Monday, January 31, 2011

Message From Saturday Night Now Posted In Podcast Section!

Seth Barber speaks from Galatians 6---
"Do Not Give Up!"

Monday Monday Monday Monday-----

Here we go again, another week.
God was really good this past weekend. Seth Barber came and spoke at the Saturday night meeting, bringing a word that was much needed. Look for his message latter on this week in the pod cast section of this blog.

This last week was a present for me.
There were several former clients who came by to see sit and talk and catch up on what has been going on in their lives. Good stories......God stories.
Stories of marriages that were saved.
Children who got their fathers back from addiction.
Stories of God speaking and these men following.
Each man who came by was very humble and knew that what had happened to them was because of a power greater than themselves that had restored them to sanity. That power being the Lord Jesus Christ. Notice that I didn't write that the power belonged to, but rather the power was found in a person, Jesus Christ. He is the all in all, the one who can not just move events and circumstances that happen to us daily, but brings to the individual change within. Change of nature. Change of character. Change of heart and spirit. To him alone belongs praise and glory and power and authority.

Luke 1:78-79 - because of the tender mercy of our God by which the rising sun will come to us from heaven to shine on those living in  darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.
To me this verse pretty much sums up what happens at Rapha. We point those in addiction to the only one who can truly not just deliver someone from the ravages that addiction brings, but deliver them into a life of peace and right thinking. Deliver them into a relationship with God.  I have seen the power of God change a life. I have seen what God can do when everyone else has given up and deserted a man who is an alcoholic or a drug addict. I have seen the mercy and peace and love of God fall in a room and shatter hearts as hard a stone and as dead as Lazarus. I have heard the cries and sobs of these hearts when they receive this wonderful gift of new life. Cries of gratitude and thankfulness . What an awesome God we serve....and you know what.......
I need him as much as the worse alcoholic or the biggest drug addict...
Praise God! He is still in the saving business.

God on you.....

Saturday, January 29, 2011

John Piper - Make War

Matthew 11:12
And from the days of John the Baptist until now the Kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force....

It is a here in this day and time is a war!
You might not want to believe it.
You may deny that such a thing is happening.
But in the spiritual realm, there is a battle for your very soul between the Kingdom of God and the forces of Satan.
Satan attacks us with deception and lies and threats. He seek so to create in us fear. Fear stops us and when we are not moving with God, we are easy prey for the devil.

I Peter 5:8 reads: Be sober, be vigilant because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour.
He comes looking for us.
Looking for our weakness. Which brings up another thought. I thought I was to be weak so that in Jesus I am made strong? There is weakness that comes from surrender and giving ourselves to Jesus and then there is weakness that comes from our sinful appetite if we allow it to have it's way.
John 15:4 we find Jesus talking...."I am the vine, you are the branches. He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit, for without me you can do nothing.

We must seek to remain in Jesus.
In our lives as we surrender daily our will to him.
By prayer....
By study of His word....
By becoming a part of a community of believers.
By telling our story.
We seek to move from fear to a declaration of war against darkness, always seeking God's word and will for our everyday life.

God on you....

Friday, January 28, 2011

Prove Your Repentance

Acts 26:20
.......I preached that they should repent and turn to God and prove their repentance by their deeds.

Powerful words......
"Prove their repentance...."
Today we are simply called to repent and assume that every one knows that we are sincere about it.
A few tears....
Many gathered around praying for us....
We get up and go back to life as usual.
But here in Acts, Paul makes the bold statement that it is our responsibility to show the work of God in us by the deeds that we do. He didn't say that we should work for our salvation or develop a lifestyle that appears to validate our holiness and commitment to God...............He said that from our repentance would spring forth deeds and actions that reveal the work of the Holy Spirit in us. The deeds Paul is writing about, comes as second nature after I'm saved.
I don't share the gospel because I have too, or because I have a belief that it is required....I do so because I want to. It is a by product of the Holy Spirit at work in me.

I received a wonderful present last night. Two former clients of Rapha came back to the 9 p.m. Bible study. We sat in my office and I listened as they told story after story of what God is doing in them and through them. One has gone on several mission trips, in particular to Africa and as he was telling me about how he had the chance to preach (he doesn't consider himself a preacher), his eyes filled with tears. He told of sharing John 3:16 with a group of children. As he did so, a number of them ( 15 if my memory serves me right) came forward to receive Christ as Lord and Savior. He was so jazzed about the whole thing. But it didn't stop there. He is working with kids and now has a weekly opportunity to show and share the love of God. He is "proving" his repentance and salvation.

The other man who came is working with others who are caught in addiction. He has so committed himself to this work that people are coming to him for help. He has received healing from God for a physical condition that has plagued him for years........and God healed! He told me story after story about how God has allowed him to work with those who are beaten down and in darkness. This man is also "proving" his repentance and salvation. These two who I have written about go about their day watching and waiting for God to direct their footsteps. They follow God's directives because it is simply what they do. Not because they have to. Get it! We do it because how could we do any less.

This God is a good God!!!!
God on you....

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Outta Here!

Matthew 4:11
Then the devil left him and angels came and attended him.

Jesus' temptation in the wilderness.
Not some religious exercise but one that would serve him later on in a garden outside the city of Jerusalem.
We are forged and strengthened when we have encounters with the devil.
We are.........
if we let God fight for us.
Too many times I try to fight in my own strength and reasoning. It's not that I fail every time, but I waste my energy and more than that......
I do not turn to the one who truly defeated the devil on a hillside called Calvary.

If you read the Matthew 4 passages, Jesus did not work up power and go head to head with the devil.
He countered every move with Scripture.
Wow! Do you think maybe Scripture might be more powerful than we first believed.
Do you think that within, what some conceive to be a dead, dry book, there might be the truth that stops the devil at every turn.
Jesus' encounter in the wilderness was not an encounter of power. It was an encounter with truth.
Jesus simply "out-truthed" the devil.
That is why I love this chapter....
Time after time,even as the devil quoted half-truth from the Scriptures, Jesus countered with the whole truth.
Maybe that is what I need in my life.
The whole truth!
In Verse 11 we see where "the devil left him."
A person with the truth will defeat the plans of one who is cloaked in half-truth and deception every time.
I think the thing I really like is what happens after Jesus' encounter with the devil.
Angels came and attended him.

