Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Thy Word - Maranatha Singers

Today....may you fall in love with the Word of God. Relish in the cadence and rush that comes from reading it. Let it fall beyond your understanding to take root deep in your heart. As you read it, feel the ancient echoes that are brought into today. Consider how many have poured over the same words you are reading. Yet today, God is speaking directly to you.

What an incredible book. A book that has outlived all naysayers! Why? Because the Book is alive. It is active and has not lost any power. It supersedes all cultures. It cannot be dimmed by any language. It is the WORD for the world. It is not bound by governments or dictators. IT cannot be stopped. It will not be stopped. IT is the Words of God, given to us.

Read it deep.
Read it long.

Read it for life.
Read it daily.

God on you.

mb

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Save Us From Our Pain

There seems to be two camps among the faithful.
One is about a pain-free God.
The other is about a pain-filled God.
I think maybe the real truth of the matter is found somewhere in the middle.
That there is a God who leads His children through what we have come to know as "Life".
Life happens.
It's messy.
It's fun.
It's happy and sad (sometimes at the same time).
It's hard and you want to run away.
It's satisfying and you want to live forever.
It's call life.
And in the middle of it is this voice. The voice of the Lord bidding (calling) those who would, come. Simply come to Him.
As Dietrich Bonhoffer wrote......Christ bids us to come and die. Nothing more. For in the dying we find true life.


Upon the shoulders of this one we call CHRIST....resides the Spirit of the Lord. He was chosen and sent here to this world to preach the gospel to the poor. Poor in material possessions and poor in spirit. He was sent and equipped to heal the brokenhearted. Those who had lost hope and wandered aimlessly at the mercy of the master of this world.


Jesus was sent to proclaim with a loud voice and with deeds and signs that let it be known beyond any doubt that God had, in fact, invaded time and space and declared war on the kingdom of darkness.


Jesus came to take back sight and give it to the blind..........both those who had lost their actual ability to see and those who were taken into spiritual darkness.


He had the ability to set free those who were oppressed. They may be held down by the system of this world, but nothing..........no government, no group, no ruler can ever bind and stop the spirit of God inside of a believer.


Jesus proclaimed that this was the acceptable and favorable year of the Lord.

Thank you Lord for life and I pray that I seek you out at every turn today so that I can follow your direction and live life in the manner you desire me to.
Blessed be your name,
and may you bless everyone who has stopped by Greene Street today.
In Jesus name....
Amen.

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

Monday, June 28, 2010

Tech-Nickle Diffie-Culties

The provider we use to download our messages to was experiencing some trouble on the cable (not many of you will remember that phrase).
Also, the recording was done at a higher sensitivity than we normally do (by accident) so you might need to turn down the audio on the player.
I think you can still get the meat of the message and I trust and pray that God would give you one thing that might strengthen you for the coming days.

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

Asking For Prayer

Please join Vicki and I in prayer for the Tolbert family.
Randy Tolbert's son died this morning from injuries suffered in a car wreck.
Pray for God to bring good from this dark time.
Pray for peace and comfort as the family goes through the grieving process.

Thank you for adding this to your prayer lists.

Michael Bynum

Saturday Night Message: 12 Spies / 2 Reports

In the book of Numbers, chapter 13 we read where Moses sent 12 spies into the land to scout it out and bring back a report to the people. They do their duties and then return to the camp.
What a report.....
The land is a good and spacious land.
It flows with milk an honey.
The spies even brought back some of the fruit that grows in the land to show the people.
Verse 28 opens with the most dangerous words in the English language......BUT!
"Here is our report...everything God has told us is true concerning this new land.........BUT!
What follows next is a report driven by fear and doubt, not on the word of God.

In the Twelve Steps, Step # 6 & 7 involve having God remove our character defects.
Things like selfishness /  bitterness/ anger / jealousy /  unforgiveness...all of these truly affect the way we see and interact with others and with life in general. Don't you think it strange that 12 went in to spy out the land and of the 12, only 2 had a good report? Did these two not see the same thing the ten did? Yes. But their hearts and spirits were driven by God.

So what is driving you today?
God at work in you....................
or your own nature and character.
Food for thought.
God on you....
mb

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Last Night's Doing!


We (Vicki and I ) went to Centre for Celebrate Recovery. For those of you who follow this blog, I know you may grow tired of me writing this...............but Centre CR Rocks! I mean it is the best for me.

I knew it was going to be a good night last night, when in the middle of a song, the worship leader broke a string on his guitar. Just happened to be the "E" string. E...being the 5th note of the scale...A -B-C-D-E....five being the number for Grace!!! So maybe, just maybe this was a symbolic way of hearing that the enemy wanted to stop GRACE from being in the room. Didn't happen. Randy, the worship leader, kept on playing. He never missed a beat and the worship was incredible.

I think the thing that draws me to Centre is the fact that there are always people who come who are hungry for God. They may not have language for what they feel, but they know that there has to be someone greater than themselves who can restore them. Like I said...Center Celebrate Recovery at the ROC is where it is happening on Friday nights.

God was gracious in that there were several people who were ministered to. A boy sitting in front of Vicki was saved as another man prayed with him and led him to Christ. That's what I'm talking about. Stuff was happening all over the room.

I'm grateful for Donnie George and everyone connected with Celebrate Recovery there in Centre. So many lives have been touched and changed through the love and efforts of the people who are connected to CR there in Cherokee County.
More Lord!
Give us More!

The Harvest is ripe and the workers are few.
Send More!

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

YOUR LOVE KEEPS LIFTIN ME (HIGHER AND HIGHER)

April of 1996---Sunday morning. Sun shinning down. I'm on my way to the Anniston Vineyard to lead worship. I cruising down Hwy 77, running the radio dial when I come across an "Oldie" station. The music starts and I'm feeling it. Jackie Wilson is going off on "Your Love Is Lifting Me". All of a sudden it hits me......"Hey! This is a worship song." I don't care what anyone says......That is my heart's cry. Needless to say it has become an even greater favorite of mine.

