Sunday, December 23, 2007

God's Stocking Stuffers

Well, it’s Christmas time and if you are reading this you are aware that Jesus is the reason for the season. There is a propensity for many Christians to get radical in their fight against rampant commercialization and Santa worship. And that is a good thing. Jesus is truly the reason for the season. And there could be no better gift to mankind than the Messiah.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 (King James Version)

“For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Romans 6:23 (King James Version)

Like all Christmas celebrations with the family, there is usually a gift given that is exactly what the receiver wanted or desperately needed. There was one Christmas where I gave my daughter a new Ford Focus. She had been driving a piece of junk Kia Sephia without complaining. And she lit up like a well adorned tree when she saw the car. Years later she still talks about how great that Christmas was. But something else happened that day. She looked in her stocking to receive many smaller gifts that were also well pleasing and much needed. They are called stocking stuffers, and we love getting them. I love getting Red Hots candy in mine. The small stuff is just the icing on the happiness cake.

God gives us stocking stuffers. The big gift is Jesus. The smaller gifts are also a sign of his great love and generosity towards us. And they are the icing on our spiritual cake.
“Every desirable and beneficial gift comes out of heaven. The gifts are rivers of light cascading down from the Father of Light.” James 1:17 (The Message)
How about the gift of work? If you have a good paying job, a career that you love, and lots of stuff, that is nothing but a pleasurable stocking stuffer from the Lord. His provision for us usually comes in the form of labor that helps us survive.
“That everyone may eat and drink, and find satisfaction in all his toil—this is the gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 3:13 (New International Version)

“Moreover, when God gives any man wealth and possessions, and enables him to enjoy them, to accept his lot and be happy in his work—this is a gift of God.” Ecclesiastes 5:19 (New International Version)
How about the gift of the comforter? Jesus called the Holy Spirit the comforter. And the gifts that the Spirit brings with Him are amazing.
“Peter replied, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” Acts 2:38 (New International Version)

And the Holy Spirit continues the Yuletide tradition by putting his own gifts into your stocking. There was an old story about getting a lump of coal in their stocking if a person was bad. We have all been bad, but the stocking is always full of goodies for us to play with.
“And God has appointed these in the church: first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, administrations, varieties of tongues.” 1 Corinthians 12:28 (New King James Version)
How about wisdom? Ever need direction or guidance in your life? Those are also gifts we can find in our Christmas stocking if we need them. If you lack in those areas then maybe you didn’t put it on your Christmas list.
“If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” James 1:5 (New International Version)

So if you find that you were Scrooged this year, maybe it is time to do a personal inventory of your spiritual condition. God fills all the stockings of His children with yummy spiritual stuff. But like Santa, He knows who has been naughty or nice. He is making a list and checking it twice. Hit your knees, and ask. Maybe you will find that this will be your best Christmas ever!

“So if you sinful people know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give good gifts to those who ask him.” Matthew 7:11 (New Living Translation)

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Heroe or Creampuff Weenie?

Heroes still exist! And though they are few in number, they walk among us and sometimes sit right next to us in church. There are men who find that they must face overwhelming adversity with courage and determination in order to show both the spiritual and earthly realms that, though they might look just like any other man there is something different about them. Such are the amazing soldiers of World War II who took a stand at Bastogne, Belgium. If you haven’t seen “Band of Brothers”, rent or buy it today. There is no better way to show what I’m talking about than by watching that series. Here is a sneak peek from the ten part show. During Hitler’s last offensive push of the war named “The Battle of the Bulge”, the true warriors had to make a stand and dig in. Watch the clip below and focus more on the spirit of valor and perseverance than on a couple of cuss words you might hear.

There are days approaching when you are going to have to make a resolute stand. Yes, YOU! Maybe those days are already here and you find yourself in the trial of an enemy bombardment. Maybe you are at ease. But either way God has plans for you to show what you are really “all about” regardless of the religious diatribes or holy pontifications that tend to proceed out of our mouths. The kingdom of heaven is not in word, but in power. And talk is cheap.

“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.” 2 Timothy 2:3 (NIV)
The trying of your faith is more precious than gold, and there is no better way to show the type of faith that pleases your God than to face adversity with might and bravery. The kingdom of darkness has lost the war and yet still they push with a powerful offensive until their total and complete demise.

“Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” Revelation 12:12 (NKJV)
There is a reason why so many of your Christian brothers are falling by the wayside, and living powerless and ineffective lives: they haven’t done all.

“Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

Are you doing everything? We are told to pray without ceasing. How’s your prayer life? Is it sparse, weak and wimpy? Or are you firing back at the enemy daily with effectual fervent prayers? Are you clean from sin? Or have you let the enemy march right in and steal your victory? Do people see a warrior when they look at you? Or do they see a spiritual creampuff weenie? Would your neighbors and coworkers even know that you are a Christian? Are you the one to call when Satan’s Panzers roll in?

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. 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 in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:57-58 (NIV)

“Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong.” 1 Corinthians 16:13 (NIV)

The war is almost over and your reward is at hand from our great general Jesus. But until then, we are to dig in and not be moved. We are to suffer with joy because that is what Jesus did. We are to crucify our fleshly desires because they weaken and distract us. We are to hold the line and not fall back. WE are the front line of defense. WE are the victors through the cross. WE are the warriors! And there is one more stand which is mentioned in the Bible.

“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life:” Revelation 20:12 (KJV)

God believes in you! He loves you, strengthens you, and will give you everything you need to live triumphantly in authority, beauty, and holiness until the war is over. Dig in deep and stand strong! You are not alone. You have great men in the trenches with you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

And Then There Were Three!

Folks, there is a reason why this blog hasn’t been updated in a while. This week I finished a major assignment that God had asked me to do. Here’s the scoop:

I started a book titled “Where Are the Warriors?” a couple of years ago, but had been poking around on it and never finished it. God hit me upside my head recently and told me to finish it. So I did. I also wrote my third book and it is now ready to be published. Here is the current line up and status:

“Where Are the Warriors?”

