Monday, November 30, 2009

Monday Offerings

Good Monday Morning! Thanksgiving is over and the world has entered the Christmas season with a vengeance. I pray that during this time you'll remember and maybe rediscover the reason for Christmas.

Today's audio offering is the message from Saturday night on STEP # 12. The need to know the "certainty of the things you have been taught."

The music is a really incredible version of Midnight Hour. Over the years of attending conferences and hosting watch nights, we have found that after midnight is when there is an intensity with meeting with God. The ol' timers use to refer to praying this way as "pushing through". They would tarry in prayer until God came which was usually late in the evening. I'm not so sure it isn't God's way of weeding out those who truly want from those who are not serious about meeting with Him.

Hope you enjoy the audio portions located on this blog.
God on you........
mb

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Know.....Not Believe

Sometimes in the process of putting together a message for our service, I will find myself parked in certain portions of Scripture that seem really odd at first glance. Such was the case yesterday as I was reading in Luke. It being the Christmas season, I though it might be good to begin to look into the portions of scripture that deal with the birth of Jesus.
Reading in Luke chapter 1, I found myself locked onto a particular verse........verse 4.

"So that you may know the certainty of the things that you have been taught."

Luke writing to a man named Theophilus wanting to provide for him an orderly account of the events surrounding Jesus' life and death (and resurrection). Luke driven by the thought of wanting his friend to know, understand, come to grips with and be settled once and for all time in his mind and life the value and truth of all that he had been taught.

Do you know without a shadow of doubt of the certainty of the things you have been taught? Or do you find yourself swayed and buffeted by popular opinion? Everyone has an opinion, especially during this time and day. Each person holds high their opinion as being a banner of truth. Truth has become an understanding that has no part in the everyday practice and ability to live life.
Truth may be that it is alright for you to be unfaithful to your spouse.
Or that cheating on your taxes is not a bad thing as long as you don't get caught.
When we do not know the certainty of the things we have been taught, then we are open to compromise and we will trade the eternal things of God for the shiny, flashy, temporary things of this world.

If we are not being taught the basic Biblical principals of God, how can we expect to live a life that is truly within the calling of salvation? We somehow have a constructed a religion that has found its place in the mainstream of Christianity that allows for the sin to be forgiven and justified without asking anything of the sinner. That is why it is important for you to know the certainty of the things you have been taught. If you are not being taught or you consider such things a foolishness ask yourself this question, "Why am I upset by reading this post?" Is it that the Holy Spirit has uncovered things in your life that you thought were o.k. but, in truth, were an offense to God?

Repent and turn to God.
Become a student of the Word of God.
Ask God to show you how to live.
Do it!

God on you...........
mb

Friday, November 27, 2009

Happy Day After

Happy D.A. Thanksgiving.
We had more food than the law allows and much nap time in the afternoon. Throw in some football games and family and you had the making of a Hallmark moment.
It was a good day for the Bynum's.

My brother called around 10 a.m. and announced that he was at home, that the doctor had released him. Wayne still has a ways to go in his recovery but we are all grateful for God's protection over him during this time.

Vicki will be preparing supper (dinner to you city folk) today at Rapha.
Turkey hash / pinto beans / turnip greens / and assorted other veggies.
She will make mini-pecan and pumpkin pies for each man.
Gallons of coffee and tea. So I look for a good time to be had by all.
This is her gift to Rapha as she likes to cook a meal out here.

I will turn my attention to our meeting tomorrow night in preparation for what God has shown me this week. Always kind of a nervous time for me. You'd think after 13 years of doing this I'd be better at it. Truth is, I am always asking, "What do you want to do, Lord?" and then wait for His answer. I guess it's the way He equipped me to pastor.

This will be all for today.
Thanks to each of you who stop by to read the Greene Street Letters.
Since Thanksgiving is over, I can officially say MERRY CHRISTMAS!

Until tomorrow.
mb

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Prayer Update

Thanks to everyone who prayed for my brother. Vicki and I drove to Birmingham to see him yesterday. Doctors were able to repair his shattered wrist, reconnecting the veins and arteries so he will have use of his hand. It was a major injury but Wayne (my brother) is in good spirits and upbeat about everything.
Since he lives close to UAB the doctor may release Wayne tomorrow. Wayne will be able to make trips easily back to UAB for therapy and further examinations of his wrist.
God is good.....
mb

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

There's Nothing Wrong With The Church!


