The Buffet Is Open

June 11, 2017


Went to Asian Buffet and I always get a kick out of the messages in the fortune cookies. One made no sense at all, but I could do a sermon on this one.

“Hungry is the man who finds salvation in a cookie.”

A physically starving man might be saved from death by a cookie or maybe more like a dozen. I might go this way.

Starving is the man who tries to find salvation in anything or anyone other than Jesus Christ.

Many are starving and dying while stuffing all sorts of things into their minds and souls. And if they reject the Bread of Life they will die in their sins. (John 6:35) There is only one way to be saved.

John 14:6  Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

1Tim 2:5  For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

That is the final answer. While I like buffets because I can choose what I want and how much, but there is no salvation buffet.

The world may spread a buffet before you and the items may look good and even be tasty, but the end of that is a spiritual form of Gastroptosis. You eat and eat, but there is no absorption of nutrients and because your stomach is malformed from the disease you may even feel full and look fat while losing weight. Yet, you are sickly. On a spiritual plane, you will ultimately die and lose your soul feeling content with yourself and even be at peace with the thought of dying. The symptoms are deceiving. You starve your soul to death, but feel fine.

There are cures for Gastroptosis. There is only one cure for the spiritual form of that. You must taste and see that the Lord is good and desire the sincere milk of the Word that you may grow until you can handle spiritual meat. (Psalm 34:8, 1 Peter 2:2, Heb 5:12-14)

Just as a chicken dies to gives us life as we take in his flesh or the milk of a cow is transformed in us so we must eat of His flesh and drink His blood by faith appropriating it in us. It is not transformed, but rather we are transformed and become of His flesh and blood.

Mat 26:26  And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body.
27  And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it;
28  For this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

One day we will sit at a banquet table with a buffet spread before us if come to Him now to receive life.

Rev 19:9  And he saith unto me, Write, Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God.

Will you be invited? You will if you come to Him for the forgiveness of your sins. Ask for forgiveness because He paid your debt on the Cross. He signed you pardon with His blood and you sign it with your faith in what He did for you. You cannot earn it. It is a gift. The Son of God did the work and His resurrection proved God the Father accepted the sacrifice. When you are saved, God the Holy Spirit will come into your life as a guide and teacher so you can grow into a mature child of God equipped with gifts to fulfill your role as a Warrior Prince/Princess in the Kingdom. His hand is outstretched to you. He bids you come and dine! You can ask for no greater invitation. Maranatha!

Dear God, I come to you as a sinner needing forgiveness. Your Son, Jesus Christ, came to earth born of a virgin to have a body so He could pay for the sins of men by His death on a cruel Cross. He rose on the third day and now sits at your right hand. I ask you to forgive my sins because I believe in what He did for mankind and me. Fill me with the Holy Spirit and teach me to walk as I should walk in this life that I glorify you and serve you as a son/daughter. Thank you for this free gift! Amen!!!


Isa 20:2 At the same time spake the LORD by Isaiah the son of Amoz, saying, Go and loose the sackcloth from off thy loins, and put off thy shoe from thy foot. And he did so, walking naked and barefoot.
3 And the LORD said, Like as my servant Isaiah hath walked naked and barefoot three years for a sign and wonder upon Egypt and upon Ethiopia;
4 So shall the king of Assyria lead away the Egyptians prisoners, and the Ethiopians captives, young and old, naked and barefoot, even with their buttocks uncovered, to the shame of Egypt.

Walking around without your outer garment in that day was considered being naked. i don’t suspect many of our sports wear and swim suits would have been considered modest. In fact, much of what we wear would be immodest by OT and NT standards or even the standards of 60 years ago or so,

Those taken captive would be showing their buttocks. Scholars debate if Isaiah was just in his undergarments or actually naked. I think they feel God would not embarrass Isaiah like that. If he was to be a sign and wonder, he may well have been naked. A man walking in his underwear would attract attention, but a naked one more-so.

God does sometimes require His people, especially prophets. to do some things that we would consider embarrassing. When you are a dignitary for God your dignity may have to be put aside to accomplish your calling. Are you willing to be undignified to be His dignitary? I don’t think He will ask you to walk naked, but if He did would you do it?

Undignified


Galatians 4:16  Am I therefore become your enemy, because I tell you the truth?

I have asked a similar question to many folks over the years. When they find out I am a preacher, they will often ask me questions and then get mad when I answer because it is not the one they wanted.