This book is getting rave reviews from everyone who has read a copy of the manuscript. It is over 300 pages long and 82,000 words. There has never been a book like this anywhere on any shelf. It is the quintessential book for Christian men. It was immediately picked up by Tate Christian Publishing company. I hope you men have the guts to finish that book. It will change your life.

“Discover How to Bust Your Man!”

This controversial book for Christian women is the ultimate guide for accountability. It is a step-by-step system on how to catch men cheating, looking at porn, and attending strip clubs. It was quickly snatched up by Publish America who purchased the manuscript. After a long battle with their highly paranoid legal department, the book is ready to fly off the printing presses soon. This book will give any Christian man with a secret life the fear of God.

“It’s Not OK!”

This book was written at the request of God. I know that sounds strange. But He asked me to do it immediately after I finished “Where Are the Warriors?”. It is a short and powerful book which contains seventeen things that Christian men already know but need to be reminded of occasionally. At less than 70 pages, it is concentrated. And will be in the 7” by 5” hard bound format.

Because there is a national minister also named Steve Foss that I want absolutely NOTHING to do with, I have written all three books under the pseudonym Jude Benedict.

So I am done writing for the minute. I am going to reacclimatize myself to life again and wait until they start coming off the presses. Then I will take my time with a novel I will write about the end time titled “Surviving the Mark of The Beast” which will address all this “left behind pretribulation rapture” nonsense.

Thanks for your patience friends. I’ll update this blog with regularity again.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

God Loves Stupid, Moronic Pumpkinheads!

Occasionally we see people that make us afraid. I don’t mean we fear them personally. I mean we fear God enough that when we see who they are and what they stand for, it makes us afraid of the wrath and judgment of the Almighty. I know that many people believe that God is the teddy bear cushy grandpa God. And two times in the Bible it actually says that “God is love”. But two times in the Bible it also says that “God is a consuming fire”. (Deut 4:24, Hebrews 12:29) It was God who sent the death angel through Egypt to kill all the firstborn, not Satan.

Jesus said it best in Luke 12:5:

“But I’ll tell you whom to fear. Fear God, who has the power to kill you and then throw you into hell. Yes, he’s the one to fear.”

So I present you the two top finalists on my “Pumpkinhead award” list for being possibly the most stupid people on the planet. Contender number one actually believes that he is Jesus returned. And just like the first appearance of our glorious king, this knucklehead is driving a BMW, wearing lots of gold jewelry, drinking scotch by the gallon, smoking banned Cuban cigars, and making millions off of donations from his flock. (sarcasm added) All this is at the expense of a group of Christians who are so deluded it makes me want to line them up and smack them all with a Bible.

The silver medal for idiocy goes to Dr. Jose Luis De Jesus Miranda.

Sorry dude! No way Jose, you are just another Jesus wannabe.

The gold medal in the moron Olympics goes to an elected official from Nebraska. His name is Senator Ernie Chambers. This goober is an avowed agnostic who is suing God in US court for terrorism. That’s right! He is suing God. I am not sure how to even comment on this guy. Says the Associated Press: “The defendant in a state senator's lawsuit is accused of causing untold death and horror and threatening to cause more still. He can be sued in Douglas County, the legislator claims, because He's everywhere....The Omaha senator, who skips morning prayers during the legislative session and often criticizes Christians, also says God has caused "fearsome floods ... horrendous hurricanes, terrifying tornadoes. He's seeking a permanent injunction against the Almighty. ”

I actually hope that God shows up. Seriously! Can you imagine what it would be like if the maker of heaven and earth actually popped in for 15 minutes to hear what one of his created beings had to say about him?

““My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts are higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT

So it is good to know that the real believers who know the truth aren’t swayed by all the end time charlatans and deceivers that are starting to come out of the woodwork. Read the Bible and do what it says. Listen to the voice of your shepherd and king Jesus who says that his sheep hear his voice. Follow after the leading and guiding of the Holy Spirit, and hold fast the profession of your faith.

“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth.” 3 John 1:4 KJV

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Are You A Loser Like Jesus Was?

Simmer down now! I know what you are thinking. The minute you read the title of this blog post you were a little defensive and wanted to smack me around a bit in order to protect the reputation of our Lord. But I want to prove a point here and hopefully get you to a place where you see your own life a little differently.

According to the programming of this world, Jesus was a total failure. If we look at his life through the lenses that we judge our own lives, it would appear that he knew very little about “success” and spent no time seeking after the things that we in this present time hold dear.

1. He was a homeless thirty year old man.

“As they were walking along, someone said to Jesus, “I will follow you wherever you go.” But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no place even to lay his head.” Luke 9:57-58 (New Living Translation)
By today’s standards that would definitely take him off of the list of people who are heading in the right direction. We in America seem to judge the value of people by how well things are working in their lives. We look at their nice homes and fancy cars, and think that they are successful. But the truth of the situation is that many times people are so bogged down by all the stuff they have accumulated and have become so wrapped up in the pleasure they contain that they have no real spiritual power.
“No one can serve two masters. For you will hate one and love the other; you will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Luke 16:13 (New Living Translation)

2. He walked away from a successful carpentry business to travel preaching about spiritual things.

As firstborn, he had a duty to take care of his family, especially his mother. Since the Gospels are conspicuously silent about his father Joseph when his ministry started, we can assume that he was either dead or gone from the scene.
“Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary, the brother of James, and Joses, and of Juda, and Simon? and are not his sisters here with us? And they were offended at him.” Mark 6:3 (King James Version)
He left a profession that was esteemed and became a person who was despised because of what he did daily. I can only image what the reaction of his brothers and sisters was as he told them that he was walking away from an established industry and going to be “living on faith”. If your older brother came home for Christmas and told you that he was going to be leaving his successful law practice to walk around Europe and preach, what would you say? How would you react? Would you consider him a success?

Ironically, some of his disciples did exactly the same thing. James and John had fishing businesses and walked away. It was the same with Peter. They dropped their nets and started following a homeless guy around the country. I’m sure they received the same reaction from their families.

