Powerful Reading...

I was reading today in Malachi and thought I would share a passage that struck me hard.  I do not know if will have the same impact on you as on me, but I will share it anyway.  It makes me think of our nation and society as a whole.  We are so immersed in and jaded by the world that we do not even flinch or weep over what we see occurring in the lives of our coworkers, fiends, neighbors, and even our brethren.  Our TV's and movie theaters only reinforce this world view; so much so that we do not even notice it anymore. 

I pray the Lord will soften our hearts and make them sensitive to his desires, His direction, and His purposes.

And this second thing you do.  You cover the LORD's altar with tears, with weeping and groaning because he no longer regards the offering or accepts it with favor from your hand.  But you say, "Why does he not?"  Because the LORD was witness between you and the wife of your youth, to whom you have been faithless, though she is your companion and your wife by covenant.  Did he not make them one, with a portion of the Spirit in their union?  And what was the one God seeking?  Godly offspring.  So guard yourselves in your spirit, and let none of you be faithless to the wife of your youth.  "For the man who does not love his wife but divorces her, says the LORD, the God of Israel, covers his garment with violence, says the LORD of hosts.  So guard yourselves in your spirit, and do not be faithless."

You have wearied the LORD with your words.  But you say, "How have we wearied him?"  By saying, "Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them."  Or by asking, "Where is the God of justice?"

     Malachi 2:13-17 ESV  (English Standard Version)


When God called Moses to a summit meeting, the people panicked like henless chicks….  The scurvy of fear infected everyone in the camp.  They crafted a metal cow and talked to it….  More than three thousand years removed, we understand God’s frustration.  Turn to a statue for help?  How stupid.  Face your fears by facing a cow?  Udderly foolish!  We opt for more sophisticated therapies: belly-stretching food binges or budget-busting shopping sprees.  We bow before a whiskey bottle or lose ourselves in an eighty-hour work week.  Progress?  Hardly.  We still face fears without facing God….  Rather than turn to God, we turn from him, hardening our hearts.  The result.  Cow-worshiping folly.

Max Lucado – 3:16

What Am I?

I am your constant companion.  I am your greatest helper or heaviest burden.  I will push you onward or drag you down to failure.  I am completely at your command.  Half of the things you do you might just as well turn over to me and I will be able to do them quickly and correctly.  I am easily managed - you must merely be firm with me.  Show me exactly how you want something done and after a few lessons I will do it automatically.

I am the servant of all great men; and alas, of all failures as well.  Those who are great, I have made great.  Those who are failures, I have made failures.  I am not a machine, though I work with all the precision of a machine plus the intelligence of a man.  You may run me for profit or run me for ruin - it makes no difference to me.  Take me, train me, be firm with me, and I will place the world at your feet.  Be easy with me and I will destroy you.

Who am I?  I am a habit!

Detroit and America - A Barometer

From the Oak Initiative and Rick Joyner:
    Just a few days ago Detroit was called not only the most dangerous city in America, but the most dangerous city in the world. Since I was there, I wanted to understand how this could happen to such a great American city. This is especially important because many of the same policies and the style of leadership that has led Detroit for decades is now being imposed on the whole nation.

     Detroit does not just look like a war zone in many areas—it is one. The population within the city has fallen from around 2 million to about 800,000. Real unemployment is over 20%, and as one observer recently said, the only people left in Detroit are the very poor who had nowhere to go and the criminals. Then many of the poor have had to become criminals to survive. In many areas it is borderline anarchy.

     Think about what your city would be like if in just a short period of time over half the people left. There are not just empty houses on virtually every block, there are whole neighborhoods that are empty, and deteriorating fast the way property does when not occupied. There seemed to be more boarded up buildings and businesses than open ones. The cloud of depression is possibly even thicker than you might find in Haiti right now, because in Haiti they at least know their catastrophe has gotten the attention of the world and there is hope. In Detroit, hope for the future is hard to find.

10 Ways to be the Best Husband Possible for My Wife

10 Ways to be the Best Husband Possible for My Wife

 1.  Love my wife first and for her sake. - She is who she is and I am who I
      am.  I will make the decision to honor her and distinguish her for who
      she is.  She will be my princess.
 2.  Be an honest mentor and guide to my wife and children. - I will provide
      guidance when needed, space when necessary, and direction always.
 3.  With my wife and family, be constantly engaged in church life. - With
      me, my wife and family will be fully integrated and active in the Lord's
      church.  We will participate and give time and energy together to the
      church before anything else.
 4.  Pray for and with my wife. - My wife needs my prayers and I need to
      hear her prayers.
 5.  Talk about spiritual matters with my wife as often as possible. - All is
      not about managing earthly affairs.  I will talk with and listen to my
      wife about matters of the spiritual nature.  I will encourage and be
      encouraged spiritually by my wife.
 6.  Live a healthy, sober, and balanced life. - For my wife's sake, I will
      provide for her by taking care of myself both to sustain her but to also
      be an example for her and my family.
 7.  Make informed and decisive decisions in behalf of my wife and family.
      - I will, to the best of my ability, make decisions if and when
      necessary for the good of my wife and family.
 8.  Read the Bible and know how to make application for me and 
      my family. - I will spend time in Scripture and be able to apply it to the
      relationship and responsibilities I have with my wife, family, and
 9.  Prepare my children for life and release them, with my wife, when it 
      is time. - I understand my time with my children is to be used to
      prepare them for life.  With my wife, we will intentionally and
      prayerfully prepare our children for life beyond our home.
10.  Listen. - I will listen as much as I can for God and to my wife.  I need
       to know what they have to tell me.

"Dear Father.  You have given me nothing more special than my wife.  In times of stress, help me to be calm.  In times of need, help me to give.  In times of joy, help me to share.  May I always cherish, love, and protect her with all my might.  Grant me the understanding that my wife is both a physical and spiritual blessing to me that makes me whole.  Amen."