Even in college, the lads would compliment me on how fast I took a test and got an A.  Then we would discuss an issue or verse and suddenly I was not as smart in their eyes if I disagreed with their position.

I was especially under a bit of stress when the Sunday Night Bible Study group I was leading wanted to discuss women especially since the question was “why does the Bible have such a low view of women?”.   That is when I started writing out my sermons.  As an Assistant Pastor, I knew someone might disagree with something and speak ill of me to the Pastor.  Thus, I wanted black and white evidence that I handed out to all of my students.

That had already happened once when I taught Hosea at another church and a young lady took offense to something I said because her preacher Daddy taught a different view.  she did run to the Assistant Pastor and came close to accusing me of heresy. Fortunately, he was not of the same opinion as her Daddy so I lived to teach another day, but she was very upset.

I also survived the series on women and those lessons became the basis for my first book.  Still, it is interesting how people react to something different.

I know too many people who quote some teacher and have his teachings in a mental red book like the Chinese have a literal red book by Chairman Mao that they memorize.

I always told people I taught not to do that with me, but If I am wrong, do not leave me in my ignorance.  My only requirements were to be respectful and loving when you come to my office to instruct me and to bring Scripture in content as that is the only thing that counts.  Opinions, feelings, personal convictions, Grandma’s proverbs or Dr. Goodwords’ thought from the media really do not matter if they are based upon sound doctrine.

Just because that is how you always did something or that “ain’t the way I heered it” does not make it wrong.  We heard about many things that were not true like the tooth fairy, Easter Bunny and Santa Claus growing up, but we grew up and found out the truth.  Many of our theological ritual, rules, and other traditions can and often do fall into that same category.  Someone meant well when they taught you something like the young lady’s Daddy who said God did not tell Hosea to marry a prostitute, but they could be wrong.

I have always been a questioner, a paradigm challenger, a Maverick and whatever the current fad word for that kind of person is these days.  I want my Kool-Aid cyanide free and I know that the majority is not always right hence we had steam boats, aircraft and space travel contrary to majority opinion.  It is like 20 out of 30 kids in a classroom saying 2+2 is 5 does not make it correct.  Much common consensus is not necessarily common sense.  Indeed, I think common sense has passed away after being in the ICU since the 60’s,

So, if I, or another person, tell you something contrary to your beliefs don’t get angry or smack us with your large print Bible.  Search the Bible like the Bereans  and see if these things are so.  If they ate, thank us for showing you the truth. If they aren’t then come in the right spirit to teach us,  Iron sharpens iron so let us all study to correctly interpret the Word and keep each other safe and accountable.  Maranatha!


We all have moments in our lives that we look back on and ask ourselves what we were thinking or even who was that person.

 
While it is good to reflect and see where we came from to chart a better course for tomorrow we cannot stay in the past. It is dead, archived, kaput and in non-editable format.
 
You can only deal with the present to change the future. Whatever went down badly use it as a lesson, not a mindset. Don’t give up! Look up!
 
The Apostle Paul said that in his flesh dwelled no good thing. If we are honest, we have to concur. Sometimes we may scare ourselves with the stuff we did or came to our mind.
 
Not all that comes to our mind comes from us, but rather the enemy. What we did we own and we may not have done if we had recognized where that thought came from and ran to God for cleansing and a new thought.
 
God has promised to make beauty out of ashes. Gather up all the ashes of your life and put them in an urn of prayer and let God bury the urn.
 
He has promised us not only eternal life because of Jesus, but also abundant life. We just have to choose to believe and receive what He offered. He calls and He gifts and what He gives and calls us to do brings the abundance of blessings if we obey and follow with open hearts and ears even when you have expectations that do not come to pass. You want His expectations. He has the big picture. Just trust!
 
Are you ready to bury the past and make a turn in your life that will rock your world. Bring your urn to Jesus and confess your sinful mess and receive as Lord and Savior.
 
If you are a born-again believer, believe in 1 John 1:9 and come boldly for mercy. Your are dead and your life is hid in Christ. Don’t even leave flowers on the grave unless the card says, “Thank you, Jesus!” Then move on as He directs you. You are blessed! You are seated with Him in the heavenlies. You are a warrior prince(ess) in the kingdom. Put on your spiritual armor and allow Him to lead you in the victory He has secured with His blood. The enemy may mock, but he is defeated. Walk, yea march, in the power of the Holy Spirit. Open your mouth and He will fill it. Ask and He wisdom will be given. Call and He will answer with great and mighty things that you do not know!  Hallelujahfor the Cross and His saving blood! Maranatha!