In Matthew 16:18 we read Jesus' words....
"....And on this rock I will build My church and the gates of Hades (the powers of the infernal region) shall not overpower it (or be strong to its detriment or hold out against it.)
Psalm 127:1
Except the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; except the Lord keeps the city, the watchman wakes but in vain.
Jeremiah 7:4
Trust not in the lying words (of the false prophets who maintain that God will protect Jerusalem because His temple is there), saying, "This is the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord.
Matthew 21:13
He said to them, The Scripture says, My house shall be called a house of prayer; but you have made it a den of robbers.
Revelation 21:22
I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Omnipotent (Himself) and the Lamb (Himself) are its temple.
Jesus is pretty specific when it comes to speaking about HIS church.
You need to understand that I am writing this as someone who pastor's a church ( not a building but a group of people in community with one another learning how to be children of God)
I have to luxury of not having to function with a lot of "stuff".
I don't have to worry about programs or agendas.
I don't have to spend energy looking for bodies to fill teaching positions in Sunday School or to be on this board or that board.
I have the incredible (and believe you me I know that I am blessed beyond measure) privilege of simply teaching the Word of God to a group of men.
I have been surrounded or joined or met up (ever how you want to phrase it) with a group of people who share the same vision that I do.
Introduce people to Jesus.
Pretty simple huh?
Tell the story. Show them the cross and pray that God would come and heal blinded eyes, hearts and minds to the truth of the Gospel.
From time to time my old flesh gets in the way of what God wants to do and I find myself trying to make the church@Rapha into an animal it was never created to be.
God is patient because He knows me all too well. He knows that I will not beat my head against a wall for a long time before I come to my senses and say, "Hey! This isn't working."
Over the past 2 years, I have been content to let Saturday night service be what God wants it to be.
To simply let Him direct us in what to sing, what to teach and how to minister . In this current economic crisis (Which I tend to think may be more of God's work than we truly want to admit) God is showing us what truly is important.
The church has existed with a call given to us by Jesus.
Go!
Make disciples!
Teach them to do and say and act and walk and behave the way I taught you!
End of story.
In the going, feed the poor, visit the sick, pray for the demonized and don't stop.
Don't only tell about the Kingdom of God....
Demonstrate it as you allow the Holy Spirit to operate through you.
(that is the scary part!)
I believe that the church (the real church..true church....that which extends across denominational lines) is invisible.
It has not need to promote itself and is more concerned about "doing the stuff" or what Jesus has called us to.
That is a church that I want to be a part of....
Amen and amen.
mb

Please Pray

I just received a phone call from my wife that my brother, Wayne, has been involved in an accident.
I won't go into specific details but the injuries are quite serious. He underwent 5 hours of surgery and the prognosis is good but guarded.
God is an awesome God and I look to Him during this time to be God over my brother and his healing.
Thanks....
mb

Monday, November 23, 2009

Monday Morning Downloads

Two new audio postings on this blog this morning.
1.) A Rapha version of Amazing Grace that I think you might enjoy.
2.) The message: "Iron Sharpens Iron" by Seth Barber.
Seth speaks at the Saturday night meeting once a month and without fail, brings a timely message from his own personal walk.
This particular message from Seth is the need for sponsorship and accountability that comes with working a recovery program. More than this, it reflects the need for anyone in the body of Christ to realize that we are not called to "Lone Ranger" this thing. We don't have the luxury of being that lone gunman. We need community and to surround ourselves with others who are like minded, that have the same goals and drive that we should possess.

I hope you enjoy this offering from the Church@ Rapha

God bless....
mb

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Sat-tee night!

Everything is in place for tonight. Equipment is ready, all has been checked out. Most of the music has been selected and copied. Seth Barber will be hear to speak. Prayer is ongoing as I move through the day toward 7 p.m.
It's just another typical Saturday here at Rapha.
The guys are all busy with the morning chores trying to finish before the Alabama-Chattanooga ballgame kicks off. Once it starts, the camp will look like a deserted ghost town. I really enjoy being out here on Saturdays as it is a lazy day so to speak. I have enough to keep me busy but the pace is slowed down a lot.

We're entering into the holiday season and since November is here, time will fly by and we will find ourselves standing at the brink of the end of 2009 and the beginning of 2010.
It has been a good year here. We have continued to grow as a program, following where we think God is leading us. The one thing we keep foremost in the front of our minds is that this program, this camp and everything here truly is God's. He ordained it. Like Genesis, He spoke it into existence and has maintained and sustained this program by the Word and His promises.
We are simply keepers and stewards of this program, seeking only to do His will for each day. Whether we are praying over or teaching folks, or putting toilet paper on the little "roll-y" things, we do all for His glory.

I pray that you all have a wonderful day and may you find the grace of God and His favor.
God on you......
mb

Friday, November 20, 2009

"Zup?"

Friday today. I'm teaching class this morning which always turns out to be an adventure in and of itself. I don't know what it is about Friday classes but they seem to always be good. Not because of me, but God always seems to just pour a little more grace on the Friday class.

Had an "Acts" moment yesterday. You remember the book of Acts? Pentecost? Started with 120 in a 2nd floor apartment and by the end of the day the church had grown to over 3,000. Well, there is a behavior that happens ever so often that always amazes me and it happened yesterday. I was walking from the R.A. office back to my office when a guy chased me down. We made small talk during the walk back to my office when suddenly his eyes were full of tears. I stopped and asked him, "Are you o.k.?" (Here comes the ACTS moment!) He looked at me and said, "What do I have to do to get saved?" I had talked about salvation and the need for Jesus if ever life was going to turn around from all the destruction earlier in the morning class. Now here was this man who had had the light come on in his heart and he suddenly realized that he needed to be saved. Needless to say God is an awesome God and as I write this, the man now has relationship with Jesus. There are some who are saved and then there are others who I like to refer to as being gloriously saved. He fell under the latter category.

As I pondered on this event last night it so did not fit the mold of what we tend to thing salvation should be. It didn't happen in a church. There was no choir singing "Just As I Am" (although I do remember Kenny Meeks on the camp music system singing "We're gonna rise). There wasn't even an invitation being extended. But because of the teaching from the morning, this man had been stirred and was brought face to face with his mortality and need for Jesus. It became such an issue that he chased me down and asked what must he do to be saved. Kind of blows all our religiosity out of the water doesn't it?
God never ceases to amaze me.
You go God!