10 Ways to be the Best Wife Possible for My Husband

10 Ways to be the Best Wife Possible for My Husband

 1. Let my husband be a man. - Men do things their way sometimes.
      He needs to exercise his manly being sometimes. I support him in that.
 2. Spend more time working on my inner self than my outer self. - My
     husband will appreciate me more if I glow of inner beauty. Outer beauty
     is fleeting and flaccid.
 3. I have needs - so does my husband. - I will do what I am able and
    appropriate to keep my husband happy because I love him.
 4. Don't put my children before my husband. - I will love my husband first.
     In doing this, my children will feel loved and will see love.
 5. Actively be a participant, with my family, in church life. -
     My family is but a subset of the church family. My church's family life
     will always include my personal family.
 6. Spend time in Scripture by myself and with my husband. - I need wisdom
     from God. I want to talk about Spiritual matters with my husband.
 7. Share in and listen to my husband's prayers. - I want to know what my
     husband is thinking about him, me, our family, and our world.
 8. Camp out! - I don't like bugs. But sometimes for him, I will go where he
     goes. And he might even think I am enjoying it!
 9. Care and rear my children in the ways of God. After all, they are His.
     - My children are God's. I will, with my husband, raise them with this in
     mind. And when it is time to let them go, I will do so trusting in God and
     his providence. May I be a wonderful mom to my children.
10. Love my man as if he were a king. - He is my earthly king. I will stand
      by him as best I can through thick and thin.

"Dear God. I love my husband more than anything in this life. Give me strength and wisdom to support him, give him guidance when needed, and stand by him when he needs me. I thank you for having given me a wonderful husband. Amen."

Cardboard Testimonies - Powerful!

A Different Perspective On Government

From Romans:

13     Everyone must submit to the governing authorities, a for there is no authority except from God, b and those that exist are instituted by God. 2 So then, the one who resists the authority is opposing God’s command, and those who oppose it will bring judgment on themselves. 3 For rulers are not a terror c to good conduct, but to bad. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do good and you will have its approval. 4 For government is God’s servant to you for good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, because it does not carry the sword for no reason. For government is God’s servant, an avenger d that brings wrath on the one who does wrong. 5 Therefore, you must submit, not only because of wrath, but also because of your conscience. e 6 And for this reason you pay taxes, since the authorities are God’s public servants, continually attending to these tasks. f 7 Pay your obligations g to everyone: taxes to those you owe taxes, h tolls to those you owe tolls, respect to those you owe respect, i and honor to those you owe honor.

a 13:1 Ti 3:1; 1Pt 2:13
b 13:1 Dn 2:21; 4:17; Jn 19:1
c 13:2 1Pt 2:14
d 13:4 1Th 4:6
e 13:5 1Pt 2:13, 19
f 13:6 Lit to this very thing
g 13:7 Mt 22:21
h 13:7 Lk 20:22; 23:2
i 13:7 Mt 17:25


We like to think times of health, wealth, and tension-free relationships are the norm.  In such a world cars never break down.  The worst health problem we face is an occasional headache.  And the biggest fight is over who forgot to take out the trash.  Like children who believe in fairy tales, we cling to the illusion that prosperity, peace, and good health are the norm.

I'm convinced we would do better with life if we realized that life is tough.  It's hard.  There are seasons of life that seem unbearable.  All too often we see champions of the faith and think they have avoided such hardship.  But they haven't.  They've embraced it, as every athlete embraces the pain of rigorous training.  They refuse to allow setbacks to shape their identity.

Bill Perkins - Six Battles every Man Must Win


God promises he will never leave us or forsake us.  We are the ones who take our eyes off of him, for his eyes never leave his own.  When we do, we do both him and ourselves a great disservice.  We do disservice to him because all glory, honor, and praise are due him for who he is.  We do disservice to ourselves because he is the only one who can make a straight path for us and make us who we are destined to become.

A song from my youth comes to mind - The Lily of the Valley:

I have found a friend in Jesus,
he's everything to me,
he's the fairest of ten thousand to my soul;
the Lily of the Valley, in him alone I see 
all I need to cleanse and make me fully whole.
In sorrow he's my comfort, in trouble he's my stay,
he tells me every care on him to roll.

Daniel's Gloves

Someone thought enough of me to share this.  In keeping with that same spirit, I pass it on to you...

I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off
the corner of the town-square.  The food and the company were both especially
good that day.
As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street.  There,
walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods
on his back.  He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for
food.'  My heart sank.
I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us
had stopped eating to focus on him.  Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and

The Tiny Book of Jude...

I was listening to 66/40 this week and last and it happens to be on the book of Jude.  I thought I would share some commentary on the book of the Bible by my favorite author, Chuck Missler.  The following excerpt is taken from his Learn the Bible in 24 Hours Book.

The epistle of Jude is just one chapter, but is full of surprises!

Jude was the half brother of Jesus.  He also was an unbeliever while Christ was alive, but became a believer after the ressurection.

In this letter, Jude attacked apostasy and argued for his readers to contend for the faith because some people would fall away.  He argued against subtle perversions which included at least two basic denials: denying grace by turning it to lasciviousness (just because we have liberty in Christ does not give us a right to sin); and denying our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

Apostasy will lead to certain doom, and he used three examples: Egypt, the angels in Genesis 6 (see previous post on this), and Sodom. He also pointed to three apostates by using the examples of Cain, Balaam, and Korah; and then emphasized the utter falsity of these teachers by using six awful metaphors.

The Awe Factor of God...

I just started reading a book called Crazy Love by Francis Chan.  I'll let you know about it when I'm finished, but I wanted to share a video he refers to in the book called "The Awe Factor of God."  I've posed it below, but you can see a clearer version of it at the book website's video section.  Enjoy!