It Is Not Over!

May 12, 2017


Luke 5:8 When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

 

Peter had just seen Jesus do a miracle to bless him and the others. As far as he knew Jesus had tossed him to the curb after Peter had denies him. He had no idea that later he would be publicly restored not only as a disciple, but a leader that would be used as Jesus said when his name was changed from Simon to Peter and even shortly before he did what Jesus knew Peter would do.

 

Is this not how we feel when we bungle our walk and not only fumble the ball, but completely deflate it? We tell the Lord to depart from us at the time we desperately need and want Him. We think He cannot forgive whatever i was we did. We fell from grace and we are done.

 

Peter was wrong and so are we when we think like that. His mercies are new every morning. When our sins are as scarlet, He calls us to come to Him and reason together so that he can make us white as snow.

 

Hard to believe? Yes, our grief and our enemy will speak against that kind of love, grace, mercy and forgiveness. There is nothing like it in the human realm. Yet, it was not a fallen human that said it. It was the God who created us and redeemed us. Our works may fail and or faith fluctuate and be smaller than a mustard seed, BUT thanks be to Him that He never changes and He said to come boldly unto the throne in time of need to find mercy! He knows our frame that it is but dust and that without him we can do nothing.

 

Sometimes we need to fall as hard as Peter to quit depending on our good works, our strength, and our understanding. Paul said that they had the sentence of death in themselves so they could not trust in themselves, but in God who raises the dead. Your failure making you feel dead inside and like your relationship with God is dead? Good! Maybe you are now in the position to be willing to receive His strength, wisdom, mercy, grace, forgiveness and to be placed in the ministry He called you to do in His power and not your flesh.

 

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

 

Peter and Moses are perfect examples of this. After both were humbled, they were used in the way they were called to do. When they trusted in their flesh they failed. When they trusted in God and His power they parted seas and won thousand of souls in a day.

 

This may be your day to be positioned. Don’t say. “Lord, depart from me.” Say, “Lord Thy will be done in my life! Use me as you called me in Your power by your mercy and grace!” There are still seas to be parted to bring freedom and they are souls to be saved. You were saved, called and gifted. Your sin created a detour and delay, but at the end of the day God has not changed His mind about you or your mission. Believe and receive! Maranatha!

Modern Day Davids

May 6, 2017


Heard an awesome message today by Robert Kennedy, pastor of Mustang Creek Community Church in Forney, TX. I would strongly urge you to visit if you are in the area. This brother can preach. I am hoping they will make it available on CD or YouTube. I will only give the three points and what they spoke to me. When you are called of God there will be obstacles in walking in your anointing. I. Your brothers will tell you that you are not the man. 1 Sam 17:28,29

David’s brother most likely had a attitude because he was passed over and David was anointed to be king by Samuel. Thus without knowing his father had sent David, he accused him of false motives, It is often those who should be supporting you that are the ones who disparage you, question your calling and may even stab you in the back to discourage you from fulfilling your calling. I remember doing some neighborhood evangelism where the Baptist that opened the door blew cigar smoke in my face and said as far as he was concerned it was the only Baptist church in town. Several doors down the street a Catholic invited my wife in, served us ice tea and was happy that we were out trying to get people to come to church. That was quite a reverse of what you might have thought was the normal.

Sometimes it is jealousy or fear that causes it. The pastor that ordained me thought I was out to take the church from him. I was young enough in ministry and the Lord to not to see his angst when people came to talk to me because my personality differed from his. I was only doing ministry and had not inclinations of seeking to unseat him.

Because the people did not understand after I was ordained that it was a problem to call me pastor. I had to remind them that I was a deacon ordained so I could be a pastor somewhere, but there was not such thing as a Pastor-Deacon so just call me Ron. They were trying to be respectful, but it seemed to eat his lunch. It got so bad that I did have to leave and even two years after I left I had a deacon come and ask me if I was trying to destroy the church though I had no contact with anyone from that church in those two years. If there was trouble it was not because of me.

II. The King will tell you that you cannot do it. 1 Sam 17:32,33

King can be represented as the powers that be. Anyone who has sought a pastoral or other place of ministry knows you have to face deacons or pulpit committees. I never understood what Duke University’s team name was the Demon Deacons until I met a few folks that seemed to have some of the qualification. Often it is a Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. You are too young, too old, too bold, not bold enough, wrong college, not enough college, too much college, wrong version of the Bible. too separated, not separated enough, too deep. too shallow or too fat and I suspect too skinny.