3. He remained unmarried.

Regardless what the bull-discus of "The DaVinci Code" says, Jesus never married. If you were thirty and unmarried, and not gay, would your family consider you a success? Could his relatives have tried to fix him up with “nice Jewish girls” incessantly?

4. He bucked his religious upbringing.

Imagine a good Jewish boy who was devout and knowledgeable preaching in the temple.
“So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.” Luke 4:16 (New King James Version)

Now imagine that same boy making enemies of the priests and scribes, throwing out money changers with a whip, and becoming number one on the “most wanted” hit list. Does that sound successful to you?

Let’s not even talk about hanging out with his crazy cousin John the Baptist. Locusts and honey? He was not the best dressed man in Judea.

So what is my point?

“Don’t you realize that friendship with the world makes you an enemy of God? I say it again: If you want to be a friend of the world, you make yourself an enemy of God.” James 4:4 (New Living Translation)

If you are trying to be “too cool for school” and seriously desiring to look successful in this world, you might want to have a look at where you are at spiritually. Because Jesus has shown us that many times we have to buck the worldly system in order to be fully submitted to the perfect will of God. Was Mother Teresa successful? Not according to guys like Donald Trump who base their whole existence on the accumulation of stuff. But to God, she rocked. And He is really the only one we have to impress.

“And every one that hath forsaken houses, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for my name's sake, shall receive an hundredfold, and shall inherit everlasting life.” Matthew 19:29 (King James Version)

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Nothing But A Forgiven Worm!

I am amazed with how fast I can lose perspective on the things that really matter. I am sitting in my office as I type this and I have been in a funk all day. Oh, the reasons for being an ungrateful weenie seem like they are valid at the time. Maybe one day it will be that I don’t have as much money as I think I deserve for my labor. Maybe it will be someone who treats me unfairly, or my strange housing situation, or the myriad of lies that the enemy has clandestinely whispered to my soul that I seem to entertain without rebuke. Whatever the reason, my attitude lately has been stinking up the kingdom of God. I tell you this because I am ashamed for not being the person that my King wants me to be.

Do I really have it that bad? Heck NO! And I can sit here all day long and tell you how I really want to be more like Jesus. But do I really? Or is it just the same old religious claptrap that rolls off of the tongues of most of the men in our kingdom today?

Yet somehow Jesus seems to know just how to be a great shepherd and guide to me in times just like these. There is a still small voice that reminds me of the price he paid for me. ME!

“He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ. Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation! For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you. Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.” 2Corinthians 1:4-6 (New Living Translation)

Lord Jesus forgive me for being weak!

Friday, June 15, 2007

When Is Disobedience Not Really Disobedience?

Could there actually be something worse than disobeying God by being an obstinate whiny brat? I believe there is. And God has been showing me that not only does this insidious phenomenon exist, but that many times I have been the poster child for this kind of rebellion without even knowing it. Let me explain.

We all know what it means to just flat out disobey the directives of God. I hope by now you have all reads the book of Jonah.
“Get up and go to the great city of Nineveh. Announce my judgment against it because I have seen how wicked its people are.” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. He went down to the port of Joppa, where he found a ship leaving for Tarshish. He bought a ticket and went on board, hoping to escape from the LORD by sailing to Tarshish. Jonah 1:2-3 (NLT)

Of course, God let Jonah have a brief stay in the Big Fish Hotel for a couple of days to rethink his decision. We’ve all done that, haven’t we? We have all heard what we believe to be God telling us something to do, and yet we didn’t do it.

I love the story my friend Paul told me about being in a line at a bank behind a lady carrying a baby. He said that he heard the small voice of God telling him to say to the lady that her baby was going to be alright. He didn’t do it and felt horrible after the window of opportunity had passed. Then God said that it was OK. He was going to use another servant to get that message to her. But Paul had missed out on a blessing.

Has that ever happened to you? Have you felt like you should call someone, or pick up a stranded motorist, or speak a much needed encouragement to another person…and didn’t do it? Then you feel horrible because you know that you disobeyed? I have, many times.

Another friend of mine Scotty the body was at a gas station when a poor motorist asked him for money for gas. He said “Sorry, all I have is a credit card”. WHAT??? He knew that it was lame and felt bad the next day as he relived the story for me. There is a definite blessing in being obedient to God.


In the amazing book “My Utmost for His Highest”, Oswald Chambers says that the counterfeit of obedience is self sacrifice. What’s worse than being rebellious is disobeying by doing other good works. It is because we deceive ourselves into thinking that we were being obedient servants. Ponder that for a second. “Sorry God. I would speak to that lady but I’m busy reading your word”. “Sorry God. I can’t give to that poor motorist because I have to tithe”. Get the picture?

The greatest example of this in the Bible is King Saul in 1 Samuel 15. It is an amazing story. Here is the directive from God by way of Samuel the prophet:
“Samuel also said to Saul, “The LORD sent me to anoint you king over His people, over Israel. Now therefore, heed the voice of the words of the LORD…Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.’” 1 Samuel 15:1-3

And Saul went and did what the Lord commanded him to do. Well almost….
“But Saul and the people spared Agag and the best of the sheep, the oxen, the fatlings, the lambs, and all that was good, and were unwilling to utterly destroy them. But everything despised and worthless, that they utterly destroyed.” 1 Samuel 15:9

Samuel asked Saul if he obeyed and his response was that HE DID. Samuel asked him about the sound of all the livestock that he heard. And here is the conversation that they had:
“Why haven’t you obeyed the LORD? Why did you rush for the plunder and do what was evil in the LORD’s sight?” “But I did obey the LORD,” Saul insisted. “I carried out the mission he gave me. I brought back King Agag, but I destroyed everyone else. Then my troops brought in the best of the sheep, goats, cattle, and plunder to sacrifice to the LORD your God in Gilgal.” But Samuel replied, “What is more pleasing to the LORD: your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to his voice? Listen! Obedience is better than sacrifice, and submission is better than offering the fat of rams. Rebellion is as sinful as witchcraft and stubbornness as bad as worshiping idols. So because you have rejected the command of the LORD, he has rejected you as king.” 1 Samuel 15:19-23

What is wrong with giving all the good stuff to God? What is wrong with offering sacrifices that please God? NOTHING! Unless doing so is disobedience by self sacrifice. And God is very serious about obedience in his servants.