Until tomorrow.........
mb

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Weekly Dose of Spurgeon


Charles Spurgeon said:
"Whether we like it or not, asking is the rule of the kingdom.
"Ask, and ye shall receive" (John 16:24)
It is a rule that never will be altered in anybody's case. Our Lord Jesus Christ is the elder brother of the family, but God has not relaxed the rule even for Him. Remember this text: Jehovah says to His own Son, "Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession" (Ps. 2:8)
If the royal and divine Son of God cannot be exempted from the rule of asking that He may have, you and I cannot expect the rule to be relaxed in our favor. Why should it be?

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Samuel Chadwick on Prayer


Samuel Chadwick on prayer: "Satan dreads nothing but prayer. The church that lost its Christ was full of good works. Activities are multiplied that meditation may be ousted and organizations are increased that prayer may have no chance. Souls may be lost in good works, as surely as in evil ways. The one concern of the devil is to keep the saints from praying. He fears nothing from prayerless studies, prayerless work, prayerless religion. He laughs at our toil, mocks at our wisdom, but trembles when we pray."
This I know all too well.
It is easy to be caught up, swept up and carried along by the
busy-ness that creeps into our relationship with Jesus.
To put off the true heart of God and the things He desires from us
to lay hold of tasks and works thinking all the while that we
are truly doing God's work.
Then we wonder why everything is so dry.
Why our teaching falls on deaf ears and hard hearts.
Why? Because the words we say, even though are from Scripture,
lack the power of the Holy Spirit.
They are God's words spoken through mans efforts.
I can write this not to point to anyone else but myself.
Seeing the need to return to "time with God."
Not a cursory nod of the head or a sentence here and there
to acknowledge His sovereignty, but to
realize that I am nothing without Him.
One of my favorite stories comes from John Wimber, leader of the Association of Vineyard churches.
John relates a story of being on a trip to Detroit and just being physically wiped out.
Sitting on the plane, ill and angry at the way things had gone, John began to pray.
"Why Lord, why are things turning out like this?"
The answer came back quickly.
"I've seen what you have done and I'm not impressed."
God went on to speak with John, "Now are you ready to see what I can do?"
John resounded with "Yes!"
In my own life, I have seen what I can do and I really am not impressed.
I think I'm ready to see what God can do.
To lay aside everything except where He leads me to.
To pray with purpose.
"Your kingdom come......Your will be done.....here on earth as it is in heaven."
Let it come...
God on you...until tomorrow....
mb

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

St. Elmo's Fire

I downloaded a message from August 15th which includes a short "telling" by someone we affectionately refer to as "ELMO". Elmo is well, how shall I put this......Elmo is Elmo. What you see is what you get.
I won't go into his life but suffice it to say that he is living proof of the power of God to transform lives.
He currently heads up a Celebrate Recovery in Georgia as well as attending and working through several other Recovery programs around the area.
Quick to give Jesus the credit, Elmo tells it like it is.
I think this is the one thing that I am more appreciative of than any other. To be associated with a group where "brutal" honesty is the one thing that keeps everyone on track. People who are in recovery don't have time to play games or pretend or put up false fronts. Those type of behaviors have been the downfall in the past. So they are all about transparency and honesty in an effort to walk out their sobriety.

Enjoy Elmo's testimony to the goodness of God and the following message afterwards.
Michael Bynum
Rapha Ministry

You can hear the message in the player located at the top of this blog. Scroll down till you see "Elmo's Testimony" and then select it to play.

Whoa...Dude!

Matthew 16: 8- 11
O you of little faith, why do you reason among yourselves because you have brought no bread? Do you not yet understand, or remember the five loaves of the five thousand and how many baskets you took up? Nor the seven loaves of the four thousand and how many large baskets you took up? How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.

The disciples were having an argument among themselves because they felt that Jesus was chastising them for not bringing bread on their journey. They had left in a hurry and no one had thought to bring provision for the group. "Bread? I thought you got it Peter!" "No! Don't look at me, I was getting the boat ready. John, you were in charge of Bread!" "No I wasn't, it was James' job and we all know what a slacker he is!"
I can just hear them quibbling and quarreling over the matter and all the while Jesus, standing there watching them, cannot believe that this group of men have missed the point entirely.

Jesus had warned them to "Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees." Their influence and subtle teaching that infiltrated and attempted to undermine the work Jesus was doing. The disciples were not really hearing what Jesus was saying. Isn't that the way we are?
Hearing but not understanding. Hearing and drawing our own conclusions. Hearing but not truly hearing what God is saying. I feel like I'm in this place right now. I'm receiving what I perceive to be a lot of communication from God but I'm not sure I understand what is being told to me. I don't want to take it and translate it into "Michael-ese". Make it say what I think God is saying. No! I want to wait until it is made clear to me.

In the middle of the disciples argument, Jesus points out to them the futility of their disagreement. He reminds them of the two instances where Father God provided sustenance for the crowd of 5000 and another of 4000. Jesus was revealing to them the pettiness of their faith (which wasn't much) and the focus of their attention (which was way out in left field). They were consumed with "wonder bread" and Jesus was saying that the leaven of the religious guys would be their doom if they did now wake up and understand what was going on right there around them.