Just enjoy this here on a Saturday morning.

See you Monday!

God on you......

mb

Friday, June 25, 2010

This Cross Was Made For Walking


And He said to all, if any person wills to come after me, let him deny himself [disown himself, forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and if need be, in dying also]
For whoever would preserve his life and save it will lose and destroy it, but whoever loses his life for My sake, he will preserve and save it  [from the penalty of death]
For what does it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and ruins or forfeits  [loses] himself?


The battle! Self verses following Jesus. Two voices that compete for the right to rule over the body.
The one eternal, true, living, Almighty God.........
and......
Me.
It should be no contest, but I still sometimes feel as though I need to take the reins.
Funny part is that God will call to me to not try and take control.
But...........
If I so desire, I can.
To possess that kind of power is spooky, scary and dangerous.
That I can step away from God and take control of my own life (or as TV evangelists say...."Your Destiny).
"Hey BUB! When I take control of my life and kick God out of the picture.....I don't think this is a good behavior."
It's the reminder daily of a price that was paid (willingly I might add) by Jesus for me.
A price that puts me in right standing with God.
That is why the cross is a reminder.
That is why I am called to take up "MY" cross.
My own personal cross.
To drive home the point that I am a new creation and it was the cross of Christ that I first received the glory of being saved. It was at the cross of Christ that I bowed my knee and heart and made Him Lord of my life.
It was at the cross of Christ that I made the decision, as the Holy Spirit revealed my heart, to live here.
To always keep the shadow of the cross over me to remind me of what is at stake.

At the cross, at the cross where I first saw the light
and the burdens of my heart rolled away
it was there by faith
I received my sight
and now I am happy all the day....
Amen.

God on you....
mb

Thursday, June 24, 2010

NaCl...When It Rains It Pours!


Matthew 5:13
You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste (its strength, its quality) how can its saltiness be restored? It is not goof for anything any longer but to be thrown out and trodden underfoot by men.

Salt was used (as commanded by God) in sacrificial offerings in the Old Testament. The primary purpose was for remembrance of the covenant, or promises, God had made with Israel. Salt was to be added to the offering. We read this in Leviticus 2:13 and Numbers 18:19 -  God directed salt to be a part of all the grain offerings in the Temple.

Why are we called to be "Salt"?
Salt is pure -  Germs cannot live in it. Jesus uses salt as a metaphor to show that believers are to be pure and to have the "salt" of God living in us. At birth, salt was rubbed on a new born baby's skin to purify it.

Salt purifies -  We are THE salt of the earth. We bring purity to the world by not accepting false philosophies. We do not embrace dishonest ways of doing business. We are called to not given in to selfish desires.

Salt was believed to drive away demons. It is interesting to note that only the dark (occult) side forbids using salt. You will not find any salt on the table or in the food served at any black sabbath or in any pagan religious offering.

Salt produces thirst -  As a follower of Jesus, the Spirit in us touches others through the telling of our story. He produces a spiritual thirst in those who don't know Jesus.

Salt is an enduring mineral -  Large salt deposits, surviving thousands of years, and under great pressure, still hold their flavor and taste.

I like how Jesus made the statement in Matthew 5 ----"You ARE the salt of the earth." Not "you will be" or "you might be if you work and study hard".  Being salt is a by product of being saved and a follower of Jesus. The sad part is that the church (organized professing church) has turned into a salt cellar where the salt is stored. Like being in a salt shaker. It takes the hand of God to come and lay hold and shake the salt out where it will do some good. Isn't that what he did to the first church in Acts? Persecution comes and the church is dispersed all over the world.

Hey! Flavor someones life today.
Shake, shake, shake, shake!

God on you.....
mb

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We Choose the Fear of the Lord - Maranatha Singers

Lawlessness....
What is it? The absence of the fear of the Lord. We do not have reverence or a sense of awe concerning God and His presence in our midst. I'm not referring to a church building, but rather the idea that the God comes to move among His people. If the people have a fear and reverence for God, then God speaks and reveals Himself in ever increasing ways.

In our society today, we create law upon law yet all the while lawlessness increases. Man does not fear God. From this place, nothing about God makes sense to mans darkened heart. Truly as the Apostle Paul wrote in I Corinthians "God chose the weak, the base, the common things to confound the so-called wisdom of this world." (that was a loose translation if you will).

Fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. Teach me Lord!

God on you...

mb

And Those Walls.....Came Tumbling Down


Walls...
Thick....
High....
Massive....
Pretty much summed up what the Israelites saw when the crossed over Jordan into the land of promise.
Something so big, so huge that they could not simply by pass it.
These men and women were not soldiers.
They had come out of Egypt with a 430 year heritage of being slaves.
They knew nothing of military tactics.
Yet here was Jericho standing right in front of them.
It mocked them.
The walls of Jericho cried out in defiance of the God of Israel.
"You will never bring us down!"

But in the book of Joshua Chapter 6, verse 2 we read:
Then the Lord said to Joshua, "See, I have delivered Jericho into your hands, along with its king and its fighting men."

When Joshua looked up what did he see?
The city still standing.
The gates shut tight.
The walls looming high overhead.
Nothing had changed at all, except that the God of Israel had declared that the city now belonged to Israel.
He would bring about the destruction of the walls.
All Israel had to do was walk in silence.
Isn't that the hardest thing for us to do today?
Walk in silence?
Here is something that I missed in my day to day relationship with God.
God has declared certain promises and directives for me to live by to insure my walk with Him.
All I have to do is walk in silence.
There is nothing more to say.
God has spoken.
I just need to remain silent and walk it out.
In an age of opinion and talk radio, we might be offended to learn that God does not care what out opinion is.
Wow!
All I have to is follow Him.
Could it possibly be that easy?
Follow Him?
I think maybe it is.