Reckon what they did to Jesus?
Did they fill him with food and water, bringing provision from his Father in heaven?
Did they rub his tired, aching muscles and soothe his weary brow?
I'm not sure and we're not told.
Part of me wants to believe that they had a time of praise and worship, giving glory to God the Father for his faithfulness. Praising his kingdom and his power!

Bottom line, every time Jesus' encountered the devil, Jesus came away stronger and full of grace.
Nothing could stop Jesus' journey to Jerusalem and the cross.
Jesus' knew who he was...
He knew and understand the dictates of his father who had sent him.
He knew that no power, no government........nothing was going to stop him from finishing his mission here on earth.
I am overwhelmed sometimes when I stop and consider the resolve that filled Jesus. I pray that for myself. That I not allow myself to be detained or turned aside from what God has called me to.
Praise God! What a Savior.

God on you....

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Hebrews 10:19-23

Verse 19
Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus,
Where does this confidence come from? This confidence that we can move into a place that, on earth, was reserved only for the high priest, where does it come from? From God's Holy Spirit who assures us that if we are saved then we have access to this relationship with God. As a part of this access, we can have an on going communication with God himself, through the Holy Spirit who speaks to Jesus on our behalf.
Confidence. I see many who are not confident. The devil comes to rob them of their confidence.  He wants to keep you from believing in your rightful place as a child of God.

Verse 20
By a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.
Through the death and resurrection of Jesus, we have been restored in our relationship with God. The relationship is no longer broken and separated because of sin. He made him who knew no sin to become sin for us. That is why Jesus said, "I am the way, the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father but by me." I like how this verse reads....."By a new and living way." It isn't some old, dead ritual that has lost power and meaning. Our salvation is alive and changing us as we walk with God daily.

Verse 21
And since we have a great priest over the house of God.
Jesus is our great high priest. As the Big Book of A.A. reads.....He did for me what I could not do for myself. Hallelujah! What a Savior. Looking back at our lives, how could you not get excited about the power and purity and glory of Jesus, that he would come and change us.

Verse 22
Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart full of assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water.
What an incredible invitation. Let us draw near to God. I can do so without fear or shame or guilt because God has dealt with me and in me to change me. I can do so (as the verse reads) with a heart of full assurance. That means I understand who I am in God's eyes. I am no longer playing games, but operating in the truth. Notice that our hearts are cleansed before our bodies are. The work of the Holy Spirit always begins on the inside which in turn, affects or brings change to the our outward behavior.

Verse 23
Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
That means we latch on to this incredible gift and position with everything we have. We are not going to let Satan come in and slowly pry our fingers loose with his lies and deception. He does not want you to understand who you are in God's sight. He wants you to continue to live under guilt and shame. NO WAY!
I've been set free.

If that don't set you on fire....
then your wood is wet......
Praise God!
God on you.....

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

The Trail Is Set

Psalm 119:130
The unfolding of Your words gives light. It gives understanding to the simple.

I have used this word to teach others about the validity and power that comes from studying the Bible but up until this past weekend, I never really considered it as more than an introduction to Scripture.
On Thursday night, God stirred me to begin a systematic study of the book of Revelation. Now before you get all giddy with excitement,(oooohhhh the Anti-Christ and the beast and 666) it was a study to understand Jesus. After all we forget that the book of Revelation is about the "revelation" of Jesus Christ as he ministers today.

This study went on Friday and Saturday and Sunday. Yesterday as I was reading, God spoke to me again and said, "I want you to study........not the Bible. The whole book. There isn't a time frame, just follow me." Of course I have been studying the Bible. I teach  8 hours of Bible instruction here at Rapha and each teaching is different every week. In other words, I don' t use an outside source to determine where and what I am to teach. I rely on God to show me what the next teaching will be. In my own life, I have never studied the Bible cover to cover. I've read it, but never studied it.

What would be the purpose of this? To understand with my Spirit and not my head, God's ways and plans and to simply fall in love with Him more and more. I confess to you, the thought of studying the entire Bible thrills me. God has allowed me to be in a place where this can happen quite easily. I usually spend my day in the Word of God and it has created in me a hunger.........a thirst to read it.

Let's clear up one more thing. I am not an exceptional teacher. I know that and I lay no claims to fame in my ability to teach God's Word. In fact, my teachings are very simple as to help those in our meetings come to the saving knowledge of Jesus. I don't uncover great mysteries or reach up to heaven to pull down unexplainable scenes. I teach Jesus and the Cross. His death and resurrection. But there is power in what I teach. Not power from me, but from God's Holy Spirit as he opens and quickens the hearts of those who hear. I am merely a conduit for God to flow through. All glory goes to Him.

Why share this?
I'm not sure other than the fact that I ask you to pray for me that I not be slack in what God has laid before me. Pray that whatever outcome God desires to bring through me will not be thwarted by the enemy's plans.
Pray that God is manifested and increased or magnified through the teaching of His word and that He would come and back up the teaching with demonstrations of His power.

As Sherlock Holmes would say to his sidekick, Dr. Watson....."Quick Watson! The game is afoot!"
God says, "Teach boy, teach!"
So I will do so.
I pray that we all develop a greater hunger and desire for God's Word. That it becomes the bread of life deep in the innermost parts of our being.

God on you.....

Monday, January 24, 2011

The Light Within Me Shines

Message from Saturday night was from Numbers Chapter 8. God is giving Moses instruction to give to Aaron on how to set up the lamps in the Tabernacle (Tent where the Ark of the Covenant rested).
To me this symbolized a person who is allowing God to oversee and empower his recovery as he moves away from one lifestyle to another.

Verse 3
Aaron did so. He set up the lamps so that they faced forward on the lampstand just as the Lord commanded Moses.
The lampstands represent us, those in recovery. The lampstands held small bowls that were filled with oil and a wick placed in the oil. As the wick soaked the oil, it would be lit providing light. We are incapable of "seeing" with our hearts and our minds until we are filled with oil (Holy Spirit). This comes in Step #3 where we have already admitted our powerlessness and that we are in need of a power greater than ourselves to restore us to sanity. Step #3 provides that we make a conscious decision  to turn our will and life over to the care of God as we understood him.  Here is the "X" so to speak, in our life where we began the process of turning loose and looking to God to direct us.