Trying to find that just right position from a human perspective can be very harrowing and seem to be an impossible task. It is no wonder so many pastors quit each month because even after you find what you believe is the place God wants you there are still folks who will criticize everything you do telling you that you are not the man or you cannot do the job.

III. The giant enemy will say, “Are you serious? 1 Sam 17:42,43

Many people are frozen in their ministry or fear to enter into one because the devil will tell them that it is a joke to think that God can use them. They look at the Goldilocks and Good Ol’ Boy system and believe that stuff they are told about themselves is really true. They fail to see that it is the devil is using the bias and less than mature understanding of Scripture to keep them from ministry and them from finding the best man for their church.

The devil will also speak fear, failure.doubt and despair into your life. You must not listen.

Rom 11:29  For the gifts and calling of God are without repentance.  No matter what opposition you may face or failure you are called and you are gifted for the call. Step out in your calling in faith and you will find the anointing and power to fulfill that calling.

“Get the stones to face your giant!” – Robert Kennedy When you are down, look for the stones you need. Then rise up in the name of the Lord and fling that sling and drop that thing that is blocking your blessing. Victory is assured in the Lord. David’s aim may have been that accurate or an angel changed the trajectory and speed. It was his faith and stand for God that killed Goliath before he even picked up the stone.

You are called into the kingdom for such a time as this. You are gifted. You have more than a sling. You have the whole armor of God. (Eph 6:10-18) You may need some training to prove the armor, but the same God who taught David for war will train your hands as well. (Psalm 144:1) Slay your giant and empower your brethren for war and victory! It is your duty and your birthright as warrior princes in the Kingdom! Maranatha!


Let’s see, you trusted in your emotions and that roller coaster collapsed.  You trusted in your mind and it is distracted, confused and just not at its peak.  You trusted in your goodness and good works,  but the Holy Spirit has shown you your depravity and the devil has beaten you down with it.  You trusted in people and they let you down. You trusted in your health, but it is failing.  You trusted in your wealth and the markets crashed.   You trusted in your job and works skills, but you are unemployed. You trusted in your denomination, but your soul is hungry and dry.  You trusted in your country, but it is divided and torn.  You have trusted in your common sense in a senseless world.  In fact, everything you trusted in has flaws and failings and you are at rock bottom!  Alleluia!

2 Cor 1:8 For we would not, brethren, have you ignorant of our trouble which came to us in Asia, that we were pressed out of measure, above strength, insomuch that we despaired even of life:
9 But we had the sentence of death in ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God which raiseth the dead:

You are blessed far more than you know because now you have nothing to trust in but God!  Oh, has it come to that?  YES, and it is about time!  You say you trusted God.  No, you trusted in religion and in the god you made and wanted him to be, but now you have to find and trust the God who is!  Throw everything down at His feet.  Ask Christ to forgive and save you or if you are His ask Him to forgive you for your misplaced trust and misunderstanding of who He is and receive all you need.  Not all you want, necessarily, but all you need in His time and method, not yours!  He is there and He wants to bless you, but He wants your trust.

Heb 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.

It has always been about trust or faith.  Adam, don’t eat that fruit.  Moses, have the people look a brass snake on a pole to be healed.   Believe that Jesus is God in the flesh and died on a cross for your sins and raised again to prove it.  It is all about trust.  Trust to be forgiven and trust as you go through life even when you cannot sense His presence.  When all looks like Hell instead of Heaven.  In the face of death even though you want to live.

Job 13:15 Though he slay me, yet will I trust in him: but I will maintain mine own ways before him

Job had a wrong view of God and yet he trusted Him to death.   Let us do the sane except let us seek to know Him as He really is, not in our imaginations or traditions.  He wants a relationship, but no relationship does well without trust.   He can be trusted and you cannot.  You cannot match Him in faithfulness.  You have already seen how much you fail by yourself.  Let Him come in and mold you into His image and you will see a change.  You will become more faithful and He will be faithful when you fail during your training.

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.

You’re a wreck?  Congratulations!  You are ready to be saved and trust in the only trustworthy Being in existence.  He has been waiting for you to get where you are so you will turn to Him.  His arms are open, now open your heart to Him!  Has it come down to that?  YES, and thank God that it has, for now, your life can change!  Maranatha!