Walk by faith (the walls are still standing but God said they'd be down shortly).
No matter what WALL is in front of you today, know and seek God for direction.
Then do it.

God on you......
mb

Monday, June 21, 2010

Stop Looking For Signs...Start Listening For Sounds

Part of the Presidents Fathers Day Proclamation speech/  6 - 20 -10

Nurturing families come in many forms, and children may be raised by a father and mother, a single father, two fathers, a step father, a grandfather, or caring guardian. We owe a special debt of gratitude for those parents serving in the United States Armed Forces and their families, whose sacrifices protect the lives and liberties of all American children. For the character they build, the doors they open, and the love they provide over our lifetimes, all our fathers deserve our unending appreciation and admiration.


I try not to politicize this blog. I pray for the leaders of our nation, that they might awaken to the responsibility they carry. To be aware that there is a greater government that we all will answer to at some point. We will have to account for our actions and our words.
Yesterday, the President of the United States of America gave a proclamation for father's day. In his proclamation he put his stamp of approval in re-defining what "family"means.
No longer does family simply mean husband, wife, children. It is now open season to include any who seeks to use the term. Notice I said "use the term". The creation of family came from a higher government that the one that occupies Washington D.C. God created family....He defined what is and what isn't a family.
Just because you change the terms and definitions, doesn't mean that you have done a good thing. What it means is that you have openly and defiantly said to God, "This is how it's going to be."
It reminds me of the verse in Judges 21:25 -- In those days, Israel had no king Everyone did as he saw fit.
I fear that our country has crossed that line of looking to ourselves to define what is right and what isn't right. We create more and more laws only to see lawlessness increase. This nation has lost fear of the LORD. We do not fear him, much less believe in Him. God is a name we bandy about only when it suits our purposes. I think maybe such actions could possibly be construed as "taking the Lord's name in vain." Claiming the name of Jesus for personal gain.

I do know that in our rebellion against God, we have crossed over and are headed down that slippery slope of self destruction as we have thumbed our collective noses at God and told Him to leave us alone.
We cling to patriotism to make us feel safe and to bolster our ego. Kind of reminds me of the passage in Jeremiah where the people of Jerusalem would cry out "The Temple! The Temple! The Temple!" Thinking that they were safe from any harm. God would not bring judgement against the nation that houses His temple. Silly us. Yet in all our patriotism and flag waving fear grips this country like a tight fist.
Fear over the economy. Why? Because we have trusted in Washington D.C. as the means for salvation.
Fear of the future, that our way of life may have actually ended.
Don't call me a nay-sayer or a bringer of gloom. I pray that I'm wrong. I pray that I missed it, but I don't think I have.

The government is my shepherd, I shall not want.
They send me money every month...
They make me be dependent on that which I should be doing for myself.
They lead me to vote for them each term, for their name sake.
Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of God's plan...
I will not fear the Lord.
For the Senate and the Congress, they watch over me.
They prepare a table in the presence of God to show their power and strength.
Surely my needs will be met
and I will worship the hand of the government forever and ever.....
Amen.

God help us all!
mb

Ready....Set....Go

Monday: Last one of the week.
Monday: The slate is clean for me to fill up with "stuff" this week.
Monday: Even though Sunday is the first day of the week, my western mindset says "Today" is the first day.
Monday: Spent time in Proverbs this morning.
Proverbs 24:30-34
I went past the field of he sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment. Thorns had come up everywhere, and the stone wall was in ruins. I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I say. A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest...and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man.

It reminds me of those who pray and ask God to "help" them, when in reality their prayer is for God to "make" them. I know..........I have prayed such prayers before. Guess what? God did not make me. Imagine that. He is there to empower me to carry out the directions He is giving to me.
He is there to oversee me when (not if) I move out in doing what I am suppose to be doing.
Time and time again in Scripture we read where God told Israel......(my translation) "Look guys! I'm giving you this land to live in. Have you scoped it out? It's pretty good stuff. All you have to do is physically cross over into it and possess it, own it, claim it for yourself."

This meant that physical effort had to be put forth on Israels part. THEY HAD TO OBEY! I don't think it has changed much. We have to own this relationship God has established between Himself and us. We have to participate in the growing of our relationship. We don't have the executive right to sit back and fire off prayers to heaven, expecting God to do everything while we sit around just getting blessed to the socks.


What are you goals for this week? What are you expecting God to do in your life? Have you prayed about it? Have you received an answer from Him? If so, then go forth and love and be salt and light to a world that is in darkness.

Have a great Monday....
God on you.........
mb

Saturday, June 19, 2010

NO SERVICE TONIGHT! TAKE THE NIGHT OFF....

GET AN EARLY JUMP ON FATHER'S DAY!

Happy Father's Day to all who qualify............

WE WILL BE BACK NEXT SATURDAY NIGHT  6 / 26

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

Friday, June 18, 2010

This Is How I See It!


There are a lot of people out there who are smarter.
There are a lot of people out there who have mucho degrees in the field of addiction and recovery.
There are a lot of people out there who work in rehabs and clinics, who give of their time
and life to work with others. Working with those who are seemingly trapped by drugs and alcohol.

But for whatever reason, God has seen fit to call me to be a voice in this battle.
I am filled with no pretense of this call.
I know that a call from God usually follows the awareness that the one called is truly
not qualified to carry out God's mandate.
Hence the need for call-ee to strongly follow the caller.