It is the light from the oil (Holy Spirit) that penetrated the darkness. So it is in our life as we allow the Spirit of God to work. We are suddenly able to perceive and understand things we could not in the past. Simple thoughts that come to our mind concerning our behavior is one way the Spirit talks to us. The Bible is another. That is why I am such a huge proponent of studying Scripture. The more I can soak myself in God's word, the easier it is to hear him when he speaks.

Notice that the lampstand was positioned so that the light would shine forward. This speaks of our focus always being directed toward today and tomorrow. What I do today, as far as my recovery, sets up my tomorrow. We dealt with the past as we worked through Steps 4 & 5. We take action to make amends in Steps 8 & 9, but we do this things with our focus on moving forward. I like that the lampstand was positioned to reflect "forward" and not backwards. If you wanted illumination you had to move to the front and not lag behind. God is so smart, isn't he? I think so.

I also like Verse 4 which reads, "This is how the lampstand was made. It was made of hammered gold...."
Gold that had been beaten and formed. To me this speaks of the troubles and trials and tribulations, or the BIG 3 as I like to refer to them, that will shape and mold our character. It is the situations that we find ourselves in, in which we listen and follow God's directives that we are shaped and molded. It's not that God likes to inflict pain and suffering on his children, he does not. But he knows that here on this side of eternity life happens. He uses every situation to grow us up and mature us. What an incredible love God has for his children. That is why in the Book of James we read, "Count it all joy my brethren when you encounter fiery trials." God knows that our character is shaped and transformed as we hold tightly to his hand and allow him to lead us through whatever we are facing.

That is good stuff! Look for the audio message to be posted this week and I pray that you will listen.
God on you.....

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Thru the Bible Radio Introductory Video, Part 2 of 2

This is the 2nd part of the video THROUGH THE BIBLE. This particular video is not in sync, by that, I mean what you hear comes before the lips start moving.
It's the heart of the message of THROUGH THE BIBLE that has intriqued me. A man, who died in 1988, still teaching and sharing on the Internet and radio. The Word of God going forth. The straight teaching of the Word of God can never be supplanted by the teachings of man.
God bless THROUGH THE BIBLE and Dr. J. Vernon McGee

God on you....

Thru the Bible Radio Introductory Video, Part 1 of 2

Dr. J. Vernon McGee. What an incredible teacher.
I first got on the "Bible Bus" back in '91. Dr. McGee always referred to the trip through the Bible as "getting on board the Bible Bus." Think about is a man who goes line by line, verse by verse through the entire Bible in 5 years. It's one thing to read the entire Bible, it is another to study the entire Bible. To teach in a perpetual course day after day, week after week and pull from the Word of God these nuggets of truth.I will say that sometimes I disagree with some of the things that are taught, but it isn't enough to keep me from enjoying taking this journey.

If you are a new believer, or even someone who just wants some good teaching, I would recomend listening to THROUGH THE BIBLE. Since I'm not able to listen to it on the radio, I visit their web site and download the messages.
I am blessed to have found Dr. McGee's program and his heart for simply teaching the Word of God.

God on you.....

Friday, January 21, 2011

Choose? Naw...Not Now.

John 17:14
I have given them Your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.

We should not be surprised at the hatred the world is showing Jesus.
The world will tolerate Jesus.
The Jesus of it's own creation, not the true Messiah.
Love the Baby Jesus....
That Adult, risen, glorified Son of God is a a bit overbearing (the world's view).
That adult Jesus is intolorant of the many path's which lead to God (also the world's view)
The world believes that sincerity is the key to heaven. Just be sincere in whatever you believe.
Even today much of the truth has been re-covered, re-imagined in an Emergent-Post-modern hodge podge that lays claim to the fact that all this doctrine and theology and Scripture is beyond our knowing. IF we do claim to know anything, the very fact that we understand underminds the validity of that truth.
Press on this point and you'll soon hear the words, "It's a mystery and we can't understand".

I have been accused of being closed minded and single focused.
I tell those who accuse me that I'm not closed minded. I'm right.
I didn't make the rules up.
I didn't write the words that say, "I am the way, the truth and the one comes to the Father but by me."
The world loves the songs of Christmas as long as we remove shepherds and wise men and Mary and Joseph and any mention of the Inn.
Do you think Mary and Joseph ever thought they would be associated with such a stink as this Jesus?
Well, here's the truth. Not of my own concoction but according to that worn out, out dated, non relating book called the Bible.
Jesus died for all mankind.
Without his death and resurrection, we were doomed to eternity in hell.
Jesus has opened the door for any who would repent and confess, receiving him as Lord and being filled with God's Holy Spirit.
Ain't magic....
Ain't Twilight Zone or Star is Faith in action.
Faith that God is who he says he is and will do what he claims he will do.
A person suddenly being awakened (by God) to the extent of their sinfulness and that they are lost without hope. I think the Bible refers to this as being "Poor in Spirit". When you reach this place then the Kingdom of Heaven is available. God's personal rule and reign in your heart that will guide you through this mess called the world.

I'm sure my age and the place that I currently work have a lot to do with my view. I won't dispute that.
When your eyes see the things I have seen.
When your ears have heard the stories I have heard.
When your heart breaks a million times because someone rejects truth...
well, you tend to lose patience with those who wish to word-wrangle or discount the Bible.
I pray for patience that I may instruct in gentleness and in humility.
I don't hate them.
I don't loathe them.
I don't even wish them harm.
I love them.
I pray for them as I hope they pray for me.
If I have seen or heard wrong, I would that the Holy Spirit convicts me.

Ahead Of His Time

That Jesus.....Who would have ever thought that he was on the cutting edge of society?
Who would have ever guessed that the son of Mary and Joseph would be light years ahead of us today?
He had one long before I did.
He was posting in his over a period of 1500 years.
What am I talking about?
Did you ever realize that Jesus had his own "Facebook"?
The Bible.
When you read the Bible you are brought face to face with Jesus.
He is on every page. Sometimes you can see him clearly and sometimes there are symbols and types and shadows. But he is there.
Funny part is he truly wants to be your friend (not to mention Lord/ Savior/ etc....etc.)
"But that book is so old and out of date," you may be saying to yourself.
Not true......
Jesus has no need for a 2.0 Bible or a "new and improved faster running" version.
Faster does not always equate with better.
According to Jesus' facebook, the winner is the one who does not give up but perseveres until the end.
Jesus even sends out "Friend" request in his Facebook.
Matthew 11:28-30 - "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me. For I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light."
Wow! What an invite.
I guess Larry Norman was right. "Why don't you check into Jesus....He's got the answer!"