The behavior among Jesus' disciples is still around today in our churches. Focused on things that don't really cause us to grow or promote the kingdom of God, we fall prey to neglecting the really purpose God has. We loose sight of what truly is important and weighs on the God's heart. I have heard more than one pastor pray the following, " God! Break our hearts with the things that break yours!" Oh that we really desired this attitude. I do believe that God would grant it to us, and that we might find the things we think are important and life changing are nothing more than fluff and dust.

Today, Lord! Your favor and guidance on us here at Rapha. Our desire is to be light and salt to those who are lost in the darkness and without your "flavor".
Meet our needs and you be our provision.
Your authority and rule be established here over this camp. Set us on fire with your Holy Spirit. Revive us again in this dark time for your kingdom.
In Jesus name,
Amen...

Until tomorrow....
mb

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Promise by: David Weaver


You never have to use again my friend
Your life is a garden you must tend
When the wind blows, you must bend
a knee to God and He will send
The help you need and He will blend
The rainbow around the bend.
Sometimes your berries may die in the snow
Sometimes your crops may die for lack of rain
But God will be there with His rainbow
and your needs fulfillment blossoming
into the soothing of your pain
Relief is just around the bend
You never have to use again my friend.
David is currently studying to get his degree in Drug Addiction Counseling.
An avid reader and author, David has compiled a number of his
poems into a book entitled THE WIND IN THE TREETOPS.

Good Monday Morning To You

Since we didn't have a meeting last Saturday, I pulled a message from the archive and posted it.
Just scroll down till you see "Making a Decision" and give it a listen to. Hope you enjoy it.

It was a really good weekend for Vicki and I. We took Sunday morning and spent it in worship and Scripture and prayer. It was a time for us to reconnect and join together in praying over some things we are facing as a couple and as individuals. One thing God has truly shown me is that we each (husband and wife) have to occupy the role He has called us to within the marriage. We do not have the liberty to vacate or abdicate these positions for the sake of our own selfishness or personal agenda. It took me a long time to understand just how important it was for our marriage to be in line with the purposes of God.

Monday brings a new week and new opportunities to tell our story. I believe that when Jesus spoke in Acts 1:8 and said that we would be clothed with power and would be his witnesses, he truly mean that we would simply tell of what He has done for us, through us and with us. Truth be known, a witness can only testify to what they know personally. People today think a witness about God is telling what they have read and heard other people say. Our life, our walk is the message and that is the story we have to tell. The Word of God either validates our life as being a believer or it uncovers us for the fraud we are. We are living, walking, talking, breathing Scripture. Pardon my English but "Ain't God good?"

See you tomorrow.....
God on you...........
mb

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Call it! Heads or Whatever!


Found myself having to make some hard decisions that I really didn't have answers to. Neither decision was bad, in and of itself, but neither was clear cut as being from God.
I'm kind of funny like that. I want to hear God on what to do before I make a decision or move forward with a project.
As my wife, Vicki, always says, "If He ain't talking.....I ain't walking."
This bit of council has served us both well over the years.
It kind of got me thinking as to many people make decisions based on their own ability or strength. Maybe they feel as though they are capable of handling most endeavors and don't need God. Maybe they feel God is too busy to fool with their problems, after all He is working on the middle East thing trying to bring peace. Why would God want to turn His attention from that to someone over here in Attalla, Alabama? Truth be known, God does want to answer us when we need direction.
Maybe I should just get over myself and realize that my need for God is greater than maybe I even realize. I dare not set myself up as the end all, know all, be all when it comes to God. The plans and directives of God do not involve us rolling dice, drawing of cards, karma, fate, luck, planets lining up or any other such foolishness.
It involves praying, crying out to God, waiting and listening and then and only when we have heard an answer, do we have permission to set out to carry through on what we have heard God say.
So, get rid of your lucky rabbits foot (how luck was the rabbit), your 4-leaf clover and your good luck socks or underwear. Seek God....listen....do.

God on you.........
mb

Romans 1:21-22
Yes, they knew God, but they wouldn't worship him as God or even give him thanks, and they began to think up foolish ideas of what God was like. The result was that their minds became dark and confused. Claiming to be wise, they became utter fools instead.
If ever there was a time to see the truth found in the verses above, it is now. One only has to look to government to find the folly of man.
Stimulus packages that stimulate nothing.
The money spent is only propping up an economy that is a reflection of the heart of the people of this nation.
We are a greedy people who seek only their own well being.
We bandy about the name of GOD, letting it roll off of sinful lips in a effort to portray ourselves as something other than what we truly are.
We praise the name of God
and lie in the beds of our adultery against him all the while saying, "No one knows. No one will find out."
He knows.
He sees.
He keeps records of our deeds and words.
What is whispered in darkness will be shouted from the roof tops.
Oh that we would turn from our wicked ways.
Even today, during the singing of the song Amazing Grace, made the comment to me that they were not "wretched" as the song says.
Like the Church of the Laodiceans, we say that we have need of nothing.
We are rich.
We have everything we need and want.