I have been given an incredible gift of being able to spend time with countless hundreds of people
who have come to Rapha Treatment Center for help.
I wish I could tell you that I have developed intuitive senses that lead me to identify those who
seemingly will succeed in their recovery attempts.
I do not have such senses.
What I do have is a heart that loves each man God brings here.
A heart that knows that only God can break the power of addiction and bring real healing.
I know that the power and healing comes when a life is surrendered.
When the one in addiction is sick and tired of being sick and tired, and says," I give up!"
No matter what your belief: whether addiction is a disease or a moral lapse.....
whether you believe that addiction is best treated with medicine
or
addiction is a byproduct of a broken relationship between man and God....
The ultimate goal is for the individual caught in the addictive lifestyle to break free
and become a productive part of society.
Can a person be clean and sober and not be a Christian?
Of course.
There are many who have managed to break free of the addiction using nothing more than self will.


From my view point, those who have managed to do it on their own.........
their clean and sober....
but there isn't any joy or peace in their lives.
You see, it's not enough to simply stop doing drugs and alcohol...
we desperately need an alternative source of life.
The substances we have used for years and years all had one thing in common....
They made promises to us.
IF you take me...
IF you drink me...
I'll make you feel a certain way and all your troubles will disappear.
OF course what we failed to see was that these promises were empty and only brought disappointment and destruction.


To me, liberation........true freedom, not just abstinence, comes through a person.....
Jesus Christ
and not a system of ideal and principals.
The 12 Steps of AA
point to Jesus as the source of power that can restore us to sanity.
Sanity? The ability to make sound judgements.
Jesus is the power.....
Jesus is that source of life that will not disappoint.
The steps are merely defining principals that give my life boundaries and discipline.

Jeremiah 9:23 - 24
This is what the LORD says: "Let not the wise man gloat in his wisdom, or the mighty man in his might, or the rich man in his riches. Let them boast in this alone....
that they truly know me and understand that I am the LORD who is just and righteous, whose love is unfailing, and that I delight in these things. I the LORD have spoken!


In an age when we look to science and technology for our answers,
God is saying that knowing Him is numero uno.
Knowing Him.....Not with head knowledge or a using of the mind to comprehend some concept or precept....
Knowing Him is something that happens within the heart.
It doesn't always make normal, logical sense.
It just is.


It comes through intimate encounters with God.
Maybe during a cup of coffee in the morning, your mind will suddenly send you a thought.
You think to yourself, "Where did that come from?"
It just might possibly be God talking to you.
I'm kind of crazy that way to believe that this is the norm for God when He is communicating
with those who are searching for Him.

John 17:3
And this is eternal life....
That they should know you...
The only true God,
and Jesus Christ, the one you sent to earth...

Didn't mean to be so long winded in this posting, but thanks for letting me ramble a bit.
Until tomorrow...
God on you.....
mb

Pray.....

I saw him last night.
Didn't look good at all. Skin was pale, eyes sunken, face full of fear.
"I have colon cancer."
4 simple words that have brought fear on this man.
Anytime you attach the word "cancer" to an illness, death is automatically a given in our minds.
Thank you God that you are greater than cancer.
Thank you God that your power is not cut short or your ear is dulled because of this word "cancer."
So our prayers (and I would ask you to join me) is for this young man and his family.

Luke 1:37
For with God nothing will be impossible

Matthew 8:2-3
And behold, a leper came and worshiped Him, saying, "Lord, if you are willing, You can make me clean."
Then Jesus put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing....be cleansed." Immediately his leprosy was cleansed.

Don't let the voice of society drown out the faith God has given each of us.
Let's pray and keep praying for God to heal this young man.
God on you.........
mb
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
We will not be having a service tomorrow night. Look for us to start back on June 26th.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Choose Your Weapons!




What'll it be? Needles or swords? Inject or infect?
Weapons of darkness
or
Sword of light?
Hey think about it?
The choice you make of which one to use as your weapon to fight with, is found in your heart.
What do you really want and desire?
Freedom and real life
or
a false reality brought on by the injection of a mood altering / mind altering chemical?
Hmmmm.
I choose the Sword.
I have seen the destruction brought on by the needle!

Hey, but Swords are so old fashion....
Even if someone comes out with an updated version of the Sword,
it still operates the same way.
A person has to lay hold of it.
Feel the weight and learn the balance.
But isn't that the heart and truth of God?
We have to lay hold of His word, His sword to use it.

It's not enough that we possess the Sword (word) of God....
It's not enough to simply go about our day with the Sword of God shoved way down in
our scabbard.
Swords were meant to be used.

No matter whether we choose the needle and drugs
or
The Word of God....
our lives will be changed.
For the worst, by the needle
and for His glory by the Sword.
Dude...
Chose the Sword and discard the needle.

In the book of Deuteronomy - Chapter 32
we read a very unusual verse.
Now before you read this, I want you to know that I have
taken this verse and placed it within the context of a battle taking place
between those who choose to live in addiction...
And those who have chose to follow Jesus.

Speaking on those who are still suffering in their addiction, we pick up in Verse 28
For they are a nation lacking in counsel, and there is no understanding in them.
(Sound familiar? A life on drugs / alcohol )
Would that they were wise, that they understood this, that they would
discern their future!
( not much wisdom when your ability to think is impaired)
(Future? What future? When your strung out, the only future you can'
think about is the next high)
How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight,
Unless their ROCK had sold them.
(why would those strung out run from one or two others?)
(Because what they had placed their hope and trust in.....
their ROCK (Crack Cocaine) had sold them out and led them to situations and places
where they would die)
Indeed their rock is not like our rock....
(As a follower of Jesus, He is my ROCK!)
(My ROCK is not like their rock (cocaine)

My Jesus Rock is THE ROCK of ages....
I run to the shelter of the most high God
and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty.

So what'll it be?
Needles that destroy by making you promises that it can never deliver....
or The Sword of God....His Holy Word......The Bible!