God on you....

Thursday, January 20, 2011

O For A Thousand Tongues to Sing

Micah 6:8
He has showed you, O man, what is good, and what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

The Westminister Confession states that "the chief end of man is to worship God."
More than song which stirs our heart........
More than words that can roll off our tongue.....
More than a heart that is filled with emotion.........
The worship referred to in the Confession is a life given....a life surrendered.....a life lived wholly unto and for God.
My aim....
My purpose....
My call....
My life for Him.
Today Father, I commit myself unto your care.
Spend as you would.
Give me away at your discretion.
Empower me against the forces of darkness that roll and roam this world seeking to devour whom it would.
Let my life be a reflection of Your will and Your kingdom.
May it be done here today as it is being done in heaven.
To you belong the power, the glory and dominion forever and ever and ever and beyond ever....
Praise you Lord!
God on you .....

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Simple Act Of Hearing

Hearing is more than using your auditory senses.
Hearing can be done with the heart.
Hearing can be done with your spirit (you were created a 3-fold being - spirit / soul/ body).
Hearing is a taking in to ones self communication from another source. In this sense, it would be me receiving direction and communication from God.

The verse that has been on my heart and mind for the last few day is found in Psalm 107:20
He sent His word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction.
It doesn't read, "He sent His power and healed them," yet power is used in healing.
It doesn't read, "He sent His authority and healed them," yet authority is the right to carry out what we read in this verse.
It says that God sent "His word".
Some would say that when "WORD" is mentioned in this verse, he is referring to Jesus.
That might be so, I'm not smart enough to discern.
I believe that Jesus, as the WORD, and the communication that comes from God is the same.
God communicated through Jesus to a fallen world.
It is that point in which the heart of sinful, fallen man is awakened by the wooing of God's Holy Spirit.
It can come through the written word we call the Bible.
I can't tell you the number of times I would be studying and suddenly a verse would seem to jump up off the page, as if it were highlighted by the Holy Spirit. I could have read that verse a hundred times, yet at this particular reading, God had something He wanted to communicate to me.

So healing does come through the word.
To me, the Word of God primes my spirit and heart to receive the healing work of the Holy Spirit.
It enables me to have my faith strengthened as God speaks to me through Scripture.
As I read the Word of God, I am healed from fear.
As I read the Word of God, my doubts are dissolved and disappear.
As I read the Word of God my mind is at rest and peace rules inside me.
As I read the Word of God, I am healed in many ways on various levels.
Yes, even physical healing as I stretch my faith out asking God for the healing.

Faith comes by hearing and hearing the Word of God......
Seems to be a whole lot of truth in that statement.
Read the Scripture today.
Set aside time to read and study God's Word.
As God to heal you as you do read.
In faith, receive the healing.
God is good. Isn't He?

God on you.....

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Message From Saturday Night is now posted in the pod-cast section.
"Honesty At All Costs".

Deed Holder

Psalm 24
The earth is the LORD's and everything in it. The world, and all who live in it. For he founded it upon the seas and established it upon the waters.

Boy, that event in the garden (Genesis 3) sure messed everything up.
The man and the woman traded off intimacy with God for some fruit. Must have been some fruit.
Even with man's rebellion and rejection of God, we still seem a bit foggy on this one thing.
God still owns it all.
The devil may be strutting around, chest all puffed up, like he is the big dog. He's not. God still owns it.
He owns me, spirit, body and soul.
Even with the big "Hoo-ha" mess up in the Garden, God provided a way to have restored relationship with Him. He knew we couldn't ever make the grade (Sin will do that to you) and he knew that our acquiring the knowledge of good and evil would make things more difficult because now we choose evil/bad/stinky every time.SO God came up with His plan for our redemption.

We tend to look at God's plan through our humanness and ultimately declare God to be unfair. Unfair?
God could have just wiped everything out and start all over again. He chose to work through, bringing his Kingdom rule into play to reveal his heart of love for his creation. He allowed the very thing that separated us from God, our ability to choose, to be the very thing that would draw us back into relationship with him.
What an awesome God. He didn't suddenly turn everyone into automaton's to merely mimic love. No! He allowed our ability to choose to be the very thing that would draw us back. Not only that, God sends His Holy Spirit to woo us and call to us. He just didn't leave everything to chance.

Scripture reads of his plan.
Seek you first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things (food, shelter, job, clothing) will be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33)
In other words, don't be caught and trapped by the mindset of this world system. Don't allow life to dictate the priorities of your daily life. God must be put at the top of our list. He has to be the focus and point to which I follow. It's not about God having some sort of super ego and needs to have it stroked by this creation call humanity. It is simply about doing the right thing. Realizing our eternal destiny without God and his plans and , in gratitude, falling to our face worshipping God for having saved us from that destiny.

God is a good God!
God on  you.....

Monday, January 17, 2011

"Recovery and Forgiveness" by Father Joseph C. Martin

Ahhh...Father Martin.
A recovering Alcoholic, Father Martin shares on forgiveness in this short video.


"Who Do You Say I Am?"

God is.....
Fill in the blank.
Who is God to you?
Who is Jesus to you?
In Matthew 16, Jesus asks his disciples a very personal question. "Who Do You Say I Am?"
This was more than just Jesus asking for an answer to a question.
It was Jesus' way of saying, "The way you live reflects who I am to you."
We answer questions that others have without every saying a word.
Our behavior reveals our theology.
Our deeds uncover where our hearts are.
Saint Francis of Assisi made the statement, "You must be prepared to share the Gospel all day, every day......and sometimes use words."

Every morning I get up, that question is there waiting for me as I start my day. "Who Do You Say I Am?"
This is not a question that can be answered with the mind but rather with the heart. For there in the heart lies the real "me". The one that I walk around with each day that others are not aware of. A living, breathing, reminder of the sinfulness of man and the goodness of God all wrapped up in one neat package.
Saturday I found myself confronting an old voice. It use to whisper at me and taunt me telling me, "Who do you think you are? You call yourself a Christian. You are a miserable copy of the real thing." That voice of insecurity. It came upon me rather suddenly during a conversation I was having with someone else. They were relating a story to me about something God had done in their life, when suddenly that voice in my mind was more real and concrete than the sidewalk I was standing on. I was caught off guard and found myself almost overcome by it. I realized it was the enemy ( a.k.a. the devil or one of his cronies) speaking.

