, “just be held.” You are not holding on to Him because your fingers would tire and let loose. He is holding on to you and no one, not even you, can pluck you out of His grasp!

So when people or the devil try to steal the promise from you, smile and say God said it and it shall to pass. They can only harass they cannot change the will of God for you.

Stand strong!

Numbers 6:
24 The LORD bless thee, and keep thee:
25 The LORD make his face shine upon thee, and be gracious unto thee:
26 The LORD lift up his countenance upon thee, and give thee peace.

Just Be Held

It Is Not About Us

March 24, 2019


Will we ever get back to the it is not about us Christianity? We run from church to church to fulfill our needs when we are to die to self and live for His desires. No church was meant to fulfill your needs. You are called to fulfill the needs of others and in that process the Lord always seems to meet your needs without you even noticing it at time. Jesus Others You is how joy comes about.

A good soldier, which we are called to be, fulfills his duties and the commands of his superiors even when those are unpleasant or even make no sense. He does not go AWOL, Desert or do his duty haphazardly or not at all.

I am afraid that too often we are whining weenies instead of enduring hardness as a good soldier or exercising the discipline of a farmer or athlete and wonder why we see no fruit or rewards in our Christian life.

If you are saved, you have been enlisted in His army and just as an American soldier relinquishes various rights to serve his country you relinquished all rights when you were bought with a price. You are not your own so why are you still living like you are? You are called to serve in His field and it takes discipline and commitment to plow, sow, weed and reap. You are in a race to win so why are you lollygagging complaining about blisters when you never even got up to a speed walk let alone a trot or full run?

Let us change at this moment and live as we should because it is not about us. it is about Him and the souls He wants to win and the saints He wants to edify. Pick up your weapon, your plow and get off the bench. You gained Heaven and missed Hell and it is your duty to give that opportunity to others. Do not sit soak and sour. Rise up in His power! Maranatha!

2Ti 2:3 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.
4 No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.
5 And if a man also strive for masteries, yet is he not crowned, except he strive lawfully.
6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
7 Consider what I say; and the Lord give thee understanding in all things.

Apathy Not Allowed

March 23, 2019


It is funny how I sometimes offend people. If they only knew how often I bite my fingers. Indeed, if I were not Christian, I would really be offending the Left. I try to remember to season my words with grace, but some folks can make it hard. They start a battle of wits when they are ridiculously unarmed for such banter. Of course, the Right is not free from such issues.

There are times when I figure I am on the right track when I offend the Left, the Right and confuse the fire out of the Wishy-Washy Middle. After all, Jesus offended the Right. the Left, the Zealots and Herodians and pretty much everyone except the common man. That is a pretty good example.
So, while I do not really set out to offend anyone, it happens. Therefore if I have not offended you yet, hang in there. Sooner or later you will find something to be offended about. Offended is pandemic in this culture so I expect someone to sneeze from time to time.

A former boss once told me that half the people that called him about me thought I walked on water and half wanted to hang me. I replied that I must be doing my job. If everyone loved me I must be compromising and doing things I should not be doing and the same goes for everyone hating ne. Therefore 50/50 is pretty good indication I am on top of my game.

John Wesley always asked his preacher boys two questions after they came back from preaching. Did anyone get saved? if they said no, he asked if anyone got mad. If they said no to that one he told them to go home they were not called to preach. He said if you called every time you preach someone is going to get saved or get mad.

Keep following me and I will either bless you or tick you off. It is the nature of ministry.

2 Cor 2:14 Now thanks be unto God, which always causeth us to triumph in Christ, and maketh manifest the savour of his knowledge by us in every place.
15 For we are unto God a sweet savour of Christ, in them that are saved, and in them that perish:
16 To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life. And who is sufficient for these things?
17 For we are not as many, which corrupt the word of God: but as of sincerity, but as of God, in the sight of God speak we in Christ.

God Understands Us

March 22, 2019


While God wrote the Bible and sent prophets to help us understand Him, His ways and His plan we never have to worry about God understanding us. He knows all languages. He needs no interpreter, but the Holy Spirit will interpret our prayers when we just do not know what to pray. We may sigh, cry, moan and groan not really saying word and He will convert them into the perfect prayer. We may be tongue tied or speak with elegant elocution. We may be totally focused or in random, scattered prayer, but He understands it.