Hidden Messages in Genesis 5

Excerpted from the book Learn the Bible in 24 Hours by Dr. Chuck Missler:

This section will begin with a riddle: Methusaleh is well known to be the oldest man in the Bible, yet he died before his father.  How can that be?

Enoch, Methusaleh's father, didn't die; he was transferred directly to heaven without passing through death ("raptured," as some would say).  It is interesting that the oldest prophecy in the Bible was uttered by Enoch before the flood of Noah and concerned the Second Coming of Christ.  (It is not found here in Genesis but in the next-to-last book of the Bible, Jude).

Words and Music (Deux)...

I couldn't stop with just one!

Words and Music...

Well-spoken words can impart a certain depth of meaning to the hearer.  Likewise, music can evoke passion in the heart of the one receiving the melodic notes.  However, when music and words are combined, and the Holy Spirit breathes on them...well, there are just no words to express that feeling!

So, it is in this mindset that I share the following song.  This is, in my humble opinion, one of the greatest praise songs I have ever heard or had the pleasure and honor of singing.  I hope you enjoy as I did!  The chills are still running down  my spine as the final notes linger in the air...  I give you Total Praise:


You Reap What You Sow...

Good morning said a woman as she walked up to the man sitting on ground.

The man slowly looked up.

This was a woman clearly accustomed to the finer things of life. Her coat was new.. She looked like she had never missed a meal in her life.

His first thought was that she wanted to make fun of him, like so many others had done before..  "Leave me alone," he growled....

To his amazement, the woman continued standing.

She was smiling -- her even white teeth displayed in dazzling rows. "Are you hungry?" she asked.

"No," he answered sarcastically. "I've just come from dining with the president. Now go away."

The woman's smile became even broader. Suddenly the man felt a gentle hand under his arm. 

"What are you doing, lady?" the man asked angrily. "I said to leave me alone.

Just then a policeman came up. "Is there any problem, ma'am?" he asked..

Speak the Word!

Speak the Word!
Revised 1983 Edition
Copyright © 1982 by Marilyn Hickey

Your tongue is the most powerful weapon and force of your life.  Proverbs states that the tongue has the power of life and death in it.  In James 3, James states that you can control your whole body by that small member you have, called the tongue.  As a rudder guides a ship and a bit in the horse’s mouth cause him to go the right direction, so also your tongue can guide your thoughts, your emotions, and your body into paths of prosperity and success and be a tremendous power for good.

But on the negative side, your tongue can be used to damage and destroy your physical body, your thought life, and your emotional reactions.  Corrupt words can destroy those about us, for the Psalmist states that words are like the piercing of swords.   You set on fire the course of nature by what you speak because hell acts on your words.  Eve had to speak wrong words before Satan could act.  Hell can act only on your words, so every negative word you speak sets hell into activity.  This is why God spoke to Joshua (Joshua 1:8) and said,

    “This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall
      meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do
      according to all that is written in it; for then you will make your way
      prosperous and then you will have success.”  (NASV)

This little verse in Joshua is the key to all prosperity and success.  In fact, this is the only place the word success is found in the Bible.  Speaking God’s Word can make you successful in every area of your life.

What about those words spoken against us and our loved ones?  Will those negative confessions set hell into activity in our lives?  As always God’s Word has an answer.  It is found in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn.  This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord and their righteousness is of me.”  Condemn wrong words spoken against you and yours in the name of Jesus.  Never condemn the person who speaks, only the words spoken against you.  Then these negative word weapons cannot harm you.

Defeat the enemy today.  Speak the following words of Life every day.  In harassing time, speak them three times a day.  God’s Word works.  Try it – you’ll love it!  Speaking aloud causes your spirit man to hear.  This is the way to grow strong in spirit.  Make your faith effective.  Say the Word, say the Word, say the Word.  “Let the words of my mouth be acceptable in your sight today, O Lord.”

Our Incomplete Gospel...

Excerpted from John Bevere's Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82-98)


Unfortunately, we only quote such Scriptures as, “if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9). So we tell people all they have to do is quote the magical prayer and they’re in. Yet, why don’t we also quote Jesus’ own words: “But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do the things which I say?” (Luke46). As we’ve seen, “Lord” means Supreme Master, it carries the meaning of Ownership. So Jesus is saying, “Don’t call me Master and yet still own your own life, better to call me ‘Great Prophet’ or ‘Teacher’ so that you do not deceive yourself.”

So now let’s reexamine Jesus’ statement with which we opened this entire discussion: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 7:21a, NIV).

As we’ve already stated, not everyone who calls Jesus Christ Lord will be in heaven. So that emphatically tells us just saying the “sinner’s prayer” doesn’t secure us heaven. Then my question is this, “Jesus, who will enter into the kingdom of heaven?” Jesus answers by saying, “But only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven” (Matt. 7:21b, NIV).

Affirm Constantly...

Excerpted from John Bevere's Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82-98)


Notice in the above Scripture that we are commanded by the Word of God to affirm or teach these things constantly. Did you hear that? I find these things are rarely spoken of from pulpits or amongst believers today, let alone continuously. For this reason, we’ve drifted from the importance of maintaining good works through the grace of God. We in essence are allowing the power that is in us to remain dormant through the lack of belief and acknowledgment. Our faith, which accesses grace, must remain active through verbalizing our beliefs. Paul says, “That the communication of thy faith may become effectual by the acknowledging of every good thing which is in you in Christ Jesus” (Philemon 6, NKJV).