God looks upon our lives and says that "you are wretched and miserable and poor and blind and naked."
We can't even give an honest assessment to our own spiritual state.
Habakkuk 3:2
O Lord, I have heard the report of You and was afraid. O Lord, revive Your work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make (yourself) known! In wrath (earnestly) remember love, pity and mercy.
In wrath, in your anger remember your mercy.
We stand at a point in our nation that we are without hope if you don't come and revive us.
We are in need of major move of your spirit.
I pray that we have not passed a point to where you have removed your hand and no longer choose to work through us."
We cry for you to begin with your people, your church, your bride. Come because we have forsaken you and your plans in order to lay hold of the world's plans.
We have forsaken your heavenly wisdom for the wisdom of the world.
We have created programs and agendas, we have exalted those who teach the word above the Word.
We have pushed you aside, O God, and have taken your church over.
I give you back control of that which you have called me to.
I give back to you those commitments made long ago that have somehow gotten pushed aside and placed on a lower shelf, only to gather dust as I tried to minister in my strength.
Lord, I know that you have seen what I am capable of...
And you are not impressed.
Now, I need to see what you are capable of.
May I stand in awe as you come and touch all the dry and dead places, causing life to come forth where before, there wasn't any.
You be God in this day.
You be God in this camp.
You be God in me.
In the name of Jesus Christ
Amen!
mb

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"I'm RIGHT! You KNOW I'm Right!"



I chose the picture above to kind of drive home a point.
Too many people get caught up in what I call
"religious word wrangling. "
How many angels can stand on the head of a pin?
Where did Cain's wife come from?
Did Jesus actually drink wine or was it grape juice?
Debating a bunch of stuff that has nothing to do
with my salvation
or affords me nothing of value that will aid
me today in my walk with God.
I believe that the Bible is a practical book
to show us a practical lifestyle
that honors God. A lifestyle that I am incapable of living so God puts His Holy Spirit in me to guide, teach and speak to me about the daily things of life.
The Bible tells me "how"
The Holy Spirit tells me "where and when
"
My belief's are simple.
The eternal things of God rests on one simple fact.
A historical fact but one, none the less, that is a miracle.
A man named Jesus went to a cross on a hill outside
the city of Jerusalem.
There members of the ruling religious system
along with military personnel overseen by
a Roman Procurator
brought sentence on this man, Jesus.
The one thing they could not have known or foreseen
was that this man, Jesus did not allow himself to be killed,
but rather chose to surrender his life according to the
dictates of God the Father.
Once dead, all those in government, both foreign and domestic.
Both political and religious, breathed a sigh of relief.
Jesus' body was given to his people who placed him in
a tomb that was borrowed from a man named Joseph of Arimathea.
Great steps were taken so that what had been rumored in
the streets and back alley's of Jerusalem could not take place.
Whispered comments about this Jesus coming back to life were common
knowledge among the people.
Whether it was true or not was the hotly debated topic.
Guards were placed at the tomb.
A huge stone was rolled over the entrance and was
sealed .
Every item was taken care of to insure that even the slightest
hint of a conspiracy could not take place.
Guards were checked and double checked to make sure they were
not taking bribes from the disciples of Jesus
in order to look the other way while the body was stolen from the tomb.
The best efforts of mankind were brought to bear.
Humanity locked away this would be Messiah
in an attempt to flex its collective muscle and show God
that we were a species to be reckoned with.
The efforts of mankind didn't matter.
The stone rolled away.
The soldiers fell down as dead men.
Morning broke on the first day of the week
and
Jesus stepped from the tomb.
Not the beaten, bruised and battered carpenter of Nazareth,
but the risen Son of God.
And with this fact.
This historical fact of resurrection
everything changed.
A new belief system and a new way of life was ushered in.
There in the garden with death all around,
Life resurrected by the Holy Spirit
in Jesus the Christ/ Messiah / Anointed one
Stepped out to show us the way.
IN the book of John, Jesus had proclaimed that he was
the way,
the truth,
and the life.
Now, here in the Garden...Jesus walked that statement out.
So my belief....
My life....
My entire being
and my future destination
is found in the
miracle work of Jesus rising from the dead.
The resurrection!
It may not be Easter, but Praise God! HE IS RISEN!!!!!
And at some point in time, if I haven't already crossed over
to be in His presence,
He will come back to gather His bride, His church
to be with Him forever more.
As the group DANIEL AMOS sang;
I guess you aren't expecting no resurrection tune....
World doom.
That story's got to be bunk about that trumpet tune...
Cheese on the moon...
Won't your peepers get the creepers when you realize
It's all happening before you eyes....
Oh my! You'll fry as we wave good by to you.
Jesus really is one you've been searching for to bring
peace to your heart and mind.
I'm just crazy enough to believe He is who He says He is...
And He will do what He says He will do.
Check Him out!
God on you....
mb

Glory of Christ

John Piper's wonderful teaching on the Glory of Christ.
Without Christ, the world stands before Him guilty.
Guilty of sin.
Sin against an eternal God which brings to us an eternal punishment.
But God so loved the world that He sent, he gave his only begotten Son that who so ever believes, trusts, relies on, clings to Him will be saved....
I do love the cross.
mb

They're Coming To Take Me Away...Ha!Ha! Hee! Hee!

Daniel 1:1-2
In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it. And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with some of the articles of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar to the house of his god; and he brought the articles into the treasure house of his god.