I would not write this if it didn't profit me....
The Bible is a practical book for practical living...
here ....
today....
21st century...
I kid you not...

Turn your life over to the care of God....
What an incredible start...
No more needles with which to stab myself with....
Only the Word of God that works deeper than any needle could go...
Producing lasting life
here....
and
in
eternity!

God on you.....
mb


Tomorrow's Surprise

Got a phone call from someone who went through the program, here at Rapha, back in 2005.
I remember the day he got here.
He didn't have any "drug or alcohol" problems.
People just didn't understand.
His wife and daughter had told him unless he got help, he would not be able to see his granddaughter.
They did not want her to see "pawpaw" drunk.
So he came.
Not willingly, but he came.

Funny thing happened during the 51 days he was here.
He had an encounter with God.
He sat under teaching that put truth before him.
He felt the call of God to salvation and surrendered.
He was baptized.
At the end of the 7 weeks, he left to return home.
Once there, he started a meeting for others who struggled as he did.
That meeting is now 5 years old and countless others have received help because of it.

He called to let me know that he wanted to come up and meet with me Friday morning.
He is involved with a group that is based in Birmingham and he wants to come and ask questions concerning the day to day running of Rapha.
This is pay day for me.
To see where this man was when he came here to Rapha, as opposed to where he is today.
God is a good God!
The man surrendered. That was the start.
Until we are sick and tired of being sick and tired, we will keep on in the destructive behavior that has defined our lives.

What happened to this man reminds me of the healing of the demoniac in Mark chapter 5.
Jesus cast out the demons that had plagued this man. Being made whole, the man wanted to go where ever Jesus went. Jesus had other ideas.
In Verse 19 - 20 we read:
However, Jesus did not permit him, but said to him, "Go home to your friends, and tell them what great things the Lord has done for you, and how He has had compassion on you." And he departed and began to proclaim in Decapolis all that Jesus had done for him; and all marveled.

It would be great to simply hang around church all the time, but there is a whole world that is lost and headed to hell if someone doesn't tell their story. We don't have to be great theologians to share what has happened to us. That is why I write this blog everyday. It is one simple way of sharing the truth I have found that has made such a difference in my life.

Hey guys! Give it away.
mb

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Michael Card & John Michael Talbot - One Faith

One God, One baptism, One table, One faith...... Oh to grasp this and allow myself to be unified through the Holy Spirit of almighty God with my brothers and sisters in Christ.

To lay aside all the foolishness that divides us and keeps us from seeing the richess that the complete body of Christ has to offer to a dying world.

Maranatha! Lord Jesus.

mb

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Why Do This?



Why Write this blog day after day?
Is it ego?
Pride in a talent?
Do I think that my opinion and view on life means more than someone else's?
I don't think so.
SO why do I write and post on this blog 6 days a week?
To keep my own sanity in a world that doesn't seem to offer much help.
To share, hopefully, an honest transparent look at my life and how I think
the greatest thing one can do as a follower of Jesus is to simply be teachable.

If I can do anything, it would be that through the posting here on this blog,
someone might simply open up their view of God and see that we all
have belief's that are not wholly true.

Now I'm not talking about the basic tenants of the Christian faith.
Jesus Christ, 2nd part of the God-head....
Came to planet earth and took on the form and flesh of humanity.
Fully God/ Fully man, he lived here among us for 33 years.
His death and subsequent resurrection opened the door to relationship with God the Father
that had been closed since the garden incident.

Jesus did for me what I could not do for myself that is, he restored me to a right
relationship with God.
Because of this, God placed His Holy Spirit (John 16:13) in me as a kind of
divine compass and direction giver.
I am now a part of something that is larger than my finite brain can comprehend...
What is it you may ask?
The body of Christ.
A family of other people who also have been saved.

I possess no incredible wisdom to pass on to you other than this.
If you have given your life and heart to God and are saved....
then don't give up, even though you might want to.
Don't quit even though you don't know what to do next.
Don't give in even though every one around you is prospering and your are floundering.
Don't!
Lay hold of God with your faith and your entire being....
Focus your heart and mind on Him.
Scream out to Him..."Teach me to love You!"
Be as honest and transparent as you possibly can.
Don't get caught up in playing the religion game.

It's o.k. to admit you don't have all the answers.
All you truly know is that once you were lost but now you are found...
was blind, but now you see.

If you don't have relationship with Jesus, haven't been saved....
Consider what has been written here today.
It was written for you to see and read.
God had a purpose for you stopping by here and perusing these posts.
The salvation might not come now as you read this.
It may come later, but you'll think to yourself about what you read here at

Greene Street Letters.
Thus is the mystery of God.
No matter how hard we plan, his plans are greater.

Gotta love Him!
I know I do.

Even though you and I have never met, know this.
I love you.
I pray for you daily.
How? You may ask.
Because it was no accident you found this blog.
God directed you here.
I pray that you find one thing that will bring you comfort and cause you to renew
your hope in Christ.
That will awaken you to the truth that it is a race and we cannot stop or give up.

Like I wrote at the beginning of this post.
I'm not a theologian.
I am a simple man who has a simple view of God and His word.
If He said it, I take it for face value.
In other words....
I'm just crazy enough to believe it!

God on you....
mb

Such A Time As This

Mark 10:45
For even the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.
I guess this is one aspect of the Kingdom of God I struggle with the most.
The fact that as a follower of Jesus, it isn't all about me, but others.
In my head I know that I am a conduit, if you will, for God to flow through and minster and serve others.
Service doesn't always come in  the form of teaching or preaching (thank goodness).
Service comes in the form of helping others do what they cannot do themselves.
In Scripture, Jesus said that there was a reward for those who gave a cup of cold water in his name.
In fact, I guess you could say "It is the little things that matter the most to God."
A lot of people only want to work for God if they can get plugged into what they perceive to be "big events" or "big things."