Tareing Up The Church

April 20, 2017


Mat 13:24 Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:
25 But while men slept, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went his way.
26 But when the blade was sprung up, and brought forth fruit, then appeared the tares also.
27 So the servants of the householder came and said unto him, Sir, didst not thou sow good seed in thy field? from whence then hath it tares?
28 He said unto them, An enemy hath done this. The servants said unto him, Wilt thou then that we go and gather them up?
29 But he said, Nay; lest while ye gather up the tares, ye root up also the wheat with them.
30 Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.

There is far too much confusion and dissension in the Church. With so many different voices saying so many divergent things, I have no problem understanding why unbelievers have problems coming to Christ.  How in the world can they know which sect of Christianity is the true sect, or if unlike the Highlander series there can be more than one?

Indeed, even among people using the same sect name, there can be various opinions.  One need only to look at the Baptists and Pentecostals and you can find several variations of both.  Having been a Baptist for forty years I know at times you can get six Baptists in a discussion and have thirteen opinions.  Baptist range from ultra-Conservative to ultra-Liberal with many points between the two extremes.  Southern Baptists are divided into at least two camps with Independent Baptists having many variations or camps.  Methodists, Presbyterians, Lutherans and Episcopalians are divided between Liberal and Conservative/Orthodox.  Even those groups that appear to be united have differing voices within them such as Catholics and Church of Christ.  They may just not be as loud as some but they are there.

Dr. R. G. Lee was an old Southern Baptist preacher that once reported to the Convention, “Gentlemen. I have been through the churches in our Convention and I am convinced that only 10% of our members are saved!” There was a great commotion which he interrupted with, “Forgive me! I mean 5%” I wonder what percentage he would give now? The SBC had gotten more Liberal than what he knew in his lifetime so he might come up with 1%. I fear that the Independent Fundamental Baptists may average 1% between the camps.  Some may be higher and some lower.

The Baptists are not the only group in such a predicament. We are, after all, in an age of apostasy clearly shown by how wicked our society is in a nation where most of the 300+ million people claim to be Christians.  Indeed, the founders of most denominations would not be welcome in those groups who bear their names or claim them as their spiritual ancestor.

Part of the division has come from truth causing separation from lies.  John said those who departed from them were not of them.  People starting new groups out of old do so because they do not walk in agreement. In John’s scenario, those leaving were the heretics.  In many cases, it is the wheat separating from the chaff because the old groups have apostatized.  Many other divisions just come from fleshly pride or other anger issues because someone’s feeling got hurt or the vote did not go their way so they went down the street and started another church.  Baptists are notorious for this.  In some cases, there are churches that were started when three or four miles was all you wanted to walk on Sunday, but with the advent of automobiles their purpose for being is erased but power, building worship, and tradition prohibits good stewardship and mergers.

What causes most problems in many good churches is that there are tares among the wheat.  Many folks are not saved.  There are many carnal Carnal and immature Christians, but like Dr. Lee said, many are just lost.  Religious, but not converted.   They were born into a particular sect growing up knowing creeds and rituals.  Accepting these as signs of true conversion they never make it truly personal in coming to Christ for salvation.  Ask them if they are Christian and they respond with their sect name, that they were baptized as an infant and made it through some form of catechism/confirmation class.  Their daddy or granddaddy was a preacher.  Momma sang in the choir.  They are a deacon or Sunday school teacher.  All sorts of things, but not a clear affirmation that they came to Christ as a sinner and asked to be saved because He died and rose again for them.

My wife thought that her infant baptism covered her though she had no real clue about her sect’s beliefs or much at all about Christianity.   I could quote some creeds, sing the Doxology and the Gloria Patria, but had no idea why I was in my church saying I believed in the Holy Catholic church when my buddy, Steve Reanock, was down at the Catholic church.  Jesus died for the world and I was part of the world so I guess I figured I was good to go.  In a sense, my sect brought me to the door but never made sure I got through the door.  My wife and I would have gone to Hell thinking we were fine.

Many are pushed to say the “Sinner’s Prayer” before they fully understand or are really ready in their heart to do so.  Pushy, well-intentioned “soul-winners” pressure people into saying the prayer as if the words in the prayer are magical changing the heart even if the message is not fully understood or the people just want the person out of their house.  They would have sung a mantra if it meant the Christian would get off their porch.   The next soul winner will be told that the prayer had already been said thus sending them happily on their way while the person is still lost, but inoculated or anesthetized thinking they are saved.  They never come to church, get baptized, read their bible or have any change in their life, but according to the prayer they are saved and someone gets to report one more notch on their Gospel gun that is shooting blanks.

