The War Cry

February 24, 2016


War Cry

Message inspired by a song written by Juda Myers, a wonderful lady and strong activist for Pro-Life for the children conceived in rape or incest.

Juda Myers Conceived In Rape Living With Purpose!

At The Cross CCM Style

February 22, 2016


One of the main complaints about CCM from the Old School is the repetition, yet it is in all the old hymns as well.  It is just laid out differently.   In the original “At The Cross” hymn with six verses the refrain is repeated six times.  Yes, there are some songs that might be called a mantra of sorts, but repetition in itself is not a valid complaint by the old hymn lovers.  We are not to use vain repetition in our prayers and some would say it should not be in worship either but then from what we know in Isaiah 6 the seraphim repeat holy three times and maybe that is what they do day and night. That is a lot of repetition if that is the case.

I like the old hymns, but I must say none of them have ever had me on my knees or face weeping for my failures or worshiping Him for His love and grace that brought salvation down to man like the CCM songs that I have heard from the 70’s.  Keith Green tapes were worn out and I have great love for many of the artists I hear at church, Pandora and YouTube.   I do love Chris Tomlin’s rendition of the hymn.

I have laid out the old hymn in a format that Isaac might have used if he lived today!

At The Cross by Isaac Watts if he were here today

Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For sinners such as I?

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—

While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light,
And the burden of my heart rolled away,
It was there by faith I received my sight,
And now I am happy all the day!
Words: Isaac Watts (1707)

 

Are You Entitled?

February 14, 2016


“Just because you come to work every day and do everything you’re told to do and do everything right doesn’t mean you’re entitled to anything. You should be glad you have a job where you can be treated like dirt.”
— Postal boss, West Palm Beach GMF, early 1990s

I have had to be thankful at times to just have a job even though some of the places I have worked have been pretty bad, but when you have a wife and two children you don’t have the liberty to just walk off the job.
Raises or bonuses? No raises or bonuses are better than no check. I signed on for a certain rate. That was all I was entitled to get. Anything else was icing, but the cake was what I needed. Recognition? I was just glad the time clock recognized me and let me clock in.  Would have I liked to have that stuff?  Sure, but I was not entitled to it.
 
When you can afford to retire do it or find another job, but if you cannot do either just be happy that the bills are paid and look to Jesus to handle the muck and mire. Someone at that job might need you to lead them to Christ or pray for them.
I have encouraged other saints at a job where my life was threatened and reviled daily to the point I had to sit in a tool cage with headsets on to drown out the cursing and slurs directed at me. That may be the place that I had the greater opportunity for PTSD than all my years in the military. Eventually, I got a job back down South, but it was a rough three years.
In America, we are guaranteed the right to “life, liberty and the PURSUIT of happiness,” not the securing of happiness. If you will not pursue what you think makes you happy or do what it requires to achieve it no one owes it to you to give it to you. The pursuit is on you and not all who pursue secure, but that is the risk of life and liberty. You can fail.
If you succeed, you are entitled to keep what you earned by your pursuit, but if I am better at pursuing and securing happiness you are not entitled to have me make up for your lack of success or success at a lower level than you desired. If there were setbacks beyond your control and I choose to help you that is my right and it is someone’s right to not to help you. You cannot force someone to be generous. That is a character trait that you either have or you don’t. Once someone is forced to give up their money or property it is no longer generosity. In reality, it is theft and coercion.

Generosity brings about good feelings between the giver and the recipient. Coercion does not and causes anger and friction between the one forced and the recipient. So, you are entitled to what you work for and you can be a recipient of generosity, but you are not entitled to what is not yours or what someone has but does not want to share.

Dedicate your work to God and He will sustain you and reward you in due time. No one on this earth owes you anything. Even Jesus spoke a bit to this labor issue.
Luke 17:7 But which of you, having a servant plowing or feeding cattle, will say unto him by and by, when he is come from the field, Go and sit down to meat?
8 And will not rather say unto him, Make ready wherewith I may sup, and gird thyself, and serve me, till I have eaten and drunken; and afterward thou shalt eat and drink?
9 Doth he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I trow not.
10 So likewise ye, when ye shall have done all those things which are commanded you, say, We are unprofitable servants: we have done that which was our duty to do.
Whatever contractual agreement you have with an employer that is all you are entitled to have and all he is required to give. Want a walk out? Fine, walk out to a new job, not hinder the work of your fellow employees by closing down the plant. I have seen the negative effect of that several times in my life.
Jesus, thank Him, does not give us what we earned if we come to Him. He gives us what we do not deserve. Indeed, many in Christianity need to be reminded that whatever fruit they are experiencing in their ministry comes from Him. They also need to be reminded that they do not deserved a certain lifestyle that requires fleecing the sheep to make it happen. Their final performance report before the King may not be a glowing as they think it should be.

