Seeing how the coming holiday is not really much of a holy day from whence the word holiday comes from I suggest the true Church dump the whole deal and celebrate Incarnation Day on the last Saturday of September, which is a closer to reality birth day for Him.

We were not told to remember His birth, only His death. Yet, if we feel the need to celebrate His birth let’s do it in a way that that has some semblance of worship of Him rather than pagan pixies and the god of materialism.

We could asemble at church and have a prayer breakfast. We would then disperse to perform acts of charity and service in His name. At dark, we could return for a supper where after a time of praise and thanskgiving for what He allowed us to do we could end with the Lord’s Supper like it was practiced in the 1st Century. We would end with a song then embrace each other in Christian love as we go home.

What about goodies? Well, it is HIS birthday, not ours, so how about we get one inexpensive gift to give to those on our list in the name of the risen Christ, the Alpha and Omega? Not tons of expensive stuff, but one to represent the gift of God wrapped in flesh on Christ’s birthday but opened on Resurrection Day. That would be more fitting and then if we spend $200 on people why not give an equal amount to the Church for missions, the poor, the persecuted brethren around the world, etc as a gift to Him and His Bride?

I asked some of the kids in one of the schools that I teach in if they would be willing to give up all their stuff this year and let their parents give the money to the poor in their name. None of them were up to that, but I did have some who volunteered half. Hey, that is a start!

Hmm, I know that is not as fun or frantic but it does fit a true birthday for Him. Probably too late for this one but think about it for the next one. Anyway, I hope Christ has a better birthday this year than He has had for many year. Happy Birthday, Lord! Come quickly!!

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Goes With The Turf

November 26, 2010


“Be not frightened by their upbraiding and slandering; for from the beginning it has been the case that the unbelieving, hate, slander and persecute the believing; the wicked, the good; the unrighteous, the righteous; the carnal, the spiritual; the heretics, the Christians.” – Menno Simons

Why the Western Church believes that it can buddy up with the World and expect to be accepted by it is an amazement. If it is praising you on their media and buying up your books, songs or whatever you are obviously compromising and not contending for the faith once delivered unto the saints as Jude writes.

Jesus Christ came as God in the flesh and declared only one way to forgiveness of sins and ever lasting life. That was not well received and even though He did not cloister Himself and met many social needs such as healing, feeding thousands, healing the sick and raising the dead He was still crucified naked on the Cross. He did not wear the Armani suits of the time or have fast chariots and live in the best home in Jerusalem soliciting and receiving tons of money either in the synagogues or the forums. Yet, they hated Him.

The Apostles lived hand-to-mouth from a human perspective though their needs were supplied. Paul was at times bi-vocational supplementing the income he received from churches other than where he ministered so as not to be seen as a mercenary or fleecing the flock. Yet, he was hated by the World’s government and the very group he once was revered by and excelled beyond all his peers. He died in poverty as did all the rest of the Apostles, save John, through martyrdom. John was exiled to Patmos. None of them lived the good life many false prophets are promoting today.

Many Christians have been martyred and are being martyred since the Day of Pentecost. Menno Simons said once that the true church would also suffer persecution. Paul even said that to suffer for Christ was given to as well as the blessing of believing on Him for salvation. The true Church indeed suffers. It goes with the turf. Blessings are intertwined with sorrows here. Only in Glory will blessings be untangled with sorrow for then we enjoy the fruits of Christ’s labor for eternity. Until then we suffer for His name and His truth.

What has you church suffered for Christ? Indeed, what are suffering for Christ? Does the World love you? James says that to be the friend and lover of the World is to be an adulteress to God and at enmity with Him. Ouch! I believe we all need a reassessment of our life. Love Jesus? Get ready to suffer as it goes with the turf. The true Church is always persecuted and always grows in the persecution. It would appear that the remnant in the Western Church needs revived and it is most likely going to happen during persecution. Even so, come Lord Jesus! Maranatha!

Happy Thanksgiving!

November 25, 2010


While we may not have gotten all we desired or expected throughout this year may we reflect on the blessings we have received and consider that by God’s grace and mercy we have not all we deserved or that the enemy desired for us. We will only know when we cross over to Glory how many unseen and unknown blessings we have received by the hand of a loving and all knowing God!


Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. KJV

Last Sunday was the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Churches. Many did not participate because they did not know. I am afraid that we do tend to only think about our little Christian part of the world and forget that there are more trials in the Christian walk than the heat/AC not being right, the sermon too long, money being requested or no one noticing our new attire.

While we should definitely pray for our brethren being tortured, raped, jailed and murdered for their faith and by all means should give towards what earthly relief we can give them there is another way to truly remember them. Our brethren suffer because they either make or take advantage of the opportunities given them to serve and witness. If they kept low and quiet they would not suffer nearly as often or badly. Their love for Jesus and others generates such fiery zeal that they are willing to bear the flames of persecution though indeed it might extinguish their life.

John Wesley said that he set himself on fire and people came to watch him burn. That is the attitude of our brethren in bonds. If we truly wish to remember them we should emulate them and do all the things they cannot do and do what they do with even greater zeal, if that is possible, for we have greater opportunities. What shame we will feel when we sit at the Bema seat watching our wretched life of comfort burned to ashes with maybe a few seed pearls left to return to our Lord in gratitude for all he has done for us while our brethren who had no earthly freedom and even less worldly goods have a golden mansion lined with precious jewels made even more glittering by the Lord’s testing flame. They have endured the fires of the world, the flesh and the devil thus their life’s works endure forever.