Some will be curious and will come to church and be baptized.  They enjoy the music, the new found friends and the pastor so they become regular attenders and at some point a teacher or deacon. but they are still lost.  These folks may be really good workers and in that sense. great assets to the local body until a controversy comes up.  Then they will not be able to deal with it in a spiritual manner because they do not have the Spirit to guide them.  They will more than likely take a stand against the truth unless their good friend is on that side and then they will stand with their friend even if they do not fully understand the issue or why their friend holds his position.  In the end,  the church splits and if enough people leave keeping the doors open becomes a challenge.  Sometimes the split is called a backdoor revival because the troublemakers leave and God then blesses the church.  Other times, it is the religious but lost that stay and eventually, the church just becomes a social club waning away until the last member dies unless God brings in people who cause a revival and the tares get saved.

Sometimes good churches are taken over by bad pastors because either the church has too many tares or the saved are not wise enough to prevent it.  I have been in some churches thatI know a man with less than biblical theology, but with charm and charisma could take the church and mold it into his image.  I have interviewed with many that had convoluted doctrinal statements and glaring procedural loopholes that could allow a smooth talking heretic of the highest order to be voted in.

One church was really confused about their identity.  I am not sure how they got my name. but I went and preached for them.  Church was first and then Sunday School. Men and women sat on opposite sides of the auditorium.  They had broken off from the UMC because they were Conservative and the UMC was not.  In their order of worship, they had some prayers and things that seemed to come from Episcopalians and some other things I was not sure of their origin.  In my message, I had alluded to eternal security.  The Sunday School teacher had come from the Methodist Church, which may be why Sunday School was second so he could be there.  He taught against eternal security.  It was a confusing morning.

When I spoke with deacons, I asked them why they had a Baptist come when it appeared they were not in alignment with that doctrine.  They had sent their vacancy to quite a few places.  Some of the other things I asked them about came from a previous pastor who was somewhat eclectic.  I explained how having Church first was going to turn some people off as people are used to Church being second and do not visit Sunday School until they develop an interest in the church.  I also said that very few people will not like the men and women separated, especially the women. who like to jab their husbands in the ribs with an elbow to emphasize a point the pastor made.  Finally, I said you really need to discuss who you are and seek someone that identifies the same way.  They did not really seem to know who they were, but they needed a pastor and that was what they were going to get.   I often wondered if they went back to the UMC out of sheer desperation.   I am afraid they were in a similar boat as the folks in Acts 19 as well as many people in church business meetings.

Act 19:32 Some therefore cried one thing, and some another: for the assembly was confused; and the more part knew not wherefore they were come together.

There are times when situations like this happen when the people have not been discipled thus do not know doctrine.  This opens them up to all sorts of things.  Most pastors do not teach their people how to find a new pastor unless they are planning to retire or are moving on for fear they will empower the people to replace them.  If he dies or moves quickly they are in trouble.   They may turn it into a CEO search instead of a pastor search since business protocols are all they know.  Add a couple of religious but lost men on the committee and it gets more tedious and dangerous.

So we can see why unbelievers have issues.  We need to do a few things to fix this.  We need to change our “fishing” techniques.  Most people are Greeks, not Jews. these days.  Pentecost was fruitful because they were all good Jews who knew the Scriptures.  Until the 1960’s this worked in the US and Europe because even unbelievers were brought up in church or had grandparents who prayed and preached to them.  Unbelievers knew Scripture and could be convicted by it when the Spirit moved.

Today, we have too many people who have never been in church and their parents were not believers.  They are more like the Greeks on Mars Hill where Paul had to start from scratch telling them about the unknown God.  Those at Mars Hill were constantly seeking some new thing and most today are seekers, but they are unsure of what they are seeking so they grab onto many philosophies and fads.  Many believe in science and the false science of evolution.  Using the same bait that worked from 1776 until the 60’s is like fishing for rainbow trout in the ocean or using fly fishing tackle for Blue Marlin.   You catch nothing or you get a nibble and lose it because the string is too lightweight.