Been thinking a lot lately about people and their attitudes.
One thing that seems to have raised its ugly little head is the idea of separation between what we read in Scripture and what we see going on in our every day lives.
Yes! We believe in God. Yes! We believe in the Bible. But we do not really believe that the God we read about in Scripture still operates in the affairs of mankind in our day and time.

In the verses above from the book of Daniel, we see where God hands over Judah and in particular the city of Jerusalem to a foreign, pagan kind. Now keep in mind that what God has allowed to happen hasn't come on a divine whim or instant change of mind. God has been warning Judah about what would happen if they did not repent from their sin and return to Him. God sent prophets who spoke many words at many times to the not only the people but the ruling government......."Turn from your wicked ways." After much instruction and information on why they should turn, God set in motion the very thing that would be used to bring the country under judgment. God raise up Nebuchadnezzar to attack Judah and the city of Jerusalem, conquer it and take away captives back to Babylon where they would serve him.

Good story! Lessons to be learned by us. If we do not repent and turn back to God, what will God do to bring us into line? Will He do anything? Will he chastise us or discipline us? Will he use our own government to inflict punishment on a people who claim to be believers?
I think we have way to many believer's and not enough follower's.
Believer's only give a mental ascent and nod to who God is.
Follower's reveal their faith and belief's by the actions of their lives.
They deny themselves.
They lay hold of the cross.
They take it up daily.
They follow wherever Jesus says to go.
Kind of simple............Kind of hard.
None the less required.

Psalm 145:13
Your kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.
Jesus is LORD of all who claim to be lord,
and KING over all who lay claim to the title of king.

Maranatha, Lord Jesus!
mb

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

John Wesley On Prayer


"You need not utterly despair even of those who for the present "turn again and rend you." For if all your arguments and persuasives fail, there is yet another remedy left, and one that is frequently found effectual when no other method avails. This is prayer. Therefore, whatsoever you desire or want, either for others or for you own soul, "Ask, and it shall be given you."...........John Wesley
We wring our hands in despair.
We spend vast amounts of energy worrying.
We talk endlessly about problems we are facing.
Rarely do we fall to our knees and seek earnestly the face of God.
Why not?
Why do we seem to categorize prayer as the behavior of last resort?
Do we want to expend ourselves trying to solve or fix whatever thing looms over us?
And then, at the end when no resolve has taken place, take our petition to the throne of God as if to say, "O.K. Lord, it's yours. I've done all I can so now I'm going to need a little help from you."
I think for myself, the root of my own "doing" at the neglect of prayer is one of not trusting God.
Not trusting him that he would come through on what I pray to him.
Not trusting him in that a false sense of ego and ability comes up in me with pitiful battle cry of "I can do this!"
I have found that God desires for us to pray and release to him every area of our lives.
There isn't anything I am to hold back from him and it is in my prayers that I find the ability to trust and leave with God the things that seek to draw my attention away from him.
I remember a person who made the comment that "they only took the big things to God in prayer." My thought, when I heard this, was "What do you have that would be big to Him?"
Take everything!
Phil. 4:6 (Amplified)
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God.
Prayer........the heart to heart communication that God desires between me and him.
I really do want to learn how to pray!
God on you......
mb

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Charles Spurgeon Quote On Prayer


"We must remember that the goal of prayer is the ear of God. Unless that is gained, the prayer has utterly failed. The uttering of it may have kindled devotional felling in our minds, the hearing of it may have comforted and strengthened the hearts of those with whom we have prayed, but if the prayer has gained the heart of God, it has failed in its essential purpose."
It is time to turn our Father's house into a house of prayer.
To be a people of prayer.
I desire to know how to pray more effectively. To learn what is on God's heart.

God on you.......
mb

E.M. Bounds On Prayer

Quote from E.M Bounds on Prayer:
"The prayers of God's saints are the capital stock in heaven by which Christ carries on His great work upon the earth. The earth is changed, revolutionized; angels move on more powerful, more rapid wings and God's policy is shaped when the prayers of His people are more numerous and more efficient."

Pray!
Pray now!
Let's lay hold, together, this idea of communicating back to God that which He is desiring to do here on planet earth.
God on you........
mb

Can't Live Without It!


Prayer....
Most misunderstood portion of having
relationship with God and the
dynamics that take place between
us and God.
We pray small prayers....
We pray wrong prayers.....
We pray "wordy" prayers...
We pray bold prayers....
We pray doubtful prayers...
I don't know that I have all the answers
to prayer.
I think prayer is something that God
teaches you how to do.
After all, Jesus' disciples asked him,
"Teach us how to pray."
It is an ongoing communication that takes place
as I grow in Him and learn what fills His heart.
I want to breathe back to God what
He has breathed out on me that has stirred my
heart to communicate with Him.
I think this is prayer.
David (the King...remember him...shepherd boy...giant killer?)
wrote in Psalm 4:3 that
"Know that the Lord has set apart the godly for
himself. The Lord will hear when I call to him."
God has set apart or sanctified those who have
accepted him (born again/ saved), and
in this setting apart, God proclaims that He
will hear when we call to Him.
He will hear, but He will answer according
to His will and plan.
God always answers our prayers.
He does so in 3 ways....
1.) yes
2.) No
3.) Not yet
and in these three possible answers to our prayers
we find the will of God. His desire is that we obey.
I love to pray.
I keep a running prayer all day long as I move about.
Throwing up sentence prayers for situations and
for people around me.
In the middle of talking, I am also taking time
to listen for God's answer.
I love to pray.
It's all part of the package when you come to Christ.
It's a comforting part when you ask and then see
God move on your request.
It builds your faith.
It causes you to trust God more.
It is the open heaven, communication link
that keeps me sane here on this insane planet.
Gotta love it!
mb

Monday, November 9, 2009

New Message Downloaded

I've downloaded the message from the past Saturday night (Nov. 7).
"Take up the Cross" is a look at the issues we face in following Jesus.
As people in recovery, the need for being brutally honest with ourselves is necessary to move on in life.
The battle between our will and God's call is at the heart of taking up the cross to follow Jesus.