So, it is not a matter of what or how we pray. We just need to pray. Various positions are mentioned so that God assures us that whether we are prostrate before Him or on our knees or even lying in bed He hears us. The position of our heart is what matters. We can be injured or handicapped and cannot assume the position we think is most reverent. He understands.

David assures us that there is no location where we are ouy of range or in a dead spot where our prayers cannot be heard. If we are in sin, He does not hear as in heeding our prayers but He can hear our voice and when we confess and repent He then hears us in a different way. Only sin diminishes the bars on God’s cell. Otherwise He has a unlimited bars and you do not have to ask if He hears you now.

If you do not know Him, your first prayer id for salvation. Ask Jesus to forgive your sins and save you because of what Jesus did on the Cross for you by paying for your sins and then raising from the dead to prove the debt was paid. If you do know Him, but sin and failure makes you thing your line to Him is cut off then confess that sin and failure and your heart will hear His incoming call of forgiveness and love.

God wants to communicate with you. The Bible was all about that. When you are saved, the Holy Spirit also communicates with you and helps you communicate with Jesus and God, the Father. He did all this so He could communicate with you. There are no roaming charges or long distance fees and no limit on minutes or downloads. Don’t pass by what He offers you. Jesus paid the bill for you.

Make your first or next call now.

Jeremiah 29:12 Then shall ye call upon me, and ye shall go and pray unto me, and I will hearken unto you.

Jeremiah 33:3 Call unto me, and I will answer thee, and shew thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.
Isaiah 1:18 Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Romans 10:
9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed.

1John 1:9 If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

Can You Afford to Tithe

March 22, 2019


Can you afford to tithe? I know there are folks that are taught that the tithe is not for today, but I can refute the passages they use fairly quickly. However, that is not the topic for my current tome.

I just want to share how I came about to tithe. I was saved in April ’75 as a young Staff Sergeant in the USAF. The salary was not huge and being married with two kids it was wonderful being married to a frugal woman who could turn a nickel into a $5 bill.

Tithing, like all things biblical, was new to us and while I heard what the Bible said, I could not see how I could get my budget to agree with it. Well, I had a hobby of N gauge trains at the time. One night when I was having the tithing debate with God I said something like, “I just cannot see how I can do it.” Bam! It was like He turned my head to where my N gauge trains were and it came into my mind that I was spending about 10% on those grown men’s toys.

That pretty much killed my doubts and arguments. I started tithing the paycheck and God has always provided for me these past forty years even when I was in college unemployed. None of us starved or went naked or went without shelter or had anything repossessed. Indeed, while we are not in the top 1% of the richest people in America I am blessed way beyond anything i would have imagined at 18 when I got married.

We did make some wise financial choices in our life, but I know that God was blessing our obedience and multiplying our income or supplying our needs beyond what we did.
Can you afford to tithe? The real question is can you afford not to tithe and miss seeing God’s provision.

Ponder this.

Find a Friend in Serving

March 21, 2019


Sometimes people shy away from a larger church because they feel like they cannot get to know people. Well, you will not know everyone. I have been in churches half the size and smaller than where I am now and did not know everyone.

Who did I know best? The ones I served with like Michael Zapata who served with me in the jail and rescue mission ministry. He was one I could count on and was more than a friend to me. He was a brother I was proud to serve with for five years.

It is in the trenches where you get to know people. When you have the same goal praying for the same thing, the souls of men and women that is where you bond.

So, feeling lonely in church or unneeded? Get into a ministry. When you start rejoicing in the good days with victory and the days that are not so good together you start to feel that bond that is something like the military has because you are soldiers in the King’s army. You were conscripted when you were saved so don’t be AWOL. Find your gift(s) and your team mates and press on!! We are called to be Semper Fi!


I think for the Church to really have Jesus reign and the Spirit to move in the services we need to take the clock off the walls, leave the cell phones and watches in the car. God is not always on our time schedule. Better to get out of the “morning” service at 4PM filled, healed and changed then to get out at 11:59 and leave the same as when we walked in but entertained by the music, stimulated by the sermon and glad to see our friends.

I have been listening to quite a few Todd White videos and most are nearly two hours long. It was pretty close to that when I heard him in person, but it did not seem near that long. There are places overseas where anything less than three hours makes people feel cheated.

We go to the movies and watch three hour shows. Sports events last two hours or more, but if a pastor goes much past noon the feathers get ruffled and watches/phones start beeping. In many cases, they go off like a two minute warning at 11:58.