If we don’t affirm these things constantly, then we will drift away from the truth. This is clearly seen by the writer of Hebrews:

      Therefore we must give the more earnest heed to the
      things we have heard, lest we drift away. For if the word
      spoken through angels proved steadfast, and every trans¬
      gression and disobedience received a just reward, how
      shall we escape if we neglect so great a salvation.
           Hebrews 2:1-3 (Emphasis Mine)

By affirming these things, constantly we keep before us the urgent matters of eternity that keep us from drifting away. I remember when I used to fish as a boy. While focused on fishing, the boat, if not anchored, would drift unnoticed to us. We’d look up forty-five minutes later and wouldn’t even recognize our location. The drifting occurred because we had our mind on other matters, namely fishing. This has been quite costly for some, as there have been many who’ve been fishing in certain rivers that led to deadly waterfalls. Countless numbers have gone over falls to their death because of drifting away from where they were first positioned.

The True Grace of God...

Excerpted from John Bevere's Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82-98)


Jude states these people distort the message of God’s grace. This is so prevalent in these final days because our teachings have opened the door to this. We’ve taught grace as God’s blanket of protection for disobedient lifestyles. You can hear this mindset often by many in the church with common statements such as “I know I’m not living the way I should, but thank God for His grace.” This is serious deception. Scripture doesn’t teach grace as the big Band-Aid, but rather: God’s empowering presence within to do what truth demands of us.

Grace has been taught as simply God’s unmerited favor. It is indeed His favor and cannot be bought or earned. However, it also empowers us to obey, and the evidence that we’ve truly received it is our godly lifestyle. Our obedience to His Word confirms grace’s reality in our lives. For this reason James says:

     Faith, if it does not have works (deeds and actions of obe¬
     dience to back it up), by itself is destitute of power (in¬
     operative, dead). But someone will say [to you then], you
     [say you] have faith, and I have [good] works. Now you
     show me your [alleged] faith apart from any [good] works
     [if you can], and I by [good] works [of obedience]
     will show you my faith. You believe that God is one; you
     do well. So do the demons believe and shudder.
          James 2:17-19, AMP

James identifies a huge gap today in our teaching. We pull Scriptures out such as, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved” (Acts 16:31). If just believing in His existence and that He’s the Son of God is all that’s required to be saved, then James shows the demons will be saved because they believe. That is ludicrous! To even drive his point home further, James points out that the demons shudder. In other words, the demons fear God more than some who say they have faith but lack corresponding actions of obedience.  The evidence of our truly being saved by the grace of Jesus Christ, is that we will have the lifestyle to prove it. This is why John the Apostle states,

Blurred Lines...

Excerpted from John Bevere's Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82-98)

Blurred Lines

The difficulty is found in the lines being blurred. Let’s look at a person who is self-seeking but who confesses the born again experience, talks the language of a true believer, makes friends with the godly and is even excited about believer’s gatherings; yet there is no nature change. So in essence this person is unknowingly an impostor, and the difficulty arises in the fact that his self-deception spreads like a disease. Others base their lives off of the “norm” in the Christian culture, and this “norm” is out of sync with heaven, thus making it hard to be true believer. In Paul’s day, if you were a believer your life was in jeopardy every hour. There was no question about it – if you gave your allegiance to Jesus, you put your life on the line. Paul continues:

     But you know what I teach, Timothy, and how I live, and
     what my purpose in life is. You know my faith and how
     long I have suffered. You know my life and my patient
     endurance. You know how much persecution and suffer¬
     ing I have endured. You know all about how I was perse¬
     cuted in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra – but the Lord
     delivered me from all of it. Yes and everyone who wants
     to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution.
     But evil people and impostors will flourish. They will go on
     Deceiving others, and they themselves will be deceived.
          2 Timothy 3:10-13, NLT (Emphasis Mine)

Paul made it clear. It wasn’t only what he taught, but what he lived and his purpose in life (eternally driven, which we will get to later in this book) that proved Timothy could trust him. It wasn’t his answered prayers, supernatural gifts producing the miraculous, or his excellent ability to teach the Word of God. No, it was not these traits he pointed to. It was his lifestyle. It was, and still is to be, the determining factor.

Difficult to Be a Christian...

Excerpted from John Bevere's Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82-98)

Not only are those who’ve never heard, or refuse to believe the gospel in bondage, but many typical “converts” of this generation are in bondage as well. We’ve created this dilemma by neglecting to proclaim the cost of following Jesus. Many assume they are free but in reality aren’t and the evidence is in their lifestyles. Jesus says:

     I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, whoever commits
     and practices sin is the slave of sin. Now a slave does not 
     remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of
     the house] does remain forever. So if the Son liberates 
     you [makes you free men], the you are really and 
     un-questionably free.
          John 8:34-36, AMP

These words reiterate the truth of the fruit tree. If someone habitually sins, then he is a slave to it. He is not a son, for his true nature hasn’t changed. He may think he is free because he confessed a sinner’s prayer, yet he has not freely given up his “rights” in order to follow Jesus. He still wants his freedoms (the counterfeit) along with the benefits of salvation. You cannot have both!

As stated earlier, they may start out their “born again experience” with joy, excitement and passion because it’s fresh and new. However, eventually their unchanged nature will manifest, but it will manifest in Christian circles and be cloaked in Evangelical language and lifestyle. This is why it is most deceptive. Yet the New Testament warns specifically of this deception; Paul writes, “In the last days it is going to be very difficult to be a Christian” (2 Tim 3:1, TLB).

Loss for Gain...

Excerpted from John Bevere’s Driven By Eternity (Chapter 5: Pages 82 – 98)


It’s an exchange; we must give our entire life, and in place of it we get His life (nature). Jesus repeatedly communicates this:

     If anyone intends to come after Me, let him deny himself
     [forget, ignore, disown, and lose sight of himself and his
     own interests] and take up his cross, and [joining Me as
     a disciple and siding with My party] follow with Me
     [continually, cleaving steadfastly to Me].
          Mark 8:34, AMP

We are to continually cleave steadfastly to Him. It’s not just a one-time prayer and then life as usual except that you are now in the “born again” club and are heaven bound. Jesus continues, “If you try to keep your life for yourself, you will lose it. But if you give up your life for my sake and for the sake of the Good News, you will find true life” (Mark 8:35, NLT). The Amplified Bible states it this way; “Whoever gives up his life [which is lived only on earth] for My sake and the Gospel’s will save it [his higher, spiritual life in the eternal kingdom of God].”