I also included one of the worship songs we did "Nothing But The Blood".
A twist on the Hymn by the same name.
Hope you enjoy these "Sound bites" from the Church@ Rapha.

God on you.....
mbb

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Two More......

The hard part of being a part of a community where recovery is essential for life, is when someone dies.
The facts surrounding the death of someone who came through the program are not important, as it is too late to argue any point. You simply desire that those who come through here find that relationship with Jesus and walk out their days clean and sober.
Some do.
Some don't.
When I read where someone who came through our program dies, it affects me.
Could I have done something more for them while they were here?
Did I miss something that I could have shared with them?
Did I pray for them enough?
All legitimate questions, but in the end it all goes to "did they answer when salvation was offered to them?"

Two men who came through the program died this past week.
I don't know spiritually how they were when they met their end.
I pray that something that was said here or was prayed over them might have awakened before they died and they were able to answer "yes" to God.
I don't know.
All I do know is that these two now fully understand the truth of what they claim to believed.
Beliefs that were lived out through their lives.
They now stand on the other side of eternity, a place that I will follow to.
The decisions that I make here on this side, determine my place on crossing over.
My submission to God and following Him affords me life with Him.
My rejection of God and stubbornness to follow my own sinful desires and wants affords me hell.
I must make a choice.

I pray that God would comfort the families of these two men during this time of grief.
I pray that God's Spirit would come and draw those among the families into an awareness of the need for salvation.

It is a sad day for me...
A sad time....
One for reflection....
and
for a renewed commitment to share the gospel.

God on you........
mb

Friday, November 6, 2009

Peak-A-Boo


Yep! That's me. The guy who keeps Greene Street Letters up
and running.
I just wanted to leave a little note for those of you
who stop by here occasionally to check us out.
My name: Michael Bynum
Married to Vicki Bynum (37+ years...happily I might add)
I serve as Chaplin/ Pastor/ Counselor/ and
whatever else may need doing
at Rapha Ministries.

What's a "Rapha Ministries?"
It is Alabama's largest faith-based drug and alcohol program.
We believe that people don't have drug/alcohol problems....
they have a living problem.
They have a broken relationship with Jesus Christ.
This broken relationship manifests in a number of ways
as the inability to cope with life, or the refusal to cope which
drives people to seek comfort or escape in the "substance of choice."
We do not claim to have any magic answers, magic bullets
or magic whiffle sobriety dust.
We simply believe that getting rigorously honest with ones self
and allowing God to work is the answer.
The big book of AA states that "rarely have we seen anyone fail
who thoroughly followed our path (or the steps of recovery)"
We have found that Jesus can do for us what we could not do
for ourselves.
Our sin nature (flesh or whatever you choose to call it) causes
someone in addiction to seek the easier, softer way.
There isn't one that leads to freedom from addiction.
What I write here on the GREENE STREET LETTERS
is applicable to all
but specific for those who are either in recovery or looking
for answers to leave their addiction.
I hope to download some music and the message from our
Saturday night meetings here at the
Feel free to listen or download for yourself.
Please don't hesitate to send an Email or comment here
on the blog page. We'd love to hear from you.
Freedom from addiction begins with a very simple fact.
The desire to quit....
Why not today?
God on you.......
Michael Bynum

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

It's All True!


I love this sign. I love the message because it is so not what my religious mind would come up with. I would want to paint a "spiritual" picture with flowery, King James words ( those who defend the KJV as the only word, don't be offended by this). Is there a danger in this message?
There could be. I think I know what the minds behind it were trying to say..that God is a loving God, and that he totally knows what trouble our humanity gets us into. The one thing missing is that he doesn't excuse bad behavior ( or in this case goofy behavior).
God is patient. God is long suffering. God is totally for all people to come to a saving knowledge of who he is. Truth is, you and I both know that this isn't going to happen. Due to our goofy humanness, some will continue down a path of self-centered, I-am-the-captain-of-my-own-ship life. Does God love those who choose this way any less? No...but his love is balanced with a truth that scares us at times. God is God! That means that he really does hold all the cards. We get into heaven by his permission and his way. Sounds harsh but not when you really stop and take a look at it.