Why the voice now? Was I slipping in my relationship with God? Had I done something wrong? None of these were the answer. I was simply being attacked. I quietly reminded myself of the truth of Scripture. Praying for God's protection and presence, the voice quieted. Later that day I had some friends pray over me.

The bottom line to all of this was that this voice was trying to alter who God was to me.
To bring me to place where I doubted God and all that he has done for me and my family.
"Who Do You Say I Am?"
I proclaim today that you are Lord.
I rejoice in the world that you have overcome the world. And such a fate awaits me as I walk out these days here.
I declare that you are the Christ, the Son of God, and that the gates of hell will never, ever, ever prevail against you and the Church you died for.
That in you death and resurrection, we also have died and been raised to new life.
Hallelujah what a Savior.
Who Do You Say Jesus Is?

God on you.....

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Preview Of Tonight's Message

Scripture: Leviticus Chapter One 

We are given a detailed account of how God was to be approached in the Old Testament.
A.) Bring an offering to be sacrificed -  Ox, Lamb, Pigeon
       1.) Everyone can participate. Even the poorest of the poor is given a way to sacrifice.
       2.) There is no forgiveness without the shedding of blood. (Hebrews 9:22)
       3.) The person who brings the offering (Ox / Lamb) must lay their hands on the head of the offering while it is being killed.  The laying on of hands represents the transference of sin from the individual to the offering.
       4.) The laying on of hands also makes the participating aware of the price that is paid as they feel the life blood going out of the sacrifice.

B.) The inner parts of the offering are to be washed with water.

C.) The priests takes the offering and cuts it open and then into pieces, arranging it on the altar in specific fashion.

D.) The priests is to bring it all and burn it on the altar. An offering made by fire---an aroma pleasing to the LORD.

What does this have to do with people in recovery?
We declare each week at our meeting that our group consciousness as to our higher power is found in Jesus Christ.
Just as there was one way to enter the Tabernacle, there is only one way to enter into fellowship with God and that is through Jesus.
The first thing that had to be dealt with at the Tabernacle was the "sin" question. This was done by the individual bringing a sacrifice to be totally consumed with Fire.

Since Jesus is the "one-time" sacrifice for our sins, we bring ourselves ---we give ourselves as a "living" sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). Which is our acceptable worship in the sight of God. We admit as people who were addicted, that our old nature seeks a softer, easier way to approach God. There is only one way...Jesus.

As Romans 12:1 states, "We are to be a living sacrifice" that means that our daily lives are evidence of the sacrifice paid on our behalf. We reflect the nature and goodness of God to those around us daily.

The priest taking the offering and cutting it open and revealing the inside is symbolic of our need to "rigorously" honest. To be laid bare with nothing to hide. Secrets are the death of an addict. To be free, open and honest is the path to life as we follow Jesus.
To be open and transparent in all our affairs.
To be free from secrets that would ensnare us in the devil's traps.
We become living sacrifices as we work down through the 12 steps, trading our will and our life to God in exchange for a new way of living.

Check in next week for the audio message.
God on you....

Friday, January 14, 2011

New Message From Saturday 1 - 8 - 2011 --
Exodus 40 -  "Just do it!"

Now in the podcast portion of this blog.
Check it out listen in or download for later.

God on you....


"Upon this rock I will build my church and the gates or powers of hell will not conquer it."
Matthew 16:18

The church....
Never have two words painted such a varied picture in the minds of humanity.
To some it is a rigid, abusive institution.
To others it is a warm inviting family.
Some see it as a bastion of intolerance to those who don't believe a certain way.
Some see it as an outdated mode of communication for a God long since done away with by mankind.

When I think of "the church", I think of a place of hope.
A place where like minded people who have been changed by God gather to worship Him.
I think of a safe place.
I use to say that a lot when we were doing the Saturday night recovery meeting, House of Blue.
I would welcome everyone by saying, "This is a safe place to come and meet with God."
I did not mean it was a place where you could hide out, but rather a place where God would heal and save and restore if you would give up on your old ways and turn to Him.

The picture above is our "church" at Rapha.
Come this April 28th we will be celebrating out 5th year of having "church" or should I say "being" church.
We started off meeting on Sunday mornings but I never felt that was truly the right time for us to meet.
I can't explain it but I was born to do church on Saturday  night.
Anyway, May of 2008 we began to meet on Saturday night and have ever since.
My call, as pastor, is to provide a door for the men who come into the program.
A door that would lead them to a permanent church home and family.
I want to introduce them to God in a way that they may have never seen or known before.
I truly believe the Gospel of Jesus is a very simple message and I want these men to see that also.
We want them to learn what worship is and how it is a life style and not just music.
Our very lives are worship unto God.
Everything we say or do reflects the work of the Holy Spirit in us.

Most churches have creeds and vision statements that they proudly display on their walls.
Some have value statements and church history for all to see.
The Church at Rapha has that also, but our statement is a statement of action.

12 Steps.

We admitted we were powerless over alcohol (and drugs) --that our lives had become unmanageable.

Came to believe that a Power greater than ourselves could restore us to sanity

Made a decision to turn our will and our lives over to the care of God as we understood Him

Made a searching and fearless moral inventory of ourselves

Admitted to God, to ourselves and to another human being the exact nature of our wrongs

Were entirely ready to have God remove all these defects of character

Humbly asked Him to remove our shortcomings

Made a list of all persons we had harmed and became willing to make amends to them all

Made direct amends to such people wherever possible, except when to do so would injure them or others.

Continued to take personal inventory and when we were wrong promptly admitted it.

Sought through prayer and meditation to improve  our conscious with God, as we understood Him, praying only for knowledge of His will for us and the power to carry that out

Having had a spiritual awakening as the result of these steps, we tried to carry this message to alcoholics, and to practice these principles in all our affairs

In these steps we are taken into the presence of God.
There we can submit our will and our life to begin a new way of living, casting aside the old to be restored.

Rarely have we seen anyone fail who followed these simple steps.

God on you....

Thursday, January 13, 2011

If I stand

I will truly never grow in Christ as long as I keep my eyes focused on myself.
I will never truly learn to love as long as my affections are for my own personal comfort and lifestyle.
I will never trust unless I turn loose of these bonds that tie me to this planet.
I grow when I humble myself before God.
I learn to love when those I love return my love with pain and persecution.
I trust when I give to Him everything, keeping nothing in reserve in case He doesn't come through like I want Him too.