There have been times when I didn’t do something I knew God wanted me to do because I was too busy “discipling” someone, or ushering at church, or leading a men’s accountability group. All of those are good works for God. But Samuel said it best: obedience is better than sacrifice.

Are you being totally and completely obedient to what God wants you to do? Or has the counterfeit of obedience, self sacrifice crept in? Ask God. He will tell you.



Monday, June 04, 2007

Four Years Later, God Showed Up!

I have been on a total 24 hour high because of some news I received. Rimma Palangian was saved yesterday. I guess I should not be any happier than when any other lost person comes to know the Lord. But Rimma was different. Her case was special to me.

I met her when I enrolled in UTA to take Russian language classes. She was my professor, and she was unlike any other college professor I ever had. I instantly fell in love with her. She was hard yet caring, and would push each student to the limits of their learning capacity. She was tough, and many people would drop her classes. But there was a softer underbelly that would occasionally show itself to her students.

Rimma had a very hard life. She was born in Soviet Russia and worked as a translator for the KGB. She and her husband smuggled themselves out and came to America where they both taught foreign languages at the university level. Rimma was adamant in her disbelief in God. Maybe it was because of the oppression and poverty she came from in Russia. Maybe it was because she had seen and experienced so much pain in her life. From the brutal murder of her mother, to numerous abortions, to having her husband and soul mate become sick and live in a vegetative state for years, she never saw any evidence of the presence of a loving God who is in control. She and I would spend hours talking about Jesus, and just “agree to disagree” every time. So I decided to pray for her religiously and love her through it. There is something about the power of love that can break through the hardest heart.

Her husband Jack died and I was blessed to be asked to give the funeral. That is when I started seeing cracks in the hardened exterior of Rimma. Because now the question of eternity and life after death were things to be seriously considered. I kept praying and loving her, even when she many times just plain pissed me off.

“Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 (NKJ)

Rimma has been sick lately and in a lot of pain. I make trips to her house as often as I can just to visit, listen to her talk, breathe her second hand cigarette smoke, and remind her how much God loves her and is waiting on her. Yesterday my friend Jayne and I met at her house. We were there to just love her, and nothing more. Jayne went and got her tacos. We watched her eat and talked about who would be waiting for her on the other side and what existence would be like with our new, young, spiritual bodies. Rimma went to sleep, so we left. Jayne is an extremely sensitive person where the leading of God is concerned, and she felt like she should go back later and have a conversation just between the two of them. Jayne led her to the Lord, and Rimma was saved with many tears and great joy. Praise God!

So What’s The Point?
“Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 (NLT)

“Pray one for another…The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.” James 5:16 (NKJ)

I started praying for Rimma four years ago. It is easy to stop praying when we don’t see immediate results, or we start believing the lie that it does no good anyway. Prayer works. It is an amazing weapon of our warfare, and a great way to move God.

"The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent". 2 Peter 3:9 (NLT)

How is your prayer life? Do you pray consistently? Are your prayers strong? Have you given up on your unsaved loved ones? Do you feel like there is a glass ceiling between you and God, and that He doesn’t listen to you? He does, you know!

“Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.” 1 Peter 5:7 (KJV)

Happy Birthday Rimma, or should I say “C Dnyom Rozhdenya”. Yesterday you became my sister in Christ. And there are a lot of people who are celebrating with us.

“In the same way, there is joy in the presence of God’s angels when even one sinner repents.” Luke 15:10 (NLT)

Thank You Jesus!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

The Scariest Scripture in The Bible

Before we talk about what I consider to be the scariest scripture in the entire Bible, I want to show you a video that will drive the point home in an entertaining way. I first saw this video from the band Genesis back in the 90s, and loved it back then. It is a tongue in cheek look at the victims of the scripture which is the basis for this week’s post. It gets good at the end.

Well, here is the scripture and it came from the lips of Jesus himself:
“Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’ And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’ Matthew 7:22-23 (New KJV)
We always think that those who will miss eternity with the Lord and head for hell are guys like Hitler, Pol Pot, and Jeffrey Dahmer. I guess we don’t want to think about many of those being judged as having a position of ministry for the very King who will reject them. That scripture is scary because those people went right up to the judgment thinking that they were “in”...saved...having it made. And Jesus said that he never knew them. Yikes!

Knowing Jesus isn’t enough! Let me say that again: KNOWING JESUS ISN’T ENOUGH. In Acts an unclean spirit tells some vagabond Jewish exorcists:

And the evil spirit answered and said, Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are ye? Acts 19:13-15 (KJV)

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder. James 2:19 (NIV)

Everyone knows God, even someone in the dark kingdom who resists His divine plan. The key to eternity is not knowing Jesus, but being known of him.

But the man who loves God is known by God. 1 Corinthians 8:3 (NIV)

So here are a few tips for you to know if you are known of God.

Jesus said that his sheep hear his voice and He calls them by name in John 10:3. Do you hear the voice of your shepherd? Are your quiet times a two way street where you do both talking and listening? Do you have a regular quiet time?

Jesus said that he is the vine and we are the branches in John 15:5, and that the branches will bear much fruit if they are connected to him. How’s your harvest these days? Are you bearing the kind of fruit that God finds pleasing? If you are not sure what the “fruit of the Spirit” is, look it up in Galatians 5:22.