May we start today to rectify the disparity between us and them though I fear we have waited so long that we may not be able to pass much further from a tinderbox shack to a silver pup tent. Glory to them and woe unto us! Let us repent and may God grant us the opportunity to restore the years that the canker worms and moths have wasted. Maranatha!


Today is the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Pray for them. You will need their prayer for you when it is your turn to enter into the true calling of the Christian to suffer for Him and to enter into the fellowship of His sufferings.

Heb 13:3 Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body. KJV

John 16:1-4
1 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended.
2 They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.
3 And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me.
4 But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you. KJV

Phil 1:27-30
27 Only let your conversation be as it becometh the gospel of Christ: that whether I come and see you, or else be absent, I may hear of your affairs, that ye stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel;
28 And in nothing terrified by your adversaries: which is to them an evident token of perdition, but to you of salvation, and that of God.
29 For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;
30 Having the same conflict which ye saw in me, and now hear to be in me. KJV

Phil 3:8-10

8 Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ,
9 And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith:
10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; KJV


When Christianity becomes a religio illicita will you still be a Christian? When it costs to name the name of Christ will you be willing to count the cost? If you are just playing Church looking for a fire escape from Hell, you will deny Him then as you really deny Him now by your rote rituals and apathy. If you really love Him, then serve Him now and by His grace when you stand before your accusers and persecutors you will gladly say, “Guilty of loving and belonging to the Lord Jesus Christ, the one and only true God and Savior!” May it be so for you and I. Maranatha!

Thanks To My Comrades-in-Arms

November 11, 2010


Thank you, my brothers and sisters who are serving and have served! We will always be America’s Team! No greater honor can our country give us for we have had the greatest honor to serve her and keep her free!

On my way to the Hermes Elementary school in uniform and going to teach the kids a variation of the C-130 Airborne cadence. I do miss the military and wish they would take me back in. I know there is a job I can do. HOOAH!

Believer, really?

November 11, 2010


After being a Christian since 1975 and in Christian service nearly as long I have become convinced that most Christians really do not believe their bible. Every chance they get they explain it away to suit their own desires just like the Pharisees and the Sadducees. They partake of anything they please and wonder why they lack power in their own lives and why people are not being converted.

They have made God into their image instead of seeking to be conformed to the image of Christ. They have become transformed to this world instead of being conformed by the renewing of their mind to the next world. They approve what is good, acceptable and perfect instead of seeking the will of God.

In the end, they live a life of vanity and sometimes hellish and people go to Hell because they see no true witness of God’s power in the Christian. A pleasure and prosperity seeking Christian is no different than a greedy atheistic hedonist.

May God convict His people so that others will be convicted and be saved!

Branded

November 8, 2010


Branded

Like a wild mustang on the range,
I roamed life without a plan.
Christians seemed to be so strange.
I swore I’d never wear that brand.

No one could put a saddle on me.
Many tried, but they ended up in the dust.
I was wild and I thought I was free.
Never did I see the chains of sin and lust.

Then one day the Master found me starving on the plain.
I saw love in His eyes and peace in His face.
I couldn’t resist, my heart had such pain.
I quietly let Him rope my neck with Grace.

He touched me with a nail scarred hand.
A drop of His blood totally cleansed me.
I now wear the old Rugged Cross Brand.
My chains are gone and I am truly free.

Satan had rustled and branded me with sin.
He deceived me into thinking I had a good deal.
His venom wasted this man from within
And placed on my soul his Hellish seal.

Let Jesus bring you back to His Salvation Ranch.
He’ll give you a reason to lift up a joyful hand.
Don’t pass up what could be your last chance
To wear that blessed old Rugged Cross Brand.

Nov 22, 1993 RES

Bema

November 8, 2010


Bema

I sought to be carried to God on flowery beds of ease.
Now, I kneel before Him upon fearful trembling knees.
Others gaze upon His glorious face while I can only look down.
My life lies before me in ashes I can give Him no crown.

There were those who called me to the Heavenly fight,
But I thought it enough to be saved by Gospel light.
I lived to satisfy my every selfish whim.
No sacrifice did I ever make for Him.

I struggled for just a little more ease and gold.
I never sensed how my heart had grown cold.
Doing what I pleased; playing it safe with my life.
I never felt the sting of persecution or strife.

If Christianity would have been a punishable crime,
There would have not been enough evidence for me to do time.
Yes, I appeared at the church house now and then
And sang about Jesus as my Savior and Friend.

All I cared about is destroyed and gone.
I cannot sing sweet Zion’s song.
Saved and forgiven, I shall not be lost,
But no joy abounding since I did not count the cost.

I thought it would not matter when I got here.
After all, did He not promise to dry every tear.
If only I’d thought of the sorrow I now see in His face
I would have run a much more faithful race.

Be careful, my brethren of how you live
Or only wood, hay, and stubble will you be able to give
To the One who redeemed you by His grace
And you too will see tears upon His face.

October 20, 1993 RES