We need to stop the door-step conversions as most are not true conversions.  Many people have prayed that prayer and are going to Hell because their heart was not in it and the Holy Spirit was not involved.  It was more like a Madison Avenue sales pitch and many returned the “product” before the three-day period was up. Often as soon as they close their door.  We are not helping them or the church.  Yes, we may get some religious, but lost people and I have heard many testimonies over the years of people getting saved after being good church members for years.  Some were pastors, pastor’s wives, organists, deacons and Sunday School teachers.  Some had been in church and ministry for over thirty years.  We need to stop tareing up the church so they will not be tearing up the church.

Which brings me to my last thoughts.  We need to pray for a mighty revival within the Church. Because we have so many religious but lost in our midst we need them to be saved or gone.  We are not to try to throw them out because we are usually not discerning enough to do the job right.   The Lord said the tares would be with us until the end just like the weeds in the yard that you have to continually treat.  We may not get them all, but we can ask God for some weed control to limit the amount of them.

Our first prayer is for our own revival and to return to our first love.  Then we pray for the salvation of those who may have been inoculated but not converted.  Finally, God knows those will be saved and those who will not so we can ask God to move a troublesome tare or potential ones out of our local bodies and even into a different religion so they do not confuse the unbelievers.  We ask God to do this because He is omnipotent and omniscient.  If we do it, we may be deceived into keeping a few of our favorite tares and kicking out some wheat.

When revival comes and the Holy Spirit is moving the Body will be led into all truth and unity.  We may see many small churches close and merge rather than just exist to maintain a building.  We may see large churches crumble that were built by man’s programs or fads and were predominantly a barn full of tares not leaving enough believers to pay the mortgage.  While tares tear down the Church. Christ tears up the Church and rebuilds it to be like Him and about His Father’s business.  When that happens the approved will stand out and unbelievers will no longer have any excuses.   The light will either blind them or they will come to Christ and bask in the Light.  May it happen today!  Maranatha!!

Bible verses about Darnel

Take It To The Streets!

April 13, 2017


Mat 28:16 Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
17 And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Before there were bible colleges and PhDs or pulpits, padded pews and fancy buildings there was just ministry.  We have become so trapped in the trappings of Christianity that we cannot function outside of the confines of those things.  We need to take it to the streets!  The lost sheep Christ died for are outside of the walls of our churches.  True, there are some lost souls inside, but the bulk of them are outside.  They will not come in unless we leave the comfort of our pews and go outside to show them the love of Christ and through the Holy Spirit compel them to come in.

Our nation is full of people dying without Christ.  We worry so much about the ballot box, but unbelievers will vote for unrighteous things.  Yea, even some who name His name support unrighteous issues so why are we so stunned?  When there is a revival among God’s people and they fall in love with Him again they will know His heart and will return to the streets to win people to Christ for that is our mission.

After they are saved, we are to love and disciple them so that they know right from wrong and to hear His voice.  When people are changed, families change and when families change communities change and communities change governments change and finally nations change.  We have done it all backward.

We have all the power from Him and we have the personnel.  The problem is that we are not working as we should.  There is no retirement from ministry for the child of God.  Indeed, when we retire from “secular” work we should be working full time for the Lord albeit that has always been our full-time job while the paycheck from our careers provided funds our ministry.  Too many have retired from the Lord’s work content to have the youngin’s take over. That is not biblical.  We are all priests in the Kingdom and the priests became managers and trainers when they hit fifty, but they served until they died.  We have also failed in training our young people so they are not taking over.  If all over fifty were to quit the work many churches would die.  For some churches, that would be a good thing.

During ministry in the church is a great thing, but you are not at the church 24/7.  Your ministry is really outside of those four to six hours a week that you might be within the walls.  All of God’s people are on call 24/7, not just the paid staff. Your community needs volunteers in many, many areas.  The Body of Christ should be filling those needs for the Body of Community.  How better to be salt and light?  When Christians are everywhere, the unbelievers will start to believe they actually care about more than going to Heaven.  When they see love all around the community, they will be affected by that and hopefully thirst for it.  When our children see their parents and grandparents living out their faith, not just warming a pew, singing a few songs and writing a check they will see more of what Christ meant for their lives.

Why do we pray for power and the gifts of the Spirit, if we are not going to use that power out in the streets?  Do we want them just to put on our heart’s mantle like a trophy or to wear them on our chests like medals for all to see and brag on us?

Act 4:31 And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.

They did not just speak it in the place where they were gathered.  They took it to the streets.  They practiced the Great Commission.  Indeed, in the early days of this country people disliked Baptists because they “always had a Scripture to cast into your teeth.”   I do not know if that complaint was because it brought conviction or because the truth was not presented in love.  Since we are to be speaking the truth in love all Christians, especially Pentecostal folks should be known for bringing Scripture to bear when the opportunity arises and the more we speak with our acts of love the more they will hear the words of truth spoken in love.