And thirdly, Jesus said something that we all hate to do. Here it is:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, "If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. Matthew 16:24 (NIV)

Ouch! Denying ourself is extremely hard to do. Don’t we really want the kind of ministry that the band Genesis pokes fun at? I heard a pastor call it “heaven to go to heaven in”. This ain’t heaven folks! This is boot camp for eternity. This is preparatory school. And if you put your eyes on many of the ministers who have slipped and faced big falls in the past like Jim Bakker, Jimmy Swaggert, Ted Haggard, and the myriads of priests who have been caught in indiscretions, you could possibly miss out on being known of the true Shepherd of your souls. Don't let any minister or any MAN distract you from being in the flock.

Therefore, my brothers, be all the more eager to make your calling and election sure. For if you do these things, you will never fall, 2 Peter 1:10 (NIV)
Take some time today and ask your righteous judge if you are known of him. And then listen. I believe He will tell you. If you are, then press on and fight the good fight of faith. If you are not sure, then get saved. You know what to do, or you wouldn’t even be reading this blog.

Monday, April 30, 2007

If King David Had Girls Gone Wild

In some ways I believe we have to be tougher than King David. Before you write me off as having lost my mind, hear me out first. Yes, we have all read the great life story of the king who is called a man after God’s own heart. We know about the key of David and the sure mercies of David. Many of you are thinking that you could never even come close to being like David as far as toughness goes. When you think about him living in a cave, faking insanity, running from Saul, dropping Goliath like a bag of dirty laundry, kicking Philistine butt all over the land and instilling the fear of God in all foes, it is hard to imagine that modern day Christian men have to be tougher than David in any aspect of life. But it’s true. Think about something.

We all know the story of his affair with Bathsheba and subsequent results. And I do not want to throw David under the bus because I have also made serious sin based choices in the past just like that one. But here is David walking on the roof and he spots a nude Bathsheba bathing. After the lust was finished he had done the deed. It is a great example of what happens to God’s men if they don’t control their thought life. But in that respect we have it significantly tougher than David. He was exposed to one lust based temptation and he fell. We are exposed to dozens of them daily.

If David had access to “Girls Gone Wild” on a regular basis, would he have made more bad decisions? If every time David was at the beach he was exposed to ladies in thong bikinis, would he have been strong? If every market place was filled with scantily clad girls, or every road adorned with billboards of sexy ladies advertising products nobody needs, could he have defeated the visual onslaught?

My good friend Scott is pissed. He is finally getting to the point of anger where sex and lust is concerned. Men can’t watch any television without being mentally attacked with “sex sells” type of images. We can’t go to a movie that is any good without having the plot interjected with hook-ups, adultery, or gratuitous nudity. We can’t even watch a sporting event without close ups of cheerleaders or “wardrobe malfunctions”. Scott is a warrior for God. And he is mad because he realizes that we are at war, and the battleground is the mind. Our enemy knows that we are sexual men who are visually stimulated. And he is the master at throwing that bait out to fish for those who are having a weak moment.

If David had the Internet, would he have clicked on a picture of Bathsheba, and then called a number to order her services? We do, more then Christian men are willing to admit.
A 1996 Promise Keepers survey at one of their stadium events revealed that over 50% of the men in attendance were involved with pornography within one week of attending the event.

Maybe we are not so unlike King David. This might be why he spent most of the Psalms crying out for the salvation and deliverance of God.

David, despite his faults is known as a victor and a king forever. And we also have been called kings and priests of our God, just like our brother David.

Be strong my brothers! God knows who we are…and where we are. He knows out thoughts and struggles. He brings the secret things to light, whether they are good or evil. And our God is for us!

Monday, April 23, 2007

Pants On Fire!

It’s confession time! I told a lie the other day and it has really been bothering me ever since. I am not sure why I did it. It wasn’t one of those big lies that gets a person out of a major jam or keeps them out of jail. It wasn’t even one of those “little white lies” that will keep the peace in a family like telling your wife those pants don’t make her butt look big or that the burned meatloaf really does taste good. It wasn’t the type of lie we always tell like answering an officer who pulls you over for speeding if you knew how fast you were going. I lied to Time Warner Cable. I moved from a location recently and they asked me when I moved out. I fudged the date two weeks. I profited only two dollars by doing it and have been feeling like a total worm ever since. In the same week that I filed my taxes being totally honest, I lost my integrity on something so inconsequential.

Maybe it is because I know God’s take on lying.
“The LORD detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.” Proverbs 12:22

“There are six things the LORD hates, no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family.” Proverbs 6:16-19
Two of the seven things that God hates involve speaking lies. The King James Version calls them an “abomination” before God. He takes lying very seriously. And I have done it in small amounts almost all of my life. Why? Was it because I came from an abusive family where we were taught from a very young age to lie? Or is there a more sinister reason?

We get to make a choice in this world whom we are going to pattern our actions after. The God of this world (Satan) has a character of pure deception.
“For you are the children of your father the devil, and you love to do the evil things he does. He was a murderer from the beginning. He has always hated the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, it is consistent with his character; for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44
Does it mean that saying we feel great when we really feel horrible, or telling a friend that business is awesome when it really stinks are not “good lies”? A lie is a lie. And God our Father wants us to pattern ourselves after his character of truth.
“God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged.” Hebrews 6:18
Did you get that? It is impossible for God to lie! Impossible! So he takes it seriously when his children start acting like the father of lies instead of like their Creator Father who loves them and cannot lie. Jesus spoke a lot about truth ands how it sanctifies us. Paul even admonished us to speak the truth in love.
“Words kill, words give life; they're either poison or fruit—you choose.” Proverbs 18:21 (The Message)
So I’m going to try my best to speak the truth in everything I say from now on. Just don’t ask me if you have bad breath or if you are a good driver…

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Atheist Post

If you have ever done any real witnessing at all, or have ever entered into a conversation with people about Jesus, you have invariably come across someone who claims to be an atheist. There are plenty of them out there. And it is our job to reach them and tell then about the love, forgiveness, and grace of our God. But the strange thing about people who claim to be atheists is that they were at one time believers. I have NEVER YET met any person who was an atheist from childhood. They will always say “I used to believe in God, but……” And that is where the crux of the matter starts to appear. Every atheist I have ever met, who is willing to talk about their beliefs, will eventually say that they are actually harboring anger and resentment towards God for something that happened to them, and that is why they choose to no longer believe. They have become masters of masking their pain, and have just chosen instead to lay the accusation against their tarnished view of God.