I remember a young man who came through Rapha and God touched him in a glorious fashion. He was saved and on fire. In the midst of all this emotional fervor, he came to me to tell me that God had given him a vision of what my future was to be. He said that he saw me up on a stage in a huge arena. Lights were on me and there were television cameras every where. He said that my teaching stirred the people and there were hundreds, maybe even thousands, coming to the front to be saved. I thanked him for the word and then asked, "Where was God in all of that vision?" He looked puzzled. I told him that his entire vision was about me. How selfish would that be? It wasn't from God, but from the heart of a young man who wanted to encourage me. To me, the greatest encouragement I could ever receive from anyone is for them to say, "You know........when you teach, I can understand what you are saying. The Bible makes sense." That is when I know God is at work.

Today?
Do the little things for the kingdom.
God on you............
mb

Monday, June 14, 2010

Ron Hembree: 1938 - 2010 -- You Will Be Missed


Co-producer and founder of QUICK STUDY Television show, Ron Hembree, died Thursday, June 10th.
As a former evangelist, he had a way of teaching the world that was clear, concise and simple to everyone who tuned in Quick Study.

I first found the Quick Study program back in 2006.
It ran daily and took the viewer through the Bible in one year.
Here in 2010 would be the 20th year of Quick Study and Ron Hembree was such a vital part of the show.
He hosted segments that gave viewers what he referred to as "WORDS FOR THE WISE".
Daily he would take the required reading of Scripture and break it down to make it applicable to life here in the 21st century.
His easy mannerisms and rich, dynamic voice easily kept your attention.
Over the years, Ron Hembree became one of my favorite teachers, as I downloaded each show to my computer to use as study helps.

Ron had just finished the day taping segments of Quick Study for latter viewing.
Speaking to his son, Rod and daughter in law, Janice, Ron told them he loved them and would see them later.
Never were there truer words spoken as Ron has now gone on to be with the Lord, awaiting the day when his entire family will be reunited.

God Bless the Hembree family and the gift they have given the world through the Quick Study Program.

Our prayers are with you...
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Cost Of Discipleship by Leonard Ravenhill - Part 1

Look not to the dress of this man. Nor to the vehicle by which he dispenses the truth of God. Look to your heart and ask yourself, "Does the message resonate within me?" "Do I perceive it to be true or do I judge the message by how it looks and is delivered?
Sometimes we let image get in the way. We become supreme judge, jury and executioner in what we will hold up as being true. To many times, in today's society, we measure truth by the vehicle that delivers it. What if I told you that the greatest truth I ever received was from an addict. A man who came to me and spoke the words of God that penetrated my heart and change the course of my life forever. Would you accept that message if it was couched and covered in long, braided red hair, a John Deere Cap, Jeans and sneakers....spoken from a mouth that had not many teeth in it.
Quit sizing up the vehicle God uses to speak truth to us and receive the words of God.
This was a hard lesson for me to learn.
Hopefully I won't have to repeat it.

God on you....

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Pics Of The Night The WIND Came to play


The picture above is what I would refer to as the "groupie" table. From Left to right....James / Vicki / Brendan / Michael  / Barry /  Blake. We wuz chowing down on Vicki's cooking. It was so good it made your brain want to jump out and slap your head.

Nori and family have traveled on and played several times since being here at Rapha, but the memory and the stories from that night continue to linger and be shared.
Once again, thank WIND for coming to play.

God on you....
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Help! I've Fallen And I Can't Get Up

Saturday night was really special. 
Not because the music was good.....in fact I hit some really clunker notes on my guitar. Notes that weren't even close to the intended fret.
God was there.

The Spirit of God in the room touching hearts.
We are continuing our teaching in going through the Twelve Steps this year.
We combined Step # 6 and Step # 7 this time because the two really are inseparable.
Step # 6
We are entirely ready to have God remove our character defects

Step # 7
We humbly ask God to remove our shortcomings so that our sinful patterns or behaviors can be transformed into patterns of righteousness.

It all goes back to the stark reality and knowledge that "All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God."
How short?
Doesn't matter....

If you could measure distance, then the man who was 1 inch away from God is just as lost and doomed as the man who is a mile away. Both have fallen short and there is nothing within them that can make the distance up and draw them into the presence of God.
But God.........
God, in His infinite wisdom and love, as the Son, Jesus, moves into place to bridge the distance we have fallen. Jesus stretches out to us to draw us and bring us into relationship with God the Father.

I have downloaded the message from Saturday night in the podcast section of the blog. Check it out!

God on you....
mb

Saturday, June 12, 2010

All You Need Is Love

"Beatles said all you need is love and then they broke up."
"What the world needs now....is love....sweet love."
"Love love me do."
"Love is a many splendored thing."

There is love.....
and then there is LOVE.
God love....
Unconditional.
I understand the idea of unconditional love, but find myself wanting to put conditions on the love I want to give to others.
Or I start off unconditionally loving but something goes "Kaflooey" and the unconditional stuff flies out the window. This is followed closely by a lot of "Oh God, oh God" prayers.

I Corinthians 13:1 reads:
If I can speak in the tongues of men and (even) of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
From this passage, I see that even my best intentions or personal character means nothing unless I possess the ability to love. Not love as the world deems necessary, but diving love that comes from above and changes everything it comes in contact with. This isn't pipe dream thinking, it is a truth I have learned over the years. When you reach out to love in the name of Jesus, people are either drawn to you or they run away from you. No one.........I mean no one hangs around and stays the same. Love changes people.