Maybe we do not get want we want because we leave too soon. In fact, when I was a Baptist I was told by Pentecostals that we don’t see miracles because we leave before the Holy Spirit shows up. They may well be right, but imagine my shock when I left a Baptist church and the parking lot of the Pentecostal church across the street was empty. Shazam!

I enjoy preaching at a Black church because I normally do not get the pulpit until noon and they tell me take as long as I like as they are going to be there at least until 3PM so it is all good! Whew! If a White church ever told me that I would be listening for the Rapture’s trumpet.

Once I was so glad that I had practiced and had my sermon down to 30 minutes. Imagine my shock when the guy who introduced me told me before he left that platform that I had 20 minutes!!

Does every service need to be two hours or more? No, sometimes what needs to be done is done in a shorter time. The point is that God should set the time, not the clocks and watches. Luby’s or wherever will still be open. Finish the roast on Saturday night and set the DVR to record the game if it has an early start and God has a late finish.

In some churches they sing 45 minutes and preach 15. If you sing 45 the preacher should have 45 or more. For you layers that doesn’t mean if you sing 10 minutes the pastor only gets 10.

Nehemiah 8:
2 And Ezra the priest brought the law before the congregation both of men and women, and all that could hear with understanding, upon the first day of the seventh month.
3 And he read therein before the street that was before the water gate from the morning until midday, before the men and the women, and those that could understand; and the ears of all the people were attentive unto the book of the law.

That is about a seven hour service, Be glad Ezra is not your preacher. 😉
Something for y’all to ponder!

Context Context Context

March 17, 2019


People seem to forget that the chapter divisions are not inspired, but placed to help us with reading. Unlike English, there were no capitals, punctuation or spaces in ancient Greek.

forgodsolovedtheworldthathegavehisonlybegottenson

or

FORGODSOLOVEDTHEWORLDTHATHEGAVEHISONLYBEGOTTENSON

A bit hard for us to read but we could adjust. Yet, reading all of the Scripture that way would take quiet a bit of adjustment of our brains.

Sometimes a split is made that causes confusion to the casual reader and allows some doctrines/traditions to be made out of them that are not true. If Hebrews 12:1,2 were actually Hebrews 11:41,42 it would clarify who the cloud of witnesses are and they are not our relatives looking down on us nor do they hang around us like guardian angels.
They might remember us like the rich man in Hell remembered his brothers, but then again that was before the saints were transferred to Glory. Heaven is likely to be a whole new thing. Since we have no data, we should not speculate. That only opens us up to all sorts of strange doctrines like praying to saints and anthropomorphisms to make us feel better or try to explain what God said neither eye has seen or ear heard.

Many of our songs and thoughts about Heaven are based upon our emotions, but not biblical fact. There are no antebellum mansions and that can be proven by studying Hebrew marriage customs. People do not become angels. We were created a little lower than them and we shall judge them, not become one of them. We will become as them in that we will no longer have marriage since there is no longer a need for reproduction as death is done.

There is to be no sorrow in Heaven and if our loved ones could look down and see us in our sorrow or trouble and things they wish they would have been apart of there would be sorrow.

All of those people mentioned in Hebrews 11 are our cloud of witnesses. Placeing Hebrews 12:1,2 in Hebrews 11 allows us to keep those verses in context. There are other such breaks so make sure you read before a verse and after it. Sometimes you have to go forward two verses to get the clear picture and in some cases go back five verse to get the correct picture of a verse or two you are wondering about or heard preached.

Room for Rahab and You

March 16, 2019


Pastor Mike Mizell knocked another one out of the park when he spoke from Heb 11:31 about Rahab the harlot. She came from the worst possible circumstances and yet by faith was changed and became a member of the bloodline of Jesus.

Maybe you never came to Him for forgiveness and salvation because you think you are too bad. Maybe you were saved and turned away and now think He can never forgive you. Not true at all.

Rahab was the lowest of the low in her culture and yet God took her in when she came to Him in faith. Paul said he was the chief of sinners or the worst of the all and Jesus saved him and he became the apostle to the Gentiles. Peter denied Christ three times and yet when he came back to Jesus he was given the keys to the keys to the Kingdom and preached the first sermon after the Holy Spirit came and 3000 people were saved.

There is plenty of mercy and grace for you and who knows what Jesus will do with you after He does for you that which only He can do. Come be us Sunday and let us be your friend. We will introduce you to Jesus or help you come home to Him.

Blessings to you. Jesus loves you!!!