Here is an interesting video from the British band XTC. The first time I heard this catchy tune back in 1986, I was a little disturbed. But once I really understood what Andy Partridge was saying, it spoke volumes to me about the mindset of a disenfranchised believer. The lyrics have been subtitled thanks to the Youtube poster.

Ironic that a person who doesn’t believe in God is writing Him a letter, isn’t it? And as he takes out his anger on the tree with his two hammers, he is expressing his pain just like so many people the whole world over have done again and again. Let’s examine the song.

How many times have you heard questions like these:

If God is real, why is there so much suffering in the world?

Why would a loving God let babies be slaughtered in wars and go hungry?

If God really exists, why doesn’t he stop the madness in the world today? Why did he let Hitler kill six million Jews? Why does He allow African genocide?

If God created us, why does he allow such sickness and disease in the world?

Sound familiar? Many times we get into a theological debate, or just throw scriptures at them like this one:
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the LORD. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 (New Living Translation)

Know this: hurting people hurt others. Try to pick up a dog that has just been hit by a car. It will bite you even though you are trying to help. And many times people that are angry at God have been hurt. Ask the right questions that will lead them to reveal when they stopped believing in God and what happened. You will be amazed at what many people have been through and why they feel like God has forsaken them.

I find it is best to remind people that this messed-up world will be passing away soon, and God will make everything right and restore it back to its intended condition. John got a glimpse of this when he wrote:
"And I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, “Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” Revelation 21:3-5 (New King James Version)

There is a new day coming in which all the evil of this world which made some people question the existence of a loving Creator will be gone, and they will get to see Him face to face. And yes, this God they curse and revile has the compassion to personally wipe away all tears from the eyes of those whom He loves.

If we don’t have the conversation with them which brings hope and leads them to the truth of God, who will? Let the atheist rage. It’s OK! Love covers a multitude of sins. And the more we can love an angry, obnoxious atheist, the better the chances we have of reaching them with the truth

Monday, March 19, 2007

Satan's Leadership Must Stink!

Hopefully by now you have figured out that we are at war. Not in Iraq. Our battle is in the spiritual realm. And with all the scriptures being preached about “putting on the whole armor of God” and “the weapons of our warfare” you should have figured out that you have been drafted into the army of Jesus. How’s the fight going on your front?

I have spent the past few days thinking about a very familiar scripture which most of you know concerning the casting of unclean spirits. It is mentioned in both Matthew’s and Luke’s accounts.

“When an unclean spirit goes out of a man, he goes through dry places, seeking rest, and finds none. Then he says, ‘I will return to my house from which I came.’ And when he comes, he finds it empty, swept, and put in order. Then he goes and takes with him seven other spirits more wicked than himself, and they enter and dwell there; and the last state of that man is worse than the first.” Matthew 12:43-45 (New King James Version)

Have you ever wondered why that is? If a spirit is cast that is in Satan’s kingdom, you would think that he would just show back up at headquarters and ask to be reassigned. Why do they wander seeking rest? Rest? If they are in a war with us and this war is coming down to the end, it shows you the state of mind of the troops of Lucifer. It would seem that some do not want to be in the front lines of the battle. But they just want to hang out in someone’s human body until it is over. It is reminiscent to me of the Gulf War when Iraqi soldiers were surrendering in droves when the war first began. They knew how futile the fight would be.

One of the most amazing encounters Jesus had was with the man in the Gadarenes and a demon who called himself “Legion”.

“And he asked him, What is thy name? And he answered, saying, My name is Legion: for we are many. And he besought him much that he would not send them away out of the country.” Mark 5:8-11 (King James Version)

Why would this spirit ask not to be sent out of the country? Why would he rather reside in a pig than to be sent back into the service of Lucifer? The reason is simple: serving in Satan’s army must stink! Serving a general who has pitiful leadership skills is extremely discouraging. Fighting for a cause that ultimately ends in defeat is unmotivational. So what else would they want to do but hang out in the body of a person until the final judgment?

Have you ever seen one single scripture where an angel of the Lord was tired or seeking rest? Absolutely not. Every time there is a mention of an angelic encounter, that person appears to be strong, motivated to obedience, competent, capable, and ready to head back into the fight.

In Daniel’s classic encounter with a warrior from our team, he tells of the battle and why he was delayed in getting there:

“Then he said, “Don’t be afraid, Daniel. Since the first day you began to pray for understanding and to humble yourself before your God, your request has been heard in heaven. I have come in answer to your prayer. But for twenty-one days the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia blocked my way. Then Michael, one of the archangels, came to help me, and I left him there with the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia. Now I am here to explain what will happen to your people in the future, for this vision concerns a time yet to come.” Daniel 10:12-14 (New Living Translation)

And then he says something amazing. He doesn’t want to look for a place to rest. He doesn’t want to spend some time in a nearby pig. He says that he wants to take care of business here, and then head back into the heat of the battle.

“He replied, “Do you know why I have come? Soon I must return to fight against the spirit prince of the kingdom of Persia, and after that the spirit prince of the kingdom of Greece will come. Meanwhile, I will tell you what is written in the Book of Truth.” Daniel 10:20-21 (New Living Translation)

Can you see why you have chosen the right team to be on? (Or rather the right team has chosen you)

Fight the good fight of faith! Resist the devil and he will flee from you…not fight to the death. Remember that you are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses that doesn’t have any problem with kicking some satanic butt if they have to. Be a warrior and not a person seeking rest. Be a conqueror and not a casualty. There will be plenty of time to rest when this part of the plan is done. In fact, I believe there is a banquet planned for us. Let’s be there!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

In Praise of a Real God Warrior

This Blog post will probably get me in trouble. First of all because it will seem like I am throwing a lady who calls herself “God Warrior” under the bus. I really am not. I just want to make a point. If you don’t know whom I am talking about, here is a brief explanation of this unusual sister in Christ. And remember, she is the one who agreed to go on national television representing our kingdom, so I guess discussing her appearance is fair game.