V.2 reads:
And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have (sufficient) faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing ( a useless nobody)

Did you catch that? If I don't have God's love in me, I am nothing. Zero! Bupkus! Zilch!
Maybe we ought to spend more time on learning to love the way God loves.
With an eye on bringing the integrity of the Kingdom to our corner of planet earth.
To not be driven by the sweet, flowing platitudes of empty hearts as men speak to us about the nobility of humanity. Maybe we need to get our hands dirty loving on people the way Jesus did.
I'm not talking about "doing something".........I'm talking about living something.LOVE!

I want to learn how to love.
At times I think I'm pretty good at it.
Then something happens and all my "humanity" leaks out in glorious living color for all the world to see. When this happens, I truly realize how far I have to go.
Maybe today, I'll love the way Jesus does.
I certainly hope so.

God on you........
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Friday, June 11, 2010

DANNY DANIELS - "People Get Ready"

A Friend of Rapha. What can I say? I first saw Danny back in 2000 at a worship conference in Annistion, Alabama. Winter time...cold outside.....here I was among a herd of Dockers, me..in my jeans and flannel shirt. There up front stood Danny....also wearing jeans and flannel shirt. A kindred spirit.

We talked and I explained about our Saturday Night Meeting at Gadsden Vineyard....REVELATORY ROADHOUSE. He was very intrigued by what I shared. It would be two years before Danny made it back and took the stage at Revelatory Roadhouse, but when he did....well, let's just say it was worth the wait. Over the years, Danny has returned several times, coming to Rapha to play, share and teach with the men. Danny is so natural at what he does (no hype or religious-ese) that he captures the hearts of those he is hanging with.

I bless Danny today. Where ever he is, Lord you touch and bless Him and his wife. Provide above and beyond their needs. Don't let him get weary and don't let his shoulders be overloaded with the cares of this side of eternity.

We are all better people for knowing Danny Daniels.
He is a servant of the most high God.

Peace, my brother!

mb

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Eye Can C!



John 1:5
And the light shines in the darkness, and the darkness did not comprehend (Overpower it)

Two Kingdoms
One of light and revelation.........the ability to illuminate
and the other
a kingdom of darkness.
The inability to see.
Not being able to see produces fear.
We do not know what is around the corner.
What is going to happen next.

The light....
not a light....
not some light...
but THE light shines in the darkness.
Present tense.
The light shines.
Not will shine.
Not has shone, but currently is at work doing what light does best.
Shinning into darkness.

Darkness cannot stop light from doing what it was created to do.
Jesus, the light of the world, cannot be stopped by all the hordes of hell.
The devil and his minions cannot stop Jesus from being Jesus!

I John 1:5
And this is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you,
that God is light and in Him there is not darkness at all.

Wow! No part of God is connected to anything that has to do with darkness.
That is why the world hates him.
That is why the world hates those of us who are followers of Jesus.
Hate is manifested with the light of truth.
Hearts of darkness that reject the light become angry at being exposed.
The exposure from the light is not to embarrass or humiliate...
it is simply to illuminate the root of every problem we are experiencing...
We have a heart of sin.
We have a nature of sin...
The only cure for such a malady is the BLOOD of the light and Lamb, Jesus!
The forgiveness that comes when we confess this nature and what we have done.
The forgiveness that comes with asking for it (forgiveness).
Light floods our very core and illuminates us in a new way.
We are new creations.
I will think on these things today,
because it is going to be a good day!

God on you.
mb


Wednesday, June 9, 2010

It's All About The Timing

Genesis 4:3
At harvest time Cain brought to the Lord a gift of his farm produce.

Revelation 22:10
Then he instructed me, "Do not seal up the prophetic words you have written, for the time is near."

The two verses above represent the first and last reference to time in Scripture.
Time is God's creation. Time is a canvass that God stretched out to record humanity's existence, both good and bad.
Time is more for us than it is for God. It is a measure by which we record our daily activities. I have a journal that I write in daily. I've been doing this since July 15, 1991. I can go back and pull out any journal and remember the events that took place on any given day.

Time measure the seasons we go through here on earth.
Genesis passage reveals the cycle of  harvest. To have a harvest there has to be a season of breaking ground, of planting, of cultivating and letting the weather bring rain. If all goes well, at a determined time (set by God) a harvest will come forth.  We go through these seasons with the Spirit. We fall under conviction and begin the process of breaking up the fallow ground of our hearts. Removing the stony hard places so the Holy Spirit of God can come and plant, water, cultivate the things that God wants to bring from us. At His bidding, there will be a harvest time when the fruit of the Spirit will come forth.

The last verse, in Revelation, that mentions time is a reminder or a warning (depending on your current spiritual state) that time is  near. Of course there are those who run up the tired old flag of  "Well, nothings happened yet. Where is this God of yours?" TO which I would add, "Well you know we are in the last days." Usually when I make such a statement someone shoots back so....nothing has happened."
Truth be known, I don't know where we are in these "last days"..........but as John Wimber use to say, "All I know is that we are laster than we've ever been."


So, when referring to time, the Bible opens with the time of harvest, which should be a happy time, an exciting time. Except in the this case, Cain brings to God a sacrifice that is not pleasing or acceptable. Refusing to learn from his mistake, Cain ushers in a new level of sin not seen before. He takes his brothers life.

The Bible close with a proclamation that the time is near. What time? For the events in Revelation to unfold even more than they currently are. Whether we want to believe it, or accept it, or even acknowledge it............we are living in the last days
Know Jesus?

mb

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Still Enjoying The Wind !


Here is the cover Barry Hooks designed for the Wind Recording that took
place here last Saturday Night.
The picture is one I snapped as the concert started.
We heard wind outside and thunder, so I stepped through the door
and look to the sky.
This huge cloud was moving over the chapel, so I grabbed my phone
and took the picture.
Funny part was that on Friday, in my journal, I had written a prayer that
"God would come and cover us like storm clouds that roll up unexpectedly."
It was a powerful night....