Heaven is not earned. It is a gift of grace and even our rewards will only happen because we walked in the Spirit to get some works of gold, silver, and precious stones. That is why we will throw all our crowns back to Him as we know it was His work in us. Otherwise all we would have wood, hay and stubble. Aren’t you glad that we can have all our works burn up and still be saved? (1 Cor 3:11-15)

Now, go to work in the power of His Spirit in a grateful spirit.  It will amazing how much better that job is and how much easier it is to work with those people.  How things have changed!  No, you changed.  That is all you can do and you are not entitled to demand their change.

Perks and all the other stuff we Americans strive for?

Philippians 4:11 Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content.
12 I know both how to be abased, and I know how to abound: every where and in all things I am instructed both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need.
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and raiment let us be therewith content.

Shalom!  Maranatha!

Sight By Death

February 13, 2016


I have been recently diagnosed with Fuchs’ Dystrophy. That is when the the little bilge pumps in your cornea are not working well or have stopped thus allowing fluid buildup causing hazy vision.   That might be what the one eye doctor meant when he said if I lived long enough I would have trouble as my eyes are older than I am.

Current treatment is putting in eye drops containing a saline solution.  If that fails to solve the situation, they will have to take out my bilge pumps and insert new ones from a donor.  Unfortunately, unlike a blood donor or other item that replicates the only way for someone to donate this item is for them to die.  Yes, I would receive improved sight from a deceased person whom I did not know nor did they know me.  They just chose to help someone one last time.

Growing up I had heard of Jesus, sang in a church choir, recited creeds and even earned a Bible for perfect attendance at VBS.  Yet, my eyes were blind. We choir boys told dirty jokes before entered the loft.  From there we watched the old folks watch who came in with who and how they dressed and often falling asleep after the message started.  No message stood out to me.  He could have been reading from the Readers Digest and I would not have known the difference.  Yet, if you would have asked me if I were a Christian I would have said yes because after all I am an American and in those days nearly everyone was a Christian at least nominally.  I made sure I put the denomination on my dog tag.  I was blind but I thought I could see.

John 9:41 Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth.

Well, years later My eyes were opened and sight given to me by someone I really did not know, but knew me and died for me that I might receive sight and rose again so that I might see forever.  I wish this post would end here like as a happy ever after story.   Unfortunately,  the bilge pumps in my spiritual eyes also had issues because I had become a Pharisee.  I was pointing fingers at everyone, criticizing everything that was not what my particular group did and even casting out some folks into outer darkness because they were off the deep end.  Yet, I was blind to my own sins and flaws or used a form of Windex(R) to clean my religious glasses that somehow made the spots invisible, but really did not clean them away.  I said I saw, but I had hazy visions and would have been blind had I carried on.

Then a hunger rose up in me and a disgust for myself as I was starting to finally see the spots and could no longer ignore them.  I asked God to purge and cleanse me that He might be better able to use me and bring glory to Himself.  OUCH!  Be careful what you ask for, but it has been worth it.  I believe the purging is far from over, but I am glad that I am in the right direction now.  God has always been better to me than I deserved when I was blind and when I ignored the dirty glasses.

I have already been referred to as going off the deep end, by a family member, but that is expected.  They are still in the group I was in and it is all they know.  One day, I hope all my family members will be good Bereans and search the Scriptures to truly see if what they have been taught is true and if their faith is a lively faith or just a dead religious affiliation.  If it is a true faith, have you let your glasses get dirty so that you have hazy vision?  You may be making far too many bad calls as if you were a blind referee.   Maybe because you have been ignoring the signs of a problem thus the Holy Spirit is not fully functioning in your life like the bilge pumps in my cornea.   Call on Jesus!  He can change you from seeing men as trees walking to be able to clearly see Him, yourself and others.   Ask for His eyes that you may see as He does and then serve with that sight!  Shalom!  Maranatha!

Give Me Your Eyes

Deep End

February 6, 2016


2/4/16 Deep End

You say that you are my friend
But I’ve gone off the deep end.
I was drowning in the kiddie pool
Being such a crazy blasted fool.
Fussing at and cussing out everyone
Instead of leading them to God’s Son.

Refrain/Chorus

I’m goin’ off the deep end!
I’m goin’ off the deep end!
Where God’s love and mercy flows!
Where my soul and spirit grows!
I’m goin’ off the deep end!
Yeah, give me the deep end!