It’s a definitive exchange; we give up our rights as owners of our lives in order to follow His desires, and in return we receive His eternal life. With the gospel that is preached today, we’ve not emphasized this extremely important aspect of following Jesus; we’ve only told the benefits. In essence, we’ve preached the resurrection promises without preaching the impact and decision of the Cross.

It could be compared to a young man who sees a military recruiting commercial on television. He observes a classy naval man near his age dressed in a sharp uniform on the deck of a remarkable ship sailing the open seas with a beautiful crystal sky, smiling with his mates. The commercial then shows this sailor in ports all over the world, and it’s all free. The young man immediately goes to the recruiter and signs up. He doesn’t read the conditions of joining because he’s so focused on the benefits. He is so happy; now he’ll have a blast seeing the world, becoming a part of a great military, and making lots of new friends.

The Typical Conversion...

I was reading some old correspondence with a friend and thought I would share this with you.  It is from July 2007:

I was reading Driven By Eternity (John Bevere) this evening and read an insight that I found disturbing and interesting at the same time.  I wanted to share it with you as well.  The excerpt is lengthy, but worth the time to read.  If there are typos, I apologize.  It's 2 AM, so my typing is not at its best.


The gospel we’ve preached has been lopsided with emphasis placed on accepting Jesus by praying a sinner’s prayer.  We confess him as “Lord,” and once done we are saved eternally.  Yet this is not what Jesus teaches.  He says, “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven” (Matt. 7:21, NIV).

If we would just listen to His statement without filtering it through years of unbalanced preaching, teaching, writing, and singing on the grace of God, we would see it contradicts our modern gospel.  His words couldn’t be clearer – not everyone who has prayed the sinner’s prayer, confessing Him as their Lord, is going to heaven.  And if they are not going to heaven, there is only one alternative.

Let’s rehearse the typical evangelistic service.  The preacher preaches a “come to Jesus and get ‘blessings’” message.  He tells how Jesus will give us joy, peace, prosperity, happiness, health, heaven, and so forth.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s God’s desire to bless us, but Jesus never used the blessing to entice people to follow Him.  Then after the forty-five-minute-or-so sales pitch, he then asks the audience to bow their heads and asks if they were to die tonight would they go to heaven?  He even encourages everyone to look to the person to their left and right and ask the same question in order to help recruit them.  “If they can’t say yes,” he says next, “take them by the hand and bring them forward.”

A Letter To a Friend...

I got to thinking about our conversation and wanted to share this excerpt with you.  It comes from a book called Driven by Eternity by John Bevere.  It sums up the Bible’s (and therefore God’s) view on salvation.  I’ve emphasized the portion that pertains to what we were discussing.  Also, NCV = New Century Version  and NLT = New Living Translation.

There are two standards for living, one set by society and one set by God.  Our culture may deem you “good” according to its parameters, but what does God think?  Scripture tells us that every human has fallen short of God’s standard of right.  As the Scriptures say: “There is no one who always does what is right, not even one” (Rom. 3:10, NCV).  And again, “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard” (Rom 2:23, NLT).

To sin means to miss the mark of God’s standard.  Man was not created to be a sinner; rather, Adam chose this course of his own free will.  God placed the first man, Adam, in  a beautiful world without sickness, disease, poverty, or natural disasters.  There was no fear, hatred, strife, jealously, and so forth.  God called this place Eden, the very garden of God.

Adam chose to disobey God’s command and experienced an immediate spiritual death, even though he did not die physically until hundreds of years later.  Darkness entered his heart.  This spiritual death differs from physical death because in physical death the body ceases to exist; however, spiritual death is best described as separation from God, the very Giver and Source of all life.

Have You Ever Wondered? (Part I)

Have you ever been reading the Bible and come across a passage that makes you say "Hmmmmm..." to yourself?  This occurs frequently with me, and here is a passage that evokes that thoughtful sound more than any other:

Now it came to pass, when men began to multiply on the face of the earth, and daughters were born to them, that the sons of God saw the daughters of men, that they were beautiful; and they took wives for themselves of all whom they chose.  And the LORD said, "My Spirit shall not strive with man forever, for he [is] flesh; yet his days shall be one hundred and twenty years."

There were giants on the earth in those days, and also afterward, when the sons of God came in to the daughters of men and they bore [children] to them.  Those [were] the mighty men who [were] of old, men of renown.
      Genesis 6:1-4 NKJV

A Foretaste Of Things To Come...

I will let the text speak for itself:

Then Jesus went out and departed from the temple, and His disciples came up to show Him the buildings of the temple.  And Jesus said to them, "Do you not see all these things?  Assuredly, I say to you, not one stone shall be left here upon another, that shall not be thrown down."  

Now as he sat on the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying, "Tell us, when will these things be?  And what [will be] the sign of Your coming, and of the end of the age?"

And Jesus answered and said to them: "Take heed that no one deceives you.  For many will come in My name, saying 'I am the Christ,' and will deceive many.  And you will hear of wars and rumors of wars.  See that you are not troubled; for all [these things] must come to pass,  but the end is not yet.  For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom.  And there will be famines, pestilences, and earthquakes in various places.  All these [are] the beginning of sorrows.  Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name's sake.  And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.  Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.  And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.  But he who endures to the end shall be saved."
     Matthew 24:1-13 NKJV

Did You Know (Part 2)...