Exodus 19:9
And the LORD said unto Moses, Lo, I come unto you in a thick cloud,
that the people may hear when I speak with you, and believe you for ever.

Psalm 104:3
You lay out the rafters of Your home in the rain clouds,
You make the clouds Your chariots.
You ride upon the wings of the wind

Psalm 57:10
For Your unfailing love is as high as the heavens,
Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Isaiah 44:22
I have swept away your sins like the morning mists. I have scattered your
offenses like the clouds. Oh return to me, for I have paid the price to set you free.

There is no doubt in my mind that God came Saturday night in that room and in the heavens.
He created and ordained Rapha into existence.
He layed the foundations of the program.
He has sounded His voice and has called to the North, South, East and West...
"Let the people go!"
He has proclaimed freedom to the captives and liberty to the prisoners of addiction.

Oh God...
Oh Jehovah Rapha!
The God who heals....
Rain down healing upon this place.

Amen and amen...
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Monday, June 7, 2010

What A Night!

WIND came. WIND went. God was there. It was good! This is a picture of Barbie "getting down" (get it? getting down?) on the flute during set up. What an incredible talent she is.


Saturday night! Wow....it was very special. Fireworks outside in the sky and God at work inside as worship took place. Nori, Barbie, Lizzie and Cynthia along with FoN (Friends of Nori) came and lead us in worship.

My favorite line of the night was when Barry Hooks got up during one of the songs and passed by me. He stopped and said he had to step out to take care of some business. Seems as though after watching Nori play, Barry was going over to his room, get his guitar and break it into a gazillion pieces.


I am so appreciative that WIND (the band name) would add us to their cross country schedule of play dates. They truly are servants of God. I shared with the room, before the worship started, a verse from Romans 10 - Their sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. If you look up the word "sound" in Strongs concordance, you'll see that it has reference to musical notes. How appropriate for Nori and Barbie. They have traveled to Russia, Mexico, Ireland, Japan as well as all over the U.S.

Truly the sound of WIND has gone into all the earth.


On behalf of Rapha............

Thank you Kelley's for stopping by and leading us in worship.


God on you........

mb


P.S. ---- The photo is blurry. Nori does not vibrate at high speeds. Sorry bout that!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

RANDY STONEHILL - Turning Thirty (1990) Christian Rock

Gotta love it! Back in '83 (That's 1983) when I first heard this song, I was 32 so it kinda struck a chord with me. The funny part is that I am 29 the other side of 30. I'm older and hopefully wiser. I've seen a lot, heard a lot and participated in a lot. Over the past 17 years, God has allowed me to see His Kingdom and evidence of it in our midst. I have seen more in these 17 years than most people see in a life time. No brag..........just appreciation for God and His ability.

Got me a good wife who I love with a fire and passion that is greater than the first day I saw her back in January of 1970. I thought I knew what love was..........silly me. I'm still learning the depth of love today. Just when I think my cup is full and I can't love any more, I am aware of how much there is in love for another human. When I try to take my love for my wife and compare it to the love God has for the world, it pales in comparison. His love sent His Son to the cross for me. Wow!

God has been good to me. Have a great weekend.

God on you........

mb

N & B n' Concert w/ PB & J w/ 411 4 All

I don't know why I titled this posting that way. Just a stream of unconcsiousness I guess.
Visitation today at Rapha. Weather should cooperate which will mean a really good time for all.
I had a really great visit with Mike Powell yesterday. Mike was hooked up with Christian Brothers back in the 70's and 80's and I haven't seen him in 25 years.
Mike was keeping up with Nori Kelley and when he saw that Nori was playing in Gadsden and at Rapha he began calling to get more information. Mike tracked me down through Facebook and Greene Street Letters.

Yesterday, Mike dropped by Rapha to catch up. One thing about friends is that it doesn't matter how long it has been since you last saw each other, you pick right back up when you finally do meet. It was that way yesterday. We spent a few moment filling in the blanks of 25 years, but the conversation was easy. We got a chance to pray for one another which was way cool. I think Mike went to Gadsden Vineyard last night to see Nori. I know it was a really good time for Mike.

One thing I have been grateful for is the people God has let me come in contact with and play with over the years. I have never had the discipline to be an exceptional musician. I have just enough talent (if that's what you call it) to not embarrass myself. At one point during the late 70's, I had resigned myself to the fact that any music I made would be by myself, alone. I would never play in a group again. Little did I know that God had other plans. This is where it gets really weird. God lead me to a place where I was surrounded by incredible musicians. They would ask me to play rhythm or sing back up or play bass. I found myself learning how to worship with my instrument. How cool is that. For the last 27 years, God has let me make music for Him. Every time I get to be a part of a worship team, I am in awe of what God can do through the music. So here's to all the people that have touched my life musically.....

Nori and Barbie Kelley / Don and Jenny Rakestraw / David and Brook Finlayson / Billy Anderson / Devann Jackson / David Tucker / Debbie Handy / Kim England / Kenny Young / Todd Bagley / Wayne Wimpee / Bruce Cornutt / Tim Rolf / Chad Bynum / Larry and Pearl Brick / Barry Hooks / Liz Wood / Jaime Jones / LeNola Bagley / Danny Daniels / Randy Rigsby / Jimmy Fields / Bill Wood / Paul Cash / Jan Hathcock / Mike Cunningham / Johnny Washburn / Barry Goss / Joanna Stockard / David Asbury / Bill & Karen Scroggins / Christian Brothers / and many more.

I have such a rich heritage of people who have shared their music and songs.
I am blessed!
God on you all....
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Little Life? Or Big LIFE?

Great story in the news today about scientist (gotta love these guys and gals) are doing a study to determine what death really is and ...