There is a show in prime time called “Wife Swap” where they get wives to swap houses for a period of time and live with a different family. The producers of the show relish in getting ladies from drastically different lives to exchange families. Honestly, I have never actually seen the show myself because I just don’t want to put that kind of pop culture trash into my mind. I wonder how many of the people who invested an hour in “Wife Swap” actually read the Bible or prayed an hour that day. But anyway, there was a lady from a Christian family who swapped houses with a pagan wife. Talk about a golden opportunity to shed some light and love into a house that desperately needs the truth of Jesus Christ. I was glad that they sent a “God warrior”, until I saw this clip. Hang in there all five minutes if you can.

What a shame! That was a golden opportunity to do some real ministry and spiritual warfare instead of trying to scream the devil out. And look how encouraged and inspired her own family felt after her glorious arrival back home! Now she is a celebrity.

There was a great quote I learned from the Dale Carnegie Course that said: “What you ARE speaks so loud I can hardly hear what you are saying”.
And Jesus said it best this way:

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.” Matthew 5:14-16 (New Living Translation)

I wondered if anyone would want to become a Christian based on an encounter with “God warrior”. And then I had to take a long, honest look in the mirror and ask the same question about ME.

“I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.” Mahatma Gandhi

Self test time.

When people who do not know Christ spend time around me, do they want what I have?

Do People want to give glory to God based on the good works that I do which they see in me and through me?

Do people see enough love in me to truly know that I am a disciple of Jesus?

Even if I call myself a “warrior” do people see the power in me that can accomplish much and the faith in me that can move mountains?

Do my words encourage and administer grace to the hearer?

Will people want to know more about Jesus based upon my representation of him?

I was walking through downtown Dallas yesterday and came upon some street preachers at a train station. They were bellowing out the “good news” at the top of their lungs. It made me wonder if they ever do any good. Then two small Hispanic girls came up to me and struck up a conversation. They asked me if there was anything that I wanted them to pray for me about. They both radiated love and life in a big way. Of course I’ll take as much prayer as I can get, so I told them “yes”. Boy oh boy, you should have heard the prayers of the one girl who was in charge. She was as strong and knowledgeable as any Christian I have ever heard pray. She was a true “God warrior”. There was no yelling, screeching, victimization, or showmanship. There were just the prayers of a young girl who knew her God and knew how to pray effectively. She blew me away.

I have absolutely no idea who she was or where she was from. But I knew I wanted what she had to offer!

May God bless her for being a true city on a hill.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ready For A Name Change?

It has long been a custom of Eastern people to change their names on the occurrence of some great event in life. And the Bible is full of name changes in the past.

Abram was changed to Abraham (Gen 17:5, Neh 9:7)

• Sarai was changed to Sarah (Gen 17:15)

• Jacob was changed to Israel in commemorating of his prevailing prayer (Gen 32:28, 35:10)

• The King of Egypt changed the name of Joseph to Zaphnath-paaneah because of his ability to reveal secrets. (Gen 41:45)

• Another King of Egypt changed the name of Eliakim the son of Josiah to Jehoiakim when he made him King of Judah. (2 Kings 23:34)

• The name of a great lady Hadassah was changed to the one we know as Esther (Esther 2:7)

• When King Nebuchadnezzar became fond of some of the strong Jewish prisoners, he changed their names from Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah to Belteshazzar, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego. (Dan 1:6-7)

And of course you should be familiar with the name changes in the New Testament. When their ministries began Saul was given the name………….And Simon was given the name……………. (You better get those two right. They both authored New Testament books)

Did you know that even Jesus was “given” his name?

“Eight days later, when the baby was circumcised, he was named Jesus, the name given him by the angel even before he was conceived.” Luke 2:21 (New Living Translation)

“that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth,” Philippians 2:10 (New International Version)

There is a lot to the meaning of a name. My birth name is Steven which means “crowned one”. I hope that I can live up to that name. My son is named Nathaniel which means “gift from God”. He definitely lives up to his name. He is my pride and joy.


The Bible says that in the future we will be given a new name from God himself.

“I'll give the sacred manna to every conqueror; I'll also give a clear, smooth stone inscribed with your new name, your secret new name." Revelation 2:17 (The Message)

What will your new name mean? Will it mean “one who accomplished much”, or will it mean “had great potential”? Will it be the name of a disciplined champion for Jesus, or a reference to laziness? Will it be the name of someone who holds the position of king, priest, or favored son and daughter? Or will it be like the name Ichabod: the glory has departed?

Since we are judged based on the works done in the body during our brief stay here, it behooves us to build for ourselves a good name. And you know what Solomon said:

“A GOOD name is rather to be chosen than great riches, and loving favor rather than silver and gold.” Proverbs 22:1 (King James Version)
What's in a name? More than most people can ever imagine.

Here is a beautiful song called "Whisper My Name". Remember what Jesus did for us.

Saturday, January 27, 2007

Larry Brown and Lot's Wife

Everyone knows the shortest scripture in the Bible: “Jesus wept”. But few know the second shortest scripture in the Bible: “Remember Lot’s wife”. She is the one who just could not seem to let go of the hideously sinful past and look to a future of clean living. But this post isn’t about Lot’s wife.

I am one very lucky man. God seems to keep putting people into my life to help make me a better person. But this post is not about me either.

My spiritual brother is Paul Darby. I can honestly say that nobody in my life leaves me scratching my head in amazement more than Paul. His company is thriving, and he is experiencing the blessings of the Lord in a big way. He is rolling out what he calls the “Wealth 2007 Project”, and he asked me if I would go into downtown Dallas with him and shoot some video of homeless people. A part of his project is showing the difference between people with a financial plan for success, and those without one. But this post is not about Paul.