Did you know that several significant archaeological discoveries have been made that verify the Bible's account of history?  Let's look at one now: The discovery of the true Mt. Sinai.  As you watch this video and conduct research on your own, you may ask yourself, "Why haven't I ever heard of this?"  That is a valid question.  To answer this, you must consider who holds sway over this world at the current time.  Discoveries that validate the Bible validate that God's word is true.  Satan will do everything in his power to prevent this from happening!

Here are some useful links for you:

Disobedience and Mercy...

We all know that our actions, for good or for ill, have consequences.  The Bible is full of examples of this, but I want to focus on two examples: one of disobedience and one of mercy.

Israel looked at the nations around her and, not content to be led by the prophet Samuel, decided they wanted a King.  Though advised against such a desire, God relented and appointed Saul, son of Kish to rule over them.  Saul was instructed to destroy the Amalekites (1 Sam 15:7-28), but he did not.  In disobedience, Saul spared the King and the best of the flocks.  His disobedience cost him dearly!

Fast forward several years into the future.  Absalom, David's son, revolts and David is leaving into exile.  Shimei, a man belonging to the family of the house of Saul was yelling curses as David approached (2 Sam 16:5-13, 19:16-23).  He even went to far as to throw stones at David, all the royal servants, the people and the warriors.  His soldiers wanted to kill Shimei for the offenses, but David thoughtfully refrained. He showed mercy.

Now, let us examine the consequences of these two actions. To do so, we need to look at the Hadassah's story (Book of Esther).  Here's a brief summary (read the book, it will not take you long):
  • The Book of Esther can be divided into three main sections.  Chapters 1:1-2:18 - Hadassah (a.k.a. Esther) replaces Queen Vashti; 2:19-7:10 - Mordecai overcomes Haman; 8:1-10:3 - Israel survives Haman's attempt to destroy them.  The noble Esther risked her own death as she realized what was at stake.  She willingly did what could have been a deadly maneuver and took on the second in command of her husband's kingdom, Haman.  She proved a wise and most worthy opponent, all the while remaining humble and respectful of the position of her husband-king.
Let us turn our attention to two integral persons in this event: Mordecai and Haman.  Haman was hell-bent upon the destruction of the Jews, not just in his city, but throughout the entire Persian kingdom!  Mordecai adopted Hadassah as his own in her parents absence and was instrumental in raising this gem of a girl who would one day become a queen and save her people.  Here's the rub: Haman was a descendant of the Amalekite king who should have been destroyed had Saul obeyed his orders to destroy all of the Amalekites.  But, because he didn't, the very fate of Israel was at stake.  Mordecai, on the other hand, was a direct descendant of Shimei, David's thorn in the side.  Because David spared Shimei when everyone else wanted his head for what he had done, he allowed the mentor of the woman who would save the nation to be born.

Our choices have consequences...sometimes very far-reaching consequences!  I am reminded of the words of Moses: I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, [that] I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live. 
    Deuteronomy 30:19 NKJV

May you make choices that bring life and blessings rather than death and cursing!


Did You Know (Part I)...

Did you know...the Triumphal Entry of Jesus was predicted almost 300 years before it happened!  The Septuagint has been dated to 270 B.C.  The Septuagint was necessary because the Jews of that day spoke Greek rather than the Hebrew in which the scriptures were penned.  Liken it to going to Catholic mass in Latin.  Nobody speaks fluent Latin these days and they did not speak fluent Hebrew either.  There was a need for a version of the Holy Scriptures that could be understood by these Greek-speaking Jews.
  • Septuagint Translation (LXX): From 285-270 B.C., Ptolemy Philadelphus II commissioned 70 top scholars at Alexandria to translate the Hebrew Tenach (Old Testament) into the common Greek of that day.
  • It is the primary quoted text in the New Testament.
  • Jesus quotes Daniel 3 times: “Daniel the Prophet"
The following is excerpted from one of my favorite authors, Chuck Missler, in his commentary on the Book of Daniel (specifically Chapter 9).

Gabriel comes and delivers a message to Daniel.  Now while I [was] speaking, praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God, yes while I [was] speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, reached me about the time of the evening offering (Daniel 9:20-21 NKJV).

The “70 Weeks” of Daniel
  • The Scope 9:24
  • The 69 Weeks 9:25
  • (The Interval) 9:26
  • The 70th Week 9:27 
  • The Scope (verse 24)
24] Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy Place.

shabu’im = sevens, “week.” (Gen 29:26-28; Lev 25, 26).
hatak, determined, reckoned.
  1. The focus of the passage is on the Jews, not the Church or the Gentile world.  
  2. The six major items listed have yet to be completed…to seal up (close authority of) the vision; to anoint the godesh gadashim, the Holy of Holies, etc.
Unfulfilled in over 2000 years: v.26 will detail an intervening Interval between the 69th and 70th Weeks. A key to understanding this passage is to realize that the 70 “Weeks” are not all contiguous.


I am going to be the first one to admit that fasting is not a regular part of my regimen.  I must say, however, that in the last ten years, I have consistently heard more an more about fasting.  The problem, at least for me, was that although many people around me were starting to put this into practice in their daily lives, I did not see any common thread to weave the reasoning, methodology, and benefits of fasting together to make it a palatable undertaking for me.  I heard things like "you should fast and pray about that" or "I'm doing a Daniel fast" or "I'm not doing a food fast, I'm abstaining from [insert item here]."  Huh?  What?  I was rather confused.

I picked up Fasting - Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God by Jentzen Franklin (see my last post for links and summary) in a CVS pharmacy (of all places) while picking up a prescription about a year ago.  It sat on my bookshelf gathering dust (as many of my books do) until the appropriate time.  I must say that in reading this book, my reservations mentioned above are constantly addressed  and my knowledge of this subject continues to deepen.  I fully plan to put into practice what I read and will write about it at some time in the future.  However, for now, I wanted to share an excerpt with you so you can understand something that I did not for a long time: Fasting is not just encouraged by Jesus - It is expected!