Church is a gathering of the family to receive training to do the work of the ministry. We are there to be recharged and rejuvenated for the coming week by the worship, word. and fellowship to go out and minister.  We are to sit and soak in the power, not sit, soak and sour.   Get the power and take it to the Street!  You sit at His feet so you can take Him to the street.    If we are the Body, then we should be in the streets where He ministered more than He did in the temple. Maranatha!

If We Are The Body

Bend Me, Shape Me!

April 1, 2017


“Bend me, shape me any way you want me long as you love me it’s all right
Bend me, shape me any way you want me you got the power to turn on the light” = The American Breed, 1967

Those words to that old song that I sang many times as a teenager brought something else to mind.  Is it not odd how that we will allow a friend, spouse, co-worker or boss bend us to their will?

You may feel like you have little choice when it comes to a co-worker or boss because you need the job.  A close friend is hard to find so you bend a lot to keep that friendship.  A spouse or in the case of the song, a lover, can literally bend and shape you to their will because you are in love.

One who loves you back may do some bending and shaping for your good because they love you however they could as easily just be playing you and manipulating you because they love themselves far more than they love you.   The fellow says that she “makes this beggar a king” and later in the song, “I’ll give you all that I own.”  That is a lot of power over a person.

Isa 64:8 But now, O LORD, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter; and we all are the work of thy hand.

While we often become putty or clay in the hands of some person, we forget the only one that has such a right to that power is God.  When He seeks to shape us we often rebel yet He wants to make us holy because He loves us.  He does not do any bending or shaping for our hurt.  People will use and abuse us.  He will not.

Too many people marry the perfect person and then spend the rest of their life trying to bend and shape that person into their image.  That never really works.  Instead of doing that pray that God will bend and shape both of you into His image.  That will make both of you better.  It will give you a marriage you cannot even imagine at this point if you will allow Him to do that.

John 8:12 Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.

There is no light without Him.  If you are not saved, you are walking in darkness no matter how much a person may seem to have the power to turn on the light for you.  Light comes into your life when He comes into your life.  It is amazing how the light comes on when you ask Him to save you or if you are saved to truly let Him bend and shape you.

When we are not saved, we are beggars ruined and impoverished by sin.  When we are saved, He does take us beggars and makes us Princes and Princesses in His Kingdom because we are children of God through Christ.  You give all you have to someone, God or the devil.  There is no middle ground.  Why give it all to the devil or yourself when that never satisfies and only ends in disaster and Hell?  Give it all to the One who gave it to you anyway!  Let Him have it and turn you into a masterpiece instead of falling to pieces by serving the taskmasters of the lust of the eye, lust of the flesh and the pride of life that are controlled by the devil?

Ready to turn it over?   Then pray something like this.  Lord Jesus, I have been bent and shaped by sin and I want to turn from my own ways and allow you to mold my life.  I believe you are the Son of God who came to die for me on the Cross to pay for my sins.  Please forgive me and take over my life moving me from darkness to light.  Make me a child of God and make me like You.  I want the Holy Spirit to guide my life into what is true and to enable me to live a holy life pleasing to You.  Thank You for saving me.  Amen.

If you said it a bit differently, it is alright.  What is important is the truth.  Jesus sees the heart.  If you sincerely asked Christ to save you then He did and the Holy Spirit has moved in. He will give you gifts and abilities to serve God and teach you what you need to know.  He speaks through the Bible, but as you develop a relationship with Jesus you will also hear a still small voice and sometimes a loud one if you are not listening to Him.

Read the Bible.  I strongly urge you to find a word for word translation, not an easy read one.

Pray!  You do not have to be fancy.  Talk to Him as a Father in loving respect.  Did not have a good earthly father relationship?  Then speak with Him like a best friend, because He is the best friend you will ever have.

Find a good church that still believes in the Bible.  Some do not.  Ask the Holy Spirit to tell you as soon as you walk in the door whether you should stay or not.  I would recommend an Assembly of God church.  There are many that I cannot recommend at all.  You can email me for further recommendations based on what is available in your location, but no matter what the name is on the building still ask God for discernment.  Some with a name are good and some with the same name are not.  May God lead you to the one where you can grow in Him the best!  Maranatha!