Psalm 103:1-4
Praise the Lord, I tell myself
With my whole heart, I will praise his holy name.
Praise the Lord, I tell myself, and never forget the good things he does for me.

He forgives all my sins, and heals all my diseases.
He ransoms me from death and surrounds me with love and tender mercies.

He fills my life with good things.
My youth is renewed like the eagles!

If I stand, let it be on the promise that you will see me through.
If I fall let be on the grace that first brought me to you....

Good words....

God on you...

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

The Greater Truth


"When they were alone, He expounded all things to His disciples."   Mark 4:34

The one place that we do not look to, on a consistent basis, when seeking God's wisdom and council is within ourselves. Scripture says "You will know the truth and the truth will set you free."  The truth we shall know is about ourselves and the character defects we carry around. Some of these defects we cannot see and we are in need of God's Holy Spirit to shine the light of illumination into our soul.

As Chamber's writes, "It is astounding how ignorant we are about ourselves! We do not know envy when we see it, or laziness, or pride. " Salvation is more than a one time event. Just as there is more to marriage than the marriage ceremony, there is more to salvation than the initial event of being saved. All the marriage ceremony does is make a couple legal in the eyes of the state and before God to be married. Once married, they have to learn how to live together and what it truly means to be married. Salvation makes us legal, so to speak, before God to have a relationship with Him. Once we are saved, we have to learn how to have this relationship. This means allowing God to uncover every part of who we truly are, by revealing not what we do in our behaviors and attitudes, but why we do them. 

Chamber's goes on to write, "If we have ever had a glimpse of what we are like in the sight of God, we shall never say, "Oh, I am so unworthy," because we shall know we are, and that we are beyond the possibility of ever stating it." This is not an exercise to beat us down into submission or be crushed under God's thumb. It is God bringing us to the truth about ourselves.  It is the place of
1.) Admitting we are powerless and that our lives have become unmanageable.
2.) Came to believe in a power greater than ourselves, Jesus Christ, who can restore us to sanity.
3.) Made a decision to turn our will and live over to the care of God, as we understood him.

Consider these things today.
God on you.....

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1 - 11 - 11

Recovery is more than the absence of alcohol and drugs. Recovery touches every facet of an individual---their behavior----how they view life-----how they interact with life.
The very first need a person has in recovery is to admit their own powerlessness and then recognize the value of what God is of life.

II Corinthians 4:7-10
But this precious treasure---this light and power that now shines within us is held in perishable containers, that is, in our weak bodies. So everyone can see that our glorious power is from God and is not our own. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

and in....
II Corinthians 4:17-18
For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever. So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now. Rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen . For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.

We weigh our current lot in life....our situations...our troubles caused by our addiction, against the truth and reality that our lives have become unmanageable. We truly are in need of a power greater than ourselves that can restore us to sanity.
That power being Jesus Christ.
I can only speak from experience of this restoration power in my own life.
I can't explain how it works...
I can't explain how He works.
I just know He does when I give up and give in.

God on you today!

Monday, January 10, 2011

It's Here!!!

Down town Attalla as the snow begins to cover everything.
Very unusual to have two events of snow here so close together, that produced a measurable amount.
It is beautiful and quiet.
I stood on my porch last night watching it and listening to the wind, all the while thanking God that our power stayed on.

Funny part is that underneath that snow, I know what lies there.
In front of my house is a ditch full of leaves, but you can't see it because of the snow.
There is a rough place on our street that the city is going to fix, but you can't see it because of the snow.
Out back is the grand kids sand box, but you can't see it because of the snow.
Near the back of our lot is a stump from a pine tree I had cut down, but you won't be able to see it.
It's covered up by the snow.
The snow makes everything beautiful and hidden.
Sometimes we do the same thing with our hearts.
We cover up our defects and sins and behaviors with a "religious" snow.
We are, as Jesus said, like white washed tombs.

Reading in Leviticus 1 this morning.
Right off the bat, we are dealing with the appropriate way to bring a burnt offering to the Tabernacle.
The burnt offering was given as you stepped into the outer court of the Tabernacle.
It was an offering that dealt with sin and this had to be done before you came into God's presence.

Verse 3 reads: If the offering is a burnt offering from the herd, he is to offer a male without defect.
Symbolic of Jesus being offered as a sacrifice for our sins.
Jesus was hauled from one court to another in order to convict him but no charge could be brought.
He was without moral defect or blemish.

The offering was cut open and cut apart.
Every piece of the offering was dealt with in a specific way.
Our relationship with Jesus (if you have been saved) is about the "inside".
The motive behind what we do.
The thought behind what we say.
The heart and what comes forth from it in word and deed.
Somehow we believe our right standing with God is about the outside behavior.
Hebrew 4:12-13
The word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword. It penetrates even to dividing soul and spirits, joints and marrow. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. Nothing in all creation is hidden from God's sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

The human heart has the ability to self-deceive.
Don't allow it to convince you that you are covered with snow.
All beautiful and white and pristine.
Let the word of God uncover what we try to keep hidden.
There in the uncovering, you will find grace and mercy.
Love and compassion.
Be made new today!

God on you...

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Snow's A Commin'

Grocery store was full....
Carts and people running everywhere to get the last minute items.

Look into the faces of the people and every one seems caught up in their own world.
Caught up trying to make sure they don't get stranded or have to do without when the storm hits.
Cashiers look haggard and tired from dealing with an endless procession of people.
Not every one is on good behavior.
Nerves are frayed and tempers are running kind of high.
I saw two people reach for the last loaf of bread and a minor skirmish broke out.
The snow is coming.
Weather people relayed the message. They had been watching and taking note of what was happening, now it was the moment to tell everyone............get ready. Make sure you are ready.
You don't want to be caught unprepared.
When people heard the news they immediately began to draw up a list of what they needed to do. As the time drew closer they upped their preparation to insure their safety.