We met a man on the street named Larry Brown. Here is the video we shot.

What you can’t see is the fact that after the camera quit rolling, we continued talking to Larry. He admitted that he was a pastor of a church with a wife and children. So why was he living on the streets away from his family and church? Two words: crack cocaine! We prayed for him right out in the open, he wept, shuddered, and spirits of drug addiction moved. He left a free man filled with joy and a new found sense of restoration and opportunity.

Two weeks later I received a call at 3:10 AM on a Sunday morning. It was Larry. He was in a horrible place, needed food, shelter, and a ride. I drove 45 minutes to south Dallas to pick him up. He was in a train station because he was kicked out of the local V.A. hospital. He was homeless, penniless, stinky, and desperate. As we drove him out of that part of town, this grown man cried like a baby. But this post is not about that night.

“It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery”. Galatians 5:1 (NIV)

“And when people escape from the wickedness of the world by knowing our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and then get tangled up and enslaved by sin again, they are worse off than before. It would be better if they had never known the way to righteousness than to know it and then reject the command they were given to live a holy life. They prove the truth of this proverb: “A dog returns to its vomit.” And another says, “A washed pig returns to the mud.” 2 Peter 2:20-22 (New Living Translation)

Why did Larry return to the bondage he was set free from to a life which he abhors? I’ll never know. But one thing I DO know: I saw a lot of myself in Larry. And I know that many times I have settled for a life that is far less than what Jesus has in mind for me.

If He came that we might have life, and have it more abundantly, why do we not claim it…and live it?

If you read this, please say a prayer for Larry Brown. May the Good Shepherd leave the 99 and go after the one lost sheep.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

God Calls Us Royalty! We Should Act Like It!

Have you ever come across a scripture that just doesn’t seem to go away? I’m talking about the kind of verse that just bounces back in forth in your head. In my experience, that happens until I finally see what God wants me to see about the message contained in that scripture. Then when I “get it” it usually goes away. Here is one that flew off the page at me last week and stayed in my face. It is from the amazing first letter of Peter.

“But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.” 1 Peter 2:9 (NIV)

That verse is talking about us; the Christians. And Peter tells us that we are a royal priesthood. What a strange thing to say, until one really meditates upon it and sees the picture of what we are.

What do you think of when I mention royalty? Think about the person who comes to mind. Maybe it is Lady Diana or Prince Charles. Maybe you see someone like Grace Kelly of Monaco, or Queen Elizabeth II. Maybe it’s Peter the Great or James Earl Jones in the movie “Coming to America”. Either way, there are some things that all these royals have in common.

1. They act like royalty. They have a demeanor and air about them which usually is one of class, dignity, wisdom, and respect. They know who they are, and present themselves in a way that is becoming of someone of excellent blood.

2. They have authority. When I was in London one time, the light suddenly turned red and we came to a screeching halt. The queen’s limo came by. Royals have special privileges and respect because of the position they are in. Did they earn it? NO! They inherited it from their father the king.

3. They use power to accomplish what needs to be done in order to make their kingdom safe, secure, prosperous, and thriving. The welfare of their constituency is paramount. Now what do you think of when I say priesthood. Do visions of someone who is set apart for spiritual purposes come to mind? Is it a person who knows the word, is “prayed up”, a great counselor, and man of God? If you are thinking about some scandalous pastor or priest, it is because you probably had exposure to someone who didn’t fulfill the calling that would make them a royal priest.

Maybe it is time for us to start acting like what we truly are; what God has ordained us to become. When we understand what it means to be a “royal priesthood”, we will act with the dignity, authority, and power of a royal. And we will show ourselves to be the strong, educated, spiritual leaders we should be.


Do I act like a king/queen or a common peasant?

Do I accomplish good things with authority or do I rabble rouse and complain with the Plebeians?

God calls you royalty. God calls you a priest. Be what you are.

“And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that will never fade away”. 1 Peter 5:4 (NIV)

"I'm on my way; I'll be there soon. Keep a tight grip on what you have so no one distracts you and steals your crown.” Revelation 3:11 (The Message)

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A Fork In The Road For 2007

Have you set your goals for 2007 yet? If you did, have you written them down on a piece of paper and posted them on the refrigerator or bathroom mirror. I wonder how much thought you put into what direction your life will take this New Year.
According to the Bible, there are three paths we can follow for the next year. Here is what God’s word says:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2 (New King James Version)

So we have three wills of God for us: one that is good, one that is acceptable, and one that is perfect. And the goals hanging on your mirror or on a 3X5 index card in your pocket, which are they to God. Would you consider them to be good for God, simply acceptable to Him, or perfect enough to bring a smile to his face?

I strongly encourage everyone to spend some serious “face on the floor” time with God and figure out what His will is for you for 2007. He has thought you out and ordered your steps before you were even conceived in your mother’s womb. He knew you before you became a Christian, and He knows you now.

The best thing we can all do is figure out which way the Lord is going to move in 2007 and follow Him. He is the master, and we are simply His servants. And no servant plots and plans for the master. They simply follow along being of service to their Lord. And He has chosen you as a servant because of the many things you can do to be of service.

I love this poem from Russell Kelfer:

You are who you are for a reason.
You're part of an intricate plan.
You're a precious and perfect unique design,
Called God's special woman or man.

You look like you look for a reason.
Our God made no mistake.
He knit you together within the womb,
You're just what he wanted to make.

The parents you had were the ones he chose,
And no matter how you may feel,
They were custom-designed with God's plan in mind,
And they bear the Master's seal.

No, that trauma you faced was not easy.
And God wept that it hurt you so;
But it was allowed to shape your heart
So that into his likeness you'd grow.

You are who you are for a reason,
You've been formed by the Master's rod.
You are who you are, beloved,
Because there is a God!

Figure out what your king and master would like you to accomplish in 2007. And put that on the bathroom mirror. There are three roads in front of you. I pray that everyone who reads this will be filled with the wisdom to choose the perfect path.