I’m tired of judging the outside
Instead of loving the soul inside!
When we are laid in that old cold sod
We won’t be happy that we played God!
We may find that we did not make it at all
Or all our wonderful works are really straw.

Refrain

I won’t lose any of my sleep
Because you say I am too deep!
I can’t stand to be shallow
Or leaving my fields fallow!
I need to lose the rocks and stones
O God give life to these dry bones

Refrain

Even though I am somewhat old school
I cannot live in the kiddie pool.
I hate the old drama and silly strife
Jesus lead me into your full life!
Let the Spirit take you to His school!
Go deeper inside the holy pool!

Refrain

It is time to dump the old me!
So the new man is truly free!
No more of the Pharisaical jaw
Spouting free grace but practicing the law!
Leave the old kiddie pool behind!
Come into the deep end! It’s fine!

Refrain 2X fading

I recently read a note that said that I have “gone off the deep end” with my recent change of affiliation. Unfortunately, this person belongs to a group that basically consigns every one but their group to Hell or at best a “not separated” Christian. Indeed, it is all they know and thus hard for them to make a fair and informed assessment.  It inspired the poem/song above.

If I would still be a part of that group, I would respond harshly. Instead, staying with the symbolism, I would encourage that person and others like them to come out of the shallow end. Five feet is indeed deep if you are in the two foot zone.  😉

God is fond of the deep so if I have gone off the deep end then I say Glory to God for I may see things that I never saw before!

Dan_2:22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.

1Co_2:10 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God.

Shalom! Maranatha!!

Strange or Authentic Fire?

February 2, 2016


If you read Dr. MacArthur’s Strange Fire or Charismatic Chaos, you should be a good Berean and read Authentic Fire as well. As Dr. Brown states, Dr. MacArthur has been a great teacher for decades, but on this issue he has been a bit myopic and honestly unfair to lump all Charismatics/Pentecostals together. That is like saying that all Baptists are like Westboro Baptist Church or all Catholic priests are pedophiles.  It’s not true and an unjust assessment.
I have been a Baptist for 40 years serving as a lay worker and in pastoral positions in GARBC, Southern Baptist and Independent Fighting Fundamental Baptist Churches in several states.  I did pretty much what Dr. MacArthur has done. I consigned all tongue speakers to Hell or madness because I had seen only the abuses. Since we believe in Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and forever why do we think the Holy Spirit changed?  Because some theologian told us He did, but I do not see anything in the Word that says He changed.
I am now in an Assembly of God church and spent a few months at a Charismatic/Apostolic Church in Fort Worth where I saw God move and there was no strange or wild fire. God is alive and well and moving among His people where I am a member. Indeed, if you are tired of playing church or knowing God only by rules and rituals come visit Bethel Temple in Cleburne, TX.  I have grown more in the last year than I have in 40 years, but have a long way to go.
I have served with some good men and I am not intending to bash Baptists, but they do have some groups that are nearly as crazy as Westboro that have hurt as many people as the Charismatics MacArthur cites. However, just as not all Baptists are kooks and cultists not all Charismatics abuse the gifts. Remember that the believers in Corinth had all the gifts and were abusing them. Paul chastised the abusers, but did not say the gifts were bad. He encouraged the people to seek the best gifts and to get love for without love the gifts could not be used properly.  There are Baptist tares and Charismatic ones, but do not tear up the wheat with them. We can add the rest of the denominations as well to the list of who has wheat and tares.  No group is exempt from it’s crazies.  Paul said that there must needs be divisions so that the approved would stand which means there would have to be those who are not approved.  Discernment is needed, but as many of my professors would state you don’t toss the baby out with the bath water.
Do I speak in tongues? No and not everyone in a Pentecostal church does as the Scripture says the Spirit dispenses the gifts to whom He will. God asked me if I would let Him be God in my life and I said yes, so now I am seeking to hear Him.  Yes, I heard Him ask it. I am still learning and it has been prophesied that I will speak in tongues one day.  If that came from God then I will and I am willing to accept whatever gift He gives me.  That is a far cry from even five years ago.  Had you told me that I would be in an AOG church, I would have laughed at you.  I guess the laugh is on me, but I am glad of it.

Read Dr. Brown’s book, if you want a balanced view of the subject hearing both sides.  I believe it will be the classic apologetic for the Pentecostal movement.  You may be surprised at some of the people he quotes.  Ask God to show you His truth and let Him be God, not your denominational background.  Let Him deal with the abuses.  Be a Berean!  (Acts 17:11) Shalom!  Maranatha!