Why do people ignore the Gospel? Why does the word fall on deaf ears and hard hearts? Why do we ignore our own spiritual condition and state in order to embrace the life style and ways of this world?
Why do people ignore the proclamation that Jesus is returning?
Revelation 22:17 -  "Behold I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done."
Jesus states that His reward is coming back with Him to be handed out to everyone. "Oh Boy....Rewards! That has to be good...right?" Well, Jesus says that the reward is based on what we have done.
Some may feel that have done a lot. Fed the poor. Gave to Red Cross. Served as a greeter at the community Thanksgiving dinner. I don't think that is what Jesus has in mind. "What We Have Done," Is in reference to what did we do with the message of salvation. Did we receive Christ as Lord and Savior or did we reject the offer of eternal life?

I don't see an urgency in others concerning Jesus' return.
Is everyone here on planet earth ready to be received by Him?
I don't think so.
I do believe that some truly in their heart of hearts think that they are in good standing with Jesus.
"I'm a good person. I have a good heart."
As a Sunday School teacher once told me when I was a little boy...."The road to hell will be littered with the good." Kind of frightening for a 10 year old, but none the less effective.

Romans 10:9-10
That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved."

As the days here grow spiritually darker and darker, people's hearts grow colder and harder. The message falls on deaf ears and stone hard hearts. Don't let this happen to you. Don't be one of the ones who simply pushes the message of salvation away and continue down the path to spiritual destruction and damnation.
let the message of Jesus and cross flood you and awaken you to the truth of your current spiritual state.
No one is so "lost" that Jesus cannot find and save them.
There is no pit so deep that Jesus is not deeper still.
Pray for this gift of salvation today.....
Contact me if you need help.
cell phone -  256 - 490 - 1868.

God on you.....

Friday, January 7, 2011

Ta Da!!!!

This is the 901st posting for the Greene Street Letters.
What does this mean?
I don't know that it means anything other than I have found some discipline and I try to post Monday through Saturday.
Looking at Scripture in reference to this being the 901st posting, I turned to Psalm 90:1 -  LORD, You have been our dwelling place in all generations.
Interesting. The recognition that God is the focal point where we find protection and true life. He is a dwelling place. We live "in" Him, or there is real life when we place ourselves in the care of Christ.We exist "outside" of Him, by that I mean we merely take up space and walk about without direction or purpose.

Jesus made the statement in John 15:4 - "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you unless you abide in Me."
Abiding comes from obeying. Obeying means God's will over my own will. A surrender and obedience brings about blessings from God. Notice in the John 15 verse, there is a production of fruit that comes from being where we are suppose to be. There is evidence of change that comes about in this relationship with Jesus. There is an empowering of the Holy Spirit that comes with abiding. Abiding keeps me from wandering. Wandering is nothing more than movement with no purpose. Such behavior always leads to trouble and destruction. That I do not need in my life.

Dwelling in Christ.
Abiding in Christ...
Ephesians 3:17 reads "That Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. That you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length, and depth and know the love of Christ which passes knowledge. That you may be filled with all the fullness of God."

That is my desire......
To be filled with all the fullness of God.
To have every bit of Michael Bynum purged and removed and replaced with God.
Wishful thinking?
Why not go for it? Why not sell out to God and totally let Him have his way as He takes up residence in our hearts? I am all in for that.
I've tried the world's ways and they don't work.
I have tried to be somebody other than who God created me to be and it lead to heart ache and disaster.
I am going to simply "BE".
That God will define me as I obey.
Well, we've made it through the first week of the new year, and with a winter storm event on the horizon (as our weather forecasters love to say) I encourage you to make the milk, egg, bread, battery run to your local food shop / store / Wally-Mart.

God on you.....

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Posted the message from Saturday night in the podcast section of the blog.
We are beginning a new series for the year.....

"Recovery in Scripture."
Join us each week as we take a look at God's ability to "recover" us from addiction and all the trappings that go with it.

God on you...

Between A Rock And A Hard Place

Genesis 12:8
And he moved from there to the  mountain east of Bethel, and he pitched his tent with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the LORD and called on the name of the LORD.

Bethel on the west.....
and Ai on the east.....
Bethel, which means the house of God.
Ai which means ruin.
Here was Abram in the middle.
In symbolic terms you could say he was between heaven and hell.
Here on earth, walking out his days yet with a heart that longed for that communion with God.
Stuck in this in between place, Abram built an altar and worshipped.
He called on the name of the LORD.

Seems like today that we only call on the name of the Lord when we get in trouble, or we need something.
If I have learned anything from the Vineyard Church is that God is worthy of worship no matter what my lot in life. No matter what my situation or circumstance I find myself in, my heart will worship Him.

On the worst day of his life.....
loosing all his material possessions....
losing his children...
Job, when told of the news of this destruction, tore his robe and shaved his head and fell to the ground and worshiped (Job 1:20).
He worshiped.
He turned his attention to God, even though he may have had a million questions as to the "why" of this event.
He worshiped.

He focused on who God is and in verse 21, the very last words of Job's worship is "Blessed be the name of the LORD."
How could anyone do this?
They have the Grace of God on them.
Grace is not the meal time prayer.
Grace is the empowering presence of God in my life that enables me to be who I was created to be and do what I was created to do.
Grace is the sufficiency of Christ given to each believer.
Grace sees me through this day.
The Holy Spirit shows me the way.....
Grace gives me the strength and power to carry out what God directs me to....

Today...take some time and worship God.
Offer to him praise for what He has done in your life.
Develop the attitude of gratitude today....

God on you.....

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Change In The Weather

John 13:36
Simon Peter said to Him, "Lord, where are You going?" Jesus answered him, "Where I am going you cannot follow Me now, but you shall follow Me afterward."

Do you think Peter was confused?
Do you think Peter was thinking, "Hey..what gives here?"
After all, Peter had left everything when Jesus spoke to him and said, "Follow me!"
Peter had done just that.
Oh it wasn't always pretty and it wasn't always godly.
Peter was a passionate man who sometimes spoke out of turn, but Jesus (I believe) had a special love and place in his heart for this fisherman.
But now Jesus was telling Peter you cannot follow me at this time. Jesus was moving toward Jerusalem and the cross. This was for him alone.
Peter would follow toward his own cross years later.
He would embrace it at the end of his life.
Perhaps on the day Peter was crucified he remembered the words that Jesus spoke...."You shall follow me afterward."
Peter would realize that God's favor had followed him all the years of his life.
Perhaps Peter heard God say, "Well done my good and faithful servant."