From Fasting: During the years that Jesus walked this earth, He devoted time to teaching His disciples the principles of the kingdom of God, principles that conflict with those of this world.  In the Beatitudes, specifically in Matthew 6, Jesus provided the pattern by which each of us is to live as a child of God.  That pattern addressed three specific duties of a Christian: giving, praying, and fasting.  Jesus said, "When you give..." and "When you pray..." and "When you fast."  He made it clear that fasting, like giving and praying, was a normal part of Christian life.  As much attention should be given to fasting as is given to giving and praying.  Jentzen Franklin



Books I am currently reading (Just in Case You Wondered What Things Shape My Thinking):
  • The Kingdom, Power, & Glory - The Overcomer's Handbook (Chuck and Nancy Missler)
    • This book challenges Christians to become "overcomers"  by laying before them the magnificent future that will be inherited by the faithful and obedient.  Does our behavior as Christians matter once we are assured of our salvation?  Being "born again" is just the beginning of an intimate relationship with God.  This book will change the way you live your day to day life and give you a "heavenly" perspective.
  • Shadow Government - How the Secret Global Elite Is Using Surveillance Against You (Grant R. Jeffrey)
    • Security cameras, surveillance of your financial transactions, radio frequency spy chips hidden in consumer products, tracking of your Internet searches, and eavesdropping on your e-mail and phone calls.  Without your knowledge or consent, every aspect of your life is observed and recorded.  But who is watching the watchers?  In Shadow Government, Grant Jeffrey removes the screen that, up to now, has hidden the work of these diabolical agents.  Jeffrey reveals the biblical description of Satan's global conquest and identifies the tools of technology that the Antichrist will use to rule the world.
  • Fasting - Opening the Door to a Deeper, More Intimate, More Powerful Relationship with God (Jentezen Franklin)
    • When you fast, your spirit becomes uncluttered by the things of this world and amazingly sensitive to the things of God.  Once you've experienced even a glimpse of this and the countless rewards and blessings that follow, it changes your entire perspective.  This is one of the best and most comprehensive books available on the topic.  Discover how to unlock the power of biblical fasting, including:
      • The types of fasts described in the Bible and how to choose which is right for you
      • The connection between fasting and prayer
      • The essential components of a successful fast
      • What to expect physically, mentally, and spiritually

Ten Parallels...

Pastor Kilpatrick of Church of His Presence spoke on the topic below yesterday in Church.  I took furious notes and I've tried to relay the essence of what he said.  The Holy Spirit revealed this to him and it is worth sharing because of that fact.

And the disciples came and said to Him, "Why do You speak to them in parables?"  He answered  and said to them, "Because it has been given to you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it has not been given."
     Matthew 13:10-11 NKJV

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.  But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden [wisdom] which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
     1 Corinthians 2:6-8 NKJV

Ten Parallels Between the Christmas Bombing Attempt and the Church

  1. The attacker's father gave a word of warning that was not heeded properly.  God continually gives us warnings, guides, and signposts throughout his word and via the five-fold ministry (see Ephesians 4:11).
  2. Because the word of the father was not received, five critical government agencies did not get the word.  The father's words were not communicated, so the dots were not connected properly.  The five-fold ministries are not working together in the Church.  This leaves us walking around in darkness.


Watch this and know that the Breath of Life has been breathed into Patrick!


Thoughts on Eternity...

Have you ever stopped to really consider what the word eternity means?  Sure, we think about it in broad terms like "a really, really long time" or with words like "infinity".  As a matter of fact, Dictionary.com lists this as the foremost definition: infinite time; duration without beginning or end.

So, here is the question I pose to you: Is eternity infinite time, or is it more of a timeless state?

Physics has shown us two important facts related to this discussion:
  • Time is a dimension of the universe just like three dimensions we observe daily: X-axis, Y-axis, and Z-axis (left and right, up and down, and in and out [depth]).
  • Time is relative to the observer.
Let's take the second concept first: time is relative to the observer.   At first glance, this might not seem to make sense - so let's use an illustration.  Suppose that you have an assistant with you.  This assistant has a very accurate clock.  You have a small ball in your hand and you have the ability to throw it in such a way that the time it takes for the ball to reach its zenith (highest part of its flight before starting to fall again) is half of a second, and then it falls back to your hand, taking another half of a second.  The total time of travel for the ball is one second (0.5 seconds up and 0.5 seconds down).  Your assistant is noticing that the travel of the ball is relatively in a straight line up from your hand and then back down.

Now lets suppose you are standing next to a high-speed rail line.  You and your assistant take a break and notice there is an oncoming bullet train coming from your left and moving to your right.  On this train, you observe a man and his assistant performing the same experiment.  Here's the interesting part: the man and his assistant on the train are obtaining the same results you and your assistant just produced.  But, as you observe it from your point of reference, it appears the ball is taking a diagonal track, moving from the left and coming down rest somewhere to the right as the train continues along on its course.  To you, it appears the ball's track of travel has stretched.

Here's another example, excerpted from the notes of Chuck Missler's Learn the Bible in 24 Hours:

Can We Trust The Bible...

One of the most common arguments I hear when discussing the Bible goes something like this - "I believe in God, but the Bible is written by man.  As such, it is full of fallacies."  I have my own personal thoughts about such statements, but it does bring out a valid point - How can I be sure that the Bible is accurate and dependable?  Well, one sure way is to put into practice the things you read and see how those principles bear out in your life.  There are several other ways, but the one I want to focus on today is Biblical prophecy.