We, humanity, are dying of a terminal disease. Sin! It has affected our brains and has caused us to think in ways that are contrary to God's plans. Sin has affected our hearts and created in us desires for things that are not good for us. Things that will destroy our bodies, our minds, and worst of all, the eternal spirit placed inside of us by God.
God realizing the destruction that sin brings to his creation, came up with and implemented the plan to restore and save humanity from this sin disease. Knowing that sin was so powerful and that it would take perfection to break the power of it, God sent his Son, Jesus, to pay the price. I guess you could call Jesus the ultimate scapegoat, paying for something he didn't do. Jesus left the best digs ever....the throne room of heaven, to come down here. He took on the form of man and lived among us for 33 years. Scoping everything out and teaching in our time and space, Jesus spoke about a place beyond anything our minds could comprehend...heaven. He laid out the plan on how to get there. He shared how this new Kingdom would operate and what would be expected of us. He also read us the fine print of what we could expect if we continued on in our selfish-sin-centered lives. (Note to self: Hell is not that appealing).
Jesus became the door or entry way into this new life. Even though heaven was the destination, the journey was the most important part. Living life here on this planet, Jesus said we could have life abundant. Abundance not measured out in dollars and cents or denari and pennies or what ever the currency du'jour is. He went on to say that those who accepted this plan (a term he called being "born again") would receive direction through an imparting of someone who would come and comfort us and guide us through the pitfalls of life here. That someone would be the Holy Spirit. Wow! Not only are we saved! Not only do we now have the right to enter through Jesus into the heavenly realm, but now we are given a spiritual compass and guide who will teach us and show us how to live a "zero-sin" life. How cool is that?
That is why for the past 49 years I have chased this life daily (not always successfully I might add). Through dark times and dark places where I got off the road and in glorious times where faith and emotion collided to the point that I felt like could explode. Jesus has been and will continue to be the one constant in my life. He alone possesses the power and ability to pull me back to center when I drift off course. He alone has patience with me when I wander off to look at the trinkets and baubles of the world.
He is God.
I am not.
Sweet Revelation!

God on you......
mb

Monday, November 2, 2009

The Spirit


How is the Spirit to me?
He swells and crashes like a great wave
that o'erwhelms me and engulfs me
and lands me on sunny shores
Where I watch the Water of Life in effervescent splendor
rock my world with light shows most spectacular.
Fireworks!
Infinite sparks bursting ...
eternally swelling and increasing.
Like a grape so sweet, bursting with eternally increasing sweetness
in my mouth.
Water from a brook....going in
Impurities flowing out.
Made closer to perfect with each passing year...
Jesus
This poem was written by David Weaver.
David is currently doing an internship here at Rapha
and has compiled a number of his poems
in a book he has entitled
The Wind In The Treetops
I hope to post more of David's work here at Greene Street Letters.
mb

The Middle Ground

Over the past year, I have struggled with certain aspects of my belief's and character.
Not struggle in a bad way but in a way to understand what it is I truly do believe.
Sometimes I have found myself challenged by things I have read and things I have heard others proclaim to be truth.
There are a lot of voices out there who have a lot of new ideas about who God is and what His purpose is here on good ol' planet earth.
The easy way would be to reject all the voices that make me look at God and His plans in a different light than I currently have. But would I miss something that God may be trying to show me?
The other way would be to openly accept everything that was being said and become led astray into new areas that He doesn't intend for me to occupy.
There has to be a middle ground here in all of this.
There is.
I spent time in prayer this morning asking God to show me what it is I need to know.
He led me to A passage in Galatians.

Galatians 4:4-7
But when the time had fully come, God sent his Son, born of a woman, born under the law, to redeem those under the law, that we might receive the full rights of sons. Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who call out, "Abba, Father." SO you are no longer a slave but a son. And since you are a son, God has made you also an heir.

My first allegiance beyond anyone and anything is to God.....
God the Father....
God the Son.....
God the Holy Spirit.....
My life is to be lived under the mandates and directives of the Kingdom of God.
His call supersedes the call of any government, any ruler, any ruling group that speaks contrary to God's precepts.

God sent his Son to be born under the law.
Being under the law brought the penalty of death because of mankind's inability to keep even one portion of the law.
Jesus, being free from sin, even though born under the Law, became the substitutionary sacrifice for humanity that broke the power of 2nd death for the sin of the world.
My acceptance of Jesus as Lord and the confession and belief that my sins are forgiven and I am made in right standing with God, puts me in the place of living for his kingdom and not any kingdom found in this world.

I have chosen to live in Attalla, Alabama.
I am under the laws of the city of Attalla, the state of Alabama and the United States (collectively) of America.
I am grateful to be born in this country. It has afforded me freedoms and privileges that are not found in other nations. But these freedoms and rights do not supersede the decrees of God and His kingdom.
I am not to confuse the two ( God and America) nor think of them as one and the same.
America exists only because God raised it up as a nation to be light and salt to the rest of the world. Like Israel, we too have gone astray to chase after the gods of other nations.

Deuteronomy 32:28-29 sounds like it was written for such a nation as us and for such a time as this.
"They are a nation without sense. There is no discernment in them. If only they were wise and would understand this and discern what their end will be!"

I pray for my country and for the leaders that have been chosen to occupy the halls of our government.
There is a voice that is higher than a nations.
There is an understanding that is broader and more developed than the school's and universities.
There is a way that seems right to man, but its end is death.
May God shake us and awaken us to the truth.
We have rejected him.
We have rejected his truth
and have pursued after the gods of pleasure and want.
Save us O' God.

mb

Kingdom Work Doesn't Always Look Like What We Think It Does

Parking lot was crowded yesterday. It was near noon and people were taking care of their business, hurrying in and out of the building. I...