What does this have to do with us today?
The path that each of us walk in our daily life is orchestrated by God.
Somewhere out there in the future is the end as our days are counted off.
Jesus knows that the time spent here and now will determine how we face that end.
I don't mean for this to be a morbid or sad message, it should be a message of hope.
That nothing will overtake us that will catch God off guard.
No event shall shake us if we are found in Christ.
If we are saved.......
If we have the salvation of God, then our path, our life leads to one stand in the presence of all that we have claimed to believe in. To be with God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Ghost.

I had someone ask me, "What are you going to do if at the end of your life you find out all this "Jesus" stuff you claim to believe in is false? That there isn't a heaven, that when you die that is the end of everything. There is no after life."
I thought for a moment and then told him, "IF my faith is false and everything I have believed turns out to be fake, I'm o.k. with that. I have had a good life. I have a wonderful family. I have met and made some really incredible friends. I have had the opportunity to play with some great musicians and make some good music. IF that is all there is to this life, then I'm o.k. with it."

I then asked my friend, "What will you do when at the end of your life you find out that it is true?"
He had no answer.

The words of the hymn best explain how to finish this thing called life.

My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus blood and righteousness
I dare not trust the sweetest frain but wholly lean on Jesus name
On Christ the solid rock I stand
All other ground is sinking sand
All other ground is sinking sand.

Stand firm in Christ.
Be hidden today in His word and His presence.
God on you..........

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Judgment Seat of Christ - Leonard Ravenhill

Oh God....I do not want my heart to beat with a love for the things of this world.
I do not want to be earth bound with affections and desires that outweigh who you are and what you have done to procure my salvation.
I desire to be like the words in Hebrews........That for the joy set before Him, endured the cross.....
That must be some kind of joy that would drive Jesus to the cross.
To see the end result and reject everything that came between Him and that cross.
Give me vision to see eternity beyond my time here on earth.
Give my heart strength to endure as a good and faithful servant.
Give me Your Holy Spirit that I may overcome this world.
Thank you Lord....

God on you....

Monday, January 3, 2011


John 13:37
Peter asked, "Lord, why can't I follow you now? I will lay down my life for you."

I think all of us at one time or another have grandiose ideas about our serving God. What we do in the face of adversity. What we would say if we were threatened by a mob. We all like to believe we would be that one who would stand for the Kingdom and maybe even die for it.
That's what Peter thought when he made his statement in John 13:37.
No way Peter was going to deny Jesus.
He was willing to die for him.
I don't think Peter was lying when he said this.
I truly believe that Peter felt that this was the truth.
The truth has a funny way of coming unraveled when our true character and nature is revealed.

You see, Jesus knew that Peter would have to come to grips with who Peter really was.
He knew that Peter would have to be uncovered and allowed to see himself in the true light of the gospel so understanding could come and repentance happen.
This could only come about by allowing Peter to be put in a situation where his real nature would be revealed.
There around a campfire, surrounded by others, Peter denied Christ three times.
One time would have been bad enough, but sometimes we need to be brought face to face with the extent of our defects.
Don't you think Peter ran away into the darkness totally crushed.
He could not run fast enough nor find a darkness thick enough to remove the reality of what had just happened. Peter had boastfully stated that he would lay down his life for Jesus. Now in the aftermath, he was broken beyond measure because of his denial of Jesus.
It would have been a sad event had Peter stayed there in that place of grief and depression over what had happened, but praise God Peter didn't. There was restoration and forgiveness.
Isn't that the way of the Father?
We find ourselves uncovered and truly ashamed of what we have done or said, and in the next instant we are on our knees crying out to God.
He comes.
He brings forgiveness and healing to pour over us.
We are made whole and clean.

2011 I think may be a year of "THE REAL SELF".
That God is going to show us who we truly are.
Not the person we claim to be but the one who really exists inside.
I also believe that healing will be abundant for those who allow God to show them who they are.
Healing that will remove the pain of past events that happened to us either by our own choosing or the choosing of others.
2011 will be the year of uncovering.
Healing cannot take place until we know and see what is wrong with us.
2011 may be the year when we are healthier than we have ever been.
God's kingdom revealed in new ways and new heights.
Come Lord Jesus!

God on you....

Saturday, January 1, 2011

January First---New Beginnings

Genesis 12: 1- Now the LORD said to Abram, "Go forth from your country, and from your relatives and from your father's house, to the land which I will show you."

New day.........New year...........New time................New beginnings.
Why not let today be the start of a new life with Christ. Just as God told (notice---He didn't ask or suggest) Abram to leave. Get up. Start moving. Vamoose. I'm sure Abram was thinking, "O.k....O.k....I'll go.................go where?" Here's the strange part as God says, "To a land that I will show you." In other words kept vigilant on this journey and watch not only with your eyes, but more importantly, with your heart.

Many people will get up this morning and spend their entire day and their energy going and doing without any thought as to the direction God would have them go. They cast God aside like a good luck charm that is only needed should things turn bad. To me, I need God no matter what. If anything, over the past 38 years of marriage, Vicki and I have made the choice that God is our portion. We look to him for direction and guidance in our lives. I remember one year in particular when we had planned to take a vacation to the gulf with some family and friends. We were excited about it and had spent some time planning routes and what we were going to do when we arrived. The trouble was, we didn't consult God in any of this trip. We were scheduled to leave on a Friday, when all of a sudden on Wednesday we knew we were not suppose to go. We prayed and the answer was still the same, "Don't go." We kept trying to explain the "not going" away. "Oh, it's our flesh telling us this, and "God wouldn't tell us not to go on this trip." But as time went by it was very evident that God indeed was telling us we did not have liberty to go on the vacation. Why? Why would God do this? You know, we never received an answer to the why. We rested in the fact that God was leading us and even though it was a trip we really wanted to take, we wanted to be obedient more.

To some that might sound like God is a punishing God or that He takes pleasure in seeing His own suffer. Not so. I think sometimes God tests us to put us in place where we can see ourselves, our hearts when things don't go the way we think they should. Anyone can serve God when it's all sunshine and roses.......puppy dogs and lollipops. But when the storm clouds roll in and things don't go our way, then we find out the true nature of our hearts.

I do know that 2011 will be a time of testing for us all.
To shine for God's kingdom and see Him work not only in our life, but the lives of others.
Prepare yourself because God is calling us to leave our place of comfort and begin the journey of a lifetime.

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

Fired Up

Luke 24:45 And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures. I don't think I've heard very many m...