Now, I must admit, many put Biblical prophecy into the realm of Nostradamus or Madame Cleo...but it is so much more.  God writes the future in advance so you can:
  • Know that He is who he says He is
  • Plan accordingly for the future
  • Gather strength and encouragement
  • Trust fully in Him and His provision
Consider current headline topics: U.S., UK, and the world experiencing global depression, hundreds of thousands dead in Darfur conflict, H1N1 flu virus pandemic, Iran boldly pursuing uranium enrichment, and the list goes on....  I dare say anybody would refute we are living in turbulent times...and the future only holds more of the same (or worse).  Wouldn't it be great to know, in advance, what is going to happen?  You can say no to yourself, but the reams of people reading and acting upon their daily horoscopes, seeking ancient wisdom through methods such as Kabbalah, and those seeking the services of mediums and fortune tellers say differently.  Even popular television shows like Medium bear witness to this phenomenon.  It is a safe bet to say we want to know.  The method we use to find out makes all the difference.

Get Fired Up...

We all can get down on ourselves sometimes.  It is very easy to forget who we are and who we serve.  When I need a reminder, I watch the Battle Cry video.  It gets my heart racing, my blood pumping, and causes me to wake up and recall who I am.

I first saw this video on a Sunday morning at Brownsville Assembly of God.  There was an excellent Men's Ministry called Champions of Honor there and often there would be segments of the service dedicated to addressing the men of the congregation.  From the very first time I saw the video, I knew I would have to find it for myself - it made such an impact.  Here it is and the words spoken in the video are underneath:

Battle Cry

I come not to bring peace, but a sword.

I am not an innocent bystander,
I am a threat to my enemy.
I am powerful and cunning.
I am strategic and bold.
I will not sit idly by,
I will take ground.
I will advance.
I will tear through my enemy and
My enemy will hate me.
I will not avoid the difficult fight.
I will fight.
I will be wounded.
I will be targeted and I will bleed.
I will not tire.
My wounds will be healed.
I will see tragedy.
I will feel pain.
I will be restored.
My feet will not stumble!
My hands will hold fast!
I will not be intimidated!
I cannot be stopped!
I will stand by my brother's in arms!
I will fight until my last breath!
I will push the limits!
I scale the mountains!
My enemy will cower!
For I serve a great king!


I sometimes wonder if our Lord lets us experience indifference and rejection from those whom He has given us a heart to speak to and share His message so that we may intimately share in the sorrow and grief He felt when people rejected His ultimate offer - an offer He bought and paid for with His very life and blood.

It is so painful when you are on the outside looking in, knowing there is a better way - a perfect solution - but, despite your best efforts, it is seems to all be done in vain.  If you have experienced this, take heart in the fact that Word of the Lord does not return void!

Remember this as the Lord moves your heart to minister to those around you: "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm.  Let nothing move you.  Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not vain" (1 Corinthians 15:58).


I Understand...

I understand we live in a hectic world that places ever increasing demands on our time.  I understand that we become burdened with more and more responsibilities each and every passing day.  I understand that life is much more complex that it was ten, twenty, or fifty years ago.  I understand that you are constantly inundated with reams of information you must repeatedly process and evaluate.  I understand.

But, do you ever take the time to stop and ask the serious questions?  Who am I?  What is my purpose in life?  Where have I been?  What have I accomplished? Where am I going?  Am I who I want to be?  Am I where I want to be in life?

I would submit to you that you are someone special.  There is nobody else in the world like you.  Because you are unique, there are things you can offer that nobody else in the world can.  That means you have a specific purpose.  When you are not who you were created to be, the world suffers as a result.  I would submit to you that you can only be who you were created to be when you are allied and submitted to the one who created you.

Now, I understand there are many thoughts and theories about this.  Some say we are here by chance, others believe we have extra-terrestrial origins...and you can find reasoning everywhere in between to explain our existence.  However, I believe we were created by God, in His image, for a purpose.  Furthermore, I believe that outside of a relationship with his son, Jesus, we will all live unfulfilled lives - never living out the purpose of our creation. 

You may agree...you may disagree...but what I really want is for you to think...to search out answers for yourself.  Not because I said so, or your parents taught you something, or you learned it in school...but because you want the truth and will settle for nothing less!

Where are you going?  Where will you end up?  Is there more to life than what we see, or do we die and cease to exist?  These are important questions with eternal ramifications.  You owe it to yourself to ask, research, and answer these questions - your life depends upon it!


Pneuma of Life

If you noticed the URL for this blog, you probably were trying to figure out what on earth it meant.  I've seen several blogs and websites that cleverly use a play on words to conceptually convey the overarching theme for the site.  That being the case, I set about to create one for myself.  I had several great ideas, but they were all taken.  The whole process was starting to frustrate me.  I had a great idea for a blog and I was excited about blogging consistently, but I couldn't even get the thing off the ground without a name.  About that time, I remembered this set of videos I saw the other day in the Christian bookstore called Nooma (no recommendation implied - perhaps that will be a topic for later).  The title for the series, "Nooma", was a play on the ancient Greek work pneuma (πνεύμα).  Translated, pneuma means "breath" and in the religious context, "spirit" or "soul" is implied.

So, not only did I find a fitting phrase - it also has double meaning.  I want to offer a breath of life into an otherwise mundane world, but I also want to convey the beauty, magnificence, power, and grace, and glory of the Spirit of Life in my writings as well.



Thanks for taking the time to read my blog.  This isn't my first attempt, and this will likely be a work in progress...but I hope you'll enjoy it nonetheless.  I see and hear interesting things all the time and wanted a place to share them along with a few of my original thoughts thrown in the mix.  I like physics, computers, music, and God, so you'll likely see posts pertaining to these categories and more as I write.  It is my sincere desire that, like fine wine, this blog gets better with age.  Enjoy!